The STS team braved the icy cold weather of New York in January to exhibit at Retail's BIG Show, hosted by the National Retail Federation (NRF). Although North America was experiencing a down turn in the economy, which sadly reflected in attendees this year, it still achieved close to 17,000 registrants, with no less than 62 countries represented. This gave us the perfect opportunity to promote ourselves as the truly global solution provider that we are and to get the low down from our cousins across the Atlantic on their payment market.
Contactless seems to be winning the battle against EMV in the USA, with many of the banks actively trying to promote the use of contactless technology (not necessarily in the form of traditional cards) and being in a major city such as New York, we definitely saw plenty of places to use it.
However, many retailers don't want to just restrict themselves to the USA, as their neighbouring countries, Canada and Mexico, provide plenty of opportunities for them which cannot be ignored. Therefore, EMV and other payment trends start to come into play. This is the exact type of scenario that led us to develop G8way, we wanted to make it simple for these retailers to take any type of card payment, in any region without having to re-invest, re-train or find new suppliers in every area.
During our trip we also came across some interesting research, conducted across the North American region including many major retailers. This research indicated some very positive trends when it came to IT spend for retailers in this region. Although retail has not been performing as well as in previous years, they still intend to invest a significant amount of their budget in payment technology in order to improve customer experience, reduce ongoing costs and increase security with reference to PCI-DSS.
We certainly enjoyed our trip to North America and look forward to building on our existing successes there in the future.