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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

March 13, 2017 • Issue 17:03:01

Industry Update

The Green Sheet, Inc.RETAIL BRIEFS

  • To remove the hassle of returning online purchases by mail or delivery service, California startup Happy Returns now offers in-person returns of online purchases through a network of physical Return Bars in shopping centers and other accessible locations. Staffed by trained Returnistas, the Return Bars provide immediate credit to shoppers who return merchandise in this manner. According to Happy Returns, by aggregating items before shipping, it is typically able to offer a per-item cost below what retailers pay to ship items individually, and customer service calls related to returns are almost nil.
  • Car buyers strapped for time can pre-search vehicles virtually to bypass travel to multiple dealerships in their areas. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., in partnership with online auto retailer CarSaver, recently launched in-store kiosks in Dallas, Houston, Oklahoma City and Phoenix stores that allow shoppers to buy new and used cars, arrange financing and insurance, and schedule appointments at local dealerships. The new service follows a successful pilot in Florida, where 80 percent of appointments scheduled from the kiosks resulted in car sales.
  • Virtual checkout from specially equipped contactless mirrors installed in fitting rooms is now available. San Francisco-based Oak Labs Inc., launched in 2015 by the founders of eBay Inc.'s Retail Innovation division, introduced an early version of Oak Labs touch-screen mirrors in select fashion boutiques. The latest version features integrated DotDashPay mobile checkout for line-free shopping. The interactive mirrors also notify sales staff when an item is requested. Embedded RFID reading technology displays items brought into fitting rooms, and the mirror's touch-screen displays optional colors, sizes and fashion recommendations.

The Green Sheet, Inc.ANNOUNCEMENTS

ACI receives 2017 MPE Award

ACI Worldwide received top honors at the annual Merchant Payments Ecosystem Awards, winning the International Award for its UP eCommerce Payments solution. The solution combines a global payment network of card acquirers and alternative payment methods, delivered by the PAY.ON payments gateway, with ACI ReD Shield's fraud prevention capabilities.

ETA issues two Fed pleas

The Electronic Transactions Association wrote members of Congress requesting use of the Congressional Review Act to examine the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's final rule on prepaid cards and its one-size-fits-all framework on financial service products. The ETA also submitted a letter to the CFPB regarding consumer benefits and risks associated with products that rely on access to personal account and account-related information. The letter states government attempts to implement regulations on account access will negatively impact financial sector institutions, impeding innovations that benefit consumers.

Kount earns two awards

Kount Inc. and its Kount Complete product won awards at both the 2017 Cybersecurity Excellence Awards and the InfoSecurity Awards. The Cybersecurity Excellence Awards program honors individuals and companies that demonstrate excellence, innovation and leadership in information security. Kount Complete won in the Fraud Prevention awards category and the product was also named a Gold winner of the 2017 Global Excellence Awards in the Best Deployment (Asia-Pacific) category.

NACHA validates nonprofit ACH use

NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association launched a comprehensive outreach effort and issued a case study on the benefits of using direct payment via automated clearing house (ACH) for donor retention. The outreach is designed to increase understanding of the value of ACH payments for fundraising and build confidence in use of these payments by charitable organizations to grow and sustain donation dollars and expand their donor bases.

Net Element branches to Poland, Turkey

Net Element Inc. subsidiary, Digital Provider, expanded its Direct Carrier Billing services to the emerging markets of Poland and Turkey. Integration of Digital Provider's proprietary Trinity Platform allows access to 113.5 million mobile users in these markets, the company said. A full suite of Net Element's Digital Provider services is available in these countries, along with the company's anti-fraud and in-house call center platforms.

Rambus launches alternative payments platform

Rambus Inc. unveiled a comprehensive mobile payment platform designed to enhance payment security, reduce operational costs and increase revenue for retailers. The Rambus Unified Payment Platform securely converts and manages digital value to enable consumers to pay with credit, points and coupons in a single transaction, Rambus said. Its primary components include a digital value manager, retail wallet engine, white-label retail app, and optional modules to support credit, debit and gift cards, loyalty points and coupons.

SI unveils EMV for government

System Innovators reported that it released iNovah EMV Direct, a processor-agnostic and secure EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) card payment solution for governments. The flexible, scalable solution combines SI's POS centralized cashiering and enterprise revenue management solutions. EMV Direct is integrated with iNovah, which allows payment amounts to be automatically sent to the credit card terminal and securely encrypts customer data to mitigate risk of card-present fraud, the company noted.

Super G rebrands

Super G Funding LLC reported it changed its name to Super G Capital LLC to "reflect increased lending size, expanded deal team and push into the lower middle market." The company added that it has transformed into the leading provider of second lien debt (known as airball financing) to the lower middle market and focuses on sub $5 million subordinated loans that are too small for business development companies and small business investment companies.

