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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

December 26, 2016 • Issue 16:12:02

Industry Update

The Green Sheet, Inc.RETAIL BRIEFS

  • Adidas hopes to put more pep into the step of runners. Visitors to its newly opened flagship store in New York City can enlist the expertise of in-store trainers to determine the perfect shoe fit. To give runners an additional leg up on the competition, Adidas will deploy its Run Genie system, which relies on wearable sensors that clip onto footwear to measure runners' gait and how the foot strikes when in running motion using built-in accelerometers. Runners then receive an email of data compiled along with footwear recommendations to correct any foot-strike issues that might lead to foot-related problems.
  • Amazon.com plans to debut a no-checkout grocery store concept called Amazon Go in Seattle next year. "Our checkout-free shopping experience is made possible by the same types of technologies used in self-driving cars: computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning," stated Amazon on its website. "Our Just Walk Out technology automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. When you're done shopping, you can just leave the store. Shortly after, we'll charge your Amazon account and send you a receipt."
  • Shoppers at a Nordstrom Inc. store in Troy, Mich., are in for a surprise. Located next to women's handbags and the jewelry department is a 700-square-foot Tesla Gallery, featuring the Palo Alto, Calif.-based electric carmaker's Model X SUV. The unusual pairing in the fashion-minded store enables Tesla Motors Inc. to showcase its vehicles without violating Michigan state law, which prohibits vehicle manufactures from direct-selling to consumers. Shoppers interested in Tesla may go online to purchase in this case.

The Green Sheet, Inc.ANNOUNCEMENTS

ACI expands Florida headquarters

ACI Worldwide Inc. expanded its global headquarters in Naples, Fla., a decision that is expected to create 57 jobs for families in the county, according to Florida Governor Rick Scott, who spoke in commemoration of the expansion. Phil Heasley, President and Chief Executive Officer at ACI Worldwide, added, "Naples, the Gulf Coast and the State of Florida provide tremendous opportunities to companies with operations here, and this burgeoning region is fast becoming a major technology hub due to its universities and growing pool of top talent. Our own continued growth and success – both in Florida and globally – validate the region's strengths, and we look forward to further expanding our footprint here."

Allied Wallet leader earns honors

Allied Wallet CEO Dr. Andy Khawaja was named Corporate America's 2016 CEO of the Year. Corporate America showcases prominent professionals who are excelling in their industry and outperforming their competitors. "We have a global presence," Khawaja said. We are helping thousands upon thousands of clients make their digital payment solutions easier than ever before, and it all started from small origins."

ATMIA prepares to celebrate prominent anniversary

The ATM Industry Association will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2017 and the celebration will coincide with the association's efforts to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the automated teller machine – first launched at a Barclays Bank branch in London in 1967. "As ATM technology and the range of operators and service providers expanded – so our membership and services grew to better serve a thriving industry," said Mike Lee, ATMIA CEO.

Cardtek, Chargebacks 911, TMG executives honored

At the 13th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business, Shazia Manus, CEO of The Members Group, was named the winner of a Gold Stevie Award in the Female Executive of the Year – Business Services category. Ayşe Nil Sarıgöllü, CEO of Cardtek, was selected as a Silver Stevie Award winner in the Female Executive of the Year - Business Products category. And Monica Eaton-Cardone, co-founder and Chief Operations Officer of Chargebacks911, took first place for Innovator of the Year and a Silver Stevie Award for Female Executive of the Year.

CI makes strategic investment in Dream Payments

Connecticut Innovations named Dream Payments the 2016 top investment award winner of VentureClash, a $5 million global venture challenge for early-stage companies. The award also included a $1.5 million CI investment in Dream Payments, which will be used to further fuel the growth of Dream's cloud-based mobile payment platform and accelerate the company's entry into the United States. "CI is excited to close this deal with the top investment award winner of VentureClash," said Matt McCooe, CEO of Connecticut Innovations.

Fed penalizes Customers Bank, Higher One

The Federal Reserve Board issued a consent order to cease and desist and assessed a $960,000 civil money penalty against Customers Bank of Phoenixville, Pa. The order penalizes the bank and its agent Higher One Inc. for deceptive practices related to financial aid disbursement services for post-secondary students through, among other things, a deposit account and debit card product known as OneAccount. Because Higher One is not a bank, it partnered with banks to offer OneAccounts, and the Fed determined Higher One violated Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, and cited Higher One's misleading marketing practices, as well as its failure to supply critical materials, information and access to customers.

