2014 Money 20/20 Takeaways and Themes

Patrick Turiano

November 11, 2014

The payments industry has many events and conferences promoting disruptive technologies and business models, but none promote the industry the way Money20/20 does. This past week, November 2-6, the payments industry gathered at the Aria Hotel and Resort in Las Vegas, NV to network, learn and promote payments and financial services.  Money20/20 has grown to a major industry conference that connects payments and commerce with mobile, retail, marketing services, data and technology. This year’s show was full of high-profile executives, tremendous exhibiting opportunities, and great lecturers. Merchant Warehouse attended the event and promoted new relationships with point-of-sale and mobile technology partners as well as our product suite. This year, three major themes jumped out at me...

EBT Deep Dive – What does it mean for you?

Patrick Turiano

October 2, 2014

What is EBT? Electronic Benefit Transfer, or EBT, is an electronic payments system that allows welfare programs to issue benefits via a plastic, magnetically encoded card. EBT is primarily used in the United States and in the United Kingdom. In general, there are two kinds of benefits that can be provided through EBT cards: one is food and the other is cash. Food benefits are typically distributed through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which was formerly the Food Stamp Program. Cash benefits are generally regulated through state guidance via a program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) which help underserved and relocated families.   Accepting EBT Transactions All states have systems that use magnetic stripe cards and on-line...

Wearables in Payments

Patrick Turiano

September 23, 2014

Apple’s recent announcement of their iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and their new payment platform Apple Pay™ somewhat overshadowed another important product roll-out – the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch is Apple’s introduction to the wearables industry. Wearables are computing devices that people actually wear either under clothing with sensors or as accessories. Most wearable products never leave the concept phase, but with products like Fitbit, Google Glass, Nike’s FuelBand and the Samsung Gear gaining traction and popularity, wearables are moving out of the concept stage and into the development and production phases. Once believed to be just some cool novelties from James Bond’s closet of gadgets, wearables may spawn another wave of computing innovation. But what does this all mean...

Multi-channel Expansion: Is it Right for Your Business?

Patrick Turiano

September 4, 2014

Phrases like omni-channel and multi-channel get used a lot in today’s world of payments. Fifteen years ago, the Internet started presenting businesses with opportunities to create new or additional sales channels. Five years ago, smart phones and other mobile or cloud-based technologies started dominating conversations and sales strategies. Multi-channel is a term regularly used to describe a business strategy where businesses take advantage of two or more customer sales points to bolster revenue.  For example, a storefront that also sells inventory through an e-commerce platform or website has a multi-channel sales model. Historically, multi-channel is a strategy that only big box retailers could employ. They were the only types of businesses that had the resources, time and...

RSPA RetailNOW14: Three Major Takeaways

Patrick Turiano

August 12, 2014

Another year, another RSPA RetailNOW in the books. This year’s RetailNOW was full of fantastic networking opportunities, educational sessions and numerous conversations around moving the industry forward. The RSPA (Retail Solutions Providers Association) hosts RetailNOW every summer and dubs the conference, “Where the Industry Meets”. The Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, Florida provided the setting for this year’s conference, which took place August 3-6.  Every year, a couple of major themes seem to resonate with the audience, which consist of point-of-sale developers and resellers. After numerous conversations with attendees and multiple educational sessions the three main themes I identified during RetailNOW 2014 were the growth of mobile POS, the influence...

What does Geo-location mean for Mobile Payments? Everything.

Patrick Turiano

July 18, 2014

Geo-location is one of those buzz words that continues to be used in the world of payments. Many large technology players are putting a lot of investment dollars behind geo-based payment applications. The power of proximity, as I like to call it, may be the key factor to bringing mobile payments to mass adoption. Before we can understand the benefits of geo-driven payments and the different applications of geo-location, let’s first define what geo-location means. Geo-location is nothing more than the process and technology of locating an object’s geographic location. Smartphones use geo-location for a variety of applications – mainly as handheld global positioning system (GPS). As smartphone applications continue to evolve, many developers and tech players have started using geo-based...

Tech's Key Players: How They're Moving into Payments and What You Need to Know

Patrick Turiano

July 15, 2014

Many of the major tech companies in the U.S. are currently working to add payments technology to their portfolios. What these companies -- including Amazon, Apple and Google -- bring to the table is a large cohort of customers who already rely on their services. If consumers already trust Amazon with their purchases and Google with their online identities, it's not a big leap to trust them with payments. These companies and a few other notables are poised to become active players in this rapidly evolving space. Of course, these companies weren't originally founded as payment gateways or mobile wallet providers. They are complex organizations with diverse offerings, and they seem to understand that the value of entering the payments space actually has little to do with payments. It's all...

6 Reasons Mobile POS is Gaining Traction

Patrick Turiano

June 6, 2014

Mobile and tablet based point-of-sale has been a hot topic issue for quite some time. The prevalence and popularity of consumer devices in the world of point-of-sale (POS) is on the rise. Both vendors and retailers see value in this new wave of business solutions. Here are six reasons why Mobile POS (mPOS) is more than a trend.  1.  Lower Total Cost of Ownership  Point of sale systems can be expensive. Hardware components and software packages can cost more than $20,000 at the enterprise level, not to mention the cost of technical training and professional installations. Mobile POS systems have different pricing models. Similar to the “App Store” you would use on your personal smartphone, mPOS can be purchased or downloaded via the cloud. Some mPOS platforms offer...

Beacons - Evolving in Retail and Payments

Patrick Turiano

May 29, 2014

Retailers are constantly looking for opportunities to gain a competitive edge. Not only do they compete with one another, but they also compete with consumer shopping habits like showrooming (i.e., researching products in-store only to buy them online somewhere else later on). Today’s landscape of mobile-based technologies and cloud networking capabilities are giving way to new opportunities to create competitive advantage and enhance the shopping experience. Retailers that can quickly and successfully implement new innovations that attract people to their stores and retain loyal customers will not only see return on their investments, they will improve the in-store shopping experience. One of the many innovations that retailers are researching are beacons. Beacons are devices placed...

Mobile Payments: Good for Business

Patrick Turiano

May 6, 2014

 Everyone’s talking about mobile payments. Analyst firms continue to make milestone predictions. Forrester, for example, predicts that U.S. mobile payments will reach $90 billion by 2017, up from just $12.8 billion in 2012. And, new entries continue to flood the marketplace. While there’s a ton of potential opportunity in mobile payments for small and medium sized businesses (SMBs), there’s also some classification and analysis that should be completed in advance.First, the classification. Mobile payments is a broad topic area and definitions seem to range as much as some of the growth projections. A great reference we’ve found is Forrester, who breaks mobile payments into three distinct categories: mobile proximity (in-store payments), mobile peer-to-peer (P2P) and remittances, and...