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Breaking News articles for April 2018

Anti-trust suit alleges merchant services monopoly

Monday, April 30, 2018

A California-based ISO is challenging a recent acquisition by an East Coast rival that it asserts upends the competitive landscape for providing payment interface and other merchant account services to midsize and larger table service restaurants. Payment Logistics Ltd, headquartered in San Diego, filed a lawsuit in federal court in San Diego last week alleging that Shift4 Payments LLC is “usurping control” of the market for mid-to-large table service restaurants. Payment Logistics wants the court to undue the January acquisition of Shift4 Corporation that led to the creation of Shift 4 Payments, asserting the deal has allowed Shift4 to monopolize payment interface and merchant account services for the mid-to-large table service restaurant market.

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Sold-out Broker Fair debuts May 14 in Brooklyn

Friday, April 27, 2018

Brokers, lenders, funders and service providers will convene in Brooklyn, New York, for Broker Fair 2018. The one-day event will be held May 14, 2018, at The William Vale, a boutique hotel in Brooklyn's Williamsburg district. Event organizer Sean Murray, publisher and editor-in-chief at deBanked, an industry trade publication, said the event is specially curated for merchant cash advance (MCA) and unsecured small business lending professionals. "I've been to a lot of fintech and alternative lending conferences, where MCA might get a shout-out in a single panel discussion, but there has never been an MCA-themed event," Murray stated. "MCA has been around for 20 years; AdvanceMe was founded in 1998 and is now CAN Capital. The industry that has taken care of underserved markets has also been underserved."

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WIC program transitioning to EBT payments

Thursday, April 26, 2018

By Oct. 1, 2020, all U.S. states, territories and 34 recognized tribal organizations will be required to replace paper checks or vouchers with electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards for qualified recipients of the federally funded grant program known as WIC, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP) for Women, Infants and Children. Established under Section 17 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, WIC became a permanent program of the U.S Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service in 1974. According to USDA FNS data, nearly 7.3 million women, infants and children received an average $41.24 in monthly WIC benefits during fiscal year 2017. Benefits were administered by 90 State agencies, which covered more than $3.6 billion in annual food costs.

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Payments leaders forge alliance

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

On April 19, 2018, several payments industry leaders joined forces under a newly formed parent company called Aurora Solutions. The alliance brings together partners Jeff Brodsly, President and CEO of Chosen Payments; Sabin Burrell, co-founder and CEO of BlueSquare Resolutions LLC; former BBVA Compass executive Adam Spencer; and former First Data Corp. executive Brian Goudie. "Aurora Solutions' vision is to grow through vertical market distribution and technology," said Goudie, who will serve as CEO for Aurora Solutions. "I've learned in my 20 years at First Data that trying to be all things to everybody, while ambitious, doesn't always meet the mark. The industry has become vertically specialized such that you have to place strategic bets on distribution and technology leaders within those spaces."

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POS relevance a recurring theme at Transact 18

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Electronic Transactions Association's annual conference, rebranded Transact in 2014, has always paid homage to technology. This year's conference, Transact 18, went a step further, by opening new technology zones in the exhibit hall and educational tracks dedicated to tech-driven ISVs and payment facilitators. In his opening comments, ETA CEO Jason Oxman said the industry has moved from point of sale to points of interaction, with 1.7 billion in the world's growing population of POI hardware devices. Technology leaders described their companies' evolutionary journeys as part of a continuing quest to remain relevant in the digital age.

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Paper offers tips for ISOs, ISVs, seeking payment services partners

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The payment needs of merchants are changing rapidly, forcing ISOs and independent software providers (ISPs) to rethink their partnerships with each other and payment services providers to optimize client relationships. A white paper titled, The ISO/ISV Convergence: Do Payments Systems Hold the Key to Helping Both Sides Thrive?, published by Paysafe Group Ltd. provides insights on what ISOs and ISVs should look for in payments partnerships. "The world of payments is becoming increasingly integrated, as everyone – from the merchant, to the acquirer and beyond – does all they can to provide a smooth, seamless payment experience to consumers," said Carla Erlick, Senior Vice President, Sales and Business Development, Paysafe. "In this climate, it's no wonder that ISOs and ISVs are both looking at ways of incorporating each other's products and services into their own offerings, to support merchants delivering the best possible experience to their customers."

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ETA's Transact 18: not the same-old, same-old

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

There was a new look and feel to the Electronic Transactions Association's signature conference, Transact 18, held April 17 to 19, 2018, at the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay Resort and Convention Center. The expo attracted card brands, merchant service providers and technology companies. "If you're here, you have a product, or you are the sales channel," said Jason Oxman, chief executive officer at the ETA. In the opening keynote presentation, Oxman said payments' current age of innovation is powered by ETA companies that are shaping how we interact with money. "As our industry changes, so too must our industry's annual event, Transact," Oxman stated. "We've taken a fresh look at our conference, with an eye on building its legacy of advancing payments technology. Take a look around and see for yourself: coded into the DNA of Transact is a focus on maximizing your ROI as the industry moves forward. The ideas that will define the future of payments will take center stage this week."

