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NF Edition #543 - 2/03/17
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Highlights this week...

NEW Release: Payment Gateway Directory

This week TSG released its expanded and updated Payment Gateway Directory (preview). This eReport covers:
  • 50 leading/emerging gateway providers (twice as many as the 2016 edition)
    • From players with hundreds of billions in processing volume to those with hundreds of thousands
  • 54 metrics on functionality and company information (as available)
    • Side-by-side comparisons on each provider covers over 3,000 data points
Gateway data points 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.

US Payments Forum Winter Market Snapshot: Top Priorities for 2017
Yahoo! Finance | 1.31.17

The U.S. Payments Forum released its winter 2017 market snapshot, providing updates on the status of the U.S. EMV chip migration, 2017 priorities for accelerating merchant chip enablement and securing the card-not-present channel, and recently-released resources for the payments industry. The U.S. Payments Forum, a cross-industry body focused on deployment of new and emerging payments technologies in the U.S., has been the source for EMV implementation guidance since the start of the migration in 2012, and recently expanded its scope to support the introduction and implementation of additional new and emerging payment technologies. 

Vantiv Views Moneris as Key To Growing Integrated Payments Volume
Digital Transactions | 2.01.17

Vantiv Inc.’s $425 million acquisition of the U.S. unit of Moneris Solutions Corp. is poised to boost the processor’s larger strategy of growing its integrated-payments volume, according to comments by Vantiv’s top brass during an earnings call Wednesday. “Building on our success, our rationale for the acquisition was simple,” Charles Drucker, Vantiv president and chief executive, said during the call to discuss fourth-quarter results, according to a transcript from “It expands our presence in high-growth channels and it enables us to consolidate their processing on to our platform. About 60% of Moneris’ net revenue comes from integrated payments and merchant bank channel.”

Green Dot To Buy RushCard For At Least $167 Million
Forbes | 1.30.17

Green Dot Corporation announced that it has entered into an agreement to buy UniRush, LLC. UniRush is the company behind the popular RushCard prepaid debit card. I've covered prepaid debit cards for a decade. During that time a lot has changed in the prepaid card space. To understand the significance of today's news, we need to revisit the past ten years. Ten years ago prepaid debit cards were the wild west of the payment industry. Most of the players in the industry had little history in financial services. The market catered to the unbanked as an alternative to expensive check cashing stores.

Related: Mastercard and RushCard Will Pay Out $10M to Consumers for 2015 Fiasco

Thieves Now Use "Shimmers" To Grab Chip/PIN Card Data
TechCrunch | 2.02.17

Just when you thought it was safe to slip your card in a slot ATM skimmers have gotten just a bit smarter. New devices called Shimmers can now read your card number and, in certain instances, access your card’s chip. While the technique isn’t new – Shimmers began appearing in 2015 – they are still a huge security hole and far more dangerous than standard skimmers. Because Shimmers are so thin they can disappear inside of an ATM or card reader. The data read when the chip is activated cannot be used to create a chip-based card but because some of the magnetic data is passed during the read process you can use Shimmers to easily recreate dumb magnetic cards.

Millennials Aren't The Mystery They're Made Out to Be
BankThink| 2.02.17

Type the word "millennial" into your search engine and you will get a slew of articles and posts about this "disruptive" generation. Unfortunately, much of this diminishes an entire generation and treats them as a group rather than as individuals. Online content and news generators have helped reinforce incorrect stereotypes of this group. Millennials are characterized as “entitled,” “sheltered” and “narcissistic.” One outrageous study from Scratch (Viacom Media Network) even suggests that millennials would rather visit their dentist than go to a bank branch. 

Square Wants to Make Mobile Payments Ubiquitous With Apple Pay
Bloomberg | 1.30.17

Square Inc. is giving merchants more than $12,000 worth of Apple Pay transactions for free over a year, another effort by the company to encourage consumers to pay for quick retail transactions with their mobile phones. The electronic payments processor is betting the investment will boost sales of its contactless readers and entice new merchants to sign on to the system. The campaign with Apple Inc.’s digital payment technology will be targeted at retail businesses with counter tops -- as opposed to food trucks and street sellers that were among Square’s earliest customers.

