The Strawhecker Group
NF Edition #534 - 12/02/16
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Highlights this week...

TSG's Payment Gateway Directory Survey
Proclaimed by many in the industry as the 'go-to' source for intelligence on Payment Industry Gateways, The Strawhecker Group (TSG) is looking to update and expand its current offering. 

TSG's Payment Gateway Directory currently illustrates a side-by-side comparison on nearly 30 gateways, covering approximately 60 data points on functionality and company information. In an effort to further expand/update the report, we are asking Gateways to complete an Excel survey template.

Please email completed templates, or questions, to Trevor Forbes by Dec. 11, 2016.

Benefits for Completing

  • Recognition among the industry's premier Gateway solutions
  • Further brand exposure throughout the Payments Industry
  • Deep discount of 50% on the completed report - $1,450, normally $2,900

Chip Reprieve At The Pump
Nasdaq | 12.02.16

Gas stations are getting a big break from the credit-card industry. The chip-card push creates a delicate balancing act for Visa and Mastercard, which have clashed with merchants over many issues for years. The networks want to reduce fraud, but they are also trying to be sensitive to the gas-station industry after other merchants last year faced similar delays in getting new equipment. The move comes at a time when gas stations are struggling to control fraud that occurs when criminals use counterfeit cards at unattended gas pumps and install devices on them that skim card information from unsuspecting consumers.


Visa to Acquire CardinalCommerce to Secure and Accelerate Digital Commerce
BusinessWire | 12.01.16

Visa announced an agreement to acquire CardinalCommerce, an industry leader in e-commerce payment authentication. The acquisition will enable more secure, seamless payments, whether made through a browser, mobile app, or connected device, and will help Visa’s clients and merchant partners accelerate digital commerce. “This strategic acquisition combines Visa’s industry expertise and Cardinal’s critical role in payment authentication to bring added security to online transactions, reduce fraud, and support digital commerce which is the fastest growing commerce segment today,” said Mark Nelsen, senior vice president of Risk and Authentication Products at Visa.

Online Shopping Adds Muscle to Holiday Sales
The Wall Street Journal | 11.29.16

May require subscription. As the holiday spending season kicks off, online shopping is emerging as a clear winner, helped by increased use of mobile phones. E-commerce accounted for 25% of consumer spending on Black Friday and the two days prior, up from 18% last year and nearly double the figure for the same period four years ago, according to First Data Corp., which analyzed point-of-sale data at nearly one million merchants. Online shopping is more popular during the holiday shopping season, which starts around Thanksgiving. By contrast, e-commerce sales in the third quarter accounted for just 8.4% of total retail sales, according to data from the U.S. Commerce Department


Stripe's Valuation Nearly Doubles to $9.2B With Latest Funding
Reuters | 11.28.16

Digital payments company Stripe Inc has raised a fresh round of funding that nearly doubles its valuation to $9.2 billion, the company said on Monday. San Francisco-based Stripe raised $150 million in a funding round that closed this week, said Chief Financial Officer Will Gaybrick. The round brings the company's total fundraising to $450 million. After its previous funding round more than a year ago, Stripe was valued at $5 billion. Its new valuation of $9.2 billion makes Stripe among the world's highest-valued 'fintech' startups backed by venture capitalists.

ETA Letter to President-Elect Trump Outlining Its Policy Proposals for 2017
ETA | 11.28.16

ETA encourages your administration to create a policy environment that supports the free flow of capital and ideas so that innovation can pave the way for a flourishing U.S. economy. We ask that your administration support the on-going efforts by the payments industry to provide opportunities for all consumers and small businesses to access and benefit from innovative financial products and services. These efforts include fraud prevention technologies such as the industry-led shift to chip cards and implementation of tokenization and encryption, reforming the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), and using technology to expand access to capital to small businesses. 

Read the full letter.

Top U.S. Bank Regulator Pushes Back on Rules Rollback as Trump Calls for Overhaul
The Street | 11.30.16

Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry told a roomful of bankers in New York Wednesday that a rollback should be avoided. Curry, who was appointed by Obama for five years beginning in April 2012, told reporters after his speech that he planned to remain in his post until end of his term. "We cannot return to the same practices and weaker safeguards that resulted in the crisis we experienced in 2008," Curry said at an annual meeting of The Clearing House, a trade group for big banks including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America  and Citigroup.

