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Feb. 15th, 2013

Edition #341


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This Day
in History: 1898 
The Maine Explodes 

A massive explosion of unknown origin sinks the battleship USS Maine in Cuba's Havana harbor, killing 260 of the fewer than 400 American crew members aboard.


One of the first American battleships, the Maine weighed more than 6,000 tons and was built at a cost of more than $2 million. Ostensibly on a friendly visit, the Maine had been sent to Cuba to protect the interests of Americans there after a rebellion against Spanish rule broke out in Havana in January.


Subsequent diplomatic failures to resolve the Maine matter, coupled with United States indignation over Spain's brutal suppression of the Cuban rebellion and continued losses to American investment, led to the outbreak of the Spanish-American War in April 1898. Click here to read more.  

Next Gen Dine
This Week's NewsFilter... 
Payments continue to evolve! This week Gilbarco announced it is working with PayPal to simplify paying at the pump while Amex's Twitter deal hash-tags social payments.

In other news: TrustWave unveiled results from the 2013 Trustwave Global Security Report, First Data releases January 2013 SpendTrend, and Square brews up a deal with another coffee seller.

Happy Friday! 
2/13/13 BTN

American Express' latest venture, in which it's supporting payments made through Twitter's platform, validates a concept that was in desperate need of it - social media commerce. Up until the New York credit card company announced Monday it will allow its cardholders to purchase real-world items over the social media platform, there was doubt that Twitter transactions would ever get off the ground. "Amex definitely legitimizes it," says Rakesh Agrawal, a consultant on mobile payments and marketing. "They are a major player that has tens of millions of cardholders, and they are willing to spend on marketing."  

2/14/13 Finextra

A senior staffer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta has queried the business case for a mass market migration to EMV-based Chip and PIN technology in the US. With a little over two years until the first liability shifts for the US are scheduled to take place in April 2015, issuers are being urged to set out their migration road maps as an urgent business priority.  

2/14/13 ETA

The Electronic Transactions Association's (ETA) Mobile Payments Committee today released three key resources for ETA member companies to help navigate the dynamic mobile payments industry. The new documents include:

  • Best Practices and Guidelines for Mobile Payment Solutions;
  • Beyond the Hype: Mobile Payments for Merchants; and
  • Mobile Payments Glossary of Terms
2/12/13 Gilbarco

Gilbarco Veeder-Root announced that it is working with PayPal on digital payment and other mobile solutions to be offered to Gilbarco customers worldwide. The initial effort will launch the PayPal payment capability to retailers with Passport® point-of-sale. Future developments will bring PayPal solutions to Gilbarco's growing suite of media/merchandising apps.

2/125/13 TIME

Wall Street dealmakers are off to a busy start to 2013, as some of corporate America's most recognizable names have become involved in multi-billion-dollar mergers and acquisitions. Just yesterday, American Airlines and US Airways announced they would be merging in an $11 billion deal, while private equity firm 3G / Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway announced a $28B joint acquisition of food conglomerate H.G. Heinz. 

2/12/13 ISO & Agent

Ten years ago, Justin Milmeister didn't know that bankcard attorneys existed. Today, he couldn't imagine life without them. Milmeister is CEO of Elite Merchant Solutions, an ISO based in Van Nuys, Calif., that in the past decade has grown to a four-city operation with 60 employees. But when the company was just starting out, not having a specialized attorney almost cost Milmeister his business.

MobilePaymentsMobile Payments
2/13/13 BetaKit

Boston-based mobile point-of-sale company LevelUp helps merchants accept smartphone payments either tied into their existing point-of-sale system, or as a standalone solution. The company is announcing its biggest coup in terms of local business adoption: over two dozen LevelUp merchants will only accept cash or LevelUp one day later this month, eschewing credit cards altogether in favor of the mobile payments solution.

2/13/13 NFC World

Active users are now paying with Isis five or more times a week, says Jim Stapleton, the NFC payments platform's chief sales officer. "Consumers actually only need to know about the passcode, and you kind of have a mental 'Oh!' right there as they realize their leather wallet does not have a passcode," he explained. "The fact that it's free, it's provided by the brands they trust in terms of the handset technology, both in terms of the manufacturers and the carriers themselves, and that they can load the cards from the banks they trust - American Express, Chase and Capital One - drives a really good adoption rate, and activation rate in the stores."

2/12/13 Square

Blue Bottle Coffee Co. announced it will run Square in all of its stores across the United States. Customers will initially be able to pay with Square Wallet at Blue Bottle's Oakland, Brooklyn, and San Francisco Mint Plaza locations, with the company rolling out Square to its remaining stores in the coming months.

2/13/13 Mobile Payments Today

Mobile payment company Buck is looking to disrupt an already disruptive space. It announced the launch of its new "dongle-free payment service" that targets the same small merchants serviced by mobile point-of-sale providers such as Square and Intuit GoPayment.

2/13/13 Mashable

Mobile shoppers this Valentine's Day may be pleasantly surprised that they can buy flowers for their beloved on their smartphones without having to enter credit card information. That is, if those shoppers are using apps from 1-800-Flowers. Since late last year, the company has been an exclusive partner with Expedite, a startup that attempts to take credit cards out of the mobile shopping equation.

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RegulationSecurityRegulation & Security
2/12/13 Omaha World Herald

Keeping credit card numbers off retailers' servers is just one strategy in an escalating fight against hackers who break into retail sales networks and sell credit card numbers on the black market. A number of firms with operations in Omaha, including First Data and PayPal, are at the front line of fighting hackers, not an easy game to win.  


