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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Turbulence expected for 1099-K reporting, be prepared

News

Industry Update

Washington takes a second look at Durbin

Big card brands, big banks hit with more antitrust suits

CEOs advise wait and see at ETA forum

Update feeds need for more PTS guidance

Features

Legislative update, November 2011

Five key lessons e-commerce merchants can learn from the 2010 holiday season

Michael Duffy
Chase Paymentech Solutions LLC

Research Rundown

Give, inspire and flourish

Selling Prepaid

Prepaid in brief

Union Privilege makes savings a plus

Holiday gift cards get personal

Views

ISOs and the new frontier of payments

Brandes Elitch
CrossCheck Inc.

Education

Street SmartsSM:
Agent training - more than taking a test

Bill Pirtle
C3ET Credit Card Consortia for Education & Training Inc.

When big money meets small ISOs

Adam Atlas
Attorney at Law

Country-specific alternative payments

Caroline Hometh
RocketPay LLC

Visa to eliminate PCI DSS requirements with EMV - not

Linda Grimm
Linda Grimm Consulting

How does a credit card salesperson learn to sell POS?

Jerry Cibley
United Bank Card Inc.

PR and press release basics

Peggy Bekavac Olson
Strategic Marketing

Managing infrastructure in a virtual world

Tim Cranny
Panoptic Security Inc.

Caution: Assumptions ahead

Jeff Fortney
Clearent LLC

Company Profile

POS Portal Inc.

New Products

TIN matching simplified

TIN Matching Service
SecurityMetrics Inc.

Authenticate and process with one touch

OneTouch Mobile Payment
Admeris Payment Systems Inc.

Inspiration

Choose to be grateful

Departments

Forum

Resource Guide

Datebook

A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

November 14, 2011  •  Issue 11:11:01

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CEOs advise wait and see at ETA forum

Four industry leaders participating in the Electronic Transactions Association Strategic Leadership Forum's CEO round-table discussion, titled Is This a Revolution or an Evolution?, agreed ISOs that can master and adopt the best technology while broadening the scope of their services will hold their own against new tech companies entering the payments space.

The forum was held in Chicago from Oct. 25 to 27, 2011. Round-table participants included Moneris Solutions Corp. President Greg Cohen; Adam Coyle, President of National Processing Co. Inc.; Roam Data Inc. Chief Executive Officer Will Graylin; and Chris Spinella, CEO of Apriva LLC.

ISO relevance

All panelists believe the new POS systems, terminals, smart phones and tablets that support new add-ons like Square Inc.'s dongle or PayPal Inc.'s cardless payment system are important developments and present new challenges in the payments space. But they won't push ISOs out of business. "The market still needs service providers who can teach [merchants] how to adopt and use the technology," Spinella said.

Cohen pointed out that technology companies are a different type of value proposition. "ISOs have to build new models that compete," he said. He explained that ISOs are the conduit and pipeline into retail sales. The key to ISO success is the ability of the ISO to expand the pipeline to include different types of value propositions such as advertising and loyalty solutions for merchants.

"We need to be selling advantages," Cohen added. "This is not the traditional ISO role. We are asking the industry to sell something it is not used to selling."

Spinella said ISOs need to focus on "making sure they help merchants with realizing new customers, retaining those customers and help drive up revenues." He said ISOs no longer just provide businesses with processing services; ISOs are educating merchants on tools they can use to grow their businesses.

Coyle noted that technology doesn't make things easier. "It expands the demands of what people want," he said.

Conservative approach

But which technology will win customer loyalty and merchant support? According to the round-table participants, the answer isn't clear.

Cohen said most industry leaders are waiting to see how the technology will evolve. "You can't turn your entire business around 180 degrees overnight because everyone says this is the way to go now," he said. He advised ISOs seeking to evaluate new technologies to talk with merchants about what they want.

"We are having to ride the wave in the direction it leads us," Coyle said. Value propositions like payroll systems, loyalty and rewards programs and other platform add-ons will be driving sales in the payments industry for years, he said.

The panelists indicated small players, often from outside the industry, will continue to enter the payments market with new technology. They said they are happy to let the new entries take the risks inherent in marketing new technology while they watch and see what happens.

"To what point do we want to have risk?" Spinella asked. "I like Square. I think it is interesting. The question is, What is the risk? Let's see how it evolves. Let's let innovation come from outside the industry and see what works."

End game

Graylin said it is important for ISOs to understand they are not competing against innovations like Square. To Graylin, Square is just another technology ISOs can adapt and use to go out and win merchants. (Some ISOs are exploring partnership arrangements with Square, for example.) ISOs that fail to adopt new technology are going into the battle for merchants armed with axes and swords when the other side has machine guns, Graylin said.

Cohen predicted the end result will be more specialization among ISOs, more concentration on certain market segments and more attention to the needs of merchants.

Participants also agreed technology represents opportunity for ISOs. "Anytime you are forced to change your business model it is an opportunity," Coyle said. "We have to capitalize on this. It's not about payments; it's about providing solutions." In the end, the ISO advantage is that relationships drive sales, he added.

For additional news stories, please visit www.greensheet.com and click on "Read the Entire Story" in the center column below the latest news story excerpt. This will take you to the full text of that story, followed by all other news stories posted online.

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Spotlight Innovators:

USAePay | Impact Paysystems | Electronic Merchant Systems | Inovio | Board Studios, Inc.