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NF Edition #547 - 3/03/17
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Highlights this week...

Payment Gateway Directory: See Who's Who

TSG recently released its expanded and updated Payment Gateway Directory (preview). The eReport features side-by-side comparisons on functionality and company information, covering 3,000 data points from 53 gateways. 
Gateway data points (as available) have been primarily gathered from company surveys. Additional research included calls, web research, and internal TSG knowledge.

Click here to purchase. Priced competitively at $2,900.

Bitcoin Soars to a Record High
Bloomberg | 3.03.17

Bitcoin jumped to a new high Friday, a day after soaring past the price of an ounce of gold for the first time. One unit of the virtual currency was trading above $1,292.71 at 7:30 a.m. in New York, compared with $1,226.89 for an ounce of gold. The metal’s had a terrible week, declining for the fourth time in five days. The latest surge in bitcoin’s value has been attributed to tighter currency restrictions in countries such as China, India and Venezuela, as well as speculation about prospects under the Trump administration.

Related: Bitcoin Price Rises Higher Than Gold, But Don't Read Too Much Into It

PayPal's Digital Payments Reign Continues
CNET | 2.27.17

PayPal took the chance Monday to pat itself on the back. The king of digital payments said it reached a big milestone, hitting 200 million active customer accounts. Granted, that isn't really a surprise, since it reported 197 million accounts a month ago. Perhaps more importantly, 50 million of those customers have now opted in to use PayPal's One Touch, which allows users to stay signed in to their accounts and avoid repeatedly having to type in a password when buying from millions of retailers.

Payments in the Stores of Tomorrow
ETA | 2.27.17

The store of the future has been a long time coming. More than a decade ago, IBM produced a television commercial that follows a young man with muttonchop sideburns and an indolent expression as he hurries through the aisles of a supermarket, stuffing merchandise into his baggy coat. Everyone in the store, from the butcher to an elderly shopper, glares with disapproval at the suspicious-looking young man on what seem like an obvious shoplifting spree. But as the “suspect” exits the store, a security guard calls him back. “Excuse me, sir,” the guard says. “You forgot your receipt.” Immediately, a voice-over changes the tone of the ad from ominous to optimistic. “Checkout lines—who needs ’em?” asks the disembodied voice. “This is the future of e-business.”

Small Merchants’ EMV Upgrade Delays Continue To Crimp Terminal Maker Ingenico
Digital Transactions | 2.27.17

The former EMV prom that’s turned into the date from hell for some payments-industry vendors continued for point-of-sale terminal maker and e-commerce services provider Ingenico Group SA in the fourth quarter. The France-based firm that has major operations in Canada and the United States reported last week that its North American revenues declined 32% year-over-year in the fourth quarter to €66 million euros, or $69.8 million at current exchange rates. For the year, North American revenues fell 13% to €276 million ($291.8 million).

Nearly One Year After Launch, Apple Pay Finds Limited Traction in China
TechCrunch | 3.01.17

After a slow start, Apple Pay is now dominating its home country, the United States, but the same can’t be said of China where it is up against a different set of challenges. Data shows that Apple Pay is now accepted by 36 percent of merchants in the U.S., thus making it one of the most widely available mobile payment methods in the country. However, to date it has received a lukewarm — or perhaps even cold — reception in China, the planet’s largest market for mobile payments. When Apple Pay first landed in the Middle Kingdom in May 2016, the smartphone giant was expected to make a serious dent in China’s highly consolidated mobile payment market.

Bankers Are More Upbeat About Banks
The Wall Street Journal | 3.01.17

Bank stocks reached their highest point in nearly 10 years on Wednesday, building on postelection gains that reflect hopes firms will soon shake free the shackles of stringent regulation, superlow interest rates and sluggish economic growth. The KBW Nasdaq Bank index, a measure of 24 of the biggest U.S. bank stocks, rose more than 3% to touch its highest level since late 2007. The gain, which followed President Donald Trump’s address to Congress on Tuesday night, brought its rise since Nov. 8 to about 32%. The index has outperformed the S&P 500 by around 20 percentage points during this time.

