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The Green Sheet Online Edition

December 08, 2014 • Issue 14:12:01

Industry Update

The Green Sheet, Inc.ANNOUNCEMENTS

AmEx pilots e-wallet with NBA team

American Express Co. piloted the Brooklyn eWallet in conjunction with the Brooklyn Nets professional basketball team. The digital payment solution, built on the AmEx Serve platform, enables mobile users to purchase food and beverages at Barclays Center sports and entertainment venues. "We are proud to become the first NBA arena to offer a mobile wallet program," said Brett Yormark, Chief Executive Officer of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center.

Avalara expands tax compliance

Avalara Inc. raised $100 million in funding from an affiliate of private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC that will be used to support its global growth initiatives. Through acquisition and partnerships, Avalara plans to extend its tax content, product and services offerings, customer base and cross-selling opportunities into new regions. Its business platform automates sales tax calculation in compliance with applicable regional sales and other taxes.

Campus cards on mobile track

Robert Huber, creator of the unpatented All-Campus Card in 1985, an early entrant that reshaped how academic, healthcare and corporate campuses deliver services and facilitated door access privileges, believes Apple's iPhone 6 could similarly transform campus transactions. Huber said he expects "to see a wave of institutions shifting their policies, operations and technologies to self-provided and self-managed credentials by the end of the decade."

Harbortouch takes tableside orders

Harbortouch Tableside, a new service from Harbortouch, allows restaurant servers to enter customer orders directly from the table via an Apple Inc. iPad. Orders are then relayed directly to the kitchen or bar. Harbortouch said the dedicated iPad app mirrors the interface of the actual POS software, and when integrated with POS systems it will automatically sync with the restaurant's existing menu.

MasterCard, Visa to scrap online passwords

MasterCard Worldwide outlined a plan it said could be the largest wholesale upgrade to online payment security. The new protocol, being developed with co-creator Visa Inc., could be adopted as early as next year. The card brands plan to gradually replace the 3D Secure protocol with the new authentication standard, making it possible for accountholders to identify themselves using one-time passwords or fingerprint biometrics in lieu of static passwords.

Net Element enhances Aptito platform

Miami-based Net Element Inc. upgraded its Aptito cloud-based POS system for the hospitality industry. The new version 2.0 has been optimized for Apple iOS 8.1 and includes additional features such as an offline mode, interactive ordering kiosk, digital menu module, tableside ordering capability, and business management and analytics tools.

NMA takes home four Stevie Awards

The National Merchants Association and three of its team members were recipients of four Stevie Awards for Women in Business presented in New York on Nov. 14, 2014. Individual NMA winners included Heather Peterson, CEO; Alexis King, Director of Sales Support; and Hortencia Saenz, Office Manager. In all, 22 nations and territories submitted nominations.

Pay with Drop beacon app unveiled

Pay with Drop, a newly launched beacon-driven mobile payment consumer app and POS solution, allows smartphone-equipped shoppers to order and pay for products within a 200-foot radius of participating store locations, then pick up merchandise and go. Company co-founder Chris McDaniel, formerly Chief Architect with Visa, said the app is suitable for indoor and outdoor venues, and it can be integrated with existing POS and e-commerce platforms.

Small Business Saturday Night a big hit

Nov. 29 marked the fifth anniversary for Small Business Saturday, and the debut of Small Business Saturday Night, with evening events hosted in Chicago's Wicker Park, New York's NoLita and San Francisco's Fillmore neighborhoods, and other small business hubs across America. Holiday shoppers flocked to local establishments in large numbers this year, according to AmEx, which created the one-day event to encourage shopper support of local businesses.

Square adds gift cards

Square added an integrated gift card program to its Register service. According to Square, businesses can now offer, redeem and track gift cards within Square Register. While the company said it does charge a per-card fee on cards ordered through its Square Dashboard, no other subscription, redemption or transaction fees are associated with the program.

TouchSuite releases Firefly app

Boca Raton, Fla.-based TouchSuite launched a mobile app for users of its Firefly POS system, which are primarily salon and spa owners. The app allows businesses to accept secure mobile payments; view, edit and book appointments; update client accounts; and upload images to Firefly's integrated social media suite for posting on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, according to TouchSuite.

TriSource division makes move

Bettendorf, Iowa-based TriSource Solutions LLC relocated its Illinois-based settlement and processing services office to new quarters in East Moline, Ill. "This move allows us to take advantage of a new city infrastructure which will provide us with a more consistent power supply along with a larger facility to accommodate our continued growth," said Deborah Brown, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at TriSource.

The Green Sheet, Inc.RESEARCH

ETA produces educational video

The Electronic Transactions Association produced and posted on its website a new video titled Life of a Payment, which gives an overview of what happens after a customer either clicks to pay onscreen or swipes a card at a local merchant. The educational piece illustrates that behind every electronic transaction lies a complex system that connects merchants and their customers in the transfer of money, which occurs about 100 billion times per year in the United States, the ETA said.

