Minneapolis-based Radisson Hotels and Resorts revealed in August 2009 that the computer systems of certain Radisson hotels in the United States and Canada were accessed without authorization between November 2008 and May 2009, a violation of both criminal and civil laws. Radisson is a division of Carlson Hotels Worldwide, which has more than 400 locations in 68 countries.
Fredrik Korallus, Radisson's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer and the letter's author, said the hotel chain has been coordinating with federal law enforcement authorities to assist in the breach investigation.
According to Korallus, the number of hotels involved is limited, but the data accessed may have included cardholder names from credit and debit cards, as well as card numbers and expiration dates. The data reportedly did not include Social Security numbers.
The hotel chain was informed of the unauthorized access by Visa Inc., MasterCard Worldwide and Radisson's payment processor, which was not identified.
"Radisson values guest privacy and deeply regrets this incident occurred," Korallus said. "Working with law enforcement and forensic investigators, Radisson is conducting a thorough review of the potentially affected computer systems and has implemented additional security measures designed to prevent a recurrence of such an attack. We are also working closely with major credit card suppliers and law enforcement to ensure this issue is properly addressed."
With an emphasis on greater security, flexibility and control, Citi Merchant Services' new Virtual Card Account service provides virtual card numbers for transactions. Administrators can control particular functions of each account. According to Citi, this solution is ideal for better managing recurring business purchases and improving control of one-off strategic purchases. Citi has integrated MasterCard's inControl virtual card platform into its core commercial cards solutions. This new global solution features local currency issuance and settlement in almost 50 countries.
Paul Simpson, Citi's Global Head of Treasury and Trade Solutions, said the new Virtual Card Account "provides our clients with real-time virtual card capabilities and strong controls over their transactions to help them further safeguard against risk, improve processes, and maximize their working capital."
Aite Group LLC launched a health insurance practice to complement its banking, securities and investments services. It intends to offer financial institutions, technology vendors and business process outsourcing providers insight into the health care and health insurance spheres.
Kunal Pandya, who joined Aite as a Senior Analyst in April 2009, is the lead analyst driving the new practice's development. According to the company, the practice's research will cover the following:
"Aite Group is very excited to bring its high-quality and high-touch research model to the health insurance and health care industries," Aite Partner Gwenn Bézard said.
"With the addition of the Health Insurance practice, Aite Group will leverage an already strong expertise in the payments business as well as new expertise Aite Group is bringing on board to create this new practice."
Deloitte Development LLC's Deloitte 2009 Titan Fast Tech award finalists named by the Metroplex Technology Business Council include ACH Direct Inc. As a Fast Tech five-year revenue growth finalist, the company is eligible for Deloitte's National Fast 500 Program.
ACH Direct was also listed on Inc.'s 5000 list of fastest growing private companies in America.
AdvanceMe Inc. released a white paper in August 2009 entitled Merchant Cash Advance: Not for Every Business. Is it Right for Yours? The paper, aimed at business owners, is the third in a series.
The paper urges business owners to make informed decisions regarding merchant cash advance or any working capital solution through education, investigation, preparation and planning.
Approva Corp., a continuous controls monitoring software provider, received $14 million in financing to accelerate investments and to take the company to the next growth level. "These additional funds provide operating capital that we will use to launch our next generation of products, expand our sales channel and enhance our marketing programs," said John Becker, Chief Executive Officer, Approva.
Doin' it right
Atlanta-based cash advance company AdvanceMe Inc. was a finalist for the 2009 American Business Awards in three categories: Executive of the Year - Financial Services, Best Overall Company and Marketing Campaign of the Year for a Service. The awards were presented from June 22 to 25, 2009, at the Marriot Marquis Hotel in New York.
Additionally, Glenn Goldman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Capital Access Network Inc., AdvanceMe's parent company, received the Ernst & Young 2009 Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Financial Services category for the New York metropolitan area. Goldman will attend the national Entrepreneur of the Year awards in Palm Desert, Calif., in November 2009.
