The Green Sheet Online Edition
April 12, 2010 • Issue 10:04:01
SmartMetric sues MasterCard, Visa
Alleging that MasterCard Worldwide and Visa Inc. violated its technology patent with regard to PayPass cards and devices, SmartMetric Inc. filed a federal lawsuit on March 15, 2010, in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, Los Angeles, against both companies. SmartMetric seeks relief for damages and costs, according to Colin Hendrick, President and Chief Executive Officer of SmartMetric.
Visa talks strategy at Investor Day
Visa recently held an Investor Day seminar in San Francisco. In his opening remarks, Joe Saunders, Visa's Chairman and CEO, said, "While we're proud of our past and the leadership position we've achieved, we're trying very hard not to be complacent."
Saunders stated one of Visa's goals is to generate more than 50 percent of its revenue from outside the United States within the next five years. He said Visa currently earns 59 percent of its revenue within the United States.
Saunders highlighted prepaid cards, mobile payments and e-commerce as growth sectors. Visa is actively involved in 23 mobile payment pilots and commercially viable mobile payment programs globally, according to Saunders. Visa also unveiled its new, managed e-commerce payment solution, Rightcliq, at the one-day investor's event.
MPC applauds Vermont legislation
The Merchants Payments Coalition, an advocacy group consisting of 2.7 million U.S. businesses, responded to a recent bill passed by the Vermont State Senate which, among other things, restricts card issuers with regard to interchange.
If also passed by the Vermont House, the legislation will make it illegal for card companies to impose fines on merchants for offering discounts to their customers for using credit cards that cost the merchant less to accept. The legislation also prevents card companies from fining merchants for setting minimum or maximum purchase limits on their cards.
Lyle Beckwith, Senior Vice President of the National Association of Convenience Stores, speaking on behalf of MPC, applauded the authors and the Vermont Judiciary Committee for "taking this critical stand on behalf of Vermont businesses and their customers."
Georgia joins the interchange fray
Georgia legislators introduced a bill in March 2010 to curb "abusive practices" by the credit card companies. House Bill 1456 reportedly received bipartisan support and takes aim at interchange fees. NACS Online reported that Georgia Association of Convenience Stores Board Chairman Rob Patterson said the bill, if passed, "will bring much-needed restraint to an out-of-control industry."
Washington law gives FIs break
Washington State enacted a statute in March 2010 to ease the cost of card reissuance for financial institutions (FIs) that experience a breach of cardholder data through the negligence of a third party.
The new legislation, House Bill 1149, An Act Relating to Protecting Consumers from Breaches of Security, states, in part, that since the reissuance of cards post-breach can reduce occurrences of identity theft and fraud, FIs are encouraged "to reissue credit and debit cards to consumers when appropriate." It also asserts said FIs can recover "data breach costs associated with the reissuance from large businesses and card processors who are negligent in maintaining or transmitting card data." The act takes effect July 1, 2010, and is not retroactive.
Acxiom launches online ID solution
Acxiom Identity Data on Demand, released by Acxiom Corp., is an application programming interface designed to identify and verify customers for e-commerce transactions. The new solution can be integrated into existing systems or used as a stand-alone tool. The solution compares customer information to verify identity in real-time, helping e-commerce businesses to adhere to regulatory, privacy and best practices obligations, according to Acxiom.
BluePay introduces Level 3 processing
BluePay Processing LLC expanded its business-to-business transaction services to include Level 3 processing. With Level 3 processing, businesses benefit from a lower transaction rate and also "receive more accurate reporting for better business," said Kristen Gramigna, Director of BluePay.
Ethoca introduces Ethoca360 Signals
Fraud detection services provider Ethoca Ltd. released a decision support tool for card-not-present fraud screening, Ethoca360 Signals. According to Ethoca CEO Andre Edelbrock, the tool enhances the predictive accuracy of companies' primary screening tools and methodology and provides analytics for manual reviews.
GETI launches new Web sites
Global eTelecom Inc. launched its redesigned corporate Web site and reseller resource sites. The sites focus on developer integration, expanded product lines, brand enhancements and an improved user experience, according to GETI.
