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NF Edition #506 - 5/20/16
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Highlights this week...
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When One Isn’t Enough. Oftentimes clients seek value across The Strawhecker Group’s (TSG) vast array of eReports to benchmark against the industry or seek new targets. Alternatively, new entrants may be looking to gain insight into a specific niche of the market. Bundling eReports can provide savings and lead to a high ROI. Learn more here.

Technology Offers Big Opportunities for Merchant Acquirers 

Is it possible for technology to be both a challenge and a solution? For today’s merchant acquirers, that’s the reality they live with on a daily basis. The recent Transact 16 event in Las Vegas provided a backdrop for in-depth discussions on how merchant acquirers can respond to the challenges – and opportunities – in their industry. Check out Kurt Strawhecker, Partner & Co-Founder of TSG, at 1:30 in the video!

Hackers Stole Millions in Third Attack on Global Banking System
CNN Money | 5.20.16

If three makes a trend, then it's official: The global banking system is under attack. The methods used by hackers to attack banks in Vietnam and Bangladesh appear to have been deployed over a year ago in a heist in Ecuador. The January 2015 attack on Banco del Austro is described in a lawsuit filed by the bank in a New York federal court. It ended with thieves transferring $12 million to accounts in Hong Kong, Dubai, New York and Los Angeles, according to court documents.

Balance Due: Credit-Card Debt Nears $1 Trillion as Banks Push Plastic
The Wall Street Journal | 5.20.16

May require subscription to read. U.S. credit-card balances are on track to hit $1 trillion this year, as banks aggressively push their plastic and consumers grow more comfortable carrying debt. That sum would come close to the all-time peak of $1.02 trillion set in July 2008, just before the financial crisis intensified, and could signal an easing of frugal habits ingrained by the recession. The boom has been driven by steady economic conditions and an improving job market that have made creditworthy consumers less reluctant to take on debt. In addition, lenders have signed up millions of subprime consumers who previously weren’t able to get credit.

MCX Postpones Roll-out of Apple Pay Rival CurrentC, Lays Off 30, Will Focus on Bank Deals
TechCrunch | 5.16.16

As merchants like Walmart move ahead on their own mobile payment strategies, a consortium that once counted Walmart — along with a number of other big retailers and brands — behind it, has taken a step back. Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) today announced it would postpone a nationwide rollout of CurrentC, a smartphone payment initiative originally conceived as a mobile wallet rival to smartphone-led services like Apple Pay and Android Pay. As a result, MCX said it would lay off 30 people as it shifted its focus to working with financial institutions.

Android Pay Launches in the UK to Rival Apple and Samsung Pay
The Guardian | 5.18.16

Google’s contactless smartphone payment system Android Pay has finally launched in the UK with support for MasterCard and Visa cards from at least eight banks. The service, which requires the Android Pay app, a smartphone running Android 4.4 KitKat or later and near field communications (NFC), will allow users to buy goods and services anywhere with a contactless payment terminal. Versions of Android supporting the new payment system, which include Android 4.4 KitKat, 5 Lollipop and 6 Marshmallow account for 75.6% of all Android devices in operation, according to data from Google.

Related: Android Pay in UK: A Tipping Point for Mobile Payments?

More Amazon In-App, In-Stores Initiatives Planned, Payments Boss Gauthier Says
Digital Transactions | 5.18.16

Members of Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime membership service are enthusiastic users of the e-retail giant’s payments service, which it makes available to other merchants. In fact, some 50% of Amazon Pay’s users belong to Prime, according to Amazon Pay vice president Patrick Gauthier, who spoke with Digital Transactions News Tuesday at ShopTalk, a commerce conference in Las Vegas. “We pay attention to consumers who use Amazon Pay,” Gauthier says. That kind of knowledge is helping the company prepare merchants not just for online sales, but for transactions in physical stores, a venue the Seattle-based e-commerce giant has just begun to penetrate.

