The Green Sheet Online Edition
August 24, 2015 • Issue 15:08:02
- A revival in personal digital assistants (remember PalmPilot back in 1996) is hitting the market. The devices are embedded with data analytics that can anticipate every need, from music to merchandise. Apple Proactive Assistant will be available with iOS 9, Microsoft Corp. has Cortana, Amazon.com offers virtual assistant Alexa and Google Now alerts users in real-time. Retailers should expect competition for space in this resurging market to be fierce.
- Mom-and-pop merchants who set up shop in shopping malls are reaping the benefits of well-planned and executed store composition blending. Major mall owner Simon Property Group L.P. has found that high-end restaurants provide the perfect backdrop for shopper retention. The mall owner claims that extended mall stays translate into more revenue for merchant tenants.
- Busy do-it-yourselfers pressed for time are increasingly turning to do-it-for-me specialists for home improvement projects. At least that's the theory behind the new Sears Home Appliances and Services brand campaign. Home improvement contractors should take note as more kitchen remodeling, window installations, roofing and other popular home projects are likely to be done by third parties as a trend in the future.
AmEx adds Apple Pay to corporate portfolio
American Express Co. stated it is the first card company to activate its corporate card portfolio for Apple Pay. AmEx U.S. Corporate Cards1 cardholders can now pay on the go with compatible Apple devices. "We continue to invest and expand digital offerings for our corporate customers in ways that maximize security and enhance the user experience," said Greg Keeley, Executive Vice President, Global Corporate Payments at AmEx.
CashStar secures additional funding
CashStar Inc., provider of prepaid commerce solutions, closed $15 million in growth capital. FTV Capital led the Series D round, joined by new investor Mosaik Partners and existing investors Passport Capital, Intel Capital, North Hill Ventures, and others. This financing brings the total capital raised by CashStar to $50 million, enabling the company to continue investing in product innovation, sales and client success.
ControlScan vets Terra Dotta
ControlScan, a provider of unified data security and compliance solutions for small and midsize businesses reported that higher-education software provider Terra Dotta LLC has met all qualifications as a Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard Level 1 Service Provider. ControlScan worked with Terra Dotta throughout this effort, helping the company achieve a level of security and compliance its customers can rely on, the companies noted.
CO-OP launches API suite
CO-OP Financial Services introduced a suite of application programming interfaces (APIs) designed to enable credit unions to quickly integrate the latest mobile and online technology directly into their mobile and virtual channels. "CO-OP is the first provider to offer a complete API suite, paving the way for greater access to mobile and online banking technology for credit unions and their members," said Stan Hollen, President and Chief Executive Officer of CO-OP.
FIDO Alliance enhances FI support
The Fast IDentity Online Alliance added two members from the financial services industry that are expected to aid in a global initiative to supplant the world's reliance on passwords. ING Bank and USAA joined existing financial institution members Bank of America Corp., Discover Financial Services, MasterCard Worldwide, PayPal Inc., and Visa Inc. on a 25-member board of directors whose goal is to shape global standards for strong authentication.
Two Passport apps launch in Columbia, S.C.
Passport Parking reported that with its mobile payment system, drivers in Columbia, S.C., can now use their mobile devices to pay for parking in all of the city's 5,000 parking spaces. The app, developed by Charlotte, N.C.-based Passport, is free to download. John Spade, Parking Director for the City of Columbia, said, "We know that parkers in Columbia will embrace this upgrade in technology, and it will make the process of parking one less thing to stress about."
Passport also launched Columbia's custom transit mobile ticketing system, Catch the Comet, throughout the city's bus lines. Bus riders are able to pay for their bus passes and display payments directly from the Catch the Comet app on their phones.
PayProTec opens new office
PayProTec LLC opened a new office in Indianapolis. PayProTec stated the central Indiana location will allow it to expand offerings to better serve customers while increasing its sales force throughout the United States The new office will be led by National Sales Director Dane Lantz II and Regional Sales Director Matt Proctor. Support and training will be provided by Keith Sampson, Vice President of Business Development.
