The American Express Co. bolstered its new merchant acquiring program, OptBlue, that allows acquirers to provide U.S. small merchants that accept AmEx cards at the POS with simplified statements, settlement processes and one contact for all the major card brands. Participants in the new program include First Data Corp., Vantiv Inc., Global Payments Inc., Heartland Payment Systems Inc., Worldpay Inc., TransFirst LLC and JetPay Corp.
Littleton, Colo.-headquartered card manufacturer CPI Card Group opened a second manufacturing facility in Littleton devoted to Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) card production. CPI said the new 50,000 square-foot facility, which has been certified by Visa Inc., MasterCard Worldwide and the American Express Co., will accommodate an increase in CPI's EMV manufacturing as the U.S. marketplace transitions to the chip card standard.
Contact center technology providers Noble Systems Corp. presented its Innovations Award to First Data and its subsidiary TeleCheck. Noble recognized First Data for its use of the Noble Enterprise platform that facilitates outbound customer communication programs.
Denver-based ISO GDpay upgraded its website to inform merchants that they could save at least 20 percent on business-to-business (B2B) processing fees. Many merchants that qualify for the lower B2B interchange rates are missing out on the discounted rates, according to GDpay.
Heartland Payment Systems Inc. unveiled its new brand identity. This includes a new corporate design and logo to reflect Heartland's expanding business solutions and principles of honesty and integrity, as well as new positioning to capture the processor's evolution from a small debit and credit card processor to a leading national business solutions provider, the company reported.
Atlanta-based prepaid card distributor InComm launched a mobile wallet platform designed to facilitate prepaid card payments in-store. The InComm Mobile Platform leverages near field communication (NFC) technology and its trusted service manager solution to enable mobile contactless in-store payments involving virtual gift cards and other types of digital prepaid cards.
Los Angeles-based marijuana dispensary payment processor MediSwipe Inc. changed its corporate name to Agritek Holdings Inc. "With multiple revenue streams in several different areas of the sector, we felt the name of 'Agritek Holdings' will more completely define and provide greater recognition of who we are within this industry," said Agritek Chief Executive Officer B. Michael Friedman.
At the CNP Expo held May 19 to 22, 2014, in Orlando, Fla., online payment firm Optimal Payments PLC won the Best Ecommerce Platform/Gateway – Customer Choice Award. Event organizers said a record number of both nominations and votes for Customer Choice nominees marked this year's CNP Awards.
The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) launched the PCI Awareness eLearning training program, a four-hour entry-level course to help businesses understand the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS). "We hope that through this initiative we can make [retailers] aware of some simple steps they can start with to help protect their customers' payment data and their business," said PCI SSC General Manager Bob Russo.
Vienna, Austria-based prepaid voucher provider paysafecard.com Wertkarten AG expanded its online my paysafecard program into Croatia. Paysafecard, which has offered its prepaid vouchers in Croatia since 2012, now offers online accounts that Croatians can access via user names and passwords.
Online payment solution provider PayStand was selected as a winner for the 2014 TiE50 Top Startups award. PayStand, based in Santa Cruz, Calif., was chosen from over 2,800 companies representing 27 countries.
POS Supply Solutions Inc. redesigned its website to improve functionality and incorporate new, user-friendly features. "The website was re-designed from the ground up with optimized customer experience at the center of each and every development decision," said Mark Fitzgerald, the company's Director of Marketing, Digital Commerce.
The Retail Industry Leaders Association launched the Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center (R-CISC). RILA said the R-CISC is an independent organization, with the centerpiece being the Retail Information Sharing and Analysis Center (Retail-ISAC). The R-CISC is designed to allow retailers to share cyber threat information. Nike Inc., Safeway Inc. and Target Corp. are among the companies taking part in the new organization.
Square Inc. introduced Square Feedback to turn digital receipts into customer feedback tools. "The receipt should be more than just a list of what a customer bought," said Gokul Rajaram, Seller Product Lead at Square. "Digital receipts are a natural platform for communication. We're designing them to add value to the customer experience and extend the interaction between the buyer and the seller."
