NACHA - The Electronic Payments Association recently awarded nearly 400 individuals the Accredited ACH Professional (AAP) credential. According to NACHA, this establishes one's credibility, professional competency and expertise within the payments industry.
The new AAPs join the more than 4,000 ACH professionals who have been awarded the credential since the inception of the AAP Program in 1993.
"The AAP credential is the standard of excellence in ACH payments competency," said Janet O. Estep, President and Chief Executive Officer of NACHA. "Each year, the AAP program continues to grow, which validates the value AAPs provide to the organizations they serve, and the significance of the AAP credential to regulators, examiners and customers."
According to Newtek Business Services, The Small Business Authority, a little over a third of businesses were concerned about the so-called fiscal cliff that reportedly threatened the U.S economy.
In Newtek's SB Authority Market Sentiment Survey, 37 percent of 1,100 business owners polled were concerned about the impact to their businesses if lawmakers on Capitol Hill could not agree on a 2013 budget and the economy fell off the veritable cliff.
NCR Corp. acquired Utah-based video banking software provider uGenius Technology Inc. Jan. 3, 2013, to expand its remote, assisted-teller transactions service for its ATMs. The remote assisted service, APTRA Interactive Teller, will be piloted with many top U.S. banks in the first half of 2013, NCR stated.
APTRA Interactive Teller provides video collaboration and remote transaction processing banking technology at the ATM to give bank customers the option of connecting with a remote teller in a two-way audio/video interaction or to simply conduct a self-service transaction. NCR said its Interactive Teller has lower processing costs, faster transactions and increased product sales and revenue growth.
NCR Executive Vice President Peter Leav said the acquisition of uGenius is part of NCR's strategy to reinvent itself as a software-driven business, enhance its technology platforms and create a new sales channel for remote assisted service.
Ted Crooks, an analytics and fraud expert and founder of Crooks Analytics Inc., predicted the U.S. migration to Europay/MasterCard/Visa technology will drive Internet fraud to record levels in 2013.
The United Kingdom witnessed increased fraud after chip and PIN was introduced there in 2006, Crooks noted in a Dec. 28, 2012, press release. He expects criminals to "vigorously exploit" other forms of fraud as chip and PIN shuts down mag stripe card fraud scams in the United States.
Crooks also believes an increase in e-commerce fraud in the United States will have a global impact on Internet shoppers.
"We know from the launch of chip and PIN in the U.K. that fraud levels are set to rise to record levels with the U.S. introduction, and the ubiquity of Internet shopping means that record levels of people will be at risk," Crooks said. "It's the responsibility of online financial services partners to protect their customers."
Employees at Certified Payment Processing concluded their annual Holiday Food Drive. The company teamed with local charity Metrocrest Social Services, and more than 900 pounds of food were donated, along with $1,047 in cash.
"As always, our team rallied for this food drive and did an amazing job," said Tony Norrie, CPP Vice President and General Manager. "Throughout the building there was a clear sense of how important this was to people in need at this time of year."
Fiserv Inc., the global payment processor for banks and other financial institutions, donated over 16,000 pounds of food to Feeding America and the Global FoodBanking Network. The food drive was held during a two-week period in November 2012 at over 36 Fiserv office locations, including seven international sites.
In a PayPal Inc. blog post, PayPal President David Marcus predicted that near field communication- (NFC) based payments will fail to gain mass adoption in 2013.
He wrote: "Is tapping a phone on a terminal any easier than swiping a credit card? I don't think so - it's not solving a real consumer problem and it's not providing additional value to encourage me (or anyone else for that matter) to change my behavior."
Additionally, Marcus believes that 2013 trends will include the merger of payments, loyalty and coupon businesses; the continued mobilization of the cash register; the transformation of shopping by location-based consumer experiences; and intensified disruption in the payments space.
Brooklyn-based Access One ATM Inc. launched a smart phone app that allows ATM operators to monitor their ATMs. The ATM Biz App streamlines ATM reporting and monitoring via error code lookup, real-time transactions, transaction and portfolio history reports, and vault cash forecasting.
