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JANUARY 2017 • Volume 13 • Issue 1 15 Facilitate your payment strategies differently in 2017 and beyond es are very affordably priced and are even offered to business owners at no cost. Plus, there are many dynamic applications that enable ‘mobile processing’ simply by obtaining a merchant account and downloading an app. Connect a reader to your smartphone and you can easily process chip (EMV) or Samsung Pay (NFC) payments, and virtually all devices created in 2017 support NFC readers for Apple Pay or Samsung Pay. In short, you don’t need a Smart Terminal to become relevant. However, the evolution of technology is not stopping with BY GIL ABIR, PAYSWIPE The payments landscape has evolved into an ecosystem that requires businesses accepting electronic payments to have smarter, faster, easier credit card processing services available. More specifically, ecommerce processing has dominated the landscape over the last 15 years, and as a result, technology platforms materialized into viable businesses that enhanced Application Protocol Interfaces, or APIs, into the processing banks. Eventually these APIs expanded into the processing banks more maturely, which leads us into today’s newly formed Payment Revolution. The concept of “Smart Terminals”, for example, is being led by an innovative manufacturer, Poynt. Poynt believes that processing should be controlled in real time by business owners and created a back office system that is displayed into an amazing looking technology. Through this technology, a business owner can log into a Poynt App and void or refund a sale that their employee has just transacted. Poynt is not the only Smart Terminal system around, however; Verifone has their sights set to counter punch with a terminal called Carbon. The tagline for this terminal is “The New Center of Connected Commerce”. In any case, these Smart Terminals are certainly going to lead a major initiative in 2017 and beyond, and all business owners must become aware of the benefits. Notably, traditional standalone devices are considerably better in 2017 than ever before; the Verifone and Ingenico’s of the world are now more suitable and sufficient to handle all new payment types as well. Notably, these standalone devic- Smart Terminals or enhanced standalone devices. The emerging platforms that began creating the APIs for ecommerce systems have done a great job embedding their coding into processing banks while enhancing the APIs over the last five years. This culminates in the integration of ecommerce processing through Cloud POS solutions and, ultimately, mobile devices. This phenomenon is known as “omnichannel”. Simply defined, omnichannel processing happens when a business provides the customer with a seamless shopping experience whether the customer is shopping online from a desktop, mobile device, by telephone, or in a bricks and mortar store. For the first time, omnichannel technology is now being supported with more devices as consumer demand for using newer interfaces grows Nevertheless, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of existing businesses that haven’t yet adapted EMV strategies or omnichannel processing but are certain to be doing so in the near future. For the experts that serve the Payments industry in 2017 and beyond, which can include banks, processors, sales people, executives, technology platforms and third-party alliances, there is a feeling of great excitement as this payment revolution continues to evolve. About PaySwipe: PaySwipe is a licensed and operating Merchant Service Provider (MSP) of Elavon, Inc., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of US Bank. Elavon ranks #2 in volume worldwide and leads payment processing in verticals that include the airline, hotel and hospitality industries POYNT terminals allow the merchant and the customer a full view of every transaction. LaGuardia Community College Works to Expand Queens’ Tech Industry BY ELIZABETH A. STREICH Public Relations Manager LaGuardia Community College  People unfamiliar with LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, Queens are often amazed when they learn that LaGuardia educates more than 50,000 New Yorkers each year. What’s becoming less surprising is LaGuardia’s increasing importance to the tech ecosystem throughout NYC. One example is its ongoing investment in small businesses in Queens through NYDesigns, LaGuardia’s on-campus incubator, co-working, and fabrication space for tech startups. Vengo Labs, which launched in 2011, blossomed at NYDesigns. Its mini, compact, high-tech vending machines are giving traditional vending machines serious competition. In 2015, Vengo Labs’ revenue topped $1 million. And earlier this year, its founder and CEO Brian Shimmerlik and co-founder Steve Bofill secured a $2 million deal on ABC’s “Shark Tank”—one of the largest venture capital deals ever on the show. “Launching Vengo Labs at NYDesigns gave us an affordable, convenient space to design, market and test our product,” said Shimmerlik. “And being part of the startup community in Long Island City has been great—there are lots of companies getting off the ground like we are.” LaGuardia’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center (LaGuardia PTAC) assists technology firms in Queens by helping them get registered to do business with all levels of government, become certified, and locate technology contracts with the government. In addition, LaGuardia PTAC has helped technology firms get on GSA Schedule 70, which is a long-term contract for information technology with the Federal government, as well as other long-term contracts with the New York State Office of General Services and with New York City agencies that require information technology firms on retainer. “By supporting Queens’ businesses through NYDesigns, PTAC, specialized education to-employment programs, and other initiatives, we’re ensuring that companies in Queens will have job openings for our graduates,” said Francesca Fiore, LaGuardia’s Assistant Dean of Workforce Development for the Division of Adult & Continuing Education. “And we collaborate closely with tech industry leaders to ensure that the training we provide our students reflects what they’re looking for in potential hires.” LaGuardia’s tech training includes associate’s degree, certificate, and continuing education programs. Beginning in 2017, this training will be expanded thanks to two federal grants totaling an impressive $8 million towards programs that support low-income, minority youth getting on pathways to economically and professionally rewarding tech careers. A five-year, $4.1 million grant from the US Department of Education was awarded to LaGuardia to fund STEM-Connect, a program to strengthen STEM education in order to ensure that students are learning the latest tech languages and software that Queens tech companies tell us are important qualifications, to increase the number of Hispanic and low-income students pursuing degrees in STEM fields, and to build new pathways for LaGuardia graduates to transfer to four-year colleges. And a three-year $3.9 million grant from a White House and US Department of Labor initiative was awarded to LaGuardia for its TechIMPACT program, through which free tech training will be provided to at-risk and disadvantaged people ages 17 to 29. “As our tech boom continues, we’re finding ways to provide low cost or free training to make sure that these opportunities are open to people of all socioeconomic levels and diverse backgrounds,” said Seema Shah, LaGuardia’s director of planning for technology and innovation initiatives. “What’s good for Queens businesses is good for our students,” said Fiore. For more information about the above programs and to learn more about #LaGuardiaTech, please contact Linda M. Mellon, Executive Director, Business Services, LaGuardia Community College|CUNY at (718) 482-5367 or [email protected] lagcc.cuny.edu or Seema Shah at (718) 482-5090 or [email protected] lagcc.cuny.edu. LaGuardia Community College is part of the City University of New York. Visit laguardia.edu, and for LaGuardia news and more, follow them on Twitter: @LaGuardiaLIC.


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