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Monday, May 15, 2017

Transact 17 celebrates partners, innovators

M ore than 200 exhibitors and 4,000 attendees from across the globe gathered May 10 to 12, 2017, for Transact 17 at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s conference center in Las Vegas. The annual convention and expo, hosted by the Electronic Transactions Association, included keynote speakers and panelists from leading technology and retail companies. A curated menu of events facilitated networking, company and product launches, deal making, education and infotainment.

In opening remarks, ETA Chief Executive Officer Jason Oxman said the conference is about meeting people and connecting with community to shape the future. “You’re here to transact,” he said. “ISVs, payment facilitators, financial institutions, deal-makers and innovators are committed to making what’s next in payments secure, convenient and rewarding.”

Innovation, which Oxman called a hallmark of payments, was a predominant conference theme throughout sessions, meetings and individual company booths. Specialized zones in the exhibit hall helped attendees find partners and businesses showcasing new offerings. Categories included risk, fraud and security; software; technology innovators; mobile payments; ecommerce startups; and next-generation solutions.

Winners’ circle

The ETA’s Payments Pitch-off competition provided a showcase for payment startups to demonstrate solutions to a live audience. The judging panel awarded the E-Pay Innovation Award of $25,000 to Pin4, a cardless cash solution.

Also honored were the PayPal Tech Innovation Showcase winners, as follows:

2017 ETA Star Award Winners were:

Verifone Systems Inc. debuted Carbon 8 at the conference, the latest addition to the company’s extended line of POS solutions. Joe Mach, President, North America at Verifone, expressed his appreciation for the Partner of the Year award and opportunity to reconnect with partners at the conference.

“We are living in an age where acquirers, processors, ISOs and ISVs are all competing to provide merchants of all sizes with smarter payment technology and solutions that are easy to install and support, EMV certified, and secure, while keeping up with the future of retail with POS innovations and the variety of payment technologies that the merchants require,’ Mach said. “This year we unveiled Carbon 8, an affordable, smaller, and more portable POS solution and newest member of the Carbon family.”

A look toward the future

Keynote speaker Craig Vosberg, President of Mastercard North America, said electronic payments enable new business models and new ways of engaging in commerce, accounting for 6 million jobs and $430 billion of the U.S. gross domestic product. “Much of the impact is through empirical things, increased efficiency, enhanced production and increased velocity,” he said. “Others, like the importance of increasing trust, are equally important but not as quantifiable.”

Keynote panelist John Beatty, Senior Vice President and co-founder of Clover at First Data Corp., said the most successful software-as-a-service companies, having achieved global distribution and scale, have changed their business models from dominating the market to creating open, unified, next-generation solutions. The objective is no longer to become the one that rules, he stated, but to become the important one that connects all the pieces. “Payment revenues are growing approximately 40 percent more than subscription service rates, and payments remain the most critical part of [SaaS] revenue streams,” he added.

An energized base

As he introduced panelists from Amazon, Microsoft, PayPal and Samsung, Oxman noted that payments industry incumbents have embraced digital payments, emerging technologies and faster payments initiatives. This sentiment was reflected across the exhibit hall, as attendees and exhibitors reflected on the changing industry.

Alan Weissman, Chief Operations Office at Betterfunds, said it’s exciting to see companies create services that are “truly valuable to merchants, from innovative software, hardware, payments, gift and lending. There seems to be no end in sight.”

Kathleen Houseman, Senior Vice President of Sales at Castles Technology Co. Ltd. observed attendees asking different kinds of questions this year “It used to be ‘how much’ and ‘where’s it certified?’” she said. “This year we’re hearing, ‘What’s your business model? How will it help my business?’”

Scott Holt, Vice President of Marketing and Product, North America for Ingenico Group, said, “Our conversations with partners have mostly focused on fitting our platforms, hardware, tools and services into their infrastructures. It’s not a one-terminal-fits-all world anymore.”

Jay Yoon, CEO and President of UP Solution, said providing merchants with multiple services can help them lower costs and improve efficiencies. “We provide all the necessary services across a variety of vertical markets,” he said. “Merchants pay less for these services than they would pay if they had to buy from multiple vendors.”

PayFacs, ISVs, disruptors

Numerous curated events at Transact 17 provided additional opportunities for distinct market segments. These events included receptions and workshops for independent software vendors (ISVs) and for ISOs; a program for young payments professionals; and PayFacs day, a full-day event for payment facilitators (payfacs) co-sponsored by the ETA and PaymentFaciliator.com.

“Nothing has changed our business more than the impact of Square and Stripe,” said Todd Ablowitz, CEO of Infinicept, a new company dedicated to the payment facilitator community. Ablowitz, co-founder and publisher of PaymentFacilitator.com, coproduced PayFacs Day with the ETA.

“Instead of just automating an old process, Infinicept leverages deep expertise from Deana Rich and others to create a new way to onboard merchants and create a social score and dashboard to move the payments industry to the next level,” he said.

Peter Fitzpatrick, Director, Enterprise Sales at Agreement Express, said Square and Stripe were the original disruptors. “Commerce platforms like PayPal’s Business-in-a-Box and Shopify are part of a new generation of disruptors that provide everything merchants need in one spot: consumer payments, omnichannel commerce, drop shipping by Amazon and buy buttons.”


View prior breaking news

Spotlight Innovators:

North American Bancard | Harbortouch | USAePay | Super G Capital LLC | IRISCRM.COM | Humboldt Merchant Services