The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) is seeking proposals for new special interest groups (SIGs) to be formed in 2014. SIGs, which are composed of industry professionals and focus on specific data security topics, help the PCI SSC provide up-to-date information to its membership about data security challenges and best practices.
"The real value in special interest groups is that they are driven by the community at large," said PCI SSC General Manager Bob Russo.
"The ideas come from those who are living and breathing payment card security every day, representing a variety of industries and job functions. Some of our most useful resources are products of these groups' work."
Recent SIG collaborations have resulted in guidance papers concerning the Europay/MasterCard/Visa standard, wireless transactions, the virtualization of data, the tokenization of data, how to limit the scope of risk assessments, and more.
Further information, including the online form for filling out a SIG proposal, is located at www.pcisecuritystandards.org/get_involved/special_interest_groups.php.
Also, the PCI SSC just released version 4.0 of the PCI PIN Transaction Security (PTS) Point of Interaction (POI) requirements. The council stated, "These requirements, along with the Hardware Security Module (HSM) requirements, provide standards for device manufacturers to ensure merchants and others have secure devices for accepting and processing payment cards."
Key changes from the previous version include a restructured open protocols module, enhanced interface testing and logical security requirements, added source code reviews, and the introduction of a vendor provided security policy.
"The PTS POI requirements are critical to securing POI devices," Russo said in a press release about the updated requirements. "By continually enhancing the robustness of the program's testing criteria we can ensure that these products are being tested and validated against the highest level of security."
The full document is at www.pcisecuritystandards.org/security_standards/documents.php.
Merchants nationwide can win big by putting their creative talents to work on YouTube. In the Harbortouch Business Upgrade contest, which runs from May 22 to Aug. 15, 2013, merchants are tasked with telling the world how they would use the prize offered to make positive changes in their businesses.
The merchant who submits the winning video will receive $10,000, an Elite POS system and a one-year waiver on Harbortouch service and support fees.
"At Harbortouch, we serve small and midsize businesses all over the country," stated Jared Isaacman, Chief Executive Officer at Harbortouch. "We know how hard it is to succeed in this economy, and we hope that this contest will make a difference for one lucky merchant."
Isaacman encourages contestants to be creative with their videos - "the funnier, wittier and more entertaining, the better," he said. To qualify, merchants must be based in the United States and have a physical retail location. Videos also must be no more than two minutes in length.
"The video should explain how they would use it to improve their business," said Nate Hirshberg, Marketing Manager at Harbortouch. "It doesn't have to be a current customer of ours, although our current customers are eligible, as well." He noted that should a merchant signed by a Harbortouch merchant level salesperson (MLS) or ISO win the contest, the ISO or MLS will receive a $1,000 bonus.
For more information about the contest and to access the contest entry form, visit www.harbortouch.com/contest.
Payvision, an Amsterdam, The Netherlands headquartered ISO, won the Judges Choice Award for "Best CNP Program outside the US" at the international Card Not Present Expo 2013 held in Orlando, Fla., in May 2013. Payvision specializes in cross-border e-commerce payments.
Additionally, Boise, Idaho-based Kount Inc. won a second consecutive CNP Expo award for its fraud and data security solution, Kount Complete.
"Fraud moves at the speed of opportunity and Kount has a proven ability to stay ahead of this rapidly evolving threat to online merchants," said Steve Casco, founder and publisher of CardNotPresent.com and the CNP Expo.
Also, First Data Corp. took home a prize for its hosted recurring payments solution, HRP, which won the Best Billing Subscription/Software Company Judges Choice award.
Identity verification firm AuthenticID said pictureID is a first-of-a-kind identity authentication technology that can validate a user's identity in less than three seconds. With pictureID, users scan official identification cards with smartphones or input driver's license information into AuthenticID's web portal; a photo of the true ID owner is then provided to the user.
U.K.-based cross-border payment services firm Earthport PLC reported that IFC, a member of the World Bank Group and considered the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector in developing countries, agreed to invest $10 million in the company.
Earthport said the funding will be used to expand Earthport's presence and infrastructure, especially in the developing world.
