The Green Sheet Online Edition
August 12, 2013 • Issue 13:08:01
Card brands avoid surcharges in Canada
Visa Canada Corp. and MasterCard Worldwide prevailed before Canada's Competition Tribunal, which dismissed the government's attempt to break the card brands' merchant rules. Melanie Aitken, then Canadian Commissioner of Competition, had filed an application in late 2010 challenging the rules imposed on merchants who accept credit cards. The Canadian Bankers Association supports the tribunal's decision, calling the no-surcharging rule "consumer friendly."
Current Commissioner of Competition John Pecman expressed disappointment in the ruling. Although the case was not successful, the tribunal found that the commissioner properly brought the case to its attention. Legislation is the appropriate solution to the issue, a summary of the decision stated.
Hackers strike again
Retailer Harbor Freight Tools reported that its payment processing system was breached. The Calabasas, Calif.-based chain, which has 400 stores, said on its website that credit card companies alerted the retailer to a possible breach. After employing computer security firm Mandiant Corp. to examine its system, Harbor Freight confirmed the intrusion and took steps to block it.
Harbor Freight stated it does not yet know how many cardholders were affected. "The investigation is focused on identifying when the attack began and which stores were affected," the firm stated. "We are working with law enforcement officials to find those responsible for this criminal attack."
Breach-prevention pilots under way
Security services firm CDISGroup Ltd., the U.K. distributor for StrikeForce Technologies Inc., launched several large breach-prevention pilots at financial services firms, retailers and mortgage lenders.
"In the last 12 months, corporate data breaches and identity theft skyrocketed throughout Europe," said Mark Kay, Chief Executive Officer of StrikeForce. "However, the U.K. seems to be in the center of that hacking hurricane."
One of the world's largest retailers is testing GuardedID for internal use, with potential deployment to its client base of up to 7 million users, according to Mike Lazenby, CEO of CDISGroup. CDIS performs both cloud-based and on-premise authentication services for its clients.
Paragon offers free online EMV training
To prepare the industry for the transition to the Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) standard, Paragon Application Systems produced a series of free online EMV training classes. The sessions address business drivers for EMV and provide project management guidelines for both issuers and acquirers.
The online training consists of four sessions covering such topics as EMV history; business drivers, benefits and challenges; concepts and terminology; acquirer and issuer decisions; and project management.
Paragon also provides on-site training in which participants interact with an instructor and discuss implementation in the client's unique environment, according to Paragon Director of EMV Solutions Deborah Spidle.
ACI strengthens multicurrency management
Payment processing software provider ACI Worldwide Inc. released ACI Acquirer 3.10, the latest version of its multicurrency merchant management system. The Naples, Fla.-based company said the software addresses acquirers' need to keep up with the high development and maintenance costs associated with running legacy acquiring systems.
AmeriMerchant adds new small business funding source
New York-based merchant cash advance (MCA) firm AmeriMerchant LLC secured a new $60 million line of credit for the benefit of small businesses seeking MCA funding. AmeriMerchant President and CEO David Goldin said, "This new credit line will allow AmeriMerchant and Main Street Business Loans to keep up with the growing demand in the marketplace of small businesses that cannot obtain the working capital they seek for their business from traditional sources."
Tips to prevent recurring disputes
Dispute mitigation firm Chargebacks 911 offered advice to merchant service providers on how to handle chargebacks. Monica Eaton-Cardone, co-founder of Chargebacks 911, said chargebacks can be curbed by: ensuring the clear identification of all recurring transactions; notifying cardholders before regular recurring payments are charged; participating in Visa Account Updater; checking customer logs daily for complaints; and stopping repeat offenders by fighting illegitimate chargebacks.
C3ET gets interactive with new website
C3ET Inc., publisher of Credit Card Processing for Sales Agents and producer of tailored learning solutions, launched a new website at www.c3et.net. The site is designed to provide merchant level salespeople with an interactive educational experience. Dale Laszig, Street SmartsSM columnist at The Green Sheet and C3ET partner, said, "C3ET is the premier destination for ongoing education and interactive learning. We're excited to share insights from thought leaders and engage with our colleagues in the payments community."
C3ET was founded by Bill Pirtle, author of Navigating through the Risks of Credit Card Processing and Credit Card Processing for Sales Agents.
EMV Update site launched
The Electronic Funds Transfer Association launched EMV Update online as a source of information on the U.S. migration to EMV. Kurt Helwig, President and CEO of the EFTA, said the transition is proving more complicated than anticipated. "This complexity is due to the large number of card-issuing banks, ATM owners, payment networks, issuing and acquiring processing companies, and merchants," he stated. EMV Update can be found at www.efta.org.
