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Breaking News articles for May 2014

Clipper card prevails, despite complaints

Friday, May 30, 2014

Recent reports from Bay Area news outlets have shined a spotlight on apparent problems with the contactless fare readers in San Francisco buses. The reports said several thousand transit riders have been fined since the summer of 2013 for not paying for rides when the problem may rest with the readers themselves. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency in charge of managing San Francisco's mass transit infrastructure said problems with the fare readers are minimal and that a small percentage of riders who lodge complaints actually prove their cases.

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CFSI launches SmallBizDev Hackathons

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

To help small businesses compete in the increasingly complex world of commerce, the Center for Financial Services Innovation is challenging mobile app developers to design small business-focused apps. Through SmallBizDev Hackathons, CFSI and its partner, the Doorways to Dreams Fund, will award $15,000 to app developers and offer the chance for winners to demo apps in front of technology and financial service experts.

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Game on, ISOs

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The challenging business of motivating sales teams to reach and surpass targeted goals is going digital through gamification strategies. With Gartner Inc. just releasing a book on the subject and more companies emerging to offer the service to sales offices, gamification is starting to show signs of going mainstream. For ISOs, gamification may prove to be the leaderboard replacement that motivates not just the top performers, but also entire sales teams to meet and exceed expectations. Gamification is defined as the process of using online game mechanics to encourage and reward competition. News coming from this software-as-a-service (SaaS) sector has been growing. In October 2013, gamification provider Badgeville said its third quarter 2013 revenue had doubled from the same time the previous year, with partnerships with IBM and Oracle adding to the bounty.

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Trustwave finds fraud diversifying

Friday, May 23, 2014

Organized fraud apparently mirrors the financial services industry closer than anyone cares to imagine, with an increasing emphasis on diversification. Data security firm Trustwave released its global security report that reveals fraudsters have diversified attacks and increasingly target troves of nonpayment card data. In the 2014 Trustwave Global Security Report released May 21, the Chicago-based firm reported a rise in the number of data breaches in 2013, compared with 2012, and a branching out of attacks to target sensitive and confidential information, such as financial account credentials, internal communications, personally identifiable information and various types of customer records.

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California senate to vote on statewide EMV mandate

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The California state senate is advancing a bill that would require California-based bankcard issuers and retailers to adopt Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) chip card technology. The bill, SB 1351, mandates April 1, 2016, as the date by which the processes of those two constituencies be able to support EMV-based transactions. The bill, sponsored by California State Senator Jerry Hill, D-13th District, and introduced in March 2014, passed out of committee on May 6 and may be voted on by the full senate as early as tomorrow, May 22.

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InComm builds platform for m-wallets

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Atlanta-based prepaid card distributor InComm launched a mobile wallet platform designed to facilitate prepaid card payments in-store. The InComm Mobile Platform leverages near field communication (NFC) technology and its trusted service manager solution to enable mobile contactless in-store payments involving virtual gift cards and other types of digital prepaid cards.

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Apple switches mPOS vendors

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

San Jose, Calif.-based POS terminal manufacturer VeriFone Systems Inc. confirmed that it had entered into an exclusive agreement with Apple Inc. to supply a near field communication (NFC) -capable "sleeve" for Apple's in-store mobile POS (mPOS) initiative. The deal can be seen as a win for a traditional payment player in the ultra competitive mPOS marketplace, as well as affirmation of NFC as a viable in-store payment solution. As reported in Forbes and other media outlets, Apple upgraded its EasyPay mPOS software for use on the iPhone 5s. In addition to the upgrade, Apple switched its sleeve manufacturer from Infinite Peripherals Inc. to VeriFone and was reportedly in the process of equipping its sales associates with the iPhone 5s. In U.S. Apple Stores, employees had been using the iPod touch with Infinite Peripherals' Linea Pro sleeve to accept electronic transactions.

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Vantiv goes vertical with Mercury

Friday, May 16, 2014

Top ten merchant acquirer Vantiv Inc. agreed to acquire Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) payment provider Mercury Payment Systems LLC for $1.65 billion. The acquisition is evidence of a growing trend in the merchant services space of merchants abandoning traditional POS systems for vertically integrated, big data driven solutions. For ISOs wedded to standard POS terminals and pitches based on cheaper rates, better watch out. In a May 12, 2014, conference call, Charles Drucker, Vantiv's President and Chief Executive Officer, laid out the reasoning behind the acquisition, which heavily involves the ISO channel.

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Summer gifting season means gift cards

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Retail Gift Card Association surveyed U.S. consumers about what types of gift cards they will be giving for such occasions as weddings, Father's Day, graduation and teacher appreciation. Of over 1,100 consumers surveyed online in April and May 2014, the RGCA found that gift cards to department stores, online marketplaces, restaurants and home improvement stores will be most popular this summer, with $25 being the most popular amount loaded onto gift cards.

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Target breach may be U.S. EMV catalyst

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The fallout continues from the 2013 holiday-season data breach at Target Corp. The big-box retailer's chief executive resigned; a new security officer was appointed; and Target accelerated its transition to the Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) chip card standard. But the one relative bright spot from the breach, in which an estimated 100 million card accountholder details were compromised, is that the sluggish transition of the U.S. payments infrastructure from a mag stripe-based to an EMV-based system seems to have picked up steam.

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Gift card giveways boost sales, Aite says

Friday, May 9, 2014

In the never ending quest to increase revenue and keep customers loyal, merchants are always on the lookout for novel ways to incentivize consumers to shop, and shop more often, at their stores. A new report from Boston-based consultancy Aite Group LLC spotlights prepaid card strategies that have proven to be effective in promoting loyalty and incremental lifts in sales. The April 2014 impact note, Prepaid Mania: A Merchant Affair, said merchants are beginning to push gift card programs more aggressively, and with good reason. Aite reported that the U.S. prepaid card sector is now a $200 billion market, comprising roughly 5 percent of all retail purchases. And merchants have keyed onto this trend.

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China's m-gaming market expected to surpass U.S. market

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

New York-based game sector researcher SuperData Research Inc., in collaboration with mobile data analyst TakingData, issued a report that said the mobile gaming market in China will shortly overtake the U.S. market. The researchers said Chinese gamers are on track to spend about $3 billion on mobile games in 2014, while the corresponding U.S. market may have plateaued at $3.2 billion.

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Facebook set to become P2P player

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Facebook is apparently ready to become a person-to-person (P2P) money transfer network. According to an April 13, 2014, report in the London-based Financial Times, Facebook was nearing the launch of P2P payments in Ireland. The apparent decision to launch a money transfer service in the region can be seen as a test bed for Facebook's larger ambitions of becoming a payments hub for its 1 billion user base. The FT quoted unnamed sources that Facebook was "only weeks away" from gaining regulatory approval in Ireland for its remittance platform.

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Insider Technologies takes Sentra on the road

Friday, May 2, 2014

Manchester, England-based fraud specialist Insider Technologies embarked on a roadshow in the United States to market its fraud management service, Sentra. But along the way, Insider Technologies Executive Vice President John Bycroft is gaining insights into inefficiencies and lapses in fraud prevention and mitigation strategies employed in the U.S. financial services sector.

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