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The Green Sheet Online Edition

October 26, 2015 • Issue 15:10:02

Industry Update

The Green Sheet, Inc.RETAIL BRIEFS

  • Amazon.com boasts that with its Amazon Dash device, consumers no longer have to dash out for essentials like coffee beans or laundry detergent. The devices became available to Amazon Prime members in September 2015. Now, with the press of a button, they can automatically reorder items through Amazon.com. Priced at $5 per unit, each Dash device can be programmed to order single-packaged goods and mounted wherever consumers desire.
  • Adding another line-blurring possibility for the device-connected world, Apple Inc. set a late-October launch for its tvOS with the new Apple TV. What does that mean for merchants? Apple stated that developers can now deliver custom experiences seamlessly across multiple devices, so brands can interact with customers on TV, laptop and smartphone screens simultaneously. Incorporate Apple Pay, and the purchase cycle is complete.
  • Boston-based ad agency SapientNitro demonstrated at an eTail East conference how shoppers can use RFID-equipped shopping bags to avoid waiting in line. To do so, customers inside stores place RFID-tagged retail items into an RFID-equipped bag, and the technology automatically calculates a running tab. When the shopping session is complete a smartphone payment rounds out the hassle-free, in-aisle checkout experience, SapientNitro noted.

The Green Sheet, Inc.ANNOUNCEMENTS

ACI moves up on Fintech Forward

ACI Worldwide Inc. ranked 17th on the 2015 FinTech Forward 100, three places higher from last year's ranking. The annual list recognizes the world's largest financial technology (fintech) companies as judged according to their global revenues. This recognition follows ACI's position in the recent IDC Financial Insights 2015 FinTech Rankings, where the company moved up two places – to 18th – in this year's group of fintech providers.

CardFlight raises investment funding

CardFlight Inc. reported that it raised $4.2 million in Series A funding in a round co-led by an investor group assembled by Dan Henry and MATH Venture Partners. The financing will enable CardFlight to continue to grow its engineering team and accelerate the rollout of its Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV)-approved mobile payment acceptance solutions in the United States. CardFlight provides technology for merchant acceptance of iOS and Android-based credit card payments.

CheckAlt invests in three startups

CheckAlt made strategic investments in fintech startups Bankjoy, Fundomate and Street Invoice. Bankjoy delivers an application programming interface and branded mobile banking app to credit unions and community banks, Fundomate is an online loan engine for businesses, and Street Invoice offers freelancers and small businesses an enterprise-quality mobile invoicing app, CheckAlt noted. These companies join Zipmark, a previous CheckAlt investment. The four will be referred to as the CheckAlt Portfolio Companies.

ETA addresses House on EMV

Scott Talbott, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at the Electronic Transactions Association, testified before the Full House Small Business Committee Hearing titled The EMV Deadline and What it Means to Small Business. According to Talbott, the Oct. 1, 2015, liability shift was not a mandate, but rather an important incentive to ensure that criminals are stopped before they have the opportunity to commit credit-card fraud.

Emergent Payments boosts Brazilian e-commerce

Emergent Payments launched its new secure payments offering, Jumpstart Brazil. Jumpstart Brazil provides 23 local payment solutions to help merchants broaden their reach in the fast growing Brazilian e-commerce market. This new offering was designed to increase merchant access to revenue opportunities. Jumpstart Brazil said it offers merchants local tax benefits, easy integration, maximum conversion and multiple business models.

EVO backs contactless payments

EVO Payments International stated it will provide full support for contactless payments made through leading mobile wallet providers Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay. "Today's announcement reflects our ongoing commitment to support global mobility and a growing number of alternative and noncash payment methods," said Peter Osberg, EVO's Senior Vice President of Product and Integrated Payments.

FIME, Keysight test tool certified

FIME and Keysight Technologies Inc. received EMV Level 1 certification from EMVCo. The companies stated that fully qualified coverage is uniquely supported with the Keysight T1141A Test Set, and developers can now use a single test system to accelerate comprehensive product compliance, reducing both cost and time to market. "This achievement demonstrates the effectiveness of our technical partnership with Keysight," said Pascal Le Ray, General Manager at FIME.

First Data launches IPO

First Data Corp. launched its initial public offering (IPO) of 160,000,000 shares of Class A common stock, listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol FDC. The IPO price is expected to be between $18 and $20 per share. First Data said it expects to grant the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 24,000,000 shares of Class A stock at the IPO price.

