To assist fundraising efforts related to the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Visa Inc. said it is waiving interchange fees on donations made through April 30, 2011, to a select group of major U.S.- and Canada-based charities that are providing support to relief efforts. Additionally, Visa will donate to the Red Cross the revenue Visa generates from eligible contributions to the crisis through April 30.
In the United States, charities eligible for waived interchange fees are the American Red Cross, AmeriCares, Habitat for Humanity, Mercy Corps, Oxfam America, Save the Children, US Fund for UNICEF and World Vision. Canadian charities include the Canadian Red Cross, CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Quebec, Save the Children Canada, UNICEF Canada and World Vision Canada.
The Western Union Foundation contributed $50,000 to the international nonprofit organization Mercy Corps in support of its local partner, Peace Winds Japan. On March 14, Peace Winds flew in 30 family-sized tents for homeless survivors in Kesennuma in addition to materials to construct a 100-person shelter. Peace Winds is also working to deliver other essential items that are in short supply, including food, water, blankets and medicine.
Consumer card spending jumped 8.5 percent in February 2011 over the same month in 2010, according to First Data Corp.'s SpendTrend analysis. The dollar volume growth exceeded January's year-over-year increase of 7.4 percent. Consumers demonstrated renewed faith in the economic recovery as the unemployment rate dropped to 8.9 percent in February, according to First Data.
For the first time in over two years, credit dollar volume growth of 9.9 percent was higher than debit growth. Signature debit volume grew 8.7 percent year over year, while PIN debit grew at just 6.1 percent. Average ticket growth of 0.1 percent for the month was due exclusively to rising gas prices. In the travel industry, dollar volume growth was 13.6 percent, again partially due to rising fuel prices.
The founder of the company that became RSA launched Universal Secure Registry LLC, a company whose technology enables secure mobile payments. Kenneth Weiss was founder and Chief Executive Officer of Security Dynamics Technologies Inc., which is now the RSA Security Division of EMC Corp., and invented the SecureID standard for identity authentication.
USR holds a series of new personal identification, authentication and mobile phone transaction application patents invented by Weiss. USR's technology reportedly provides a remote, universal electronic repository for personal information. It integrates a mobile phone with a secure remote server to act as a trusted agent for transactions, including mobile payments. USR's electronic wallet uses near field communication and Bluetooth technologies; it is available to third parties for licensing.
The focus of the Second European e-Commerce Payments and Risk Conference will be mitigating the risks of mobile and electronic commerce. Hosted by the Merchant Risk Council, the conference will be held in Barcelona, Spain, May 18 to 20, 2011, and have 35 speakers.
Sessions will cover the following topics:
Roundtable discussion topics will include: payments, advocacy and data-sharing, as well as benchmarking. For information, visit www.merchantriskcouncil.org.
Payment technology provider eWise called for executive nominations to the Marketing Advisory Council of Secure Vault Payments. The newly commercialized organization, which uses the automated clearing house network and eWise's Online Banking ePayments platform, is an alternative payment option developed by NACHA - The Electronic Payments Association and eWise. Council members are expected to bring expertise to help guide SVP's market development, according to NACHA. Up to 20 nominees representing financial institutions, merchants, billers and gateway service companies will become founding members of the council. All council members are expected to be seated by April 15, 2011, and to serve for one year. To complete a nomination form, visit www.ewise.com.
Alpha Card Services Inc. celebrated its 10th anniversary with an updated company logo to reflect its greater dedication to excellence. The ISO, founded in 2000, now has a free wireless terminal program and a dedicated retention department.
Clearent LLC is providing merchant card processing services for Armstrong Bank, which has 17 locations in Oklahoma. Clearent's ociPayment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) compliance process was a selling point, according to the bank.
Columbus Water Works chose SVP as an online payment option for residents of Columbus, Ga. The payment option operates through the utility's Electronic Transaction and Payment system from Innoprise Software Inc.
Eliot Management Group added 38 merchants to its Green Merchant Program in the fourth quarter of 2010, bringing the program member total to 321. The program issues no paper statements. EMG makes donations to conservation organizations on behalf of merchants who join the program. Since the program's inception in April 2009, EMG has donated over $30,000 to organizations like the Nature Conservancy and the Arbor Day Foundation.
The European Card Acquiring Forum gave Trustwave's TrustKeeper a Data Security Award. TrustKeeper is the company's security web portal, which guides merchants through the process of achieving compliance with the PCI DSS.
Global Payments Inc. will provide its VIP LightSpeed cash-access services to 10 new casino clients. Signing for check-cashing and cash-advance services in Michigan are Gun Lake Casino in Wayland, Motor City Casino Hotel in Detroit and Odawa Casino Resort in Petoskey. Oklahoma clients include Fort Sill Apache Casino in Lawton and The Stables Casino in Miami. New Wisconsin clients are St. Croix Casinos in Turtle Lake and Danbury and St. Croix Casino Hertel Express in Webster. Other new clients include Yakama Nation Legends Casino in Toppenish, Wash., and The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
Jack Henry Associates Inc. said its ProfitStars division was named to Nine Lives Media Inc.'s MSPmentor 100, a list and research report identifying the world's top 100 managed service providers. The report, available at www.mspmentor.net/top-100-msps, is based on data from MSPmentor's global online survey conducted during the fourth quarter of 2010. In addition, Jack Henry signed its 350th financial institution client for the goDough mobile banking system. Introduced in 2007, goDough supports subscribers to 73 mobile service carriers.