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Walmart pilots mobile checkout in garden centers

Thursday, April 19, 2018

To reduce checkout lines as spring gardening season gets underway, Walmart Inc. is pilot launching a program called Check Out With Me in Lawn & Garden Centers at over 350 stores nationwide. According to Walmart, sales associates at select stores equipped with cellular devices and Bluetooth printers can scan customer items, accept card payments and provide printed or electronic receipts on the spot, allowing customers to pay and go. "Walmart's new program could fundamentally shift the paradigm back to a more personalized customer experience," said Charles Dimov, Vice President of Marketing at OrderDynamics. "This is particularly interesting when there is such buzz about robots taking our jobs, and personalized AI automation being the next big wave."

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Sysnet survey finds small merchant PCI compliance lagging

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A recent merchant acquirer survey by Sysnet Global Solutions revealed that overall small merchants are not effectively engaging in PCI compliance programs. Among those surveyed, higher merchant PCI compliance rates remain a top priority, with most targeting 70 percent as the minimum compliance rate, and more than 15 percent aiming for 90 percent or higher PCI compliance rates within their merchant portfolios. "We conducted this survey to put some structure on the many conversations we have had with acquiring organizations who feel they're fighting a losing battle when it comes to getting smaller businesses secure and compliant," said Gabriel Moynagh, CEO at Sysnet.

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Wnet in the spotlight at ETA Transact

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Transact, the premier payments technology event kicks off today in Las Vegas. An estimated 4,000 payments industry professionals are expected to attend the three-day Electronic Transactions Association-hosted conference being held April 17 to 19, 2018, at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. In the spotlight, the Women's Network in Electronic Transactions (Wnet) will present sessions on the future of commerce and leadership. On the keynote stage, Wnet will host a panel discussion on the future of commerce, delving into how to adapt to innovation and change. Featured panelists include Ant Financial/Alipay Head of Global Key Accounts Carol Grunberg, Chase Commerce Solutions U.S. President Kim Fitzsimmons, Ingenico Executive Vice President North America Jennifer Miles, Silicon Valley Bank Head of Payments and Strategy Solutions Reetika Greewal, and TD Bank Head of US Bankcard and Merchant Solutions Julie Pukas.

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Experience-driven ecommerce strategies work

Monday, April 16, 2018

Global software company Episerver, which offers web content management, digital commerce and digital marketing through its Cloud-based software platform, released Reimagining Commerce: Global Findings, an analysis of consumers' current online shopping habits worldwide. According to statistics portal Statista, global e-commerce sales are expected to eclipse $2.8 trillion in 2018; Episerver's research found that this growth will depend on a new definition of commerce. "Commerce" no longer means making a purchase, but rather encompasses the entire journey from research to final sale," report authors wrote. "This modern definition of commerce includes activities like inspiration seeking, problem solving, product discovery, product research, product comparison and more. Shopping today is just as much about the experience as it is about the purchase – maybe even more so. Businesses have opportunities to bend these experiences in their favor, but only if they can look beyond transactions. Paying too much attention to conversions blinds brands from other powerful engagement opportunities that exist throughout the entire online customer journey."

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Coalition wants congressional push back on tariffs

Friday, April 13, 2018

A coalition of over 100 trade associations representing a diversity of businesses – from farmers and manufacturers to retailers and payment services companies – is urging Congress to block the Trump Administration from imposing sweeping tariffs on goods imported from China. A tariff is a tax, or duty, governments place on imports to make domestic products more attractive to purchase. They are often used to punish countries deemed to be upending the competitive landscape for domestic businesses. Last month President Trump called for tariffs ranging from 10 to 25 percent on steel, aluminum and other goods imported from China in response to alleged violations of U.S. intellectual property rights by the Chinese.

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Coinstar kiosks to offer billpay via doxo

Thursday, April 12, 2018

By the end of 2018, about 7,000 U.S.-operated Coinstar self-service coin counting kiosks are expected to be online with cash-based bill payments. Coinstar LLC, in partnership with web and mobile bill payment provider doxo Inc., will begin offering consumers a cash option for making credit card, utility, healthcare, phone, insurance, cable, car and other bill payments at designated Coinstar kiosks.

