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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

April 25, 2016 • Issue 16:04:02

Industry Update

The Green Sheet, Inc.RETAIL BRIEFS

  • Beacons could become passé, if IndoorAtlas Ltd. gains enough momentum. Its patented geomagnetic indoor positioning technology utilizes the compass sensor in smartphones to detect anomalies in the Earth's magnetic field to pinpoint customer location indoors. Yahoo!Japan will soon deliver its indoor positioning services within venues across Japan. The cloud technology produces a blue dot, which is said to enable stores to interact more freely.
  • Adding another page to the on-demand economy, American Apparel recently joined forces with Postmates to begin delivery of hoodies, T-shirts and other apparel within a 60-minute window. The on-demand delivery service will allow U.S. customers in 31 metropolitan areas to order select items from the retailer within Postmates' app. Postmates has also partnered with other retailers eager to join the bandwagon of ever speedier product delivery to consumers.
  • Despite global volatility, U.S. business travel spending is expected to reach $299.9 billion in 2016 and hit $310.4 billion in 2017, according to the Global Business Travel Association Foundation. The GBTA forecast found that the U.S. business travel economy has returned to pre-recession footing, which is good news for travel coordinators, lodging providers, food and beverage services, and other travel-related enterprises.

The Green Sheet, Inc.ANNOUNCEMENTS

CAN Capital reaches $6 billion mark

Alternative small business finance specialist CAN Capital Inc. reported that in its 18 years of business it has provided small businesses with access to more than $6 billion of working capital, helping over 70,000 small business owners buy equipment, purchase inventory, hire seasonal help and open new locations.

"Eight years after the financial crisis, many small businesses still have trouble accessing working capital," said Daniel DeMeo, Chief Executive Officer of CAN Capital. "We are committed to using technology to offer a variety of fast, efficient financial solutions for the full spectrum of small businesses."

Cardtek attracts equity partners

MV Holding A.S. and Revo Capital are now 24 percent shareholders in Cardtek Group. With this investment, Cardtek plans to strengthen its presence in North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia-Pacific. "Thanks to this collaboration with MV Holding and Revo Capital, we are now aiming to become one of the world's top 10 financial technology companies within the next five years," said Cardtek CEO Ayse Nil Sarigollu.

Chosen Payments earns distinction

Chosen Payments was named a First Data ISO Clients President's Club honoree for the fourth consecutive year. The award is given to the top ranked U.S. payment processing companies and is First Data Corp.'s highest sales distinction, reserved only for top producing clients, the companies noted. "We are very grateful to our amazing clients and partners who have helped us achieve this prestigious award," said Chosen Payments founder and CEO, Jeff Brodsly.

EMVCo updates specifications

Global technical body EMVCo released a bulletin updating the EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) Payment Tokenization Specification – Technical Framework to provide the payments community with a consistent, global framework to implement Payment Account Reference (PAR). To be used by merchants, acquirers and payment processors, PAR can enhance security by limiting references to a cardholder's primary account number in the payment ecosystem, EMVCo noted.

Evolution1 becomes WEX Health

Evolutionl, a WEX Company, rebranded to WEX Health. The new name and visual identity reflect the company's growth, leadership, and innovation in the healthcare account management industry, according to WEX Health. "While our name and look are changing, our mission remains the same: We simplify the business of healthcare," said Jeff Young, Senior Vice President and General Manager of WEX Health. "The change reflects simplicity, flexibility and global scalability."

Federal Reserve chooses McKinsey

The Federal Reserve selected McKinsey & Co. to support its Faster Payments Task Force efforts. The Fed established the 331-member Faster Payments Task Force in 2015 to support a broader effort to improve the speed, safety and efficiency of payments. McKinsey will assess proposals based on 36 effectiveness criteria published by the task force in February 2016.

FTC revises e-commerce guidelines

The Federal Trade Commission welcomed the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's revised guidelines for protecting consumers in e-commerce. The guidelines are designed to strengthen consumers' trust in the expanding electronic marketplace and address the newest developments in e-commerce, such as services that are exchanged for consumer data, mobile transactions and payments, and new platforms that enable consumer-to-consumer transactions.

