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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

October 09, 2023 • Issue 23:10:01


Looking back, looking ahead

When immersed in the whirlwind world of payments, it's easy to take for granted the context in which we operate. An ongoing symbiotic relationship exists through which payments innovations contribute to advancements in other spheres and vice versa. And since 1983, when The Green Sheet launched, we've seen tremendous changes in office life both in and outside of payments. Here are several examples:

Then and now

In the 1980s, we relied on landline telephones, fax machines, interoffice memos and physical mail. Remember mail carts delivering daily to office cubicles? Today, our communications are instant and global; we use email, instant messaging and digital collaboration tools to get the job done. Also, in the '80s, we relied on paper documents stored in filing cabinets. Printing and photocopying were routine in just about every office, with most being equipped with typewriters, word processors, and clunky desktop computers using floppy discs. Today, digital documents and cloud storage are the norm. So are electronic signatures and document-sharing platforms. Smartphones, laptops and printers/scanners with small footprints have replaced the heavy equipment of old.

And let's not forget about flexibility. In the '80s, working 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in a company office was the rule. Meetings were conducted in person, too. The COVID pandemic hastened a shift toward remote and hybrid work environments, and video conferencing became an accepted way to bring staff together.

If you were in school or working in the 1980s, remember what a chore research used to be? We gained information from printed books and manuals, magazines, physical reference materials in libraries, or glossy encyclopedias that quickly became outdated. Today's powerful search engines and newer artificial intelligence platforms, all accessed with a few taps on a keyboard, would likely boggle the mind of the generations that preceded those of us working today.

As far as security goes, didn't locks and keys used to cover it? How things have changed. Now it's all about staying one step ahead of fraudsters by beefing up cybersecurity, including regularly updated PCI security standards, firewalls, end-to-end encryption, improved passwords and authentication methods, swift software updates when threats are detected, and effective staff and consumer education to protect our valuable digital assets.

Some things remain evergreen

Knowing more change is inevitable, it's reassuring to know that some practices at work have continued through the decades and are likely to continue in the decades ahead. These include:

  • Professionalism: Maintaining a professional demeanor and strong work ethic remain important.
  • Teamwork: A commitment to collaboration and effective teamwork are timeless best practices.
  • Customer focus: Meeting customer needs and providing excellent service is an enduring principle.
  • Adaptability: Businesses must continuously adapt to changing technologies and market conditions.

Another practice likely to become timeless is the care of employees. As Richard Branson once said, “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”

The payments sphere and the world around us will continue to evolve. Those of us who will be looking back 40 years from now will have contrasts with the past just as sharp as those we're observing today. Imagine that. end of article

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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