Bitcoin processor BitPay moved to a larger office space in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to accommodate its growth. BitPay said over 2,500 merchants have signed up with the processor in the last three months, bringing the total number of European merchants on the BitPay platform to over 11,000.
Cardholder authentication firm CardinalCommerce was granted a U.S. patent for a scheme called Alternative Payment Implementation for Electronic Retailers (U.S. patent 8,762,210), which leverages text messaging to allow in-store transactions using payment methods other than plastic cards, such as digital wallets and other alternative payment methods. The technology is built into CardinalCommerce's Centinel online payment authentication platform.
U.K.-based prepaid program provider Contis Group Ltd. unveiled the Visa Inc.-branded Seasons prepaid travel card, digital account and mobile app designed to lock in favorable exchange (FX) rates for U.K. vacationers traveling abroad. "Holiday money loaded onto the Seasons online account is held in sterling and the currency is converted as each transaction is made, using highly competitive FX rates," Contis Group said.
Biometric authentication technology firm Delta ID Inc. closed on $5 million worth of Series A financing from Intel Capital and other strategic investors. The Newark, Calif.-based firm said the funds, added to the $1.1 million already raised, will help the company meet rapidly growing demand for its iris recognition technology.
Calverton, N.Y.-based ISO Electronic Payments Inc. joined the fight against the degenerative muscle disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) by making a $5,000 donation to the ALS Ice Bucket challenge. "Due to our existing relationship with the ALS Association Chapters, we are poised to work collaboratively with the organizations," stated EPI Chief Executive Officer Michael Nardy. "We are glad to do our part in increasing the visibility and awareness of ALS while providing charitable support."
Houston, Texas-based payment software developer eProcessing Network LLC now offers ePNTexting, an online tool that allows merchants to send text messages, reminders and alerts to customers' mobile devices. "Studies show that almost 94 percent of text messages are read within five minutes of receipt, which only reinforces what merchants have known when utilizing traditional communication methods – personalized communications serve as an immediate touch point to the mobile shopper, helping increase customer satisfaction and loyalty," ePN said.
Logistics cloud solutions provider Freightgate released the I-Trek! Mobile app to improve delivery driver productivity and real-time shipment tracking. The app, designed for use with tablet computers, enables all participants in a delivery chain to simultaneously update the status of a shipment or to track a shipment by multiple parameters, including billing, shipper and consignee references, as well as by P.O. box number, shipment status and date range.
Goodwill Industries International Inc. confirmed through the help of a forensic investigation that its recent data breach was caused when an anonymous third-party vendor's systems were attacked by malware, enabling fraudsters to access payment card data of that vendor's customers, including Goodwill. Goodwill said 20 of its stores using the affected third-party vendor were impacted by the breach. The nonprofit added that the attack affected the third-party vendor's systems intermittently between Feb. 10, 2013, and Aug. 14, 2014.
Small business lender Kabbage Inc. said it funds over $2 million per day to small businesses. The Atlanta-based company noted that its funding volume has doubled in the last six months. "This dramatic growth is driven by the company's patented, automated underwriting platform – the only one in the industry enabling real-time underwriting and efficient, rapid scale," Kabbage said.
NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association formed a board advisory group designed to allow non-financial institution providers and users of the automated clearing house (ACH) network to directly communicate with the NACHA board of directors. The association said the NACHA Board Advisory Group will consist of representatives from businesses of different sizes and types, associations that represent various types of users, and processors or technology providers that enable and support the use of ACH payments.
Additionally, the association reported that its voting membership approved two new amendments to the NACHA Operating Rules that will further improve ACH network quality by reducing the incidence of ACH transactions that result in exceptions and returns.
Atlanta-based prepaid mobile remote deposit provider Ingo Money Inc. said it has achieved sustainable, profitable loss rates for its account funding network of the same name, while maintaining qualified customer approval rates of nearly 80 percent. In calling this development a significant milestone, Ingo Money stated that it has experienced a 70 percent decline in duplicate check returns combined with an 85 percent rate of legitimate checks funded to consumer accounts and available to spend within minutes.
Isis, the mobile telecommunication company-backed mobile wallet initiative, changed its name to Softcard to differentiate itself from the Middle Eastern Islamic terrorist organization ISIS. "However coincidental, we have no desire to share a name with this group and our hearts go out to those affected by this violence," said Softcard CEO Michael Abbott. He added that the new name connotes power, flexibility and simplicity.