InComm products touted

Two of InComm's products were named Best in Category at the 2016 Pay Awards presented during the All Payments Expo in New Orleans. The Stripes Gift Card, a product for Stripes Convenience stories that InComm developed with Discover Prepaid, was honored in the Best Choice Retail Card category. The EveryBODY Get Healthy Incentive Program, which engages high-risk Medicaid members in specific healthy activities that will help them manage their conditions, won the Judge's Choice award.

Ingenico workplace lauded

Ingenico Group was awarded a 2016 Top Workplaces honor by The Atlanta Journal Constitution. The Top Workplaces lists are based solely on the results of an employee feedback survey administered by WorkplaceDynamics LLC. Several aspects of workplace culture are measured, including alignment, execution and connection. Employers who make the cut for the Top 50 in each category (large, midsize and small) are then ranked according to survey scores.

LoyalBlocks becomes flok

LoyalBlocks revealed its new name, flok, and unveiled its expanded marketing solution for small to midsize businesses (SMBs). Building on its original loyalty app, flok's new technology offers automated engagement and communication tools such as push message campaigns, real-time chat with customers, intelligent engagement flows through push, chat and email, as well as mobile payment and purchasing options.

MasterCard issues EMV update

MasterCard Worldwide provided an update on how its cardholders, partners and customers are adopting EMV chip technology. The company stated that 67 percent of U.S. issued MasterCard-branded consumer credit cards are now chip-enabled, a 51 percent increase since Oct. 1, 2015. The company also stated 1.2 million U.S. merchant locations are now accepting chip card payments, an increase of 121 percent over one year ago.

NMA purchasing portfolios

National Merchants Association stated it plans to invest $20 million for low-risk residual portfolios with the objective of buying transactional volumes of $2 billion per year. "We are offering high multiples and excellent terms for good books of business," said Heather Petersen, the company's CEO. "Whether it's a large or small portfolio, agents can rely on us to provide the most competitive payment and a quick turnaround with a fast payout." NMA offers free portfolio evaluations at www.nmaportfolios.com.

Sage launches SMB payment center

Sage Payment Solutions launched Sage Payment Center for SMBs using Sage 50 and Sage 100 accounting products. Sage Payment Center provides an easy way for these customers to apply for, activate and use the credit and debit card acceptance capabilities embedded into their accounting software. The product gives customers a more convenient way to make and take credit card payments, view real-time transaction information and perform common payment activities from their accounting interface, the company said.

YapStone wins fintech tournament

CSTMR, a digital customer acquisition marketing company, revealed that YapStone Inc. won the first annual Fintech Money Madness tournament. Modeled after the NCAA March Madness tournament, the 2016 Fintech Money Madness tournament pitted 64 fintech firms against one another in head-to-head competition for votes. The tournament was divided into four categories, with 16 companies in each category, CSTMR stated.

The Green Sheet, Inc.RESEARCH

AFP reports on payment fraud

Nearly three quarters of all American businesses were targeted for payment fraud in 2015, according to new research by the Association for Financial Professionals. The AFP's 2016 Payments Fraud and Control Survey, which was underwritten by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and included responses from 627 treasury and finance professionals, found that 73 percent of all U.S. firms experienced a payment fraud attack last year. The figure marks the largest percentage since 2009 and a 62 percent increase from 2014.

CardFlight examines EMV usage

CardFlight Inc. released the latest edition of its EMV Migration Tracker covering EMV chip card usage in the United States. The report shares insights on EMV chip card use among cardholders and merchants since the October 2015 liability shift. The latest data indicates 56 percent of cards in use in February contained EMV chips; American Express Co. leads in EMV chip card usage; and California, Florida and Arizona lead in EMV issuance.

CvvPlus studies CNP fraud

Online fraud prevention provider CvvPlus, a Tender Armor company, in partnership with Sparks Research, released a report titled CNP Fraud Consumer Impact: Anxiety that Reduced Credit and Debit Card Usage. The study delves into the lingering aftermath of card-not-present (CNP) fraud as it relates to shifting consumer shopping behaviors, consumer security concerns, payment card usage and financial institution fraud prevention recommendations.

Increase in ATM compromises

According to Fair Isaac Corp.'s Card Alert Service, the number of ATMs in the United States compromised by criminals rose 546 percent in 2015 over 2014. ATM compromises in 2015 were the highest ever recorded by the service, which monitors hundreds of thousands of ATMs in the United States. Criminal activity was highest at nonbank ATMs, such as those in convenience stores.

