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The Green Sheet Online Edition

January 22, 2018 • Issue 18:01:02

Industry Update

The Green Sheet, Inc.ANNOUNCEMENTS

EMS moving to Cleveland

Electronic Merchant Systems is relocating its corporate headquarters to downtown Cleveland in mid-2018. The company signed a lease for approximately 48,000 square feet of office space in the 250 West Huron Building at Tower City Center. This ideal location occupies the entire fourth floor and a portion of the fifth floor of Tower City Center's former Chase Financial Plaza and will comfortably accommodate EMS' growing work force, which is currently based outside of Cleveland in Independence, Ohio, EMS stated.

Google Pay in with Fandango

Fandango will be rolling out Google Pay as a new digital payment option for movie ticket purchases across its social ticketing platforms. Google Pay brings together all the ways to make purchases with Google, including Android Pay and Google Wallet, into one single brand, Fandango said. "Fandango is always looking for new ways to make discovering movies and purchasing tickets faster and easier for moviegoers," said Mark Young, Senior Vice President, Strategy & Business Development at Fandango. "Google Pay provides a simple, intuitive option for Fandango customers to speed through checkout with just one tap."

JCB testing palm authentication

JCB Co. Ltd. plans to run a trial of multipurpose, server-based, visible light palm authentication in February 2018 in collaboration with Universal Robot Co. Ltd. and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. The trial will employ Universal Robot's visible light palm authentication, using both palm print and vein patterns, which has "the world's highest level of accuracy at only 1 in 100 billion false acceptance rate," JCB noted. The trial at JCB's Tokyo headquarters will test technical aspects of authentication during the registration and payment flow.

NMA expands to U.K.

National Merchants Association revealed it plans to open an office in London. The global merchant advocacy group and merchant services provider ranked 196 on the 2017 Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing privately owned U.S. companies and is in the process of obtaining a Payment Facilitator certification, which will allow it to process payment transactions throughout the European Union. "Taking businesses stateside has always been a major challenge for merchants in the U.K. as well as the rest of Europe, but NMA views these challenges as an opportunity to help business owners increase their profitability while steering them toward cost-effective processing solutions," the company stated.

Net Element receives funds for blockchain unit

Net Element Inc. a global financial technology and value-added solutions group, completed a $7.55 million private placement of restricted common stock and warrants with a New York-based family office that has made several investments in companies with blockchain technology platforms. The investor purchased shares of Net Element's restricted common stock and five-year warrants. The funds are expected to further development of the company's blockchain-focused unit, which was formed in December 2017; support growth initiatives; and allow for potential acquisitions.

Star Financial joins Withdraw Cash Wednesday

The ATM Industry Association welcomed independent ATM deployer Star Financial Services, Inc. as a Withdraw Cash Wednesday Gold Sponsor for its 2018 and 2019 campaigns. Already underway for the U.S. year-end holiday shopping season, the campaign is designed to promote consumer cash usage and boost ATM cash withdrawals nationwide by educating consumers on the benefits of using cash for budgeting, to reduce debt, save on credit card interest fees, and save time at checkout, ATMIA stated.

The Green Sheet, Inc.RESEARCH

CFPB assesses credit card market

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its biennial report on the credit card market. Among the findings: total amount of credit line, used or unused, on cards remains below pre-recession crisis levels but has steadily increased post-crisis; new credit card originations remain below pre-crisis volumes but have increased by roughly 50 percent since 2010; average credit card debt increased 9 percent over the last two years; more than 60 percent of active credit card accounts are enrolled in online services; cardholders average fewer credit cards than before the recession; and more consumers are signing up for secured cards that require a cash deposit.

Ransomeware up 89 percent in healthcare

Cyber defense firm Cryptonite released the 2017 Health Care Cyber Research Report, containing findings on healthcare cyberattacker activity in 2017. Cryptonite researchers found that healthcare institutions "remain under sustained attack by cyberattackers that continue to target their networks through the use of well understood vulnerabilities."

The company determined a total of 140 data breach events were characterized and reported by healthcare organizations to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights as IT/hacking in 2017, a 23.89 percent increase over the 113 such events reported in 2016; major IT/hacking events attributed to ransomware increased by 89 percent from 2016 to 2017.

Juniper predicts steep rise in QR code redemptions

A new study from Juniper Research Ltd. predicted the number of quick response (QR) code coupons redeemed via mobile will reach 5.3 billion by 2022, up from an estimated 1.3 billion in 2017. The report, Mobile & Online Coupons: Leading Vendors, Technologies & Market Forecasts 2017-2022, noted that the use of QR codes to deliver coupons and discount offers will increase substantially, as in-built QR functionality on mobile devices drives usage, with Apple leading the way. Research author Lauren Foye said, "Apple's addition of QR code reading facilities directly addresses a major barrier for use in Western markets. The lack of an in-built reader had been a hindrance, with consumers needing to download a separate QR code scanner app."

Rewards driving consumer card choices

Results of a survey by Mercator Advisory Group titled U.S. Consumers and Credit: Playing the Rewards Game found that bank-issued rewards programs are winning the race against online competitors in attracting new cardholders. Mercator noted that nearly 3 in 4 general purpose credit or charge card users participate in rewards programs, especially high-income applicants. Half of the participants identified cash back on total purchases as the most valuable reward.

