In January 2009, Chase Paymentech Solutions LLC released the results of its 2008 Cyber Holiday Pulse Index, which measured online shopping activity from Nov. 1, 2008, through Dec. 31, 2008.
The holiday season sales volume for 2008 increased 4.5 percent over 2007's totals. The transaction count increase was a healthier 16.5 percent. The average value per transaction decreased 10.3 percent.
The largest day for sales was Dec. 2, with more than $218 million, topping Dec. 17, which saw more than $217 million in sales.
"This holiday season challenged all retailers," said Forrester Research Analyst Sucharita Mulpuru. "Web transaction volume was up significantly from last year, but the relatively lower revenue numbers point to aggressive discounting by retailers and eager deal hunting by shoppers."
Apple Inc.'s iPhone now has the capability to process mobile payments. The iPhone can be turned into a credit card processing device with ProcessAway, a software program developed by Randy Palermo of Information Technology consulting firm Rapadev LLC. The software is sold through Apple's iTunes App Store.
ProcessAway is a simple gateway that interfaces with network payment platform Authorize.net. Card transactions can be processed with the iPhone or through a virtual terminal for payment processing, with the option to later download transaction information into Intuit Inc.'s QuickBooks. With ProcessAway, transactions can be processed at such venues as conventions, street fairs, antique shows or construction sites.
ProcessAway is not proprietary and is available only to Authorize.net account members. "What makes it nice is that you have a gateway like Authorize.net that allows you to process secure socket layer transactions and, with the iPhone, you're always on the network," Palermo said.
"And the nice thing is when you get a merchant account, you can download the application to your office that allows for Web interface and virtual transactions," he added.
The International Council of Payment Network Operators, which includes representatives of European and North American Online Banking Enabled e-Payments (OBeP) schemes, is working to establish common standards and rules for global interoperability of OBeP schemes.
The demand for this is coming from consumers seeking secure, confidential methods for making online payments. With OBeP, consumers use their trusted banks to facilitate online purchases. Merchants benefit from the real-time authentication such payment methods provide.
Representatives of NACHA - The Electronic Payments Association, headquartered in the United States, and Interac Online, based in Canada, are working with their overseas counterparts from iDEAL in the Netherlands, giropay in Germany and VocaLink in the U.K. to define interoperability requirements.
The participating OBeP scheme operators are meeting regularly to analyze and discuss technology, international settlement, legal compliance, security, communications, fee structure and exchange rate mechanisms. The group hopes to have a completed interoperability framework by the second quarter of 2009.
Identity and age verification company IDology Inc. upgraded its Expect ID solution to help financial institutions more efficiently detect which areas of customers' identification proofing and verification processes are compliant. To help diverse businesses meet the May 1, 2009, deadline for compliance with the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 Red Flag Identity Theft Rules, Expect ID provides distinct levels of identity authentication.
"Protecting your business and consumers from ID theft is a constant battle," said John Dancu, President and Chief Executive Officer of IDology. "We've made it easier for our customers to know with certainty that their automated ID detection and fraud alerts technology is in compliance, as well as easily and succinctly demonstrate this to their examiner. Fraudsters and identity thieves continue to warrant vigilant monitoring and assessment of their activity."
China UnionPay Data Services Co. Ltd., a joint venture between Total System Services Inc. (TSYS) and China UnionPay, signed a long-term credit card processing agreement with the Bank of East Asia. BEA is the first foreign bank to independently launch its own credit card program in China.
Addison, Texas-based payment processor Encore Payment Systems recently released its flagship POS software, Clear Charge. According to Encore, Clear Charge turns computers into payment terminals and is capable of processing credit, debit, checks, electronic benefit transfers, and gift and loyalty cards.
The new software reportedly can process up to nine merchants on one system, a convenience for retailers who own multiple stores.
Digital Check Corp. reported more than 500 banking institutions added its scanners to their remote deposit offerings in 2008.
During the year, 60 agreements were renewed with reseller partners; nine U.S. agreements and six international agreements were signed.
Doin' it right
Small-business owners have many of the same concerns as their counterparts at larger companies, but they have fewer resources at their disposal. They and their handful of employees wear many hats to keep all aspects of their businesses running smoothly - from ordering to invoicing to customer service and collections.