Related: OCC Could Gain Power as Other Agencies Fall Out of Favor

How JPM Makes Tech Partnerships Work
American Banker | 11.28.16

Amir Ben-Efraim's cybersecurity startup Menlo Security was only a year old when he reached out to JPMorgan Chase, telling it how the 30-employee Menlo could help it deal with malware and phishing attacks. Within a couple of weeks, Menlo was in discussions with the heads of cyberengineering at JPMorgan, talking about what types of controls and other specifications would need to be in place before the megabank could test Menlo's technology. Such rapid response from a big company is rare, said Ben-Efraim, a 20-year veteran of the cybersecurity industry.

TRANSACT 16 Awarded Best Attendance Promotional Campaign By IAEE
ETA | 12.01.16

This week, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), the leading association for the global exhibition industry, named ETA's 2016 TRANSACT event the best attendee promotional campaign in the category of shows smaller than 75,000 square feet. IAEE's award recognizes those who promote their exhibitions vividly and successfully. The IAEE attendance promotion campaign award recognizes the know-how, inventiveness, and preparation required to successfully market an event.

Apple, Google, Amazon Ask Trump for Focus on Financial Tech
The Hill | 11.30.16

A coalition of major tech companies — including Google, Amazon and Apple — is calling on President-elect Donald Trump to appoint a Treasury undersecretary for technology. Financial Innovation Now (FIN), which also includes PayPal and Intuit, is asking the Trump administration to appoint regulators and promote policies that will bolster the use of financial technology (FinTech) as it gains popularity and prominence. FinTech includes a wide array of smartphone apps and websites that aim to offer quicker, safer and more accessible financial services. These include apps that let users access their bank accounts and send money to each other.

Bank of America CEO Sees Long Road Ahead for Paymetns Technology Payoff
Reuters | 11.29.16

It may be more than a decade before banks see substantial benefits from investments they are now making in new payments technologies, Bank of America Corp Chief Executive Brian Moynihan said on Tuesday. The industry has been investing heavily in digital methods of exchanging money, including a U.S. payments network called Zelle. But the cost of processing paper checks and carting around dollars and cents still weighs heavily on big banks, and it may take 10 to 15 years before that problem goes away, Moynihan said at a conference organized by The Clearinghouse, a trade group focused on payments.

American Express Launches NFC Mobile Payments in Canada
NFC World | 12.01.16

American Express cardholders across Canada can now make NFC mobile payments using Amex Pay, a new feature added to the Amex App. The service is available for customers with eligible consumer, small business and corporate cards with compatible Android devices and the latest version of the mobile app. “The launch of Amex Pay allows American Express cardmembers in Canada to shop with spend wherever American Express contactless payments are accepted using an eligible Android device,” American Express says.

Momentum Grows for Blockchain As Its Bitcoin Wallet Breaches the 10-Million Mark
Digital Transactions | 11.28.16

Buoyed by seismic political and financial events, the Bitcoin digital currency is picking up momentum in both its value and its adoption. Blockchain, a U.K. company that offers Bitcoin services, last week celebrated having issued 10 million wallets since its founding in 2011. That’s a doubling in wallets outstanding in one year, after it took more than four years to issue the first 5 million. As of Sunday, the number already stood at nearly 10.2 million.

Apple Gets Win Against Australia Banks Over Mobile Payments
Bloomberg Tech | 11.28.16

Apple Inc. scored a victory in the global battle to control the future of mobile payment technology after the Australian competition regulator refused to grant a group of local banks permission to negotiate collectively over the introduction of Apple Pay. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said on Tuesday in a draft ruling it was "not satisfied" that the likely benefits from allowing the banks to negotiate with Apple as a bloc outweighed the negatives. Allowing collective negotiations “could reduce competition between the banks in the supply of mobile payment services for iPhones,” the regulator said.

