Americans traveling abroad face increasing scrutiny of their mag stripe cards by foreign merchants, especially in Europe where Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) technology is now the norm. Now U.S. financial institutions are remedying the problem, with two banks claiming to be the first to issue EMV cards to U.S. consumers. Chase Card Services said it is the first major U.S. bank to issue cards with EMV chips. Chase will begin supplying the chip-and-signature JPMorgan Palladium credit card in June 2011, initially to customers who travel abroad frequently and to other Chase cardholders within the year.
While not disclosing a time frame for its program, Wells Fargo & Co. also announced in April a pilot of the Visa Inc. Smart Card, which includes EMV chip technology along with a mag stripe. Some 15,000 Wells Fargo card customers who travel internationally are receiving the Smart Card. Giesecke & Devrient GmbH is supplying the chip technology for Wells Fargo.
Oberthur Technologies Inc. released to card issuers its first MasterCard Worldwide M/Chip Advance product. The processor-based card integrates data storage that enables a one-card payment capability for use in mass transit, loyalty, campuses and government entitlement programs. The Cosmo Fly v4 M/Chip Advance has been fully certified and can be used for contact and contactless payments. It allows issuers to tailor the card for added services, such as transportation ticketing in open fare systems.
"M/Chip Advance paves the way for future innovation, building on the fast-growing EMV infrastructure worldwide," stated Ed McLaughlin, Chief Emerging Payment Officer at MasterCard.
Trustwave Holdings Inc. indicated its intention to take the company public when it filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission April 21, 2011. The public filing gives a first peek into Trustwave's success as a provider of data security compliance services to the entire payments ecosystem. The company specializes in compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS). Trustwave's revenue jumped 53 percent in 2010 to $111.5 million from the prior year.
Trustwave claims eight of the top 10 Fortune 500 companies as customers in 2010. Acknowledged processing clients include Banc of America Merchant Services, EVO Merchant Services Inc., Fifth Third Processing Solutions LLC, First American Payment Systems LP, First Data Corp., Global Payments Inc., Sage Payment Solutions and TSYS Acquiring Solutions, among others. Trustwave also counts American Express Co., Discover Financial Services and Visa as clients. In addition to its solid presence in the payments industry, Trustwave plans to expand its partner network in health care and government services, according to the filing.
As of Dec. 31, 2010, Trustwave had sold over 900,000 TrustKeeper subscriptions - a recurring revenue stream that may make shares in the company a hot commodity among potential investors. "A number of our partners are in the midst of a multiyear effort to monitor and enforce PCI compliance among their payment card accepting customers, and in turn we expect the number of subscriptions to increase," the filing stated.
AlwaysOn Network LLC named 41st Parameter Inc. one of the OnDemand Top 100 winners for 2011. AlwaysOn's selection criteria include innovation, market potential, commercialization, stakeholder value and media buzz.
Bango Inc. expanded its mobile payment platform to Canada, bringing the total number of potential subscribers reached through carrier billing in North America to over 200 million. Bango provides credit card and PayPal Inc. options for payments that cannot be charged to mobile carrier bills.
Capital Access Network Inc. received the 2011 Monarch Innovation Award for its Daily Remittance Platform (DRP). The award for "overall most innovative" product of the year is determined by a panel of judges and presented by Barlow Research Associates Inc. The DRP is a delivery system that enables financing providers to deliver daily remittances to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) while driving card acceptance. CAN provides lenders, card issuers, processors, acquirers, banks and other capital providers platforms and hosted services that facilitate remittance-based lending.
Gap Inc. selected Visa to help deliver discounts and promotions to consumers via short message service (SMS) technology. Customers who opt in are notified of discounts in real time while shopping. Gap was the first global retailer to try out the Visa service when it ran a pilot program in November 2010.
National Vision Inc. turned to Specialist Data Solutions Ltd. to replace its in-house retail POS and office management systems. National Vision will deploy SDS' Practice Management System.
Pivotal Payments moved its transaction processing in-house with the launch of an enhanced processing and reporting platform, dubbed HD3. The platform is said to be a fully integrated North American back-end and back-office processing system. The company also launched services in the United Kingdom, Pivotal's first expansion outside North America. Pivotal added 300 U.K. merchants in March.
The Members Group completed an SAS 70 Type II audit of its controls. The review, conducted by McGladrey & Pullen LLP, helps satisfy the stricter due diligence of credit union vendor-management programs.
Visa Europe said it will invest 100 million euros annually to foster the convergence of card payments with mobile and e-commerce transactions. "The first results of this will be commercial launches of mobile payments before the end of 2011, closely followed by a major launch in e-commerce payments," Peter Ayliffe, Chief Executive for Visa Europe, said at a banking conference in April. Visa Europe has spent 1 billion euros on payment technology since 2004.
Acculynk's PaySecure for PIN debit payments on the Internet is now available on the payment platform of Dallas-based JetPay LLC. In the partnership agreement, JetPay offers PaySecure to e-commerce merchants at other acquirers that do not currently offer PaySecure, as well as to JetPay's existing merchants. Acculynk recently extended PaySecure to mobile phones and to person-to-person transfers.
