The Electronic Transactions Association elected three new members and re-elected three current members to its board of directors.
The organization also made appointments to its Presidential Advisory Council and named more than 200 payment professionals to 13 standing ETA committees for 2013.
The three new directors elected to their first two-year term on the board are John Barrett, Senior Vice President of Sales at First Data Corp.; Henry Helgeson, Co-Chief Executive Officer for Merchant Warehouse; and Joan Herbig, CEO at ControlScan.
Three current directors who were re-elected to additional two-year terms are Robert Baldwin, Vice Chairman for Heartland Payment Systems Inc.; Gary Goodrich, CEO at ProPay Inc.; and Kurt Strawhecker, Managing Partner for The Strawhecker Group.
For a full list of the ETA's board of directors, officers, council and committee members, and volunteer leaders, please visit www.electran.org/content/view/862/536/.
In other ETA news, the association opened registration for the 2013 ETA Annual Meeting & Expo, to be held April 30 to May 2 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.
The largest annual industry tradeshow will feature the New Mobile Pay Zone, the New Payments Next Zone and the New Mobile Payment Innovations 2013. Payment professionals can register online at www.electran.org/am13.
Contactless payments are taking flight. MasterCard Worldwide said US Airways is the first airline to accept in-flight contactless payments.
Passengers can buy food, beverages and other services in-flight by tapping MasterCard PayPass-enabled cards or mobile devices on PayPass-accepting readers. The system uses the transaction processing platform of onboard store technology firm GuestLogix Inc.
Dave Meadon, who heads MasterCard's Global Chip Solutions and Engineering division, said the contactless payment system allows consumers to travel virtually cash free.
MasterCard is targeting PayPass for quick-service restaurants, retail stores, airports, vending machines, taxis and other businesses where payment speed and convenience are priorities.
Hector Adler, US Airways' Vice President of Inflight Services, noted that the solution allows crews to provide faster in-flight food and beverage service. The airline said it will also offer increased transaction limits for signature-less payments.
Brett Proud, GuestLogix President and CEO, is not surprised US Airways, a four-year customer of GuestLogix, became the first airline to adopt the contactless payment technology. "It has been an extremely forward-looking customer," he said.
Visa Europe Ltd. is appealing the European Commission's decision to reject its request to modify its debit interchange rates, according to court documents published Dec. 10, 2012.
Visa Europe is asking the General Court, the European Union's second highest court, for the EC decision to be annulled. The EC is the EU body responsible for legislative actions and proposals.
In 2010, Visa Europe agreed to cap debit card multilateral interchange fees (MIFs) at 20 percent to settle an antitrust complaint brought by retail trade association EuroCommerce. In July 2012, the EC denied Visa Europe's request to change the cap.
That same month, the EC informed Visa Europe its consumer credit and debit card MIFs may violate EU antitrust rules by restricting competition among banks. The EC also notified Visa Europe its MIF rules may be in violation of European antitrust rules prohibiting cartels and restrictive business practices.
In appealing its cap request rejection, Visa Europe is alleging the EC violated the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights "by not providing Visa Europe with the opportunity to effectively make known its views on the relevant facts and on the Commission's objections."
International strategy consulting firm Edgar, Dunn & Co. recently reported that most European businesses are not ready to transition to Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) direct debits.
Direct debits are electronic money transfers commonly used to make recurring payments. All EU businesses using credit transfers or direct debits in euros are required to migrate to SEPA Direct Debit by February 2014.
EDC studied 300 businesses in France, Germany and the United Kingdom and found 30 percent of French and German businesses and 60 percent of businesses in the U.K. have not started to work on SEPA migration.
It said migrating to SEPA direct debit could be a mammoth task for unprepared organizations, given the short amount of time before the deadline.
China UnionPay, which reportedly has issued more than 3.2 billion bankcard worldwide, will now give Chinese shoppers with UnionPay cards the ability to make online purchases at the websites of participating Discover Financial Services merchants. Integration will be achieved through the CardinalCommerce technology-neutral platform, the companies said.