Finicity awarded new capital funding

Finicity Inc. secured $42 million in Series B funding. The round was led by Experian Information Solutions Inc., a venture debt facility provided by Bridge Bank, as well as existing investors. Finicity said it will use the capital to expand its engineering and support teams in order to accelerate new solution development built on its data aggregation platform. The expansion of its financial management and payment initiation tools will enable Finicity to offer a variety of credit-decisioning tools, the company said.

FTC acts in CardReady case

The Federal Trade Commission banned a group of defendants from telemarketing and selling debt relief services because they had falsely promised to reduce consumers' credit card interest rates. CardReady LLC, the payment processor alleged to have enabled the defendants to bilk more than $12 million from consumers, was also banned from doing business in the payments industry.

The FTC also claimed the defendants, along with CardReady and its executives, arranged for at least 26 shell merchants to be used to process credit card payments for the debt relief scam. The agencies charged them with credit card laundering under the Telemarketing Sales Rule, and illegal factoring of credit card transactions under Florida law. They also charged CardReady and its executives with assisting and facilitating the debt relief scam.

SIMalliance issues guidelines

SIMalliance has published a set of guidelines which will make it easier for mobile network operators (MNOs), service and solution providers to deploy Mobile Connect services which use an authentication application provisioned on the user's SIM card. Mobile Connect is a global solution, provided by the global mobile operator member organization GSMA, for mobile phone based authentication, authorization, identity and attribute services. It provides a secure, universal log-in process which allows users to be matched to their mobile phones, permitting them to log-in to websites and applications quickly with no need to remember passwords and user names.

TouchBistro earns gold award

Restaurant POS solution provider TouchBistro was named the 2016 Gold Winner for Digital Food and Beverage Design by the New York Design Awards. The awards celebrate creative courage and recognize design excellence. TouchBistro joins other 2016 winners, such as market leading brands PepsiCo, IBM Corp., H&R Block, and Mastercard. "We are very proud to be recognized for our design amongst such a prestigious group of award winners," said Alex Barrotti, founder and CEO of TouchBistro.

Western Union invests in Walletron

The Western Union Co. invested in Walletron Inc., a mobile wallet bill presentment and payment provider. Western Union said the investment supports its strategic direction to bring smart, convenient payment experiences to its customers via smartphones. Walletron automates brand presence in such mobile wallets as Apple Wallet and Android Pay, powering digital engagement and serving billers through an innovative bill-to-wallet solution called moBills.

The Green Sheet, Inc.RESEARCH

POS survey released from ControlScan, ETA

ControlScan and the Electronic Transactions Association released new payment research data from a joint survey examining POS technology adoption among small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Nearly 250 SMBs completed the survey, providing insight into how they navigate the decision-making process when purchasing or upgrading technology for consumer payment acceptance. Data security ranked highest, along with cost considerations; 25 percent of respondents also indicated they will pursue a change if their customers want it.

EMVCo reports EMV transaction growth

Technical body EMVCo published transaction data that reflects year-on-year growth in the number of contact and contactless card-present payments using EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) chip technology. The data revealed that during the period July 2015 to June 2016, 42.4 percent of transactions globally were EMV-compliant, compared to 33.0 percent for the previous 12-month period. To qualify as an EMV transaction, both the card and terminal used must be EMV-enabled.

"In addition to increasing global usage, the most recent data shows rapid adoption of EMV technology in regions that have recently implemented EMV chip infrastructures, such as the United States and China," stated Soumya Chakrabarty, EMVCo Executive Committee Chair. "With this continued migration, EMVCo expects these figures to increase in the coming year, which could mean that global EMV transaction volumes would exceed half of all card-present payments."

Fed releases debit report

The Federal Reserve Board published a report on 2015 debit card transactions, including summary information on volume and value, interchange fee revenue, a number of issuer costs, and fraud losses. The report is the fourth in a series to be published every two years pursuant to section 920 of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act. According to the report, the overall average cost per transaction was down by 4.6 cents from 2013; debit-card fraud losses were estimated to have increased by 44 percent in the same period.

Forrester, Magenic study digital readiness

Business technology consulting company Magenic Inc. released the results of a Forrester Research Inc. study on how financial services firms embrace digital business offerings and the barriers they face in doing so. The study concluded that while many financial services firms are on the right path, the majority of those surveyed lack digital transformation readiness, best practices and processes. The study also found that digital innovation strategies achieve significant organizational benefits.