Noodles & Company Probes Breach Claims
Krebs on Security | 5.19.16

Noodles & Company, a fast-casual restaurant chain with more than 500 stores in 35 U.S. states, says it has hired outside investigators to probe reports of a credit card breach at some locations. Over the past weekend, KrebsOnSecurity began hearing from sources at multiple financial institutions who said they’d detected a pattern of fraudulent charges on customer cards that were used at various Noodles & Company locations between January 2016 and the present.

The End of the Line?
WINK News | 5.18.16

“It’s really a new world of payments based on all that technology can do,” said Jason Oxman, with the Electronic Transactions Association. New payment systems have been created like the new Google “Hands Free.” You download the app and upload your picture, initials and credit card info. The store connects to your phone via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or using location services.

With over 1,000 attendees representing every segment of the payments eco-system, the opportunity to learn, network and collaborate is unbeatable; here's why...

Samsung Pay Partners With Alibaba's Alipay on Payments 
CNBC | 5.20.16

Samsung has struck a partnership with Alipay, China's biggest payments service that is run by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, as Samsung looks to expand its footprint in the world's second-largest economy. Currently Alipay is a separate app on devices; when a customer goes to pay for something in-store, they need to open the Alipay app, then scan a QR code provided by the retailer.

Google Brings Android Pay to ATMs, Chrome and More Apps
TechCrunch | 5.18.16

After announcing the expansion of Android Pay in the U.K. earlier today, Google also made a few additional announcements around its mobile payments service at its I/O developer conference today. Pali Bhat, Google’s senior director of product management for Android Pay, told me that one and a half million users in the U.S. now set up Android Pay on their phones every month. “We’re very excited with all the momentum we’ve seen since we launched,” he said.

Fitbit is Buying Coin so it Can Make a Fitness Tracker that Pays for Things
The Verge | 5.18.16

Fitbit, the biggest company in fitness tracking, has announced that it's acquiring Coin, the maker of a "smart" credit card that digitally holds all of your other credit cards on a single device. But Fitbit isn't buying Coin for its current Coin 2.0 gadget; that's actually being left out of the deal and Coin says its existing products can be used until their internal batteries die. Instead, Fitbit's primary interest in Coin is the company's work on wearable forms of payment.

Canada's Competition Bureau Sets Sights on Fintech
Finextra | 5.20.16

Canada's Competition Bureau has launched a fintech market study, looking into the effect that technology-led innovation is having on the financial services industry and whether it could require regulatory changes. "The study will explore the competitive impact that fintech is having on the industry, barriers to entry faced by companies, and whether there is a need for regulatory reform to promote greater competition while maintaining consumer confidence in the sector," says the bureau.

Walmart Pay Rolled out Across 600 Stores in Texas and Arkansas
ZDNet | 5.16.16

Walmart on Monday announced the first major roll-out of its propriety mobile payments service, Walmart Pay, in approximately 600 stores in Texas and Arkansas. The service, first announced in December, allows customers to make payments on Apple and Android devices with almost all major credit, debit and pre-paid cards or Walmart gift cards. Once at the register, a customer can find the payment option on Walmart's mobile app and use their camera to scan a code from the register. Once the transaction is finished, the customer gets an e-receipt via the app.

Bitcoin Startup Blockchain Releases Code for 'Thunder' Payment Channels
CoinDesk | 5.16.16

Bitcoin startup Blockchain has released the first version of a payments channel prototype that finds it moving its research efforts into how transactions on the bitcoin network can be made faster and more effective into the public eye. The startup, which has raised $30m in one public round of funding, announced the alpha release of the ThunderNetwork. Best described as a Blockchain-led effort into the implementation of payment channels, the technology seeks to allow bitcoin users a way to conduct off-blockchain transactions that settle against the bitcoin blockchain at a later date.

Magic Johnson Just Resigned from Square's Board Less Than a Year After Joining
Recode | 5.16.16

Magic Johnson, the NBA legend who has built a successful business life after basketball, has stepped down from the board of directors of Square. In a letter addressed to Square CEO Jack Dorsey, Johnson said he was resigning to focus on a new development firm he launched to capitalize on President Obama's promise that the federal government will spend trillions on U.S. infrastructure upgrades over the next decade.

