Charitable giving was very much a part of the payments industry holiday season as companies reached out in 2011 to help those less fortunate. Here are some of the charitable contributions reported as of Dec. 29, 2011:
EMVCo, an organization formed by American Express Co., JCB Ltd., MasterCard Worldwide and Visa Inc. to manage the Europay/MasterCard/Visa smart card standard, published a white paper updating its effort to standardize contactless mobile payment distribution.
The paper describes EMVCo's work coordinating the development of contactless mobile payment standards in the rapidly developing mobile payments environment. It also addresses the need to resolve technical infrastructure issues with mobile handsets that enable contactless payments.
The EMVCo White Paper on Contactless Mobile Payments is available for free download at www.emvco.com. EMVCo Executive Committee Chair Patricia Partelow said, "EMVCo has been working over the last few years to ensure that its specifications and testing processes meet the requirements of this emerging [mobile handset] payment environment, and the development of this white paper delivers a full update on the activity."
C3ET Credit Card Consortia for Education & Training Inc. is publishing a new resource for ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs) consisting of the book, Credit Card Processing for Sales Agents, and its companion study guide. Both are expected to be available by March 15, 2012.
"It's the first book written by credit card processing and business experts from across the country," said Bill Pirtle, C3ET President and current author of the Street SmartsSM column for The Green Sheet. "The book is expected to standardize training for sales agents and ISOs. ... It will fill a niche that has been lacking." The publication promises to deliver industry expertise on topics such as sales techniques, setting up ISOs, POS systems, terminals, contracts, ethics and much more.
More than 30 contributors have agreed to write about their areas of expertise. These industry stalwarts include Adam Atlas, Marc Beauchamp, Mark Brady, Sam Caine, Michael Angelo Caruso, Steve Eazell, Howard Falcon, Jeff Fortney, Ben Goretsky, Tim R. Green, Linda Grimm, David Holman, Biff Matthews, Michael Nardy, Bill Pirtle, Paul Rianda, Kate Rodriguez, Christopher Smith, Steve Sotis, Ted Svoronos, Angela Swinney-Rhodes and Brian Tracy.
For more information or to pre-order the book, please contact Bill Pirtle at firstname.lastname@example.org. Discounts are available to the first 1,000 orders placed before Jan. 13, 2012.
After a period of public consultation on potential changes to standards relating to merchant surcharging for card acceptance, Australia Reserve Bank's board decided a case exists for changing the standards. The board said the proposed variation "will allow scheme rules to limit surcharges to a reasonable cost of acceptance, while still ensuring that merchants cannot be prevented from fully recovering their costs."
The board also said the need for this change arises because "in recent years some surcharging practices that potentially compromise price signals, such as surcharging in excess of card acceptance costs, have become more widespread. The board believes that the proposed variation will improve the efficiency of the payments system by providing better price signals to cardholders." The board also noted the proposed variation may not necessarily address all surcharging practices that are viewed by the public as being of concern.
Global payment processor First Data Corp. introduced its Global Gateway e4, an online payment gateway designed for e-commerce merchants. Global Gateway e4 includes a suite of payment services and the ability to expand payment acceptance globally.
Google Wallet, the payment application created by technology giant Google Inc., was named Mobile Commerce Technology of the Year, and Starbucks Corp.'s mobile payment app was named Mobile Commerce Application of the Year in the annual Mobile Commerce Awards sponsored by the online trade publication Mobile Commerce Daily, a subsidiary of Napean LLC.
InspirePay, a new company backed by, among others, Tiforp Business Ventures LLC, introduced the first universal payment platform consolidating all online commercial transaction options into one payment hub. Consumers can use the hub to pay with any Internet payment choice, including credit cards, PayPal, Google Checkout, Dwolla and Amazon Payments. The platform is fully customizable.
Merchant Warehouse was named the Best Merchant Account Provider for 2012 by 100Best-Merchant-Accounts.com. According to the website, its decision was based on Merchant Warehouse's affordable account services and many features offered to help new storefront and online businesses get started.
ISO North American Bancard released its Pay Anywhere Software Development Kit (SDK) to mobile payment solution developers. Pay Anywhere is a free app and credit card reader. The SDK allows developers to easily integrate Pay Anywhere into their applications. The SDK is currently only available for the Apple Inc. iOS platform. An SDK for the Google Android operating system is promised soon.
PayByPhone, a subsidiary of European payment processor PayPoint PLC, is bringing NFC technology to San Francisco's 30,800 parking meters.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is adding PayByPhone's NFC-enabled stickers to the meters, giving drivers the opportunity to pay for parking via mobile phone. Information stored on the parking meters can be read remotely by drivers on an NFC-enabled phone.
Canadian processor Payfirma Corp., a 2011 startup company, said it is processing more than $1 million per day on its mobile and Internet platforms. Payfirma reportedly was the first Canadian company to launch a mobile POS app and swiper for smart phones.
Online payment processor Pay.On AG introduced a new mobile POS application for Apple smart devices. The new application allows Apple smart devices to function as card payment terminals. A payment application for the Google Android operating system is expected soon.
NFC software and services provider Sequent Software Inc. released an NFC services platform that lets mobile operators, card issuers and application developers board and manage consumer accounts in mobile devices. The new platform supports payment, transit, loyalty and other services.
John South, Chief Information Security Officer at Heartland Payment Systems Inc., was named to the IDG Computerworld 2012 Premier 100 IT Leader list. The Premier 100 honors leaders from technology and business for technology leadership and innovative approaches to business challenges.
TransCentra Inc., a billing and payment software and services company, said it is rebranding its two subsidiaries, Regulus Group and J&B Software, as TransCentra. The company said the name TransCentra is meant to convey the company is central to billing and payment transactions.