Mercator looks at FI ecosystem

Mercator Advisory Group's latest research, FI Delivery Channel Ecosystem: Crafting a Customer Experience, provides a framework for analysis and insight on the complex and intersecting avenues for customer interaction in today's banks and credit unions. Highlights of the research note include the importance of customer engagement, ways in which consumers initiate and search for information, and components of customer interaction with financial institutions.

The Green Sheet, Inc.PARTNERSHIPS

Bluefin, iModules team up

Bluefin Payment Systems LLC and iModules Software released Bluefin's point-to-point encryption (P2PE) solution on the iModules platform. With Bluefin's Decryptx decryption-as-a-service product, iModules can now provide Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS)-validated P2PE through its customer integrations, requiring no change to a merchant's transactional flow or processing relationship; benefits of a PCI-validated P2PE solution for merchants include reduced PCI compliance and scope, and assurance the technology is PCI Security Standards Council approved, the partners noted.

CDC, Hyperledger partner

The Chamber of Digital Commerce and Hyperledger Project formed a strategic partnership to strengthen industry advocacy and education efforts. Both organizations intend to further promote the understanding, acceptance and use of digital assets and blockchain-based technologies. The partnership will immediately focus on public policy efforts, intellectual property issues, and global regulatory and technical interoperability.

Chase, LevelUp working together

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is collaborating with LevelUp so Chase Pay users can use LevelUp technology to order ahead at participating quick-service restaurants. Customers can pay when they order ahead or in person at LevelUp- or Chase Pay-branded scanners at restaurant sites. The new feature is available now in Boston and will be rolled out nationally over the coming months, the companies stated.

Digital River, ACI integrate

Digital River World Payments partnered with ACI Worldwide to integrate its online payment platform with ACI's Pay.On Payment Gateway. Digital River said this will extend its reach into international geographies, as well as activate additional bank connections, payment features and alternative payment types, expanding the mix of regional payment options Digital River offers its merchants.

IRI aligns with Clavis Insight

IRI Worldwide formed an alliance with Clavis Insight to enable consumer packaged goods marketers to track and assess a brand's holistic online and offline performance in one place. Clavis' online channel analytics will be integrated with IRI's E-Market Insights service to help organizations identify and capitalize on rapidly emerging ecommerce growth opportunities and maximize omnichannel sales and market share, the companies stated.

Jack Henry, Early Warning partner

Jack Henry & Associates Inc. strategically aligned with Early Warning Services LLC to resell Early Warning's Zelle Network to partner financial institutions (FIs). Jack Henry said Zelle will enable its FI customers to send faster person-to-person (P2P) payments to nearly anyone with a U.S. bank or credit union account. Additionally, its iPay Consumer Bill Pay clients will be able to send and receive P2P transactions through the Zelle Network. Participating FIs will be able to implement Zelle capabilities in 2017, Jack Henry added.

Net Element picks Conformance

Net Element Inc. selected Conformance Technologies LLC as its preferred provider for data compliance solutions. Net Element will be offering Conformance's PCI ToolKit in Chinese, English, Russian and Spanish for PCI DSS merchant portfolio assessments. Net Element and its merchants will also have access to Conformance's Cyber Attack Readiness ToolKit and InConRadar for penetration testing, primary account number scanning and real-time website monitoring.

SecurityMetrics to work with NAB

SecurityMetrics and North American Bancard Holdings LLC teamed to help NAB merchants increase data security and report PCI compliance. NAB reported that it chose SecurityMetrics for its ability to serve its wide variety of merchant levels through custom PCI compliance measures. NAB additionally noted that it will have access to the SecurityMetrics Partner+ Portal to help the company achieve strategic PCI program objectives.

Shift4, Celerant launch solution

Shift4 Corp. and Celerant Technology Corp. launched a joint-certified EMV solution for omnichannel retailers. According to the partners, the solution includes layered security, support for multiple POS devices, and bank and processor neutrality. "We're proud to partner with Celerant to ensure that retailers are offered an EMV solution that adapts to fit within their current operations and meet their unique needs," said Daniel Montellano, Shift4 Vice President of Strategic Business Development.

