Podcast: PF Day Preview with Adyen’s Mike McGirr

This week, we talk with Mike McGirr, senior vice president, compliance and risk, for payments platform provider Adyen.

In a wide-ranging conversation, McGirr talks about Adyen’s role in the payments ecosystem. He also talks about his own roles as chair of ETA’s new Payment Facilitator Committee and moderator of an acquirer panel at the upcoming Payment Facilitator Day, part of ETA’s TRANSACT conference. And he previews some of what PFs can expect from both.

This week, we talk with Mike McGirr, senior vice president, compliance and risk, for payments platform provider Adyen. In a wide-ranging conversation, McGirr talks about Adyen’s role in the payments ecosystem. He also talks about his own roles as chair of ETA’s new Payment Facilitator Committee and moderator of an acquirer panel at the upcoming Payment Facilitator Day, part of ETA’s TRANSACT conference. And he previews some of what PFs can expect from both.

Vantiv Enters B2B With Paymetric Acquisition

Payment technology provider Vantiv is planning to acquire Paymetric, a B2B electronic payments provider, the company said this week.

The acquisition expands Vantiv’s presence into the B2B payment space, the company said. Paymetric integrates payments capabilities with enterprise systems such as SAP, Oracle and Salesforce. It uses tokenization technology to store customer information securely.

Payment technology provider Vantiv is planning to acquire Paymetric, a B2B electronic payments provider, the company said this week. The acquisition expands Vantiv’s presence into the B2B payment space, the company said. Paymetric integrates payments capabilities with enterprise systems such as SAP, Oracle and Salesforce. It uses tokenization technology to store customer information securely.

News Roundup: China’s Cashless Commute

China makes a major cashless play, Shopify launches new hardware, and Idaho makes paying child support easier in a roundup of this week’s news.
China makes a major cashless play, Shopify launches new hardware, and Idaho makes paying child support easier in a roundup of this week’s news.

Striking Out in Uncharted Territory: PF Day Preview

Being a pioneer can be a bit isolating.

The unique approaches payment facilitators have taken to their markets often mean that they have challenges – and solutions – only other PFs are likely to understand.

Being a pioneer can be a bit isolating. The unique approaches payment facilitators have taken to their markets often mean that they have challenges – and solutions – only other PFs are likely to understand.

With Space to Grow, Parking Vendors Looking for Scale

Parkmobile CEO Jon Ziglar envisions a world where we all leave our homes knowing the exact spot where we’ll park when we get to our destination.

U.S. cities are nowhere near reaching that parking utopia, meaning that there is plenty of room for Parkmobile and companies like it to grow.

Parkmobile CEO Jon Ziglar envisions a world where we all leave our homes knowing the exact spot where we’ll park when we get to our destination. U.S. cities are nowhere near reaching that parking utopia, meaning that there is plenty of room for Parkmobile and companies like it to grow.

Choices at Vending Machine: More Than Salty vs. Sweet

The choices offered by today’s payments technology can be found everywhere – even at the vending machine.

Sure, you can still find machines where you can insert and reinsert that dollar bill with the bent corner. But an increasing array of options is making paying for the snacks more convenient for consumers and managing the machines easier for operators.

The choices offered by today’s payments technology can be found everywhere – even at the vending machine. Sure, you can still find machines where you can insert and reinsert that dollar bill with the bent corner. But an increasing array of options is making paying for the snacks more convenient for consumers and managing the machines easier for operators.

News Roundup: Tech Giants Expanding in India

Two major technology companies are reportedly expanding their services in India, and PayPal continues to add to its roster of partnerships.

Last week, the Economic Times reported that Google had launched an app giving India’s consumers access to restaurant delivery or home services, such as electricians or house cleaners. Users can look to the Areo app to order food or schedule appointments. They can also pay for the service directly on the app.

Two major technology companies are reportedly expanding their services in India, and PayPal continues to add to its roster of partnerships.

Compliance from the PF Point of View: PF Day Preview

When a technology company decides to take on payments, it often seems like a natural next step. Who wouldn’t want to extend their services by enabling clients to accept payments?

Then reality sinks in. Adding the technical capability to move money is one thing. Opening the door to the complex web of federal and state regulation and card brand rules is another.

When a technology company decides to take on payments, it often seems like a natural next step. Who wouldn’t want to extend their services by enabling clients to accept payments? Then reality sinks in. Adding the technical capability to move money is one thing. Opening the door to the complex web of federal and state regulation and card brand rules is another.

Paytm Uses QR Codes to Connect Online, Offline

Paytm is expanding its use of QR codes to drive commerce at small retailers across India.

Earlier this week, the company announced it was opening up a channel for its small, local partner merchants. The program will enable them to sell products from its online Paytm Mall to customers who come into their stores.

Paytm is expanding its use of QR codes to drive commerce at small retailers across India. Earlier this week, the company announced it was opening up a channel for its small, local partner merchants. The program will enable them to sell products from its online Paytm Mall to customers who come into their stores.

Acquisition News: Mastercard, Stripe and Flipkart Make Moves

A handful of big-name acquisitions have dominated headlines this week.

The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority cleared the way for Mastercard’s acquisition of VocaLink, announcing on Tuesday that the companies had adequately addressed competition concerns about the purchase.

A handful of big-name acquisitions have dominated headlines this week. The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority cleared the way for Mastercard’s acquisition of VocaLink, announcing on Tuesday that the companies had adequately addressed competition concerns about the purchase.

News Roundup: Adyen Doubles Revenue, Mastercard Names New Class of Startups

In a roundup of news from this week, Adyen announces significant growth, Stripe upgrades its Atlas program, Mastercard is taking applicants for summer Start Path Global program, and Wirecard and Alipay continue their expansion.
In a roundup of news from this week, Adyen announces significant growth, Stripe upgrades its Atlas program, Mastercard is taking applicants for summer Start Path Global program, and Wirecard and Alipay continue their expansion.

PF Day Comes Just Once a Year

Once a year, payment facilitators – and those thinking about being PFs – get to huddle with peers to learn more about mastering this fast-moving space.

This year, that event is on May 11 in Las Vegas. Payment Facilitator Day: A Closer Look is a full day of content by, for, and about PFs presented by PaymentFacilitator.com at the Electronic Transactions Association’s TRANSACT, the organization’s signature industry conference.

Attendees will have the chance to hear from and network with leaders in the space, including Adyen and Square.

Once a year, payment facilitators – and those thinking about being PFs – get to huddle with peers to learn more about mastering this fast-moving space. This year, that event is on May 11 in Las Vegas. Payment Facilitator Day: A Closer Look is a full day of content by, for, and about PFs presented by PaymentFacilitator.com at the Electronic Transactions Association’s TRANSACT. Attendees will have the chance to hear from and network with leaders in the space, including Adyen and Square.

Grab-Kudo Agreement Extends Uber Rival’s Push into Payments, Drive for Financial Inclusion

Grab, a ride-hailing platform that is often referred to as Southeast Asia’s answer to Uber, is extending its payments platform through its acquisition of e-commerce platform Kudo.

The acquisition complements Grab’s existing network across Indonesia’s major cities, the company said. Kudo’s unique structure, with 400,000 agents in 500 towns across Indonesia, will extend Grab into smaller towns and rural areas as well.

The company said it is looking at ways to grow its community of riders and drivers, as well as expand Kudo’s financial services, using this combined distribution network.

Grab, a ride-hailing platform that is often referred to as Southeast Asia’s answer to Uber, is extending its payments platform through its acquisition of e-commerce platform Kudo. The acquisition complements Grab’s existing network across Indonesia’s major cities, the company said. Kudo’s unique structure, with 400,000 agents in 500 towns across Indonesia, will extend Grab into smaller towns and rural areas as well. The company said it is looking at ways to grow its community of riders and drivers, as well as expand Kudo’s financial services, using this combined distribution network.

PayPal, Visa Extend Partnership to APAC

Visa and leading payment facilitator PayPal announced an expansion of a strategic partnership they entered into in the U.S. last summer.

The partnership is an agreement to work jointly to grow the adoption of mobile and digital payments. This latest agreement covers the Asia Pacific region.

As was the case in the U.S., the APAC partnership includes PayPal’s use of the Visa’s Digital Enablement Program (VDEP), which gives PayPal access to Visa’s tokenization technology. This enables PayPal users to conduct secure transactions at point-of-sale locations where Visa is accepted.

Visa and leading payment facilitator PayPal announced an expansion of a strategic partnership they entered into in the U.S. last summer. The partnership is an agreement to work jointly to grow the adoption of mobile and digital payments. This latest agreement covers the Asia Pacific region.

News Roundup: Why Do So Many Canadian Small Merchants Still Use Cash Registers?

In a roundup of news from this week, PayU’s new payment deferral option consolidates small-ticket transactions, Avangate acquires PF 2Checkout, and Moneris releases research on the adoption of tablet-based POS systems by Canadian merchants.
In a roundup of news from this week, PayU’s new payment deferral option consolidates small-ticket transactions, Avangate acquires PF 2Checkout, and Moneris releases research on the adoption of tablet-based POS systems by Canadian merchants.

Square Makes Its Move into U.K.

Square announced this week that it has launched its business in the U.K. But does its timing mean that it’s already shut out of a competitive market?

Rick Oglesby doesn’t think so. Oglesby is principal of AZ Payments Group and a partner of Double Diamond Group, and he’s bullish on Square’s prospects.

Square announced this week that it has launched its business in the U.K. But does its timing mean that it’s already shut out of a competitive market? Rick Oglesby doesn’t think so. Oglesby is principal of AZ Payments Group and a partner of Double Diamond Group, and he’s bullish on Square’s prospects.

Brexit Begins: Should Payments Businesses Shy Away from the UK?

Nine months after its historic vote to leave the European Union, Britain made the breakup official this week. What follows this event is up to two years of negotiations regarding how newly single Britain will interact with the rest of the world.

With the process officially begun, has anything changed for businesses interested in doing business in the U.K.?

Nine months after its historic vote to leave the European Union, Britain made the breakup official this week. What follows this event is up to two years of negotiations regarding how newly single Britain will interact with the rest of the world. With the process officially begun, has anything changed for businesses interested in doing business in the U.K.?

Is Frictionless Onboarding Too Risky?

With frictionless underwriting, it’s easy to sign up for merchant accounts in seconds. If that’s the case, what’s to keep bad actors from signing up for multiple accounts, with multiple service providers?

In the latest in our series of industry perspectives on frictionless onboarding, we talk to Danny Klein, the COO of cyber risk intelligence provider EverCompliant, about how risk has evolved along with the practice.

With frictionless underwriting, it’s easy to sign up for merchant accounts in seconds. If that’s the case, what’s to keep bad actors from signing up for multiple accounts, with multiple service providers? In the latest in our series of industry perspectives on frictionless onboarding, we talk to Danny Klein, the COO of cyber risk intelligence provider EverCompliant, about how risk has evolved along with the practice.

News Roundup: New Authentication Method for Mastercard Selfie Pay

In a roundup of news from this week, Mastercard comments on Samsung iris scanning technology, Wirecard acquires South African payments provider, and Alipay expands its reach again.
In a roundup of news from this week, Mastercard comments on Samsung iris scanning technology, Wirecard acquires South African payments provider, and Alipay expands its reach again.

India’s Rapid Digitalization Means More Inclusion – and More Risk

We continue our series on frictionless underwriting this week with a closer look at India’s rapidly changing environment and what it means for onboarding and monitoring merchants.

With the advent of rapid digitalization in India, the race has been on for payments providers to board many merchants quickly.

Companies have responded to the government’s aggressive moves toward a digital economy by announcing a slew of new initiatives intended to bring small merchants into the fold.

With the advent of rapid digitalization in India, the race has been on for payments providers to board many merchants quickly. Companies have responded to the government’s aggressive moves toward a digital economy by announcing a slew of new initiatives intended to bring small merchants into the fold.

CFPB Dealt Setbacks in Two Important Cases

Last Friday, the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota dismissed the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s case against Intercept.

In that case, the agency had alleged that Intercept, a payments processor, had ignored obvious fraud warning signs about its merchants, which it referred to as “red flags.”

The court decided that the CFPB did not adequately back up its allegations about what Intercept should have known.

Last Friday, the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota dismissed the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s case against Intercept. The court decided that the CFPB did not adequately back up its allegations about what Intercept should have known.

Find Kids’ Activities, and Now Book Them with Cubspot

Wondering what to do with your kids this summer? You could Google “summer camp” and your location, and then take your chances with what you find. Or you could try Cubspot.

The marketplace with the cute name provides parents with an easier way to find camps, lessons and enrichment activities in their area. It made its debut just last year.

