The Electronic Transactions Association is remaining true to its original constituents in the acquiring business, even as it opens the doors to other types of companies, according to the trade group’s CEO.

“The industry today is much harder to place into specific categories, but the ETA at its core remains focused on the acquiring side of the industry versus the issuing side,” says CEO Jason Oxman.

While remaining an acquirers’ group, the association has signed up 60 new member companies in the last six months, many of them technology companies that are entering the payments field, growing the association’s membership by more than 10%, Oxman says.

The new members are involved with mobile payments, cloud computing and digital wallets, he notes, adding that a lot of those companies don’t work with merchants but instead provide services to other companies.

“There is a broadening of the types of companies that are participating in ETA, only because our industry is much broader than it used to be,” Oxman says. “It used to be easy to define the acquiring industry – companies that provide credit card processing services.”

Partly to accommodate some of the new members, the association recently held its first “ETA Day in Silicon Valley” in nearby San Francisco. More than a hundred industry executives heard speakers from Visa, VeriFone, Groupon, Glenbrook Partners and other companies.

The meeting also was convened with the goal of helping longer-term member companies establish relationships and explore business opportunities with the newer members, Oxman says.

“If you look at our membership, we have some great, classic payments industry companies that are headquartered in the area – Wells Fargo, Visa, PayPal, VeriFone – a lot of payments industry giants,” he notes.

Newer members, including Google, Clover and others are based in the San Francisco area, too, he says.

The meeting served as and a place to make deals in the interim remaining before the industry comes together in April at the association’s annual show, scheduled next year for New Orleans, Oxman says.

That annual show also is feeling the impact of the trade group’s prodigious recent growth, he continues. A mobile payments pavilion on the floor show was announced last week, and 80% of the space has sold. The association expects 3,000 attendees and has already signed up nearly 200 exhibitors, up from 170 booths a year ago.

“This is really the first ETA show since this broad new community of technology companies, including AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile, has had an opportunity to be together in one place to learn, to network, to exhibit and to do business,” Oxman notes.

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