VeriFone Inc. Chief Executive Officer Douglas G. Bergeron and his wife, Sandra Bergeron, are expanding their scholarship-mentorship program to the University of California Berkeley. The program, first initiated at Georgia State University, aims at assisting "high-potential women" to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The UC Berkeley scholarship will go to five undergraduate women every year. Each selected student will receive scholarship money, academic support and mentoring from executive level women in their chosen fields.
There have been 25 Bergeron scholars since the program was founded in 2006. The Bergerons have committed $1.5 million to fund this program.
First Data Corp. released a First Data SpendTrend that compares December 2011 and December 2010 data. SpendTrend tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, electronic benefit card and check at U.S. merchant locations.
"Dollar volume growth on cards overall was a healthy 6.9 percent in December," First Data reported. "However, strong auto sales, driven by low interest rates, likely diverted consumer spending to car sales from other retail areas. Auto sales are not captured in SpendTrend figures."
The company noted that overall year-over-year average tickets declined 0.1 percent in December 2011 and said it was the first negative reading since January 2011. However, overall transaction growth was up 7 percent in December, and most retail merchant categories had higher sales growth in December 2011 versus November 2011.
"Consumer willingness to spend in December was based largely on the ability to find bargains, and merchants utilized steep discounting to drive traffic," said Silvio Tavares, Senior Vice President and Division Manager of First Data Global Information and Analytics Solutions, which publishes SpendTrend.
For more information, visit www.firstdata.com/infoanalytics.
Chase Paymentech Solutions LLC reported a record breaking season for the 50 leading U.S. online merchants
participating in its Cyber Holiday Pulse Index. Chase found that from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31, 2011, the number of transactions was up 37 percent and sales volume rose 25 percent year-over-year.
Average sales value declined 9 percent. However, December 2011 saw a 35 percent increase in number of transactions, and sales volume was up 22 percent over December 2010.
Analyzing the payment activity for the 50 top e-commerce retailers provides valuable insight into shopping trends, the company said. Chase noted a trend toward smaller tickets during the last few years.
The company said that while some of the trend to smaller value tickets is attributable to the recession, it also believes the data demonstrates an increasing demand for digital media such as music and e-books.
Further details can be found at http://pulse.chasepaymentech.com.
Is Yahoo! Inc. getting into the payments business? That's what many payments industry people are wondering since news arrived Jan. 4, 2012, that Scott Thompson, President of eBay Inc.'s subsidiary PayPal Inc., is leaving PayPal to take over as CEO at Yahoo.
Among other things, Thompson is credited with helping PayPal transform from a payment arm for eBay sales into a leading online payment solutions provider, and most recently for guiding PayPal into its new POS retail trials. In the process, Thompson increased the number of PayPal users from 50 million to 104 million, while revenue rose from about $1.8 billion to more than $4 billion annually.
Yahoo does not offer a payment solution; its search engine rival, Google Inc., made a major move into payments with its Google Wallet.
"Scott brings to Yahoo a proven record of building on a solid foundation of existing assets and resources to reignite innovation and drive growth, precisely the formula we need at Yahoo," said Roy Bostock, Yahoo Chairman of the Board. "His deep understanding of online businesses combined with his team building and operational capabilities will restore the energy, focus and momentum necessary to grow the core business and deliver increased value for our shareholders."
Before joining PayPal, Thompson was Executive Vice President of Technology Solutions at Inovant LLC, a Visa Inc.-owned technology company. He previously served as Chief Information Officer at Barclays Global Investors.
Visa Inc. and Visa Europe said near field communication (NFC)-enabled smart phones from Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and Research In Motion Ltd. have been certified for use with Visa payWave, Visa's mobile application for POS payments. The certified devices include the Samsung Galaxy SII, LG Optimus NET NFC, BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9790, and BlackBerry Curve 9360 and 9380.
"This is an important step for Visa, its financial institution partners and the mobile industry," said Bill Gajda, Global Head of Mobile Product for Visa Inc. "In addition to issuing plastic magnetic stripe or chip-enabled payment cards, financial institutions can now consider offering their account holders a way to transform their smart phones into fully functional mobile payment devices."
According to Visa, the certification of these smart phones paves the way for mobile device manufacturers, mobile operators and retailers to partner with financial institutions to offer Visa mobile payment functionality to consumers globally.
Apriva LLC, a provider of wireless transactions and information messaging solutions, released its Apriva Wallet mobile commerce platform for merchant acquirers, ISOs and other channel partners. The app can be used with either the Apple Inc. iPhone or Google Android devices.
Austin, Texas-based ATX Innovation Inc.'s mobile payment solution Tabbedout now allows users to choose among discounts and specials that automatically appear in its free restaurant and bar payment app for iPhone and Android users.
Payment services provider Cynergy Data LLC added a new processing platform that is compatible with smart phones using Microsoft Windows. Cynergy said that together with its partner Aircharge, a software and hardware developer for the payments industry, Cynergy offers more mobile platforms than any other payment provider.
Additionally, Cynergy introduced improvements to its online management system VIMAS. The new features include an online application with digital signature, a sophisticated merchant pricing model, customizable residual pricing and private labeling options, among other things.
The company said the new tools will help ISOs increase control, flexibility, speed and efficiency.
Diebold Inc., which provides integrated self-service delivery and security systems and services, in collaboration with Verizon Wireless, presented its new 4G LTE-enabled ATM at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show held Jan. 10 to Jan. 13, 2012, in Las Vegas. Diebold said this is the first ATM to use 4G technology.
Payment company Elavon Inc., a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp, introduced Elavon MobileMerchant, a software package that allows small businesses to accept payments anywhere on their smart phones. The solution is currently being tested in the U.K.