Ripple Labs recognized by World Economic Forum
Ripple Labs was named one of the World Economic Forum's Technology Pioneers for its innovative distributed ledger technology. The Technology Pioneer award recognizes companies around the globe for their demonstrated ability to innovatively create groundbreaking technologies and develop solutions with the potential to transform the future of business and society. This year, 49 technology companies were selected.
SCIL-EMV ramps up EMV education
To help accelerate the U.S. Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) migration, the SCIL-EMV Academy is conducting a 10-city EMV Roadshow, a mobile version of the organization's core EMV Fundamentals class. The workshop covers how to get devices and systems tested and certified in time for the Oct. 1, 2015, liability shift. It also details anti-fraud strategies, migration project plans, implementation techniques and other EMV essentials. Cities on the tour include Minneapolis, Minn.; Omaha, Neb.; Little Rock, Ark.; New York; Dallas; Seattle; San Jose, Calif.; Los Angeles; and Phoenix. For more information, visit http://scilemvacademy.com/emv-training/workshop-schedule.
ShopKeep raises $60 million
Cloud-based technology and business management solution provider ShopKeep secured $60 million in Series D funding. Led by investor Activant Capital Group LLC, with support from existing investors, ShopKeep plans to use this injection of capital to aggressively grow its overall U.S. customer base, strengthen industry partnerships and launch international operations. ShopKeep noted it has raised $97.2 million in Series D funding to date.
Sysnet Global launches new contact service
Sysnet Global Solutions launched a new out-sourced Merchant Contact Service, tailored specifically for acquirers and ISOs. Sysnet stated the fully scalable, on-demand service enables acquirers to respond to market conditions while proactively engaging with customers through whichever communications channel – phone, web-chat, email, text or social media – customers prefer.
Transact24 expands to U.S.
Hong Kong-based acquirer Transact24 opened a U.S. office in Frederick, Md., to better align the company with its growing base of U.S. customers. "The opening of our new U.S. office is part of our continued commitment to strengthen our ties and relationships, both to our U.S.-based customers and within the U.S. market as a whole," said Philip Meyer, Managing Director of Transact24.
Traxpay earns ACQ5 awards
Traxpay CEO John Bruggeman was named "Gamechanger of the Year (Fintech)" by ACQ magazine. The magazine also named Traxpay's B2B Dynamic Payments Platform the 2015 B2B Payments Platform of the Year. The monthly publication stated it annually honors industry leaders, eminent individuals, exemplary teams and distinguished businesses it believes represent the benchmark of achievement and best practice.
AP-GfK releases results of EMV poll
A new Associated Press-GfK poll shows the majority of U.S. cardholders have still not received EMV chip cards. The poll found 41 percent of Americans have received a new credit or debit card in the past few months, but only 30 percent of those cards – representing 13 percent of all domestic cardholders – contain embedded EMV chips. Among respondents who received chip cards, only 35 percent said they'd used the cards as intended.
Boston Retail Partners
According to a new report by Boston Retail Partners, merchants recognize the need to evolve loyalty programs to satisfy today's savvy, tech-enabled customers. The BRP Special Report: Loyalty Programs – Rewarding the Customer Experience addresses evolving consumer behaviors and shopping habits through new technology and expanded channel offerings. The report suggests programs need stronger customer interactions and enhanced services/rewards.
ON World reports on wireless sensor market
Based on input from 2,500 individuals, ON World's Wireless Sensor Network Markets report indicated 5 billion wireless sensor network (WSN) and Internet of Things devices will be at work in thousands of applications worldwide by 2020. According to ON World, revenues for WSN products and associated services across dozens of industries will reach $185 billion by 2020, up from $29.7 billion in 2014.
Two RSR reports offer retailer insights
Retail Systems Research LLC released findings from two reports, 2015 Benchmark Report, Retail Payments: Consumer Control and the Need for Speed and Commerce Convergence: Closing the Gap Between Online and In-Store. The first indicates growing retailer optimism for mobile payments, despite recent card data breaches, theft, and fraud. The latter reports RSR's latest benchmark on retailer sentiments and the future of POS and e-commerce platforms.
