The Green Sheet Online Edition
July 24, 2016 • Issue 16:07:02
- Coffee and books are not the only items on the menu at Barnes & Noble Booksellers Inc. Starting in 2017, the iconic bookstore chain plans to open four concept stores featuring enlarged cafes that will offer full-service breakfast, lunch and dinner, including beer and wine, to satiate appetites as readers peruse the bestseller list.
- The new owners of once defunct Circuit City brick-and-mortar chain plan to revive the brand working backward. Instead of opening physical stores initially, this time around Circuit City launched an online store in mid-June 2016. In the next phase, owners plan to open a flagship store that will introduce a new look for electronics and gaming enthusiasts.
- Being nimble in the grocery business has become an essential ingredient. As grocers attempt to navigate what's fashionable in food, niche retailers are increasingly taking market share from traditional supermarkets by offering such formats as discount stores and gourmet/natural markets, according to a recent Nielsen report. U.S. shoppers apparently favor prepared meals over ingredients to cook themselves, and prefer stores that cater to health and wellness needs.
Clearent honored as top workplace
Clearent LLC earned 2016 Top Workplaces recognition by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The publication's Top Workplaces lists are based solely on the results of an employee feedback survey administered by WorkplaceDynamics LLC, a leading research firm that specializes in organizational health and workplace improvement. Several aspects of workplace culture were measured, including alignment, execution and connection, among others.
CO-OP sponsors emerging tech center
CO-OP Financial Services and Filene Research Institute will launch the next Filene Center of Excellence – the Center for Emerging Technology – to provide research and education to credit unions on financial technology. CO-OP is the primary sponsor for the new center, which will be led by a tenured academic who will be named in late summer 2016, before the center's formal launch.
Operating as a nonprofit think tank, Filene's Centers of Excellence are supported by nearly 2,000 financial institution (FI) members and led by academic leaders dedicated to issues affecting the future of credit unions, retail banking and cooperative finance. The Center for Emerging Technology plans to host an annual academic meeting and produce three major research studies per year over the next four years, covering blockchain and bitcoin, the FI customer user experience, and more.
EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework advances
On July 12, 2016, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker joined European Union Commissioner Věra Jourová in the approval of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework. The framework will provide businesses with a mechanism to self-certify in compliance with enforceable EU data protection requirements when transferring personal data from the EU to the United States during the execution of transatlantic commerce.
"We worked hand in hand with the European Commission to address the concerns raised throughout this process," Pritzker said during a press conference. "We will continue to work closely with the Article 29 Working Party and the European Data Protection Authorities to implement the Privacy Shield." The Working Party was established under Article 29 of Directive 95/46/EC as an independent advisory body to address data protection and privacy.
Higher One sale scrutinized
Shareholder rights law firm Johnson & Weaver LLP launched an investigation into whether the board members of Higher One Holdings Inc. breached their fiduciary duties in connection with the proposed sale of the company. The investigation claims the Higher One board failed to satisfy their duties to the company shareholders by not adequately pursuing acquisition alternatives or obtaining the best price possible for Higher One shares of common stock.
Index secures Series B funding
Retail software developer Index raised $19 million in Series B funding led by General Catalyst Partners and Datalogix Inc. founder Rob Gierkink. The company plans to use the capital to accelerate deployment to the grocery, apparel and quick-service retail sectors; increase its reach to U.S. customers; and grow its engineering, product and business teams. Index secured $7 million in Series A funding in 2013, enabling it to launch with top national retail brands.
Instabill adds bitcoin payouts
Global merchant services provider Instabill recently introduced bitcoin as a deposit payout option for merchant clients. Instabill merchants can now receive payouts in bitcoin from Instabill, contingent upon having or opening a bitcoin account with a reputable bitcoin wallet provider, the company stated.
"It has long been a goal of Instabill to have the ability to payout and accept payments in bitcoin," said Jason Field, Chief Executive Officer of Instabill. "It has been a series of steps. Not only can we pay out merchants in bitcoin, but we will soon be setting up merchants to accept bitcoin as an additional payment solution." He noted that the company is not trying to persuade merchants to adopt bitcoin; instead, bitcoin is part of the innovative solutions available on its service menu.
