In January 2012, MasterCard Worldwide introduced its road map to Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) adoption in the United States. The payments industry has expected MasterCard to introduce its own plan for EMV adoption ever since Visa Inc. revealed in August 2011 it would push for EMV here.
Visa's plan for U.S. EMV adoption removes the requirement that merchants annually validate their Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) compliance if they implement EMV technology and meet certain other requirements.
Visa merchants who haven't adopted EMV standards by October 2015 will be liable thereafter for any counterfeit POS card-present transactions they accept.
MasterCard spokesman Seth Eisen confirmed MasterCard will, with some nuance, be implementing the same incentive and reward program as Visa. "MasterCard is offering PCI audit relief," he said. "However, what MasterCard will do is take it a step further and provide incentives as merchants reduce their exposure to account data loss."
Eisen said MasterCard is not instituting a liability shift per se, though merchants who are counterfeit card victims will be held liable if they do not have EMV technology in place after the industry deadline.
"We have introduced a framework that accommodates a variety of options, including EMV and other advanced technologies, while encouraging increased security and increasingly making payments smart, safe and secure," he said. "In the road map, we've put a liability hierarchy in place that encourages greater security with both the issuer and the merchant."
MasterCard's EMV plan calls for working with acquirers to have the company's EMV infrastructure in place by April 2013. The company backs "current industry timelines" set by Visa for EMV implementation: retail merchants have until October 2015 to implement EMV; petroleum customers have until October 2017 to make the transition.
T-Mobile USA Inc. said it is now the first wireless carrier to offer Square Inc. credit card readers in a select number of its retail stores.
"The success of our small business customers is important to us," said Matt Millen, Vice President of Small and Medium Business Sales at T-Mobile. "Formerly 'cash only' small businesses can now simply and cost-effectively accept credit cards with their smart phone using Square, giving them an easy path to growth. As these businesses evaluate their wireless needs, T-Mobile is committed to providing quality of service, cost savings and connectivity that are a requirement for their success."
A new paper issued in January 2012 by the European Commission seeks to build on the work of the single euro payments area (SEPA) initiative to create a fully integrated market for card, Internet and mobile payments. SEPA is working on a European standard to allow smooth and unencumbered cross-border and domestic electronic retail payments in the European Union.
The EC paper looked at the obstacles hindering European market integration. Michel Barnier, the EC's Internal Market and Services Commissioner, said Europe could lead the world in payment innovation if the payments market were not so fragmented.
The EC is asking for comments from stakeholders who review the paper with an eye toward which obstacles hinder market integration and how these obstacles can be resolved. Responses to the paper are due by April 11, 2012. For more information go to: http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/payments/cim/index_en.htm.
Marla Knutson, President of Financial Institutions at payment processor TransFirst LLC, was elected President of the Women's Network in Electronic Transactions (W.net), a professional organization for women in the payments industry. Knutson will work with a 14-member board of directors to develop W.net networking and outreach programs.
W.net said it surpassed its goals for 2011 with record-breaking numbers for membership and increased sponsorship and event participation. "We have some exciting plans for this year that will include a 2012 Advisory Council comprised of industry leaders, both male and female, which we believe will propel us to even greater growth in years to come," Knutson said.
Knutson promised more reliance on social media in 2012 to spread awareness of the professional development opportunities available to women in payments and to help members keep up with industry events and news.
W.net is also starting a career center to help women transition to employment in the payments industry without cost, while giving companies the chance to advertise career opportunities at a significant savings compared with other job boards.
ISO Alpha Card Services revamped its corporate website. The company said the website was redesigned to better serve its growing number of merchants and partners. It also hopes the site will attract new website visitors. The site, www.alphacardservices.com, contains social media, search engine optimization content and interactive graphics.
Credit-union-owned EFT network and processor CO-OP Financial Services reported it processed more than 200 million electronic payment transactions during December 2011 - the first time the company exceeded 200 million transactions in a month.
Stan Hollen, the company's President and Chief Executive Officer, said reaching the milestone was a tribute to the demand for credit union debit and credit card services.
CSRSI, The Payment Advisors, a data compliance solutions company known for its PCI ToolKit that simplifies PCI DSS compliance, changed its name to CSR, which stands for Compliance Solutions and Resources. CSR Founder Ross Federgreen said the new name leverages the company's past while informing the public that the company is a provider of compliance solutions and resources.
Miami-based telephone payment solutions provider Datatel Communications Inc. expanded its ISO Partner Program to allow for new revenue areas through a wider portfolio of telephone payment solutions, more learning resources and advanced marketing tools. Datatel's Hosted IVR Telephone Payment Solutions accepts electronic payments by phone.
Electronic Payment Systems LLC and Meritus Payment Solutions are finalists in the sixth annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. The Stevie Awards honor outstanding workplace performance. EPS is a finalist in both the Customer Service Team of the Year Recovery Situation category and the Customer Service Complaints Team of the Year category. Meritus is a finalist in the Customer Service Manager of the Year category.
NCR Corp. introduced the first cloud-based POS software platform that allows retailers to manage transactions, track sales and inventory, process credit cards and market to customers on both POS touchscreen terminals and Apple Inc. smart devices. The new platform debuted at the National Retail Federation Annual Convention & Expo and will be available in early spring 2012, the company said.
Canadian mobile payment company Payfirma Corp. released a new version of its mobile payment application. The app's new features reportedly focus on user efficiency, location awareness and real-time information in addition to doubling transaction speed in a sleeker design. Payfirma stated its customers will now have real-time transaction reporting and multiple language options.
Payment Data Systems Inc. introduced a debit-only card payment product. The product is targeted at churches and other organizations that prefer their congregations or customers not incur debt with their payments. Each organization offering the debit-only option must get permission from the card companies to offer the debit-only payment method.
