American Express Discount Rate

The average discount rate for merchants accepting American Express cards hit a new low in the second and third quarters of 2013. Over the past seven years the worldwide average discount rate has declined from 2.57% to 2.52%. American Express says there are many factors that will likely result in more erosion. The mix of spending by location and industry, volume-related pricing discounts, strategic investments, and certain pricing initiatives are major factors in the erosion. Despite the decrease in the average discount rate, discount revenue increased 5% in the third quarter as billed business volume rose 7%. American Express notes faster growth in Global Network Services’ billings than overall American Express billings had an impact on discount revenues too. The average discount rate reflects pricing at merchants accepting general purpose American Express cards. It represents the percentage of billed business (both proprietary and Global Network Services) retained by the American Express from merchants it acquires, prior to payments to third parties unrelated to merchant acceptance.

NCR Announces Latest POS Innovation

NCR announced its fully integrated POS solution and an all-imaging bi-optic scanner. Both solutions are designed to provide retailers with innovative technology that helps provide competitive differentiation by enabling exceptional in-store shopping experiences. NCR is the leader in consumer transaction technologies including retail self-checkout technology and POS terminals with more than a million touchpoints in service. NCR POS solutions handle more than 125,000 transactions per minute. The new imagers and POS solutions are designed to improve operations and fit within the existing footprint of previous NCR devices.The NCR “RealScan” Imager reads 1D, 2D and Mobile bar codes fast and efficiently, provides high-performance imaging with the largest scan zone in its class and enables the ability to improve store security, provide real-time scanner feedback to managers, simplify cashier training and stream live images and videos.The “RealPOS XR7″ features a stylish all-in-one design with versatility, ruggedness and data security, either a 15″ or an 18.5” multi-touch display and is powered by the 4th generation Intel Core processor.

Allied Wallet Users Now Over 100mm Mark

Allied Wallet online credit card processing, multi-currency merchant services, and a PCI Level 1 secured payment gateway reported over 100 million users worldwide for their online payment solutions after a spike in holiday sales. Allied Wallet’s merchants saw an average increase of nearly 30% in sales. Allied Wallet’s merchants saw a significant spike in volume this holiday season, and this spike contributed to Allied Wallet’s growth to over 100 million users worldwide. Allied Wallet simplifies the process of online shopping by allowing consumers to create an eWallet. This eWallet acts as an online payment solution for consumers that stores and protects their payment information.

Target Update on Data Breach & Free Credit Monitoring

Target today announced updates on its continuing investigation into the recent data breach and its expected fourth quarter financial performance. It has been determined that certain guest information — separate from the payment card data previously disclosed — was taken during the data breach. To provide further peace of mind, Target is offering one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to all guests who shopped our U.S. stores. Guests will have three months to enroll in the program.

Pitney Bowes hires New GM, Financial Services

Pitney Bowes announced Ron Totaro its latest addition as General Manager, Global Financial Services. He will be leading a team that is responsible for the strategic planning execution and P&L of the global payments and leasing businesses for Pitney Bowes, bringing an extensive background of building global organizations, driving top and bottom-line growth and leading innovation in payments, financial services, technology and ecommerce businesses. Ron has held leadership positions at GE Capital, American Express and America Online, and has led strategic transformation and growth at FICO, ACI Worldwide and private equity-backed companies. Totaro holds an MBA from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at University of Michigan and a BS from the State University of New York at Albany.

Adyen Shows 3D Secure Impact Study

Adyen multichannel payment solutions released findings from its analysis of how applying 3D Secure to all transactions can positively or negatively impact conversion rates on a per-country basis. Indicating 3D Secure has a positive impact on conversion rates in countries such as India, Russia and the United Kingdom, but has a negative impact in France, Germany and the United States when implemented on all transactions. However, the report shows that when 3D Secure is implemented only on specific segments it can actually increase conversions in these markets. Developed by the MasterCard and Visa card schemes, 3D Secure is an additional security layer for authenticating cardholders online. Traditionally, online merchants have adopted a binary view: they either implement 3D Secure across all transactions or not at all. By analyzing transactions processed on its payment platform, Adyen has detailed data about the impact of 3D Secure across its portfolio in selected countries. India, Czech Republic, Russia and the United Kingdom show the highest uplift in conversion rates where 3D Secure has been implemented on all transactions. In India, the uplift is almost 30 percent, and in the United Kingdom it is around 2.5 percent.

USA Tech Comments on Sale Reco

USA Technologies board of directors has received a letter from S.A.V.E. Partners IV, LLC stating that S.A.V.E. believes that USA Technologies should immediately commence a process to explore and evaluate all potential strategic alternatives, including exploring a sale. The letter was also included by S.A.V.E. as an exhibit to a publicly filed amendment to its Schedule 13D. Stephen P. Herbert, chairman and CEO responded: “I want to assure all of our shareholders, including S.A.V.E., that we fully recognize the market dynamics in which our company operates, and that our board of directors has appropriately explored, and continues to appropriately explore, any and all potential strategic alternatives in order to maximize shareholder value.”

Meritus Chargeback Solutions to Save Merchants Time, Money

Meritus’s Chargeback Management System (CBMS) is an integrated solution that provides the merchant with the information needed to help investigate and more effectively dispute chargebacks. Chargeback Management System is a secure add-on solution that is available through Meritus’ proprietary platform, Payment XP. This intuitive solution continually tracks and updates pending transactions, keeping you up to date and informed throughout the entire chargeback process. All new and existing chargeback cases are instantaneously available, so you can easily understand and prioritize your work. With Chargeback Management System merchants win 30% more of their disputes, resulting in a significant increase in revenue. Additionally, merchants who use CBMS substantially reduce their time spent on chargebacks, spending 40% less time per chargeback.

Western Union Payment Available at SunTrust

Western Union and SunTrust Bank launched Western Union global money transfer and bill payment services at more than 1,500 bank Agent locations in the southeastern U.S. SunTrust clients and the general public can now pay bills or load prepaid cards via Western Union services, or send money to more than 495,000 Western Union Agent locations in 200 countries and territories from all SunTrust bank locations. Western Union services are offered in the U.S. through a strategically combined Agent network of nearly 46,000 banks, national retail and grocery chains, and independent locations. The company also offers its customers online and mobile phone access points in certain countries for money transfer services.

Bluefin Launches New mPOS System

Bluefin Payment cloud-based integrated payment solutions for independent software vendors (ISVs) introduced their “QuickSwipe” mPOS system. QuickSwipe is a turn-key payment application for single and multi-user mobile processing on iOS devices. Bluefin also offers the QuickSwipe SDK for integrated payments with an ISV’s existing mobile application. This lets merchants can build catalogs of items and inventory, assign administrators and users, enable tips and taxes, easily issue refunds, and provide detailed, GPS-driven receipts. The application supports credit/debit, ACH and cash journaling. Merchants have the flexibility to extend their brand to the application with the addition of their logo, colors, and business information.

Chase United VIP Lounge for “Big Game Week”

Chase and United Airlines announced a Chase United VIP Lounge in New York City’s Times Square to celebrate ‘Big Game Week,’ where Chase United MileagePlus® Cardmembers can enjoy complementary amenities and exclusive events with celebrity chefs and football legends. From January 29 to February 2, Chase United MileagePlus Cardmembers are welcome-along with up to four guests-to visit the VIP Lounge at Restaurateur Guy Fieri’s Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar in Times Square. For admittance to the VIP Lounge, which is located at 220 W. 44th Street in New York City, cardmembers will need to present their United MileagePlus Credit Card from Chase and valid identification.