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2 Posts authored by: katharine.unsworth

It’s a rare pleasure when you can work together as a team to solve a problem. It takes more than understanding the problem, it takes the ability to recognize the strengths of others, create measurable milestones, and the ability to work together. Collaboration is a word we hear often. The challenge of working with people and their expansive diversity is one that we overcome daily, which emphasizes the importance of team buildings. It’s not always easy deciding or being creative in how a team can bond outside of our daily roles. The escape room experience was by far the best teambuilding experience I have been able to participate in. Escape rooms were created 10 years ago and have grown incredibly in their popularity over the years and in their use for team building exercises. Their purpose, simple, put together the clues and puzzles of a problem to escape a room within the allocated time. It puts people in intense, problem solving situations that brings out a different side. We all react differently and process differently. Ultimately the goal of any team is to recognize those skills and strengths and use them together. An escape rooms does this very thing with a bonding and incredible sense of accomplishment once you escape. Even if you don’t escape it’s a fun learning opportunity that compares to nothing else I’ve experienced before.

 

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In my recent team building experience I was able to see first-hand how my team worked together, the quirks and limitations we overcame, and how we bonded after we solved the puzzle. Every mind tackles a problem differently.
When we first entered the room and were told “go” (cuffed with a partner I might add) we all went in different directions. Looking under items, scouring the walls, and brainstorming what our next steps should be. The first 30 minutes we quickly uncovered the little clues and tried to make sense of our predicament. We listened to various ideas. Patiently worked with our cuffed partner as we decided where we should look next. In some instances we got to experience fluid thoughts as two people anticipated the move of their cuffed partner and others who struggled with the jerking awkwardness of being cuffed to another person. Once we figured out how to move forward in the puzzle things really picked up. We un-cuffed and dispersed like worker bees. Scattering and then focusing our attention to the goal. We tore through belongings and turned over every item we could find, we were practically yelling in excitement whenever we found something. We began putting together different pieces and clues that would lead us to another puzzle. It didn’t take long for everyone to work together and focus our attention on the different puzzles. We naturally organized ourselves into varying small group, which emphasized our individual strengths. Some members of our team would focus on organizing our various clues and attempting to relate what we found to the end goal. While the rest of us put our heads together to find the remaining clues to solve the puzzles and riddles. We bounced ideas back and forth until the light would click. We had to be patient with each other and thoroughly listen to ideas. We found clues as a team and when we would discover an answer it was an exhilarating accomplishment.

 

It’s easy to come to a quick conclusion and set our minds on how something should be done. It’s very difficult to admit one is wrong, which is such an incredible strength. We learn from our mistakes and grow from how we can improve and overcome the situation. In the escape room we were able to recognize everyone’s strengths and learn from their mistakes. I’m fortunate to work in a team where everyone was able to be open to new ideas, try different techniques, objectively improve our focus, multi-task, and put our brains together in order to solve a problem. I was able to witness the diverse smart minds of my team and how we have learned to put those thoughts together. The escape room allowed me to witness this but more importantly offers a unique learning opportunity. Seeing how one reacts in these situations brings serious emphasis on our everyday characters. In an hour people get to learn so much about another person, how their mind handles intense problems, and how they react to pressure/stress. It is insightful and a thrill I can’t describe when you complete the task. I’ll definitely be back to another escape room soon!

 

-Thank you Conundrum Escape Rooms (Durango, Co)

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Pioneers of EMV

Posted by katharine.unsworth Aug 23, 2016

EMV – It’s been the buzz word for the last two years as integrators work on updating their POS to support the new form of payment to protect their merchants. It’s been a constant game of ‘hurry up and wait’ from the moment the liability shift was announced. Merchants waiting on their ISVs (Independent Software Vendor). ISVs waiting for the integrations they need to be available. Processors waiting on card brand certification to be completed.

 

When I first joined the credit card industry all I knew was that Vantiv processed credit cards, as vague of a term as saying a doctor helps people. It’s a very complex process with many parties involved. At Vantiv we have done everything to offer solutions to our partner as soon as they are certified and simplify the process. From initial beta to initial releases, we have continuously improved our solutions to add more features and functionality to meet the diverse needs of our partners. It never fails to amaze me how many unique ideas our ISVs have and the intense processes they go through to not only design a unique POS system but to also accept credit card payments. One of the greatest confusion is the platform offerings.


Like any great innovation and change it has been a process of building up our platforms, functionality, and capabilities. With each new release we push to offer more EMV compatible devices, more integration options, and more EMV functionality.

 

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From starting off with a single EMV device we have been able to expand our most popular Datacap integration to support over 5 different devices, which keeps expanding! We also have been able to offer a cloud based EMV solution with TranCloud that will continue to expand in order to offer additional hardware providers to meet our partners various device needs. This is just the beginning of a continuous advancing industry and integration options. The amount of work required from our partners and ISVs is astounding. They have gone through certification process, EMV receipt reviews, and Beta phases to test new releases. They have been the pioneers of EMV!

 

I tip my hat to our partners. They have worked with us as we have overcome restrictions and patiently gone through each sanity check as we add new functionality and devices. Still, it is ultimately the customers that
have overcome the most confusion. This first year has been quite a relearning process. We have had to coach our ISVs so that their merchants can offer the best experience to their customers. At Vantiv our TechLift team is here to not
only help integrate to our solutions we are here to help improve the support our ISVs customers, simplify their installation practices, review documentation to offer improvements, and help educate as we continuously evolve in this ever changing and advancing industry.