The Green Sheet Online Edition
May 09, 2016 • Issue 16:05:01
- With millions of web-enabled vehicles on the road today, subscription-based software linked to driver smartphone and dashboard displays could capture more aftermarket product and service sales for dealerships. The software can be used to solicit customer feedback, send maintenance alerts or roadside assistance as needed, issue special promotions for referrals, or encourage buyers to test drive the next model year.
- To refresh the idiom "a picture is worth a thousand words," luxury daily deals maven Alexis Maybank believes pictures are worth thousands of dollars. Working with brands and retailers her new Project September app allows fashionistas to upload photos and other people's photo streams, click on images and buy the items immediately. Shoppers can continually monitor what's next in fashion pictorially, so they never miss a beat.
- The rise of chatbots on mobile messaging platforms has fueled the growth of artificial intelligence programs designed to simulate conversation to open two-way interaction with actual people on matters related to lifestyle, weather and other personal interests. For retail brands like Sephora USA Inc. and H&M, the interactive chatbots have been busy building brand awareness, which could ultimately convert browsers into shoppers.
Affirm gains funding
Affirm Inc., the alternative funding enterprise started by PayPal Inc. co-founder Max Levchin, raised $100 million in a Series D round of equity funding. Founders Fund led the round and was joined by existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Spark Capital, Khosla Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Jefferies and other new investors. Affirm said the capital will be used to increase its loan distribution capacity, grow its merchant clientele and expand new financial product offerings beyond POS financing.
ATMIA creates member categories
The ATM Industry Association launched a new member categorization system to showcase its balance of membership across the ATM industry and better understand all industry sectors in its membership base. "The new structure not only allows ATMIA to better visualize its members' market service offerings, but also helps to target and enhance member benefits and website experience," said Sharon Lane, ATMIA's Global Director, Finance and Member Services.
Coinalytics becomes Skry
Blockchain analytics and intelligence firm Skry Inc. – formerly known as Coinalytics – unveiled its new name and logo. The Skry platform provides real-time business intelligence and risk assessment from blockchains and decentralized applications. "The reasoning behind the rebranding is to highlight our vision to converge the blockchain, big data and artificial intelligence into the most advanced analytics platform for enterprises and financial institutions," said Fabio Federici, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Skry.
Comtech awarded patent for mobile solution
Comtech Telecommunications Corp., through its recently acquired subsidiary, TeleCommunication Systems Inc., was issued a U.S. patent for its Location Trust Score technology. U.S. Patent No. 9,277,526 grants Comtech intellectual property protection and licensing opportunities for its unique process for identifying the reliability of a mobile location by generating a location trust score, Comtech stated.
ETA recognizes notable industry leaders
The Electronic Transactions Association showcased winners of the 2016 ETA Star Awards at the Transact 16 President's Dinner, an annual event recognizing leaders in the payments industry. The 2015 Distinguished Payments Professional award recipient, Angela Brown, President and CEO of Moneris Solutions Corp., presented Donna Embry, Chief Payments Advisor at Payment Alliance International with the 2016 ETA Distinguished Payments Professional Award.
MCPS expands operations
Merchants' Choice Payment Solutions opened a new operations center in Shenandoah, Texas, to provide increased capacity for customer support and operations. "This facility will enable us to continue our objective of providing industry leading service quality, process automation, and leading edge products," said Todd Linden, President and CEO of MCPS.
NAB incorporates Inovio
North American Bancard Holdings LLC launched Inovio Payments, a global online payment service for online enterprises and small to midsize businesses (SMBs). With the addition of Inovio, NAB expands its product offerings to a wider scope of businesses and industries across a greater number of markets. "Inovio is an ideal complement to our already stellar group of companies under the North American Bancard Holdings," said Terri Harwood, Chief Operating Officer of NAB.
NACHA names finalists
NACHA ‒ The Electronic Payments Association revealed the finalists for the NACHA Challenge, a team competition to foster improvements in the automated clearing house end-user experience. More than two dozen teams from corporate entities, solution providers, financial institutions and other innovators submitted proposals. Finalist teams will compete for a $15,000 Judges' Choice and $10,000 Audience Choice prize.