American Express Co. and Verizon Investments Inc. - assisted by Verizon Ventures - made strategic investments in Payfone, a service for authorizing and processing mobile transactions that bypasses traditional credit card payment systems. Other investors in the $19 million funding round include Rogers Ventures and prior investors Opus Capital, BlackBerry Partners Fund and RRE Ventures. The capital will be used to support Payfone's expansion around the globe, including North America. Founded in 2008, Payfone's stated goal is to make mobile phone numbers the accepted payment form.
AmEx also formed a strategic alliance with Payfone to create a global mobile checkout service. Payfone will combine its mobile authorization and payment services with AmEx's digital payments platform, Serve.
Brazil-based APPI Tecnologia S.A. engaged Preston Todd Advisors to market its payment terminal technology to processors and large ISOs in North America. APPI provides equipment application support and development. The software reportedly manages POS terminals from multiple manufacturers within a single system.
ATM USA has begun providing merchant services, including payment card acceptance and check processing. To enable the new services, ATM USA partnered with Columbus Merchant Services of Dallas.
AvanzaMe Dominicana Ltd. signed an agreement with Capital Access Network. AvanzaMe, a recently founded development group in Latin America, is using CAN's Daily Remittance Platform for the marketplace in the Dominican Republic.
BlueStar Inc. began distributing QwickPAY software from MagTek Inc. QwickPAY integrates with Apple Inc. iPhones and devices to enable acceptance of mobile card payments, using card swipe adapters.
The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues will market member access and convenience products from CO-OP Financial Services. The partnership allows members of the credit unions to use surcharge-free ATMs via CO-OP Network and the network's mobile transactions capability. The leagues promote CO-OP's e-commerce, payment processing and call center services.
In addition, two Michigan-based credit unions partnered with CO-OP Member Center, a subsidiary of CO-OP Financial Services, for after-hours support services. Credit Union ONE and Telcom Credit Union had previously adopted CO-OP's network and payment processing services. The member center provides credit unions with 24-hour call support.
Kmart, a subsidiary of Sears Holdings Corp., launched The Western Union Co.'s bill payment service at its stores. Consumers can now make walk-in bill payments to most billers nationwide at any of 1,200 Kmart stores.
Merchant e-Solutions partnered with e-commerce provider Adyen to create a worldwide, full-service payment platform for each company's respective customers. The companies' reported their integrated platform supports 75 payment methods and 187 transaction currencies, as well as supplying reporting tools, risk management and customer support. MeS teamed with Adyen to expedite its experience with international markets and gain access to extensive payment options.
MeS enables specialized quality control and provides merchants a single source for global processing. Adyen provides complete access to real-time financial data and has hundreds of relationships and customizable payment methods.
The POSLynx220 with the TransNet payment application from Precidia Technologies Inc. was certified for Level 2 processing by Elavon Global Acquiring Solutions. The certification allows merchants using the payment software to process MO/TO and e-commerce transactions.
Luxembourg-based payment provider SIX Card Solutions S.A. partnered with Transaction Network Services Inc. to give its merchants access to multiple banks and acquirers in Europe through a single network. The agreement gives SIX Card a managed payment network service for hospitality and car parking businesses, while streamlining the provider down to one connection, from multiple supplier relationships.
Squirrel Systems integrated its POS system with Shift4 Corp.'s hosted payment gateway, Dollars on the Net. The integration was first deployed at Fort Garry Hotel, Spa and Conference Center in Winnipeg, Canada.
In other Shift4 news, Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group contracted for Shift4 services at seven locations, including Spago restaurants in Beverly Hills, Calif.; Maui, Hawaii; and Las Vegas. In addition to Shift4's tokenization, Dollars on the Net provides WPFDG's management with auditing tools and Shift4's Fraud Sentry technology to combat internal fraud.
WorldPay launched a mobile payment reseller program based on the mPoint mobile payment system from CellPoint. WorldPay said it can now process any type of mobile payment, including remote, proximity, online and POS transactions. The system allows WorldPay to tailor its mobile payment services for the retail and transport industries. WorldPay also offers CellPoint's mTicket transport product and mRetail products.
Florida-based merchant cash advance firm 1st Merchant Funding LLC appointed Justin Bakes Chief Executive Officer. Most recently, he was Director of Mergers and Acquisitions at Watsco Inc.
Ramping up its ISO and agent recruiting program, FrontStream Payments Inc. appointed Carlee Hudachko to oversee its relationship management team and hired Shawn Lowry as Recruitment Manager. Both report to Aaron Slominski, Senior Vice President of Sales, Agent-ISO channel. The Agent-ISO recruitment team will also hire another recruiter and several sales support personnel.
ATM software developer Morphis Inc. promoted Debra Miller to Director of Business Development. She had been a sales executive with the company since 2009.
CardinalCommerce Corp. hired Paul Turgeon as Vice President, Technology Services. He had served as a company advisor for a year. Previously, Turgeon was President of Payments & Processing Consultants Inc. He is also a veteran of First Data and NYCE Payments Network LLC.
Upon making a significant investment in PayCommerce Inc., entrepreneur Leighton "Lee" Yohannan was named the company's Chairman.
Yohannan is also Director Emeritus and founder of LiquidHub, a systems integrator. PayCommerce operates a cloud-based platform that allows SMBs to integrate receivables and payments with processing and settlement.
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