“Where The Payments Industry Connects!” was the theme of the annual meeting of the Electronic Transactions Association that took place this week in Las Vegas. This was a big show – over 3000 people registered to attend.
Like many shows this size, the planning committees started work a year ago. The speaker committee started last October and 70 speakers were slated to give their presentations. This requires a massive coordination effort. For those of you who weren’t able to attend, you can purchase a recording of all the sessions from the ETA – just go to the ETA website.
The ETA kicked off on Monday, with a series of classes for new entrants to the ISO community, including overviews of electronic processing, risk and fraud management, sales and marketing, technology, and sales channel development. Yes, the ISO world has become a lot more complex in the last few years! After years of planning, the ETA has developed a certification for ISO’s, called the Certified Payments Professional (CPP). Many ISO’s are asking their people to get this certification. If you're interested, you can find the details here.
Another pre-conference event was a special forum for the investment community. Speakers included senior executives from VeriFone, PayPal, Heartland, TSYS, Global Payments, as well as some of the principal investors in the payment space.
Tuesday was “Compliance Day.” This is an area that is becoming more and more important in the payments space, and it included some pretty critical topics, including “Why ISO’s Get Sued.” There is so much legislation and regulation coming down the pike that it took a whole day to present the hot topics in compliance.
The education sessions took up Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. Along with all of this, there was the vendor session, which was a hub of activity this year. By my count, there were roughly 150 vendors with displays – a big success for the ETA. Part of this is because there are so many new products in this space. If you walk fast, you might be able to get through the vendor area in the time allotted. The vendors have to really use their imagination to get people in their booth, and the winner seemed to Security Metrics, who was giving away cool toy helicopters – people just seemed to be mesmerized by those little things!
One of the great things about this show is that you can meet with senior executives, product managers, and people who take the time to listen to you and figure out how to work together. Yes, you could do this outside the show, but I think if you really hustled, you could see a dozen or more people at the show that would otherwise take weeks or even months to get an appointment to see at their offices. This is why the ETA was started, and this is why so many people keep coming back every year. Congratulations to the committee members, and to new President Eddie Myers for pulling it all together without a hitch.
We had excellent traffic at the CrossCheck booth and had a chance to discuss check guarantee and check processing with many visitors. We had a good location, and our President and CEO, Dave Siembieda, and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Chris Schumacher, were there to meet with clients and prospects. We also had our Vice President of ISO and Partner Relations, Travis Powers, our Senior Vice President of Product Development, Tiffany Lucas, and our Vice President of Information Services, Shane Miller on site to help find new opportunities. Todd Little, National Sales Trainer, helped with the demos of our remote deposit capture product. Thanks to all the people who stopped by the booth to find out more about us. Some were old friends, some wanted to learn about our new products, and some might have come for our open bar! I've even heard a few people stopped by to scan our QR Code. Either way, it was a great show!