Oberthur Technologies Inc. is providing Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) chip technology to State Employees' Credit Union for its portfolio of 1.6 million debit cardholders. The North Carolina-based nonprofit cooperative is migrating to the chip technology for increased transaction security.
Omaha, Neb.-based Open Door Mission implemented the ETran ePayment system from Financial Transmission Network Inc. While processing donor checks, ETran associates the contribution with the donor and identifies the campaign that generated the donation before delivering the encrypted data to the mission's database, thereby automating record-keeping and reducing errors.
USA ePay said it will offer replacement hardware at no cost to mobile merchants using any of its competitors' Apple Inc. iPhone or iPod Touch processing systems who agree to switch to USA ePay. The program is effective until the end of May 2011. USA ePay's PaySaber Jr. provides end-to-end encryption. The company said the move is prompted by other popular processing systems that do not follow industry guidelines for encrypting data.
VeriFone Inc. will supply its PAYware Merchant card payment and hosted settlement service to Arcos Dorados, which manages the McDonald's brand in Latin America. Arcos Dorados is the largest restaurant operator in Latin America and the largest McDonald's franchisee in the world. To start, PAYware Merchant is being integrated with a proprietary POS system at 220 restaurants in Argentina and Uruguay.
Retail TouchPoints awarded the Next-Gen Retail Award in the Payments/POS category to the LightSpeed Mobile Mac-based POS system from Xsilva Systems Inc. It was one of 10 companies recognized by Retail TouchPoints for innovative solutions at the National Retail Federation's annual convention.
Aspen Marketing Services, in conjunction with Chase Paymentech Solutions LLC, is offering payment processing to General Motors' 4,500 dealerships nationwide. The arrangement gives the dealerships a broad range of payment options, including fleet cards for service and parts. Aspen manages the GM sales and service retention program.
Card processor BluePay Processing LLC engaged Preston Todd Advisors to find specialized payment technology companies for possible acquisition. BluePay is looking for target companies that will enhance its existing payment processing technology. Preston Todd specializes in deal origination services in the payments sector.
Cynergy Data LLC partnered with Aircharge to offer mobile transaction processing. Aircharge is integrated with Cynergy's VIMAS system and works on a range of smart phones.
Digital Payment Technologies Corp., a maker of electronic pay stations, is working with Streetline Inc. to enable data integration between the companies' parking systems. The partnership pairs the DPT pay stations with Streetline's Parker smart phone application that lets drivers locate unoccupied spaces.
E-Debit Global Corp. created a joint venture with ebackup Inc. through ownership participation in Capital Six Ltd. The venture formalizes an existing partnership, creating an end-to-end payment delivery and processing system to provide card services across North America, with ebackup supplying a PCI-compliant data center and additional network infrastructure. The shared approach creates economies of scale, according to the companies. E-Debit Global, a financial holding company in Canada, supplies and maintains POS and automated banking machines for Canadian financial institutions.
EVO Merchant Services Inc. partnered with Apriva Inc. to provide EVO merchants with mobile payment capability. Based on AprivaPay payment software, EVO Mobile Pay is compatible with Apple iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4G devices. EVO will add a Google Inc. Android version in the near future.
Fifth Third Processing Solutions LLC partnered with 3i Infotech Inc. to offer Fifth Third customers 3i's eCapture mobile check deposit capabilities as a hosted service. The initiative begins with a pilot program involving Town and Country Bank in Salem, Mo.
Moneris Solutions Corp. will integrate the ThreatMetrix Fraud Network into its e-commerce network to deter online fraud. ThreatMetrix hosted software enables fraud analysts to detect proxy usage, botnets and script attacks, and incorporates other fraud strategies to validate online transactions.
Payments Gateway, a member of ACH Direct Inc., is offering PCI DSS compliance validation assistance from Trustwave to its Level 3 and 4 merchants. Merchants can access the services through Trustwave's TrustKeeper web portal.
The Restaurant Association of Maryland chose Heartland Payment Systems Inc. as its exclusive endorsed provider of card processing and check-management services. The 44th state restaurant association to partner with Heartland, RAM has 2,000 members.
Calpian Inc. acquired certain retail card processing residual streams from Cooper & Schifrin LLC, a Cincinnati, Ohio-based ISO. Calpian paid $725,000 in cash and issued 417,277 shares of common stock as part of the deal. Cooper & Schifrin, now a venture partner of Calpian, does business as the Sterling Buying Group.
Fiserv Inc. acquired Mobile Commerce Ltd. (M-Com) to enhance its existing mobile channel capabilities.
The companies became partners in 2008, developing Mobile Money. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Fiserv will integrate M-Com's mobile payment technology into current products.
Visa bought PlaySpan Inc., a formerly privately held company whose payments platform handles transactions for digital goods in online games and social networks. The move reportedly complements Visa's 2010 acquisition of CyberSource Corp.
Eliot Management Group appointed Tim Haslam Director of Business Development and Regional Sales Director for the Intermountain Region. Most recently, he was Vice President for the Western Region at Lynk Systems.
Cash advance firm Pearl Capital hired Jude Overo to head its ISO channel. Previously, Overo was Vice President of Sales at On Deck Capital.
Kahuna ATM Solutions promoted Pamela Philipps to Vice President of Affiliate Development. She joined the firm in 2006.
ChargeSmart hired Andrew Waskey as Vice President of Payment Solutions, responsible for business-to-business customer and alliance partner relationships. Previously, Waskey was Vice President of Sales at Dalcom Consulting. He is also a veteran of Payment Processing Inc. and Global Payments.
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