Joe Kaplan, former president of the Electronic Transactions Association and most recently CEO of Paya, died unexpectedly on July 26.

Kaplan serviced on the ETA's board of directors from 2000 to 2008, and as its president from 2006 to 2007. He had rejoined the board as an advisor in 2014.

Joe Kaplan
Joe Kaplan

“We are shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Joe Kaplan," said ETA CEO Jason Oxman. "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 an ETA board meeting, Oxman said Kaplan 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," Oxman added. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all in the payments industry who mourn his passing.”

Kaplan, who began his career in 1994 when he founded Superior Bankcard Service, was named CEO of Total Merchant Services in 2012. He also was the founder and CEO of Innovative Merchant Solutions and Innovative Gateway Solutions, companies he eventually sold to Intuit in 2003.

His role as CEO of Paya began in late 2017, when he was hired as Sage Payments was acquired by private equity firm GTCR and pulled out of the Sage Group. GTCR hired Kaplan shortly after the acquisition.