What’s in a Name? Everything... | NACS – Magazine – Past Issues – 2014 – May 2014
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What’s in a Name? Everything...

Technology is everywhere in our society and viewed as a tool to optimize our existence. When I watch my kids use their smartphones or tablets, there is no thought in their minds about how the “magic” happens, because the technology is no longer magic (much like TV was to me at their age).

The fact that we take technology for granted is a sign of progress. It indicates a turning point: Technology has become more about the ideas of democratization and ubiquity than technical bits and bytes. But make no mistake, there are still serious people continuing to work to make the magic more commonplace.

Democratization of technology is now the challenge, as right-of-way market powers attempt to exert control over data flow, as legal aspects of data security become debate in Washington and as card brands fight to preserve market share. In all of these non-technical conflicts, the power of specification of technology is used as a weapon to carve out markets, costs and profits. Never has the power of open, transparent standards been so critical to innovation and economic freedom.

In 2009, PCATS assumed two new challenges (in addition to its core mission of creating data inter- change standards and connecting the industry’s smartest technologists): advocating for open standards and making our market attractive to innovative technology. Our aging four-year-old initiatives on the future of card payments and data security have emerged as a burning industry platform in the wake of the Target breach. We have attracted some of the world’s best innovators, such as Qualcomm and MCX, to join us in preparing the industry for the revolution in mobile commerce. Our industry is on the forefront of progress and is not an afterthought.

This progress of PCATS laid bare a glaring problem: the PCATS brand. While serving us well the past 10 years, the brand no longer encompassed the breadth of what we do or how essential we are to the industry. PCATS leadership undertook a nine-month project to understand our mission, the consumers of that mission (everyone in our industry it turns out, not just IT folks) and our role in shaping the future.

At the PCATS Annual Conference in Tucson this month, we unveiled our new name — Conexxus — and began the important task of conveying our new brand. We connect people, industries and systems, being the nexus of thought leadership on future technology and related policy.

Our mission touches every discipline in our retail segment, because technology is not just about the magic anymore. What’s in our name is everything we do and everything we aspire to do: Conexxus.

 

Gray Taylor
Executive Director, Conexxus