At the recent 2013 Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona, Spain, MasterCard Worldwide introduced MasterPass. MasterCard called its new digital wallet solution the "future of digital payments." The card brand said MasterPass is a cloud-based universal wallet that functions with any payment card and MasterPass-enabled device. Additionally, the wallet supports near field communication technology, quick response codes and tags, according to MasterCard.
"Every device is becoming a shopping device," said Ed McLaughlin, Chief Emerging Payments Officer at MasterCard. "MasterPass brings together all of the ways we pay for things, from traditional plastic cards to digital wallets, and gives consumers the ability to make a payment from wherever they are and with one simpleexperience."
MasterCard said MasterPass is the evolution of PayPass Wallet Services, which has been in pilot phase with select merchants and issuers. The card brand considers the wallet to be "open," meaning it supports branded credit, debit and prepaid cards other than MasterCard cards.
MasterCard quoted Patricia Hewitt, Director, Debit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group, as saying, "MasterPass reflects this modern sensibility of agnostic-based design but leverages the muscle that only a global network can deliver."
Consumers will be able to sign up for the service through financial institutions (FIs) in Australia and Canada by the end of March, and in the United States and the United Kingdom later in the spring and summer, respectively. MasterCard intends to expand MasterPass availability in 2013 to other countries, including Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain and Sweden.
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators and representatives introduced the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 on Feb. 14. The bill, an attempt to help brick-and-mortar retailers compete more effectively against out-of-state Internet merchants, resolves differences in tax legislation previously introduced in the U.S. House and Senate.
Legislators pointed out the inherent unfairness that brick-and-mortar businesses must collect sales and use taxes from customers, while many online and catalog retailers do not. The Marketplace Fairness Act would allow states to require out-of-state sellers to pay sales and use taxes. States must simplify their sales and use tax systems to do so.
Bill sponsor Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., said, "For over a decade, congressional inaction has created one of the largest tax loopholes of our lifetime. It's time to stop discriminating through the tax code and put local and Main Street retailers on a level playing field with their out-of-state and online counterparts."
Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., said, "As a result of an outdated Supreme Court ruling, ... our local brick-and-mortar retailers are struggling to stay afloat. ... With the MFA, my colleagues and I have found a way to level the playing field for all retailers, while still protecting small online retailers." A copy of the bill can be found at www.enzi.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/files/serve?File_id=5c361440-337e-4ddb-ab4d-9c5d871eb589.
The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) published PCI Mobile Payment Acceptance Security Guidelines for Merchants as End-Users. The guidance reportedly educates merchants on the factors and risks to be addressed in order to protect card data when using mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablets, to accept payments.
"Consumers want to have confidence that their information is protected - whether at their favorite restaurant, shopping online or making a purchase using a mobile device in lieu of a traditional POS," said Troy Leach, Chief Technology Officer at the PCI SSC. Currently, the security of sensitive financial data in devices that were designed for other consumer purposes cannot easily be demonstrated, he added, "which is why we encourage merchants to consider encrypting cardholder data securely prior to using mobile devices to process transactions." The guidance objectives focus on securing payment transactions, mobile devices and payment acceptance solutions.
The guidelines are available at: www.pcisecuritystandards.org/security_standards/documents.php.
According to SecurityMetrics' annual Payment Card Threat Report, two-thirds of merchants are not compliant with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) because they store unencrypted credit card data and lack technology to eliminate sensitive information. The report states that breach protection programs that provide data discovery and threat prevention tools may not be available from many merchant processors. To read the study, visit www.securitymetrics.com/sm/pub/panscan/resources.
Aberdeen Group Inc. launched AberdeenAccess, a program offering complimentary access to its research documents published within the past three years. Aberdeen will end its paid Research Vault membership program, effective April 20, 2013. In exchange for access to the research, Aberdeen will share the personal information of users of AberdeenAccess with partners that provide relevant products and services.
New York-based ISO Cynergy Data LLC reported that it had Class A certified Dejavoo's Vega, or "V Series," product line of POS terminals. The Europay/MasterCard/Visa-enabled terminals are designed for retail, restaurant, MO/TO and e-commerce merchants, the ISO said.
Acquirer Elavon Inc. won the Mobile Payment Award 2013 at the Merchant Payments Ecosystem event in Berlin in February 2013. Authorized through chip and PIN on a certified PIN pad, Elavon's MobileMerchant works in conjunction with a smart phone or tablet device.
Element Payment Services' TriPOS earned Payment Application (PA) DSS certification, as attested by SecurityMetrics. TriPOS gives independent software vendors a simple way to support Canadian chip and PIN payments through Element's Express Processing Platform.
Check acceptance solution firm EZCheck reported the certification of five terminal models from next generation POS terminal developer and reseller Dejavoo Systems. The Dejavoo V5, V8, V8 Plus, V9 and V9 Plus can now process EZCheck transactions using either check readers or check imagers, as well as rout transactions via Internet protocol or dial-up modems.
First Data Corp. and location-based social networking website Foursquare Labs Inc. are extending the acquirer's merchant discount platform, OfferWise, to allow Foursquare users to "sync" Visa Inc.-and MasterCard-branded cards, as well as most debit cards, with merchant discount offers. When Foursquare patrons swipe bankcards at merchant locations, they can redeem offers and receive automatic savings.
For the fifth consecutive year, Selling Power magazine named Heartland Payment Systems Inc. to the top five in its list of "50 Best Companies to Sell For." Heartland ranked No. 4 based on compensation, training and career mobility.