"Our Cash Flow Lending division today has an average deal size in excess of $1.5 million with the majority of loans being subordinated debt," says Darrin Ginsberg, the company's Chief Executive Officer. "Increasingly Super G is the 'go to' provider of stretch piece or airball financing for asset based lenders and commercial banks. … We modified our name to reflect to our positioning and goal to be the market leader in second lien cash flow debt."

VISA QR service expands

Visa Inc. indicated mVisa, its quick response code (QR)-based payment service, already live in India, Kenya and Rwanda, will soon be available to merchants and consumers in Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Pakistan and Vietnam. mVisa allows consumers to use mobile phones to make cashless purchases at merchant outlets, pay bills remotely and send money to friends and family members by securely linking a Visa debit, credit or prepaid account to the mVisa application using a QR code, Visa said.

The Green Sheet, Inc.RESEARCH

Accenture analyzes loyalty, works with NACHA

According to new research from Accenture Strategy, 54 percent of U.S. consumers have switched loyalty program providers in the past year; almost one fifth (18 percent) of respondents confirmed their expectations pertaining to brand loyalty have changed. The report, Seeing beyond the loyalty illusion: it's time you invest more wisely, revealed new factors influencing loyalty today, gauging the experiences and attitudes of 25,426 consumers around the world, including 2,532 U.S. consumers, about their loyalty relationship with brands and organizations.

ATMIA produces cash automation study

In its new study, From ATMs to Smart Safes and Recyclers: Retail's Next Big Step, the ATM Industry Association covers growth prospects in the U.S. retail cash management sector. ATMIA researchers predict strong growth ahead for cash management automation in the nation's retail sectors. The report stresses the benefits to businesses of expanding automation capability with evolving technologies like recyclers and smart safes.

Mercator releases cybercrime report

In a new report, The Enemy at the Gates: Payments Fraud Is a Symptom, Mercator Advisory Group discusses the increased cyber threat faced by financial institutions and their clients and how that fosters opportunities for payment fraud schemes. The report reviews underlying issues associated with global fraud and their relation to payment fraud, and it identifies actions to take to help manage the threat going forward.

Webgility, RSR study omnichannel

Webgility Inc. and Retail Systems Research stated that its new research identifies and solves the major problems limiting independent retailers' effective use of omnichannel selling. The report, titled Three Hidden Costs of Omnichannel That Impact the Independent Retailer, tackles key issues independent retailers face, including inaccurate product availability data, poor product information and unexpected fulfillment costs. Researchers also endorsed the notion that data is both the greatest hope and the greatest obstacle for small and midsize businesses (SMBs).

The Green Sheet, Inc.PARTNERSHIPS

Bluefin, Audience View team up

Bluefin Payment Systems and AudienceView Ticketing Corp. released a Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS)-validated point-to-point encryption (P2PE) solution on the AudienceView platform. AudienceView provides an integrated ticketing, ecommerce and customer engagement platform for performing arts, athletics, university campuses, festivals and more. Through the partnership, AudienceView clients receive PCI-validated P2PE and integrated payment processing with EMV through Bluefin's PayConex payment platform or a P2PE gateway-only solution.

CFIB partnering with Mastercard, Chase

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business extended its agreement with Chase Paymentech Solutions and formed a new agreement with Mastercard to offer preferred pricing for merchant services to participating CFIB members. The partnerships demonstrate the benefits of electronic payments in Canada, while helping to reduce the cost of acceptance for SMBs, the CFIB said.

Feedzai, MRC commit to next-gen retail

The Merchant Risk Council confirmed its selection of artificial intelligence company Feedzai Inc. as the headline sponsor for MRC Vegas 2018. The partnership signifies the MRC's commitment to spearhead solutions for the next generation of retail and risk by bringing together science and technology, the council stated. "Through Feedzai's partnership with MRC, we're very excited to be able to add our expertise in artificial intelligence to their 'human' knowledge pool," said Nuno Sebastiao, Feedzai's co-founder and CEO.

Fidelity Payments, PAX join forces

Fidelity Payment Services established a strategic partnership with PAX Technology Ltd. as the preferred provider of EMV terminals and PIN pads. According to PAX, Fidelity has been a strong advocate of its products and was a key player in PAX's entry to the U.S. market in 2011. Fidelity said it named PAX to be its EMV terminal provider of choice due to PAX's competitive pricing, device quality, advanced software and expert support.

First Data, ShopKeep strengthen bond

First Data Corp. and ShopKeep formed a new partnership that expands their existing relationship. First Data reported it will make ShopKeep's POS software available through First Data's distribution network, which includes major bank partners, retail partners and its network of ISOs. In addition, ShopKeep will incorporate First Data's payment processing and security tools, as well as the Clover Go software developer kit and the Clover hardware portfolio as its strategic infrastructure, the partners noted.

