The Green Sheet Online Edition
April 13, 2015 • Issue 15:04:01
- An American Express Co. Spending & Saving Tracker estimates Americans will spend, on average, $4,100 for home improvement projects this year.
- According to the National Retail Federation's 2015 Easter Spending Survey, total spending for holiday candy, food, apparel and flowers was expected to reach $16.4 billion.
- Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau indicated an increase in year-over-year retail sales for the month of February 2015, which totaled $387.40 billion, up from $383.66 billion a year ago.
Capital Stack adopts new brand name
Merchant cash advance company Capital Stack reorganized under a single parent entity named eProdigy. It also integrated its direct funding, servicing and automated clearing house (ACH) products in one unified platform to provide end-to-end service to the alternative finance industry. David Rubin, founder and Chief Executive Officer of eProdigy, said, "By restructuring our companies under eProdigy, we aim to provide a complete range of products and services relevant to the merchant funding life cycle, while maintaining a strong system of checks and balances."
EMVCo and Visa begin education programs
EMVCo, the global technical body that manages the EMV (Europay, Mastercard, Visa) Specifications, launched a seminar program designed to educate and inform regional audiences on the EMV topics most relevant to them. Likewise, Visa began a 20-city EMV education tour to educate small businesses and consumers about payment card chip technology. Participants will see demonstrations, hear from payments industry experts and connect with merchants already using EMV chip technology.
Federal Reserve invites stakeholder participation
The Federal Reserve seeks participation in two task forces described in its recently published Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System paper. The Faster Payments Task Force and Secure Payments Task Force are open to all interested stakeholders with relevant payment knowledge and experience who can commit the required time and resources to these key initiatives. Registration information can be found at www.fedpaymentsimprovement.org.
Flint Mobile unveils App2App Connect
Flint Mobile introduced App2App Connect to enable developers to extend mobile apps to accept credit card payments on the spot and online without extra hardware. Designed for business applications that help small to midsize businesses manage clients, forms, jobs, appointments or sales orders from their smartphones, App2App Connect enables developers to embed a "Take Payment" button into an app with minimal coding.
FTC imposes judgment on CardFlex, speaks on security
The ISO CardFlex Inc. and its principals, Andrew Phillips and John Blaugrund, settled Federal Trade Commission charges that they illegally processed more than $26 million in unauthorized consumer charges on behalf of a company called I Works. "CardFlex helped scammers drain people's credit and debit accounts without their permission," said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "This case shows that facilitating fraud is a bad strategy for payment processors."
In addition to imposing a $3.3 million judgment, the stipulated court order settling the FTC's charges prohibits CardFlex, Phillips and Blaugrund from acting as a payment processor, ISO or sales agent on behalf of several categories of merchants and from assisting and facilitating clients' attempts to evade credit card risk-monitoring programs. Defendants must also adhere to stipulated screening and monitoring conditions.
In other news, the FTC provided feedback in testimony to Congress on proposed data security legislation pending before the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. In addition, the agency also formed the Office of Technology Research and Investigation, a successor to the bureau's Mobile Technology Unit, to expand the agency's technology expertise.
MAG addresses tokenization
The Merchant Advisory Group released a set of recommendations regarding the development of tokenization technology in the United States. Given the diverse nature of data points that can be incorporated into an effective tokenization solution, and the fact that tokenization will likely serve as a base for many mobile commerce security platforms, MAG member companies recommend standards be developed through an open and democratic standards process.
NRF speaks on cybersecurity
The National Retail Federation presented Congress solutions it believes will better protect consumers and help businesses prevent cyber-attacks and data breaches. NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations, David French, outlined six proposed solutions during his testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's Subcommittee on Information Technology.
NXT-ID deploys first Wockets
NXT-ID Inc. reported it shipped Wocket smart wallets to early adopter customers and is on track to fulfill all pre-orders in a matter of weeks. The company will also solicit immediate user feedback to ensure favorable early adopter experiences. Gino Pereira, NXT-ID CEO, said, "This shipment marks the introduction of a new era in smart, privacy-centric products and represents a major milestone in establishing Wocket as the smart wallet of the future."
OneView receives hybris top honor
OneView Commerce was selected as the hybris Independent Software Vendor Solution Partner of the Year. The award recognizes the strategic integration of OneView Commerce | Store with the hybris platform designed for seamless merging of digital and physical experiences for cross-channel shopping, including appointment scheduling, shared basket and endless aisle to serve the customer anywhere in a store.
