First Data Corp. became a member of Visa Canada Corp., making it the first acquirer to directly participate in all three major brands in Canada: Visa, MasterCard Canada Inc. and Interac Inc. (a Canadian debit network). In November 2008, Canada's Competition Bureau changed its policy regarding duality and dual governance of credit card networks in Canada. Formerly issuers and acquirers had to choose between the two major brands.
Wayne Clarke, Senior Vice President and General Manager of First Data's operations in Canada, said that before this decision, "a Visa member would have to do things like approve our credit policy and our processes and what not, and communications from the association would go to a member and from the member to us. So [joining Visa directly] alleviates that extra step."
Clarke said being a member of Visa benefits First Data's merchants because, "as a member, we get the information at the same time as all the other members, and we can certainly then roll out the new products or services or any changes in interchange to our merchants a lot quicker." He also stated that new businesses in the Canadian market can come through First Data "with one credit policy ... for both Visa and MasterCard."
New analysis from Frost and Sullivan indicates mobile devices have emerged as a convenient and safe way to conduct financial transactions. The report, An Insight into the U.S. Mobile Financial Services Markets - Mobile Banking and Mobile Payments, finds the value of physical goods sold through mobile commerce in the United States is expected to reach $1.46 billion in 2013. To receive further information via e-mail, contact Christina Alfaro, the company's Corporate Communications Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, company name, title, telephone number, as well as your company's physical address (including city, state and country), e-mail address and Web site URL.
According to card-not-present payment solutions firm Litle & Co., consumers spend approximately $1 trillion annually on recurring transactions and installment billing, using their credit cards for routine monthly payments in order to accumulate miles, points or some other form or reward. The company said that for CNP merchants to remain competitive, they must embrace and support these transaction types as part of their overall offering. Litle released the report Recurring Transactions Best Practices to help merchants take advantage of recurring transactions, convert traffic into long-term customer relationships and maximize revenue opportunities.
"A stealth recurring billing strategy can serve as a powerful revenue generator," said Bob Botelle, Vice President, Merchant Services Group at Litle. "And when implemented correctly, recurring billing can substantially increase the number of consumers who try your product or service."
In its 10th Annual Online Fraud Report, payment and risk management solutions firm CyberSource Corp. indicated its Authorize.net small business arm released the Advanced Fraud Detection Suite (AFDC), which enables online merchants to identify and handle suspicious transactions.
CyberSource stated that U.S. merchants lost an estimated $4 billion to fraud in 2008. The AFDC was designed to give small business merchants the tools to combat online fraud while saving legitimate orders from being rejected.
E-commerce solutions firm Digital River Inc. expanded its relationship with Eastman Kodak Co. to manage Kodak's global e-commerce operations. Under the agreement, Digital River will provide a full range of e-commerce and e-marketing services to support all consumer online sales of Kodak products in North America and Europe.
Former First Data Corp. and ViVOtech Inc. senior executive Todd Albowitz recently formed Double Diamond LLC. The new firm offers strategic consulting, project execution and business development for companies across the payment spectrum.
The Electronic Transactions Association is accepting committee applications for the 2009 - 2010 year.
Members interested in serving on an ETA committee should complete and submit an application by May 14, 2009. Those who are currently serving on a committee and want to continue with either their current committee or a different committee must complete a new application.
For more information, visit www.electran.org/docs/committees/ETA2009CommitteeApplication.pdf.
Payment gateway and software development company eProcessing Network LLC certified MagTek Inc.'s MagneSafe m20 portable secure reader for use with its Online Terminal.
Reportedly ideal for payments where neither cable nor wireless connections are accessible, the MagneSafe m20 can store up to 70 mobile transactions with a single reader and encrypts card data at the moment of swipe.
Analytics and decision management technology company Fair Isaac Corp. launched its Falcon Fraud Manager 6.0, which incorporates adaptive analytics to monitor high-risk ATMs, merchants and geographic regions; helps accelerate a financial institution's ability to spot new fraud patterns with fewer false positives; and prevents them from causing extensive damage.
Doin' it right
One of the highlights of the Electronic Transactions Association's 2009 Annual Meeting & Expo, held in Las Vegas from April 21 to 23, was the annual President's Dinner and Awards Ceremony in which payment companies and distinguished veterans were honored for their contributions to the ETA.
The ETA presented its first ISO of the Year Award to Boston-based Merchant Warehouse. Carla Balakgie, Chief Executive Officer of the ETA, said Merchant Warehouse demonstrated its excellence through care for its reputation, investment in its people, savvy application of technology, great customer service and consistent sales growth and retention.
"It is a tremendous honor to be named ISO of the Year," said Henry Helgeson, the company's President and co-CEO. "This award truly recognizes all of the hard work that we do every day, while honoring the high standards we keep."
Awards go Global
Paul R. Garcia, Chairman and CEO of Global Payments Inc., received the Distinguished Payments Professional Award for a more than 30-year career in which he became an acknowledged payments industry trendsetter and positive contributor to the development and image of the industry.
