You Know You've Been Part of the Payments Industry Too Long When...

You Know You've Been Part of the Payments Industry Too Long When...

You Know You've Been Part of the Payments Industry Too Long When...

Erin M. Sarris

Erin M. Sarris

Erin M. Sarris is the managing editor of n>genuity journal. With more than 10 years of experience in payments, she oversees all aspects of the publication to ensure it covers a variety of topics related to financial services.

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As part of the most important niche industry most consumers rarely think about, payments professionals have a unique place in the world. Compared with other high-tech industries, the average tenure feels longer, the enthusiasm higher, the geekiness, well, geekier. The end result? A unique cohort of passionate and dedicated people who have been around a long time and seen the industry evolve more with each year.

We asked friends of ngenuity, including past authors, our editorial board, TSYS executives and team members, how they know they’ve been a part of the payments industry for quite a long time.

What's your take? Tweet us at @TSYS_TSS to share your own prediction.

Icon of a martini glass with dollar signs coming out of the top

"You enjoy explaining interchange at cocktail parties."
Philip McHugh, president, merchant solutions, TSYS

"Well, let's see — my hair is gray and I’m older than 40? In all seriousness, it does make me feel like a more 'seasoned' payments executive sometimes in this new world of 20-and 30-something leaders. I guess the nice part is that people have started asking me for advice and they actually listen to my journey — good and bad."
Kelley Knutson, president, Netspend

"You still hear the sound of the click-clack machine when you check out."
Gaylon Jowers, president, issuer solutions, TSYS

"When I'm watching TV, I notice what kind of POS system is in a particular commercial, and comment on when it was released. Or when a merchant's POS device runs out of paper, I help them put in the replacement."
Lori Breitzke, founder, E&S Consulting

"You're the one convincing the cashier that they accept mobile payments."
Jonathan O'Connor, communications manager, Auriemma Consulting Group

"Someone mentions having used Apple Pay and you immediately derail the conversation to interrogate them at length on why they use it, where they use it, and how they like the experience."
Sam Murrant, senior analyst, consumer payments, GlobalData

"Even your grandmother asks for a favor. Upon learning that my company processes payments for her credit card issuer, my grandmother asked me to use my influence to get her APR lowered. Though I risked being disinherited, I respectfully declined."
Morgan Beard, director of integrated sales campaigns, TSYS

"You use a different card to pay for something based on how well the experience as a customer has been. If I am a big fan, I'll pay in cash or use a debit card. If it's been a bad experience, I use the card that has the highest interchange rate. That interchange hike is my passive aggressive voice of the customer."
Roman Trebon, vice president, customer experience, TSYS

Icon of a waiter with a question mark over his head

"When your family asks you, 'When we are at dinner, why do you always ask servers if they like their point of sale equipment and if they know what software they use?'"
Jared Drieling, senior director of business intelligence, The Strawhecker Group

"You inspect every POS device when shopping to determine who the merchant processes with."
Daryl Seaman, senior vice president, TSYS

"It's been 10 years since you created your first slide on mobile payments, so when it's finally a possibility you pay with your mobile phone three times in a row in as many shops out of sheer excitement."
Luca Gagliardi, senior principal, Accenture Research

"As you stand at the checkout and swipe your card, you envision in your mind the hop, skips and jumps the authorization is making on its journey in seconds to send you your approval back. And sometimes you actually start to make a song out of it."
Patsy Roberts, senior vice president, applications system development, TSYS

"You offer to help the store manager maximize the potential of their POS terminals. Also, you find yourself counting the time it takes to approve your transaction."
Scott Talbott, senior vice president, government relations, Electronic Transaction Association

Icon of a wallet open with two credit cards sticking out of the top

"When you are traveling with your industry colleagues and you play the game 'What's Top In Your Wallet?'"
Russell Moore, innovation director, TSYS

"You no longer feel compelled to ask your kids how to do mobile payments because they still don't matter."
Steve Mott, principal, Better Buy Design

"You remember when the Flying V symbol embossed character came out."
Malek Mroueh, regional head, Asia, Middle East & Africa, TSYS PRIME

"You take selfies with payment systems you've not seen before, such as ones with QR-codes."
Chris Skinner, author and blogger

"You easily can find your way around places like Columbus, Omaha, Alpharetta and Tempe without using Google Maps."
Henry Helgeson, president, Cayan

Icon of a golf club head and golf ball with a "no" symbol over the top

"You see the name T. Woods and associate it with Troy Woods (TSYS CEO) as opposed to Tiger. A few years ago, I was talking to [Money20/20 founder] Anil Aggarwal while there was a golf tournament going on in the background. We saw on the TV that 'T. Woods' was in the lead. We said, 'You know you're in payments when you see that screen and think, 'I didn't realize that Troy Woods was such a great golfer!'"
Sanjib Kalita, chief marketing officer, Money 20/20

The statements and opinions of the writer do not necessarily reflect those of TSYS.

Other Articles by Erin

Erin M. Sarris

Erin M. Sarris is the managing editor of n>genuity journal. With more than 10 years of experience in payments, she oversees all aspects of the publication to ensure it covers a variety of topics related to financial services, including mobile, B2B and emerging technology.

Erin has written for publications of The Chicago Tribune, RedEye and Metromix.com, as well as The Washington Post's Retirement Living, TV Guide, Washington Spaces, Columbus Valley Parent and The Peoria Journal Star. She graduated from Bradley University with a bachelor of science in political science and communication, and from Columbus State University with a master’s in business administration.

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