Transact 19 highlights technology innovatorsA
pproximately 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.
2019 ETA stars
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:
- Distinguished Payments Professional: O.B. Rawls, for his prestigious career, including such highlights as turning the acquiring division of Bank of America into a profitable business, developing pioneering joint ventures between First Data and Lloyds Bank, and expanding POS hardware company Hypercom in diverse emerging markets. More recently, his leadership of iPayment led to the company's strong growth, and its acquisition by Paysafe, creating a top-five nonbank acquirer in the United States.
- ISO Organization of the Year: Payroc, for the leadership team's deep experience working with an impressive list of industry titans and companies. Payroc's in-house support team of over 150 people enables them to provide top-notch, personable support to their clients. ETA's Guidelines on Merchant and ISO Underwriting and Risk Monitoring are a key part of the training curriculum for new hires and 45 members of the sales team are ETA Certified Payments Professionals.
- FinTech Innovation in Payments: Square, for introducing new products that help merchants grow and scale. Founded 10 years ago, the company processes millions of submerchant accounts and has a market cap of $30 billion.
- Pay It Forward: Pamela Joseph, for helping found Women Leaders in Action to improve African women's lives. WLA has impacted more than 12,000 students by directly funding school fees, uniforms and scholarships and providing leadership training.
- Technology Innovation: PayVus by Aliaswire Inc., for its innovative approach to combining merchant acquiring and credit card issuing to offer merchants a revolving line of credit and provide ISOs and acquirers a share in associated interchange revenue.
- Business Partner of the Year: Worldpay, for providing extraordinary service and support to the ETA over the last year. The company's contributions include startup zone, committee participation and being an invaluable asset to the association and the payments community.
- Committee Volunteer of the Year: Jared Poulson, Payroc, for serving as the vice chair and chair of the Technology Committee. Poulson's extraordinary work ethic and leadership have helped numerous committees to flourish and nurture forward-thinking discussions.
Current, future payments leaders
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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