ABC Financial Services, an Arkansas-based ISO in the health and fitness industry, was awarded Vendor of the Year by the Gold's Gym Franchising Association. ABC Financial Vice President Sean Jameson accepted the award at the 2014 Power of One Gold's Gym International Convention held in July in Las Vegas.
Virtual gift card platform provider CashStar Inc. integrated its technology with Google Wallet so that the digital gift cards offered by retailers on CashStar's platform can be saved and redeemed via the mobile wallet. "With the rapid growth of omni-channel retail, digital gifting and smartphone adoption, CashStar's vision is not 'mobile first' but rather 'mobile everything,'" said Ben Kaplan, President and Chief Executive Officer at CashStar.
CorFire, the Atlanta-based mobile commerce business unit of SK C&C, reported its back-end technology is powering the mobile wallet of Germany-based telecommunications firm E-Plus. The wallet, called BASE wallet, enables near field communication (NFC)-based payments and coupon redemptions at merchants in Germany.
Paris-based POS manufacturer Ingenico Group SA said Latin America's largest payment provider, Cielo SA, honored Ingenico's operations in Brazil for its competitive attitude and commitment to sustainability. Ingenico has been supplying POS terminals to Cielo since 1995.
Mobile POS provider Lavu Inc. added delivery and routing functionality to its iPad POS product. The new services are designed to help delivery drivers estimate delivery times and find the most efficient delivery routes. "Lavu will consider the options for the sequence of deliveries and give you the best one," said Lavu Chief Technology Officer and co-founder Corey Fiala.
"So if Lavu finds that delivering order B before order A is the most efficient route, it will recommend this in the display."
Nextwave Software of Vancouver, B.C., Canada, filed a patent application for its instant messaging monetization technology designed to integrate advertisements more efficiently into digital messaging apps. The technology will be incorporated into Nextwave's Walkabout.im Smart Messaging Service, slated to launch in beta mode in the fall of 2014.
Los Angeles-based multicurrency processing specialist Payscout Inc. expanded into several U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands.
"Companies that choose not to expand may soon find their business operations at a stalemate," said Payscout CEO Cleveland Brown. "The industry of commerce – specifically e-commerce – is at a pivotal point right now. With sales multiplying as they are, we must respond to our consumers' needs and move with them, or declare ourselves idle."
The PCI Security Standards Council unveiled PCI Essentials on its website. The new addition is an interactive e-learning program designed to train employees on basic security practices for protecting payment and other sensitive data. The council noted that the latest version of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) places an increased emphasis on the importance of security awareness education as part of an organization's payment security efforts.
Germany-based POS system manufacturer Quorion Data Systems GmbH said it will enter the U.S. market, characterized as one of the last frontiers for the company. Quorion has a distribution network of over 70 countries, with the QTouch 8 and Android POS system as its signature product.
Mobile POS firm ShopKeep.com Inc. unveiled a new corporate identity, including a new logo, tagline and website design. The rebrand, which follows an upgrade of ShopKeep's product suite for bars and restaurants, as well as the addition of customizable e-mail receipt functionality, represents where the company has come from and "where we intend to go," said company founder and co-CEO Jason Richelson.
Mobile commerce solutions company Spindle Inc. was a recipient of the 2014 Customer Value Enhancement Award from market research firm Frost & Sullivan. Spindle said it won the award for its broad solutions portfolio enabling "merchants and consumers to engage, interact and transact through innovative mobile technology."
Square Inc. integrated IFTTT (If This Then That) technology to allow Square merchants to trigger automated processes. "[I]f a Square business makes a big sale then a congratulatory email could be sent to employees automatically via IFTTT," the company said. "Likewise, if a large refund occurs at a store, the manager can use IFTTT to set up a text alert to follow up with the customer."
IFTTT is a web service that enables users to connect different web applications, such as Facebook or Dropbox, through conditional, if-then statements.
International payments software firm Lusis Payments said a recent test of its Tango payments platform at HP headquarters in Palo, Alto, Calif., demonstrated the platform can process 2,500 transactions per second for 48 hours straight without failure. The company noted that Tango is designed for ATM, POS, Internet and mobile banking implementations.
At a July 22, 2014, reception in Washington, D.C., payment processor Total System Services Inc. (TSYS) received the 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility Leadership Award from the Financial Services Roundtable. TSYS, a member of FSR, was honored for its "commitment to volunteerism, community service and financial literacy," FSR said.
Visa Inc. launched Visa Digital Solutions, a suite of services designed to facilitate secure payments via mobile and wearable devices. The suite includes Wave-to-pay, Scan-to-pay and Click-to-pay solutions.
Payment optimizer Wallaby Financial Inc. rolled out the Wallaby App for Samsung Gear 2 wearable devices. Wallaby said its app is the first to provide real-time payments on the recently launched Samsung Gear 2, which is worn on consumers' wrists. Wallaby noted it has already launched applications for Google Glass and Pebble Technology Corp.'s smartwatch.
Sydney, Australia-based marketing and payments platform provider Warrior Forum rolled out Warrior Payments, a platform that integrates payment processing, online product delivery, analytics, affiliate marketing and distribution. Online services marketplace Freelancer.com acquired Warrior Forum in April 2014.
