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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

January 11, 2016 • Issue 16:01:01

Industry Update

The Green Sheet, Inc.RETAIL BRIEFS

  • Online shoppers at outdoor gear company The North Face Inc. will soon learn what it's like to engage with IBM's Watson, a cognitive computing technology made famous as a contestant on the television game show Jeopardy. In this case, Watson will produce dialog-based personal recommendations powered by Fluid's Expert Personal Shopper software. Customers will receive highly targeted results based on specific usage and climate needs.
  • Online retailer Brika Inc. teamed with CloudTags Inc. to begin powering digital content experiences between customers and physical products in its pop-up stores. Customers are offered Brika-branded tablets while in-store to explore and learn about items as they tap artisan products equipped with near field communication tags. At the end of the session, shoppers can opt-in to receive items selected and continue dialog in the future via email.
  • The travel industry may soon have a powerful sales tool to convert armchair travelers into buyers of travel packages to choice destinations. Seattle-based startup Pixvana Inc. is developing a cloud-based virtual reality platform that will deliver 360-degree video content on existing augmented-reality headsets. Seeing the world's most remote locations in person could become a reality for many, after being sold on the idea in the virtual world.

The Green Sheet, Inc.ANNOUNCEMENTS

CFPB issues warning to colleges

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sent warning letters to 17 colleges directing them to improve disclosure of school-sponsored credit card agreements. A bureau investigation found that these schools failed to make marketing agreements available to the public, as required by law. The CFPB is also releasing its annual report on college credit card agreements, which highlights trends in the marketing partnerships between colleges and financial institutions.

Chargebacks911 hails Visa Checkout

Chargebacks911 applauded Visa Inc.'s enhancements to Visa Checkout as an important e-commerce development for both consumers and merchants. Visa launched its new checkout service in July 2014, stating it enabled cardholders to complete online purchases with the click of a button and not entering card details with every order.

In October 2015, Visa integrated token technology into Visa Checkout. Visa Token Service replaces the account number, expiration date and security code with a unique digital identifier that can be used to process payments without exposing card account details.

"Visa Checkout has made the online shopping experience easier, faster and more secure for consumers, and it benefits online merchants by increasing the number of completed purchases and reducing their risk and liability for orders placed with stolen card data," said Monica Eaton-Cardone, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Chargebacks911. She cautioned, however, that Visa Checkout does not protect against chargeback fraud.

Cybersecurity bill earns congressional approval

On Dec. 18, 2015, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) passed in Congress. The legislation was devised to protect the nation's private-sector and federal networks from foreign hackers and cyber terrorists. The CISA establishes a voluntary cybersecurity information-sharing process that encourages public and private-sector entities to share cyber threat information, free of legal barriers and threats, while protecting private information.

Decred digital currency in development

A group of bitcoin developers and makers of btcsuite (a set of code and tools for bitcoin in the Go programming language) said they are building Decred, an alternative digital currency and project geared to address certain issues of project governance and development funding evident in bitcoin today. "The intention is not to attack what we currently have in bitcoin, we want to recognize what has been done well, but instead we want to take that and improve on what we think can be done better," said Christina Jepson, a developer of Decred.

FTC settles with LifeLock, PayBasics

LifeLock will pay $100 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it violated the terms of a 2010 federal court order requiring the company to secure consumers' personal information and refrain from deceptive advertising. Participants in the alleged PayBasics credit card "laundering" scheme have also settled FTC charges of illegally providing access to payment networks, enabling scammers to place bogus charges on consumers' credit cards.

G2 recognized by Banking CIO Outlook

G2 Web Services was selected by Banking CIO Outlook as one of the top 10 Most Promising Payment and Card Solution Providers for 2015. The honor recognizes G2 solutions that address the areas of global payments risk mitigation, including due diligence, compliance, transaction laundering, and fraud mitigation, the magazine noted. "G2 is honored to be recognized this year by Banking CIO Outlook's panel of experts and thought leaders," said Allison Guidette, Chief Executive Officer of G2 Web Services.

Idaho Department of Agriculture introduces wallet

The Idaho Department of Agriculture is opening the door for citizens and businesses to pay on state government accounts using eGovExpress, which is now offered by Access Idaho, an affiliate of NIC Inc. Serving as a virtual pocketbook, eGovExpress securely consolidates Visa Inc., MasterCard Worldwide, Discover Financial Services and American Express Co. cards, prepaid gift cards, and electronic check information into one password-protected online location, the department stated.

