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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

June 08, 2015 • Issue 15:06:01

Industry Update

The Green Sheet, Inc.RETAIL BREIEFS

  • As retailers increasingly employ gamification to drive customer engagement, Texas-based GameStop Corp., which operates more than 6,600 stores in 14 countries, has elevated the concept. The retailer teamed with Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment and Google Maps to turn city streets into "monster tracking courses" as part of a video game launch. The first 100 shoppers to successfully complete the course scored $50 GameStop gift cards.
  • To increase its membership base in Canada, warehouse club retailer Costco Wholesale Corp. teamed with Buyapowa to launch a customer referral social media campaign. Costco members received $20 in Proctor & Gamble goods for each referred individual who became a member. Additional P&G prizes were awarded to participants referring the most people who actually joined the club.

The Green Sheet, Inc.ANNOUNCEMENTS

Blueport granted patent rights

Blueport Commerce received a patent for its cloud-based application, Store-Sync, which links big data for online and in-store shopping experiences. The Store-Sync shopping application drives incremental e-commerce and in-store sales by providing a seamless experience for shoppers who use both digital and traditional channels when shopping for big-ticket items, Blueport said.

Increasingly global CNP Expo honors BlueSnap

Global payment gateway BlueSnap Inc. received multiple honors at the CNP Expo in May 2015, an annual event focused on the card-not-present (CNP) realm. BlueSnap's Subscription Billing Program earned both the Judges Choice Award and the Customer Choice Award; its Alternative Payment Solution earned a Customer Choice Award. Ralph Dangelmaier, the company's Chief Executive Officer, said, "We're proud of our team members for all their creativity and innovation, and we are grateful to the merchants who trust BlueSnap."

In addition, for the first time in the CNP Expo's history, half the awards presented at its 2015 event went to companies based outside the United States. CardNotPresent.com CEO Steve Casco said, "As e-commerce and mobile payments continue to grow, retailers are reaching beyond their borders to find new markets more often."

BlueStar recognized for performance

BlueStar, a distributor of automated data collection, mobility, POS, radio frequency identification, digital signage and security technology solutions, received the 2014 North America Distributor Award of Excellence at the Zebra Technologies' Global Partner Summit. This annual honor recognizes one distributor in North America for outstanding performance.

Oxman speaks to Congress on security

Electronic Transactions Association CEO Jason Oxman testified before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee on the need for better payment security. Oxman outlined the payments industry's efforts to embrace multilayered security and adopt industry led, multistakeholder guidelines to keep data secure. He stressed the need for a uniform national standard for data breach notification and robust data protection standards for consumer information.

Fiserv honored by IDC MarketSpace

International Data Corp. named Fiserv Inc. a leader in both the IDC MarketScape: North American Mobile Banking Software Solutions Vendor Assessment (March 2015) and the IDC MarketScape: North American Mobile Banking Payments Software Vendor Assessment (April 2015). Fiserv was recognized for its range of implementations, focus on mobile payments and money movement platforms, and high overall satisfaction levels from references, according to IDC.

Payscape expands to Louisville

Payscape Advisors, a FinTech services provider, celebrated the grand opening of its newest office in the Louisville, Ky., area. Payscape said friends, family and business partners gathered to celebrate with a ribbon cutting, food, games and fireworks. The new district office will be led by Caleb Johnson, formerly from the company's Nashville office.

Procare backed by TA Associates

Private equity firm TA Associates completed a majority investment in Procare Software, a provider of software, hardware, data hosting and integrated payment processing to child care businesses and organizations. "TA has been actively seeking investments in the integrated payments space, and Procare is an exciting, high-growth leader in its market," said Todd R. Crockett, a Managing Director at TA Associates and newly appointed Procare Director.

Ripple raises $28 million

Ripple Labs reported it closed a $28 million Series A funding round that includes IDG Capital Partners and the venture arms of CME Group and Seagate Technology. Other new investors include Jerry Yang's AME Cloud Ventures, ChinaRock Capital Management, China Growth Capital and Wicklow Capital.