Plaza Bank settles with DOJ
Plaza Bank stated it entered into an Operation Choke Point civil settlement with the United States Department of Justice, subject to court approval. The settlement concerned a single third-party payment processor, which the bank terminated in 2010 after it was recapitalized and a new management team was put into place. Under the settlement, the bank, without admitting liability, has agreed to pay $1.225 million to the United States and abide by certain conditions.
uQontrol introduces online chip and PIN
uQontrol launched Qkey, touting that it is the first chip and PIN product designed to secure online transactions and also create an intuitive online experience. Protected by multiple security layers and a dedicated secure browser, consumers can now shop online without typing in web addresses or passwords, filling out forms, or entering credit card numbers; effectively eliminating vulnerable points used by hackers to steal personal information, uQontrol stated.
CardHub reports on EMV migration
On the heels of high-profile data breaches at nationwide retailers, and in advance of the October 2015 liability deadline set by Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide, the credit card comparison website, CardHub, released its 2015 EMV Migration Report. The report analyzes the smart chip credit card plans, and the progress of the United States' 10 largest credit card issuers and 55 major retailers.
MarketsandMarkets studies mobile money market
According to a new market research report Mobile Money Market - Global Forecast to 2019, published by MarketsandMarkets, the mobile money market is expected to grow from $12.34 billion in 2014 to $78.02 billion by 2019, at a compound annual growth rate of 44.6 percent from 2014 to 2019. The comprehensive report includes 67 market data tables and 59 figures spread throughout 188 pages.
NACHA paper unites mobile, ACH
NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association's Payments Innovation Alliance released the white paper, Leveraging the Mobile Channel for ACH Payment Innovation. The paper asserts that the payments industry and its embrace of mobile stand at an important crossroad. It further explores the current landscape for mobile payments, analyzes the role of mobile in ACH transactions, and assesses the challenges and opportunities of using the mobile channel for ACH for merchants, billers, consumers, and corporations.
Phoenix Marketing on mP2P
Research from Phoenix Marketing International revealed details of a new consumer segment in the financial services marketplace: mP2P consumers. This group comprises avid users of mobile devices for financial services and payments, and encompasses over 15 million households in the United States. These consumers are 60 percent more likely to earn over $100,000 in annual household income, 50 percent more likely to have a bachelor's or advanced degree, and 300 percent more likely to be business owners.
Access Payments Systems becomes MyECheck reseller
MyECheck Inc. entered into a reseller agreement with payment solutions provider Access Payment Systems Inc. Under the terms of the agreement, Access Payment Systems will add MyECheck Services to its payment service offering and promote the sale of MyECheck services to Access Payment Systems customers, offering them electronic bank transfers that are reportedly faster, safer and lower cost than traditional ACH transfers.
Acumera links with ZipLine
Acumera Inc. and ZipLine co-launched the ZipLine Connection App as a part of Acumera's suite of Apps for Your Network services. The new app runs on Acumera's Merchant Gateway platform. Acumera customers benefit by offering ZipLine payment and loyalty services to their consumers with no additional hardware investment. ZipLine customers utilize Acumera's Merchant Gateway to connect to the ZipLine platform for conducting transactions and to upgrade services.
Bluefin teams with PCI University
Bluefin Payment Systems partnered with PCI University to provide an educational Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) compliance suite to Bluefin's U.S. and Canadian merchant base. PCI University specializes in breaking down the complexities of the PCI DSS, offering merchants an innovative tool to assess personal risk and establish an action plan to ensure future PCI compliance. Through the partnership, Bluefin will provide its merchants with online resources from PCI University.
Bluepoint expands services and footprint
Bluepoint Solutions and Ongoing Operations expanded their partnership to bring Ongoing Operations' Replicator data vaulting solution to Bluepoint's credit union customers. The companies said it is a fully managed data vaulting solution providing rapid recovery and testing of a credit union's non-core infrastructure. Bluepoint also teamed with Wescom Resources Group to bring Bluepoint's check capture and content management technology to WRG's credit union clients.
CCBill and DocuSign offer efficiency
CCBill LLC partnered with DocuSign Inc. to enable more efficient and smoother account changes for CCBill merchants. DocuSign noted that it helps organizations of every size, industry and geography transact business 100 percent digitally to eliminate the hassles, costs and lack of security inherent in paper-based processes. With DocuSign, CCBill merchants can quickly, easily and securely update contact information, payout method, ownership changes, account authorizations, and more, the companies said.
MCPS, Womply team up
Merchants' Choice Payment Solutions and Womply launched Foundry Business Insights for merchants to grow and protect their businesses. Foundry Business Insights helps merchants differentiate by simplifying, consolidating and presenting data merchants need to drive daily decisions. According to Merchants' Choice, the technology gives merchants a 360-degree view of business across revenue, online reputation, social media and other lines, enabling them to translate information into actionable business decisions.