Square Buys OrderAhead to Grab Pickup Business at Restaurants
Bloomberg | 3.01.17

Square Inc. said it acquired startup OrderAhead’s dining pickup website and app that allow people to place take-out orders and skip the line at restaurants. The deal gives the payments processor access to more diners and eating establishments for its Caviar food-delivery service, which Wednesday announced its own restaurant pickup program. Terms weren’t disclosed. OrderAhead was valued at $30 million in December 2013 when it raised about $8 million, according to Pitchbook Data Inc. Square won’t take on any of the San Francisco startup’s employees, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The 'Internet of Things' Creates a Compliance Headache for Merchants
PayThink | 3.03.17

The Internet of Things (IoT) has created a worldwide spike in online transactions, which Gartner anticipates will continue. This compounding growth in connected devices and their use in online transactions has created new challenges for merchants trying to stay compliant with a complex web of global ecommerce regulations that vary by country and state. As merchants bear the burden of regulatory compliance, they need to be able to quickly adapt to changes to ensure competitive advantage and sustained success.

India's Paytm E-Commerce raises $200 million from Alibaba, SAIF Partners
Reuters | 3.03.17

India's Paytm E-Commerce Pvt Ltd has raised $200 million from China's Alibaba Group Holding and venture capital fund SAIF Partners to expand its online retail business in a market dominated by homegrown Flipkart and U.S. tech giant Amazon. Singapore E-Commerce Pvt Ltd picked up a 36.31 percent stake in Paytm E-Commerce for investing $177 million, according to a regulatory filing by the Indian company that runs an online marketplace.

Samsung Pay to Launch in India with Support From Five Visa and Mastercard Issuers - and Paytm
NFC World | 3.02.17

Samsung has begun inviting Galaxy phone owners in India to register for early access to Samsung Pay. Customers can opt to pre-register Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Standard Chartered Bank debit or credit cards and SBI Card credit cards today with support for American Express and Citibank to follow. Paytm‘s market leading mobile wallet will also be supported by the service.

Snapchat Stock Finishes Up 44% on First Day
TechCrunch | 3.02.17

Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, had a great day in its debut on the New York Stock Exchange. After pricing the IPO at $17 per share yesterday, the stock opened at $24. It then closed the day at $24.48, a 44 percent premium to the people who bought it yesterday. But like with all IPOs, not everybody got to access Snap’s IPO price. This is usually reserved for a smaller group of institutional investors and high-net worth individuals who are on good terms with the banks. Most investors didn’t have a chance to buy until today, so the gains for them are much smaller.

Current stock price

McDonald’s Is Finally Getting Mobile Ordering and Delivery
Fortune | 3.01.17

McDonald's is betting on new tech like mobile orders and payments to halt an exodus of U.S. customers that has seen store visits fall by 500 million since 2012. The hamburger giant unveiled plans at its annual investor day to make "mobile order and pay" available at all of its roughly 14,000 U.S. restaurants by the autumn. McDonald's will also finally introduce delivery, giving in to a long held demand from patrons who have drifted to rivals in recent years.

More on Bluetooth Ingenico Overlay Skimmers
Krebs on Security | 2.26.17

This blog has featured several stories about “overlay” card and PIN skimmers made to be placed atop Ingenico-brand card readers at store self-checkout lanes. I’m revisiting the topic again because a security technician at a U.S.-based retailer recently shared a few photos of several of these devices pulled from compromised card terminals, and the images and his story offer a fair bit more detail than in previous articles. The device featured here is a Bluetooth-based skimmer; it is designed to steal both the card data when a customer swipes and to record the victim’s PIN using a PIN pad overlay.

Phishing Attacks Surged 65% to Hit a Record 1.22 Million in 2016
Digital Transactions | 3.01.17

The bad news about payments risk just keeps on coming. The Anti-Phishing Working Group Inc. reported this week that phishing attacks reached an all-time high in 2016, totaling 1,220,523. That was up fully 65% over 2015, the group says in its latest quarterly report. Another way to look at the explosion of phishing is to compare the fourth quarter of 2016 with that of 2004, the first full year the APWG operated. The group says it counted 1,609 attacks per month in that quarter 12 years ago. In 2016, there was an average of 92,564 monthly attacks in the fourth quarter alone. That’s an increase, says the group, of 5,753%.

Banks Are Sold on Blockchain, Concerned About Collaboration
American Banker | 3.02.17

Several ideas are emerging about the adoption of blockchain in the financial services industry that are quite different than what anyone would have predicted two or three years ago. The choices banks are making are steering financial blockchains in a direction that is far from the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto’s conception of it, and closer to more traditional technologies out there today — a Google Docs of sorts for banks with immutability and security built in.

