The Green Sheet won a Grand Award and a Feature Writing award in the APEX 2012 Awards for Publication Excellence. Only 100 Grand Awards are handed out in 11 categories each year. This was the fifth Grand Award given to the publication; in past years, it won Grand Awards in the Overall Publication, Website and Feature Writing categories.
The APEX Awards are sponsored by Communications Concepts Inc., which advises professionals on best strategies and practices in business communications. In the 11 years since The Green Sheet began entering the APEX competition, it has won 45 awards. This year the publication won the Grand Award in the Magapapers & Newspapers category for its Dec. 26, 2011, issue. It won in the Feature Writing category for a May 23, 2011, story titled "The Sony breach is not a game."
"This industry periodical is tightly focused, but offers tremendous depth of thoroughly researched coverage - all in a well written, interesting (and instantly recognizable) format," the APEX judges stated about The Green Sheet. "If you want fancy graphics look elsewhere. But if you want to know what's going on in this field, then this is your publication."
The Green Sheet Chief Operating Officer Kate Rodriguez responded, "Clearly we are getting our message across. We were excited to get the APEX judges' comments because what they said is exactly what we are trying to achieve. We are focused on what our readers need to know. ... This says we have a really strong team of individuals who understand the industry and care about the readers."
On July 10, 2012, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved H.R. 4367, a bill aimed at stopping nuisance lawsuits brought against ATM operators. The suits typically allege operators fail to post transaction fee stickers on the outside of terminals as required by the Electronic Fund Transfer Act. No action has been taken on a similar bill in the U.S. Senate, S. 3204.
On July 10, the Senate Banking Committee considered mobile payment regulation in a hearing titled "Developing the Framework for Safe and Efficient Mobile Payments." The committee heard testimony from professors at the University of California, Berkeley; the University of California, Berkeley School of Law; and the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University.
Also in July, The House Financial Services Committee oversaw six hearings that examined the impact of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, including the amendment authored by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., that cut debit interchange fees.
In addition, a group of Republican senators introduced cyber security legislation, the Secure IT Act, S. 3342, on June 26. The bill is much like the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act the House passed last April.
A new website built to help issuers, merchants, acquirers and processors, and consumers with the card companies' mandated transition to the Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) standard and technology was launched by the nonprofit Smart Card Alliance.
Randy Vanderhoof, Smart Card Alliance Executive Director, said the website, called EMV Connection, has information on EMV fundamentals and the progress of the transition from magnetic stripe cards to cards embedded with EMV chip technology. "EMV Connection places our entire extensive library of EMV resources in one place, for the first time," he said.
The site includes card tutorials and implementation guidance for issuers; expert views on the impact of EMV on the POS environment; merchant strategies for managing EMV chip data; strategies for acquirers and processors to help meet the April 2013 deadline for handling full EMV transactions; and consumer information on fraud and payment protection along with explanations of how EMV cards work.
The Maximum Profits Academy launched recently with a dual purpose: to attract business for ISOs and to train merchants to become successful. It is the brainchild of 18-year payments industry veteran Will Harovas, National Business Advisor for Glazer-Kennedy Insider's Circle, and is designed to deliver a complete multimedia learning experience.
Merchants don't have direct access to the program. Instead, GKIC is offering a limited number of licensing partnerships to ISOs, who have full control of access to the academy. ISOs can purchase a package of licenses, and each license enables one merchant access to the platform. ISOs pay a flat monthly fee for the licenses, rotating merchants in and out of the program as determined by the ISO.
"GKIC has created this first ever, low-cost, flat-fee licensing model that allows ISOs to give away free licenses in the training academy as a 'magnet' to acquire sales leads, convert existing merchants as well as attract high-quality agents and referral partners," Harovas said.
"It makes the ISO's job easier to attract agents, and it makes the agent's job easier to get the attention of the business owner when they can give this away to them."
The academy's online, module-based system is available 24/7. The program also features weekly teleseminar sessions presented by prominent leaders in business and marketing, a mentoring package, discounted private coaching, merchant tools, and access to local chapter workshops.
On July 4, 2012, mobile security company TrustGo Mobile Inc. said it discovered malevolent new software targeting China's largest wireless provider, China Mobile Ltd.
When downloaded to a mobile device, the virus - named the Trojan!MMarketPay.A@Android - automatically places orders and downloads paid apps and video content that are invoiced to the user's phone bill. The virus is suspected to have infected at least 100,000 mobile devices in China.
TrustGo said the virus is commonly disguised as a popular application, but it secretly also infects the host system with malicious code. TrustGo President and Chief Executive Officer Xuyang Li said the ease and speed with which malicious apps can be developed and distributed by criminal enterprises in Russia and China is one of the fastest growing security concerns in the country.
The company advised on its corporate blog, "TrustGo recommends customers only download apps from trusted app stores and download a mobile security app which can scan malware in real time."
A new training book for ISOs and merchant level salespeople edited by Bill Pirtle, President of C3ET Credit Card Consortia for Education and Training Inc. and a former columnist for The Green Sheet, is now on sale. Credit Card Processing for Sales Agents is aimed at standardizing training for sales agents and ISOs, a niche Pirtle said the industry needs filled. For more information, go to www.creditcardprocessingforsalesagents.com.
Compliance-as-a-service provider ControlCase LLC is now an authorized qualified security assessor (QSA) for the new PCI Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE) standards. The company said it is one of a small number of Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) compliance certification companies in the world that is authorized to validate merchant P2PE standards compliance.
ISO and POS system provider Harbortouch said it released the payments industry's first free online reservations module through its Harbortouch Hospitality POS system. The Harbortouch Reservations software allows merchants to manage and organize manually entered and online reservations; it will alert customers when their table is ready.