Nick Baxter, the ETA's President, said Garcia is both valued throughout the industry as a credible leader and respected beyond the payments sphere. "Through his demonstration of the utmost integrity and high ethical standards, he actively contributes to the collective success of the payments industry," Baxter added.
Give to live
The ETA's Member of the Year, the Association's highest volunteer award, was given to Kurt Strawhecker, Managing Partner of consulting firm The Strawhecker Group, for his contributions of intellectual property, issues advocacy, product and service development and consistent efforts to support the ETA's mission.
"I am grateful and humbled by this award," Strawhecker said. "We look forward to continue working with the ETA and the payments sector further."
The Committee of the Year honor went to Strategic Leadership and Networking Forum Program Planning, a group of "industry thought leaders who guide development of program content and networking activities and who, through their collective accomplishments, yield valuable services for members and move the ETA toward achievement of its strategic goals," the ETA stated.
Leaders we trust
Security and compliance management solutions provider Trustwave received the Business Partner of the Year Award for its support of the ETA through sponsorship, speaking at ETA events and serving on committees to help expand the association's footprint.
"We were thrilled," said Robert J. McCullen, Chairman and CEO of Trustwave. "It's just a great reflection on the team and an honor to be sorted out among a tremendous group of other nominees." McCullen believes Trustwave's "unwavering" commitment to the ETA was a primary basis for the award.
"We go to all the conferences, we do a number of webinars and we provide services to help with their data security," he said.
"We are very supportive of all the association's events to help educate and provide info for ISOs and the payments industry overall."
They honor us
National Processing Company Senior Vice President Chris Lee was recognized as the ETA's Committee Volunteer of the Year for "dedicating extraordinary time, effort and expertise to our mission," the ETA noted.
For Lee, the win was a surprise. "It is very gratifying to win this award," Lee said. "I enjoy working on the technology committees, and I am proud to help other industry veterans, but it is nice to be recognized for your efforts when you feel that you have worked well to help a cause."
The award winners lauded the ETA for supporting its members and offering valuable tools to help payment professionals thrive. But it is those winners' dedication, passion and willingness to share information and insights that make them the type of leaders who will enable the ETA to continue to carry out its mission and keep our industry sound in the years ahead.
First Data reported it is offering the first global online freight payment system for the maritime shipping industry. PayCargo is a proprietary solution that allows shippers, carriers and freight brokers of all sizes to settle accounts faster and more safely.
Hypercom Corp. revealed that processing services firm TransFirst has Class A certified and will market Hypercom's Optimum T4205 and T4220 card payment terminals to its more than 160,000 merchant customers throughout the United States.
Normal, Ill.-based ISU Credit Union is moving its card processing operation to TNB Card Services. TNB will work with ISU to restructure its $2 million card portfolio and help the credit union develop a card product that is more competitive and attractive to its Illinois State University members and surrounding community.
Mercantile Bank Corp. selected payment services provider S1 Enterprise's mobile banking and payment solutions for its merchants and consumers. S1 reportedly expands Mercantile's multichannel offering, which enables clients, via short message service or mobile application, to access their account information, transfer funds between accounts, view recent transactions, make payments and approve transactions directly from a mobile device.
Processing services provider Merchant Warehouse introduced its BINSmart and MerchantWARE Mobile payment applications at the ETA's 2009 Annual Meeting & Expo in Las Vegas.
The company noted that MobileWARE Mobile, a POS application, provides merchants with the ability to run credit and debit transactions in real-time by accepting payments on iPhone or iPod Touch devices.
The BINSmart product can be embedded in an Internet protocol (IP) or dial-up terminal and, once a card is swiped, is designed to assess each card transaction and identify it as a debit, credit or corporate card.
It then calculates the estimated lowest cost processing option and prompts for the best method to run that sale.
MoneyGram International reported it will begin offering its money transfer services to all 200 Bank of China locations in Beijing in anticipation of expanding into the full Bank of China network.
Navy Federal Credit Union and TSYS Acquiring Solutions renewed their processing relationship. TSYS will continue to provide processing for Navy Federal's Visa Inc.- and MasterCard Worldwide-branded credit card products. Services provided under the agreement include statement processing, card embossing, accounting and settlement, fraud prevention services, member service and collection operating systems, correspondence, and risk mitigation. TSYS supports more than 850,000 active credit card accounts at Navy Federal.
Financial services company Online Resources Corp. introduced its eCommerce Services unit, a disbursement solution that manages business-to-business and business-to-consumer payments. The service supports applications across a variety of industries including mortgages, credit cards, insurance, utilities and health care. Typical uses include refunds, rewards payments, credit card balance transfers, settlements, escrow payments, insurance claims and royalty payments.
PAX Technology Ltd., a provider of payment terminal products, launched its new payment terminals with IP payment and networking products firm Precidia Technologies Inc.'s TransNet payment engine capability. By integrating TransNet directly into the S80 and S90 PAX terminal products, merchants receive a POS offering that includes remote deployment and terminal management, Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) compliance assistance and precertification to transaction processors, according to PAX.