PCI SSC releases PCI DSS 3.2
On April 28, 2016, the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) published a new version of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS), which is used by businesses around the world use to safeguard payment data before, during and after a purchase is made. PCI DSS version 3.2 replaces version 3.1, which will expire Oct. 31, and addresses growing threats to customer payment information. "Companies that accept, process or receive payments should adopt it as soon as possible to prevent, detect and respond to cyberattacks that can lead to breaches," the PCI SSC stated.
"The payments industry recognizes PCI DSS as a mature standard, so the primary changes in version 3.2 are clarifications on requirements that help organizations confirm that critical data security controls remain in place throughout the year, and that they are effectively tested as part of the ongoing security monitoring process," said PCI SSC General Manager Stephen Orfei.
He added that this includes new requirements for administrators and services providers, and the cardholder data environments they are responsible to protect. "PCI DSS 3.2 advocates that organizations focus on people, process and policy, with technology playing an important role in reducing the overall cardholder data footprint," he said.
Spotluck recognized as D.C. tech champion
The D.C. tech community voted Spotluck, a mobile app that features local restaurants, as the DCInno Tech Madness champion. The annual competition is hosted by Streetwise Media's DC Inno and is also run in Boston, Chicago and Austin. The competition pitted 64 local tech companies head-to-head in an NCAA basketball-style tournament bracket and asked the community one question: Which D.C. tech company will be the most valuable in five years?
TSG celebrates 10 years
2006 marked the launch of The Strawhecker Group, a consulting firm focused on the global payments industry. Since then, the firm has grown to three partners and more than 25 associates and staff. "When given opportunities to serve new clients, we work diligently to earn their trust with high-value, high-impact services by leveraging our experts and industry data," said Mike Strawhecker, Principal at the firm.
Visa lands in Singapore
Visa Inc. opened its Singapore innovation center in April 2016, and stated it was the first in a network of new innovation centers the company is opening around the world. "The new 7,000 square foot facility in Singapore has been established as a destination for clients, partners and developers across the region to work alongside Visa experts and jointly create the next generation of commerce applications," Visa said.
Zebra Technologies recognized for design
Zebra Technologies Corp., based in Lincolnshire, Ill., reported that its DS3600 scanner, TC8000 touch mobile computer, ZD410 compact desktop printer and TC70 touch computer all earned coveted Red Dot awards for high-quality design. "The multiple awards are an acknowledgment of Zebra's dedication to recognizing industries' needs and providing customer-centric product design, focused on ergonomic and efficiency principles," the company stated.
CART reports on emerging technologies
The Center for Advancing Retail & Technology released the quarterly CART Retail Innovation Report. Covering the first quarter 2016, it identified virtual reality (VR) and the Internet of Things (IoT) as emerging technology trends among U.S. brands and retailers. "The emergence of advanced technologies like VR and IoT are a new development for retail, especially as technology adoption moves so fast today," said Gary Hawkins, founder and CEO of CART.
ETA reveals PayFac best practices
The ETA rolled-out the new Payment Facilitator guidelines offering direction and best practices to new entrants regarding settlement, registration, funding delays, fraud, security and related issues. Authored by Double Diamond Group LLC on behalf of the ETA, these guidelines will help promote the growth of the Payment Facilitator segment as it brings new technology companies into the payments industry, the ETA stated.
Survey findings released on mobile, fraud
According to data from the 2016 Mobile Payments & Fraud Survey, the latest in a series of annual studies conducted by Kount Inc., CardNotPresent.com and The Fraud Practice LLC, the majority of merchants are overwhelmingly incorporating mobile payment options into their online and mobile commerce strategies. But they are unaware of the type of risks these new technologies bring ‒ let alone what they even look like.
NACHA writes on mobile wallets
NACHA's Payments Innovation Alliance released a white paper titled The Winning Mobile Wallet Solution. Authored by The Alliance's Mobile Wallet Team, the paper provides details on the capabilities and benefits of financial institution- and retailer-branded mobile wallets and the importance of interoperability. The white paper provides information about the functionality, business case, value and benefits of mobile wallets.
