CO-OP Financial Services Co-creation Councils were recently launched to allow more credit union leaders to participate in shaping the future of payments in three segments: strategy, design and experience. "Financial services is a rapidly transforming and highly competitive environment," said Samantha Paxson, Chief Marketing and Experience Officer at CO-OP. "To thrive in it requires diverse ideas, brave thinking and a cooperative spirit."
NACHA - The Electronic Payments Association surveyed member financial institutions and found that 82 percent anticipate rapid growth in Same Day ACH debit volume. "Use cases for Same Day ACH debits like bill payments and business-to-business payments demonstrate how this additional faster payment method is benefiting consumers and businesses alike," said Jane Larimer, Chief Operating Officer at NACHA.
NationPay's cardless payment network, secured by Ethereum blockchain technology, aims to eliminate credit and debit cards by facilitating bank account transfers to token wallets. "NationPay enables clients to buy from other clients through a secure app as a touchless, wallet-to-wallet scanned visual transfer," said James Yen, Chairman and Managing Director of NationPay, who noted that account-linked transfers are secured through bank-secured tokens.
The NFC Forum is seeking nominations for the 2018 NFC Innovation Awards, which recognize pioneering near field communication products, services and experiences globally. Submissions from all industries and categories are welcome. Awards will be given for best in market implementation, best emerging concept and NFC for good. There is no cost to enter the competition. Deadline for submissions is March 2, 2018.
The PCI Security Standards Council is accepting applications for its new Associate Qualified Security Assessor Program, an initiative designed to attract cybersecurity talent. "An overall shortage of cybersecurity talent is making it difficult for QSA Companies to find suitable new assessors," said PCI SSC Chief Operating Officer Mauro Lance. "The Associate QSA Program provides a professional track for new entrants to join the industry and gain experience to qualify as a QSA."
Tender Armor LLC, a global fraud prevention payments technology provider, closed a multimillion-dollar Series A investment led by private investors Aubrey Strul and Barry Beck. Tender Armor plans to use the funds to drive new business and product innovation, expand its workforce and meet financial institution demand for its multipatent-pending CVV+ solution to address card-not-present fraud.
United Merchant Services Inc. launched two mobile ticketing apps, which are free to download from the Google Play store. The UMS Partner App and UMS Merchant App were designed to help partners and merchants keep accurate support records, and increase efficiency by eliminating telephone hold times. The apps allow users to submit service tickets and track status in real-time, as well as review monthly statements and sales analytics.
Mercator Advisory Group analyses of payments and banking revealed that four key technologies are reaching maturation and convergence: mobile platforms, open application programming interfaces, machine learning and faster payments systems. Topics discussed include faster payment schemes in the United States, regulatory uncertainty governing prepaid cards, financial institution-fintech collaborations on open APIs and retail readiness to adopt mobile platforms. The papers are free to download at www.mercatoradvisorygroup.com/forecasts/.
Based on U.S. retail sales data collected by The NPD Group Inc., small home appliances and prestige beauty were the top performing merchandise categories over the 2017 holiday season. Among the other standouts were women's apparel; playset dolls and collectibles; and home automation, driven by security and monitoring. NPD Chief Industry Advisor Marshal Cohen noted an increased emphasis on comfort, home and lifestyle spending among holiday shoppers.
A quarterly Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey of small business optimism in January revealed an overall index score of 107, the highest score since early 2007. The "future expectations" score, a measure of how business owners expect their businesses to perform over the next 12 months, hit 65, higher than any previous quarter since Q4 2006.
A collaborative study by Zebra Technologies Corp. and IHL Group, 2017 Retail Transformation Study, examines the current and future retail marketplace in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa as the retail sector evolves and shifts to ecommerce and ominichannel sales models. IHL projected that retail sales in North America, at an annual growth rate of 3 percent, will reach $5.5 trillion in five years; ecommerce is expected to eclipse $1.5 trillion by 2021.
California-based Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc. partnered with Alipay, a digital payment platform operated by Hangzhou, China-based Ant Financial Services Group that boasts 520 million active Chinese users. Through the partnership, Blackhawk retailers will be able to accept in-store payments from Chinese visitors to the United States via Alipay's Discover platform. This is expected to increase retail brand visibility, reduce payment friction, and provide tourist consumer insights, stated the partners, who began rolling out the program in January 2018.
Infinite Peripherals teamed with Tickets.com to deliver NFC contactless ticketing solutions at live events. The integrated Infinea mPOS and Bluepad will allow iPhone and Apple Watch users to gain access to events using contactless passes or tickets in the Apple Wallet; or use its Auto-Presentation features for single or multiple passes. The system identifies and validates tickets via NFC on the mPOS terminal, even when smart devices are locked, the companies noted.