UnionPay's UnionPay Online Payments (UPOP) e-commerce solution was developed in response to the need to offer UnionPay cardholders a safe, secure way to make purchases online around the world. Cardholders include numerous Chinese nationals studying in the United States.
UPOP is expected to be available to Discover's merchants early in 2013, using the Cardinal's Centinel Universal Merchant Platform. Discover merchants already using Centinel can simply place the UPOP payment button on their checkout pages to support the new payment option; no implementation is required, and no changes are necessary to existing settlement and reporting from Discover, the companies noted.
Global processor and data security firm Alaric International deployed its Authentic payment solution at about 500 Grupo Sanborns retail locations in Mexico and Central America. Alaric said Authentic is a high-performance, intelligent transaction services hub that empowers customers to customize payment options.
Mobile communication and payment services provider Apriva LLC said it will continue offering a discounted rate program to merchant acquirers and ISOs that resell its Apriva Vend cashless vending solution. Apriva predicts the discounted rate will continue to attract vending operators to the program.
On Thanksgiving week 2012, Dallas-based Certified Payment Processing began its annual holiday food drive to help local charity Metrocrest Social Services feed the poor and hungry.
CPP employees, including members of its two sales divisions, earned rewards for donating needed food items to the charity. CPP reported supplying the charity with nearly 700 pounds of food, along with over $1,400, in 2011. The food drive ran through Dec. 14, 2012.
Clearent LLC rolled out its new Application Status Report to give its sales partners real-time status updates on new merchant applications. Clearent said a problem that plagues ISOs is being kept "in the dark" on the status of new applications as they make their way through the underwriting and boarding process.
Fresh off its inclusion on the 2012 edition of the annual Inc. 500/5000 list, Electronic Payments Inc. was named to Deloitte's Technology Fast 500 for the third consecutive year. The Calverton, N.Y.-based ISO ranked 120th on the 2012 Fast 500 list.
Payment platform provider Financial Transmission Network Inc. said Seattle-based Mars Hill Church completed the conversion of its check donation processing to FTNI's ETran platform. The software-as-a-service platform allows for the remote deposit capture (RDC) of checks. FTNI said the mega church's membership growth was putting stress on its manual system of processing contributions.
Kris Herrin, Chief Technology Officer at HPS, one of the nation's largest payments processors, was named a 2013 Premier 100 IT Leader honoree by IDG Computerworld, a source of technology news and information for information technology (IT) influencers worldwide.
The Premier 100 spotlights 100 leaders from both the technology and business sides of companies for their technology leadership, effectively managed IT strategies, and innovative approach to business challenges.
Business management software provider Intuit Inc. entered a mobile payment pilot in the U.K. for small businesses. The pilot for Intuit Pay is reportedly being tested by hundreds of small brick-and-mortar and on-the-go merchants. Intuit Pay involves a downloadable mobile app and a chip and PIN card reader.
Boston-based LevelUp Inc. said Nov. 28, 2012, it had reached 500,000 users of its mobile payments platform. LevelUp does not charge merchants interchange; instead merchants pay the processor for marketing and loyalty campaigns that grow merchants' businesses.
LevelUp CEO Seth Priebatsch said the user milestone is the result of LevelUp's main effort: to motivate mainstream consumers to adopt mobile payments.
The new rule gives health plan and health-care providers access to the ACH network for electronic health-care claims payments. Providers benefit from faster deposits and access to funds, as well as cost savings from not having to deposit paper checks.
Payers also benefit by replacing the handling of paper checks with electronic payments via the ACH, said NACHA President and CEO Janet O. Estep.
Poste Italiane tapped RDC hardware provider Panini to deploy scanners at postal locations throughout Italy.
The Panini Vision X scanners are being installed at over 21,600 postal locations to institute the post office's "payment slip dematerialization project." Panini said it worked with Poste Italiane for the past two years to create the electronic solution.
UPS Capital subsidiary UPS Capital Trade Protection Services Inc. said it enhanced its merchant services for small and midsize businesses. Services include speeding up the settlement process and expanding its retail, online and mobile payment channels.
