The Green Sheet Online Edition
January 12, 2015 • Issue 15:01:01
AmEx opens tech hub in Silicon Valley
American Express Co. recently opened a technology hub in Palo Alto, Calif., expanding its presence in the Silicon Valley. Chief Technology Officer Nik Sathe will oversee development of big data, cloud computing and digital commerce solutions at the new facility. The tech hub will also house American Express Ventures, a team tasked with investing in early-stage startup technology companies.
BlueSnap adds coupon, bank transfer APIs
Global payment gateway BlueSnap Inc. expanded its offerings adding coupon and bank transfer application program interfaces (APIs). The new APIs will allow merchants to manage their coupon libraries and shoppers to pay for online goods by transferring funds directly from their bank accounts. Using BlueSnap's portal, merchants can select among coupon types, validate coupon codes entered on shopping cart pages and apply discounts to cart totals, the company said.
CCBill builds online marketplace
Global e-commerce provider CCBill LLC launched Integration Partners, an area of its website dedicated to showcasing third-party software solutions and tools that serve merchant and affiliate businesses. Categories featured will include shopping cart, analytics, automated sales recovery, reputation management and payment services.
Clearent launches developer website
Clearent LLC launched the Clearent Developer Center, which will provide documentation and code samples to simplify integration of payments with other platforms. "Our complete end-to-end payment system gives developers the ability to go straight to the source for more flexible and competitive programs that will help make sure they're not leaving money on the table," Clearent stated, noting that the new solution also resolves costly middleware issues.
eGrove ups m-commerce ante
New Jersey-based software developer eGrove Systems launched Elite m-Commerce, an app that helps merchants transition from web- to mobile-based transactions. According to eGrove, the app enables merchants to create brand presence, manage inventory, issue push notifications, offer rewards, select payment options, synchronize with Magento and integrate with Google Analytics.
EU moves to cap interchange fees
On Dec. 17, 2014, Europe's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee and Council proposed a plan that would place a five-year cap on interchange fees, as well as limit cross-border debit card transactions to 0.2 percent and credit card transactions to 0.3 percent of the transaction value. Pending approval of European Union member states, the plan could be voted upon by Parliament in 2015.
Gravity CEO honored forstellar entrepreneurship
Gravity Payments Chief Executive Officer Dan Price was named the Entrepreneur of 2014 by Entrepreneur Magazine, besting a field of 10 finalists to take the top prize. When asked about how it felt to receive the award, Price expressed gratitude for the people who helped get him to this point. "I'm looking at this not as any kind of end result to celebrate, but more just a stepping stone to get to our ultimate goal, which is to level the playing field and make payments and financial services and business services fair for independent business owners,” he said in a statement emailed to GeekWire.
On Deck IPO
Online small business lending platform On Deck Capital Inc. priced its initial public offering of 10 million shares of common stock at $20 per share. The shares began trading on The New York Stock Exchange on Dec. 17, 2014, under the ticker symbol ONDK.
P97 raises $8 million in funding
P97 Networks Inc., developers of the cloud-based PetroZone mobile commerce and marketing platform for fuel merchants, closed $8 million in Series A funding led by the investment firm Emerald Technology Ventures. P97 plans to use the investment to accelerate product development, and further sales and marketing initiatives.
TouchSuite launches POS giveaway
Florida-based TouchSuite launched a holiday POS giveaway campaign that will award free Elite Restaurant POS systems to 300 restaurants who sign up with the company. Each Elite system features a touchscreen terminal, cash drawer, receipt printer, barcode scanner, keyboard and custom software. Winners will also receive free tech support for 90 days, the company noted.
USAePay enhances mobile app
Payment gateway service provider USAePay released Android app version 1.3.8 of its mobile payment app. New features include the ability to record transaction location data via geo-location technology, a one-time purchase option, and GPS and Bluetooth enabling settings.
Worldpay moves U.S. operations
Worldpay plans to move its U.S. office to a 130,000 square-foot facility in Atlanta's Midtown business district and add 600 jobs over the next four years. Worldpay received a $1.5 million City of Atlanta Economic Opportunity grant to help fund the relocation. "Atlanta is the epicenter of financial services technology with access to innovative talent, infrastructure and creative business which positions us best for continued growth," said Worldpay US CEO Tony Catalfano.
DCC coming to ATMs
According to an Elan Financial Services white paper, Dynamic Currency Conversion: An Untapped Source of ATM Income Potential, dynamic currency conversion (DCC) offers tremendous potential for ATM operators to generate revenue from foreign exchange conversions and expand existing acquiring platforms by incorporating DCC as a value-added service.
Mobile's gradual ascent
ABI Research predicted the total value of transactions via mobile handsets and tablets will reach $1.8 trillion in 2014. However, adoption lags behind device availability as security continues to concern mobile device users. ABI believes a layered approach integrating trusted execution environments, host card emulation and tokenization will be critical to enticing consumers and protecting payments at the cloud, app and hardware levels.
