Staying current in the payments industry is a challenge. Blink and there's a new digital wallet or app on the market. New inventions, associations, regulations and software innovations are emerging at lightning speed. Move too fast, you might invest in the wrong technology, move too slowly, you could be stuck with yesterday’s equipment and obsolescence. What’s a payment provider (or business who works with one) to do? Here are a few suggestions that can keep you in the know rather than in the dark.
To stay current, you must stay informed. Luckily, there are many resources available right at your fingertips that provide information on the changing face of the payments industry. Some of our favorite go-tos for breaking news, interesting blogs and commentary are:
- The Green Sheet is an online and print publication devoted to the ISO and Merchant Level Salesperson channel. The Green Sheet is now in its thirtieth year of providing “actionable advice” to resellers of merchant card and check services. Their articles and business profiles are a great introduction to the world of the payment provider.
- PaymentsNews.com features links to articles on a wide range of payment subjects from major news publications and research organizations.The site is curated by the group from Glenbrook and offers articles on banks, card networks, merchant acquirers and technology firms.
- Pymnts.com targets payment professionals with a mix of stories on global payments. Sign up for their newsletter to receive a daily summary of news with an emphasis on mobile programs, security and equipment.
- For information on retail business, QSRs and ecommerce check out NRF SmartBrief, a daily newsletter produced by the National Retail Federation.
Workshops, seminars and certification programs provide an in-depth educational experience, along with an opportunity to network. The Electronic Transaction Association (ETA) has a variety of webinars available to members and non-members and can be a great place to start. For a more costly but more intensive experience, Glenbrook provides two-day Payment Boot Camps and single-day workshops led by industry veterans.
Don’t overlook conferences and tradeshows. Included in the entrance fee of industry events are presentations, seminars and panel discussions that introduce new products, debate new regulations or just provide some inspiration. Attending these talks will put you in touch with leaders of the industry. Use social media to connect with these speakers and subscribe to their blogs for a constant feed of industry insight.
Search out free publications, offers and guides. With a new emphasis on inbound marketing, many businesses are publishing research reports, white papers and infographics on industry trends and making them available for download at no cost. Search the Internet for these, keeping in mind that information on emerging technology, and even demographics, changes rapidly today and can be outdated in a short period of time.
When in doubt, look it up. Industry lingo and acronyms can be confusing. When you come across a term you aren’t familiar with, look it up. CrossCheck’s site includes a Payment Glossary, now available in a booklet form for downloading. Check it out and see if we can help unlock some of the mysteries of mobile, digital and banking terms.
Do you have a great source for industry info? Let us know your favorite sites and sources in the comments below.