On March 7, 2012, the Electronic Transactions Association sent a letter to Joseph W. Saunders, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Visa Inc., asking the card company to delay implementation of its new Fixed Acquirer Network Fee (FANF).
The letter pointed out challenges acquirers and merchants face in implementing FANF and suggested, given the complexity of this new type of fee, that Visa delay implementation until Visa provides all needed implementation guidance to stakeholders. The ETA requested the new Visa directive take effect 90 days after such guidance is provided.
Among the concerns the ETA voiced are:
According to SourceMedia Inc.'s Payments Update, Visa responded that it had given acquirers sufficient notice of the FANF fee implementation. To read the ETA's letter, please visit: www.electran.org/docs/ir/ETA_Letter-Visa_FANF_2012-03-07.pdf.
Discover Financial Services reported it is implementing a 2013 Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) deployment mandate for its acquirers and "direct-connect merchants" in the United States, Canada and Mexico. "This industry alignment will streamline certification and deployment efforts and enable a manageable transition for all parties involved, including issuers, merchants and acquirers," Discover stated in a press release about the deadline.
The Sage Group PLC subsidiary Sage North America said it is partnering with 32 nonprofit Girl Scouts of the USA councils in 23 states, collectively representing more than 40,000 members, to offer a mobile payment option during the scout's annual cookie sales.
Girl Scouts in northeast Ohio reported a 13 percent increase in sales after introducing mobile payments in 2011, a year when many troops reported flat sales.
Girl Scout cookie sales are the primary funding for Girl Scout activities and programs. Those sales are expected to be positively impacted by the Sage Mobile Payments application and credit card swipers attached to smart phones or tablet computers. The scouts using the devices will be able to accept both credit and debit card payments. The system's back-end will reconcile sales and deposits for each troop.
A new cross-industry organization formed to address ongoing, Internet-related security, privacy and reliability concerns was launched at the RSA Conference USA 2012 recently held in San Francisco. The Trustworthy Internet Movement is a nonprofit, vendor-neutral effort to address such security issues as the threat of botnets and malware. The members will also attempt to assure security in cloud computing.
Philippe Courtot, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the cloud security and platform company Qualys Inc., is the founder of the new organization. He pledged $500,000 to help launch the organization. His plan is to leverage talent in member organizations to fund and foster collaborative innovation. In addition to encouraging innovation, the group will focus on collaboration and leveraging the expertise of its members.
The Trustworthy Internet Movement will be recruiting people with domain expertise; innovation and technology leaders; stakeholders; corporations; venture capitalists and angel investors; academic institutions; and other nonprofit organizations.
"With 2 billion people relying on the Internet for much of their personal and business lives, it is incumbent upon the industry to put its collective heads together and resolve the problems of online security, privacy, and reliability once and for all," Courtot said. "We have a unique opportunity with the rapid spread of cloud-based services to leverage the power of the industry and the wider community of Internet users to resolve the issues that are holding back the Internet from fulfilling its true potential."
RSA is the security division of the information technology company EMC Corp.
American Express Co. released a Facebook Inc. application for its Serve digital wallet. The app allows people to send and receive money on the popular social networking site. PayPal Inc. introduced a similar app on Facebook in November 2011.
Dan Schulman, Group President Enterprise Growth for AmEx, said Serve is evolving to adapt to the way people exchange money. "We're constantly working to bring our customers a seamless and consistent payment experience - one that makes sense for our increasingly social lives, whether that's paying a friend back for movie tickets or sending someone money for your share of the vacation house - it can now be sent on Facebook." AmEx charges no fee for sending, receiving or requesting money via Serve.
In other AmEx social media news, the company introduced a new application for the social media network Twitter Inc. When card members sync their cards with Twitter, it allows them to use customized Twitter hashtags to load discount and savings offers to their cards. The offers are automatically delivered within a few days via a statement credit. Participating merchants include Best Buy Inc., McDonald's Corp. and Zappos Inc.
Online mobile payment company BOKU Inc. said it is expanding its payment technology into full e-commerce and retail POS functionality with its BOKU Accounts, a platform that allows mobile network operator (MNO) customers to use MNO-branded mobile payment accounts with both mobile devices and the web. Customers can make payments online, in-app and in-store.
In addition, BOKU reported it secured $35 million in funding to expand its team, broaden infrastructure and continue its global expansion, which began in 2009. Investors include New Enterprise Associates and Telefónica Digital, among others.
Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) compliance and security solutions provider ControlScan added ProTect Network Firewall to its ProTect Managed Security Services to manage the installation, administration and monitoring of network firewalls specifically for Level 4 merchant businesses.
Check guarantee and electronic check processing services provider CrossCheck Inc. is now an associate member of the Automotive Service Association of Arizona. It will offer ASA-AZ members special group pricing on payment services. These services include remote deposit capture and standard check guarantee.
Electronic transaction payment processor Global Payments Inc. is on Fortune magazine's list of most admired American companies of 2012. Global Payments ranked sixth in the Consumer Credit Card and Related Services category.
First Data Corp. released its OfferWise solution, an open platform that simplifies redemption offers for consumers and merchants. The platform allows merchants to electronically attach electronic deals, coupons and loyalty programs to customers' payment cards or mobile wallets for automatic redemption at the POS. The offers are redeemed in real time. The platform is now in its pilot program.
Heartland Payment Systems Inc. said its Mobuyle mobile payment acceptance solution now works with Apple Inc. iOS mobile devices allowing merchants to take credit, debit and gift card payments on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
In other company news, Heartland said it has returned more than $100 million of signature debit savings to U.S. businesses since the Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 went into effect in October 2011.