Ingenico receives Center of Excellence award

Ingenico Group received the Smart Card Alliance Center of Excellence designation for 2015, a distinction it has received for two consecutive years. The SCA noted that its designation recognizes an elite mix of member companies that, each year, reach the highest level of active participation in the alliance by having made outstanding contributions in the form of providing valuable time, talent and resources across a wide mix of alliance activities.

MPC challenges Visa testimony

The Merchants Payments Coalition, an advocacy group consisting of a range of merchant types, issued a statement on Oct. 9, 2015, challenging Visa Inc.'s recent House Small Business Committee testimony indicating interchange fees would not be reduced if fraud were to decrease. The coalition claimed Visa's testimony is a conflict with the card brand's historic defense that high interchange fees cover the cost of fraud.

"Visa's contradictory statement makes it clear; it is committed to ensuring record profits for itself and the banks on the backs of the American consumer and merchants, regardless of the fraud rate," the MPC stated. "Even more extraordinary, the Visa witness went on to claim that the card company sets its prices 'competitively' to attract both issuing bank and merchant acceptance. In fact, the broken credit card market does compete for banks to issue their cards by promising additional profits with high interchange fees. Conversely, Visa and the other brands have used the 'take it or leave it' approach for merchants leaving them with no negotiating power on interchange rates."

SEC acts against scheme involving Gemcoins

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed fraud charges and obtained asset freezes against the operator of a worldwide pyramid scheme that falsely promised investors would profit from a venture purportedly backed by the company's massive amber natural resource holdings. According to the SEC complaint filed in federal court in Los Angeles, resident Steve Chen and 13 California-based entities, including USFIA Inc., are at the center of the alleged scheme.

The SEC also alleged that beginning in September 2014, the defendants claimed to have converted existing investors' holdings into Gemcoins, which defendants' claimed was a virtual currency secured by the company's amber holdings. The SEC complaint alleges that Gemcoins are, in fact, worthless.

Safe Cash receives initial funding

Safe Cash Payment Technologies raised $1.12 million from leading technology and business investors, including Bialla Ventures, InfoSpace founder Naveen Jain, veteran trader Vuk Bulajic, Vinh Vo and founder Chris Kitze. Safe Cash said its Safe Cash platform, which is set to go live later this year, is the first to let consumers take cash to a bank and purchase digital tokens. Initial partner banks will be announced in the fourth quarter of 2015, with the platform set to go live shortly thereafter.

ThreatMetrix unveils new network

ThreatMetrix introduced a new alliance program enabling technology providers to integrate services with the ThreatMetrix Digital Identity Network. Through the program, certified technology partners can leverage the network to further protect ThreatMetrix customers. Working together, ThreatMetrix and its expanding alliance ecosystem, help customers lower fraud rates and operational costs, increase revenues and deliver a frictionless end-user experience, the company said.

Webgility introduces Unify

Webgility unveiled Unify, stating it is the first e-commerce solution that connects and unifies all revenue streams and expenses so multichannel businesses can have a better perspective, make smarter decisions, and run all operations from a single view. Unify not only allows e-commerce and small to midsize businesses conquer multichannel challenges, it also allows them to run and scale their businesses exactly the way they want, by unifying their business data, according to Webgility.

The Green Sheet, Inc.RESEARCH

Javelin reports on P2P payments

Javelin Strategy & Research released the Mobile P2P Payments in 2015: The Growth and Adoption of Mobile Money Transfers study, which examines key customer segments, devices, and operating systems to target in the mobile person-to-person (P2P) market. It also offers an analysis of key market players and the overall forecast of the market. According to the study, the number of mobile P2P users will grow rapidly from 69 million in 2015 to 126 million by 2020.

PST reports EMV is on track

The Payments Security Task Force shared its latest update from payment card issuers, acquirers and merchants regarding the U.S. move to chip technology. The PST's eight participating financial institutions reported 30 percent of their U.S. consumer credit and debit cards were EMV ready as of June 30, 2015. These issuers represent approximately 50 percent of U.S. payment card volume. And the number of chip cards in the United States from these issuers is expected to grow to 60 percent by the end of the year.