NAB's PayAnywhere device available over counter
PayAnywhere, the mobile POS solution from North American Bancard Holdings LLC, rolled out its PayAnywhere Credit Card Reader nationwide at Best Buy. Best Buy will carry both of NAB's card readers, including the traditional PayAnywhere mag stripe card reader and the new PayAnywhere reader that also accepts EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) chip cards and near field communication (NFC) contactless payments.
PayIt earns top honors in competition
PayIt LLC was one of five U.S. startups invited to present to over 200 mayors participating in the 84th Annual United States Conference of Mayors. After an initial three-minute pitch to the attending mayors and questions from a panel of judges, PayIt won first place and $10,000. PayIt showcased its mobile and web application designed to simplify the way individuals transact with government for various services through a single profile and portal.
PayOnline gateway recognized
Net Element Inc. subsidiary PayOnline earned kudos for being a top payment gateway, according to digital market analytics agency Tagline.ru in its 2016 Payment Systems Rating. The top-10 payment gateway rating was compiled based on a survey performed from August 2014 to April 2015 that involved more than 390 digital firms that offer payments integration and other digital services. PayOnline moved up two positions from its previous fourth-place ranking.
ProfitStars technology honored
ProfitStars, a division of Jack Henry & Associates Inc., earned a spot on the Penton Technology annual MSPmentor 501: 2016 Global Edition list for its Gladiator Technology. The venue is the IT channel's largest and most comprehensive list of leading managed service provider organizations worldwide. The MSPmentor 501 list has recognized ProfitStars' Gladiator Technology portfolio of managed solutions for FIs for six consecutive years.
TSYS receives accolades
Total System Services Inc. was honored for the third time as one of America's most community-minded companies in The Civic 50, an initiative that identifies and recognizes companies for their commitment to improving the quality of life in the communities where they do business. The survey was developed by Points of Light, an organization dedicated to volunteer service, in partnership with a high-profile working group of researchers and industry thought leaders.
Unleashed obtains funding, recognition
After completing $3 million in capital funding, Unleashed Software renewed focus on its QuickBooks Online inventory integration. The integration enables clients to share customer, supplier, inventory and delivery information with QuickBooks Online for real-time insights. The New Zealand-based company stated it plans to deploy a new level of cloud-based service delivery designed to boost its growth in the U.S. and international markets.
Wendy's responds to security incident
Wendy's Co. issued an update regarding malicious cyber activity experienced at several Wendy's restaurants. First reporting unusual payment card activity at some franchise-owned restaurants in February 2016, the company subsequently reported an additional malware variant had been identified and disabled in June 2016. It also disclosed the U.S. franchise locations that may have been impacted and pledged support for affected customers.
"We have conducted a rigorous investigation to understand what has occurred and apply those learnings to further strengthen our data security measures," said Todd Penegor, Wendy's President and CEO. The company believes cyberattacks may have resulted from service providers' remote access credentials being
compromised, allowing access and the ability to deploy malware on non-company-owned franchisee POS systems starting in the fall 2015.
AppsFlyer reports on in-app spending
AppsFlyer released its State of In-App Spending report, detailing in-app purchase (IAP) behaviors of more than 100 million mobile app users across more than 1,000 apps. The report revealed Asian users spend 40 percent more on in-app purchases overall, while North Americans spend more in shopping apps. The report showed that iOS users spend nearly 2.5 times as much as Android users ($1.08 versus $0.43) in monthly IAPs per user, per app.
ATMIA issues study results
The ATM Industry Association published a study on U.S. payment trends titled U.S. Consumer Payments Trends Summary. The research was commissioned by ATMIA and conducted by Tremont Capital Group Inc. "There has been a shift from paper payments to electronic payments over the past two decades, but shifts in U.S. consumer preferences have been far less dramatic and more gradual than many assumed," said Sam Ditzion, CEO of TCG and author of the study.
CardinalCommerce reports on millennials
CardinalCommerce introduced a free resource for ecommerce merchants selling to the millennial demographic. Titled Eight Astonishing Facts Merchants Need to Know about Millennials, the report breaks down the online purchasing habits of the millennial group and provides tips for creating a millennial-friendly ecommerce experience. It covers preferred payment methods, mobile payments, online purchasing, consumer authentication programs and more.
