Cambridge, England-based Bango reported that the Bango Payment Platform is now available to select digital merchants. "Bango is uniquely positioned to bring app store quality payments to digital merchants," said Bango Chief Executive Officer Ray Anderson. "Only Bango delivers direct operator billing to most of the world's app stores across more than 130 of the world's leading mobile operators."
Richardson, Texas-based mobile payment firm DeviceFidelity Inc. unveiled a new plug-and-play module for its mobile payment attachments that combines multimode wireless charging and near field communication (NFC) capabilities for Apple devices. DeviceFidelity said the module utilizes the SIM card as a secure element and provides a robust application protocol interface that allows app developers to interface with NFC and wireless charging functions.
London-based mobile solution compliance services provider Empello launched RemoteLab, which enables merchants and merchant service providers to view and test the operations of their mobile payment services. RemoteLab is available in the U.K., Germany, Italy, Poland, Mexico, Colombia and Australia. Six more countries are expected to be added over the next three months.
The Federal Trade Commission settled a lawsuit against two telemarketing firms that sold an allegedly fraudulent home-based business opportunity that enabled consumers to earn income by selling payment processing services, POS terminals and merchant cash advances to small businesses. The FTC said that defendants The Tax Club and American Business agreed to settlements that will prohibit future misconduct, and in the case of Tax Club, will surrender assets valued at more than $15 million.
First Data Holdings Inc., the parent company of First Data Corp., received commitments to purchase approximately $3.5 billion of its common equity in a private placement. "The net proceeds from the private placement will be used to strengthen the company's balance sheet through repaying portions of its debt, allowing the company to focus additional capital on accelerating its transformation to a solutions and innovation company that helps First Data clients grow their businesses," said the largest acquirer in the United States.
Additionally, First Data introduced Insightics, designed to allow small and midsize businesses (SMBs) to leverage big data. The acquirer said the service addresses the need for SMBs to be able to gain timely, measurable views of key business drivers, such as customer payment trends and sales cycles.
Carrollton, Texas-based JetPay Payment Services, a subsidiary of JetPay Corp., won the 2013 Data Integrity Compliance Award from MasterCard Worldwide. "JetPay Payment Services has a 15-year record of delivering superior quality service to our business partners," said Trent Voigt, CEO of the company's payments division. "They understand that their customers' data security and integrity are our top priority."
Milan, Italy-based mobile POS startup JUSP SpA stated that its Europay/Mastercard/Visa- and PIN pad-enabled mPOS device is now commercially available for sale via the JUSP website. Its mPOS solution, which is designed for Android, Apple Inc. and Windows-based smart devices, is being initially rolled out in Italy and Europe, with a U.S. launch to follow. Additionally, JUSP noted that it is providing the agents of one of the world's largest insurance companies with its mPOS solution, following a successful pilot program.
Loyalty-based payment platform provider LevelUp said its merchants now leverage Apple's iBeacon wireless communication technology to increase sales. LevelUp reported that in the 30 days following its launch of iBeacon functionality in May 2014, LevelUp merchants experienced a 22 percent average increase in customer spend via the LevelUp app or the business' custom apps running on the LevelUp platform. Apple's iBeacon uses Bluetooth Low Energy technology to enable contactless, in-store payments.
Mobile payments startup Mobeam Inc. said that only two months after launching its loyalty app, Beep'nGo, in the Google Play store, the app had been downloaded over 1 million times. Beep'nGo provides discounts, unique offers and coupons from retailers. Mobeam expects its app to be embedded in over 140 million mobile devices and available in over 200 countries by the end of 2014.
The National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association requested that the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York overturn the Dec. 13, 2013, decision by U.S. District Court Judge John Gleeson that approved the settlement of the controversial lawsuit brought by merchants against Visa Inc. and MasterCard over interchange fees. The merchant associations said the $7.25 billion settlement was negotiated by only a handful of merchants and would do nothing to curb future interchange fees.
