At a Senate subcommittee hearing, Smart Card Alliance Executive Director Randy Vanderhoof provided historical perspective on why near field communication (NFC) technology-enabled mobile contactless payments are poised to transform the financial services industry.
At the March 22, 2012, hearing before the Committee on Financial Services' Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, Vanderhoof summarized the 20-year history of smart card technology in protecting payment accounts and mobile phone subscribers. He also detailed the potential future impact of mobile NFC contactless payments.
"The future of money, as this hearing is entitled, is being positively impacted by mobile technology," he said. "The changes in financial services addressed at this hearing are being well managed and securely protected by the smart card elements that integrate NFC technology into mobile devices, and the collective knowledge and resources of the financial and mobile industries."
Vanderhoof added that NFC contactless mobile payments technology is grounded in global standards and industry best practices that strongly position NFC to deliver consumer value, protection and reliability. Vanderhoof's testimony is available at www.smartcardalliance.org/pages/activities-congressional-testimony-20120312.
Total Systems Services Inc. (TSYS) was named by business think tank Ethisphere Institute as among the 2012 World's Most Ethical Companies. The recognition came at a dinner in New York City, March 15, 2012.
TSYS was honored for starting and nurturing progressive and conscientious business practices and initiatives. To qualify for the honor, TSYS' code of ethics, litigation and regulatory history, investment in innovation and sustainable business practices, and promotion of corporate citizenship were examined. Nominations from senior executives, industry peers, suppliers and customers were also reviewed.
Alex Brigham, Executive Director of the Ethisphere Institute, said, "A strong ethical foundation is a competitive advantage, and TSYS recognizes the important role corporate responsibility plays in improving its bottom line."
In addition, TSYS launched a new brand initiative highlighting the company's mission. The initiative, called People-Centered Payments, is meant to reflect TSYS' intention "to improve the lives and businesses of people." The processor said refocusing on the needs of clients and customers will give it a competitive advantage.
According to a joint survey by Auriemma Consulting Group Inc. and U.K.-based financial services consultancy Savantor, evidence is growing that the adoption of Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) chip technology is beginning to take hold in the United States. The findings in EMV Chip in the US - An Informal Survey include:
Global money transfer specialist Western Union Holdings Inc. introduced a new electronic payment platform called WU Pay. The platform facilitates online shopping in the United States by offering customers the ability to make bill payments online or in person.
The platform allows shoppers to pay for online purchases from existing bank accounts or in cash at Western Union locations. The service is available as a payment option through brand-name websites that include Sears Brands LLC, Kmart (a Sears company), Buy.com Inc., TigerDirect Inc. and Redcats USA Inc.
Through WU Pay, customers can also purchase virtual gift cards from over 60 brands, including Amazon.com Inc., J.C. Penney Corp. Inc., The Home Depot U.S.A. Inc., Dell Inc. and American Airlines Inc. WU Pay is the outgrowth of Western Union's purchase of the eBillme platform in October 2011.
Atlanta-based payment processing services provider Veracity Payment Solutions Inc. secured an $80 million commitment from Boston-based Great Hill Partners, a private equity firm. A portion of the committed funds was used to buy out an existing investor; the majority of the investment will be used to fund Veracity's U.S. and European acquition strategy.
Founded in 2007, Veracity offers credit card, debit card and automated clearing house processing solutions primarily to small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Veracity targets community banks, trade associations and affinity partners with the goal of providing diverse payment and billing solutions to SMBs through a combination of organic activities and acquisitions.
Veracity stated it has completed five acquisitions and currently processes for more than 12,000 merchants across numerous industries, leveraging its relationships with 180 partners.
Discover Financial Services now offers Discover cards in Ecuador through a franchise agreement with it Diners Club Ecuador subsidiary. This is the first time Discover cards are available outside the United States.
DCE enjoys a 40 percent market share in Ecuador; the introduction of the Discover card in that country is expected to further grow market share.
Fuel card provider FleetCor Technologies Inc. and convenience store operator The Pantry Inc. renewed a 10-year old agreement for FleetCor to provide processing to The Pantry's convenience store chain Kangaroo Express in the Southeastern United States.
Digital security firm
One award went to Gemalto for its Universal Integrated Circuit Card deployment and Trusted Service Management for NFC technology. Gemalto won the second award for its contactless services geared toward the mass transit sector.
Payment processor Heartland Payment Systems Inc. was named one of the 2012 Best Places to Work in Indiana. The best places to work program identifies and recognizes Indiana's best employers using employer records and employee surveys. Heartland employs 800 people, while servicing more than 250,000 U.S. merchants.
POS device manufacturer Ingenico S.A. reported that it deployed the first wireless POS terminals in the Canary Islands. The installation via financial services provider Cajasiete will allow SINcontacto card users to make contactless proximity payments at more than 500 stores throughout the islands, Ingenico said.
Lazaros Kalemis, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Alpha Card Services, won the 2012 Philadelphia Business Journal's "40 under 40" award.