Merchant Warehouse and one if its resellers, One Step Retail Solutions, won the Innovative Solution Award for Best Partnership by the Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA) and Vertical Systems Reseller Magazine. The award honored the work of bringing Merchant Warehouse's Genius Customer Engagement Platform to One Step Retail Solutions' retail customers.
Pay-at-the-table technology provider Viableware changed its corporate name to TableSafe. "Until now, our name gave no indication of the value we provide for both restaurant guests and operators," said TableSafe CEO Joe Snell. "TableSafe offers a much better characterization of our technology and the type of functionality that our system brings to the marketplace."
The Strawhecker Group put out the call to ISO owners interested in selling their merchant portfolios. TSG said that the current portfolio acquisitions market is extremely active and the company is engaged in connecting buyers with sellers. Interested ISOs can learn more by contacting TSG at firstname.lastname@example.org.
USAePay released version 1.3.6 of the USAePay POS mobile app for Android-based devices. New features of the app include auto-population of customer email addresses; auto-save of new customer emails to existing customer accounts; ability to add/remove product categories directly on the device; addition of an "Unfiled Category" where products in deleted categories remain saved in the system; and improved hardware support.
Celent released results of a survey that tested consumer reaction to hypothetical text messages from businesses. In its report, Don't Be Creepy: Analytics and the Client Experience, Celent noted that consumers responded negatively to messages that implied firms had accessed location or transaction data. The report contains recommendations for strategy officers, operations and technology teams.
In its biennial CRASH Report on the global state of business applications, CAST researchers found a significant correlation between application robustness and ability to prevent security issues. "Some security experts argue software security is different from software quality and should be treated differently," said Dr. Bill Curtis, Chief Scientist at CAST and author of the report. However, he found the data proves this assertion false. The report noted that retail and financial industry applications were most prone to data breaches, with 70 percent of retail and 69 percent of financial services applications studied found to have data input validation violations.
A Mercator Advisory Group report, Mobile Payments: Only If Relevant and Useful, makes the case for relevancy as a determining factor in mobile device usage beyond communications. Of those surveyed, 50 percent expressed an interest in wearable technology and 43 percent had recently executed mobile payments, up from 31 percent in 2013.
Greg Weed of Phoenix Marketing International and Susan Herbst-Murphy of the Payment Cards Center examined data on general-purpose reloadable (GPR) card use collected during Phoenix's annual Consumer Payments Monitor survey. They identified a "power user" group that includes millennials and higher-income gen Xers. In their report, Millennials with Money: A New Look at Who Uses GPR Prepaid Cards, Herbst-Murphy and Weed also noted that 90 percent of GPR cardholders reported having a checking account, and 75 percent have a credit or charge card. These findings are inconsistent with the characterization of the GPR card as primarily a product designed for and used by the underbanked.
According to a World Bank Development Research Group report, Digital Payments Vital to Economic Growth, the integration of digital payments into the economies of developing nations could propel economic growth moving forward. World Banks presents an action plan for government adoption of digital payments, including guidelines for peer-to-peer payments, regulatory and educational actions that foster innovation, and the role of remittance providers.
Alternet Payment Solutions signed a nonexclusive channel partner agreement with BitPay to sell and support the BitPay digital currency platform for clients operating in the business-to-business arena. "We now have a reliable and secure partner to fulfill transactions with Bitcoin," said Alternet CEO Henryk Dabrowski, adding that customers will be able to "fulfill digital currency transactions online and through mobile devices."
Apriva selected GoCoin to process such digital currencies as bitcoin, litecoin and dogecoin for Apriva-affiliated channel partners. "Our partnership will enable Apriva's resellers and ISVs to provide their merchants the most comprehensive selection of payment options offered today," said Steve Beauregard, GoCoin founder and CEO. Merchants may keep or trade coins at the current market rate. GoCoin stated it assumes all risks during the coin exchange.
Boku Inc. inked a deal with IPC Media that will enable new IPC magazine subscriber to sign up for subscriptions using Boku's text-to-pay service. After text message confirmation, the registration is then completed via mobile website. The magazine subscription charge either appears on the subscriber's carrier bill or can be deducted from the customer's prepaid balance using Boku's e-money product, the companies stated.
New York-based EVO Payments International entered a long-term, exclusive relationship with Dublin-based Bank of Ireland to provide merchant acquiring services in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Under the agreement, starting later this year EVO payment products will be marketed to merchants under the Bank of Ireland Payment Acceptance brand.
