Merchants that accept American Express Co. cards were notified they can be part of a potential $75 million settlement of a class-action lawsuit brought against AmEx over alleged anti-trust violations. Merchants have until June 6, 2014, to object to the settlement. A Sept. 17, 2014, hearing in federal court will approve or reject the settlement. More details about the proposed settlement can be found at www.amexmerchantsettlement.com.
Blackhawk Network Inc., the Safeway Inc. subsidiary and prepaid card mall innovator, unveiled a new gift card reload platform that allows customers to use various services using their Reloadit packs. The new Reloadit platform offers a secure online service called the Reloadit Safe, which enables customers to digitally store their Reloadit packs, add money to multiple general-purpose reloadable (GPR) cards, schedule recurring loads onto GPR cards, and pay bills. "By using the Safe, consumers can pay many bills with their Reloadit Pack for only one purchase fee," Blackhawk said.
In March 2014, the Center for Financial Services Innovation issued its first Prepaid Industry Scorecard, which employs quantitative and qualitative analysis to generate scores that capture the quality of products in the prepaid card industry. The scorecard is based on CFSI's Compass Principles and assigns letter grades in three categories: standards, best practices and next-generation focus. In its most recent analysis, CFSI gave the industry an A- in the first category and a B and C- for the two others, respectively.
Open fare payment systems integrator Cubic Transportation Systems received a $7.5 million add-on contract with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to expand the Clipper card fare payment system to more than a dozen suburban transit agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area. Cubic said it will use the funds to enhance travel options for commuters in the region's East Bay and North Bay.
Global payment consultancy FIME launched a customized consulting offer to help U.S. payment card issuers and acquirers accelerate the adoption of secure Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) chip card payments. "Just as no two organizations are the same, no two EMV chip migrations will be the same," said Xavier Giandominici, Director of FIME America. "FIME customizes each migration package to fit the unique needs of the business with a common end goal – to provide all of the tools necessary to successfully introduce EMV chip payments, as well as the expertise to manage the new infrastructure in the future."
Fort Worth, Texas-based First American Payment Systems LP released the latest software update to its iPad-enabled software, 1stPayPOS. The ISO said 1stPayPOS Version 2.1.3 gives merchants the added ability of manually entering gift card numbers to assist in sales or returns using gift cards, or in the activation or reloading of gift cards.
Pizza chain operator Domino's Pizza integrated Google Wallet into its Android-enabled ordering app. Customers with Google Wallet accounts on their Android mobile devices can now pay for food and beverages at Domino's outlets via the app.
Harbortouch rolled out version 3.0 of Lighthouse, its cloud-based POS management and reporting portal. New features of Lighthouse 3.0 include the remote addition, subtraction and editing of menu items; remote access to real-time sales and reporting data; and the ability to manage reservations, order gift cards, and order receipt paper and other supplies.
Mobile payment firm Net Element Inc. received $11.2 million in funding from Cayman Invest SA. "Net Element has demonstrated the viability of its business model and the value-added nature of its disruptive technologies in the financial services technology sector," said Anvar Mametov, Managing Director at Cayman Invest. Net Element hopes to raise a total of $30 million by the end of 2014.
ATM network operator Payment Alliance International became a global sponsor of the ATM Industry Association. PAI is one of the largest ATM deployers in North America, with over 65,000 locations. "There's a growing interconnectedness around the globe, and ATMIA is providing the critical linkage and thought leadership today's ATM industry requires," said John J. Leehy III, President and Chief Executive Officer at PAI.
Payments industry media outlet PaymentsSource named Holli Targan and Donna Embry as two of the most influential women in the industry. Targan is a partner at the law firm of Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss P.C. Embry is Senior Vice President of Strategic Development at Payment Alliance International. The honorees were recognized at SourceMedia's 26th Annual Card Forum and Expo's Women in Payments Leadership Exchange on April 22, 2014, in Orlando, Fla.
Optimal Payments Plc expanded its business with casino-themed game provider Caesars International Entertainment Inc. with the integration of Optimal's Neteller service and Net+ Card stored-value program. "We are thrilled to offer Neteller in both New Jersey and Nevada effective immediately and anticipate this offering will be a popular choice for existing and new customers," said Marco Ceccarelli, CIE Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer.
