The show was as hot as the weather at the 11th Annual MWAA conference held July 16 to 18, 2013, in Chicago. During a period of heat advisories, professionals gathered for networking, education and fun at the Downtown Marriott hotel. The show began with a W.net function and a sponsor appreciation dinner on Tuesday. Wednesday began with the Field Guide Seminar and opening comments.
Once again, a premier event at this show was the Shark Attack. This was the organization's third annual innovation competition. Shark Attack III was opened by Daymond John of ABC's Shark Tank Investor series. Four competitors were grilled by a panel of industry experts after presentations of their new products for the payments industry.
The winner of this event was Ethoca Ltd. for its chargeback alert system. The system helps alert e-commerce merchants to fraud in real time. The network communicates with players across the transaction to detect and prevent losses to merchants, acquirers and banks. The runner-up was AME Commerce Inc.'s Merchant Instasite, a product that provides merchants a web presence.
Wednesday's festivities included a cocktail reception in the exhibitor hall and a party sponsored by Discover Financial Services. Thursday offered attendees sessions on industry risk, disruptors in the payments arena and new directions in partnerships.
The conference was closed with the presentation of the MWAA's 11th Lifetime Achievement award. This year's recipient was Biff Matthews, President and founder of Cardware International. Not only has Biff successfully navigated the payments industry for over 40 years and penned a wealth of articles for The Green Sheet that imparted knowledge he gained along the way, but he has also served as an adviser and board member to the Electronic Transactions Association for more than 25 years. We wish to add our congratulations to a well deserving man.
We hope to see our readers at the next regional: the Western States Acquirers Association's conference in Burlingame, Calif., Oct. 8 to 9, 2013. And save the date for next year's MWAA show: July 16 to 17, 2014, at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center in Lombard, Ill.
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