Uber Rival Grab Hits the Gas on Its Digital Payments Platform in Southeast Asia
TechCrunch | 11.29.16

rab, the main rival to Uber in Southeast Asia, has stepped up its efforts to build a payments platform after it began allowing users to store credit inside its app. On the face of it, that might not sound like a huge advance but, bear with me, it’s notable. The Singapore-based company announced back in July that it would develop a mobile payments platform — GrabPay — to help differentiate itself from rivals and encourage engagement from its users. We’ve seen this before in India, where Ola — a Grab ally — actually span its Ola Money service out into a standalone app.

‘Avalanche’ Global Fraud Ring Dismantled
Krebs on Security | 12.01.16

In what’s being billed as an unprecedented global law enforcement response to cybercrime, federal investigators in the United States, United Kingdom and Europe today say they’ve dismantled a sprawling cybercrime machine known as “Avalanche” — a distributed, cloud-hosting network that for the past seven years has been rented out to fraudsters for use in launching countless malware and phishing attacks. According to Europol, the action was the result of a four-year joint investigation between Europol, Eurojust the FBI and authorities in the U.K. and Germany that culminated on Nov. 30, 2016 with the arrest of five individuals, the seizure of 39 Web servers, and the sidelining of more than 830,000 web domains used in the scheme.

Experian: Why Cyberattacks Could Escalate to 'Cyberwar'
Bank Info Security | 12.01.16

Cyber espionage and other increasingly sophisticated nation-state cyberattacks will escalate into what amounts to "cyberwar" in 2017, predicts security expert Michael Bruemmer of Experian Data Breach Resolution. "We've seen some of the cyberattacks, particularly those attributed to Russia and China, attack more than just private businesses, but also attack infrastructure and government entities," Bruemmer says. "I do think we'll see at least one large attack by one of the entities outside the U.S. that will officially be crossing the line where [cyber] war is declared - there will be countermeasures taken by the U.S., or even offensive measures to protect itself, and that's going to be a first-time event in our history."

Federal Court Gives IRS Green Light To Collect Information On Coinbase Customers
PYMNTS | 12.02.16

The Internal Revenue Service got approval from a federal court in California to collect two years of information from Coinbase, the blockchain company, about its American users. According to a report by Reuters, which cited the U.S. Department of Justice, the Northern District of California court is allowing the IRS to serve a summons to Coinbase for U.S. taxpayers who engaged in virtual currency transactions using the Coinbase platform from 2013 to 2015.

EPC: Pan-European Instant Payments Set for November 2017
Finextra | 11.30.16

The European Payments Council has confirmed a November 2017 launch date for a pan-European instant credit transfer scheme that will bring real-time money transfers across the Single Euro Payments Area (Sepa). The launch of the voluntary program has been confirmed following a public consultation on the rules and technical standards that will apply to payment service providers joining the Sepa Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst) scheme.

Federal Reserve Issues Summary Report on 2015 Debit Card Transactions
Federal Reserve | 11.30.16

The Federal Reserve Board on Wednesday published a report on debit card transactions in 2015, including summary information on the volume and value, interchange fee revenue, certain 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 (EFTA).

Solid Job Growth Strengthens Prospect for a Fed Rate Increase
The New York Times | 12.02.16

The government reported on Friday that employers added 178,000 workers in November, a solid gain that clears the way for the Federal Reserve to raise the benchmark interest rate when it meets later this month. The official unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level in more than nine years, at 4.6 percent, from 4.9 percent the month before. But average hourly earnings ticked down 0.1 percent. Revisions to the September and October data removed 2,000 jobs from the employment gains for those months.

Small Business Saturday Results: 112 Million Consumers Shop and Dine Small on Small Business Saturday - More Than Ever Before
American Express | 11.28.16

As Small Business Saturday wrapped up its seventh year on Saturday, November 26th, the outpouring of support for local businesses across the country hit record highs with 72% of U.S. consumers aware of the day. More shoppers reported visiting local independent businesses on Small Business Saturday this year than ever before, according to results from the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, released today by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express.