San Francisco-based Swarm Solutions Inc. launched Swarm Portal, a foot traffic counter that incorporates Apple Inc.'s Bluetooth Low Energy-based iBeacon technology. The startup said Swarm Portal is an innovative way for small businesses to keep track of in-store performance metrics. The device relays foot traffic information wirelessly to merchants' smartphones and tablets.
Point-to-point encryption payment solutions firm TrustCommerce reported its validation as PCI DSS 3.0 compliant. By certifying with the newest version of the PCI DSS before the Jan. 1, 2015, deadline for compliance, TrustCommerce demonstrated its commitment to payment security and the protection of client data, said company CEO Rob Caulfield.
International online payment provider Wirecard AG recently showcased Wirecard ePOS. The Munich, Germany-based company said its online POS infrastructure allows for "customer controlled checkout," as in-store checkout will be virtualized on customers' mobile devices.
Biometric authentication company NXT-ID Inc. launched the Wocket in New York City on May 28, 2014. The Wocket is a next-generation "smart wallet" designed to replace all types of payment cards, as well as identity-related cards, such as medical and insurance cards, with no smartphone required.
According to an Intelling Smart Insights Report, mPOS expansion shakes the Point of Sales industry, mobile POS systems that combine smartphone convenience with bankcard acceptance at the POS are expected to climb to 52.1 million units shipped in 2018, overtaking traditional POS terminals in the installed base of POS terminals worldwide. At the same time, traditional POS terminal shipments are projected to shrink by 9.7 million units shipped in 2018.
Based on the annul Mobile Payments & Fraud Survey 2014 Report by Kount Inc., a study of nearly 2,000 retailers surveyed in 24 industry categories, 51 percent of respondents said the risk of mobile fraud has increased year-over-year.
This was also cited as the biggest obstacle to mobile adoption. Thirty-two percent affirmed that specific fraud tools are needed to secure this channel. Mobile money movement, travel and financial services were viewed as areas of highest risk.
In a white paper titled Unspooling the Payments Value Chain, The Members Group explores the disruptors reshaping how consumers expect to save, spend and earn money. "Individuals in high-value, influential groups like Gen Y, Hispanic and the underserved are looking for innovative ways to interact with their finances succinctly and conveniently," said report author Ryan Anderson, TMG Vice President of Product.
The Smart Payment Association released its annual review of the smart payment card market. It found that 450 million contactless cards were delivered by SPA members in 2013, twice the quantity shipped the previous year.
Now present in more than 30 countries, contactless card growth last year was highest in the Asia-Pacific region, at 193 percent, followed by Europe at 64 percent and the Americas at 45 percent.
An Aite Group LLC impact note titled Global Business-Initiated Payments: Volume and Trends scrutinizes evolving trends in business payment processing and identifies potential leaders in the arena. For the report, Aite spoke with 20 global payment technology providers, 10 corporate treasurers and other industry participants who shared global perspectives on this topic.
Alliance Data Systems Corp., through its Canadian coalition loyalty business LoyaltyOne Inc., signed a multiyear agreement with Moneris Solutions Corp., as a sponsor in LoyaltyOne's Air Miles Reward Program. As a national sponsor, Moneris plans to begin offering merchants in Canada Air Miles reward miles for newly acquired payment processing services.
BlueSnap Inc. teamed with Avalara to integrate its cloud-based AvaTax software for the benefit of global gateway merchants seeking compliance solutions for sales tax, value-added tax and other types of transaction taxes. "Calculating duty and sales tax is extremely complicated, and given the different compliance rules worldwide, many merchants constantly worry about meeting their tax obligations," said Jeff Coppolo, Head of Global Business Development at BlueSnap.
Clearent LLC partnered with online and mobile gifting service Yiftee to deliver eGifts as a complimentary service to merchants who enroll in the program via Clearent's channel partners. Recipients are notified by email, text message or Facebook post that a Yiftee gift has been sent, which can be redeemed as a MasterCard prepaid gift card at participating merchants.