Operation Choke Point report update
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued a Dec. 8 report titled, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's (FDIC) Involvement in 'Operation Choke Point', which details the FDIC's close collaboration with the Department of Justice to "effectively target legal businesses the administration deemed morally objectionable." The operation targeted banks and third-party payment providers doing business with entities suspected of illegal activities, particularly those classified as "high risk" based on a list circulated by the FDIC.
The report alleges that the FDIC "explicitly intended its list of 'high-risk merchants' to influence banks' business decisions," the agency opposed payday lending and used its supervisory authority to prohibit the practice, and it equated legitimate and regulated business activities with patently illegal activities.
A Mercator Advisory Group report, Consumers and Prepaid: Rising Use, Especially by Mobile, found 56 percent of U.S. adults purchased prepaid cards in 2014, up 3 percent from a year ago. The two fastest growing card segments identified in the report were open-loop general purpose nonreloadable gift cards and general purpose reloadable cards. It also found demographics shifting to young adults, ages 18 to 34, where a majority are mobile-enabled prepaid users.
Timely EMV infographic
In advance of the estimated 600 million new Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) chip-enabled cards that will be circulated in the United States in 2015, the EMV Migration Forum released an infographic titled EMV Chip Cards: The Future of Payments. The infographic answers the why, when, how and what Americans should expect when EMV does reach crucial mass on U.S. soil.
Cinsay inks deal with Swiftpage
Cinsay inked a distribution agreement with Swiftpage to feature Cinsay's video technology packages in its Act! Marketplace. "To be showcased in Swiftpage's Marketplace as a preferred business solution, we'll be able to help their small and medium size businesses increase their visibility, get more leads, and make more online sales through the power of video," said Christian Briggs, Cinsay founder and CEO.
CyberSource, Chargeback.com partner
CyberSource, a wholly owned subsidiary of Visa Inc., selected Chargeback.com as its strategic chargeback services partner for merchant clients. "We were impressed with the quality and performance of Chargeback.com and believed they would be the best company to partner with to deliver outstanding value to our clients," said Jeff Burke, Senior Vice President Business Development for Visa.
Elavon extends Union Bank alliance
Elavon Inc. extended a multiyear alliance with Union Bank that included expanded geographic coverage and availability of payment consultants across UB's branch network. "By combining our banking expertise with Elavon's premier payment-processing network, our customers have a one-stop solution for all of their banking and payment-processing needs," said Brian Milton, Managing Director of Retail Home Equity, Credit Card and Merchant Services for Union Bank.
First Data, VeriFone team on security
First Data Corp. now offers VeriFone Inc.'s Secure Commerce Architecture solution to U.S. merchant clients who use VeriFone POS equipment. "First Data's support of SCA is a significant step in easing the burden on merchants of data breaches, and the related complexity from EMV acceptance in the U.S.," said Paul Galant, CEO of VeriFone. "This partnership will enable First Data merchants in the U.S. that use VeriFone terminals to experience the benefit of an integrated POS, while enhancing the safety and soundness of the payments industry."
Merchants' Choice, CardFlight mobilize
Merchants' Choice Payment Solutions teamed with CardFlight Inc. to create a branded mobile POS solution for merchants through its sponsor bank's network of retail branches. The CardFlight SwipeSimple platform package includes an encrypted mobile reader, payment acceptance apps, real-time reporting, merchant dashboard, and reseller portal, all of which will be marketed by MCPS under the Cell It Plus branded mobile app.
PowaTag powers virtual stores
Holiday shoppers purchased from New York's 2(X)IST menswear brand in PowaTag-outfitted taxis and virtual stores at key locations. "By enabling travelers to instantly, effortlessly complete transactions by simply holding up their phone and tapping, PowaTag is empowering 2(X)IST to turn impulse into action and reach a huge and currently untapped market, essentially opening Virtual Stores in some of the busiest parts of the city," said Dan Wagner, founder and CEO of PowaTag.
Priority, Bluefin P2PE joint venture
Priority Payment Systems teamed with Bluefin Payment Systems to deliver Bluefin's PCI-validated PayConex point-to-point encryption (P2PE) solution to Priority clients through Priority's current sales channels. Under the agreement, Bluefin will fulfill, manage and support P2PE customer orders placed with Priority.
ShopKeep gets boost from Ingenico
ShopKeep, a cloud-based iPad POS platform for small businesses, introduced an Apple Pay and chip card reader powered by Ingenico Mobile Solutions that connects Ingenico's mobile commerce platform with Shopkeep's register app via Bluetooth. ShopKeep said that for a limited time it will offer new customers a free reader upon signing a ShopKeep account.
