Fifth Third Processing Solutions LLC changed its name to Vantiv LLC. The renaming follows Boston-based Advent International's $2.25 billion purchase of a 51 percent majority ownership in Cincinnati's Fifth Third Processing Solutions in the spring of 2009.
Advent's majority stake made the 40-year-old Fifth Third Processing the fourth largest acquirer in the United States, processing more than $292 billion.
The renamed company will continue to leverage Fifth Third Processing's partner relationships, system platform, and array of products and services while emphasizing new investment in e-commerce, mobile payment technology, prepaid debit, fraud prevention and data security.
"The word 'Vantiv' comes out of the word 'advantage,' which is evocative of where we want to be in our market," Adam Coyle, President of the Vantiv-owned National Processing Co., said.
"We are tremendously proud of our heritage with Fifth Third Bank, but now that we have spun out of the bank we need to establish our own identity. We are a business of multiple channels. The name Vantiv is new and unique. This was just a natural evolution."
Though known as Vantiv in most markets, the branding will be tied to meet the company's needs in its different business areas. Some parts of Vantiv's business will be branded "Fifth Third Processing Solutions, Powered by Vantiv." Others will carry the name "NPC, a Vantiv company."
Citi Ventures Capital International, a division of Citigroup Inc., invested in June in Billing Revolution, a mobile payment provider. This investment follows Citi Ventures' backing last year of Billing Revolution's Single-Click Checkout mobile billing service. The deal follows Billing Revolution's announcement that it had secured $6.6 million in funding from DCM and SK Telecom Ventures.
"There is a lot of activity in the mobile payments space, but Billing Revolution's platform and approach are truly innovative, and the company has the potential to be a game changer," said Dickson Chu, Managing Director, Global Enterprise Payments at Citi. "That is one of the reasons why Citi decided to become both a sponsor and investor."
Christopher Kay, Citi Ventures Managing Director, said, "We look to invest in startups with great teams and unique, defensible IP that solve global challenges. Billing Revolution fits that bill, and we are pleased to be able to join DCM and SK Telecom Ventures in this latest round of financing."
Billing Revolution founder and Chief Executive Officer Andy Kleitsch said, "Besides the industry validation that Citi Ventures' investment represents, we are excited to leverage Citi's global payments knowledge and infrastructure to really move the needle. Citi more than just 'gets it'. They share our vision, and we will clearly benefit from this relationship."
After a favorable ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California regarding its patent related to contactless payment technology, SmartMetric Inc. President and CEO C. Hendrick promised to vigorously defend its patent against major U.S. banks, Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide. The district court in May 2011 upheld six of seven of SmartMetric's patent definitions.
The one definition still in dispute has to do with the use of contactless chip cards. Hendrick said in late June his company is appealing the adverse ruling so it can continue to pursue its infringement claims.
Hendrick declared victory with the favorable ruling on the other six definitions saying the court's ruling indisputably leaves the issuers of contact chip cards and Visa/MasterCard liable to infringement claims.
SmartMetric assured issuers, Visa and MasterCard it will enforce its rights and demand either a license fee or court ordered relief to stop the defendants from issuing the contactless cards.
The company promised to appeal the court's adverse ruling; it maintains the court's definition is wrong and places unwarranted limitations on the SmartMetric patent. The company believes the court's definition and restriction will be overturned on appeal.
By mid-June 2011, USA ePay had sold out its initial offering of its new PaySaber Clip, a mobile POS device compatible with iPad, iPhone and the iPod Touch devices. New orders were back-ordered, but the company expected to be able to fill all back orders by the end of June.
USA ePay Vice President for Development Martin Drake said the company is happy with the market response to its new Apple compatible POS device. "The Clip will provide our reseller partners with a simple low-cost hardware solution that will work universally with most Apple mobile devices," he said.
The National Retail Federation's Association for Retail Technology Standards released Version 2 of its Digital Receipts standard June 27, 2011. Digital receipts are a hot topic in the retail and payments industries because many consumers are using electronic receipts for returns and exchanges, as well as for coupon redemption.
Version 2 reportedly presents substantial improvements to the schema, including a full alignment with the widely adopted retail transaction log standard, support for multiple recipients, delivery types and receipt formats, and introduction of a unique receipt identifier to address data integrity across multiple applications including mobile devices.
Dejavoo Systems, a manufacturer of desktop and mobile POS devices, moved its headquarters from Syosset, N.Y., to Manhasset, N.Y., which is just outside New York City. The company phone number remains the same: 877-358-6797.
In response to the growing demand for mobile payment technologies in Canada, Vancouver, B.C.-based Payfirma Corp. launched its proprietary iPhone Mobile Payment app, which is also compatible with the iPod Touch and iPad. Payfirma said the app is available as a free download from Apple Inc.'s iTunes App Store and can be activated remotely by any Payfirma merchant account customer; the optional card swiper can be purchased directly from the company.
In June 2011, the Secure POS Vendor Alliance issued new standards for the post manufacturing stage of secure payment devices. The SPVA is a nonprofit industry organization founded by Hypercom Corp., Ingenico S.A. and VeriFone Inc.
The objective for the new guidelines is to build POS devices that are properly handled from the moment they are produced to the moment they go to work for the merchant. The SPVA said the new regulations are intended to increase accountability for POS vendors, manufacturers, providers, acquirers and security audit firms responsible for initial loading of payment devices.
