ORLANDO, Fla. -- Eddie Myers, who just finished his term as Electronic Transactions Association president, has learned some things during his years in the payments industry and he shared a few of them here today.

In his keynote speech at the Southeast Acquirers Association annual conference, Myers, PayPros president and chief operating officer, advised attendees to make themselves valuable instead of seeking success.

Instead of job descriptions, the industry should have “value descriptions” that emphasize the quest to understand and supply value to customers.

He quoted a 1986 article that touted the value of vigor and nimbleness and said those qualities still count.

But the world has changed, too, and the payments industry should embrace technology in the form of mobile payment and big data.

“Our merchants can now engage consumers from ‘desire to acquire,’ “ he said, meaning that social media can alert retailers as soon as a potential customer begins thinking about a purchase.

He quoted a PayPal Inc. executive who said the capability now exists to compile 2.1 million columns of data on a single customer.

In that kind of high tech world, acquirers should become part of what’s changing instead of relying on the hustle that used to get them through the day, Myers says.

He also emphasizes that business is personal. Decisions made to benefit employees during hard times, such as free health care, have proven themselves great business decisions, he maintains.

Admitting he loves clichés, Myers offered two, the first a quotation from Winston Churchill and the second attributed to Will Rogers.

“If you’re going through hell, it’s better to keep walking,” Churchill said.

“When you find yourself in a hole, quit digging,” Rogers advised.

Winding up his talk with a video, Myers emphasized the power of religious faith and advised regarding each day as though it were the first and last of a lifetime.

 

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