Trustwave examines cybercrime
Trustwave released the 2016 Trustwave Global Security Report, which encompasses the top cybercrime, data breach and security threat trends from 2015. The report covers how criminals made use of malware-as-a-service, which data they targeted, the most common attack methods, how long it took for businesses to detect and contain data breaches, what types of businesses criminals targeted, and where the majority of victims were located.
DCS integrates with Blackhawk
Digital Currency Systems integrated Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc.'s technology to exchange and underwrite transactions with its POS system and distribution channel, enabling customers to receive cash in exchange for private-label gift cards. "This partnership provides DCS clients an additional opportunity to further increase revenue, with a high margin product at virtually no additional cost," said Todd Gagerman, President and CEO of DCS.
EPX supports Ingenico terminals
Electronic Payment Exchange is supporting Ingenico Group's iWL228 and iWL258 wireless smart terminals with EPXPay Wi-Fi. In addition, EPXPay SI, a semi-integrated mode version, is available on Ingenico's smart terminals. "We're seeing a lot of activity in this space, and are pleased to be working with EPX to take new solutions to market," said Bernie Frey, Senior Vice President, Indirect Sales, U.S. at Ingenico.
FAPS, UL team on EMV
First American Payment Systems L.P. and UL Transaction Security partnered to offer Astrex, a real-time payment simulator, to reduce development time and streamline EMV validation for independent software vendors and value added resellers. Paired with FAPS' semi-integrated EMV solution, the testing environment will ease the burden of EMV development and validation, resulting in a faster time to market, the companies said.
FIS, TCH plan real-time pilot
Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) and The Clearing House Payments Company LLC will launch a pilot with early-adopter financial institutions that will focus initially on the bill payment use case. It will use FIS technology and operate via TCH's real-time payment platform. Now under development, the pilot will go live in the first quarter of 2017 and bring payments that clear and settle in real-time to the pilot financial institutions, FIS stated.
Moneris, talech form strategic partnership
Moneris and talech Inc. formed a strategic partnership and referral agreement. Under the agreement, talech's mPOS solution will be offered to merchants exclusively via Moneris bank channels. The solution offers SMBs in the United States an mPOS solution that accepts payments and improves business management.
Samsung Pay aligns with top POS providers
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. reported that it forged new partnerships with the world's largest POS makers, including Verifone Inc., Ingenico Group, First Data Corp. and its Clover division, PAX Technology Inc., Equinox Payments LLC, ID Tech, MagTek Inc., USAePay and OTI Global, to accelerate mobile payment adoption by ensuring the best possible user experience at the POS during checkout. Working with the largest POS makers, Samsung Pay is driving toward the goal of universal merchant acceptance, which is critical to consumer adoption, Samsung said.
SCS increases bank relationships
Security Card Services LLC entered into multiple new U.S. banking partnerships. SCS, a bank-focused merchant services provider, will manage the technical and service issues for the banks and their merchants, provide innovative and smart technology, and handle implementation of merchant growth programs. The banks are First Community Bank, Bluefield, Va.; First Bank of Manhattan, Manhattan, Ill.; Inland Northwest Bank, Spokane, Wash.; and Rhinebeck Bank, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. "We are thrilled to welcome these new bank partners to our team," said William Alias III, Security Card Services President.
TNS partners with Bluefin
Transaction Network Services Inc. partnered with Bluefin Payment Systems to provide Bluefin's Decryptx PCI DSS-validated point-to-point encryption (P2PE) solution within its managed POS encryption suite. TNS said that through this integration with Bluefin's Decryptx decryption-as-a-service product, it will soon offer the security of Bluefin's PCI-validated P2PE solution within its portfolio of managed POS encryption products.
TSYS, HealthEquity renew agreement
Total System Services Inc. signed a long-term renewal agreement with HealthEquity Inc. to provide payment processing services for the company's healthcare payments portfolio. TSYS noted that it has provided processing services for HealthEquity since 2009. "Our renewed partnership with TSYS will enable us to continue to grow our business quickly and efficiently," said Jon Soldan, Executive Vice President of Operations at HealthEquity.
