On Dec. 7, 2009, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey granted Heartland Payment Systems Inc.'s motion to dismiss with prejudice a consolidated shareholder class action. The lawsuit, "In Re Heartland Payment Systems Inc. Securities Litigation," was filed against HPS, Robert O. Carr, HPS Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and H.B. Baldwin Jr., HPS President and Chief Financial Officer, in the wake of the data security breach reported by HPS in January 2009.
Also, HPS reached a settlement agreement with American Express Co. related to said breach of the HPS network. Under the agreement, HPS will pay AmEx $3.6 million to resolve all intrusion-related issues between the two companies. This settlement is the first agreement related to the breach that HPS has reached with a card brand.
Online security and consumer safety experts testified at a House Committee on Financial Services hearing regarding Chairman Barney Frank's Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act of 2009, which proposes a regulatory framework for Internet gambling in the United States. The legislation is in response to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, which was to go into effect on Dec. 1, 2009. The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Board agreed to delay the implementation of the law until June 1, 2010.
At the hearing, experts spoke in favor of regulating Internet gambling by using existing technology to block minors' access to gambling sites, address compulsive gambling, and protect consumers from money laundering, fraud and identity theft. A Harvard University study, Can Internet Gambling Be Effectively Regulated? Managing the Risks, was also released during the hearing.
The Payments Processing Information Sharing Council elected its steering committee for the 2010 to 2011 term. Robert O. Carr, Chairman and CEO of HPS, will serve as the PPISC's Committee Chair. Rick Van Luvender, Director of InfoSec Incident Response at First Data Corp., was elected as Vice Chair.
The PPISC was instituted, under the auspices of the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, to provide a forum for sharing information about fraud, threats, vulnerabilities and risk mitigation practices in the payments industry.
Members at large include Terry Dooley, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at ITS Inc.; Chris Kenyon, Executive Vice President of Systems and Technology and CIO at Elavon Inc.; John Kirkpatrick, Senior Vice President and CIO at Trans First Holdings Inc.; John Latimer, Group Executive and Enterprise Risk Executive at Total System Services Inc.; and Tom Tesmer, Chief Technology Officer at Pipeline Data Inc.
Jim Flaherty, Department of Finance Canada's Minister of Finance, released a proposed code of conduct for the credit and debit card industry in Canada. "This proposed code is intended to promote fair business practices and ensure merchants and consumers clearly understand the costs and benefits of credit and debit cards," Minister Flaherty said.
Responding to the issues brought forth by merchant and consumer associations nationwide, the code would:
GlobalPlatform, the international specification body for smart card infrastructure, will distribute test suites to its members that will allow them to test card-manufacturers' compliance with Card Specification v2.2 market configurations. Once members obtain the suites, they can develop testing tools for the industry at large. Global Platform also launched GlobalPlatform Card Networked Framework v1.0. The document is available for download at www.globalplatform.org/specificationscard.asp.
IDC's IDC Insights' Predictions 2010, a series of complimentary Web conferences, begins Jan. 11, 2009. The series will cover the energy, financial services, government, health, manufacturing and retail sectors. The one-hour webinars will explore dynamic issues and trends in these industries.
Redwood City-based Merchant e-Solutions Inc. made a tokenization solution available to merchants at no extra cost. Tokenization can ease the burden of Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) compliance and thereby lower merchants' operational costs.
The Merchant Risk Council released the names of the keynote speakers for its 2010 Annual e-Commerce Payments and Risk Conference in Las Vegas in March. Wayne Best, Chief Economist from Visa Inc., will present the opening address. Robert O. Carr, CEO of HPS, and Bill Kurtis, investigative reporter and television personality, will deliver the closing speeches.
Sunnyvale, Calif.-based MS Technology Partners LLC launched Cardgigs, a payments industry online job board, in November 2009. The job board, designed and developed by payments industry veterans, is on the Web at http://www.cardgigs.com.
MSI Merchant Services Inc. reported a record processing volume on Black Friday 2009. Its merchants experienced a 36 percent increase in processing volume over "previous years": it enjoyed a 47 percent increase in Visa volume and a 35 percent increase in MasterCard Worldwide volume. MSI also reported a 7 percent increase in PIN-based debit volume.
Continental Credit Systems LLC, doing business as Spectra Payments, launched an ISO incentive program that will pay a $10,000 bonus to the first 10 ISOs who submit a minimum of 25 new qualifying accounts. To qualify for the bonus, accounts must be installed and maintain a minimum transaction volume of $15,000 per month within 90 days of the first account submission.
The nonprofit World Economic Forum awarded the Technology Pioneer 2010 award to mobile payment provider Obopay Inc. Twenty-six companies from locations around the globe received this award. Further, Obopay is one of 11 companies in the Information Technologies, Telecommunications and New Media category and the only recipient from the financial services industry.
The Arthritis Foundation chose Tempo Payments Inc. to power its debit card. When cardholders use the debit card, the foundation receives a portion of the card transaction fees. "Affinity debit cards represent a new fund-raising option for nonprofit organizations," said Tempo CEO Mike Grossman.
Independent e-book store BooksOnBoard.com teamed with OneTXT Inc.'s ORCA, a payment solution provider for digital media companies, to add ORCA's payment platform to its online payment options. "ORCA allows us to offer a comprehensive, branded VIP service that greatly simplifies the checkout experience and provides [for] debit card transactions," said Bob LiVolsi, President, Chief Executive and founder of BooksOnBoard.