PaySimple, a provider of software as a service, on-demand electronic payment solutions for small businesses, launched its new small-business resource center, the Small Business Growth Center, with just such business owners in mind. The site features:
"PaySimple has made a significant investment in providing resources specifically designed to help small business owners increase the productivity and efficiency of their day-to-day efforts," said Eric Remer, Chief Executive Officer. "The result is an entirely new site segment that provides business owners an engaging, customizable, and proactive way to analyze and grow their current operations."
After over a year of brainstorming and six to nine months in production, PaySimple's new resource center now serves as an extension of the company's core business philosophy of helping to make small business owners' lives easier.
Sarah Jordan, the company's Marketing Director, said PaySimple has always wanted its customers and even the small-business community to think of PaySimple as a small business resource and community member that wants to help them any way it can.
Remer and Allen Wolff, PaySimple's Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, co-founded what is now PaySimple to provide a way for landlords and others who collect monthly payments to accept payments in forms other than checks that are mailed in, hand delivered or even collected at tenants' doors. Both founders, being serial entrepreneurs, believe they understand the challenges that small-business owners face.
The company's biggest challenge to creating the resource center was sifting through all the information available and finding what's most useful. The next hurdle was putting it into layman's terms. "So, [merchants] don't know what ACH is; what do they call it?" Jordan said. The Small Business Dictionary started out as a payments industry glossary.
As satisfying as it is for PaySimple to see the new resource center launched, the process of creating it was also rewarding. In researching topics, the developers refreshed their own knowledge base and began using the analytic tools they were developing in their own company.
Completing the puzzle
PaySimple partners with a number of software solution providers that have expertise in their market verticals but lack the electronic payment element. Commercial Legal Software, which serves many collection industry agencies, is one of PaySimple's top partners.
PaySimple integrates payment processing designed for seamless operation. ISOs also resell PaySimple services using the company's Web site.
We've all heard the Chinese proverb: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
Instead of just answering its customers' questions, PaySimple's new resource center also provides answers to questions small-business owners may not know to ask. PaySimple is endeavoring to teach them to fish - and stocking the pond.
To visit PaySimple go to PaySimple
Fiserv Inc.'s Fiserv Source Capture Suite is the top-ranked branch and teller capture solution in Aite Group's Branch and Teller Capture: A Vendor Overview report.
The study analyzed 14 solutions based on features and functionalities, including customer advocacy, integration with additional branch technology solutions and image capture integration.
Forbes.com recognized Global Payments Inc. as one of its Platinum 400 - Best Big Companies. Forbes selected the Platinum 400 on such factors as sales and earnings growth, earnings outlook and stock market returns.
Global Payments Inc. will provide its suite of cash access services to the following U.S. casinos: Downstream Casino Resort, Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino and Delta Casino. It will also provide services to Stampede Casino in Canada.
Payment processing solutions provider Kabira Technologies Inc. is expanding its partner and sales relationships throughout the Americas.
Based in San Mateo, Calif., the company plans to leverage its footprint to target electronic transaction opportunities in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Mexico.
McDonald's USA LLC recently awarded its second annual U.S. Technology Supplier of the Year Award to First Data Corp. The award is given to the technology product supplier that makes the most significant contribution to McDonald's.
Dallas-based PaymentsGateway is offering its payment gateway services free of charge to all new resellers until January 2010. Additionally, the fee to become a reseller, which is separate from service charges, will be waived for those who sign up before March 1, 2009.
PayPal Inc.'s customers in the U.K. can now opt for an extra layer of security. The PayPal SMS Security Key texts a unique security code to customers' mobile phones for them to use to log into their accounts. This is in addition to a username and password.
Trustwave opened an office in São Paulo, Brazil, to serve as the regional headquarters for the company's Latin American operations.
Jarrett Benavidez, Director of Trustwave's Latin American operations, has responsibility for sales and business development in the South America, Central America and Caribbean regions.
Faber, Coe & Gregg Inc. chose the ViVOtech integrated contactless and mag stripe payment reader, ViVOpay 4500m, for all of its East Coast U.S. food and retail store locations.
The units accept mag stripe transactions, as well as contactless and NFC mobile phone payments.
Accertify LLC's Interceptas platform is available for integration with Litle & Co.'s payment platform. This integration is designed to give Litle's customers greater flexibility in preventing and managing credit card fraud. Litle processes and manages card not present and alternative payments for direct-to-consumer brands.
Carter Federal Credit Union is converting its card processing to TNB Card Services. The $140 million credit union will convert 1,700 card accounts, with balances of $2.4 million. Carter Federal will also implement TNB's Rewards2U loyalty program.