Georgia-based payment processor Priority Payment Systems is now a certified servicing agent of American Express Co.'s OnePoint, a select, all-in-one solution providing small to midsize businesses with statements, settlement and customer service for all major card brands.
Sequent Software Inc., a provider of mobile near field communication (NFC) software and services, released Core Card Services for software application developers. The new program allows app developers to integrate NFC payments, ticketing, coupons, identification badge access and other features into their designs.
Canadian mobile transaction platform provider Telepin Inc. said it now has more than 1 million active merchants on its global network. The company now services more than 132 million mobile subscribers in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Africa and the Americas. The company said it is processing more than 31 million transactions daily.
In January 2012, VeriFone Inc. introduced its "next generation payment solutions" and added important new retailers to its list of mobile solutions customers. The company showcased its new technology and services at the NRF Annual Convention & Expo held in New York.
First up to debut was the VeriFone MX 900 series, the new addition to the MX line. On the mobile front, VeriFone released its latest versions of GlobalBay Mobile POS and retailing solutions that allow retailers to use smart tablets and mobile devices such as the Apple iPod Touch to the retail floor.
VeriFone reported the women's apparel store C.Wonder LLC and outdoor sports retailer Eastern Mountain Sports Inc. are using the solution and that its terminals will now work with Google Wallet at thousands oftop retailers.
VeriFone also introduced HQ, an estate management solution that allows retailers to rapidly deploy new payment technologies like smart card and mobile wallet applications, social commerce applications and digital content. VeriFone HQ is a cloud-based solution that will be available later in 2012.
Payment processors and security vendors Equinox Payments LLC, Voltage Security Inc., and Merchant Link collaboratively created a cloud-based payment solution to protect POS payment data. Equinox's payment terminals were combined with Voltage SecureData Payments solutions and Merchant Link's TransactionVault tokenization and payment gateway. The system was created for Columbia Sportswear Co. and should be in all its stores by spring.
In other news, TransFirst LLC will market Equinox Payments' high security M4230 mobile payment terminal to TransFirst's more than 170,000 U.S. customers.
Payment processor First Data Corp. and SunTrust Banks Inc. renewed their merchant services partnership agreement, SunTrust Merchant Services LLC. The partnership provides for the needs of 67,000 merchant locations and does more than $29 billion in processing every year.
Online payment processing provider PayLane Group is now a certified AmEx partner allowing PayLane clients to accept AmEx cards without having to apply for a merchant account with another acquiring bank. PayLane said its clients will now have lower fees and simpler account opening procedures as a result of the partnership.
POS technology and information technology solutions provider tekservePOS is partnering with Motion Computing Inc., a mobility solutions provider for tablet PCs, on a complete mobile retail POS solution. The companies promise the new product will improve efficiency, increase profitability and provide a competitive advantage for their customers.
In other news, Motion Computing said it is partnering with electronic payment security technology provider MagTek Inc. to launch the MagTek QwickPAY for the Motion CL900 SlateMate terminal.
The companies said the combined technology can lower the cost of accepting cards as much as 30 percent for merchants by allowing them to accept both credit and signature debit sales.
Encryption and key management company Voltage Security and payment solutions provider Ingenico S.A. partnered on an end-to-end POS data protection solution. Voltage data protection technology is now included with the new Ingenico Telium terminals.
Mobile banking and payment solutions provider mFoundry Inc. said banking and payment technology provider Fidelity National Information Services Inc. (FIS) recently increased its investment and ownership holdings in mFoundry. FIS and mFoundry have been working together on mobile banking solutions for the past several years.
Xavier Ayala, formerly an executive with Moneris Solutions Inc., was elected Vice President of the Western States Acquirers Association. Mobius Payments Founder Mia Hyun was elected a new WSAA Director.
WSAA also has two new advisory board members: Patrick E. Ford, Senior Vice President of Client Relations for Total Systems Services Inc. (TSYS) Acquiring Solutions, and Linda Grimm, CSR Director of Consulting Services.
Mobile commerce and alternative payment solutions company Spindle Inc. named its new executive team following the acquisition of Spindle Mobile by Spindle Inc. Former Spindle Mobile President Bill Clark was named the new President. Thomas DeRosa, who has 30 years' experience in technology management, was named Chief Architect and Technology Officer.
Kevin McNish, who helped develop a number of patented technologies at First Data Corp., was appointed Vice President for Product Development.
Cardtronics Inc. said former First Data Senior Vice President and General Manager Todd Clark joined the company in the newly created position of Senior Executive Vice President, Sales and Relationship Management Group. Clark will report to CEO Steve Rathgaber.
USA Technologies Inc. appointed Steve G. Illes, an entrepreneur and investor, and Frank A. Petito III, Orbitz Worldwide Inc. Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, to its board of directors. The two men are filling vacant seats. The company still has one board vacancy to fill.
TSYS appointed Dennis Jones Group Executive of Business Operations, TSYS International, and made Rick Machold TSYS Group Executive, Assistant General Auditor. Jones' long payments industry experience includes time as President of the Neteller Division of Optimal Payments. He will oversee account migration, data center and facilities, and customer care and production support operations.
Mahold has spent 26 years working for several leading U.S. payment providers. He will perform independent reviews and evaluations of the company's operations, information systems, controls, major business processes and reporting functions, and make recommendations to management.
Michelle Logan joined Certified Payment Processing L.P. as Director, Learning and Development. Logan ran her own company before joining CPP. She also once served as the Senior Director of Learning for First Data. Logan will be responsible for planning, initiating and managing CPP's professional development programs.
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