Secure Bill Pay, Clearwave join at kiosk
Secure Bill Pay and self-service healthcare kiosk provider Clearwave collaborated on a kiosk that helps streamline the patient check-in process and extends payment services to include credit and debit card transactions. "With the increasing consumer financial responsibility in healthcare, this combined effort will result in improved and timelier payments from insurers and patients," the companies stated.
Virtual Piggy, Playerize game on
Virtual Piggy Inc., creator of parental-controlled Oink payment technology for the youth market, integrated its payment solution with the Playerize Inc. network. Playerize specializes in social and mobile gaming monetization and is connected to over 49,000 game publishers in 200 countries. "Oink is an innovative payment solution that provides tremendous opportunity for publishers to reach millennials and generation Z," said Playerize co-founder Lyal Avery.
Worldpay partners with Alpha, Avalara
Alpha Software Corp. integrated its Alpha Anywhere mobile and web app development tools with the Worldpay payment platform to accelerate creation of payment-enabled mobile business apps, the company said. "By partnering with Alpha, an application development market leader, together we can help enterprises expand their mobile apps ecosystem and simplify mobile payments," said Hunter Menton, Vice President, National Sales at Worldpay.
In a separate agreement, Worldpay and Avalara Inc. teamed to provide payment and tax compliance services to online businesses seeking global customers. Avalara offers cloud-based internationally compliant sales tax, VAT and transaction tax software solutions.
Avalara acquires VATLive.com
Avalara added VATLive.com's global online resource for tax news, insights and rate changes to its global sales tax compliance platform. "VATLive.com provides a wealth of daily information and expert insight on EU and global indirect tax schemes, helping multi-national businesses understand the complexities of cross-border trading," said Richard Asquith, Vice President of Global Tax Compliance at Avalara. Terms of the sale were not available.
Mozido prchases CorFire
Mozido Inc. acquired majority ownership in SK C&C USA, dba CorFire, the U.S.-based mobile commerce company previously owned by South Korean IT services firm SK C&C Co. Ltd. "CorFire has built a state-of-the-art technology platform for NFC-enabled payments, and this acquisition, in conjunction with our MoTEAF platform, makes Mozido the leader in NFC and cloud-based mobile payments," said Michael Liberty, founder and Chairman of Global Strategic Initiatives at Mozido.
Retail Success buys Boutique Window
Multichannel retail systems provider Retail Success LLC acquired Boutique Window, adding online and mobile marketing/social media management services to an existing platform of commerce and inventory management tools. The acquisition will enable Retail Success merchants to manage social media, email marketing and e-commerce in one platform, the company stated. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
SafeCharge secures CreditGuard
SafeCharge International Group Ltd., an online payments services, risk management and IT solutions provider, agreed to purchase CreditGuard Ltd. for an initial cash consideration of $8 million and deferred consideration capped at $0.4 million. CreditGuard has over 16 years’ experience developing Level 1 certified payment gateway and reconciliation technologies for small to enterprise-level businesses based in Israel and across the globe, the companies said.
Chargebacks911 has new COO
Global Risk Technologies named Monica Eaton-Cardone as COO of its Chargebacks911 division, which specializes in dispute mitigation and risk management services. While Eaton-Cardone has served in an executive leadership capacity since co-founding Chargebacks911 in 2010, the COO position formally acknowledges her oversight of the company’s business and IT operations, which have long been her area of expertise.
Franey joins AmeriMerchant
AmeriMerchant LLC, which has provided business loans and merchant cash advance solutions for businesses since 2002, hired William Franey as its Chief Financial Officer. Franey, a certified public accountant, brings more than 20 years of financial services industry experience to his new position. As the leader of the finance team at AmeriMerchant, he now plays a key role in long-range strategic planning and initiatives for the company.
Bigcommerce picks Fry
E-commerce platform Bigcommerce Pty. Ltd. selected Chris Fry, former head of engineering at Twitter and Salesforce.com, to join the company’s board of advisors. In this role, Fry will work closely with Bigcommerce's product and development teams to accelerate the company’s roadmap and mission to deliver high-impact, scalable ecommerce capabilities to businesses around the world.
Pedersen to ead Creditcall
Creditcall, an EMV migration solution provider, appointed Lars Dige Pedersen as its CEO and member of its board of directors to oversee global operations and continued growth in the United States. Pedersen replaced Peter Turner, who was Creditcall’s CEO since 2007 and steered the company through more than triple growth in size. Turner continues to provide leadership to the company as its President and board member. Pedersen will oversee enhanced efforts to strengthen the company’s role as a trusted, experienced EMV migration partner and conduit for secure card payments.
- Market research firm Packaged Facts estimated closet, garage and storage shed organization product sales will total about $9 billion in the United States in 2014.
- Persistence Market Research predicted breakfast cereal sales will reach $43.2 billion globally in 2019, increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 4.1 percent.
- According to eMarketer, retail sales worldwide were expected to reach $22.49 trillion in 2014 and could hit $28.30 trillion by 2018, an increase of 5.5 percent over the next four years.
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