MasterCard Worldwide is set to invest over $20 million in cybersecurity-related technology enhancements to deliver greater peace of mind to cardholders, merchants and issuing banks. "While progress is being made with the move to EMV [Europay, MasterCard and Visa] and mobile payments, our continued investments reinforce the efforts we are taking to protect the payments system for cardholders, merchants and issuers," said Chris McWilton, President of MasterCard North American Markets.
MineralTree, an accounts payable and payment automation provider, closed an $11.1 million Series B investment round led by First Data Corp. Existing investors, .406 Ventures and Fidelity Growth Partners, also participated to push the company's total funding to $22.7 million. Funds will be used to accelerate product development and expand the company's direct sales organization.
Mobeewave, a provider of near field communication mobile payment acceptance services, secured $6.5 million in a Series A investment round led by SBT Venture Capital. The funding will fuel growth, support worldwide openings and fast-track product rollouts. "This new funding will encourage the development of our growing team while boosting the roll out of our various product maps," said Maxime de Nanclas, Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of Mobeewave.
NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association awarded 363 individuals the Accredited Automated Clearing House Professional (AAP) credential, to establish nearly 4,200 total AAP credentialed professionals. To earn the credential, individuals pass a comprehensive exam administered by NACHA. NACHA also developed a framework for establishing benchmarks in comparing the number of AAPs on an organization's staff to those from peer institutions.
Net Element Inc., a mobile payments and transactional services provider, was presented a silver award for its Aptito product in the 2014 Best in Biz Awards, which were judged by members of the press and industry analysts. Aptito was given the Most Innovative Product of the Year award in the small-to-medium business category. "We are honored that the innovation and functionality of Apito warranted such high recognition among hundreds of other nominees," said Net Element CEO Oleg Firer.
NXT-ID Inc., a biometric authentication company focused on mobile commerce, filed a provisional patent for a voice-directed payment system. With this patented payment method, accounts may be selected via voice recognition, and the interactive voice response payment account may only be accessed if both the speech (the word associated with the payment account) and the speaker (a biometric marker) are both recognized.
President Obama's February White House Cybersecurity Summit encouraged stakeholders throughout the country to collaborate and develop partnerships in the cybersecurity and consumer financial worlds. Stephen W. Orfei, PCI Security Standards Council General Manager, applauded the president's summit for its progress. "Today we saw an unprecedented gathering together of organizations like PCI and others in the data security world who are coming together to tackle this ever growing global threat," Orfei said.
Brian Caldarelli, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of credit union service organization PSCU, was named overall CFO of the Year by the Tampa Bay Business Journal. Caldarelli was selected for the award out of a group of CFO of the Year winners in six nonprofit and private company categories. He was also chosen CFO of the Year in the large private company category for firms with annual revenue of $50 million and higher.
In other company news, PSCU said Santa Rosa-based Redwood Credit Union and Alexandria, Va.-based State Department Federal Credit Union will now be offering Apple Pay to their members with Visa Inc. credit and debit cards.
Tom Gandre, Acting PSCU CEO, said, "From uploading card art and developing training programs, to testing and certification, PSCU's effort to deliver the new Apple Pay technology requires working closely with our partners to provide a smooth implementation and payment experience for members. Our objective is to give credit unions the edge in sustaining the member's payments relationship."
Mercury Payment Systems LLC and Element Payment Services Inc., both subsidiaries of Vantiv Inc., were named Best Channel Vendors by Business Solutions Magazine. This award recognizes companies for excellence as channel vendors based on results from a survey of value-added reseller subscribers to the magazine. The recognition marks the seventh consecutive win for Mercury and the sixth for Element.
Visa is expanding the use of Visa Token Service (VTS), a new security technology that replaces the traditional 16-digit Visa account number and other card data with a unique series of numbers to authorize payment. This move is designed to help prevent exposure of sensitive consumer account information in online and mobile payments. To date, over 500 financial institutions have begun implementing VTS, and the number is expected to expand in 2015.
Aite Group LLC, in its recent research report, EMVelocity: Outlook for POS Re-terminalization and Mobile Payments, indicated about 59 percent of U.S. POS locations will be chip-capable by the end of 2015. The report followed an in-depth study of the U.S. POS evolution and was based on interviews with merchants, acquirers, processors and other key players in the ecosystem.
