Leading book retailer Barnes & Noble Inc. discovered a criminal alteration of its PIN pad devices allowed thieves to steal customer PINs along with credit and debit card information in 63 of its 689 U.S. stores. The discovery caused the retailer to temporarily discontinue PIN pad use in all of its locations on Sept. 14, 2012, while it validated the security of all its PIN pad devices. The company reported the attack to the public on Oct. 24, 2012.
An internal investigation found fewer than 1 percent of B&N's glos PIN pads were altered. The retailer concluded the PIN pad tampering "was a sophisticated criminal effort to steal credit card information, debit card information, and debit card PIN numbers from customers." B&N said the thieves had planted recording devices or "bugs" in the PIN pad devices. The bookseller is cooperating with law enforcement authorities. It is also contacting banks, card companies and issuers to determine which B&N customer accounts were compromised.
Square Inc. released its free mobile card reader and POS system in Canada. This is the first time the company has made its payment options available outside of the United States. The company reported it is currently handling more than $8 billion in annualized payments.
In another kind of move, Square intends to relocate its corporate headquarters from South of Market to the Mid-Market neighborhood of San Francisco in mid-2013. Renovations on the new headquarters are scheduled to begin at the end of 2012. Square also has offices in New York and Atlanta.
Square also recently notified the New York Taxi & Limousine Commission it is terminating its pilot mobile payment program in New York City taxis.
The company said it elected to discontinue the pilot, which involved approximately 15 vehicles, "in light of developments in prospective taxicab regulations in New York and other markets, and based on what we have learned from conducting the pilot program to date." Square added that it wants "to pursue a different hardware and software solution" for its TPEP offering.
Police in Burlington, Wash., reported they suspect cyber thieves transferred approximately $400,000 out of a city account over a recent two-day period. The money allegedly went to a network of personal and business accounts across the United States. The U.S. Secret Service Puget Sound Electronic Crimes Task Force is investigating the theft, which was reported Oct. 11, 2012. The Burlington Police Department is not taking part in the investigation because police investigators are also potential victims.
It was also recently reported that hackers hit Abilene Telco Federal Credit Union and stole Experian credit reports for 847 people. In response to the proliferating data breaches, Mark Bower, Vice President at Voltage Security Inc. said that "organizations need to dramatically improve sensitive data handling to avoid potentially catastrophic incidents, through methods such as data-centric encryption for data."
Prioritizing "great, simple products and experiences" for customers, PayPal Inc. redesigned its product organization, folding nine product groups into one. "Instead of being organized around projects, our teams will now be dedicated to products and focused on our customers - consumers, developers, small businesses and large retailers," said David Marcus, PayPal's President. This necessitated eliminating 325 full-time jobs and ending contracts with 120 contractors. Marcus said it was difficult to make decisions that impacted employees, but he is "confident these changes will make PayPal even better and stronger."
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted two patents to Silicon Valley-based AnywhereCommerce. The patents involve a mobile payment dongle used with mobile devices and cover audio jack-based transactions for various payment methods, such as mag stripe, near field communication and bar code scanning.
One-click mobile payment provider Bango.net Ltd. reported it had surpassed 1 billion mobile phone consumers who use its platform to purchase apps from online app stores. The U.K.-based company allows app stores, such as Blackberry App World, Windows Phone Store and Google Play, to utilize Bango's one-click mobile shopping interface.
Citi, the global bank owned by Citigroup Inc., launched Citi Payment Exchange. Citi said its exchange differs from its competitors in that the exchange provides recommendations on payment methods and supply chain management. Citi said its online tools help Citi merchants drive transaction efficiencies and insight for better decision making.
CO-OP Financial Services introduced Ask the EMV Expert, a web page designed as an educational tool for credit unions preparing to migrate payment systems to the Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) global interoperability standard. The web page features a forum where credit unions can submit questions and receive replies from CO-OP's EMV subject-matter experts and links to EMV background materials and educational downloads. The page can be accessed at www.co-opfs.org/EMV.
In its Q3 2012 U.S. Product Release, First Data Corp. reported on the progress it had made in its Universal Commerce initiative.
Among its actions, the largest U.S. acquirer launched the First Data FD400GT wireless terminal for on-the-go merchants; complied with new Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for POS device keypads; and updated the First Data Retail Solution application to support tax functionality for liquor and spirit retailers.
ISO FrontStream Payments Inc. launched its pilot charitable giving program, MerchantGiving. The pilot allows merchants to add donation buttons to their websites to benefit charities of their choice. The pilot arises from FrontStream's August 2012 acquisition of FirstGiving Inc., the operator of a peer-to-peer fund-raising platform for nonprofit organizations.
ISO and POS system provider Harbortouch was named a Gold Winner by the 2012 Golden Bridge Business Awards. At the Oct. 2, 2012, dinner and awards presentation in San Francisco, Harbortouch founder and CEO Jared Isaacman accepted the award for the company's feature-rich POS systems designed for restaurant and other retail installations.
ATM network operator Payment Alliance International was recently recognized for the fourth consecuvitve year by Business First of Louisville as a Fast 50 company in the 13-county greater Louisville area. PAI ranked thirtieth this year.
Revo Payments is providing new subscription-based pricing for its bank customers. Revo said the new pricing model allows banks to offer their clients industry-specific payment tools without incurring upfront licensing and deployment fees. Revo added that its software solution gives banks tools to compete for property management, schools, nonprofits, and business-to-business clients, among others.
Visa Inc. added 1-800-Flowers.com to its digital wallet solution, V.me. Online retailers on the V.me wallet include Rakuten Buy.com, StudentUniverse.com, MovieTickets.com, BlueNile.com, ShoeBuy.com, ZooStores.com, Cooking.com, 88Hours.com and Scentiments.com.
