The FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance, which is developing a global user authentication standard, welcomed China-based e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to the alliance's board of directors. In September 2014, Alibaba's payments processing business, Alipay, signed a deal with alliance founding member Nok Nok Labs Inc. to deploy FIDO technology for secure payment authentication.
Alpha Card Services LLC now offers ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs) up to a $20,000 signing bonus based on new ISO/agent merchant account productivity. The bonus amount is based on a cumulative point system that tabulates sales during the first 100 days of the contract. "When an ISO/agent reaches a maximum of 300 points during their first 100 days, they will earn a $20,000 sign-on bonus," Alpha Card Services said.
In response to a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau request for information on mobile financial services, the Federal Trade Commission provided commentary that highlighted consumer protection issues and the steps taken by the FTC to address them. The comments focused on potential issues for unauthorized charges using prepaid or stored-value products; unfair billing practices on mobile carrier bills; the privacy and security of consumers' personal and financial data; and the potential use of consumers' information by data brokers and other third parties.
Allentown, Pa.-based merchant services firm Harbortouch released an online ordering service for its Harbortouch Hospitality POS system. The new ordering module allows restaurants using Harbortouch POS systems to accept orders online through a customized, branded menu. Users place orders on restaurants' websites, restaurants receive instant notifications, and Google Maps integration automates delivery charges based on geographic region, Harbortouch said.
Princeton, N.J.-based Heartland Payment Systems Inc. introduced a mobile and online ordering service for restaurants powered by ToGoTechnologies LLC. "Restaurants are looking for a competitive mobile ordering solution that will match the functionality that major restaurant companies are bringing to market, while minimizing the operational impact of adopting this new technology," said David Gilbert, President of Heartland's Hospitality Group.
MultiFunding LLC launched www.visiblelending.com as an open directory of short-term online business capital providers. "The brokers, cash advance merchants and lenders listed in the directory often times offer interest rates as high as 200 percent, lending billions of dollars, yet there is inadequate information available about these companies," the company said.
Via a letter to the editor published in The Wall Street Journal, National Retail Federation President and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Shay urged the U.S. Congress to address Internet tax policy before Congress recesses for the 2014 Christmas season. The NRF supports the Internet access tax moratorium, as well as online sales tax fairness (efairness) legislation, such as the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would mandate that e-commerce businesses collect sales tax from consumers. The NRF believes e-commerce merchants have an unfair advantage over brick-and-mortar businesses because online merchants do not currently have to collect sales tax.
At the 2014 Remote Deposit Capture (RDC) Summit held in Las Vegas in the first week of October, Torino, Italy-based RDC device manufacturer Panini showcased its newest check capture terminal, mI:Deal. Panini said mI:Deal is designed for small and midsize businesses due to its software-agnostic architecture that allows it to "interface with a range of different host devices including PCs, POS terminals, tablets and smartphones, regardless of the operating system."
Secure mobile services association SIMalliance will host an Oct. 14, 2014, interactive workshop in London designed to help banks and other near field communication (NFC) service providers, such as merchants and transit operators, choose optimal NFC deployment strategies. Workshop topics will include security, testing and certification, scalability, and experiences from existing secure mobile services deployments.
ISO funding specialist Super G Funding LLC expanded its funding capability through an investment from global asset management firm Inmost Discovery Capital LLC, part of a $100 million funding commitment. Super G said the new capital enables the company to expand both its residual-based loan strategy and deal sizes for larger businesses. "This is good news for ATM deployers faced with the staggering costs of upgrading ATM equipment to EMV [Europay/MasterCard/Visa] and those looking to expand their business," said Darrin Ginsberg, Super G Funding founder and CEO.
Transaction Security Inc. was granted a U.S. patent for technology that leverages biometric sensors to authenticate transactions on mobile devices. TSI founder and patent co-author Rod Beatson said the Crypto-Sign technology utilizes biometric encryption to "enable highly secure PKI [public key infrastructure]-based communications and to encrypt device data without the need to enter complex passwords."
