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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

November 13, 2023 • Issue 23:11:01

Industry Update

The Green Sheet, Inc.ANNOUNCEMENTS

Charge Anywhere moving to new offices

Effective Dec. 1, 2023, Charge Anywhere has a new physical address for mail and shipments: Charge Anywhere, 1 Corporate Place South, Suite 201, Piscataway, NJ 08854. All existing phone numbers and email addresses will remain the same. There will be a brief period when the company's current and future offices will both be partially occupied. However, that transition will be fully completed by the end of the year.

Infosec: Cyera most innovative cybersecurity startup

Cyera, a data security company, was named the 2023 Most Innovative in Cybersecurity Startup at the 11th annual Top InfoSec Innovator Awards presented by Cyber Defense Magazine. Cyera's AI-powered data security platform offers an agentless, cloud-native solution for preventing data breaches and ensuring compliance, award judges noted. The platform includes features such as data discovery, AI-powered classification, data security posture management, real-time data detection and response, data privacy, and data access governance, making it a comprehensive tool for security professionals to protect sensitive data in multi-cloud environments, they added.

Mastercard demos CBDC for Web3

To open up opportunities for consumers to participate in commerce across multiple blockchains, Mastercard introduced a solution that enables central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) to be tokenized and used on various blockchains. Developed in partnership with Australian payments and data services provider Cuscal and NFTs-as-a-service provider Mintable, the solution enables CBDCs to be wrapped onto different blockchains, providing increased security and ease of use for consumers, Mastercard stated, adding that it ensures that CBDCs can only be held, used and redeemed by authorized parties that have undergone Know Your Customer verification.

Payments Innovation Alliance tackles cyberattacks

Nacha's Payments Innovation Alliance released a tabletop exercise to help small to midsize businesses prepare for cyberattacks. The exercise, developed by the Alliance’s Cybersecurity Response Project Team, aims to enhance preparedness, response and recovery efforts related to cyberattacks. It provides actionable approaches for leadership to bolster an organization’s resilience and compliance framework by fostering an understanding of relevant laws and regulations. The exercise kit includes a leader's guide, a cybersecurity scenario, a discussion points workbook, and a participant workbook.

The Green Sheet, Inc.RESEARCH

Blackhawk predicts flat holiday spend

According to Blackhawk Network's holiday forecast, shoppers plan to allocate 43 percent of their holiday budget to gift cards this year, a trend driven mainly by Gen Z consumers. The report also indicates shoppers are starting their holiday shopping later this year, with many planning to wait until the final weeks of December. Overall gift spending is expected to remain relatively flat, as 96 percent of consumers express ongoing concerns about cost-of-living pressures. This emphasizes the importance for retailers to expand and optimize marketing and gift card programs to attract and engage younger consumers who hold significant influence and spending power, Blackhawk noted.

Discover releases Fintech State of the Union report

Discover Global Network released its third annual Fintech State of the Union report, offering insights from fintechs, venture capitalists and consumers. Key findings include growth opportunities—venture capitalists anticipate growth in investments/capital markets, payment processing and fraud prevention among fintech segments; building trust—payment and data security are crucial for building trust and adoption of digital payments; and digital payments rise—consumer spending may have declined, but digital payments and ecommerce continue to grow, with online channels preferred for discretionary spending. The study noted the importance of fintechs building strong relationships with payment networks and prioritizing security.

IOV Labs suggests defi can combat hyperinflation

IOV Labs released a report titled Taming Inflation: How DeFi is Reshaping Finance in Hyperinflationary Countries, which explores how decentralized finance (defi) solutions can alleviate inflationary pressures in regions facing hyperinflation. For example, the report reveals that over one-third of survey respondents in Latin America use stablecoins for daily purchases, significantly higher than the global average. It predicts that blockchain technologies will save financial institutions $10 billion in reduced cross-border transaction costs by 2030. However, Latin America lacks the regulatory sandboxes required to test innovative defi products, researchers noted.

