This is an era of "co-opetition" in which financial institutions and fintechs are working together to offer products and services that enhance consumers' lives, according to a number of industry observers. Square is one example. It crashed the payments party in 2010 with a payment dongle that plugged into the headphone jack on smartphones and quickly caught the fancy of micro merchants typically overlooked by traditional acquirers.
Square, with its savvy marketing and business model, quickly eclipsed ROAM Data Inc., which was founded by payments industry veterans and is now owned by Ingenico Group. ROAM's dongle/smartphone solution, dubbed ROAMpay, entered the market months before Square's solution and won the Electronic Transactions Association's Technology Innovation Award in 2010. There was heated debate at the time about what flashy newcomer Square's intentions and potential for disruption were.
Square founder Jack Dorsey, quoted in this issue's lead article, appears to have put that debate to rest. He made it clear that Square doesn't intend to compete with banks. "What we're really good at is taking what they offer and making it more accessible to people," he said. The article further explores the synergy between fintechs and payments stalwarts and discusses how they are capitalizing on each other's strengths to do things neither could do alone.
Writers contributing to this issue also exemplify just how much can be achieved when we work together. Without them, we could not carry out our mission to support and educate the industry's feet on the street. You'll find herein articles on how to effectively train newbie sales teams, how to combat agent attrition by giving them the support they need, the critical importance of cross-selling, what portfolio rationalization is and why it makes sense, opportunities to provide cash advance in the mobile dining realm, and how to turn international shoppers into buyers by expanding payment options.
For the latest legal and regulatory actions, new funding, honors and awards, partnerships, research, acquisitions, appointments, and more goings on in payments, check out our News Briefs and Industry Update sections. And please peruse the product and company profiles, prepaid news, and tips on how to leverage your super-user base.
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