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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Patent infringement claims muddy waters of innovation

Patti Murphy

News

Industry Update

Android Pay makes debut

MyECheck debuts check-based mobile wallet

MasterCard Express fuels digital enablement

Buy buttons gaining steam on social media

Payments industry advances on 2015 Inc. 500/5000

Features

Payments and the U.S. economy

GSBookNotes

The Mobile Buzz: Mobile Payments Bill of Rights offers best practice framework

Views

Live-streaming POS

Dale S. Laszig
DSL Direct LLC

Square deemed not a money transmitter

Theodore Monroe and Brad Cebeci
Law Offices of Theodore F. Monroe

Education

Street SmartsSM:
Breaking the ice in the MLS Forum

Jeffrey I. Shavitz
TrafficJamming LLC

Benefits of loyalty programs for you and for merchants

Michael Gavin
Cayan

Legal ease: When is an ISO an MSB?

Adam Atlas
Attorney at Law

Company Profile

TouchSuite

New Products

Payment fraud prevention through predictive analytics

Feedzai Fraud Prevention
Feedzai

Real-time, mobile CRM for restaurants

Wisely
Wisely Inc.

Inspiration

Mental yard sale

Departments

Letter from the editors

Readers Speak

Resource Guide

Datebook

Skyscraper Ad

The Green Sheet Online Edition

September 28, 2015  •  Issue 15:09:02

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GSBookNotes

Why start a business? There are risks, long hours and no guarantee that a particular vision will come true. Despite these potential pitfalls, entrepreneurs in unprecedented numbers are taking what Robert Frost called "the road less traveled." Two books explore this road. One follows the journey of a payments industry leader and serial entrepreneur. The other traces the origins of an innovator who created the foundation for double-entry accounting during the Middle Ages.

Size doesn't matter

In setting the stage for Size Doesn't Matter: Why Small Business is Big Business – Profit Now From the Small Business Boom!, author Jeff Shavitz shares his goal of providing readers with "the 10 and 10": 10 action points readers will "be able to jump on within ten days of reading this book." What readers won't find are suggestions on how to write a business plan, use social media or find the right funding source and legal structure for a business. Having determined that others have already covered these topics sufficiently, Shavitz chose to offer a different kind of contribution to business lore. In a down-to-earth style, his self-help memoir sets out to provide lessons learned from multiple adventures in entrepreneurship.

While the book is geared toward small business owners from all backgrounds and industries, merchant level salespeople will identify with insights gained from the author's years of experience in payments. Current Street SmartsSM columnist and a long-time member of The Green Sheet Advisory Board, Shavitz was attracted to the payments industry for five reasons:

  1. It was an industry where merchants ordinarily didn't have much of a relationship with their credit card processing partners, if at all.
  2. The industry was enormous, with millions of potential merchant clients.
  3. There were no accounts receivables as payments.
  4. I could develop a scalable business.
  5. It generated recurring revenue, commonly called residual income.
Shavitz urges entrepreneurs of all stripes to focus on business opportunities with residual-based income streams, which provide profitably for the long haul by rewarding today's hard work with tomorrow's financial dividends. Shavitz, whose business ventures range from starting a car wash business to building and selling an ISO, describes entrepreneurship as a rewarding but frequently lonely journey. A business networking enthusiast, he also shares tips on achieving work-life balance and "ROT," his acronym for return on time invested in networking.

Double entry

Did you know the origins of merchant services can be traced to fifteenth century Venice? This is one insight gleaned from Australian author Jane Gleeson-White's Double Entry: How the Merchants of Venice Created Modern Finance. Gleeson-White became interested in accounting history during an internship at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice. She discovered that the earliest known printed books on mathematics were written for merchants, not scholars. "Commercial imperatives and practical necessity drove the early printers' decisions about which books to publish," she wrote. The same can be said for today's publishing conglomerates, as well as companies in all fields of endeavor.

Gleeson-White described 1469 Venice as the "Silicon Valley of the Renaissance." The city's large labor pool, low printing costs and business-friendly environment attracted printers from Germany and France. She detailed Franciscan monk Luca Pacioli's publication of Summa in 1494. A mathematical treatise, it included the first printed record of Venetian double entry accounting. Double-entry accounting places debits and credits into separate columns. In the fifteenth century, it enabled merchants to view transactions at a glance for the first time and led to a framework for standardized international accounting practices that remains in place today.

The book also challenged traditional views of science and mathematics and is credited with moving mathematicians from the use of Roman numerals to Hindu-Arabic numerals, as well as introducing linear perspective to leading artists of the day, all of which profoundly affected Western culture.

Centuries later, the payments industry is undergoing a renaissance, influenced by long-time industry leaders and entrepreneurs with fresh perspectives from the tech sector. Who knows what impact new payment forms will have, and what good might come from this disruption beyond more efficient, secure payments. Gleeson-White advocates for greener, sustainable accounting methods that balance voracious consumerism with finite natural resources. Payment pros inspired by this could advocate for equally sane visions of the future.

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

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Spotlight Innovators:

North American Bancard | Harbortouch | USAePay | IRISCRM.COM | Humboldt Merchant Services