CO-OP Financial Services said its Season of Giving holiday incentive campaign resulted in a 201 percent increase in average monthly spending among credit union members in November 2012.
The campaign targeted low-spending debit cardholders. When they increased their spending with debit cards, contributions were made in their names to a tree planting program that led to the planting of 8,240 trees.
Cubic Transportation Systems Inc., the ticketing, gating and revenue management partner of the Transport for London, said the city's public transportation users can now pay for bus fares with contactless debit and credit cards. Contactless-enabled readers were integrated into 8,500 London buses. The readers also accept the prepaid Oyster smart card.
The Electronic Transactions Association reported that floor space for the new Mobile Pay Zone showcase at its 2013 tradeshow is already 85 percent sold. The Mobile Pay Zone will exhibit mobile-based payment technology at the ETA 2013 Annual Meeting & Expo being held April 30 to May 2, 2013, in New Orleans.
A newly launched free speech advocacy group for journalists, the Freedom of the Press Foundation, will combat government secrecy. One of its stated goals will be to serve as a "bulwark" against payment processors being pressured by governments to shut down donation websites.
Such websites reportedly allow people to exercise their free speech rights to donate to government whistleblowers and others.
Kris Herrin, Chief Technology Officer at Heartland Payment Systems Inc., was named a 2013 Premier 100 IT Leader by information technology media outlet IDG Computerworld. Herrin is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional, a Certified Payment Industry Security Auditor, an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas Graduate School of Management, and an advisory board member for the Information Assurance Program.
Anti-fraud platform provider IdentityMind released the IdentityMind Zen Cart add-on to provide fraud protection for merchants' Zen Cart online stores. The add-on integrates anti-fraud protection into the order processing flow, which allows merchants to accept or reject decisions on transactions in real time.
Tacoma, Wash.-based online security firm IID (Internet Identity) said significant new cyberfraud methods will surface in 2014. The new threats will exploit Internet-connected devices to carry out physical crimes, such as murders.
Also, NFC-enabled mobile devices will be used to "wreak havoc with banking and e-commerce," IID forecasted. The report can be accessed at www.internetidentity.com/resources/trend-reports.
Citing rapid growth and a need for more office space, Payment Systems Corp. opened a new, 12,000 square-foot corporate office in downtown Los Angeles. The ISO reported that the new office will support its four regional sales offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, Dallas, and Orlando, Fla.
Swipely unveiled its Winter '13 product designed to help merchants understand the customer behind every transaction. The new release extends Swipely's integrated payment and marketing service with more data, better analytics and faster deposits.
"With our Winter '13 release, Swipely provides even more value to our growing network of merchant customers," said Angus Davis, founder and CEO of Swipely.
"In just six months, we've grown our network to a quarter billion in volume, helping merchants understand customers and grow sales without paying new fees, installing new equipment or doing more work."
POS device manufacturer VeriFone Inc. entered China's mobile payments market with its PayMedia Mobile Marketing Platform, which enables merchants and others to launch targeted campaigns to users of NFC-ready mobile phones. Additionally, VeriFone said thousands of merchant locations in China are being equipped with NFC-enabled VeriFone POS terminals.
In other news, VeriFone reported net revenues of $489 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, up 18 percent from the same period in 2011. VeriFone Chief Executive Officer Douglas G. Bergeron said the company's investments in next-generation payment systems and services in the U.S. market accounted for 22 percent growth in Q4 2012.
CrossCheck Inc. was named preferred vendor for the Chesapeake Automotive Business Association, an auto aftermarket trade association serving Maryland, Delaware and Washington, DC. As a preferred vendor, CrossCheck will offer a number of premium check guarantee and processing services, including C.A.R.S., a remote deposit capture program for the auto industry.
Payment gateway and data security solutions provider Merchant Link recently integrated ID Tech's secure point-of-interaction payment encryption devices with Merchant's Link's layered solutions in order to increase point-to-point encryption hardware options for its customers, the company stated.