A February 2015 report, The Future of Mobile Wallets Lies Beyond Payments, released by Forrester Research Inc., stated that mobile wallets are projected to become rich marketing platforms that will complement merchants' integrated apps. The report highlights early examples of mobile wallets and best practices that have been used to increase foot traffic and sales, as well as produce higher conversion rates.
Gemalto NV released the latest Breach Level Index findings, revealing that in 2014, more than 1,500 data breaches led to 1 billion data records being compromised. This data represents a 49 percent increase in data breaches, and a 78 percent increase in stolen or lost data records compared with 2013. The BLI is a global database of data breaches, which also provides a methodology to score breach severity and rank a breach against other publicly disclosed breaches.
According to a recent Nilson Report, U.S. card purchases hit $4.442 trillion in 2014, marking an 8.9 percent rise over purchases reported for 2013. Credit card outstandings for Visa, MasterCard, American Express Co. and Discover Financial Services reached $764.86 billion in 2014, up by $30.87 billion (or 4.2 percent) from the prior year. All major card brands reported growth in both credit and debit spending, with the highest increase reported through Visa-branded debit cards.
A National Retail Federation report projects online and other nonstore sales to grow 7 to 10 percent in 2015, outpacing the projection for overall growth in the retail industry. The report also noted several key e-commerce trends worth paying attention to, with the top five being enhanced user experiences, personalized shopping features, a mobile focus, using social media and accelerating delivery.
According to results of a recent PayPal Inc. survey conducted by Ipsos, mobile commerce is growing at nearly three times the rate of overall e-commerce. The research, which investigated the mobile shopping habits of more than 17,500 consumers in 22 countries, also revealed insights on mobile shopping behavior, barriers and growth markets. "We are on the cusp of the mobile-first era," said Anuj Nayar, Senior Director of Global Initiatives for PayPal.
According to the 2015 State of Retailing Online survey from Shop.org and Forrester Research Inc., mobile capability remains the top priority for retailers in 2015. This year's survey results indicate 58 percent of respondent retailers place mobile at the top of their lists, showing growth over last year's 53 percent. Results also showed that smartphone sales grew from 8 percent in 2013 to 12 percent in 2014, and tablet sales increased to 16 percent, over the 13 percent reported in 2013.
ARBA Retail Systems, a cafeteria POS and cashless payment provider for the food services industry, partnered with Touch Dynamic, a manufacturer of all-in-one POS systems. ARBA's software is now bundled with Touch Dynamic's Quest 7-inch and 10-inch Windows-based tablets, creating a mobile POS solution that enhances customer service and opens new revenue opportunities for corporate dining, hospital cafeteria and student dining operations, the companies said.
Benchmark Merchant Solutions LLC is participating in OptBlue, a new merchant acquiring program from AmEx. OptBlue allows BMS to offer merchants the benefit of a single statement, one contact for all major card brands, and AmEx merchant pricing. "The program will help deliver a smart and easy solution for merchants to accept all major credit cards without going through multiple vendors," stated Benny Silberstein, COO of BMS.
In partnership, Bluefin Payment Systems and Heartland Payment Systems Inc. will provide clients with Bluefin's Decryptx Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS)-validated P2PE solution. The joint point-to-point encryption (P2PE) solution secures card transactions by encrypting data within a PCI-approved point of entry swipe or keypad device, preventing clear-text cardholder data from being available in the device or the merchant's system.
ControlScan launched a partnership with Merchant e-Solutions (MeS). MeS chose ControlScan in November 2014 to implement a security and compliance program for merchants, and today more than 30,000 of the small to midsize businesses MeS services have access to signature support as well as a host of cloud-based solutions for securing sensitive customer information and simplifying the PCI-compliance process, the companies noted.
Electronic Payments Inc. released its Datacap EPI Tran and ePay software solutions for POS and software resellers at no cost when bundled with the company's payment processing. The agreement enables Electronic Payments' partners to build relationships with POS dealers and software resellers, who in turn, can access the company's customized payment and POS solutions.
Enacomm Inc., a provider of intelligent customer interactions technology, will host a self-service solution for PayForward LLC, utilizing the PayForward prepaid Visa debit card. PayForward's social financial platform will utilize Enacomm's advanced analytics and IVR technology to enhance customer interactions and the process of turning corporate rebates into community resources for schools, teams, nonprofits and personal causes.
