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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

1-click checkout now out of Amazon's control

A mazon Inc.'s 1-click purchase patent expired Sept. 11, 2017, following a successful, 20-year run. Awarded in 1997, when Amazon was selling books online, it enabled consumers to purchase items with a single click, using stored billing, shipping and payment credentials. Retail analysts say the 1-click concept revolutionized online retail and boosted ecommerce spending. Casey Gannon, Vice President of Marketing at Shopgate Inc., expects to see 1-click checkouts broadly implemented across the retail ecosystem in the wake of the patent's expiration.

"With the expiration of Amazon's 1-click buying patent, retailers are left with a significant opportunity to leverage similar technologies, a functionality that can help reduce cart abandonment," Gannon noted. "For mobile users in particular, cart abandonment is one of the most prevalent challenges retailers face."

Miya Knight, Global Retail Technology Director at PlanetRetail RNB, stated, "While shipping, taxes and delivery impact conversion online, shopping cart abandonment costs retailers millions in lost revenue. Therefore, anything that can reduce friction at the point of checkout should be prioritized by retailers." Knight further noted the 1-click patent gave Amazon a competitive advantage; like Gannon, she expects to see competitors implement similar 1-click ordering schemes.

Consumer brand optimization

In addition to speeding checkouts and improving online conversion rates with 1-click ordering, Amazon built a global marketplace that provides consumer brands and retailers with actionable metrics and consumer data. Salt Lake City-based One Click Retail helps leading consumer brands leverage Amazon's advanced algorithms to increase sales through targeted campaigns.

The company expanded on Amazon's marketing principles in a report titled 4 Ps of a successful holiday eCommerce plan: Products, Price, Promotions and Placement, published Sept. 11, 2017. Following are several highlights from the research:

1-click mobile payments

The Amazon Mobile Payments Service launched 1-click mobile payments in October 2009, with a branded mobile app for Apple, Android and Windows mobile devices, along with an application programming interface library for mobile app developers. The solution was designed to provide the same peace of mind and convenience as the Amazon.com online shopping experience to tens of millions of Amazon.com customers, the company stated.

"We're pleased to make it easier for our Amazon Payments developers and merchants to extend mobile payment options and the ease of 1-Click checkout to their customers," said Howard Gefen, Director of Amazon Mobile Payments in an Oct. 5, 2009, statement. "Amazon customers can now also make purchases on third party sites without needing to set up separate payment accounts—they simply use the payment information in their existing Amazon accounts."

Gannon expects more ecommerce merchants to offer 1-click checkout options on the mobile web. "Timeliness is the single most vital aspect of the decision-making process, and mobile retailers should adopt one-click checkout processes, as well as leverage deep links, social login, and other streamlined payment options to most effectively capture the mobile user in the right moment – the exact moment they're browsing," she said.


Four women in payments receive 2017 Wnet Awards
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

W omen's Network in Electronic Transactions (Wnet) just revealed the 2017 Wnet Awards winners. The organization was founded in 2005 to inspire and empower women in the payments industry. The annual awards recognize volunteers who are doing outstanding work to help further those goals.

"Wnet is proud of the accomplishments of all of our members, said Gloria Colgan, Wnet President and President of Velco Payments. "We also rely in the volunteerism of our members to keep Wnet on the cutting edge of providing real member value. We are grateful for the contributions of this year’s award winners."

And the winners are

This year, four women were recognized, as follows:

"Volunteers are the lifeblood of Wnet, and we are all made stronger by the contributions of time and talent of Dawn, Christina, Megan and Theresa, as well as many other Wnet members," said Lisl Cutterer, Wnet’s Executive Director.

For more information about Wnet, please visit http://wnetonline.org.


Google takes mobile payments to India
Monday, September 18, 2017

G oogle just launched a new digital payments app in India. On Sept. 18, 2017, the search engine giant released an app called Tez for downloading to Android and Apple mobile devices. "Tez" is also a Hindi word meaning fast.

The Tez app is a free download that supports person-to-person (P2P) as well as POS transactions. It leverages the Unified Payments Interface, a government-backed platform supporting ecommerce and interbank transfers that links most of the nation's banks. Google said it also plans to offer credit and debit card acceptance via Tez, although it's not clear when. The Tez app is being made available in seven Indian languages as well as in English.

"Tez works with all major Indian banks and with a vast majority of smartphones, so you can pay or get paid by almost anyone," Google said when introducing the app for the Indian market. And to sweeten the pot for merchants, Google said it will forego fees on monthly Tez transactions totaling up to 50,000 Indian Rupees (about $780).

A highly receptive market

Mobile payments have found a welcome market in India, where just a few years ago over 80 percent of the population was unbanked. Credit card penetration is meager in India and many businesses are cash only.

However, Google estimates that at least 300 million people in the nation can now access the Internet using mobile phones, and it expects that number will more than double by 2020. Boston Consulting Group projects digital payments will reach $500 billion in India by 2020, contributing 15 percent to the nation's gross domestic product. The consultancy also expects noncash transactions to exceed cash payments by 2023.

The Indian government has taken several steps in recent years to encourage adoption of digital payments. In addition to developing the Unified Payments Interface with National Payments Corporation of India, which facilitates the instant fund transfer between two bank accounts on the mobile platform and is regulated by the Reserve Bank of India, the government banned high-value currency (reportedly representing 86 percent of currency in circulation) in 2016. This effectively compelled consumers to adopt digital wallets and card payments.

The Indian Ministry of Electronics and IT said it expects the infrastructure for digital payments to grow nearly threefold this year to include almost 5 million electronic POS devices.

Significant competition

But Google is entering a crowded field of mobile payment providers in India that includes several U.S. competitors, and Paytm, a mobile payment firm backed by China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., which recently received regulatory approval to open a digital bank targeting the nation's unbanked and underbanked populations. Paytm reported that 100 million Indian consumers have downloaded its mobile wallet.