Data-driven menusprofit restaurants

What Your Guests Really Think of Your Menu from Paytronix Systems Inc. digs into menu data, from purchase frequency to performance of guests who buy particular items, to help guide menu design. Instead of cutting the lowest selling items, Paytronix recommends looking at who is buying what menu item and how often items are being repurchased. "Analysis of that data shows that lower selling items are often guest favorites that drive return visits," said Lee Barnes, Head of Paytronix Data Insights.

The Green Sheet, Inc.PARTNERSHIPS

Fortress, Wirecard team for contactless ticketing

Fortress GB selected Wirecard AG as the issuer for The One Card, an all-in-one season ticket and member card with contactless payment functionality for the U.K. sports market. Fortress GB said its card base is 7.5 million, and season ticket holders and members can use The One Card to gain entry to the stadium while using the same card for purchases at selected merchants at the POS or online.

MobileCause, Handbid align for nonprofits

MobileCause, a provider of digital fundraising and communication software for nonprofit organizations, joined forces with Handbid, a software provider that offers a mobile bidding app for silent and online auctions. With this partnership MobileCause can deliver a seamless solution to manage fundraising events and silent auctions, enabling nonprofits to raise more money while creating an interactive donor experience before, during and after events, the company stated. Expected benefits also include preferred pricing on bundled digital fundraising; integrated, expanded event management; and expert support throughout the event lifecycle.

USAT, Jackson Brothers expand agreement

USA Technologies Inc. expanded its agreement with Jackson Brothers of the South, a vending, catering and food service company. Through the agreement, USAT is upgrading 750 additional machines to USAT's cashless technology platform and telemetry services. Jackson Brothers ‒ which provides a full line of vending services, micro markets, box lunches, office coffee and cafe services across southwest and central Missouri, eastern Oklahoma, and southeast Kansas ‒ will now be able to accept cash, credit and debit cards, as well as contactless payments, including mobile wallet payments, on all of its 1,000 machines.

The Green Sheet, Inc.ACQUISITIONS

Clearent aquires SPOT, launches software arm

Clearent LLC completed the purchase of SPOT Business Systems LLC, an independent software vendor serving the dry-cleaning industry. SPOT will become part of a newly created subsidiary, Clearent Software Holdings. SPOT's day-to-day operations remain unchanged, and all current SPOT employees will retain their positions after the sale, Clearent stated. Dan Geraty, CEO and founder of Clearent, said, "As a market leader servicing the dry-cleaning industry with an excellent history of customer service and retention, SPOT will help us realize our vision: to be the most highly recommended payments solution provider in the industry."

Prineta gains another Texas ATM portfolio

Prineta LLC recently expanded its ATM territory in Texas by purchasing a portfolio of ATMs in Corpus Christi and Coastal South Texas, the third such acquisition for the company in 2017. Its service area in Texas has widened from San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas, to the entire southern coast of Texas, Prineta noted. "Cash is not dead – and neither is the ATM machine," said Tanner Morton, Managing Partner at Prineta. "Surprisingly, we have seen average ATM transaction volume actually increase the last two quarters compared to the same quarters in years prior."

Securus acquires GovPayNet

Securus Technologies Inc., a provider of technology-enabled solutions for public safety, law enforcement and investigations, corrections, and government payment services, acquired GovPayNet, expanding its payment servicing business. GovPayNet provides consumer payment processing for court fines and costs; cash bail; traffic, speeding and parking violations; and real estate and property tax payments, Securus said, adding that GovPayNet's services are provided to over 2,300 agencies in 35 states, covering more than 26 percent of all U.S. counties.

Thoma Bravo ABC Financial purchase final

Private equity investment firm Thoma Bravo LLC completed the acquisition of ABC Financial Services Inc., a software and payment processing company servicing health clubs throughout North America. Through this acquisition, ABC Financial is expected to grow its service offerings by scaling its operations and further developing its suite of innovative software products. Thoma Bravo said it will work alongside ABC Financial's management team to expand the company's global footprint and ability to deliver additional cutting-edge products to the health and wellness industry. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Green Sheet, Inc.APPOINTMENTS

Avello joins Signature Card Services

Signature Card Services appointed Sam Avello as its President. Avello is an accomplished payments industry veteran who brings extensive leadership experience to his new role, the company stated. Avello previously worked for First Tennessee Bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland and several other ISOs. In the past 15 years, he has built, redesigned, and reengineered numerous direct and indirect sales organizations domestically and each time exceeded goals and expectations, SCS noted.

CO-OP welcomes Michaels

CO-OP Financial Services tapped Dean Michaels as Head of Corporate Development and Strategic Partnerships. "Dean brings extensive corporate development background and expertise in the arena of payments technology and networks," said Todd Clark, President and CEO of CO-OP. Prior to CO-OP, Michaels held leadership roles at First Data Corp. and JP Morgan Chase.

Optimized Payments Consulting taps Dembek

Joseph Dembek joined Optimized Payments Consulting as Vice President of National Accounts. Dembek has extensive experience in interchange management, chargebacks, cost management strategies and credit card processing, including over 10 years serving in executive roles for Elavon Inc., OPC said. Anand Goel, OPC CEO, stated, "Joseph is one of a limited set of individuals in the United States who has a deep understanding of interchange optimization, chargeback reduction and payment analytics. He has helped some of the largest airlines, hotels and ecommerce merchants reduce their card acceptance costs." end of article

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