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« May 4, 2014 - May 10, 2014 | Main | May 18, 2014 - May 24, 2014 »

May 16, 2014

Headline News from PaymentsNews.com - May 16, 2014

On the Web:

  • There Is No Such Thing As An International Wire - PaymentsViews.com (Erin McCune) - "I am writing this post on an airplane, en route to Amsterdam for Bitcoin 2014 where I will be exploring alternatives to the complicated, unpredictable and expensive correspondent banking process."
  • What We Have Been Up to at Circle - The Circle Blog (Jeremy Allaire) - "First, it’s really important to understand that our focus is on promoting and supporting Bitcoin as a payment utility and as a secure store of value. We’re not interested in or focused on the speculative value of Bitcoin."
  • Circle Reveals Roadmap for Bringing Bitcoin to Mainstream Market - CoinDesk - "Perhaps most notably, Circle revealed its intention to act as a “digital custodian” for its customers, allowing consumers to access bitcoin without running bitcoin software, managing private keys or storing bitcoin in a secure location."

Updates from Glenbrook:

Note: Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners. Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated. Do you have news to share? Tell us here: gotnews@paymentsnews.com!

May 15, 2014

Headline News from PaymentsNews.com - May 15, 2014

On the Web:

  • Payments regulation: a summary of the latest views - Financial Services Club Blog (Chris Skinner) - "This new generation could be real-time payments, which were discussed in a strategy roundtable session. At present there are around 35 faster or real-time payments initiatives launched or under development globally."
  • EMV migration won't save retail - Fierce RetailIT - "Some contend that fraud will actually increase during the shift to EMV cards."

On the Wires:

Updates from Glenbrook:

Note: Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners. Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated. Do you have news to share? Tell us here: gotnews@paymentsnews.com!

May 14, 2014

American Express Expands OptBlue Merchant Acquirer Program

Amex logo 140pxAmerican Express has announced the expansion of OptBlue, its new merchant acquiring program that extends U.S. small merchant acceptance coverage for its cards.

Amex reports there are now 10 participating acquirers in OptBlue, five of which are among the top 10 in the United States. New to the program are: First Data, EVO, Merchant e-Solutions and First American Payments Systems. The program was announced at American Express’ Financial Community meeting earlier this year with Vantiv, Global Payments, Heartland Payment Systems, Worldpay, Transfirst and JetPay as the first participants. Participating acquirers will provide a full one-stop servicing solution for American Express Card® acceptance to eligible U.S. small merchants.

OptBlue is part of American Express’ ongoing commitment to enhance the U.S. small merchant experience and is an evolution of our acquiring business,” said Ed Jay, Executive Vice President, Merchant Services - Americas, American Express.

“The program will help deliver a smart and easy solution for U.S. small merchants to enjoy the benefits of American Express Card acceptance while making it convenient for consumers to Shop Small® year round.”

With OptBlue, participating acquirers can offer U.S. small merchants the benefit of a single statement, one settlement process, and one contact for all the major card brands. Acquirers determine merchant pricing in addition to providing payment processing and servicing. OptBlue will help expand American Express’ U.S. small merchant coverage, providing consumers more payment options at local businesses. American Express continues to receive the same transactional information it does today, allowing OptBlue merchants to benefit from the valuable tools, services and marketing that the Company delivers to small merchants. OptBlue is limited to eligible U.S. small merchants that have a projected American Express charge volume of less than $1 million per year.

Headline News from PaymentsNews.com - May 14, 2014

On the Web:

On the Wires:

Updates from Glenbrook:

Note: Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners. Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated. Do you have news to share? Tell us here: gotnews@paymentsnews.com!

May 13, 2014

Vantiv to Acquire Mercury Payment Systems from Silver Lake

Vantiv logo 140pxVantiv has announced an agreement to acquire Mercury Payment Systems, LLC for an aggregate price of $1.65 billion. Mercury is a payment technology and service leader whose solutions are embedded into point-of-sale software applications and brought to market through their dealer and developer partners. Mercury is currently majority-owned by Silver Lake.

The emergence of integrated payment technology at the point-of-sale delivers a differentiated merchant experience and creates a highly-efficient, cloud-based delivery model for customer acquisition and retention,” said Charles Drucker, president and chief executive officer of Vantiv.

“By combining Mercury’s distribution network and innovative solutions with Vantiv’s technology platform and products, we are developing a payments eco-system that allows us to serve these clients in new and exciting ways. Bringing the companies together will dramatically enhance our distribution and technology capabilities to serve a number of large and growing industry verticals.”

Vantiv said that the acquisition of Mercury accelerates Vantiv’s growth in the integrated payments space, which is expected to increase significantly over the next several years to potentially represent over 30% of total payments volume by 20171. The transaction results in a combination of leading technology, distribution and scale, which along with Vantiv’s presence in online and omni-channel commerce, significantly increases Vantiv’s penetration into high-growth channels.

BitPay Raises $30M in Series A Led by Index Ventures

Bitpay logo 140pxBitPay has announced a Series A funding round of $30M (€22M), led by Index Ventures, with participation from Horizons Ventures, Founders Fund, Felicis Ventures, RRE Ventures, TTV Capital, Sir Richard Branson, and AME Cloud Ventures.

With total accumulated investment reaching $32.7M, BitPay says it has now raised more venture funding than any other bitcoin startup. This fundraising round includes venture capital from London, Geneva, New York, San Francisco and Hong Kong. Jan Hammer from Index Ventures will be joining BitPay’s Board of Directors, along with Mr. Jimmy Furland who represents the original investor group.

BitPay notes that it processes $1 million per day in bitcoin payments for over 30,000 merchants, 50% of whom are in the U.S., with 30% in Europe and 20% across the rest of the world. Its customers include WordPress, TigerDirect, and Shopify. In addition to BitPay’s core merchant acquiring products, the company is also developing open source projects around Bitcoin such as Bitcore, Insight, and Copay.

Bitcoin is a borderless and frictionless payment system, which is nearing a tipping-point moment in terms of merchant adoption,” said BitPay co-founder Tony Gallippi.

“Unlike existing payment technologies such as credit cards, with their high fees and risk of fraud and chargebacks, Bitcoin was designed for the Internet age, offering companies a lower-cost, lower-risk alternative.”

BitPay also announced that Stephen Pair has also moved to the position of CEO and Mr. Tony Gallippi is now Executive Chairman.

Headline News from PaymentsNews.com - May 13, 2014

On the Web:

  • Dark Wallet and Bitcoin Regulation - PaymentsViews.com (George Peabody) - "For those of us who believe that our tools give us the ability to create positive change, the next task will the development of stronger mechanisms to secure privacy and security on the Bitcoin ecosystem instead of increasing its vulnerability to regulation."
  • Square Finally Gives Up on Square Wallet and Bets on New Order-Ahead App - Re/Code.net (Jason Del Rey) - "As of today, Square has pulled the app from the Apple and Google app stores. At the same time, it is introducing Square Order, an app that lets shoppers place pick-up orders from, and pay at, coffee shops, cafes and other Square merchants..."
  • The Future of Retail Checkout: No Checkout at All? - The Atlantic - “People have said when checkout is working really well, it will feel like stealing. You grab a pair of shoes and you just walk out.”

On the Wires:

Updates from Glenbrook:

Note: Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners. Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated. Do you have news to share? Tell us here: gotnews@paymentsnews.com!

May 12, 2014

Headline News from PaymentsNews.com - May 12, 2014

On the Web:

On the Wires:

Updates from Glenbrook:

Note: Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners. Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated. Do you have news to share? Tell us here: gotnews@paymentsnews.com!

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