Wondering what to do with your kids this summer? You could Google “summer camp” and your location, and then take your chances with what you find. Or you could try Cubspot. The marketplace with the cute name provides parents with an easier way to find camps, lessons and enrichment activities in their area. It made its debut just last year.

News Roundup: Samsung Pay Launches in India, Shopify Teams with Klarna

In a roundup of news from this week, Mastercard announced the launch of Samsung Pay in India, Shopify integrates Klarna’s instant financing, and Paytm expands into Canada.
In a roundup of news from this week, Mastercard announced the launch of Samsung Pay in India, Shopify integrates Klarna’s instant financing, and Paytm expands into Canada.

Q&A: The Risks and Benefits of Frictionless Underwriting

The advent of frictionless underwriting turned the payments world on its head. The ability to onboard merchants quickly with a minimum of fuss has enabled small merchants to accept payments more easily, clearing the way for many more to enter the market.

But the practice does have its downside. Lowering barriers to entry into the payments system lowers them for everyone, not just the good guys. With that in mind, PaymentFacilitator.com is beginning a series on the perils and the benefits of frictionless underwriting.

The advent of frictionless underwriting turned the payments world on its head. The ability to onboard merchants quickly with a minimum of fuss has enabled small merchants to accept payments more easily, clearing the way for many more to enter the market. But the practice does have its downside. Lowering barriers to entry into the payments system lowers them for everyone, not just the good guys. With that in mind, PaymentFacilitator.com is beginning a series on the perils and the benefits of frictionless underwriting.

Taming the Virtual Card Tangle in B2B Payments

In consumer payments, enabling the acceptance of electronic payments often makes the process easier.

When it comes to corporate payments to suppliers, however, digitizing the payment is only the beginning.

In consumer payments, enabling the acceptance of electronic payments often makes the process easier. When it comes to corporate payments to suppliers, however, digitizing the payment is only the beginning.

India Ends Cash Freeze

India removed all limits on cash withdrawals this week, ending its demonetization period. The government had imposed strict limits on cash withdrawal amounts after its initial announcement last November.

While digital transactions rose sharply after demonetization, data from the Reserve Bank of India shows cash making a return.

India removed all limits on cash withdrawals this week, ending its demonetization period. The government had imposed strict limits on cash withdrawal amounts after its initial announcement last November. While digital transactions rose sharply after demonetization, data from the Reserve Bank of India shows cash making a return.

News Roundup: Wirecard to Acquire Citi APAC Merchant Portfolio

In a roundup of news from this week, Wirecard acquires Citi’s merchant portfolio, Square sees a significant increase in chip cards, and PerformLine launches merchant monitoring.
In a roundup of news from this week, Wirecard acquires Citi’s merchant portfolio, Square sees a significant increase in chip cards, and PerformLine launches merchant monitoring.

MINDBODY Makes Wellness Easy for Consumers, Businesses

Among fintech companies, there is often a common thread. Many began with the needs of a vertical in mind. Then they create a solution from the ground up that meets those needs.

Usually, however, the people who develop software for these companies are already programmers.

Not so with Mindbody, the software company that caters to health, beauty and wellness businesses.

Among fintech companies, there is often a common thread. Many began with the needs of a vertical in mind. Then they create a solution from the ground up that meets those needs. Usually, however, the people who develop software for these companies are already programmers. Not so with Mindbody, the software company that caters to health, beauty and wellness businesses.

Women “Central” to Mastercard’s Goal of Advancing Financial Inclusion

Access to formal financial services is among the factors contributing to success for women business owners globally.

This is according to the first edition of the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs, which the company released on Tuesday. The index looked at the relative success of women entrepreneurs across the globe. It then compared conditions that either support or hinder it in different markets.

Access to formal financial services is among the factors contributing to success for women business owners globally. This is according to the first edition of the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs, which the company released on Tuesday. The index looked at the relative success of women entrepreneurs across the globe. It then compared conditions that either support or hinder it in different markets.

Podcast: Why MAC Needs Payment Facilitators

This week, we talk with Melissa Sutherland, director of merchant solutions for LegitScript, a compliance company. Sutherland is also deeply involved with the Merchant Acquirers’ Committee, otherwise known as MAC.

We talk with Sutherland about the benefits of MAC membership and the reasons she’s involved. She shares some of the background behind the formation of the organization. The founders, she said, wanted to feel free to share information with each other about fraud and “didn’t want to be constricted by competition.”

This week, we talk with Melissa Sutherland, director of merchant solutions for LegitScript, a compliance company. Sutherland is also deeply involved with the Merchant Acquirers’ Committee, otherwise known as MAC. We talk with Sutherland about the benefits of MAC membership and the reasons she’s involved. She shares some of the background behind the formation of the organization. The founders, she said, wanted to feel free to share information with each other about fraud and “didn’t want to be constricted by competition.”

Research: Digital Wallet Adoption Will Happen; Merchants Must Take the Lead

Merchants must take the lead in driving digital wallet adoption and growth. That’s according to research conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by JPMorgan Chase. It looks at the current state of the digital wallet from both consumer and merchant perspectives.

The study looks at the prevailing attitudes of consumers right now concerning digital wallets – including whether they consider them safe, whether they use them and if not, why they don’t. Forrester also asked merchants what barriers they face in implementing digital wallets.

Merchants must take the lead in driving digital wallet adoption and growth. That’s according to research conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by JPMorgan Chase. It looks at the current state of the digital wallet from both consumer and merchant perspectives.

Mastercard Joins with Unilever to Empower Small Merchants

Mastercard and Unilever announced a partnership on Wednesday through which they plan to expand access to resources for small and micro businesses in emerging markets.

The partnership will combine Unilever’s distribution network with Mastercard’s payments technology and expertise.

Mastercard and Unilever announced a partnership on Wednesday through which they plan to expand access to resources for small and micro businesses in emerging markets. The partnership will combine Unilever’s distribution network with Mastercard’s payments technology and expertise.

Visa on PFs: “It’s a Great Responsibility”

For an established company to grow, it needs to find new paths.

Sometimes, those paths lead somewhere unexpected.

Visa’s payment facilitator program is just such a route. For Visa, the program began simply as a way to expand acceptance of its cards. But it has evolved into much more.

For an established company to grow, it needs to find new paths. Sometimes, those paths lead somewhere unexpected. Visa’s payment facilitator program is just such a route. For Visa, the program began simply as a way to expand acceptance of its cards. But it has evolved into much more.

A Payment Facilitator’s Guide to Staying Out of Regulatory Crosshairs

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have increasingly targeted actors in the payments industry—including processors and independent sales organizations (ISOs)—for allowing “bad” merchants into, or to remain in, the payments ecosystem.

Indeed, when regulators identify significant consumer injury resulting from a merchant’s deceptive practices, it is not uncommon for the merchant’s payment processor and/or ISO to be named as a codefendant in an ensuing enforcement action—along with individuals at the processor or ISO who facilitated the merchant’s processing activity.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have increasingly targeted actors in the payments industry—including processors and independent sales organizations (ISOs)—for allowing “bad” merchants into, or to remain in, the payments ecosystem. Indeed, when regulators identify significant consumer injury resulting from a merchant’s deceptive practices, it is not uncommon for the merchant’s payment processor and/or ISO to be named as a codefendant in an ensuing enforcement action—along with individuals at the processor or ISO who facilitated the merchant’s processing activity.

Paysafe, Square Expand Mobile Ordering for Local Businesses

Ordering ahead with your mobile phone isn’t just for pizza anymore.

Mobile ordering is often associated with pizza delivery and big fast casual chains. But increasingly, platforms are enabling smaller, local businesses to get in the game.

London-based payment facilitator Paysafe is rolling out a new mobile ordering app called GOLO. The app will enable customers to order not only from local restaurants, but other businesses as well. They can then either pick up their order or have it delivered.

Ordering ahead with your mobile phone isn’t just for pizza anymore. Mobile ordering is often associated with pizza delivery and big fast casual chains. But increasingly, platforms are enabling smaller, local businesses to get in the game.

Podcast: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

This week, we talk with Chris Bucolo, director of market strategy for managed security service provider ControlScan, about e-commerce security.

When they take on payments, companies jump into a complex system where all parties are responsible for maintaining data security.

In some cases, payment facilitators are companies that have created applications that work well for the vertical they serve. But they may not always be aware of all the risk elements associated with that application.

This week, we talk with Chris Bucolo, director of market strategy for managed security service provider ControlScan, about e-commerce security. When they take on payments, companies jump into a complex system where all parties are responsible for maintaining data security. In some cases, payment facilitators are companies that have created applications that work well for the vertical they serve. But they may not always be aware of all the risk elements associated with that application.

Square Trims Losses, Continues Steady Payments Volume Growth

New sellers and an expanding product line made 2016 a good year for Square.

In its earnings report on Wednesday, the company said its net loss per share during the final quarter of 2016 was $.04, a significant improvement from $.34 during the same period the previous year.

New sellers and an expanding product line made 2016 a good year for Square. In its earnings report on Wednesday, the company said its net loss per share during the final quarter of 2016 was $.04, a significant improvement from $.34 during the same period the previous year.

After Demonetization, India Seeking a New Normal

The payments news from India just keeps coming.

As the government continues its push toward a cashless society, its policies are getting mixed reviews. But companies continue to shore up their digital payment offerings, hoping to capitalize on the climate there.

The payments news from India just keeps coming. As the government continues its push toward a cashless society, its policies are getting mixed reviews. But companies continue to shore up their digital payment offerings, hoping to capitalize on the climate there.

Global News Roundup: DocuSign Launches Payments; Ant Financial Expands to Philippines

In a roundup of news from this week, DocuSign officially launches payments, Shopify improves its shipping, and Facebook friends can now send money internationally through Messenger, thanks to TransferWise. DocuSign has made its payments capability available to U.S. customers, following the beta it launched in November. As PaymentFacilitator.com reported at the time, the company is offering the payment capability through a partnership with Stripe.
In a roundup of news from this week, DocuSign officially launches payments, Shopify improves its shipping, and Facebook friends can now send money internationally through Messenger, thanks to TransferWise.</p><p>DocuSign has made its payments capability available to U.S. customers, following the beta it launched in November. As PaymentFacilitator.com reported at the time, the company is offering the payment capability through a partnership with Stripe.

Podcast: A Sneak Peek at the Upcoming MAC Conference

In this week’s podcast, we’re talking with Vadeene Sisk, chair of the Education Committee and secretary for MAC. She shares her perspective on what the organization does and how it can help payment facilitators. She also lets listeners in on highlights from some of the organization’s recent educational activities, including a popular webinar on what to expect from a Trump administration.
In this week’s podcast, we’re talking with Vadeene Sisk, chair of the Education Committee and secretary for MAC. She shares her perspective on what the organization does and how it can help payment facilitators.</p><p>She also lets listeners in on highlights from some of the organization’s recent educational activities, including a popular webinar on what to expect from a Trump administration.

ETA Launches Committee for PFs, Acknowledging Tremendous Market Growth Potential

The Electronic Transactions Association is launching a new committee, pointing to the growing importance of PFs within today’s payments industry. Members of ETA’s Payment Facilitator Committee will address challenges and issues having to do with compliance, business and technology in the PF space.
The Electronic Transactions Association is launching a new committee, pointing to the growing importance of PFs within today’s payments industry.</p><p>Members of ETA’s Payment Facilitator Committee will address challenges and issues having to do with compliance, business and technology in the PF space.

PayPal to Acquire TIO Networks, Citing Shared Interest in “Democratizing Money”

Leading payment facilitator PayPal announced on Tuesday that it plans to acquire TIO Networks. TIO is a Vancouver-based bill payment processor.

The companies cite their interest in providing services to the underserved as a key philosophical fit. And with this acquisition, PayPal gains an expanded offering for its consumer base.

Leading payment facilitator PayPal announced on Tuesday that it plans to acquire TIO Networks. TIO is a Vancouver-based bill payment processor. The companies cite their interest in providing services to the underserved as a key philosophical fit. And with this acquisition, PayPal gains an expanded offering for its consumer base.

Drive to Expand Financial Inclusion Continues in Africa, India

Payments technology companies are continuing the drive to expand financial services into underserved populations. By enabling micro and small businesses to accept non-cash payments, they say, they are improving operational efficiencies for these businesses and avoiding the need for proprietors to carry large sums of cash.

On Tuesday, Mastercard announced that it plans to provide at least 150,000 Kenyan merchants with access to its Masterpass QR mobile person-to-merchant payment solution, beginning this month.

Payments technology companies are continuing the drive to expand financial services into underserved populations. By enabling micro and small businesses to accept non-cash payments, they say, they are improving operational efficiencies for these businesses and avoiding the need for proprietors to carry large sums of cash.