UPS Capital, the financial services arm of United Parcel Service of America Inc., teamed with Frisco, Texas-based ISO Century Payments Inc. to launch UPS's merchant services business.
Mobile application, online and personalized payment card services developer Banno LLC partnered with ProfitStars, a division of Jack Henry & Associates Inc., to deliver the iPay Solutions integrated bill pay and Remote Deposit Anywhere mobile remote deposit solution through its financial support tool, Grip.
This will enable financial institutions to offer a branded mobile services app, the companies stated.
In becoming a preferred partner of London-based Wahanda, Montreal-based online payment processor Optimal Payments PLC now supports payment processing for the Wahanda Connect online appointment booking system for spa, salon, beauty, health and fitness businesses.
Payment processor and independent ATM deployer Payment Alliance International formed a strategic alliance with ATM vault cash and cash forecasting services firm Cash Connect to deliver an exclusive vault cash and forecasting program being marketed as PAI Cash Alliance. The new service will be available through PAI's nationwide network of ATM market partners.
Atlanta-based ISO Payscape Advisors became an NCR Corp. reseller partner and will begin offering the NCR Silver, an Apple Inc. iOS-based POS solution, as a software-as-a-service product.
"This partnership provides our clients the infrastructure and knowledge to make more data-driven decisions when running their business," stated Jeremy Wing, Payscape co-founder and President.
Michigan-based ISO Veracity Payment Solutions Inc. signed an agreement to process payments for the nearly 17,000 members of the Small Business Association of Michigan through its affiliate Midwest Transaction Group. SBAM said it plans to offer credit and debit card processing through "MTG Powered by Veracity" as a benefit to its members.
ISO Alpha Card Services Inc. acquired payroll services provider Comstat Payroll. ACS said it will now integrate Comstat into its Alpha Payroll Services division and begin offering more advanced software and payment platforms to Comstat's existing blue-chip payroll clients.
U.S.-based EVO Payments International LLC signed an agreement with Deutsche Card Services GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Deutsche Bank, to acquire 100 percent ownership in the Germany-based merchant acquirer. DCS serves multinational businesses in 39 European markets. Terms of the sale are subject to regulatory approval.
Pittsburgh-based ISO Financial Transaction Services LLC purchased two affiliated payment processors, Dependable Payment Processing and Discount Payment Processing, which are also located in Pittsburgh.
The deal is designed to expand FTS' merchant portfolio within the state of Pennsylvania. According to FTS, both processors will retain their staffs; terms of the sales were not disclosed.
Greenwich Associates, a global financial services consulting firm, reached an agreement in principle to acquire Javelin Strategy & Research, a retail strategic insights and research firm that specializes in mobile banking, payments, security and fraud. The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.
NCR Corp. entered a definitive agreement to acquire Retalix Ltd., a retail software developer for high-volume merchants. NCR said the acquisition will further enhance its hardware-enabled, software-driven business model. The cash purchase is valued at approximately $650 million.
Payment processor Vantiv Inc. completed the $361 million cash purchase of e-commerce services provider Litle & Co. Under terms of the agreement, Litle will operate as a subsidiary of Vantiv, extending its e-commerce solutions to Vantiv merchant and financial institution clients.
HPS named Maureen Breakiron-Evans to its board of directors and audit committee. Breakiron-Evans, a certified public accountant, is currently a director with Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh.
Andy Brown is the new Head of Global Marketing at London-based payment services provider Alaric International. Brown comes to Alaric from ACI Worldwide Inc. where he was Director of Product Marketing. In his new role, Brown is responsible for building brand and product positioning.
Virtual Piggy Inc., an e-commerce payment solution provider targeting the under-21 age group, installed Joseph Dwyer as its new Chief Financial Officer. Dwyer comes to Virtual Piggy from OpenLink Financial LLC, a support software solutions provider, where he was CFO.
Payment and financial technology provider Fiserv Inc. named Chris Flink to its board of directors. Flink is a Partner at the innovation and design firm IDEO and a Consulting Associate Professor at Stanford University. A Fiserv statement noted Flink has experience helping companies innovate and grow.
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