Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ramping Up for Paybefore Awards

By Marilyn Bochicchio, Paybefore CEO

The run up to Paybefore Awards is the most exciting time on the Paybefore calendar, because it’s when we receive nominations from organizations all over the world telling us about the amazing prepaid programs they’ve launched to solve real-world payments problems and create new products and services that are valuable for consumers, businesses and governments.

This year, once again, our office was inundated with nominations. In fact, we received the most entries ever. The most popular categories—and, therefore, the most competitive—are Best B2C or B2E Prepaid Program, Best Consumer Value, Most Innovative and Best Non-U.S. Prepaid Program. The judges, who have just received their boxes of compiled nominations, will have their work cut out for them selecting the winners in these categories especially.

The judges are a very important part of the Paybefore Awards process and we ask them to dedicate significant time to evaluating nominations. This year we actually have two groups of judges. One group will consider the “category” awards. The other group—comprised of past Paybefore Awards Industry Achievement winners—will select the next Industry Achievement winner or winners. I think it’s especially exciting that past winners will have the full responsibility of selecting the next person (or persons) to receive this coveted title.

What are the surprises in this year’s nominations? Once again (so maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise) is the number of countries represented in the Paybefore Awards nominations: India, Turkey, Canada, Germany, Venezuela, Poland—to name a few. And, also, this year I’m sensing a particularly high level of energy and inventiveness in the nominations. I’m quite excited about digging into my own two boxes (yes, two large boxes) of documents and getting a better appreciation of the thought and care that has gone into the nominated programs.

Paybefore will announce 51 Paybefore Awards winners (three each in 17 categories) in Paybefore Update in January. But, you’ll have to join us at the Paybefore Awards ceremony and celebration on March 7 at Prepaid Expo USA in Orlando if you want to be among the first to know the programs selected Best in Category and the winners of the prestigious Industry Achievement award.

I hope you’ll join us there to celebrate your own successes in prepaid as well as those of your colleagues!

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