Each new year brings a sense of revitalization and renewal. It's a time when folks hope for the best as they decide what actions to take in the coming months to realize their dreams. People follow different paths toward their goals, and at the start of 2017, it looks like a number of promising paths are beckoning to payment professionals.
This issue's lead article takes a look at the current state of the economy overall and of payments in particular. According to early indicators, signs are promising, which bodes well for the tenacious and ever adaptable ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs), who are the engine behind the payments industry's success.
Preliminary positive reports are also included in our news stories. A healthy stock market index, along with early analysis of 2016 holiday spending point toward robust retail and payments activities in 2017; the NFC Forum advanced by releasing new specifications intended to allow NFC-enabled devices to communicate more broadly; and the latest payments study from the Fed indicates continued growth for credit and debit card payments, along with increasing fraud monitoring and detection. Fraud came to the fore in other news, too, as Yahoo Inc. disclosed the second of two massive data breaches, which occurred in 2013 and 2014 and are said to be the largest ever recorded.
Contributing writers featured in this year's inaugural issue offer insights and advice on how shared values enhance partnerships with independent software vendors; the continued strong demand for competent, enterprising MLSs; the ins and outs of accounts receivable factoring; a way to remind yourself of the true reasons why you work; a look at the challenges and needs of fashion retailers; and whether it makes sense for MLSs to retain their current status or become registered ISOs.
Other features include company and new product profiles, an overview of in-app payments, resources for goal setting, and innovations in the retail sphere. Also inside are news briefs on industry leaders honored; funding obtained for growth and new ventures; charitable endeavors; recent research on industry trends, projections, technology and security; as well as new partnerships, acquisitions and appointments.
We wish you the very best in 2017 and look forward to continuing to serve as your educational and professional resource. What lies ahead for you this year? What are your goals and challenges? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. And send your news to email@example.com.
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