Same Day ACH boosts ACH Network's results

The ACH Network saw robust results in the third quarter of 2023, driven by the ongoing adoption of Same Day ACH and increased business-to-business payments. There were 212 million Same Day ACH payments worth $608 billion in the third quarter, marking a 20 percent increase in volume and a 27.1 percent increase in value compared to the third quarter of 2022. In total, the ACH Network handled 597.6 million Same Day ACH payments worth $1.78 trillion in 2023, with a 16 percent increase in volume and a 42.4 percent increase in value compared to the first three quarters of the previous year.

Shred-it: SMBs risk losing customers

Shred-it released its 13th annual Data Protection Report titled Vulnerable Small Businesses Risk Losing More than Just Money, to offer insights into information security concerns among small-business leaders (SBLs). The report revealed that one in four SBLs experienced a data breach, with 50 percent attributing it to employee errors. Concerns about future data breaches were expressed by 73 percent of SBLs and 94 percent of consumers surveyed. However, only 15 percent of SBLs require employees to complete data protection and compliance training, highlighting the need for better education and proactive measures in data protection.

The Green Sheet, Inc.PARTNERSHIPS

Bitt, Marshall Islands sign MOU for digital payments

The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and Bitt entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to launch a pilot initiative for implementing a national digital payments system (NDPS) using the US dollar. This collaboration aims to leverage technology to enhance financial inclusion, transparency and operational efficiency in the Marshall Islands. The NDPS will explore blockchain technology and digital asset management to provide secure and transparent transactions, reducing reliance on physical cash. Senator David Paul of the RMI expressed excitement about the partnership's potential positive impact on the nation.

Blackhawk, Extole join forces for referrals, rewards

Blackhawk Network partnered with Extole to provide its clients with refer-a-friend solutions to enhance customer acquisition. This partnership allows Blackhawk to offer automated, near-real-time digital rewards and incentives through Extole's platform, catering to customers' preferences for on-the-go payment and reward options, the partners stated. Extole-powered marketing programs, including refer-a-friend initiatives, aim to reduce customer acquisition costs while nurturing relationships with existing customers, driving ongoing engagement and encouraging loyal customers to support new customer acquisition efforts.

Bluefin, CORE to deliver PCI-validated P2PE

Bluefin partnered with CORE, a provider of enterprise revenue and payment management solutions, to enhance payment security for CORE's customer base. Bluefin will offer PCI-validated point-to-point encryption (P2PE) devices as CORE's solution partner, reducing PCI DSS compliance burden by over 70 percent and PCI control scope reduction at the POS environment by more than 90 percent, Bluefin stated, adding that this collaboration aims to provide a superior, secure, and efficient omnichannel payment experience for clients and their customers, ensuring end-to-end security across all channels.

Hokodo, Balance to power B2B cross-border payments

Hokodo and Balance partnered to offer a unified payment terms solution for global B2B companies in Europe and North America. This collaboration aims to meet the growing demand for flexible payment terms and quick access to credit for buyers and sellers. It enables swift and adaptable payment terms, leveraging technology for buyer profile assessments, and provides global accessibility via an API-first approach, the partners stated. FoodoMarket, a France-based food marketplace, is among the first to benefit from this partnership, allowing them to expand their operations internationally while offering payment terms seamlessly, they added.

Token.io expands to Scandinavia with Paysafe

In collaboration with Paysafe, Token.io, an account-to-account (A2A) payment infrastructure provider, expanded its open banking connectivity network to Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. This expansion includes account information services and payment initiation services offerings. Payment service providers, such as Paysafe, are now able to provide A2A payment capabilities to customers in these countries, enabling secure payments directly from bank accounts. This expansion aims to make Pay by Bank a mainstream payment method, offering smoother payment experiences and improved success rates compared to cards.