Electronic Commerce International released a new small business loan program that provides loans ranging from $5,000 to $150,000 with fixed, daily payment schedules. ECI said the loans are typically up to 50 percent less expensive than merchant cash advances (MCAs).
Also unlike MCAs, ECI loans are reported to credit bureaus, which can help businesses build credit ratings, ECI noted.
Electronic Merchant Systems, an ISO headquartered in Independence, Ohio, opened an office in Indianapolis to better serve the central Indiana merchant market. "EMS has an aggressive growth strategy for 2013 and beyond," said Dan Neistadt, the firm's President and CEO. "The opening of our Indianapolis office represents another big step in our continued momentum."
With Google Inc's online shopping cart, Google Checkout, set to be retired in November 2013, leaving some merchants without a way to process online payments, Forte Payment Systems is offering to temporarily waive setup fees for merchants who switch to Forte. The ISO said its web payment solution is ideal for e-commerce sites, membership subscriptions, online bill payments and donations.
Heartland School Solutions, a division of Heartland Payment Systems Inc., unveiled a mobile payment app designed to help parents manage the school lunch expenses of their children. Heartland said The MyLunchMoney.com app is being used in many school districts, including in New York; Florida; Maryland; Virginia; Washington, D.C.; Colorado; and Texas.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil-based payment technology firm NearBytes developed what it calls new smartphone communication technology that allows for in-store, proximity payments with no need for near field communication (NFC) technology to be implemented in mobile devices or POS terminals. NearByte's technology is based on sound waves.
U.K.-based e-commerce payment company PayLane Group reported that Poland has named it an official Payment Institution. The designation allows PayLane to function as a financial institution in Poland, enabling it to issue credit cards, according to the firm.
Payments industry management consultancy The Strawhecker Group reported its interest in helping ISOs buy and sell portfolios. "The U.S. merchant acquiring transaction market is currently extremely active," the Omaha, Neb.-based company said, adding that TSG is helping sellers and buyers connect and providing "transaction support services to assist both parties achieve their objectives."
Boston-based POS Supply Solutions launched a new line of thermal receipt paper to show its support and raise funds for the One Fund Boston charitable organization. One Fund Boston helps victims of the bombings that occurred during the April 15, 2013, Boston Marathon. POS Supply said a portion of the proceeds for every case of Boston Strong Thermal Roll Paper sold will be donated to One Fund Boston.
ISO North American Bancard congratulated its customer care professional Noe Vazquez for being named Best Call Center Agent at the 2013 International Customer Management Institute Global Call Center Awards. Vazquez, a bilingual Customer Solutions Associate at NAB's call center, implemented a paperless initiative that saved the company 5,000 sheets of paper and seven man hours per week, NAB said.
Technology research firm Gartner Inc. said in a mobile payments forecast that worldwide mobile payment transaction values will reach $235.4 billion in 2013, a 44 percent rise from $163.1 billion in 2012.
Concurrently, the number of mobile payment users worldwide will reach 245.2 million in 2013, up from 200.8 million in 2012. However, Gartner is lowering its mobile payment growth projections through 2017.
Gartner Research Director Sandy Shen said the reduction in its mobile payment forecast was due to "lower-than-expected growth in 2012, especially in North America and Africa," with the adoption of NFC technology in all markets remaining sluggish and mobile wallet initiatives such as Google Wallet and Isis "struggling to gain traction."
U.K.-based business association Mobey Forum issued a white paper that warned financial institutions launching mobile wallets in the immediate future to expect to enter a hotly contested market.
The paper, titled Structures and Approaches: The Changing Face of the Mobile Wallet, said the field will be crowded with standalone, proprietary wallets.
"Only when a secure element (SE) is required, or when core functionalities become too difficult for financial institutions to achieve alone, are they likely to open their solutions and seek to cooperate with other stakeholders," the paper stated. It is available at www.mobeyforum.org/Knowledge-Center/Mobey-White-Papers.
