A U.S. Department of the Treasury program to deliver tax refunds in 2011 via debit card accounts will bring millions of unbanked individuals into the financial system, according to the Center for Financial Services Innovation. The organization, an advocate for unbanked and underbanked consumers, endorsed the pilot program. "Over 30 million underbanked individuals and families would have easy access to a tool to help them on the path toward financial prosperity," stated Policy Director Melissa Koide.
The pilot offers lower-income tax filers the option to have refunds deposited directly into accounts with reloadable debit card access. "If rolled out nationwide, this program will ... provide underbanked tax filers with a safe and affordable product that meets their basic financial services needs," Koide stated.
Heartland Payment Systems Inc. and Discover Financial Services agreed to a settlement stemming from the criminal hacking of Heartland's payment system in 2008. Heartland agreed to pay Discover $5 million to resolve all issues related to the intrusion.
The settlement marks Heartland's final agreement with a card brand related to the incident, according to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert O. Carr. Heartland previously settled with both Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide. Some 97 percent of Visa card-issuing banks agreed to accept $60 million, while Heartland agreed to pay $41.4 million to MasterCard issuers. And a preliminary settlement has been reached in U.S. District Court with cardholders eligible for reimbursement of identity theft expenses relating to the breach.
Amazon Payments Inc. said its next generation of Checkout by Amazon (CBA) enables Amazon.com account holders to make purchases on other merchants' sites using their account credentials, without leaving those merchants' sites. The strategy eliminates redirection - the practice of sending the customers of partner merchants to the Amazon site once they click the checkout button.
The change is expected to reduce the abandonment of merchant shopping carts after redirection. E-commerce platform provider Demandware Inc. enables the tighter integration of CBA with partner merchants.
Credit union-owned CO-OP Financial Services added credit card processing to its service offerings. The cooperative already provides credit unions with debit and ATM processing services.
Merchant Cash & Capital LLC broadened its acceptance of merchant cash advances. With a tightened credit environment, the firm stated it filled a void by offering up to 200 percent of average monthly credit card processing with abbreviated underwriting.
Since the policy change, the New York-based firm has funded more deals than usual, the company reported.
CEO Stephen Sheinbaum said, "We made a commitment to saying 'yes,' to listening to our ISOs and creating programs that work for the merchant and for us."
Mobile banking services provider mFoundry now has more than 1 million users. Annual user adoption growth of approximately 300 percent comes from mFoundry's bank and credit union customers, the company stated.
The STAR Network instituted a PIN debit application on contactless cards embedded with smart chips. In an effort to fight fraudulent debit transactions, the STAR CertiFlash on-chip technology encrypts and transmits a card number good for a single transaction.
The technology reportedly foils card skimming. Also, cardholders' real account information is withheld from payment transactions, making it unavailable to hackers of compromised merchant systems. CertiFlash is available to all STAR Network financial institution members.
Starbucks Coffee Co. recently unveiled the Starbucks Card Mobile App for BlackBerry. The company reported that the app is designed to save customers time and give them access to their Starbucks Card and My Starbucks Rewards information via their Research in Motion Ltd. BlackBerry smart phones. Its five key features include the ability to:
Payments specialist Holli Hart Targan, a partner with law firm Jaffee Raitt Heuer Weiss P.C., was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (2011) for her work in information technology law.
Attorneys chosen for inclusion in the guide are selected by votes cast by 39,000 lawyers. Attorneys do not pay fees to be included. Targan specializes in card processing and payment systems law.
Apriva Inc. certified the M GPRS wireless payment terminal from Dejavoo Systems. The Class A certification allows merchants using the terminals to process all credit card transaction types on Apriva's Intelligent Gateway.
Big Hairy Dog Information Systems teamed up with USAePay to speed the sale of Nike Inc. gear at the Nike World Basketball Festival in New York City. During the four-day event, Nike salespeople accepted credit card and cash payments using Apple Inc. iPhones equipped with USAePay's PaySaber and Big Hairy Dog's POS software.
BNP Paribas is implementing a single payment management platform with Open Payment Frame-work technology from Belgium-based Clear2Pay. The platform will serve BNP Paribas payment operations in 13 Asian countries.
Calypso Networks Association certified selected terminals from Ingenico. The agreement enables CNA distributors to acquire the Ingenico iPA280 payment terminal.
Payment network Cielo SA bought 30,000 countertop terminals from Hypercom Corp. for its merchant clients in Brazil. The network is deploying the Optimum T4205 model.
Domino's Pizza Inc. chose ACI Worldwide Inc. to consolidate its payment processing. The ACI payment system and services will enable the pizza chain to accept new payment types and is available to all franchisees.
Florida-based payment consultant FC Financial LLC will market services from TrustCash Holdings Inc. The TrustCash platform provides open access, online payment processing.
Intuit Inc. and mophie partnered to create a card processing product and service for the iPhone. Integrating Intuit's GoPayment card processing app and merchant account activation with the mophie iPhone credit card reader, the Complete Credit Card Solution reportedly allows small businesses to process card payments.
