A group of Internet companies, system integrators and security providers formed the Fast Identity Online (FIDO) Alliance to address password authentication weaknesses that leave companies and end-users vulnerable to data theft. PayPal Inc., the payments company of online auction site eBay Inc., and personal technology manufacturer Lenovo are leading the alliance's efforts.
FIDO said its open standards-based approach will alert FIDO-enabled devices when other FIDO-enabled devices are present and offer users the option of replacing passwords with what FIDO calls more secure and easier-to-use authentication methods, including biometrics and one-time passcodes.
"By giving users choice in the way they authenticate and taking an open-based approach to standards, we can make universal online authentication a reality," said Michael Barrett, FIDO Alliance President and PayPal Chief Information Security Officer.
The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) issued the Cloud Computing Guidelines Information Supplement to provide businesses with guidance on how to secure customer payment data in the cloud and comply with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS).
The guidelines, developed by the PCI SSC's Cloud Special Interest Group, explain the typical ways cloud services are used, outline the different roles of cloud providers and customers, and explain how security responsibilities in the cloud payment environment are determined and documented. The document also includes guidance for meeting PCI DSS requirements, advice on segmentation and scoping, and information on additional compliance and security challenges encountered when conducting payment transactions in the cloud.
Recently, the PCI SSC released the ATM Security Guidelines Information Supplement and the E-commerce Guidelines Information Supplement. The documents can be downloaded from the PCI Standards & Documents section of the PCI SSC's website at www.pcisecuritystandards.org.
A study commissioned by Visa Inc. reported that electronic payments contributed $983 billion to the combined gross domestic product (GDP) of 56 countries between 2008 and 2012. Visa said the 56 countries in the study represent 93 percent of the global GDP.
The study, conducted by Moody's Analytics Inc., concluded that bankcard usage makes economies more efficient, which results in economic growth. The study, and accompanying white paper, can be accessed at http://corporate.visa.com/newsroom/media-kits/economic-impact.shtml.
Online payment software provider Acculynk joined the Smart Card Alliance's EMV Migration Forum, which promotes the migration of the U.S. payments infrastructure and card products to the Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) chip and PIN standard. The forum reports over 100 companies have joined to date.
Braintree Payment Solutions LLC introduced the Venmo Touch payments app. Venmo Touch allows users to enter credit card details only once on mobile devices. Then, when users make subsequent purchases at any of Braintree's network of online retailers, payment information does not have to be entered again. The app is in beta test at select Braintree clients.
Brentwood, Tenn.-based Comdata Corp. launched Comdata Health Virtual Card Payments. Comdata said the new division removes the biggest obstacle to widespread adoption of electronic claim payments: provider enrollment.
DebitWay.ca, an Interac-certified online debit card payment provider in Canada, reported that the Royal Canadian Mint stopped distribution of the penny on Feb. 4, 2013. The result is that Canadian businesses will have to round off cash transactions to the nearest five-cent increment, but it won't affect online, card-not-present transactions.
FrontStream Payments Inc. launched MobileTransact, a mobile payments app for merchants. The app can be used with Apple Inc. devices and operates in connection with a MagTek Inc. dongle.
Newark, Del.-based ISO Host Merchant Services Inc. opened a new office in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of downtown Denver. The new location, which opened for business on Feb. 1, 2013, is expected to land merchant accounts for HMS in the Denver area.
At Intuit Inc.'s annual Innovation Gallery Walk that took place at the company's Mountain View, Calif., campus, the Quickbooks software developer showcased its tax preparation, payments and health care products. Among its new products is GoPayment, which adds new optical character recognition scanning capability to facilitate smart phone payments without cards needing to be swiped.
Merchant cash advance (MCA) provider Merchant Cash and Capital LLC said it reached $500 million in cash advances funded. The New York-based firm characterized the multi-million-dollar mark as a key measurement of success and market penetration in the MCA industry.
Online identity verification company miiCard Ltd. said the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted the firm a patent for a method of establishing consumers' true identities based on their ability to access their online financial accounts. The company said its technology provides the equivalent of an offline photo identification check.
Palo Alto, Calif.-based online gateway provider mopay Inc. continued its global expansion by opening new offices in Seoul, South Korea, and Jakarta, Indonesia. The company said it is working with nine of China's top online game developers that employ its platform to bill in-game transactions directly to consumers' cell phone, landline and broadband Internet accounts.
San Francisco-based mobile payments startup QuickPay Corp. said motorists can now pay for parking in San Francisco with smart phones. The QuickPay app, available for Apple and Android-based devices, allows users to park in S.F. facilities or on-street parking spaces that display the QuickPay logo.
Sequent Software Inc., a Redwood City, Calif.-based trusted service manager, released the Sequent Wallet Management Platform, which allows mobile apps access to any card stored in the secure element of smart phones for payment. The platform is designed to maintain every card's branding across disparate mobile wallets.
ATM and automated clearing house (ACH) transaction processor Shazam released its EMV network specifications to help its financial institution partners migrate to the EMV chip-and-PIN standard. "By publishing our network's required changes early, Shazam's goal is to ease the development efforts of issuers, acquirers and merchants in the industry," said Shazam Senior Vice President Dan Kramer.
