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Transaction Convergence

By: Michael Scheibach

Payments technology continues its march forward, creating a convergence of companies involved in electronic transactions, from financial institutions and payment processors, to mobile operators and equipment suppliers. With more mobile phones in service in the United States than people, and more than 1 billion credit/debit cards in Americans’ wallets, the future of electronic transactions promises unprecedented opportunities, according to Jason Oxman, CEO, Electronic Transactions Association.

“This is a great development for the industry,” said Oxman. “Any innovation that makes it more convenient for consumers to use credit/debit instead of cash is a huge opportunity for growth. Whether it is NFC, 2D or 3D bar codes, carrier billing or simply entering your mobile phone number to pay, mobile technology is here today and will only become more popular in the coming years.”

ETA, a trade association for the payments industry, began in 1990 as the Bankcard Services Association; changed its name and expanded its focus in 1996; and, today, includes the nation’s leading transactions processors, independent sales organizations and financial institutions. The association’s mission is to grow the payments industry through advocacy, networking, education and events, such as the 2013 Annual Meeting & Expo, April 29–May 2 in New Orleans.

“This event is the hub of activity at the intersection of payments and technology,” said Oxman, “so our attendees include not only incumbent payments companies and financial institutions but also new mobile technology, telecommunications and apps companies across the payments sector. And the some 200 exhibitors represent the entire ecosystem of the electronic payments industry.” More than 3,000 attendees are expected at this year’s greatly expanded show.

Among the new features is Mobile Payments Innovation 2013, an all-day conference featuring presentations on how the industry works together to facilitate mobile payment adoption. New in the exhibit hall are the Mobile Payment Zone, which will showcase established and emerging leaders offering the latest in mobile-based payment technology, and the Payments Next Zone, which will focus on startups seeking to launch payments technology to serve global customers.

Two keynote speakers are slated: Michael Abbott, CEO of Isis, will address the long-awaited e-wallet; and David W. Nelms, chairman and CEO, Discover Financial Services, will discuss the future of credit cards and banking services.

Among the educational sessions are Introduction to Technology, A Mobile Revolution in Retailing, Sales Channel Development, NFC vs. Cloud and The New Payments Paradigm.  Attendees also have an opportunity to register for Compliance Day, April 30, to learn more about mobile security and mobile device security.

Oxman points out that as payment, credit and debit products continue to converge, consumers and merchants are looking for mobile payments and other new technologies as part of any bank offering.

“New payment methods need to be easy to use, easy to understand and easy to track,” said Oxman. “At the same time, payments are complex, heavily regulated, and require secure and reliable networks. We are seeing incumbent leaders partnering with new emerging technology providers, yet the deployment of new payments technologies still requires sound financial institutions and networks to best serve merchant needs.”

The 2013 ETA Annual Meeting & Expo is a unique opportunity for banking professionals to learn how the convergence of transaction technology will impact their future. Visit for more information.

Michael Scheibach is executive editor of BankNews.

Copyright (c) March 2013 by BankNews Media