As momentous shifts take place in the payments industry, Transact 14: Powered by ETA, held April 8 to 10 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, offered knowledge and opportunity in a variety of venues, both formal and informal.
The event began, as it does every year, with a golf tournament at the Concord Course at the Revere Golf Club in nearby Henderson, Nev. The tournament was sponsored by data security firm SecurityMetrics. Then educational sessions commenced on topics that ISOs and merchant level salespeople could benefit from, including Main Street realities and the future of the aggregation business model.
Other topics discussed on Tuesday included talks on big data, what the U.S. payments market can learn from Europay/MasterCard/Visa chip card implementation in Canada, and the blurring of the lines between once separate retail channels into the omnichannel user experience.
Wednesday kicked off with keynote addresses by industry stalwarts Bill Sheedy, Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy, M&A, Government Relations and Europe, Visa Inc.; Ariel Bardin, Vice President of Product Management, Payments at Google Inc.; and Paul Galant, Chief Executive Officer at VeriFone Inc Circulating throughout the venues was the ETA's new infographic, crafted by The Strawhecker Group. The colorful graphic, titled The Top 10 Ways Acquirers Can … Block The Breach, outlines the frequency, cost and preventability of breaches, and how the ETA's best practice guidelines can minimize security risk. The infographic is well worth a look and can be accessed at www.electran.org/events/transact14/wp-content/uploads/ETA-TSG-DataBreachInfographic.pd.
Wednesday also saw the opening of the exhibit hall. Big booths dominated the tradeshow floor. Many exhibitors rented suites in the sprawling Mandalay Bay complex in order to give one-on-one demonstrations of the latest-and-greatest in payment wizardry.
First Data Corp. imposed its sizable footprint by launching First Data Small Business Solutions at the event. The SMB solution is designed around First Data's sleek new POS system, Clover Station. Printer manufacturer Epson America Inc. showcased its new Mobilink receipt printers designed specifically for use with mobile POS devices, products and services.
Also, at the Payments Next Zone competition, the ETA rewarded Social Trade Organization with the E-Pay Innovation award that came with $50,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Africa-based collaborative commerce platform operator moWoza was the runner-up, and took home $20,000 for its mobile supply-chain solution for small and micro-businesses in emerging markets.
On Thursday, the show was bookended by roundtable discussions, featuring executives from top acquirers in the morning and top processors in the late afternoon. The show closed with a party at the Mandalay Bay's popular Shark Reef Aquarium attraction, where event attendees could schmooze with a Komodo Dragon, as well as various wonders of the sea.
During the show, The Green Sheet conducted over a dozen interviews of payment professionals from some of the most well-known businesses in the industry. The interviews and accompanying photos make up a three-part series, titled Voices of Transact 14, and are posted online under Breaking Industry News.
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