The New York card consulting firm Philliou Selwanes Partners LLC has started a subsidiary that runs payments workshops for retailers.

Philliou Selwanes Partners announced the creation of Payments Deep Dive Inc. on Tuesday. Philip J. Philliou, a former executive at MasterCard Inc. and American Express Co. and a partner in the firm, said that Payments Deep Dive was capitalized in December and started developing workshops then. (He would not disclose how much he and his partner contributed to it.)

"As a payments guy, helping on the merchant side is going to be quite interesting," he said in an interview Wednesday. "We have a really good opportunity to educate the merchant community on the thinking of the financial services community. … Hopefully we can take some of the traditional tension and misunderstanding out of the financial services versus retailer relationship, whether the issues are interchange or PCI compliance" or anything else. "There's a bunch of them, and we look forward to addressing them head on."

Payments Deep Dive became a member of the National Retail Federation, the world's largest retail trade association, last month. On Tuesday the unit unveiled a Best Practices in Prepaid Cards for Retailers workshop, which was developed with input from MasterCard to help retailers manage their reloadable prepaid and gift card programs.

"Payments Deep Dive is primarily about training on payments issues and best practices, and the audience is merchants and retailers, as well as banks," Philliou said. "We train retailers, we train merchants, and if it leads to consulting work for PSP, that's a great thing, but the business stands on its own."

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