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Breaking News articles for August 2016

Payments maintains strong presence on Inc. 5000

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Payments honorees have once again graced the 2016 Inc. 5000 list. Published in August 2016 by Inc. Media, the 35th annual compilation represents America's fastest growing privately held companies. Westchester, Ill.-based C&H Financial Services, a merchant acquirer, ranked 21st this year. Inc. Media President and Editor in Chief Eric Schurenberg called the list a true measurement of success, noting the award must be earned and cannot be inherited. "No one makes the Inc. 5000 without building something great – usually from scratch," he said.

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NFC a bargaining chip for Apple, Australian banks

Friday, August 26, 2016

Several of Australia's leading banks have attempted to collectively bargain with Apple Inc. At issue is access to the near field communication (NFC) chip inside iPhones, currently the exclusive province of Apple Pay. Access to the chip would enable banks to provide their own payment and banking apps to iPhone carrying customers, as they do with Android users. The banking collective initially consisted of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN, National Australia Bank, Westpac Banking Corp., and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ). Their efforts to open negotiations with Apple have met with a series of challenges, beginning with the internal defection of one of their members that shocked the banking community.

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Walgreens rewards Android, Apple users

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Deerfield, Ill-based drugstore chain Walgreens recently embedded Walgreens Balance Rewards into Android Pay and Apple Pay schemes. The mobile loyalty schemes facilitate two-tap checkouts at 8,173 store locations, giving an estimated 85 million active Balance Rewards members an easy, secure and private way to earn and use points. Walgreens is a division of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., a holding company focused on health and wellness. Its ecommerce footprint includes Walgreens.com, drugstore.com, Beauty.com, SkinStore.com and VisionDirect.com. Walgreens launched its Apple Pay and Android Pay solutions in November 2015 and August 2016, respectively.

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Security breaches rise in frequency, cost

Friday, August 19, 2016

Payments analysts have noted similarities between Bitfinex and Mt. Gox security breaches. Both incidents involved leading bitcoin exchanges with inherent structural vulnerabilities. Toyko-based Mt. Gox, established in 2010, suffered a series of hacks to its Internet-connected hot wallet that went undetected for several years, resulting in a loss of approximately 850,000 bitcoins valued at $450 million. The company subsequently filed for bankruptcy protection in 2014. Toronto-based Bitfinex disclosed a $69-million-dollar security breach on Aug. 2, 2016, followed by continuous updates on the ongoing investigation and remediation efforts.The company has engaged blockchain forensics firm Ledger Labs Inc. to investigate the occurrence and recommend security measures.

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CVS Pay joins mobile payment roster

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The recent implosion of the automated clearing house-based CurrentC app produced a series of aftershocks in the app market; former members of Merchant Customer Exchange, which were backing CurrentC, went their separate ways, introducing various mobile commerce schemes designed to reduce costs and improve efficiencies. CVS Pay, the latest entrant, launched Aug. 9, 2016, by Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS Health, is in Version 2.7.6 of the official CVS Pharmacy App and is available in the Google Play and Apple App stores. Early pilots took place in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

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Oracle fails to predict, prevent POS breach

Friday, August 12, 2016

Following a punishing wave of attacks against POS systems, forensic experts are working with merchants and technology companies to patch vulnerabilities and reach out to millions of potentially affected business owners and consumers. Security analysts have stated that Oracle Corp.'s Micros POS systems, among others, may have become central access points for cybercriminals in these attacks. The first sign of trouble surfaced Aug. 8, 2016, when Micros, the POS division of Oracle, revealed a malware attack that may have compromised 300,000 Micros payment terminals. Security analyst and investigative reporter Brian Krebs initially reported the incident, attributing the hack to a Russian group, alternatively known as the Carbanak Gang and Anunak.

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Farewell to Kenneth T. Elderts, respected leader and friend

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Payments industry stalwart Kenneth T. Elderts passed away Aug. 6, 2016. The sales management executive touched many lives and left an impressive legacy in his industry and community. His career path demonstrated a consistent ability to anticipate technology trends and help emerging technologies achieve mainstream adoption. He led sales teams at eFund Corp., CyberCash, Lipman USA, Verifone Inc. and, most recently, at AnywhereCommerce, a global payment technology provider where he served as Vice President, ISO Channel. We are deeply saddened by the sudden loss of our colleague and friend Ken Elderts, VP Sales at AnywhereCommerce," said Mitchell Cobrin, co-founder and Chief Catalyst at AnywhereCommerce. "Ken was a respected industry veteran who will be greatly missed by anyone who had the chance to know him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very sad time."

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Office Depot sues Delaware for audit overreach

Saturday, August 6, 2016

The thorny matter of what to do with unredeemed gift cards has reared its ugly head in the State of Delaware. At issue are disagreements between state auditors and plaintiffs concerning the proper handling of unclaimed gift card balances, a topic various states have addressed under the broad area of escheatment, which governs the process of turning over unclaimed or abandoned property to a state authority. Most escheatment laws require unclaimed funds to be turned over to the state if the rightful owner cannot be located.

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Chip and PIN debate roils retail, payments sectors

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Ten months after the October 2015 EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) liability shift, retail and payments analysts have mixed opinions on U.S. approaches to implementing EMV chip card technology. The biggest source of contention appears to be centered on the chip-and-PIN versus chip-and-signature debate. Some retailers believe that while requiring signatures with chip cards at the POS may protect against counterfeit payment card fraud, it is insufficient protection against other types of fraud. Some, such as Home Depot Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., have filed grievances against card brands and card issuing banks.

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EMV advances beyond compliance

Monday, August 1, 2016

Retailers may be moving past the critical first phase of EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) adoption, according to recent studies. A new report published in July 2016 by New York-based CardFlight Inc. used aggregated data to evaluate adoption levels among end users of the company's mobile payments app. The results were better than expected, the company reported. "Since we were one of the first companies to bring an EMV mobile payment solution to the U.S. market, we feel it's important to collect data and share it with the rest of the industry," said Derek Webster, CardFlight founder and Chief Executive Officer.

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