ACH Payments integrated its payment gateway with online invoice gateway and service provider Invoicera to offer automated clearing house payments as a payment alternative for Invoicera customers. The integration is expected to reduce processing costs for Invoicera clients, ACH Payments noted.
Bango.net Ltd. signed a global payment services agreement with Mozilla Corp. to deliver billing, collection and settlement services for online content purchased through Firefox Marketplace, an app store Mozilla's Firefox OS plans to launch sometime in 2013.
BlueStar Inc. signed a partnership agreement with Digital Defence to make its Secure Mobile encryption software technology available to BlueStar's global customers. Secure Mobile reportedly encrypts data at the bit level without interruption to mobile users or impacting device speeds, and protects data when the device is at rest.
Computop Inc. formed a global strategic alliance with E4X Inc. to integrate E4X's patented multi-currency services into its Paygate multi-channel payment platform for business-to-business and business-to-consumer customers.
In other news, Computop partnered with Shanghai, China-based MasaPay Information Technology Company Ltd. to white label its Paygate platform as a global payment solution for MasaPay's Chinese-based merchants.
ControlScan formed a partnership with ConvergenceHealth to integrate its secure online payment functions with the health care technology provider's digital and cloud-based health care products and services.
Merchant Warehouse added Retail Pro International LLC as a partner on its Genius Customer Engagement Platform. Through more than 90 global offices RPI's specialized network currently serves 52,000 retail stores in 86 countries using 18 different languages, Retail Pro stated.
Moneris Solutions teamed with SecureBuy, a wholly owned subsidiary of SignatureLink Inc., to integrate its proprietary eSelectplus payment gateway with SecureBuy's Community and Enterprise anti-fraud solution. This will add payment processing functionality to both options as a turnkey solution for e-commerce merchants, the companies said.
NCR Corp., in collaboration with PayPal Inc., is developing a series of customized mobile order and payment solutions for the Jamba Juice Company. According to NCR, the customized mobile format will seamlessly integrate with the NCR Aloha POS platform to improve speed of service to Jamba Juice customers.
Mobile POS vendor Square Inc. expanded into Japan with the help of Sumitomo Mitsui Card Corp. Square co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey said his company and Japan share the same passion for design, innovation and tradition.
Total System Services Inc. renewed its agreement with Nationwide Building Society. An outsourced payment processor for the 15 million member building society since 2008, TSYS reported it will continue to process Nationwide's consumer card portfolio and support its contact center operations in the United Kingdom.
TransFirst LLC, in collaboration with Bank of the Sierra, will provide payment processing products and services to the financial institution's merchant service clients. Among the offerings provided are TransFirst's Transaction Express payment gateway and management system, the TransLink web-based reporting system, and its mobile payment processing options.
EVO Payments International LLC completed the purchase of Deutsche Card Services GmbH, expanding its presence into 39 European markets. DCS, formerly a wholly owned subsidiary of Deutsche Bank Group, will conduct business under the name EVO Payments International GmbH.
Ross Haider is the new Senior Vice President of Canadian sales for Pivotal Payments. Haider will be responsible for the definition, development and execution of Pivotal's national sales strategies. A seasoned executive, Haider has 20 years' experience in technology sales and merchant acquiring services.
Capital Access Network Inc. chose James Mendelsohn as the company's new Chief Marketing Officer. Mendelsohn, who has extensive experience in financial and consumer marketing, previously held marketing positions at Darden Restaurants, Perdue Farms and Procter & Gamble Co.
Virtual Piggy Inc. appointed Rika Nakazawa, a commerce solutions expert with over 17 years of industry experience, its Vice President of Business Development. "As we continue to grow our company, we are very happy to bring on Ms. Nakazawa to help further develop the business," said Virtual Piggy founder and CEO Jo Webber. Virtual Piggy delivers online security platforms designed for the under 18 age group in the global online market.
Mike Passilla was recently selected as the new CEO of Merchant Services at JPMorgan Chase & Co., a newly created position in which he will oversee Chase's payment and merchant services functions. Chase also appointed Dan Charron as President of Chase Paymentech, the company's payment processing and merchant acquiring arm. Charron will report to Passila.
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