After a one-year hiatus due to COVID-related restrictions, the annual on-site Northeast Acquirers Association conference took place in April 2022 at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown. The packed exhibit hall and conference agenda reflected the trade association's heritage of serving and educating payments professionals since 1985. Tom Falcone, national sales director, ISO sales and global business solutions at Fiserv, observed a renewed sense of purpose and energy among attendees, exhibitors and sponsors.
Falcone additionally noted that attendees were eager to network, observe on-site demos and catch up on emerging trends throughout the two-day event, which began with a panel discussion on the payments landscape and opportunities, which was moderated by Don Apgar, director, merchant services and acquiring practice at Mercator Advisory Group. Panelists included Amy Crawford from Liquid Payments; David Young at ACI Worldwide; and Aliaswire's Eugene DeSilva.The discussion highlighted three top opportunities in digital commerce: embedded payments; buy now, pay later (BNPL); and cryptocurrencies.
Mastercard recently expanded Mastercard Installments, the BNPL product introduced in 2021. Mastercard added eight new partners to the program, including merchants, banks and bank technology partners. The eight are Amount, a digital banking technology provider; Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's; credit-card-as-a-service provider Deserve; H&R Block; banking and payments platform I2c; financial technology startup Lithic; Saks Fifth Avenue; Ohio-based Sutton Bank; and Walgreens.
Linda Kirkpatrick, president of North America at Mastercard, said the company's diverse new partners represent "the versatility and agility of our BNPL program." Mastercard Installments lets consumers digitally access BNPL offers, either pre-approved through a lender's mobile banking app or through an instant approval process at checkout. Pre-approved installments can be used directly on merchant websites or stored in digital wallets to be used online or in-store.
Momentum is building for Hot Sale, Mexico's biggest ecommerce event, set to return to small screens around the world on May 23, 2022. Now in its ninth year, the nine-day event, hosted by the Mexican Association of Online Sales, will offer "breathtaking discounts and exclusive promotions" from leading retail brands, AMVO representatives stated. AMVO, a nonprofit trade association established in 2014, works with Mexican and international commerce brands, from startups to global enterprises. "We represent all ecommerce companies in Mexico and develop tools to support the growth of these companies, working with government to grow the ecosystem and report on its development and news," the organization stated on its website while also inviting interested parties to connect and learn more about adjacent opportunities in Mexico's "thriving" business community.
The event will bring together travel, beauty, fashion, furniture, home goods, automotive, consumer electronics,
pets, financial, luxury and B2B categories, they stated, adding that they will reinvest funds raised from sponsors and patrons in marketing campaigns aimed at driving more traffic to the www.hotsale.com.mx site.
In a letter to the CEOs of Mastercard and Visa, a bipartisan group of congressmen and senators accused the two companies of operating like a duopoly, and they pressed the card brands to scrap interchange increases slated for this month. "As Americans are dealing with the highest rate of inflation in decades, your profits are already high enough, and any further fee increase is simply taking advantage of vulnerable Americans," the lawmakers wrote. The letter was signed by Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Senator Roger Marshall, R-Kan., Representative Peter Welch, D-Vt., and Representative Beth Van Duyne, R-Texas.
The letter prompted the National Retail Federation to fire off a press release praising the lawmakers. "These fees drive up prices for consumers and affect shoppers in every congressional district and state in the country," said Leon Buck, NRF vice president and chief spokesman on interchange. "We stand with lawmakers who are willing to take the side of Main Street over Wall Street."
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