Fortis and Vericle Inc. are offering a PCI-compliant, integrated payment, electronic health record, and practice management platform to help independent practice owners improve patient experiences and better compete. "Our integrated online credit card payment service helps practice owners manage their offices more efficiently, improving their bottom line and their chances to survive as independent healthcare practitioners," stated Timothy Nafso, Executive Vice President at Fortis.
TransFirst LLC formed a strategic alliance with online medical billing and practice management provider CollaborateMD to help users accelerate the claim adjudication process and accounts receivable. Under the agreement, CollaborateMD will integrate TransFirst's payment processing services into its practice management and medical billing software to provide specialized processing for healthcare organizations.
TrustCommerce and EDC Corp. partnered to enable secure payment processing through the AIMS Parking Management Software. The AIMS platform provides the tools necessary to manage parking enforcement from multiple channels and integrate with other enterprise systems. "EDC is excited to be adding integrated and secure credit card payment options from TrustCommerce," said Chris Genung, Vice President of EDC.
Universal Air Travel Plan Inc. teamed with Bitnet Technologies to enable UATP's network of more than 260 airlines to accept bitcoin payments in a simplified manner. "Bitnet and UATP share the same mission of lowering transaction costs and fraud risk for their clients," said Akif Khan, Vice President of Solutions Strategy at Bitnet. "Our partnership will make it easier for UATP's member airlines to accept payments in bitcoin via a lightweight integration."
ArbiterSports is acquiring PayOGFE Inc., a provider of payments for game officials and staff workers in collegiate conferences. The acquisition enables collegiate administrators to pay independent contractors working at sporting events electronically. "This acquisition is indicative of our mission to dramatically streamline and simplify all aspects of athletic event management, including payment processing," said Jeff Triplette, ArbiterSports President and CEO.
Heartland acquired Dinerware Inc. and pcAmerica, two POS companies with solutions covering various hospitality and retail segments. The trio's solutions are being combined to create Heartland Commerce. The newly established Heartland business segment will deliver POS solutions, payments processing capabilities and other adjacent business service applications initially to the hospitality and retail industries.
Mozido, a cloud-platform mobile payments and retail engagement provider, recently introduced its products to China through PayEase Corp. Mozido acquired PayEase, a Delaware technology and payments company, previously owned in part by CapInfo Co. Ltd. Mozido also gained a cross-border payment gateway to make mobile payment processing possible for merchants looking to expand business into China.
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is acquiring wallet solution maker, LoopPay Inc.. The LoopPay contactless payment solution uses patented magnetic secure transmission technology. It will be paired with Samsung's mobile technology, global presence and distribution capabilities to help drive digital smart wallets. The acquisition is expected to strengthen Samsung efforts to provide seamless, safe and reliable mobile wallet solutions.
The EMV Migration Forum expects U.S. chip cards issued to reach 600 million by the end of 2015. Along with continuing to advance the progress of EMV migration, and cross-industry cooperation and coordination for stakeholders, the forum has appointed its 2015 to 2016 Forum Steering Committee and officers. The Steering Committee manages the Forum, guides the priorities and plans of the organization, and leads its working committees.
Spindle Inc. recently promoted Lynn Kitzmann as its Chief Financial Officer. Kitzmann joined Spindle in 2014 as controller after holding several accounting and financial management positions for both public and private companies in the Phoenix area. The company also named industry veterans, Brian Bates, Troy Wilkerson and Craig Shapero to its board of advisors.
Douglas Klotnia was appointed the new vPromos Inc. President. Klotnia, a veteran in the technology and payments industries, will report to vPromos founder and CEO Jeff Mankoff. Klotnia brings more than two decades of technology and payments business experience to vPromos, most recently serving as General Manager and Executive Vice President of Trustwave Holdings Inc.
Douglas McGann was promoted by UniRush LLC to the position of President. McGann had served as CFO of UniRush since joining the company in September 2012. The company believes this change will ensure UniRush is best positioned for growth as it continues to diversify into both the prepaid consumer and corporate verticals. "Doug is an outstanding executive and has had a material impact in evolving the RushCard business," said Rick Savard, CEO and Chairman of RushCard.
Wave Crest Group Ltd. recently named John Racine its Executive Chairman. Racine stepped in for the company's founder, B.D. Goel, who formerly led the company. Racine brings two decades of senior leadership in payments and financial companies. In addition to his duties as Executive Chairman, Racine also serves as an adviser and operating partner focused on payments and financial technology at Chicago-based private equity group Skyline Global Partners.
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