The award was given by the magazine for "exceptional leadership qualities, positive contributions to the business community, generous philanthropy and significant accomplishments throughout his professional career."
Third-party contract payment service provider Meracord LLC reported it now accepts credit and debit card payments from approved businesses.
The additional payment option lets businesses quickly close deals and simultaneously provides clients with payment options for the services they receive, Meracord said.
Celebrity financial guru Suze Orman will deliver a keynote address at Money2020 Expo. The author and cable television host will share perspectives on the financial affairs of mainstream U.S. consumers, address the evolution of credit scoring and discuss how innovative financial products have the potential to change the way consumers manage money.
Money2020 LLC's inaugural expo will focus on emerging payments and financial services and encourage new, innovative partnerships. It will be held Oct. 22 to 24, 2012, at the ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The expo is expected to draw over 1,500 attendees.
PaymentOne renamed itself PayOne Corp. PayOne now boasts new branding, a new website and the launch of its One-Click mobile payment platform. PayOne said it is connected to over 1,000 mobile telecommunication providers worldwide.
U.K. data communications and interoperability solutions provider Transaction Network Services Ltd. unveiled a new payment gateway and terminal management solution for payment processors and ISOs to support merchant POS solutions.
TNSPay Mobile is based on the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS)- certified TNS wireless payment gateway platform.
Sugarland, Texas-based payment processor US Dataworks Inc. launched its Channel Partner program. The program is designed to build a network of partners to sell, service and extend the company's Clearingworks payment platform. US Dataworks is looking for partners that share its core values of innovation and "white glove" support and service.
VeriFone Inc. said its PAYware Connect gateway is the first in the mobile payments industry to exceed an annual transaction volume rate of $10 billion.
The PAYware Connect gateway is a cloud-based, PCI-compliant solution that includes end-to-end encryption as part of its security package, which also provides reporting, analytics and reduced PCI DSS scope.
Youth payment specialist Virtual Piggy Inc. inked a deal to provide children's education and entertainment media company Super Sprowtz LLC with an online checkout solution designed for children.
Virtual Piggy's service allows children to enter usernames and passwords and, if purchases match the parameters set up by parents, payments are processed without children having to enter additional personal information.
Super Sprowtz sells educational multimedia products, such as plush toys, books, video games and mobile applications. Virtual Piggy is compliant with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.
Software developer Adobe Systems Inc. teamed with PayPal to offer Adobe FormsCentral, which allows PayPal Premier or Business account customers to accept payments, donations and online order forms.
Discover will offer mobile carrier billing to online merchants via direct-to-carrier mobile payment company BilltoMobile, a subsidiary of online payment solutions company Danal Inc.
Processor Fiserv Inc. reached an agreement with money transfer company MoneyGram International Inc. to add MoneyGram's money transfer services to Fiserv's Popmoney person-to-person payment solution.
TSYS certified payment gateway provider PayLeap to run on the processor's payment platform. TSYS said PayLeap is now boarding merchants on the TSYS Partner Reseller Program. The agreement allows PayLeap ISOs and agents to offer the PayLeap gateway to merchants, with payments processed via TSYS.
Payment gateway provider Shift4 Corp. joined Microsoft Corp.'s Partner Network and is now a Microsoft Dynamics ERP Partner. Shift4 will integrate its tokenization solution with Microsoft's risk management services.
Mobile technology and services company Monitise PLC acquired mobile banking and payment provider Clairmail Inc. for $173 million. Together, the companies process more than $10 billion a week in mobile payments on an annualized basis, Monitise said.
Internet daily deal coupon company Groupon Inc. purchased payment processing comparison shopping website FeeFighters, a subsidiary of Transparent Financial Services Inc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Security and systems management solutions company Symantec Corp. agreed to purchase mobile application management company Nukona Inc.
The acquisition expands Symantec's enterprise mobility portfolio to include a cross-platform mobile application protection solution to help companies protect corporate data and applications in both company-owned and personal devices.
Rob Goodwin became the new Regional Sales Manager at CO-OP Financial Services. Goodwin formerly sold CO-OP and Fidelity National Information Services Inc. payment solutions for Covera Card Solutions.
In his new job, Goodwin is responsible for market development and services in seven Northeast states.
MoneyGram promoted W. Alexander "Alex" Holmes to the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Formerly MoneyGram's Senior Vice President for Corporate Strategy, Holmes will now be tasked with managing the company's finances and developing its investment strategy.
In addition, Carl-Olav Scheible became the company's new Executive Vice President for Europe, Africa and Emerging Channels. Scheible comes from PayPal where he was Managing Director for the U.K. At MoneyGram he is responsible for business development in Europe and Africa.
Heartland promoted Michael Lawler to Chief of Corporate Development. Before joining Heartland, Lawler was a Senior Vice President at Tier Technologies Inc. In his new position Lawler is responsible for finding, developing and closing acquisitions.
He will also be responsible for Heartland School Solutions and the development and execution of payment portal initiatives.
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