Charge Anywhere LLC deployed its wireless payment terminals with Tripoint Communications in the Bahamas and The Turks and Caicos Islands. The solutions include Payment Application Data Security Standard secure mobile payment platforms, signature capture and payment gateway services.
Comodo secured an exclusive agreement to provide secure sockets layer certificates to Host Europe, a European web hosting company.
The partnership supplies Host Europe with the ability to sell a wide range of SSL certificates while Comodo operates the certificate back-end issuance and validation processes.
ECHO Health Inc. selected OptumHealth Inc.'s Elec-tronic Payments and Statements solution to enhance ECHO's medical claims and settlement services and reduce customer costs.
ECHO Health will use OptumHealth Electronic Payments and Statements in conjunction with its Simplicity suite of products and services for its insurance and third-party administrator customers.
HBNet, a subsidiary of leading payment technology provider Hypercom Corp., will now provide high-speed transaction transport services for RDM Corp.
RDM is a developer of specialized software and hardware products for electronic payment processing and remote deposit capture solutions.
Bill pay provider for financial institutions iPay Technologies LLC formed a strategic bill-payment processing relationship with Royal Credit Union of Wisconsin. IPay will provide bill payment and small-business products to the credit union's 113,000 members.
The National Portable Storage Association recently partnered with Merchant Essentials Payment Solutions, which is now the only NPSA preferred credit card processor.
Precidia Technologies Inc. will offer its TransNet payment engine to Retail Data Systems LLC customers. RDS has deployed the TransNet solution in several quick service restaurants using existing NEC cash registers and POS systems.
In other company news, ATM reseller and processor Cash Depot certified Precidia's POSLynx220 with the ATMs it provides to customers in the convenience store and other retail sectors. The router connects dial-based ATMs to Cash Depot's SSL gateway.
RDM Corp., a remote deposit capture (RDC) solutions provider, reported that First American Payment Systems LP has agreed to sell RDM's suite of RDC products, including ITMS Simply Deposit and WebClient. Simply Deposit is an RDC solution designed specifically for small businesses. First American said it provides processing services to over 100,000 merchants in the United States.
Enterprise software and services company Sybase Inc. acquired mobile solutions provider paybox Solutions AG. Sybase will now provide mobile operators, financial institutions and merchants with a suite of mobile payment solutions.
A privately held company headquartered in Raunheim, Germany, paybox will be integrated into Sybase 365, a Sybase subsidiary.
Payment solutions provider Tier Technologies Inc. agreed to purchase ChoicePay Inc., an electronic bill payment services provider. The transaction was completed for $7.5 million in cash at closing and is said to have an earn-out potential for ChoicePay shareholders capped at $2 million, based on future business.
VeriSign Inc. will acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Certicom Corp. The aggregate purchase price is approximately $73 million.
And VeriSign expects to gain a leadership position in elliptic curve cryptography, a type of public-key encryption technology.
Brian Bates is the new President of Solveras Inc. He has more than 25 years' experience in the telecommunications industry and over 20 years' experience in the payments industry. Bates previously served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Transaction Network Services Inc.
Anthony Borja joined United Payment Services as Director of Sales Services. Borja has been in the payments industry since joining Cardservice International in 1996. He has also worked for I-Payment and Maas Technology Group.
Kathy J. Claypatch joined Apriva Inc. as Senior Vice President of Information Technology for the company's POS division. Previously, Claypatch served as Vice President of Information Technology for TSYS Acquiring Solutions.
ClairMail Inc. appointed Pete Daffern its new Chief Executive Officer. Daffern brings more than 20 years of operational and business leadership experience to ClairMail. He was CEO of Purisma and President of AIM Technology Inc. Daffern also spent more than 10 years at Seagate Technology LLC.
Merchant Focus Processing Inc. appointed Nathan England to the position of Vice President of Reseller Marketing. Previously England worked for CyberSource Corp. as Authorize.Net's Inside Sales Manager, and more recently as a Business Development Manager.
Goldleaf Financial Solutions Inc. appointed Alex P. Hart to its board of directors. Hart has two decades of experience in the financial services industry.
He was Executive Vice President and General Manager of CheckFree Corp.'s Electronic Banking Services Division. He also served as President and CEO of Corillian Corporation.
Jeff Rosenblatt was named President of EVO Merchant Services; Kevin Lambrix was named COO. Ray Sidhom remains as the company's CEO.
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