Ingenico Group partnered with French-based autonomous vehicle company Navya to integrate connected screens that will enable payments for a range of services aboard the Autonom Cab, the first robo-taxi on the market, according to the partners. The connected screen was introduced during the unveiling of Autonom Cab in Paris in November 2017. According to the partners, a plus for end-users is the convenience of a fluid and smart mobility service.
In addition, Small World Financial Services selected Ingenico to help expand its global money transfer footprint in 18 countries using Ingenico's full suite of online and mobile payment offerings. Small World will also have access to Ingenico's business intelligence tools and consolidated reporting capabilities to streamline business processes and identify new market opportunities across the globe, the companies stated.
ShopKeep's strategic alliance with First Data Corp. expanded with the launch of its cloud-based payments and POS platform on First Data's Clover Mini all-in-one POS device, which offers EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) and mobile wallet acceptance and includes a receipt printer. According to the partners, this next step follows a strategic investment by First Data in ShopKeep during the second half of 2017.
Sionic Mobile Corp. partnered with Xevo Inc. to bring major restaurant, fuel and retail brands to the connected-car experience for multiple automotive manufacturers. "By combining Xevo's strong merchant partnerships and years of automotive software expertise in vehicle applications, cloud and mobile software, machine learning, and data analysis with Sionic's app and mobile rewards expertise, we're able to deliver an engaging connected-car experience," said Dan Gittleman, CEO of Xevo.
ThreatMetrix partnered with GlobalOnePay, a division of Pivotal Payments Inc., to enhance GlobalOnePay's online fraud detection and scoring engine, Sentinel Defend. GlobalOnePay plans to leverage the ThreatMetrix Digital Identity Network, which analyzes 100 million daily transactions and provides dynamic, real-time intelligence on an individual's true digital identity to secure cross-border transactions and reduce fraud and friction for its online customers.
Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc. entered a definitive agreement whereby Silver Lake and P2 Capital Partners LLC will acquire Blackhawk in an all-cash transaction of approximately $3.5 billion, including debt. Blackhawk's physical and digital gift card and prepaid payments network currently connects more than 1,000 brands to over 244,000 retail distribution locations and online channels. Upon completion of the transaction, Blackhawk will operate as a private company under the leadership of its current management team.
Flywire, a provider of global payment and receivables solutions for education, healthcare and business, acquired OnPlan Holdings LLC, the parent company of OnPlanU and OnPlan Health, which offer revenue lifecycle management solutions for education and healthcare. OnPlan co-founders, CEO John Talaga and Chief Technology Officer David King plan to join the Flywire leadership team. Flywire CEO Mike Massaro said the acquisition will enable clients to manage all payments and receivables from a single platform.
Swipebox co-founder Joshua Allen was selected to join the 2018 Electronic Transactions Association Technology Committee. The Denver-based fintech startup offers comprehensive payment gateway solutions. As a member of the ETA Technology Committee, Allen will offer guidance on identifying current and emerging technology-related trends, applications and issues relevant to the payments industry.
Payment Processing Consultants Inc. appointed Brian Kobler as Executive Vice President, Partnership Development. "We have known Brian for over 15 years, and it is not a stretch to say that he is the most successful ISO/Agent/Bank/Referral Partner recruiter in the payments industry," said Mike DiNardo, founder and President of PPC. Prior to PPC, Kobler served as Director of Sales for First Data and was instrumental in developing the company's ISO program.
NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association added three new and re-elected four directors to its board. Each will work with existing directors and serve three year terms, as follows: Susan K. Doyle, Senior Vice President, Electronic Payments Product Manager, Commerce Bank; Charles P. Garcia, Executive Vice President, Director of Commercial Deposits and Treasury Management, Associated Bank NA; David Kretz, Managing Director, Head of Global Payments, Bank of America Merrill Lynch; James M. Morrell, President and CEO, Peninsula Community Federal Credit Union, NACHA Vice Chairperson; Rhonda L. Pavlicek, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Texas Dow Employees Credit Union; Phil Picillo Esq., Senior Vice President, Treasury and Payment Solutions, Webster Bank; and Lawrence D. Taft, Executive Vice President, Director of Retail Banking and Operations, Citizens Bank & Trust.
Fraud and risk-management solutions provider Kount Inc. hired Tom War as its new Vice President of Worldwide Sales. War will assume responsibility for the company's revenue growth and profitability, identifying new areas for expansion, as well as servicing its growing customer and partner needs. Prior to joining Kount, War was Executive Director for IT managed service provider TEKsystems Global Services West Region, an Allegis Group company.
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