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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

September 14, 2015 • Issue 15:09:01

Industry Update

The Green Sheet, Inc.RETAIL BRIEFS

  • Scaled down department stores are popping up as apartment stores in high-end retail zones in New York, Vancouver and Berlin. Venues such as the Apt by 800 Sq. Ft., which recently opened in Vancouver, occupy real apartment spaces that the company rents and appoints with designer objects. Customers are then able to schedule an appointment to view and purchase anything and everything upon and within the walls of these uniquely situated retail spaces.
  • Retail healthcare just got a booster shot at Walgreen's Co., which operates over 400 retail clinics nationwide. Walgreen's recently teamed with Providence Health & Services across the Pacific Northwest to deliver quick, responsive medical treatment for common colds and other non-emergency ailments to patients seeking treatment minus the wait times typically associated with traditional medical settings.
  • A new type of local election to determine which merchants should earn a coveted spot in the neighborhood was devised by Montreal-based Potloc Inc. Started by four business school graduates in 2013, the company to date has helped 15 businesses select the best retail locations based on a vote of local citizens. Residents are encouraged to vote online for the types of businesses they would like to welcome in their neighborhoods.

The Green Sheet, Inc.ANNOUNCEMENTS

BlueStar awarded third RSPA Gold Award

BlueStar received its third consecutive Gold Award for Technology Distributor at the Retail Solutions Providers Association RetailNOW conference in Orlando, Fla. RSPA member resellers selected award recipients from a competitive field of contenders. "We appreciate our partners recognizing the value that the BlueStar team brings to the channel and for voting us their Gold Technology Distributor," said Mark Fraker, BlueStar Vice President of Marketing.

eBay parts ways with three providers

As of Sept. 27, 2015, eBay Inc. is no longer accepting payments from the following three electronic payment providers that compete with PayPal Inc.: Total System Services Inc.'s subsidiary ProPay Inc., Australia-based Paymate and the U.K. payment provider Skrill, which was recently acquired by Optimal Payments PLC. Collectively, the discontinued services reportedly comprise fewer than 1 percent of payments made on eBay, and sellers using them were given 30 days to find alternatives.

Electronic Payments lands $5 million, expands facilities

Electronic Payments Inc. secured $5 million in growth funding from Super G Funding to ramp up its strategic initiatives. "Since November 2006, our processing volumes have increased organically to over $6 billion with nearly 117 million transactions processed last year," said Michael Nardy, Chief Executive Officer of Electronic Payments. He noted that the company boards more than 750 new merchants monthly, and access to capital will help ensure the continued delivery of cutting-edge technology.

"Mike’s operation was one of the few of his size that was debt free, profitable and has well below average merchant attrition," said Darrin Ginsberg, CEO of Super G. "We were able to put together a great program for EPI that will be their backstop for any time-is-of-the-essence transactions such as buyouts, acquisitions, and will be there to fund their fast growth trajectory."

In another development, Electronic Payments reported that the success of its Clover Placement Program and other POS ventures necessitated its expansion into a facility dedicated only to deployment. Located across the street from the regional FedEx hub, the new facility in Calverton, N.Y., boasts 4,600 square feet, increasing by four times the amount of space Electronic Payments is able to use for deployment and provisioning for its POS and terminal programs.

Fiserv AML solutions recognized

Aite Group LLC presented vendor Fiserv Inc. with the consultancy's award for outstanding anti-money laundering (AML) solutions as part of its 2015 Global AML Vendor Evaluation. Aite selected Fiserv's AML Risk Manager as the Most Extensible Solution. The Aite evaluation highlighted strengths reported by clients such as openness of design, regulator familiarity and integration with core banking systems.

Heartland earns top magazine honor

Selling Power magazine named Heartland Payment Systems Inc. as the top company to sell for, marking the eighth consecutive year the company has earned a top five distinction on the magazine's 50 Best Companies to Sell For annual rankings. Selling Power evaluates companies based on their customer growth and retention; hiring, compensation, sales training and enablement; and company recognition and reputation.