Related: One of Jack Dorsey's Top Leaders at Square is Leaving the Company

Consumers Want Digital, But Still Worry About Safety
PayThink | 2.02.17

A look at how payment processing will evolve in the next year shows retailers that don't consider consumers' evolving demand for digital payments and security concerns will be at risk. We surveyed 1,110 decision makers at small-to-medium U.S. businesses and 1,062 U.S. consumers, and found three prominent trends. First, we can expect to see consumers continue to call the shots in new-technology adoption. Second, security and fraud prevention will remain paramount. Last, payment acceleration will be top of mind for businesses.

Apple Q1: Apple Pay Users Tripled, Transasction Volume Up 500% YOY, Comcast Adding Support for Bill Payments
9to5Mac | 1.31.17

During the company’s Q1 2017 earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced some new milestones for Apple Pay. The company also confirmed that Comcast would soon begin accepting Apple Pay on the web for bill payments. The Comcast news came alongside some stats for Apple Pay and other services shared by the company today. Cook confirmed that the number of Apple Pay users has tripled over the last year while noting billions in transactions during the December quarter alone. Transaction volume is up 500% year over year, according to the company, and the service is now in a total of 13 markets following recent launches in new countries abroad.

Related: Apple Pay Coming to Taiwan 'Soon', Says Apple

Your Complete Guide to the Snap IPO
USAToday | 2.02.17

Snap Inc., the parent company of red-hot communications app Snapchat, filed public regulatory documents for a hotly anticipated $25 billion IPO Thursday, a sign of the Snapchat parent's maturity and a break in what's been a lackluster market for tech IPOs. Snap (ticker: SNAP on NYSE) looks to raise $3 billion, and says it has 158 million daily users, on average. Some 2.5 billion "Snaps," or photos or videos from within the Snapchat app, are created daily, and 60% of Snap users create daily Snaps, the company says.

Coin Will Shut Down Its Product Services At The End of February
TechCrunch | 1.31.17

This was all inevitable, of course. Fitbit has made its plans for Coin clear since it bought the mobile payment company back in May of last year. At the time, the wearable maker announced that it was shutting down the Coin Developer Program, though cards would remain active until their batteries finally gave up the ghost. The company has since announced via its blog that product services will be shut on February 28. Cards will still be usable until their end of their estimated two years of battery life, but the move will hamper functionality in a number of key ways.

The New Administration Brings Uncertainty But Also Optimism, Payments Experts Say
Digital Transactions | 2.02.17

The new Trump administration injects much uncertainty into U.S. business, with payments being no exception, but a panel of experts on Thursday said the net result should be positive for at least the acquiring side of the market. “If Hillary Clinton had won, we would have been more on defense,” said Scott Talbott, senior vice president for government affairs at the Electronic Transactions Association, a Washington, D.C.-based trade group for independent sales organizations and payments-technology firms. Talbott spoke as part of a three-person panel addressing regulatory issues at the Northeast Acquirers Association annual meeting in Boston.

Mastercard Welcomes UK Court Ruling on Interchange Fees
Finextra | 1.30.17

Mastercard statement on favorable judgment of Popplewell J. of the UK Commercial Court regarding UK retailer action on Interchange Fees. Mastercard is grateful that the Court has found in its favour with respect to the significant issues being heard in this case. The Court recognised the immense benefits that retailers derive from our payment system. In rejecting the retailers’ claims, it found that Mastercard’s interchange fees did not restrict competition and were necessary for the functioning of its payment system. 

Australia Plants Seeds for Fintech Cybersecurity Industry
Bank Info Security | 2.01.17

Australia wants to nurture a homegrown cybersecurity specialty in fintech, a move that is part of a government and industry effort to be less dependent on technologies from overseas to secure the country's infrastructure. Creating new companies is also a vast economic opportunity: the US$100 billion-plus cybersecurity market is expected to nearly double by 2020. But there are few cybersecurity startups in Australia, and the lack of those companies has led to discussion of how create a better environment.

Shopping for W2s, Tax Data on the Dark Web
KrebsonSecurity | 1.31.17

The 2016 tax season is now in full swing in the United States, which means scammers are once again assembling vast dossiers of personal data and preparing to file fraudulent tax refund requests on behalf of millions of Americans. But for those lazy identity thieves who can’t be bothered to phish or steal the needed data, there is now another option: Buying stolen W-2 tax forms from other crooks who have phished the documents wholesale from corporations.

