The Green Sheet Online Edition
April 11, 2016 • Issue 16:04:01
- San Francisco-based Roadster Online Inc. hopes to capitalize on the direct-to-consumer movement with its online platform for new car buyers. Roadster allows shoppers to configure the car they want and instantly view the purchase or lease price, including fees and taxes. Once a purchaser's application is processed and approved, Roadster even offers home delivery. It also has a network of dealers and professional buyers primed to bid on pre-owned trade-ins.
- A societal trend poised to take the fashion industry by storm is the "sharing economy." Serial entrepreneur Christine Hunsicker launched Gwynnie Bee, an online subscription rental clothing service for women sizes 10 to 32. The concept, which has already proven to be successful for such companies as Rent the Runway and Le Tote, allows women to stay fashionably current without filling closets and drawers to excess.
- To get a leg up on their competition, some retailers have successfully bucked the mainstream in favor of sales tactics uniquely their own. For example, outdoor gear retailer REI's sales soared 9.3 percent in 2015 despite its having closed its stores on Black Friday. True to form, the retailer encouraged outdoor enthusiasts to spend the day in nature hiking local trails instead of shopping. According to REI, sales have never been better.
Fed feels the heat
The Electronic Payments Coalition expressed concern about the detrimental effect its members believe the Durbin Amendment to the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act is having on consumers. In a letter, submitted to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, pursuant to the regulatory review being conducted under the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996, EPC Executive Director Molly Wilkinson claimed the amendment never fulfilled its promise to lower costs to consumers, yet it has enabled retailers to gain $36 billion in additional profits.
In a separate letter to Yellen, the National Retail Federation claimed the cap on debit card fees remains higher than intended by Congress and should be lowered. "In most cases, 24 cents per transaction represents a significant savings over the prior non-competitive pricing," NRF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mallory Duncan said. "However, it is still substantially higher than issuers' incremental costs."
First Data refinances term loans
First Data Corp. received commitments from lenders to provide approximately $3.7 billion of term loans due in March 2021. This transaction and prepayments from the proceeds of First Data's previous offering of $900 million of its 5 percent Senior Secured Notes, due in 2024, will allow the company to refinance the remaining $4.6 billion of its term loans due March 2018.
Global Payments names award winners
Global Payments Inc. named winners of its FinAppsParty, a hackathon in Atlanta and London hosted in collaboration with its subsidiary Realex Payments. The event attracted developers, designers and programmers for a 24-hour competition to build innovative mobile apps. Atlanta winners were the Non-Friction Checkout, Smart Trash and ShopR apps; London winners were Team We Draw Pictures and the Floji and Qoinz apps.
Netcom PaySystem adds new rebates
As part of its mission to offer new and improved commerce options for businesses, Netcom PaySystem unveiled a nonprofit rebate program that allows not-for-profit organizations to accept payments at a reduced rate according to their industry-specific coding. In addition to the new program, which allows organizations to save up to 20 percent on daily processing fees, Netcom PaySystem will also rebate 5 percent of monthly residuals to each qualifying organization.
NFC Forum updates specifications
The NFC Forum published one proposed and two adopted specifications on the NFC Forum website. The specifications enhance the performance and security of near field communication (NFC) services. The candidate specification, Connection Handover Technical Specification 1.4, defines the structure and sequence of interactions between two NFC devices; the two final specifications are Verb RTD 1.0 and NFC Logical Link Control Protocol 1.3.
NuData, Riskified recognized
NuData Security Inc. and Riskified Ltd. were voted winners of MRC METAwards at the Merchant Risk Council's MRC Vegas 2016 event. According to the MRC, both organizations are innovative leaders within the e-commerce and fraud prevention communities. NuData was recognized in the "established" category for its solution NuDetect. Riskified's introduction of Spektra earned the "emerging" category award.
PAR releases CFO
PAR Technology Corp. disclosed that it had dismissed Michael S. Bartusek from his position as the company's Vice President and Chief Financial Officer due to unauthorized investments he made in conflict with the company's policies and procedures. The investments occurred between Sept. 25, 2015, and Nov. 6, 2015. The matter was identified by the Audit Committee of PAR's Board of Directors and remains under formal review.
PCI SSC, ECPA align
The PCI Security Standards Council and the European Card Payment Association revealed that the ECPA is now a strategic regional member of the PCI SSC. Supporting the shared goal of a single, globally unified data security standard, the ECPA will collaborate on future versions of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) and advocate for the adoption of the PCI DSS by its members in conformance with European Union regulations.
PayLease introduces new app
PayLease launched Credit Reporting, a service that will report a resident's rent-related payments to Experian RentBureau and TransUnion. Credit Reporting will be available to eligible single family and multifamily property management companies that use PayLease's online payment service. Residents of these communities can opt in to have rent-related payments made through PayLease applied to their credit histories.