The final 2013 Federal Reserve Payments Study released in July 2014 offers updated data on domestic payments. According to the Fed, of the 776 million general purpose cards in force in 2012, 334 million were credit cards, 283 million were debit cards and 159 million were prepaid cards. The Fed also noted that in 2012 the number of online bill payments processed exceeded 3 billion, and mobile payments made using a mobile wallet application surpassed 250 million.
CreditCall published The Ultimate EMV Cheat Sheet: Everything ISVs, Integrators and VARs Need to Know About EMV Migration. It offers practical guidance to help merchants migrate to Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) technology in stores across the United States. The report includes case studies, a five-step EMV implementation program and what to look for. It is geared both for those developing an in-house EMV program or searching for a pre-certified EMV solution.
A Mercator Advisory Group report, Embracing a Digital Future: Three Case Studies in Prepaid Card Distribution, explores successful transitions from offline to digital channels made by three leaders in the prepaid card market: Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc.; epay, a division of Euronet Worldwide Inc.; and Incomm. These cases offer a road map traditional companies can follow to expand into the digital world.
With the rise in data breach, hacking attack and fraud activity, consumers are seeking allies in the fight against fraud, and that's where financial institutions (FIs) can step up. According to the Aite Group LLC report, Global Consumers: Concerned and Willing to Engage in the Battle Against Fraud, just 21 percent of U.S. consumers had received anti-fraud notification from their FIs by mail, 18 percent had received notice by email, and 11 percent had read about it on FI websites.
Calpian Commerce, the U.S. payment processing division of Calpian Inc., teamed with Yiftee to bring the eGift online and mobile gifting platform to Calpian's merchant partners as a way to augment traditional gift card sales. Calpian stated that with this platform, businesses and consumers can locate merchants, purchase gifts from an Internet-connected device and notify recipients to pick up gifts using a MasterCard-branded virtual gift voucher.
Endurance International Group entered a strategic alliance with Ecwid in which Endurance plans to offer Ecwid's e-commerce solution to its customers. "Ecwid will enable our customers, regardless of the tools they used to build their website, to monetize their presence with an online store quickly and easily," said Joel Rosen, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Product at Endurance.
First Data Corp. landed six partners for its PayLucky Solutions, an all-in-one payment system for the legal online and offline, gambling and gaming markets. Partners include Central Account Management Systems, a provider of Know Your Customer verification services; payment systems provider CrossPay Services; Fexco, a dynamic currency conversion provider; Global Cash Access, an online lottery program provider; NRT Technology Corp., a casino payment kiosk provider; and Secure Trading Inc., an Internet gambling service.
Forte Payment Systems partnered with Devnet to integrate its wEdge e-government solutions with Forte's online payment platform to enhance its online service to government customers. According to Forte, users are now able to browse for properties within a jurisdiction, add amounts owed to a shopping cart and make payments via Forte's integrated payments system.
Mobile authentication and payment software firm Mobile Lads Corp. inked a joint venture and reseller agreement with Smart Mobile Rewards, which provides customer loyalty and rewards programs to a network of retail and pharmacy locations throughout North America. Under the agreement, the companies will jointly develop authentication products to support more sophisticated, higher-value voucher and loyalty products.
PeerTransfer, an education payment provider, expanded its partnership with campus commerce services firm Nelnet Inc., adding real-time payment status updates and other value-added services to the platform. "Nelnet clients can now deploy peerTransfer's international payment solution in QuikPay and will soon be able to deploy the solution in Enterprise, Nelnet's next generation e-commerce payment platform," the companies stated.
ProPay, a TSYS company, teamed with ControlScan to enhance its PCI DSS compliance solution. "For years we've been helping our customers achieve compliance with our ProtectPay solution," said Greg Pesci, ProPay President. "Our partnership with ControlScan will provide additional tools that will simplify and guide our merchants through the compliance process so they can focus more energy on growing their business."
In a separate development ProPay and ThreatMetrix teamed to create the TSYS Guardian CyberShield, powered by ThreatMetrix. This advanced fraud prevention system is said to detect potential fraudsters by leveraging data analytics from the ThreatMetrix network.
Naples, Fla.-based ACI Worldwide Inc. entered an agreement to acquire Brookwood, England-based Retail Decisions (ReD), a firm that specializes in fraud prevention tools. The $205 million cash transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014. "ACI and ReD together have an unrivaled merchant retail solution – global, omni-channel with integrated fraud management built on Universal Payments technology," said Philip Heasley, ACI President and CEO.
Cardtronics Inc. entered a definitive agreement to purchase Welch ATM for $160 million. Upon completion of the transaction, the combined entity will support a global portfolio of 109,600 ATMs, including 92,500 retail ATMs in the United States, Cardtronics said.
Fort Worth, Texas-based First American Payment Systems entered a strategic agreement in which FAPS will be acquired by an investor group led by the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. Terms of the sale were not disclosed, but the transaction is expected to close in August. Under the agreement, members of FAPS' management team are expected to remain on board.
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