France-based POS equipment maker Ingenico SA stated the company received a buyout offer of 28 euros a share, or approximately $1.9 billion total, on Dec. 14, 2010. Bloomberg News reported that an unnamed source identified the buyer as Danaher Corp., a maker of hand tools, engineering test equipment and water-treatment systems. Less than a week after the offer, Ingenico disclosed that its board of directors had reviewed the offer with the potential buyer, which "has not been in a position to submit a binding offer that could be accepted by the board." Bloomberg cited possible French government opposition to the deal as a stumbling block.
The Western Payments Alliance and the Northwest Clearing House Association plan to merge operations under the WesPay name, the boards of directors for both organizations disclosed. WesPay comprises 900 member financial institutions and 100 associate members in California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and the Pacific territories. NWCHA represents 190 members in Alaska and Washington. By combining, the organizations will be better able to respond to the dynamic marketplace while maintaining continuity of service for members, the associations stated.
The merger will enable the combined WesPay to expand services to its members, including assistance with remote deposit capture (RDC). The organization will maintain offices in both San Francisco and Seattle, with the continued expertise of the full staff. Both organizations are members of NACHA - The Electronic Payments Association.
The Canadian Competition Bureau is attempting to invalidate what it calls restrictive rules imposed on merchants by Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide. The bureau filed an application with the Competition Tribunal to strike down the rules, alleging they eliminate competition between the two brands for merchants' acceptance of their cards. "Visa and MasterCard's anticompetitive behavior hurts businesses and consumers alike," said Melanie Aitken of Canada's Commission of Competition. "It is particularly harmful for small and medium-sized businesses, key engines for economic growth in Canada."
In a statement, Visa called the bureau's suit "anti-consumer." The company's rules "protect consumers from being punished by large retailers who seek to impose surcharges," Visa stated. "Visa's policies do not preclude retailers from offering an incentive to customers to use different forms of payment."
Visa reported that its payments volume in Latin America and the Caribbean grew 20.3 percent for the year ended Sept. 30. 2010. The total payments volume for the region totaled $253 billion. Brazil and Mexico achieved volume growth of 23 and 14 percent, respectively. Other countries in the region increased volume by 17.1 percent. The performance of products aimed at affluent consumers boosted regional results, particularly on Visa Gold, Signature, Platinum and Infinite cards.
The U.S. Treasury Department expects to save Social Security $1 billion over the next 10 years by switching to electronic payments. Recipients applying for benefits after April 30, 2011, will receive their payments electronically. Those already receiving checks must switch to direct deposit by March 1, 2013. The Treasury Department estimated its annual expense associated with paper checks to be $120 million.
Apriva Inc. has signed more than 100 distributors for its AprivaPay POS software. Available as downloadable software on smart phones, AprivaPay is created for merchants who want to accept mobile card payments in the field. Distribution partners include AT&T, Apple Inc.'s iTunes and Google Inc.'s Android Marketplace.
Commidea Ltd., a payment processing software developer in the United Kingdom, said two of its end-to-end dual-encryption payment products achieved compliance with the Payment Application (PA) Data Security Standard (DSS). The Ocius Vx510 and Ocius Vx810 Duet are the most recent Commidea products to obtain certificates of compliance.
Discover Financial Services said sales volume for its fourth quarter, which ended Nov. 30, 2010, rose 6 percent over the same quarter of 2009. Sales volume totaled $23.2 billion in the quarter, up from $21.9 billion. Credit performance improved, with the net charge-off rate dropping to 6.58 percent, down 185 basis points from 8.43 percent during the same period in 2009.
First Data Corp. reported that more than 100,000 U.S. merchants now process transactions using the company's TransArmor encryption, tokenization and key-management technologies. The service was officially launched in September 2010.
Ingenico received ISO 14001 environmental certification, which was awarded by an authorized, independent assessor. The achievement certifies that the company practices environmental management of its business practices.
Trustwave joined the PCI Security Standards Council's Forensic Investigator Program. The program aligns industry requirements for identifying and approving forensic investigators. As a Payment Card Industry (PCI) forensic investigator, Trustwave assists breached organizations in determining how payment card data was obtained by unauthorized parties.
Adaptive Payments and CardinalCommerce Corp. are integrating their two platforms to deliver Adaptive's secure payment authentication services for e-commerce sales. Adaptive's e-commerce checkout product will be delivered to Cardinal Centinel merchants as part of the Universal PIN Debit Service.
AmeriMerchant LLC contracted with First Data Merchant Services Corp. for processing services for AmeriMerchant's merchant cash-advance program. First Data ISOs that wish to participate in the AmeriMerchant program now get batch-splitting services for their merchants, to enable seamless repayment to AmeriMerchant. Through March 31, 2011, AmeriMerchant is offering incentive bonuses for First Data ISOs that sign up to sell the cash advance program.
The Arizona Dental Association partnered with BluePay Processing LLC for card processing services. BluePay allows Arizona dentists to accept automated clearing house payments, as well as payment cards.
Online payment system ClickandBuy International Ltd. chose Voltage Security Inc. for advanced data security. The tokenization and encryption software and services will protect cardholder data for ClickandBuy's 13 million end-user customers as part of compliance with the PCI DSS. ClickandBuy has 16,000 online merchants.
Fidelity National Information Services Inc. (FIS) deployed technology from Inetco Systems Ltd. Inetco Insight streamlines troubleshooting processes and reduces the risk of downtime in FIS' expanding electronic payments business.
