The Federal Reserve Banks discontinued check processing in Atlanta as of Feb. 26, 2010, and thereby finished reducing the system's check processing infrastructure, a task that began in 2003. All paper check processing is now done in the banks' Cleveland office.
Contactless transit cards, mobile contactless payments and Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) cards were the hot topics at the Smart Card Alliance 2010 Payment Summit held in Salt Lake City in February 2010.
Transit agency representatives from Toronto, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York City, the state of Utah and the San Francisco Bay Area discussed their contactless fare collection systems, as well as plans for expansion. Also in attendance were at least three major card brands.
The Smart Card Alliance noted the following good news: Oliver Manahan, Vice President for MasterCard Worldwide, said 12 U.S. airports are set to accept MasterCard PayPass.
And Des Docherty, Vice President of Visa Inc., said 13,000 New York taxicabs accept contactless payments; he predicted all Metropolitan Transit Authority buses and transit systems will accept contactless payments in the next few years.
A number of the event's sessions addressed U.S. merchant acceptance of contactless payments. Many in attendance believe EMV contactless cards for U.S. citizens traveling abroad will be the next U.S. chip-based product to be rolled out.
A new alternative payment form that sidesteps bankcards was unveiled by BSG Clearing Solutions, a Billing Services Group Ltd. company. BSG Clearing's Bill2Phone service allows consumers to purchase digital content or make other online micropayment purchases through their telephone carriers. Purchases are added to consumers' monthly telephone bills.
"This is a service we have offered for telecommunication services for decades," said Greg Carter, Chief Executive Officer of BSG Clearing. "We are now offering this as an option for digital content."
To protect consumers using the service, Bill2Phone merchants can use BSG's authentication and verification system. BSG Clearing feels this solution may gain traction with consumers who are cutting back on credit card use or concerned about transmitting credit card or bank account information over the Internet.
Fleet One LLC launched Operation Homefront, a fuel card program to support U.S. troops and their families. When a Fleet cardholder uses the Operation Homefront card, Fleet donates a portion of the sale directly to Operation Homefront, a San Antonio-based nonprofit organization that provides emergency and everyday assistance to individuals deployed in all branches of the U.S. military and to their families. It also assists wounded U.S. military personnel when they return home.
"Our troops know that the price of peace is paid by their entire military families," said Jim Knotts, CEO for Operation Homefront. "It means so much to them that great companies like Fleet One support their families while they're in harm's way." Fleet will donate up to $250,000 through the new program.
Apriva Inc. signed agreements with numerous ISOs for the distribution to mobile merchants of AprivaPay and AprivaPay Professional smart phone POS solutions. "Clearly, many ISOs are starting to see a very real and tangible interest on the part of merchants who are looking to accept card-based payment in the field," said Bill Clark, Apriva's Executive Vice President for North America.
Burroughs Payment Systems Inc. brought customer service back in-house in 2009 to better address the needs of its customers. The six-person call center at Burroughs' headquarters in Plymouth, Mich., has already increased customer satisfaction, making the company's investment worthwhile, according to Alan Howard, President and CEO of Burroughs. The Austin, Texas-based call center it previously engaged started outsourcing services to a company in India.
CrossCheck Inc.'s President and CEO, J. David Siembieda, was recognized as one of the Most Influential Leaders in the North Bay by North Bay Business Journal, which serves California's Sonoma, Marin and Napa counties. Siembieda serves on the Board of Directors of the Electronic Transactions Association and the Advisory Board of The Green Sheet.
Canadian mobile commerce company EnStream LP launched a mobile contactless payment trial with the Zoompass Tag, a wireless payment sticker that attaches to mobile phones, enabling consumers to tap their phones at the POS to make purchases.
"Every transaction is logged in the Zoompass application and can be instantly seen on the mobile phone," said Robin Dua, President of EnStream. Zoompass and the Zoompass Tag are produced by Munich, Germany-based Giesecke & Devrient GmbH.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded two patents to Global Standard Financial Inc. for its technology for Check 21 paperless checks and electronic payment orders (EPOs). With this patented technology, GSF will offer a pure electronic payment system, dubbed Digitally Originated Checks, and develop EPO products and services for release later in 2010.
Litle & Co. was recognized for e-commerce customer service at the fourth annual Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service. According to Litle & Co., the Stevie Award reflects, in part, the demonstrated success of its payment reporting and analytics platform.
NxGen International, a merchant service provider of Elavon Inc., plans to expand in Europe. "With the launch of our European operations, merchants and businesses around the world will benefit from the same competitive pricing, innovative payment services, and dedicated care and support as the customer base we have in the U.S.A. and Canada," said Thomas Nitopi, CEO of NxGen.
RemoteDepositCapture.com is offering a free, on-demand webinar, "ISOs & RDC: The Way Forward." Sponsored by Epson Corp., the webinar features remote deposit capture (RDC) expert panelists Stacia Smith, Epson's Business
Development Manager; Mark Nevle, Director of Business Development for First Data Corp.'s TASQ Technology Inc.; and John Leekley, founder and CEO of RemoteDepositCapture.com. Visit www.remotedepositcapture.com/webinars/webinar.20100209.aspx to access their discussion of RDC issues, challenges, business models, strategies and lessons learned. The full webinar requires registration; a 7-minute preview does not.
Affinity and co-branded debit card platform provider Tempo Payments Inc. was selected as a finalist for a 2010 Software & Information Industry Association CODiE Award in the Best Open Source Solution category.
Established 25 years ago, CODiE Awards honor software, educational technology and digital content companies for industry innovation.
Trustwave recently integrated its data loss prevention functions with Smart Tag encryption technology. According to Trustwave, its Smart Tag technology focuses on protecting the data itself as opposed to the devices that save or send data.
