American Express Support Startups, Research on Financial Inclusion

American Express, at SXSW Interactive Festival, announced several new technology initiatives to promote financial inclusion in the U.S. These include a new program from American Express Ventures to fund startups working toward financial inclusion, the establishment of a Financial Innovation Lab, and sponsorship of a documentary. The documentary will spotlight how technology and new thinking can begin to address the issues facing nearly 70 million Americans1 poorly served or excluded from the mainstream financial system. American Express showcased the trailer for Spent: Looking for Change earlier today at an intimate event at SXSW. The film, set to premiere this summer, follows a handful of hopeful Americans as they navigate their way through an antiquated financial system that can inhibit, rather than help, people’s ability to access, move and manage money as well as save for the future. The film will illustrate the seriousness of this growing problem, but also explore the many solutions emerging through technology, innovation and education.

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ACI Worldwide Presents Executive Payments Summit

ACI Worldwide will be hosting “The Disruption Opportunity: A Game-Changing Perspective on Payments,” an executive payments summit in New York and London on March 12. ACI’s senior payments leaders and other esteemed industry experts will headline this executive summit that explores the opportunity for banks, retailers, billers and processors to leverage payments disruption to get ahead in the marketplace. The summit kicks off with a NASDAQ bell ringing ceremony, followed by a senior-level executive panel that will discuss payments perspectives. Phil Heasley, president and CEO, ACI Worldwide, will present the Disruption Opportunity, and Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief, Forbes Magazine and chairman, Forbes Media, will present Payments Transformation and the Global Economy.

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TSYS Transforms Cardholder Experience

TSYS enhanced its online, self-servicing solution, Credit Care, to provide consumer cardholders an improved user experience and issuing banks greater administrative control. The new responsive and user-friendly design empowers TSYS clients and their customers with greater accessibility to account information. Credit Care now features a flexible user interface providing account holders easy and secure access to their accounts from any mobile device, regardless of size. Other enhancements include convenient single sign-on access from host bank websites, which saves cardholders time and eliminates the need for multiple passwords. New product features also include additional account payment options and an administrative console providing issuing banks the ability to manage the account holder experience for their unique brand and business.

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NRF Issues Statement on PIN Essentials

The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mallory Duncan in response to Visa and MasterCard forming a new cross-industry group focused on enhancing payment system security:

“We remain insistent that U.S. retailers’ customers be given the same protections as consumers in more than 80 countries who have both a chip and a PIN securing their credit and debit cards. There is no single solution to the complex issue of criminal hacking and we know PIN and Chip is just a bridge on the long road to a safer payment system, but it is an important step in the right direction.

“We appreciate being involved in meetings with other stakeholders such as the one hosted by Visa and MasterCard last week. While we certainly agree that speed is of the essence, we don’t believe that is an obstacle to introducing PIN and Chip cards since the technology is well established and the cards are widely used around the globe.

“Easy-to-forge signatures are a virtually worthless form of authentication. Insisting on chip-and-signature cards is like installing an alarm on the front door of a home while leaving the back door wide open. It doesn’t make sense when the technology exists to secure the entire house.”

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Heartland Payment Systems starts building new sales HQ

Heartland Payment announced the start of construction of its new facility in Edmond, Okla.. Heartland partnered with Bockus Payne to design the layout for the new building in Fisher Hall Office Park, which will utilize vintage raw materials. The new Heartland offices will feature “Industrial Era meets Modern Minimalist” interiors by mixing reclaimed wood and tufted leather sofas with glass front offices and exposed structural and mechanical systems. The interior design showcases 8×8 cubicles with sliding glass doors and large, open conference rooms made entirely of glass to promote high visibility among team members. Heartland will utilize its 13,000 square feet of space for general sales operations, recruiting and training programs.

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Through TPS, First Women Bank Manages Own ATM Switch, Card Management

First Women Bank migrated its ATM switch and Card Management in-house, after staying into an outsourced setup for many years.TPS worked closely with the bank and provided both the technology as well as the technical and business consultancy. Successful migration has not only improved its products and services but also lowered the recurring costs and proved to be more reliable. In-house setup improves control over operations and quality of service; reduces time to market new initiatives, removes the risk of sharing confidential information to an external entity and facilitates enhancements of products and services as per bank’s roadmap.

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McDonald’s Deploys Seemless mPayment

The mobile payment solution SEQR is available at restaurants across Sweden and guests make purchases by scanning the unique QR-code displayed at checkout and enter their personal PIN-code. Now SEQR’s payment solution is being integrated with the existing McDonald’s app, which is one of Sweden’s most downloaded, with approximately half a million active users a month. SEQR’s self-developed technology bypasses the card companies and is independent from phone operators. This means that it can be applied to almost all payment situations; in-store, e-commerce and mobile. McDonald’s has long been in the forefront of digital initiatives and has now became one of the first companies to integrate SEQR in its own app. In order to pay guests simply choose SEQR within the McDonald’s app which then opens up automatically. If the user has not already downloaded SEQR they will automatically directed to Appstore/Google Play.

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skyauth and CreditCall Deploys mPOS at Shopping Center

Cloud commerce specialist skyauth is set to launch in Europe later this month after signing its first major customer for its mPOS solution, popuppay, which uses CreditCall’s mPOS SDK and payment gateway service. skyauth will be showcasing its mPOS solution on CreditCall’s stand 435 at RBTE at London’s Earls Court on 11-12 March 2014. Working in conjunction with We Are Pop Up, a company which connects brands and businesses to short-term retail commercial space across Europe, skyauth will be providing eight pop-up retailers within the Corio shopping centre in Berlin with its popuppay mPOS solution. skyauth has developed its mPOS product to be a complete out of the box commerce solution for small and pop-up retailers with the payment functionality provided through the use of the CreditCall software development kit (SDK) http://www.cardeasemobile.com/developers.html.

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Western Union 4Q/13 Revenue Flat Y/Y

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Western Union reported 4Q/13 financial results with flat revenues from the year ago period. Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) revenues declined 1%, flat on a constant currency. Total C2C transactions increased 9% in the fourth quarter, driven primarily by continued traction from the pricing investments which the Company began to implement in the fourth…

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MasterCard and Visa Launch Team on Payment Security

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] MasterCard and Visa partnered on a new cross-industry group focused on enhancing payment system security to keep pace with the expectations of consumers, retailers and financial institutions. The group will initially focus on the adoption of EMV chip technology in the United States and tokenization, point-to-point encryption and broader needs. This…

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Payelp Introduces ePrime Global

Payelp Global is introducing a new revolutionary new payment and business platform called ePrime Global,™ which will dramatically help the speed and security of payment transactions within the Payelp system. The platform has been in beta, but the company is transitioning into the new platform now for all future transactions. Payelp is more than just a payment service provider (currently offering over 300 global payment gateways worldwide to merchants), as the company helps online retailers and businesses earn revenue in other regions around the world through global partners and local regional offices.

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Klarna Completes SOFORT Acquisition

Klarna today announces the completion of the SOFORT acquisition as all conditions precedent for the closing have been fulfilled. The two companies will together form Klarna Group and become Europe’s leading alternative online payments provider. Klarna Group’s services are used by over 25 million consumers and 45 000 online retailers across 14 European countries. Klarna Group has processed over 140 million transactions. Klarna Group can offer online merchants the payment alternatives most preferred by European consumers.

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