"Winning the award was tremendous, but I can't get recognized flying solo," Goldman said. "These awards are really more about the employees at AdvanceMe. Their unwavering commitment during incredibly difficult times has really made my job much easier."
Since its inception in 1998, AdvanceMe has provided nearly $1.5 billion in working capital to more than 25,000 businesses nationwide, encompassing more than 500 standard industrial classification codes. "We built this company on the premise that more small businesses deserved working capital," Goldman said. "Those companies are the cornerstone of this country, and we are dedicated to their success."
More than 2,600 entries in over 40 categories from companies representing all sectors of financial services were submitted. And while AdvanceMe did not win top honors in any category, Goldman feels the nominations were more than enough to validate the company's mission, direction and achievements.
"The dedication of our employees continues to rise to a level that attracts and acknowledges excellence," Goldman said. "There are enough things going on in this economy to diminish people's intensity and inspiration. The fact that our folks are able to rise above that and deliver at a level that warrants recognition has created an enormous amount of pride within the company."
Goldman believes that what makes AdvanceMe unique is having data and reporting information that is "transparent and immediately actionable." Additionally, Goldman fosters a corporate culture that encourages communication and contrarian points of view.
"We want to hear all the news, good or bad," Goldman said. "I mean, there are companies that have analytics departments bigger than our entire organization, but they don't promote a culture that allows information to be disseminated up through the middle and senior management ranks - and that's what differentiates us." Goldman is especially proud of AdvanceMe's nomination for the Marketing Campaign of the Year for a Service award for Predictifund, a subsidiary of the company that provides equipment leasing for small and mid-sized businesses challenged by what Goldman refers to as traditional leasing criteria.
"Some of these leasing companies may look to FICO [Fair Isaac Corp.] scores to qualify a small business owner," Goldman said. "But with Predictifund, we came up with a more appropriate use of evaluating the financial well-being and worthiness of a potential customer.
"Predictifund is not in the business of declining applications for small-ticket equipment leasing. That merchant on the surface may have a low FICO score, but we look at the fact that he has been in business for 20 years, which means more than likely he's a very good customer."
The judges for both the Stevie Awards and Entrepreneur of the Year look closely at the products and services companies offer, their history in terms of growth as well as the ability to overcome obstacles and find success.
"The fact that we have overcome the challenges of growth and creativity and grew in excess of 30 percent in 2008 is rewarding and very special," Goldman said. "In our organization people truly feel that they are doing a social good by providing capital to small businesses that have a difficult time accessing capital to grow. That gives us not only an enormous sense of pride, but it also reminds our folks that you can have the greatest marketing campaigns, the best MIS [management information systems] and IT [information technology] systems and the most entrepreneurial CEO and executive team - but without the customer, none of that matters."
BancTec Inc. will be filing a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering of up to $50 million of its common stock. The company intends to use proceeds for general corporate purposes which include exploring growth opportunities.
To help businesses stave off attacks from cyber thieves, Blue Ridge Networks Inc. now offers its AppGuard Enterprise, which protects against malware attacks whether they come via e-mails, Web site links, universal serial bus devices or legitimate, yet compromised Web sites. In addition, its drive-by-download protection blocks viruses or spyware before they enter a PC or laptop, and its privacy protection feature protects users' private data from Web browsers.
Bluepoint Solutions Inc. now offers its RDC Consumer product in a hosted, software as a service (SaaS) model for remote deposit capture. The new solution reportedly allows participating bank and credit union customers to deposit checks from any location - even from home.
Eliot Management Group has focused on recruitment and training for its branches nationwide since opening its 25th office in February 2009. In July 2009, it hired 84 sales representatives and plans to continue adding talent to its team through the end of the year.
First Atlantic Commerce Ltd., an online multicurrency payment gateway headquartered in Bermuda, was undeterred by Hurricane Bill, which passed 166 nautical miles west-southwest of Bermuda in August 2009. In spite of the extensive power outages across the island, its cable and wireless facility, which runs on an independent power supply, remained up and running.