Online payment gateway provider Payza released guidelines for e-commerce merchants to follow when searching for a gateway operator. A blog post titled Picking the Right Payment Gateway for Your Business stated the four main elements for merchants to consider are convenience, value, security and support.
Samsung Electronics Ltd. joined the FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance, an industry consortium working on online authentication standards. Samsung and PayPal Inc., a founding member of FIDO, deployed the FIDO Ready technology, which involves fingerprint-based authentication and is incorporated into Samsung's recently released Galaxy S5 smartphone.
Mobile POS provider ShopKeep POS raised $25 million in additional funding from Canaan Partners, Tribeca Venture Partners, TTV Capital and Contour Venture Partners. The company said it will use the funding "to help more brick-and-mortar small businesses ditch their cash registers."
Mobile commerce provider Spindle Inc. made available its Yowza!! POS. The new solution, a component of the Yowza!! Merchant suite of payment acceptance and service tools, is a cloud-based POS and retail management platform. Yowza!! POS can serve as a central management console for small, midsize, and larger merchants; it operates in both Android and iOS mobile environments, Spindle said.
San Francisco-based Square Inc. said it will open a New York office in summer 2014. The office will be located in the SoHo neighborhood and will allow Square to expand its New York team to more than 350 employees. Square has other offices in Atlanta; Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; and Tokyo and reportedly employs over 800 worldwide.
Columbus, Ohio-based payment firm 2Checkout reported closing on a $60 million investment round, led by Chicago Growth Partners and Trident Capital. "We welcome this strategic investment to enable us to scale quickly and dominate more international markets," said 2Checkout CEO Shawn Budde.
During the Transact 14: Powered by ETA conference held in April, CAN Capital Inc. conducted an on-site survey of payment professionals and found that 42 percent believe new payments technology is the trend to watch this year; 22 percent also felt technology posed the biggest threat to their business. Product integration and increased partnership activity were also identified as trends. Pricing pressure, at 29 percent, was considered the number one threat.
In a survey of 3,000 mobile app users by location-based shopping platform data aggregator Retale, 71 percent of respondents said they prefer not to be tracked in-store via their smartphones, 29 percent were fine with being monitored, and 56 percent would say no to push notifications while shopping, if offered. Retale said to reverse this trend, retailers will need to educate customers about the technology's positive aspects, including real-time discount offers and loyalty rewards.
In the final report of a four-part series on fraud titled, What Card Issuers Need to Know About Card-Not-Present Fraud: The rise of digital transaction fraud and how new technologies may help, The Members Group explores various methods for CNP-transaction authorization. Key areas covered include enrollment in online 3-D Secure protocol programs and how each can mitigate CNP fraud to reverse the tide on CNP fraud, which totaled $5.3 billion in losses reported in 2013.
"[T]he use of payment tokens, or tokenization as it's commonly called, offers the greatest potential to slow the growth of CNP fraud in the U.S.," the authors wrote. "That's because the process replaces all of that coveted card account data with a single, secure token."
An Aite Group LLC Impact Note, Prepaid Mania: A Merchant Affair, details merchant perceptions about prepaid marketing strategies and the trends that are most appealing. Asked which types of prepaid cards merchants currently offer or plan to offer in the future, 89 percent reported having third-party closed-loop prepaid cards, followed by prepaid debit and company branded closed-loop cards.
A GlobalPlatform Inc. recently released a white paper titled On-Chip Services: Seamlessly Performing Payment Transactions within the Existing Transportation Ticketing Infrastructure. It outlines how stakeholders within transportation ticketing networks can leverage payment solutions using contactless cards or near field communication-enabled handsets for on-card transactions, in which the transit app and payment app can both be downloaded and hosted on a single platform.
Total System Services Inc. surveyed 500 consumers to identify barriers to mobile wallet adoption and compiled its findings in a new report titled, What's Missing? Creating a Comprehensive Mobile Wallet Solution. "U.S. mobile wallet providers have struggled to win over consumers," said Chris Colson, Director of Innovation at TSYS. "With this study we looked to discover what will compel the U.S. market to enthusiastically adopt mobile wallet applications."