Charge Anywhere LLC released its mobile payment application for Research In Motion Ltd.'s Blackberry Storm2 mobile phones. The mobile card payment solution can be purchased through BlackBerry App World and from Charge Anywhere's Web site at www.chargeanywheredirect.com. Adding a Bluetooth printer with integrated card reader enables merchants to process at the lower card present rate.
ClairMail Inc., a mobile banking and payment solution provider, entered into a distribution partnership with ebpSource Ltd. "Exploitation of the mobile payments channel is a strategic imperative for ebpSource clients, and we believe this collaboration with ClairMail will add a significant complementary solution to our existing e-billing and e-invoicing customers," said Steve Wright, Commercial and Marketing Director at ebpSource.
Digital Technology International selected Braintree Payment Solutions for payment processing and its off-site card storage needs. DTI provides Web, print and mobile solutions to publishers. "DTI customers will be able to simplify PCI compliance, increase credit card security and improve how payments are processed," said Bryan Johnson, Braintree's CEO.
MasterCard Canada, teaming with BMO Bank of Montreal and RIM, made its MasterCard PayPass Tap & Go technology available for Blackberry smart phones. The four-month Canadian contactless trial has 8,500 participating merchant locations.
Payment processor, Moneris Solutions Inc. now includes WAY Systems Inc.'s MTT1581 wireless terminal in its merchant product line. "It's perfect for merchants who accept credit or debit cards in a remote environment, such as movers, deliverymen or retail and food-service kiosk operators," said Greg Cohen, President of Moneris.
Panini North America Inc.'s check scanners, designed specifically for remote deposit capture, integrate with Intuit Inc.'s QuickBooks 2010 and Intuit Check Solution for QuickBooks.
The scanner can scan multiple paper checks into QuickBooks, simultaneously sending the digital checks for electronic deposit. Intuit Check Solution captures the same data, recording it into the accounts receivable module within QuickBooks' accounting program.
Resource One Credit Union of Dallas selected TNB Card Services for its payment processing needs. Resource One sold its card portfolio five years ago.
It will transfer its PIN and signature debit card processing to TNB and re-enter the credit card market with TNB.
Atlanta-based Veracity Payment Solutions agreed to purchase American Savings Bank's merchant acquiring portfolio and signed a multiyear marketing agreement to extend its services to the bank's commercial portfolio. ASB comprises 61 branches, all in Hawaii.
YESpay powers Fujitsu self-service kiosks at Jersey Post, the Channel Isle of Jersey's national postal operator. The Jersey Post had used bank-owned payment terminals for customers who had weighed their own packages. Now customers can weigh, stamp and pay for packages through Fujitsu kiosks.
Malaysia-based MOL Global Pte. Ltd., an affiliate of online payment solution provider MOL AccessPortal Berhad, recently agreed to acquire 100 percent of Friendster Inc. Friendster is a global online social network popular in Asia.
Solveras Payment Solutions completed its acquisition of the merchant portfolio of an unnamed seller "within three weeks of the initial dialog with the seller," said John Cramp, Chief Executive of Solveras, who also welcomed its new merchants. In addition to more merchant portfolios, the company seeks enterprise and product-line acquisitions to increase cross-selling opportunities and overall growth.
NCR Corp. expanded its DVD rental kiosk network with the acquisition of Campbell, Calif.-based DVDPlay, which comprises 1,300 kiosks in the United States and Canada and is expected to bring its total number of kiosks to 3,800 by the end of 2009. The company plans to convert the DVDPlay-branded kiosks to its Blockbuster Express brand.
International Payments Corp. named Ron Carter as its new President. Carter will be tasked with accelerating IPC's $150 million strategic acquisition plan, which will include ISOs and merchant portfolios. "Mr. Carter brings a very powerful combination of hands-on operations knowledge and acquisition experience to our company," said David McMackin, CEO, Chairman of the Board and former President of IPC.
Charge Anywhere LLC welcomed Doug Edwards to the position of Senior Sales Director, charging him with leading the company's ISO, processor and ISV sales channels in the southeastern United States. Edwards has 20 years' payments experience, most recently with a prepaid card enterprise.
Arizona-based processor Element Payment Services hired Matthew Gauer as CFO.
At First National Bank of Omaha, Gauer held several executive positions, including CFO of its merchant acquiring division. He will oversee EPS' finance, accounting and human resources departments.
TriSource Solutions LLC, a U.S. payment provider, welcomed Larry Herrmann as Manager of Risk and Underwriting.
A twelve-year fraud investigation veteran in the financial sector, Herrmann is co-founder and Vice President of the Merchant Acquirers Committee and member of the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators.
Payvision, a card-not-present payment solution provider, hired Jim Mouzakiotis as its Director of Sales, Midwest Region, and Joe Rodriguez as Director of Sales for the East Coast Region.
"Their extensive experience and knowledge of our industry will surely translate to both qualitative support and increased sales for our resellers and merchants," said Rudolf Booker, CEO of Payvision.
Check approval and guarantee company CrossCheck Inc. hired Matt Nern as Vice President of Sales, Texas. Nern will direct the development and expansion of the Texas TeleSales and Field Sales divisions, hiring and training for the departments.
He will also be involved in landing major accounts. Nern comes to CrossCheck from his post as President and Chief Operations Officer for US Merchant Systems.
MasterCard Worldwide appointed Kevin Stanton as President of MasterCard Advisors, its professional services arm, effective Jan. 1, 2010. Stanton is President of MasterCard's Canada region.
On-demand contact center software and agent optimization tool provider inContact Inc. awarded a second title with expanded responsibilities to Scott Welch. He will serve as Chief Security Officer in addition to his current role as COO. The company also received PCI DSS certification.
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