Sionic, PAI unveil ad network

Sionic Mobile Corp. and Payment Alliance International reported that they formed a strategic alliance to enhance the PAI ATM network with iBeacons, allowing advertisers to engage and connect with millions of mobile app users. The new PAI Beacon Network is an industry first and enables proximity-based mobile advertising and cardless cash redemption of earned mobile loyalty rewards, PAI said.

WorldFirst, Rakuten.com align

World First USA Inc. and Rakuten.com partnered to bring foreign currency exchange services to their community of online merchants. As part of the agreement with Rakuten, World First said it will provide exchange services in 140 currencies and 45 countries worldwide for Rakuten.com sellers, who will also have direct access to the benefits of World First's award-winning customer support.

The Green Sheet, Inc.ACQUISITIONS

Fiserv purchases OBS

Fiserv Inc. entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Atlanta-based Online Banking Solutions Inc. Fiserv stated it will gain additional cash management and digital business banking capabilities, which complement and enrich its existing solutions. "The addition of Online Banking Solutions' technologies further enables Fiserv clients to provide greater value to their commercial customers through sophisticated cash management solutions when and where they need them," said Jeffery Yabuki, President and CEO of Fiserv.

GTCR aquires RevSpring

GTCR LLC completed the acquisition of RevSpring Inc., provider of multichannel billing and communications solutions to the healthcare and financial services industries. Headquartered in Michigan, RevSpring said it helps customers accelerate revenue through an end-to-end platform of offerings. GTCR will work with RevSpring's management team to pursue growth initiatives and has committed up to $400 million of equity capital to the platform, GTCR said.

SessionM buys LoyalTree

SessionM acquired POS provider LoyalTree. The acquisition will reportedly enable SessionM to offer bidirectional campaign analysis and make integration with POS systems faster to deploy and cheaper to maintain. The combined capabilities position SessionM at the forefront of the omnichannel marketing automation market, SessionM noted. The acquisition follows SessionM's $35 million strategic funding investment in LoyalTree in September 2016.

Square purchases Main Line Delivery

Square Inc. acquired the assets of Main Line Delivery, a service that allows diners to place orders for delivery from popular restaurants in the Main Line region of Philadelphia. According to Square, the service will complement Square's Caviar line of business, also in Philadelphia, which is expanding Secret Menu items to customers in the area and giving select Caviar restaurant partners the ability to introduce off-menu items.

The Green Sheet, Inc.APPOINTMENTS

Caligiuri joins ShopKeep

ShopKeep appointed Crystal Caligiuri as its new Senior Vice President of Operations and Customer Care. Caligiuri will report to CEO Michael DeSimone and will lead both operations and ShopKeep's customer care functions with the stated objective of ensuring the company's small business clientele are provided with the high-quality support necessary to their success. Caligiuri brings more than 10 years of experience in operations and customer support leadership in the technology, ecommerce and retail industries.

Carr accepts APG post

APG Cash Drawer LLC appointed Andrew Carr to the position of Managing Director. Carr will oversee all corporate European activities to strengthen APG's global leadership team, as well as its commitment to the POS industry and customers worldwide. He has an extensive background in a variety of technology sectors, as part of a long career with IBM.

YapStone selects Gramz

Michael Gramz joined the management team at YapStone Inc. In his new position as Chief Risk Officer, Gramz will focus on delivering innovative risk management products and services to support YapStone's partners and customers. Prior to joining YapStone, Gramz was the Chief Risk Officer and Board Director at Merchant eSolutions. Gramz also spent 17 years at Bank of America Corp., where he was a key strategic contributor in the formation of Bank of America Merchant Services.

Sawaya tapped by Global CashSpot

Global CashSpot Corp. named Pierre Sawaya as its CEO. Sawaya is the founder and former Chairman of Endless One Global, an international payment processor and financial software developer. "Pierre is a proven leader and visionary when it comes to the evolution of money transfer networks around the world," said Stephen M. Studdert, Global CashSpot founder and Chairman. "His vision for transforming the multibillion-dollar consumer cross-border payments industry is extraordinary."

Schipper joins TMG leadership team

TMG added Travis Schipper as its Senior Vice President of Finance. Reporting directly to TMG CEO Shazia Manus, Schipper will provide financial leadership, economic strategies, budgetary oversight and revenue forecasting models. Schipper, a certified public accountant, has more than 15 years of financial services experience with high-level positions at both Target Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. Schipper also served as Vice President of Finance for Kum & Go L.C. end of article

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