The Merchant Advisory Group recently devised a set of recommendations to influence the evolution of the U.S. payment system. The policy and technology suggestions will be submitted to "stakeholder groups in the payments business to help them understand merchant needs and preferences transitioning to more secure and efficient transacting - especially with mobile devices," MAG said in a statement.
Dodd Roberts, MAG's President and Chief Executive Officer, said the document is intended to provide direction and help stakeholders in the payments ecosystem understand merchant needs in order to accelerate the progress of the emerging new payments infrastructure. Among MAG's recommendations are that investments be channeled to smart card payment implementations and that a national migration be undertaken to the Europay/MasterCard/Visa global security standard.
The Merchant Risk Council, which focuses on electronic commerce risk, made three additions to its boards of directors. Joining the Global Board of Directors was Mike Petitti, Chief Marketing Officer at Trustwave. He served on the MRC's Americas Advisory Board beginning in 2007.
Rik van 't Hof, Product Manager for GlobalCollect, joined the Americas Advisory Board. Joining the MRC's European Advisory Board were Jerome Petit, Head of Europe/Middle East/Asia Business Development at Snapfish by HP, and Kevin Smith, Senior Vice President, Fraud Management, at Visa Europe.
The Salvation Army Metro Atlanta is countering declining donations to its red kettles by equipping bell ringers with wireless card readers. The Atlanta chapter reported a recent 3 percent decline in donations. The charity has been hit by the drop in traditional retail shopping and a shortage of retail outlets willing to allow bell ringers to stand at entrances, according to Salvation Army Major James Seiler.
"Technology now affords us new ways to attract a more diverse group and larger gifts from those who wish to give," Seiler stated. The chapter hopes the strategy will allow it to more than double its holiday fundraising to $200,000, from $91,000 last holiday season.
Arkansas-based ABC Financial Services Inc. launched ABC Merchant Services, a direct payment processor. Keith Trawick, Senior Vice President of ABC Financial, was appointed President of the new company. ABC Financial provides health clubs with billing services. ABCMS will process for merchants both within and outside the fitness industry.
CPI Card Group reported it produced 100 million contactless cards at its Colorado facility. The company said it has delivered contactless smart cards for leading payment card issuers in the United States and Canada.
Card and electronic check processor Electronic Payment Exchange said its payment data tokenization technology has been used for more than 1 billion financial transactions since 2001.
Ingenico reported executing its 500 millionth transaction with Axis, its centralized payment management platform; the company expects that number to hit 600 million by the end of 2010 due to the increase in transaction volume during the year-end holiday period. The company also delivered its millionth payment terminal from the iCT200 series, which was launched in mid-2009.
Merchant Warehouse moved its headquarters to a new Boston location that is double the size of its previous offices. The ISO said it relocated because of its "unprecedented growth across its sales channels, within its employee ranks and in the number of transactions it completes annually." The number of staff grew 29 percent in 2010, and the growth rate on secured deals within agent and direct sales channels was 135 percent, the company noted.
Shift4 Corp.'s hosted payment gateway was certified by Chase Paymentech Solutions LLC for retail Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) payments in Canada. Merchants and processors in Canada must convert to EMV by March 31, 2011.
Information technology publication SC Magazine named Trustwave a 2011 awards finalist for achievement in information security. Trustwave is recognized in the Excellence Award Best Security Company category. Winners will be announced in February 2011.
TransNational Bankcard was listed as one of the Top 100 Workplaces 2010 by the Chicago Tribune. It was the only merchant processor named to the list, which was compiled from among 1,360 Chicago-area companies.
Tyfone Inc. was awarded a patent for the company's mobile electronic wallet technology. The "mobile phone with electronic transaction card" technology enables certain phones to transmit transaction data to a reader device, Tyfone said.
USA ePay joined the Secure Vault Payments online payment network, which was developed by NACHA - The Electronic Payments Association and eWise. Membership allows USA ePay to offer the online payment option to its 40,000 clients.
ViVOtech Inc.'s near field communication (NFC) mobile phone software that enables mobile payments at the POS was named a finalist for a Sesames Award in the banking/retail/loyalty category. The awards were to be presented Dec. 6, 2010, at the Cartes IDentification 2010 event in Paris. ViVOtech's software and service enable mobile wallets and coupon management.
Software developer and value-added reseller AccuCode Inc. chose Trustwave to assist its clients with validating compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS). Trustwave's compliance services are now bundled into AccuCode's PCI compliance products. In addition, CyberSource Corp. contracted with Trustwave for PCI compliance validation services. The agreement gives CyberSource merchants access to Trustwave's compliance web portal.
American Express Co. and China UnionPay intend to expand their current agreements. The two companies already cooperate within China. A new memo of understanding may expand those activities outside of China.
Ariane Systems, a provider of checkout kiosks for the hospitality industry, integrated its services with Hypercom Corp.'s SmartPayments Wynid integrated payment system. Ariane Systems in France supports kiosks at 1,600 hotel chain POS locations.
