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The Green Sheet Begins Year Fourteen


This is the last issue of The Green Sheet for 1996, and the end of our thirteenth year of production, so you might guess that we are feeling a bit nostalgic.

Through the years The Green Sheet has been in a constant state of change, and we would like to believe that it has always changed for the better.

This ongoing change has been reflected in various styles and approaches to addressing the information needs of the ISO, as well as continuing efforts to advance the quality and content of the newsletter.

While the vision for an ISO newsletter has been constant, it has unfolded on an ever changing business landscape, including business acquisitions, changes in the financial services marketplace, an explosion in the number of ISOs, and a number of ownership changes.

In late 1983,The Green Sheet began in support of the first ISO organization in the U.S., American Marketing Corporation, generally referred to as AMCOR. AMCOR functioned more as an association for ISOs than as an ISO itself, so a newsletter seemed necessary and made sense for the industry.

This was a time when the idea of non-bank employees selling bankcard services was a completely new idea and made sense only in the context of a major check guarantee company beginning to permit non-employee sales as well.

AMCOR eventually was sold and the newsletter became a part of a larger overall financial service origination. The Green Sheet became the voice of CrossCheck® through the end of 1994. Beginning in 1995 the newsletter expanded its vision and The Green Sheet began to be published by Concepts, Inc. In September 1995 the newsletter went on-line, and in 1996 it became a separate, stand alone corporation Green Sheet, Inc.

Over the years The Green Sheet has ranged in size from a single two sided sheet to as much as six pages. The newsletter has also gone from being hand typed and copied, to being professionally typeset and printed. The nameplate has changed from a hand drawn banner to the current newspaper type banner.

While the look has been changing, so has the marketplace. The Green Sheet has continued to provide news and advice for ISOs in the financial services industry that is both interesting and beneficial.

During the last several years I have been fortunate enough to have some really terrific people provide support for the growth and improvement of the newsletter.

I wish to thank: Michelle Schmitz, who single handily wrote sales stories during half of 1991 and 92; Suzanne Cagnassola for her fine research efforts; Michele Duane, Christina Shelton, and Janice Wohlert for proofing and proofing and proofing; Dee Rodriguezs' team for labeling and stuffing; Brad Hargrave for our Legal Factoid column; Multiplex Media for the look and feel of our Web site; guest writer Tom Hopkins for providing that extra inspiration during 1996; and Julie O'Ryan who writes, edits, and answers hundreds and hundreds of calls from the readership. The Green Sheet has been much better for your combined efforts.

As the year concludes, The Green Sheet is now reaching over 2700 ISOs, and hundreds of banks, equipment manufactures, financial service providers, software companies, leasing companies, Internet service providers, debit and check service companies, professional associations, financial consulting businesses, and state and federal agencies.


We continue to support the entire effort of The Green Sheet through paid subscriptions, believing that paid advertising will change the nature of the newsletter. We also continue to provide Resource Guide listings and feature stories only for subscribers, and topics which we believe will benefit the widest audience.

In addition, more than 13,000 Green Sheets were distributed this year at major retail trade shows. *The Green Sheet On-Line is now read for at least 45 minutes, by more than 5,000 individuals per week, with more than 100,000 people taking a look at The Green Sheet each week.

This is indeed a lot of change over the thirteen years, and it has not been without its difficulties. We have received a number of complaints along the way, and even a couple of lawsuits. Fortunately, all have been resolved, and many of the things that have upset readers have had, I believe, a positive effect on the industry.

In fact, one of my favorite quotes was from an ISO industry interview completed in mid-1995, when an ISO who has been around a long time said, "I can't wait to get The Green Sheet each time, to see what politically stupid thing you are going to say next."

As we pull together each issue, we have a single focus and that is to tell it like we see it. Our efforts are intended to support the individual ISO who is trying to make a living in the financial services marketplace, and be a voice for the sales professional. Overall, the last thirteen years have been a lot of fun, and I, like most of you, believe that ISOs will be alive and well in the financial services industry thirteen years from now. The question is, what will we be selling?


Paul H. Green



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