Mobile payments are one part of a fascinating, evolving and versatile ecosystem, where innovators are finding ways to help merchants ‒ particularly those running small to midsize businesses (SMBs) ‒ with mobile, digital marketing, payments and other services that previously were available only to large retailers. Platforms that connect local SMBs and consumers in real time are particularly compelling. To some extent, however, the sheer number of proliferating solutions that offer an array of choices for consumers and merchants has hindered critical mass adoption. The lead article in this issue discusses how demands for mobile connectivity and instant gratification are driving changes in retailing and payments, what those changes look like, and what factors will likely drive widespread adoption of mobile platforms, including those incorporating mobile payments.
No matter how payments are initiated and processed, there is no getting around the essential role banks play in payment schemes now and for the foreseeable future, which is a central issue discussed by one industry expert contributing to this issue. Other contributors delve into new POS options the industry's feet on the street can sell that offer ease and appealing functionality to merchants; the outlook for global payments in the coming year; five predictions for payments overall in 2018, including the role of incumbents, interoperability, vertical-ization of payments, geo-political impacts and predictive analytics; and what factors can make for an extraordinary work environment.
We've also included our customary updates from companies and individuals celebrating new product launches, publications, forecasts, achievements, rebrandings, partnerships, acquisitions, research, appointments and more. You'll also find herein new product and company profiles written with an eye for providing information on potential partnership opportunities.
News stories highlighted in this issue include reports on the criminal attacks advancing hand in hand with blockchain; the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's new effective date for amended prepaid rules (April 2019); chargeback data that sheds a light on card-not-present fraud; guidance on contactless payments from the Secure Technology Alliance; macro trends shaping global travel; the launch of PayKademy, an educational program for payment professionals; and news from the Northeast Acquirers Association's 33rd annual conference. As always, we look forward to your feedback. What grabs your attention in this magazine? What would you like to see more of within these pages? Please send your questions, comments and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. And the address for press releases is email@example.com.
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