U.S. Starts Year With Job Surge, But Pay Gains Are Weak
The New York Times | 1.03.17

Employers added a healthy 227,000 workers to their payrolls in January, the government reported on Friday. But despite a surge of local minimum-wage increases, average hourly earnings grew by only 0.1 percent. The official jobless rate rose slightly, to 4.8 percent, as more people returned to the work force. “The labor market started 2017 on the front foot,” said Carl R. Tannenbaum, chief economist at Northern Trust. “This is a good, good number.”

Related: Economy Adds 227,000 Jobs in January, Bolstering Case for Fed Rate Hikes Announces Fourth Quarter Sales up 22% to $43.7 Billion
BusinessWire | 2.02.17, Inc.  announced financial results for its fourth quarter ended December 31, 2016. Operating cash flow increased 38% to $16.4 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $11.9 billion for the trailing twelve months ended December 31, 2015. Free cash flow increased to $9.7 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $7.3 billion for the trailing twelve months ended December 31, 2015. Free cash flow less lease principal repayments increased to $5.7 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $4.7 billion for the trailing twelve months ended December 31, 2015.

Should Dollar Rise or Fall? The Trump Team’s Message Is Garbled
The New York Times | 1.02.17

For a very long time, if you asked United States government officials for their view on the value of the dollar, they would almost certainly decline to answer. “The currency is the purview of the Treasury secretary,” they’d say. If you asked the Treasury secretary his view of the dollar, the answer would be equally rote: “A strong dollar is in the interest of the United States.” Those words have been so standard that when Paul O’Neill deviated from it in an interview with a German newspaper in 2001, he caused a kerfuffle in global currency markets and quickly backtracked.

Visa Inc. Reports Strong Fiscal First Quarter 2017 Results
Visa| 2.02.17

Visa Inc. announced financial results for the Company’s fiscal first quarter 2017, ended December 31, 2016. GAAP net income for the quarter was $2.1 billion or $0.86 per share, an increase of 7% and 7%, respectively, over the prior year’s results. Exchange rate shifts versus the prior year negatively impacted earnings per share growth by approximately 3 percentage points. Excluding a $255 million non-cash, non-operating income item recorded upon the remeasurement of the Visa Europe put option in fiscal first quarter 2016, net income and earnings per share for the fiscal first quarter 2017 increased 23% and 23%, respectively, over the prior year's adjusted results.

Mastercard Incorporated Reports Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year 2016 Financial Results
Mastercard | 1.31.17

Mastercard Incorporated announced financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2016. The company reported net income of $933 million, an increase of 5%, or 4% on a currency-neutral basis and earnings per diluted share of $0.86, up 9%, or 7% on a currency-neutral basis, both versus the year-ago period. Excluding a special item in this quarter related to merchant litigation in the U.K., the company reported net income of $940 million, an increase of 6%, or 5% on a currency neutral-basis, and earnings per diluted share of $0.86, up 9%, or 7% on a currency-neutral basis, both versus the same period in 2015.

Related: Masterpass by Mastercard Expands Payment Options for Thousands of Merchants

Intuit Signs New Data-Exchange Agreement With Wells Fargo
BusinessWire | 2.03.17

Wells Fargo & Company announced it had entered into an agreement with Intuit Inc., which allows Wells Fargo customers who use financial management tools such as QuickBooks Online, Mint, and TurboTax Online to use an innovative application-programming interface (API) when importing their bank account information. “We’re excited to work with Intuit on transforming the data-sharing process,” said Brett Pitts, Head of Digital for Wells Fargo Virtual Channels. “This agreement creates a much better experience for our shared customers, gives them greater control over their financial data, and enhances the efficiency of the data-sharing process.”

ATM Giant Enters Africa With Acquisition
Houston Business Journal | 2.01.17

The world's largest ATM operator is headed to a new continent. Cardtronics PLC, a company that owns and operates ATMs in retail spaces, has expanded into South Africa with the purchase of Cape Town-based ATM provider Spark ATM Systems, according to a release. The purchase adds about 2,600 ATMs to the portfolio of Cardtronics, which has its North American headquarters in Houston. Spark ATM Systems will continue to operate under its current name, and its management team will continue in their current roles. The Spark ATM Systems head office in Cape Town will also be kept.

JPMorgan Changes Chief of High-Profile Card Business
Reuters | 1.01.17

JPMorgan Chase & Co said on Wednesday that Jennifer Piepszak will become chief executive of its card services division, replacing Kevin Watters. Watters, 48, had said he wanted to retire from the bank later this year, according to a memo sent to employees by consumer and community banking chief Gordon Smith and seen by Reuters. Watters recently oversaw the launch of the Sapphire Reserve premium credit card, which attracted attention for its lucrative bonuses for new accounts.