Kount adds $80 million in growth equity

CVC Capital Partners and the CVC Growth Fund will provide an $80 million growth equity investment to Kount Inc. for accelerating product innovation, which is expected to expand Kount's global footprint and enhance customer support services. "This investment is perfectly aligned with CVC Growth Partners' strategy of partnering with uniquely positioned technology companies in large, growing markets," said John Clark, Managing Partner at CVC Growth Partners.

Linux Foundation launches collaborative blockchain alliance

The Linux Foundation, an organization established to enable mass innovation through open source, and several fintech leaders aligned their resources to collaboratively advance blockchain technology. Early fintech firms committed to the project include Accenture, ANZ Bank, Cisco, CLS, Credits, Deutsche Börse, Digital Asset Holdings, DTCC, Fujitsu Ltd., IC3, IBM, Intel, JPMorgan Chase & Co., London Stock Exchange Group, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, R3, State Street, SWIFT, VMware and Wells Fargo & Co.

The group intends to develop an enterprise grade, open source distributed-ledger framework designed to free developers to focus on building robust, industry-specific applications and systems to support business transactions. The collaboration is also expected to help identify and address important features and missing requirements for a cross-industry open standard, the foundation stated.

MagicPay adds drop ship service

MagicPay Merchant Services released a new solution designed to make it easier for drop shippers to begin accepting credit card payments online. "It's no secret that being in the drop shipping industry makes it difficult to accept and process credit cards online; this is largely due to the fact that the merchant isn't able to directly ship the product themselves," MagicPay noted. "Instead, they rely on a third-party company to handle the shipping. As a result, many traditional banks refuse to approve drop shippers for credit card and payment processing due to the perceived risk involved."

MagicPay said its solution enables drop shippers to accept all major credit card payments online via the company's new payment gateway. The gateway also employs the security methods Address Verification Service and 3-D Secure.

PCI SSC pushes TLS migration date

In response to feedback from merchants and industry service providers, the PCI Security Standards Council changed the date payments organizations are required to be fully migrated to Transport Layer Security 1.1 encryption or higher. The previous date of June 2016 has been moved to June 2018. The new deadline date will be included in the next version of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS), which is expected to be released in 2016.

Revel Systems adds London office

San Francisco-based Revel Systems opened a London office to serve as the central hub for its business in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) market. The company said the new location will allow it to build its presence in the United Kingdom and more effectively service its growing customer base throughout Europe and EMEA. Revel has an office in Italy and plans to also add offices in France and Germany over the coming months.

Uphold accepting China UnionPay

Uphold Inc., which bills itself as "The Internet of Money" and world's fastest growing cloud-based financial services platform, revealed it now accepts China UnionPay payments. "The availability of a local bank card provider places Uphold at the vanguard of U.S.-based financial services companies successfully entering and operating in Greater China and Hong Kong since the country opened its $7 trillion bank card market to foreign players on June 1, 2015," Uphold stated, adding that China UnionPay cardholders with an advanced suite can now apply cloud functionality to their money by holding and moving funds in their Uphold wallets.

The Green Sheet, Inc.RESEARCH

CardFlight reports on EMV migration

CardFlight Inc. published the CardFlight EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) Migration Tracker. The report includes a new and never-before-published analysis of EMV chip card use in the United States since the Oct. 1, 2015, liability shift. The analysis relies on data from cards in use (the so called "top of the wallet cards") and not plastics that are issued and never used. The data comes from hundreds of thousands of transactions processed through the CardFlight gateway, the company noted.

FactorTrust's Underbanked Index released

FactorTrust released its latest Underbanked Index, which offers insights into significant shifts in income, employment and default-rate trends over a three-year period within the underbanked consumer group. FactorTrust stated the index provides a range of data points including demographic, loan behavior, and seasonal and other influences; helps shed light on underbanked consumers; and highlights national data and trends based on expert analysis from FactorTrust's database of records.

