American Express Company today announced that it has signed an agreement to create a joint venture for its Global Business Travel division (“GBT”). Under the agreement, American Express will share ownership of the joint venture with an investor group led by Certares. In the proposed transaction, American Express will separate its GBT operations into a dedicated holding structure, which will include certain assets and liabilities that currently comprise GBT, and will have a 50% ownership stake in the joint venture following the closing. In exchange for an investment of $900 million in the joint venture, the investor group will hold the remaining 50%. American Express initially announced its intention to pursue this joint venture transaction in September 2013.
U.S. Bank is extending its award-winning FlexPerks® Travel Rewards program into the business-to-business space with the launch of FlexPerks Corporate Rewards for commercial card programs. The rewards program will be offered as an optional add-on for U.S. Bank’s most popular commercial cards: the U.S. Bank Corporate Travel Card, the U.S. Bank Executive and Executive Platinum Cards, and the U.S. Bank One Card. FlexPerks Corporate Rewards offers organizations and their employees a new way to benefit from spending on cards. Flex points can be pooled at the corporate level to be redeemed at the organization’s discretion, or employees can be enabled to earn the points.
Fiserv, Inc. just announced an agreement to make Visa’s common debit EMV solution available for the Accel(TM) debit network. Under the agreement, Fiserv will adopt Visa’s common debit solution offering issuers, acquirers and merchants a simple, streamlined approach for debit EMV adoption. The agreement will help enable the development of regulation-compliant debit EMV solutions using a common Application Identifier (AID).
ZNAP™ announced today that the New York Sound City conference and music festival on March 17th in Williamsburg, Brooklyn will be the first U.S. event to feature ZNAP™’s NFC (near field communication) payment technology. During the event, ZNAP™ will unveil its NFC features to attendees, who will be the first consumers to test its tap-and-pay capabilities. In addition to facilitating mobile transactions, the ZNAP™ app enables consumers to manage loyalty points, rewards programs, coupons and special offers using their mobile devices. Promoters can activate capabilities designed specifically for festivals and live events.
It is with a collective heavy heart that US Dataworks, Inc. today announced the passing of its long-time Chairman and CEO, Charles E. Ramey, who died yesterday morning after suffering a severe heart attack from which he was unable to recover. The Company also announced that its Board of Directors has appointed John Penrod as its interim Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Penrod will continue in his role as the Company’s VP of Operations in addition to his new CEO duties. Joseph Saporito, an outside director of the Company, will take over the Chairman role with the Board seat left vacant by Mr. Ramey’s death to remain unfilled for the time being.
The Western Union Company today announced the launch of a new mobile money transfer service to Nigeria, which increases the reach of Western Union payout options in the country. The new service to Nigeria integrates directly with Paga, the leading mobile payment platform in Nigeria, with more than 1.2 million users. Paga users now have the option of receiving a Western Union Money Transfer® transaction directly into their Paga account.
mopay announced today a carrier billing partnership with Deutsche Telekom. The agreement will allow mopay to connect directly to Telekom’s international payment hub, Service Delivery Platform (SDP). Through this direct access, 14 markets and 142 million mobile customers will enjoy the frictionless mopay payment experience powered and connected by one of Europe’s largest carrier groups. The complementary capabilities of mopay and Deutsche Telekom provide the best possible user experience for their respective customers. While mopay enables digital merchants to integrate the mopay platform as a carrier billing option into their checkout process, Deutsche Telekom provides the backend billing capabilities.
Virtual Piggy, Inc., provider of Oink, today announced that it has partnered with the European Games Group to provide a safe, seamless payment technology for their games, including Hero Zero, across their 16 million user base. Oink is a mobile-first payment technology designed to allow retailers and game publishers to reach consumers in a safe, legal and effective manner compliant with the FTC and other international regulations. The award-winning technology serves as a digital family wallet that is available online or via mobile and allows safe, secure transactions -and can be enhanced with parental controls.
Ebates Inc. today announced the acquisition of Extrabux, a free, comparison shopping website where consumers discover the best prices, find coupons, and earn cash back on their online purchases. The two companies have a growing membership base in China and today announced the launch of Ebates.cn to capitalize on this opportunity. Ebates.cn will offer members cash back, coupons and special deals from over one thousand retailers including eBay, Macys.com, Sierra Trading Post and Vitacost. During the month of March, shoppers will be able to earn up to eight percent cash back by shopping at their favorite retailers through Ebates.cn.
As we previously stated on March 5th, our systems detected an unauthorized attempted intrusion into our Sally Beauty Supply LLC network. At the time of this discovery, we immediately engaged a top-tier forensics firm (Verizon) to investigate this security incident. As a result of this ongoing investigation, we have now discovered evidence that fewer than 25,000 records containing card-present (track 2) payment card data have been illegally accessed on our systems and we believe it may have been removed. As experience has shown in prior data security incidents at other companies, it is difficult to ascertain with certainty the scope of a data security breach/incident prior to the completion of a comprehensive forensic investigation. As a result, we will not speculate as to the scope or nature of the data security incident.