Los-Angeles based Payscout Inc., partnered with card issuer China UnionPay, enhancing its multicurrency and card payment offerings for small- to enterprise-class online and brick-and-mortar merchants. "With Asia having one of the fastest-growing e-commerce consumer demands in the world, security of client transactions must develop to stay on pace with the rise in e-commerce," said Payscout CEO Cleveland Brown.
ROAM, which is part of Ingenico Mobile Solutions, teamed with First Data Corp. in launching a mobile POS solution in India leveraging ROAM's mobile platform and Ingenico's global Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) expertise. "ROAM's EMV card reader device provides the security, ease of use and adaptability we needed to bring a reliable mPOS solution to Indian merchants," said Nitish Asthana, General Manager of First Data Acquiring Services.
TransFirst and Ability Commerce have agreed to integrate TransFirst's Transaction Express payment gateway with Ability's order management, e-commerce and financial platforms. "The integration of Ability OMS, our PA-DSS certified back-end order management platform, with TransFirst's payment solution, enables us to provide a cutting-edge payment solution to our direct commerce retail clients," said Shawn Ellen, Director of Sales and Marketing for Ability.
Payment processor Worldpay and cloud-based call center management services provider Syntec Telecom entered a global partnership created to enable businesses to safely accept card payments by phone without compromising the end-user experience. Using Syntec's CardEasy keypad payment by phone program, when customers enter card data on a phone keypad, no data is visible to call center agents, and number entries are inaudible over the phone, the companies reported.
FIS bought Clear2Pay, adding managed payment services to its global platform. "This strategic acquisition demonstrates our commitment to delivering the technologies and assets that will enable our clients, especially large and global institutions, to realize a truly modern payments environment that encompasses all customer channels, simplifies payment operations, reduces costs and provides a better customer experience," said Gary Norcross, FIS President and COO.
Heartland Payment Systems completed acquisition of TouchNet Information Systems Inc., an integrated commerce provider to higher-education institutions. Heartland paid $375 million in the cash transaction, adding about 600 higher education clients to its Campus Solutions business.
Electronic check services provider MyECheck Inc. purchased its licensee GreenPay LLC, the creator of mj-pay, a secure mobile payment app targeting medical marijuana dispensaries. Under the agreement, GreenPay will continue to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of MyECheck. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Syracuse, N.Y.-based Sharenet Inc., a full-service provider of ATM services to financial institutions, acquired Phoenix-based Express Teller Services, extending its market coverage to the U.S. West Coast. Express Teller Services founder and President Josh Ettesvold is expected to join Sharenet's leadership team.
David Atkinson is the new Executive Vice President of Business Development at Bluepoint Solutions. He will be responsible for the company's growth by managing and developing the sales organization and existing customer relationships. Atkinson brings more than 25 years sales' management experience to his new role. He has previously led successful sales teams at Oracle, Basic Four, Trilogy and i2Technologies, Bluepoint stated.
TMG Financial Services hired Jeff Oleson as its Marketing Analyst, a new position designed to aid the company's marketing strategy and data driven marketing capabilities. Oleson, who has a strong background in data analytics and segmentation strategies, will be responsible for developing TMGFS' business intelligence and data visualization tools. Oleson came to TMGFS from Mercer Consumer, an insurance broker and risk adviser.
OneView Commerce named Henk-Jan van der Weide its Senior Vice President of Global Sales. OneView noted that van der Weide began his career as an entrepreneur and is "especially tuned into fast-growing emerging global companies ripe with market opportunity." Directly prior, van de Weide held several executive sales positions with hybris software's German, United Kingdom, Scandinavian and South African operations.
OneView also named 20-year sales and channel veteran Frank Schoutissen its Executive Vice President Eco Systems and Channels. Previously, as senior vice president channel for hybris Software, Schoutissen "played a key strategic role in its expansion into new markets, including establishing its global channel structure and leading channel development," OneView reported.
Paul Waltz, Shazam Network's Chief Operating Officer, is now also the company's President. He previously served as Executive Vice President and COO. Shazam CEO Michael Hollinger turned the presidency over to Waltz in preparation for Hollinger's anticipated retirement in August 2015. Waltz has spent more than 30 years working with community financial institutions, most recently with First American Bank in Fort Dodge, Iowa, as COO.
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