IDC forecasts 2016 mobile Internet usage

An International Data Corp. infographic, How the World Uses the Internet, details the online activities of Internet users worldwide. According to IDC research, an estimated 44 percent of the world's population will access the Internet in 2016, and more than 2 billion will do so using mobile devices. The infographic indicates people will enjoy many activities via the Internet including banking online, streaming music, finding a job, reading news, and making purchases.

Mercator forecasts most disruptive technologies

A Mercator Advisory Group paper titled Eight Technologies That Will Impact Payments and Banking Going Forward provides proof points supporting Mercator's predictions that six of the eight emerging technologies mentioned in the paper will disrupt the banking and payments markets in 2016, and two other technologies discussed will be in market as pilot implementations.

"Surely every payment professional is well aware of these eight technologies but are most likely unfamiliar with how rapidly they have evolved and are being put to use," said Tim Sloane, Mercator Vice President, Payments Innovation, and author of the report. For further details, visit www.mercatoradvisorygroup.com/reports/eight-technologies-that-will-impact-payments-and-banking-going-forward.

Fed reports on millennial card usage behaviors

Using results from the 2014 Consumer Payments Monitor annual survey fielded by Phoenix Marketing International, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank issued a paper reporting on key 2014 findings pertaining to millennial credit card usage. The report revealed continued growth in prepaid card adoption among young adults and discussed their use of both traditional and alternative financial products. It concluded that a possible reevaluation of "alternative" and "underbanked" labels may be in order.

SCA looks at alternative NFC uses

The Smart Card Alliance released a white paper that explores near field communications (NFC) implementations outside of the payments realm that the SCA believes are breaking new ground and details security approaches being used to protect sensitive user credentials within NFC applications. The paper, titled NFC Non-Payments Use Cases, discusses marketing, identity and access, ticketing, gaming, security approaches, and implementation considerations and challenges.

Transparency projects global mPOS usage

According to a market report published by Transparency Market Research titled Mobile Point-of-Sale (mPOS) Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2022, the mPOS market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 47 percent between 2015 and 2022. According to the report, advantages such as ease of use due to mobility and the lower total cost of ownership offered by mPOS devices are driving adoption. Card reader accessories, which include dongles and sleeves, are expected to experience a CAGR of more than 51 percent during the same period.

The Green Sheet, Inc.PARTNERSHIPS

3dcart, FusionBot expand merchant portal

3dcart partnered with FusionBot to improve the 3dcart support portal. The companies stated that the FusionBot partnership enables portal users to search and locate information faster and easier than before with improved search precision utilizing ranking algorithms and millisecond response times. "Over the years, our database has proven itself key to the everyday and long-term success of our merchants, aiding in matters both simple and complex," said 3dcart COO Jimmy Rodriguez.

Cayan working with WYB

Cayan LLC partnered with Web Your Business Inc. to provide WYB hosting customers with Cayan's PCI Level 1 certified e-commerce solution integrated directly into their cPanel dashboards. "We are excited to partner with a company like Web Your Business who understands its hosting customers' needs and is eager to address them with Cayan's future-proofed technologies," said Marci Gagnon, Cayan Vice President, Business Development.

Credibly aligns with JetPay

Credibly recently joined forces with JetPay Payment Services, a division of the JetPay Corp. The partnership gives JetPay's distribution network streamlined access to Credibly's lending platform, providing more capital for U.S.-based small business clients. "We're thrilled to partner with JetPay and help their distribution partners deliver more affordable capital to small businesses," said Ryan Rosett, founder and Chief Revenue Officer of Credibly.

MetaBank, ClearBalance team for healthcare

MetaBank entered an agreement with ClearBalance whereby the Sioux Falls, S.D.-based MetaBank will provide financing for a number of ClearBalance's consumer-friendly loan programs. The partnership was designed to help bring financial solutions to the healthcare industry, where even insured consumers are unprepared to pay high deductibles and service balances, the partners stated.

NAB supports Volunteers of America

North American Bancard collaborated with Volunteers of America Michigan to sponsor the charitable organization's Adopt A Family program, which committed to providing 100 families with gifts, toys, clothing and holiday meals during the 2015 holiday season. "There are many people who are in need of assistance here in Metro Detroit, and we want to ensure that as many of them as possible have a wonderful holiday season," said Terri Harwood, COO of North American Bancard.

