According to the ETA, Kaplan — who served on the board from 2000 to 2008, was President from 2006 to 2007 and a board advisor as of 2014 — is being mourned by the industry. “We are shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Joe Kaplan. Joey was a passionate advocate for ETA, serving in multiple volunteer leadership positions on the ETA Board, including President. As recently as this week, at the most recent ETA Board meeting, Joey was contributing his expertise to the betterment of our industry. He leaves a strong legacy in the industry he loved, where his passion was apparent to all. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all in the payments industry who mourn his passing,” said Jason Oxman, Chief Executive of ETA, in a press release.
Earlier this year Kaplan sat down with PYMNTS to discuss how Paya was standing out in the marketplace. At the time he told Karen Webster of PYMNTS that market saturation turned the race to onboard merchants into a race to the bottom: Without product differentiation, competition became about price point – specifically, who could offer the lowest one. “I wouldn’t want to be the winner in that race,” Kaplan said at the time. He said then that the organizing framework for Paya is intended to take that to a whole new level – best-in-class technology with a focus on channel partner expansion and creating and building new ecosystem relationships centered on solving business problems. “Paya’s more than payments and merchant services,” he said. “To be a payments company, processing payments is table stakes and not a differentiator. When you’re playing in the integrated worlds, the connected worlds … you have to be a trusted technology partner that provides business solutions and better customer experiences, delivering value and growth for today and for tomorrow.”
It’s not clear how or why Kaplan passed away. According to the company’s website, prior to joining Paya, he held positions as the founder of Superior Financial Group, a nationwide SBA lender; president of Innovative Merchant Solutions, an Intuit company; and president and CEO of Superior Bankcard Service. Kaplan also co-founded and served as president of Consumer Fraud Protection, a credit monitoring protection service.