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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

November 28, 2016 • Issue 16:11:02

Industry Update

The Green Sheet, Inc.RETAIL BRIEFS

  • As the final holiday stretch approaches, the consumer shift to e-commerce continues to drive demand for warehouse space. According to analysts at PricewaterhouseCoopers, for each $1 billion generated in online retail sales, 1 million square feet of commercial space is needed to house products and operations to process online orders on a massive scale. PwC estimates ecommerce operations use a fifth more warehouse and distribution space than traditional brick-and-more retailers to accommodate single-packaged items and broader assortment in products.
  • Holiday cookie orders and other school-related items just got a lot easier for parents to purchase, thanks to the Activities payment feature that has been added to the Remind platform. Originally created for kindergarten through 12th grade teachers to broadcast communications to eager parents, Remind today serves more than 60,000 schools and 2.9 million classrooms where teachers no longer have to ask parents to fumble around for spare change to pay for students' extracurricular activities.
  • Counterfeit products globally continue to cause economic stress for brands that produce legitimate items. Understanding this, a new smartphone app called SAFE is able to verify the authenticity of a product based on its fingerprint. Arjo Solutions' patented Signoptic vision-based technology converts a product's texture into a unique digital signature using a proprietary algorithm, and being non-reproducible, foils would-be thieves.

The Green Sheet, Inc.ANNOUNCEMENTS

360 Payments unveils automotive payment tool

360 Payment Solutions Inc. launched Velox, a payment processing and business modernization tool designed for smaller, independent auto industry businesses. 360 Payments assists independent software vendors and POS vendors serving the auto industry by providing chip card processing integration. The Velox solution keeps POS companies out of scope of Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) compliance, and a single integration allows the POS to be processor agnostic and process payments in multiple countries, the company stated.

Forrester honors Adyen, First Data

Forrester Research Inc. recognized multichannel payment provider Adyen and major global acquirer First Data Corp. as leaders among companies participating in its latest evaluation. Results published in The Forrester Wave: Global Commerce Payment Providers, Q4 2016 ranked Adyen highest in the Strategy category, and First Data earned top ranking in the Leader category, the report's highest designation. "First Data is the trusted vendor of the world's largest global omnichannel merchants," Forrester stated.

Citi opens developer hub

Citigroup Inc. reported that it launched its global API Developer Hub to rapidly connect with developers and enable them to build innovative client solutions. Through this new application programming interface (API) hub, Citi will grant developers access to APIs across eight categories, including account management, peer-to-peer payments, money transfer to institutions, Citi rewards, investment purchases, and account authorization, Citi stated.

Excel secures funding for credit facility

Great American Capital Partners LLC entered into an agreement with Excel Corp. to provide a $25 million senior secured credit facility. Proceeds will be used to refinance existing debt and provide additional liquidity for future acquisitions. "Great American's flexible solution provides us with the necessary growth capital to execute on our strategy of becoming a significant merchant acquirer in the U.S. market," said Excel Chief Executive Officer T.A. "Kip" Hyde Jr.

Fattmerchant implements partner program

Payment processing provider Fattmerchant Inc. launched a partner program to help business professionals accelerate customer growth. The program encourages business providers – including accountants, insurance brokers, financial advisors, and business consultants – to offer Fattmerchant's processing services to clients. The program provides partners a top-tier affiliate program, as well as tools and resources for marketing, customer service, technical support and account management, Fattmerchant noted.

FTC issues complaint against NetSpend

The Federal Trade Commission formally alleged prepaid card company NetSpend Corp. repeatedly deceived consumers about access to funds deposited on debit cards. According to the complaint, NetSpend has led consumers to believe they can store and access funds on reloadable prepaid debit cards, but the funds have not been accessible as promised. The FTC further alleged many consumers could not access their funds, and as a result, suffered severe hardships.

Hyperwallet facilitates payments for OPSkins

Hyperwallet Systems Inc. reported it now facilitates payment processing for OPSkins, a video game marketplace that securely connects buyers and sellers of in-game digital items. OPSkins will use Hyperwallet's global payout platform to offer payees transparency through the payment process and the flexibility to choose from a range of convenient payment methods. "OPSkins and Hyperwallet will continue to ensure that these [gaming industry] transactions are processed quickly, conveniently, and transparently," said Brent Warrington, Hyperwallet's CEO.

Mercator creates research tool

Mercator Advisory Group launched Gray Owl Network LLC, a market research organization and tool that utilizes a combination of automated crawling, machine learning and researcher data filtration to develop a virtual card catalogue of online citations and searchable information. Gray Owl targets and gathers links to information that will be useful from an industry research perspective for strategic planning and decision making, and enables users to quickly search through the information curated, according to Mercator.

