Work is nearly complete on versions 2.0 of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) and Payment Application DSS. All merchants must be compliant with the new 2.0 standards by Dec. 31, 2011. All that is left for the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) to finish is the collection and evaluation of six months of formal feedback on versions 2.0 for development of the 3.0 PCI standards.
The formal feedback period began Nov. 1, 2011. When the period is over in April 2012, the information will be compiled and distributed for analysis and action. This feedback period is the end of the three-year process to develop and institute the 2.0 security standards, and it initiates the start of the three-year development process for the 3.0 standards.
PCI SSC General Manager Bob Russo said information culled from the feedback will be shared with participating organizations and the PCI community at the 2012 PCI Community Meetings.
Tagtile, a subsidiary of Malbec Labs Inc., recently launched a new device, also named Tagtile, that brings customer loyalty management and rewards programs to small merchants. "Tagtile is a stand alone hardware device sold to merchants to help run loyalty and direct marketing programs," Tagtile Chief Executive Officer Abheek Anand said.
Tagtile is a hardware cube, much like Square Inc.'s dongle, that attaches to and works with smart phones and tablets as if it were a near field communication (NFC) device. Customers tap their phones to Tagtile cubes to receive their rewards, coupons or discounts.
The partners stated Tagtile is meant to bridge the gap until full NFC adoption. "By then we will be in position where we will have our merchant relations in place for our device," Anand said. "We will support NFC, but this is a way to get a head start on the ecosystem. I like to joke that people have been saying 'NFC is two years away' for 10 years now."
Google Inc.'s Google Wallet rolled out at major retailers in October 2011. The new smart phone NFC payment system allows customers at American Eagle Outfitters, The Container Store, Foot Locker, Guess, Jamba Juice, Macy's, OfficeMax and Toys"R"Us to pay, redeem coupons and earn rewards with a simple tap of a smart phone to an NFC terminal.
To celebrate the launch, Google created a new Featured Offers section in the Google Wallet app with discounts on items in its partner stores. The featured items are automatically discounted when the customer taps the phone at checkout. Foot Locker, Guess, OfficeMax and American Eagle Outfitters have all set up loyalty card programs for Google Wallet. Google Wallet is available on the Sprint Nexus S 4G smart phone.
Visa Inc., MasterCard Worldwide and PayPal have all accepted invitations to join the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition, according to Robert Caldwell, G2 Web Services LLC founder and Managing Partner. Caldwell first mentioned the major card companies are joining the IACC in a speech he gave at the Electronic Transactions Association's October 2011 Strategic Leadership Forum in Chicago.
Caldwell confirmed his remarks to The Green Sheet and added that the payments industry, the IACC, the White House Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator and brand holders such as Gucci America Inc. and Louis Vuitton North America Inc. are all cooperating in the effort to fight cybercrime.
Caldwell said G2 Web Services recently signed a deal with the IACC to develop a portal-based system to detect rogue websites selling counterfeit merchandise online. According to the IACC, the G2 deal represents a new strategy to shut down crooks' ability to process payments.
At an Oct. 24, 2011, U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce Manufacturing and Trades hearing experts testified that government oversight and regulation of Internet gambling activity in the United States is the best way to protect consumers.
Pending legislation to regulate the industry reportedly would ensure consumer safeguards, generate tens of billions in new government revenue and create tens of thousands of new jobs."
People are playing poker on the Internet in the U.S for money today," said Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas. "It's not regulated and so these sites are offshore, overseas and, consequently, outside the ability for us to tax the winnings and make sure it's a fair game."
Citigroup Inc. said its Global Transaction Services unit is expanding its WorldLink Payment Services, a cross-border payment platform, into eight new countries. This will bring the number of countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas where WorldLink is available to 29.
Kudos, a payment acceptance kit manufactured by NetSecure Payments Inc., is available for the first time in the United States. The Kudos' credit card acceptance kit reportedly turns a phone and computer system into a complete POS system. The kit is equipped with a swipe terminal, POS software and merchant account software. The company stated the per-transaction cost is a flat rate of 2.7 percent of the sale plus 20 cents. There are no monthly fees.
North American Bancard released the latest version of its Pay Anywhere application for Apple iOS and Google Android operating systems. New features include cash transactions, discounts, a store and forward device, and multimerchant accounting.
The company noted that Pay Anywhere now allows merchants to accept and record cash transactions and save and process sales if the Internet is not available. The new app can be downloaded at the Apple App Store or the Android Market.
Research in Motion Ltd. reported its BlackBerry Bold 9900 and BlackBerry Curve 9360 smart phones have been certified by MasterCard Worldwide as PayPass-approved devices. The two phones are the first subscriber identity module (SIM)-based NFC smart phones certified as PayPass approved. The certification means PayPass-issuing banks around the world can place PayPass-enabled accounts on the SIM cards of these phones.
Software provider SLIM CD Inc. released its free SlimCD application for iPhone. The product allows customers to process card-present transactions with or without an optional encrypted card reader. The new app includes a sales reporting solution, desktop application, data on demand, gateway services, fraud detection services, shopping cart and mobile website.
Square Inc. CEO Keith Rabois told Bloomberg news services Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will join Apple stores, Target Corp., RadioShack Corp. and Best Buy Co. in selling the popular Square dongle. Square's dongle accepts credit and debit card purchases. The dongle attaches to smart phones and other smart devices and, when the card is swiped, the information is sent via the Internet for processing.