Paytronix recognizes CPK
Paytronix Systems Inc. honored California Pizza Kitchen for its mobile engagement in the 2016 Paytronix Loyaltees Awards. CPK demonstrated that 80 percent of its Pizza Dough Rewards members interact with the brand via mobile apps. The Paytronix Loyaltees Awards is an annual program designed to identify and spotlight Paytronix customers who are leveraging the Paytronix Rewards platform to deliver innovative and market-defining guest experiences.
Revel Systems expands
Revel Systems Inc. reported that it opened a new office in Dallas to meet growing demand for its iPad POS solution in Texas. Revel said it anticipates over 200 percent growth in Dallas and across Texas over the next six months. The company expects to hire an additional 60 employees by the close of 2016 to better support customer acquisition and technical support in Texas and across the country.
Ripple establishes new office
Financial settlement solution provider Ripple Labs Inc. opened its European headquarters to better serve growing demand from banks in the region. The office will be located in London and led by its Managing Director of Europe, Daniel Aranda. "We're excited to continue growing our global presence by establishing roots in London, one of the most important financial centers of the world," said Ripple CEO and co-founder Chris Larsen.
Accenture reports digital disconnect
According to new research from Accenture PLC, 83 percent of U.S. consumers would rather deal with human beings than digital alternatives to solve customer services issues. The Accenture Strategy report, titled Digital Disconnect in Customer Engagement, also found that 52 percent of consumers switched providers in the past year due to poor customer service. Banks, retailers, and cable and satellite television companies were reported as the worst offenders.
FIS studies cybersecurity
For the second consecutive year, cybersecurity was the top risk concern cited by bank executives and board members responding to FIS' annual risk practices study. More than 75 percent of those responding to the Bank Director's 2016 Risk Practices Survey said cybersecurity was their top risk concern; 34 percent said cybersecurity is reviewed at every board meeting, compared with 18 percent in 2015's survey.
Javelin reviews mobile wallets
Javelin Strategy & Research released What's in your Mobile Wallet? Lessons from Bank-Branded Wallet Pioneers, a report introducing Javelin's S.C.O.R.E. wallet analysis model for assessing and comparing competing wallet providers. "Tapping into existing card functionality that your customers have come to expect quickly sets a higher bar for third-party wallet providers," said Daniel Van Dyke, Analyst, Mobile, at Javelin.
SCA researches transit systems
To support developers, integrators, procurers and users of open payment systems for transit and transportation services, the Smart Card Alliance released the white paper Reference Enterprise Architecture for Transit Open Payment System. The paper establishes a framework and suggests a model for implementing a seamless fare payment system that traverses transportation modes, jurisdictions, markets and technologies.
3dcart, Braintree target SMBs
3dcart, an e-commerce solution provider, said it is offering seamless payment processing from Braintree (a PayPal Inc. company) to make it easier for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) to succeed at selling online. 3dcart's merchant customers will gain access to an end-to-end payment solution that will allow them to start accepting payments with a single click, without the need for traditional approval processes, 3dcart said.
NCR, Inetco, upgrade CU Anytime ATMs
NCR Corp. and Inetco Systems Ltd. are collaborating to upgrade CU Anytime's ATM systems to a fully integrated channel management software platform. CU Anytime said NCR Aptra Vision and NCR Aptra OptiCash, as well as Inetco Insight, will help CU Anytime manage its entire network of more than 225 multivendor ATMs. This is expected to improve availability, reduce costs and deliver exceptional member experience, according to the companies.
D+H incorporates TCH solutions
DH Corp. (D+H) partnered with The Clearing House to provide real-time payments to U.S. financial institutions. D+H said financial institutions will now be able to use its payment, core and channel applications to access TCH's payment system, making payments seamless, certain and frictionless. D+H also noted that it now enables U.S. financial institutions of any size to connect with TCH for the origination, processing and settlement of real-time payments.
EPX, GuestVision align
Electronic Payment Exchange is now GuestVision Technology Solutions' preferred EMV payment processor. Through this partnership, EPX will provide EMV-ready, fully integrated payment solutions for GuestVision's customers, including Fantastic Sams salon locations nationwide, as well as other customers in the beauty school, salon and barber shop industries, the companies said.
First Data, First Tennessee team up
First Data stated it has entered into a strategic agreement with First Tennessee Bank, the largest bank in Tennessee with nearly 200 retail and commercial banking locations. Under the agreement, First Tennessee will provide its small business clients with First Data's products, including the Clover family of business management solutions. First Tennessee will also join First Data's STAR Network and gain access to First Data's fraud protection tools.
Heartland, Computop collaborate
Heartland Payment Systems Inc. and Computop GmbH entered a strategic agreement to integrate the Heartland Portico Gateway with Computop Paygate to help Heartland's U.S. customers expand into new markets with secure international payment processing. "We are very excited to be working with Heartland," said Computop CEO Ralf Gladis. "Computop Paygate will help Heartland's U.S. customers to succeed with their international e-commerce plans, and Computop's customers gain enhanced acquiring solutions for the U.S. It's a win-win for all parties."
