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September 27, 2012

September 26, 2012

Payments Views - The State of Payments in the U.S. Market 2012

GP Logo Horizontal 140 pxOver on Payments Views, Glenbrook's Carol Coye Benson weighs in on the state of the U.S. payments industry in 2012. Carol's post thematically looks at the landscape, the key competitive battles, the key innovations, the notable failures, and the untapped opportunities. Here's a hint at what she finds -- "Chaos, fragmentation, value chain disruption, and lots of innovation". Have a look.

Gyft Brings Gift Cards From Over 200 Retailers To Apple’s Passbook

Gyft logo 140x60pxGyft announced its complete application integration with Apple’s Passbook on iOS 6. Gyft offers retailers a simple way to push gift cards to Passbook while giving consumers even more flexibility and convenience for storing, sending, and redeeming their gift cards on Apple’s mobile devices.
“Gyft is thrilled to be fully integrated with Passbook for the launch of iOS 6 and the iPhone 5,” said Vinny Lingham, CEO of Gyft. “You can now conveniently sync any gift card from your Gyft wallet with Passbook. We are also powering our retail partners to connect directly with Passbook through Gyft’s digital gift card platform."

Gyft recently debuted its mobile app as a TechCrunch Disrupt finalist, launching with more than 200 major retailers, including, Brookstone, Lowe’s, and Sephora.

New P2P Payment Methods: Have Paper Checks Met Their Match?

Kansas city fed logo 140x60pxThe Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City has released a new paper entitled "New Person-to-Person Payment Methods: Have Checks Met Their Match?".
Compared with person-to-person payments via cash or checks, new methods now available to consumers offer significant advantages but still leave gaps in service, suggesting a role the Federal Reserve could play to facilitate innovation in this area.

The full paper is available here.

LevelUp Lets Merchants 'White Label' Own Mobile Payment App

Levelup logo 140pxLevelUp has announced the availability of 'LevelUp White Label' which lets merchants created a fully-branded mobile payments app that lets them use their own loyalty program.
“Lots of our partners have great brands, epic brands with some serious cult followings. They've told us they want LevelUp’s unique combination of mobile payments and loyalty-driving campaigns, but they've got to make it their own,” said LevelUp's Seth Priebatsch. “LevelUp White Label gives them exactly that. The full functionality of LevelUp on the backend, with a fully branded experience on the front end.”

Smart Card Alliance Releases Updated U.S. EMV Roadmap White Paper

SmartCardAlliance logo 140pxThe Smart Card Alliance Payments Council has announced availability of an updated white paper, “Card Payments Roadmap in the United States: How Will EMV Impact the Future Payments Infrastructure?” with new information for 2012.
Within the last year, the four major U.S. payment brands have announced harmonized key milestones for U.S. implementation of EMV. The white paper, an extensive update from the first version released in February 2011, contains all of the important details of the milestones and recommended implementation guidelines from American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa in one document for the first time.

September 24, 2012

September 20, 2012

Headline News - September 20, 2012

On the web:

On the wires:

Note: Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners. Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated.

September 19, 2012

Groupon Launches Low-Priced Mobile POS Solution for Groupon Merchants

Groupon logo 140x60pxGroupon has announced the launch of Groupon Payments, a new "payments service backed by a guarantee to be the lowest cost option for the company’s merchants to accept credit cards." For any merchant that runs a "deal" with Groupon in the United States, swiped transaction fees are 1.80% plus $0.15 (MasterCard, Visa and Discover) and 3.00% plus $0.15 (American Express). As a quick reference point, Square is at 2.75% for the same basic swipe transaction, PayPal Here is at 2.70%.

More details about Groupon Payments are available at The Groupon Merchants app can be downloaded for free from the iTunes App Store. No details were released about distribution of the audio jack dongle.

Marqeta Launches Online-to-Offline Payments and Commerce Platform

Marqeta logo 140x60pxMarqeta has announced a new online-to-offline payments and commerce platform that enables merchants to leverage their own prepaid loyalty program without any new software or hardware at the point of sale.
“We based our technology on two key hypotheses – consumers will always be more loyal to their own money than to any given brand, while merchants will always be willing to reward shoppers who commit dollars before they walk in the door. After nearly nine months in the Bay Area and with more than 250 merchants signed on, we’ve proven these theories to be true and are focused on scaling our platform quickly and broadly.”

