Acculynk joined with EFT networks to form the Internet PIN Debit Advisory Council. EFT network members include Fiserv Inc.'s ACCEL/Exchange, Alaska Option Services Corp., Credit Union 24, Discover Financial Services' Pulse and Shazam.
The council's mission is to establish processes, procedures, rules and best practices for using Acculynk's PaySecure for Internet PIN debit. PaySecure is a software-only service for online PIN debit payments used by multiple EFT networks, merchant acquirers, e-commerce merchants and issuers.
"Any time you introduce a disruptive product that promises to be a game changer, you need to lay the groundwork for rules and procedures," said Ashish Bahl, Chief Executive Officer of Acculynk. He added Acculynk saw the importance of developing a council "where the networks could share their experience with PaySecure, provide feedback and receive the tools they need to not only process PaySecure transactions, but roll out this product to their base of issuers."
Membership is open to Acculynk's EFT network PaySecure partners. The company may later expand memberships to e-commerce merchants, acquirers and senior payment processing executives.
President of Mount Vernon Money Center LLC, Robert F. Egan, was arrested on bank fraud charges. The complaint filed on Feb. 8, 2010, asserts that MVMC, at Egan's direction and on eight separate occasions, falsely claimed to have returned collected ATM cash to Webster Bank N.A. or retained it for the benefit of Webster Bank.
Egan admitted in a recorded conversation to taking $12 million of Webster Bank money without the bank's knowledge or consent. He further admitted to using the funds for other areas of MVMC's business and "shortfalls" of other MVMC clients.
Egan is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. The charge could keep him in prison for up to 30 years and result in a fine of $1 million or twice the gain or loss resulting from the crime.
The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the FBI's Complex Frauds Unit. MVMC, a Mount Vernon, N.Y.-based company, provides vault cash management services, cash forecasting and replenishment and armored transportation to banks and ATM providers.
Expecting the passage of the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act of 2009, UC Group Ltd. launched a U.S. subsidiary, SecureTrading Inc. Licensed companies will be able to serve the U.S. online gambling market through SecureTrading upon passage of the legislation.
The U.K. based firm tapped Chris Thom as Chairman, Ted Friedman as Chief Operating Officer and T.J. Sharkey as Head of Customer Sales and Support for SecureTrading.
"Individually and collectively, Chris, Ted and T.J. have extensive experience in the card and banking industry for providing Internet payment services across multiple market sectors," said Kobus Paulsen, Chairman of UC Group.
Atlas Merchant Services LLC unveiled its new cash advance division, Atlas Capital Funding LLC. "With our strong financial backing, we're able to offer factor rates substantially lower than the competition for qualifying merchants," said Eli Sanderson, COO for ACF.
BlueStar Inc.'s Vartech Nordic 2010, held in Stockholm, Sweden, in February 2010 attracted more than 350 manufacturers, resellers and independent software vendors to the value-added reseller event. Theo Bielowicz, Director of Distribution at Datamax-O'Neil, said, "They have set the bar high for their next European event, and I am sure that they will not disappoint."
Cybersecurity company Comodo introduced its Web browser, Comodo Dragon. Comodo developed the new browser on the Chromium Project browser open source platform. The browser alerts users to domain-only certificates, which have no guarantee of authentication.
The Electronic Transactions Association is offering a discount for payment professionals who register for its Annual Meeting & Expo by March 17, 2010.
The April 13 to 15 event will be held at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. Register online at www.electran.org/content/view/539/339.
Financial Transaction Services anticipates a processing volume of more than $4.2 billion in 2010 with Visa Inc.-, MasterCard Worldwide- and Discover-branded cards. The company boasts more than 19,000 merchant accounts and stated it adds approximately 700 new accounts per month.
Higher One Payments, a provider of financial services to private and public U.S. higher education campuses, reported that in 2009, the company contracted with campuses representing a total of more than 700,000 students for its OneDisburse Refund Management platform.
It also acquired payment processor CashNet and hired more than 110 people to its offices in New Haven, Conn. and Alameda, Calif.
