The Green Sheet Online Edition
June 08, 2009 • Issue 09:06:01
Skyline Displays of Houston enlisted the help of Tradeshow Week to produce a white paper entitled "What's Working in Exhibiting" that discusses what works well for tradeshow exhibits, how exhibitor programs are evolving, how to stretch show budgets and how to increase sales and networking results.
Those who responded to Skyline's questions suggested ways to make tradeshow exhibits more effective, including:
- Show selection: Making the right choice about which shows to attend was said to have improved results and reduced costs.
- Budgeting: The two best budget stretching methods are booth staff reduction and shipping with lighter-weight displays.
- Measure results: Respondents advised creating a process to measure and report sales generated from tradeshow leads.
- Lead management: Effective use of leads requires persistence, well-orchestrated follow-up and a good customer relationship management or database program.
- Exhibit design: A simple, uncluttered layout with bright, clear and straight-to-the-point exhibit graphics works best.
- Booth staffing: Exhibitors said salespeople make the best booth staff, followed by top management officials.
- Promotions: Winning promotions include free give aways, drawings, discounts and demonstrations. It's also a good idea to invite attendees to social events, and have more in-depth conversations away from the show floor.
SCA's mobile security blanket
Making purchases with mobile devices represents a new era for payments in the United States and Canada. But how will security for this technology be managed by financial institutions and mobile network operators (MNOs) who need to work together to manage their distinct aspects of the payment process? The Smart Card Alliance answers this question in its new white paper, "Security of Proximity Mobile Payments."
Proximity payments are initiated from mobile devices using near field communication, contactless technology. The SCA's paper focuses on a "collaboration model" in which financial institutions, MNOs and third-party processors in mobile payment networks cooperate in the maintenance and deployment of mobile applications. It introduces the players and their roles and responsibilities in assuring cardholder data security.
It also explains how payment applications, consumer credentials and account information are securely delivered to, loaded on and stored in mobile devices. Additionally, it identifies the risks present during the lifecycle of the payment information stored on mobile devices and suggests appropriate countermeasures.
"This white paper explains how industry stake-holders can take advantage of this consumer love of mobile technology and introduce secure proximity mobile payments by collaborating and leveraging proven technology and a merchant infrastructure that is already in place," said Randy Vanderhoof, Executive Director of the SCA.
NFC pilot flies for drivers
Payment processor Wright Express Corp. successfully completed its multicity NFC mobile payment pilot with convenience and fuel store chain Sheetz Inc. and mobile payment solutions provider ViVOtech Inc.
During the trial, drivers used Sheetz Fleet Business Advantage cards loaded into specially enabled NFC mobile phones to make fuel and convenience store purchases at contactless-enabled readers in hundreds of Sheetz stores. "The mobile payment pilot was a huge success, meeting and exceeding our initial objectives," said Russ Lamer, Wright Express' Manager of Emerging Technologies. "It has helped us gain insight into the benefits of using a mobile phone as a payment device, document fleet driver usability at the pump and inside the store, and also better understand the mobile payments operating system."
Sheetz implemented contactless payment technology at all its locations, both at pumps and inside stores.
The company agreed to participate in the pilot to demonstrate that using mobile phones to make purchases at these types of fuel and convenience store locations along highways nationwide is safe, cost-effective and convenient.
Charge Anywhere acknowledged
Mobile payment and POS solutions company Charge Anywhere LLC was awarded InformationWeek's Best of Interop Most Innovative Business Technologies Award in the Security Category for its Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) security solutions.
The company offers PCI DSS Level 1 services, Payment Application (PA) DSS-validated software applications and PCI Pin Entry Device (PED) hardware solutions designed to provide turnkey PCI security solutions.
Charge Anywhere was also awarded the 2009 Electronic Transactions Association's Technology Innovation Award at the ETA's Annual Meeting & Expo in Las Vegas for its Mobile Payment Solution with Signature Capture.
Chase catches Hypercom terminal
Chase Paymentech LLC Class A certified Hypercom Corp.'s PCI PED-approved 32-bit Optimum T4205 card payment terminal. The device will be available to Chase's strategic partners for sale to the U.S. retail and restaurant markets.
In other news, Hypercom's 32-bit multi-application Optimum T4200 and M4200 countertop and mobile terminals were approved as compliant with the current Europay, MasterCard Worldwide and Visa Inc. (EMV) POS terminal specifications from the Central Credit Committee in Germany.
