Monday, July 30, 2018
The Midwest Acquirers Association held its 16th annual conference July 25 to 26, 2018, at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile. In his opening comments, MWAA President Rod Katzfey thanked attendees, exhibitors and sponsors for their continuing support of the nonprofit, no-membership trade association. He said MWAA remains committed to educating payment professionals to keep them up-to-date in the ever-changing payments sphere.
"Where do you fit in payments?" was the theme of this year's show, which featured an eclectic agenda reflecting the industry's transformational journey from closed-end, proprietary systems to cloud-based, inter-operational platforms. Following are some examples:
Educational seminars: Pre-event sessions included seminars by the Electronic Transactions Association Certified Payments Professional (CPP) program and Field Guide Enterprises LLC and a workplace etiquette presentation by Women's Network in Electronic Transactions (Wnet).
Security: A keynote address, titled Cyber Crime Past and Present, delivered by reformed cybercriminal and security expert Brett Johnson provided an up-close look at cybercrime. A panel discussion, moderated by Deana Rich, principal at Rich Consulting, explored approaches to know your customer (KYC) in the post-Equifax breach world.
Surcharging: Mary Winingham, founder of Mirror Consulting, moderated a panel discussion that addressed the legal ramifications and compliance requirements of surcharging in the merchant marketplace.
Marketing in a Digital World: Payments industry marketing professional Nancy Drexler, founder and president of Acquired Marketing, led a panel discussion about how traditional marketing concepts apply to today's digital world. Bob Jenisch, publisher of Digital Transactions, Jenn Reichenbacher, senior vice president, marketing and direct sales at iPayment Inc. and Timothy Nafso, co-founder and executive vice president at Fortis Payments, discussed how to leverage digital resources.
A special award presentation honored Holli Targan, recipient of the 2018 Industry Achievement Award. MWAA cited Holli's numerous contributions to the payments industry, through her role as attorney and partner at Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer & Weiss, as past president of the Electronic Transactions Association, as founder and board member of Wnet and as a member of the board of directors of the Merchant Acquirer's Committee (MAC).
MWAA board members noted that Targan, a frequent speaker and published author, has received other industry awards and honors, including being named one of the Most Influential Women in Payments and Best Lawyer in America.
Mark Dunn, president of Field Guide Enterprises LLC, led Payments Doing Good, a panel discussion that examined how organizations can become involved in philanthropic activities. In opening comments, Dunn mentioned MWAA's ongoing commitment to community involvement and said the panelists were "three excellent examples of CEOs who are actively involved in their communities." Bob Carr, founder and CEO of Beyond Inc., Jeff Marcous, co-founder and chief evolutionary officer at Dharma Merchant Services and Andy Kinnecom, president and CEO of Swipe for a Cause LLC, have launched major philanthropic initiatives through their organizations.
Carr's initiative, Give Back, established in 2003, provides college scholarships and mentoring to at-risk high school students. Carr said his goal is to raise $2 billion and help 50,000 students become college graduates.
Marcous called Dharma Merchant Services a socially responsible ISO and certified B corporation, which he said is a special class under California law. Dharma, a Buddhist term, refers to life's path, and he believes your business and livelihood should be part of your path to awakening.
Kinnecom said Swipe for a Cause initially provided a portion of its proceeds to help fund hospice care and has begun to branch out to other charitable causes.
MWAA donated $2,000 to each of the panelist's causes and challenged the audience to put giving back into action. "Challenge yourself and identify how your committee will benefit the greater good," Dunn said. "Share your plans and results on social media. Action is key to results."
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