Datacard to Acquire Entrust on Transaction Security

Datacard Group signed an agreement to acquire Entrust. The acquisition builds on the strengths of each company to enable its customers and partners to deliver better services in highly connected environments. The acquisition is expected to close on December 31, 2013, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions. The combined entity will employ nearly 2,000 professionals, leveraging hundreds of channel partners to serve tens of thousands of customers. Together the company will enable its customers to issue over 10 million physical identities daily, handle over 200 billion transactions a year, and manage billions of identities, including the majority of payment cards and identification solutions in more than 100 countries.

NFC Forum Announces New Vice Chairmen

The NFC Forum announced two newly elected Vice Chairmen of its Board of Directors, Trevor Pavey of Broadcom Corporation and Alexander Rensink of NXP Semiconductors. A senior product line manager at Broadcom, Trevor Pavey is a seasoned high tech marketing executive with eight years of RFID and wireless expertise coupled with 17 years of experience in semiconductor technology, marketing, business development, applications, and design. During his tenure at Broadcom, Pavey has been responsible for ecosystem management, including Broadcom’s relationships with the major payment associations and mobile carriers. Earlier in his career, he was instrumental in launching the NFC business at Texas Instruments. Alexander Rensink is strategic marketing director in the Identification business unit at NXP, which he joined in 2007. At NXP, Rensink focuses on the significant potential for identification technology in the mobile market with the goal of expanding the deployment of NFC-based solutions into mobile phones and tablets. In this role, he has had considerable experience in working with both infrastructure suppliers and application developers to deliver end-to-end solutions for vertical markets.

Credit Card Cash Advance Uptick

While most U.S. consumers do not access the cash advance feature of a Visa or MasterCard credit card due to its inherently high cost, there has been a slight uptick in the third quarter of this year. Bank credit card cash advances only represent 4.9% of MasterCard’s U.S. gross dollar volume and 4.1% of Visa’s U.S. gross dollar volume. The average cash advance on a Visa bank credit card is consistently around $75, while MasterCard credit cash advances hover at $100.

Retailers Disappointed in Credit Card Swipe Fee Settlement

The National Retail Federation issued the following statement in response to U.S. District Court Judge John Gleeson’s approval of a controversial antitrust lawsuit over credit card swipe fees:

“We are very disappointed that this deeply flawed settlement has been approved. It is not supported by the retail industry and would do nothing to reduce swipe fees or keep them from rising in the future. The settlement permanently ties the hands of thousands of businesses who wanted nothing to do with this misguided case, and a decision to approve it violates established law and common sense. We are reviewing the ruling and will take whatever steps are necessary to protect the rights of merchants and safeguard the pocketbooks of their customers.”

USA Technologies Announces Upgrades to Its Service Platform

USA Technologies announced broad-based enhancements to its “one-stop” service, ePort Connect. The enhancements further position USAT customers for the emerging trends in mobile payment, consumer engagement programs such as loyalty and rewards and expanded use of operational data as self-serve retail businesses continue to develop a valued network of connected, cashless payment consumer touchpoints in the years ahead. Enhancements include new features added to USAT’s recently launched prepaid and loyalty program, “MORE.”; added capability of the ePort Connect platform to accept mobile payment with mobile-based rewards; and Micro-market and other cashless payment applications that expand USAT’s ePort Connect service to a broader audience. The “MORE.” loyalty and prepaid program launched in August, has been improved for customer campaign management and now includes recurring campaigns, replenish bonus; and bonus cash rewards.

US PIN Debit Networks Announce EMV Alliance

US-based PIN debit networks partnered to forge the Debit Network Alliance, to provide a structure for the governance, deployment and implementation of the EMV debit standard. The goal of this collaborative effort is to help facilitate the adoption of an interoperable EMV standard for debit payments in the U.S. through a common governance structure that fosters regulatory compliance, equal access and ability to innovate for all debit networks, routing choice for merchants, and portability for issuers. The debit networks have a long history of collaboratively working together – especially with regard to improving security – to define standards that maintain the integrity and quality of the U.S. payment industry. In particular, the networks have been working together on chip standards under the support of the Secure Remote Payment Council’s Chip and PIN Work Group since April 2012.

First Data Partners Tim Hortons on mNFC payments

Tim Hortons announced new mpayment options, now available at participating restaurants throughout Canada and the United States guests using BlackBerry® 10 smartphones (including the BlackBerry® Q5, BlackBerry® Q10, BlackBerry®Z10 and BlackBerry® Z30 smartphones) will be able to register a Tim Card on the TimmyMe™ mobile app and use near field communication (NFC) tap-to-pay technology to complete their order. This is one of the first integrations of an NFC based stored value card solution with existing payment terminals. Future development plans will also see this platform expanded to Android 4.4 devices. Tim Hortons has also launched a barcode payment pilot program in the Niagara region in Canada and at select USA Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop restaurants. Tim Hortons has partnered with First Data to deliver tap and scan payments through their mobile gateway technology.

Electronic Payments Coalition Issues Statement on Interchange Fee Settlement

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York approved a settlement in the legal dispute between retailers, payment networks and nine major card issuers over interchange fees and rules. The Electronic Payments Coalition subsequently issued the following statement:

“The long political conflict over interchange fees is finally over, settled by a well-established legal process, which brought together retailers and the card industry for a negotiated resolution. After years of mediation, dozens of meetings, and millions of pages of evidence, the parties involved have willingly agreed to settle their dispute. This settlement is in the best interest of all involved parties and that has been proven today with the court’s final approval.”

Tieto wins United Financial Corporation contract

United Financial Corporation (UFC) has switched to a new type of support services – Platinum support, ensuring highest quality support of Tieto Card Suite software, as well as additional value added services. The program now includes technical and operational audits, dedicated specialist visits, training, and other activities aimed at improving UFC’s internal processes. UFC’s goal was to establish a stable platform and bring innovative and reliable interbank processing services to the market. Since the start of using Tieto’s Platinum services in 2012, multiple audits have been conducted providing UFC with recommendations from technical as well as business point of view. New efficient change and problem management procedures have been established, and UFC have also enhanced their expert skills.

Central Payment/SpotOn to Sponsor Holiday Program

Central Payment and SpotOn have contributed $60,000 to sponsor GLIDE’S annual holiday Grocery Bag Giveaway (December 18), Zach and Matt Hyman, co-founders and co-managing directors announced. In the three years that the companies have participated in the annual event, they have provided more than $140,000 in donations. Employees from both companies also works on a regular basis in the San Francisco-based organization’s kitchen, which annually serves more than 2500 meals per day to the city’s poor, homeless and hungry. During the year, the companies also established a matching contribution program which allows them to increase the support for nonprofit organizations by making commensurate donations to match those made by employees or sales representatives to a nonprofit.

TSYS Releases Importance of 3D Secure with EMV

TSYS released its white paper titled “EMV is Not Enough: Considerations for Implementing 3D Secure.” The paper considers the impending U.S. migration to Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) chip to combat fraud, but concludes that there are additional steps issuers must consider to mitigate fraud risk. This report concludes that there are clear lessons to be learned in the U.S. from the UK’s introduction of EMV ” and the resulting rise in card-not-present fraud. The paper discusses how the increase in card-not-present fraud coupled with the growth of e-commerce should lead issuers to consider deploying a risk-based authentication on the 3D Secure protocol. 3D Secure, the paper indicates, is a robust and effective method for providing information to issuers and online merchants to combat fraud while simultaneously providing a smooth and interruption-free shopping experience to cardholders.