TSYS found that consumers are reluctant to adopt mobile wallets that cannot replace all contents inside the physical wallet, including driver's licenses. The paper also provides instructions for partnering with regulators to facilitate mobile wallet adoption.
eCard Transactions, a recovery solutions service for businesses with recurring transactions, teamed with payment technology firm Bluefin Payment Systems to bring Bluefin's PayConex P2PE solution to eCard's health, fitness and nonprofit clients. "We are dedicated to ensuring the safety of all our transactions, and PayConex P2PE encrypts cardholder data at the source, protecting our customers' systems and networks," said Craig Millius, CEO at eCard.
EVO Payments International GmbH, the European subsidiary of EVO Payments International, and web-based, omnichannel payment infrastructure systems operator PAY.ON, joined forces to build an interface for small and midsize businesses in Europe that wish to establish an online presence. The new interface will initially be available in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.
Merchant Warehouse and TabbedOut plan to co-market a new payment, mobile, digital marketing and loyalty program to U.S. businesses. The partnership coincides with the launch of TabbedOut's Periscope dashboard, which provides restaurant and bar owners with data on customers' purchasing behavior, preferences and perspectives.
Houston-based merchant services provider Orion Payment Systems selected Austin, Texas-based SecureNet Payment Systems as its technology partner for omnichannel commerce clients. Orion said it plans to use SecureNet's application programming interface to expedite merchant boarding and integration, and to further expand its enterprise-level payment offerings.
Cloud-based mobile engagement firm Scanbuy Inc., in partnership with mobile loyalty platform provider SessionM, has created a rewards program for ScanBuy's ScanLife app users. The program delivers mPoints through SessionM's platform each time an in-app activity, such as scanning a quick response code or product bar code, is completed at a participating retail establishment.
TransFirst LLC recently teamed with Client Resources Inc., a technology services and mobile app developer, to design and launch a small-business mobile POS solution for a global supplier of office products and services. The new mPOS system will be available through TransFirst's existing sales channels, including retail in-store and online.
A global partnership agreement between WorldPay and mobile business platform provider MPayMe Ltd. was established to jointly market a multichannel commerce platform for business clients. Through the partnership, WorldPay will integrate its payment gateway with MPayMe's ZNAP mobile app, giving users a choice of over 200 alternative payment options, in addition to traditional credit and debit card offerings, the companies stated.
MasterCard Worldwide entered an agreement to acquire Pinpoint Pty. Ltd. based in Sydney, Australia. Pinpoint has provided loyalty and rewards program services to financial institutions and merchants in the Asia-Pacific region since 1984. The acquisition is expected to close during the second quarter of 2014. MasterCard said it plans to add the rewards program to its existing suite of client offerings.
Worldpay Group acquired Cobre Bem Tecnologia, a provider of payment solutions in Latin America. With this transaction, Worldpay expects to strengthen its global reach, giving its customers access to a range of payment products in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Mexico. Floris de Kort, Managing Director of Worldpay's eCommerce division, said: "The acquisition of Cobre Bem underlines our commitment to offering our customers maximum global reach through a single technical connection."
JetPay Corp. hired Nancy Ann Barnhart as Chief Information Officer for its subsidiary JetPay Payment Services. Barnhart brings more than 20 years' experience in the payments industry to her new position, most recently at AmEx.
Bipin C. Shah, Chairman and CEO of JetPay Corp., said Barnhart is a true innovator. "With her expertise in strategic planning and team building, as well as her knowledge of programming, we expect JetPay's platform to continue to be one of the most responsive and versatile in the industry," he added.
EVO Payments international named Darren Wilson its President - International. Wilson is responsible for overseeing EVO's European businesses, supporting expansion into new geographies and introducing EVO's North American capabilities to Europe. Prior to joining EVO, Wilson served as Managing Director of Streamline, a WorldPay company.
EVO President Jeff Rosenblatt stated, "We look forward to working with him and leveraging his global expertise and connections to expand our presence and offerings to our existing and future clients in Europe."
Samir Zabaneh is the new Chief Financial Officer at Heartland Payment Systems Inc. He is responsible for providing overall strategic and operational direction of the company's finance department. Before joining Heartland, Zabaneh served as Chief Financial and Strategy Officer and Chief Operating Officer for Moneris Solutions Corp.
"Samir has proven his outstanding skills as a financial and business leader with many organizations, most recently in our industry," said Robert O. Carr, Chairman and CEO of Heartland. "We are confident that Samir's sound financial management skills will help drive Heartland's business growth and success in the coming years."
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