Mobile commerce company Sionic Mobile launched what it calls its mobile community marketplace platform, the ION Local mCommerce platform. Sionic Mobile said the new platform will help banks and credit unions monetize mobile banking and payments and combat attrition to other mobile wallet providers, such as PayPal, Google Wallet and Apple.
Tablet computer-based incentive program provider SpotOn Inc. said it has signed over 5,000 merchants since its July 2012 launch. SpotOn's expansion accelerated recently, as it reported signing over 1,000 merchants in January 2013 alone.
Check and ACH payment processor Transmodus Corp. integrated a virtual terminal into its linked2pay platform. The virtual terminal allows businesses that use linked2pay to accept credit card payments online and set up recurring payments as well.
MRI Software LLC formed a strategic partnership with Yapstone Inc. to incorporate YapStone's RentPayment electronic payment solution for property managers with MRI's newly launched commercial tenant portal, MRI Tenant Connect. The tenant management portal enables users to download statements, enter sales data and make secure online payments, MRI reported.
Total System Services Inc. (TSYS) signed an agreement with Priority Payment Systems LLC to provide full-service payment processing services to the Alpharetta, Ga.-based ISO. TSYS also extended its agreement with Payment Alliance International and will continue to provide front-end payment processing and back-end merchant account support to the Louisville, Ky.-based ATM network operator.
Payments software provider inked a deal with Spindle Inc. to integrate Acculynk's PayLeap payment gateway and payment processing solution with Spindle's mobile payment platform in an effort to better serve the global mobile commerce market, Acculynk said.
Payment software provider ACI Worldwide Inc. entered an agreement to purchase Online Resources Corp., an online banking and full-service bill payment provider, in an all cash transaction of $3.85 per share. With the acquisition, ACI will reportedly broaden its customer base and strengthen its online and mobile banking, bill payment and presentment channels.
Global payments provider Elavon Inc. acquired Collective Point of Sale Solutions Ltd. to further expand its distribution network in Canada. The leadership team at the Toronto-based payment processor said it will work with Elavon to deliver additional offerings to the nearly 12,000 Canadian merchants Collective POS currently serves.
Banking and payments technology provider Fidelity National Information Services Inc. (FIS) signed a definitive agreement to purchase the remaining 78 percent interest in mFoundry, a mobile banking and retail payment solutions provider. In a prior transaction, FIS acquired 22 percent interest in the company. The acquisition will reportedly allow FIS to leverage its technology assets across a broader client base.
Ingenico S.A. expanded its global footprint with the acquisition of Ogone Payment Services, an online payments service firm based in Brussels, Belgium. "Combining Ogone's leading position in the online space with our unique position in the point-of-sale and mobile space will enable us to address multi-channel global payment solutions for both merchants and acquirers, first in Europe and then in high potential geographies," stated Ingenico Chief Executive Officer Philippe Lazare.
NCR Corp. completed the acquisition of Retalix Ltd. for approximately $650 million based on the cash purchase price of $30 per Retalix share. Upon completion of the transaction, the global retail software and services provider became a subsidiary of NCR. Bill Nuti, NCR Chairman and CEO, said Retalix's business and workforce are a strategic fit for NCR.
New officers were elected to the Smart Card Alliance Payments Council for the 2013 to 2014 period. Gemalto NV's Jack Jania and MasterCard's Oliver Manahan will co-chair the Council Steering Committee. Discover's Troy Bernard was elected Vice Chair and Capgemini's Deborah Baxley was named Secretary.
Serving on the Council Steering Committee are: Philip Andreae, Accenture LLP; Deana Cook, JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Jose Correa, NXP Semiconductors; Terry Dooley, Shazam; Michael English, Heartland Payment Systems Inc.; Greg Garback, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority; Simon Hurry, Visa; Bastian Knoppers, FIS; Paul Legacki, Infineon Technologies AG; Nick Pisarev, Giesecke & Devrient GmBH; JC Raynon, VeriFone Inc.; Garfield Smith, Oberthur Technologies; and John Smith, First Data Corp.
Cynergy Data LLC named Alvin Mayers to the position of Senior Vice President of Product Management. Mayers was formerly Vice President and Director of International Product Strategy at TSYS. In his new role, Mayers will be responsible for strategic product planning, competitive intelligence and product positioning for Cynergy Data's sales distribution channels.
Former Motorola Mobility Inc. Chief Financial Officer Marc Rothman is the new CFO and Executive Vice President at POS equipment manufacturer VeriFone. The company also promoted Jay Parsons to Senior Vice President of Digital Media and Taxi Operations. VeriFone also reported that its current CFO Robert Dykes and Vice Chairman Elmore (Bud) Waller are retiring.
Robert Seward became the new Vice President of Product Management at merchant services provider North American Bancard. Seward formerly worked as a Product Line Manager in ACI Worldwide's Retail Division. At North American Bancard, Seward is responsible for product strategy, planning, management and the delivery of technology solutions to customers.
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