The sixteenth annual POS Today conference attracted fewer than 300, about 10 of whom were representing merchants. Of the 40 or so bankers in attendance, only two were from banks that issue cards.

Conference chairman Stephen S. Cole of Cash Station Inc. lamented those low numbers during a session on pricing strategies, pointing out that issuers and merchants are two key groups in setting point of sale? and pos systems pricing.

While POS debit has its faults, “it’s a whole lot better than other payment systems I’ve seen.”

“The more plastics you carry in your wallet, the happier you are,” he said.

Exhibitors also expressed disappointment at the low turnout, a 25% drop from last year.

Nearly all the exhibitors complained that they were spending more time talking to each other than to potential clients.

One vendor suggested that POS Today is completely indistinguishable from another Faulkner & Gray conference, Debit Card Forum. He suggested that the two conferences merge, “to eliminate the redundancies, you know, just like the banks are doing.”

Rumors about a merger between BankAmerica Corp.