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Breaking News articles for July 2017

Blockchain brings benefits but comes with hurdles

Monday, July 31, 2017

Interest in blockchain is growing among a range of enterprises – from major corporations to upstart innovators. But where is blockchain likely to be most useful, and how disruptive will blockchain deployment be if done prematurely? These questions were among those recently explored by analysts at Juniper Research. Juniper’s new Blockchain Enterprise Survey found that nearly six in 10 large corporations are actively considering, or are in the process of, deploying blockchain technology.

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Sophisticated cybercrime sets new bar for security teams

Friday, July 28, 2017

Independent studies by Juniper Research and Accenture PLC indicate companies are committing more resources and revenue to fighting existing and emerging forms of cybercrime. These findings are consistent with predictions by leading security analysts, who have urged companies to adopt advanced technologies and automation to protect against insecure Internet of Things (IoT) and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack vectors. "It's simply not possible for the standard business environment to keep pace with cyber criminals," said Mark Carl, Chief Executive Officer of Atlanta-based ControlScan Inc. "Ransomware and other types of malware are advancing way too rapidly. Regardless of their size, merchants can't be expected to go it alone, nor can they expect their payment processors to supply the 'magic bullet' that shoots down all cyberattacks coming at them."

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NAC, congressional leaders discuss ATM issues

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The National ATM Council Inc. directors and members met with members and staff of the Senate Banking Committee and House Financial Services Committee, July 18 and 19, 2017, to address ongoing concerns about Operation Chokepoint and related ATM industry issues. NAC's ATMs go to Washington initiative sought to educate congressional leaders about the retail ATM sector and debunk common misconceptions about the industry. "Numerous ATM owners, operators and vendors traveled at their own expense, from as far away as California, to attend these historic congressional meetings," said NAC Executive Director Bruce Renard. "Key policymakers heard directly from the U.S. independent ATM community and gained solid insights into the true nature and importance of our sector to the U.S. economy."

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Can next-generation POS platforms help grocers succeed?

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

In the wake of Amazon Inc.’s purchase of Whole Foods Markets, grocery retailers face uncertainty regarding how the acquisition will affect the market overall and their businesses in particular. And according to new research conducted by retail management consulting firm BRP, in this time of dynamic change, shoppers increasingly want more from their grocery shopping experiences.

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Paysafe, MCPS consolidate assets, expand reach

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

London, U.K.-based Paysafe Group plc disclosed July 21, 2017, it will pay $470 million to acquire Delta Card Services Inc., the primary holding company for Merchants’ Choice Payment Solutions (“MCPS”), a Shenandoah, Tex.-based payment processor. A select group of syndicators will fund the transaction, including BMO Capital Markets and Deutsche Bank, representatives stated. MCPS generates an estimated $14 billion in annual processing volume, mostly from small and midsize merchants. The company’s 2016 pre-tax earnings were $446 million, with gross assets valued at $90.4 million, according to recent reports.

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Visa's war on cash encounters backlash

Friday, July 21, 2017

Visa Inc. launched a new initiative to unseat cash from its perch atop the payments apparatus. And that has some folks crying foul. Despite the proliferation of card-based electronic alternatives, cash remains the number one choice for consumer payments in the United States, particularly for items priced at $50 or less. Data published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco revealed cash was used for nearly one-third (32 percent) of retail transactions in 2015; credit cards represented 21 percent and debit card transactions were 27 percent of the total. Cards fared better in terms of total value of retail payments: 16 percent of dollars spent were transacted with credit cards and 18 percent with debit cards. Cash accounted for 9 percent of the total value of retail payments in 2015, according to the The State of Cash: Preliminary Findings from the 2015 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice.

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PayPal advances globally

Thursday, July 20, 2017

PayPal Holdings Inc. advanced its global payment position through a series of actions completed the week of July 17, 2017. First, it finalized the acquisition of TIO Networks Corp., a cloud-based multichannel bill payment processor. SamSung Electronics Co. Ltd. agreed to add PayPal as a payment option within Samsung Pay for in-app, online and in-store purchases; and PayPal extended its partnership with Visa to European businesses. Earlier this year, PayPal entered a definitive agreement to acquire Canadian-based TIO for $2.56 per share in cash or an approximate value of $233 million. After receiving TIO shareholder approval in April, the Supreme Court of British Columbia granted approval for PayPal to indirectly acquire all issued and outstanding shares of TIO, a portfolio company of Core Innovation Capital and the Center for Financial Services Innovation.

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Prep sluggish for GDPR deadline, study finds

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A new study finds most companies may not be ready for the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR), which becomes law May 25, 2018. The 2017 EU GDPR Readiness Report by Crowd Research Partners and STEALTHbits Technologies Inc. amassed data from 500 cybersecurity professionals who are members of LinkedIn's Information Security Community. Nearly 90 percent of organizations surveyed were familiar with the EU GDPR, but only 32 percent considered themselves compliant or nearly compliant, researchers noted.

