ACI Worldwide stated it plans to invest millions of dollars into its ReD Shield product, a solution it deems central to its omni-payments offering for retailers. The funding is focused on accelerating associated product road maps, enhancing fraud and risk modeling capacity, increasing host scalability and performance, and increasing security resources.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. agreed to invest $590 million in Chinese smartphone manufacturer Meizu Technology Corp. Ltd. The investment makes Alibaba a minority shareholder in Meizu. The companies will work collaboratively to achieve greater integration between Meizu's hardware and Alibaba's mobile operating system and will also incorporate Alibaba's online marketplaces into Meizu's devices.
On the heels of a $50 million equity growth round of funding, BlueSnap Inc., a global payment gateway designed for e-commerce merchants, added 20 new e-commerce and payments industry veterans to its team. BlueSnap also plans to open an office branch in Chicago and hire another 20 employees to support the company's global growth and expansion efforts.
Choice Merchant Solutions formed Choice International, a division launched to help high-growth domestic businesses take advantage of affordable international e-commerce and payment processing benefits for competing globally. "Businesses already have to deal with taxes, shipping, and a dozen other expenses," said Choice International Executive Director David Haselkorn. "This is going to lower the cost of doing business overseas significantly."
ControlScan took steps to enhance its Security Awareness Training service. The company's merchant security education services have an expanded course catalog, tiered educational content, and a Learning Management System administrative panel with advanced tracking and reporting. The new features are focused on stimulating secure, compliant behavior at all levels within small to midsize businesses.
The Electronic Transactions Association will showcase new digital currency features, including the centerpiece World of Bitcoin exhibit, at the March 31 to April 2 Transact 15 event in San Francisco. This year, the ETA is also offering vendors and attendees BitPay-enabled payment acceptance for tradeshow exhibition and sponsorship, association membership and professional development programs.
The United Kingdom Information Commissioner's Office accepted First Data Corp.'s Processor Binding Corporate Rules (BCR) application, granting the company permission to manage customer data across borders. This is the second BCR awarded to First Data, underscoring the strength of the company's data privacy protection framework. BCRs are considered the platinum standard for compliance with the EU directive.
Gem recently developed custom hardware security modules (HSMs) in collaboration with payment security provider, Thales e-Security. These HSMs are the first to support bitcoin wallets and are now part of Gem's standard multisig wallet offering. The HSMs will protect military encryption keys and other mission critical secrets, preventing intruders from gaining access to, using or modifying sensitive private keys held within the cryptographic module.
Payments industry market research firm, Mercator Advisory Group changed the name of its International Payments Advisory Service to the Global Payments Advisory Service. The shift from "international" to "global" is intended to highlight Mercator's commitment to providing members of the service with a holistic overview of global payment markets, technologies, emerging players and regulations, the company said.
NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association completed the request for comment period on Feb. 6, 2015, moving a step closer to launching Same Day ACH. According to NACHA, Same Day ACH is an essential step to move payments faster through the automated clearing house (ACH), where ACH payments number in the millions each day. NACHA's Rules and Operations Committee plans to refine the Same Day ACH Rule based on comments before it goes to ballot in the second quarter of 2015.
Rock Ventures, Quicken Loans' parent company, created a new payment processor entity in mutual alliance with International Bancard Corp. The new processor, named Rock Processing, is headquartered in Detroit. The company processes all merchant business generated through the Quicken Loan family of companies and is poised to provide mainstream merchants with flexible, cost-effective credit card, debit card and automated clearing house services.
While the PCI Security Standards Council promised new point-to-point encryption (P2PE) security standards will simplify merchant compliance, Shift4 Corp. believes the standards are missing key elements for omnichannel merchants. In response, Shift4 developed a P2PE solution that enables omnichannel commerce, multiple POS systems and the use of various entry devices.
The Strawhecker Group advised Beekman Investment Partners II, LP in the recent recapitalization of Direct Connect Holdings LLC. TSG prepared documented valuation information for Beekman to support the recapitalization. The consulting firm also analyzed the market value of Direct Connect's assets, including future economic rights of existing merchant portfolios and prospective revenue generated from new merchants.
Payment consultancy, FIME, released the white paper, EMV Chip Migration for U.S. Merchant Community: Implementing Chip in the Complex U.S. Acceptance Environment to help merchants embrace new EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) regulations. "Introducing EMV chip payments in the U.S. is not a simple card technology change," said Xavier Giandominici, Director of FIME America. "It is a paradigm shift of the payments ecosystem, as chip introduces transaction, processing and system requirements that are fundamentally different from magnetic stripe."