Houston-based U.S. Dataworks Inc., a payment processing solution developer, intends to appeal a ruling by the New York Stock Exchange Amex LLC that would strike its listing from the exchange due to its alleged noncompliance with four items in Section 1003 of the company guide.
If its appeal fails, U.S. Dataworks will seek a spot on the OTC Bulletin Board, which is the U.S. over-the-counter securities market.
Las Vegas-based Worldwide Merchant Services LLC is looking for ISOs and merchant level salespeople. WMS offers services globally that include free equipment programs; e-commerce, wireless and mobile solutions; and ATMs. It also has services for high-risk merchants, offshore accounts and merchant cash advance.
Activant Solutions Inc. selected Element Payment Services Inc. to provide data security and Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) compliance solutions to Activant's customers using the Activant Distribution Suite. Kevin Roach, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Activant, said EPS' processing solutions surpass PCI DSS requirements and are fully integrated with Activant's Distribution Suite.
Athenahealth Inc., a provider of business services to physician practices, formed an alliance with U.S. Bancorp and its subsidiary Elavon Inc. to roll out a comprehensive payment processing service.
The service will include a new, enhanced credit card solution for athenahealth practices across the United States, as well as access to a suite of integrated financial services that includes merchant processing.
BlueStar Inc. added more products to its Elo TouchSystems product line. According to BlueStar, its high-performance All-in-One Touchcomputers are designed for use with POS and point of service applications. The Wide-Aspect Touchmonitors can be used for anything from POS applications to digital signage and kiosks. Elo is a Tyco Electronics Ltd. business.
DirectFED Payment Solutions, a Skyline's DirectFED Corp. enterprise, incorporated Intuit Inc.'s National Check Deposit Network check verification to provide real-time authorization at the POS for Check 21 services.
Jeff Korbin, Executive Vice President of DirectFED Payment, said Check 21 is considered a better service "because the check writer still gets to see an image of the check."
Hypercom Corp. signed an agreement with Monoprix Group, a large city-center retailer in France to provide Hypercom's Wynid payment server. The server will support card transactions for Monoprix's more than 300 retail outlets.
Interac Inc., through its Interac Association Device Certification Program, certified Ingenico's OrSPT payment device, which will be sold by the name i9780UPT in North America. This solution was designed for use in fuel and unattended outdoor verticals.
Distributed check capture solution provider NetDeposit LLC, a subsidiary of Zions Bancorp., signed an agreement with Mitek Systems Inc. to use Mitek's mobile deposit application as part of the NetCapture suite of remote deposit capture solutions. Now NetDeposit clients can deposit checks with their smart phones.
Ritz Interactive Inc. chose Acculynk's PaySecure for 16 of the company's e-commerce Web sites. According to Ritz, PaySecure technology facilitates Internet PIN debit transactions, enabling customers to enjoy a convenient, secure e-commerce payment experience that requires only a debit card and PIN.
VeriFone signed a multimillion dollar deal to provide payment solutions to Russian bank Sberbank. VeriFone credits its strength in the region to its strategic partnership with Innovative Payment Solutions Co.
"We triumphed over major competitors to solidify our relationship with the largest, most dynamic bank of Russia and Eastern Europe," said Adam Biedrzycki, General Manager, VeriFone Continental Europe.
Convenience store outfit Wilson Farms Inc. launched the Red Hot Rewards Card, a combination automated clearing house debit and loyalty card, for its customers in Batavia, New York. Maverick Network Solutions and loyalty solutions provider Outsite Networks Inc. partnered to provide the card to Wilson.
BlueStar Inc. signed a definitive purchase agreement with ID.Sys Group, a specialty electronics distributor, for its operations in Spain and Portugal. Bill Nix, BlueStar Vice President of Global Distribution, said ID.Sys has "consistently earned industry awards and recognition for their innovative distribution efforts in Southern Europe. We are pleased that the founders of ID.Sys, Laurent Berger and Mario Bonixe, are joining the BlueStar family."
Bottomline Technologies Inc. acquired the travel commission payment service of Bank of America Corp. The company will serve BofA's travel clients with PayMode, its payment and invoice automation solution, which it acquired from BofA in 2009.
ATM product and service provider Financial Technology Solutions International Inc. welcomed Rita Bouhebent as Chief Financial Officer. "Rita brings the ideal blend of leadership and financial service experience to FTSI," said Susan Napier, FTSI founder, CEO and Chairman. According to Napier, Bouhebent, a 15-year industry veteran, shares FTSI's "vision on implementing new technologies to help FTSI expand into other markets."
Toronto-based EFT Canada Inc. appointed John Cerenzia as a Director. A Canadian Institute graduate, Cerenzia also serves as a Director of Talware Networx Inc., Greenock Resources Inc. and Kent Exploration Inc. EFT Canada expects Cerenzia, whose experience is in small capitalization companies, to assist with "ushering EFT Canada Inc. into its next phase of growth."
Fifth Third Processing Solutions LLC welcomed Tony Emrick as its new Senior Vice President of Business Development. Emrick, who has 22 years of industry experience, comes to Fifth Third from his position of President of First Data's STAR Network.
Certified Payment Processing hired accredited public relations professional Bill Prickett to head public relations and communications for CPP. Prickett was recruited for the newly created position based on his scope of experience, according to Tony Norrie, CPP Vice President and General Manager.
The Credit Union Service Centers Network Inc. Board of Directors elected two new members: Bill Raker, President and CEO of US Federal Credit Union, and Doug Allman, Vice Chairman of CO-OP Financial Services and President, CEO of NASA Federal Credit Union.
Remote Technologies Inc., a provider of franchisor and franchisee management systems that include POS integration, hired Abe Schryer as CEO. Schryer helped launch EZUniverse, which develops management systems for quick service restaurants.
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