It will go into general release in March 2012. The software uses chip and PIN technology to encrypt card data and ensure no personal information is stored on the phone.
Electronic Payment Exchange (EPX), a provider of combined tokenization and end-to-end encryption payment solutions to multinational merchants, is becoming a direct merchant acquirer in the European Union. The company's initial location will be in the U.K.
EPX said it already offers payment processing services in the North American, Latin American and Caribbean regions, and it expects to begin offering payment services directly to EU merchants in the first quarter of 2012.
Intuit Inc. plans to take its free GoPayment mobile credit card app and card reader hardware global.
The first implementation will be in Canada, where GoPayment will provide small businesses and others selling products or services in Canada with what the company said is an easy, affordable way to accept credit card payments on iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch devices.
Intuit will also begin shipping its free, newly designed GoPayment card reader in both the United States and Canada. This card reader is reportedly a compact, cylinder-shaped device that helps maximize sales with new features that increase the accuracy of each card swipe.
According to Invest in France Agency, a French organization that promotes and facilitates investment in France, 17 French cities are in the running to participate in a €20 million ($25.4 million) grant program from the French government targeted at speeding up the introduction of commercial near field communication (NFC) services in the country - particularly in transportation.
The grants are also expected to showcase France as one of the world leaders in NFC technology. Many of the proposals focus on supporting NFC public transportation ticketing solutions. One plan under consideration would switch the Paris transportation system to NFC ticketing. Other proposals focus on tourism and information service projects in addition to transportation.
PXT Payments Inc.'s PXT Money, a mobile payment and discount program, launched a mobile app that allows customers to instantly load money from PayPal, credit card or debit/checking accounts onto their phones. Consumers then need only give their phone number to make a payment.
Payment technology provider VeriFone reported that Guess Inc. is using the VeriFone GlobalBay solution for the iPad inside a dozen Guess stores in the United States. The clothing retailer also recently demonstrated the solution in Asia.
Guess is mounting iPad devices on rolling stands consumers can use as self-service kiosks. Shoppers can use the iPad to browse through in-store and online inventory for immediate or online purchases. After hours, the iPads can be used for training sales associates. VeriFone said the new solution offers multichannel selling opportunities that better engage customers.
Wireless transaction and mobile communications solutions provider Apriva LLC and hand-held computer and intuitive field computing solutions provider Juniper Systems Inc. said Juniper's Mesa Rugged Notepad is now fully integrated with the Apriva Authentication Suite. The package is targeted at government and enterprise customers.
United Arab Emirates telecom services provider Emirates Telecommunications Corp. (Etisalat) partnered with the Dubai-based software company TechTuners to develop an end-to-end online and offline payment solution for the travel and tourism industry. The solution integrates Etisalat payment platforms with TechTuners travel and tourism industry software.
Transaction technology company Maas Global Solutions Corp. said its Paymentsite Gateway is now integrated with the Total System Services Inc. (TSYS) Summit platform, an in-house payment capture system. The integration will help POS devices to stop storing sensitive data and will reduce the number of compliance-related terminal downloads.
In other news, TSYS signed a payment services agreement with Melville, N.Y.-based ISO Pivotal Payments that designates TSYS the preferred provider of authorization, settlement and dispute resolution services for Pivotal.
New payment solutions for credit unions are the goal of a strategic alliance between The Members Group Inc. and CO-OP Financial Services. Terms of the agreement call for CO-OP Financial Services to make a strategic investment in TMG. Both companies will continue to offer their own branded products and will operate independently. Both companies will, however, cross-sell each other's products and services.
Swedish investment firm Investment AB Kinnevik acquired 2.3 million shares of the Stockholm software company Seamless Distribution AB, manufacturer of Mobile Money, prepaid e-Top Up and value-added services. The purchase amounts to a 9.5 percent share of the company. Kinnevik has an option to acquire another 1 million shares, an additional 3.5 percent of the company.
VeriFone reported it recently completed the acquisition of Sweden's Point Transaction Systems AB, Northern Europe's largest provider of payment services and solutions for retailers. VeriFone paid $1.5 billion for Point and said it intends to increase Point market presence to where Point is the world's largest payment infrastructure for alternative payments and NFC mobile commerce.
Alain DeSouza is the new Vice President of Market Development for Canada for the NFC software and services firm Sequent Software Inc. DeSouza joins Sequent from Research in Motion, where he was Senior Market Development Manager. DeSouza will supervise Sequent's business in Canada.
Fiserv made three executive appointments in January 2012. Shawn Donovan was named Senior Vice President and Chief Sales Officer. Donovan comes to Fiserv from Acxiom Corp., where he was Executive Vice President.
Steve Tait is the new Group President of International Operations. Tait was formerly Fiserv's Group President for Depository Institution Services. He joined the company in 2009. Tom Warsop is the new Group President for Distribution and Sales. Warsop previously helped to form Fiserv's single global sales organization.
Hebron, Ky.-based technology solutions provider BlueStar made two appointments in January 2012. Richard Ferrer is the new Europe/Middle East/Africa Marketing Manager. He will oversee marketing and business development across the region. Michele Olivera was named Marketing Manager for Latin American Operations. She has more than 10 years' experience marketing and developing new business in the region.
Larry Herrmann is the new Assistant Vice President of Risk and Underwriting for TriSource Solutions LLC, an Iowa-based merchant services provider. Herrmann worked in financial services fraud investigation for more than 31 years and is currently serving a term as Vice President of the Merchant Acquirers' Committee.
John South, Chief Security Officer at payment processor Heartland Payment Systems Inc., was elected to the Board of Directors of the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), a forum for collaboration on critical security threats facing the financial services sector. South will serve a three-year term in which he will help oversee FS-ISAC operations and set direction for future information sharing and security initiatives that benefit the membership.
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