Merchant cash advance (MCA) provider Merchant Cash Cloud launched an online MCA service that allows merchants to apply for multiple types of funding with multiple different companies. "This is a revolutionary way for business owners to obtain quotes from lenders and has never before been seen in this industry," the company said.
San Francisco-based information risk and security performance management firm nCircle integrated the nCircle Certified PCI Scan Service with its PureCloud security services platform. Via the platform, nCircle can now remotely perform vulnerability scans for small and mid-sized businesses and help them achieve Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard compliance. The company said it has been a PCI Approved Scanning Vendor since 2007.
Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based ISO PaymentMax said its services are now compatible with the online processing engine of eBay Inc.-owned e-commerce platform provider Magento. PaymentMax can support merchants' brick-and-mortar processing while Magento handles the online, card-not-present transactions.
Distributed denial of service (DDoS) mitigation provider Prolexic Technologies Inc. launched a public service that gives the security community a global snapshot of current DDoS threats and activity. The service is available at www.prolexic.com/plxpatrol without registration.
RentPayment, a division of property management-focused ISO YapStone Inc., unveiled a suite of mobile apps for Apple Inc. iPhones and Google Inc. Android-based devices. Features of the new RentPaymentMobile apps include the ability for renters to view account details, sign up for monthly rent reminders, as well as add and store multiple payment methods. In other news, YapStone was included in Forbes' ranking of America's Most Promising Companies.
Alternative POS system provider Square Inc. now offers Business in a Box to small brick-and-mortar merchants. Business in a Box includes a cash register and receipt printer that function with Square Register software on iPads. Square said that, historically, merchants had to piece together multiple hardware components from various manufacturers.
Payment solution aggregator and integrator The Members Group and its sister company, credit card program manager TMG Financial Services, intend to integrate their credit card solutions with MasterCard's recently announced MasterPass digital wallet. Banks and credit unions that use the companies' services will be able to offer MasterPass to their customers.
Top 10 U.S. acquirer Vantiv Inc. introduced its new mobile remote deposit capture solution for financial institutions. The RDC service works with Vantiv's Jeanie-branded mobile payments app. "Over 40 percent of consumers say they want mobile check deposit," said Royal Cole, President of Financial Institution Services at Vantiv.
Bluefin Payment Systems is offering its Canadian customers electronic money transfers using VersaPay Corp.'s platform. Businesses writing checks or making wire transfers can make bulk transactions from within their financial software.
Gas station payment technology provider Gilbarco Veeder-Root Inc. joined with PayPal Inc. to offer PayPal's digital payment solutions to commercial fueling clients that already use Gilbarco's proprietary Passport POS system. Eventually, the collaboration will integrate PayPal solutions with Gilbarco's other products.
Merchant processor Integrity Payment Systems LLC adopted the ROAMpay Mobile Payment Solution from ROAM Data Inc. Integrity is offering the mobile option to current and new clients at current rates.
Loomis UK Ltd. contracted with NCR Corp. to provide ATM technical service operations in the U.K., enabling Loomis to offer the service to its British bank clients. The partnership opens new business opportunities for Loomis in the U.K.
Durango, Colo.-based ISO Mercury Payment Systems LLC is now using MazikGlobal Technologies' MazikPay payment processing software. The payment capability integrates with Microsoft Dynamics AX enterprise planning software. MazikGlobal is a Microsoft Corp. gold-certified integration partner.
Boston-based ISO Merchant Warehouse inked a deal with SunLync Software Inc., a developer of business software for salons. As a result, the ISO's Genius Customer Engagement Platform will provide SunLync's customers with payment and loyalty applications.
Mobile banking and payment solutions provider mFoundry Inc. joined forces with MasterCard to make MasterPass-connected wallets available to mFoundry's nearly 900 FI clients. MasterCard is an mFoundry investor.
POS software developer PayPlum LLC partnered with cloud services platform provider Layered Tech Inc. to provide a cloud-based payment system. PayPlum software reportedly safeguards cardholder data from the beginning of the payment transaction. The card data input form is served directly from PayPlum's PCI DSS-compliant private cloud servers at Layered Tech.
Payment processing gateway operator RedFin Network Inc. teamed with POS software firm retailcloud for the private labeling and integration of cloud-based retail POS solutions. Among the benefits of the partnership is the consumer-focused big data that retailcloud's software can offer to RedFin's merchants.
Billing and payments service provider TransCentra Inc. teamed with Top Image Systems Ltd. to offer to TransCentra customers the TIS Mobile Capture Solution Suite, which provides TransCentra's eFlow intelligent document recognition product.
The suite provides RDC and data capture for bill payment via mobile devices, cloud storage and mobile document management.
Festival Transaction Services Inc., which provides card acceptance services to the fair and festival market, acquired KadmusArts Corp., the developer of a digital marketplace for the performing arts community. The KadmusArts community includes 8,500 event producers in 155 countries.
Total System Services Inc. (TSYS) promoted Tony Hodge to Executive Vice President of Application Systems for its North America segment. Hodge has held numerous information technology leadership positions at TSYS in his 30 years with the company.
Universal Business Payment Solutions Acquisition Corp. appointed Gregory M. Krzemien to the position of Chief Financial Officer. Krzemien, a former Ernst and Young LLP Senior Auditor, was most recently CFO and Treasurer at Mace Security International Inc.
ROAM Data Inc. made several appointments. Eric Spear joined the Ingenico company to leads ROAM's newly formed Professional Services Group. Benoit Boudier, formerly Senior Vice President at the firm, was promoted to lead the company's international sales. Eric Hoffman now leads U.S. sales and account management. Bill Pittman leads the Global Product Group. And Scott Holt was promoted to the Worldwide Marketing Group.
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