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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

April 08, 2024 • Issue 24:04:01

Street SmartsSM

Let’s blow up the internet!

By Allen Kopelman
Nationwide Payment Systems Inc.

Editor's Note: Please welcome dynamic industry veteran Allen Kopelman, who will pen this column for the coming year. After Nick Cucci's excellent, accessible coverage of many practical aspects of selling merchant services and running a payments business, Allen will bring a renewed focus on interaction into the mix. We very much appreciate Nick's presentation of useful information in a friendly way. It's no wonder that when Fluid Pay relocated from Illinois to Tennessee Nick's employees and colleagues came right along. We expect Allen's incisive wit and comprehensive industry knowledge will keep you entertained, informed, challenged and inspired. We hope you'll join him in making some useful waves while reaching for your grandest professional goals.

Now that I have your attention, let me say I’m honored to serve as your Street SmartsSM columnist, following in the footsteps of some great writers and payments industry icons. I’m only half-kidding when I say let’s blow things up because I’d like to do some live streaming over the next 12 months. Let’s make this a place to hang out, network and learn from each other.

My 20-plus years in payments inspired me to launch B2B Vault: the Biz to Biz Podcast, in 2021. The show initially explored emerging payment technology trends but soon evolved into broader discussions about the future of business and policies that impact small and midsize business owners, my target audience.

Before we founded Nationwide Payment Systems in 2001, Dave Burney had been selling copiers and I had tried different things, from working at my father’s clothing store in South Florida to serving as executive chef at a Dallas hotel chain. My experiences as an entrepreneur inspired me to join the payments industry in 1998 and help other business owners.

Zooming in

When I began podcasting, I looked for topics that businesspeople were searching for online, topics like crypto, digital payments and changing winds on Capitol Hill, that can have a great impact on business owners. Here, in this column, I’d like to get your take on the future of payments and how we can make the most of emerging trends, technologies and customer behaviors to grow and prosper with our merchants, partners and industry.

I invite you to join some lively and informal discussions here in The Green Sheet, in person at conferences and online in our Facebook Group – “B2B Vault,” where we will be featuring live panel sessions and interactive webinars. Join our B2B Vault Community at www.facebook.com/groups/1944853285718548 and let us know what topics you’d like to explore. We value your input on trending topics and feedback.

On our Facebook page, I will post a question every month. Your responses and reactions will form the basis for this column and drive further discussions here and online. We will also host events on Facebook and LinkedIn where experts can share opinions on a range of topics and event planners can discuss upcoming events.

Zooming out

Looking back at the past two decades in this fast-moving industry, it occurred to me that the biggest changes have taken place behind the scenes in technologies that run invisibly in the background. Payments are no longer something we consumers do but a small part of bigger experiences in retail, hospitality and subscription services, where commerce just happens across a variety of digital wallets and ride-hailing, retailing and other card-on-file applications.

Embedded payment solutions enable consumers to stay in the nirvana of shopping without having to interrupt that experience by waiting in line to check out in a store or having to deal with payment pages online.

Unsurprisingly, these trends are catching on in the B2B world in what I call the “consumerization of payments.” Electronic invoicing, accepting digital payment methods and offering customer portals on business websites are just a few examples of how B2B merchants borrow from the B2C playbook.

I’ve also seen businesses ramp up security to protect infrastructure and customer data, following recent high-profile data breaches. I expect these efforts to continue over the next 12 months, as security experts and business owners deal with increased fraud and identity theft.

It bothers me that some of our elected officials on Capitol Hill are not fully versed on the many benefits of digital commerce or the highly secure mechanisms we’ve put in place to support our complex payments ecosystem. Some proposed legislation, if not stopped, could potentially dismantle our safeguards and take revenues away from consumers and business owners alike.

What trends are you seeing in our space and what other topics would you like to discuss? Watch this page, LinkedIn and Facebook for upcoming livestream events as we kick off a brand new season at Street Smarts.

Carpe Diem! Let’s seize the day! end of article

Allen Kopelman, a serial entrepreneur, is co-founder and CEO of Nationwide Payment Systems Inc. and host of B2B Vault: The Payment Technology podcast. Email him at allen@npsbank.com and connect on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/allenkopelman/and Twitter @AllenKopelman.

The Green Sheet Inc. is now a proud affiliate of Bankcard Life, a premier community that provides industry-leading training and resources for payment professionals. Click here for more information.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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