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Mastercard to acquire Brighterion, beef up AI capability

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Before 2011, the term "artificial intelligence" rarely cropped up in The Green Sheet. Since then, mention of artificial intelligence (AI) has gradually increased to the point where, like "fintech" and "payfac," it appears routinely in news, views and feature articles throughout the magazine. Indeed, AI is on the rise in the payments sphere. This is evidenced by today's news that Mastercard intends to purchase Brighterion Inc., a software company specializing in AI.

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Early detection halts Avanti kiosk attack

Friday, July 14, 2017

Tukwila, Wash.-based Avanti Markets Inc., a self-service solutions provider, shut down kiosks in select U.S. office breakrooms that may have been compromised by malware. Forensic analysts believe the intrusion occurred July 2, 2017, and praise the company for detecting and stopping the attack within 72 hours. Avanti alerted the FBI and issued a public statement July 4, with recommendations to those who may have been affected. Avanti representatives said kiosks do not store personally identifiable information (PII) and do not have universal configurations, which makes them less susceptible to wide-scale attacks. Customers who paid by credit card at infected kiosks during the malware's 72-hour window may have exposed card credentials; those who paid by "Market Card" may have exposed names and email addresses, company representatives noted. However, they confirmed that biometric data was protected by end-to-end encryption used in all Avanti fingerprint readers.

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NAB completes TMS acquisition

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

On July 11, 2017, North American Bancard Holdings LLC completed acquisition of Total Merchant Services, making it the seventh largest North American payment processor in terms of merchant locations, with annual processing volume of nearly $50 billion. The combined entities plan to expand product offerings and pursue high-growth channels. TMS will retain its corporate brand and facilities for the foreseeable future.

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Prime Day a blockbuster for Amazon

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Amazon.com Inc. expects its third annual Prime Day, taking place today, to be the highest-grossing day in U.S. retail history. Greg Greeley, Vice President at Amazon Prime, said revenues from Prime Day 2016 were 60 percent higher than its previous year, with Kindle e-Readers, Alexa-enabled devices and Fire TV among the top-selling items. Calling Prime "the best deal in the history of shopping," Greeley thanked millions of Prime members around the world for purchasing 90,000 TVs and more than 2 million toys. Half of 2016 sales originated in the United States, where more than a million customers used the Amazon app, Alexa and dash buttons, he noted.

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AI sizzles, wearables cool in mPOS surveys

Monday, July 10, 2017

Artificial intelligence (AI) and voice-activation scored highest in the 2017 State of Mobile Whitepaper, published July 5, 2017, by Open Mobile Media. Josh Gordon, Head of Strategy at Open Mobile Media, said AI, natural language processing and voice-activation outperformed wearable technologies according to a survey of 500 mobile experts. "With high numbers of respondents bullish about its prospects and the number of projects being deployed increasing over the next year, it looks like AI will finally make the move from concept to reality," Gordon wrote.

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Fed details consumer, business noncash payments

Friday, July 7, 2017

Consumers relish electronic payments, and since the turn of the century, they have shifted a significant share of check writing to electronic alternatives such as credit, debit and prepaid cards and the automated clearing house (ACH). Businesses are weaning off of checks, too, but at a slower pace, and ramping up ACH payments. These are two high-level trends revealed in a new report analyzing the Federal Reserve Payments Study 2016. The Fed takes a read on noncash payment usage every three years. A report released by the Fed on June 30, 2017, is the first in an expected series drawing on data collected last year from bank and nonbank payment services providers.

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ScanSource, POS Portal sign acquisition agreement

Thursday, July 6, 2017

On June 29, 2017, ScanSource Inc. entered a definitive agreement to purchase POS Portal Inc. The all-cash transaction includes an initial purchase price of approximately $144.9 million, plus an earn-out payment up to $13.2 million to be made on Nov. 30, 2017. The combined entity is expected to create the industry's largest deployment channel for POS devices and services sold exclusively through reseller channels.

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Vantiv to acquire Worldpay

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Leading U.S. acquirer Vantiv is merging with Worldpay Group, the largest payment processing company in the United Kingdom, in a deal valued at nearly $10 billion. “The potential merger creates a scale world class payments group in a dynamic market, with deep payments capabilities, product and vertical expertise and strong distribution channels to serve merchants around the world in the global ecommerce market, and in-store and online in the UK and US markets,” the two companies said in a joint statement released on July 5, 2017.

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Cybercriminals launch fake Android, iOS updates

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Android Marcher and other malware schemes that appear to be software updates are designed to steal financial information and online banking credentials, security experts warned. Some analysts believe Android devices are more vulnerable to these attacks than other device types, due to their open architecture. "In a recent wave, we are seeing the malware payloads disguised as Adobe Flash player," wrote Zscaler ThreatLabZ in a June 22, 2017, blog post. "Upon opening the dropper URL, the user will be prompted by a message saying the device's Flash Player is out of date, and the malware "Adobe_Flash_2016.apk" will be dropped on the user's device."

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