Unlike with Paytm, there's no requirement to add funds to the Tez mobile app before using; instead it links to users' bank accounts.

MoneyOnMobile Inc., formerly Calpian Inc., a Dallas-based payment processing firm, has been operating a mobile payment network in India since 2012 that allows consumers to initiate payments using SMS text messaging. Harold Montgomery, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at MOM, said in an interview in February 2017 that MOM was being used at 325,000 merchant locations throughout India.

Mastercard and Visa also have been working with the Reserve Bank of India and several local banks on a national, interoperable mobile solution using Quick Response (QR) code technology. Tez features a new type of QR technology, Audio QR, which Google said is a proprietary technology that effects P2P payments into and out of bank accounts by transmitting ultra-sonic codes between devices.


Trustonic receives FIPS 140-2 certification
Friday, September 15, 2017

T he National Institute of Standards and Technology certified Trustonic's cryptographic library Sept. 11, 2017, verifying that Trustonic hardware and software modules comply with Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2. The certification further validates the rigorous security and best practices used in Trustonic's app development platform, according to company representatives. George Kanuck, Trustonic Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, said the certification will help protect increasingly diverse government ecosystems.

"As BYOD initiatives expand, devices such as smartphones and tablets are being used to access and share government information," he stated. "Keeping this data secure presents challenges, especially if employees are able to use their own devices. Now, service providers using Trustonic's FIPS-certified crypto library can be sure that their apps are protected by the highest levels of hardware security. This enables them to work with government agencies and organizations, whose security requirements are, necessarily, strict."

Evolving compliance standards

NIST was established in 1901 and is a measurement standards agency and division of the U.S. Dept. of Commerce. NIST introduced the FIPS 140-2 standard in November 2001. It specifies how to collect, store, transfer, share and disseminate sensitive information. During the FIPS 140-2 certification process, cryptographic devices and software are rated in 11 design and performance criteria. "For each area, a cryptographic module receives a security level rating (1 ‒ 4, from lowest to highest) depending on what requirements are met," NIST noted. Each individual rating and an overall rating is then included in the validation certificate.

A cryptographic module's overall rating is not always the most important rating, the NIST website stated. "The rating of an individual area may be more important than the overall rating, depending on the environment in which the cryptographic module will be implemented (this includes understanding what risks the cryptographic module is intended to address)," the authors wrote.

Trusted Execution Environment

Trustonic's trusted execution environment (TEE) is a two-pronged security technology designed to protect against unauthorized access to software by separating trusted applications from normal device operating systems. A Root of Trust, embedded in devices, authenticates a trusted device and enables it to enter a network. Once in the network, the device will operate in a TEE where it can securely process and store data, while managing an array of peripherals to further protect against fraudulent use. Trustonic representatives said its TEE is currently installed in more than a billion devices worldwide.

"If you have ever used a payment method on your phone, the TEE enables the transaction to take place in a secure area," Kanuck said. "Third-party apps, like secure messaging, can be provisioned after the handset or device has been deployed, which means that they, too, can benefit from secure isolation. This certification demonstrates our commitment to ensuring the highest levels of security for governments and enterprises across all devices and services."

Trustonic, established in 2012, is a strategic partnership between ARM Ltd. and Gemalto designed to protect, enrich and simplify digital lives by improving security on connected devices, services and applications. Trustonic noted that its hardware modules are used by Samsung, vivo, OPPO, Xiaomi, LG, Meizu and Gionee, and its underpinning technologies are part of Samsung Knox, Samsung Pay, Alipay and Symantec VIP processing platforms.


Bank of Ireland, WorldFirst deliver world payments to U.S. SMBs
Thursday, September 14, 2017

A s more small and midsize U.S. businesses enter global markets, the search for cost-effective international payments is a pivotal concern. Through an alliance between international money transfer and exchange services provider WorldFirst USA Inc. and Bank of Ireland Global Markets, a new service has been created that allows U.S. businesses to make fast, secure international payments without the transfer fees that are typically assessed.

"Our research has clearly shown that U.S.-based companies have a strong appetite for a fast, secure, easy and efficient alternative to their traditional solution for international payments," said Darsh Mariyappa, Head of Bank of Ireland Global Markets U.S. "Bank of Ireland's new service with WorldFirst will ensure that business customers have access to a seamless interface that offers great rates, no transfer fees and is powered by a platform that customers can trust."

International payments expert Caroline Hometh, Managing Director for Rocketpay Group, acknowledged the importance of global collaboration in payments innovation. "Market research conducted by the Rocketpay Group confirms that improving the ease and speed of payments by leveraging a foreign exchange solution will further increase already significant growth of cross-border payments," she said.

Simple to use

The new Bank of Ireland Global Payments service delivers a three-step process for making international funds transfers online, over the phone or by smartphone. To execute a regular money transfer, once an account is set up, business customers can book a rate as quoted, send a specified amount to WorldFirst by domestic wire transfer or ACH direct debit, at which point WorldFirst will transfer funds to a designated recipient account.

WorldFirst has successfully exchanged more than $67 billion for more than 130,000 businesses and individuals since 2004, according to the company. "This partnership represents a great example of traditional banks innovating to meet their clients' needs by working with FinTech companies," said Alex Arnold, Global Head of Partnerships for WorldFirst. "The FinTech sector has improved the opportunities available to U.S SMEs."

The online product range will include spot contracts, bulk payments, regular transfers and forward contracts. According to Bank of Ireland Global Markets, the services is expected to save business clients anywhere from .25 percent to 4 percent on exchange rates for amounts being transferred. Bank of Ireland has been in existence since 1783. For more information, visit www.boiglobalpayments.com.


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