AmEx Joins JPMorgan, IBM in Hyperledger Effort
Bloomberg  | 1.31.17

American Express Co. is elbowing its way into the crowded blockchain party. The biggest credit-card issuer by purchases has signed on to the Hyperledger Project, a industry group of more than 100 members developing blockchain technology for corporate use. The digital ledger known for underpinning bitcoin has potential to reshape the global financial system and other industries.

Chargebacks911 and ACI Worldwide Combat £80 billion in Global Chargebacks
Yahoo! Finance | 2.01.17

Chargebacks911, a Global Risk Technologies company and an internationally-renowned leader for risk mitigation, has announced a new collaboration with ACI Worldwide, a leading global provider of real-time electronic payment and banking solutions. This alliance will enable more merchants to access the services they need to successfully fight illegitimate chargebacks. Responding to the needs of its dynamic customer base, ACI Worldwide sought to deliver a solution that would more effectively mitigate chargeback risks. Chargebacks911 will assist these merchants as they take a proactive approach to chargeback management.

Vantiv Partners with CardFlight to Offer EMV Mobile POS Solution
PR Newswire | 1.30.17

CardFlight, a mobile point of sale (POS) technology provider and Vantiv, Inc.,  a leading provider of payment processing services and related technology solutions for merchants and financial institutions of all sizes, announced that Vantiv will be offering CardFlight's SwipeSimple mobile POS solution to its merchants. SwipeSimple is a turnkey mobile payment acceptance platform that includes an EMV-enabled mobile chip card reader, a mobile application for iOS and Android, and a back office reporting portal for business owners to take payments and manage their business. 

USAePay Mobile Application is EMV Certified on MP Devices
PRWeb | 1.30.17

USAePay, an industry leading payment gateway, is proud to announce EMV certification by major processing platforms including, Global Payments, First Data Nashville, and TSYS. This certification will allow merchants to accept EMV payments through USAePay's mobile application. USAePay is one of the better conclusively certified payment solutions obtainable today. "We are thrilled to be done with these EMV certifications," says Martin Drake, President of USAePay.

Related: USAePay Releases New Merchant Console with Streamlined Functionalities

Worldpay Hires Santander Exec as New UK Boss
The Telegraph | 2.02.17

Payments company Worldpay has poached a senior executive at Spanish lender Santander to be the new chief executive of its UK division. Peter Jackson will be leaving his role as the head of Santander’s innovation business to join the FTSE 100 company at the start of next month. Mr Jackson also serves on the board of Santander's UK bank, and is a non-executive director of Paddy Power Betfair. He was previously chief executive of the Travelex Group, and has held senior positions at Lloyds Bank, Halifax Bank of Scotland and McKinsey & Company.

BofA Merrill Lynch Expands ACH Payments Capabilities on CashPro®
Bank of America | 2.02.17

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, a leader in global transaction services, has announced that it has substantially increased its international payments capabilities via the bank’s online and file-based banking portal, CashPro®. Today, tens of thousands of CashPro users can make cross-currency Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments to 60 countries and in 22 currencies, creating an easier and more cost-effective way for companies to pay vendors, contractors and customers. ACH payments use country-specific clearing systems and are ideal for low-value or recurring payments. While BofAML offered these capabilities previously, they were only available to a relatively small number of clients.

PayAnywhere Launches New Branding and Features
Benzinga | 1.31.17

PayAnywhere, the mobile point-of-sale solution from North American Bancard Holdings, LLC., is starting off the new year with an increased commitment to connecting businesses with their customers through a new vision and look, plus, updated app and portal features that enable small and medium-sized merchants to grow and manage their businesses. The PayAnywhere rebrand, which includes a new logo, is intentional. It highlights the new tagline that reinforces a commitment to connecting merchants and their customers through meaningful interaction – "Commerce that connects us."

Datacap Releases Certified Elavon US EMV Solution for Point of Sale
PRWeb | 1.30.17

Datacap Systems, leading integrated payments middleware provider, has completed US EMV level 3 certification with Elavon and released an EMV-capable version of NETePay available for download immediately. NETePay for Elavon’s host-based processing platform provides hundreds of point of sale providers with the ability to deliver US EMV functionality via an evolving list of PIN Pads through one simple out-of-scope interface.

