Stanley A. Dashew, recognized as the inventor of the credit card, passed away in Los Angeles on April 25, 2013, at the age of 96. In 1950, the Harlem, N.Y., native founded Dashew Business Machines, which automated the nascent credit card industry by replacing paper "charge cards" with plastic cards. When Dashew learned of a plastic material that could be embossed, he and his team of engineers built a computer with a keyboard that could emboss plastic cards with a customer's name, account number and expiration date. His company also built what was likely the first "knucklebuster," which captured information off the embossed card and produced a customer receipt.
Dwolla Inc., an Iowa-based online and mobile payment network provider, recently reported it plans to use $16.5 million in new capital investment to double its workforce in Iowa and New York, as well as expand to San Francisco. The new round of funding is led by California Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Dwolla, which was launched by company Chief Executive Officer Ben Milne in December 2009, uses instead, its own network connects to individual bank accounts to transfer money. It charges no fee for transactions of less than $10 and a flat fee of 25 cents for transactions of $10 or more.
"There's a great deal of work to be done," Milne noted. "In the U.S. alone, we have [more than $600 trillion] in payments to capture and a global footprint to build. One billion dollars is a drop in a very big bucket. This is a step along the way."
Meanwhile, Alpha Payments Cloud reported it raised $12 million from an angel investor to introduce new cloud-based payment platforms designed to change the way payment products are developed, while simplifying the payment process.
"We are positioning ourselves to be the Android of the payments industry," said APC CEO Oliver Rajic. "We are removing barriers of entry like upfront costs, providing access to global distribution channels and boosting time to market for all parties."
Compliance and privacy consultancy CSR reported that since receiving its first patent (US Patent No. 8,296,244 for Method and System for Standards Guidance) relating to the PCI Toolkit in late 2012, it has filed a number of patent applications in the United States and abroad that cover its CSR Breach Reporting ToolKit.
Following the success of the PCI ToolKit, "a number of imitators have tried to trade on the product's acclaim by adopting very similar trademarks," CSR said. "Through an aggressive protest campaign, CSR has shut down each of those infringements, and the strength and reputation of its brand continue to flourish."
Jeff Brodsly, President and CEO of Chosen Payments, was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Moorpark, Calif., Chamber of Commerce. Chamber Director Abigail Sichmeller said Brodsly exhibits "service, commitment and dedication" and makes a difference in the Moorpark community where Chosen Payments is headquartered.
Clayton, Mo.-based Clearent LLC reported that it is ranked number three on the St. Louis Business Journal's 2013 list of fastest growing private companies, up one spot from last year's ranking. The company attributed its growth to a 226 percent revenue jump from 2010 to 2012.
CrossCheck Inc. certified its check guarantee applications on the Vega (V Series) POS terminals from Dejavoo Systems. CrossCheck's applications support standard check guarantee and electronic check conversion services on dial-up, Internet protocol and wireless connections.
Global Payments Inc. launched HomeCurrencyPay, a dynamic currency conversion (DCC) solution for merchants in the United States. The DCC service provides merchants the ability to offer customers the choice of paying in their home currencies at the POS. HomeCurrencyPay is available on Equinox Payments LLC terminals.
Plug'n Pay Technologies Inc. said it completed integration of its payment gateway with First Data Corp.'s Canada platform and is certified to work with the acquirer to provide gateway and e-commerce solutions to Canadian merchants. "We recognize that our reseller sales partners are increasingly targeting global merchants, and we are committed to offering international accessibility with our gateway and e-commerce products," said Plug'n Pay founder and President David Price.
POS Supply Solutions Inc. expanded its offering of taxi meter POS paper receipt rolls and supplies. The company said that with taxi fleets upgrading from traditional, cash-only systems to more advanced digital payment options, the need for specialty POS supplies becomes greater.
ROAM Data Inc., an Ingenico company, rolled out what it calls the world's first "chip and sign" mobile card reader compliant with the Payment Card Industry PIN Transaction Security and Secure Read and Exchange Data standards. The Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV)-approved RP350x was launched in the United States at the 2013 Electronic Transactions Association's Annual Meeting & Expo.
Square Inc. added customizable, "item library" analytics to its mobile payment app Square Register. The San Francisco-based company said the new feature gives merchants access to item-level data about their businesses and helps them customize their checkout flows.
Management consultancy Accenture said results of an October 2012 survey led it to conclude that financial incentives and mobile-based financial-management tools could increase consumers' use of smart phones as payment devices. The Accenture survey of 4,002 smart-phone users in the United States and Canada was conducted by Lightspeed Research, which found that over half of respondents who use smart phones to make payments were highly likely to pay more often by phone if they could also use the devices to track receipts (60 percent of respondents), manage personal finances (56 percent), and show proof of insurance (56 percent) or of valid driver's license status (54 percent).
Financial institution-focused processor Fiserv Inc. reported that the number of mobile bill payment transactions processed through its biller direct and direct-to-consumer solutions tripled within the past 24 months. Fiserv's Biller Mobile Bill Pay Benchmark Study, conducted by BlueFlame Consulting LLC, said 94 percent of over 50 billing organizations from different industries are turning to the mobile channel to enhance and extend customer service.
According to Jumio Inc.'s 2013 Consumer Mobile Insights study, most consumers are worried about identity theft but look the other way when interacting with mobile device-based financial services. The survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive, said 83 percent of respondents were concerned about fraud but not enough to curtail usage of mobile devices to access financial services, such as to check account balances and pay bills.