Square Capital attracts new investors

Square Inc. stated it procured outside investments to expand its small business financing program, Square Capital. The company secured funding through Square Capital's first investor, Victory Park Capital, which tripled its original investment, and through Colchis Capital. The funds will enable Square to advance hundreds of millions of dollars to an array of businesses, many of which have been neglected by traditional financial institutions, Square noted.

Honors given to TMG and TMGFS

Payment processor The Members Group and its sister company, TMG Financial Services, each received recognition from the Iowa Chapter of the American Marketing Association. Both companies earned multiple NOVA Awards for excellence in results-driven marketing campaigns. TMG and TMGFS celebrated before a record-setting crowd of area marketers and the CEO of the International American Marketing Association, TMG stated.

WePay secures $40 million

WePay, a provider of payments-as-a-service for online platforms and marketplaces, reported it raised $40 million in Series D financing to help it expand globally. According to WePay, it delivered a 123 percent increase in revenue in the first quarter of 2015, compared with the same period one year ago; it also ushered in a 159 percent increase in users paid through such platforms as GoFundMe, FreshBooks and Constant Contact.

The Green Sheet, Inc.RESEARCH

Auriemma bi-monthly report on Apple Pay

Auriemma Consulting Group's bi-monthly Apple Pay Tracker, which interviews a fresh sample of 500 iPhone 6 owners every eight weeks, reported the use of mobile payments is continuing to grow and broaden. Forty-six percent of iPhone 6 owners interviewed had successfully used Apple Pay, up from 42 percent just two months ago. The report also found respondents had high levels of repeat usage, with 63 percent reporting they used Apple Pay at least weekly.

BRP surveys merchants on CRM

Boston Retail Partners' 2015 CRM/Unified Commerce Survey of top North American retailers offers insights into retailers' initiatives, priorities and future trends relating to customer resource management practices, as well as to the industry's shift toward unified commerce. The survey measured identification, engagement, analysis and retention plans and found over 80 percent of respondents intend to use gamification to enhance customer experiences in the next five years.

CAN Capital surveys payment professionals

A new survey of payment and alternative finance professionals released by CAN Capital Inc., found the shift toward mobile payment technologies is expected to be the largest area for growth and disruption over the coming year. Conducted at the ETA's Transact 15 conference, held in San Francisco from March 30 to April 2, 2015, the survey revealed that 70 percent of respondents indicated mobile payments have shown the most growth among merchant-focused product offerings over the past twelve months.

Mid-tier web merchants rank high

According to Internet Retailer's just-released 2015 Second 500 Guide, mid-tier web merchants ranked 501 to 1,000, based on their 2014 online sales. For example, as a group, these e-retailers grew 2014 web sales by 14.4 percent to $6 billion, up from $5.3 billion in 2013. The report also includes data on web traffic, online conversion rates, shopper demographics, marketing statistics, e-commerce vendors used, and website features and functions.

Mercator reports on m-commerce, Apple Pay

Defining a Strategic Path for Banks Regarding EMV, Tokens, Apple Pay, and Mobile Apps, a new report from Mercator Advisory Group, presents research indicating most banks will adopt Apple Pay. It also forecasts mobile commerce dollar volume out to 2025 and identifies gaps Apple Pay adoption creates, including the lack of ATM support and the inability to enable payments using banks' existing mobile applications.

Timetric predicts mobile payments in U.S.

Despite changing regulations and growing competition, the adoption of mobile payments in the United States is expected to grow over the next five years, according to Timetric, a provider of online data, analysis and advisory services for the financial services sector. "For retailers, mobile payments will become a critical part of future strategy as the majority of them are implementing mobile payment technology in their stores," Timetric Analyst Kartik Challa said.