Parking Concepts Inc., a parking operator that leases, manages and operates nearly 200 facilities, teamed with mobile parking payment solutions provider QuickPay Corp. to deliver mobile payments as an option for motorists in the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California.
POS solutions provider POSGuys.com teamed with payment processor Mercury Payment Systems LLC and merchant cash advance company Retail Capital to offer the Pre-Financed POS System. The program reportedly enables retail and restaurant merchants to defer the cost of POS hardware, with repayment occurring at a rate of 10 percent of daily credit card batches processed through Mercury.
Global fraud prevention and payment services firm ReD signed a partnership agreement with TeleSign Corp., a company specializing in Internet fraud prevention and intelligent phone-based authentication. According to ReD, TeleSign's data and authentication services will be integrated and made available to ReD Shield fraud prevention service customers.
Germany-based mobile taxi-hailing service Taxi.de entered an exclusive agreement with U.K.-based SumUP to make debit and credit card mobile payments available to cab drivers across Germany. Using Taxi.de's application, drivers can schedule passengers and accept card payments and tips with SumUP's application and dongle card reader.
Global mobile software, security and NFC solutions provider Tyfone Inc. signed a strategic investment and technology development deal with In-Q-Tel to deliver mobile security for cloud and NFC transaction solutions to the U.S. government.
In other news, Tyfone inked a deal with Protege Sistemas of Brazil to bring mobile banking, mobile wallet and mobile ticketing solutions for mass transit with NFC to Brazil and Latin America.
Cardtronics Canada Ltd. expanded its Canadian ATM portfolio with the purchase of Can-Do-Cash Ltd. for an undisclosed sum. The purchase reportedly adds 800 merchant ATMs to Cardtronics' network, representing an estimated $3 to $4 million in annual revenue growth in Ontario and Quebec for the company.
Chase Bank USA NA signed an agreement to acquire Bloomspot Inc., a provider of targeted merchant offers. Jeff Kinder, President of Chase Offers, said, "Chase has millions of strong relationships with consumers and merchants, and we are committed to building value in those relationships." Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Heartland Payment Systems Inc. expanded its Campus Solutions division with the acquisition of ECSI, a customized payment processing solution for higher education. ECSI offers student loan payment processing, default solutions, refund services, tuition payment plans, electronic bill payment, and other services for over 1,800 colleges and universities nationwide.
Total System Services Inc. completed its acquisition of ProPay Inc., a privately held company offering end-to-end payment solutions for enterprises of all sizes. ProPay will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of TSYS, reporting to Mark Pyke, President of TSYS' Merchant Services segment, the company stated.
VeriFone inked two acquisition agreements. One deal allows VeriFone to purchase EFTPOS New Zealand Ltd. from ANZ Bank New Zealand Ltd. In the second agreement, VeriFone will acquire Sektor Payments Ltd. from Sektor Group of New Zealand.
Bryan Daughtry is the new Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for California ISO ClearGate. Daughtry previously worked with ISO United Merchant Services Inc., as well as POS services provider UP Solution Inc. He is charged with growing ClearGate's merchant processing business.
Bonnie Dalrymple, Vice President of Business Development at EFX Corp., and Steve Mieczkowski of ATM Partner/Matrix ATM, were appointed to the National ATM Council Board of Directors. NAC Chairman Curt Selman said the two new members will add significantly to NAC's knowledge base and expertise.
Joni Floyd is the new Executive Vice President of Merchant Operations at SecureNet LLC. Floyd previously served as an executive at consulting and investment firm The Octane Group. She is responsible for SecureNet operations strategy, new customer implementation, onboarding, underwriting and risk management, customer support, and integration services.
Mike Hennesy is the new Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at SecureNet. He was formerly an information technology (IT) executive at Intuit Inc. He is responsible for directing SecureNet's IT initiatives, including software development, network engineering, network operations, product certification and information security.
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