Joingo, mobileStorm join forces
Joingo LLC and mobileStorm Inc. reported they are partnering to provide clients with a unified, omnichannel, in-app messaging solution that delivers an enhanced user experience to casino players. mobileStorm said the collaboration with Joingo is on track to fully transform how casino operators are able to effectively reach players.
NSA, Scanbuy devise new solution
The National Supermarket Association, representing the interests of independent supermarket owners in U.S. urban cities, together with Scanbuy Inc. launched dCoupon. The mobile couponing service gives manufacturers the ability to create redeemable digital coupons that target new audiences, along with NSA consumers. Mobile coupons are obtained from brands and redeemed through mobile devices at checkout in bodegas, grocery stores and supermarkets.
retailcloud, Star Micronics partner
Star Micronics America Inc. teamed with retailcloud to create a POS solution for Android devices. The new offering, Zero POS, is a cloud-based, POS software solution for Samsung tablet devices. The companies noted that using Star's mPOP, the Zero POS system offers an all-in-one solution that is both inexpensive and easy for SMBs to install. "We are excited by the opportunities that this joint product offering will create," said Kevin Colaço, President of retailcloud.
TransFirst , PatientPay serve Airrosti
TransFirst LLC and PatientPay Inc. collaborated to provide Airrosti, an operator of physical therapy centers, a paperless billing solution. Airrosti has more than 150 locations in six states. "PatientPay is aligned with the way Airrosti clients want to handle their financial obligations, by email and online," said Caroline Riley, Airrosti Rehab Centers' Billing Manager.
Vertex works with TaxCloud
Vertex SMB, the business division of Vertex Inc. that provides sales and use tax solutions for SMBs, and online retailer tax compliance provider TaxCloud, formed a strategic partnership. The partnership expands TaxCloud's geographic area of automated capabilities to include all U.S. and Canadian jurisdictions, while also expanding e-commerce platform support for Vertex SMB to more than 80 of the most broadly used online selling platforms, the companies stated.
Armor Payments acquired by Payoneer
Payoneer stated that it completed its acquisition of Armor Payments Inc., the only licensed business-to-business payment provider offering escrow-as-a-service. The acquisition will enable buyers and sellers, whether transacting directly or through business-to-business (B2B) marketplaces, to reduce the uncertainty and risk associated with high-value B2B purchases by making secure, online escrow payments anywhere in the world, according to the partners.
JetPay purchases CollectorSolutions
JetPay Corp. acquired CollectorSolutions Inc., a debit and credit card processing company specializing in government agencies and utilities. Under the agreement, CSI merged with JetPay, but remains a separate entity under the company's corporate umbrella. JetPay noted that the acquisition of CSI brings $700 million in annual credit and debit card processing volume into its portfolio.
PowaTag, PowaWeb sold
In the wake of Powa Technologies' bankruptcy filing, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd. was appointed administrator of the company, which was once valued at $2.7 billion and considered to be the hottest British "unicorn." Subsequently, a consortium led by entrepreneur Ben White purchased the PowaTag mobile payment application. And the company's e-commerce platform, PowaWeb, reportedly was sold to the U.K.-based digital business group Greenlight Digital.
KoolSpan hires Holdren
KoolSpan Inc. appointed Julie Holdren as its Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Products. As Chief Operating Officer, Holdren is charged with leading KoolSpan's operations, as well as operating the company's TrustCall Global Service, KoolSpan's subscription-based calling and text messaging solution. In her role as Vice President of Products, Holdren's responsibilities include the management and expansion of KoolSpan's cross-platform mobile communications security solutions.
Lapter joins Dashlane
Dashlane Inc. appointed David Lapter as Chief Financial Officer. In this role he will oversee legal, compliance, finance, investor relations and business operations for the company. "As we continue to scale our business to both consumers and also businesses, David's financial expertise and business experience will be instrumental in accelerating Dashlane into the next phase," said Emmanuel Schalit, CEO of Dashlane. Previously, Lapter worked with Fab.com, Tru Optik and MakeSpace, among other companies.
NACHA gains advisers
NACHA—The Electronic Payments Association appointed two additional representatives to its Board Advisory Group, stating this underscored its commitment to the direct and inclusive engagement of the payments end-user and solution provider communities. The new representatives are Colleen P. Lindow, Vice President, Payments, Risk and Compliance at Bill.com and Kim Sipes, Director, Treasury at Duke Energy.
Gift Card Network taps Mahoney
At the Apex All Payments Expo held in March 2016, The Gift Card Network director role passed from Martha Weaver to Elle Mahony, a retail marketing veteran and gift card enthusiast. "I'm pleased to be part of such a dynamic and varied industry," Mahoney said. "I'm very excited to get involved and continue to develop more benefits for members and to create more education for the industry."
Millard signs on with VMob
VMob hired Jen Millard as its Chief Revenue Officer. A recognized expert on retail concept innovation and consumer and channel segmentation, Millard will guide VMob's future success, developing the strategies to reach more retailers looking to leverage mobile technology to increase in-person sales and customer engagement. Millard joined VMob's executive team following her appointment as an adviser to the company's board in 2015.
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