HexaTier studies cloud security

HexaTier published a research paper identifying the top concerns preventing organizations from moving sensitive information to the cloud. Database as a Service (DBaaS) Security Research 2016, which reflects survey data from more than 500 technology leaders across multiple industries, covers the top 10 security concerns of respondents across industries, including financial services, healthcare, transportation, retail, and more.

Symantec warns of cybercriminal prowess

Symantec Corp.'s latest Internet Security Threat Report revealed that cybercriminals are adopting corporate best practices and establishing professional businesses to increase the efficiency of their attacks against enterprises and consumers. This new class of professional cybercriminal is extending the reach of enterprise and consumer threats and fueling the growth of online crime.

"Advanced criminal attack groups now echo the skill sets of nation-state attackers," said Kevin Haley, Director, Symantec Security Response. "They have extensive resources and a highly skilled technical staff that operate with such efficiency that they maintain normal business hours and even take the weekends and holidays off. We are even seeing low-level criminal attackers create call center operations to increase the impact of their scams."

The Green Sheet, Inc.PARTNERSHIPS

Apriva, iPayment team up

Apriva and iPayment Inc. extended their partnership to provide EMV-capable solutions to SMBs using mobile POSs. This extension of iPayment's POS solutions brings EMV functionality to customers using the mobile payment application, iPayment MobilePay. The companies noted that they have a long-standing partnership to bring flexible payment solutions to merchants.

EVO, AEVI work abroad

EVO Payments International and AEVI International GmbH, a provider of global, face-to-face payment transaction solutions and a marketplace for business-to-business apps, launched a close strategic platinum partnership to extend EVO's access, capabilities and performance in the Pan-European market. AEVI will be part of EVO´s offering to merchants, with AEVI's payment processing system enhancing EVO's portfolio by addressing high-priority pain points merchants, banks and ATM companies encounter in daily operations, EVO stated.

Mobi724, FutureBrand align

Mobi724 Global Solutions Inc., a provider of digital incentives and couponing, signed a strategic alliance with FutureBrand, a brand strategy and design consultancy. The companies said their relationship enables Mobi724 to expand its business and operations into five additional countries in Central and South America. The expansion will commence in Colombia where a leading processor is committed to market Mobi724 solutions.

NAB, Womply join forces

North American Bancard and Womply partnered to offer merchants Insights, a tool that provides merchants with advanced analytics, online reputation management, and more. NAB stated that Insights is an innovative new platform that helps businesses track their revenue, protect their online reputation, provide in-depth analysis of their customers, and simplify the process of running their businesses.

Recurly, Kount

Recurly Inc. partnered with Kount Inc. to offer anti-fraud services focused on the needs of subscription-based merchants. Specifically, the companies intend to protect the revenue of subscription-based businesses from the losses and costs caused by CNP fraud. "Safeguarding profit is a shared goal between Kount and Recurly as we seek to detect and stop fraud before it impacts revenue and damages both subscriber and banking relationships," said Dan Burkhart, Recurly's CEO.

SlabbKiosks joins Ingenico program

SlabbKiosks is working with Ingenico Group to bring secure, EMV-enabled unattended payment devices to the market. SlabbKiosks, known for its customized kiosk solutions, will utilize Ingenico Group's unattended payment solutions and become a member of the company's Unattended Partner Program. The program will allow SlabbKiosks to provide secure, EMV- and near field communication (NFC)-enabled unattended self-service payment solutions via its kiosks and customized hardware solutions.

TransFirst, ITelagen form alliance

TransFirst and ITelagen LLC forged a strategic alliance. Under the agreement, TransFirst will offer its payment processing products and services to ITelagen clients, granting them access to the full suite of TransFirst's payment processing products and services, including 24/7, U.S.-based support, a competitive pricing structure, and dedicated and collaborative sales support teams, the companies said.

WEX, Voxel sign agreement

WEX Inc. entered an agreement with Voxel Group, a global supplier of electronic billing and settlement services to the hospitality and travel industries. The long-term relationship established by the agreement is based on the integration of WEX's virtual payments solution into the Voxel-owned baVel electronic settlement platform that communicates directly with hotel property management systems, according to WEX.