NMI provides real-time ACH to payfacs

Network Merchants Inc. added real-time automated clearinghouse (ACH) capabilities and account updater services to its facilitator enablement gateway platform for payment facilitators (payfacs). With these new features, payfacs are now able to offer a frictionless ACH experience to merchants, reduce manual updating and authorization declines, and turn on credit card and ACH processing and account updater functions in seconds, NMI stated.

Seamless SEQR app receives U.S. patent approval

Seamless Distribution AB obtained a Notice of Allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for its SEQR mobile payment solution. The notice is a preliminary step that typically signifies the patent will be approved shortly. The U.S. patent application is equivalent to the company's Swedish patent awarded in March 2014. "A patent in the U.S. provides important protection for our SEQR payment solution in the world's largest market," said Peter Fredell, CEO of Seamless.

Tesco releases statement on recent breach

Following Tesco Bank's recent security breach, the bank's Chief Executive, Benny Higgins, confirmed criminal activity occurred within the bank's computer systems. Higgins apologized to the bank's customers and outlined precautionary measures the bank took to protect its customers, indicated all losses would be fully resolved, and assured its customers the bank would continue to work with authorities and regulators to address the fraud incident. Approximately 9,000 customer accounts were reported to have been compromised in early November 2016.

TMG executive recognized by ISU

The Members Group CEO Shazia Manus received recognition from her alma mater, Iowa State University. The ISU Department of Economics Public Engagement Award is given to one individual each year, and Manus was presented with the 2016 award by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Manus was recognized for her ongoing commitment to driving economic growth in the financial services industry.

U.S. Payments Forum creates new committee

As part of the U.S. Payments Forum's expanded priorities to address new and emerging payment technologies, the Mobile and Contactless Payments Working Committee has been launched. This committee will explore mobile and contactless payment opportunities and challenges, identify possible approaches, and develop practical implementation guidance and best practices for solutions being implemented in the United States. In addition, the committee will also review the ongoing migration of chip technology, tokenization, card-not-present security, and encryption.

The Green Sheet, Inc.RESEARCH

Computop cites holiday concerns, preferences

Computop Inc. released findings on consumers' anticipated shopping behaviors and online security concerns entering the 2016 holiday season. In a survey of more than 1,900 U.S. and U.K. consumers, Computop found 76 percent of respondents planned to shop online this holiday season, but 74 percent of the group expressed concerns about disclosing their credit card and bank information online. Trusted payment methods also differed slightly between countries, with U.S. consumers preferring credit cards and U.K. respondents preferring PayPal Inc.

Consumer sentiments on Durbin probed

Morning Consult released new survey data that revealed a majority of consumers support repeal of the Durbin Amendment to the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act if merchants are not passing the savings realized by the act to consumers. The national survey included 1,999 registered voters, six in 10 of whom favored repeal of the act. By a two-to-one margin, respondents also indicated they believe interchange fees should be negotiated by merchants and processors, not by the federal government. Morning Consult conducted the survey on behalf of the Electronic Payments Coalition.

Javelin reports on POS in small retail

Javelin Strategy & Research released The Future of Point-of-Sale: Strategies to Meet Small Retailers Evolving Needs, a study that examines the state of POS usage and EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) compliance among small retailers. It also examined adoption of near field communication, mobile wallet and cloud applications. When asked to rank the barriers to adoption of new POS terminals, respondents indicated cost (72 percent), new hardware requirements (71 percent), and security concerns (61 percent) were the top challenges identified by small retailers.

The Green Sheet, Inc.PARTNERSHIPS

Cardtek working with NXP

Cardtek Group partnered with NXP Semiconductors N.V. to introduce the Digital Enablement Platform designed to enable consumers to transact using wearable solutions. Cardtek's payment system infrastructure will integrate with NXP PN66T and P60 wearable chips to allow issuers, original equipment manufacturers and other service providers to create payment and non-payment services for wearables. A mobile software development kit is also offered for parties interested in using the platform to develop mobile wallets.

Elan teams up with Capital Bank

Elan Financial Services and Capital Bank Financial Corp. signed an agreement that will provide Capital Bank business and consumer customers with Elan's suite of credit card products and services. As part of the multiyear agreement, Elan will provide credit card products that Capital Bank will brand as its own. For corporate customers, Capital Bank will offer Elan's One Card, which can merge purchasing, travel and fleet card programs into a single payment solution, the companies said.

Hometown Bank, ACH Alert join forces

Hometown Bank partnered with ACH Alert to provide customers real-time, self-service fraud protection using ACH Alert's PRO-TECH solution. Hometown Bank said it sought a reliable, automated solution that would offer customers more control over their accounts and provide a multilayered approach to security. According to the bank, the PRO-TECH debit approval process prompts an actionable alert when an ACH debit hits the account, and gives the account holder real-time access and intelligence.

