Total Merchant Services Inc. is closing its operations in Basalt, Colo., and moving its headquarters to Woodland Hills, Calif., the company reported March 27, 2013. Joe Kaplan, Total Chief Executive Officer, said, "Our Basalt location has enabled us to build Total into who we are today, and we are extremely grateful to all of our employees. Although a very difficult decision, we feel it's the right move for Total in the long term." The company is moving to a 50,000 square-foot-facility that will include collaboration rooms, state-of-the-art training facilities for employees and sales partners, and a gym.
Jeff Broudy, Total Vice President of Sales and Marketing, said, "We are becoming a technology driven company focusing not just on payment solutions but also business solutions," he said. "No matter how you look at it Basalt was not the right place to attract and keep the employees we need to build the technology. Woodland Hills has always been a kind of hub of credit card processing. A number of our leaders, including Joe Kaplan, come from the area.
"California is a little more expensive place to live than Colorado, but we feel there is an upside long-term. New skill sets are needed to grow our opportunities. We are becoming a technology driven company. So even though we are in Southern California, away from the Silicon Valley, we are still attracting technology people from Northern California to work with us."
Vladislav Anatolievich Horohorin, a fraudster associated with a group of cyber criminals that hacked into an Atlanta-based card processor was recently sentenced to 88 months in prison and ordered to pay $125,000 in restitution by a U.S. Federal Judge in Washington, D.C.
According to the FBI, hackers breached the Atlanta processor and sold stolen data to brokers like Horohorin, who then applied the information to counterfeit payroll debit cards used to withdraw $9 million from ATMs around the world. The FBI also said Horohorin was arrested in 2010 in Nice, France, and extradited to the United States in June 2012.
Subsequently, Horohorin pleaded guilty to two counts of access device fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. According to the FBI, Horohorin admitted to using criminal online forums, known as "dumps," to sell the processor's stolen credit and debit card information to online purchasers. He also admitted he was involved in a scheme to counterfeit payroll debit cards that were used at ATMs to steal from the victim processor's customer accounts.
A spokesman for the United States Attorney's Office, Northern District of Georgia, said the name of the processor that was hacked is RBS WorldPay (now known as WorldPay).
Tablet security solutions firm ArmorActive said it is responding to "showrooming" - the behavior of consumers who browse online with mobile devices while shopping in stores to get cheaper deals on in-store merchandise - by supplying interactive apps for Apple Inc. iPad POS stations in stores.
For example, ArmorActive supplied a new branch of the upscale New York apparel retailer Kate Spade with iPad apps designed to enhance the in-store shopping experience by displaying messages and showcasing models wearing Kate Spade-branded clothing.
PayPal Inc., an eBay Inc. subsidiary, is apparently taking the lead position in alternative payments. In PayPal: Online payments tycoon, a report added to the roster of Research and Markets, the company is placed ahead of Google Checkout and Amazon Payments as an online payment processor, with over $35.2 billion in payments processed in 2012. PayPal President David Marcus also said at the annual eBay Inc. Analyst Day that he expects $300 billion in payments to be funneled through eBay and PayPal in 2015.
Allied Wallet Ltd. disclosed in its first quarter 2013 report that over 52 million people use its virtual wallet, as well as its multicurrency, payment processing and payment gateway services. Allied said the popularity of its services is mainly due to the firm's focus on security.
Coinciding with its relocation from Cleveland to Philadelphia, Financial Transaction Services rebranded itself as CardConnect. The ISO said the rebranding was undertaken to better reflect the company's mission: to make payment processing simple and easy by marrying personalized service with a flexible technology platform.
Credit card processor review site TopCreditCardProcessors.com ranked Group ISO Merchant Services the top processor in March 2013. Group ISO said the website gave the ISO high marks for competitive rates, customer support, efficiency and reliability, as well as the flexibility to meet the needs of diverse merchants.
Heartland Payment Systems Inc. earned five Stevie Awards. The New Jersey-based acquirer won a Silver Stevie Award in the Sales Technology Category and four Bronze Stevie Awards in the Contact Center of the Year (Over 100 Seats), Innovation in Customer Service, Customer Service Team of the Year and Customer Service Training Team of the Year categories.
Ingenico SA held an investor day at which the POS terminal manufacturer revealed it expects to be the central hub of payments by 2016. Ingenico Chairman and CEO Philippe Lazare said payments "remains the universal, definitive and decisive element in the act of purchasing."
Northern California-based SpotOn Inc. said over 1,100 Southern Californians have joined the company's digital loyalty platform since its launch in July 2012. An estimated 175,000 consumers now use SpotOn's tablet-enabled incentive program in the Southern California marketplace, according to the firm.
Payment aggregator The Members Group entered the realm of podcasting. The monthly, 15-minute TMG Podcast will feature industry experts discussing payment topics important to TMG's clientele - credit unions and community banks.
The blog is available at TMG's channel on BlogTalkRadio: blogtalkradio.com/themembersgroup.
