Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., Dillard's Inc., Dunkin' Brands, Gap Inc., Sheetz Inc. and Wakefern Food Corp., among others, joined Merchant Customer Exchange, a company created by some of the nation's largest retailers to develop a mobile wallet. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp., Lowe's, and 7-Eleven Inc. are among the original MCX founders. The MCX platform is being designed with an emphasis on integrating payments with offers, promotions and services using virtually any smart device.
Disruption in payments is so pervasive and compelling that Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide may lose their slots as the biggest players in payments in 10 years or less, The Members Group Vice President Brian Scott forecast in a TMG webinar Sept. 27, 2012. Scott also said it is hard to predict what payment technology will overthrow the card companies because the technology may not yet be available.
Scott expects the cost of transactions will continue to decline as new players compete for merchants' business. He also believes that by 2020, cash will account for less than 3 percent of payments; the value of person-to-person payments will exceed ATM withdrawals by 2017; and because of fraud concerns associated with cards, European governments will start phasing out physical payment cards by 2016. In addition, Scott said regulations involving both old and new technologies could possibly be "the biggest game changers" in the industry's future.
Three American Express Co. subsidiaries, American Express Centurion Bank, American Express Travel Related Services Co. Inc. and American Express Bank FSB, will pay $112.5 million to settle claims brought by U.S. regulatory agencies that their debt collection practices violated consumer protection laws "at every stage of the consumer experience, from marketing to enrollment to payment to debt collection." The action was brought by The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Utah Department of Financial Institutions, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The companies were ordered to pay $85 million to approximately 250,000 consumers affected by their practices. The companies also agreed to pay a $27.5 million fine. The violations occurred between 2003 and the spring of 2012, the CFPB said in a release.
Toronto Police Service's Financial Crimes Unit and the Toronto Transit Commission Special Investigations Unit reported an investigation dubbed Project Rocket resulted in the arrest of five men and the recovery of 168 counterfeit debit cards and 29 fake TTC monthly passes. Police reportedly discovered an estimated $180,000 in TTC losses after the men were arrested Sept. 27, 2012.
Police also recovered 105 counterfeit debit cards, stolen POS terminals, tools used to alter POS terminals, and credit card reader/writers and computers to allow criminals to transfer skimmed card data to counterfeit debit cards. Police recommended businesses regularly check the security of their POS systems and urged those who think they may have been victimized by the fraud to contact authorities.
Next-generation small business finance provider Capital Access Network Inc. reported it bolstered its line of credit, thereby increasing its capacity to fund the business needs of small and midsize merchants. CAN said it now has a $295 million secured line of credit that can be expanded to $400 million, "an increase that dwarfs the financing available to working capital providers in this category and their ability to serve the small business community."
Check guarantee company CrossCheck Inc. and its subsidiary Optio Solutions LLC, which specializes in accounts receivables management, hosted fundraising events and participated in a relay held Sept. 15 and 16, 2012, at Casa Grande High School in Petaluma, Calif. The companies donated over $6,100 to the American Cancer Society Relay For Life.
Dell SecureWorks, the network security division of computer manufacturer Dell, launched the PCI Compliance Resource Center to help organizations achieve and maintain compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS). The online center features white papers, videos and webcasts that address glos PCI DSS challenges, remediation, consulting and information security services offered by Dell SecureWorks.
Electronic Payments Inc. ranked 1,340 on Inc. magazine's sixth annual Inc. 500/5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the United States. The company said it has experienced three-year top-line revenue growth of 229 percent. It is the fifth consecutive year that Electronic Payments has been on the list, "making it the first ISO and acquirer to achieve such recognition," the Calverton, N.Y.-based ISO said.
POS terminal manufacturer Ingenico S.A. reported its countertop iCT250 received the world's first MasterCard Worldwide PayPass 3.0 terminal certification. Ingenico said acquirers and merchants can now deploy the terminals to accept near field communication technology-based mobile payments.
Mobile wallet provider Lemon Inc. launched its Lemonade platform, which allows mobile application developers the ability to integrate apps into the Lemon Smarter Wallet. In connection with the launch, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup is sponsoring the Lemonade Challenge, with $20,000 in cash, prizes and promotional exposure for the best apps created with the Lemonade platform. Go to www.lemonade.com/platform for contest details.
MasterCard Advisors, the professional services arm of MasterCard, said the debit card market in Brazil will double in size by 2016, from 200 billion Brazilian real (BRL) to as much as 493 billion BRL. According to the Debit Card in Brazil study, debit cards have been the fastest-growing payment method in Brazil over the past five years, rising 25 percent annually. Researchers said the rise in debit is attributed to the increase in consumer access to banking services in the South American country and greater education about debit cards.
Newtek Business Services, The Small Business Authority, published the first edition of http://thesba.com/the-small-business-authority-observer.
ATM network operator Payment Alliance International was named Division One Top Distributor by WorldPay US at the 12th Annual ATM Distributor Conference held Sept. 18 and 19, 2012, at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. PAI received the award based on its customer growth and business performance.
Payment provider PayPal Inc. sponsored the PayPal Hackathon on Sept. 21 and 22, 2012, in San Jose, Calif. The challenge for competitors was to create payment apps within a 24-hour period. The $5,000 grand prize was awarded to developers of an app that allows users to scan bar codes and complete payments via PayPal.
