Patagonia garnered attention in 2011 when it encouraged customers not to purchase its products during a Black Friday campaign. In 2013, it launched Common Threads, a program that promoted recycling, reusing, repairing and reducing consumption. The program later rebranded as Worn Wear and shifted focus to repairs at a Patagonia-owned facility and through online videos, where it offers tutorials on do-it-yourself repairs.
"Using the Theatro system has allowed us to increase our in-store productivity and execution," said Kristi Allison, Vice President of Last Call Stores & Operations. "The solution has significantly streamlined store communication and improved our customer service. In addition to reducing time spent communicating between associates, we are also using the solution to improve the in-store experience for customers by locating desired product quickly and efficiently."
Accion International and Quona Capital closed the Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund. This fund is a global fund devised to catalyze fintech innovations to improve the quality and availability of financial services for underserved populations. The fund focuses on acceleration of alternative credit, payments, small and medium enterprise finance, and insurance technology in emerging markets in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and Asia. The fund received $141 million in commitments from an array of leading institutional investors.
In a nod to the growing significance of payfacs, the Electronic Transactions Association recently launched the Payments Facilitator Committee. The ETA stated the committee "will identify current and emerging technology, business, policy and compliance-related issues that shape the continuing growth of this market." Composed of ETA member companies, the committee will be chaired by Mike McGirr, Senior Vice President of Compliance and Risk for Adyen. RunSignUp LLC Chief Finance and Operations Officer Kevin M. Harris will serve as the committee's second in command.
In February 2017, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) assessed a $7 million civil money penalty against Merchants Bank of California N.A., citing "willful violations" of several provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). Simultaneously, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency assessed a $1 million civil money penalty against Merchants for deficiencies in the bank's practices that led to violations of previous consent orders entered into by Merchants, among other violations.
Jamal El-Hindi, FinCEN Acting Director, said, "[H]ere we had an institution run by insiders essentially to provide banking services to MSBs that the insiders owned, combined with directions from Bank leadership to staff to ignore BSA requirements with respect to those MSB customers and others."
Sift Inc., creator of the free app Sift designed to maximize credit card benefits for consumers, heralded a $1.5 million seed round and the public release of its app. Investments were received from Liquid 2 Ventures and Plug and Play, as well as other early stage funders, the company said. Sift analyzes policies and files claims on behalf of U.S. cardholders to leverage hidden benefits, including price adjustment refunds, extended warranties and return protection.
Signifyd reported it was selected as the Fraud Innovation Firm of the Year 2017 by Finance Monthly. Other Fintech Awards honorees, selected from around the world, included Barclays Africa, Finova and Manulife. Finance Monthly's Fintech Awards acknowledge and reward the individuals, firms, startups and banks that are recognized as leaders in their areas of expertise, Signifyd noted.
The Smart Card Alliance expanded its charter to include a broader range of security and privacy-enhancing technologies. To reflect this expanded mission, the organization rebranded to the Secure Technology Alliance. Smart card technology will remain a priority for the STA, while the scope of technologies the organization focuses on will broaden to include embedded chip technology and related hardware and software that enable privacy and data protection for end-users and industry stakeholders.
"As the world becomes increasingly interconnected and mobile, the technology used in smart cards is being used more widely in mobile devices, wearables and Internet-connected devices," said Randy Vanderhoof, STA Executive Director. "The clear next step for this organization is to expand and engage in activities across the full spectrum of these new applications."
TMG reported that its Chief Executive Officer, Shazia Manus, was named a finalist for the Inspiring Women of Iowa event's Confidence Award. The event celebrates influential women in Iowa, with proceeds going to the Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa. The awards of Confidence, Courage and Character honor women of every age, background and career level that demonstrate the particular characteristics many girls develop while in Girl Scouts.
Total System Services Inc. was recognized by the Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, as a 2017 World's Most Ethical Company. TSYS has been recognized by Ethisphere five times in the last six years, and is one of only seven companies in the financial services industry to receive this multiyear distinction, underscoring its commitment to industry-leading ethical business standards and practices, TSYS said.
Verifone Systems Inc. won the 2017 iF Design Award for its Verifone Carbon integrated POS product. The iF Design Award is given annually by Hannover-based iF International Forum Design GmbH, an independent design organization in Germany. Verifone's POS innovation won over a 58-member jury of independent experts, who selected Carbon for its innovative approach to POS technology, design elegance and flexibility, Verifone stated.