Tipalti Launches Global Mass Payment Platform

Tipalti logo 140x60pxTipalti has announced an automated online mass payment solutions to send payments to any supplier -- individual or company -- in local currency, in the supplier's preferred payment method, to more than 200 countries in the world.
"Offering each supplier their preferred payment method, dealing with the intricacies of how to remit payments in every country on the globe, handling exchange rates and ensuring payments are received—it all requires expertise and specialized systems that most companies simply don't have," said Tipalti founder and CEO Chen Amit. "The Tipalti payment system handles all of these complexities, allowing the payer to issue thousands of payments, offer a multitude of payment methods, in any currency, while ensuring tax and regulatory compliance. Tipalti puts this power in the hands of small and large businesses with an easy-to-use and extremely affordable system."

September 18, 2012

Square Closes Series D Financing Round with $3.25 Billion Valuation

Square logo 140px Square announced that it has closed its Series D financing round at a $3.25 billion valuation. Investors participating in the round include Citi Ventures, Rizvi Traverse Management, and Starbucks Coffee Company.
One year ago, Square had approximately 150 employees and processed over $1 billion in payments on an annualized basis. Today, Square has over 400 employees and is processing over $8 billion in payments on an annualized basis.

Western Union, MasterCard Partnership Creates Largest U.S. Reload Network

WesternUnion logo 140pxWestern Union and MasterCard have announced that all cardholders with MasterCard rePower-enabled prepaid cards issued by any bank in the U.S. can now reload their cards at more than 45,000 Western Union Agent locations in the United States.
“Before you can use a prepaid card to shop online or pay bills, you must first be able to add funds to it,” said Mike Hafer, Senior Vice President, Global Prepaid, Western Union. “And it is easy to find a Western Union location and have the funds available almost immediately. Just visit your neighborhood Western Union location and you leave with the funds conveniently loaded on your prepaid card.”

LexisNexis Releases 4th Annual 'True Cost of Fraud' Study

LexisNexis logo 140pxAccording to a new study released by LexisNexis Risk Solutions, for every $100 in fraudulent transactions, retailers surprisingly incurred a 'true' cost of $270.
Findings from the study show the cost of fraud is on the rise compared to last year. This year’s cost of $2.70 per $1.00 in merchandise is up $0.40 from last year’s level of $2.30. One of the areas of major fraud growth is the mobile sector. This year, mobile merchants paid $2.83 for every $1.00 lost compared to just $2.00 for 2011, an increase of more than 40 percent. The analysis in the study shows that criminals are shifting more attention to merchants that use a broader array of sales interaction methods, including browser, applications, text and evolving near-field communication methods.

The 4th annual LexisNexis True Cost of Fraud Study examines how fraud affects retail merchants, financial institutions and U.S. consumers, as well as identifies and quantifies the losses involved in a fraudulent retail transaction.

Tabbedout Introduces Mobile Payments SDK for Hospitality Apps

Tabbedout logo 140pxTabbedout announced the availability of their Software Development Kit (SDK) to make it easy for multi-unit restaurant chains and the third party app developers and agencies they work with to incorporate mobile payment functionality into their own mobile apps.
“We wanted to develop an SDK that makes it easy for third parties that work with restaurant chains to add our core mobile payment features,” explained Kelly Harper, vice president of product development for Tabbedout. “With our POS integrations, restaurants can quickly incorporate the SDK into their apps and be up and running in no time, without the need for expensive hardware.”

MoneyGram, Gemalto to Offer International Money Transfers on Mobile Devices

MoneyGram logo 140pxMoneyGram and Gemalto have announced a global agreement to provide MoneyGram services over Gemalto’s LinqUs Mobile Money solution.
MoneyGram’s money transfer platform will be integrated with Gemalto’s LinqUs mobile payment platform solution, allowing customers to send international transfers from a mobile phone to one of MoneyGram’s 284,000 locations worldwide or receive transfers directly to their mobile wallet. Gemalto Mobile Financial Services clients, including banks and mobile operators, will be able to connect directly to MoneyGram’s global network and offer convenient and secure mobile remittance services.

Seamless Launches SEQR App for Small Businesses

Seqr logo 140pxSeamless has announced that it will soon be launching a payment solution for smartphones, tablets and computers - "SEQR Mobile Pos" - for small businesses. "That means that people such as craftsmen, market traders and café owners can use their mobile phone to safely and conveniently accept mobile payments. It is totally free to set up, and its transaction fees are much lower than for card payments."