When the payment processor says, "I'm going to build a bigger wall," the hacker says, "I'm going to build a bigger slingshot," said Cliff Gray, who consults on payment data security for Omaha-based company, The Strawhecker Group.

2/13/13 MarketWire

Trustwave, a leading provider of cloud-based compliance and information security solutions, today unveiled key results from the 2013 Trustwave Global Security Report. The report highlights details and trends from more than 450 global data breach investigations, more than 2,500 penetration tests, more than nine million Web application attacks, more than two million network and vulnerability scans, more than five million malicious websites, more than 20 billion e-mails as well as extensive research and analysis of zero-day security threats.

2/13/13 Bank Info Security

The hacktivist group Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters, in a Feb 12 posting, warns that its distributed-denial-of-service attacks against U.S. banks and credit unions could resume soon. The group had announced on Jan. 29 a suspension of its attacks. Security experts warned, even before the latest posting, that more DDoS attacks against banking institutions were likely, saying the hacktivist group's reasons for suspending the attacks seemed suspicious.  

2/13/13 Digital Transactions

Merchants that think by hiring a cloud-based provider to handle their payment card security tasks they'll never have to worry again about protecting card data had better think twice, according to the PCI Security Standards Council. "Just because people outsource to a cloud service provider, they're not done," says Bob Russo, general manager of the Wakefield, Mass.-based PCI Council, which administers the main Payment Card Industry data-security standard and two related standards.  

2/12/13 First Data

First Data Corporation, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, today released its First Data SpendTrend® analysis for the full month of January 2013 compared to January 2012. SpendTrend tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations. Dollar volume growth improved to 6.2% versus 4.0% in December as consumer spending bounced back despite the payroll tax increase. Improved retail spending was a large contributor to this growth.  

2/13/13 Reuters

Retail sales barely rose in January as tax increases and higher gasoline prices restrained spending, setting up the economy for only modest growth in the first quarter. The Commerce Department said on Wednesday retail sales edged up 0.1 percent after a 0.5 percent rise in December. The small increase suggested the expiration of a 2 percent payroll tax cut on January 1 and higher tax rates for wealthier Americans were hurting the economy.

2/13/13 Bloomberg

More American employees may voluntarily quit their jobs this year as an increase in wages and openings boosts confidence in the labor market. About 2.2 million U.S. workers resigned in December, a 7.4 percent increase from a year earlier, based on seasonally- adjusted data from the Department of Labor. These employees represent 53 percent of total separations, the highest since June 2008.  

PaymentsPressPayments Press
2/13/13 Visa

Visa Inc. announced the launch of a new plug-and-play mobile money platform that will make it easy and cost-efficient for financial institutions and mobile operators to offer mobile financial services to consumers. The global platform is the world's first bank-grade managed service for mobile money - meaning it allows Visa to host and fully manage all aspects of a mobile money program on behalf of the provider, from user interface design to consumer enrollment, transactions processing, authorization, clearing and settlement.  

2/14/13 CreditCall

Elavon, the global acquirer, is the victorious winner of last night's Mobile Payment Award 2013 at the Merchant Payments Ecosystem event in Berlin. Picked by a panel of independent European payment experts, the winning solution ensures that businesses on the go can accept Visa® and MasterCard® credit and debit cards.

2/12/13 Century Payments

Century Payments, Inc. announced that it exceeded $1,000,000,000 in monthly merchant processing volume as it ended the year in December 2012. "I've been leading merchant processing organizations for over 20 years and I am proud of the unique services Century Payments offers through our strategic partnerships methodology.  Our one-of-a-kind solutions give us a competitive edge in what seems like a very commoditized environment," states Robert Wechsler, Founder and CEO of Century Payments.  

2/13/13 The GreenSheet

Element Payment Services, a leader in PCI compliant payment processing solutions, announces that its TriPOS™ payment application has been validated to comply with the PA-DSS by leading Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) SecurityMetrics. TriPOS™ provides Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) with an easy and simple way to support Canadian Chip & PIN through the Element Express Processing Platform.

2/13/13 Yahoo! Finance

Braintree, the fastest growing payments platform for online and mobile commerce, today announced Wrapp, the social gifting app that allows consumers to send free and paid digital gift cards using mobile devices or the web, has selected the company as its payments provider. In addition to using the sophisticated platform, Wrapp will soon be available on Venmo Touch in the US.

2/12/13 Sage

Sage North America announced today that Sage One, the versatile and simple cloud-based accounting application used by a growing number of small businesses and entrepreneurs, now integrates with both Sage Payment Solutions and PayPal for easy payment processing. Sage One U.S. is a web-based, all-in-one application combining project management, invoicing, collaboration, and simple accounting functionality.

2/11/13 FIS

Beyond traditional P2P models, the next horizon for today's digitally demanding, fast-moving consumer is paying any person, company or institution in real time - quickly, easily and securely. FIS announces the launch of FIS People Pay, an advanced P2P payments offering for financial institutions that allows their customers to send payments directly to other consumers using an e-mail address or mobile phone number while utilizing the institution's secure online banking Web site.

2/13/13 NetSpend

NetSpend Holdings, Inc., a leading provider of general-purpose reloadable prepaid debit cards and related financial services, announced financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2012. We ended the fourth quarter hitting all of our targets and delivered strong financial results for 2012," said Dan Henry, chief executive officer of NetSpend.  

2/13/13 ACI

ACI Worldwide announced the release of the newest version of ACI Proactive Risk Manager™, the industry's leading payments fraud detection and mitigation solution for financial institutions, processors and merchant retailers. With the explosive growth of transnational, organized fraud and identity theft, Proactive Risk Manager empowers financial institutions to stay one step ahead of financial criminals.  


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