ETA trending with blog
The eta Electronic Transactions Association showcased its new blog, called trendsetter. The ETA said the blog will provide industry insights and unbiased, noncommercial, thought-provoking content on payment and technology trends. The blog is available at www.electran.org/eta-trendsetter/.
Best in Biz lauds NAB CEO
North American Bancard CEO Marc Gardner was named the silver winner in the Executive of the Year category of the 2013 International Best in Biz Awards. The awards program is judged by industry analysts and members of the press.
Gardner stated it is an honor to be among the winners and added, "It's truly been a team effort to develop North American Bancard over the past 20 years as the industry's most innovative merchant payment provider, and this is just the tip of the iceberg."
Mocana showcases app shield at Black Hat
Mobile app security firm Mocana Corp. demonstrated the Mobile Application Protection (MAP) app-shielding solution at the Black Hat security event held in Las Vegas from July 27 to Aug. 1, 2013. Mocana said MAP "accelerates wide-scale deployment of enterprise mobile apps by easily and reliably adding a security shield to any app in seconds, regardless of device platform, and without the need to write any code."
Mozido designated cloud services innovator
Customer relationship management technology provider Pegasystems Inc. bestowed upon mobile payment services firm Mozido the 2013 Cloud Innovator of the Year award. Mozido, a partner of Pegasystems, received award recognition at the 2013 PegaWORLD Conference held June 9 to 11 in Orlando, Fla.
Contextual Giving Platform unveiled
Online and mobile donation solution firm Qgiv Inc. released the Qgiv Contextual Giving Platform designed to empower fundraising efforts in various contexts, including mobile, online and in-person kiosks. Qgiv noted that the platform significantly reduces donation receipt times and eliminates the need for traditional POS equipment.
ROAM expands HQ for hiring boom
ROAM Data Inc., an Ingenico company and mobile commerce platform provider, expanded its Boston headquarters to 20,000 square feet of office space. ROAM said the expansion will serve its plans to add 50 employees by the end of 2013, primarily for engineering jobs. A list of open positions at ROAM can be accessed at www.roamdata.com/careers.
TSG seeks ISO portfolio sellers
Payment consultancy The Strawhecker Group put out a call to ISO owners interested in selling portfolios. TSG said the U.S. merchant acquiring transaction market is "extremely active" and the consultancy is assisting buyers in connecting with sellers.
Vantiv net revenue rose 14 percent
For the second quarter ending June 30, 2013, acquirer Vantiv posted net revenue of $296.9 million, a 14 percent increase over the $260.4 million it netted in the second quarter of 2012. Vantiv attributed the rise to its "superior cost structure," which continued to drive profitability.
ETA surveys merchant acquirers, ISOs
The ETA, in partnership with Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research, issued its second annual ETA-GS Merchant Acquirer Survey. The report addresses key risks to incumbent models, potential mitigation strategies and opportunities for growth.
Partnerships and value-added services were listed as top mitigation strategies by respondents, with 44 percent preferring to partner with new entrants. While mobile POS solutions were perceived as a POS disruptor, 60 percent of respondents indicated they expect payment growth this year.
TSG surveys SMB POS preferences
The Strawhecker Group surveyed small businesses in five segments - retail, restaurants, food/liquor, business/personal services, and auto/boat/mobile dealers/shops - to review 49 POS functions and report the level of importance, preference and utility each function holds. The 49-page SMB Merchant Survey: POS Feature/Functionality is available for purchase through TSG.
Aite explores grey charges
The Economic Impact of Grey Charges on Debit and Credit Card Issues released jointly by Aite Group LLC and BillGuard Inc. revealed that grey charges - defined as deceptive credit card charges that occur as a result of misleading sales and billing practices - cost U.S. cardholders $14.3 billion in 2012.
And while grey charges produced $214 million in interchange fees for card issuers in 2012, the cost of service-related expenses to issuers totaled about half a billion dollars.
Clearent prefers Fora
Payment processor and technology provider Clearent LLC added small business capital solutions firm Fora Financial as a preferred funding provider. Fora will offer MCAs, small business loans and revenue advance programs as a service to Clearent merchants, the companies stated.
Cubic pilots in SF MUNI
Cubic Transportation Systems Inc., in alliance with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, launched a pilot program that allows SFMTA customers to pay for parking at select city garages using the Cubic Clipper Card contactless payment program.
Global teams with ShopKeep
Global Payments Inc. entered an agreement to deliver ShopKeep POS Inc.'s cloud-based iPad POS solution to U.S. merchants through Global Payments' distribution network. "Tablet-based POS systems are revolutionizing the way merchants interact with their customers," said Sid Singh, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Integrated Solutions for Global. He added that the system presents an affordable option for SMBs.