Payment processor Century Payments Inc. signed a three-year extension as a partner in the Susan G. Komen for the Cure global breast cancer movement. Century reported that in the past three years, its Every Swipe Counts program raised approximately $450,000 in donations to support the cause.
Payment provider Elavon Inc. formed an alliance with security services firm 41st Parameter Inc. Under the agreement, Elavon clients have access to 41st Parameter's FraudNet hosted fraud detection and mitigation solution for e-commerce merchants.
Boston-based ISO Merchant Warehouse was named Preferred Partner for franchise operator Achieve Fitness USA. Merchant Warehouse said it will offer payment solutions and merchant services, including the Genius mobile offering, to Achieve Fitness licensees nationwide.
Hospitality and retail POS vendor Micros Systems Inc. integrated the Isis SmartTap near field communication (NFC) mobile commerce application into its Simphony POS platform. According to Micros, the integration will permit customers to make purchases, redeem offers and present loyalty cards with the single tap of their smart phone.
The Asian American Trade Associations Council representing over 200,000 Asian-American owned and operated businesses in the United States selected payment processor Payment Alliance International to become a founding strategic partner of its newly launched Watchdog program. The program seeks cost-effective merchant service solutions for its members.
Wireless noncash transactions network provider USA Technologies Inc. expanded its kiosk market base by empowering electric vehicle stations sold through Eaton Corp. with the company's ePort and DC Quick Charger cashless payment options.
VeriFone Inc. forged a strategic alliance with National Australia Bank to provide Australian businesses access to the company's latest payment technologies. VeriFone reported it will be the sole provider of POS card acceptance solutions for NAB's business customers.
Canadian financial technology company VersaPay Corp. renewed its payment processing partnership agreement with Chase Paymentech Solutions LLC, extending the relationship another four years.
Viableware, creator of the RAIL payment platform for restaurants, has integrated its patented payment technology with Micros, NCR Aloha and Dinerware restaurant POS systems to deliver its secure wireless digital pay-at-the table program to restaurant patrons.
ISO SignaPay Ltd. acquired payment processor Equity Commerce LP to reportedly enhance the company's financial strength, platforms and relationships with multiple banks. Equity co-founder and President Jeff Brown will serve as Vice President of Operations, overseeing 14,000 merchants and nearly $2 billion in annual processing volume.
Payment processor TransFirst LLC acquired software developer CurveNorth Corp. for an undisclosed sum. TransFirst plans to incorporate CurveNorth's flagship Merchant-Flo software for automating merchant boarding and account management into its suite of payment processing solutions.
ViVOtech Inc. sold its NFC payment software division to Sequent Software Inc. The acquisition will reportedly enable Sequent to integrate bank and other service provider credentials more efficiently into the secure element of mobile devices. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Jerry Cibley is the new Vice President of CardWare International's POS-itivity division. Cibley was formerly the National Sales Trainer at Harbortouch and is a contributor to The Green Sheet. Cibley is responsible for sales of CardWare's retail and hospitality POS system POS-itivity.
SecureNet Payment Systems named Greg Constantine Executive Vice President of Client Operations. Previously Constantine held senior management positions at FundsXpress Financial Network Inc. and First Data. Constantine is responsible for directing client operations, enterprise account management, product development, marketing, and communications and public relations initiatives.
Sukanta Ganguly joined mobile parking payment solutions provider QuickPay Corp. as Chief Technology Officer. Ganguly previously served as CTO and Head of Products at TakingPoint, a social network helping with the post-service transition of military veterans. Ganguly's responsibilities include talent recruitment and product development.
Mark Herrington, First Data Executive Vice President for Global Product Management & Innovation, was named to the Board of Directors of Acculynk, an Atlanta payments software provider. In 2001, Herrington co-founded the Money Network prepaid card service which First Data acquired in 2007.
Andrew Lanthier is the new Chief Technology Officer at cloud-based payment solutions provider PaySimple. Lanthier left his job running Architecture and Strategy for PayPal Inc.'s global infrastructure to accept the CTO job at PaySimple. Lanthier will head the Denver-based company's new California office.
Computer Services Inc. hired Giovanni Mastronardi as Vice President of Sales for the Southeast region. Mastronardi comes to CSI from ACI Worldwide Inc. where he was General Manager of the Community Banking Division. At CSI he is responsible for leading the southeast sales group and will report to Chief Sales Officer George McGourty.
Christian Murray is the new Vice President of Sales - Independent Sales Groups, and Robert Purcell was tapped to be Vice President of Finance and Chief Accounting Officer at payment processing services company iPayment Inc. Murray was formerly President and CEO of payment software company ePaySpot LLC. Purcell served as Vice President Finance at Intuit Financial Services prior to coming to iPayment.
Visa Inc. named the former Chief Executive Officer of Retail Financial Services for JPMorgan Chase & Co., Charles W. Scharf, to succeed Joseph W. Saunders as Visa's Chief Executive Officer. The appointment is effective Nov. 1, 2012.
Scharf, a former Visa director, is leaving One Equity Partners, where he has been Managing Director since 2011, to take the Visa job. Saunders will continue to serve as Visa Executive Chairman until his retirement in 2013, at which time the board will appoint a new nonexecutive independent chairperson. The board will also expand from 10 to 11 members when Scharf joins Visa.
Shawn Taylor Zelman is the new Executive Director at payments industry mentoring network Women's Network in Electronic Transactions. Zelman was formerly Senior Director at Coulter Nonprofit Management where she was responsible for guiding communications and chapter relations for the National Association of Women Business Owners.
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