Global News Roundup: Secure Payment by Live Chat and Best Practices for Merchant Onboarding

In a roundup of briefs from this week’s news, payment tech companies have been busy making deals and introducing new capabilities, India’s payments app is now available for more users, and Aite talks to acquirers about best practices for merchant onboarding.

Australian payment facilitator PromisePay has changed its name to Assembly. The company cited its evolution from an online payments provider to a company focused on customer experience, as the reason for the change.

In a roundup of briefs from this week’s news, payment tech companies have been busy making deals and introducing new capabilities, India’s payments app is now available for more users, and Aite talks to acquirers about best practices for merchant onboarding.

Podcast: Getting the Most Out of Underwriting Tools

In this week’s podcast, we talk to Marcus Smith, senior vice president of Risk Management for iPayment, a provider of payment solutions and processing services, about the tools used in underwriting submerchants.

Smith points out that while underwriting tools themselves are relatively simple, interpreting the results effectively requires some training.

In this week’s podcast, we talk to Marcus Smith, senior vice president of Risk Management for iPayment, a provider of payment solutions and processing services, about the tools used in underwriting submerchants. Smith points out that while underwriting tools themselves are relatively simple, interpreting the results effectively requires some training.

European PF Klarna Expands with BillPay Acquisition

Stockholm-based payment facilitator Klarna is again expanding in Europe, this time with the purchase of German e-commerce payment company BillPay.

BillPay enables customers to pay by invoice, direct debit, or in installments through its PayLater product.

Stockholm-based payment facilitator Klarna is again expanding in Europe, this time with the purchase of German e-commerce payment company BillPay. BillPay enables customers to pay by invoice, direct debit, or in installments through its PayLater product.

Pressure on CFPB Intensifies: What’s Next for the Agency?

A three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit dealt a setback to the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last week when it denied motions to intervene in a lawsuit on behalf of the agency. After the same panel ruled the agency's structure unconstitutional, the CFPB asked the entire court to rehear the case. But opponents of the CFPB aren’t waiting for that ruling to continue their assault.
A three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit dealt a setback to the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last week when it denied motions to intervene in a lawsuit on behalf of the agency. After the same panel ruled the agency's structure unconstitutional, the CFPB asked the entire court to rehear the case. But opponents of the CFPB aren’t waiting for that ruling to continue their assault.

Proposed Cybersecurity Rule Hints at Priority for Regulators

Companies and organizations ranging from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to banking technology provider Fiserv have submitted comments on a proposed rule from three federal agencies regarding enhanced cyber risk management standards. The advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) is directed at financial institutions and their service providers. The agencies said that they are considering enhanced standards to mitigate against the impact of technology failures and cyberattacks on one of those entities.

While any resulting rule is unlikely to apply to payment facilitators at this point, that doesn’t mean they should ignore it.

Companies and organizations ranging from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to banking technology provider Fiserv have submitted comments on a proposed rule from three federal agencies regarding enhanced cyber risk management standards. The advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) is directed at financial institutions and their service providers. The agencies said that they are considering enhanced standards to mitigate against the impact of technology failures and cyberattacks on one of those entities. While any resulting rule is unlikely to apply to payment facilitators at this point, that doesn’t mean they should ignore it.

News Roundup: PF InstaMed Introduces Secure Token for Patient Portals

In a roundup of this week’s industry news, InstaMed tokenizes payment information for healthcare patient portals, Adyen nearly doubles transaction volume, and PayPal has a busy week.

Payment facilitator InstaMed has introduced what it calls the InstaMed Secure Token. The token enables healthcare providers to integrate payments within their patient portals without storing sensitive payment information on their servers.

In a roundup of this week’s industry news, InstaMed tokenizes payment information for healthcare patient portals, Adyen nearly doubles transaction volume, and PayPal has a busy week.

FLYR Hoping Installment Payments Will Make Fliers Out of More People

Travel tech company FLYR thinks you shouldn’t have to pay a significant upfront sum for your travel booking, so it’s offering another option: installment payments.

Through client partners such as travel sites, airlines and online travel agents, FLYR offers consumers the ability to spread out the expense of their travel with no interest and no credit check, through a product they call TripPay.

Travel tech company FLYR thinks you shouldn’t have to pay a significant upfront sum for your travel booking, so it’s offering another option: installment payments. Through client partners such as travel sites, airlines and online travel agents, FLYR offers consumers the ability to spread out the expense of their travel with no interest and no credit check, through a product they call TripPay.

Thailand’s PromptPay Arrives, with Plans to Displace Cash

Thailand took a step toward a digital economy this past week with its release of PromptPay, which enables consumers to send and receive payments using mobile phone numbers or national identification numbers rather than bank account numbers.

PromptPay is part of the Thai government’s effort to develop a national electronic payments infrastructure, which is intended to reduce cash usage and to make the payments system more efficient and transparent, as well as to provide e-commerce opportunities for small to medium businesses.

Thailand took a step toward a digital economy this past week with its release of PromptPay, which enables consumers to send and receive payments using mobile phone numbers or national identification numbers rather than bank account numbers.

PF Leaders Square and Stripe Criticize Trump Immigration Order

President Trump’s executive order on Friday halting immigration from seven countries sparked a vocal reaction from many among the tech business community. The CEOs of Square and Stripe were among those expressing concern about the potential impact of the order, both in economic and human terms.
President Trump’s executive order on Friday halting immigration from seven countries sparked a vocal reaction from many among the tech business community. The CEOs of Square and Stripe were among those expressing concern about the potential impact of the order, both in economic and human terms.

News Roundup: PF MCPayment Takes Controlling Stake in Alipay Acquirer Genesis Payment Solutions

In our roundup of this week’s industry news, a Singapore PF looks to expand with an Alipay acquirer and Intuit comes to an agreement over data sharing with JPMorgan Chase.

Singapore payment facilitator MCPayment announced that it has taken a controlling stake in Genesis Payment Solutions, a company licensed to acquire merchants on behalf of Alipay.

In our roundup of this week’s industry news, a Singapore PF looks to expand with an Alipay acquirer and Intuit comes to an agreement over data sharing with JPMorgan Chase.

Worldwide Focus on Fintech Regulation Signals Opportunity for PFs

In the U.S., regulators, businesspeople and other groups are in the midst of a debate about how financial technology firms should be regulated. The OCC’s proposed special purpose national bank charter for fintech companies is one example; a white paper outlining policy objectives around the fintech sector issued by the Obama administration at the end of its term is another.

But the U.S. is hardly the only place where the deliberation over just how to oversee this rising sector is taking place. Financial technology is on the minds of governments worldwide, which signals real opportunity for payment facilitators.

In the U.S., regulators, businesspeople and other groups are in the midst of a debate about how financial technology firms should be regulated. The OCC’s proposed special purpose national bank charter for fintech companies is one example; a white paper outlining policy objectives around the fintech sector issued by the Obama administration at the end of its term is another. But the U.S. is hardly the only place where the deliberation over just how to oversee this rising sector is taking place. Financial technology is on the minds of governments worldwide, which signals real opportunity for payment facilitators.

Western Union Settlement a Reminder for PFs: AML Responsibility Doesn’t End at Onboarding

In the announcement last week that Western Union had agreed to pay $586 million as part of a settlement with the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission to resolve investigations into anti-money laundering and consumer fraud violations, authorities described the settlement as the “largest forfeiture ever imposed on a money services business.”

What should payment facilitators take away from this settlement?

In the announcement last week that Western Union had agreed to pay $586 million as part of a settlement with the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission to resolve investigations into anti-money laundering and consumer fraud violations, authorities described the settlement as the “largest forfeiture ever imposed on a money services business.” What should payment facilitators take away from this settlement?

News Roundup: Stripe Adds European Payment Methods

In our roundup of this week’s industry news, payment facilitators in the U.S. and in Europe are building out features and expanding their services.

Leading payment facilitator Stripe announced that it has added support for five local European payment methods: Bancontact, Giropay, iDEAL, SEPA Direct Debit, and SOFORT.

In our roundup of this week’s industry news, payment facilitators in the U.S. and in Europe are building out features and expanding their services. Leading payment facilitator Stripe announced that it has added support for five local European payment methods: Bancontact, Giropay, iDEAL, SEPA Direct Debit, and SOFORT.

Fintech Groups Express Support for OCC Charter

The curtain closed this week on the comment period regarding the special purpose national bank charter the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) proposed for financial technology companies in December.

The Electronic Transactions Association and Financial Innovation Now were two of the organizations that submitted comments prior to Tuesday’s deadline. Both said they welcomed the discussion about devising a regulatory framework that can support innovation in financial technology while effectively protecting the financial services system and the consumers it serves.

The curtain closed this week on the comment period regarding the special purpose national bank charter the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) proposed for financial technology companies in December. The Electronic Transactions Association and Financial Innovation Now were two of the organizations that submitted comments prior to Tuesday’s deadline. Both said they welcomed the discussion about devising a regulatory framework that can support innovation in financial technology while effectively protecting the financial services system and the consumers it serves.

Opinion: States Have Potential to Transform the Regulatory Landscape for Payments

Policymakers in D.C. and across the country are looking at the modern payments industry with an eye towards regulating it, taxing it, or increasing their cost of doing business. Now is the time for industry officials to work with policymakers to shape good public policy.

One area state policymakers are examining is money transmitter laws. Regulations on money transmitters are changing rapidly and are changing how the payments industry operates.

Policymakers in D.C. and across the country are looking at the modern payments industry with an eye towards regulating it, taxing it, or increasing their cost of doing business. One area state policymakers are examining is money transmitter laws. Regulations on money transmitters are changing rapidly and are changing how the payments industry operates.

Rental Marketplace RadPad Settling into New Digs

After a troubled year, online rental marketplace RadPad is moving in with LandlordStation.

After acquiring RadPad, the company unites both ends of the rental market – renters and landlords – under one roof. LandlordStation CEO Copley Broer says he expects this will be a differentiator in a market boasting many players who handle individual pieces of it well.

After a troubled year, online rental marketplace RadPad is moving in with LandlordStation. After acquiring RadPad, the company unites both ends of the rental market – renters and landlords – under one roof. LandlordStation CEO Copley Broer says he expects this will be a differentiator in a market boasting many players who handle individual pieces of it well.

News Roundup: New First Data Business Unit Geared to PFs, Other Partners; Mastercard Connects Farmers in East Africa

In this week’s roundup of industry news, payments processors are building on their capabilities for independent software vendors, Mastercard connects farmers to the agricultural supply chain in East Africa, and worldwide cashless payments are rapidly rising.
In this week’s roundup of industry news, payments processors are building on their capabilities for independent software vendors, Mastercard connects farmers to the agricultural supply chain in East Africa, and worldwide cashless payments are rapidly rising.

Plans to Scrap Obamacare Don’t Worry PF Softheon

As President Obama leaves office and Donald Trump prepares to take the reins, a Republican Congress has declared repealing Obamacare to be one of its top priorities. But what that will entail and what the resulting healthcare system will look like is anyone’s guess at this point.

With so much uncertainty in the health care market, you might expect Eugene Sayan, the CEO of PF Softheon, whose platforms are used by insurers and health plan exchanges to market products to and accept payments from consumers, to be worried. You would be wrong.

As President Obama leaves office and Donald Trump prepares to take the reins, a Republican Congress has declared repealing Obamacare to be one of its top priorities. But what that will entail and what the resulting healthcare system will look like is anyone’s guess at this point. With so much uncertainty in the health care market, you might expect Eugene Sayan, the CEO of PF Softheon, to be worried. You would be wrong.

Guest Post: Will Regulators Get Trumped?

The unexpected election of Donald Trump has left many wondering what the impact will be to the regulatory environment of the financial services industry. A Republican president and Congress will have the potential to alter that environment, but questions remain about how much and how soon. Marsha Jones, president of the Third Party Payment Processors Association, shares her organization's perspective.
The unexpected election of Donald Trump has left many wondering what the impact will be to the regulatory environment of the financial services industry. A Republican president and Congress will have the potential to alter that environment, but questions remain about how much and how soon. Marsha Jones, president of the Third Party Payment Processors Association, shares her organization's perspective.

News Roundup: PayPal and Discover Sign Agreement, Wix Adds Square

In this week’s roundup, PayPal racks up another credit card company agreement, Paytm expands the places it is accepted across India, and more small businesses can use Square for their POS.
In this week’s roundup, PayPal racks up another credit card company agreement, Paytm expands the places it is accepted across India, and more small businesses can use Square for their POS.

Shopify Adds Amazon Sales Channel

Leading payment facilitator Shopify announced that it had integrated with Amazon, allowing its sellers to sell through Amazon stores directly from their Shopify accounts.

Rumors of the news before it was officially launched led shares of the company’s stock to spike.

Leading payment facilitator Shopify announced that it had integrated with Amazon, allowing its sellers to sell through Amazon stores directly from their Shopify accounts. Rumors of the news before it was officially launched led shares of the company’s stock to spike.