#h4 Doin' it right
POS terminal manufacturer and payment solutions provider ExaDigm Inc. has brought state-of-the-art payment technology to the iron horse. Starting in the summer of 2009, Amtrak will deploy ExaDigm's wireless payment terminals to its 1,600 conductors and assistant conductors nationwide.
This move will enable acceptance of onboard card-based payments. And the familiar call, "Tickets, please, tickets," may soon be replaced by conductors shouting, "Cards, please, cards."
Board now, pay later
Amtrak's deployment of ExaDigm's XD2500 terminal is designed to help streamline payments for rail customers and employees as well as reduce credit card chargebacks and fraud risks through its wireless network, which provides real-time authorization. The XD2500 is compliant with the PCI DSS, PA DSS and PCI PED.
"The benefits for Amtrak from a cost perspective - as well as providing a faster, easier method of processing payments via cards - are significant," said Scott Holt, ExaDigm's Senior Vice President of Business Development. "And if you look widespread at the transportation industry, the buy-on-board programs are becoming more mainstream.
"Most of the airlines are going cashless in terms of their cabin service fees, so as the transportation industry creates more fraud and security mandates, there is more forward motion happening, and I think our relationship with Amtrak is an indication of that trend. For the first time, Amtrak can process any kind of electronic payment - credit, debit or gift cards, loyalty programs and electronic benefits transfers and checks - right on board the train now."
Peripheral vision, no limits
The XD2500 features Ethernet backup built directly into the terminal and has interchangeable modems that support Ethernet wireless fidelity, code division multiple access (used by Verizon and Sprint Nextel) and general packet radio service (used by T-Mobile USA Inc. and AT&T) wireless connectivity, as well as Bluetooth and dial-up connections.
Additionally, the terminal provides two peripheral ports to accommodate check readers and PIN pads. The POS system is a PC-based architecture working in conjunction with the Linux operating system. Holt noted that most competitors' terminals are built on proprietary networks - operating systems written specifically for that POS terminal.
"What ExaDigm has done is that by operating on a Linux system used for laptops, it gives us an entire community of networks and doesn't limit us," Holt said. "And because it's a PC-based architecture, we can incorporate host-based USB ports. This allows for easy integration of peripherals and other hardware devices with little or no software changes, which is not standard on other terminals.
"So it's less of a payment terminal and more of a PC-based payment solution. Additionally, it allows us to implement other technology, like integrating a barcode scanner into the terminal later if the merchant so desires."
ExaDigm said that although it has some direct contract customers such as Amtrak, it offers its products and services mostly through its ISO reseller channel. "We do have a direct sales force, but they are by and large responsible for dealing with our ISO channels," Holt said. "And the fact that we manufacture terminals as well as provide a range of different payment services gives us leverage to offer additional value-added software solutions."
Packing payments, not heat
Conductors and their assistants can carry the XD2500 in a shoulder or belt holster. The terminal is seven inches long and three inches wide and contains a mag stripe reader along with a thermal printer. With the XD2500, customers can save time formerly spent waiting in line, passengers can be processed and boarded more quickly and card-not-present transactions are eliminated.
Holt said that ExaDigm has deployed a variety of its terminals in a range of other transportation environments, including taxis and limousines, and is looking to further expand into chartered airline, cruise ship and transcontinental bus ticket sales.
"The beauty of this system is that the same value provided to Amtrak can be deployed to any transportation vertical," Holt said. "Whether it is ticket sales on cross country railroads, regional rail systems or paying for a cab fare, ExaDigm has been and is developing the form factors to meet the needs of these merchants and their customers."
Unions ride TNB
Communication Federal Credit Union, Oklahoma's third-largest credit union, selected TNB Card Services as its card processing partner. By moving its entire portfolio of card accounts over to TNB, CFCU can now offer rewards programs to cardholders, a custom card to help brand the CFCU and creative marketing programs to expand business.
Also, Minnco Credit Union of Minnesota tapped TNB as its processing partner. One of Minnco's priorities in its partnership with TNB is to offer a full-featured rewards program for members, moving beyond the 1 percent cash-back reward it has been offering.
Secure in any language
Comodo released its Internet Security 3.9 in May 2009. The security suite boasts stronger firewall, host-based intrusion prevention system, and 30 days' free online PC support. Comodo Internet Security offers free firewall and anti-virus protection for Internet users and is available in 32- and 64-bit versions.