Leap Payments Inc. will now offer interchange-plus rates to all merchants. Leap stated it will never charge startup fees.
"Despite the fact that the additional costs added to interchange rates are prohibitive for small businesses, advocacy groups have been unsuccessful in influencing card associations or the federal government to make changes," said Will Detterman, CEO of Leap Payments.
The Ohana Cos. LLC and ValexConsulting Inc. joined forces to develop an Apple Inc. iPhone application for rebate processing and payments.
With the application, customers can submit and process rebates online and access Ohana's Return of Customer Spend platform to choose their payment method.
Since its inception in 2005, Payscape Advisors has added four new offices and now has more than 100 account managers. Payscape also ranked 161 on the 2009 Inc. 500 list, as well as 17 on the Atlanta Business Chronicel's list of 2008 Pacesetters. In January 2010, it placed third among the University of Georgia's Alumni Association's Bulldog 100 Fastest Growing Businesses.
Doin' it right
The Green Sheet couldn't help but notice several payments industry companies are being recognized for their achievements.
Panoptic Security Inc.'s ExpertPCI is a finalist for the 2010 Global Product Excellence Award, administered by the Info Security Products Guide, in the compliance category. The awards will be presented on March 18, 2010.
Paymetric Inc. also achieved finalist status for the 2010 Global Product Excellence Award for its tokenization solution, XiSecure On-Demand.
U.S. Bankcard Services Inc. was presented with several awards at Elavon Inc.'s 2009 MSP Awards ceremony in January 2010. USBS won first place for West Coast Top Volume and West Coast Top Producer. It also won second place in the National Overall Sales Channel for Top Volume new accounts, Top Producer and Portfolio Volume.
Merchant Warehouse received a Best Channel Vendor award for payment processing in the Business Solutions Best Channel Vendors report produced by Business Solutions magazine.
Cash Connect, a division of WSFS Bank in Wilmington, Del., won an ATM Industry Excellence Award. The nomination was based on its CashTrack Web system, customer service, knowledgeable staff and large funding network. The winner for this annual award is chosen through majority vote of ATMIA's members, who number more than 1,300 in 50 countries.
Gartner Inc. named Accertify a Visionary in its new Magic Quadrant for Web Fraud Detection Report. In the report, Gartner analyst Avivah Litan said enterprises should match their requirements to a vendor's specific technology, vision for growth and their product development to an enterprise's need for scalability.
Planet Payment Inc., a multicurrency and data proces-sor, received a U.S. Patent for its Time-of-Transaction Foreign Currency Conversion process. The U.S. Patent office described the exchange rate calculation methodology as unique. The charged amount is converted at the time of sale and employs an exchange rate determined by PPI for each transaction.
For TNB Card Services, 2009 was a year of record growth. It experienced a 25 percent increase in debit transaction volume, and its credit union clients saw an 11 percent uptick in active credit card accounts.
Mark Fenner, Senior Vice President of TNB, said its "experts worked with a large number of credit unions to train their employees and develop in-branch strategies that enabled them to capture member attention and grow their card base."
Trustwave received the WebTrust Seal of Assurance for Certification Authorities - Extended Validation Audit Criteria for 2010, a recognition developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.
The company also gained Common Criteria validation for its network access control technology.
In other news, Trustwave introduced a new scanning application to its data loss prevention suite. The new application, Discover, evaluates content risk of identified targets such as servers, databases and personal computers.
Cryptographic Assurance Services LLC completed its independent review of Voltage Security Inc.'s format-preserving encryption and found the solution conforms to all best practices outlined by Visa for data field encryption and Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) v1.2 encryption requirements.
Zong, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based mobile payment plat-form, reported its Zong+ platform helped increase payment volumes for its merchants.
Zong specializes in online gaming and social networking Web sites. The mobile payment platform, launched in 2009, combines carrier billing with the low processing cost of credit, debit and prepaid cards, according to Zong.
Payment solution provider 3Delta Systems Inc. selected Fortrex Technologies Inc. to conduct its annual independent security assessment.