September 17, 2012

MasterCard Releases Mobile PayPass SDK to Developers

MasterCard logo 140pxMasterCard announced the release of the Mobile MasterCard PayPass User Interface Software Development Kit (UI SDK) for Android and BlackBerry OS 7 mobile operating systems.
“Consumers are gaining comfort and familiarity with mobile and contactless payments, requiring the financial institutions and mobile network operators that offer these services to ensure a consistent and positive experience,” said Mung Ki Woo, Group Executive, Mobile at MasterCard. “As we continue to lead the industry with mobile and contactless payments innovations, we saw an opportunity to simultaneously help our partners and improve the overall user experience. Our first-ever UI SDK provides smart tools and makes it easier for our partners to issue a complete contactless payment solution on mobile.”

The Mobile PayPass UI SDK is available to corporations, financial institutions, merchants, and third party developers. More information is available on the MasterCard Mobile PayPass website.

September 14, 2012

What's Up With Glenbrook

GP Logo Horizontal 140 pxThe October 2-3, 2012 Glenbrook Payments Boot Camp is now sold out and registration is closed. Registration for the remaining 2012 sessions is still available.
Payments Boot Camps - Two Day "deep dive" into the payments industry, $2,195
Oct 24-25, 2012: New York, NY - Bryan Derman and Carol Coye Benson
Dec 4-5, 2012: Santa Clara, CA - Scott Loftesness and Carol Coye Benson

Payments 2013: A Look Ahead - One day workshop for Payments Boot Camp alumni, $995
Dec 6, 2012: Santa Clara, CA - Scott Loftesness, Russ Jones, Carol Coye Benson

Don't delay - register today to secure your seat at one of these upcoming events.

FinovateFall 2012 - Best of Show Winners

Finovate fall 2012A number of payment-related companies were selected by the audience as "Best of Show" at this week's FinovateFall 2012 conference in New York.
  • Dashlane - Checkout on mobile optimized websites without keyboard interaction
  • Dynamics - Programmable Triple Interface Card with Mag Stripe, Contactless, and EMV chip
  • ShopKeep POS - Cloud-based iPad POS System
  • PayTap - Social Bill Pay
Profiles of all 64 presenting companies are now available on the Finovate website.

September 13, 2012

Payfone To Launch Mobile Commerce Checkout Solution

Payfone logo 140pxPayfone has announced '1 Touch Checkout', a "new mobile commerce checkout solution that connects shoppers’ mobile identities with their payment instruments to enable the easiest, fastest and most secure mobile commerce checkout experience possible." Payfone also announced that CardinalCommerce has joined the Payfone Ecosystem as its channel partner.

PayTap Launches Social Bill Pay Service

Paytap logo 140x60pxPayTap is a new social bill pay services that premiered this week at both TechCrunch Disrupt SF and FinovateFall 2012 in NY. The services supports payment cards, bank account, PayPal, and Dwolla payments.
Tap into your network of family and friends to get bills paid. You can share with one person or collaborate with many and the money goes directly to the biller.

Their website is at Glenbrook has previously blogged about the emerging domain of social payments.

MasterCard to Launch the MasterCard Reload Service for Prepaid in Europe

MasterCard logo 140pxMasterCard announced that is has partnered with CQR Payment Solutions to Launch the MasterCard Reload Service for Prepaid in Europe. Cardholders will be able to load cash at a wide variety of merchant locations across Europe via a direct card reload or through a Ukash voucher, which can then be used to reload the card online. The rePower voucher launch will be in November this year.

FDIC Releases National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked

FDIC logo 140px The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has announced the results of its 2011 National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households. "The survey indicates that more than one in four U.S. households (28.3%) are either unbanked or underbanked, a slight increase from the findings of the FDIC’s 2009 inaugural survey. The survey, conducted every two years by the FDIC in partnership with the U.S. Bureau of the Census, provides the banking industry and policy makers with insights and guidance on the demographics and needs of the unbanked and underbanked."

Google 'Save to Wallet API for Payments Cards' Goes Live

Google logo 140pxGoogle says its 'Save to Wallet API for Payment Cards' is now live, with both Discover and Barclaycard US the first to let their cardholders directly insert their cards into the Google Wallet. The blog post has some good screen shots. Barclaycard's companion announcement is here.


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