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Trade Association News:
2005 Events Wrapping Up

Trade associations provide educational and networking opportunities to learn about the latest industry trends while building relationships with peers. The Western States Acquirers' Association's (WSAA) meeting in November will be the last major industry meeting of the year; however, all groups have already begun planning for 2006.

Following are news and updates from each organization. More information on the conferences, such as agendas and direct links for registration and hotels, is available on each association's Web site.

National and Multinational Associations

ATM Industry Assoc. (ATMIA)

Issues concerning security, fraud and the unbanked were discussed at ATMIA's Conference West, "North American ATM Debit Summit," held Sept. 14 - 16 in Scottsdale, Ariz. More than 200 people attended, according to Lana Harmelink, ATMIA International Director of Operations.

The event largely focused on the growing stored value card (SVC) market and increasing threats of card fraud, she said. Highlights included an introduction of the best practices for SVC products and a review of their compliance issues.

To help ISOs prepare for the new PLUS ATM Operator Agreement Rules that take effect in November, ATMIA also offered an ISO Training Pre-conference Workshop.

Update on 2005 ATMIA Committee Activity

  • Government Relations Committee (GRC): Monitored, contested or initiated 74 bills that affect the ATM industry. It also assembled a group to meet with lawmakers in New York because 30 of the 74 bills are in New York. The GRC fought city and county laws that would require registration of certain ATMs; it supported international surcharge bills (for more information, see "ATM Surcharging Expands in California" in this issue).

  • Interchange Committee: This committee provides a forum for dialog and cooperation regarding ATM network and interchange issues and builds relationships with the networks. ISOs sent redacted copies of their contracts with sponsor banks and ATM processors to ATMIA legal counsel for analysis regarding ISO rights within networks. The committee is reviewing options outlined by legal counsel. Any action taken will happen outside of the ATMIA umbrella.

  • Debit Card Council: This group established a government relations subcommittee to address increasing proposed state and federal legislation to regulate SVCs. It expanded the scope of state legislative monitoring to include new SVC issues. These are escheat of stored value funds; service charge and expiration date limitations/prohibitions; required consumer disclosures; defining issuance/sale/redemption of stored value funds as money transfer; defining as gift certificates.

  • Sponsoring Financial Institution Committee: This committee focuses on third-party sales representatives (TPSRs), insurance, PIN security and education. Some highlights of its recent efforts: concluded that TPSRs should be underwritten, reviewed and approved by the sponsoring financial institution in the same manner as ISOs. Also, the committee released a mapping of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard and TG-3 PIN security requirements.

ATMIA is the only international, independent forum for the ATM industry. For more information about ATMIA, contact Harmelink at .

Electronic Transactions Assoc. (ETA)

Historic Charleston, S.C. served as the backdrop for ETA's 2005 Strategic Leadership and Networking Forum, or SLNF, held Sept. 27 - 29 at the Charleston Place Hotel. More than 450 ISOs, vendors, payment executives and even some merchant level salespeople (MLSs) combined attended the event, which offered inspirational keynote speakers, stimulating panel discussions and opportune networking.

Following a morning golf tournament and afternoon meeting, the conference officially opened on Tuesday evening with keynote speaker Michael Treacy, an internationally known expert on corporate strategy and the author of "Double-Digit Growth: How Great Companies Achieve It, No Matter What."

He encouraged audience members to commit to superior customer value in order to dramatically grow their businesses.

Following Treacy's talk, participants walked across the street to the Riviera Theatre, a beautifully restored art deco masterpiece. Attendees networked with peers while enjoying cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and jazz.

Panels Say 'Security and Transparency'

Day two began with breakfast in the networking room, which was set up to provide a comfortable atmosphere in which people could meet. The rest of the day consisted of three panel presentations.

The first, "The Macro Perspective: A Broad and Expansive Look at Payment Trends," included two speakers from the Mercator Advisory Group, Michael Friedman and Tim Sloane. They discussed industry trends (wireless, micropayments and POS automation) and risks (nonregistered agents, third-party processors and data-storage entities).

After a networking lunch, John Brady from MasterCard International and Michael Smith of Visa U.S.A. participated in part one of the lively two-part panel, "Acquiring and Sponsorship Trends: The Changing Landscape."