Two Colorado-based financial institutions signed ATM and debit processing contracts with Fifth Third Processing Solutions LLC. Legacy Bank and Champion Bank signed up for fraud protection, monitoring and debit marketing services, as well as transaction processing.
Mobile retail software developer Global Bay Mobile Technologies said it integrated its "Apple mobile POS" solution with Demandware LINK's e-commerce platform. Demandware Commerce retailers may now use Global Bay's mobile POS, inventory management and business software products.
IP Commerce Inc. teamed up with PlaySpan Inc. to deliver PlaySpan's payment options to social and digital content developers through IP Commerce's Managed Services Platform. The partnership enables a variety of secure in-app payment methods for online content producer-merchants without technology lag times. PlaySpan's UltimatePay product provides 85 global payment methods in 180 countries, including payment cards.
JM Associates Federal Credit Union was the first financial institution to pilot STAR CertiFlash, a PIN debit application from First Data's Star Network. The technology is programmed onto contactless chips embedded within payment devices, enabling single-use encryption for each transaction.
Luottokunta, Microsoft Corp. and BookIt Oy developed an authentication service that allows for mobile payments from phones using iSMS, a short messaging service. Payment transactions reside within Luottokunta's eMobile system, so that company is responsible for data protection. In iSMS, no additional accessories or applications are necessary to equip mobile phones for making payments.
Connecticut-based Nutmeg State Federal Credit Union picked Vertifi Software LLC to provide item processing services, including RDC. Vertifi was chosen for its advanced image processing capability.
PerkStreet Financial is converting its debit card program to MasterCard in early 2011. The arrangement gives PerkStreet debit account holders access to exclusive discounts.
Industrial software vendor Tribute Inc. is integrating CardVault tokenization service from 3Delta Systems Inc. into its business software applications. Tribute's distribution software will embed CardVault to help clients reduce the cost of complying with PCI DSS requirements.
US Alliance Group Inc., a maker of payment processing products, and Chexar Networks Inc. partnered to launch a check cashing product suite for retailers. The system, which includes a kiosk station operated by retailers' personnel, was in pilot tests at various locations through the first half of 2010.
The professional security services team of Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications Inc., helped Hypercom Corp. achieve and maintain PCI DSS certification on its SmartPayments Wynid hosted electronic payment platform. The hosted platform protects retailers and cardholders in card transactions, the companies stated.
VyStar Credit Union made the Accel/Exchange debit network operated by Fiserv Inc. its exclusive PIN debit provider. A client of the network for 20 years, VyStar dropped other PIN debit providers in recent years to reduce costs. It recently dropped a second service provider.
Global Axcess Corp., a provider of self-service kiosk products, purchased a portfolio of ATMs from an undisclosed, privately held nationwide network.
Global Axcess indicated it bought 140 ATMs and an existing relationship with a global oil and gas company to manage ATMs at service stations in three Midwestern states. The deal was expected to close at the end of December 2010 and to add $2 million in revenue to Global Axcess' ATM business.
Total System Services Inc. (TSYS) promoted five team members to executive management. David Chew, who joined the company in 2006 as Senior Director in Finance, was named Group Executive, Finance. John Dale Hester, who joined TSYS in 1992 and leads North American sales, was named Group Executive, Relationship Management.
Hester is responsible for the North American consumer business line. Bruce Jones, who has been with the company for 22 years, was named Group Executive, Applications Systems. Joining TSYS in 2007, Daryl Seaman, a manager of global information technology (IT) staff involved in product licensing and processing services, was made Group Executive, IT Applications.
Marie Williams, a 26-year veteran of the company, was promoted to Group Executive, Relationship Management. For the past eight years, Williams was Senior Director in Consumer Services.
Payments industry veteran Doug Dwyre joined Mocapay as Chief Product Officer. Previously, he managed global business development at Voltage Security and worked at First Data in an executive position.
Caroline (Carrie) Hometh recently joined RocketPay, a broker of international merchant accounts for card-not-present merchants.
Hometh will focus on helping merchants expand their payment infrastructures worldwide in addition to fostering sales channels and acquirer and service provider relationships worldwide. Most recently, Hometh served as Executive Vice President of Sales and Global Marketing Officer for Payvision.
GlobalPlatform, an association that sets standards for managing applications on secure chip technology, announced its Board of Directors for 2011. Marc Kekicheff, formerly Vice Chair, was elected Chairman. Kekicheff is Senior Business Leader of Chip Innovation at Visa. Other new or re-elected officers include Vice Chair Uwe Wittig, Group Vice President, Payments Division of the Cards and Services Business Unit at Giesecke & Devrient GmbH; Secretary/Treasurer Yves Moulart, Director of Development and Innovation, Secure MCUs Division, STMicroelectronics NV; board member Jerome Becquart, Senior Vice President, Products and Services, ActivIdentity Corp.; board member Eikazu Niwano, Senior Research Engineer, Service Integration Laboratories, NTT Corp.; board member Jean-Loup Dépinay, Program Manager, Research & Development Fundings, Oberthur Technologies Inc.
FrontStream Payments Inc. appointed Nina Vellayan Chief Executive Officer, in addition to her previous role as President.
Founder and former CEO Emmet Seibels assumed the title of Chairman of the Board. Additionally, Tom Head was appointed Chief Financial Officer. Formerly, Head was CFO of Valutec Card Solutions Inc.
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