At the College Day @ Fenway event held Sept. 29, 2012, mobile payment app developer PXT Payments showcased its geolocation-based mobile payment app, looped in, for approximately 10,000 college students in the Boston area
Citing a conflict with the 2013 calendar dates for the Jewish holiday Passover, the Southeast Acquirers Association changed the dates for its 2013 Annual Seminar to March 4 to 6, 2013, at the Hilton in the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla. The tradeshow was originally scheduled for March 25 to 27, 2013.
At the Starbucks Coffee Co.'s Global Leadership Conference held Oct. 4 to 6, 2012, in Houston, Square Inc. took center stage with news that Starbucks customers in the United States will be able to use the Square Wallet app residing on smart phones to pay for food and drink beginning in November 2012. By summer 2013, Starbucks employees will reportedly be able to accept tips from customers who pay with Square Wallet.
Super G Funding LLC, doing business as BizCash, is sponsoring The Guppy Tank, an investment funding challenge to be presented Oct. 25, 2012, at the Balboa Bay Club & Resort in Newport Beach, Calif. At the event, a number of Southern California businesses will explain why they deserve funding. Winning companies will receive between $25,000 and $100,000; a total of $500,000 will be rewarded. More information can be found at www.theguppytank.com.
POS terminal provider VeriFone Inc. heralded what it termed the "next evolution of media at gas stations" in the form of on-demand coupons dispensed at POS pump stations and transaction-specific promotions offered at convenience store checkout counters. A 12-month pilot of the new services, available through the VeriFone Digital Network, showed coupon redemption rates in excess of 10 percent, far exceeding industry norms for free-standing inserts, according to VeriFone.
Payment gateway operator Braintree Payment Solutions LLC aligned with MetraTech Corp., a provider of agreements-based billing and compensation solutions, to power MetraTech's Metanga online business subscription service designed to facilitate order processing, pricing, billing, payment and collections.
Payment processing network CenPOS entered a Complementary Partner Agreement with business application software developer Infor. Under the agreement, CenPOS will deliver agnostic payment processing services to Infor's expanding network of business customers in the United States and Europe.
FrontStream Payments Inc. formed a strategic alliance with automotive retail supplier Dealer Solutions Inc. to integrate FrontStream's configurable payment gateway solutions with Dealer Solutions' software. The integration will reportedly offer Dealer Solutions' clients a PCI Level 1 compliant over-the-counter, web and mobile electronic payments solution.
Value-added service provider My Clear Reports and POS equipment and receipt paper supplier General Credit Forms Inc. recently joined forces. MCR merchants can now order a variety of supplies, including sales and credit slips, manual imprinters, paper rolls and ribbons, from the MCR website. GCF is responsible for fulfilling and shipping orders.
Two U.K.-based mobile payment companies, Monitise PLC and eMerit Solutions Ltd., inked a deal to develop mobile payment opportunities that leverage mobile technology capabilities under a chip and PIN security infrastructure.
NetSuite Inc. integrated the WorldPay Corporate Gateway into its cloud-based SuiteCommerce and core application solutions. NetSuite users in Europe and beyond will now have access to over 200 payment methods in 115 currencies, the company stated.
The Quantum Group's web-based POS system is now integrated with MobileBits Corp.'s SAMY "mobile mall." SAMY provides merchants with a set of online tools for leveraging mobile campaigns, deals, offers, loyalty and rewards connected with mobile consumers.
Online payment technology developer Global ePartners LLC integrated its patent-pending zDonate program with the Revo Payments e-commerce platform. According to Global, donors who opt-in to zDonate will pay a small processing fee to ensure 100 percent of their donations go to designated nonprofit organizations.
Global cloud commerce enterprise Digital River Inc. signed a definitive agreement to acquire LML Payment Systems Inc., a provider of electronic payment processing, risk management and authentication services. Digital River reportedly paid approximately $102.8 million to LML in the all-cash transaction.
Payment processor Global Payments Inc. completed its $413 million acquisition of Accelerated Payment Technologies Inc., a provider of integrated payment technology solutions for small and midsize businesses representing more than 30 vertical markets.
Square Inc. reported it acquired New York-based web interface design company 80/20 Group LLC for an undisclosed amount; 80/20 will now focus its interface design capabilities solely on Square.
Ingenico named Rhonda Boardman its Vice President of Western U.S. Bankcard Sales and Alan Forgione was appointed to the same position for the Eastern United States. Boardman's promotion comes after more than 20 years in the electronic payments industry. Forgione joins Bankcard Sales from ACI Worldwide where he headed the software solutions sales to acquirers.
In addition, Melanie Pino and Jeff Feldman were named account managers with Ingenico's banking sales team. Together they have more than 20 years of payments industry experience.
SecureNet Payment Systems appointed Greg Constantine Executive Vice President of Client Operations. During his 25-year career in payments, Constantine has held positions at FundsXpress Financial Network Inc. and First Data Corp. He is responsible for SecureNet's client operations, enterprise account management, product development, marketing and communications.
YapStone Inc. named former CBS Interactive Inc. and PayPal Inc. Chief Financial Officer Mary Hentges as the new YapStone CFO. Hentges will lead the company's financial operations and assist in the areas of business strategy, operations and corporate development.
Brian Voigt and John A. Tharpe joined Spindle Inc., where each holds the title of Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development. Voigt and Tharpe both came to Spindle from Bank of America Merchant Services. At Spindle the two men are responsible for expanding sales and establishing the company as a mobile payment pioneer.
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