VeriFone Inc. reported that its millionth payment acceptance system in Russia was installed in the city of Tyumen by the company's partner INPAS Co., working in conjunction with West Siberian Bank of Sberbank. VeriFone has been active in the Russian market in strategic partnership with INPAS since 1995.
In other company news, Brighton Collectibles is now bringing the checkout to shoppers in its 150 locations with VeriFone's GlobalBay Mobile POS. More than 300 iPod Touch systems equipped with credit card readers are being used to help sales associates quickly complete customers' purchases on the spot, rather than making them wait in checkout lines.
Wausau Financial Systems Inc. is expanding its Deposit 24/7 Suite to allow financial institutions to help small and midsize businesses take advantage of growth opportunities in payment processing through remote deposit capture (RDC). The turnkey, bundled service package includes a marketing tool kit, online enrollment, training guides, risk monitoring, and the ability to accept multiple payment channels through RDC.
Xsilva Systems Inc., a developer of retail technology for Apple iPhones and iPads, introduced LightSpeed for iPad, an interactive customer platform. The new platform offers personalized selling, inventory scanning, and wireless payments on the popular tablet device. A show-and-tell feature allows salespeople to share product details and up to five zoomed images with customers.
Amazon Payments, an affiliate of online retailer Amazon.com Inc., is now using the Pay.On AG gateway PayPipe and is fully integrated into the Pay.On Pay Sourcing platform. Amazon customers will now be able to pay at other retailers using the payment information stored in their Amazon accounts.
Financial solutions technology company Fiserv Inc. reached an agreement with Sageworks Inc. that allows Fiserv clients access to a suite of Sageworks' products. The suite collects and analyzes data, identifies and monitors loan portfolio risks and measures and reports on the impact of those risks.
InSide Secure, a company providing semiconductor solutions for secure transactions and digital identity, said it reached an agreement with Intel Corp. to provide Intel with InSide's NFC products and technologies. Intel will be able to access InSide's software, firmware and core hardware technology as it develops future Intel products.
NTT Docomo Inc., KDDI Corp., and SoftBank Mobile Corp. formed the Japan Mobile NFC Consortium to promote the adoption of multiple international standards for NFC technologies. The group intends to work with other groups in the Japanese mobile industry to make Type A and Type B NFC standards compatible with the Japanese mobile ecosystem.
PayPal Inc., the payment subsidiary of eBay Inc., integrated its payment interface with Frontdesk Anywhere Inc., a web-based hotel management software company, and Fandango Inc., the national movie ticket retailer. PayPal is building on the $3.5 billion in mobile payment volume it did in 2011 - a five-fold increase over 2010.
Planet Payment Inc., a provider of international and multicurrency payment processing services, and Hong Kong-based The Bank of East Asia implemented the Micros Payment Gateway at Hyatt Regency Hong Kong-Sha Tin and Hyatt Regency Hong Kong-Tsim Sha Tsui. The gateway is designed to facilitate integrated payment support for the Micros suite of enterprise hospitality products employed at Hyatt Regency hotels in Hong Kong.
Payment solutions provider Vantiv LLC formed a strategic relationship with health care transaction processing technology provider TransEngen Inc. TransEngen is providing access to its Healthcare Virtual Payments System to Vantiv customers. The companies said the relationship will improve cash flow for health care providers, reduce patient receivables and lower the costs of patient billing and collecting.
Online retailer eBay acquired the German purchase-on-invoice technology company BillSAFE GmbH and said it would combine the company with its payment subsidiary PayPal to provide a comprehensive payment service. The BillSAFE technology allows customers to make a purchase and receive an invoice for payment after the purchased item is received.
Clear2Pay, a payment solutions provider to financial institutions, purchased retail payment technology provider ISTS Worldwide Inc. ISTS customers include PayPal, Sears Brands LLC, Levi Strauss & Co. and VeriFone.
CO-OP Financial Services, which specializes in payment processing and other financial services for credit unions, purchased Corporate Network eCom LLC, an online and mobile bill paying service and subsidiary of U.S. Central, a corporate credit union. The purchase was approved by the National Credit Union Association and is expected to be completed in the first part of 2012.
Fuel card and specialized payment product company FleetCor Technologies Inc. purchased U.K. fuel card company AllStar Business Solutions Ltd. from the Arval Group for approximately $304 million. Arval and FleetCor also entered into a strategic relationship through which Arval will provide fuel card payment solutions to AllStar customers.
CO-OP Financial Services promoted Jackie Scheuerlein, Andrea Rusnak and Donna Denley within its Business Development department. Scheuerlein is now the company's Director, Relationship Management.
She previously served as Business Development Manager and National Relationship Manager (NRM) with CO-OP. In her new capacity, she will be responsible for leading CO-OP's nationwide team of NRMs.
Rusnak and Denley were both appointed to the position of Business Development Manager. Rusnak will lead a team of regional NRMs and support personnel; Denley will lead a team of NRMs. Both now report to Scheuerlein.
Mark D. Smith is the new Vice President of Financial Solutions at Kahuna ATM Solutions. Kahuna Financial Solutions is a new division for the company. Smith will manage the value-added reseller channel and provide sales support to financial institutions. He will also work on the Kahuna financial product line. Smith formerly worked for Triton Systems LLC, a manufacturer of off-premise ATMs.
Esa Tihilä, Chief Executive Officer of the Finnish purchase-to-pay solution company Basware Corp., is the newly elected Chair of the European E-invoicing Service Providers Association. She is the first to serve as chair of the newly formed EESPA.
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