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Goodbye to signatures at POS

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Signing for credit card purchases at the POS may soon become a thing of the past. In separate announcements over the last six months, American Express, Discover, Visa and Mastercard all said they're scrapping requirements that merchants obtain cardholder signatures for in-store credit and debit card purchases effective this month. Card brand representatives said the option to forego signatures is available to all merchants, regardless of terminal status. "Discover's policy will apply to all card-present transactions. This includes EMV, magnetic stripe, contactless, mobile, etc." a Discover spokesman said. "Mastercard is retiring the need to collect cardholder signatures for all U.S. and Canada-based merchants, effective April 13," said a Mastercard spokeswoman. "The Mastercard rule makes no technical requirements," she added.

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Juniper study finds growth, diversity in mobile wallets

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

In a statistical analysis published April 4, 2018, Juniper Research identified payment and money transfer transactions as leading factors in mobile wallet adoption worldwide. Mobile Wallets: Service Provider Analysis, Market Opportunities & Forecasts 2018-2022 noted third-party wallet providers and financial institutions are responding to these trends by embedding payments and banking functions within single, unified application frameworks. Researchers predict the mobile wallet sector will grow to nearly 2.1 billion consumers, a 30 percent uplift compared to the 1.6 billion mobile wallet population they reported in 2017.

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Trustwave data points to shifting cyber threats

Monday, April 9, 2018

As cybersecurity defenses continue to evolve, organized criminal elements seek new ways to exploit systems. After analyzing billions of logged security and compromise events across 21 countries, hundreds of hands-on data breach investigations and internal research, Trustwave Holdings Inc. released a comprehensive analysis in its 2018 Trustwave Global Security Report. Marking the annual security study's 10th year, the 105-page report revealed fewer physical POS system attacks. Yet retail (16.7 percent of breach incidents) and payment card data (targeted in 40 percent of breaches) remain top targets for cybercriminals. "There's actually been a decline in attacks that target point-of-sale systems, which points to the maturing of security in brick-and-mortar retail shops," said Karl Sigler, Manager of Threat Intelligence at Trustwave.

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Litigation tarnishes ICOs

Friday, April 6, 2018

A recent spike in initial coin offerings (ICOs) has been met with an equally fierce wave of lawsuits, with complaints ranging from unfair competition to false advertising, legal analysts have noted. As regulators struggle to find a place for cryptocurrencies in the financial ecosystem, complainants have filed 13 actions against ICOs in federal and state courts. While two of the cases were summarily dismissed, the remainder have pending statuses in the following districts: five in Northern California, three in Southern Florida, one in Southern New York, one in Western Kentucky, and one in Minnesota. Legal analysts are watching the high-profile case against Centra in New York federal court. The Security and Exchange Commission is investigating possible fraudulent activities in the company's 2017 ICO.

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ETA Transact, a hub for sales empowerment

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Approximately 4,000 payments industry professionals are expected to attend the Electronic Transactions Association's annual Transact conference April 17 to 19, 2018, at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Continuing their tradition of delivering the most comprehensive, rewarding experience possible, organizers have expanded session content and exhibit zones to zero in on payment innovations that will drive sales channel growth for years to come. "We started 30 years ago as the sales channel trade association, so to the extent that ISVs and software companies and payfacs are new players in the payments sales channel, we want to make sure to engage them and give them guidance on how to do payments and foster partnerships where we can," said Jason Oxman, CEO of the ETA.

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CFPB chief asks Congress to clip bureau's wings

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Mick Mulvaney, acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, wants Congress to clip the CFPB's wings. In a recent message to Congress, Mulvaney requested several changes to the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the law that created the consumer watchdog agency. Among them: require congressional approval of any major rulemaking by the CFPB, fund the bureau through congressional appropriations rather than the Federal Reserve's coffers and make the bureau's director accountable to the president. Mulvaney, former director of the Office of Management and Budget, has been a harsh critic of the CFPB. In 2015, while serving as a Republican congressman from South Carolina, he joined dozens of other Republican lawmakers in co-sponsoring legislation to repeal provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act that created the CFPB.

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Better detection, oversight advised in wake of HBC breach

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Hudson's Bay Co. is the latest high-profile retailer to report a data security breach. The Toronto-based company issued a statement April 1, 2018, confirming its Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks Off 5th and Lord & Taylor brands are being investigated for unusual payment card activity. The company's ecommerce and digital platforms do not appear to have been affected. Impacted individuals will be offered free identity protection, credit and web monitoring services and dedicated call center assistance, company representatives stated. Security analysts believe hackers slipped in undetected via HBC's POS systems. Mounir Hahad, head of Juniper Threat Labs at Juniper Networks, estimates as many as 6 million U.S. and 1 million European and Asian consumer credit card account details may have been affected. He noted that a recent similar operation targeted similar stores and stole data for about 3 million credit cards between May and December 2017. "All of these breaches seem to have utilized a point-of-sale malware that intercepts credit card transactions, records them onto a local file, encrypts them and then sends the encrypted information to its command-and-control server," he said.

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