Grand River flows with hybris
E-commerce developer Grand River Inc. partnered with commerce platform provider hybris to expand Grand River's e-commerce merchant offerings. The hybris platform's open standards development framework is designed to enable Grand River clients to synchronize commerce across multiple channels, brands, business models and geographic locations.
MCX taps FIS to power network
Merchant Customer Exchange, a consortium of major brand retailers, selected FIS to provide payment processing, routing and settlement for the joint venture's mobile-based transactions. MCX said FIS will integrate its technology with mobile wallet software under development for MCX by Gemalto.
Merchant Warehouse boosts RetailEdge
Merchant Warehouse formed a partnership with POS software developer RetailEdge to integrate Merchant Warehouse's Genius Customer Engagement Platform with RetailEdge's POS solution. According to RetailEdge, the Genius integration will enable the company to offer expanded payment acceptance capabilities to its customers. These include mobile payments, discounts, and coupon and loyalty programs.
ProfitStars aligns with Lendio
ProfitStars, a division of Jack Henry & Associates Inc., in collaboration with Lendio, will offer new loan options to SMBs. By connecting ProfitStars' BusinessManager accounts receivable financing solution with Lendio's LendingNetwork alternative financing referral program, the partners plan to reduce search and connection time for qualifying loan candidates.
TransFirst renews Texas banks
Payment processor TransFirst renewed agent bank merchant services agreements with two Texas banks, extending its contract with City Bank Texas through 2017 and with PlainsCapital Bank through 2018. TransFirst said it will continue offering bank customers payment processing services, including access to its Transaction Express online payment gateway and TransLink web-based reporting system and management tool.
Aimia adds Smart Button
Canada-based global loyalty program provider Aimia Inc. acquired U.S.-based loyalty technology firm Smart Button for approximately $18 million in cash. Aimia's aim is to strengthen its presence in the U.S. loyalty market, where Smart Button has a portfolio of U.S. retailers using its turnkey loyalty solution, the companies stated.
Vantiv to buy Element
Vantiv Inc. entered an agreement to acquire Element Payment Services Inc. The transaction is expected to close during the third quarter of 2013. According to Vantiv, the purchase represents an extension of the company's technology partner strategy to add new technological and sales channel capabilities to penetrate numerous high-growth vertical markets.
Davidson takes charge at MCX
The MCX Board of Managers named Dekkers L. Davidson its CEO. Davidson, most recently the Managing Director at Barclaycard US, has been a leader in the financial services and mobile industries for more than 25 years. He joins MCX at a time when the organization is rapidly progressing toward bringing its mobile payments solution to market, MCX stated.
Faro a fine fit for NBP
Diane Vogt Faro recently took the helm as President of National Benefit Programs. A former First Data executive, ETA President and W.net co-founder, Faro has been working with NBP for 18 months as both an investor and partner.
"I became excited about this program because it offers true value to the merchant," Faro said. "And it gives the ISO or processor a simple way to deliver these benefits while telling the merchant, 'here is something that will truly help your business, save you money and impact your bottom line.'"
Merchant Warehouse selects Harty
Merchant Warehouse chose Russell Harty to be its Senior Vice President, Key Accounts and Partner Channel. A 20-year payments industry veteran, Harty will focus on evaluating and adding new partners and expanding the footprint of Merchant Warehouse solutions, including the Genius Customer Engagement Platform, with partners, value-added resellers and key accounts.
Narlinger, Money move to Mercury
Mercury Payment Systems LLC tapped Brett Narlinger to lead its sales team. Most recently, he was Executive Vice President of Bank of America Merchant Services, a division he helped found. Previously, as a Senior Vice President at First Data he oversaw all enterprise and national portfolio accounts.
The company also selected Pattie Money as Senior Vice President of Human Resources. Money previously worked at Monotype Imaging Holdings Inc., where she helped lead the organization through high growth and a successful public offering.
- The National Retail Federation's 2013 Back-to-School Survey projected families with children in grades K-12 will spend a total of $26.7 billion on school apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics, averaging $634.78 per family, down from 2012's $688.62 per family.
- Data from Modern Tire Dealers released in 2013 showed the U.S. replacement tire market hit $37.8 billion in 2012 with 192.7 million such tires sold. Passenger car replacement tire sales, at $24.7 billion, eclipsed light truck tires' $5.1 billion.
- According to Packaged Facts' U.S. Pet Market Outlook 2013-2014, consumer spending in the U.S. pet market is expected to reach $62 billion in 2013, up 4.7 percent from 2012. Of that total, over $42 billion is projected to go toward veterinary services and pet food.
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