2017: The Year of Deregulation?

The president-elect spoke on the campaign trail about dismantling regulations, including the Dodd-Frank Act. So far, many of his appointees have been businessmen with anti-regulatory tendencies. The Republican Party has majorities in both the House and the Senate. Does this political climate mean payment facilitators should say good-bye to their compliance teams? Not so fast.
The president-elect spoke on the campaign trail about dismantling regulations, including the Dodd-Frank Act. So far, many of his appointees have been businessmen with anti-regulatory tendencies. The Republican Party has majorities in both the House and the Senate. Does this political climate mean payment facilitators should say good-bye to their compliance teams? Not so fast.

Mastercard Continues March to 40 Million with UBA Partnership

United Bank of Africa has launched its first merchant app in Nigeria, with the goal of connecting 100,000 micromerchants to the larger economy during 2017. The app will include Masterpass QR, a mobile payment method from Mastercard.

UBA will work with additional partners to aid in rolling out the program. Innovectives, a Nigerian financial technology provider and payment facilitator, will support the program with technical development and value-added services.

United Bank of Africa has launched its first merchant app in Nigeria, with the goal of connecting 100,000 micromerchants to the larger economy during 2017. The app will include Masterpass QR, a mobile payment method from Mastercard. UBA will work with additional partners to aid in rolling out the program. Innovectives, a Nigerian financial technology provider and payment facilitator, will support the program with technical development and value-added services.

India PF Paytm Gets Approval to Launch Payments Bank

Indian payment facilitator Paytm announced on Tuesday (Jan. 3) that the Reserve Bank of India has granted the company the final go-ahead to launch Paytm Payments Bank. Paytm was granted in-principle approval for the payments bank in 2015.
Indian payment facilitator Paytm announced on Tuesday (Jan. 3) that the Reserve Bank of India has granted the company the final go-ahead to launch Paytm Payments Bank. Paytm was granted in-principle approval for the payments bank in 2015.

News Roundup: Adyen Partners with VTEX; Xoom Expands into Asia

This week’s roundup of news from around the web includes a new partnership for Adyen, Asian expansion for PayPal’s Xoom, and growing cashless payments in India.

E-commerce technology provider VTEX announced a new partnership with Dutch payment facilitator Adyen, through which it has added payments processing and risk tools from Adyen to its platform. The partnership is geared to helping its customers grow their e-commerce businesses globally, the company said.

This week’s roundup of news from around the web includes a new partnership for Adyen, Asian expansion for PayPal’s Xoom, and growing cashless payments in India.

Paylasso Rounds Up Recurring Corporate Payments Using Virtual Cards

Dealing with all the places your credit card number has gone to pay for various subscriptions can become a bit unwieldy even for the average consumer.

Multiply that effect by the number of a company’s employees – for whom software and tools are increasingly cloud- and subscription-based – and you can begin to see how demanding the recurring billing model has become for many companies.

Dealing with all the places your credit card number has gone to pay for various subscriptions can become a bit unwieldy even for the average consumer. Multiply that effect by the number of a company’s employees – for whom software and tools are increasingly cloud- and subscription-based – and you can begin to see how demanding the recurring billing model has become for many companies.

Money Transmitters Could Benefit from OCC Charter

Earlier this month, the OCC announced it would be accepting applications from financial technology companies for a new special purpose national bank charter.

The news is an acknowledgement that fintech firms are a rising segment of the economy and increasingly relied upon by consumers for financial services. But obtaining the charter will be costly and come with its own strict set of requirements. So what types of companies are likely to benefit from obtaining such a charter?

Earlier this month, the OCC announced it would be accepting applications from financial technology companies for a new special purpose national bank charter. The news is an acknowledgement that fintech firms are a rising segment of the economy and increasingly relied upon by consumers for financial services. But obtaining the charter will be costly and come with its own strict set of requirements. So what types of companies are likely to benefit from obtaining such a charter?

Mastercard study: Technology Key to Financial Inclusion in Europe

Releasing the findings of a new study this week, Mastercard argued that technology and digital solutions are key to improving access to financial services for those Europeans who are currently excluded from the system.

The survey looked into who the financially excluded are and why they are excluded from their countries’ financial services.

Releasing the findings of a new study this week, Mastercard argued that technology and digital solutions are key to improving access to financial services for those Europeans who are currently excluded from the system. The survey looked into who the financially excluded are and why they are excluded from their countries’ financial services.

Podcast: Beneficial Ownership Defined And Analyzed

As Rich Consulting president Deana Rich explains in this week’s PaymentFacilitator.com podcast – a re-run from August 24 – the Treasury’s beneficial ownership rule announced in May will require banks to perform KYC on all owners with more than 25 percent ownership as well as the person that manages or runs the business, and banks will likely turn that extra work over to ISOs or PFs underwriting merchants or submerchants.
As Rich Consulting president Deana Rich explains in this week’s PaymentFacilitator.com podcast – a re-run from August 24 – the Treasury’s beneficial ownership rule announced in May will require banks to perform KYC on all owners with more than 25 percent ownership as well as the person that manages or runs the business, and banks will likely turn that extra work over to ISOs or PFs underwriting merchants or submerchants.

News Roundup: Procore Technologies is a Unicorn; Freshbooks Adds Apple Pay

In this week’s roundup of news, Procore Technologies reaches unicorn status, Freshbooks adds Apple Pay as a new payment method for its small business users, and two European companies team up to create a short-term financing solution through their new Sage Clic&Cash platform.
In this week’s roundup of news, Procore Technologies reaches unicorn status, Freshbooks adds Apple Pay as a new payment method for its small business users, and two European companies team up to create a short-term financing solution through their new Sage Clic&Cash platform.

First Look at the OCC Special Purpose Charter: Good or Bad for Fintech Companies?

On Friday, the OCC announced it will begin accepting applications for special purpose national bank charters from financial technology firms. Reception of this news has been generally positive, with industry organizations such as the Electronic Transactions Association and American Bankers Association issuing statements in support of such a charter.

But the early take on the news from industry insiders indicates that it is a mixed bag for individual companies. Applying for the charter may be either a smart move or a bad idea, depending on who you are and why you want it.

On Friday, the OCC announced it will begin accepting applications for special purpose national bank charters from financial technology firms. Reception of this news has been generally positive, with industry organizations such as the Electronic Transactions Association and American Bankers Association issuing statements in support of such a charter. But the early take on the news from industry insiders indicates that it is a mixed bag for individual companies. Applying for the charter may be either a smart move or a bad idea, depending on who you are and why you want it.

MemberPlanet Simplifies Life for Membership Organizations

Typically, growing businesses are advised to develop expansion plans and stick to them. But sometimes you have to go where your customers lead you.

Being open to new verticals is one of the ways MemberPlanet has evolved from one college student with an idea for dramatically improving the financial management of his fraternal organization to a company that serves more than 13,000 nonprofits, faith-based organizations, alumni organizations, parent-teacher associations, and even the U.S. Air Force.

Typically, growing businesses are advised to develop expansion plans and stick to them. But sometimes you have to go where your customers lead you.

Podcast: Underwriting Submerchants – How Responsible Are Acquirers?

Last week, we spoke with Deana Rich about the special considerations behind underwriting payment facilitators. This week we take our focus on underwriting in the payment facilitator space a step farther. We talk with Eric Haru, executive vice president, Risk and Compliance, for Merchant e-Solutions about underwriting submerchants.
Last week, we spoke with Deana Rich about the special considerations behind underwriting payment facilitators. This week we take our focus on underwriting in the payment facilitator space a step farther. We talk with Eric Haru, executive vice president, Risk and Compliance, for Merchant e-Solutions about underwriting submerchants.

European News Roundup: Rewards for U.K. Shoppers, Mastercard and Apple Pay in Spain

In this week’s roundup of news, Google offers rewards for U.K. Android Pay shoppers, Mastercard brings Apple Pay to Spain, and SecurionPay adds a cross-sale feature to its payments software.
In this week’s roundup of news, Google offers rewards for U.K. Android Pay shoppers, Mastercard brings Apple Pay to Spain, and SecurionPay adds a cross-sale feature to its payments software.

Latest from Square: An Integration with Apple Pay

On Tuesday, Square CEO Jack Dorsey announced that the Square Cash service was integrating its virtual debit card with Apple Pay at Recode’s Code Commerce event in San Francisco.
On Tuesday, Square CEO Jack Dorsey announced that the Square Cash service was integrating its virtual debit card with Apple Pay at Recode’s Code Commerce event in San Francisco.

It’s Facebook Official: Social Media Giant Receives Payments License for Europe

Facebook has received a license from the Central Bank of Ireland to serve as an electronic money institution in Europe.

The broad nature of Facebook’s existing user base – globally, the company has an average of 1.18 billion daily active users – may give it an advantage over any competitors looking to establish alternative payment schemes in Europe. But the fact that it is a social network first and a payment entity much later means the company needs to be very careful.

Facebook has received a license from the Central Bank of Ireland to serve as an electronic money institution in Europe.

Why Stripe Has Nearly Doubled Its Valuation

The news on Friday (Nov. 25) that Stripe had raised $150 million of new funding on a company valuation of $9 billion has been seen by many as a validation that this is a company at the top of the fintech game.
The news on Friday (Nov. 25) that Stripe had raised $150 million of new funding on a company valuation of $9 billion has been seen by many as a validation that this is a company at the top of the fintech game.

Podcast: Underwriting Payment Facilitators Demystified

This week we’re talking with Rich Consulting president and compliance expert Deana Rich about underwriting payment facilitators. How is it different from underwriting other entities, and what are some of the special considerations?

Acquirers who are thinking about entering a relationship with a payment facilitator need to fully understand the risks and how to control them before making the commitment, Rich said.

This week we’re talking with Rich Consulting president and compliance expert Deana Rich about underwriting payment facilitators. How is it different from underwriting other entities, and what are some of the special considerations?

PSD2 Creates Opportunity for New Wave of European PFs

Europe is undergoing a step change in banking and payment services, leveraging open API technology and new regulatory frameworks to make a historically cumbersome industry more competitive, secure and customer-friendly.

The goal? “Customer first” digital banking and Europe-wide faster payments to drive innovation and increase cross-border trade in a European B2C e-commerce market worth over 425 billion euros.

Europe is undergoing a step change in banking and payment services, leveraging open API technology and new regulatory frameworks to make a historically cumbersome industry more competitive, secure and customer-friendly. The goal? “Customer first” digital banking and Europe-wide faster payments to drive innovation and increase cross-border trade in a European B2C e-commerce market worth over 425 billion euros.

News Roundup: PayPal’s New App, Uber’s Day in Court

In this week’s news roundup, PayPal introduces a new app for business owners, Uber goes to court, and Adobe tracks Black Friday online sales.
In this week’s news roundup, PayPal introduces a new app for business owners, Uber goes to court, and Adobe tracks Black Friday online sales.

PayPal Integrates Voice Commands in Time for Holiday Group Shopping

PayPal recently predicted that more than 17 million P2P transactions will occur during the month of December, as consumers – particularly millennials – pool money for gifts and use P2P payment apps to collect payment from each other.

According to the company’s Holiday Money Habits Study, an online survey of 1,000 American consumers released this week, half of millennials planned to go in on gifts together this holiday season compared to two-fifths of consumers in general.

PayPal recently predicted that more than 17 million P2P transactions will occur during the month of December, as consumers – particularly millennials – pool money for gifts and use P2P payment apps to collect payment from each other.

Shopify Adds Outsourced Fulfillment Services from Shyp

Shyp announced this week that it is providing fulfillment services to merchant customers of leading PF and e-commerce platform Shopify. PFs like Shopify are continually looking for ways to add value for their customers. Shopify sees its relationships with partners such as Shyp as a significant way to provide that value to its sellers.
Shyp announced this week that it is providing fulfillment services to merchant customers of leading PF and e-commerce platform Shopify. PFs like Shopify are continually looking for ways to add value for their customers. Shopify sees its relationships with partners such as Shyp as a significant way to provide that value to its sellers.

Podcast: Was 2016 the Year of the Service Provider Breach?

This week we’re talking with Chris Bucolo, director of market strategy for managed security service provider ControlScan. Last week, Bucolo wrote a guest post for PaymentFacilitator.com in which he talked about how risk is viewed and managed within the payment facilitator space. He expands on the topic in this conversation.
This week we’re talking with Chris Bucolo, director of market strategy for managed security service provider ControlScan. Last week, Bucolo wrote a guest post for PaymentFacilitator.com in which he talked about how risk is viewed and managed within the payment facilitator space. He expands on the topic in this conversation.

