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Feb. 8th, 2013

Edition #340


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This Day
in History: 1943 

On this day in 1943, Japanese troops evacuate Guadalcanal, leaving the island in Allied possession after a prolonged campaign. The American victory paved the way for other Allied wins in the Solomon Islands.


Guadalcanal is the largest of the Solomons, a group of 992 islands and atolls, 347 of which are inhabited, in the South Pacific Ocean. The Solomons, which are located northeast of Australia and have 87 indigenous languages, were discovered in 1568 by the Spanish navigator Alvaro de Mendana de Neyra (1541-95). In 1893, the British annexed Guadalcanal, along with the other central and southern Solomons. The Germans took control of the northern Solomons in 1885, but transferred these islands, except for Bougainville and Buka (which eventually went to the Australians) to the British in 1900. Click here to read more. 


2/07/13 The Strawhecker Group

The Strawhecker Group (TSG), a management consulting company focused on the payments industry, has recently become one of a very select few of approved vendors for Global Acquirer Risk (GARS) reviews.

As an approved vendor, TSG possesses the experience and qualifications necessary to perform thorough reviews of acquiring operations. TSG is one of only four firms globally that have been deemed eligible to complete GARS reviews by Visa.

2/06/13 StorefrontBacktalk

The NRF and the Electronic Payments Coalition (EPC) have launched what is essentially a flame war over the swipe surcharges that are allowed under the interchange settlement as of January 27. NRF launched the first broadside, calling surcharges a "ridiculous concept" and deriding "propaganda" suggesting any retailer would use them. EPC fired back on Tuesday (Feb. 5), calling NRF's statements "false and misleading."

2/07/13 BTN

Discover's (DFS) recent agreement to be the network behind Facebook's (FB) new gift card suggests the company is plowing ahead with plans to, well, friend innovative companies. The Riverwoods, Ill., company is intent on leveraging its network to bring what have strictly been online businesses into the real world, says Diane Offereins, Discover's president of payment services. Facebook is just the latest example.  

2/06/13 Digital Transactions

New Visa Inc. chief executive Charles W. Scharf used his first earnings conference call with analysts Wednesday to offer an olive branch to U.S. merchants. Scharf's comments came on the heels of an earnings and operational report for fiscal 2013's first quarter that show strong U.S. Visa credit card growth and a slowdown in the huge losses in its Interlink U.S. PIN-debit network.

2/01/13 TSG Metrics

This edition contains exciting new data, including the following that is

featured in the Introduction Section of this report:

  • GDP versus SMB Same Store Sales (pg. 3)
    • GDP performance is compared to same store sales performance from TSG's database of 1.5 million merchants representative of ~15% of U.S. brick & mortar merchants
  • V/MC Volume Growth Prediction (pg. 4) 
    • TSG ran five scenarios of economic performance through 2018 in order to project the rate of Visa/MasterCard dollar volume growth
  • Gross Profit Value Index of U.S. Merchant Portfolios (pg. 6)
    • TSG has created an index representing the overall movement in the value of U.S. merchant acquiring portfolios using its database of 1.5 million merchants. This index is titled the GPVI (GPVI = Gross Profit Value Index) and presents the change in the portfolio value indicator.  

Click here to read the full report. 

MobilePaymentsMobile Payments
2/04/13 comScore

comScore, Inc., a leader in measuring the digital world, today released the Digital Wallet Road Map 2013, a study which measures consumer awareness, perceptions and intent to use current digital wallet offerings. The study found that digital wallets, which store a virtual copy of the contents of a consumer's physical wallet to facilitate online or offline retail transactions, only had awareness among 51 percent of U.S. consumers for wallets other than PayPal.  

2/04/13 TechCrunch

Competition and activity continues to heat up in the mobile payments market. UK-based mPowa - a mobile payments provider that, like Square and others, provides a dongle that merchants can attach to a mobile device to process card payments - has signed a white-label deal with Portugal Telecom for the carrier to resell mPowa's services as the centerpiece of its own mobile payments solution.