GreenStar Payment Solutions recently launched as a joint venture between SinglePoint Inc., Advanced Content Services Inc. and GreenHouse Payment Solutions. Under the leadership of executives from all three enterprises, the new venture will provide the payment tools necessary for medical marijuana dispensaries to accept debit cards and other noncash payments.
Prepaid program provider InComm, in conjunction with financial institution Peoples Trust, launched a prepaid card for the Rogers Communications suretap wallet that allows users to reload funds for mobile payments across Canada. "Enabling Rogers as the first mobile provider in Canada to issue a MasterCard prepaid card via the suretap wallet is a major milestone for us," said John Pals, Chief Operating Officer at Peoples Card Services.
U.S.-based Jumio teamed with Sweden-based Safello AB to integrate Jumio's identity verification service for expediting the boarding of Safello's European customers in the cryptocurrency market, where the company reportedly supports a safe, secure method for buying, selling, storage and usage of bitcoins.
Merchant Warehouse partnered with iPad restaurant POS technology developer TouchBistro, whose app has been ranked as the top-grossing Apple App Store food and beverage app in 28 countries, the company stated. TouchBistro plans to integrate its app with Merchant Warehouse's Genius platform to bring EMV certified pay-at-table services to hospitality industry customers.
Scottsdale, Ariz.-based mobile commerce provider Spindle Inc. signed a distribution agreement with Las Vegas-based AllCom, a business communications services firm. Under the agreement AllCom will integrate Spindle's payment processing platform as a service to its business clients and Spindle plans to resell AllCom's Universal Office suite to its mobile commerce customers.
In addition, Spindle partnered with omni-channel POS provider iConnect LLC to deliver merchant aggregation and payment processing services to iConnect's U.S.-based merchants. "Our core onboarding and payment processing solutions dovetail perfectly with iConnect's rich cloud-based POS technologies," said Bill Clark, Spindle CEO.
Virtual Piggy Inc., known for its Oink digital wallet platform for families and teens, added Gorilla Group to its Channel Partner Program. As a channel partner, Gorilla plans to expand online commerce coverage to B2B and direct-to-consumer brands to include the youth market, especially among its online video game clients.
Moxie Software Inc. reported that it acquired technology from SimplyBox Inc., extending the ability for online enterprises to anticipate customer intent, connect with customers and engage them in real-time using the most appropriate communication channel. "The acquisition of the SimplyBox technology broadens Moxie's capabilities and will allow enterprises to engage customers as soon as they step through the 'online' door," said Rebecca Ward, Moxie President and CEO.
First Data Corp.'s board of directors named Joseph J. Plumeri its Vice Chairman. Plumeri has been on the First Data board since August 2013, as well as served as Senior Advisor to KKR Corp. since that time. He also serves as Senior Advisor to First Data Chairman and CEO Frank Bisignano, and as the Head of First Data's Client Delivery, Innovation and Marketing organization. He will continue in these roles.
In addition, First Data appointed Christopher Foskett as Head of Global, Strategic and National Accounts. He will be responsible for bringing strategic value, business partnership and new innovation to the firm's major financial institution, retail, government and business clients. Foskett most recently was Global Head of Sales for J.P. Morgan's Treasury Services business and Regional Executive of the Treasury Services business for North America.
Kelly Kay, who previously served as YapStone General Counsel and Head of Risk, is now the company's President and Chief Operating Officer. She will be responsible for overseeing the operational aspects of the company. Kay was also recently named one of the "Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business" by the San Francisco Business Times.
International Bancard welcomed Jerry Cibley as its Independent Sales Organization (ISO)/Agent Channel Director. His responsibilities include recruitment, on-boarding, coaching and management of all the company's ISOs and agents. Cibley has over 25 years of combined ISO, POS, sales and marketing experience. Most recently, he was Vice President at POS-itivity.
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