Tenable Network Security Inc. completed its PCI scanning vendor compliance testing and is now an Approved Scanning Vendor. Tenable can thus offer to help businesses ensure their payment card data is secure, identify potential security problems in the cloud and demonstrate PCI DSS compliance.
Payment Processor Vantiv LLC said its initial public offering of 29.4 million shares of its Class A common stock will be priced between $16 and $18 per share. The underwriters of the offering have an option to purchase an additional 4.4 million shares of Class A common stock from Vantiv.
VeriFone Inc. said it will process lottery ticket sales through POS systems in taxis, at fuel dispensers and at other locations. Consumers will be able to use an interactive screen to select a lottery purchase, swipe or tap a debit card, and print receipts from integrated printers. VeriFone is partnering with Linq3, a lottery solutions provider, to create a nationwide network to process lottery transactions.
Western Union Holdings Inc. reported it now has money transfer agreements with 26 mobile wallet companies in 22 countries. The company said 20 of these agreements are with MNOs representing more than 285 million subscribers. The other six agreements are with banks and credit unions. The company has already launched mobile money transfer services in nine countries, including the United States and Canada.
Payment software manufacturer AJB Software Design Inc. and payment processor First Data Corp. are offering First Data's TransArmor data security solution integrated into AJB's payment processing application suite. The suite is aimed at large retailers. More than 200,000 merchants currently combine for more than 400 million transactions using the TransArmor solution.
Electronic transaction processor CardWare International and Resource Leasing Co., a high technology equipment leasing and financial services company for merchants, formed a strategic joint venture called All Inclusive Mobile Merchant. The solution packages hardware, a mobile payment app, data plan and support with a reportedly low monthly payment.
CO-OP Financial Services said it is partnering with self-service security systems provider Diebold Inc. to offer CO-OP ATM Managed Services, an ATM fleet implementation and management suite for credit unions. The suite includes anti-skimming, currency management, enterprise security and software deployment services.
Terminal manufacturer Ingenico Mexico is teaming with IBM to introduce Ingenico's iPA280 terminal with integrated secure PIN pad in Mexico concert halls. Both the 17,600 seat Arena Monterrey and the 22,000 seat Arena Ciudad de Mexico will use the POS system for sports and cultural events.
Isis, the mobile commerce network and mobile wallet created by the mobile commerce joint venture JVL Ventures LLC, said POS terminal manufacturers VeriFone, Equinox Payments LLC and Ingenico S.A. and near field communication (NFC) software provider ViVOtech Inc. will use and support the Isis Mobile Commerce Application in their product lines. Isis said the agreements will speed up introduction and adoption of mobile commerce.
The agreements will give merchants the ability to upgrade to Isis-enabled payment terminals by a combination of new payment acceptance systems and NFC add-on devices or software upgrades to some devices already in use.
Payment processor Moneris Solutions is integrating its eSelectPlus payment gateway with Global Cloud Ltd.'s DonorDrive software to allow Global Cloud clients to process electronic donations and payments through DonorDrive and Moneris.
ISO Payment Alliance International is partnering with GunBroker.com, the world's largest online gun auction site, to offer a payment acceptance solution for GunBroker.com online sellers. The companies said the solution now allows guns to be shipped without the inconvenience of waiting for a cashier's check to be purchased, mailed and cashed.
Payment gateway technology company PayLeap is now certified to the Total System Services Inc. (TSYS) payment platform and is boarding merchants under the TSYS Partner Reseller Program. ISOs can now offer PayLeap technology to customers using the TSYS solution.
Receivables management and revenue enhancement solutions provider RevSource Solutions LLC and merchant services provider Merchant Solutions International Inc. are teaming to provide clients with the RevExpress online payments system.
Payment processor Vantage Card Services Inc. expanded its agreement with security firm ControlScan Inc. to help small and midsize merchants obtain PCI DSS compliance. Vantage Card Services' merchants now can use and manage internally ControlScan's PCI 1-2-3 compliance solution for PCI compliance.
Electronic payment processing company Financial Transaction Services acquired Boca Raton, Fla., electronic payment processing solutions provider Charge Card Systems Inc. The deal is expected to increase FTS sales volume. Jeffrey Shavitz, a member of The Green Sheet Advisory Board and a contributing writer for this publication, is a founding partner of CCS.
Jumio Inc., the developer of Netswipe, the system that allows credit card payments using webcams and mobile phones, received $25.5 million in Series B Funding from the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Jumio will use the money for team growth and product development.
VeriFone acquired LIFT Retail Marketing Technology Inc., a manufacturer of a digital marketing system built to improve convenience store sales. Financial terms of the purchase were not disclosed.
Visa Europe is taking a 15 percent stake in The Mobile Money Network Ltd., creator of the mobile commerce application for iPhone and Google Inc. Android handsets Simply Tap. Visa and MMN are planning a number of mobile commerce initiatives in the U.K. in 2012 that are expected to take MMN's bank-grade, interoperable infrastructure for mobile shopping to the mass market.
Payfone Inc., a remote payment processing service, named Prakash Hariramani Vice President Head of Product, William Murray Vice President of Financial Institution Sales, Scott Shepherd Vice President of Mobile Operator Management and Amy Masters Director of Marketing.
Hariramani was Senior Business Leader and Head of Emerging Consumer Products at Visa prior to joining Payfone. Murray previously worked for MasterCard Worldwide where he initiated the company's e-commerce strategy. Shepherd led Verizon Wireless' mobile commerce product strategy and management. Masters was a Vice President of Marketing at AmEx.
Gary T. Staub is the new Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at payment processor Sterling Payment Technologies Inc. Staub previously founded GTS Consulting, a Dallas-based consulting service to private equity firms and electronic funds transfer companies in the payments industry. He will be responsible for direct and third-party initiatives.
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