NAC expands reach with virtual showL
ike most major industry events in 2020, the eighth annual convention of The National ATM Council Inc., held Oct. 27 to 29, took place entirely online. With agility and foresight, conference planners reprised many aspects of the organization's in-person shows to make members and their guests feel inspired and at home throughout the virtual experience.
In opening comments, George Sarantopoulos, NAC chair and founder and CEO of Access One Solutions Inc., thanked sponsors, exhibitors, attendees and NAC's board and conference committee for their generous support. "As you know, our businesses and our trade organization are facing an unprecedented challenge," he said. "But we have done our best to make this a fun, interactive platform with top companies and a robust agenda. You can still interact with each other pretty much like you do in person, but don't hesitate to hit up the help desk if you get lost."
In recalling last year's sell-out NAC convention at the Las Vegas Planet Hollywood, Bruce Renard, NAC executive director, said a key advantage of going digital is that more independent ATM industry stakeholders were able to attend without having to pay for travel or take time away from work.
"Let me welcome ATM nation to NAC 2020 Virtual, our very first virtual conference for the National ATM Council," Renard said. "On behalf of NAC board of directors and conference committee members, all of whom are here, we look forward to chatting as we explore this new conference setting."
Renard went on to thank numerous educational, gold and platinum sponsors for their ongoing support and encouraged attendees to visit their booths in the virtual exhibit hall. He added that two-way video chat enables participants to communicate in real time with favorite vendors and see their latest products and services.
The NAC2020 Virtual agenda examined emerging trends in the independent ATM sector, which included regulatory and legislative updates from Capitol Hill, ATM security before and after COVID-19, exponential growth of bitcoin, cryptocurrency and cannabis solutions, and unsuccessful efforts on the part of payments industry stalwarts to kill cash.
A special session by author and motivational speaker Michael Soon Yee focused on helping ATM operators expand their routes and replace locations lost during the pandemic. Jonathan L. Rubin, partner at Moginrubin LLP, provided a status update on the pending antitrust class action litigation by U.S. ATM operators against Visa and Mastercard.
Following are additional conference highlights:
- US bitcoin and cryptocurrency “BTM” deployment: This panel explored the latest trends and regulatory and compliance issues in the U.S. market with top BTM vendors and deployers. Moderated by Scot Gardner, NAC second vice-chair and president at SJI ATM, the sessions included panelists Bo Oney, chief compliance officer, Coinsource; Andrew Barnard, president, BITSTOP; Mark D. Smith, business development manager, Bitcoin Depot; Todd Lawrence, chief visionary officer, Coinsquare Networks; Pete Kelly, chief business officer, Maya Tech; and Wes Dunn, executive vice president of sales and marketing, Genmega.
- Providing ATM services in cannabis dispensaries: Sponsoring banks and ATM processors have begun to process cannabis and CBD-related transactions on ATM terminals. Experts Justin Fischer, CEO at RiskScout and Paul Willingham, CFO at Switch Commerce, shared insights and best practices with moderator Nathan Wald, senior vice president, product at Payment Alliance International.
- Cardless/touchless/biometrics for retail ATMs: This session explored available and near-term solutions for truly touchless retail ATMs. Panelists included Scott Green, manager, product innovation, SHAZAM Network; Victor Cook, CTO, Just Cash/Coinsource Networks; Mike Nelso, vice president, product development, Payment Alliance International; and Ron Roberto, owner, SmartWayToDoIt.com.
- Doing business with bank ATMs: Moderated by Mike Lake, CEO and co-founder, Partners Tech Services, the session featured panelists Paul Gandolfi, director of business development, financial institutions, Payment Alliance International; Vance Rowland, President, A One ATM; Mike Cowart, retail ATM ISO channel manager, Columbus Data Services; John Campbell, vice president, business development, financial sector, Ventus. They explored bank branding, outsourcing, cash provisioning and related opportunities for ATM deployers.
- Positioning your ATM company for growth and acquisition: ATM operators joined industry experts to share insights and information about how to leverage a successful ATM business. The discussion was moderated by Bryan Bauer, vice president and general manager, Kahuna/Cardtronics, along with Nathan Harbison, director of business development, Payment Alliance International.
- Activating DCC on ATM terminals:This session provided perspective on the current ATM network handling of international card transactions on U.S. retail ATMs. Presenters advised operators that DCC is more important than ever and urged them to implement DCC on their ATM routes. Moderated by Kevin Watts, executive vice president and COO at Switch Commerce, the session featured Joel Mayer, senior vice president corporate development, Planet Payment; Angele Forrest, Director N. American ATM operations and DCC, Euronet; Sandra Hartfield Papie, director of sales, North America, Monex Financial Services Ltd; and Ron Holland, senior vice president sales, Fexco.
- SMB economic outlook: This concluding panel was presented by Christopher Thornton, senior vice president, funding & derivatives at U.S. Bank Cash Management Services. Thornton shared insights on the economic picture for America’s small businesses in the "new normal."
In closing comments, Renard thanked NAC2020 virtual exhibitors, sponsors, attendees and NAC members for their participation and support. "We have worked hard to put together a great event for you and our industry and we greatly appreciate everyone taking the time to be with us," he said.
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