Elavon Inc., a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp, agreed to market and support VeriFone Inc.'s PAYware Mobile secure card payment system for the iPhone. The system turns the phone into a mobile payment device with a card encryption sleeve.
First Data Corp. and the National Retail Federation are conducting a joint research study of data security and fraud prevention strategies practiced at small to mid-sized retailers. Results of the study will be reported in early 2011.
In other news, First Data entered a referral agreement with Laru Corp., which develops automated clearing house (ACH) risk management and fraud detection software for financial institutions. The agreement provides ACH anti-fraud services to First Data's FundsXpress business online banking customers.
Global Payments Inc. and La Caixa, a retail bank in Spain, created a joint venture to specialize in merchant acquiring and payment processing in the Southern European country. Global Payments will pay 125 million euros in cash and hold a 51 percent stake in the venture, and the bank will contribute its existing merchant acquiring business.
The Mellow Mushroom pizza franchise chose BHI Advanced Internet Inc. as its preferred PCI compliance vendor. BHI's SecureConnect service provides franchisees with a managed firewall, centralized reporting, constant monitoring and quarterly vulnerability scanning.
Merchant360 Inc. was contracted by Bling Nation to integrate its mobile payments capabilities with POS systems. Merchant360 is providing the VeriFone Vx810 Duet contactless application; Micros system integration with an NFC/contactless reader enabled by OneInterface from Global Blue A.B.; and integration with Merchant360's Mobitranz gateway for switching transactions.
The Nevada Restaurant Association (NvRA) endorsed Heartland Payment Systems Inc. as its preferred provider of card processing and check management services. NvRA is the 43rd state restaurant association in Heartland's alliance.
Additionally, TOPS Software integrated its property management software with Heartland Check Management, Heartland's check processing platform. The integration allows TOPS clients to access remote deposit capture (RDC) services directly through their existing software.
National Datacare Corp. will offer RDC software and scanning hardware from RDM Corp. to its customers. National Datacare provides resident Medicaid billing services to long-term care facilities.
On-Line Strategies Inc.'s payment software earned Verafied security marks from Veracode Inc., an operator of a software risk management platform. Verafied marks are achieved through independent assessment, which was performed on OLS.Switch, a transaction processing engine, and OLS.Host, a managed services payment processing system.
Point & Pay LLC partnered with Opal Data Technologies Inc. to integrate electronic payment technology with Opal's tax administration and utility billing software. Opal is a major provider of financial software and services to Rhode Island municipalities. The agreement allows Rhode Island residents to pay local taxes and fees online or in government offices using payment cards.
Payment gateway Verifi Inc. partnered with Lime Light CRM to streamline payment processing and fraud prevention for direct response merchants. The integration of Verifi's payment services with Lime Light's customer relationship management software automates the flow of payment transaction data, helping merchants reduce fraud and chargebacks.
Visa Europe, in partnership with Corner Bank, launched Visa CodeSure, a payment card with an embedded PIN pad that generates passcodes. The card is intended to make Verified by Visa online transactions more secure, Visa said.
Voltage Security Inc. partnered with systems integrator PwC US, which will integrate Voltage data protection products with encryption and tokenization technologies. The purpose of the nonexclusive relationship is to supply data protection services to companies with complex payment supply chains and large merchants with legacy infrastructures, Voltage Security said.
Fraud prevention specialist Early Warning Services LLC acquired Austin Logistics' risk analytics business from ALI Solutions Inc., including analytic products that identify high-risk or fraudulent payments. As part of the deal, Early Warning will enhance ALI's customer solutions for financial institutions.
TransFirst acquired the merchant portfolio of WSFS Bank and became the exclusive payment processor for the institution. The deal included a referral agreement.
Cardtronics Inc. made changes to its board of directors. Dennis F. Lynch was named Chairman, succeeding Fred R. Lummis, who stepped down Nov. 10, 2010. Lynch has been a member of the board since 2008. The board also appointed Mark Rossi as a new independent director. Rossi is Senior Managing Director of Cornerstone Equity Investors LLC.
Payscape Advisors appointed Chris McDonald to the position of Vice President of Sales. Rob Kemmerer, formerly of Paychex Inc., was hired as a District Sales Manager. And D.J. Gardner was promoted to District Sales Manager.
The Smart Card Alliance recently held elections for its 2010 to 2011 executive committee. Named as committee officers were Neville Pattinson, Gemalto, Chair; Bryan Ichikawa, Unisys Corp., Vice Chair; Willy Dommen, Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., Treasurer; Garfield Smith, Oberthur Technologies Inc., Secretary; Brian Russell, Giesecke & Devrient GmbH, Assistant Treasurer; and John McKeon, IBM Corp., Technology Vice Chair.
Munich, Germany-based PAY.ON AG made two changes to its top brass. Chief Technical Officer Markus Rinderer was named Chief Executive Officer, while Robert Kuzelj was appointed Chief Sales Officer.
First Data appointed Ray E. Winborne Chief Financial Officer. He has been acting CFO since May 2010. Winborne joined the company in 2009.
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