In the ongoing class action brought by retailers against Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide for alleged violations of antitrust law, the two card brands just turned the tables.
They sued trade groups and retailers that had rejected a proposed $7.25 billion settlement negotiated on behalf of both sides in the litigation. Among those named in the suit are the National Restaurant Association, the National Association of Convenience Stores and D'Agostino Supermarkets Inc.
In a complaint filed May 23, 2013, in the Federal Eastern District of New York, Visa and MasterCard stated the lawsuit was "necessary to prevent the continuation of endless, wasteful litigation." In addition, they asked the court to rule that their interchange practices are legal.
Also on May 23, Target Corp., along with 16 other retailers objecting to the proposed settlement, filed a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court; their suit seeks damages pertaining to interchange fees.
One of the deal breakers cited by retailers and trade groups rejecting the settlement is that those who sign the agreement are barred from bringing future legal action against the card brands for their interchange fees and practices. A final hearing on the proposed settlement is scheduled for Sept. 12.
Digital currency bitcoin's fluctuating value has received significant attention lately; however, it's Liberty Reserve, a digital currency provider founded in 2006, that is under the gun right now. Liberty Reserve founder, Arthur Budovsky, and six other individuals were indicted by the U.S. government for allegedly laundering over $6 billion in criminal proceeds.
Though the operation served legitimate customers, it allegedly aided such illegal activities as drug trafficking, identity theft and child pornography. According to media reports, Liberty Reserve was incorporated in Costa Rica and never registered as a money transmitter in the United States, where it had an estimated 200,000 customers.
At a May 28, 2013, press conference in Manhattan, federal prosecutors stated they believe this is the largest money-laundering case in history and likened Budovsky to Prohibition-era gangster Al Capone. Budovsky was arrested in Spain on May 24.
U.K.-based international payroll firm Payza reported that it alerted the 10 million end users of its payroll solutions that they are being targeted by a malware variant called Citadel Trojan.
"Citadel is different from so called phishing scams because in this case the identity thieves attempt to collect information by altering Payza's actual login page," said Payza's Chief Technology Officer Ali Nizameddine.
Payza CEO Alastair Graham said, "This type of malware doesn't affect our technology, our platform or our website. But obviously we are concerned for any member who might fall prey to this deceptive piece of malware.
"Anyone can be deceived by this Trojan, whether they are in Mumbai or Dallas, so it's important that we provide proactive information for all our users."
Further details are available in a Payza corporate blog post entitled "Citadel Trojan: What You Need To Know" and found at https://blog.payza.com/online-security/citadel-trojan.
Naples, Fla.-based global payment processor ACI Worldwide Inc. was elected to the steering committee of the EMV Migration Forum. The processor said it has played a leading role in EMV rollouts around the world, including in Europe, Asia, Canada and Latin America.
Bitcoin processor BitPay Inc. reported it raised $2 million in seed round financing led by Founders Fund LLC. The investment company, which was cofounded by Peter Thiel, former chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PayPal Inc., said the processor of the alternative bitcoin currency is experiencing impressive growth.
BitPay said it added over 1,900 merchants to its portfolio in April 2013 and continues to sign more than 100 new merchants per day.
Waltham, Mass.-based e-commerce solutions firm BlueSnap Inc. expanded its presence in Silicon Valley, Calif., with a new location in Campbell, Calif. The expansion will accommodate BlueSnap's growing business and complement its other locations in Boston and Herzliya Pituach, Israel, the company said.
EyeVerify LLC rolled out the Eyeprint Verification System to financial institutions (FIs). The technology allows mobile device cameras to capture pictures of users' eyes and then pattern-match blood vessels in the whites of their eyes.
"Banks, credit unions, investment firms, payment systems and other players can now use the Eyeprint to secure their employees' access to vital corporate systems, to secure enterprise customers' ability to make large transactions and to secure consumers' retail financial activity," EyeVerify said.