The Green Sheet, Inc.PARTNERSHIPS

Avalara, Epicor create mobile invoice app

Cloud-based software provider Avalara Inc. developed a mobile application that combines Epicor Mobile Field Service with Epicor Tax Connect to support more accurate and streamlined invoicing in the field. The mobile app – available for both Apple and Android devices – is among the first in the industry to automatically determine sales tax at the transaction location through geo–fencing technology, according to Avalara.

Avidia Bank chooses MyECheck mobile service

MyECheck Inc., maker of electronic check solutions for online and mobile payments, entered a partnership with Avidia Bank to provide banking services to MyECheck and its customers in support of MyECheck's new mobile commerce platform. The bank partnership enables MyECheck to immediately launch its mobile payment application and web services in conjunction with Avidia Bank account services, the companies said.

Bigcommerce and PayPal join online solutions

Bigcommerce teamed with Braintree and PayPal Inc. to offer an end-to-end e-commerce solution designed to make it easier to launch and grow an online store. As part of the collaboration, Bigcommerce merchants reportedly will have access to PayPal's One Touch for web and mobile, enabling shoppers to pay across more than 90,000 online stores in a single touch, without entering user IDs or passwords after their first login.

Boku teams with Optimal

Mobile payment company, Boku, paired its technology with the Optimal Payments Plc Neteller service. Neteller customers can now top-up their stored value accounts by charging the purchase amount for goods and services directly to their mobile phone bills. Boku's carrier billing top-up is available to any merchant using reloadable payment mechanisms to enable purchases through the Neteller service or Net+ Card stored value offering, Boku noted.

Early Warning, NCR create good funds network

Fraud prevention and risk management company Early Warning Services LLC selected NCR Corp.'s Authentic software to build a bank-to-bank good funds network supporting faster availability of funds. Authentic's payment authorization and transaction routing will be used by Early Warning's good funds network to facilitate communication among financial institutions, giving participating depositing banks real-time guarantees for check and automated clearing house transactions, according to the companies.

Electronic Payments, Select Bank & Trust team up

Electronic Payments Inc. and Select Bank & Trust reported they have joined forces to provide preeminent merchant services to the local business community. "This partnership will ultimately benefit both Select Bank and our clients," noted the bank's Merchant Services Manager, Robert Stanley. "In bringing merchant services in-house, we take a more personalized approach with our business customers and remain in control of the entire customer relationship."

Through this partnership, Select Bank & Trust will expand its merchant service offerings with a host of innovative products, feature-rich online reporting tools and EMV/NFC-capable equipment to support chip card technology and Apple Pay, the companies said. "A partnership of this scale is truly a win-win for all involved," added Michael Nardy, Electronic Payments founder and CEO.

Ingenico, DigitasLBi create plug-in

Ingenico Group's Ingenico Payment Services and DigitasLBi Commerce developed a hybris Extend plug-in module devised to deliver full payment system integration. Retailers with websites built on the hybris commerce platform will now be able to take advantage of the international and local payment methods offered by Ingenico, managing all transactions from within their hybris administration dashboard, Ingenico said.

Olo, LevelUp unveil restaurant solution

Digital ordering pioneer Olo and LevelUp, a mobile payment and rewards provider, launched a turnkey mobile commerce solution with built-in ordering, loyalty and payment features. According to the companies, the new branded app experience, made available for multilocation restaurants, removes the complexity of integrating solutions and brings together fast, fluid mobile ordering with customer offers and rewards. Consumers order and pay ahead, earn rewards or pay in-store using the new app, available for Apple iOS and Google Android devices.

Pivotal partners with Datacap

Pivotal Payments' FlexPoint division and Datacap Systems Inc. partnered to launch Pivotal's FlexPoint ePay and FlexPoint Tran services using Datacap's integrated payments middleware. The combined solutions provide FlexPoint's network of value added resellers and integrated software vendors with simple, affordable solutions for integrating payments at the POS and evolve their payment distribution strategies, the companies noted.

