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Breaking News articles for August 2019

M&A activity tops ETA SLF agenda

Friday, August 30, 2019

The Electronic Transactions Association will host its annual Strategic Leadership Forum (SLF) Sept. 25 to 27, 2019, in Boca Raton, Fla. The event is designed for senior-level payments industry executives and the ETA’s certified payments professionals. (CPPs). Enrolled scholars and credentialed CPPs can earn up to nine ETA CPP continuing education credits for attending the forum. Credits are earned at the rate of one per 50 minutes of session time, event organizers stated. Mergers, acquisitions and sweeping market changes impacting the maturing, consolidating payments ecosystem will top this year’s SLF agenda, according to ETA representatives. Presentations and panel discussions will highlight emerging trends, technology innovation and disruptive new entrants in the space.

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Mastercard’s not-so priceless data breach

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Mastercard has built significant brand recognition around its “priceless” initiatives. Now it is getting recognition it might rather do without for a data breach involving cardholders in Germany who participated in the card brand’s “priceless specials” loyalty program. Mastercard revealed in filings with data protection agencies in Germany and Belgium that it discovered on Aug. 19 and again on Aug. 21, 2019, that data on German cardholders participating in the priceless program managed by a third-party had made its way onto the Internet “for a certain period of time.”

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ACLU gives thumbs down to cashless stores

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The American Civil Liberties Union is taking a stand against cashless stores. The move could be seen as a feather in the cap of merchants who have long railed against the cost of card acceptance, and it could prove a boon to ISOs and merchant level salespeople selling cash discounting and credit card surcharging. Why, you might ask, would the ACLU, a nearly 100-year-old organization renowned for its work defending the constitutional rights and liberties of individuals, take on card payments?

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Frontline launches CBD merchant program

Friday, August 23, 2019

Bozeman, Mont.-based Frontline Processing Corp. launched the CBD Merchant Account Pilot Program, designed to support merchants in the rapidly growing U.S. cannabinoids sector. The market is on track reach $20 billion by 2020, providing the card processing industry with abundant opportunities, Frontline representatives stated. The company has been active in the space, joining trade groups, meeting with government officials and keeping informed on best practices. On Aug. 21, 2019, the company disclosed it had joined forces with an acquiring sponsor bank to pilot test a CBD merchant program. The program was beta tested and hit capacity while in test mode, according to sources familiar with the project.

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Fast growing ISOs named to Inc 5000

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Inc magazine just published its list of the 5000 fastest growing privately held companies in America, and the list includes at least 15 merchant services ISOs. The Inc 5000 list first appeared in 1982 and each year names a crop of honorees based on three-year cumulative growth rates. “The companies on this year’s Inc 5000 have followed so many different paths to success,” said Inc Editor in Chief James Ledbetter. “There’s no single course you can follow or investment you can take that will guarantee this kind of spectacular growth. But what they have in common is persistence and seizing opportunities.”

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BAMS, IRIS founder Dimitri Akhrin featured on American Dream

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Payments innovator and entrepreneur Dimitri Akhrin, founder of Bank Associates Merchant Services and IRIS CRM, was featured in The American Dream, a Bloomberg Television series that celebrates self-made business leaders. Hosted by Eric Roberts, the segment aired Aug. 17, 2019, and can be viewed on the IRIS CRM website, company representatives stated. “The American Dream is a show that inspires its audience by telling the story of humble beginnings and delving into each entrepreneur’s journey,” Roberts stated. “These ambitious individuals made their vision a reality and give hope that the dream is still possible.”

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Bluefin awarded patent for 'fingerprint' decryption

Friday, August 16, 2019

Atlanta-based Bluefin, a global provider of payment security technologies, disclosed Aug. 14, 2019, that it received a U.S. patent for its virtual fingerprinting decryption method. The solution authenticates encrypted devices based on unique attributes, or "fingerprints." This added intelligence is more secure than relying on serial numbers alone, Bluefin representatives stated. U.S. Patent No. 10,382,405 for Managing Payload Decryption Via Fingerprints, expands on a 2018 patent issued for Bluefin's proprietary fingerprinting and point-to-point encryption (P2PE). To date, the company has received 17 U.S., Japanese and European patents and has 18 pending patents in its pipeline, according to Ruston Miles, chief strategy officer at Bluefin.

