The ATM X-Games held during the ATM Industry Association U.S. Conference 2014 in Orlando, Fla., featured 12 contestants who showcased ATM product and service innovations. Contestants included ATMPartMart.com, ATM Smart, Diebold, Genmega, Kaba Access & Data Systems Americas, Nautilus Hyosung, Newtell Solutions, OptConnect, PAYe Network, Planet Payment and Shazam/Euronet.
BPC Banking Technologies reported that its new ATM offering, SmartATM, will dramatically reduce ATM network costs. "Operational costs are slashed by optimizing network monitoring encompassing cash load routes and frequency," the company stated. SmartATM reportedly thus saves clients $2,000 per ATM annually, which translates into $2 million in yearly savings for an ATM network of 1,000 machines.
In reaction to the rash of large data breaches affecting major retailers, the Electronic Transactions Association added a Data Breach Summit to the program for Transact 14, the ETA conference taking place April 8 to 10 in Las Vegas. The aim of the summit is to inform attendees on how to prevent future breaches and protect consumer data. "Industry innovators, security specialists and top federal regulators will bring attendees up to speed on how to avert risk, address breaches and meet the evolving regulatory landscape," the ETA said.
The Federal Reserve Bank said it received nearly 200 responses from payments industry businesses concerning its September 2013 white paper, Payment System Improvement – Public Consultation Paper, in which the agency laid out its "desired outcomes" for the U.S. payments system. The Fed expressed satisfaction with the number and diversity of responses.
"On behalf of the Reserve Banks, I would like to thank the commenters for preparing such thoughtful and insightful responses," said Sandra Pianalto, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and Chair of the Financial Services Policy Committee. "It's critical that all ideas and perspectives are considered as we collectively identify the most promising opportunities to advance the U.S. payment system."
More information about the Fed's efforts can be found at FedPaymentsImprovement.org.
Princeton, N.J.-based processor Heartland Payment Systems Inc. said its adjusted net income of $20.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2013, ending Dec. 31, 2013, amounted to 33 percent growth over the same period in 2012. Heartland's overall 2013 earnings were up 22 percent over the previous year. In its Small and Mid-Sized Enterprise segment, quarterly transaction processing volume reached $18.3 billion, up 4 percent from the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the processor.
National Benefit Programs, which partners with ISOs and payment processors to offer merchants discounts on business products and services, analyzed data from thousands of small business owners it served during 2013. NBP found that only 4.2 percent of merchants opted out of its program when a 30-day trial period was offered to them, and that 80 percent of merchants who opted in continued to participate, paying a monthly fee when the trial period was over.
The NFC Forum, a nonprofit trade association dedicated to advancement of near field communication (NFC) technology, signed a formal memorandum of understanding with the SD Association, a global association of technology companies charged with setting interoperable secure digital (SD) standards, to collaborate on educating constituents and building the framework for an NFC ecosystem among users of smartSD memory cards.
On Feb. 3, 2014, Troy Leach, Chief Technology Officer at the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC), testified at the Safeguarding Consumers' Financial Data hearing held before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on National Security and International Trade and Finance. Leach covered topics including data security best practices and regulations, and the migration of the U.S. payments ecosystem to the Europay/MasterCard/Visa chip card standard. "We welcomed this opportunity to talk about the work we are doing globally to create standards and resources that help businesses take a multilayered approach to securing their customers' card data," Leach said.
Electronic cash transaction network operator PayNearMe secured $20 million in financing mainly from GSV Capital. The PayNearMe service, which allows consumers to pay bills, rent, repay loans, buy tickets and make online purchases with cash, is available in over 17,000 retail locations, including 7-Eleven stores. PayNearMe said it has tripled its payment volume in the last year by expanding into rent, utility and auto lending payments.
The Retail Industry Leaders Association, which advocates for over 200 retailers, product manufacturers and service suppliers, submitted a letter for the record ahead of the subcommittee hearing titled Safeguarding Consumers' Financial Data. The letter stated that collaboration among retailers, banks and card networks is important to advance payment security and prevent future cyber attacks. "Retailers have long argued that the card technology in place today is antiquated and, because of that, criminals can use stolen consumer data to create counterfeit cards with stunning ease," wrote Bill Hughes, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at the RILA.
SegPay inked a deal with AAMPP Network to deliver a host of payment services to the social music network website, which connects artists, agents, managers, producers, promoters and fans in the independent music realm. "Customized payment pages, a simplified process and a global reach give me confidence that both my business and my customers are getting the best possible service through SegPay," said Garth Soshahi, AAMPP founder and Chief Executive Officer.
Payment gateway operator Shift4 Corp. celebrated its 20th year in the payments industry. Shift4 said its founders were running a successful accounting software business in the early 1990s when it accepted a challenge to integrate a credit card processing system into its accounting software. The company was also the first member organization of the PCI SSC. "We sent in our member dues before PCI even had a bank account set up to accept it," said Shift4 Chief Operating Officer Kathy Oder.
SinglePoint Inc. said it has developed a fully functional mobile payment system designed for the growing recreational and medical marijuana industry. The solution is called Mobile Cannabis Currency. SinglePoint is also exploring integrations for alternative payment methods, including prepaid cards, virtual wallets, as well as for virtual currencies like bitcoin.