"We utilized customer feedback to reinvent how we deliver our new products, branding and sales tools for partners," said Chris Brundage, Chief Operating Officer of GETI.
MCC offers new reseller programs
Merchant Cash & Capital LLC, a provider of alternative and nontraditional funding and cash advances to retail businesses, restaurants and service businesses, now offers a Gold Program, QSR Program, Starter Plus Program, and its Portfolio Performance and Reconciliation Management System. MCC said its aim with these programs is to help resellers "do more business and do so more efficiently."
MSB helps governments reduce costs
Municipal Services Bureau launched a payment processing solution for government agencies nationwide. MSB has the ability to host all of its clients' data, which allows delinquent accounts to seamlessly transition into its collection process, according to Bruce Cummings, CEO for MSB.
ProfitStars enhances RDC offerings
Jack Henry & Associates Inc.'s ProfitStars division reported its remote deposit capture (RDC) solution is experiencing record growth. The division also launched the RDC Knowledge Center Web site, an educational resource for financial institutions interested in adding, growing or enhancing their RDC offerings.
In other news, ProfitStars launched its Gladiator Technology RDC Compliance Service. The service generates custom RDC policies to help FIs comply with RDC-related regulatory requirements.
Sterling's PCI offering sales up
Sterling Payment Technologies reported that it enrolled 68 percent of its merchant clients in its Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) compliance program
UBC redesigns ISO-focused site
United Bank Card Inc. streamlined its ISO-focused Web site, www.isoprogram.com. The revamped site is more user-friendly, according to Brian Jones, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. He added that it also reflects the company's "increasing focus on technological upgrades with the ultimate goal of streamlining our entire operations."
Calypso Canada gains EMV approval
Calypso Canada, a Transaction Network Services Inc. company, received approval from MasterCard for Europay/MasterCard/Visa processing on its ATM network. Doug Epp, Senior Director of Sales for TNS Canada, said the approval was earned after extensive efforts by TNS' in-house experts working in partnership with Moneris Solutions Inc.
Capital Payments acquires MSG assets
Capital Payments LLC recently made its fourth acquisition by purchasing a portion of merchant assets from Merchant Services Group Inc. and entering into a long-term distribution agreement with MSG's principals. Syosset, New York-based MSG specializes in credit card and check processing and other payment-related services for small and mid-sized businesses, corporate merchants, and e-commerce merchants.
CO-OP Financial to gain Share System
CO-OP Financial Services and Members United Corporate Federal Credit Union entered into a nonbinding letter of intent for CO-OP to purchase Share System from Members United for an undisclosed sum. Share System is an ATM and debit card program serving credit unions, primarily in Indiana. The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2010.
FrontStream buys Fast Transact
Payment solutions provider FrontStream Payments Inc. acquired Fast Transact Inc., a provider of innovative payment processing solutions for both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar merchants. An investment by Arsenal Capital Partners funded the deal.
"The acquisition of Fast Transact strengthens Front Stream's approach of providing customers with unique, high-value payment products," said FrontStream CEO and co-founder Emmet Seibels. "Fast Transact's secure, integrated payment solutions and its experienced management team provide FrontStream with the expertise to partner with merchants and resellers in growing industry segments."
Offerpal goes mobile with Tapjoy
Offerpal Media, a provider of virtual currency payment alternatives, acquired Tapjoy, creator of the Tapjoy platform for mobile developers and a provider of monetization and distribution services on established and emerging mobile platforms. The acquisition extends Offerpal's virtual currency monetization model to mobile applications. "There are more than 200 million mobile phone users in the U.S. alone, and most of them will soon have a way to play games on their devices," said George Garrick, Chairman and CEO of Offerpal. "We also expect the micro-transaction model to move beyond games, and for there to be practically unlimited applications for micro-transactions on mobile platforms as well as the Web."
TestLink grows with Oceansound
Independent ATM supplier TestLink acquired ATM parts specialist OEM Oceansound Ltd., which, according to U.K.-based TestLink makes the companies' combined ATM spare parts operation the largest of its kind worldwide. Customers of OEM will now have direct access to TestLink's extensive parts repair operations.