Consumer Confidence Surges to 9-Year High
USA Today | 11.29.16

Consumer confidence soared to a nine-year high in November despite Donald Trump’s upset victory in the presidential election, which was expected to intensify political uncertainty and roil markets. A closely watched index of Americans’ outlook increased to 107.1 from an upwardly revised 100.8 in October as their views of both current conditions and the next six months improved significantly, the Conference Board said Tuesday. That’s the highest level since July 2007, five months before the Great Recession began.

Leading Merchant Cash Advance Provider Replaces its CEO
ISO & Agent | 11.30.16

Another leading company in the turbulent online lending sphere has replaced its chief executive officer. CAN Capital, a New York-based small-business lender, said Tuesday that CEO Daniel DeMeo has been placed on a leave of absence. Parris Sanz, the company's chief legal officer, is now serving as acting CEO. Meanwhile, Ritesh Gupta, formerly the company's chief customer operations officer, has been promoted to chief operating officer. The leadership shakeup stems from problems that emerged after the company expanded its product offerings several years ago, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Mastercard Rolls out Artificial Intelligence across Its Global Network  
BusinessWire | 11.30.16

Mastercard today introduced Decision Intelligence, a comprehensive decision and fraud detection service. The solution uses artificial intelligence technology to help financial institutions increase the accuracy of real-time approvals of genuine transactions and reduce false declines. This is the first use of AI being implemented on a global scale directly on the Mastercard network. Current decision-scoring products are focused primarily on risk assessment, working within predefined rules. Decision Intelligence is a radical new approach that goes much further.

Related: Mastercard Makes Fingerprint and ‘Selfie’ Payment Technology a Reality in Latin America

iPayment Holdings, Inc. Names O.B. Rawls IV CEO and Board Member
iPayment Inc | 11.25.16

iPayment Holdings, Inc., a trusted provider of payment and processing solutions for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), announced that O.B. Rawls IV has been named Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President of iPayment. He will also serve on iPayment's Board of Directors. Mr. Rawls' appointment was unanimously approved by the Board of Directors. Mr. Rawls joined iPayment in April of this year after more than 30 years of executive leadership in and around payments and financial services. 

Shift4 and SilverWare POS Announce Joint EMV Solution for Hospitality Industry
Shift 4 | 11.29.16

Payment gateway provider Shift4 Corporation and SilverWare POS, a leading developer of end-to-end solutions for the hospitality industry, today announced the general availability of their joint EMV-certified solution. With Shift4’s DOLLARS ON THE NET and SilverWare’s Avrio POS, table and quick-service restaurants, bars, private clubs, assisted living communities, corporate/institutional cafeterias, hotels, stadiums, casinos and more can simplify and secure their payment processing and improve their business operations and profitability.

PayPal Delivers Business Services On-the-Go
PayPal | 11.30.16

Millions of businesses and entrepreneurs are gearing up for one of their most important periods of the year – the holiday season. In fact in the third quarter, PayPal saw approximately a third of all total payment volume on mobile. For many small businesses, the ability to keep track of their operations – invoices, payments, refunds, withdrawals, customer lists, balances – amidst a large spike in activity, is critical and increasingly mobile.

Worldpay and Verifone Announce Strategic Partnership
Verifone | 11.28.16

Verifone, a world leader in payment and commerce solutions, has announced a partnership extension with Worldpay, a leading payments company with global reach. The agreement will see continued delivery of Verifone’s payment and commerce innovation to Worldpay’s UK customers enabling them to offer the latest point-of-sale (POS) solutions, and creating a seamless payments experience.

Related: Verifone to Help UK Shoppers Spread the Cost of Purchases with Mastercard Instalments

TSYS Signs Payments Agreement with Virgin Money
TSYS | 11.30.16

TSYS announced that it has reached a long-term agreement to provide debit processing services for Virgin Money customers within the United Kingdom. Virgin Money previously selected TSYS’ market leading TS2® platform to support its UK cards portfolio. Virgin Money is a UK-based retail bank, providing savings, mortgages, credit cards, current accounts, currency services, pensions, as well as investment and protection products to over three million customers across the UK. TSYS will provide a flexible and reliable card processing solution for Virgin Money.