The ATM Industry Association published a briefing paper on the threats of cyber-crime facing the ATM industry. Titled ATM Cyber Security Briefing Paper, the study describes today's range of cyberattacks and references security best practices required to combat them. Compiled by ATM security consultant Douglas Russell, the briefing paper is designed to bring ATMIA members up to date with all current methods of attack at the cyber and network levels.
Global financial research firm Autonomous Research, launched Autonomous NEXT, a set of products and services offering in-depth analysis of banking innovation and fintech developments to explore the future impacts of technology on finance. "We want to quantify fintech trends and provide strategic blueprints for financial incumbents, fintech startups, and high-technology companies," said Lex Sokolin, Global Director of Fintech Strategy at Automonous.
According to the Future of Money study, an online poll commissioned by NTT DATA Inc. and Ingenico ePayments, fast-growing companies are the most likely to accept mobile payments. The global survey of 2,300 companies and consumers found 43 percent of business respondents with annual revenue growth of 11 percent or more have an app that supports purchases and payments. By contrast, only 34 percent of companies with slower growth have such an app.
Results released by the International Council of Shopping Centers show consumers welcome technology that enhances the shopping experience. The ICSC Retail Technology Survey findings indicate consumers of all ages are seeking an integration of technology and shopping that enables personalized shopping and improves the ease of clicking, connecting and accessing information during the entire shopping journey.
According to the 2017 edition of the Mastercard Digital Payments Study, digital wallets continued to gain prominence in smartphones and laptops and dominated the discussion of new ways to pay. In addition, researchers found consumers are showing an increased interest in the application of new technologies to make shopping faster, easier and more secure. In its fifth year, the study analyzed more than 3.5 million conversations from the past year across several social media channels.
Mercator Advisory Group's research report Mobile Payments Platforms and Markets: How High Is Up? presents a framework for assessing the U.S. mobile payments market. The report describes the current market landscape and discusses future implications for payment technology vendors, developers, merchants and consumers. With ecommerce activity becoming the growth engine for U.S. retail sales, the study findings confirm mobile payment technology and applications are expanding at a rapid clip, researchers stated.
The Online Trust Alliance released its fourth in a series of vision papers. Titled Securing the Internet of Things; A Collaborative and Shared Responsibility, the report was released in recognition of National Consumer Protection Week. It outlines imperative actions that businesses, consumers and governments must take to ensure the security, privacy and vitality of Internet of Things devices. The paper also contains a warning: if there is not a concerted effort by all stakeholders, there will be a mass weaponization of devices.
ACI Worldwide, a global provider of real-time electronic payment and banking solutions, and Jack Henry & Associates Inc., a provider of integrated, core technology platforms for financial institutions, are partnering for real-time payments. Jack Henry will use ACI's UP Immediate Payments to connect its more than 10,000 financial institution clients and their customers to real-time payment networks ‒ including The Clearing House Real-time Payments System and Zelle networks ‒ to accelerate real-time payments in the United States, the companies stated.
BMO Harris Bank indicated its consumer and small business deposit customers now have free access to the Allpoint ATM network as the result of a new partnership agreement. Allpoint said this will increase the bank's fee-free ATM footprint by over 43,000 ATMs in U.S. retail locations, complementing the bank's existing fleet of over 1,300 ATMs. An additional 12,000 international Allpoint ATMs will also be surcharge free for BMO Harris Bank customers, Allpoint added.
First Data Corp. and Fleetcor Technologies Inc., a global provider of fuel cards and workforce payment products to businesses, formed a joint venture that consolidates their various gift solutions to drive new value for their clients. The new venture combines the gift card businesses of both companies. The entity will provide clients with broader international reach and a more robust end-to-end offering, according to the companies.
Harbortouch Payments LLC partnered with Sarbari, a cloud-based software provider for the restaurant and retail industries. Sabari delivers purchasing and inventory control software applications created to automatically generate purchase orders, which helps streamline back-office purchasing processes. Harbortouch plans to integrate the benefits of the Sabari solution into the company's POS offering.
Hyperwallet Systems Inc. penned a payout agreement with Monat Global, a health and beauty company specializing in hair care products. Monat will utilize Hyperwallet's payout platform and global financial network to expand payment options for its independent market partners and support the company's international growth. Working with Hyperwallet, Monat will launch its new MoMoney commission program, a fully branded payout solution equipped with prepaid cards and a self-serve Pay Portal, according to the companies.