PAY.ON integrates with Lime Light

PAY.ON, an ACI Worldwide company and provider of white-label payment gateway solutions, partnered with Lime Light CRM to extend global payment services to online marketers using Lime Light's processing and campaign management software. Lime Light's initial integration with PAY.ON's Open Payment Platform covers global card processing for Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, and Discover, and expansion plans include additional alternative payment formats, the companies said.

SinglePoint, DreamCo forge ahead

SinglePoint Inc. finalized an agreement with DreamCo Design whereby SinglePoint's mobile messaging, marketing and payment technology will be integrated with DreamCo's services that cater to several companies in the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) space. According to the partners, SinglePoint's relationship with RedFynn will also be leveraged to introduce services to DFS companies, including FanDuel and DraftKings, for mobile marketing and payment services.

The Green Sheet, Inc.ACQUISITIONS

Mobi724 acquires IQ 7/24

Mobi724 Global Solutions Inc. completed its acquisition of IQ 7/24 Inc., a provider of loyalty and customer-engagement solutions. The transaction is subject to "the procedural formality" of IQ 7/24's obtaining approval from two financial institutions with which it does business, Mobi724 stated. The transaction includes an equity investment of $500,000 by Mobi724 in IQ 7/24, exclusively for the purpose of growing IQ 7/24's business.

Perk.com acquires Corona Labs, Viggle

Perk.com Inc. closed the acquisition of Corona Labs Inc., a platform for mobile app development, and is now pursuing integration of the Perk.com rewards model and monetization solution into the Corona platform.

In other company news, Perk signed an asset purchase agreement with Viggle Inc., a mobile and web-based entertainment marketing platform. Perk will purchase the rights to the Viggle name and brand, as well as Viggle's interests in the Viggle App.

Tyco set to purchase ShopperTrak

Tyco International plc reached a definitive agreement to acquire ShopperTrak for approximately $175 million in cash. Based in Chicago, ShopperTrak provides customer traffic and related intelligence to more than 1,200 retailers in 97 countries. The addition of ShopperTrak to Tyco's recent acquisition of FootFall, is expected to capture data from 35 billion shopper visits annually, providing the retail industry with unprecedented global store traffic insights, Tyco stated.

The Green Sheet, Inc.APPOINTMENTS

Brooks picked by OptimizeRx

OptimizeRx Corp. appointed James Brooks to the position of Senior Vice President of Business Development. Optimize Rx noted that Brooks brings more than 20 years of experience in sales and marketing, including sales force development, sales management and organizational leadership processes within the electronic health record and healthcare technology sectors. Prior to joining OptimizeRx, Brooks served as Chief Revenue Officer at iCare.

Three join ETA board

The Electronic Transactions Association elected First Data Corp. Executive Vice President Global Business Solutions Dan Charron; John Priore, President and CEO of Priority Payment Systems; Bank of America Merchant Services CEO Tim Tynan to serve two-year terms on the organization's board of directors.

The ETA also heralded appointments to its Presidential Advisory Council, as well as its 2016 board officers. The officers include iPayment President Greg Cohen as ETA President; Jeff Rosenblatt, President of EVO Payments International as President-Elect; Global Payments CEO Jeff Sloan as Treasurer; Chuck Harris, President of NetSpend (a TSYS company) as Secretary; and Wells Fargo & Co. Executive Vice President Debra Rossi as Past President. "I am thrilled to be the Chairman of this incredible Board of ETA during this transformative time in our industry," said Greg Cohen, President of ETA member company iPayment and ETA's 2016 Board President.

Denis signs on with SBFA

The Small Business Finance Association named Stephen Denis its Executive Director. Formerly the Deputy Staff Director of the House Committee on Small Business, Denis brings the SBFA extensive public policy experience, the SBFA stated. "We felt it was time to bring on an experienced Capitol Hill veteran to make SBFA the leading voice for alternative small business finance in Washington," said SBFA President and Chief Executive Officer of Capify, David Goldin.

ABC Financial selects Pack

ABC Financial appointed Daniel Pack its Chief Technology Officer. Pack joined ABC Financial in 2015 as Vice President of Software Development in an effort to provide a greater business focus through product and project management, reporting, and quality assurance. In his new role, Pack is now responsible for directing the software development organization in the delivery of the company's software solutions.

end of article

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