Improving Customer Authentication: Is the PIN Past its Prime? 
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta | 5.16.16

The Financial Fraud Action UK recently released its Year-End 2015 Fraud Update. This report, filled with fraud-related figures from a fully EMV(chip)-migrated country, provides insight into what the future of fraud in the United States might look like as we are approximately eight months into our EMV journey. And if indeed the United Kingdom’s experience is a harbinger of things to come in the United States, then I think there will be disappointment for anyone who thought EMV by itself would be a magic bullet. After I spent time studying this report, it became evident that customer authentication is the latest low-hanging fruit and fraudsters are having a feast.

LinkedIn Breach: Worse Than Advertised
Bank Info Security | 5.18.16

A data breach notification site says that nearly 170 million credentials appear to have been compromised in the 2012 breach of social networking site LinkedIn, which is a far cry from the 6.5 million that initially came to light. In fact, the quantity of credentials suggests that attackers obtained virtually every LinkedIn username and hashed password.

Malware Turns Whole ATMs into Skimming Devices
Finextra | 5.18.16

A Russian-speaking criminal gang is using 'Skimer' malware to turn whole ATMs into skimming devices, enabling the crooks to make withdrawals and steal card details, Kaspersky Lab is warning. Discovered back in 2009, Skimer was the first malicious program to target ATMs, enabling thieves to bypass physical skimming devices which can be spotted by eagle-eyed customers.

Leading Indicators Up 0.6% in April, vs. Expectations for 0.4% Gain
CNBC | 5.19.16

A key economic measure increased in April, reflecting strength in housing and manufacturing, according to new data released by The Conference Board Thursday. The Leading Economic Index rose to 0.6 percent in April, following no change in March, and a 0.1 percent increase in February. The most recent LEI, a closely followed barometer of economic health, beat consensus estimates. Economists expected the Index to hit 0.4 percent in April, according to Thomson Reuters.

Fed’s Dudley Expects Summer Rate Rise if Economy Stays on Track
The Wall Street Journal | 5.19.16

Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley said Thursday the central bank’s next rate rise has a decent chance of happening this summer. “If I’m convinced my forecast is sort of on track, then I think a tightening in the summer, in the June-July time frame, is a reasonable expectation,” Mr. Dudley said in response to reporters’ questions at a news conference at his bank. “It’s really a question of whether the economy cooperates and performs in line with my personal expectations.”

Heartland Announces the Launch of Heartland Insights - Turning Data into Action 
Global Payments | 5.20.16

Heartland Payment Systems, recently merged with Global Payments Inc., a leading worldwide provider of payment technology services, announced the unveiling of Heartland Insights, a data and analytics service available to Heartland merchants. Heartland Commerce will debut the service at the National Restaurant Association show in Chicago, May 21-24, 2016, with an official launch scheduled July 1, 2016. Designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses, Insights leverages Heartland's acquisition of Beanstalk Data to help restaurants seamlessly integrate their customer relationship management (CRM) systems and marketing and engagement programs with the Heartland point-of-sale (POS) and ecommerce solutions.

Visa Checkout Expands Presence Across Top Travel, Tourism and Fashion Sites
Visa | 5.17.16

Visa announced that a new and diverse set of merchants across the web including Alaska Airlines, Chick-fil-A, Cole Haan, Emirates and Wyndam Hotel Group have signed on to offer Visa Checkout for fast and easy online and mobile payments. "The entire retail industry is changing – and we're partnering with Visa to ensure we are offering the best payment options for our customers," said Michael Prince, president and COO of Cole Haan. "With the addition of Visa Checkout, we're making it as easy for our consumers to shop on their mobile devices as it is to swipe a card in our Cole Haan stores."

