By Dale S. Laszig
DSL Direct LLC
After two years of virtual conferencing, MPC: The Digital Commerce Event took place in person at the Westin Atlanta Perimeter North, Aug. 22 to 24, 2022, attracting several hundred banking, financial services, tech and merchant services professionals. Palpable energy flowed through the exhibit hall, breakout sessions and main stage at MPC's 12th annual conference. Peter Gordon, head of enterprise money movement at U.S. Bank, opened the first workshop, which included three interactive sessions on building, connecting and innovating. Sponsored by U.S. Bank, sessions explored how robust frameworks and partnerships foster innovation in commerce and financial services.
As Gordon noted, these core principles embody the show's theme, The Currency of Change, and facilitate innovative, agile solutions. Service providers—from real-time payments and alternative lending to cryptocurrency, advanced analytics and quantum-resistant security—can collaboratively build, connect and innovate to meet customers wherever they are, he added.
Referencing agility and partnership in his keynote, Jed Rice, CEO at Aliaswire, said, "Want more partners? Hold my beer!" Rice and Russell Moore, director of strategy and development at Global Payments, who held up a bag phone and cassette tape, captured the essence of agile, partner-centric digital commerce.
How will future generations view today's cutting edge models? For Elaina Smith, CFO at Secure Bancard, future payments will be digital, real time and frictionless. "Instant payments can give an organization a first-market mover advantage," she wrote in an Aug. 23, 2022, post on LinkedIn, which shared U.S. Bank workshop takeaways. "As you pick strategic partners in the build phase, pick those who either have this capability or are working toward this capability.
In his keynote address, Barry McCarthy, CEO at Deluxe, stated there is rarely one finish line in today's payments playing field, and few solutions solve ecosystem-wide problems. He noted that Deluxe strives to create "payments with a purpose" that are:
Smith also praised a discussion on the POS moderated by David Lott of the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, with panelists Allen Kopelman, CEO at Nationwide Payment Systems; Heather Mlachnik, senior vice president, acquiring and ISO sales for PAX Technology; and Ali Raza, director, payments, cards and fintech at Protiviti.
Commenting on ascendant digital wallets and mobile phone POS options, Smith suggested mobile-phone-as-POS solutions are better suited for street vendors than restaurants but could provide backup when a restaurant's main POS goes down. The POS "should be used as part of an omnichannel solution that delivers the same shopping experience to customers, whether they're shopping in-store, online, or from a mobile device," she wrote.
Aite-Novarica Group's fourth annual Digital Wallet Impact Awards, presented at MPC22, honored GoCart for customer experience, PayQuicker for product design, Netcetera for value-added services and Branch for market adoption. Stewart Watterson, strategic advisor at Aite-Novarica, credited the 2022 winners for helping to redefine the digital wallet category.
MagTek won the 2022 Visionary Award for its Qwantum Private Messaging. Andrew Deignan, vice president, global marketing and strategy for MagTek, thanked The Green Sheet and MPC Digital Commerce for the honor and for hosting a phenomenal event where industry stakeholders can learn from each other and share ideas.
Janine Savarese, CEO at NextTech Communications, said MPC's agenda spanned the digital transaction ecosystem. "We had a great time connecting with attendees, speakers, exhibitors, clients and fellow media partners," she said.
Damon Kirk, CEO and co-founder of Obsidian Banking, stated he enjoyed MPC22's networking, educational workshops and moderating a fireside chat with Quincy McKnight, CEO at Covenant Pay. "We enjoyed connecting with everyone at MPC22," he said, "and we can't wait for MPC23."
Marla Ellerman, MPC executive director, thanked sponsors, emcees, exhibitors, speakers and attendees for making MPC22 a success, stating the show will return to Atlanta in 2023.
Dale S. Laszig, senior staff writer at The Green Sheet and managing director at DSL Direct LLC, is a payments industry journalist and content strategist. Connect via email firstname.lastname@example.org, LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/dalelaszig/ and Twitter https://twitter.com/DSLdirect. Five key trends shaping the payments revolution
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