Mercator studies alternative currencies
A new report from Mercator Advisory Group, Alternative Currencies: Are Cryptocurrencies Ready for Prime Time?, identifies several central concepts underlying cryptocurrencies and their marketplace potential. The research note provides a nontechnical guide to competing cryptocurrencies and support services that will help businesses understand the implications and perceived impacts of the wider use of cryptocurrencies.
NFC Forum talks IoT, NFC
The NFC Forum published a paper on the Internet of Things (IoT) and NFC smart home applications titled Simplifying IoT: Connecting, Commissioning, and Controlling with Near Field Communication – NFC Makes the Smart Home a Reality. The paper outlines the future of IoT devices in the smart home and how NFC's "single tap" interface could help developers and manufacturers unify the IoT experience where people live, work and play.
RSR reports on retailer pricing
According to a recent Retail Systems Research benchmark on retailers' pricing strategies, a modern price strategy must respond quickly to competitors' prices, work well across channels, and be granular in execution. The Pricing 2016: Life Becomes Unmanageable report contains an analysis of business drivers, opportunities and organizational constraints associated with retailers' pricing strategies, and offers baseline recommendations for navigating these tactics.
ePay, Allegro team up
ePAY Healthcare formed a long-term strategic partnership with Allegro Credit, whose patient-friendly healthcare financing was created to provide patients with easy access to affordable monthly payment plans. The combined patient payment and patient financing solution will utilize ePAY's predictive analytics, enabling providers to design patient financial plans that are as personal as clinical care plans, the companies stated.
First Data, SVB partnership expanded
First Data Corp. entered a strategic agreement to expand its relationship with Silicon Valley Bank to facilitate payment acceptance for bank clients throughout the business lifecycle. "Silicon Valley Bank is an outstanding ally with deep roots and expertise in the technology industry, a sector in which First Data has made significant inroads in recent years," said Chris Foskett, Executive Vice President, Head of Corporate & Business Development for First Data.
InTouch integrates with ABC Financial
InTouch Technology integrated its personal training software with ABC Financial Services' DataTrak calendar for the health and fitness industry. The InTouch PT Sync can now transfer lead status information, update member appointments and set follow-up protocols for clubs. Following a previous integration that automatically created leads and managed member status, PT Sync will guarantee PT leads receive the same attention as other leads, the companies said.
MasterCard assists Microsoft Dynamics customers
MasterCard Worldwide, in collaboration with Microsoft Corp., will soon bring secure ecommerce payments to Microsoft Dynamics AX enterprise resource planning customers. With the integration of MasterCard's Simplify Commerce payments platform, Microsoft Dynamics clients will have one system that connects end-to-end planning with sales. Simplify Commerce will initially be available to Dynamics AX users in 13 countries, including the United States.
McKesson, Change Healthcare form company
McKesson Corp. and Change Healthcare Holdings Inc. together created a new healthcare information technology company. The new organization expects to deliver solutions that will help lower healthcare costs, improve patient access and outcomes, and make it simpler for payers, providers and consumers to manage the transition to value-based care.
OT, AFSCM deploy joint services
Oberthur Technologies partnered with Association Française du Sans Contact Mobile to roll out NFC services in France in conjunction with the three major French mobile operators: Bouygues Telecom, Orange and SFR. OT is working with said mobile operators to build a common hub that will enable full-scale launch of NFC services throughout France. OT accepted the role of sole provider for deployment and management of the new hub.
Pace Payment aligns with @Pay
Pace Payment Systems teamed with @Pay to integrate a text-to-pay feature into @Pay's suite of secure payment products. The combined technologies are expected to improve the payment experience by removing the need for cardholders to repeatedly enter sensitive card data. "Text-to-pay with @Pay is a solution that will help our partners win and retain business all while accelerating payments for all parties," said Scott Scherr, President of Pace Payment.