Acquisition of TechProcess, leading Indian online and mobile payments provider
Ingencio | 1.30.17

Created in 2000, TechProcess is a leading online and mobile payment services provider headquartered in Mumbai with approximately 600 employees across 40 locations in India. The company has developed best-in-class offerings in several markets where it built leading positions, especially in online payments gateway, NACH (National Automated Clearing House), bill payments, and mobile payments. These services rely on a strong network of connections with leading Indian banks for acquiring and net-banking integration.

iPayment Holdings, Inc. and iPayment Inc. Announce Revised Comprehensive Refinancing Proposal
PRNewswire | 1.30.17

iPayment, Inc., a trusted provider of payment and processing solutions for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and its parent, iPayment Holdings, Inc. announced it has received a revised offer from holders of approximately 82% of the Company's outstanding 9.50% Senior Secured Notes due 2019 (the "9.50% Notes"), which also hold approximately 46% of the common stock of Holdings, for a comprehensive refinancing of iPayment. 

FIS Completes Sale of Public Sector and Education Businesses
FIS | 2.01.17

FIS, a global leader in financial services technology, today announced it has completed the previously announced sale of its Public Sector and Education businesses to Vista Equity Partners (Vista) for $850 million. Cash proceeds, net of taxes and deal-related expenses from the transaction, are approximately $500 million. The transaction results in an approximate pre-tax book gain to the company of $85-90 million. Net cash proceeds from the transaction will be used to pay down the company’s debt.

CardConnect Announces New CardPointe Mobile Release with Catalog Feature
Nasdaq | 2.02.17

CardConnect® announced a new release of CardPointe Mobile, the company’s popular comprehensive payment app for smartphones and tablets, with the addition of Catalog, a new feature that allows businesses to label, price, discount and categorize their products and services all in one place. CardPointe Catalog was designed for merchants to easily conduct sales directly within the app they already use to manage transactions and securely process credit and debit cards. With these added features, the app becomes a simplified point-of-sale option that is suitable for businesses like retail shops, quick-service dining and in-home services.

ControlScan Introduces Advanced Endpoint Security as a Managed Service
ControlScan | 2.01.17

ControlScan, the managed security service provider (MSSP) IT leaders and their organizations rely upon for unified security and compliance, announces the addition of advanced endpoint security to its security-as-a-service (SECaaS) offerings. Recent industry research has shown a downward trend in traditional antivirus solutions’ ability to successfully block malware. IT leaders, also noticing this trend, have begun to pursue detection and response technologies that provide greater visibility into the processes and activity patterns that indicate a potential compromise.  

POSDATA to Distribute Apollo Terminal Solution from Equinox Payments
Equinox| 1.31.17

Equinox Payments, a leading provider of payment terminals, applications and support services, announced that POSDATA, a long time distributor of Equinox solutions for the retail market, has expanded its offering to include Equinox’s Apollo terminal targeted at the financial reseller market. “As a long time distribution partner for Equinox Payments, we are excited to add the Apollo AIO countertop terminal to our product line,” said Bill McCubbins, POSDATA’s executive vice president. “POSDATA will deliver deployment services including product stocking and key injection to assure efficient distribution for the Equinox Payments’ reseller channel.”

Online Lender Spotcap Partners With Bank and Raises a Further EUR 14M
LTP | 1.31.17

Online lender Spotcap announced a partnership with NZX-listed New Zealand bank, Heartland, with the bank providing 14 million euros of debt funding to the fast-growing FinTech. At the same time, Spotcap has launched into its fifth market, New Zealand, further cementing the Asia-Pacific as one of the fastest-growing regions for global FinTech. Spotcap provides online credit lines and business loans to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). While traditional lenders make credit decisions based on historical financials and old-fashioned credit scoring, Spotcap uses a unique, proprietary credit algorithm which provides deep insight into the financial condition of a business, enabling quick, sound decisions.

After Raising $5M, Qvivr Gears Up To Launch Wallet-Replacing Card
Finextra | 2.01.17

Qvivr, a US startup promising to replace the credit, debit, gift and loyalty cards in customers' wallets with a single card and app combo, has raised $5 million in a Series A funding round led by Khosla Ventures. Qvivr has been developing its Swyp smart wallet for the last two years, building a smartphone app and a thin metal card with a small display screen, three buttons and a rechargeable battery that lasts for up to two years.

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