RST expects IoT to inspire change

RSR Research's first benchmark of retailers' Internet of Things (IoT) strategies, The Internet Of Things In Retail: Great Expectations, found retailers feel relatively prepared to meet the IoT challenge with 66 percent of respondents at least neutral, if not optimistic, about being ready to take on the IoT's impact on their operations. The report is part of RSR's ongoing effort to provide market intelligence on retail technology trends.

TMG seeing EMV uptick

According to a report issued by The Members Group, the EMV credit card migration among its clients is nearly complete. Ninety-eight percent of TMG's credit-issuing clients have completed or initiated EMV migration and nearly 25 percent of the credit and debit cards in TMG's portfolio are chip-enabled. "We expect the number of EMV transactions to increase significantly after today, as more merchants come online with EMV," said Chole Casber, TMG's EMV Product Manager.

The Green Sheet, Inc.PARTNERSHIPS

Bigcommerce, Square integrate

Bigcommerce is now offering retailers real-time inventory synchronization and automatic product catalog import from Square Inc.'s platform to their online stores. Bigcommerce said the integration enables growing retailers to expand business by making products available worldwide via an online store and makes managing inventory more efficient. Bigcommerce and Square stated they will also deliver functionality enabling online sellers to sync inventory to Square for in-person transactions.

CSI utilizes Execupay

Computer Services Inc. reported that it selected Execupay to bring innovative payroll and human resources (HR) solutions to CSI customers. Through the partnership, CSI will provide customers with access to Execupay's payroll services, which are designed to help them utilize more strategic payroll and HR tools. "At CSI, our goal is to give our customers world-class solutions that bring efficiencies to their businesses," said Steve Powless, CEO of CSI.

MasterCard teams with P97

MasterCard Worldwide partnered with mobile commerce provider P97 to make it easier for consumers to find, buy and save on gasoline and convenience store purchases through their mobile phones. MasterCard said its fuel solution will leverage a range of its marketing and technical assets, and will utilize P97's PetroZone mobile commerce platform to integrate to existing gas station infrastructure.

Mozido, TabbedOut partner

Mozido Inc. and TabbedOut teamed to improve the experience of restaurant and hospitality consumers. According to the companies, the partnership will provide a full set of features to hospitality locations that provide consumers with an application to find locations, join wait-lists, make reservations, order, split bills, pay and leave feedback from their mobile phones. The partnership expands the offerings of both Mozido and TabbedOut, and will be provided to venues with multiple locations.

MyECheck inks TradeRocket deal

MyECheck Inc. entered into an agreement to provide electronic check and related services to TradeRocket Inc., operator of the TradeRocket invoicing and payment platform. MyECheck will provide TradeRocket with fully electronic, real-time billing and payment services to facilitate secure, low cost, high-speed electronic payments for business customers using the TradeRocket platform, the companies noted.

Sage integrates with Cloud Conversion

Cloud Conversion, a solution provider that helps e-commerce retailers manage customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning business needs on the Salesforce.com platform, reported that it has completed integration to Sage Payment Solutions. The integration is designed to provide Cloud Conversion's customers with easy acceptance and processing of multiple forms of payment in multiple places.

SETA International, Worldpay team up

SETA International partnered with Worldpay US to enhance integrated payments acceptance for merchants across online sales channels. SETA's e-commerce platforms combined with Worldpay's payment technology gives online businesses the tools and expertise to make the sale, regardless of how customers buy and pay, the companies said. Through the partnership, SETA plans to offer cost-effective packages that cater to various vertical specialties.

Shopify launches Twitter selling feature

Shopify Inc. stated that it partnered with Twitter to allow Shopify merchants to sell products directly on Twitter. Twitter's "Buy Now" buttons are available to U.S. Shopify merchants at no additional cost. "Many of our 175,000+ merchants already use Twitter to engage with their audience and now they can sell directly to them in real-time," said Satish Kanwar, Director of Product, Shopify.

Spindle, Pay Cell sign deal

Pay Cell Systems Inc., maker of solutions for cellular stores, political campaigns, nonprofit organizations, salons and retailers, signed an agreement with Spindle Inc. to begin processing under a payment aggregation model. According to the partners, the arrangement leverages the advantages of the benefits of payment facilitation for Pay Cell's business lines. The first implementation will be the Cell Pay solution which currently supports 300 cellular retail stores.