"Fortrex has the experience, personalized attention and focus on security that we demand of ourselves as a company," said Aaron Bills, COO and founder of 3Delta.
Itasca, Ill.-based Accertify Inc. partnered with Canada-based WestJet Airlines Ltd. to use Accertify's Interceptas platform. The platform is supported by Accertify's airline fraud experts. WestJet is one of many airlines to choose the platform to help prevent payment fraud.
Ann Arbor, Mich.-based AVAbahn LLC entered into a processing agreement with Fast Transact Inc. to integrate Fast Transact's payment processing functionality to its Microsoft Corp.-based automotive dealer management solutions and services. Based in Lacey, Wash., Fast Transact is a provider of payment technologies and terminals.
Element Payment Services Inc. will provide a suite of hospitality software products to ReServe Interactive, a software application provider specializing in the hospitality industry.
Lynn Carter, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of ReServe, noted the platform's ease of integration, that it exceeds PCI DSS compliance requirements and that it simplifies ReServe's Payment Application DSS compliance.
Fifth Third Bancorp and MasterCard partnered to deliver a new corporate purchasing solution. Fifth Third will use MasterCard's inControl service for the new Purchase Control from MasterCard. The card program, according to Master Card, will provide enhanced global controls and increased security.
Hypercom Corp. and The McDonnell Group solidified their joint venture, Phoenix Managed Networks, on Feb. 17, 2010. The new joint venture will provide data communications services for transaction-based applications.
Panini certified CrossCheck Inc.'s CrossCheck Conversion Plus - New Car Program compatible with the Panini I:Deal check scanner.
"The speed and sophistication of the I:Deal software allows us to configure our Check 21 verification, guarantee, and RDC products via an online Web portal for single or multimerchant locations," said J. David Siembieda, CrossCheck's President and CEO.
Pulse, a Discover company, enhanced its partnership with Woodforest Financial Group Inc. for PIN POS debit and ATM services. According to the agreement, Pulse will be the exclusive provider of PIN POS debit services to Woodforest, Woodforest National Bank and Woodforest Bank, all of which will have access to Pulse's ATM network.
Internet retailer, Ritz Interactive Inc. selected Merchant e-Solutions Inc.'s processing technology for its e-commerce network. According to MeS, its platform, using a simplified application programming interface, incorporates all payment authorization, settlement and real-time online reporting into one interface. Ritz Interactive will also use MeS' tokenization service.
Vesta Corp., a wireless operator and electronic payment solution provider, formed an alliance with Nuance Communications Inc. to jointly promote and integrate Nuance's Mobile Care application with Vesta's mobile payment platform. The new solution was showcased at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February 2010.
Visa and DeviceFidelity Inc. plan to market a mobile solution for handsets with memory card slots to function as a Visa mobile, contactless payment device. The solution combines Visa's payWave and DeviceFidelity's In2Pay technologies. Trials are set to commence in the second quarter of 2010.
Visa Europe and SAS Carte Bleue merged their operations, resulting in the formation of Visa France. Gerard Nebouy will head the new organization as Director General and will report to Philippe Menier, Deputy CEO of Visa Europe.
The aim of Visa France is to deepen relationships with French financial institutions to offer Visa card services to banks, retailers and consumers in France.
CT-Payment Inc. appointed 15-year payments industry veteran Guy Dartigues as COO. Dartigues' primary experience has been in the chip card arena. He worked on chip card deployments in Europe and Asia before moving to Quebec, Canada, where he supervised chip and PIN migration for Canadian banks.
Mobile payment service provider Bling Nation hired Charles Herel to oversee sales, implementation and business development in Bling's East region. Herel comes to Bling from Brussels, Belgium-based FRS Global where he served as the company's Vice President.
Grant Victor, parent company of ATMequipment.com, promoted Alicia Ridley to President. Tim Matthews, now Chief Executive of Grant Victor (and founder and co-owner of ATMequipment), will assume the position of President of Grant Victor's new company, OptCon-nect, an ATM wireless communication provider.
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