When it comes to higher education, much of the discussion in mainstream media centers on the high cost of obtaining a college degree and the outsize, burdensome debt many graduating students carry going forward, often for decades. In this issue, we do not jump into that discussion. We do, however, put the spotlight on a different sort of higher education, one designed to enhance your earning power without putting you into debt: professional education, specifically certification programs offered by organizations within the payments industry.
In our lead article, you'll get an insider's view of several certification programs, including the Payment Card Industry Professional, Certified Lease & Finance Professional, and Electronic Transactions Association Young Payments Professional. You'll hear from individuals who have gone through those programs and shared both what they learned and what benefits they continue to derive from them.
When education is combined with industry experience, the benefits multiply. Industry experts contributing to this issue speak from their experience on such topics as what it really takes to succeed as an entrepreneur; the importance of conversing with merchants in their own business language; merchants' need for reliable, cost-effective technologies that deliver multiple benefits; declining check usage and increasing ACH and card payments; concerning payment topics that need more attention; a dozen payment predictions for 2020.
Recent news stories published include Visa's acquisition of Plaid, a Blackhawk study on digital wallet growth, Travelex's progress in recovering from a cyberattack, how the major card brands are likely to benefit from the latest U.S.-China trade agreement, direct to consumer models threatening traditional retailers, and the latest phishing techniques proving to be effective for scammers. Product and company profiles are, of course, also included, along with notes on new Merchant Sales podcast episodes concerning the card-not-present realm in 2020, Mastercard rules on free trials, how to get past gatekeepers on the phone, the overturning of Oklahoma's no-surcharging law, and more. Also inside you'll find updates on individual and company achievements, industry research, strategic partnerships, acquisitions of note, and executive appointments.
There are always more developments in payments than we can address in one issue. Do you want to share and opinion on a hot industry topic? Just email a note of 300 words or fewer to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we might feature you in Readers Speak. Don't want to go public? That's OK, email us your questions and comments, and we'll keep them confidential.
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