TSYS Announces EMV Certification of Dejavoo Systems’ Semi-Integrated Solution for Retail and Restaurants
TSYS | 5.16.16

TSYS, a leading global payments provider, and Dejavoo Systems announced the EMV® certification of all Dejavoo Z and V Series devices. Compatible for stand-alone mode and semi-integration, these TSYS-certified devices provide Value-Added Resellers (VARs), Integrated Software Vendors (ISVs) and their merchants an easy and secure method to accept contact and contactless payments that support most major mobile wallets, as well as PIN-based credit and MSR-based debit EMV transactions.

Related: TSYS Enhances Real-time Fraud Capabilities with Machine Learning Tech

Expedia and Eventbrite Offer Affirm to Let Customers Buy Now and Pay Over Time
Business Wire | 5.18.16

Affirm, created by Max Levchin to revolutionize the banking industry, announced its latest partnerships with notable brands Expedia.com and Eventbrite. This marks Affirm’s entry into offering monthly payments for travel and ticketing purchases. “We’re always looking for new ways to make it possible for more people to travel – especially during the summer vacation season when kids are out of school – but, not everyone has the money in the bank or a credit card to do it, and Affirm gives them a new way to pay that may better fit their budget.”

Vantiv Named 2016 CNP Awards Finalist in Three Categories
Vantiv | 5.16.16

Vantiv, Inc., a leading provider of payment processing services and related technology solutions for merchants and financial institutions of all sizes, announced that it has been named a finalist in three categories for the 2016 Card-Not-Present (CNP) Awards: Best Processor, Best eCommerce Platform/Gateway and Best Payment Service Provider. The winners of the CNP Awards will be announced during the CNP Expo 2016, taking place May 23-26, 2016, at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort in Orlando, Fla.

Samsung Pay Announces Support for Membership and Loyalty Cards in the U.S.
Business Wire | 5.18.16

Samsung Electronics America, Inc. announced today that Samsung Pay—the most widely accepted mobile payment system—is giving U.S. users another way to slim down their physical wallets with the support of membership features. Samsung Pay users now have easy, direct access to merchant membership and loyalty cards to receive savings, rewards and other offers—all on their supported Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

Viacom and American Express Form Exclusive Partnership and Launch a First-of-Its-Kind Data-Driven Ad Product, “Vantage Intent, powered by AmEx”
Business Wire | 5.17.16

Viacom and American Express today announced an exclusive targeted television advertising partnership that will combine American Express’ powerful data capabilities with Viacom Vantage, the industry-leading predictive and targeting engine. The new product, Vantage Intent, powered by AmEx, will bring deep insights to marketers about consumer purchase intent while scaling across television, digital, and social. Vantage Intent, powered by AmEx is available for the 2016 Upfront.

Capital One Opens 'Growth Labs' Accelerator
Finextra | 5.18.16

Capital One is stepping up its investment in the fintech scene with the launch of 'Growth Labs', an accelerator programme for early-stage start-up and high-growth companies. Operating from the company's Nottingham HQ and working in partnership with corporate innovation specialist and tech investor L Marks, Capital One is inviting startups to pitch for one of six slots available on the ten-week programme.

Fifty Percent of CardFlight Merchants Are Now EMV-enabled; Adds EMV Certification with Global Payments
PR Newswire | 5.18.16

CardFlight announced that more than half of merchants using its suite of mobile solutions are actively accepting EMV "chip card" transactions. Additionally, CardFlight has been certified by Global Payments Inc., a leading worldwide provider of payment technology services, to accept EMV chip card payments. This will enable merchants who process payments through Global Payments to accept EMV payments when using CardFlight's software and card readers, on iOS and Android devices.

Bangkok Bank and Fiserv Make Life Easier with Mobile P2P Payments, Alerts and Banking Services for Wearable Devices
Fiserv | 5.17.16

Fiserv, Inc., a leading global provider of financial services technology solutions, announced that Bangkok Bank Public Company Limited, a leading Thai bank with approximately 17 million customer accounts, is making financial services faster and easier with new mobile banking functionality. With Bualuang mBanking, which is built on the Mobiliti Edge™ mobile banking and payments platform from Fiserv, Bangkok Bank customers now have the ability to access financial services via a mobile phone, tablet or the Apple Watch. 