ThreatMetrix identifies online fraud meccas
Fraud prevention provider ThreatMetrix released data ranking the top U.S. cities for online fraud, revealing Tampa, Fla., as the top fraud hot spot. The company also found a correlation between top cities for fraud and those with hosted data centers. "Cybercriminals are reaping the rewards of high profile data breaches by exploiting hosted servers and using stolen identities to their advantage," said Alisdair Faulkner, Chief Products Officer at ThreatMetrix.
Acculynk's PayGov, TouchPay align
Acculynk partnered with TouchPay Holdings LLC to provide omnichannel bill payment solutions for municipalities and utilities. The partners stated the joint solution will employ a self-service payment kiosk that offers all payment types. "We believe the partnership between Acculynk and TouchPay will be meaningful and beneficial to all stakeholders, especially government agency customers," said Monish Bahl, TouchPay Senior Vice President, Business Development.
Cayan integrates with CitiXsys iVend
Cayan LLC partnered with retail management and distribution software provider CitiXsys and will integrate the Cayan Genius Customer Engagement Platform with CitiXsys' iVend Retail suite of cloud-based POS applications. The integration is intended to enable iVend users to take advantage of the Genius platform, including full support for EMV, near field communication and leading mobile wallet options such as Apple Pay.
Creditcall extends Discover's Diners Club
Payment gateway provider Creditcall and Diners Club International, a business unit of Discover Financial Services, signed an agreement that will expand acceptance of Discover and Diners Club cards worldwide. The agreement also means Creditcall will, as standard, certify new solutions for Discover across future processor certifications, widening the reach of card acceptance for both parties, the companies stated.
EVO, Handpoint roll out EMV solution
EVO Payments International released an integrated EMV implementation strategy to fast track migration efforts for independent software vendors (ISVs) and retailers. It also named mobile payment provider Handpoint an early-mover partner. "The collaboration allows us to offer our ISV partners a pre-certified EMV payment service so they can avoid the rigors of EMV certification and hit the ground running," said David Gudjonsson, CEO and co-founder of Handpoint.
GlobalPlatform, Smart Ticketing Alliance collaborate
GlobalPlatform and the Smart Ticketing Alliance agreed to combine efforts to establish an interoperable framework for smart ticketing in the public transportation sector. The new partners said the initial focus of the collaboration will analyze the current market requirement for a secure, efficient and cost effective transportation ecosystem that is multimodal and fully interoperable across borders, followed by an end-to-end simplified service framework for the public transport industry.
Heartland, emaginePOS join forces
Heartland Payment Systems Inc. is working with emaginePOS to provide restaurants with emaginePOS' cloud-based POS software and Heartland's credit and debit card processing solutions. In support of the integrated solution, Heartland Chairman and CEO Robert O. Carr said, "The POS has become more than a point of interaction for payments. It is often the brain that collects the information to run the business and support all of the back office functions as well."
Ingo Money, NetSpend team up
Ingo Money Inc. and Total System Services Inc. subsidiary NetSpend will launch the Ingo Money software development kit service in NetSpend's mobile applications. The aim is to provide consumers and small business owners access to funds from approved checks via iOS and Android devices. The companies stated the service extends the utility of NetSpend and partner-branded prepaid card accounts with approved checks cashed and credited to NetSpend cardholders within minutes.
NAB, Aldelo partner in restaurants
North American Bancard formed a premiere partner relationship between its front-end gateway, NAB Velocity, and Aldelo L.P., a privately held software solution developer for the restaurant, retail and payment processing industries. Aldelo's software products include Aldelo Restaurant, XERA Restaurant POS, and Aldelo iPad Restaurant POS, with solutions designed for the specific needs of varying restaurant verticals, from food trucks to dine-in establishments.