Moneris Solutions Inc. bought the Inetco Insight transaction management system from Inetco Systems Ltd. The system enables banks and payment processors to monitor network performance and transaction data.
New York Community Bancorp Inc. expanded its partnership with processor TransFirst. Following a bank acquisition, NYCB consolidated all of its banking institutions under a new five-year exclusive merchant services contract with TransFirst.
Obopay Inc. agreed to incorporate the STAR Expedited Transfer Service into its own Mobile Money for Banks offering. The agreement enables Obopay to offer financial institutions (FIs) a mobile money transfer service with real-time capabilities.
FIs using the combined service can give customers a fast way to send and receive money via mobile phones. STAR, a debit network, is a First Data Corp. company.
PayTrace LLC, a provider of virtual terminal and gateway interfaces, rolled out transaction processing on the Tampa processing network of Chase Paymentech Solutions LLC. Services include MO/TO, e-commerce, retail and levels 2 and 3 data processing.
QuickPay Merchant Services now offers clients the ROAMpay credit card swiper for smart phones.
Made by ROAM Data Inc., the device enables merchants using smart phones to process credit cards for real-time authorizations.
Signature Systems Inc., developer of the PDQ POS System, partnered with Payment Processing Inc., which processes for 40,000 merchants. PPI's PayMover reportedly will provide users of PDQ restaurant POS software with secure processing and reduced liability.
Squirrel Systems Inc., a developer of restaurant POS systems, chose Vendor Safe Technologies LLC to help clients become compliant with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS). Squirrel clients will use Vendor Safe's online services and software.
Washington Vending, a distributor of snacks and products in buildings throughout the nation's capitol, deployed cashless vending technology from Apriva Inc. Apriva Vend has been installed at 70 locations to help Washington Vending reduce theft and vandalism.
France-based information technology company Atos Origin SA bought Venture Infotek, which is estimated to have 35 percent of the payment market in India.
Founded in 1991, Venture Infotek is a merchant acquirer and processor on behalf of major Indian banks and retailers.
BankServ bought the assets of NetDeposit LLC, a subsidiary of Zions Bancorp. The acquisition, which closed in September, doubles BankServ's client base in payment processing. NetDeposit specializes in remote deposit capture and image processing.
Jim Bibles joined the management team at Comply Guard Networks Inc., a qualified security assessor and approved scan vendor.
Most recently, Bibles managed business development at Qualys Inc. for its PCI product. Previously, he managed PCI compliance at Wells Fargo Merchant Services.
The Western Union Co. named Hikmet Ersek President and CEO. He succeeds Christina Gold, who retired. Ersek had been Chief Operating Officer.
Judy Foster joined Charge Anywhere LLC as Sales Director. Founding President of the Southeast Acquirers Association, Foster previously sold merchant service accounts for Wachovia Corp.
Hypercom strengthened its sales team with recent appointments and promotions. Heidi Goff was promoted to the newly created position of Senior Vice President, Global Strategic Accounts. Her previous title was President and Managing Director, the Americas.
David S. Cronin was appointed President and Managing Director for North America. Most recently, Cronin was Senior Vice President of Business Development for Borderlinx Europe SA.
Clint Jones was named Acting President and Managing Director for Latin America, pending the outcome of an executive search. Jones was Chief Operating Officer of the Americas.
PCI compliance specialist Panoptic Security Inc. hired Mark Guzman as Senior Sales Director, focusing on business development among card processors and ISOs. Previously, Guzman was Vice President at Merchant Cash Group.
Mobile money service provider Mi-Pay Ltd. named Allan Jakobsen CEO. Jakobsen is a former President and CEO of Dannet/MACH.
Todd Linden joined Merchants' Choice Payment Solutions, also known as Delta Card Services, as Senior Vice President of Strategic Market Development. Previously, Linden was Senior Vice President of Business Development for EVO Merchant Services Inc.
Dan Lozier, previously of National Creditors Connection Inc., joined as Director of Client Relations.
Wendy Stanczyk, formerly Vice President of Sales in card services at Town North Bank, and Lesley Hastings, previously with Western Union Co., were named as a Directors of New Client Partnerships.
Ivy Sprague and Brian Day joined TMG as product architects. Each has a background in debit card management.
ISO and merchant services provider Global Processing Systems Inc. hired Steve Martinez as National Director of Sales.
He has 15 years of experience in sales management and business development. GPS said it plans to add up to 75 outside sales agents in the Los Angeles market over the next six months.
Shift4 Corp. made a series of management promotions and appointments.
Daniel Montellano was promoted to Director of Strategic Business Development, and Bob Lowe was named Director of Strategic Relationships. In new hires, appointments include: Gianna Vivo as Director of Marketing; Bob Arsenault as Manager of Business Development, Hospitality; Bruce Hildreth as Director of Development; and Mark Dunaisky as IT Project Manager.
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