Remote deposit capture solutions provider RDM Corp. released its EC7500i series, which reportedly features the first low-cost check scanner with an integrated receipt printer with mag stripe reader.
The EC7500i check scanners feature a standard USB port for flexible connection to PC-based applications, as well as configurable options for check defacement and double- or single-sided imaging.
POS equipment provider TASQ Technology Inc. created a turnkey RDC solution that bundles key RDC elements including hardware, software and customer support. ISOs and merchant level salespeople can earn additional revenue streams with several types of check scanners and deposit platforms now available that are designed for small businesses, business-to-business enterprises and professional service companies.
Internet services consultant and analyst Tucows.com published its ratings on two Comodo Group products, Comodo Internet Security and Comodo Systems-Cleaner. Both products were awarded the 5-cows, Tucows' highest rating. "We're very happy that Tucows has grouped CIS and CS-C with other elite, 5-cow software," said Melih Abjullhayoglu, CEO and Chief Security Architect for Comodo. "Tucows approval means that our software functions at the highest level."
Vendor Safe Technologies, a PCI Security Standards Council participating organization, introduced its PCI Compliance Reporting Suite, an online compliance solution that is said to simplify reporting for ISOs, acquiring banks and merchants. Traditionally, merchants must answer up to 220 questions in the PCI DSS Self-Assessment Questionnaire. However, with the reporting suite, the number of questions can be reduced to approximately 75.
VeriFone extended its VeriShield Protect solution to provide encryption capabilities across multiple product lines, including Vx Solutions, PAYware Transact and as a managed service. VeriShield Protect eliminates usable cardholder data from POS applications, networks and servers using the Advanced Encryption Standard that preserves existing card track data formats and works with retailers' and acquirers' existing payment infrastructures.
Payment services company Yodlee Inc. unveiled its Yodlee PostcardCheck, an online bill pay service aimed at increasing efficiency and lowering the costs associated with paper payments.
Nearly two in 10 payments originated online in the United States are still processed via paper check. PostcardCheck can help financial institutions lower single check payment costs by up to 30 percent, Yodlee indicated.
eProcessing Network LLC forged an alliance with ISO CoCard Marketing Group LLC to offer its entire suite of payment gateway solutions to all of CoCard's independent sales offices. As part of the rollout, eProcessing will host a series of webinar training events to familiarize the CoCard sales teams with the new offerings and provide sales support.
Payments technology company iStream Financial Services Inc. partnered with value-added solutions provider Epson Corp. to offer RDC products and services to any level merchant. "We are thrilled to partner with an innovative company like iStream and we are confident that this partnership will promote more RDC adoption in the SMB (small and medium-sized businesses] market and beyond," said Bud Weist, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Epson.
NCR Corp. and mobile payment services provider Mitek Systems Inc. teamed up to integrate Mitek's ImageNet Mobile Deposit software into NCR's APTRA Passport family of RDC solutions.
The software allows check deposits for small service-based businesses using their mobile phone's cameras as a scanner, capturing an image of both sides of the check and transmitting that image to their financial institution for deposit.
Multicurrency and data processor Planet Payment Inc. and The Bancorp Bank reached an agreement in which Planet Payment will offer its suite of products and services to Bancorp's merchants and third-party services in the United States. Bancorp will utilize its partner's multicurrency processing platform to help merchants increase sales and operate their businesses more efficiently.
Payment processor Signature Card Services joined forces with security and compliance solutions company ControlScan Inc. to help its merchants meet PCI DSS requirements. Merchants can now access ControlScan's PCI 1-2-3 solution, available online via myControlScan.com, a Web-based portal that provides merchants the tools and support to analyze, remediate and validate PCI DSS compliance.
Payment processor Global Payments Inc. completed its acquisition of ZAO United Card Services in a stock purchase transaction. Under the agreement's terms, Global will pay $75 million to acquire ZAO UCS. "Russia continues to be one of the world's fastest growing payments markets," said Global CEO Paul R. Garcia. "UCS provides us with a direct merchant acquiring platform for long-term growth in Russia, Central and Eastern Europe."
Desktop check scanner specialist Digital Check Corp. named Fitz Anderson as its new Business Manager, Emerging Markets. Anderson is tasked with creating opportunities for Digital Check in the small business segment, including the property management, ISO and POS markets.
The Western States Acquirers Association added two industry veterans to its board of directors. Gregg Gumbinger, Director, Strategic Partnerships, First Data, joins the board as Secretary and David Sharp, Vice President of Business Development at PaySimple, comes on board as a Member.
Identity risk management company Intersections Inc. appointed Neal O'Farrell as its new Consumer Security Advisor to help educate consumers about identity theft and the need for real, holistic solutions. O'Farrell has worked as a top security advisor to financial institutions and the U.S. government's military and intelligence sectors for the past 25 years.
Online payment processor Moneybookers USA Inc. introduced Tero Pollanen as the company's new Head of Anti-Fraud. Pollanen, a fraud strategy veteran, will lead Moneybooker's Anti-Fraud and Risk Team and continue driving the development and implementation of the company's proactive fraud prevention strategy.
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