SignaPay, Priority Payment extend terms
SignaPay LTD. and Priority Payment Systems LLC agreed to a three-year contract extension. This will allow for expanded product integrations and technology solutions to further enhance ISO and merchant relationships. "We share the same focus: to meet the demand of our partners and their merchants and deliver technology and products that will grow their business," said John Martillo, CEO of SignaPay.
UPMC, IBM form Pensiamo
UPMC formed Pensiamo, an independent company that aims to help hospitals improve supply chain performance through a source-to-pay offering that applies cognitive analytics using IBM Watson Health technologies. IBM in now a minority owner of Pensiamo. "The aim is to offer providers a supply chain management approach tailored to each institution's specialties, patient population and other unique needs," said Pensiamo CEO James Szilagy.
Blackboard affiliate bids on Higher One
A Blackboard Inc. affiliate entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Higher One. The acquisition allows for collaboration between Higher One dba CASHNet, a software provider of secure online payment of tuition and fees, and the Blackboard Transact business line. Under terms of the merger agreement, Blackboard's parent company, Winchester Acquisition Corp., will commence a tender offer for all outstanding shares of common stock of Higher One at a price of $5.15 per share.
GHX buys Hap-X
Healthcare supply chain management provider Global Healthcare Exchange LLC acquired H-Card LLC (Hap-X). The acquisition marks the second for GHX in 19 months and expands its financial products portfolio to deliver greater payment choice. As a wholly owned subsidiary, Hap-X automated payment capabilities will enable GHX to extend demand-to-pay services to its portfolio of over 4,000 hospital and 18,000 provider facility clients, GHX noted.
Infor assumes Predictix
Business apps developer Infor acquired Predictix, a provider of cloud-native, predictive and machine-learning solutions for retailers. The new Infor CloudSuite Retail enterprise apps will incorporate Predictix demand forecasting, markdown optimization and other features. The acquisition comes six months after Infor made an initial investment in Predictix. "Buying out the other Predictix investors makes sense to bring the teams together and provide the scale and resources needed to accelerate the retail revolution," said Charles Phillips, Infor CEO.
Wirecard acquires Citi Prepaid
Wirecard AG reached a definitive agreement to acquire Citi Prepaid Card Services, extending Wirecard's global presence into the North American market. Subject to obtaining regulatory approvals and other customary conditions, closing is expected as early as the fourth quarter of 2016. Wirecard plans to assume all current staff with more than 100 employees at the head office in Conshohocken, Pa., and 20 employees at different international hubs.
ABC welcomes Escobedo, Card
ABC Financial named Mike Escobedo as Senior Vice President of Client Management and Kelly Card as Vice President of Client Management. In their roles, Escobedo and Card will manage the overall strategic approach of executing techniques designed to drive a consistent customer experience. Previously employed at ABC, both Escobedo and Card most recently led the global expansion and daily operations at Netpulse, ABC's partner mobile app company.
Foss assumes new role at JHA
JHA put into effect the organizational changes disclosed in January 2016, including the executive transition of David Foss from President to President and Chief Executive Officer. Foss has served as President of JHA since July 2014. As Foss assumes the additional role of CEO, Jack Prim, the incumbent CEO and Chairman of the Board, will remain active with the organization in the new role of Executive Chairman.
UniRush appoints Hynes
UniRush LLC appointed Ron Hynes as its CEO. Hynes previously served as Executive Vice President of Global Prepaid Solutions at MasterCard and, most recently, as President of Global Markets at Mozido Inc. "Ron Hynes is one of the most qualified and respected leaders in the prepaid payments industry. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hire him to lead our company," said Russell Simmons, co-founder of RushCard.
Talwar appointed by PayCommerce
PayCommerce appointed Keshav "Kesh" Talwar as Chief Payments Officer and Chief Financial Officer in an effort to drive global expansion and maintain a competitive market position. Talwar brings over 25 years of payments industry experience to the role. He has led payment strategies, product and business development, and finance at firms such as Ingenico Group, Global Collect, First Data , MasterCard and Citibank.
Wooten joins NBP
National Benefit Programs expanded its leadership team, with Sonny Wooten taking the new position of Vice President of Business Development. In his new role, Wooten will deliver NBP's innovative retention and revenue solutions to the marketplace, working with partners to meet their needs.
Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.