The Green Sheet, Inc.ACQUISITIONS

Databricks gains MosaicML

Databricks acquired MosaicML, a generative AI platform, in a deal valued at approximately $1.3 billion, including retention packages. MosaicML is known for its MPT large language models, which enable organizations to efficiently build and train advanced models using their own data. Databricks and MosaicML aim to democratize generative AI, offering customers a straightforward way to maintain control, security and ownership over their data. This combination will provide a platform capable of serving large organizations and addressing various AI use cases, according to the companies, Databricks stated.

Visa to acquire Pismo

Visa agreed to acquire Pismo, a Brazilian cloud-native issuer processing and core banking platform, for $1 billion in cash. This marks the largest fintech exit in Latin America since Nubank's public offering in 2021 and the largest disclosed startup exit of the year, analysts noted. The acquisition is expected to enable Visa to offer comprehensive banking and issuer processing capabilities and support emerging payment rails like Pix in Brazil for financial institution clients, leveraging Pismo's cloud-native APIs and extensive experience in banking and card solutions, Visa noted.

The Green Sheet, Inc.APPOINTMENTS

TFPA appoints Dobbie, Bracken and Wright

Gregor Dobbie, former CEO of Vocalink, a Mastercard company, was named the new CEO of The Fintech and Payments Advisory Network. The network focuses on providing practical commercialization guidance to fintech companies and helps them execute recommendations. Dobbie will lead the organization in delivering its transformative vision, filling a gap in the advisory market for fintech firms, the TFPA stated. In addition, Roger Bracken was promoted to executive chair, and Steve Wright, a founder partner, accepted the position of chief operating officer.

While with Vocalink, Dobie led projects to deploy real time payment technology globally and was part of the management team leading the sale of Vocalink to Mastercard. Before Vocalink, Dobbie held senior positions at Glory, Talaris and De La Rue. Roger Bracken has held leadership positions at such enterprises as NCR, First Data, and TSG. He is a special advisor at Vitruvian Partners and serves as chair of the fintech WyzePay. Wright has a long record of sales leadership in paytech and has led divisions at Xerox, ACI, Fujitsu and NCR. He has also helped shape payments startups and scale-ups, including Lusis and Alaric.

Rick Lynch signs on with DisputeHelp

Rick Lynch, former senior vice president of Verifi, a Visa company, joined DisputeHelp as senior vice president of business development. With extensive experience in the payments industry, including founding Lynx Payments and serving as an American advisory board member for the Merchant Risk Council, Lynch will enhance the strategic partnership between DisputeHelp, Ethoca, and Verifi, DisputeHelp stated, adding that it offers an acquirer-focused platform for end-to-end dispute management, enabling acquirers to provide comprehensive dispute solutions to their merchant portfolio and generate additional revenue streams.

VizyPay welcomes Nick Maas, Doug Drees

Payment processing fintech VizyPay appointed Nick Maas as its chief financial officer and Doug Drees as lead generation expert to further scale its services for small businesses in rural America. Maas brings over 10 years of experience as an assistant vice president and business banker to VizyPay, leveraging a unique mix of strategic and analytical expertise in his new role. Drees joins VizyPay with over 15 years of experience helping SMBs increase opportunities through marketing and sales strategies. The additions of Maas and Drees will contribute to VizyPay's growth and ongoing commitment to serving small business owners, the company stated.

New talent stepping up at SEAA

The Southeast Acquirers Association elected John Shipley from Clearent by Xplor to its Board of Directors. Additionally, three new members joined the Advisory Committee: Bill Glass, COO at AltruPay; Alex Daily, director of partner relations with Cutter; and Layla Rice, director of merchant services at LINGA. SEAA also formed the Engagement Task Force, comprising Nathalie Fundora-Villarreal, Kimberly Dass and Howard Haffner, to assist in launching a new monthly webinar series in 2024 and support other initiatives. In addition, SEAA revealed its 2024 annual show will be held in New Orleans from June 10-12, 2024. end of article

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