Hypercom Corp. shareholders approved the merger with VeriFone Systems Inc. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2011, pending regulatory approval. The proposed merger, disclosed in November 2010, was approved by more than 99 percent of the shares voted, which accounted for approximately 80 percent of shares outstanding. VeriFone is buying its competitor in the POS equipment market in a stock transaction valued at $485 million. The merger positions VeriFone to dominate international markets for POS terminals and systems. In a Jan. 12, 2011, filing, VeriFone stated the company's intention to sell off Hypercom's U.S. business, perhaps to avoid federal objections on an anti-trust basis. The company said Hypercom could enable VeriFone to expand its business in Europe, where VeriFone has had less success than elsewhere.
Revenue at Heartland Payment Systems Inc. rose 5.1 percent year over year to $110.5 million during the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2010. The company reversed its loss in the prior year's quarter of $9.4 million, or 26 cents a share, when Heartland was still paying sizable settlements related to fraud from a 2008 data breach. Even after $632,000 in expenses related to the breach in the most recent quarter, Heartland posted a profit of $6.85 million, or 17 cents a share. For the full year, profit totaled $34.9 million, versus a loss of $50.7 million a year ago.
Small and midsize merchant transaction processing volume of $15.7 million was up 6.8 percent from a year ago. Same-store sales grew at the fastest rate in over three years, according to the company.
In other company news, Steve Elefant, Chief Information Officer at Heartland, was named a 2011 Premier 100 Information Technology Leader by IDG Computerworld. The Premier 100 spotlights leaders for their innovative ideas and effectively managed information technology strategies. Elefant joined Heartland in 2008. He was instrumental in the management and development of the company's E3 encryption technology. Heartland launched E3 in May 2010. Since then, it has been adopted by 11,000 retailers and business owners. Heartland Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert O. Carr stated, "We congratulate him for these accomplishments and this well-deserved recognition."
CardinalCommerce was awarded a patent for its method of extending a payment system's architecture to mobile applications via text messaging. It is the company's eighth patent issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Alternative payment provider ChargeSmart Inc. relocated to larger headquarters in San Francisco. The company reported that within the last year, it increased transaction volume over 400 percent and now serves 300,000 clients in the United States.
Missouri-based Clearent LLC indicated its merchant account processing business experienced triple-digit growth in 2010. In the fourth quarter, seven new ISOs and six financial institutions (FIs) signed with Clearent for account processing.
Fiserv Inc. said its Accel/Exchange debit payment network experienced record-setting growth in total transactions in 2010. POS transactions grew nearly 30 percent, to more than 1.15 billion, while ATM transactions increased by 22 percent, to 82 million. More than 300 FIs joined the network in 2010, bringing total FI membership to about 2,800.
Itautec, a Brazilian electronics manufacturer specializing in ATMs, entered the U.S. market. The company began selling its Adattis ATMs, cash dispensers and kiosks to credit unions and banks. Itautec (pronounced ē-tau-tek) has 6,000 employees worldwide and opened its U.S. headquarters in Doral, Fla.
Mutual of Omaha Insurance Co. implemented the ETran ePayment system from Financial Transmission Network Inc. The managed-service platform incorporates Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) compliant card processing, check scanning and automated clearing house processing.
United Bank Card Inc. registered its 1,000th trainee to its Harbortouch training course, which prepares ISOs for its free POS system program. ISO partners can offer merchants a free Harbortouch system with integrated payments.
Singapore-based Utiba Pte. - whose platform enables mobile network operators, banks and payment service providers to provide mobile payment services to customers - launched an initiative to create a large-scale, international mobile-to-mobile remittance clearing house. Its services include corridor routing, transaction settlement and foreign currency exchange. Utiba's U:Hub platform currently handles over $100 million in transactions per month.
VeriFone launched a second generation of its PAYware Mobile Service and expanded it to new markets. The gateway service begins this quarter in the U.K. and Canada. Countries in Europe, Latin America and Asia will be added throughout 2011. PAYware Mobile allows small businesses to accept smart cards and contactless payments, as well as mag-stripe cards.
Payment systems provider ACI Worldwide Inc. and monitoring-system developer Integrated Research Ltd. launched Prognosis for ACI Proactive Risk Manager. The system assists FIs in monitoring their fraud systems in real time.
Colorado-based sales office Banctek Solutions signed a new processing alliance with Cynergy Data LLC. Cynergy's reporting system, back-end processing and ability to place high-risk merchants onto its platform reportedly were factors in the choice.
CardinalCommerce made available to its merchants the Rover POS terminal from HomeATM-AnywhereCommerce. The terminal is certified as a PCI 2.1-compliant PIN entry device. The Rover is offered to merchants using the Cardinal Centinel Universal Merchant Platform.