Once Again, Credit Reporting Agencies Lead CFPB’s Monthly Complaint Snapshot
PYMNTS | 3.01.17

The latest complaints snapshot from the CFPB is in — and once again, credit reporting has managed to lead the pack amongst things consumers are dissatisfied with.  Of the approximately 29,000 complaints handled in January, there were 7,730 complaints about debt collection. The problems are ongoing — and an extension of complaints about the credit reporting industry that have become routine in this monthly report: consumers continue to say they struggle to resolve errors on their credit reports.

19 People Indicted Following Investigations Into International Fraud and Money Laundering Rings
US Department of Justice | 3.01.17

Federal indictments were unsealed today in the District of Columbia charging 19 people with taking part in various international fraud and money laundering conspiracies that led to more than $13 million in losses, including one scheme in which mid-level corporate employees were tricked into wiring millions of dollars to bank accounts under control of those in the criminal enterprise.

Don't Hug These Internet-Connected Stuffed Toys
Bank Info Security | 2.28.17

Spiral Toys, which manufacturers the CloudPets range of Bluetooth-enabled "smart toys," is under privacy fire for exposing 821,000 user records online, as well as links to 2.2 million parent and child voice recordings captured by its interactive toys and related apps. Copies of the data are in wide circulation and appear to be the focus of multiple attempted ransom shakedowns, says Australian developer and Have I Been Pwned administrator Troy Hunt, who says that he and other researchers have verified that the exposed data is legitimate.

What Booming Markets Are Telling Us About the Global Economy
The New York Times | 3.01.17

The stock market reached yet another new high on Wednesday, the latest development to make a mockery of what savvy economic commentators thought they knew about the world. Consider how things looked one year ago. The world economy seemed hopelessly trapped in a cycle of low growth and inflation. Markets recoiled at the mere possibility that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates. Populist political insurgencies seemed to threaten yet more financial market chaos.

Related: Post-Election Highs Spread Around the Globe, Except in China

Dow Races Past 21,000 For First Time After Trump Strikes Conciliatory Tone
Forbes | 3.01.17

The Dow hurdled past 21,000 on Wednesday, as investors appeared to be encouraged by remarks from President Donald Trump and the Fed. The blue-chip index added 300 points, or 1.4%, and closed at 21,115 points. This new record comes about one month after the Dow hit 20,000 for the first time. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both gained about 1.3%.

US Jobless Claims Near 44-Year Low; Rate Hike Expected This Month
Reuters | 3.02.17

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to near a 44-year low last week, pointing to further tightening of the labor market even as economic growth appears to have remained moderate in the first quarter. The stronger labor market and rising inflation could push the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this month. Several Fed officials have in recent days suggested the U.S. central bank could increase borrowing costs soon.

Consumers Voice Preferences, Wishes in Ways Technology Power Payments
Mastercard | 2.28.17

Digital wallets continued to gain prominence in smartphones and laptops across the globe and dominated the discussion of new ways to pay, with the topic now topping 75 percent of conversations tracked in the 2017 edition of the Mastercard Digital Payments Study. At the same time, consumers are showing an increased interest in the application of new technologies to make shopping faster, easier and more secure. The topic of virtual reality generated the most positive sentiment as shoppers imagine completing a purchase with the simple nod of their head.

Related: Mastercard and Unilever Join Forces to Empower Small and Micro Businesses in Emerging Markets

Stung by Sapphire, Amex Adds Perks
PaymentsSource | 3.02.17

American Express Co. is escalating the rewards war for premium credit cards, offering Platinum customers $200 of free Uber rides while raising the annual fee. Redesigned in stainless steel, the card will cost new holders $550 starting on March 30, a $100 increase that will take effect for existing users when they renew after Sept. 1. It’s the first fee hike in more than a decade, according to Janey Whiteside, Amex’s senior vice president for global charge products, benefits and services.

Visa Supports Credit Unions With New Talent Initiatives
Visa | 2.27.17

Visa Inc. is pledging $1.5 million over the next four years to Filene Research Institute and Credit Union Executive Society to support research and education opportunities that will strengthen the talent pipeline in the credit union industry. Similar to many industries, credit unions face challenges engaging, retaining and recruiting young talent. New talent contributes energy, creativity and leadership to the businesses. Young talent also helps ensure products and services are relevant to younger members, which is critical to the longevity and viability of credit unions.