Mercator Advisory Group's The 2015 Payments Outlook, written by the consultancy's head of research Ken Paterson, indicates 2015 will see three converging trends. Paterson expects U.S. EMV deployment, omnichannel activity and mobile payments to be coupled with ongoing security, regulatory and operations issues, marking 2015 as "a memorable year in the payments industry."
According to the Merchant Acquirers Committee's The Impact of Breaches: A Survey of MAC Members on the Realities of Data Breaches, merchant PCI compliance is lower than most stakeholders are willing to admit, and "the relatively low number of breaches and the small amount of fines assessed" provide acquirers and processors with "little incentive to quell breaches through proactive measures." Thus, they opt to either absorb losses or pass them on to merchants. "Acquirers should take a more active role by investing in technology that protects merchants while they process payment data," the report stated.
Research and Markets recently added the Cloud POS - Why The Time Might Be Right report to its offerings. The report indicates new iterations of systems and a rapidly changing retail landscape requiring the same data wherever a consumer wishes to shop are causing retailers to consider cloud-based POS applications. The report takes into account recent retailer and vendor mergers and the fact that more vendors are building proprietary POS products.
The Smart Payment Association's annual review of the card payment market indicates over 1.5 billion smart payment cards were shipped globally in 2014, with some 40 percent of these cards featuring contactless "tap and go" technology. According to the SPA, this marks evidence of a high-growth payment card market, and a significant 35 percent jump in contactless payment card shipments over 2013.
B2 Payment Solutions Inc., and its U.S. reseller, TranSEND IT Inc., were named Total System Services Inc. top picks to provide EMV and contactless and certification test tools, and consulting services to support TSYS and its acquiring clients, VARs and merchants as the United States migrates to EMV. B2 distributes and supports the Collis line of payment test tools, including the Collis Merchant Test Suite, in the North American market.
To leverage the rapidly growing Hong Kong mobile commerce market, Boku partnered with the Hong Kong-based mobile operator, 3 Hong Kong, to provide 3 Hong Kong subscribers the ability to make purchases on mobile devices using mobile phone numbers. Users choose the items they want to purchase and enter their mobile numbers at checkout. They confirm purchases via text and items are billed to user mobile accounts.
Clearant LLC is now partnering with MicroSale to integrate credit processing into the MicroSale POS Systems restaurant software solution. With Clearant, MicroSale dealers can use Clearent as their integrated payment processor and eliminate the middleman. Clearant stated it enables the MicroSale solution to connect directly to the card companies and also offers MicroSale dealers a number of other benefits which are typically not available through larger legacy payment processors.
EasyWay Ordering and POS on Cloud entered into an agreement to integrate the POS on Cloud POS solution with the EasyWay online ordering system to create an easy-to-support cloud solution. The technology is designed to enable merchants to receive orders placed online, or via mobile or text messages, and instantly transmit them to the POS system securely, in real time and without expensive set-up or special network and firewall configurations.
EVO Payments International LLC and Lime Light CRM partnered to integrate Lime Light's CRM interface with the EVO Snap platform as a service to direct response merchants and service providers globally. The new program is available directly from Lime Light and through referral partners via the company's affiliate program.
First Data and Capgemini formed a global alliance to develop next-generation payment technology software. Capgemini will serve as a value-added reseller, payment processor and managed services provider for First Data in a number of global markets. Capgemini will also actively enable the development of innovative payments solutions leveraging VisionPLUS, AccessPLUS and other First Data and third-party solutions, the companies stated.
Fiserv Inc. will continue to serve Citizens Bank with multiple digital payment capabilities. The bank signed a seven-year extension to utilize Fiserv's CheckFree RXP, Popmoney, and TransferNow products. The partners said the agreement enables Citizens Bank to continue offering industry-leading electronic bill payment, person-to-person payment and account-to-account transfer functionalities to meet its retail and small business customer payment needs.
New license agreements now enable Genmega to run Triton Dynamic Language (TDL) on Hantle and Genmega ATMs. The companies reported that TDL allows ATMs to better meet the needs of ATM owners and customers, and provides processors with flexibility to run value-added features and transaction types on ATMs. Popular features of TDL include remote configuration changes, running custom applications on the ATM screen, and unique receipt and transaction flow/information.
