Dash Software LLC, a mobile payment platform for restaurants, bars and clubs, expanded into Chicago for its mobile ordering app. The Dash app allows diners to pay bar and restaurant tabs directly from smart phones. The app will be launched in 20 Chicago-area venues, including Fulton Market Kitchen, Tre Soldi, Zapatista, Table 52, Kuma's Too, Monk's Pub and Jerry's Wicker Park. Dash launched its app in New York City in November 2013.
Global payments trade organization the Electronic Transactions Association reported that its 2014 Strategic Leadership Forum held at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Fla., was the largest such gathering in the ETA's 25-year history. With over 400 payment professionals in attendance, the forum reflected a "tremendous time of change for our industry – new competitors, new technologies, and shifting consumer behaviors," said Jason Oxman, ETA Chief Executive Officer.
The Federal Trade Commission said that, as part of a $105 million settlement with federal and state law enforcement officials, AT&T Mobility LLC will pay $80 million to the FTC to provide refunds to consumers whom the company unlawfully billed for unauthorized third-party charges, known as "mobile cramming." The FTC alleged that AT&T billed customers for hundreds of millions of dollars in charges originated by other companies, usually in $9.99 per-month subscriptions for ring tones and text messages containing such information as love tips, horoscopes, and "fun facts."
The FTC said it believes that the Customer Due Diligence Rule proposed by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) should improve the FTC's ability to track down fraud schemes against consumers. In a comment to FinCEN's rule proposal, the FTC said the rule would provide the commission with more information to track down individuals who use legal entities, or "shell" companies, to disguise their involvement in fraudulent operations and transfer the proceeds of fraud.
First Data Corp. launched First Data Salutes, characterized as a company-wide military engagement strategy aimed at helping the veteran-owned business community, service members and their families transitioning into civilian careers. In honor of Veterans Day coming up on November 11, First Data will offer special pricing on Clover Station, Insightics and Perka products to help veterans grow their businesses and serve their clients.
Japan-headquartered Glory Global Solutions Inc. recently launched the SK-500, a multifunction ATM, ticket redemption and bill breaking kiosk. Glory Global said the SK-500 provides increased transaction speeds, real-time activity monitoring, less machine down-time and enhanced web-based data management capabilities.
KnowBe4 LLC, a data security firm and provider of the Kevin Mitnick Security Awareness Training program for small and midsize businesses, opened a new sales office in the United Kingdom. The U.S.-based company said it experienced a year-over-year growth of 427 percent from 2012 to 2013. KnowBe4 will be focused on defending U.K. enterprises against ransomware attacks, where malware locks up user files and encrypts them, and then demands a ransom for decryption. Europe has a high volume of ransomware attacks, according to KnowBe4 CEO Stu Sjouwerman.
Business-to-business (B2B) digital currency and mobile payment firm Alternet Systems Inc. said its subsidiary OneMarket is progressing toward the launch of its Digital Assets and Currency Exchange, a joint venture with P2P Cash Inc. Alternet said the exchange will facilitate its achievement of a New York State Digital Currency Exchange License, also known as a BitLicense.
International payment platform provider Payza unveiled a new logo and website. The redesign grew out of Payza's desire to stay current on website design trends. Payza executive Ali Nizameddine said, "In today's world, a website is the equivalent of a storefront; the quality of the products inside your store doesn't matter if the storefront isn't modern and inviting." The new logo incorporates a green arc, representing Payza's broad horizons and global vision, Nizameddine added.
A federal grand jury in Seattle leveled a 40-count indictment on a 30-year-old Russian man who allegedly took part in the theft and sale of more than 2 million credit card numbers. The defendant, Roman Valerevich Seleznev, also known as Track2, and a resident of Vladivostok, Russia, allegedly hacked into POS systems between October 2009 and October 2013 and installed malicious software to steal credit card numbers from various businesses. Seleznev is scheduled to go on trial Nov. 3, 2014.
B2B payment provider Comdata Inc. said its fuel site controller system SmartSight won CSP magazine's 2014 Retailer Choice Best New Product Contest in the Technology-Hardware category. SmartSight processes diesel, gasoline and natural gas transactions from fleet, retail and proprietary fueling cards, and allows fuel site owners to remain in remote communication with fuel sites to monitor transaction data and pump controls in real time. CSP award winners were selected by convenience-store retailers based on online voting.