Vantiv Announces New Partnership with Tyndall Federal Credit Union for Full Suite of Debit and Credit Card Processing
Vantiv | 3.02.17

Vantiv, Inc., a leading provider of payment processing services and related technology solutions for merchants and financial institutions of all sizes, announced today a new partnership with Tyndall Federal Credit Union, one of the largest credit unions in Florida, with more than $1.3 billion assets, for a full suite of payment processing."We were looking for a partner that would help execute our strategy, and grow with us," said Diane Floyd, vice president of lending at Tyndall Federal Credit Union. "The Vantiv strategic roadmap, with its long-range product development and clear timelines for execution, was a deciding factor, plus, the conversion process was very smooth."

Apriva and foreUP Bring Golf Course Payment Security up to Par with EMV
BusinessWire | 2.28.17

Apriva, a leading provider of omnichannel payment solutions and secure mobile communications, announced that they are partnering with foreUP, a provider of innovative golf management and marketing systems, to deliver all-in-one EMV-ready payment solutions for the entire golf course. This top-of-the-line solution dramatically simplifies golf course management and payments by combining all aspects of payments into one convenient, unified solution spanning the entire operation, including tee times and purchases in the pro shop, membership fees, mobile beverage carts and more.

Verifone Carbon Wins 2017 iF DESIGN AWARD
Verifone | 3.01.17

Verifone, a world leader in payments and commerce solutions, was a winner of this year’s iF DESIGN AWARD, for Verifone Carbon, the company’s beautiful, flexible and integrated POS. The prestigious iF DESIGN AWARD is awarded annually by Hannover-based iF International Forum Design GmbH, Germany’s oldest independent design organization. Verifone’s POS innovation won over a 58-member jury of independent experts, who selected Carbon for its innovative approach to point of sale technology, design elegance and flexibility.  More than 5,500 entries were submitted from 59 countries.

Silvergate Bank Transforms Its Technology, Launches New Core from FIS
FIS | 3.02.17

Efficiency, improved integration and the opportunity for growth led Silvergate Bank to select FIS, a global leader in financial technology, for a technology transformation – from a new core banking relationship to branch, digital and mobile banking, compliance, risk and back-office systems. Focused on providing the highest level of personal service to customers, Silvergate implemented the new solutions from FIS to better equip the bank and its staff to meet the growing needs of customers.

Affirm Partners with Oracle and Netsuite to Enable E-commerce Consumer Lending Solution
Yahoo! Finance | 2.27.17

Affirm Inc., the company started by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin to give consumers honest financial products, today released pre-built integration software that has been tested and certified for Oracle Commerce and NetSuite SuiteCommerce. Retailers using either the Oracle or NetSuite e-commerce platforms are now able to offer shoppers the ability to break up payments for their purchases over multiple months with Affirm.

Netspend Hires Jeff Johnson to Lead Commercial Prepaid
TSYS | 3.02.17

Netspend, a leading provider of prepaid card solutions, has named Jeff Johnson as senior vice president for Commercial Prepaid. Johnson joins Netspend with two decades of experience in the prepaid industry, having most recently served as chief sales and marketing officer/chief revenue officer for Card Compliant, LLC, since 2012. “We’re excited to have Jeff on the team. He’s a proven entrepreneur with an impressive record of growing and scaling payments businesses,” said Chuck Harris, president of Netspend. Before assuming a leadership role at Card Compliant, Johnson worked as the senior vice president and division manager for Prepaid Services at First Data Corporation.

Harbortouch Partners With Strategic Funding Source To Deliver Working Capital To Merchants
BusinessSolutions | 2.27.17

Harbortouch Payments, LLC, a leading provider of point-of-sale and payment processing solutions, recently announced that they have partnered with Strategic Funding Source (SFS) to offer Harbortouch merchant customers access to working capital. Through the partnership, SFS will provide non-bank financing options to Harbortouch customers, offering $10,000 to $1,000,000 in working capital. SFS’s funding options offer a high approval rate, funding within 5 days, and no complicated paperwork. This money can be used for any business purpose, from advertising to staffing to inventory to new equipment or expansion.

Sterling Payment Technologies and RPOWER Point of Sale Announce New EMV Solution
PRWeb | 3.01.17

Sterling Payment Technologies, a leading provider of payment processing, today announced it has partnered with RPOWER Point of Sale , a provider of restaurant point of sale solutions, to offer a fully-integrated EMV-enabled solution to businesses in the hospitality industry. Utilizing both Datacap NETePay™ and VeriFone’s VX805 EMV terminal, the EMV solution also includes a tip adjust feature. “Sterling is proud to be partnering with RPOWER to deliver an innovative and secure EMV solution to the market,” said Rich Peterson, divisional president of integrated point of sale at Sterling Payment Technologies.