Pivotal Payments forged a partnership with Tender Retail (a division of ACCEO Solutions Inc.), in the development of a new EMV-integrated payment service that adds simplicity and security to the retail and quick service restaurant industries, the partners noted. The solution will combine the features of Pivotal's FlexPoint EMV product and Tender Retail's EMV-certified MCM middleware product to offer secure EMV integrated processing across North America.
RGS Limited LLC signed an affinity program agreement with the National ATM Council Inc. to provide NAC members with exclusive pricing on ATM Guard, an insurance product that covers NAC members for certain Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) defined data breach expenses and EMV cross-border Maestro liability chargebacks on ATMs. The RGS program is intended to provide valuable protection for retail ATM providers during this time of intensified cyber fraud and data breaches.
WeCareCard, an online fundraising platform to help individuals raise money for a variety of life-changing causes, teamed with I'm Sorry to Hear, to jointly promote awareness and offer online tools to pay for and raise funds for funeral expenses. Both companies aim to assist the needs of those left behind due to the death of a loved one, and it is their hope to better support the immediate financial needs of the family in the event of an unforeseen death.
Burroughs Inc. acquired Pendum LLC, a Chicago-based provider of ATM services and equipment for financial institutions and independent ATM deployers. The union provides for combined maintenance and transaction technology solutions. Alan Howard, President and CEO of Burroughs, stated, "The combination of the companies' resources along with their national and local presence will deliver a more comprehensive set of products and services to the ATM market."
MyECheck Inc., an Internet and mobile electronic check provider, signed an agreement to acquire 100 percent of the stock of Seergate, the developer of a comprehensive electronic payment software platform for banks. The Seergate system will be integrated with MyECheck payment systems adding new capabilities to MyECheck's payment platform. The acquisition also enables MyECheck to operate a closed-loop system independent of third-party software platforms, the companies said.
Visual product search platform, Slyce Inc., acquired mobile couponing company, SnipSnap App LLC. Slyce will begin integrating its technology into the SnipSnap patent-pending coupon app, to improve the speed and accuracy of its coupon's performance. The acquisition will also allow Slyce to combine SnipSnap technology with previously acquired Pounce technology to create an all-in-one mobile shopping solution.
John Barrett joined Nxgen as President of North American Sales. Barrett has over 20 years of sales and sales operations experience and an in-depth understanding of how to drive incremental revenue within sales, channel and customer organizations, Nxgen noted. He will be responsible for creating and implementing overall operations and sales strategies designed to help achieve the company's business objectives in the United States and Canada.
Former TransFirst Chief Financial Officer Mark Travis moved to an advisory role within the company, and Nancy Disman, was appointed the new CFO. Disman joined TransFirst in 2014 as Senior Vice President for Investor Relations, after serving as CFO and Chief Operating Officer for Cynergy Data Corp. Previously, she spent 11 years at First Data in various finance and operations leadership positions.
Credorax appointed Joshua R. Floum as Chairman of its Board of Directors. In this new role, Floum will leverage his 30 years of expertise and experience in financial services, payments, advanced technologies, governance and risk initiatives to further facilitate the company's growing role as a global merchant acquiring bank. Floum formerly served as the Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Visa.
Ron Hynes, former Executive Vice President of global prepaid solutions at MasterCard, was named by Mozido as its new President Global Markets. "The addition of Ron is a huge win for Mozido," said Michael Liberty, founder of Mozido and Chairman of the company's global strategic initiatives, "He was at the center of some of the world's largest financial inclusion programs around the world over the past few years at MasterCard, and we are excited to bring that expertise to the Mozido executive team."
PreCash Inc promoted Blair Jeffery to its COO. Jeffery, who now reports to PreCash CEO Steve Taylor, joined the company in 2010 and most recently served on the company's executive committee as Senior Vice President of Sales and Business Development. As COO, Jeffery will oversee the company's day-to-day operations; regulatory, legal and product management; and product marketing functions.
Prairie Cloudware named Doug Parr its new Chief Revenue Officer. In this capacity, Parr will be responsible for all activities that generate revenue, including sales, corporate development, marketing, and pricing. Parr brings more than 25 years of experience in financial services, payments and security to Prairie Cloudware, including time at ACI, S1 Corp. and Entersekt.
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