2/05/13 GigaOm

Isis may just be in its infancy, but the mobile payment consortium's Chief Sales Officer Jim Stapleton said that its trial in Salt Lake City is producing positive results from both consumers and merchants. Speaking at a media briefing from a smart card conference in Utah on Tuesday, Stapleton said the average Isis user pays for goods or services with the mobile wallet five times or more a week.

2/06/13 Wired

Following in the footsteps of Microsoft and Nintendo, Amazon has announced its own virtual currency for game, app, and in-app purchases, called Amazon Coins, on the Kindle Fire HD. The e-commerce giant is billing it as a way for developers to make more money by making it easier for shoppers to buy apps and games.

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RegulationSecurityRegulation & Security
2/05/13 Reuters

Prosecutors on Tuesday charged 18 people with fraud for allegedly creating and using thousands of fake identities to ring up hundreds of millions of dollars in credit card purchases. The 18 people were the ringleaders of a massive credit card fraud scheme that lasted nearly 10 years, according to a criminal complaint.  

2/06/13 ISO & Agent

While the Payment Card Industry data security standards are fine, they don't go far enough to suit one of the speakers at the recent Northeast Acquirers Association annual conference. PCI protects card data but doesn't guard against identity theft, noted Linda Grimm, CSR director of consulting.

2/04/13 Bank Systems & Technology

Visa announced plans to expand its EMV migration roadmap to include debit cards and ATM's. The company said in a statement today that it would provide some of its proprietary EMV chip technology to debit card issuers to help facilitate adoption and compliance with debit regulations. Visa also set deadlines for third-party ATM acquirer processors and sub-processors to update their ATM networks to process EMV chip data.

2/07/13 Bank Info Security

The PCI Council addresses those risks in its just-released cloud security guidance, and Bob Russo offers exclusive insights. "Cloud services provide an attractive opportunity for outsourcing," says Russo, general manager of the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council. "But from our perspective, we want to be sure organizations are aware of all of the risks before they entrust payment data and processing to a third party."  

2/05/13 Portals & Rails

In reviewing one of my recent credit card statements, I noticed a marketing message offering $5 off for an online purchase using their credit card at one of the online retailers I frequently visit. At first I thought this was a bit strange as I had not used that particular credit card at that merchant. Then I realized this was likely "Big Data" in action. Evidently, this credit card issuer had gotten information from some database, perhaps from the retailer, that I was a frequent customer of that retailer.  

2/07/13 The Green Sheet

The growth in the use of electronic payment products, such as credit and debit cards, added $983 billion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the 56 countries examined between 2008 and 2012, according to a study conducted for Visa by Moody's Analytics, a leading independent provider of economic forecasting. The study of 56 countries that represent 93% of global GDP concluded that: "Card usage makes the economy more efficient, yielding a meaningful boost to economic growth, year after year, through a multitude of factors." 

2/05/13 eMarketer

In 2012, B2C ecommerce sales grew 21.1% to top $1 trillion for the first time, according to new global estimates by eMarketer. This year, sales will grow 18.3% to $1.298 trillion worldwide, eMarketer estimates, as Asia-Pacific surpasses North America to become the world's No. 1 market for B2C ecommerce sales.

2/07/13 MarketWatch

The number of Americans losing their jobs every week has hardly changed over the past six months. Initial jobless claims fell by 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 366,000 in the week ended Feb. 2, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch forecast a drop to 360,000.

PaymentsPressPayments Press
2/05/13 Elavon

Elavon, a leading global payments provider and wholly-owned subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp, has acquired Collective Point of Sale Solutions Ltd. in Toronto, Canada. The deal expands Elavon's presence and distribution network in Canada and aligns with Elavon's global growth strategy in strategic markets.