News Roundup: Partnerships and Launches from Apple, Airbnb, Stripe and More

In a roundup of this week’s news, AirPlus International and Airbnb are joining forces, NMI has added features to its platform for payment facilitators, and Stripe has rounded up handy tools for its merchants.
In a roundup of this week’s news, AirPlus International and Airbnb are joining forces, NMI has added features to its platform for payment facilitators, and Stripe has rounded up handy tools for its merchants.

Adyen Enables Access to 300 Million Chinese Shoppers

Dutch payment facilitator Adyen has added WeChat Pay to the roster of local payment options available to its merchants. WeChat Pay is the payments feature within the popular Chinese WeChat messaging app.
Dutch payment facilitator Adyen has added WeChat Pay to the roster of local payment options available to its merchants. WeChat Pay is the payments feature within the popular Chinese WeChat messaging app.

GoOpti Expanding its Reach, Getting More Riders Where They Need to Go

Getting to the airport is not necessarily an easy thing to do. Driving yourself isn’t always practical, nor is it always pleasant after a long flight. Public transportation and shuttles can be difficult to schedule; you have to work with available times, and pick-up and drop-off points may not always be nearby.

GoOpti is looking to change all that, in an expanding number of locations across Europe.

Getting to the airport is not necessarily an easy thing to do. Driving yourself isn’t always practical, nor is it always pleasant after a long flight. Public transportation and shuttles can be difficult to schedule; you have to work with available times, and pick-up and drop-off points may not always be nearby. GoOpti is looking to change all that, in an expanding number of locations across Europe.

Payment Facilitators and Risk: How the Market Views Submerchants

There is plenty of evidence that the payment facilitator market will grow significantly over the next few years. There are multiple drivers for this growth, including the belief that the increased complexity of compliance/security requirements for merchants will generate more interest in this payments model.

Although there is general agreement that the growth potential is large, there is a divergent set of opinions on how risky the model is, and how risk needs to be approached.

There is plenty of evidence that the payment facilitator market will grow significantly over the next few years. There are multiple drivers for this growth, including the belief that the increased complexity of compliance/security requirements for merchants will generate more interest in this payments model. Although there is general agreement that the growth potential is large, there is a divergent set of opinions on how risky the model is, and how risk needs to be approached.

Financial Inclusion: Huge Opportunity for Payment Facilitators?

For many micro and small merchants in developing countries, the ability to accept electronic payments is out of reach. Spotty electricity and internet access prevent reliable connectivity to payments infrastructure. The merchants’ low profit margins make buying equipment and paying service providers difficult. And in many cases, their customers prefer to pay in cash.

Yet a recent study commissioned by Visa argues that reliance on cash excludes individuals in the developing world from the wider economy. It says that access to affordable digital services has the potential to help lift individuals and families out of poverty.

For many micro and small merchants in developing countries, the ability to accept electronic payments is out of reach. Spotty electricity and internet access prevent reliable connectivity to payments infrastructure. The merchants’ low profit margins make buying equipment and paying service providers difficult. And in many cases, their customers prefer to pay in cash. Yet a recent study commissioned by Visa argues that reliance on cash excludes individuals in the developing world from the wider economy. It says that access to affordable digital services has the potential to help lift individuals and families out of poverty.

Podcast: WePay’s Aberman on Partner-Driven Expansion

This week’s podcast continues our conversation with WePay Chief Strategy Officer Rich Aberman. Aberman discussed how WePay’s business model as a “partner-driven business” impacts its approach to geographic expansion.
This week’s podcast continues our conversation with WePay Chief Strategy Officer Rich Aberman. Aberman discussed how WePay’s business model as a “partner-driven business” impacts its approach to geographic expansion.

4 Things PFs Need to Know About Anti-Money Laundering

Government regulations laid out by the Bank Secrecy Act and the USA PATRIOT Act require businesses to follow certain practices to avoid facilitating criminal activity, even inadvertently. Together, these regulations form the backbone of anti-money laundering efforts in the U.S.

These government regulations are supported by card brand rules that provide direction on payment facilitators’ specific roles and responsibilities. This is an area that can be daunting to many new and even seasoned payment facilitators.

Dr. Heather Mark, Ph.D., director of compliance for ProPay, shared four critical AML practices the payment facilitators she meets do not always fully understand.

Dr. Heather Mark, Ph.D., director of compliance for ProPay, shares four critical AML practices the payment facilitators she meets do not always fully understand.

Podcast: WePay CSO on How ISVs are Changing Commerce

In this week’s podcast, we talk to WePay’s co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Rich Aberman. He shares his perspective on the trends that are impacting ISVs, and the ways ISVs are actually creating trends in commerce.
In this week’s podcast, we talk to WePay’s co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Rich Aberman. He shares his perspective on the trends that are impacting ISVs, and the ways ISVs are actually creating trends in commerce.

Digital Wallets: A Deep Dive into the New CFPB Rule

Buried within the 1,689-page Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) “final rule,” or Prepaid Access Rule, are provisos that pertain to digital wallets. In a previous article, I shared the basic outlines of the rule itself and how it relates to digital payments. But how worried should payment facilitators who operate a digital wallet be?
Buried within the 1,689-page Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) “final rule,” or Prepaid Access Rule, are provisos that pertain to digital wallets. In a previous article, I shared the basic outlines of the rule itself and how it relates to digital payments. But how worried should payment facilitators who operate a digital wallet be?

News Roundup: Square Beats Estimates (Again), Paytm Adds Logistics

In this week’s news roundup, Square reports its 3Q16 earnings, Paytm expands its capabilities, and Alipay expands the availability of its mobile wallet.
In this week’s news roundup, Square reports its 3Q16 earnings, Paytm expands its capabilities, and Alipay expands the availability of its mobile wallet.

Adyen Signs Two New Marketplace Agreements

Both Etsy and Freelancer.com have tapped Adyen to power their payment solutions.

The Etsy partnership covers the U.S., Europe, and “other markets” where Etsy operates, according to the announcement. The company said it has been operating in China, Europe, India and North America for Freelancer.com.

While one marketplace connects buyers and sellers of handmade goods and the other service providers and their customers, in some ways, the payments needs of both are similar.

According to two press releases in as many days from payment facilitator Adyen, the company is actively signing up online marketplaces with global reach. Both Etsy and Freelancer.com have tapped Adyen to power their payment solutions.

DocuSign Sees “Practically Limitless” Opportunity in Payments

Coming to agreement and collecting signatures is often just the first step for many businesses such as property management services, insurance agencies and contractors. The next step is getting paid.

Seeing a massive opportunity to add value for its more than 250,000 business clients, DocuSign is beta testing an integrated payment capability it hopes to officially launch next year.

Coming to agreement and collecting signatures is often just the first step for many businesses such as property management services, insurance agencies and contractors. The next step is getting paid. Seeing a massive opportunity to add value for its more than 250,000 business clients, DocuSign is beta testing an integrated payment capability it hopes to officially launch next year.

Machine Learning Powers Stripe’s New Fraud Prevention Tool

As card transaction volume grows, so does the level of fraud associated with those transactions.

In fact, growth in fraud is outpacing the growth in electronic transaction volume, according to new research from The Nilson Report. The publication said in a press release that global card fraud losses grew by 20.6% to total $21.84 billion last year, while transaction volume grew by 7.3%.

With statistics as grim as this, a smart approach to fraud detection is on many payment facilitators’ minds.

As card transaction volume grows, so does the level of fraud associated with those transactions. In fact, growth in fraud is outpacing the growth in electronic transaction volume, according to new research from The Nilson Report. The publication said in a press release that global card fraud losses grew by 20.6% to total $21.84 billion last year, while transaction volume grew by 7.3%.

European News Roundup: iZettle introduces intelligentpos to Germany, Britons Ditching Their Wallets

In a wrap of news from Europe this week, a payment facilitator expands its POS system outside the U.K., Mastercard released research about what Britons are carrying in their wallets, and Visa announced when it will activate its 3D Secure 2.0 program in Europe.
In a wrap of news from Europe this week, a payment facilitator expands its POS system outside the U.K., Mastercard released research about what Britons are carrying in their wallets, and Visa announced when it will activate its 3D Secure 2.0 program in Europe.

Podcast: What Should Payment Facilitators Know About Money Transmitters?

In this week’s podcast, we talk to attorney Theo Monroe about money service businesses, also known as money transmitters. He says that payment businesses can sometimes engage in activities that qualify as money transmission activities under federal or state law – possibly without realizing it.

Federal and state authorities view money transmitters differently, which means that payment facilitators must understand and navigate varying regulations to make sure they are operating within the law, he says.

In this week’s podcast, we talk to attorney Theo Monroe about money service businesses, also known as money transmitters.

Are APIs Vulnerable? Two Crucial Places PFs Should Focus Now to Help Mitigate Risk

In the payment facilitator world, APIs are everywhere you look. In many cases, they’re the mechanism that allows the system to work – enabling payments infrastructure to integrate with other functions in a way that solves businesses’ unique problems.

So not surprisingly, API security is a hot topic. Does the use of APIs leave merchants more vulnerable to fraud? What are the special security considerations?

Not surprisingly, API security is a hot topic. Does the use of APIs leave merchants more vulnerable to fraud? What are the special security considerations?

How High Could Payment Facilitator Market Go? New Research Ventures an Estimate

A new white paper that will be released by Double Diamond Group on Thursday (Oct. 20) argues that the payment facilitator market holds significant potential for independent software vendors looking to generate new revenue.

The big names operating as payment facilitators already have used the PF model to garner a significant chunk of payment processing volume. According to the paper, large companies such as PayPal. Stripe and Square already collectively process hundreds of billions of dollars a year in gross payment volume. This number has the potential to go much higher as other companies enter the market.

A new white paper that will be released by Double Diamond Group on Thursday (Oct. 20) argues that the payment facilitator market holds significant potential for independent software vendors looking to generate new revenue.

Healthcare PF InstaMed Connects Payers, Providers and Patients

Healthcare in the U.S. is a complicated mix of people and organizations both large and small. Patients navigate through small practices and large healthcare systems as well as individual and employer-provided insurance. Further adding to the complications are very specific regulations protecting patient data and the need to protect the patients’ payment information.

As a payment facilitator, InstaMed strives to connect those disparate parts through a single network. The company claims to connect more than two-thirds of the healthcare market and process tens of billions of dollars a year in healthcare payments.

Healthcare in the U.S. is a complicated mix of people and organizations both large and small. Patients navigate through small practices and large healthcare systems as well as individual and employer-provided insurance. Further adding to the complications are very specific regulations protecting patient data and the need to protect the patients’ payment information.

Podcast: Comprehensive Resources for PFs in New Guidelines from ETA

In this week’s PaymentFacilitator.com podcast, we talk to Jason Oxman, CEO of the Electronic Transactions Association. On Thursday (Oct. 20), the organization is releasing its new payment facilitator guidelines at its 2016 Strategic Leadership Forum in Palm Beach, Fla.

The document is intended to serve as a toolkit for best practices related to fraud detection and prevention, Oxman said.

In this week’s PaymentFacilitator.com podcast, we talk to Jason Oxman, CEO of the Electronic Transactions Association. On Thursday (Oct. 20), the organization is releasing its new payment facilitator guidelines at its 2016 Strategic Leadership Forum in Palm Beach, Fla.

European PF Klarna Continues UK Expansion

An increasing number of online shoppers in the UK can now indulge in their shopping desires today and pay for them over time, by financing their purchase when they check out. Swedish payment facilitator Klarna is expanding availability of its ecommerce financing solution to reach more UK consumers through new agreements with Worldpay, BigCommerce, Shopify and CyberSource.
An increasing number of online shoppers in the UK can now indulge in their shopping desires today and pay for them over time, by financing their purchase when they check out.

News Roundup: Mobile Payments Making Inroads, Somewhat

Two new research reports out this week give us the latest on consumers’ attitudes toward mobile and their overall usage of different payment methods. A product announcement also showcases broader digital wallet adoption.
Two new research reports out this week give us the latest on consumers’ attitudes toward mobile and their overall usage of different payment methods. A product announcement also showcases broader digital wallet adoption.

Leading PF Shopify Turns Customer Service into Sales for Its Merchants Using Facebook Messenger

Part of the beauty of shopping in a brick-and-mortar store is the ability to speak with a person who can help you solve a specific problem or just help you find what you’re looking for. What if you could make that personal engagement happen for your merchants’ e-commerce customers as well? By integrating with Facebook Messenger, Shopify is doing just that.
Part of the beauty of shopping in a brick-and-mortar store is the ability to speak with a person who can help you solve a specific problem or just help you find what you’re looking for. What if you could make that personal engagement happen for your merchants’ e-commerce customers as well?

