SEAA embraces Texas, reaches new audience
#dcf_For many years, no acquiring association laid claim to the Great Plains states, including Texas, home to many ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs). But the drought was broken when the Southeast Acquirers Association hosted its 11th annual conference in Dallas from March 19 to 21, 2012.
On Mon., March 19, severe weather moved into the region. Flights into the Dallas-Fort Worth area were delayed or canceled. Despite this, the SEAA's show was a complete success. More than 600 attendees managed to make their way through the weather and join in the festivities.
Monday afternoon, the Field Guide Seminars continued its tradition of successful educational sessions, offering MLSs, both old and new, invaluable advice on the industry in general and their own businesses in particular. These sessions precede most regional acquirers shows and present guidance on the latest industry developments and trends.
As always, an evening reception kicked off the conference. Sponsored by National Processing Co., a Vantiv company, the reception allowed attendees to meet the exhibitors and network with each other in a welcoming atmosphere. There were a number of new exhibitors this year. And because Dallas is new to the payments industry tradeshow circuit, a new group of MLSs visited booths of exhibitors looking for new relationships to further their businesses.
Tuesday morning began with a continental breakfast (sponsored by First American Payment Systems) and time on the exhibition floor. Next, Pamela Joseph, Vice Chairman, Payment Services for US Bancorp, delivered opening remarks. She offered a view through the eyes of banks on the changes occurring in the industry.
Following a delicious lunch sponsored by American Express Co., numerous presentations were offered. The Electronic Transactions Association provided facts about the new Certified Payments Professional program (the first tests were administered in November 2011) and AmEx discussed the success of Small Business Saturday (Nov. 24, 2011).
A panel discussion on the future of mobile payments followed. Representatives from USA ePay, VeriFone Inc., Discover Financial Services and Isis (a creation of JVL Ventures LLC, which was formed by AT&T Mobility LLC, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA Inc.) offered their take on the evolving mobile payments industry. While it seems mobile payments are rapidly gaining ground in the industry, it looks like a consensus needs to be reached among the major players regarding platforms.
Also offered were sessions on Europay/MasterCard/Visa technology and Discover. Industry consultant Paul Martaus ended the day with a lively presentation. He discussed the Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and regaled attendees with his views on the future of the industry.
The event was closed with a reception in the exhibit hall sponsored by Merchants' Choice Payment Solutions. All were invited to a Tuesday night party hosted by SignaPay. Held at the nearby Trophy Room, everyone enjoyed the camaraderie of their peers. Some brave souls even rode the mechanical bull. Next year's SEAA meeting will be held in Orlando, Fla. Watch future issues of The Green Sheet for more information. See you all there!
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