TSYS Healthcare, FPS Trust, HealthSavings partner

TSYS Healthcare is collaborating with FPS Trust Co. and HealthSavings Administrators to support the processing of health savings account (HSA) cards and related card collateral. The conversion to the TSYS platform took place in August, which enabled FPS Trust and HealthSavings to provide members with flexible and secure HSA products, the companies said. "It is important that FPS Trust's business evolves with our member needs and market changes," said Scott Pearson, President of FPS Trust.

The Green Sheet, Inc.ACQUISITIONS

AppTech acquires FlowPay

AppTech Corp. entered a definitive agreement to acquire FlowPay Corp., a cloud-based mobile payment platform for the tax exempt nonprofit market. According to AppTech, the acquisition supports its mission to provide industry leading cloud service, payment processing and mobile payment technologies to businesses. Terms of the agreement are expected to be disclosed in AppTech's next quarterly filing and registration statement.

Precidia acquired by Merchant Link

Merchant Link acquired Precidia Technologies Inc., and the two companies said they plan to continue delivering quality products, solutions and service to their joint customers. Merchant Link CEO Dan Lane said, "Blending the products that Merchant Link has with those from Precidia gives all of our merchants a simplified payments integration with a layered security approach for their credit card security, as well as flexibility in deployment and in support."

Verifone purchases Curb

Verifone expanded its taxi and car-for-hire electronic hailing (e-hailing), payment and media business with the acquisition of Curb, a business that connects people in approximately 60 U.S. cities with rides from licensed taxi drivers. Passengers use Curb's e-hail app for more than 100,000 rides each month. Verifone noted that the acquisition enhances its e-hailing and payment app business with added technology and an expanded network of vehicles and drivers across the United States.

The Green Sheet, Inc.APPOINTMENTS

Brodsack joins TMG

Payment processor The Members Group hired Pam Brodsack as its Chief Technology Officer. The position brings Brodsack, an Iowa native, back to her home state from Florida, where she served as CTO for Enhanced Resource Centers, a national debt collections and business process company. As TMG's CTO, Brodsack will be responsible for strategic enhancement and implementation of a range of technology solutions to meet TMG's business objectives.

DeRodes to advise Nuspay

Nuspay International Inc. welcomed Bob DeRodes to its board of advisors. DeRodes, who was brought in to lead information technology at Target Corp. after the company's 2013 breach, is a former adviser for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Secretary of Defense, and the Justice Department. DeRodes' experience in the payments industry includes executive positions with First Data, Citibank Global Card Payments and USAA Federal Savings Bank.

NXT-ID taps Fields

NXT-ID Inc. stated retail veteran William Fields, former President and CEO of Wal-Mart Retail Stores Division and CEO of Blockbuster Entertainment Group, joined the NXT-ID Advisory Board. Gino Pereira, NXT-ID CEO, said, "We are honored to have Bill join our Advisory Board and guide us to a new level of consumer awareness and retail exposure. … His engagement and ability to add value across retail, payment services and low-cost manufacturing immediately elevates NXT-ID's execution capability in these critical areas."

NAB selects Oneacre

North American Bancard appointed Tim Oneacre as General Manager of its subsidiary Electronic Payment Exchange, a full-service payment processor that provides both front- and back-end payment solutions. Oneacre will be charged with growing EPX’s business and increasing its sales presence by offering a combination of functionality and service to multiple merchant sectors, as well as further developing international business and sales partner relationships. NAB stated that Oneacre spent much of his career with First Data Corp., holding several senior-level positions at locations around the world. Most recently, Oneacre was the Vice President of Business Effectiveness for First Data in Coral Springs, Fla.

Tesmer signs on with JetPay

JetPay Corp.'s JetPay Payment Services added Thomas Tesmer as its Chief Operating Officer. Tesmer will manage the technology, transaction processing and operations for JetPay Payment. He brings significant expertise in the payments business, both in merchant processing and in consumer card issuing in the ATM environment. Over his career, he has brought creativity and innovation to various start-up and leadership roles, the company noted.

Washington new CIO at ABC Financial

ABC Financial Services Inc. appointed Lee Washington to the position of Chief Information Officer. He will be responsible for all aspects of the company's technology and operations. With over 20 years of experience, Washington has been recognized for demonstrating the right combination of visionary leadership, technical pedigree and domain expertise, ABC noted. Previously, Washington was Vice President of Information Technology at Acxiom Corp., one of the country's largest information service providers. end of article

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