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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

POS relevance a recurring theme at Transact 18

The Electronic Transactions Association's annual conference, rebranded Transact in 2014, has always paid homage to technology. This year's conference, Transact 18, went a step further, by opening new technology zones in the exhibit hall and educational tracks dedicated to tech-driven ISVs and payment facilitators. In his opening comments, ETA CEO Jason Oxman said the industry has moved from point of sale to points of interaction, with 1.7 billion in the world's growing population of POI hardware devices. Technology leaders described their companies' evolutionary journeys as part of a continuing quest to remain relevant in the digital age.

"The key is very, very simple," said Paul Galant, chief executive officer at Verifone, in a panel discussion titled Seizing the Future of Payments and moderated by Oxman. "We recognize that in order to be relevant to Elavon and others, we can't just be a terminal company."

Looking ahead to Verifone's pending acquisition by Francisco Partners, Galant said mergers are nothing new for Verifone, noting the company has learned from years of M&A experience how not to do acquisitions. "We have a talent base of highly motivated, experience-driven people, hardware engineers and security experts, but recognize that it takes different kinds of people to accomplish seamless onboarding and omnichannel views," Galant said.

Meeting consumer expectations

In a separate discussion with Poynt founder and CEO Osama Bedier, Oxman said payments must become a secure, transparent, ubiquitous experience globally, because this is how consumers expect to pay. Bedier, who formerly served in leadership positions at Google, Google Wallet and PayPal, added, "You have to get to relevance. PayPal did much more business when we became more relevant." He went on to say that for the past hundred years, technology was about making things faster, but the focus has recently shifted to doing things better.

"I'm still amazed that the payment experience will work in a consistent way, even in a village in Thailand," said Robin Leidenthal, vice president, merchant sales and solutions at Visa, in a panel discussion on card brand strategy. "But the digital experience is less certain. The consumer sees one way to pay in the real world, and we have to make it happen in the digital world, globally. Consumers need to feel safe and secure that the transaction is working as it should."

Blending tomorrow's POS brands

The relevance theme was additionally reflected in numerous panel discussions and exhibit hall displays among terminal manufacturers, acquirers and technology start-ups. John Gibson, senior manager of Mobile B2B and retail business development at Samsung, said the company has recently partnered with NCR Silver and NCR Quantum to improve efficiencies.

Ben Wagner, director of product, solutions at Ingenico Group, said Ingenico embedded the same credit card reader into two NCR solutions: "NCR's RingUp is a turnkey mPOS application and retail market entry point," he stated. "The same credit card reader is built into NCR's Quantum Tablet. Many of our partners are building their own enclosures using this approach."

Jeff Wakefield, vice president, Americas, sales enablement at Verifone, said the company provides one common application for enterprise retailers and small and midsize merchants. "Retailers in the larger account space know they can negotiate a good rate, but the midsize merchant may not feel that he has that leverage," he said. "Verifone's Carbon family of all-in-one commerce solutions has the flexibility and scale to run as standalone devices or as part of integrated POS systems." end of article

Editor's Note:

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