Daniel Mattes, founder and CEO of Jumio, said, "Users may be willing to accept risk now in favor of convenience, but this tolerance will weaken as fraud continues to grow. The industry needs to get on board to protect our customers as much as the customers themselves need to take greater precautions."
In the RBR Multivendor Software 2013 report, London-based consultancy Retail Banking Research named Edinburgh, Scotland-based ATM software provider KAL as the number one supplier of ATM multivendor software globally. The report said KAL is the leading ATM middleware provider in 20 countries, including China, with KAL software now being deployed in 41 of the 70 markets tracked by RBR.
Risk management solutions provider Aperia Solutions Inc. inked a deal with IT governance, risk and compliance firm Coalfire Systems Inc. to provide a combination of compliance validation services offered by both companies through the Aperia PCI Portal available to merchants via select payment processors and acquiring banks, the companies stated.
Ariba Inc., in partnership with Discover Financial Services, unveiled AribaPay, a cloud-based, business-to-business (B2B) payment service expected to be generally available in 2014 through Discover.
"Ariba and Discover are seizing the opportunity to digitize a share of the estimated $30 trillion in B2B payments that are still mostly made with paper checks," stated Roger Hochschild, President and Chief Operating Officer for Discover.
The ETA, in partnership with the SCIL-EMV Academy, introduced a new training and education program that focuses on EMV and mobile payments. "This program is a valuable resource to our members as they develop strategies that maximize new market opportunities in the growing U.S. EMV and mobile commerce landscape," said ETA CEO Jason Oxman.
Harbortouch signed an agreement with Epson America Inc. to bundle Epson's TM-T20 and TM-U220 kitchen and receipt printers with Harbortouch's free retail and hospitality POS systems, giving merchant customers a greater choice of printer options.
Merchant Warehouse and LevelUp are co-sponsoring a $1 million development fund to support the creation of custom-branded mobile payment applications that will operate on LevelUp's White-Label platform and integrate with Merchant Warehouse's Genius Customer Engagement Platform. Qualifying merchants can tap the fund to sponsor up to 25 percent of their app development costs, the companies stated.
Two Miami-based companies, Meridian Star Merchant Services and Merchant Data Systems, developed a restaurant POS solution integrating MDS' payroll, benefits and tax reporting tools with Meridian's POS system featuring touch-screen order and tracking software.
PayToo Corp. entered a strategic alliance with Mobilepaid Ltd. and AnywhereCommerce to launch PayTooSwipe, a mobile commerce solution that supports smart phone- and tablet-based mag stripe, EMV and near field communication payments through multiple acquirers, the alliance reported.
ISO Signature Card Services became a launch partner for Tranzlogic, whose proprietary process delivers actionable customer intelligence derived from transaction data. The service will be offered free of charge to SCS merchants, who may access data through a secure online portal to monitor and analyze key customer attributes, Signature stated.
Vantiv Inc.'s deployment of Ingenico NA's Telium series POS devices now supports EMV chip-based payments in the United States. "Our work together will enable merchants and financial institutions across the country to help reduce the risk associated with the acceptance of cards with fraudulent magnetic stripes," said Patty Walters, Senior Vice President of Merchant Products and Security at Vantiv.
Higher education financial services and data analytics provider Higher One Holdings Inc. acquired the assets of Sallie Mae's Campus Solutions e-commerce and bill payment, refund disbursement and tuition payment business to expand core offerings to its 1,600 campus clients. The all-cash transaction was valued at approximately $47.25 million.
FleetCor Technologies Inc. extended its global fuel card and workforce payment products portfolio with the acquisition of CardLink Systems Ltd., a fuel card issuer and payment processor based in Auckland, New Zealand. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
First Data Corp. chose Frank Bisignano to be its new CEO. Concurrently, he also joined the company's board of directors. Most recently, Bisignano served as Co-Chief Operating Officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Prior to JPMorgan Chase, he was the CEO for Citigroup Inc.'s Global Transactions Services business and a member of Citigroup's Management Committee.
In addition, First Data Executive Vice President Ed Labry was appointed Vice Chairman of the company's board. He will serve as senior adviser to Bisignano in working with top customers and prospects. Labry had served as interim CEO since Jan. 28, 2013.
Steve Elefant joined GoPago Inc. as Chief Strategy Officer. Elefant was a Senior Strategic Payments Consultant at Google Inc. before joining GoPago. He will lead the companies new channel growth and help develop GoPago's cloud POS system and mobile payment platform, GoPago Live.
Bill Elrick, formerly Vice President of Mobile Payment Services at Paymate USA, is the new Director of Mobile Payment Strategy at mobile POS solution provider Infinite Peripherals Inc. Elrick is responsible for promoting the business and expanding ISO channels.
Former eBay Inc. executive Nish Modi is the new Vice President of Product at SecureNet Payment Systems LLC. Modi previously worked as Senior Manager of Platform Strategy at eBay. Modi will participate in the development and release of SecureNet's developer payment integration tools for both its online and offline channels.
Gary Rutledge and Ron Schnell joined the executive management team of POS system manufacturer TouchSuite LLC. Rutledge previously was the COO at North American Bancard. He will manage growth and supervise expansion of customer service, technical support and risk management operations. Schnell ran operations at The Technical Committee before joining TouchSuite. He will help build software solutions and managing development.
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