Don’t Get Tangled in New CFPB Rule

Have you finished reading all 1,689 pages of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) “final rule” regarding prepaid cards and digital wallets? Probably not, but you’ve undoubtedly heard a wide variety of opinions about whether this is good or bad for those in the payments business. My advice: screen out the emotional reactions, focus on the facts, and let’s figure out where we go from here.

Of particular interest to many payment facilitators is how the rule impacts the growing world of digital payments.

Have you finished reading all 1,689 pages of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) “final rule” regarding prepaid cards and digital wallets? Probably not, but you’ve undoubtedly heard a wide variety of opinions about whether this is good or bad for those in the payments business.

Europe News Roundup: Mobile Payments Have Taken Off

A look at European payments news this week reveals that financial technology is alive and well across Europe. Visa released statistics on explosive growth in mobile payments, and several new partnerships are expanding the ways Europeans – and visitors – can pay.
A look at European payments news this week reveals that financial technology is alive and well across Europe.

The Latest Fraud Panacea: 3D Secure 2.0! Well, We’ll See

The line between fraud prevention and bad customer experience continues to be a tightrope the payments industry has to walk. While the correct balance hasn’t yet been struck, industry watchers are bracing for another attempt when EMVCo releases 3DSecure 2.0 later this year.

EMVCo, a technical body overseen by its six member organizations – American Express, Discover, JCB, Mastercard, UnionPay, and Visa – is currently collecting industry feedback on a draft version of the revised specification, with the final version expected to be released this year. But will it be an improvement? And what should payment facilitators be watching for?

The line between fraud prevention and bad customer experience continues to be a tightrope the payments industry has to walk. While the correct balance hasn’t yet been struck, industry watchers are bracing for another attempt when EMVCo releases 3DSecure 2.0 later this year.

Podcast: Mastering Compliance for PFs

Innovation and compliance are two terms that are not often heard together. But as Heather Mark, director of compliance at ProPay explains, payment facilitators bring a unique perspective to bear on the traditional payments industry. This can sometimes make things interesting, even for seasoned compliance professionals.
Innovation and compliance are two terms that are not often heard together. But as Heather Mark, director of compliance at ProPay explains, payment facilitators bring a unique perspective to bear on the traditional payments industry.

Discouraged by Banks, Small Merchants Increasingly Turn to PFs for Capital

As small business lending continues its slow rebound from the recession, many small businesses are still experiencing frustration when they try to obtain funding to grow their businesses. In an analysis it conducted last year, the Wall Street Journal reported that small loans to businesses in 2014 remained down about 38% from their high in 2006.

In a move that builds on the payment facilitator model’s strengths in this challenging market, London-based Paysafe announced a relationship with lender IOU Financial last week. The agreement expands the global PF’s offerings beyond payment processing into an area it says will help it fuel the growth of North American small businesses.

As small business lending continues its slow rebound from the recession, many small businesses are still experiencing frustration when they try to obtain funding to grow their businesses.In a move that builds on the payment facilitator model’s strengths in this challenging market, London-based Paysafe announced a relationship with lender IOU Financial last week. The agreement expands the global PF’s offerings beyond payment processing into an area it says will help it fuel the growth of North American small businesses.

Despite PF Advantage on New Mastercard Merchant Fee, Some PFs Preach Caution

In the payments world, few things are as confusing or as controversial as network fees. The economics of a transaction routed over Visa or Mastercard rails could amount to a college-level course.

Rates for interchange, the amounts that the networks collect from retailers on behalf of card issuers, are often on merchants’ minds as they look for the most economical transaction routing options. But in recent years, the fees that the networks keep for themselves have generated plenty of ink.

In the payments world, few things are as confusing or as controversial as network fees. The economics of a transaction routed over Visa or Mastercard rails could amount to a college-level course.

Mastercard Launches “Selfie Pay” in Europe

Finally, a good use for selfies.

This week Mastercard announced that it is officially rolling out its biometric authentication technology, what it’s unofficially calling “Selfie Pay,” in Europe. Following on the heels of pilots in the Netherlands as well as the U.S. and Canada earlier this year, Mastercard is introducing the technology in 12 countries across Europe.

Finally, a good use for selfies. This week Mastercard announced that it is officially rolling out its biometric authentication technology, what it’s unofficially calling “Selfie Pay,” in Europe. Following on the heels of pilots in the Netherlands as well as the U.S. and Canada earlier this year, Mastercard is introducing the technology in 12 countries across Europe.

Mastercard Study: Consumers are Hungry for More Innovation. But in Europe, Not So Much.

While European consumers are happily embracing technology, they are a bit more cautious about their payment technology than their counterparts in developing areas. In other countries across the Middle East and Africa, the attitude is more “bring it on.” This is according to Mastercard’s Impact of Innovation Study, a survey of consumers across 23 countries that measured their attitudes about digitization and its impact on their lives.

The study looked at consumers’ readiness to adopt payment innovations, including mobile payments and beyond, and found interesting differences between the more and less developed markets. Despite their differences, however, consumers overall expressed positive feelings about the effect of digitization on their lives. This is good news for software-as-a-service companies thinking about becoming payment facilitators – they are likely to find receptive consumers willing to engage with technology.

While European consumers are happily embracing technology, they are a bit more cautious about their payment technology than their counterparts in developing areas. In other countries across the Middle East and Africa, the attitude is more “bring it on.”

Podcast: Square Finds Success Building on its Base

As Rick Oglesby argues in this week’s PaymentFacilitator.com podcast, Square is clearly evolving beyond its roots to a company that is able to grow along with its customers’ needs. The way it’s going about it offers some interesting perspectives for other PFs to consider.

Oglesby, principal of AZ Payments Group and a partner of Double Diamond Group, discusses why invoicing is a significant opportunity for Square, what gives the company “hooks” to help it keep customers for the long haul, and how Square benefits from a “test and learn” strategy.

As Rick Oglesby argues in this week’s PaymentFacilitator.com podcast, Square is clearly evolving beyond its roots to a company that is able to grow along with its customers’ needs. The way it’s going about it offers some interesting perspectives for other PFs to consider.

Is Square Changing Its Stripes? APIs Target Stripe and Braintree Approach to ISVs

In a wide-ranging presentation to investors and other audience members at the Jefferies 2016 West Coast Payments Conference on Tuesday (Sept. 27), Square CFO Sarah Friar commented on the company’s growth plans and future opportunities for expansion.

Her remarks make one thing clear: Square sees its reach as expanding far beyond accepting payments with a little white card reader. And it sees working with other software providers as one way to provide its products and services to more merchants.

In a wide-ranging presentation to investors and other audience members at the Jefferies 2016 West Coast Payments Conference on Tuesday (Sept. 27), Square CFO Sarah Friar commented on the company’s growth plans and future opportunities for expansion.

Wirecard Helps Bring Alipay to London, Teams with Commerzbank

Alipay is expanding its mobile wallet into the U.K. with help from Wirecard, a Munich-based payments processor, the company announced Wednesday (Sept. 28).

The Body Shop, a skin care retailer, will allow shoppers from China to use the Scan Alipay App in three London locations beginning Oct. 1. The launch coincides with the beginning of a week-long national holiday in China, during which thousands of Chinese tourists are expected to visit London, according to the press release.

Alipay is expanding its mobile wallet into the U.K. with help from Wirecard, a Munich-based payments processor, the company announced Wednesday (Sept. 28).

Podcast: The Small Merchant’s Response to a Breach is to Pretend It Didn’t Happen

Of the seven stages of grief, the most remembered is denial. It's certainly remembered by small merchants, who often bizarrely gravitate to denial when they are told that they have been breached. At least that's how Chris Geron, chairman of the MAC Government Relations Committee, sees it.

The justifications for this denial are many, Geron said in this week's PaymentFacilitator.com podcast, a re-run from May 25. Some cling to the absurd belief that being granted a letter of PCI compliance means "that it's not possible to be breached," Geron said. Other small merchants react negatively to a notification from a cardbrand, bank or processor. "Small retailers often believe that if the information has not been shared with them by law enforcement, that the allegation of a breach is not true," Geron said. And some smaller store chains believe that only large chains get breached, he said, despite the fact that the opposite is true. But the most likely reality-denying aspect is financial.

Of the seven stages of grief, the most remembered is denial. It's certainly remembered by small merchants, who often bizarrely gravitate to denial when they are told that they have been breached. At least that's how Chris Geron, chairman of the MAC Government Relations Committee, sees it.

ETA Has PFs’ Backs, Supporting Bill to Ease Regulation for Fintech Startups

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) introduced a bill last week (Sept. 22) designed to help encourage financial technology innovation in the U.S.

We’ll be watching debate over this bill as it progresses, but we hope it opens up a dialogue about the best way to balance the need for regulatory oversight to protect consumers with the need to develop new products and services that meet rapidly changing demands.

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) introduced a bill last week (Sept. 22) designed to help encourage financial technology innovation in the U.S.

New CFPB Lawsuit Reminds PFs: Use Frictionless Underwriting for High-Risk Merchants at Your Peril

Last week (Sept.23), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a lawsuit against a credit repair company called Prime Marketing Holdings.

In a press release announcing the complaint, CFPB Director Richard Cordray said, “We are taking action against Prime Marketing Holdings for luring consumers with misleading claims about its ability to repair credit files and then charging illegal fees.” This case is a reminder to PFs that, when you’re dealing with merchants in high-risk categories, frictionless onboarding is not the way to go.

Last week (Sept.23), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a lawsuit against a credit repair company called Prime Marketing Holdings. This case is a reminder to PFs that, when you’re dealing with merchants in high-risk categories, frictionless onboarding is not the way to go.

Unregistered Third Party Regpack’s Exposure Of 324,000 Transactions Proves A Cautionary Tale For PFs

A July exposure of transaction records from 899 submerchants serviced by payment facilitator BlueSnap highlights an important lesson for PFs.

In addition to making sure their own houses are in order, they bear responsibility for their submerchants and service providers as well. PFs who control all aspects of the card entry, where it’s impossible for a transaction to enter outside of their interface, may be able to certify compliance on behalf of all their submerchants. However, if any submerchant or service providers could conceivably get access to card data, the PF must ensure they are certified and registered. BlueSnap had to learn that the hard way.

A July exposure of transaction records from 899 submerchants serviced by payment facilitator BlueSnap highlights an important lesson for PFs.

Strong Authentication? Unanimous, But Many Say EU Proposed Rules Risk Sacrificing Innovation And Growth

As the European Union nears the creation of new rules on payments providers for consumer authentication, many question their utility.

The European Banking Authority's proposed rules say that service providers have to choose two of three verification methods: knowledge (such as a password), possession (a card, phone or wearable) and/or inherence (fingerprints, voice or iris scan, for example).

As the European Union nears the creation of new rules on payments providers for consumer authentication, many question their utility.

Tipalti Acts Like A PF In More Ways Than Taking Payments

Tipalti does a lot of things a PF does, except take credit card payments. The B2B accounts payable software service accepts six payment methods and does pre-payment checks against AML and OFAC lists and enables global payments, herding 26,000 payments rules and 120 currencies while streamlining supplier onboarding and providing everything but tax returns to its clients.

Tipalti just got $14 million in funding and chief marketing officer Rob Israch says accepting card payments is most likely in its future. It's another example of a perfect candidate to become a PF, but Israch says because it uses so many partners to do what it does, when it offers card payments to suppliers, freelancers, etc., the facilitation would most likely be outsourced. The company helps pay approximately 750,000 suppliers and remits $2 billion annually.

Tipalti does a lot of things a PF does, except take credit card payments.
The B2B accounts payable software service accepts six payment methods and does pre-payment checks against AML and OFAC lists and enables global payments, herding 26,000 payments rules and 120 currencies while streamlining supplier onboarding and providing everything but tax returns to its clients.

Podcast: MAC Regional Meeting Brings Together Hundreds Of Years Of Experience

In Dallas Sep. 27 the Merchant Acquirers Committee (MAC) hosts its Midwestern Regional Training meeting, one of its three regional gatherings packed with presentations and networking. Non MAC members are welcome to the all-day event that features seven sessions on topics presented by company executives from Visa, Mastercard, Rich Consulting, Mitigator, Kount, and Aperia.

Jim Bibles, vice president and chief compliance officer at Aperia and a MAC director, said in this week's paymentfacilitator.com podcast that the day is capped by a roundtable moderated by himself and Rich Consulting president Deana Rich. They enable the audience to ask questions that most times are answered by someone in the room, either a moderator or audience member.

In Dallas Sep. 27 the Merchant Acquirers Committee (MAC) hosts its Midwestern Regional Training meeting, one of its three regional gatherings packed with presentations and networking. Non MAC members are welcome to the all-day event that features seven sessions on topics presented by company executives from Visa, Mastercard, Rich Consulting, Mitigator, Kount, and Aperia.

