With technological innovations surging forward, changing worldwide commerce indelibly, it makes sense to pause on occasion to reflect on the origins of the dynamic industry we know today, with ever new payment types and schemes emerging to make payments more frictionless, secure and useful to both merchants and consumers. Who knew, for example, that Wells Fargo & Co. came up with a precursor to today's ubiquitous plastic payment cards way back in 1914 or that in the early years of ACH, banks trucked magnetic tapes and computer disks to local Federal Reserve Bank offices or correspondent banks for processing?
Nuggets like these, along with other facts and figures on the evolution of payments, are in this issue's lead article. In addition, our contributing writers have shared thoughts on aspects of payment types. One discusses the genesis of electronic payments, augmenting the lead article. Others delve into challenges in moving toward a cashless society when 40 percent of in-person transactions in the United States are currently done with cash; specific pros and cons of going cashless; the appeal of self-service kiosks and how smart kiosks are becoming ever more versatile and useful; how omnichannel success in retail is opening opportunities for payment pros in other sectors; and why today's smart POS should embrace an array of apps rather than be limited to a proprietary few.
We encourage contributing writers to express their opinions within our pages, but that doesn't necessarily mean we share their views. If you have a different perspective on issues explored herein, please send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org, and you just might see your words published on our Readers Speak page.
Inside, you'll also find thought-provoking product and company profiles, as well as relevant news in our Industry Update and News Briefs sections. Among other topics, we've covered new EU authentication rules and efforts to bring strong, real-time authentication to that region; a payroll firm that closed shop without notice, absconding with $35 million earmarked to pay client employees and their tax withholdings – and the culprit's subsequent arrest; studies revealing the kinds of payment options consumers really want; and legislation passed by the House of Representatives that takes aim at federal barriers to banking cannabis businesses.
In addition to sharing your ideas at email@example.com, please continue to send your press releases to firstname.lastname@example.org. After all, sharing news of your professional milestones is central to our mission.
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