Thursday, June 19, 2008
After years of attending industry conferences and tradeshows in the United States, Attorney Adam Atlas, who specializes in the payments sphere and is a contributing writer for The Green Sheet, convened the Canadian Acquirer Association's inaugural Founding Cocktail June 12, 2008. "It dawned on me that Canadians could benefit from their own event, think of themselves as their own region," Atlas said.
Approximately 50 people attended the event, which was sponsored by Versapay Corp. of Vancouver and Pivotal Payments of Montreal. The CAA was founded to provide networking services, education, and representation to entrepreneurs active in the payments industry in Canada.
"The CAA is not centered on banks," Atlas said. "Instead, it's centered on people who deal with the merchants and solicit new accounts."
Atlas considered the gathering a success and was pleased with the turnout and feedback. "The people I talked to were delighted it took place, and everybody that I spoke to wants to have another larger, expanded tradeshow and conference before December," he said. CAA is set up as an events-based organization and does not charge membership dues.
Many of the people who attended the Founding Cocktail are competitors, but Atlas believes they can learn a great deal from each other. He founded the CAA out of a desire to shine a light on Canadian acquirers. "You ask anyone to identify Canadian ISOs, and they can't do it; we're like the world's best kept secret."
Not for long, if Atlas can achieve his goals.
"What can I say?" Atlas asked. "It was a great beginning, and now it's just a question of what we do with this initial momentum."
(For more information, see "Calling all Canadian ISOs, MLSs," The Green Sheet, Feb. 11, 2008, issue 08:02:01.)
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