The Green Sheet Online Edition
September 28, 2015 • Issue 15:09:02
- What's old is new again has come full circle in the layaway realm. The programs are making a comeback as merchant competition for holiday dollars heats up earlier in the year. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. was the first out of the gate to launch its layaway campaign. In August 2015, Wal-Mart began allowing shoppers to take 90 days to pay for items rather than 60. Kmart followed soon thereafter with a layaway plan that gives shoppers 60 to 120 days to pay.
- Travelers, near and far, can stress less about losing items in transit. TUMI Holdings Inc., in collaboration with AT&T and LugTrack, launched the TUMI Global Locator. The wireless tracking device can track specific locations of personal items, including recent purchases from exotic locations via an app and GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology.
- Retailers continue to stretch the boundaries to attract customers. Several big-box retailers have demonstrated this trend by crossing the line into the grocery segment. Not to be outdone, Macy's Inc. and Best Buy Co. Inc. partnered to bring a line of consumer electronics to Macy's existing fashion, home furnishing and kitchen appliance offerings. The only thing perhaps missing from the picture is a taste of caviar with that new suit.
ATPC, MAC form FinTech Task Force
The American Transaction Processors Coalition and the Metro Atlanta Chamber launched the FinTech Task Force tasked with developing a strategy to grow and sustain the financial technology (fintech) industry in metropolitan Atlanta. "The new FinTech Task Force will serve as a powerful catalyst for growing and sustaining the region's financial technology ecosystem and adding jobs to our economy," said MAC President and Chief Executive Officer Hala Moddelmog.
Chain receives FI funding
Chain Inc., a provider of blockchain technology solutions to financial institutions, raised $30 million in equity funding from a syndicate of financial and payments industry leaders, including Visa Inc, Nasdaq, Citi Ventures, Capital One, Fiserv Inc., and Orange. Chain's newest partners will also join the company in forming a Blockchain Working Group to explore the application of the technology in various markets and take a collaborative approach to interoperability.
Cryptzone begins cybersecurity education tour
Cryptzone commenced a multicity tour for its Let's Talk Cybersecurity Seminar Series. The series will invite discussion about the changing landscape of cybersecurity and how cyber attacks have increased and evolved to include organized crime. The curriculum will also give students a close look at the evolution of network security and how companies like Google Inc. are changing the way they address access, as well as discuss how to combat threats from outside and within enterprises.
Dharma offers $70,000 salary to workers
Dharma Merchant Services increased the salaries of all entry-level, full-time staff to $70,000 per year, effective immediately. New hires will be offered the minimum $70,000 salary after completion of their first year. Dharma CEO Jeff Marcous said, "This change is Dharma's way of further supporting a sustainable work culture that benefits all stakeholders, not just those at the top of the ladder."
FIME headquarters to expand
Payment consultancy FIME released plans to expand its U.S. operations in San Jose, Calif. The expanded office will provide end-to-end consulting and certification testing services devised to get mobile and contactless payment solutions certified and into the market quickly. In addition to the new contactless offerings, the San Jose laboratory will also offer full-service market integration support and certification testing for contact and contactless card and mobile solutions.
MRC launches revamped website
The Merchant Risk Council unveiled its new website, along with an updated logo and comprehensive new resources. The goal behind the new website is to provide members a transformative new platform to share information, provide education and network with other like-minded industry peers. MRC believes the updated logo provides a more modern visual dynamic to its brand and identity.
NACHA alliance launches mobile wallet initiative
NACHA's Payments Innovation Alliance launched a mobile wallet initiative to enable stakeholder companies and the broader mobile wallet community to leverage an "open" acceptance platform that includes support for retailer- and bank-branded mobile wallets for electronic payments. Initial work of The Alliance Mobile Wallet Team will include exploration of such topics as best practices, provisioning and acceptance issues, and implementation challenges.
NMI modernizes website
NMI launched a new website to more accurately reflect its specialization in payments-enablement technology. Featuring an updated company logo and new design, the site also includes information on NMI's products and services. "Our old website didn't fully capture or explain what we do as a business and often misrepresented us as just another payment gateway," said Roy Banks, NMI CEO.
PAI recognized for EMV implementation
Payment Alliance International was honored for showing excellence, leadership and initiative (ELI) in implementing Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) technology at ATMs. PAI was honored at an awards banquet held in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the ATM & Mobile Innovation Summit. PAI was one of only five companies nationally to receive the ELI Award.
Soltra Edge offers new membership program
Soltra, a joint venture of the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center and The Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., launched a new membership program for users of the industry-driven threat intelligence sharing platform, Soltra Edge. With the program, users can get enterprise-grade technical support and many other key benefits to help advance their ability to defend against the latest cyber risks and threats.
W.net expands to U.K.
The Women's Network in Electronic Transactions (W.net), an organization dedicated to women in payments, is working with SkyParlour Marketing + PR to bring the newest W.net Local Interest Network Circles event to the UK. W.net seeks to empower women and support women's representation in boardrooms, conference rooms and offices throughout the U.K. and Europe to greater success.