Payment gateway operator Payventures LLC launched the Fast Funds Gateway, billed as a fourth generation billing, collections and marketing platform. The gateway is certified with over 20 acquiring banks in North and South America, Europe, and Asia, according to the firm.
Online merchant processor PayZang rolled out its Virtual Check product to enable "high-risk" merchants to accept phone- or web-based payments. Virtual Check employs PayZang's proprietary check guarantee software CheXshield to deny fraudulent check and automated clearing house transactions.
Strategic Payment Systems Inc. closed on a multimillion-dollar credit facility that will reportedly bring additional funding to the ISO marketplace. "This deal is a major step in allowing SPS to provide liquidity to those ISOs and agents looking to expand, acquire new technology or simply take money off the table," said SPS CEO Rick Pylant.
Allied Business Intelligence Inc. (ABI Research) estimated that by 2014, over 500 million near field communication (NFC) -enabled mobile devices will be in the global marketplace. In NFC Devices, Strategies, and Form Factors, the London-based research firm calculated that a minimum of 285 million NFC-enabled mobile and consumer electronics devices will ship in 2013.
Barclaycard reported that more than 700,000 London bus riders have paid for fares with contactless cards since the program's launch in December 2012. Also, 11,000 contactless bus fares are being made daily, on average, and about 31 million contactless credit, debit and charge cards are in circulation in the United Kingdom, according to Barclaycard, which supplied the technology to enable London's bus fleet to accept contactless payments.
The Mobile Fraud Survey, conducted by Kount Inc., The Fraud Practice LLC, and CardNotPresent.com, said 55 percent of over 400 merchants surveyed cannot detect whether transactions originated from mobile devices - a potential vulnerability to fraud. "While retailers are focused on the growth of mobile transactions, the survey results indicate many are unprepared for the fraud that will inevitably follow," said Don Bush, Kount's Vice President of Marketing.
Vantiv Inc. released the Top Ten Payment Trends for 2013. Topping the list is "omni-commerce," which Vantiv and its research partner Mercator Advisory Group characterized as the way in which consumers use multiple channels to research products before making purchases. The researchers said the second and third biggest trends for 2013 are mobile payment proliferation and mobile wallets, respectively. Banking relationships round out the top 10.
Demandware Solution Partner Astound Commerce teamed with technology company BorderJump to develop a LINK Cartridge that integrates BorderJump's shipping and payment services into retail websites. This will enable merchants to provide "full landed cost quotes - including duties, taxes and affordable international shipping rates - and local currency payment options," the companies said.
MokiMobility, a cloud-based service for monitoring and securing tablets and smart phones deployed as POS devices, formed an alliance with Apple Inc. iOS-based POS solutions developer Revel Systems Inc. to develop solutions that meet Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) requirements for mobile POS devices, the firms stated.
Momentum Payment Systems aligned with Merchants Capital Access LLC to offer merchant cash advance (MCA) as an alternative source of funding for merchant businesses. According to MPS, MCA funding is generally approved within 72 hours.
Prodigy Payment Systems partnered with Merchant Benefits Alliance, a merchant club representing nearly 1 million merchants.
Under the agreement MBA's discounted business-related products and services will be made available to PPS' merchants. Added benefits include referral reward, MCA, and loyalty and gift card programs, PPS said.
ISO SignaPay LLC entered an agreement with PCI DSS compliance provider ControlScan to deliver ControlScan's guided program of high-touch compliance and reporting tools, merchant education and assistance to SignaPay's Level 4 merchants.
The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles, in partnership with e-government services provider NIC Inc., launched an online service that will permit motorcycle enthusiasts within the state to register and pay for motorcycle training courses using the system's secure web payment service, the DMV reported.
OpenCoin, a company developing the Ripple protocol for a new virtual currency and distributed open source payment network, acquired Simple Honey Inc. Simple Honey said its team, which has successfully launched targeted vertical apps for travel and shopping, will form the core of OpenCoin's consumer engagement team.
Spindle Inc. completed the acquisition of MeNetwork. The integration of MeNetwork's location-based mobile marketing technology into Spindle's mobile payment platform will reportedly enable Spindle merchants to leverage the companies' combined technologies to drive commerce, customer loyalty and customer social media sharing.
The Members Group promoted Georgann Smith to Vice President of Marketing. Meanwhile, Darron Dunn and Karen Postma were promoted to Vice President of Client Services and Director of Client Services, respectively.
WePay Inc. made Susan Dunn its General Counsel and Susan Oda its Vice President of Finance. Dunn previously served as General Counsel for payroll company PayCycle, while Oda worked in the small business division and corporate finance for Intuit Inc.
Lain Herd was hired as the Global Mobile Product Director for Virtual Piggy Inc. Herd moved to Virtual Piggy from PayPal, where he was Global Head of Mobile Partnerships and Product.
CenPOS tapped Christopher Justice to be its President and CEO. Jorge Fernandez, current CEO and co-founder, will continue with the company as Chairman. Justice previously worked with Concord EFS Inc., First Data Corp. and Ingenico.
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