Paris-based POS manufacturer Ingenico SA is fulfilling a contract to supply 3,500 e-health card terminals to the German Health Insurance Co. Ingenico said terminals are currently being installed in 600 offices of the company; the total rollout is expected to be completed within weeks.
Online payment and bill payment solution provider iPay Solutions LLC, an arm of Allen, Texas-based payment technology provider ProfitStars, was ranked the 19th best place to work in Kentucky by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the Kentucky Society for Human Resource Management. ProfitStars is owned by Monett, Mo.-based processor Jack Henry & Associates Inc.
Providence, R.I.-based ISO Swipely reported it completed a $12 million Series B round of financing, with Shasta Ventures leading the investment.
Swipely noted that the funding will help the ISO expand its merchant network and accelerate its growth nationwide.
Payment processing aggregator The Members Group added a card portfolio data analytics tool to its product suite. The tool, called Catalyst, is designed to help credit unions and community banks better monitor, learn from and adjust to the changing behaviors of today's consumers. The tool was developed in conjunction with IQR Consulting.
TransNational Bankcard Inc., based in Rosemont, Ill., projected it will complete its expansion into new quarters in Orlando, Fla., by Aug. 1, 2013. TransNational, runner-up in the Electronic Transaction Association's ISO of the Year 2013 award, said it aims to continue its path of growth and engagement in new markets.
Davenport, Iowa-based ISO TriSource Solutions LLC unveiled what it called "the first comprehensive merchant acquiring platform" specifically for Payments Service Providers and Payments Facilitators.
Launched in April at the 2013 ETA Annual Meeting & Expo in New Orleans, the end-to-end merchant acquiring platform reduces "friction" during the submerchant setup and onboarding process, while offering greater flexibility in pricing, funding and overall management, according to TriSource.
Top 10 U.S. acquirer Vantiv Inc. is integrating its POS technology with Visa Inc.'s redemption platform, Visa Offers. Vantiv said it is the first acquirer to provide Visa Offers via POS terminals. Visa Offers is a service where Visa cardholders can receive deals and discounts for shopping at participating merchants.
At the recent 2013 Finovate Spring payment technology conference held in San Francisco, online payment platform operator ZooZ previewed its patent pending In-Ad Payments. The solution combines mobile in-app payments to enable mobile users to checkout with one tap within a visible banner ad inside of an app, according to ZooZ.
Redwood City, Calif.-based subscription billing provider Zuora Inc. said it released its 50th product since its founding in 2008. Zuora noted that it has more than doubled its customer base in the last 18 months and has $15.5 billion in subscription-based revenue contracts.
Chargeback efficiency specialist Chargebacks911 reported the five hidden ways merchants' chargeback rates increase.
According to a study by NACHA - The Electronic Payments Association, direct payment via automated clearing house (ACH) is the preferred method used by consumers to pay bills. The survey of 1,000 billers said that over three-quarters of billers that offer electronic payment options provide the direct payment via ACH option, with almost 50 percent of consumer bills paid through this method.
A survey by alternative financial services company PayPal Inc. indicated that 83 percent of survey respondents across five countries expressed a preference for not having to carry a physical wallet. Among the findings of the survey conducted in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and Australia is that nearly one in three Americans (29 percent) would choose to carry a smartphone over a wallet.
CaptureCode recently integrated its mobile customer relationship management solution with Dinerware Inc.'s restaurant POS software solutions.
Dinerware CEO Jeff Riley said, "CaptureCode is easy to deploy with Dinerware, and we believe the integration between the two products results in a truly innovative solution. Our customers want to increase the frequency of repeat guest visits through individualized marketing."
First Data Corp. formed a strategic alliance with Hong Kong-based mobile solutions firm MPayMe Ltd. to expand mobile payment coverage in key Asia Pacific markets. First Data reported it will serve across the region as sole distributor and reseller of MPayMe's ZNAP, a mobile business and payment solution that deploys quick response codes to secure transactions.