Security is a top priority for the card Associations, which are working together to make their rules more transparent. Both agreed that everyone should be on the same page concerning security.

Financial institution representatives comprising part two of the panel were Nick Baxter, First National Bank of Omaha; Michael Campbell, Chase Merchant Services; and Amy Crews, Columbus Bank and Trust. Their discussion echoed the previous one: Security issues take precedence; rules should be more transparent.

The final session that day, also a two-part panel, focused on new technology. Part one provided the vendors' perspective. Paul Coppinger of Apriva discussed mobile POS terminals; William B. Horne of Valutec discussed gift card advantages; and Dano Ybarra of Netopia discussed the many uses of broadband in a merchant's place of business.

Part two offered the ISOs' perspective. Marc Gardner of North American Bancard; Joseph Natoli of Retriever Payment Systems; and Neil Randel of First American Payment Systems (FAPS) participated.

Randel said FAPS offers new online reporting and more flexibility to its agents. Natoli focused on value-added services and the importance of serving as a one-stop-shop for merchants. Gardner discussed the importance of creating exciting presentations for sales reps.

The day closed with happy hour in the networking room, followed by an evening reception hosted by Discover Financial Services.

Day three's opening session was a well-attended panel discussion on the future of interchange. The panel consisted of Gray Taylor, National Association of Convenience Stores; Kartik Mehta, FTN Midwest Research; William Sheedy, Visa U.S.A.; and Stuart Weiner, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

Mehta predicted that interchange would continue to increase. All the panelists agreed that litigation would not be a good thing.

Keynote speaker Tom Peters, a renowned business strategist and the author of "In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies," closed the event on Thursday morning by encouraging attendees to be innovative, to take risks and to "do things."

Peters said, "In the words of Herb Kelleher, Chairman, President and CEO of Southwest Airlines, 'We have a strategic plan; it's called doing things.

Second Meeting

Open to all women in the electronic transactions industry, held its second event on Sept. 27 preceding SLNF. is a women's networking and mentoring organization independent of ETA.

Pamela Joseph, Chair and CEO of NOVA Information Systems and Vice Chair of U.S. Bancorp, shared some insight from her experiences in the payments industry. She called the industry a great spot for women and encouraged them to take risks, persevere and be genuine. She also touched on the issue of balancing family life with a career.

Approximately 35 women attended the event. While chatting with peers, they enjoyed food and wine, which 1st National sponsored. TransFirst donated a $250 Visa gift card for a drawing. A woman new to the industry attending her first industry-related meeting won the gift card. will hold its next event at ETA's 2006 Annual Meeting & Expo in Las Vegas. (For more information on, see "The Wonders of Women's Networking," The Green Sheet, Aug. 22, 2005, issue 05:08:02.)

ETA in 2006

Mark your calendars. The 2006 ETA Annual Meeting & Expo will take place April 18 - 20 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. The 2006 ETA SLNF will take place Sept. 12 - 14 at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel in Miami Beach, Fla. For more information on ETA, call 800-695-5509 or visit .

National Assoc. of Payment Professionals (NAOPP)

Between elections, new initiatives, educational programs and membership growth, NAOPP has had a busy year. The organization is putting the finishing touches on a new Web site, newsletter and capital campaign, all of which it will unveil in the coming months.

"The goal of the capital campaign is to raise money to support the activities of the association," said Vicki M. Daughdrill, NAOPP's Executive Director.

NAOPP's membership has increased 30% since the beginning of the year, and the group gains new members on a weekly basis. However, since its dues are at a low cost, NAOPP will need to rely on sponsorships to provide the majority of funding.

"We will actively pursue sponsors over the next several months," she said. "This is an open invitation to all the industry leaders to contact us for sponsorship opportunities."

Sponsorships will be available for $500 and up. Stay tuned for details.

Housekeeping and New Elections

Daughdrill also said that NAOPP filed an application for 501(c)3 status and received notification that the Internal Revenue Service has the application. NAOPP is also finalizing its accounting procedures and tax returns.

The association is seeking a new President-Elect, Secretary and MLSO Director and will hold elections for these offices in December 2005.