The geo-location-based app developer pinnum Inc. upgraded its app to include "Buy Now for Business" functionality. Designed for small businesses, the new feature supplies merchants with unique PIN numbers called pinnums. When consumers launch the pinnum app on smart devices and enter the appropriate business PIN number, they receive exclusive deals from pinnum merchants.
"The local bakery, pizza restaurant, or car wash cannot afford to waste time or make additional capital investment to develop mobile technology, especially technology that accepts credit cards," said pinnum CEO John Giaimo. "Unlike daily deal sites, pinnum does not take a piece of the deal."
Woodland Hills, Calif.-based ISO Total Merchant Services Inc. reported it has been authorized by the American Express Co. to offer AmEx acquiring services. TMS said its sales partners can now set up merchants to accept AmEx-branded cards with a "one application, one statement and one settlement" service.
Columbus, Ga.-based payment processor Total System Services Inc. (TSYS) received two 2013 Visa Service Quality Performance Awards for lowest assured transaction rate and lowest transaction response time. TSYS said the awards are a testament to the processor's focus on "People-Centered Payments," which is the company's corporate slogan.
Top 10 acquirer Vantiv Inc. unveiled the Viable EMV testing platform. Viable is designed to simplify the testing of merchants' payment systems for compliance with the EMV chip card standard. "Merchants using Vantiv's Viable solution have full control over their EMV network validation activities," said Patty Walters, Senior Vice President of EMV Corporate Strategy at Vantiv. "This new solution truly places merchants in control as they work toward the 2015 U.S. liability shift deadline."
A University of Cambridge computer science report, Chip and Skim: cloning EMV cards with the pre-play attack, suggests that in some cases the security protocol for EMV- chip and PIN payments requiring POS terminals or ATMs to generate a nonce, or unpredictable number, for each transaction, EMV implementers who rely upon counters, timestamps or homegrown algorithms to supply this number, may expose systems to "pre-play" attacks carried out by malware that is indistinguishable from card cloning.
A Juniper Research Ltd. report, Mobile Wallets: Strategies for Developed and Developing Markets 2014-2019, predicts one in five mobile handsets will have mobile wallet functionality by 2018. "While P2P [person-to-person] mobile payment services have struggled to gain traction in developed markets, financial institutions are keen to commit to them as they can serve as an attractive value-add to consumers in an increasingly cashless society," said Dr. Windsor Holden, report author.
Verifi Inc. released a free guide for merchants titled, What Every Card Not Present Merchant Should Know: Navigating Today's Challenging Payment Ecosystem. The guide features card-not-present payment processing tips including practical steps to take from start to finish, how to mitigate pre-sale fraud, the benefits of chargeback management, how to minimize card declines, and hints for maximizing customer retention and profitability.
First Atlantic Commerce partnered with B4Checkin, a developer of cloud-based software for the hospitality industry, to integrate the B4Checkin booking engine with FAC's payment platform. According to B4Checkin, the integrated product will be offered to hotel property clients operating in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.
GoECart added Bongo International as a Strategic Integration Partner. Initially Bongo plans to integrate its Checkout International Business Solution with the GoECart 360 all-in-one commerce suite to expand global service to more than 220 countries for its e-commerce clients.
Heartland Payment Systems Inc. extended its referral partnership agreement with Bigcommerce, whose e-commerce platform serves about 50,000 businesses. "This is a win for both new and existing clients of Heartland as it offers them a quick and easy way to get an online store in addition to the suite of Heartland's expanding products and services," said Melanie Kalemba, Vice President of Strategic Business Development at Bigcommerce.
Merchant Warehouse is now a preferred supplier to franchisees of The Dwyer Group's seven franchise companies, under an agreement with ProTradeNet, TDG's vendor management company. "ProTradeNet sought a solution that could seamlessly integrate credit card payment processing directly into ZWare, our mPOS technology, and that's exactly what we found with Merchant Warehouse," said Doug Dixon, President of ProTradeNet.