Global Payments Promotes Cameron M. Bready to Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Global Payments | 3.01.17

Global Payments Inc., a leading worldwide provider of payment technology services, announced today the promotion of Cameron M. Bready to Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. In this role, Bready will continue to lead the company's global finance organization, including corporate finance, business financial services, accounting and tax, as well as worldwide corporate development initiatives. He continues to report to Jeffrey S. Sloan, Chief Executive Officer.

ACI Powers eCommerce for Vietnam's National Payment Switch, Accelerating Country's Online and Mobile Shopping Explosion
Market Wired | 2.27.17

ACI Worldwide, a leading global provider of real-time electronic payment and banking solutions, today announced that the National Payment Corporation of Vietnam (NAPAS), the National Payment Switch Provider in Vietnam, is utilizing ACI's UP eCommerce Payments solution to drive growth across Vietnam and the ASEAN region. NAPAS operates and manages an inter-bank connection system-with nearly 17,200 ATM, 245,000 POS and 97 million domestic cards from 44 domestic commercial banks and foreign banks-in Vietnam.

Star Micronics Partners with Elo on Compact POS System
The Green Sheet | 3.01.17

International POS printer manufacturer Star Micronics announces that it has partnered with Elo, the global supplier of touchscreen computing solutions, to offer a new compact countertop solution that aesthetically matches the stylish design of the new market trend for tablet POS with the higher performance of an enterprise-grade Windows or Android POS system. Elo’s popular and agile I-Series offers all the flexibility of using the latest in connectivity with either traditional POS with Windows or using the latest in mobile software and economic advantages of the Android version.

Lyudia becomes Ingenico Japan
Ingenico | 3.01.17

Less than one year after the acquisition, the integration of the Japanese company has been successfully completed. Lyudia and Ingenico Group have combined their proven experience in the Japanese payment ecosystem and their security expertise as the global leader in the industry. With teams in Tokyo and Sapporo Ingenico Japan further leverages on a full range of payment terminals and services, including software development, certification, logistics and maintenance. As part of its focus on Japan, Ingenico Group has developed an innovative offering tailored to the Japanese market.

Singapore Selected as a Demo Day Country for Citi’s Global FinTech Initiative Targeting the Public Sector
LTP | 2.27.17

Citi today announced that Singapore has been selected as one of the countries to hold a Demo Day for its latest global FinTech initiative, the Citi Tech for Integrity Challenge (T4I), targeting the Public Sector. The Monetary Authority of Singapore has committed to support the initiative as a RegTech Contributor for the event to be held on June 9. T4I is a landmark initiative led by Citi in collaboration with public and private sector allies to provide a bridge between public sector entities and tech innovators with the aim of developing solutions that increase process transparency and efficiency. T4I will also provide the support and infrastructure that tech innovators need to tailor new technology solutions for the public sector.

Lincoln Investment Selects FTNI’s ETran Integrated Receivables Platform for Advanced RDC and Electronic Payment Solutions
FTNI | 3.01.17

Financial Transmission Network, Inc. (FTNI) announced that Lincoln Investment Planning, LLC has selected its ETran Integrated Receivables platform to provide advanced Remote Deposit Capture (RDC), ACH and credit card processing for its corporate and 400+ branch offices. Lincoln Investment, a top-tier investment advisory firm, and FTNI, a leader in integrated receivables solutions, are on schedule to roll out these advanced receivables processing technologies in Q1 2017.

Sweden's Trustly Processed €3.2 Billion of Payments in 2016
Finextra | 3.02.17

Trustly, the Swedish FinTech company, is pleased to announce 2016 processed payment volumes of €3.2 billion. Trustly has now reached accumulated processed payment volumes of €6.5 billion since the company was founded in 2008. The 122% growth in payments volumes in 2016 comes on the back of Trustly’s expansion to an additional 21 European countries in late 2015. Trustly offers a unique online payment solution to its clients, allowing them to get paid by consumers across all of Europe.

Atlantic Pacific Processing Systems Partners with CT-Payment
BusinessWire | 3.28.17

Atlantic Pacific Processing Systems (APPS), a leading U.S. payment solutions provider, today announced it has entered into a strategic partnership with leading Canadian payment processor and merchant services provider CT-Payment. Under the agreement, APPS will be able to offer its U.S. merchant customers payment processing products and services for their Canadian operations from CT-Payment. Likewise, CT-Payment will be able to offer payment processing products and services to its Canadian merchant customers who have U.S. operations through APPS.

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