Fidelity National Information Services Inc. deployed the Falcon Fraud Manager 6 platform from Fair Isaac Corp. The system uses POS device behavior patterns to thwart fraud.
Six credit unions signed contracts with Fifth Third processing Solutions LLC for electronic funds transfer services, including ATM and card processing, card production, fraud protection, debit marketing, rewards and gateway services. The credit unions are My Credit Union and USE, VAMC Fayetteville Federal, Turtle Creek Federal, Freestone and Montana Educators' credit unions.
First Data Corp. is offering its online merchants the PaySecure PIN debit service from Acculynk. The service provides merchants an additional security measure to reduce card-not-present fraud.
MasterCard Worldwide, NagraID Security S.A. and Symantec Corp. introduced the MasterCard Display Card in Europe and Asia. The card has strong authentication security features, including generation of one-time passwords, according to the companies.
Panama-based MetroBank S.A. integrated the Interceptas fraud-prevention platform from Accertify Inc. to help payment processors and merchants in Latin America combat card fraud.
Accertify's payment gateway adds another level of security for transactions over any major payment network.
Minnesota Credit Union Network expanded it marketing partnership with CO-OP Financial Services. The credit union now offers all CO-OP products and services.
NewNet Communication Technologies LLC and Perceptive Development Inc. demonstrated their secure mobile payment system at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Spain in February 2011. The collaboration marries Perceptive's FlexTransact mobile payment software services with NewNet's payment processing platforms, which deploy derived unique key payment transaction encryption.
Remote deposit capture (RDC) specialists Panini and Cachet Financial Solutions teamed to offer RDC capability to small businesses using Apple Inc. Macintosh computers. The partnership's RDC Select system reportedly offers native support in a Mac environment.
Paperless Transaction Corp. adopted ETran RDC check acceptance services from FTNI. ETran's hosted service capability and ability to be bank agnostic were factors in the selection of FTNI, according to PTC.
PayDQ adopted MasterCard's Remote Payment and Presentment System. RPPS allows PayDQ clients to settle bill payments electronically through PayDQ's EZPost platform, rather than waiting for paper checks to arrive and be processed.
The Members Group added a new credit union client and renewed partnerships with another three. Patriot Federal Credit Union signed on for processing its debit, PIN and ATM accounts. Re-upping with TMG are United Nations Federal, Honda Federal and Orlando Federal credit unions.
VeriFone provided 10,000 near field communication (NFC) contactless payment acceptance systems to Garanti Bank for merchants in Turkey. The commercial rollout of Garanti's integrated NFC SIM mobile payments program involves Turkish mobile network operator Avea.
Neovia Financial PLC completed the acquisition of Optimal Payments, a payment processor based in Montreal, Canada. The deal was announced Jan. 20, 2011. Neovia reportedly intends to change its name to Optimal Payments PLC. Optimal founder and CEO Joel Leonoff was appointed Executive Director of the combined company.
Sage Payment Solutions, the payment division of Sage North America, acquired a small portfolio of merchant customers processing on third-party platforms from Heartland. It is Sage's fifth merchant portfolio acquisition in the past year.
Two prominent certified fraud examiners were elected to the board of regents of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
Johnnie R. Bejarano and E. Wendell Hopewell join other board members in setting membership standards. Bejarano, a senior financial analyst, is area Chair of Accounting and Finance at the Denver, Colo. campus of the University of Phoenix School of Business. Hopewell is Managing Director of Forensic Professionals LLC.
Following a reorganization, First Data assembled a new leadership team for North America. The integration of business operations and management in North America reportedly better positions the company amid regulatory changes and other developments transforming the industry. Nine Senior Vice Presidents report directly to North America President Ed Labry:
In First Data's Global Product Management and Innovation organization, the following executives now lead the following product areas: Kevin Barry, Network Solutions; Steve Boehm, Issuing Solutions; Bruce Dragt, POS Solutions; Jeff Johnson, Prepaid Solutions; Dom Morea, Advanced Solutions and Innovation; and Silvio Tavares, Information and Analytics Services.
SignaPay LLC hired Kevin G. Jones to assume the role of President, a title previously held by Founder and CEO John Martillo. Jones had been Vice President for Sales and Marketing at First American Payment Systems LP.
Following the departure of Chief Sales Officer and cofounder Robert Kuzelj, Germany-based PAY.ON AG appointed Chief Operating Officer Nikolaus von Tayson to also lead sales.
Kuzelj was also a member of the board. He retains his shares and will remain closely related to the company as a sales partner and expert in global payments technology.
NFC systems leader ViVOtech hired six senior Silicon Valley and European technology executives. They include:
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