Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc. stated it renewed its long-term contract with The Kroger Co. to provide in-store and digital gift card services. "We are excited to build on our long-standing relationship with Kroger and work together to expand gift card products and solutions through both physical and digital channels," said Talbott Roche, Chief Executive Officer and President of Blackhawk. "Kroger is an exceptional retailer who has embraced gift card best practices, new products and digital innovation."
Managed security and compliance solutions provider ControlScan is bringing layered security to the 100-store chain Food Giant Supermarkets Inc. and its customers. The layered security approach includes PaySafe UTM managed firewall and Control Scan's PCI 1-2-3 services. These combined services ensure that credit card data and other sensitive information remains secure within and beyond the payment process, the companies stated.
The NFC Forum, the standards and advocacy association for near field communication (NFC) technology, recently welcomed 16 new members, bringing its membership to almost 150 organizations that represent a mix of established corporations and startup organizations across multiple consumer and business markets. NFC Forum Executive Director Paula Hunter said, "This healthy variety demonstrates the versatility of NFC, creates fertile ground to spark innovation and points toward the growing strength of the NFC ecosystem worldwide."
The National Retail Federation filed a brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a South Dakota case on whether online sellers can be required to collect sales tax. The NRF stated the court's landmark 1992 ruling on the issue is out of date, and collection is no longer a burden. "We are hopeful that the court will agree to review this critical issue and replace its catalog-age ruling with one that reflects the realities of the Internet age," said NRF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Stephanie Martz.
PayPal Holdings Inc. launched domestic operations in India. Indian consumers can now use PayPal to shop online at some of India's most popular businesses, the company said, adding that merchants offering PayPal will be able to process both local and global payments through PayPal, getting access to PayPal's more than 218 million customers around the world and in India through a single integration.
Pivotal Payments Inc., a provider of merchant services and global payment processing, launched its new ISO and Agent Sales Partner Program website at https://www.pivotalpartner.com. The new design features quick and simple access to essential information, with streamlined menus and clear navigation, while incorporating a responsive layout for all mobile and desktop devices, the company said.
App-based banking alternative Revolut Technologies Inc. stated it is building its own in-house processor due to multiple service outages caused by its payment processor, which is reported to be Global Processing Services Ltd. The third-party processor provides similar services to several fintech companies and startups that are challenging traditional banks. Revolut said its technology will be ready in early 2018.
Paul Todd, TSYS Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, was named Chief Financial Officer of the Year by CFO Roundtable. The CFO Roundtable, created by Cushman & Wakefield in partnership with The University of Georgia's Terry College of Business, fosters best practices among CFOs. M. Troy Woods, Chairman, President and CEO of TSYS, said Todd has been a significant contributor to TSYS' success, and his actions as CFO "are gaining attention not just at TSYS, but also across our industry and among his peers."
According to Doing Well by Doing Good: Delivery Models and Channels Serving the Financially Underserved, an 18-page report just issued by Mercator Advisory Group, lack of affordable formal banking solutions affects over 15 million adults in the United States, and while employment numbers improve domestically, the number of unbanked individuals remains stubbornly high. Among other topics, the report explores reasons why individuals remain unbanked; difficulties encountered in meeting their needs; proven outreach solutions; and comparison of U.S. bank providers, program managers and alternative financial service providers.
Centrify Corp. released results from a Ponemon-commissioned study indicating businesses are not meeting consumer expectations when it comes to protecting personal information. According to the report, across the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Australia, 62 percent of consumers have been notified by a company or government agency that their personal information was lost or stolen as a result of one or more data breaches. Of these, 36 percent experienced two or more separate incidents, causing a third of them to sever their relationship with the organization experiencing the data breach.
Small business optimism held steady in the fourth quarter 2017, according to the latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index. In the quarterly survey, which measures the optimism of small business owners, the overall Index score dipped slightly to 103 in October 2017 – down from 106 in July, when it was the highest Index reading in a decade, Wells Fargo noted. Seventy-one percent of business owners rated their financial situation today as very or somewhat good in October, down five percentage points from 76 in July. "Despite this slight decline, business owners' financial situation remains at pre-recession levels," researchers noted.
According to First Data Corp.'s 2017 Prepaid Consumer Insights Study, consumers spent $38 more, on average, than the value on their gift cards, up $10 from 2016, and 47 percent of consumers purchased a gift card at a gift card "mall." Based on responses of more than 2,000 U.S. consumers, the study also found that 44 percent of consumers visit a store they would not have visited otherwise because of a gift card; 53 percent are likely to visit a store more often as the result of receiving one.