Netsurion was named a Fortinet MSSP Platinum Partner to deliver managed security services to businesses in the retail, hospitality, healthcare, legal and insurance sectors. Platinum MSSP Partners must demonstrate proficiency by completing stringent certification, training, and audit requirements, Fortinet stated. "We trust Fortinet because it always delivers security, scalability, and reliability through its firewall technology, allowing Netsurion to support a wide range of customers, regardless of size, situation and industry," said Kevin Watson, CEO of Netsurion.
Omnivore integrated its platform with Custom Business Solutions Inc.'s NorthStar Order Entry POS software. The partnership was formed to create a set of POS and customer service measurement tools, allowing operators to deploy the latest app technologies and maximize revenue opportunities by increasing customer engagement. By integrating with Omnivore, CBS NorthStar users will have access to a rapidly expanding marketplace of apps designed to drive better insight into operations and more efficient customer service, the companies stated.
onePOS partnered with Novera Payment Solutions LLC to board U.S. merchants via Worldpay. The integration is expected to allow onePOS users to securely process EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) credit card payments through onePOS for its U.S. customers using Worldpay. As part of the integration, Novera said it will provide the management of the program for onePOS resellers who are interested in using the new integration and earning residuals generated on merchant accounts.
In celebration of International Women's Day, Visa Inc. recognized its third annual Everywhere Initiative with a focus on female entrepreneurship and a sponsorship of Girl Starter. Girl Starter is a technology company providing platforms to amplify girls in entrepreneurship and business leadership. "The sponsorship of Girl Starter continues to move the needle on our commitment to empowering women in the workplace," said Lynne Biggar, Chief Marketing Officer at Visa.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to acquire MCX's payments technology to help expand Chase Pay, the mobile and digital wallet for Chase customers. MCX's members were already connected to MCX payment technology, which is expected to facilitate a seamless connection to Chase Pay. Chase executives stated they wanted to acquire the technology in lieu of building separate parallel technology to serve non-MCX members. The transaction is expected to close in the coming weeks.
Payment Data Systems entered into a non-binding Letter of Intent to acquire Singular Payments LLC. According to Louis Hoch, President and CEO of Payment Data Systems, the acquisition is important for quickly accelerating the growth potential of Payment Data Systems and broadening its revenue streams. "We believe this transaction is in alignment with our growth strategy and should provide enhanced value to our shareholders," Hoch said.
Vista Equity Partners signed a definitive agreement to acquire Canadian-based D+H Corp., indicating it intends to merge the entity with global financial services software provider Misys. According to Vista, the combination will create a diversified fintech market leader with a global footprint and the broadest set of financial software solutions available, as well as $2.2 billion in revenues, approximately 10,000 employees and more than 9,000 customers across 130 countries, including 48 of the top 50 banks.
In conjunction with its recent rebranding, Super G Capital welcomed three new senior team members and also celebrated several promotions. New team members include Steve Bellah, Director, formerly of GE Capital and Siena Lending Group LLC; Eric Von Stafford, Director, formerly of White Oak Global Advisors and Goldman Sachs; and Oren Moses, Associate, formerly of Medley Capital Corp. Nick Seraydarian was promoted to Vice President, and Charlie Perer now leads all national originations efforts.
Global Payments Inc. promoted Cameron M. Bready to Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. In this role, Bready will continue to lead the company's global finance organization, including corporate finance, business financial services, accounting and tax, as well as worldwide corporate development initiatives. He continues to report to company CEO Jeffrey S. Sloan. Bready joined Global Payments in June 2014 as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
Netspend named Jeff Johnson as its Senior Vice President for Commercial Prepaid. Johnson brings to Netspend two decades of experience in the prepaid industry, having most recently served as Chief Sales and Marketing Officer/Chief Revenue Officer for Card Compliant LLC. "We're excited to have Jeff on the team," said Chuck Harris, President of Netspend. "He's a proven entrepreneur with an impressive record of growing and scaling payments businesses."
Valeria Strappa was named Chief Administrative Officer for Chase Merchant Services. Strappa is a veteran financial services executive who joins Chase from Citi Latin America, where she was the Client Management and Strategy Head for the Institutional Clients Group. She brings a broad set of experiences to Chase, including retail and mortgage businesses management, consulting, strategy, lean manufacturing, operations, transformation and change management.
Reaction Commerce Inc. formed a Board of Advisors and appointed Maria Thomas and Dries Buytaert as strategic advisors. Thomas and Buytaert will lend ongoing guidance as the company continues to build its open source platform and expand its base of developers, partners, retailers and brands. Thomas is an experienced business builder, growth-focused CEO and board member. Buytaert is the original creator and project lead for Drupal, an open source web platform.
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