Bill & Pay, Esber acquired by i3
i3 Verticals LLC stated is has completed two acquisitions: Minneapolis-based Bill & Pay and Esber Cash Register, headquartered in Canton, Ohio. Bill & Pay is an invoicing and payment software solution for businesses that enables merchants to accept checking account, credit card and PayPal payments online. Esber Cash Register provides Ohio and Pennsylvania school systems with a cost-effective method for hosting online payments in a secure web-based system, i3 noted.
Investors gain stake in CMS
A group of investors including GCP Capital Partners Holdings LLC, Western Heritage Capital, and Performance Equity Management LLC acquired a significant stake in Complete Merchant Solutions LLC. Headquartered in Orem, Utah, CMS was founded in 2008. The company said it works closely with merchants to meet their unique processing needs, has developed technology solutions and partners with many independent software vendors to provide integrated payment solutions.
Heartland, Global merger approved
Global Payments Inc. and Heartland Payment Systems Inc. reported that Heartland stockholders voted to approve the merger of the two companies. Approximately 29.7 million shares were voted in favor of the merger proposal. The favorable vote represents approximately 99 percent of Heartland shares of those who voted on the merger proposal and 80 percent of the total outstanding Heartland share count.
TIO now owns Softgate
TIO Networks Corp. completed its acquisition of Softgate Systems Inc. With this newly acquired subsidiary, TIO will become the largest provider of walk-in bill payment services in North America; it will also be one of the leading providers of payment processing and receivables management to national and regional utility, wireless and cable bill issuers across North America, according to TIO.
Hyde, Miller join IdentityMind as advisors
IdentityMind Global appointed Reginald Hyde and Kyle L. Miller to the company's board of advisors. Hyde and Miller join a team of experienced business and technology leaders who will work with IdentityMind Global President and CEO Garrett Gafke to guide the company's security capabilities and business strategy. "We are very pleased to welcome Reg and Kyle to our advisory board," Gafke said.
Laskowski joins Merchants' Choice
Merchants' Choice Payment Solutions, also known as Delta Card Services Inc., appointed Robin Laskowski to the position of Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer. Before joining Merchants' Choice, Laskowski held the position of Client Solutions Director & Sales for SmartDog Services, an Oracle technology and enterprise resource planning services provider. While there, she worked with midsize to large companies in the planning, delivery and support of complex technology solutions, Merchants' Choice noted.
TMG adds Metschke
The Members Group added Ron Metschke as it Senior Vice President, Channel Development, a new position created to support recent growth, TMG reported. Metschke will be responsible for developing and executing new delivery channels and creating new market strategies for TMG. Metschke will also be responsible for strengthening relationships with TMG's current clients.
Pruitt appointed by CMS
Contractor Management Services named Drake Pruitt its CEO. Pruitt has been running the company as Executive Chairman in addition to serving as a member of its board of directors since the beginning of 2016. As CEO, Pruitt will continue to oversee the company's day-to-day operations while leading efforts to further accelerate growth in existing and new markets, expand development of new products, and maintain CMS customer service.
Tumbarello joins Transfast
Transfast appointed Joe Tumbarello as its Chief Financial Officer. Tumbarello will also continue as Chief Operating Officer, a position he has held since June 2015. As COO, he has been responsible for overseeing the company's day-to-day operations. "Joe has proven himself to be a capable leader and is ideally positioned to take on a broader role that better serves the needs of our fast-growing business," said Transfast CEO Samish Kumar.
ACI appoints van Rensburg
ACI Worldwide appointed Hannes van Rensburg as its Senior Vice President of Business Development. With more than two decades of senior executive experience, van Rensburg brings mobile banking payment expertise to ACI, the company stated. "In the rapidly changing payments industry, there are countless opportunities to innovate and bring new products to market, and we're excited to have Hannes lead this key business development area," said Craig Saks, Group President at ACI Worldwide.
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