NEW YORK CITY — Plans have firmed up for the fourth annual Micro and Small Payments Conference, which is set for the Marriott Hotel Financial Center here on November 28. The event is cosponsored by Peppercoin and SourceMedia.
Keynoting the conference will be Bob Carr, chief executive officer and chairman of Heartland Payment Systems (Princeton, NJ) and Niki Manby, senior vice-president of product innovation for Visa USA (San Francisco, CA). Heartland is the largest payment processing company in the United States. This year, it acquired cashless vending pioneer Debitek (Chattanooga, TN) from Ingenico. Visa, a global leader in cashless payments, currently is rolling out its “Visa Contactless” RFID cashless transaction medium, designed to speed and simplify small payments.
The conference will get under way at 8:45 AM with a brief address by Peppercoin president and chief executive officer Mark Friedman, who is chairing the event. Carr then will keynote the morning portion of the program.
At 10:30 AM, Michael Friedman, director of emerging technologies for Mercator Advisory Group, will moderate a panel session on “Cash-to-Card: Lessons Learned.” The discussion will revolve around existing businesses that have begun accepting credit/debit cards as payment options, and panelists will talk about the prospects for growth, and the challenges: finding an acquirer, managing transaction costs, and learning how to use consumer card data, securely and appropriately, to understand their customers better.
At 11:15 AM, a second panel session will round out the morning portion of the program. It will be moderated by John Gaffney, editor of 1to1 Magazine, and will review strategies for adding volume incrementally. On the panel will be customer loyalty experts, merchants and card issuers, and the primary focus will be designing loyalty programs to reward customer behaviors that contribute to incremental business, understanding when loyalty programs work in a small-ticket environment, and identifying the specific best practices for different markets.
Following a luncheon, Visa’s Niki Manby will keynote the afternoon portion of the program at 1:15 PM. At 2:00, Anil Aggrwal, chief executive officer of Prepaid Media, will moderate the leadoff afternoon panel session. This one will endeavor to find out “What’s Working for Small-Payment Merchants.” Prepaid and other stored-value products have enjoyed impressive growth in recent years, in the form of gift cards, and the panel will explore prepaid opportunities in the context of small-payment merchant environments, both unattended retail and traditional “point-of-sale” retail businesses. Panelists will provide perspectives on the migration from cash to card transaction including both consumer and merchant experience with prepaid card products. It will define the distinction between branded and proprietary cards, and discuss innovative approaches to prepaid.
At 4:00 PM, the last panel session will be moderated by Jim Leroux, a partner in First Annapolis Consulting, Inc. Panelists are investment executives who will speak about investing in new payment initiatives: what they look for in a payments-related technology company, what lessons they’ve learned from previous investments, and the area of the large and changing “payments ecosystem” in which they believe greatest value to reside.
The conference will wrap up at 4:45 PM, and a reception from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM will round out the event. Online registration can be found online at sourcemediaconferences.com (click on “Conferences” in the left-hand menu), or by calling (800) 803-3424 or (212) 803-6093.