Consumers control omni-commerce

Many industry observers believe the consumer path to purchase begins today in the digital domain, making it difficult for merchants to analyze and influence purchase decisions. Retail Systems Research surveyed 97 retailers on their product planning and execution capabilities and shared their findings in a report titled Retailers Share Their Take on Omni-Channel's Impact on Assortment Planning. They determined that an entirely new strategy is needed, one that puts customer shopping behavior at the center of the planning process.

Spotting payment trendsetters

The Strawhecker Group published new research titled, Key Participants in the Payments Ecosystem: A guide to understanding third-party processors, acquirers, gateways, and new technology players. The report contains an overview of industry leaders in each of four stakeholder categories. It also contains a strategic analysis of what to expect from emerging technology players, along with charts and graphs to educate industry veterans and those new to payments.

Gift cards home for the holidays?

Mercator Advisory Group's annual holiday forecast, Happy Holidays for Gift Cards? Retailers Face Two Possible Gift Card Futures, lays out potential scenarios in the retail gift card segment. "The holiday season will be critical for closed-loop issuers," said Ben Jackson, Director of Mercator's Prepaid Advisory Service and report author. "Last year we saw a decline in gift card loads. What happens between now and the end of the year will determine the direction of the market."

Mobile technology benchmark

Vertical Systems Reseller's 2014 Mobile Technology Study delivers exclusive channel research for mobile solutions providers attempting to navigate this market. VSR surveyed value-added reseller solutions providers and independent software vendors to identify what the different mobile apps have to offer, including a section on in-demand apps. The report also covers end-user budgets, installation rates by form factor and operating system, and hot markets for growth.

The Green Sheet, Inc.PARTNERSHIPS

BlueSnap taps First Data

Global payment gateway BlueSnap Inc. selected First Data Corp. as its international payment technology partner for securing cross-border payments to a growing clientele of e-commerce merchants. BlueSnap currently supports shoppers in 180 countries with localization in 29 languages, 60 currencies and 110 payment types. With this partnership, $50 million in recent funding and employees positioned in global cities, BlueSnap plans to focus on further expansion.

CheapOair books Worldpay

CheapOair, an airline-focused, travel agency through which customers can book travel online with certified travel agents via mobile apps, selected Worldpay as its global gateway partner. CheopOair plans to use Worldpay's Bankout cross-border payment service to expand service to more than 45 countries. The company, which operates in North America, Europe and Asia, has more than 450 airline partners, and thousands of hotel and car agency affiliations worldwide.

FrontStream, MySalesPeep reach auto buyers

FrontStream Holdings LLC, in partnership with MySalesPeep Inc., launched an integrated sales solution for auto dealerships combining FrontStream's payments engine with MySalesPeep's social reach tools for an end-to-end consumer shopping experience. Potential car buyers may access consumer sentiments about a particular vehicle model online, read dealership and sales representative reviews, and connect with the appropriate party to complete an auto purchase.

Mocapay powers Merchant Link

Mocapay entered an agreement with Merchant Link to integrate its patented, tokenized mobile payment and marketing technology with Merchant Link's payment gateway and data security offerings. Under the agreement, Merchant Link merchants can now accept mobile transactions and interact with customers via a branded app that offers various payment, gift card redemption and loyalty program options to choose from.

Oberthur, Mobeewave weave NFC

Mobile digital security developer Oberthur Technologies and near field communication (NFC) mobile payment provider Mobeewave jointly released Flying mPOS, a technology that converts any device equipped with Oberthur's Pearl eSE technology into a secure mobile payment terminal. Through the partnership, both entities expect to continue to address the critical needs of key players in the NFC mobile sector, including device manufacturers, banks and merchants.

PAI serves tennis ace

Payment Alliance International became a strategic partner of the Tennis Industry Association, a nonprofit trade association whose mission is to promote the growth of tennis through the U.S. Tennis Association and other industry partners. As a preferred vendor, PAI will service the payment processing needs of the more than 700 member companies, organizations, tennis businesses and manufacturers that belong to the TIA.

Revel, Intuit co-launch iPad POS

San Francisco-based Revel Systems Inc. became a premier partner of Mountain View, Calif.-based Intuit Inc., creators of QuickBooks business software. The two jointly released an online iPad POS solution called QuickBooks Point of Sale powered by Revel Systems. The new system automatically syncs sales, payments, inventory, customer relationship management and payroll data to QuickBooks, giving merchants a 360-degree perspective on their business money flow.

TSYS, FICO team on analytics

Total System Services Inc. entered a software licensing agreement with FICO under which both collaborated to develop and release an analytics-powered, multichannel marketing product for financial institutions known as TSYS Targeted Messaging powered by FICO. Designed to enhance cardholder communications through timed, targeted campaigns, the new tool also represents the first product in a broader analytics suite that TSYS plans to launch in 2015.

TrustCommerce joins Allscripts in healthcare

A partnership between TrustCommerce and Allscripts makes it possible for healthcare providers to securely accept online payments through the Allscripts FollowMyHealth patient engagement platform. Within the newly integrated system, patients can monitor health care status, pay medical bills online, interact with medical staff, and schedule appointments with participating physicians and healthcare practitioners.