USA Technologies Inc. has been named to Deloitte LLP's 2011 Technology Fast 500 list of the fastest growing technology companies in North America. USA Technologies ranked 480 in North America based on the percentage of revenue growth between 2006 and 2010.
Companies have to own the proprietary intellectual property or proprietary technology in the products that make up the majority of company sales in order to be eligible for the award.
In other company news, USA Technologies Chairman and CEO George Jensen resigned in October 2011 after allegations surfaced that Jensen was posting company information on an online investor site.
The company's investigation revealed Jensen allegedly posted approximately 450 comments on a Yahoo message board. Most of these messages were posted over a two-month period under the name "investor.texas."
Chase Paymentech Solutions LLC and Imperial Parking Canada Corp. are teaming to bring Chase Paymentech processing to one of Canada's largest parking businesses. Impark owns more than 1,600 parking lots.
Coca-Cola Co. is testing Google Inc.'s Google Wallet. People who own Google Android NFC-enabled phones will be able to buy a Coke at more than 200 vending machines by tapping their phones against payment devices on the machines.
First Data Corp. selected VeriFone Inc. as the exclusive provider of Class A POS payment acceptance systems in the Caribbean region.
"We selected VeriFone as our exclusive POS product offering in this region as their devices go beyond traditional magnetic stripe transactions by providing advanced EMV [EuroPay/MasterCard/Visa] card processing, which increases a merchant's security and authentication measures to help reduce fraud," said Phil Steurer, Senior Vice President, Central America and Caribbean for First Data.
Meritus Payment Solutions partnered with the Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association to offer wholesale payment processing rates to the association's 2,500 members. Meritus will also provide webinars to educate members on payment issues such as credit card fraud, and it will be part of the organization's annual convention.
Monitise PLC and Visa Europe announced a $39 million Visa Europe investment in Monitise. Peter Ayliffe, Visa Europe President and CEO, will join Monitise's board of directors.
Monitise, a mobile payment business, also agreed to acquire a 51 percent share (valued at $29.4 million) of Monitise Americas from Metavante Corp. Metavante will receive a 3.3 percent stake in Monitise in return. Visa Europe now holds an 8.8 percent share of Monitise.
Office Depot Inc. and Century Payments Inc. are partnering on a new payment processing service for small and midsize businesses called Office Depot Merchant Services. Office Depot is the first office supply retailer to offer merchants a privately branded solution. The service has customizable payment solutions, banking, and a rate-matching option that will meet or beat other offers.
Processing services provider TransFirst LLC and ISO and merchant level salesperson cooperative CoCard Marketing Group formed an alliance. CoCard agents will now sell TransFirst products, including its payment gateway Transaction Express, its online reporting system TransLink, and PayFox, its mobile payment processing solution for Apple products.
CoCard noted it has more than 70 U.S. offices and 300 sales agents.
Payment processor Vantiv LLC reported Community Credit Union in Sacramento, Calif., Fort Worth Community Credit Union of Bedford, Texas, and USSCO Johnstown Federal Credit Union of Johnstown, Pa., have signed contracts with Vantiv.
The agreements are for single-sourced comprehensive electronic processing services, including ATM and debit card transaction processing, card production, gateway services, rewards and debit portfolio management.
Retail ATM owner Cardtronics Inc. completed its purchase of Access to Money Inc. Cardtronics CEO Steve Rathgaber said the acquisition has the benefit of bringing a number of seasoned industry professionals to his company, and he is looking forward to "harvesting operational synergies."
Total System Services Inc. (TSYS) purchased the merchant portfolio of Vanguard Payment Systems Inc. Vanguard, based in Clearwater, Fla., has been a payment provider since 2005. Its portfolio included restaurants and medical and dental offices.
Western Union Co. acquired Finint S.r.l., one of Western Union's European money transfer network agents. Finint has more than 10,000 locations in Italy, Spain and the U.K. Western Union acquired two other European network agents recently, FEXCO in 2009 and Angelo Costa S.r.l. in 2011.
Steve Boyer is the new Executive Vice President of Business Development at Galileo Processing Inc. He will be responsible for "assisting existing and future partners [to] leverage Galileo's [payment] platform." Boyer was a founder of the gift card business, ValueLink Inc.
Kieran Macey, Head of Risk for U.K. and Europe for Retail Decisions (ReD) PLC, a payment fraud prevention and payment processing company, was appointed to the European Merchant Risk Council board. The MRC is a nonprofit association working to stop e-commerce fraud and promote payments to its merchant members. More than 900 brands hold ReD membership.
Ken Paull will fill the newly created position of Executive Vice President at ROAM Data Inc. In his new job Paull is responsible for sales, marketing and business development. Paull previously served as Director of the consulting firm Market Platform Dynamics where he worked with ROAM Data to develop strategies and scale for emerging companies.
Bill Ready was named CEO of BrainTree Payment Solutions Inc. Ready previously served as an executive in residence at Accel Partners, and he formerly worked as President of iPay Technologies LLC.
Tom Shaw joined Certified Payment Processing as Senior Vice President of Operations and Administration. Shaw will supervise training, human resources and telemarketing. Shaw was previously Vice President of Human Resources for Noble Royalties Inc.
BlueStar Inc., a European-based distributor of payment technology, made two additions to its executive staff. Mike Strube was named Business Development Manager for Panasonic and Star Micronics products. He is responsible for management, product promotions, asset management, and vendor relations. Melanie Muschinski is a new Marketing Manager for Bluestar. She is responsible for marketing and event management.
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