"As our industry expands globally, it is important for W.net to reach women around the world," said Linda Rossetti, W.net 2015 President and President of Bluestone Payments. "Our goal is to connect women in the UK to each other as well as their counterparts in the United States."
XIUS receives NFC patent
XIUS was awarded a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for its near field communication (NFC) technology. The invention relates to integration of dual architecture contactless subscriber identity modules into mobile devices and describes the method of efficiently performing various financial transactions. The patent was filed in February 2010 and awarded in July 2015.
Gemalto Index reveals mid-year breach levels
Gemalto NV released the findings of its Breach Level Index for the first six months of 2015, revealing that 888 data breaches occurred, compromising 246 million records worldwide. Compared to 2014, data breaches increased by 10 percent with the number of compromised data records declining by 41 percent. According to Gemalto, the decline was most likely attributed to fewer large scale breaches occurring in the retail industry compared to the same period last year.
U.S. chip rules questioned by Mercator
Mercator Advisory Group released the first item in its new Executive Insight Series, Are the U.S. Chip Rules Enough? The free publication discusses how a longer term view of security and the payments landscape is needed. "Credit and debit card fraud is the top security concern among U.S. consumers today, topping worries about identity theft and national security," said Arthur D. Kranzley, Director Emeritus, Mercator Advisory Group.
Mercator analyzes Bitcoin, VC relationships
Mercator Advisory Group released a new report titled, How Many Sidechains Can Bitcoin Economics Support? The report analyzes past problems that came close to thwarting bitcoin, sheds light on the complex economic model that drives trust in the blockchain, and evaluates the most recent brownout on August 20. From these experiences and analysis, this research note provides concrete advice to businesses interested in utilizing the bitcoin blockchain.
Charity program offered by Access One ATM, Genmega
Access One ATM, a Brooklyn-based ATM service provider, partnered with manufacturer Genmega Inc. to enable ATM-based charitable donations. The new Charity ATM program runs separate charity transactions free of charge on Genmega ATMs. Charity ATM currently supports the National Children's Cancer Society, and is expected to bring on more charity partners as it expands to other cities and states in the coming months.
Celery bitcoin exchange expands
In its first expansion outside the United States, Celery, a bitcoin exchange, enacted a strategic partnership with risk management and payment processing specialist Vogogo Inc. to serve the Canadian marketplace. Celery co-founder Divya Thakur said, "Vogogo's unified payments, risk and bank verification API-enabled Celery's Canadian integration to be straightforward and exceptionally fast."
Feedzai partners with Socure
Feedzai, a data science company that uses real-time, machine-based learning to analyze big data and minimize risk in the financial services industry, partnered with Socure to provide mutual clients a plug-and-play authentication and risk-scoring solution. Feedzai will incorporate the Socure Social Biometrics Platform as part of its Fraud Prevention That Learns software to minimize fraudulent transactions, chargebacks and manual review costs for financial institution customers.
FAPS, Womply launch business app
First American Payment Systems and Womply teamed to create the 1stPayInsights solution, a platform for small businesses that provides data and tools for achieving a 360 degree-view of business performance. The platform is designed to enable merchants to use this data for managing online reputations across popular consumer websites, stay informed of competitors' activities and learn how external events impact revenue.
Future POS, HotSchedules integrate
Future POS Inc. and HotSchedules aligned technologies to enable restaurants to accurately forecast labor needs, enforce accurate clock-in times and control overtime, all of which lead to reduced labor costs. The Future POS integration with HotSchedules is designed to enable managers to build schedules using sales data from Future POS. This process produces highly accurate schedules to ensure that staff will not be over or under-scheduled and that guests will receive an excellent level of service.
GRT teams with Quatrro
Global Risk Technologies signed a strategic partnership with Quatrro Processing Inc. to offer next-generation fraud management technology integrated with 24/7 human intelligence and surveillance. An offering for small and midsize enterprise merchants, ISOs and payment service providers, the service is designed to mitigate existing fraud and also identify fraudulent trends to preempt fraud before it occurs.
Payscout, Alibaba partner
Payscout Inc. signed an agreement with China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. under the terms of which Payscout will provide global payment logistics for Tmall, Alibaba's business-to-consumer portal. "As a strong advocate of entrepreneurialism and global e-commerce, we are delighted to establish this partnership with Alibaba Group," said Payscout CEO Cleveland Brown. "We look forward to facilitating Alibaba's seamless global expansion."
Revention, eWordofMouth partner
Revention Point of Sale Solutions partnered with eWordofMouth to integrate Revention's POS HungerRush application for online and mobile ordering. "We are excited about integrating with the eWOM solution," stated Laura J. Gaudin, Director of Product Management at Revention. "A cardless loyalty and rewards program offers another way for our customers to be successful."
TransFirst aligns with PatientPay
TransFirst LLC formed a strategic partnership with PatientPay, an online practice management and payment technology for healthcare practices. TransFirst will provide payment processing solutions integrated with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard-compliant PatientPay technology, creating a seamless online payment experience for providers to offer patients, according to the companies. Patients can pay whole balances or set up recurring and scheduled payment plans.
