NRF has been both a leading and trailing indicator of the retail industry. Attendance typically is a lagging indicator as this is usually a direct reflection of the previous year’s store sales and revenue obtainment. New technology, and, for our primary interest, new payment trends, has always been a leading indicator. The 2019 Big Show was no different. Merchants continue to look for new and creative ways to interact with their customers. Those solutions that provide fast and efficient service, and knowledge about the customer and their buying habits, are always in demand. However, these needs are forcing payment solution providers like Merchant Link to rethink how we service and take payments for those merchants that are quickly moving away from traditional cash wrap environments.
The maturation of tablet and “pin on glass” offerings is driving a disruption in the traditional POS workstation/PIN Pad configuration deployments that have been the mainstay for both MSR and EMV. The constraints that EMV certification issues created that limited the deployment of these new payment devices seems to have been resolved and we will continue to see these devices deployed into new and existing POS environments. This is a big change, where the traditional PIN pad manufacturers seem to have been slow on the market awareness of what customers have and will be looking for in payment devices. Merchant Link is engaged for our customers and we expect we will be making announcements soon regarding our tablet/pin on glass strategy.
Industry consolidations are always a big discussion at NRF and this year was no exception. The announcement regarding the acquisition of First Data by Fiserv, although at the end of NRF, will certainly have a big impact on the industry and will be a topic for NRF 2020. Consolidations across the industry probably will continue, but, based upon what we saw this year at NRF, Merchant Link is well positioned to serve the retail environment with both our cloud based gateway and security solutions. Thank you to everyone who stopped by the Merchant Link booth this year and we look forward to seeing you next year in New York.