POS systems provider VeriFone Inc. and top-10 U.S. acquirer Vantiv Inc. won The Banker Technology Project of the Year 2014 award in the Risk Management category. The partners won the award for their end-to-end encryption security solution. The solution involves VeriShield Protect, where consumer payment credentials are encrypted at the VeriFone payment terminal and is only decrypted for processing by Vantiv. Once Vantiv processes the transaction, a token is generated in place of the transaction data and is sent back to the merchant to complete the transaction.
In other news, VeriFone's payments-as-a-service platform for the U.K. market, called PAYware Ocius, was certified by the PCI Security Standards Council as an approved point-to-point encryption solution.
The Western States Acquirers Association held the first in a series of educational webinars designed to inform and educate ISOs and MLSs. The webinar, presented by Marc Beauchamp and entitled "Selling Value Added Products," was conducted on Sept. 25, 2014.
ControlScan surveyed more than 6,000 U.S.-based small to midsize businesses (SMBs) for its annual report, Mobile at the Point of Sale: How SMBs are Adopting Mobile Devices to Accept Card-Present Payments. While the percentage of SMBs using mobile devices to accept card-present payments has more than doubled over the past two years, only 37 percent of respondents expressed concerns about data security on mobile devices used for multiple Internet-based tasks.
A 2014 Colloquy/FanXchange Customer Engagement Survey revealed 54 percent of those surveyed were discontent with loyalty program reward offerings, and 48 percent were frustrated by the redemption process itself. Frustration trigger points cited included expired points, insufficient points to redeem and reward item unavailability. The paper also explores opportunities for businesses to reengage consumers in loyalty reward programs.
Mercator Advisory Group released a document titled, A Sleeping Giant Awakes: How Apple Pay Works and What it Means for Payments? In it, Mercator not only describes how Apple Pay works, but also discusses why the technology giant has entered payments and how its entry could impact other players already involved in the highly competitive payments value chain.
An Inetco Systems Ltd. white paper, Evaluating ATM/POS Transaction Monitoring: A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy of Solutions, offers guidance and questions to ask when assessing transaction monitoring tools. The paper guides users through the entire process, from establishing monitoring initiatives and objectives to how each aspect will benefit end users from an administrative, performance and security standpoint.
Anovia Payments LLC teamed with Womply to create Anovia Insights, a merchant analytics platform. According to Anovia, the platform's online dashboard offers a 360-degree view of business performance that combines revenue, online reputation and social media information into actionable data merchants can use to make informed decisions and grow their businesses.
Ingenico Group reported Elavon will rely on its EMV - ready payment solution to power two key Elavon initiatives in the U.S. market. This follows previously launched EMV initiatives by the two companies in other global markets. Under the agreement, Ingenico will partner to support EMV-based payments for Elavon in the United States as well as Fanfare, which is Elavon's omni-channel marketing and customer loyalty program.
WooCommerce recently partnered with LevelUp to lower payment processing costs for merchants using its e-commerce platform and simplify shopping with the Quick Checkout feature LevelUp offers, the companies stated. To make payment, customers enter their LevelUp email address and receive a push notification asking for confirmation, which is then connected to the respective merchants for checkout.
Mobile payment platform LoopPay Inc. entered a strategic alliance with Competitive Carriers Association to service the association's more than 100 member carriers, which include T-Mobile USA Inc. and Sprint. LoopPay plans to deliver its mobile wallet experience, along with a Mobile Money offering in partnership with nD bancgroup, to CCA members, which can then be co-branded to each member's respective customers.
Merchant Warehouse integrated Global Storm POS into its Genius Customer Engagement Platform, bringing wireless, cloud-based solutions to Global Storm's iPad-based POS customers. "With its Genius integration, Global Storm POS customers immediately have new payment technologies and meet new compliance standards like EMV, without purchasing new hardware," said Henry Helgeson, Merchant Warehouse CEO.