NCR Corp.'s NCR Advanced Store version 5.4 POS solution received Payment Application (PA) Data Security Standard (DSS) certification from the PCI Security Standards Council. This solution, intended for major general merchandise retailers, features such functions as pricing and promotions, multichannel support and customer relationship management, returns, and mobile retailing.
Network Merchants Inc. rolled out Level III Enhanced Data Processing, which is used for business-to-business and business-to-government purchases. "Not only will merchants appreciate better discount rates but the powerful Network Merchants data engine gives them the ability to retrieve this extensive data about their transactions any time in the future," said Matthew Schmidgall, Chief Technology Officer, NMI.
Paymetric Inc., a provider of integrated payment acceptance solutions, reported a record quarter. In the second quarter of 2009, it launched new SaaS solutions, and the company experienced 175 percent growth in year-over-year deferred revenue.
Reportlinker added a new market report to its catalog. Available for purchase at www.reportlinker.com, North American Market for Third Party Payroll, Payment and Healthcare Transaction Processing, 3rd Edition, authored by Marigny Research Group Inc., focuses on three crucial elements: electronic payment, payroll and health care transaction processing.
Maligny's research found that third-party processing services can expect 9 to 10 percent average annual gains through 2013, based on 2008 sales of $62 billion. Factors such as the expansion of Internet processing applications, economic conditions, technology adoption rates and regulatory changes are also covered in the report.
The Members Group brought three new West Coast credit unions into its fold. Spokane Teachers Credit Union, operating in Washington State; Mission Federal Credit Union of San Diego; and St. Helen's Community Federal Credit Union of St. Helens, Ore., will be using TMG credit card processing solutions. TMG also extended its agreement with the Premier America Credit Union, which serves Chatsworth, Calif.
United Merchant Services Inc. added the VeriFone payment module to its electronic cash register (ECR) program. "With VeriFone terminals in our lineup, our sales partners will have a choice to work with the terminals they are most comfortable with," said Bryan Daughtry, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, UMS. The company's free ECR Program can now be integrated with VeriFone's VX 510 and VX570, as well as Ingenico I5100.
United Payment Services has been awarded the 2009 Best of Westlake Village Award in the credit card services category. The award, administered by the U.S. Commerce Association, recognizes businesses that have achieved exceptional marketing success in their communities and categories.
VeriFone released PAYware CMS 8.0, a card management enterprise software for banks, financial institutions, processors and retailers. The new version features improved performance and a new intuitive graphical interface, according to Gustavo Jimenez, Vice President and General Manager, Integrated Systems Groups of VeriFone Latin America and the Caribbean.
After years of implementations for multiple Fortune 500 clients, VIP LLC is set to launch VIPGift, its Employee Appreciation Recognition and Nomination (EARN) 2.0 rewards application. It is designed to enable managers to recognize employees with incentives for their achievements and includes the option to set up recurring rewards for anniversaries and birthdays.
Taking its near field communication (NFC) infrastructure software to the next phase, ViVOTech Inc. has launched ViVOnfc Suite 2.8 on the Solaris 10 operating system and Sun Microsystems Inc. hardware. This NFC solution is available for large-scale, commercial deployments for mobile payments and promotions. Users can manage payment cards, coupons and tickets on NFC-enabled handsets.
Accertify Inc. added Rapleaf's e-mail reputation services for transaction processing markets to its Interceptas platform. "Fraud schemes are constantly evolving in order to evade merchant defenses," said Michael Long, Accertify's Chief Product Strategist. "Accertify makes it easy for online merchants to build a customized anti-fraud arsenal and keep it up to date."
BluePearl Veterinary Partners has joined Veracity Payment Solutions Inc.'s Bequest affinity program. The patent-pending product will provide veterinarians access to on-demand grants for families who need their pet care subsidized right from the POS terminal.
Danversbank, a wholly owned banking subsidiary of Danvers Bancorp Inc., chose to employ Metavante Technology Inc.'s loyalty and rewards program, Points2U Plus. Metavante's solution combines issuer- and merchant-funded rewards.
