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The Green Sheet Online Edition

February 27, 2017 • Issue 17:02:02

NEAA blends tradition, innovation

More than 600 attendees and 90 exhibitors convened in Boston Jan. 31 to Feb. 2, 2017, for the Northeast Acquirers Association's annual convention. Established in 1985, the NEAA was the first nonprofit regional acquirers association established, leading the way for other such regional associations now thriving across the United States. This year's event mixed exhibits, seminars, panel sessions and networking.

"This felt to me like a very happy show," said Nancy Drexler, President of Acquired Marketing. "Many of us have been attending for years and were just glad to see each other and catch up." Drexler described the conference as a blend of established and new relationships, insights, and laughs.

Breakout sessions

The following breakout sessions were among the many highlights the event offered:

  • The Electronic Transactions Association presented an introductory course on operations in conjunction with its Certified Payments Professional (CPP) Continuing Education series.
  • The Women's Network in Electronic Transactions held an informal orientation on membership benefits and resources.
  • Catapult 17, a popular Shark Tank-styled competition, provided contestants with an opportunity to share new product concepts in 10 minutes or less to a panel of prospective investors. The first place winner received complimentary exhibit space in the Payments Next Zone, a startup showcase in the ETA's annual conference, Transact 17, which will take place in Las Vegas in May. Catapult 17 finalists, who received additional cash awards to use for further development, were: fourth place, Fundament; third place, POPcodes Inc.; runner up ACI Worldwide Inc.; and first place winner Clientvine LLC.
  • Panel discussions

    Panel discussions were diverse and packed with insights. Among them were:

    • Compliance, regulation and a view from Capitol Hill: Moderated by Deana Rich, Principal at Rich Consulting Inc., the session included panelists Holli Targan, Partner, Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss; Chris Bucolo, Director, Market Strategy at ControlScan Inc.; and Scott Talbott, ETA Senior Vice President, Government Affairs.
    • Fintech: How startups are changing the way payments work: what you need to know: Moderated by ETA Chief Executive Officer Jason Oxman, the panel included Henry Helgeson, CEO of Cayan LLC; Jason Pavona, co-founder and CEO of Pazien Inc.; and David Jegen, Partner at F-Prime Capital Partners.
    • NEAA Payments BowlM: Officiated by Donna Embry, this no-holds barred assessment of EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) implementation in the United States pitted Team EMV against Team Retail, examining the roles and effectiveness of payments industry acquirers, issuers and third-party service providers. Each quarter of the football-themed session examined a different aspect of implementation: what worked, what could have been better, how to finish the game and what the future holds in store.
    • Team EMV included Charl Botes, Vice President, Product Manager, EMV & Contactless at Mastercard; Marc Cleven, Senior Director, EMV at Visa; and Ray Puleo, Director of Product Analysis, Payment Networks at FIS.
    • Team Retail included Mark Horwedel, CEO of Merchant Advisory Group; and Mike Nelson, who heads EMV business development at Payment Alliance International.

    Make new friends, keep the old

    Keynote speaker Paul Moya, CEO of Millennial Labs, a consultancy focused on solving generational issues, gave a compelling presentation on generation Y (some experts equate millennials and gen Y; others see them as overlapping but distinct), debunking commonly held stereotypes and biases that could compromise multigenerational workplace settings.

    Moya additionally shared insights from his generation, contrasting the baby boom and millennial generations' polarizing outlooks and expectations. "Millennials have a massive entrepreneurial spirit and most have a side gig," Moya stated. "They will outspend baby boomers in 2017 and bring more capital into the planet than any other previous generation."

    Moya urged the audience to redesign the workplace to create opportunities and upward mobility for millennials, asserting they will bring talent and energy to the payments industry. His message garnered questions, laughter and applause from NEAA's multigenerational audience that included payment veterans and entrepreneurs running fintech startups. end of article

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