POS Portal teamed with Powa Technologies Group to bring the PowaPOS platform to POS Portal's merchant acquirer and equipment provider clients. According to Powa, the PowaPOS platform is a tablet-based POS system that offers an EMV-ready card acceptance device, universal tablet OS support, and an enhanced server and POS software developer program.
Spindle Inc. entered an agreement with Acculynk, a provider of software-based authentication services, in which Acculynk plans to embed Spindle's real-time merchant aggregation platform into its offering to expedite merchant boarding. Under terms of the agreement, Spindle will also refer merchants to Acculynk for processing and gateway services.
TransFirst LLC advanced its status with the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association from non-exclusive to exclusive provider of payment services to NIADA members. "TransFirst is a highly-valued, long-time NIADA member benefit provider who has exceeded our expectations across all aspects of what we look for in a valued member benefit provider," says Scott D. Lila, Senior Vice President, Member Services, NIADA.
Check 21 solutions provider CheckAlt acquired the ERAS subsidiary of Diebold Inc. for an undisclosed sum to expand payment processing capabilities for financial institutions. "With the acquisition of ERAS, CheckAlt is able to meet the needs of the bank's internal operations unit as well as the bank's merchant customers, all from a single vendor," said Shai Stern, Co-Chairman and CEO of CheckAlt. ERAS will reportedly continue as a wholly owned division of CheckAlt.
London-based Powa Technologies Group acquired Hong Kong-based MPayMe, whose ZNAP mobile platform will be integrated with PowaTag's mobile commerce solution, thus adding instant purchasing capabilities. "By incorporating digital catalogues, coupons/vouchers, loyalty integration, and access control, and much wider product set, we are enabling true commercial freedom for both merchants and consumers," said Dan Wagner, CEO of Powa Technologies.
Vantiv Inc. completed the purchase of Mercury Payment Systems LLC in June, paying approximately $1.65 billion in the cash transaction. According to Vantiv, the acquisition of Mercury and prior acquisition of Element Payment Services are both in alignment with the company's strategic objective to strengthen and expand high-growth channels.
Welch ATM acquired the ATM portfolio of privately held Thillens Inc., in business since 1932, adding Chicago to its network of ATM placements. Under the agreement Thillens will continue to provide cash delivery and help grow ATM business for Welch in the Chicago region. Terms of the portfolio sale were not disclosed.
Josh King is the new Senior Vice President of Global Communications and Corporate Affairs at First Data. In this role, King will lead critical company functions, including employee and client communications, media relations, digital and social media, public engagement, and events management, the company stated. King served most recently as Senior Vice President, Group Communications and Marketing, for global insurance broker Willis Group Holdings.
SignaPay Ltd. appointed industry veteran Jason Putnam as its Vice President of Sales. Putnam previously worked for First American Payment Systems and Chase Paymentech. In addition to spurring SignaPay's further growth, Putnam will continue to serve as Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Western States Acquirers Association.
Mercator Advisory Group appointed founding member Tim Sloane to the newly created position of Vice President of Payments Innovation. Sloane will be responsible for oversight of payments innovation themes across services and will have direct responsibility for and oversight of content and service in the consultancy's Emerging Technologies Advisory Service and Prepaid Advisory Service.
Mercator also added Nikhil Joseph and Jennifer Marble to its team of analysts and Marcellena Wood as Project Manager of Consulting Services. The company stated these hires "are part of the company's work to maintain its high standard of delivering fact-based insights and advice resulting from its research and consulting business model.
The Electronic Transactions Association selected payment technology expert Amy Zirkle as its Director of Industry Affairs. Zirkle most recently served as Senior Economist and Regulatory Affairs Advisor for The Members Group, where she worked on a range of technology matters, including mobile payments in the developing world.
"The industry is embracing innovations that expand and transform the payments marketplace, providing tremendous opportunities for ETA member companies to deploy a vast range of new products and services," Zirkle said. "It is truly an exciting time to be in the payments industry."
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