Payment processor Global Electronic Technology Inc. extended its contract with Merrick Bank in a multiyear agreement. "Global Electronic Technology Inc. has played a key role in growing Merrick's acquiring business for the past five years and we look forward to continuing and extending our long-running relationship," said Fred Horn, Senior Vice President, Merrick Bank Merchant Services.
Imagine International Corp., a consumer electronics manufacturer, has chosen Jagged Peak Inc. as its e-commerce solution and supply chain software provider. Jagged Peak's TotalCommerce and associated services are part of Imagine's plans to expand its product distribution channels.
MiraTel Solutions Inc. selected Fusepoint Managed Services, a provider of outsourced information technology services and infrastructure, to manage and host MiraTel's new online lottery ticket sales application in a Payment Card Industry (PCI) DSS-compliant manner. MiraTel needed a PCI-compliant solution that could be ready in less than one month.
The Internal Revenue Service has selected RBS WorldPay Inc. to provide electronic payment solutions for individual and business taxes. In partnership with Value Payment Systems LLC, RBS will offer this solution at www.payUSAtax.com and by phone at 888-972-9829 beginning Jan. 1, 2010. The site will accept various credit, debit and emerging payment methods.
Palmetto Cooperative Services LLC equipped its credit union locations with VSoft Corp.'s Centrum Gateway - ATM solution. Now, when a credit union member deposits a check the check image and related data is captured, and members can see the captured image on their receipts.
Backed by its worldwide banking relationships and risk management tools and experience, SafeCharge International, a payment service provider, entered into a partnership with London-based William Hill PLC, an online gambling and betting site. SafeCharge will provide the payment solution for the site.
TASQ Technology Inc. added Hypercom Corp.'s Optimum multilane terminal family to its product offerings. "TASQ's reseller community has moved quickly to embrace the Optimum product line, and we are particularly excited by the host of new channel partnerships formed as a result of our joint multilane sales efforts," said Lloyd Baylard, Vice President, Multilane Products, Hypercom.
VeriFone released MX ATM, a retail payment kiosk with cash dispensing and deposit capability designed for the Latin America market. This solution was delivered in partnership with PROSA, a Mexican enterprise that plans to deploy the kiosks in retail locations throughout Mexico.
Texas-based quick service restaurant chain Whataburger will now accept MasterCard's Master Card PayPass contactless cards or devices using newly deployed ViVOTech Inc.'s ViVOpay 4500M and ViVOpay DTc readers at more than 500 of its southern United States restaurants.
Monitise PLC bought out joint venture partner VocaLink to take full ownership of Monilink LTD, a mobile banking and payments network in the United Kingdom.
Over a three-year period, Monitise will pay VocaLink 1.5 million British pounds in cash to buy out VocaLink's 50 percent stake in Monilink.
Trilogy Payment Solutions, a Fort Worth-based payment solution provider, welcomed Ed Dzurilla as its new Director of Marketing and Sales. Dzurilla has held executive positions in marketing with consumer packaged goods and health care firms.
Desktop scanner and remote deposit capture technology provider Digital Check Corp. hired Adrian Henigman to establish the company's presence in Brazil. "This is the right time to invest in Brazil's financial services industry because the need for scanning technology for distributed check processing will only increase," said Alex Trombetta, Managing Director for International Markets, Digital Check.
To manage corporate strategy spanning 170 countries, Visa named Oliver Jenkyn to Global Head of Strategy and Corporate Development.
"Oliver has been a trusted advisor to Visa for several years, including important contributions to our global restructuring and IPO," said Joseph W. Saunders, Chairman and CEO of Visa.
VersaPay Corp., an independently owned Canadian payment processor, has added three new members to its board of directors: David Peterson, Senior Partner and Chairman at the law firm of Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP and Knight of the Order of Legion of Honor of France (and now Ontario); Brian Kyle, Executive Vice President of Davis and Henderson; and Wendy Porter, founder of Moneris Solutions Inc.
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