About Brian

Brian Abernethy’s background in the integrated payments space includes positions of increasing responsibility at major payment processors including TSYS, Global Payments, and Clearent. Specializing in the Independent Software Vendor (ISV) partnership channel, Brian has an extensive background in helping ISV’s create a comprehensive integrated payments strategy including technological requirements, operational planning, marketing campaigns, and ultimately commercialization.  Throughout his career, he has overseen the creation of over 100 integrated payments partnerships in verticals markets such as Healthcare, Field Services, Non-Profit/Fundraising, Retail, Restaurant, Hospitality, Professional Services, B2B, and many more.

Brian was named a recipient of 2023 Electronic Transaction Association (ETA) “Forty Under 40,” which “recognizes the game-chargers in the payments industry.” As a member of the ETA, he participates in both the Payment Facilitation and Retail Technology committees, staying on the cutting edge of trends in both arenas. Over the past several years, Brian has provided thought leadership through public events including “ETA PayFac Day,” investor roundtables facilitated by KBW at Money 20/20, and a number of webinars and podcasts from Clearent.


After founding Utopaya in early 2022, Brian has already successfully completed dozens of projects of varying size and scope. Select engagements include:

  • Guided a private equity backed software business valued at $1B+ to becoming a registered Payment Facilitator in record time, resulting in an $100MM+ annual revenue opportunity for the client
  • Advised a private equity backed healthcare software vendor to move from what was a payments agnostic approach to an integrated partnership with a leading PayFac-as-a-Service vendor
  • Led a private equity backed HoldCo in the Veterinary market to develop a creative commercialization strategy, unlocking payments revenue that was previously thought to be unattainable
 Brian holds a Masters in Business Administration from Wake Forest University and Bachelor of Arts in Economics from St. Lawrence University, where he was an All-American goalkeeper on the Men’s Soccer team.