Since 2010, when the U.K. government revealed plans to revamp its benefits system via Universal Credit, prepaid card program manager Contis Group Ltd. has seen 400 percent growth in the number of U.K. credit unions that offer the provider's credEcardplus prepaid program. Contis just added a new budgeting tool to credEcardplus designed to "ring fence" funds in prepaid accounts for the paying of essential bills.
At the 2013 Strategic Leadership Forum held Oct. 15 to 17 in Scottsdale, Ariz., the Electronic Transactions Association launched its new political engagement program, The Voice of Payments, as well as its newly formed political action committee, ETAPAC.
ETA Chief Executive Officer Jason Oxman said, "ETA's Voice of Payments gives ETA members the tools to advocate for the innovative American companies that are driving the world's best electronic payments system." In conjunction with ETAPAC, the ETA noted it has doubled its government relations staff and registered a lobbyist to increase the association's influence on Capitol Hill.
JetPay Corp., an ISO headquartered in Carrollton, Texas, closed on a $10 million investment from an affiliate of private equity firm Flexpoint Ford LLC. The investment is part of an overall $40 million Flexpoint agreed to invest into JetPay, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions.
Claim settlement recovery service Managed Care Advisory Group LLC said it has contracted with over 20 top processors and more than 100 ISOs and merchant level salespeople to provide assistance to merchants who intend to file claims in the pending Payment Card Interchange Fee Settlement case. MCAG noted it has spent over a year building a transaction fee data set for an estimated 40 percent of all active merchants.
Los Angeles-based ISO Pride Card Services reported that it raised over $5,000 for the 29th Annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles held Oct. 13, 2013. The ISO donates 20 percent of its net income earned per merchant account to the charities chosen by its merchants.
ProPay Inc., a Levi, Utah-based ISO owned by processor Total System Services Inc., was named the top online payment service by merchant-focused e-commerce news outlet EcommerceBytes. Readers of EcommerceBytes based their votes on customer service, account holds procedures, and resolution process and fees. In 2010, ProPay was named ISO of the Year by the ETA.
Sequent Software Inc., a trusted service manager for mobile payments, hosted the Sprint Developer Program Hackathon in San Jose, Calif., on Oct. 17, 2013. The hackathon, which was part of MobileCON 2013, involved mobile application developers creating apps for Sprint's Pinsight Touch mobile payment platform that leverage near field communication (NFC) technology.
SoftTouch LLC, a developer of POS and management solutions for restaurants, said its SoftTouch POS system now supports the alternative currency bitcoin. The POS provider said the integration allows SoftTouch POS users to accept bitcoin payments for counter, bar, drive-through, dining or delivery transactions.
Square Inc. launched Square Cash, designed to allow consumers to make person-to-person payments via email. "Customers simply send an email to the person they're paying, and after the recipient enters their debit card number, money is directly transferred to their bank account," Square said.
Through its Nevada-based subsidiary Unwired Planet LLC, intellectual property firm Unwired Planet Inc. filed a patent infringement complaint against Square in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. Unwired Planet alleges that Square is infringing three of its patents related to location-based services and mobile payments.
Los Angeles-based payment gateway operator USAePay released version 1.3.1 of its mobile payment app. New features of the USAePay App, designed exclusively for Apple Inc. mobile devices, include the addition of a tip line on quick-payment forms.
In its third quarter ending Sept. 30, 2013, top 10 U.S. acquirer Vantiv Inc. reported a revenue increase of 14 percent, compared with the same quarter last year. Vantiv made $532.3 million in the third quarter of this year, as opposed to $466.7 million for the same period in 2012. Vantiv said net revenues for its merchant services business rose by 18 percent in the third quarter 2013, compared with the corresponding 2012 quarter, primarily due to a 10 percent increase in transactions and an 8 percent expansion in net revenue per transaction.
Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based in-game payment facilitator Xsolla launched Mobile PayStation 2.0, a platform that integrates into mobile device-based games. Xsolla said the new platform offers enhancements, such as the PayRank algorithm, which automatically analyzes a player's physical location and payment history and presents the user with the most relevant payment methods available in that location.
Market intelligence firm Strategy Analytics Inc. lowered its global outlook for NFC-based mobile payments due to slower than expected adoption rates in most nations. In its NFC Mobile Payments Forecast Update: 2013-2017, SAI predicted about 115 million NFC handset owners will complete approximately $48 billion in NFC payments by 2017.
