You probably noticed clumps of people gathered at parks, landmarks, shopping malls and even quiet residential streets this summer. But instead of focusing on their surroundings, their eyes were trained on smartphones. Yes, these folks, caught up in the Pokémon Go phenomenon, have been intent on tagging PokeStops and capturing Pokémon.
What does this location-based, augmented reality game have to do with payments? Potentially plenty. This issue's lead article explains how Pokémon Go works, who is drawn to it, how merchants have benefited, and why this and similar games being developed are something for ISOs, MLSs and their merchant customers to watch and possibly exploit to increase their bottom lines.
This phenomenon embodies innovation, which is central to the ongoing discussion in Street SmartsSM about how MLSs can rebrand themselves to provide innovative solutions that help resolve the complex problems today's merchants face. The strategy explored in the current Street SmartsSM article is that of becoming a POS technology expert.
Elsewhere on these pages, contributing writers offer insights into the most critical issues in payments today; the evolution of digital shopping; how working with the right financing partner can position payment pros as true partners with their merchants; why automatic renewals can be a source of huge liability for subscription businesses that mislead consumers; and why and when the European Union's GDPR applies to U.S.-based businesses.
In the news, we've covered the nimble responses of fintech companies to Apple's launch of the iPhone 7 series; PayPal and Mastercard's new initiative that introduces an expanded menu of cross-channel payment options; a co-branded loyalty program launched by Uber Technologies and Visa; and responses and advice from the security community regarding Dropbox's less than stellar handling of a breach first reported in 2012. And, of course, we've gathered news briefs that pertain to the many milestones of companies and individual professionals in the payments sphere.
We fit in as much pertinent news from readers as we can. We also have ample space on our home page for press releases and post them throughout every business day under News From the Wire. Please keep your news coming to firstname.lastname@example.org. We always welcome your feedback and suggestions, too, so tell us what you think about the topics covered herein at email@example.com.
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