In addition, ControlScan Inc., a developer of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard compliance software for small- to mid-sized merchants, joined the SPVA.
SPVA membership is for vendors that develop secure POS payment systems or businesses, such as retailers, acquirers and banks, that offer products or solutions that interact with secure POS payment devices.
Texas-based ISO SignaPay Ltd. will donate 20 percent of its processing revenues from participating merchants to support after-school programs in communities across the country. The initiative, BoosterPay, is run in conjunction with SignaPay ISO partners and provides ISOs with presentations they can take to their local schools and booster clubs. SignaPay works to draw local business support with a "meet or beat" rate guarantee, plus marketing incentives that advertise merchant participation in the program.
Trustwave, a maker of information security and compliance software, released a cloud-based file integrity monitoring (FIM) system. Such a system looks for additions, modifications or deletions of sensitive files or other stored data. Trustwave reported that FIM can tell businesses if there has been unauthorized system or application access and detect malware or other malicious activity.
All the system configuration, monitoring and reporting is performed by Trustwave, guaranteeing there is nothing for companies to manage or maintain on their own, the company added.
In other company news, attendees of Gartner Inc.'s Security & Risk Management Summit in June 2011 heard a discussion of cyber crime trends with Trustwave Senior Vice President Nicholas Percoco. He runs Trustwave's ethical hacking and investigations group, SpiderLabs. Percoco was joined by U.S. Secret Service agent Ronald Smalley. The two men analyzed details from Trustwave's 2011 Global Security Report to which the Secret Service contributed cyber crime data and analysis. They also talked about recent security breaches and pointed out where companies can best focus their security resources.
In addition, Trustwave Chairman, President and CEO Robert J. McCullen won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 Award for technology in the Midwest region. McCullen was selected by an independent judging panel made up of previous winners of the award, leading CEOs, private capital investors and other regional business leaders
China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., the U.S.-based Yahoo! Inc., and Japan's Softbank Mobile Corp. issued the following statement June 21, 2011, on their ongoing discussions over Alibaba's decision to take AliPay, the company's payment processing arm, private:
"Alibaba Group and its major shareholders, Yahoo! Inc. and Softbank Corp., continue to be engaged in constructive negotiations, and we have made substantive and encouraging progress toward an agreement regarding Alipay.
"Our objective is to reach an agreement in a timely manner that serves the interests of all stakeholders. The companies will not comment in further detail until it is appropriate to do so."
A national rollout of the partnership between American Express Co. and Foursquare Labs Inc. began in June 2011 as a challenge to Google Wallet.
The partnership allows AmEx cardholders to use their smart phones to link Foursquare profiles to their cards, allowing customers to load and redeem merchant specials. The system uses the AmEx Smart Offer application program interface to connect with Foursquare.
Newtek Business Services Inc., The Small Business Authority, is partnering in a publishing venture with Forbes.com. The Small Business blog, published by The Small Business Authority, provides help to independent business owners to expand their businesses, make money and resolve problems. The blog features the monthly SB Authority Index and the SB Authority Market Sentiment Survey.
Planet Payment Inc. and International Checkout are expanding their multicurrency pricing agreement. Planet Payment's multicurrency pricing software, iPay, is designed to help merchants more effectively target international markets online with pricing and payment transparency in any supported currency through a single U.S.-based merchant account.
International Checkout reportedly brings an additional 20 cardholder acceptance currencies to the table, including the Turkish lira, the Egyptian pound, the Icelandic krona and the Belize dollar. The companies now offer processing in more than 65 currencies.
Near field communication (NFC) software and systems manufacturer ViVOtech Inc. contracted with Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority to develop and implement a showcase for rich mobile NFC services.
The demonstration took place at the imbX, the Infocomm Media Business Exchange, June 21 to June 24, 2011. ImbX is reportedly Asia's biggest infocomm and media business event for business leaders, government officials and industry professionals.
Cardtronics USA Inc. has an agreement to acquire EDC ATM LLC, a subsidiary of Efmark Deployment I Inc. Cardtronics USA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cardtronics Inc., will pay approximately $145 million for the ATM business.
The deal will add 3,700 ATMs to the Cardtronics ATM network and is expected to raise Cardtronic's profile in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions of the United States.
The deal also gives Cardtronics ATM branding relationships with eight of the 15 largest U.S. banks.
Robert Heinrich is Alpha Card Services' new Vice President of Sales. Heinrich heads the company's new West Coast regional office in Roseville, Calif.
The western regional office supports new and existing merchants and ISO partners with sales and support options. The company believes the new Alpha Card West office, with its on-site warehouse, will reduce shipping times and lower freight costs.
Alejandro Swaby was named to the newly created position of National POS Sales Manager by Alpha Card. Swaby will supervise POS product development, day to day operations, sales, as well as support and services.
Before moving to Alpha Card, Swaby founded the technology firm Innovative Network Administrators where he led a sales force and developed an in-house channel partner program for software vendors, resellers, ISOs and other vertical markets.
Payfone, a mobile payment processing business backed by AmEx and Verizon Wireless, appointed Matthew Tucker as its Chief Operating Officer.
Tucker is expected to drive the company's global expansion and mobile payments adoption worldwide. He was most recently the President of Recyclebank, which was ranked by the Wall Street Journal as the No. 4 "Next Big Thing" venture-backed company.
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