These new Board members begin their terms in January. (NAOPP's Nominating Committee accepted nominations for the positions through Oct. 21.)


Immediately preceding the upcoming WSAA in La Jolla, Calif., NAOPP will host an educational panel discussion led by experts on wireless technology. The NAOPP event is independent of WSAA and open to everyone; there is no charge to attend it.

NAOPP is a nonprofit organization working to bridge the gap between MLSs and other segments of the payment processing industry. For more information, visit or e-mail .

Regional Associations

Midwest Acquirers' Assoc. (MWAA)

MWAA is busy planning its fourth annual conference. For more information about MWAA, visit or e-mail Jim McCormick at .

Northeast Acquirers' Assoc. (NEAA)

The light is changing and the leaves are turning, which means winter is just around the corner, especially in the Northeast. NEAA's 2006 Winter Seminar and Outing, held at the Grand Summit Resort Hotel and Conference Center in Mt. Snow, Vt., is scheduled for Jan. 31 - Feb. 2.

The meeting offers educational speakers, forums, a vendor trade show paired with an exquisite reception, giveaways, food, entertainment, a charity poker tournament sponsored by United Bank Card Inc., and, of course, outdoor winter recreation such as skiing, sledding and snow mobiling.

"NEAA is offering free registration for the Winter Seminar to those who register prior to January 20," said Jacques Breton, NEAA Treasurer. "This is being done through the continued support of the vendors.

"We are also giving financial institutions/ISOs the opportunity to take advantage of some of the many conference rooms we have reserved in order for them to hold sales meetings prior to the event," he said. The meeting rooms will only be available on Tuesday afternoon, prior to the opening reception.

The organization is also planning the 2006 Summer Seminar and Outing. Although no specific dates have been finalized, NEAA said the meeting will take place sometime during the first two weeks of June.

In other news, Ruth Gorski, a Senior Relationship Manager for American Express Co. (AmEx), was elected to NEAA's Board of Directors. "Ruth's extensive industry knowledge, leadership and energy will serve the NEAA well in the years ahead," said Sonny Wooten AmEx's Director of External Sales Agent Program.

For more information, visit NEAA's Web site, or e-mail Jacques Breton at or call him at 603-692-2408.

Southeast Acquirers' Assoc. (SEAA)

Hurricane Katrina muddled original plans for SEAA's fifth annual meeting, which it had scheduled for Oct. 19 - 21, 2005 at the Wyndham Canal Place hotel in New Orleans. SEAA postponed the meeting until "a suitable time and place that will allow all of us to focus our attention on those that are in greatest need at this time," said John McCormick, SEAA President.

This new time and place is March 20 - 22, 2006 at the Bonaventure Resort & Golden Door Spa in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Stay tuned for more details about the meeting. Hotel registration deadline is Feb. 17. The SEAA room rate, $159 per night, is available from March 19 - 22.

"The Board of Directors of the SEAA would like to express our thanks to all of our loyal vendors and participants that have shown their support and patience while we worked through the issues regarding the October 2005 seminar," said Audrey Blackmon, SEAA Vice President.

Blackmon said SEAA will automatically re-register all vendors and participants who had already paid for the cancelled New Orleans show. For more information about SEAA, visit SEAA's Web site or e-mail Blackmon at .

Western States Acquirers' Assoc. (WSAA)

At press time, WSAA was putting the finishing touches on plans for its second annual meeting, to be held Nov. 2 - 3, 2005 at the San Diego Marriott La Jolla Hotel in La Jolla, Calif.

The meeting, entitled, "Charting Your Course to Success," will offer a panel discussion on wireless technology and breakout sessions covering integrated solutions, merchant retention, financing growth, check imaging and compliance.

Other highlights include keynote speakers, receptions with vendors, networking opportunities, door prizes and a Texas Hold'em charity poker tournament sponsored by United Bank Card.

An NAOPP meeting followed by a Field Guide for ISOs seminar will precede the WSAA event. Look for a report on the meeting in an upcoming issue of The Green Sheet. For more information about WSAA, call Steve Eazell at 866-300-3376 or e-mail him at .

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