The product is offered in English, French, Russian, Italian, Swedish and 13 other languages. Services during the free month trial will be offered without interruption.
International PCI compliance
Shanghai-based information technology (IT) company DerbySoft, which specializes in payment solutions for the hotel and hospitality industries, selected Trustwave to provide PCI DSS compliance validation services.
"Misconfigured internal networks lend themselves to attacks," said Feng Ou, DerbySoft's Chief Technology Officer. "We are working with Trustwave to prevent future malicious attacks and gain greater clarity into corporate vulnerabilities."
Additionally, Trustwave validated as PCI compliant the mobile banking and payment gateway solutions company iVeri Payment Technologies. Sandton, South Africa-based iVeri is one of the first African companies to achieve PCI DSS status. IVeri enrolled in Trustwave's TrustKeeper on-demand compliance management solution to support its quarterly network vulnerability scans.
Webinar helps streamline PCI
In May 2009, the ETA and Trustwave offered payment professionals a free webinar entitled "Identifying and Reducing the Scope of PCI DSS Compliance Efforts." Don Brooks, a Trustwave Sales Engineer, discussed how to make the PCI DSS more manageable by decreasing the area of a network to which the standard applies. In his 30-minute presentation, Brooks focused on proper network segmentation, what systems are subject to the standard and how to save money by reducing the scope of the PCI DSS.
FirstVision in U.K.
First Data Corp. reported that Co-Operative Financial Services and Vanquis Bank, both headquartered in the U.K., have renewed their processing contracts for FirstVision, a global issuing and consumer finance processing solution. FirstVision is the new name for First Data's strategic processing service, which supports merchants in South and Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Hospital's Maine processor
Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, Maine, selected health care payment provider InstaMed's integrated platform, which enables Franklin to collect patient payments over the Web, in the back office and at the point of service. The InstaMed solution allows the hospital to process all its payments on one platform to increase card transaction volume. It offers real-time reporting and consolidated statements.
CUP expands Asian footprint
Global Payments Asia-Pacific Ltd. launched China UnionPay card acceptance service for merchants in Malaysia, enabling merchants in that country to accept card payments from CUP cardholders. With more than 1.8 billion CUP cards in circulation and the rising number of Chinese tourists visiting Malaysia, the service can reduce the number of cash-based transactions. It can be added to existing POS terminals free of charge.
Honor society honors Carr
On June 25, 2009, at Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J., Heartland Payment Systems Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert O. Carr will be awarded the 2009 Beta Gamma Sigma Medallion Award for Entrepreneurship.
Beta Gamma Sigma - an international honor society - selected Carr for his strong commitment to maintaining high moral and ethical standards within the payments industry.
PHT sets foot in door
The Indiana Podiatric Medical Association signed a three-year agreement with Preferred Health Technologies Inc. to provide its physicians, hospitals and other health care providers statewide with PHT's A-Claim medical payment solutions.
Micro-business, consumers get RDC
Mercantile Bank of Michigan deployed Dep@sit, a micro-business and consumer remote deposit capture (RDC) solution provided by Jack Henry & Associate Inc.'s ProfitStars division. Dep@sit enables small merchants and consumers to deposit checks remotely using personal computers and flatbed scanners.
NMI adds StrongBox
E-commerce payment gateway Network Merchants Inc. added CardWorks Processing to its list of certified payment processors. "Our ISO partners can now offer the CardWorks StrongBox authorization platform to their merchant customers," said Ted Cucci, NMI's Chief Operating Officer. "We chose to support retail, MO/TO and e-commerce classifications so a broad customer base can take advantage of our offering."
Panini solution I:Deal for Heartland
Check capture solutions firm Panini North America's I:Deal check scanner was bundled with Heartland's Express Funds solution for RDC, which is powered by transmodus, an on-demand solutions platform delivering check services automation. Heartland merchants can now scan and deposit checks to any bank at any time using I:Deal.
Process from any computer
Payment processor Secured Financial Network Inc.'s CEO Jeffrey Schultz said that SFN's subsidiary Virtual Payment Solutions developed and launched its Windows-based program for the P-25M, a card swiper and printer, and its RedFin Sidebar application for POS transactions. The Windows application enables e-commerce and brick-and-mortar merchants to instantly transact credit and debit cards using the P-25M with any computer.
