Tony Cook
Executive Vice President - Payment Operations

Tony's Speaking Sessions


After graduating with a Business Administration degree from Colorado State University, Tony Cook joined FirstBank, one of the nation’s largest privately held banks, as a management trainee (MT). Shortly after becoming an MT in 2009, Tony was tasked with running the bank’s ATM/Debit Cards division. Since then, he’s spearheaded a number of key payment initiatives for the bank including, a new teller system and Real-Time Payments (RTP), which is the first new payment system to be introduced in over 40 years. Additionally, Tony pioneered the implementation of FedNow, preparing wire processing for ISO 20022 compliance, and he revamped FirstBank’s card disputes and ATM terminal driving strategies.

These ‘game changing’ advancements have propelled FirstBank’s ability to help customers, especially gig economy workers, contractors and commercial businesses, who want to improve cash-flow, digitize their accounting and reduce pain points associated with slower payment systems. Tony has led a variety of payment-focused departments within the bank including, ACH, Wires, and Item Processing, along with Bookkeeping, Reconciliation, branch support, and internal records retention operations.

Currently, Tony is the Executive Vice President of FirstBank’s Payment Operations and Card Services, which includes managing a portfolio of over 500,000 debit cards via in-house processing, and roughly 80,000 directly-issued credit cards.

Tony’s multi-hyphenate career doesn’t end there. His dedication to community involvement has granted him a seat on the board for the Mount Saint Vincent nonprofit, which provides education and healthcare assistance to children with a focus on trauma therapy.

How is the nominee propelling the industry forward?

Always seeking ways to improve his knowledge and his teams’ knowledge, Tony leads by example by maintaining a constant focus on innovation and operational excellence. His dedication to leadership and lifelong learning is evident in his contributions to the US Faster Payments Council Board Advisory Group. As Operational Considerations Work Group Vice Chair, Tony has co-authored Financial Inclusion and Instant Payments Operational Considerations and was featured as a guest commentator on the “Off the Rails” podcast.

Where do you see the nominee succeeding in the future?

With an added Banking degree from the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado, Tony uses his education and experience to excel in executing strategic initiatives and innovation. His sharp eye and ability to carve a clear path guided by various strategic goals will take him far in this industry. Simply put, Tony’s thirst for knowledge means nothing is ‘off the table.’