Visa promotes Buse
Visa named Elizabeth Buse its Group Executive, International. She will oversee Visa's global sales and client service functions across the Asia-Pacific and Central Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) regions. Buse, who previously served as Visa's Global Head of Product, will be based in Singapore and report to John Partridge, President of Visa.
"Under Elizabeth's leadership, Visa has globalized our e-commerce, money transfer and mobile efforts and delivered customer-centric and value-add information products and services that continue to drive the shift to electronic payments and accelerate our growth around the world," said Joseph Saunders, Visa's Chairman and CEO.
"Visa will benefit immensely from her drive, strong knowledge of the business and the respect she commands from clients, colleagues and Wall Street alike." The appointment follows the decision by Rupert Keeley, Visa's Group President of Asia Pacific and CEMEA, to leave the company.
First American promotes Dillon
First American Payment Systems LP promoted Shawn Dillon to Director of Strategic Sales. Dillon has been in the payments industry for nearly seven years, the last two of which were at First American. As the company's Manager of Bank Partnerships and Corporate Sales, Dillon recruited financial institutions looking for quality payment solutions and led the corporate sales team.
Trustwave's new Channel Manager
Trustwave appointed Celso Hummel as Channel Manager for Trustwave Brazil. Hummel has more than 15 years' experience in the information security and computer forensics industries. He spent several years at TechBiz Forense Digital, most recently as Government and Channel Manager for Brazil, where he developed the company's sales process. At Trustwave Brazil, Hummel will develop partnerships with key Brazilian security and technology integrators and Internet service providers to further penetrate the local market with Trustwave's information security solutions.
EVO selects Linden
Todd Linden joined EVO Merchant Services as Senior Vice President of Business Development. Linden will be responsible for building strategic relationships that focus on new business initiatives. Linden has extensive experience in the acquiring business, most recently as Senior Vice President and Division Manager of Operations at National Processing Co. Linden has also served the Electronic Transactions Association in multiple leadership capacities.
Mahoney President of US Alliance
US Alliance Group Inc. appointed Greg Mahoney as its President. The company noted that Mahoney created and executed strategic programs that resulted in significant sales growth over the last two years. He will now oversee the company's entire operation and expansion plan. Mahoney joined USAG in 2007 as a Senior Vice President. Directly prior, he was the Executive Vice President of Electronic Cash Systems.
Ricker rises at 3DSI
3Delta Systems Inc. (3DSI), an online credit card payment solutions provider, promoted Rick Ricker to Vice President of Business Development for enterprise payment solutions. He had served as 3DSI's Director of Operations since 2000.
Ricker, who has more than 25 years of operations, marketing and finance experience, will be responsible for growing the corporate and government markets for CardVault, 3DSI's payment tokenization service.
He will also focus on enhancing the company's channel partner services in the business-to-business and business-to-government sectors.
Apriva taps Tappin
Apriva, a provider of end-to-end wireless transactions and secure information solutions, appointed Stacey Finely Tappin as Vice President of Sales of Apriva's POS division for North America. Presiding over the company's sales operations, Tappin will focus on expanding wireless payment technology products and services, maximizing growth opportunities from both new and existing customers, and developing new channels of business revenue.
Tappin brings more than 20 years of sales management, strategic planning, global training and leadership program development experience to Apriva.
Before joining Apriva, Tappin was responsible for generating new business and selling new products and services into the existing client base for TSYS Acquiring Solutions as its Vice President of Sales.
- NPD Group Inc. reported that the athletic footwear market declined less in 2009 than in 2008: 1.4 percent and 3.2 percent respectively. Women's and girls' sales increased by 0.6 percent each in 2009; the infant/toddlers group experienced the steepest decline: 4.8 percent.
- According to the MasterCard Advisors Spending Pulse, most retail sectors' sales increased for February 2009 compared with February 2008. Most improved: consumer electronics, up 5.8 percent; luxury sales, excluding jewelry, up 15.2 percent; and online sales, up 16.7 percent, though the average online transaction amount shrank 3.7 percent.
- First Data Corp.'s SpendTrend indicated the retail sector's dollar volume was up 8.4 percent in February 2009 compared to a rise of 5.4 percent the preceding month. Same-store dollar volume increased 8.4 percent, up from January's 7.1 percent.
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