From the show floor to the keynote stage, the First American Payment Systems team reinforced its technology driven payments message throughout ETA’s three day TRANSACT conference.


With concurrent tracks exploring integrated payments software, industry policy, and connected commerce, TRANSACT presented an unvarnished view of the industry’s most pressing challenges and a platform for payments ecosystem providers like First American to tackle the tough questions.



Pre-show, First American executives Brian Dorchester, Mike Lawrence, and Rick Rizenbergs kicked off preliminary conference activity with their respective committees, Risk, Fraud & Security, Technology, and Payment Sales & Strategy.


“As much as the industry is evolving, so too are its sales distribution channels,” said Rick Rizenbergs, First American’s Executive Vice President of Sales. “Our committee is tasked with shaping the business practices that ISOs, value-added resellers, and others can implement to build and retain a highly engaged merchant base.”


Additional committee work explored risk mitigation and emerging technology, key components of the strategic plan approved last week by ETA’s Board of Directors, including First American CEO Neil Randel.


“The strategic plan is core to ETA’s mission to grow the industry,” said ETA CEO Jason Oxman. “With a focus on attracting new members from segments such as software companies and payment facilitators who are bringing innovation to payments, the Board laid out an actionable blueprint for ETA to help its members seize the future of payments.”



On Tuesday, TRANSACT featured various track sessions, including 22nd Century Payments and the Connected Consumer, sponsored by Mastercard. CIO Mike Lawrence co-anchored the track’s 11 a.m. panel, which focused on Big Data and Customer Service, along with Dan Peacock, FIS, and Jared Dreiling of The Strawhecker Group.


The session explored the role of payments ecosystem players in helping merchants use big data to manage their business. Panelists also discussed the hurdles that must be addressed for big data to become actionable at the merchant level.


“The introduction and growth of AI has already begun to transform our risk modeling and fraud profiling,” Lawrence said. “This is a technology that enables much faster synthesis of highly complex information, giving those who adopt it a real edge in extending that big data value add to merchants.”


He added that for payments providers to scale these solutions effectively, there is a critical counterpoint.


“One of the challenges we face is that there is no one size fits all – across both merchant sizes and channels, demands are very different. As we determine how to parse out the potential of big data in helping our merchants differentiate and flourish, we have to keep in mind that they face very different challenges.”


That evening, TRANSACT’s Opening Reception welcomed hundreds into the Mandalay Bay Conference Center Exhibit Hall, where First American’s Sales Team and product experts, including Lori Rainery, Megan Baker, and Jeff Willingham hosted friends old and new.


“We were very excited to present the integrated offerings and the value our team (Integrated Software Development) brings to the table for partners,” Rainery said. “Particularly with partners who are new to the First American family, this show gave us a chance to introduce the ISV team working for them behind the scenes. That sparked the kind of creative, problem solving dialogue I love. There is nothing more satisfying than helping a customer bring to market what was only a concept. Being a part of that process is the ultimate compliment.”



TRANSACT packs much into its 2.5-day agenda, with Wednesday being the workhorse of the event. While sales team members connected with prospects and customers, Randel, along with EVP of Business Development and Strategy Bill Lodes shared the First American message with trade and association media.



Closing out the day, TRANSACT CEO Jason Oxman hosted the much-anticipated keynote panel, Seizing the Future of Payments. The session featured three industry leading CEOs – Verifone’s Paul Galant, Elavon’s Jamie Walker, and our own Neil Randel.


During the half hour conversation, panelists discussed the acquisition landscape, technology’s transformation of the ISO sales model, and how the distribution channel can help merchants wade through an increasingly noisy marketplace.


“For us, the long game is to listen closely to our customers, understand where they see the value, and meet that need through a strong stable of products,” Randel said. “Historically we’ve done that organically and through strategic acquisition. The driver behind these activities is always customer-centric, and that will continue to guide us moving forward.”