Mobile ticketing and payment software provider GlobeSherpa teamed with Portland, Ore., public transit service TriMet to beta test TriMet Tickets, a mobile ticketing application. Select riders during the pilot will be able to purchase and use tickets exclusively via their smartphones for rides on transit system buses, trains, commuter rail systems and streetcars.
HyperWallet Systems Inc., a global payment provider that supports corporate payments to employees and other beneficiaries, formed an alliance with Deductr to integrate its business expense tracking and reporting system. This will allow businesses to streamline payment and tracking of business expenses by recording them at the POS, the companies said.
Merchant Warehouse added LinkPOS as a partner. According to Merchant Warehouse, LinkPOS iPad app business customers will gain expanded payment acceptance and mobile commerce functions through integration with its Genius Customer Engagement Platform.
In addition, LightSpeed Retail Inc., an iOS-based POS and inventory management system, became a preferred processing partner on the Merchant Warehouse Genius platform.
NCR Corp. inked a deal with LevelUp to integrate its mobile payment and loyalty program with NCR's restaurant POS systems, allowing NCR clients to accept digital payments and market directly to restaurant customers. NCR said it will initially integrate LevelUp with its NCR Aloha POS; it plans to integrate LevelUp with NCR Cloud Connect later in 2013.
Auckland, New Zealand-based Pushpay Ltd. teamed with Los Angeles-based Truli Media Group Inc. to enable users of Truli's faith- and family-based media content and donation platform to make direct payments to registered companies and organizations from their smartphones, the companies said.
VeriFone Inc. recently integrated its customer-engagement payment acceptance systems with Xpient Solutions' IRIS POS software. This will "provide intuitive ordering and payment solutions for the quick service and fast casual restaurant segments," VeriFone stated.
Net Element International Inc. entered a binding agreement to purchase Aptito, a cloud-based POS platform for the restaurant industry. Under the planned agreement, Aptito will join Net Element's TOT Group Inc., its mobile payment and transaction processing holding company.
Mobile and online payment provider payvia Inc. acquired mobile rich media, video and text messaging developer Mogreet. Under the agreement, payvia plans to simplify the process for linking targeted mobile transactions with ongoing customer-engagement-branded communications. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Merchant acquirer and payment processor Transcendent One Inc., which ranked 105 on the 2012 Inc. 500 list, merged with information technology and financial services provider AppTech Corp. Under the agreement, Transcendent One and its subsidiary TransTech One will continue to operate under their respective names as wholly owned subsidiaries of AppTech, the companies stated.
Leading payment processor Heartland Payment Systems Inc. named Tony Capucille as its Chief Sales Officer. Most recently, Capucille served as Heartland's Chief of Sales Operations, where he spearheaded the creation and development of atlas, an award-winning, iPad-enabled customer relationship management tool, which was instrumental in driving sales force productivity to record levels, Heartland noted. In his new role, he is responsible for the overall effectiveness of the company's sales organization.
BlueSnap appointed Jeff Coppolo to lead business development and form key strategic alliances to further establish BlueSnap as a leader in e-commerce payments. A 20-year veteran in payments and financial services, Coppolo has a successful track record in card portfolio acquisitions and co-branded card partnerships for major banks and merchants, BlueSnap noted.
U.S. Bancorp subsidiary Elavon Inc. promoted Simon Haslam to the position of President and CEO. He succeeded Mike Passilla, who recently departed the company. Haslam came to Elavon from Citibank Inc. in 2005, when the company acquired Citibank's European merchant acquiring business. As President of Elavon International Markets, he led the organization's expansion throughout Europe, South America and Latin America.
Network Merchants Inc. promoted Richard J. Swiderski to Vice President of Sales. Working closely with NMI's Marketing Division, he will lead domestic and international sales efforts for the company's Gateway Processing & Mobile Division, as well as oversee day-to-day sales operations and strategic partnerships. "Rich has been a great asset for NMI," said NMI CEO Jim McKenzie. "His aptitude and contributions embody NMI."
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