The Western States Acquirers Association's 10th anniversary conference, held Oct. 8 and 9, 2013, at the San Francisco Airport Hyatt Regency drew an estimated 687 exhibitors and attendees. "We, at WSAA, are both humbled and thrilled with this year's incredible turnout for the 10th annual conference," said WSAA President Steve Eazell. "We are so thankful for everyone's generous support."
Opening day kicked off with the second annual WSAA Golf Tournament, which challenged golfers to compete for gear at San Francisco's historic 18-hole Presidio Golf Course. Meanwhile, runners attending the conference captured offshore breezes in a morning Fun Run. The Field Guide for ISOs Seminar, presented by Field Guide Enterprises LLC President Mark Dunn, provided expert-led sessions on navigating ISO legal roadblocks, tapping the business-to-business niche, maximizing return on investment from sales training, evaluating Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) compliance, mining data, and more. In the afternoon, women attending the conference participated in the Women's Network in Electronic Transaction's LINC Northern California event. An opening reception with exhibitors followed with an evening mixer at the Barrelhouse cocktail den.
Breakfast in the exhibit hall energized the crowd for a full round of breakout sessions the second day. WSAA Vice President Xavier Ayala presented opening remarks and welcomed the general session panelists who discussed major industry disruptors, from government intervention and virtual currencies to emerging payment models.
Breakout sessions featured panel discussions covering such topics as taking ISOs to the next level, adapting to change, the status of EMV migration in the United States and insights on payment aggregation.
Payment consultant Paul Martaus presented an industry update forewarning of threats from PCI compliance fee erosion as a result of U.S. migration to the Europay/MasterCard/Visa standard; competition from major entities like the Merchant Customer Exchange; and state legislation to further regulate transaction pricing. He said that to thrive in the future, ISOs will need to act as merchant relationship managers and align with value-added reseller and co-op partners.
Former Canadian Olympic speed skier and New York Times bestselling author Vince Poscente delivered an interactive keynote address that inspired the audience to connect with their "emotional buzz" to achieve seemingly impossible goals. A closing reception with exhibitors in the main hall preceded WSAA's post-conference "A Night in San Francisco" party held at the Hard Rock Café at Pier 39.
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