After strong encouragement (read blackmail) by my marketing department, I decided to start blogging. I thought I would start by giving you all some background on me, and what I work on. I have worked in payments for over a decade, all with Vantiv. I have seen a lot of change, both in the industry as well as in the company. I spent the last 2 years of my career working on one of those big changes, the EMV migration. The movement from mag stripe to chip was like nothing I had ever seen in the industry, as it impacted all stakeholders in a very vast and diverse payments ecosystem. Less than a year after the liability shift we have more chip cards in the US than any other country in the world. We have over 1.3M EMV merchant acceptance locations in this country. This is all great progress, but we have a long way to go.
I said from the beginning that my job as an EMV product guy was to manage myself out of a job. EMV is a feature of a product, it is not a product in and of itself. My role was always to make sure that our product team, and organization for that matter, get EMV to become BAU. EMV acceptance needs to be a roadmap item (a very critical one) on every product manager's roadmap in the payments industry. I think we have gotten there, so now I get to go work on some cool new fun stuff.
My new fun stuff is our gaming and entertainment vertical. Vantiv Entertainment Solutions was founded in 2009. We are focused on how we enable and provide electronic payments acceptance solutions to various gaming segments including lottery, regulated iGaming, land-based casino, entertainment venue, and advanced deposit wagering. These gaming segments represent over $1 trillion in payments volumes, which are all largely still done with cash. We see a huge opportunity to work with the card brands and regulators to convert cash to card-based payments, all while providing a safer, more secure, and highly regulated transaction. Just like with EMV, the US is one of the last countries to really look at regulated gaming as a payments and economic opportunity. So much of this actively is done unregulated and illegally today. If we can get our arms around it, and put the right frameworks in place, gaming will become a key driver of Vantiv's future success for many years to come. I am very excited to be a part of it!