Exploding Internet Access Plus Ubiquitous Smartphone Use Equals Digital Payments Boom

All the digital payments innovation will pay off in some crazy numbers soon, says a report from non-profit think tank The Demand Institute, which is run by Nielsen and The Conference Board.

That strengthens the future of PFs worldwide, as cashless payments could result in over $10 trillion in additional consumer spending over the next 10 years, the report says. That figure is hand in hand with the report's assertion that by 2020, the Internet will be available to over 1.2 billion more people than use it today. Much of that access will be through smartphones.

All the digital payments innovation will pay off in some crazy numbers soon, says a report from non-profit think tank The Demand Institute, which is run by Nielsen and The Conference Board.

Podcast: M&A Expert Says PFs Have ‘Upside Potential’

Preston Todd Advisors is an advisory firm for companies who want to merge, acquire or sell, specifically in the payments sector. Adam T. Hark is a managing director and principal of the Boston-based company, and has much to say about the payment facilitator niche in this week's edition of the paymentfacilitator.com podcast.

Hark says he thinks the traditional acquirer/ISO model is dead, and in its stead will be a model using new technologies enabling business management solutions and schemes. He says payment facilitation is not a 'segment killer,' replacing integrated POS or the traditional acquiring model.

Preston Todd Advisors is an advisory firm for companies who want to merge, acquire or sell, specifically in the payments sector. Adam T. Hark is a managing director and principal of the Boston-based company, and has much to say about the payment facilitator niche in this week's edition of the paymentfacilitator.com podcast.

Guest Post: Britannia Waives The Rules As Brexit Makes Waves For PFs

Three months have passed since the referendum on June 23rd that set course for the UK, the EU’s second largest economy, to leave the European Union. Yet there is still considerable uncertainty on how this event will impact the payments industry and payment facilitators.

In this article, we look at the key considerations for U.S. PFs with an existing UK presence or those looking to set up a EU company to expand into European markets.

Three months have passed since the referendum on June 23rd that set course for the UK, the EU’s second largest economy, to leave the European Union. Yet there is still considerable uncertainty on how this event will impact the payments industry and payment facilitators.

Call Center Fraud Potential Keeping Consumers From Paying By Phone

Over half percent of UK consumers, 69 percent of U.S. consumers, and 60 percent of Australian consumers say they are becoming hesitant to make payments by phone.

A consumer survey by Syntec, one of the UK’s leading call center systems specialists, reveals that consumers in the U.S.and Australia agree with UK consumers: to decrease fraud, call centers should use the latest technology to hide payment card data from call center agents and call recordings.

Over half percent of UK consumers, 69 percent of U.S. consumers, and 60 percent of Australian consumers say they are becoming hesitant to make payments by phone.

Banks’ Consumer Misdeeds May Spell Concern For Small Merchants

Google "Wells Fargo scandal" and you get a choice of three: 2016, 2015, 2013, all of which may effect how SMBs view banks.

The public didn’t hold banks in high esteem to say the least after the high risk mortgage crisis of 2008 led to government bailouts, but the blatant practice and prolific number of fake accounts created between 2011 and 2015 shocked even the most jaded and cynical observers. Coincidentally, or not, Wells Fargo's stock doubled in the same time period. Wells Fargo of course is just the latest big bank to run afoul of regulators; HSBC drew charges of foreign exchange trade violations a week before the Wells Fargo scandal broke.

Google "Wells Fargo scandal" and you get a choice of three: 2016, 2015, 2013, all of which may effect how SMBs view banks.

Innovation In ID Technology Speeds KYC In India

Indian payment facilitator Paytm will be onboarding customers for its payments bank with eKYC enabled by India's voluntary national identification program, Aadhaar.

As of Sep. 5, 2016, 87 percent of India's 1.2 billion people had registered for the unique 12-digit number. To register, residents have to bring three forms of identification (proof of identity, proof of address, proof of birthdate) to an enrollment center, where their fingerprints and irises will be scanned.

Indian payment facilitator Paytm will be onboarding customers for its payments bank with eKYC enabled by India's voluntary national identification program, Aadhaar.

Facebook Dives Deeper Into Payments Under David Marcus, Competing As A PF, Again

The only thing separating Facebook from being a true payment facilitator is it registering as one. The social media giant today announced users of its Messenger app can now send payments from within the app to make purchases from sites who interface with the app using bots.

Facebook is working with Stripe, Braintree and PayPal, but also appears to be directly enabling acceptance of Visa, Mastercard, and American Express to make this happen, and Messenger users can store their card info in Messenger for use at checkout. This can be combined with the ability of brands being able to buy ads that take clickers into Messenger where their card info is saved. David Marcus, Facebook's vice president of messaging and a former payments executive, has raised the Messenger user base from 700 million monthly active users to 1 billion in a year.

The only thing separating Facebook from being a true payment facilitator is it registering as one. The social media giant today announced users of its Messenger app can now send payments from within the app to make purchases from sites who interface with the app using bots.

Guest Post: Be Prepared – Cyberfraud Is Stronger Than Ever

There has been a 50 percent increase in global cybercrime attacks, with 1 out of 10 new account applications now being rejected. This reflects the dual challenge of a rising threat as well as the potential for considerable impact on customer experience. These statistics come from a ThreatMetrix report named "ThreatMetrix Cybercrime Report," and it gives a number of other powerful warnings:

*A larger supply of stolen identities not surprisingly leads to a growing number of attacks based on those identities. As those identities are shared, sold, and further distributed, the risk multiplies; the report shows a 250 percent year over year increase.

There has been a 50 percent increase in global cybercrime attacks, with 1 out of 10 new account applications now being rejected. This reflects the dual challenge of a rising threat as well as the potential for considerable impact on customer experience. These statistics come from a ThreatMetrix report named "ThreatMetrix Cybercrime Report," and it gives a number of other powerful warnings:

Mastercard And Visa Gain Strength, But Did PayPal?

The deal between Mastercard and PayPal announced Sep. 6 was different for a day than the Visa-PayPal partnership announced in July. Mastercard spokesperson Robyn Cottelli says being a payment choice in PayPal's checkout is crucial, but not the only draw.

"Our thoughtful approach to the partnership with PayPal was not just focused on prominence as a payment option, but going beyond what we’ve seen Visa announce to drive further value for Mastercard and our partners," Cotelli tells paymentfacilitator.com.

The deal between Mastercard and PayPal announced Sep. 6 was different for a day than the Visa-PayPal partnership announced in July. Mastercard spokesperson Robyn Cottelli says being a payment choice in PayPal's checkout is crucial, but not the only draw.

Southeast Asian Roundup Includes Big Names: Google, Alibaba, Jack Ma, Mastercard and Visa

The Asia Pacific region continued this past week to provide evidence of its explosive potential for payments, as Mastercard reshuffled management for the area and a country asked the founder of a global powerhouse payments company to advise it on ecommerce.

Indonesia would like Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma to help it grow an ecommerce market that is attracting global attention from investors. The multi-island nation has the fourth highest population in the world and the fifth-largest internet using population (over 100 million), and has recently committed to a multi-million-dollar project enhancing internet speeds throughout the country by 2019.

The Asia Pacific region continued this past week to provide evidence of its explosive potential for payments, as Mastercard reshuffled management for the area and a country asked the founder of a global powerhouse payments company to advise it on ecommerce.

Podcast: Cozy A Great Example Of A Could-Be PF

Cozy, a platform to streamline interactions between property managers and renters, just secured what it hopes is its last round of funding, an $8.5 million Series B led by American Family Ventures. The four-year-old company strives to make the renting process between independent landlords and renters simple, secure and intuitive.

In three years Cozy has worked with three payment processors –BancBox, Balanced Payments, and currently Stripe--and vice president of engineering Rob Galanakis shared on this week's paymentfacilitator.com podcast the company's trials and tribulations with the churn and the decision whether to become a payment facilitator.

Cozy, a platform to streamline interactions between property managers and renters, just secured what it hopes is its last round of funding, an $8.5 million Series B led by American Family Ventures. The four-year-old company strives to make the renting process between independent landlords and renters simple, secure and intuitive.

Could the Horrendous Consumer Experience With Chip Cards Boost Mobile Payments in U.S.?

Payments experts have predicted that the U.S. could head to mobile payments much faster than other developed regions have, bypassing the use of contactless cards that the U.K., Canada and Australia have embraced. While mobile usage remains outside the mainstream for now, forces at work in the current environment could help push consumers in that direction.

We surmised a couple weeks ago that while the U.S. use of chip cards has gotten off to a slow start due to retailer infrastructure, slow certification, and consumer behavior, it could be a strong market for the use of phones in contactless in-person transactions.

Payments experts have predicted that the U.S. could head to mobile payments much faster than other developed regions have, bypassing the use of contactless cards that the U.K., Canada and Australia have embraced. While mobile usage remains outside the mainstream for now, forces at work in the current environment could help push consumers in that direction.

When Treasury Speaks, PFs Should Listen

The U.S. Treasury clarified its anti money laundering regulations regarding foreign correspondent banks Aug. 30 and the attention it got was a reminder how weighty the Treasury's words are to those in the payments world. Any time the Treasury speaks about AML PFs should listen, says Deana Rich, president of Rich Consulting.

Rich, a compliance expert, says KYC and AML and transaction monitoring are all practices that the technology companies who become payment facilitators are not used to overseeing, so attention to detail is highly recommended.

The U.S. Treasury clarified its anti money laundering regulations regarding foreign correspondent banks Aug. 30 and the attention it got was a reminder how weighty the Treasury's words are to those in the payments world. Any time the Treasury speaks about AML PFs should listen, says Deana Rich, president of Rich Consulting.

Podcast: iClassPro Shares PF Lessons Learned

Chris McNabb didn’t set out to run an online registration tool for children's activity centers, he just wanted a better way to register kids for classes at his gymnastics facility. A techie but not a developer, he shopped his cloud-based solution at tradeshows around the turn of the century and in 2008 founded iClassPro.

Then, he used third party payment gateways but the hassles of the multiple gateways and extra friction "was weighing us down," he says. Three years ago iClassPro became a payment facilitator and McNabb gained peace of mind and business growth. In this week's edition of the paymentfacilitator.com podcast, McNabb explains the switch: what it solves, what the change entailed, how it has helped, and what the future holds.

Chris McNabb didn’t set out to run an online registration tool for children's activity centers, he just wanted a better way to register kids for classes at his gymnastics facility. A techie but not a developer, he shopped his cloud-based solution at tradeshows around the turn of the century and in 2008 founded iClassPro.

Banks Are Investing In Potential PayPals

If you can't beat 'em, buy 'em, or maybe incubate 'em.

This is corporate banking's attitude toward the fintech that is competing with them, making traditional banking and its customers things of the past. Slower to innovate, bound by regulations and size, banks are increasingly investing money and time in fintech startups to benefit from the agility and creativity of outsiders who have grown up digital.

If you can't beat 'em, buy 'em, or maybe incubate 'em.

Is Google Trying To Steal Venmo Users Or Score New Customers for Android Pay?

Google Wallet has Venmo (and Square Cash and maybe Facebook and Snapchat) in its crosshairs with its latest app update, the ability to have person to person transfers go directly to a user's bank account. But is the competition for share or for users who don't yet have a P2P app? One analyst says attracting new customers for Android Phones and Android Pay is the goal.

The P2P game is played best with less friction and more speed and Google wants more people to play it with Wallet, then try transacting with Android Pay, says Gil Luria, head of technology research at Wedbush Securities.

Google Wallet has Venmo (and Square Cash and maybe Facebook and Snapchat) in its crosshairs with its latest app update, the ability to have person to person transfers go directly to a user's bank account. But is the competition for share or for users who don't yet have a P2P app? One analyst says attracting new customers for Android Phones and Android Pay is the goal.

Visa, Mastercard Expectations High But Maybe Not High Enough

Clearly, Visa is a believer that grass doesn't grow on a rolling stone. It's harder to stay at the top than it is to get there.

A recent article lauded Visa but wondered if it wasn't being overvalued. We report but don't comment here on the stock market or individual stock performance but we are a big fan of the card brands and would like to compile the reasons Visa has a bright future.

Clearly, Visa is a believer that grass doesn't grow on a rolling stone. It's harder to stay at the top than it is to get there.

Podcast: Beneficial Ownership Defined And Analyzed

As Rich Consulting president Deana Rich explains in this week's paymentfacilitator.com podcast, the Treasury’s beneficial ownership rule announced in May will require banks to perform KYC on all owners with more than 25 percent ownership as well as the person that manages or runs the business, and banks will likely turn that extra work over to ISOs or PFs underwriting merchants or submerchants.

There are different impacts to banks and their PF partners based on the size and ownership/operation structure of the merchant. The largest category of submerchants are sole proprietors or owned by one person, who also runs the business. All PFs are performing KYC on these owners and therefore there is no change to this category.