Pay.on aligns with Planet Payment
Pay.on AG and Planet Payment Inc. partnered to enhance Planet Payment's service offering with Pay.on's gateway solutions. Planet Payment will leverage Pay.on's comprehensive payment technology to board merchants faster and expand payment solutions available to merchant clients, enabling growth into new markets. Planet Payment will also enhance its retail payment processing services with Pay.on's mobile POS, m-commerce and e-commerce solutions to offer merchants omni-channel payment processing.
ProfitStars adopts PayNearMe technology
The ProfitStars division of Jack Henry & Associates Inc. partnered with PayNearMe through its Enterprise Payment Solutions group. The companies noted that the integrated solution frees businesses and nonprofits from the encumbrances of accepting cash as payment while enabling consumers to visit local retailers to pay for online purchases, rent, utilities and more, using cash. During checkout, PayNearMe generates a payment code for each transaction, which can then be printed or accessed on a mobile device.
SCS starts four bank relationships
Security Card Services LLC entered into four new U.S. banking partnerships. According to SCS, it is a merchant services firm that supports nearly 2,500 bank locations, provides services for over 17,000 merchant locations, processes $3 billion in annual volume, and now supports four new bank partners with its acclaimed customer service. The new partners include Profinium Inc, First Fidelity Bank, Motor City Co-op Credit Union and The Jacksonville Bank.
Shopify and Xero unite
Shopify, a commerce platform for online and in-store sales, and Xero partnered to enable Shopify merchants to seamlessly track the impact of sales on their business financials. The union allows for seamless transfer of a Shopify merchant's e-commerce storefront, POS, and mobile transactions directly from Shopify to Xero, enabling real-time bank reconciliation and an accrual accounting view for the small business, the companies stated.
ClickPay and RE Lockbox Services blend
Property management payment company ClickPay, a division of NovelPay LLC, acquired RE Lockbox Services. ClickPay said this business union will further support its commitment to simplify and consolidate all payment methods into a single comprehensive solution for property managers. The acquisition will expand ClickPay's staff and resources to support anticipated rapid growth while continuing its focus on customer service, product innovation and technical support.
Optimal agrees to acquire Skrill
Optimal Payments Plc entered into an agreement to acquire Skrill Group from CVC Funds and other shareholders. The Skrill Group, a European digital payment business, reported it provides digital wallet solutions and online payment processing capabilities and is one of the largest prepaid online voucher providers in Europe with its paysafecard brand. The acquisition is subject to a number of conditions, including Optimal's shareholder and regulatory approvals.
Square purchases Kili Technology
Square Inc. acquired Kili Technology Corp., a company that has developed silicon, electronics and software to simplify and optimize payment processing. According to Square, the transaction includes development of an experienced and innovative technology team, which will work with Square's own innovators to deliver simple and affordable hardware that offers Square sellers a smarter and safer way to do business in the throes of the changing payments landscape. Kili's headquarters will become Square's second Canadian office location.
International Bancard welcomes Fields
Jessica Fields took on the role of Senior Vice President of Sales at International Bancard. According to International Bancard, Fields is a proven sales expert with 15 years' experience and will join the company's executive team at its corporate headquarters near Detroit. In her new role, Fields will oversee the company's entire sales channel, and will work with Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Joseph Valentic, and CEO, David Iafrate. All sales management and team members will report to Fields.
Hibbeler joins Optimal Payments
Optimal Payments reported it appointed Shane Hibbeler, a seasoned merchant services and financial services industry sales executive and manager, to the position of Vice President of Sales. In the newly created role, Hibbeler will lead the company's Netbanx independent contractor and direct sales channels. Together with his teams, he is charged with providing cutting-edge payment processing solutions that enable clients to grow domestically and internationally.
Infinite Peripherals signs on McCole
Payment industry veteran Tom McCole was welcomed by Infinite Peripherals Inc. to the newly created position of Mobile Commerce Strategy Director. McCole's goal is to create a new financial distribution channel, develop a new multiproduct sales model and lead a payment sales team to support payment-related enterprise opportunities. McCole previously served as Executive Director of Heartland Payment Systems Inc.'s Affiliates division, in Princeton, N.J.
ABC Financial selects Smith
Richard Smith accepted the role of Chief Technology Officer at ABC Financial Services, a provider of software and payment processing to the health and fitness industry. In this role, Smith is responsible for generating and coordinating a technology road map, and creation and delivery of mission-critical customer facing technology solutions for ABC customers. Smith has nearly 25 years of technology execution and leadership experience, most recently with De La Rue as its Head of Research and Development for the Solutions division.
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