InAuth aligns with Early Warning

InAuth Inc. and Early Warning Services LLC formed a strategic alliance to enhance security of real-time mobile payment services. InAuth's InMobile technology reportedly examines thousands of unique identifying attributes on mobile devices to create a permanent device identity that cannot be spoofed. By leveraging the advanced device intelligence capabilities of InAuth's InMobile solution, Early Warning can cross reference device attributes with mobile network subscriber intelligence to provide greater confidence in mobile transactions, the partners stated.

Pepperjam, Magento collaborate

Pepperjam and Magento Commerce partnered to enable Magento merchants to receive instant access to the Pepperjam Network. The network provides an interface that helps merchants seamlessly activate and manage affiliate programs directly within their commerce platforms, saving time and resources to maximize return on investment, the companies stated.

Sionic, Salon Media22 collaborate

Sionic Mobile Corp. and Salon Media22 partnered to launch Style Rewards, a mobile payment and loyalty app for stylists and salon clientele. Powered by Sionic Mobile's ION Commerce Engine, the Salon Media22 online center allows salon owners to "go mobile" with no upfront cost, monthly fees or equipment purchases, the partners stated. Salon Media22 clients also have access to mobile marketing tools, including mobile advertising; salon-branded e-gift cards; client rewards; and fast, secure mobile payments, the companies added.

The Green Sheet, Inc.ACQUISITIONS

Accenture finalizes consulting firm acquisition

Accenture LLP completed the acquisition of Management Consulting Group subsidiary Kurt Salmon, a global strategy consulting firm focused on the retail industry. Over 260 employees of Kurt Salmon across the United States, Germany, the U.K., Japan and China are now part of the Accenture Strategy retail industry practice. Founded in 1935, Kurt Salmon brings to Accenture Strategy its established leadership in operational strategy consulting, Accenture noted.

Finical purchases Safeguard Bankcard

Finical Inc. reported that it acquired Safeguard Bankcard LLC, a rapidly growing provider of merchant services in Atlanta. Finical also stated it entered into binding agreements for two additional acquisitions. "Our focus has always been on developing mutually beneficial partnerships and acquisitions that are in line with our company's principles and growth strategies," said Finical CEO Aaron Nasseh.

GTCR acquires RevSpring

Georgia Tech Research Corp. acquired RevSpring Inc., provider of multichannel billing and communications solutions to the healthcare and financial services industries. GTCR is working with RevSpring's existing management team to pursue both growth initiatives at RevSpring and complementary acquisitions in the billing and payments industries. To support this strategy, GTCR committed up to $400 million of equity capital to the platform.

The Green Sheet, Inc.APPOINTMENTS

Arbabha joins CPI

CPI Card Group Inc. appointed Jay Arbabha as its Chief Technology Officer. In this role, Arbabha will be responsible for leading the development of CPI's technology strategy and information technology operations. He has more than two decades of IT industry leadership experience addressing and deploying solutions such as secure mobile services, hybrid cloud integration, big data capabilities, and national cyber security programs, CPI stated.

Ripple promotes Garlinghouse

Ripple reported Chris Larsen transitioned from his operational role as the company's CEO to its Executive Chairman; Brad Garlinghouse was named his successor, effective Jan.1, 2017. Garlinghouse has served for more than a year and a half as Ripple's President and Chief Operating Officer. In that role, Garlinghouse built Ripple's organization to support a global enterprise software business, established operational excellence and led extensive growth in customer adoption, the company noted.

Grech signs on with Fiserv

Fiserv Inc. named Jim Grech as its Chief Information Officer. Grech, who has spent the majority of his career in financial services technology, joins Fiserv from BNY Mellon, where he was responsible for the firm's global technology infrastructure. At Fiserv, Grech will oversee information technology infrastructure and operations, corporate systems, enterprise architecture and technology governance. He will also lead the company's focus on next generation technology platforms, Fiserv noted.

WesPay appoints Selmi

WesPay Advisors, the wholly owned subsidiary of Western Payments Alliance, appointed Chris Selmi as its President. Selmi joined WesPay in December 2012 and previously spent 16 years in the electronic payments organization at Bank of America Corp., where he served in a variety of capacities. In addition to this new appointment, the respective boards of WesPay and WesPay Advisors approved the transfer of WesPay's Risk Management Services to WesPay Advisors, beginning Jan. 1, 2017.

Smith tapped by Square

Square Inc. hired Hillary B. Smith as the company's General Counsel. Smith brings to Square years of legal leadership experience at technology companies, having navigated complex legal and regulatory environments at the local, state, and federal levels, according to Square. Smith most recently served as General Counsel for Zenefits. "Hillary has exceptional experience serving as general counsel at several technology companies, both publicly traded and startups, and she's a great fit for our team," said Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square. end of article

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