Square Inc. integrated Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology for its Cash mobile app to allow smartphone users to make proximity, person-to-person payments. "Just like paper cash, the new feature enables customers to quickly pay anyone nearby, even if they don't have their contact information, streamlining payments for everything from group dinner bills, work outings, sporting events and concert tickets," Square said.
The Third Party Payment Processors Association, a not-for-profit industry association representing payment processors, banks and merchants, filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in support of the lawsuit against federal regulators' allegedly illegal and unconstitutional enforcement actions (known as Operation Choke Point) against legitimate businesses. The lawsuit, brought by the Community Financial Services Association of America, alleges that regulators target politically incorrect but legally operating businesses by forcing payment processors to stop processing payments for those businesses.
"[T]he TPPPA and its members cannot support being used in efforts to choke out legitimate, albeit politically-unfavorable, businesses from the economy according to the flavor of the day," said TPPPA President Marsha Jones. "Today it's payday lenders and firearms-related businesses; tomorrow, it could be environmental and civil rights groups or family planning clinics. No one can predict who's next."
Mercator Advisory Group broke down mobile payments by segment, from browser- and app-based payments to POS and network-branded solutions, in a report titled A Mobile Payments Taxonomy and Forecast, 2014 – 2025. "Merchant-based payment solutions will retain their leadership in dollar volume through 2025, while network-branded solutions just begin to gain share," said Tim Sloane, Mercator Vice President of Payments Innovation and report author.
The Strawhecker Group published the reference guide Alternative Payments Players, which details 28 companies vying for market share in the alternative payments space. In addition to statistical charts and graphs, the report contains information about recent developments and product overviews for companies mentioned.
Raytheon Cyber Products commissioned the Ponemon Institute to survey information technology security practitioners about mobile security for a report titled Security in the New Mobile Ecosystem. Fifty-two percent of respondents admitted their organization had sacrificed security practices to accommodate employee productivity and to avoid employee resistance to mobile security procedures enforcement.
According to Frost & Sullivan's How Cloud-Based Payment Could Impact the Payment Ecosystem, many large payment players are betting on cloud-based solutions to build portfolios and reduce costs associated with communications, hosting and access, as well as to overcome interoperability and security issues.
How Tokenization and Encryption Can Take the Wind Out of a Hacker's Sails by Aite Group LLC addresses how financial technology executives and product managers are dealing with data security following recent high-profile breach incidents. Most agreed that a combination of point-to-point encryption, tokenization and Europay/MasterCard/Visa technologies were effective measures, as expressed by 28 percent, 19 percent and 13 percent of respondents respectively.
A Research and Markets report, Global B2C E-Commerce and Online Payment Market 2014, projected annual global growth of business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce will slow from 20 percent in 2014 to about 10 percent by 2018. Researchers also predicted that in the near term emerging markets will outpace mature markets. The report presents a case-by-case scenario of what the future portends for emerging market leaders in the global B2C e-commerce sphere.
The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimates the median loss caused by fraud is $145,000 and median duration from fraud perpetration to fraud detection is 18 months. The ACFE released these and other findings from data on 1,483 fraud cases in the 2014 Report to the Nations on Occupation Fraud and Abuse and an infographic titled The Cost of Complacency.
ACI Worldwide partnered with Shaw Systems Associates Inc. to facilitate payments for Shaw's loan, leasing, collections and recovery management software clients. Shaw said its clients will gain access to ACI's integrated Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment Services for managing one-time, recurring and fee-based automated clearing house, credit, debit and prepaid payments via web, mobile and other channels.
BYNDL Inc. assigned Burdette Beckmann Inc. to market its BYNDL mobile payment and customer engagement platform to the U.S. vending industry. "Ninety percent of BBI's customers run cash/coin-only machines and want to accept other forms of payment," said Lori Salow Marshall, founder and CEO of BYNDL. "The BYNDL service is the most cost-effective way for machines to accept credit and debit as well as PayPal and Apple Pay."
Crystal Clear Payments LLC entered a strategic alliance with Elan Financial Services to leverage Elan's ATM and card processing technology, program management and client support services for Crystal Clear's community of financial institution customers.
Minneapolis-based payment gateway Digital River Inc. inked multiple agreements with Stockholm-based payment provider Klarna. Among them, Digital River will add Klarna Invoice as an online payment option in Europe. In return, Klarna will implement Digital River World Payments to process credit card and online bank transfer payments through the Digital River payment gateway.