BlueSnap Solves Checkout Abandonment with Global, Mobile Checkout
EON | 5.16.16

BlueSnap, a global payments technology company, announced today that MasterPass™ by MasterCard® is now available in its Powered Buy Platform to give merchants the frictionless checkout experience they need to reach global shoppers and solve checkout abandonment with higher payment conversions.

WePay Introduces First White Label Mobile Point of Sale Solution for Platforms
PR Newswire | 5.16.16

WePay, the leading provider of payments-as-a-service for online platforms including GoFundMe, FreshBooks, and Constant Contact, announced a white label mobile point of sale solution that enables platforms to seamlessly handle in-person payments in addition to online payments. Now any platform can offer its own branded mobile card reader as an integrated part of its overall product, without having to build, maintain, and certify hardware.

OnPlan Health Teams with Bluefin to Launch P2PE
Bluefin | 5.16.16

Healthcare patient payment and billing leader OnPlan Health has partnered with Bluefin Payment Systems to provide clients with PCI-validated Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE) through the OnPlan Health solution. OnPlan Health eases the administrative and financial burden on providers and patients by delivering smarter, more proactive ways to manage out-of-pocket medical expenses. OnPlan’s suite of services encompasses patient payments from beginning to end—automated payment plans, full online billing, and advanced payment processing.

Equinox and PayJunction Partner to Provide EMV­-Certified, Semi­-Integrated Smart Terminal
Equinox | 5.17.16

Equinox Payments, the leading provider of payment terminals, applications and support services, and PayJunction, the premier provider of payment gateway and merchant services, announced the launch of PayJunction’s Smart Terminal, a semi­integrated solution that connects PayJunction’s cloud-based REST API with the Equinox L5200 terminal to seamlessly process in­person payments. Together, Equinox and PayJunction have eliminated the lengthy and painstaking process of EMV Level 3 certification.

3scale Adds Adyen Payment Gateway Integration
The Green Sheet | 5.19.16

3scale, the leading API Management Platform for API providers, today announced that it has integrated Adyen’s popular payment service into its API management platform, making it easier for even more companies to monetize their APIs. With Adyen’s rapid growth and use by large enterprises that have significant amounts of monthly transactions, in addition to those that deal with different regulations and payment types at an international level, the integration simplifies the API payment process. 

NXP Expands Partnership with US DOT; Showcases Today’s Solutions to Build Tomorrow’s Smart Cities
Nasdaq | 5.17.16

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced an expanded partnership on the Smart City Challenge to now include NXP RFID tagging solutions and smart card ICs. The addition of NXP RFID tagging to the Smart City Challenge will enable automatic vehicle identification and more streamlined traffic and toll payments. The smart card ICs are designed to make eGovernment services easier and more secure.

Fattmerchant Closes $1.4M Funding Round to Advance Merchant Processing Technology and Customer Acquisition
LTP | 5.15.16

Fattmerchant, a subscription-based merchant services provider that provides unlimited credit card processing at direct cost, today announces it has closed its $1.4 million funding round in less than four weeks led by the same investors that headed Fattmerchant’s original seed round in 2015 for $850k. Wet Paint Capital, Florida Angel Nexus, venVelo and other accredited investors from Central Florida contributed to the round, as well including their newest strategic investor Phil Rawlins, Founder and President of Orlando City Soccer Club.

Breezeworks™ and Square Now Offer Instantaneous Payments for Mobile Pros
Yahoo! Finance | 5.17.16

Breezeworks, the leading all-in-one business management platform for independent service businesses, today announced the addition of award-winning financial services platform Square as an integrated payment processing option. One of the best-in-class apps available directly on the Square App Marketplace, Breezeworks can now be easily connected to any business banking account to instantly accept payments from the field or online.

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