Pivotal new UnionPay Principal Member
Pivotal Payments Inc. has been accepted as a Principal Member of UnionPay International, a subsidiary of China UnionPay, the world's largest card issuer. "We are not only providing our merchants with flexible payment solutions, but accessibility to a much larger consumer market with a significant level of disposable income," said Philip Fayer, Pivotal President and CEO.
USAePay, Shopify integrate
Shopify is now fully integrated with USAePay's credit card processing system to provide card-present processing for Shopify merchants. Through the integration, merchants can now process both e-commerce and POS transactions using a single merchant ID when deploying USAePay within Shopify, the companies reported. Merchants can use the software to manage business across multiple sales channels through a single platform.
Visa teams with Orbitz, Stripe
Visa Inc. is working with Orbitz for Business, the corporate travel brand of Orbitz Worldwide, to provide corporate clients with a turn-key, end-to-end travel and expense solution designed to make booking, reconciliation and reporting more efficient. Visa also formed a strategic partnership with Stripe to support new technologies and online payment experiences for merchants, developers and consumers worldwide.
Accenture welcomes FusionX
Accenture acquired FusionX LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based cyber security company with a differentiated approach to cyber attack simulation, threat modeling, cyber investigations and security risk advisory services. The acquisition will further strengthen Accenture's Security practice and help clients accurately assess their ability to protect against, detect and, where necessary, respond to sophisticated and sustained cyber attacks, according to Accenture.
PFSweb purchases CrossView
E-commerce solutions provider PFSweb Inc. completed the acquisition of CrossView Inc. for $38 million plus additional contingent payments based on future earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization targets. "Today's transaction marks our largest acquisition to date," said Mike Willoughby, CEO of PFSweb. "In-step with our growth-through-acquisition strategy, CrossView solidifies our technology service offering with IBM WebSphere Commerce and SAP hybris integration capabilities.
Securus inks JPay deal
Securus Technologies Inc. signed a definitive stock purchase agreement to acquire JPay Inc. JPay introduced electronic payments, email and a host of entertainment and educational related apps to the corrections space, and operates in over 33 state prison systems. "This transaction thrusts Securus into the fastest growing segments in corrections: payments, email and, most recently, inmate tablets," said Rick Smith, CEO of Securus.
Planet makes two key appointments
Planet Payment Inc. named Robert J. Cox as its new President, a role he will assume in addition to his role of Chief Operating Officer, which he has served in since January 2014. The company also promoted Vice President of Finance Raymond D'Aponte to the position of Chief Financial Officer. Both Cox and D'Aponte will report to the company's Chairman and CEO Carl J. Williams.
Holmes to head MoneyGram
MoneyGram Inc. selected W. Alexander Holmes to serve as its next CEO, beginning Jan. 1, 2016. Holmes will succeed MoneyGram Chairman and CEO Pamela H. Patsley, who on the same date will assume the role of Executive Chairman for a minimum of two years. Holmes, currently the company's Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, will also join the MoneyGram board.
Laferla promoted at TSG
The Strawhecker Group promoted David Laferla to the position of Chief Financial Officer. As part of this advancement, he will join TSG's board of directors and continue to provide his input on the firm's financial and strategic decision process. Laferla's primary responsibility as CFO is to manage the company's risks through financial planning and management, as well as via legal and data security compliance and governance.
PayPal taps Rainey
PayPal appointed John D. Rainey as its CFO, effective Aug. 24, 2015. Rainey joins PayPal from United Continental Holdings Inc., where he served as Executive Vice President and CFO at United Airlines. Rainey brings an extensive background in corporate finance, treasury, financial planning and analysis, taxation, investor relations, strategic planning, and risk management.
Fed appoints Rodriguez
The Federal Reserve System appointed Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Senior Vice President Sean Rodriguez as its Faster Payments Strategy Leader. In this role, Rodriguez will lead activities to identify effective approaches for implementing safe, ubiquitous, faster payment capabilities in the United States. He will also chair the Federal Reserve's Faster Payments Task Force, which is composed of more than 300 payment system stakeholders.
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