Javelin Strategy & Research estimated the current U.S. mobile wallet market to be valued at over $4 trillion, with no single player dominating the field. The 2013 Gang of Five report analyzed strategies of Apple, Google Inc., Amazon Inc., Facebook Inc. and PayPal Inc., and compared them to those of traditional payment networks, financial institutions and mobile network operators.
Prolexic Technologies' Q3 2013 Global DDoS Attack Report exposed a new trend in recent cyber attack activity. According to Prolexic, attackers are gravitating to distributed reflection denial of service (DrDoS) attacks, which obscure the source of the attack, while enabling the bandwidth of intermediary victims to amplify the size of the attack. In this type of crime, both the intended target and unsuspecting intermediaries are victimized.
Payment processor CardConnect formed a partnership with lending provider OnDeck Capital Inc. to leverage OnDeck's proprietary credit platform and extend pre-authorized funding to CardConnect's 50,000 U.S. business customers.
U.S.-based Charge Anywhere LLC entered a strategic alliance with Spain-based payment services provider SetPay to jointly launch a platform whereby SetPay business customers will be able to accept mobile payments using Charge Anywhere's secure Europay/MasterCard/Visa chip and PIN device and platform.
Digital payment network Dwolla Inc., in partnership with Alliance Data Retail Services and its banking subsidiary Comenity Capital Bank, plans to beta launch Dwolla Credit at select merchants. The companies stated the "cardless" credit product affords approved consumers the option to "instantly access and spend advanced funds at qualified online businesses."
Lilitab LLC inked a deal with VeriFone Inc. to engineer the Lilitab Pro-V, a co-branded payment kiosk that integrates VeriFone's payment technologies with Lilitab Pro's secure tablet enclosure. The Apple Inc. MFi-certified self-service payment kiosk will offer flexible wall, surface or floor station options that are suitable for most retail environments.
Moneris Solutions Corp. formed a strategic alliance with CenPOS to incorporate its payment processing functions into the CenPOS omni-channel, cloud-based, business-to-business payment management platform. As part of the agreement, businesses in the United States and Canada will now have a single source for processing transactions in both nations.
Tranzlogic signed an agreement with TriSource Solutions LLC to deliver customer intelligence available through its proprietary transactional data analytics platform to merchants and processing partners affiliated with TriSource.
VARStreet Inc., an integrated sales quoting and e-commerce software provider for the IT and office products channels, entered an agreement with Mercury Payment Solutions LLC, to make Mercury's payment processing and revenue generation tools available to VARStreet customers.
Cardtronics USA Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cardtronics Inc., acquired the ATM business assets of CGI Inc. (CGI Direct ATM), adding approximately 1,000 merchant-owned ATMs to its nationwide fleet. Cardtronics reported it now supports 64,300 retail ATMs within the United States.
Global financial services group Fexco, in partnership with BNP Paribas Personal Finance, acquired FLASHiZ, a mobile payment and loyalty startup based in Luxembourg. The FLASHiZ platform utilizes quick-response code and NFC technologies to link multiple payment methods with loyalty and coupon programs.
Julie Gardner, former Chief Marketing Officer of Kohl’s Department Stores, recently joined the Cardtronics Board of Directors of retail ATM owner Cardtronics. Gardner's career is headlined by more than 25 years of marketing experience in the retail industry.
First Data Corp. appointed Marc Overton as co-General Manager of Europe, Middle East and Africa and Head of the region's Retail Payments Solutions business. He will work alongside Roger Bracken, co-GM and Head of the Financial Services business, in the region. Overton joins First Data from Everything Everywhere Ltd., where he was Vice President of Wholesale and Machine 2 Machine.
Jon Sarvis is the new CEO of TMG Financial Services. Sarvis has been with TMGFS since its inception and has served as Chief Financial Officer for the past six years. Sarvis stated the long-term vision for TMGFS will continue to focus on providing innovative, cost effective payment solutions for its partners and cardmembers.
Payments industry specialist Lisa Shipley joined Transaction Network Services as Head of Global Strategy for its Payments Division. In the newly created role, Shipley will be responsible for setting the strategic direction for the division. Previously, Shipley was Senior Vice President of Enterprise Accounts at First Data.
Green Dot Corp. named Grace Wang as its Chief Financial Officer. She joined Green Dot from JPMorgan Chase & Co., where she was Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of Investor Services Sales for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Directly prior, Wang held a number of senior finance and leadership roles at JPMorgan Chase, including EMEA CFO and Head of International Strategy and Business Development of the Treasury and Securities Services division. Previously, Wang worked for Booz & Co. and A.T. Kearney.
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