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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Industry leaders honored at NEAA 2018

The Northeast Acquirers Association held its 33rd annual conference Jan. 29 through 31, 2018, at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn. The payments industry's longest running regional event included a mix of exhibits and presentations aimed at empowering merchant acquiring professionals. Established in 1985, the nonprofit, non-membership regional association has modeled the way for other regional associations while deepening its ties with the Electronic Transactions Association. This year, a Certified Payments Professional (CPP) review class enabled NEAA attendees to earn up to six Electronic Transactions Association CPP credits.

In opening remarks, NEAA President Alan Forgione stated that the exhibit hall would be closed during presentations and challenged the audience to "put that phone down" and actively participate in networking activities, educational seminars and interactive exhibits. He thanked the NEAA Board of Directors and numerous volunteers for their contributions in organizing and producing the event. He added that the board and volunteers are payments insiders who understand industry issues, concerns and challenges. "We are committed to making the Northeast Acquirers Association the 'go-to' organization for payments industry thought leaders, innovators, MLS veterans and MLS newcomers," he said.

Forward-looking agenda

The show's agenda represented all facets of payment acquiring from government affairs and emerging technologies to advice on how to build and sell merchant portfolios. Following are additional show highlights:

  • Scott Talbott, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at ETA, presented Compliance, Regulation and a View from Capitol Hill, which updated the audience on the association's advocacy and support of its members' interests in the political sphere.

  • Scott Wessman, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships & Business Development at Visa Inc., apprised the audience on key acquiring trends.

  • Dr. Steve Taubman gave a presentation titled The Magic of Inner Selling – Discover the Magnetic You. He remained on hand to and regale audience members with card tricks and sign copies of his new book, Buddha in the Trenches: The Timeless System for Developing Unshakeable Performance Under Pressure.

  • Scott Goldthwaite, Senior Vice President of Operations at Aliaswire, moderated a fintech panel discussion with Dan Goodman, Senior Vice President of Product Management, ATMs at Mastercard; Esteban Marin, Vice President and Commercial Channel Manager at TD Bank; and Rod Hometh, Senior Advisor, Emerging Markets at Rocketpay Group.

  • Donna Embry, Chief Payments Advisor at Payment Alliance International, officiated the 2018 NEAA Payments Bowl, a spirited discussion with industry leaders, who debated the pros and cons of surcharging, cash discounts and legislative trends.

Catapult 18

The popular Catapult competition entered its third year at NEAA, showcasing four payments startups competing in a Shark Tank-styled competition. Designed in collaboration with the ETA, contest participants had 10 minutes to present their concepts for industry recognition and cash prizes. Presiding judge Stephen Kane, General Counsel and Senior Executive Officer at Sterling Payment Technologies, emphasized all finalists were winners who had distinguished themselves from a larger pool of qualified contestants.

Grand prize winner Apptizer, a mobile order-ahead restaurant app, won $1,000 and exhibit space at the Payments Next Zone, Powered by ETA, at the ETA's annual Transact convention coming up in Las Vegas, April 17 to 19, 2018. TotEats, Pop Codes and Protocol won second, third and fourth prizes, respectively.

"Winning Catapult 18 validates our company's innovation and the disruptive impact we're having in payments," said Dinesh Saparamadu, founder and Chief Executive Officer at Apptizer. "Solution selling is a critical in today's competitive market. We're helping ISOs, agents and merchants differentiate and reap the benefits of the order-ahead revolution." end of article

Editor's Note:

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