In the payments industry, it can often seem like there is a new innovation every hour of every day.

It’s an exciting time, as companies in the space are pushing one another to achieve more and create game-changing products as a constant stream of new players enters the market. But the pace also requires help from expert partners who can make sense of how the innovation can aid strategy.

Technology alone isn’t enough to win in today’s marketplace. CAN Capital surveyed 101 payments professionals at the most recent Money20/20 Conference, and found that when companies are looking for partnerships to expand their offerings and increase growth, expertise trumps the latest technology.

Of those surveyed, 41% cited industry expertise as their top priority when evaluating a business partnership. Only 23% cited the latest technology as the most important factor.

In such a rapidly growing industry, it is no great surprise that firms want to make sure that the new kids on the block have the knowledge to back up their latest API or widget, particularly as security and changing consumer buying habits become top of mind for clients.

Looking to get insight on how security and data breaches are viewed among our peers, we asked the respondents to rank different types of payment transactions from most to least secure.

The results found that over half (51%) of the surveyed professionals in the payments and alternative finance space believe debit and credit card transactions at the point of sale are the least secure method of payment, as compared to using a debit or credit card through a mobile payment platform or making an online payment via a processor like PayPal or Square.

Another area where companies are looking for guidance is in managing the increasing prevalence of e-commerce and online and mobile shopping. Fifty-eight percent of survey respondents identified this trend as having the largest impact on the spending habits of today’s retail consumers.

Over the past year, the payments and alternative finance space has seen incredible innovations and rapid industry advancements that will likely only continue through 2015.

While technology can make many processes more efficient, it can never be a substitute for investing time in developing deep customer relationships and expertise and truly understanding the needs and concerns that drive their success.

James Mendelsohn is Chief Marketing Officer at CAN Capital.