GTCR Completes Acquisition of RevSpring
The Green Sheet | 12.01.16

GTCR, a leading private equity firm, announced today that it has completed the acquisition of RevSpring, Inc. ("RevSpring" or the "Company"), a leading provider of multi-channel billing and communications solutions to the healthcare and financial services industries.

Bank of the Year: USAA
American Banker | 11.29.16

It looks a bit like a doorbell that has yet to be installed, or perhaps the most rudimentary remote control you've ever seen. It's a small, unadorned, blue and white device that features a single button. You can place it in your car, beside the bathroom sink, on top of the microwave, wherever you want. If you press the button once a day, $1 gets transferred from your checking account into savings. Press it a second time, and you transfer an additional $2.

ANZ Launches Android-based BladePay Mobile Payments Solution
ZDNET | 12.01.16

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) has officially launched BladePay, a mobile payments solution for Australian businesses, in partnership with South African-based payments startup ThumbzUp. ANZ BladePay is a handheld Android-based payment device which is capable of running third party applications and is made up of the Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system. It features a 5-inch display, an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, and a 2 megapixel front-facing camera, and a 1/2D barcode scanner. WiFi and 4G are available as connectivity options.

FIS Expands Its Real-time P2P Payment Solutions Offering
FIS | 11.29.16

FIS, a global leader in financial technology, announced the expansion of its real-time payments suite with plans to offer Early Warning’s Zelle℠ Network person-to-person (P2P) service to extend its leadership in delivering comprehensive faster-payments solutions for financial institutions. The partnership with Early Warning will enable FIS financial institutions to join the Zelle Network quickly and with minimal effort.

Ingenico Group, Oberthur Technologies and Vodafone Join Forces to Revolutionize Payment Terminal Connectivity with Ingenico Connectivity/Manager
Ingenico | 11.28.16

By joining forces, Ingenico, Vodafone and OT will make the remote management of payment terminals' cellular connectivity a reality thanks to Connectivity/Manager. This tripartite solution leverages OT's eUICC and remote subscription management solution, Ingenico's smart terminals as well as Vodafone's global IoT communications platform, and eliminates all logistic constraints toward SIM management. Enabling both the remote installation and management of operator profiles, it will dramatically improve operational efficiency, and also enhance merchants' experience with better connectivity and ready-to-use payment terminal.

Affirm Extends E-Commerce Lending Solution with Support for Four Additional Platforms

Yahoo! Finance | 11.29.16

Affirm, Inc., the company started by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin to give consumers honest financial products, announced support for four additional e-commerce platforms: Kibo Commerce, BigCommerce, AspDotNetStorefront and Zen-Cart. Retailers that utilize any of these e-commerce platforms are now able to offer consumers the ability to purchase goods and services online, and break up payments over multiple months. Affirm already has native support for Salesforce Commerce Cloud (formerly Demandware), Magento 1.x and 2.0 and both Shopify and Shopify Plus.

Upserve Launches First EMV Solution Designed for Restaurants
EON | 11.29.16

Upserve, the restaurant management platform, today announced the availability of its Breadcrumb EMV solution. The only EMV kit designed specifically for restaurants, Upserve provides restaurateurs peace of mind when collecting chip-enabled cards, limiting liability for fraudulent chargebacks while ensuring no disruption to customers’ current check delivery processes and waitstaff training. EMV credit cards, which come with an embedded chip to reduce fraudulent activities, have quickly proliferated across the U.S. More than 600 million chip-enabled cards are in circulation within the country today.

Cutting Edge Loyalty App Set to Empower Small Retail Merchants Thanks to AEVI and Welcome Real Time Partnership

PR Newswire | 11.29.16

AEVI and Welcome Real Time, a Collinson Group Company, announced their partnership to offer a new loyalty app solution on AEVI's Global Marketplace. At Store mPOS, the real-time reward scheme application, is now available for banks and merchant acquirers to offer to their small merchants. This additional service will enable retail merchants to offer their customers bespoke loyalty rewards, and in doing so regain a competitive advantage over larger, more established brands.

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