"What side of the law are you on?" GSQ Vol. 11, No. 1, April 2008, is a clear example of just how important The Green Sheet has become to our industry. While many otherwise brilliant people in our industry fail to see the need to organize in a way that all other $100 billion dollar industries do, Paul Green has once again brought focus and attention to the real issues we all face.
This issue of GSQ shows just the tip of the iceberg of the legislation that will come our way shortly. It is packed full of the over 50 major changes that will have a direct impact on all of us. This does not include the over 60 issues in the very early stages. Maybe today we can move past the idea that ignoring these issues will make them go away - or finally discard the notion that someone else will fix this problem for us.
Over the last five years, the largest ISOs were able to use GS Online's MLS Forum to introduce new MLSs to all manner of new programs. I challenge these ISOs to now stand up and be counted, in public, on what they and the companies they have built will do to help support and fund efforts that are required for our industry.
Need insight? Study other industries and how they have become politically active. ... See what the large companies do for the trade groups they form. It may be quite enlightening. They are less concerned with golf sponsorships and card game sponsorships at tradeshows and more concerned with how to protect the industries they have built companies on.
The Electronic Transactions Association is a fine organization. David Goch, the ETA's part-time lobbyist and advisor, is a very fine attorney. But we all need to face the fact that the ETA has not been mandated and funded to do anything more than a minor effort in comparison to what all of the parties that oppose us have at their disposal.
And why is a $100 billion dollar industry asking for volunteers? I have had contacts with many who will give hours of time to help organize our industry; they are amazing individuals and can do great things. But one rather small retail trade group spent $1.5 million just on lobbying efforts in 2006 and will spend a possible $3.7 million in 2008. Can we do better? Will we do better?
Either forge the ETA into a strong trade group or create a new one. Let's rise to a much higher level. Maybe some of the ETA board members can seriously start the process to change the mandates and ask members for extra financial funds to be created to support these new efforts.
Are we all now past the "oh, government intervention is not going to happen" mindset many had just a year ago? If not, please revisit the latest GSQ and read it again. Once again, thank you Paul Green and all at The Green Sheet for doing a great job!
Paul said it best in the latest GSQ's introduction: "As an industry, we ignore our collective clout at our own peril. Knowledge is power. It is my earnest hope that the information presented in this report empowers you (individually and collectively) to respond to the changing legal landscape for card acquiring - and to prevail in the court of public scrutiny." Wonderful words. What do you think?
GS Online Forum Member
Thank you for your kind words and for your commitment to strengthening our industry's clout in legal, regulatory and legislative circles, which have the power to affect all of our fortunes for good or ill.
In The Green Sheet issues 08:04:01 and 08:04:02, published April 14 and 28, 2008, respectively, the Street SmartsSM column's sponsorship was erroneously credited to AdvanceMe Inc. instead of Advanced Merchant Services. We regret the error.
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