NACHA—The Electronic Payments Association released results of two recent studies that explore the role of direct withdrawal via automated clearing house (ACH) in nonprofit donations. The first, conducted by ConsumerQuest Inc., evaluated donation methods and the impact of sustaining donations. Findings indicated that using ACH leads to more frequent and higher-dollar contributions from sustaining donors, researchers said. The second study, conducted by ConsumerQuest, assessed the effectiveness of messaging to donors. The message most respondents preferred emphasized the cost-effectiveness of ACH payments.
ABC Financial Services Inc., a software and payment processing provider to the health and fitness industry, said it established a preferred partnership with Club OS, which helps companies with lead generation and acquisitions. "Integration with Club OS allows ABC customers the ease of program implementation directed toward prospecting, sales growth and member retention," stated Kelly Card, Senior Vice President of Partner Relations of ABC. "By incorporating ABC's DataTrak with this vendor partner, real-time information is passed smoothly between the software platforms and marketing tools."
Merchant Consulting Group Inc. and botkeeper agreed to provide omnihannel payment acceptance to botkeeper customers. botkeeper said it provides businesses with skilled accountants and automated data entry through the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence, and its partnership with MCG enhances the end-user experience by adding fast, secure omnichannel integrated payment acceptance.
Foodeaze and PayJunction partnered to provide payment processing for restaurants using Foodeaze's online ordering platform. Foodeaze offers a combined service of food photography and food online ordering that allows diners to swipe through restaurant photo menus to place both delivery and pick-up orders. Currently active in the upstate New York area, Foodeaze has increased local restaurant options for diners by 140 percent, the partners stated.
Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Rambus Inc. teamed with Samsung Canada and Interac Association/Acxsys Corp. to help enable Interac debit on Samsung Pay in Canada. The partners stated that Interac Token Service Provider (TSP), developed in collaboration with Rambus, helps Interac users make secure, mobile debit payments through tokenized transactions using Samsung Pay. And with the addition of tokenization, the TSP substitutes sensitive information with unique reference numbers to minimize the risk of fraud. Samsung Pay works with three levels of security: fingerprint authentication, card tokenization and Samsung's mobile security platform, Samsung KNOX.
To meet demands of the peak holiday shopping season in North America, Verifone is implementing Mastercard's M/Chip Fast technology across its next-generation and heritage payment solution lines. M/Chip Fast is designed for grocery, retail, fast food and hospitality environments. It facilitates EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) transactions consistent with those offered globally by Mastercard; however, payments are authenticated in one step, instead of two, Verifone noted.
Thoma Bravo LLC, a leading private equity investment firm, reported it will acquire ABC Financial a software and payment processing company servicing more than 6,700 health clubs throughout North America and Europe. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017, subject to customary conditions and approvals. "The opportunity to partner with the leading software-focused private equity firm allows us to continue our mission of providing cutting edge technology and top quality customer service," said Paul Schaller, President and CEO of ABC.
Webgility, a provider of ecommerce automation software in the small and midsize business market, hired Billy Leung as its Senior Vice President of Product. Leung will accelerate product development and advance user design, the company stated. During 15-plus years in Silicon Valley, Leung has focused on building such consumer products as eBay, Trulia (Zillow) and Zynga. Most recently, he served as the Vice President of Product at if(we), maker of social discovery mobile apps, where he led the company to a successful acquisition.
Square Inc. appointed Anna Patterson, founder and Managing Partner of Gradient Ventures, Google's AI-focused venture fund, and a Vice President of Engineering at Google, to its Board of Directors. "Square has long recognized the potential for artificial intelligence to help expand access to the economy and level the playing field for business owners," Patterson said. "I was drawn to Square's passion for making tools that foster inclusion, and I'm looking forward to contributing to this work."
Pete Philomey joined the McCormick Family of Businesses as National Sales Manager for South Seas Data LLC. Philomey brings 30-plus years' experience in POS hardware to the organization. Most recently, Philomey served as Regional Sales Manager for Magtek Inc. Prior experience includes work with National Card Processing Inc., IVI and Hypercom. In addition to working with South Seas Data, Philomey will represent other companies in the McCormick umbrella in the Northeast United States and at industry tradeshows throughout the country.
Mastercard named Jeanne Tisinger a Senior Advisor for Cybersecurity. In this role, she will contribute to the implementation and expansion of the company's security strategy and public policy initiatives. Tisinger joins the company following a three-decade career at the Central Intelligence Agency. She most recently served as a deputy director, where she was responsible for the agency's physical and cybersecurity infrastructure and information technology across more than 100 countries.
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