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Jodie L. Kelley to lead the ETA

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Jodie L Kelley The Electronic Transactions Association's executive search came to an end today with the appointment of Jodie L. Kelley as the organizations new CEO. Since the January 2019 departure of Jason Oxman, the ETA's former CEO, the association has been guided by interim CEO Amy Zircle, who will remain with the ETA, ensuring a smooth transition. The ETA, a global trade association representing more than 500 payments and technology companies, has high expectations of Kelley, who will take the helm the week of Sept. 3.

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PayPal, MetLife, Village Capital launch Finance Forward

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Village Capital, a global venture capital firm focused on helping fledgling businesses, has joined with PayPal Holdings Inc. and the MetLife Foundation to cultivate early-stage entrepreneurs. The joint program, called Finance Forward, is rolling out in select regions in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Middle East and India. Its mission is to democratize the system by improving access to funding and education to startups everywhere.

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ETA/TSG: Electronic transactions on upward trend

Friday, August 9, 2019

The ETA/TSG U.S. Spending Snapshot, published Aug. 6, 2019, by the Electronic Transactions Association and The Strawhecker Group, cited strong consumer spending in the first quarter of 2019, particularly in retail and restaurant sectors. The bellwether report found year-over-year electronic transaction growth continues unabated, despite “political uncertainty, lower consumer confidence and a higher overall personal savings rate,” according to Jared Drieling, senior director of business intelligence at TSG.

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Wnet summit takes on leadership in changing world

Thursday, August 8, 2019

The Women's Network in Electronic Transactions (Wnet), a professional organization for women in payments and the men who advocate for them, has big plans for its 2019 Wnet Leadership Summit. The two-day event will take place at the InterContinental Buckhead in Atlanta on Nov. 6 and 7. The focus is timely: leading in a changing world. “We are excited about this year’s Wnet Leadership Summit, which will be our largest event of the year,” said Carol Grunberg, Wnet president, and vice president and executive officer at Northwestern Mutual. “Hundreds of leaders across the industry will meet to discuss domestic and global leadership trends. By attending, you will also hear from executives paving the way to create more creative and profitable organizations by improving gender diversity within their companies and our industry.”

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FedNow: asset or liability for private sector?

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Federal Reserve Board revealed Aug. 5, 2019, that it plans to develop FedNow, a real-time payments and settlement scheme. Addressing a town hall meeting at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Mo., Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard called making and receiving payments a basic right for banks and individuals. “FedNow will permit banks of every size in every community across the country to provide real-time payments to their customers,” she said.

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Is 'Just Walk Out' the new showrooming?

Friday, August 2, 2019

Amazon Go Mobile technology continues to challenge brick-and-mortar stores on multiple fronts, forcing retailers to adapt to digital-first consumers. A March 2019 survey of 3,200 Asian shoppers by Transcosmos Inc. found 62 percent of respondents examine products in physical stores before ordering them online. Retail analysts have noted the practice, known as showrooming or webrooming, initially threatened to turn physical stores into warehouses, but retailers fought back with price-matching; buy online, pickup in store (BOPUS); and various omnichannel strategies.

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Fiserv completes First Data acquisition, BofA flies solo

Thursday, August 1, 2019

The $22 billion acquisition of leading payment processor First Data Corp. by financial technology giant Fiserv is now complete. And the first casualty of the deal came within hours of news of that completion: Bank of America Merchant Services. BofA’s BAMS, which has operated as a joint venture with First Data for decades, will strike out on its own beginning next year. This would make BAMS the sixth largest merchant acquirer in the United States, absent any new mergers and acquisitions in the acquiring space, said Raymond Pucci, director of the merchant services group at Mercator Advisory Group.

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