Louisville, Ken.-based ISO Payment Alliance International said David Kozal, its Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, was named the 2012 CFO of the Year by Louisville business news journal Business First.
Boston ISO Merchant Warehouse said its Genius software payment platform, launched in June 2012, can integrate into any POS system, regardless of device or operating system. The platform allows merchants to accept near field communication- (NFC), EMV- or quick response code-based payments, as well as loyalty, gift and reward programs. The solution includes point-to-point encryption and tokenization.
Mobile payment provider Paydiant Inc.'s cloud-based mobile wallet and mobile payment solutions platform received appSecure certification from the digital forensics and security firm viaForensics LLC. The certification required the platform to pass numerous forensics tests, including network analysis, operational security testing, deep inspection for stored data and encryption methodology.
Rovio Entertainment Ltd., the Finland-headquartered social game developer behind the popular smart phone game Angry Birds, selected Braintree Payment Solutions LLC as its payment gateway for Rovio's new online store, which sells games, toys, apparel and other items. Braintree said Rovio can now accept payments in over 130 different currencies worldwide and reduce its PCI DSS compliance burden via Braintree's Transparent Redirect, Client-side Encryption and Vault technologies.
ISO SignaPay Ltd. is expanding into the Canadian payments market. SignaPay President Kevin Jones said Canada is a difficult market for U.S. firms to enter, but SignaPay was given access through its partnerships with global processor Elavon Inc. and Visa's CyberSource Authorize.net gateway.
Enterprise resource planning software manufacturer Syspro released a new retail solution called Syspro Point of Sale. The product reportedly sports more than a dozen new features. Among them are ordering, inventory management and transit, front-end transactions, daily or other period cash-outs, and card-based customer loyalty programs.
POS terminal manufacturer VeriFone Inc. released a Google Android application for its new SAIL mobile payment platform and said it is now able to accept payments on both mobile devices and traditional VeriFone terminals. The company also updated SAIL with multi-user functionality that gives small to midsize business owners control over access levels their employees have to SAIL accounts.
POS terminal manufacturer Ingenico Inc. and Chase Paymentech Solutions LLC teamed to sell Ingenico's Telium iCT250 POS terminals in the United States. The Telium iCT250 supports all payment types, including those employing EMV, mag stripe and contactless cards, as well as NFC-enabled mobile devices.
MasterCard Worldwide and European telecommunications company Deutsche Telekom AG joined for a mobile payments implementation. At a press conference in Berlin on July 2, 2012, the two companies said the first consumer mobile wallet rollout will be in Poland later this year, followed by a trial with mobile phone tags and cards in Germany. The companies said the mobile wallet service will be open to integration with other issuing banks and partners.
Microsoft Corp. agreed to help Alipay.com, the online payment provider and subsidiary of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., develop and distribute online security and privacy protection for Alipay.com's Chinese customers. The companies are deploying a new "device health" model to lower the risk of Internet fraud by warning users if their devices are unprotected during online transactions.
Super G Funding LLC signed an agreement with Harbortouch to provide business loans to Harbortouch's ISO partners. Loans ranging from $10,000 to $2 million are available and are calculated based on the size of an ISO's residual portfolio. The companies said the loans can be used to create new jobs, increase marketing, open new offices, buy equipment, upgrade technology or buy out partners.
Telefónica Digital, a division of the international telecommunications firm Telefónica S.A., unveiled agreements with Facebook Inc., Google Inc., Microsoft and Research in Motion Ltd. to offer direct-to-bill payments. The agreements are expected to increase sales of digital goods and services.
Brazilian acquirer Cielo S.A. purchased U. S. global payment processor Merchant e-Solutions Inc. for $670 million. Cielo said the acquisition gives it a presence in California's technology heartland of Silicon Valley and allows it to settle more online transactions.
Payment processor Heartland Payment Systems Inc. acquired LunchByte Systems Inc., a school food service back-office management and POS company. Heartland School Solutions now serves more than 29,000 K-12 schools in the United States, representing approximately 30 percent of the market, according to Heartland. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Broadband wireless solutions company ICOA Inc. signed a letter of intent to buy a majority interest in Canada's Tango Software Corp. Tango builds software for e-commerce payment processing and applications. The two companies are building payment processing software to handle small Internet payments in multiple currencies. The deal will close by the end of July 2012.
July 2012 was a busy month for Universal Business Payment Solutions Acquisition Corp., a "blank check" company formed in 2011 to develop a consolidated payment platform through the acquisition of payment businesses. The company bought ISO Electronic Merchant Systems, card processor Jet Pay LLC, and the payroll processing and tax filing companies A D Computer Corp. and Payroll Tax Filing Services Inc.
Former TGATE Payments President and Chief Information Officer Tracy Metzger was hired for the newly created position of Chief Information Officer at the Troy, Mich., ISO North American Bancard, provider of the PayAnywhere payment solution. Metzger is responsible for keeping the company's Internet technology strategy ahead of growing demands.
Kurt Metzler joined processor iPayment Inc. as Senior Vice President for Strategic Development. Metzler is responsible for developing and implementing new sales initiatives and for developing and leveraging strategic partnerships. Metzler formerly served as Executive Vice President and General Manager of RBS WorldPay.
Citigroup Inc. appointed Christy Wyatt Global Head of Consumer eBusiness and Mobile Technology. Wyatt comes to Citigroup from Motorola Mobility Inc. where she was Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Enterprise Business Unit. At Citi Wyatt is responsible for developing Internet, mobile device and ATM applications for Citi's worldwide banking business.
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