NEAA's winning trifecta of presentations, networking, setting
#dcf_Like its winter conferences, the 2012 Northeast Acquirers Association Summer Conference took some effort to reach, but it was well worth the trip. The beautiful Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg, N.J., played host June 5 and 6. Attendees were able to enjoy golf, hiking and swimming in this idyllic setting.
On Tues. June 5, a welcome reception was held for all in the lounge at the Mineral Springs Hotel & Spa. Guests enjoyed indulging in cocktails and delicious appetizers while networking with friends both old and new.
On Wed., June 6, a shuttle was provided to transport guests to another lodge on the property for breakfast and educational sessions. The morning seminars included a presentation by American Express Co. on its Small Business Saturday program. Small Business Saturday encourages consumers to shop at local merchants on the Saturday following Black Friday. AmEx assists merchants in promoting their businesses on this day.
Next, Jill Miller of Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer & Weiss updated attendees on legal developments in the industry. She reviewed changes being made by MasterCard Worldwide and Visa Inc. to the rules acquirers must adhere to. Most of the changes involved renaming some of the parties involved in acquirer registration.
She also discussed new fees being implemented by the card companies and described the newly passed Georgia Merchant Acquirer Limited Purpose Act. This law allows entities to be chartered as "merchant acquirer limited purpose banks," enabling them to participate in card networks without using bank identification number rental arrangements.
Lunch was provided in the exhibit hall where vendors were on hand to discuss their offerings and to answer questions. Because of the limited size of this event and its remote location, it was easy to engage with participants. A number of old and new companies were represented by the group.
Following lunch, there were more educational presentations. VeriFone Inc. gave an update on the arrival of Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) implementation in the United States, which is the last large country to adopt EMV. Acquirers will be required to support EMV by April 2013.
The rest of the afternoon consisted of a discussion about mobile payments and near field communication technology (NFC), a look at cloud-based solutions for retailers and restaurants, and finally a look at where merchants go wrong with their Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard policies and implementation.
As always, attendees then gathered in the exhibit hall for a final reception with vendors, allowing everyone the opportunity to get to know the products and services of the companies present.
Everyone in the industry should try to attend at least one of these regional shows. They offer merchant level salespeople nationwide an affordable opportunity to gather and educate themselves on changes in the payments world. The next regional show is the Midwest Acquirers Association conference in Chicago, July 18 and 19. For more information please go to www.midwestacquirers.com.
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