The Green Sheet, Inc.ACQUISITIONS

Blackhawk purchases extrameasures

Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc. acquired extrameasures, a prepaid consumer promotions and incentives company. Through its customized rebate programs, extrameasures offers Visa prepaid cards and private label merchant-specific reward and gift cards with a proprietary platform to help businesses drive consumer acquisition, engagement and loyalty. The acquisition will broaden the reach of Blackhawk's already extensive incentive and engagement business, Blackhawk stated.

Electronic Payments gains Vault

Electronic Payments Inc. acquired substantially all the assets of Vault Payments Group, a provider of integrated payment offerings for Acumatica, Microsoft, NetSuite and Sage ERP. Electronic Payments noted that all of Vault's employees have joined its team and will operate out of a new office in Washington state. Electronic Payments founder and CEO Michael Nardy said, "As a complete payment processing company, our integrations into ERP software are essential additions to our service offerings. Between our gateway, point of sale software and integrated divisions, we deliver a host of tools for merchants of all sizes."

Ingenico buys Think&Go NFC

Ingenico acquired Think&Go NFC, a provider of connected screens. Founded in 2010, Think&Go NFC developed a technology that enables any kind of digital display to interact with connected objects such as smartphones and transit passes.

The companies said that by drawing on Ingenico's global network and research and development capabilities, Think&Go NFC will grow its business faster, and achieve a twentyfold increase in the number of screens deployed within the next three years.

SwervePay acquires StatpayMD

SwervePay LLC acquired StatPayMD to provide healthcare consumers the information, tools and transparency needed to manage their financial responsibility. StatPayMD makes it easy for patients to understand out-of-pocket costs before and directly after care, SwervePay said, adding that with SwervePay's payment tool, patients can better communicate about cost of care, understand payment options, and pay their bill on the go and in a way that is convenient for them.

TSYS finalizes TransFirst deal

Total System Services Inc. (TSYS) completed acquisition of TransFirst. TransFirst and TSYS' existing merchant businesses will be combined under the TSYS brand to create the sixth largest merchant acquirer in the United States based on revenue, and the third largest integrated payment provider in the United States, TSYS reported. TransFirst's President and CEO, John Shlonsky, was elected as Senior Executive Vice President of TSYS, and will lead the combined businesses, reporting to Pam Joseph, President and Chief Operating Officer-elect of TSYS.

The Green Sheet, Inc.APPOINTMENTS

RGCA elects leadership

The Retail Gift Card Association, a trade association of diverse, closed-loop gift card industry professionals, elected five new individuals to its board of directors. The new members are Tim Anderson, Lauren Haus, Marina Hodges, Jenny Jeansonne, and Mike Strohl. The RCGA also appointed two current board members to executive positions. Erin Wood will assume the role of Treasurer and Colleen Dorwart will serve as Vice Chair for the 2016-2017 term.

Atkinson joins Principle

Principle Payments appointed Kristofer Atkinson as its President and Chief Sales Officer. In this key role, Atkinson's vision, combined with his strategic development expertise, is expected to propel Principle's sales forward. A California native, Atkinson presently resides in Long Island, N.Y.

Payscout hires Gardner

Payscout Inc. appointed Dan Gardner as its Chief Financial Officer. Gardner graduated from London Business School with an MBA, and holds a bachelor's degree in commerce from Concordia University in Montreal. He is a licensed CPA and brings a wealth of global financial expertise to his new position, including a five-year tenure as Chief Financial Officer of Transfast, and other financial management positions at international firms, Payscout noted.

Lindow, Sipes join NACHA

NACHA ‒ The Electronic Payments Association reported that it appointed two additional representatives to its Board Advisory Group, underscoring the industry rulemaker's commitment to the direct and inclusive engagement of the payments end-user and solution-provider communities. The two new representatives are Colleen P. Lindow, Vice President, Payments, Risk and Compliance at Bill.com; and Kim Sipes, Director, Treasury at Duke Energy.

Muntean chosen by NAB

NAB hired Justin Muntean as its Senior Vice President of Sales. In his new position, Muntean will provide leadership to NAB's Direct Acceptance Group and National Sales Team, as well as contribute to the company's marketing and business strategies. Muntean comes to NAB with considerable leadership experience within the payments industry. His most recent position was as Executive Vice President with mobile payments app Moocho Inc., NAB stated. end of article

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