The PYMNTS team caught up with experts in the payments field to ask them their views on industry trends, predictions for the coming year and what their ideal payments system looks like.
Bill Lodes, senior vice president of business development and strategy at First American Payment Systems, talks about how the payments industry overcame challenges during 2015 only to find more ahead in the years to come.
PYMNTS: What are some of the challenges that your company encountered in 2015 that you see carrying over to the future?
BL: The three things that hit us in 2015 were EMV and all of the adoption struggles with it, mobile payments acceptance — there was a big emphasis on reacting to how clients want to use mobile wallets. The third thing that impacted 2015 was ease of integration. There's a lot of new technology out there that is allowing folks to integrate to different payments providers with a great sense of ease, and that is clearly differentiating some of those companies from the traditional players in the market.
PYMNTS: It sounds like all of those things will continue to affect 2016, but could you talk about your new role and the biggest tasks at hand?
BL: My role is involved predominantly in setting strategies for ISVs in 2016. Adoption should still be a challenge. Getting folks to bring suites of EMV solutions into their stacks, that's a fairly big challenge, but we feel at First American that we have the product and services to install those types of solutions.
PYMNTS: What kinds of feedback are you getting from your clients on the rollout so far?
BL: It's slow, but in certain verticals, it's better than others. That depends on the historical fraud that you seen in respective verticals. For example, a restaurant doesn't see a lot of fraud per se, so those folks in that vertical are a little slower to adopt that technology due to costs. They might be a little slow to react to adoption trends versus somebody in retail, where they'd be more apt to put that technology in.
PYMNTS: What does your ideal payments system look like? In a perfect world, how would everything come together?
BL: The ultimate payments solution would encompass all of the technology we've been talking about, while still being able to leverage it all down to individual merchants not only from a security standpoint, but also integrating mobile acceptance, loyalty, etc. Some players have bits and pieces of this, so ultimately putting it all together into one system and then making it a breeze to integrate would really be the final goal. The industry is moving and ever-changing, but there's a burst of technology that allows merchants to pick and choose how they want to move toward this.
Lodes is responsible for developing and executing a sales strategy for the growing Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) market. With 20 years of sales and partnership experience, Lodes comes to First American most recently from TSYS, where he was Director of Developer Partnerships, responsible for the growth of their payments integration software product. Prior to TSYS, he was Director of Account Management for PayPros Payment Solutions and in Account Management for Intuit. Bill has a Bachelor of Science in Management from the University of New England.