The city of London's mass transportation authority, Transport for London (TfL), said bus riders will not be able to pay for bus fares with cash beginning in the summer of 2014. TfL noted that 99 percent of London bus riders already use Oyster prepaid cards, prepaid tickets, contactless payment cards or concessionary tickets to pay for fares. TfL also said it costs 24 million pounds sterling annually to accept cash on London buses. "[B]y removing this option we will generate significant savings which, like all of our income, will be reinvested in improvements to the transport network," the agency added.
Mercator Advisory Group's The Future Is Not in the Cards: Will "Wearable Payments" Replace Wallets? recounts how watches, wristbands, rings and other wearable products embedded with contactless chips are being used for payment in amusement parks, museums, schools and other environments. The report did not draw conclusions about the future of wearable devices in payments.
Research and Markets released Contactless Payments Market by Solutions & Services – Global Advancements, Market Forecasts and Analysis (2013-2018), which projected the global market for contactless payments will reach $9.88 billion in 2018, up from $4.32 billion in 2013. This represents a compound annual growth rate of 18 percent. The report contains an overview of product and service strategies, vertical markets and market landscape by region.
For Merchant Acquiring: Leading Practices in Retention Management, The Strawhecker Group surveyed a cross-section of merchant service providers (MSPs) who collectively represent $550 billion in bankcard sales and over 1 million merchants. The consultancy found 56 percent of MSP respondents have increased investment in practices to curtail merchant attrition, which has reportedly risen to 20 to 25 percent of existing portfolios.
EVO Payments International entered a global partnership agreement with ReD to deliver an integrated international payment fraud solution that leverages ReD's fraud expertise at all points in the payments value chain in combination with EVO's e-commerce services for global merchants, the companies stated.
First Data Corp. teamed with 1800Accountant to launch the 1800AccountantPayments automated business management system. "This partnership creates an SMB business-management system that integrates all forms of payment transactions directly into the bookkeeping software," said James Wilhelm, Vice President of Strategic Partner Development at First Data. "It also provides direct and seamless connectivity from the merchant to their 1800Accountant CPA."
Banking and payment technology provider FIS reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that identifies FIS as an official DHS cybersecurity research partner. Under the agreement, FIS will collaborate with DHS and the U.S. federal government to address and respond to cyber threats against the global financial industry and critical infrastructures, FIS reported.
Mobile POS device maker Infinite Peripherals Inc., in partnership with Voltage Security Inc., integrated the Voltage SecureData Payments system with its IPC Linea Pro 5 and Infinea Tab M series devices, providing clients enhanced protection against malware threats, the companies said.
Refundo, a financial services platform for tax professionals, teamed with Stripe to provide card payment acceptance through Refundo's online platform. "From security and compliance to transaction tracking and daily deposits to their bank accounts, Stripe handles the heavy lifting for busy tax offices," said John Collison, co-founder and President of Stripe.
A partnership between Vantiv Inc. and AT&T resulted in the joint release of two new products, the Vantiv Mobile Accept from AT&T mobile app and card reader, and the Vantiv Mobile Checkout from AT&T, a tablet and cloud-based payment solution with optional cash drawer, receipt printer, tablet stand and encrypted card reader, the companies reported.
Bottomline Technologies, a provider of cloud-based payment, invoice and banking services, reported that it purchased Rationalwave Analytics, which will add predictive analytics to Bottomline's global platform. The $8 million transaction included $1.2 million in cash and approximately 206,000 shares of Bottomline common stock.
London-based mobile payment provider Monitise PLC acquired Pozitron Yazilim A.S., a privately owned mobile technology company based in Istanbul, Turkey.
"It comes at a time when we are seeing increasing demand for interoperable Mobile Money services as payments become more digital by the day, not only in Turkey, Europe and the Middle East but also around the world," said Alastair Lukies, Monitise Group Chief Executive.
Open Mobile Media, organizer of The Open Mobile Summit events and an FC Business Intelligence subsidiary, acquired M for Mobile, a mobile-commerce focused event and content producer. "The acquisition of M for Mobile aligns with our goal to cultivate up-and-coming verticals in the mobile space," said Precksha Saksena-Sood, OMM General Manager.
Total System Services Inc. (TSYS) elected two new members to its board of directors: William M. Isaac, Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Financial Institutions for FTI Consulting and former Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.; and Connie D. McDaniel, former senior executive at The Coca-Cola Co. and Ernst & Young.
TSYS CEO Philip W. Tomlinson stated that Isaac and McDaniel "bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our company that will be extremely valuable as we continue to grow and expand our role in the ever-changing payments industry."
G2 Web Services appointed Ted Lasch as the company's Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Lasch has over 20 years' senior management experience in the electronic payments industry and in business development; he will be responsible for expanding G2's worldwide sales, marketing and client management teams. Directly prior to this appointment, he served as Vice President at TransFirst.
Bill Sobo is the new Chief Financial Officer at BlueSnap. Sobo’s background includes senior executive positions at high-growth companies that have undergone acquisitions and initial public offerings under his guidance, including Parexel, P&H Solutions Inc. and ACI Worldwide.
Sobo said that joining BlueSnap gives him "an opportunity to help them achieve the scale, efficiencies and financial infrastructure they need to continue on their growth trajectory."
FreedomPay added Brian Voigt to its executive team as Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships. In this role, he will be responsible for engaging, recruiting and establishing product-complementary and revenue-generating relationships with global partners.
Voigt, who has nearly 25 years' payments industry experience, has fostered relationships and innovations that have brought key partners and customers together. Most recently he served in strategic executive roles at Bank of America Merchant Services.
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