Today's merchant level salespeople (MLSs) can deliver a suite of payment options that, not very long ago, would have been the stuff of science fiction. And the ability to provide merchants faster, safer more flexible payment vehicles ‒ coupled with access to data and other features that enhance business operations ‒ has led to a transformation in the role of the MLS. The job no longer ends when a merchant account is signed; that moment is now the start of what can become a long-term, mutually beneficial partnership.
This issue's lead article, the second in a series on partnerships in payments, focuses largely on the MLS/merchant relationship: the ways in which it is changing, the tremendous capabilities now at merchant's fingertips, and how to become a trusted adviser who helps merchants make sense of current technologies so they can harness them in ways that are tailored to their distinct businesses needs.
The MLS is always central to the Street SmartsSM column, which beings the Education section of each issue. The current column takes us back in time to when the term MLS was coined, as well as when the notion of professional certification was first broached. Then it brings us up to the present with thoughts and questions on the best working models for ISOs and MLSs. Join GS Online's MLS Forum (www.greensheet.com/forums) to participate in the ongoing Street SmartsSM conversation.
Other contributing writers in this magazine delve into the ongoing challenges faced by cybersecurity professionals striving to protect systems and networks under relentless attack; how MLSs are well-positioned to take on the influx of payment facilitators; the multiple benefits of cash discount programs; and the ins and outs of surcharging in states where the practice is now legal.
Highlights from a number of recent news stories are also provided, including updates on retail spending; consumer security concerns about biometric payments; a new AmEx-GreenSky partnership; preparations for the Western States Acquirers Association's upcoming show; Kroger's battle with Visa over interchange; the Treasury Department's easing of restrictions pertaining to key financial services sectors; and a report on U.S. vulnerability to cybercrime. And you'll find our popular new product and company profile features.
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