ETA 2012 abuzz about the future
#dcf_The Electronic Transactions Association's 2012 Annual Meeting & Expo in Las Vegas in April saw near record attendance and a sold-out exhibitor floor that showcased preeminent players in payment innovation. For the more than 2,850 payment professionals and 168 exhibitors who participated, the event's diversity of resources was evident from day one, with capacity-filled ETA University, Compliance Day and the Investment Community Forum.
During the opening evening's President's Dinner and Awards Ceremony, James Baumgartner, President and Chief Executive Officer of Moneris Solutions Corp., received the ETA's Distinguished Payments Professional award. Total Merchant Services was recognized as ISO of the Year; NPC, a Vantiv LLC company, was heralded as Business Partner of Year. Henry Helgeson, Merchant Warehouse co-Chief Executive Officer, was named Member of the Year. First Data Corp. President, Mobile Commerce Solutions' Barry McCarthy earned Committee Volunteer of the Year recognition.
The next day, ETA President Eddie Myers expressed optimism about the future of the ETA, stating, "Hope is the assurance of good things to come." He then introduced newly appointed ETA Chief Executive Officer Jason Oxman and keynote speaker Guy Kawasaki, an author and former Apple Inc. evangelist. Later, political analyst Charles Cook predicted President Obama would face significant hurdles in his bid for reelection.
Drawing from his book, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions, Kawasaki described 10 key influencers in business, starting with likeability, trustworthiness and product quality. He also emphasized the need to be relevant to audiences. This was echoed later in the Disruption Luncheon where panelists discussed the importance of revenue enhancement for merchants embracing new technology.
In one of six Technology/Products and Sales sessions presented, panelist Ben Love, Vice President, Mobile Strategy at Vantiv, said it takes 19 quarters to adopt new technology; he estimated the United States is three to four quarters into adoption of the mobile wallet. The ETA 2012 Technology Showcase provided video demonstrations of 10 products selected from a field of 22 entries.
POS Portal was named winner of the 2012 ETA Technology Innovation Award for its P2 ISO Office CRM, a cloud-based platform for ISOs. "After leveraging decades of industry experience and a company culture of innovation, we knew we had built something really special," said Buzz Stryker, CEO of POS Portal. "P2 allows ISOs big and small the ability to completely manage their entire business in one single system."
The evening's Rock Cirque-themed party, sponsored by Discover Financial Services, featured aerial drummers juxtaposed above an array of gastronomic treats, delighting the crowd that had gathered.
The final day's sessions addressed regulatory issues and social commerce. ETA Director of Government Relations Mary Bennett stated the ETA will continue its efforts on Capitol Hill, including supporting a national standard to supplant the 47 state-level data security laws now in effect.
The next ETA Annual Meeting & Expo will be held in New Orleans from April 30 to May 2, 2013. For exhibit space, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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