Apple Inc. opened the window to the world of payments June 11, 2012, when it added limited mobile wallet functionality to its updated mobile operating system iOS 6. Apple previewed the iOS 6 platform at this year's Apple-sponsored Worldwide Developers Conference 2012.
The iOS 6 wallet-like application is called Passbook and is initially targeted at helping consumers organize entertainment tickets, boarding passes and loyalty cards using contactless technology.
"Passbook lets you scan your iPhone or iPod touch to use a coupon, get into a concert or check into your hotel," Apple stated.
"Passbook automatically displays your passes on your Lock Screen based on a specific time or location, so when you walk into your favorite coffee shop your loyalty card appears and you can scan it to buy a coffee or check your balance. Passbook can even alert you to last minute gate changes or flight delays."
The iOS 6 beta software and software development kit are now available to iOS Developer Program members. The iOS 6 update will be available free for most Apple smart devices.
The Reserve Bank of Australia said it needs to "be more proactive in setting objectives" for the future of the country's payment system because of what it calls "impediments to the payments industry."
In a paper titled Strategic Review of Innovation in the Payments System: Conclusions, released in June 2012, the board called for those objectives to include:
The conclusions were the bank's fourth and final paper in its payments system review.
The bank also called for creation of a hub-based architecture for real-time payments that would include a real-time settlement hub created and maintained by the Reserve Bank.
The bank said there is a need for an "industry coordination body" that would represent stakeholders in meetings with the Payments Systems Board where payment innovation issues are discussed. The bank asked that industry response to its conclusions be submitted by the end of August.
A coalition of 18 conservative groups called for the repeal of the debit interchange amendment to the Wall Street Reform Act of 2010. The group condemned the Durbin Amendment, named after the amendment's sponsor, Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., for mandating "price controls."
The coalition includes organizations such as the American Enterprise Institute, the National Center for Public Policy Research and the Faith and Freedom Coalition. It alleges retailers have not passed on to consumers the savings from cuts to debit card interchange transaction fees. The group claims the restrictions imposed on debit interchange resulted in gas stations charging consumers higher prices for credit and debit transactions and banks charging consumers higher bank fees.
In a June 11, 2012, letter to Congress, the coalition urged passage of H.R. 3156, The Consumer Debit Card Protection Act, introduced by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, that would repeal the Durbin Amendment and "restore balance in this market."
The initial five University of California, Berkeley, Bergeron Scholars were heralded on June 12, 2012. The Berkeley Bergeron Scholars Program, sponsored by technology executive Sandra Bergeron and her husband, VeriFone Inc. Chief Executive Officer Douglas Bergeron, offers scholarships, program support and mentorships to undergraduate women pursuing studies in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
The Bergeron Scholars program was endowed with $1.5 million when it was initiated at Georgia State University in 2006. In 2011, the Bergerons funded a second program at UC Berkeley. The five Berkeley scholars are the first to be accepted into the program; 30 women have participated at Georgia State.
ACI Worldwide Inc. previewed its plan to improve its mobile payment offerings. The company released a new mobile banking and payment solution called Mobile Channel Manager and developed a closed-loop mobile retail wallet that integrates payments, rewards and loyalty. It is also offering a near field communications (NFC) security manager called ACI Token Manager and a mobile alerting solution via short message service text messages.
Data compliance solutions firm CSR - Compliance Solutions and Resources opened a western regional office in Reno, Nev. The new office is headed by Paul Nowling, CSR Director of Technical Operations and Support. CSR provides solutions and services to help businesses comply with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS).
FrontStream Payments Inc. reported that it enhanced its proprietary fasttransact payment management platform, adding an innovative consumer mobile payment feature for smart phones, dynamic link-sharing functionality for social media pages, an embeddable payment form and several other key feature updates to its existing hosted payment page application.
FrontStream noted the new smart phone payment interface, which marks the first of many enhancements planned for fasttransact, was designed to emulate the fasttransact hosted payment page used for taking customer account and purchase payments over the web.
Payment processor Harbortouch is cutting fees. The company said it will no longer charge customers its PCI compliance fee, its annual fee or its Internal Revenue Service reporting fee. The company is also working on a free terminal upgrade for 20,000 merchant customers to accept Europay/MasterCard/Visa transactions.
Heartland Payment Systems Inc. was named to the 2012 Fortune 1000 list of America's largest companies. This is the third consecutive year Heartland has made the list. The payment processor posted revenues of $1.996 billion in 2011.
Intuit Inc. integrated its new QuickBooks Point of Sale 2013 software with its free mobile payment processing app, GoPayment, to give small merchants access to a mobile POS solution. The GoPayment payment app comes with a card reader that plugs into the audio jacks of smart devices.