Mobetize Corp. selected DCR Strategies Inc. as its prepaid card program manager for international telecom partners and added DCR's proprietary points-to-cash loyalty platform TruCash to its mobile commerce platform. "Mobetize uniquely positions telecom operators to offer consumer financial services and is the ideal channel for us to deliver our prepaid card programs to telecom operators," said Diana Fletcher, President of DCR.
Cloud-based mobile optimization provider Moovweb became a Demandware LINK Technology Partner. As such, Moovweb developed a prebuilt integration between its platform and Demandware Commerce designed to enable Demandware clients to quickly implement Moovweb's mobile optimization solution.
The Subway restaurant chain launched a contactless, near field communication-based mobile payment program in partnership with Softcard. The new program will enable customers to make mobile payments at Subway's more than 26,000 U.S. locations using the Softcard app. Subway also plans to integrate the Subway Card Rewards Program into the app.
Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc. agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of Parago Inc. for approximately $290 million, adding to its portfolio of incentives-based prepaid programs. This marks the third such acquisition by Blackhawk within the past year. The others were InteliSpend and CardLab. Parago will continue to operate as a subsidiary of Blackhawk.
FIS completed the acquisition of Clear2Pay for an undisclosed sum, bringing additional cross-currency corporate payment and managed services to its portfolio. "With this acquisition, we further expand the technologies and assets that our clients need to simplify payment operations, reduce costs and provide better customer experiences," said Gary Norcross, President and Chief Operating Officer at FIS.
Financial services holding company ITS Equity Group LLC acquired Dallas-based Eagle Processing Systems, a 16-year-old privately held provider of payment and fleet card processing, automated clearing house, risk management software and other payment-related products and services. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Mobile technology and payment provider SinglePoint Inc. agreed to purchase the remaining equity in medical marijuana payment provider GreenStar Payment Solutions Inc. from its joint partners, Advanced Content Services and GreenHouse Payment Solutions LLC. Under the agreement GreenStar will become a wholly owned subsidiary of SinglePoint.
Jean Alban is the new Marketing Coordinator at GRP Funding LLC. Alban will take the lead in creating "go-forward branding and marketing initiatives for the company and leverage her innovative and creative strategies for GRP," the company stated. Previously, Alban completed three professional internships in the fields of marketing and design. A graduate of Temple University, she earned a BA degree in advertising with a background in graphic design and marketing.
Payments industry veteran Larry Drury joined Vantiv Inc. as its Chief Marketing Officer. Drury is responsible for leading the company's marketing and communications efforts, including strategic brand positioning, research, thought leadership, corporate, product and industry marketing, demand generation and sales support. Drury has held a number of leadership positions at multinational companies, including Global Head of Commercial Marketing and Global Head of Brand Management at Visa Inc. and Chief Marketing Officer at First Data Corp.
First Data made four key appointments to its senior leadership team. Two established First Data executives now have new roles: Barry McCarthy will lead four strategic businesses including the STAR Network, and Sanjiv Das will lead First Data's International business. New hires include Andrew Gelb, who will lead the Financial Services business, and Adam Rosman will serve as the company's General Counsel.
"Leadership sets the tone in any organization and these four accomplished executives will help the outstanding team we are assembling to lead First Data's transformation to a global tech company with an entrepreneurial spirit, deeply rooted in the movement of money around the world," said Chairman and CEO Frank Bisignano. "Barry, Sanjiv, Andrew and Adam each have a proven track record of success in their respective areas and will continue First Data's rich history of being an industry leader and will help lead the company in the years ahead."
Merchant Warehouse added Ken Paull as its Chief Revenue Officer, responsible for overseeing sales, marketing and business development. Paull's career spans more than 25 years in the payments industry, most recently as CEO at ROAM Data Inc. Previously, Paull held such leadership positions as Senior Vice President at RBS Lynk (now WorldPay) and General Manager at VeriFone Inc.
"Ken's leadership experience and recognized impact across several top payments companies will help us realize our vision of protecting and improving the experience for each stakeholder in the value chain," said Henry Helgeson, CEO of Merchant Warehouse.
SegPay selected Jeffrey Rosenzweig as its Director of Customer Experience. His focus will be on improving the client experience and new product development. "Having Jeffrey join the team will enable us to rapidly respond to our merchants needs and to roll out products to market faster," said Cathy Beardsley, CEO of SegPay. A 15-year industry veteran, Rosenzweig has worked on optimizing conversion rates, strengthening customer retention and developing marketing initiatives that resulted in strong growth for multiple companies specializing in the online space, SegPay said.
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