TransNational, ShopKeep align
TransNational partnered with cloud-based technology provider ShopKeep to provide businesses with a powerful cloud-based POS system in addition to a secure credit card processor. Both companies strive to help business owners simplify their back-end, day-to-day tasks to allow them to focus on broader operations such as driving sales and revenue. As the brands align in this mission, the partnership expects to provide merchants with a more intuitive and simplified payments solution.
Verifone teams with Aava Mobile, Intel
Verifone and Aava Mobile stated they released the first agnostic handheld mobile POS solution powered by Intel Corp. The solution delivers a flexible EMV-ready mPOS solution for enterprise retailers, pairing Verifone's device and operating system with Aava Mobile's handheld tablet, powered by the Intel Atom processor. The solution is designed to enable retailers to make long-term investments in mPOS solutions at a much lower cost of ownership.
APG Cash Drawer, Cash Bases merge
APG Cash Drawer LLC and Cash Bases Group Ltd. agreed to merge to create a leading cash management solution company differentiated by its ability to deliver innovative technologies to an expanding customer base. "We share a common heritage; we both have over thirty years of cash drawer experience and have deep seeded roots in our respective territories," stated Mark J. Olson, President of APG.
EVO assumes Citi's Mexico Portfolio
EVO Payments International LLC completed the purchase of Citigroup Inc.'s merchant acquiring business in Mexico. The purchase was conducted through Citigroup subsidiary Banco Nacional de Mexico S.A. (Banamex). As part of the transaction, Banamex and EVO entered into a 10-year strategic marketing alliance that includes an exclusive referral arrangement covering card acquiring and related products for Banamex's merchant customers.
Finicity purchases Aurora Financial assets
Finicity Corp. acquired assets of Aurora Financial Systems Inc. as a continuation of its investment in the fintech industry. With this acquisition, Finicity's capabilities now include aggregation, transaction processing and card program management. All of these offerings include real-time transaction data delivery using TxPUSH Technology to support online and mobile financial apps, Finicity stated.
SinglePoint acquires Text2Bid
SinglePoint Inc. acquired Text2Bid for $1.25 million, making Text2Bid a wholly owned subsidiary of SinglePoint. Text2Bid's mobile auction technology is strategically aligned with Maestro Software and Text-A-Day on over 400 auctions per year, the companies noted. The SinglePoint acquisition is expected to enable Text2Bid to process collected payments through SinglePoint's proprietary mobile payment technology.
Terrapin retains TSG on BluePay sale
The Strawhecker Group will serve as the exclusive strategic and financial advisor to Terrapin Financial Services LLC in its sale to BluePay Processing LLC. Terrapin said its leadership team is excited for a new chapter as part of BluePay and welcomes TSG's representation. TSG is well versed in the transaction advisory space with business assessments for more than 150 payment companies and over 20 transactions completed in the past nine years, the companies noted.
PayPal acquisition of Xoom approved
At a special meeting, Xoom Corp. stockholders voted to approve a previously announced definitive agreement under which PayPal Inc. will acquire the company. PayPal said it will acquire Xoom for $25 per share in cash, without interest and less any applicable withholding taxes. The deal is subject to the satisfaction or waiver of customary closing conditions and the receipt of certain regulatory consents relating to Xoom's money transmitter licenses.
Fed appoints Aadland
The Federal Reserve System appointed Todd Aadland as its Payments Security Strategy Leader. In this role, Aadland will lead the System's activities to address fraud risk and advance the safety, security and resiliency of the payment system. His responsibilities will include chairing the Secure Payments Task Force, comprising more than 170 external stakeholders. Aadland also serves the Fed as a Senior Vice President at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
Baule joins ShopKeep
ShopKeep appointed John Baule as the company's new CFO, effective Oct. 1, 2015. Reporting to CEO Norm Merritt, Baule will oversee the company's finance and talent functions and will also lead its international expansion efforts. According to the company, the addition of an experienced CFO, coupled with its recent $60 million Series D fundraising round will position ShopKeep well for continued, rapid growth.
EMVCo taps Latgé
EMVCo appointed Bastien Latgé to the newly created position of EMVCo Director of Technology. In this role, Latgé will play a key role in ensuring optimal coordination and alignment across all of the organization's technical activities. Central to the post will also be the oversight of internal technical developments across EMVCo's working groups to ensure effective collaboration and industry alignment in EMVCo's technical matters.
Lord, Patel, Pitts, Rose join Payverifi board
Payverifi added Gary Lord, Andy Pitts, Rebekah Rose and Jayesh (Jay) D. Patel to its board of directors in August 2015 and also appointed the new board members as company shareholders. "The team that we put together makes us more capable of taking our business to the next level, and they will guide us in a lot of the things that we're looking to accomplish," said Chase Harmer, Payverifi National Sales Manager.
PayRange selects Nguyen
PayRange Inc. appointed Anna Nguyen as its Chief Operating Officer. Bringing her experience from working at Yahoo!, YouTube and Google Inc., Nguyen has guided several startups from infancy to success and is expected to provide operational experience in scaling technology platforms to become the de facto standard. Her hire comes as PayRange plans to aggressively scale to meet the growing demand for its digital payment solution, the company stated.
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