Merchant Cash and Capital LLC unveiled its business-to-business (B2B) cash advance program. MCC said B2B Cash Advance makes financing available to businesses that do not qualify for traditional cash advances. The program is based on a merchant's total monthly revenue, not on credit card receipts.
Merchant Warehouse released Genius, a platform to aggregate and integrate all types of transaction technology - payment types and customer gift, loyalty, and rewards programs - into a single terminal. The company said Genius gives merchants, POS developers and payment providers unlimited choice, unified security and open access to payment partners.
Third-party service provider Network Merchants Inc. launched its redesigned website,www.nmi.com. NMI said the site has "bold colors, an uncluttered design and featured content" to allow visitors easy access to information.
Mobile POS solutions firm PayAnywhere LLC will provide the independent consultants of social-selling jewelry business Origami Owl LLC with mobile credit card processing. In addition to accepting credit card payments on mobile devices, Origami Owl representatives using PayAnywhere can set up customized inventory tracking and transaction analytics.
Data security provider SecurityMetrics Inc. rolled out SecurityMetrics Expert, an online PCI DSS scoping tool that helps businesses quickly determine their Self Assessment Questionnaire type and network scanning requirements. The security firm said it now scans the networks of over 1.5 million businesses worldwide.
In other news, CEO Brad Caldwell won the 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Utah Region, Technology Category.
Payment software provider CardinalCommerce Corp. integrated its mobile security platform, Cardinal Centinel, with international payment processor Planet Payment Inc.'s e-commerce gateway. CardinalCommerce said the platform reduces operational costs and losses due to fraud.
Foursquare Labs Inc., creator of foursquare, the location-based social networking website for mobile devices, expanded its partnership with American Express Co. to include the U.K. market. The companies have collaborated on an offer program in the United States since March 2011.
Payment gateway and e-commerce solutions provider PayLeap partnered with acquirer First Data Corp. to provide payment processing services to Canadian e-commerce merchants who utilize the PayLeap Gateway platform. First Data said it will provide expertise on the Canadian market to PayLeap, which is new to Canada.
Stockholm, Sweden-based mobile payment provider Seamless Distribution A.B. joined with the MICROS-Fidelio division of hospitality POS vendor MICROS Systems Inc. for a mobile payment solution on Seamless' proprietary platform SEQR. Peter Fredell, CEO of Seamless Distribution A.B., said the new service targets "mobile urbanites."
The U.S. Postal Service is adding PayPal Inc. as a payment option for its online shipping application, Click-N-Ship. Customers can now choose to pay for shipping labels via credit card, PayPal or through PayPal's payment subsidiary Bill Me Later Inc.
Payment processor TrustCommerce joined Total System Services Inc. Merchant Solutions as a reseller partner. Together, TrustCommerce and TSYS Merchant Solutions will offer tokenization, integration with accounting, customer relationship management, fulfillment and other solutions, while helping merchants stay PCI compliant.
Merchant services provider USAePay integrated its payment processing gateway with the Lavu Inc. POS software for the Apple iPad and iPhone. Lavu POS technology provides licensing and secure hosting for a monthly fee. The solution is PCI compliant. The system is targeted at the restaurant industry.
Planet Payment Inc. acquired Dublin, Ireland-based payment processor Branded Payment Solutions Ltd. for approximately $4 million. BPS provides mobile top-up, bill-pay, and voucher services, and supports open- and closed-loop prepaid card programs that can be used on a variety of POS devices, terminals and mobile devices. BPS also operates a prepaid debit card program in Europe and has a patent pending for its NFC solution.
PayPal Mobile Team Head Hill Ferguson became the new leader of the company's Global Product team. Before coming to PayPal, Ferguson led product teams at Yahoo! Inc. and was among those who started the mobile payment company Zong Inc. prior to its acquisition by PayPal.
Patrick Hazel was named Chairman and CEO of terminal manufacturer Equinox Payments LLC. Hazel was appointed to the Equinox Board of Directors in November 2011. Hazel was formerly President and CEO of the security technology firm Semtek Corp., which was acquired by VeriFone in 2010.
Payment solution software provider Ezic Inc. expanded its support, business development and software development teams. Amy Nolan was promoted to Director, Support. She is responsible for nontechnical reseller support and managing consumer check processing support through the call center.
Bridget Mazzio was promoted to Director, Sales Administration. She is responsible for recruiting new resellers and developing and implementing new sales strategies. Kevin Keadle, Account Executive, is working with aggregators, ISOs and agent resellers. Adam Lucas, a software engineer, is responsible for managing reseller technical support and expanding new product development initiatives.
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