Friday, May 3, 2019
Approximately 4,000 payments professionals gathered at the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay for Transact 19, the Electronic Transactions Association's annual convention and expo. Opening comments by Amy Zirkle, interim CEO and Kevin Jones, president of the ETA, reflected the show's forward-looking focus in an industry marked by disruption, consolidation and building for the future.
"It's an important time for our industry to come together and plot our future and drive forward digital commerce," Zirkle stated. "All over the world, the way we interact with money is changing, and our industry must remain one of the most innovative in the world to power the new frontiers of commerce."
Acknowledging that payments acceptance is no longer a simple proposition, Jones cited smart POS terminals, mobile wallets, contactless payments and next-gen technologies, many of which were reflected in the exhibit hall, keynote speeches, panel discussions and educational meetings.
"For consumers, these technologies provide greater access, protection from fraudsters and ease of use that sets the use of cash and checks steadily declining," Jones stated.
At the ETA's President's Dinner, Zirkle congratulated ETA Star Award winners, stating they have "dedicated themselves to the success of the industry." The dinner was sponsored by Visa. Honorees included the following:
Zirkle commended this year's ETA's YPP (young payments professionals) Scholars, Forty Under 40 and NexTen emerging technology startups, stating that their entrepreneurship, leadership and innovation have made significant contributions to the payments business. Honorees are making their mark in numerous industry sectors, including law, risk management, business analysis, and banking and investing. The 2019 class was featured in the Spring issue of ETA's Transaction Trends magazine and honored with a champagne toast at Transact 19.
"This is an exciting time in the payments industry," said O.B. Rawls, president of payment processing North America at Paysafe Group, and recipient of the ETA's 2019 Distinguished Payments Professional Star Award described above. "It will be a lot of fun for total solution providers and challenging for others who don't understand how to change."
Zirkle concurred, adding, "The payments industry has reached an inflection point. How we, as an association, meet the new challenges will be key to our second wave of growth."
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