The Green Sheet, Inc.ACQUISITIONS

Accesso acquires VisionOne

London-based accesso Technology Group PLC acquired Fresno, Calif.-based VisionOne Worldwide Ltd., which added cloud-based ticketing options and clients to Technology Group's leisure industry and attractions software offerings. Before the acquisition, VisionOne's ShoWare cloud-based, software-as-a-service ticket sales solution was processing on average more than 19 million tickets annually for over 475 venues and leisure organizations in North and South America, the companies reported.

Heartland adds Xpient to food services

Heartland Payment Systems Inc. acquired Xpient Solutions, an enterprise-level POS software provider to the food service industry. Xpient stated it serves 11 of the top 25 quick-service and fast-casual restaurant brands and processes $15 billion annually at 25,000 locations. "Integrating Xpient into the Heartland organization allows us to bring the benefits of a sophisticated system for large operators to our small and mid-sized restaurant customers," said Robert O. Carr, Chairman and CEO of Heartland.

JetPay buys ACI Merchant Systems

JetPay Corp. purchased ACI Merchant Systems LLC. Combined the companies now represent $20 billion in annual processing for 140,000 U.S. businesses and financial institutions. "The financial institution delivery channel is one of the core strategic pillars of JetPay, and ACI will not only help us to expand our debit and credit card processing reach, but will also provide an excellent customer base and channel to offer our payroll and prepaid card services," said Bipin Shah, Chairman and CEO of JetPay.

Worldpay to acquire SecureNet

Worldpay inked a deal to acquire SecureNet Payment Systems, which is principally owned by Chicago-based private equity firm Sterling Partners. The companies stated that SecureNet brings to the table a network of over 100 referral and integrated partners, 17,000 merchant clients, and patents pending for a cloud-based platform that seamlessly integrates payment processing, inventory management and business analytics through its direct connection to the card brand networks.

The Green Sheet, Inc.APPOINTMENTS

Bell joins MeS

Merchant e-Solutions appointed payments industry veteran Tom Bell as its CEO. Bell is charged with accelerating the company's growth through platform and infrastructure development, new innovative product delivery, and strong sales and partnerships, backed by responsive customer care and financial rigor.

Bell was most recently a managing partner at Capellas Partners, a strategic advisory firm working with technology-driven companies. In the payments sphere, he served as CEO of Bank of America Merchant Services and as Executive Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at First Data Corp. Previously, he was a Managing Partner at Accenture, where he spearheaded the company's media and entertainment practice in North America.

SpringBIG springs for Brennen

Danamichele Brennan joined Loyalty and marketing program provider SpringBIG as its Chief Operating Officer. Brennan has a proven track record as an effective leader of marketing, technology, business development, product development, and business strategy and operations, SpringBIG stated. Most recently she was Executive Vice President, Strategy with Raiseworks, helping to shape the rapidly developing online lending space. Previously, Brennen was Vice President, Technology at QVC.

"With over 20 years of senior executive leadership experience, Danamichele is an exceptional addition to the SpringBig team," said SpringBIG CEO Jeffrey Harris. "We are on our way to an exciting future for the company and, most importantly, for our small business partners."

Daniels accepts ITS offer

ITS Equity Group LLC hired J. Larry Daniels as President of Eagle Processing Systems following its acquisition of Eagle in September 2014. Daniels is a 30-year veteran of the financial services, banking and merchant services industries, having served in executive management, sales and operations positions with several leading banks, processors and ISOs, ITS noted. Most recently he was President of The Brennes-Jones Group Inc., a Dallas based ISO.

About this appointment, ITS CEO John T. Black stated, "Having developed a close working relationship with Mr. Daniels over the past two years it was clear that his integrity and vision coupled with his extensive industry experience is the perfect complement to reinvigorate the Eagle brand and expand its markets in conjunction with the growth of ITS Equity Group." Payoneer picks de Courcy Patrick de Courcy, is the new Head of Asia Pacific at Payoneer Inc. Most recently the Chief Executive of Asia Pacific at SWIFT, where he worked in numerous positions over more than 20 years, de Courcy has extensive experience in the Asia Pacific region and expertise in global payments, business-to-business trade and global banking, Payoneer stated. In his new role, de Courcy, who is based in Hong Kong, leads business activities in Asia Pacific markets, collaborating with the Payoneer team globally. He intends to drive Payoneer's business in the region by establishing partnerships, developing and implementing new focused strategies, and building out the Payoneer team.

The Green Sheet, Inc.RETAIL BRIEFS

  • According to a recent National Retail Federation Gift Card Spending Survey, the average prepaid gift card buyer will spend $172.74 on holiday gift cards, up from $163.16 in 2013, for a grand total of $31.74 billion.
  • BMO Capital Markets predicted total U.S. retail toy sales will reach $22 billion in 2014, up 2 to 3 percent over last year, and the $85 billion global toy market is expected to jump 5 percent for the year.
  • A Cartera Commerce 2014 Consumer Spending and Deal-Seeking Behaviors survey found 62 percent of respondents expect to spend less that $499 online this holiday season and 52 percent will make online purchase decisions based on deals and discounts offered.
  • end of article

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