National Benefit Programs was selected by CoreID Services LLC to market its identity theft protection and recovery services through NBP ISO and payment processor partners as a value-added benefit to merchants. "On average, it takes 200 hours of work to recover from identity theft," said Diane Vogt Faro, President of NBP. "Through NBP, Core ID takes on all this work, saving countless hours of productivity if an employee becomes a victim to ID theft."
Total System Services Inc. partnered with iMobile3 LLC to facilitate TSYS merchants who process Apple Pay transactions using iMobile3's PassMarket platform. TSYS, merchant clients and partners may now access PassMarket's mobile storefront and software development kit, which is pre-certified with TSYS Merchant Services, to process Apple Pay mobile payments.
TransFirst LLC and InvisiCorp Inc. collaborated in integrating InvisiPay with TransFirst's Transaction Express proprietary payment gateway. According to InvisiPay, its patent-pending technology is considered unique because it secures mobile payments transacted through Internet-connected devices without requiring additional hardware or attachments.
Data-driven loyalty solutions provider Alliance Data Systems Corp. agreed to buy all outstanding shares of digital marketer Conversant Inc. for approximately $2.3 billion in cash and stock. Pending regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to close by the end of this year, at which point Conversant will become an Alliance Data subsidiary.
Prepaid payment network Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc. completed acquisition of CardLab Inc., a company that provides customizable prepaid incentive and rewards cards to businesses through its IncentiveCardLab.com website. Business users can now send e-gift cards to recipients via email or text message. CardLab will reportedly operate as a business unit of Blackhawk's InteliSpend business.
Connexions Loyalty, a division of Affinion Group, acquired SkyMall Ventures, a division of Xhibit Corp. Combined, the two loyalty and reward program providers are expected to service more than 200 million consumers globally. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Global Payments Inc. agreed to acquire Ezi Holdings Pty. Ltd. (Ezidebit), an integrated payment provider focused on recurring payment verticals in Australia and New Zealand. Ezidebit markets its products through a network of integrated software vendors and direct channels. Pending regulatory approvals, the $268 million transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of Global Payments' 2015 fiscal year.
Sage North America entered an agreement to purchase privately held PayChoice for an undisclosed sum. According to Sage, the acquisition will extend its integrated service offerings to include online payroll solutions for SMBs. PayChoice services over 100,000 SMBs nationwide and has been in operation for more than 20 years. The transaction is expected to close in October 2014.
The National Payment Card Association, a provider of mobile and card-based decoupled debit payments for merchants, appointed Stephen Goodrich as its new CEO. A veteran of the payments industry, Goodrich joined the NPCA as President in 2012 after serving on its board for two years. Goodrich is the founder and former CEO of PowerPay, a payment processor he guided from start-up to Inc. 500 selection in just five years, the NPCA noted.
Planet Group Inc. hired payments industry veteran Bob Guy as Director of Client Relations and Product. Guy will oversee all client and product management activities. Guy came to Planet Group from Experian Information Solutions Inc., where he was responsible for managing strategic client relationships and developing the company’s partner program strategy. Prior to Experian, Guy managed strategic alliances and business development for CSG Systems.
Danielle Nagao is the new CEO for the Merchant Risk Council. Recently a Vice President of Financial Operations for Tickets.com, Nagao has extensive experience managing multichannel payment and fraud systems and has collectively over 20 years' experience in financial planning and business management, the MRC stated. "Danielle brings decades of real-world experience and a perspective that will enhance our ability to drive programs and topics most relevant to our membership – the online merchant and the solution providers whom assist them," said Rossini Zumwalt, MRC Chairwoman.
AnywhereCommerce Inc. promoted William Nichols to the position of President and CEO. Nichols will oversee the company's strategy, product development, sales and marketing, and investor relations activities. Previously, he served as the company's Executive Vice President for International Markets. Before joining AnywhereCommerce, Nichols served as Senior Vice President of International Market Development and Sales for First Data Corp.
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