Intuit implements VersaPay ARC

VersaPay Corp. indicated Intuit Inc. implemented VersaPay ARC for select SMB and accountant customers. The service allows customers that primarily pay Intuit on a net term basis to use a self-service portal and pay online 24/7. This is expected to improve Intuit's collection tools and enable the company to better manage its invoice to cash cycle. With VersaPay ARC, Intuit customers also have 24/7 access to invoices and a variety of secure payment options, VersaPay added.

iPayment, Company.com now allied

iPayment Inc. and Company.com teamed up to help SMB owners launch, run and grow business. The partnership offers iPayment's agent, ISO and referral partners Company.com's suite of services, productivity tools and social networking resources designed for the SMB customer. "We are excited to be able to bring a value-based suite, like the one offered by Company.com, to both our partners and merchant customers," said O.B. Rawls IV, CEO of iPayment.

iTellio, Morphis forecast together

iTellio integrated with Morphis Inc. to deliver what the partners believe is the industry's most accurate cash forecasting solution to small and midsize independent ATM deployers with enterprise-level capability at an affordable price via the iTellio software suite. The iTellio-Morphis collaboration enables ATM operators to accurately predict cash usage across their fleet, and combined with the rest of the iTellio features, the benefits of less downtime and more revenue, the companies said.

Vyze incorporates Zibby

Vyze indicated Zibby joined the Vyze lending platform. Retailers using Vyze can now choose to extend Zibby's lease payment option to their customers at the POS with minimal additional integration time, effort or cost, Zibby stated. "We are fundamentally aligned with Vyze in the belief that customer experience is crucial to driving utilization of any effective payment option," said Zibby CEO Brandon Wright.

WEX joins forces with Vibe

WEX Inc. forged a new agreement with Vibe Systems Ltd. under which Vibe will deliver advanced front and mid office technology to travel businesses, such as online travel agencies, retail agencies, travel management companies and consolidators. The agreement will allow a direct integration of WEX's virtual debit, prepaid and credit cards into the Vibe platform, which enables automated supplier payments in 24 currencies across the globe, the partners said.

The Green Sheet, Inc.ACQUISITIONS

PayPal acquires TIO networks

PayPal Holdings Inc. and TIO Networks Corp, a cloud-based multichannel bill payment and receivables management company, formed an agreement under which PayPal will acquire TIO for $2.56 per share in cash or an approximate $233 million equity value. TIO serves 14 million consumer bill pay accounts and offers convenient solutions for expedited bill payment services to financially underserved consumers, PayPal noted.

TouchSuite buys MBSOA

TouchSuite acquired the assets of Merchant Bankcard Systems of America. MBSOA has offices in Boston and Miami and services approximately 1,000 merchants. TouchSuite anticipates a seamless transition period with no disruption in business operations for MBSOA merchants. In addition, TouchSuite stated it will offer MBSOA merchants additional advanced technology, marketing products, POS systems and financial instruments.

The Green Sheet, Inc.APPOINTMENTS

Bergamesca signs on with Payveris

Payveris LLC appointed Ron Bergamesca as its CEO. Bergamesca joins Payveris as the company continues to build momentum, entering 2017 with more than 200 financial institution and fintech partners, doubling of revenues and the closing of the final phase of its $10 million Series C round of financing, according to Payveris. Bergamesca spent over a decade at Online Resources Corp. in a variety of executive positions, including Executive Vice President and General Manager of its Banking division.

Hyperwallet taps Engels

Hyperwallet Systems Inc. appointed Mark Engels as its Chief Revenue Officer. Engels comes to Hyperwallet from SecureNet Payments, where he served as the Executive Vice President of Business and Channel Development before the organization's acquisition by Worldpay. As Hyperwallet's CRO, Engels will be responsible for the development and strategic leadership of Hyperwallet's North American sales and business expansion initiatives.

TSG brings Michaud aboard

The Strawhecker Group recently appointed payments industry expert Peter Michaud as Director – Project Management. Prior to joining TSG, Michaud served as Vice President of Product Development at Hap-X, a healthcare B2B payments company acquired by Global Healthcare Exchange in 2016. He also led Market Research and Competitive Intelligence for TSYS Merchant Segment as head of Financial Planning and Analysis for TSYS Acquiring Solutions.

Rosenberger becomes XOR adviser

Larry Rosenberger, former CEO of Fair Isaac Corp. and current FICO research fellow, joined XOR Data Exchange as an investor and board observer. Rosenberger's experience and expertise in implementing data and analytical models for the financial services industry is expected to help the fintech startup continue rapid growth, development and adoption of fraud risk models to protect consumers and businesses from identity theft and data misuse, XOR said.

Schlegel joins RevSpring

RevSpring Inc. added Richard Schlegel as its Vice President of Sales for the Northeast Region. Schlegel brings "two decades of experience providing exceptional analytical solutions to those in the accounts receivable management industry and is a recognized expert in this field," said Rich Turner, RevSpring's Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Directly prior, Schlegel spent 25 years at TransUnion LLC, holding a variety of sales management and executive roles. end of article

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