Slideshow 7 Key Ideas from 2016's Card Forum and Expo

  • April 15 2016, 12:25pm EDT
8 Images Total

Experts from across the payments industry gathered in Los Angeles for SourceMedia's annual Card Forum and Expo. Here are some of the biggest ideas discussed at this year's event.

Diversity Is a Business Issue

Women do 70% of the shopping in the U.S. and in aggregate generate half of the country's income. To properly serve this market, women must also be represented in a company's top ranks. "To, frankly, not be in touch with what women experience … is just foolish from a technology perspective," said Leslie McNamara, EVP at Citi Retail Services, during the conference's Women in Payments symposium.

Content Continues Below

Clearing a Career Path

Having women in leadership isn't enough; there has to be a path to those positions from the lower ranks, especially if the company has a culture of promoting from within. TMG CEO Shazia Manus discussed the importance of finding and addressing these "dead ends" in womens' career paths.

Issuers and E-Commerce Security

MasterCard Identity Check - aka "Selfie Pay" - is a way to improve e-commerce security without asking the merchant to do anything different. Instead, it asks issuers that use SecureCode to replace password authentication with a biometric. "You get to add security without adding inconvenience," said Brian Ziff-Levine, director of cards and payments for First Tech Federal Credit Union, which recently completed a pilot of the technology.

Timing Is Everything

EMV chip-card transactions don't take any longer to process than magstripe transactions do, but there is a perception of lengthiness based on the amount of time that the card is left in the reader. Visa plans to address this with a new process. "There's a way to put the card in, have it generate the cryptogram and pull the card out," said Stephanie Ericksen, Visa's VP of risk products.

Content Continues Below

Chase and Choice

Should a mobile wallet carry a bank's brand or a merchant's brand? JPMorgan Chase has chosen not to choose - instead, it is designing Chase Pay to function as a standalone app or as a "buy button" in merchant apps. The choice of which method to use is left to the consumer, said Kimberly Fitzsimmons, U.S. market president for Chase Merchant Services.


Through the growing use of application program interfaces (APIs), "what role the banks play and what role the tech giants play, it's going to become less binary," said Michelle Bonner Techel, SVP of consumer financial solutions at Wells Fargo. "Even Apple and Google, they have places where they're direct competitors and places where they're collaborators."

The Biggest Paycheck

Amex and Jackson Hewitt teamed up this year to urge underbanked taxpayers to get their refunds on an Amex Serve prepaid card, but putting a product out there isn't enough. This market relies on its annual refund to pay off creditors, so it needs a system that can provide fast funds without unintentionally flagging this large one-time deposit as fraud, said Rebecca Ahlers, managing director at CFSI.