2/07/13 Finextra

A new big data platform from a group of banking IT veterans is set to launch next week, promising to close the transactional loop that is currently broken every time a customer leaves a store with a paper receipt. ERN's Looop platform brings together card payment and merchant data in real time to enable banks and retailers to see the granular detail of every purchase.  

2/07/13 Forbes

MasterCard Advisors, a division of MasterCardhas announced a partnership and investment in Mu Sigma, a high-end analytics firm in Chicago and India. Mu Sigma specializes in advanced analytical tools and services with a team of more than 2,500 highly educated professionals, most of them in India. It counts several leading retailers and major insurance carriers among its clients and received more than $100 million in VC funding.

2/07/13 Heartland Payment Systems

Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. announced GAAP net income of $15.0 million, or $0.38 per share, for the three months ended December 31, 2012. Adjusted Net Income and Adjusted Earnings per Share were $17.2 million and $0.44, respectively, for the quarter ended December 31, 2012, compared to Adjusted Net Income and Adjusted Earnings per Share of $14.2 million and $0.35, respectively, for the quarter ended Dec 31, 2011.  

2/06/13 MarketWatch

Swipely, announced it was named one of "America's Most Promising Companies" by Forbes Magazine. Chosen from thousands of applicants, the awards recognize the nation's one hundred most promising high-growth private companies with compelling business models, strong management teams, notable customers, strategic partners and precious investment capital.

2/07/13 MarketWire

ShopKeep® POS, the fastest growing iPad POS solution for small businesses, and LevelUp, a leader in mobile loyalty payments, have launched an integrated solution that lets a merchant process mobile payments and build loyalty right from the store's POS system. With this new integration, merchants can ring up sales/accept LevelUp payments right from their ShopKeep iPad register without switching devices.  

2/05/13 Fiserv

Fiserv, Inc., a leading global provider of financial services technology solutions, reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2012. GAAP revenue was $1.16 billion and adjusted revenue was $1.08 billion in the fourth quarter, both consistent with the fourth quarter of 2011. For the full year, GAAP revenue was $4.48 billion compared with $4.34 billion in 2011.  

2/08/13 Acquirer Systems

Acquirer Systems is pleased to announce a the release of its new industry whitepaper for Merchant Acquirers and Card Issuers entitled "Are you ready for Switch Migration?". As the challenge of payment switch migration continues to rise on the board-level agenda of payments processors, Acquirer Systems is sharing its insight and experience of successful payment switch migrations in this guide. 

2/07/13 American Banker

JPMorgan Chase & Co., the biggest U.S. bank by assets, reclaimed the No. 1 title by market value as the impact of last year's wrong-way bet on derivatives fades and investors wager on an investment-banking rebound. JPMorgan shares rose 1.6 percent this week, valuing the bank at $184.9 billion through yesterday. That eclipsed the $184.2 billion for Wells Fargo & Co., which slipped to No. 2 on Feb. 5 after being the most valuable since Oct. 28, 2011.

Potential Investor - Acquisition Opportunity
TSG has been retained by a large Top 30 Acquirer who is looking to purchase selected merchant acquiring enterprises that are in certain merchant verticals and/or possess certain feature/function technology. 
  • The buyer is interested in ISOs with the following vertical expertise: agent bank channel, association marketing, eCommerce market expertise or other growth oriented vertical sales channel. 
  • ISOs that have relationships with Independent Software Vendors (ISV) or Business Management Software companies are also of high interest.
  • The buyer is also interested in ISOs that have access to or have developed certain technology applications such as prepaid card processing, loyalty/demand generation specialty, or gift card technology
  • The buyer will consider a post-closing role(s) for senior executives desiring continuity with the acquirer and its dynamic growth strategy.

If interested in selling all or part of your Payments enterprise/business, please contact us and let us know the vertical expertise or technology capabilities your company possesses.


Copyright ©2010 The Strawhecker Group. All Rights Reserved. Unless noted, TSG does not take responsibility for content or opinions. Articles are sourced as appropriate throughout.