Patents granted to ICN

Intelligent Clearing Network received two patents for systems that streamline the digital coupon process and allow retailers to validate manufacturers' purchase requirements. One patent builds on the foundation of the second generation of digital coupons from ICN's original solution; the second patent was issued for the electronic clearing and financial settlement of digital coupons.

IRS breach larger, under legal fire

The Internal Revenue Service revealed the Get Transcript data breach, initially reported in May 2015 as affecting 114,000 taxpayers, involved far more illegal attempts to gain transcripts. An estimated 220,000 additional attempts cleared the verification process, and 170,000 more suspected attempts failed authentication, bringing the total number of individuals affected to more than 500,000. A class action complaint was filed against the IRS for damages and the theft of identity and financial information of approximately 330,000 taxpayers.

MagicCube secures seed funding

Mobile transaction security startup MagicCube raised $2.2 million in seed funding from Azure Capital, Epic Ventures, Bialla Venture Partners and other private investors. MagicCube's technology addresses hardware endpoint security challenges. The company is offering participating companies early access to its technology through its Charter Partner Program and welcomed Visa Inc. as the program's first participant.

MasterCard to pilot biometric program

First Tech Federal Credit Union is piloting a new MasterCard Worldwide program, unofficially dubbed Selfie Pay, designed to enable First Tech employees to authenticate and verify transactions using facial recognition and fingerprint biometrics. The initial test will be conducted in a closed environment where First Tech employees will use artificial funds and biometrics to test the potential of delivering greater security and convenience to First Tech's U.S. cardholders.

NFC Forum extends membership

The NFC Forum named 19 new associate, implementer, and nonprofit members from organizations based in Austria, Belarus, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States. The new members are from industries as diverse as automotive electronics, digital imaging, microelectronics and asset management. The forum believes this represents a growing commitment to near field communication (NFC) at a time when more than 2 billion NFC devices will be in the market.

PaidEasy raises seed funding

Mobile startup PaidEasy closed a seed round of private investment funding valued at $2 million. PaidEasy intends to use the money to establish a footprint in the New York City restaurant market by acquiring new merchants, furthering technology development and hiring sales and marketing personnel. PaidEasy said its solution produces real-time analytics and data, offers reduced processing fees, and does not require hardware changes or installations.

Samsung creates armchair payment

Samsung Corp. said it plans to launch a new Samsung Smart TV payments service. The service supports credit and debit cards, PayPal and other mobile billing options. Shoppers will be able to select an item while viewing, press the 'Pay Now' button and enter a PIN to complete a purchase. Samsung also said users can "easily transfer" their Samsung account information and registered payments to their Samsung Smart TV without additional registration steps.

Shavitz celebrates first published book

Jeffrey I. Shavitz, Advisory Board member and 2015 Street SmartsSM author for The Green Sheet, released his book, Size Doesn't Matter – Why Small Business is BIG Business, in August 2015, and it became an Amazon No. 1 top new release in both the business and entrepreneur categories. The book, now available in bookstores nationwide and on Amazon.com, draws from Shavitz's payments career and details his personal and professional experiences, observations, and rewards from working with small business owners. Three more Shavitz books are also expected to hit the shelf this October.

TransFirst lands VGM Club

TransFirst LLC was selected as VGM Club's preferred vendor for merchant services. Members of VGM, a member service organization for the club industry, will now have access to TransFirst's payment products and services at a discounted rate. "TransFirst appreciates the opportunity to align with a company that shares our core values of commitment to its sales partners and merchants," said John Shlonsky, TransFirst President and CEO.

The Green Sheet, Inc.RESEARCH

Mercator notes EMV migration slowing

Mercator Advisory Group's research note Migrating to EMV: The (Not So) Final Countdown gives an updated look at Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) credit card issuance and POS implementation, as well as an overview of the trends and challenges constraining the U.S. EMV migration. The report shows progress toward EMV compliance has slowed in 2015 as issuers and merchants have dealt with a range of technical, logistical and educational challenges.

