Transact 15 took place in sunny San Francisco last week, attracting the largest show attendance in ETA (Electronic Transactions Association) history. More than 4000 payments industry leaders, from over 20 different countries, converged on the Moscone Center, proving that this has become a truly global event for the industry.
Reflecting the increasingly global nature of ETA Transact, PAY.ON’s VP Sales & Business Development, Adam Bowman, took part in a panel discussion on “Navigating International Strategies” on the show’s opening morning.
Adam was joined onstage by Caroline Hometh of Rocketpay Group, Andrew Zichek of 2Checkout, and Yael Barak of Optimal Payments. The session, which was part of the ‘Going Global’ track, was moderated by Michael Liquornik of Fin-Serv Advisors.
Having a international expansion strategy in place is increasingly important for US businesses, as growth in the domestic market slows and they seek to expand into new markets and sell cross-border. This is putting pressure on independent sales organizations to provide their merchants with global processing capabilities.
The panel discussion was therefore an opportunity to discuss the factors that need to be considered by payments businesses when ‘going international’, starting with selecting the right markets for expansion. Adam highlighted the need to identify markets where payment providers have the ‘right to win’ – that is, markets where they have the ability to be competitive.
All the panelists concurred that cultural differences – and the impact they has on preferred alternative payment methods – also have to be carefully considered. There was agreement that partnering with local experts, or with companies such as PAY.ON that provide the technical connectivity to reach international markets, could offer a competitive edge when pursuing global expansion strategies.
While acknowledging the considerable opportunities awaiting US payments businesses who wish to grow internationally, all those involved in the panel discussion underscored the importance of addressing regulatory and compliance issues, and outlined strategies for managing this aspect of global expansion. Because each participant approached these topics from a different standpoint, bringing their own unique perspective, it made for an enlightening discussion.
During the course of Transact 15, further educational track sessions covered payment security, politics and policy, POS innovations, and the hot topic of mobile payments.
There was a high level of interest in the keynote addresses too, which provided a fascinating look into the future of payments. Intel‘s SVP Doug Davis spoke about how the ‘Internet of Things’ is set to revolutionize payments and create new business models. It is predicted that 50 billion devices could be connected to the internet by 2020, leading to an economic transformation, where new partnerships will be necessary for synergy. With our own Open Payment Platform, built upon open API architecture, PAY.ON is well situated to serve payment providers as the ‘Internet of Things’ develops and evolves.
Will Graylin, Co-GM Samsung Pay and CEO LoopPay, also engaged the audience with his vision of ubiquitous mobile payments via LoopPay’s technology, which turns mag-stripe POS terminals into contactless terminals. On the back of the launch of Apple Pay, the mid-2015 launch of Samsung Pay (which recently acquired LoopPay) is certain to heat up the contactless payments space. We will be watching this closely, having recently released our White Label Apple Pay SDK in anticipation of the European rollout of Apple Pay.
The main exhibit hall at Transact 15 provided a space for both innovative start-ups and established players. PAY.ON’s booth saw a steady flow of traffic as independent sales organizations, acquirers, ISVs and VARs expressed an interest in our white label global payment gateway solutions. Additionally, the show provided an excellent opportunity to network with our established partners, including Payvision and allpago International, as well as new partners such as Planet Payment and National Merchants Association (NMA).