USAT expands cashless network with M&M

USA Technologies Inc., provider of wireless, cashless payment and mobile-to-mobile/Internet of Things solutions for small-ticket, self-serve retail enterprises, forged an exclusive agreement with the M&M Sales Co. to ensure all remaining M&M vending, self-service, single cup coffee, and rapidly growing micro-market locations not already using USAT's ePort Connect service will now be connected.

Xsolla and STFS support video gaming

Video games content sales and marketing solution provider, Xsolla Inc., partnered with Secure Trading Financial Services, a merchant acquirer experienced in the video gaming market. Xsolla said it selected STFS for its speed, security and reliability. Vladimir Karnishin, Head of Card Acquiring and Risk Management at Xsolla, said, "With Secure Trading Financial Services, Xsolla hopes to achieve quicker credit card acquiring."

Zoho and Forte enhance finance offerings

Zoho Corp. Pvt. Ltd., a provider of cloud-based business solutions, partnered with Forte Payment Systems to offer electronic payments through Zoho Finance apps. Zoho's accounting, invoice and subscriptions users can immediately accept card and e-check payments within the Zoho software. Zoho is now able to offer its customers the ability to accept ACH and e-check payments, as well as credit and debit card payments quickly, and with confidence, using Forte's robust processing services, Zoho said.

The Green Sheet, Inc.ACQUISITIONS

Bitcoin Shop, Spondoolies plan merge

Transaction verification company, Bitcoin Shop Inc., invested $1.5 million in Spondoolies-Tech Ltd., following a formal announcement by the two companies indicating their intentions to merge. The investment capital round serves as the first step of the planned merger. Together, the two companies will create the world's first publicly traded company to produce bitcoin transaction verification equipment and deploy bitcoin mining resources, according to the companies.

Factor4 acquires SparkBase

Factor4 LLC acquired the book of business containing over 11,000 gift and loyalty customers from SparkBase Inc. The acquisition also includes a license for SparkBase's proprietary gift card and loyalty program software platform designed for small business users. Jim Battista, Craig Davis, J.T. Dominick and Leo Welf formed Factor4; Dan Battista will serve as Factor4's President, responsible for day-to-day management of the company.

Optimal has FANS

Optimal Payments Plc acquired Montreal-based mobile platform developer FANS Entertainment Inc. for C$16 million (approx. US$13 million) in stock. "We have been looking for an acquisition to enhance mobile expertise such as the FANS Platform that complements our existing services for some time, and to find the ideal technology and team here on our doorstep in Montreal is fantastic," said Joel Leonoff, President and CEO, Optimal Payments.

The Green Sheet, Inc.APPOINTMENTS

Butler new exec at TMG

TMG added a new vice president and promoted two key employees. Robert Butler joined TMG from UMB Bank as Vice President of Business Process Improvement. In this role, he will ensure the company's operations align with TMG's brand promise and strategic objectives. TMG also promoted Brian Day to Director of Digital Payments Strategy and Corey Weeklund to Director of Technology Infrastructure.

Chargebacks911 appoints Derbyshire

Chargebacks911 appointed Bryan Derbyshire as its Chief Sales Officer to help grow the company's client portfolio. Derbyshire will be opening Chargebacks911's West Coast sales office to increase domestic sales and implement strategic expansion. Chief Operating Officer Monica Eaton-Cardone said, "We look forward to better serving future clients through the experience, enthusiasm and leadership skills Bryan brings to our company."

Fragomeni joins NowSecure

NowSecure, a provider of tools to improve the security of mobile devices and apps, added Paolo Fragomeni to its executive team as Vice President of Engineering. Fragomeni has been active in the open source and software development communities for over 15 years. Previously he held posts at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Nodejitsu, and Hereishowto, as well as advised several startups including Poptip.

PayPal, eBay boards appointed

eBay Inc. released the names of those who will serve on the PayPal and eBay boards of directors following the anticipated separation of the two publicly traded entities. The new eBay Board will be chaired by current eBay Inc. Director Thomas Tierney. Current eBay President and CEO John Donahoe will serve as Chairman of PayPal's board when the two companies' separation is complete. end of article

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