Nontraditional FIs to drive innovation

A Raddon Financial Group survey explored attitudes among four generations toward traditional and nontraditional providers of financial services. It found that nearly half of all U.S. consumers believe nontraditional providers will drive innovation in industry. Only 38 percent said they'd consider a nontraditional provider of financial services, but openness to nontraditional providers like PayPal Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc. or Google Inc. rose sharply with younger consumers.

SRPC releases paper

The Secure Remote Payment Council released its third position paper tackling issues related to tokenization and challenging conventional thinking about the safety and security of token vaults. By examining the current token service provider role, the SRPC Authentication Work Group sheds light in the paper on many of the problems, inconsistencies and underlying biases with defined EMVCo tokenization specifications.

SurfWatch reports on cyber risk

According to a midyear report released by cyber risk intelligence solution provider SurfWatch Labs, the most common vulnerability exploited by cyber criminals is user interaction points with websites, applications, accounts and endpoints. The SurfWatch Labs 2015 Mid-Year Report is organized by industry and examines the top avenues of approach used by cybercriminals to gain unauthorized access to systems and sensitive data.

U.S. Financial Services on cybersecurity

According to the U.S. Financial Services: Cybersecurity Systems & Services Market – 2016 - 2020 report, the cybersecurity market for U.S. financial institutions is the largest and fastest growing private-sector cybersecurity market. Its cumulative size from 2016 to 2020 is forecasted to exceed $68 billion. The findings, corroborated by the Homeland Security Research Corp. team, indicate the FI cybersecurity market should reach a 2020 annual valuation of $16.4 billion.

The Green Sheet, Inc.PARTNERSHIPS

Alternet Payment teams with MUXI

Alternet Payment Solutions signed a strategic partnership with platform provider MUXI to provide U.S. payment processors and ISOs a fully supported and flexible multichannel POS payment processing solution. Henryk Dabrowski, CEO of parent company Alternet Systems Inc., stated, "The partnership with MUXI allows us to introduce an innovative, brand agnostic POS terminal, and disruptive payment technology offering to the U.S."

Axia aligns with Womply

Axia Payments and Womply teamed to offer merchants Axia Insights, a platform that gives merchants a 360-degree view of their business performance. Axia Insights said it brings the analytic power of large enterprise software to small businesses, and by capturing and consolidating revenue performance, social media activity, local events, online review postings and more, Axia allows business owners to interpret and take action based on relevant daily data.

Bitnet, PAY.ON to offer bitcoin

Bitnet Technologies and PAY.ON AG formed a strategic partnership to enable payment service providers globally to offer bitcoin as a payment method via PAY.ON's RESTful application programming interface (API)-based payment platform. PAY.ON's clients, ranging from local payment providers to multinational payment service providers, can now utilize API technology to enable their merchants to add bitcoin to their checkout pages quickly and easily.

Heartland, VersaPay collaborate

Heartland and VersaPay Corp. are collaborating to help merchants improve their accounts receivable through a cloud-based software solution utilizing the Heartland Portico Gateway and VersaPay ARC platform. The partnership is designed to benefit merchant users with fewer lost or missing invoices, quicker approval cycles, a reduction in labor and processing costs, and increased on-time payments.

Kaspersky teams with iovation

Iovation and Kaspersky Lab partnered to provide both businesses and consumers with a comprehensive solution to help combat fraud. "Cybercrime to commit fraud is quickly becoming an epidemic, and this partnership provides consumers and banks with the tools they need to help prevent the number of fraud incidents from continuing to grow," said Ross Hogan, Global Head of the Fraud Prevention Division at Kaspersky.

NAB, Future POS form alliance

North American Bancard formed a joint product and marketing relationship between its front-end gateway, NAB Velocity, and Future POS, a POS software solution for restaurants. John Giles, President and co-owner of Future POS Inc. said the two companies have worked closely together to develop an integrated solution for merchants. "Future POS is extremely excited to partner with North American Bancard to bring merchants a best of breed solution," he said.