Emue card to limit fraud
Financial services consultancy Thinking Money reported that U.K. card-not-present fraud has risen 13 percent. To combat credit card fraud losses in Great Britain, Visa and a number of other card companies launched the Emue Technologies card.
The Emue card has a small keyboard and LCD screen embedded on the back of the card. When shopping or banking online, a user can type in his or her PIN number, as done on a normal keyboard. This generates a series of numbers solely to the user's card, which the user must enter online to continue with an online transaction. The Emue essentially makes chip and PIN available for home use.
UBC releases Wi-Fi POS
United Bank Card Inc. released its Harbortouch Wi-Fi POS system, which eliminates cabling and is designed to save merchants thousands of dollars a year, particularly those using multiple terminals at several locations. The POS system is said to allow ISOs to achieve higher margins and increase revenue streams.
Blue Bamboo better at Kore
POS terminal and peripheral manufacturer Blue Bamboo teamed up with digital wireless services provider Kore Telematics Inc. to help power electronic transactions using Blue Bamboo's H50 Terminal. With the Kore Prism Managament portal's real-time data transmission, the H50 offers secure, cost-effective payment applications to mobile payment customers.
Cardinal idea Emerging
Cred-Ex, the main e-commerce brand of alternative payment solutions firm Emerging Payments Technologies Inc., and e-commerce and mobile payment services provider Cardinal Commerce Corp. launched the Merchant Advantage Program to help participating online merchants increase their conversion rates and attract new customer traffic. Cred-Ex assists merchants in assessing credit-worthy customers at checkout.
Forensics on the way
Amsterdam-based IT and payment consultancy The Cybercom Group and European payment services provider ChronoPay B.V. formed an alliance in which Cybercom will offer PCI-forensic investigation to ChronoPay merchants worldwide to assist them in maintaining PCI DSS compliance.
It's HIPAA to be compliant
Health care payment processor Edifecs Inc. and multi-enterprise solutions and infrastructure provider Axway joined forces to offer integrated migration solutions for health care organizations meeting the new federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rules.
An updated X12 version 5010 transaction standard has been mandated for implementation by Jan. 1, 2012.
It requires significant data migration to support future nationwide electronic health care initiatives throughout the United States.
NYCE place to process
NYCE Payments Network LLC renewed its agreement with Community Bank N.A. of DeWitt, N.Y., to provide exclusive PIN debit and ATM card access services. Community Bank contributes 135,000 cards and 132 ATMs to the NYCE network.
JCB discovers Planet
Multicurrency payment and data processor Planet Payment Inc. signed an agreement to provide processing support to JCB International's merchants in Hong Kong starting June 1, 2009. Planet Payment will provide back-end settlement and automated clearing house processing for all merchants acquired directly by JCB's parent company JCB Co. Ltd.
Payment firm gets veteran Cooke
Payment solutions firm LML Payment Systems Inc. appointed David C. Cooke to its board of directors. Cooke is a long-time industry veteran who retired as Chief Learning Officer for the Federal Deposit Insur-ance Corp. in 2006 and now works part time as a consultant and university graduate school finance instructor.
Goldman heading Bling sales
Bling Nation Ltd., a payment network provider for community banks, hired 20-year financial services veteran Shannon Goldman to spearhead the company's sales. Goldman is tasked with leading market expansion efforts for Bling Nation's Community Payments Service.
Goss is new DCS wizard
Dynamic Card Solutions LLC appointed Ryan Goss to work with financial institutions in the Latin American and Caribbean markets in implementing DCS' CardWizard software and associated hardware. CardWizard is designed to instantly issue contactless, mag stripe and EMV debit and credit cards at bank branches, eliminating the costs and delays associated with payment card delivery and PIN mailers.
- A BIGresearch survey revealed that nearly one in three consumers (31.2 percent) are confident or very confident the U.S. economy will get stronger over the next six months. This positive response rose almost five percentage points from April 2009 and nearly 12 points from April 2008.
- The U.S. Census Bureau reported that gross restaurant and bar sales totaled $38.2 billion in April 2009, up 0.2 percent from the March sales volume of $38.1 billion
- According to the National Retail Federations's 2009 Graduation Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, U.S. consumers giving graduation gifts this year will spend about $40 per gift, down from nearly $50 in 2008.
- The State of Retailing Online Marketing Report, produced annually by Shop.org and Forrester Research, said it expects U.S. online retail sales to grow to $156.1 billion in 2009. This represents 6 percent of the total U.S. retail market.
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