Vantiv, SCS renew partnership

Vantiv Inc. won the renewal of its Security Card Services partnership to provide processing services in its ISO channel. SCS offers merchant services through community and regional banks across the United States. SCS supports more than 2,500 bank locations, processing nearly $3 billion in volume; it is known as one of Vantiv's largest ISO relationships with more than 17,000 businesses using the service.

WebLinc offers tax automation with Avalara

Avalara Inc. reported commerce platform provider WebLinc Corp. joined Avalara's community of certified solution partners. This strategic partnership pre-integrates Avalara's software-as-a-service offering for sales tax management directly into WebLinc's digital commerce platform. The goal is to ensure clients can easily implement sales tax calculations from their digital and mobile storefronts. The partnership also gives WebLinc customers access to AvaTax, Avalara's cloud-based solution.

The Green Sheet, Inc.ACQUISITIONS

BFS gains EMS

Business Financial Services Inc. acquired Entrust Merchant Solutions, an ISO serving small businesses. BFS began financing Entrust customers in 2009 and the relationship has grown successfully since then. Prior to the acquisition, Entrust was one of BFS's largest ISOs. "We are very excited to welcome Entrust into the BFS family," said Marc Glazer, CEO and co-founder of BFS.

FIS agrees to purchase SunGard

FIS signed a definitive agreement to acquire SunGard. FIS stated that upon closing, FIS will be uniquely positioned to offer enterprise banking and capital markets capabilities to empower FIs and businesses worldwide. "Our focus has always been on championing the needs of our clients, and we are excited about the opportunities this combination provides to further deliver on that commitment," stated Gary Norcross, President and CEO of FIS.

SmartCard Marketing, CT Payments to merge

SmartCard Marketing Systems LLP and CT Payments Inc. will enter into a reverse merger upon completion of growth capital financing. SmartCard will acquire 100 percent of the shares of CT Payments in a stock-for-stock swap to form an agnostic payment company. According to SmartCard, the acquisition will enable it to advance in the EMV deployment market globally with a technology platform managed by expert information technology team members and payment solution specialists.

The Green Sheet, Inc.APPOINTMENTS

Three join Emergent Payments

Emergent Payments said it added new executives to its senior leadership team to address a new wave of growth. The new executives include Chief Financial Officer Joseph Podulka, previously a veteran at eBay Inc.; Business Development Director Rob Freedman, previously Business Development Manager at Worldpay; and Vice President Merchant Solutions & Strategy Pawan Chawla, previously Senior Director, Merchant Integration/Technical Account Management at Visa.

TSYS taps Watson

Total System Services Inc. reported that Patricia A. Watson will join the company as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer effective Sept. 14. Watson brings to TSYS more than 17 years of experience in the financial services industry and most recently served as Vice President and Global CIO for The Brinks Co. She has a bachelor's degree in applied mathematics from Saint Mary's College at Notre Dame and an MBA from the University of Dayton.

Wilber joins PromisePay

PromisePay appointed Doug Wilber as its President, North America. Wilber is a Senior Mentor at the fintech accelerator, SixThirty, and will be charged with driving PromisePay's growth. Previously, he was Chief Revenue Officer for PYMNTS.com and held executive roles at Discover Financial Services where he led product development and partnership initiatives.

Wooten takes the lead at NUSPAY

NUSPAY International Inc. appointed Greg Wooten to the position of Chairman of the Board and Global CEO. The company stated that Wooten has more than 30 years of quantifiable success and is recognized by payment and cybersecurity industry leaders as a pioneer in emerging and disruptive technologies. He served in executive leadership positions for numerous public and private companies in the emerging technology and financial services industries.

Parkmobile recruits Ziglar

Parkmobile LLC named Jon Ziglar its CEO. Ziglar is replacing Cherie Fuzzell, who is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities. Parkmobile noted that Ziglar has an extensive track record of driving growth and innovation in technology and technology-enabled service businesses. Prior to Parkmobile, Ziglar served as Managing Director, International, for Ceridian HCM, a global provider of human capital management software and services. end of article

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