As Rich Consulting president Deana Rich explains in this week's paymentfacilitator.com podcast, the Treasury’s beneficial ownership rule announced in May will require banks to perform KYC on all owners with more than 25 percent ownership as well as the person that manages or runs the business, and banks will likely turn that extra work over to ISOs or PFs underwriting merchants or submerchants.

Millennials, Seeking Uniqueness, Flock To Klarna To Pay Their Way

Millenials' decreasing use of credit cards and increasing use of debit opens doors for companies like Swedish company Klarna, a payment facilitator that offers mobile and online buyers the choice of traditional payments – charge now—or within 14 days or in installments.

Klarna works seamlessly at checkout, says Klarna North America CEO Brian Billingsley—an email address and zip code is all a shopper needs if not paying immediately. Once that info is inputted it doesn’t need to be entered again at Klarna merchant partners. Billingsley says Klarna gives millennials a little of what they're looking for when shopping, control and uniqueness.

Millenials' decreasing use of credit cards and increasing use of debit opens doors for companies like Swedish company Klarna, a payment facilitator that offers mobile and online buyers the choice of traditional payments – charge now—or within 14 days or in installments.

Tech Mobile Contactless Marketing Could Turn The U.S. EMV Frown Upside Down

More than a decade after the U.S. payments community tried and failed to make contactless payments work, EMV resentment and a well-funded mobile payment app movement may make U.S. contactless payments not merely viable, but vibrant—perhaps as soon as late 2018.

One result could be that the U.S. adopts mobile contactless payments before and in higher numbers than chip cards as tech giants like Apple and Samsung and Google blitz consumers with mobile payment app marketing that was not a factor when the country tried contactless a decade ago.

More than a decade after the U.S. payments community tried and failed to make contactless payments work, EMV resentment and a well-funded mobile payment app movement may make U.S. contactless payments not merely viable, but vibrant—perhaps as soon as late 2018.

Meet The New RBI Boss; Same As The Old Boss?

The change in governors of the Reserve Bank of India is no small news, as India is well known for its governmental help with the furtherance of technology in general and fintech in particular.

Under the outgoing governor, Raghuram Rajan, RBI decided to give 11 companies licenses to set up payment banks for the underserved population of the country and this is expected to give rise to an increase in the use of digital banks and wallets. RBI also recently put together a working group of RBI, banking and payments executives to study regulatory issues related to digital banking and fintech.

The change in governors of the Reserve Bank of India is no small news, as India is well known for its governmental help with the furtherance of technology in general and fintech in particular.

If Chargebacks And False Declines Are The Problem, PFs Are A Solution

Chargebacks and false declines present many problems to merchants and issuers alike but where there's complications, there's payment facilitator opportunity, says one risk management expert.

"Whereas merchants may not be familiar with all aspects of payment processing and risk management controls, payment facilitators provide affordable accessibility to systems, knowledge and focused expertise that may otherwise be unattainable," says Marcus Smith, the senior vice president of risk management for processor iPayment Inc. "Due to scale and buying power, payment facilitators can also allow merchants to benefit from their data acquisition, proprietary and third party technology and other value added service that meet the needs of their aggregate clientele. Ultimately, payment facilitators can eliminate various administrative costs and distractions allowing merchants to place their money, time and attention on managing and growing their business."

Chargebacks and false declines present many problems to merchants and issuers alike but where there's complications, there's payment facilitator opportunity, says one risk management expert.

Podcast: A PF Platform Is Born

The payment facilitator model is exploding because of the vast number of small to medium sized merchants who like their lives uncluttered by multiple partners trying to help them run their business, including those that enable them to accept electronic payments. They want the simplicity of valuable services as well as payment ability, and not from two vendors.

But becoming a payment facilitator is no picnic; who's there to help potential payment facilitators who are hesitant to take on the maze of underwriting, compliance, fraud risk, and monitoring despite the growing evidence that market share and revenue can be gained?

The payment facilitator model is exploding because of the vast number of small to medium sized merchants who like their lives uncluttered by multiple partners trying to help them run their business, including those that enable them to accept electronic payments. They want the simplicity of valuable services as well as payment ability, and not from two vendors.

Is $75 Billion In 2016 Mobile In-Store Payments Realistic?

At least one research firm thinks in-store mobile payments, mobile wallets usage, is set to explode in the U.S., despite accounts of slow uptake by consumers and crawling installation of NFC terminals by retailers.

The Business Insider Intelligence's 2016 Mobile Payments Report predicts volume of in-store mobile payments will hit $75 billion this year and $503 billion by 2020. The authors say despite the hurdles of consumer habit and spotty availability, wallets' benefits to both retailers and shoppers, such as security, speedier checkout process and app integration will boost usage quickly and heavily.

At least one research firm thinks in-store mobile payments, mobile wallets usage, is set to explode in the U.S., despite accounts of slow uptake by consumers and crawling installation of NFC terminals by retailers.

EMV Roundup: Security Flaw? Mobile Device Approval And Requirements Update

There was a host of stories last week on the occasion of the 10-month anniversary of the Oct. 15, 2015 EMV migration date. While there have been extensions to the date of transfer of liability from issuers to non-EMV enabled merchants, apparently the story writers couldn’t wait for the more traditional annual lookback. Major data thus far: the U.S. is the only region in the world where chip card usage is lower than chip card deployment and adoption, and is last by far of the globe's six regions in both deployment and use.

Some real developments around EMV took place this past week though, as the pursuit of a more robust infrastructure and consumer acceptance continues:

There was a host of stories last week on the occasion of the 10-month anniversary of the Oct. 15, 2015 EMV migration date. While there have been extensions to the date of transfer of liability from issuers to non-EMV enabled merchants, apparently the story writers couldn’t wait for the more traditional annual lookback. Major data thus far: the U.S. is the only region in the world where chip card usage is lower than chip card deployment and adoption, and is last by far of the globe's six regions in both deployment and use.

Millenials Will Charge Back Into Charging

Recent attention has been paid to lower use of credit card by millennials but the snapshot is worse than the movie, says one analyst.

A survey commissioned by Bankrate and compiled by Princeton Survey Research Associates International shows that more than 60 percent of millennials do not own a credit card. Conversely, 70 percent of people over 30 years old do have at least one credit card. Are card brands panicking, or are their recent moves toward ACH (PayPal/Visa, Mastercard/VocaLink, clearXchange and both brands) a response by diversifying?

Recent attention has been paid to lower use of credit card by millennials but the snapshot is worse than the movie, says one analyst.

India Is Digital Payments Dynamite

India is set to explode in digital payments based on several key metrics: population, number of mobile phone users, Internet users, and smartphone users.

The Boston Consulting Group and Google recently collaborated on a study named Digital Payments 2020: The Making of A $500 Billion Ecosystem In India, painting a bright future in digital payments for several reasons: technology; 10-fold growth in merchant acceptance; rise of data-driven consumer benefits; consolidation leading to simplification; a unified payments interface (UPI) stokes widespread adoption of digital payments; national ID system eases KYC; and non-cash transaction volume will continue to accelerate, surpassing cash transactions by 2023.

India is set to explode in digital payments based on several key metrics: population, number of mobile phone users, Internet users, and smartphone users.

Tribute to Ken Elderts: Mahalo to a Great Friend

The payments world lost a favorite when Ken Elderts passed away Aug. 6.

When he wasn't a payments executive for the Western States Acquirers Association, VeriFone, TASQ Technology, Dejavoo Systems, and most recently AnywhereCommerce, Elderts loved fastpitch softball, airplanes and new technology. Elderts was known for his mentorship, warmth, smiles and hugs.

The payments world lost a favorite when Ken Elderts passed away Aug. 6.

Allpago Grows Using Location Location Location

allpago, one of Latin America's leading payment facilitators, is using a real estate golden rule to achieve stunning growth, mirroring PF growth in the region. Enabling companies globally to do business and accept payments across Latin America, allpago uses locally-preferred credit cards and alternative payment methods via location-based checkout, and recently achieved 150 percent annual growth in transaction volume.

Double Diamond Group president Todd Ablowitz says allpago's dominance is further proof of the power of payment facilitators.

allpago, one of Latin America's leading payment facilitators, is using a real estate golden rule to achieve stunning growth, mirroring PF growth in the region. Enabling companies globally to do business and accept payments across Latin America, allpago uses locally-preferred credit cards and alternative payment methods via location-based checkout, and recently achieved 150 percent annual growth in transaction volume.

Consumers And Card Brands Moving At The Speed Of Money, So Merchants Will Follow

First, Visa and PayPal scratched each other's backs, and industry observers expect it won’t be long until Mastercard and maybe American Express align similarly with PayPal. Then Mastercard announced the purchase of most of U.K. ACH king VocaLink. August 2, Early Warning Services announced that both Visa and MasterCard joined its clearXchange peer-to-peer network.

What will happen next in the maneuvering of card brands gaining major footholds in the world of banking, peer-to-peer payments and ACH?

First, Visa and PayPal scratched each other's backs, and industry observers expect it won’t be long until Mastercard and maybe American Express align similarly with PayPal. Then Mastercard announced the purchase of most of U.K. ACH king VocaLink. August 2, Early Warning Services announced that both Visa and MasterCard joined its clearXchange peer-to-peer network.

Podcast: Transaction Laundering — How Not To Get Taken To The Cleaners

One of the cyberthief's favorite tactics these days is transaction laundering, where the bad guy takes their bad transactions—usually for drugs, gambling, counterfeit goods or human trafficking—and runs them through seemingly good web sites, ones ostensibly trying to sell innocuous products.

There are things that a payment facilitator can do to thwart such efforts and that is the focus of this week's podcast, a re-run from March 30, featuring Deana Rich, president of Rich Consulting.

One of the cyberthief's favorite tactics these days is transaction laundering, where the bad guy takes their bad transactions—usually for drugs, gambling, counterfeit goods or human trafficking—and runs them through seemingly good web sites, ones ostensibly trying to sell innocuous products.

PIN Is Not A Win. Merchants Don’t Get That

Don't pin your hopes on PIN. That's the advice of a report from the Aite Group, which claims that the cost of having to implement PIN for all card transactions, especially for merchants who don’t already have PIN pads, may just not be worth the expense considering the limited impact on fraud and merchant liability.

The report "Chip Cards in the United States: The PIN, PINless, Debit, Credit Conundrum" says because merchants misunderstand fraud and their own liability risks, a large majority (65 percent of those surveyed) are in favor of implementing chip and PIN in EMV card transactions. None of the issuers surveyed were in favor of it.

Don't pin your hopes on PIN. That's the advice of a report from the Aite Group, which claims that the cost of having to implement PIN for all card transactions, especially for merchants who don’t already have PIN pads, may just not be worth the expense considering the limited impact on fraud and merchant liability.

Appealing To Lots Of Merchants Can Be An Awful Strategy

It can't be said enough: If you want to be special, specialize.

The way to success in payment facilitation is not to appeal to as many merchants as possible, it's to appeal to as many of a certain kind of merchants as possible. There are exceptions like bill.com, which targets any business that pays employees, but even then it specializes in one part of what merchants need: to streamline accounts payable and receivable.

It can't be said enough: If you want to be special, specialize.

Take A Deep Breath PFs, Beneficial Ownership Rule Is Not So Bad

First things first: In our opinion, the Treasury's May 11 FinCEN rules are going to impact ISOs and Payment Facilitators alike, in that banks are going to make them follow these new rules.

Although the rule does not speak to ISOs or PFs underwriting merchants or submerchants, we fully believe if you are required to do KYC now -- and ISOs and PFs are required to do KYC now -- they will be required to do the increased KYC under the new rules.

First things first: In our opinion, the Treasury's May 11 FinCEN rules are going to impact ISOs and Payment Facilitators alike, in that banks are going to make them follow these new rules.

Slower Payments Force SMBs To Reluctantly Eat Interchange Costs. Result: PFs Become Saviors

With the average Paydex Index score dropping fast, SMBs are biting the interchange bullet and encouraging payment cards—all to accelerate payments. In step payment facilitators, who know a few things about fast payments and reducing interchange.

Paydex, a Dun & Bradstreet credit rating for businesses, fell 3 percent during the first half of this year from the last six months of 2015, and that followed a 1 percent increase at the end of last year when compared with the first half of 2015. The decline means companies are taking longer to pay their B2B bills, and to compensate, the waiting businesses ask their customers to use credit cards for payments either in full or as deposit so faster consumer payment fills the void left by slower partner payments.

With the average Paydex Index score dropping fast, SMBs are biting the interchange bullet and encouraging payment cards—all to accelerate payments. In step payment facilitators, who know a few things about fast payments and reducing interchange.

PFs See Market Validation In Square’s Soaring Revenue

When Square’s stock price soared from $10.44 during trading Aug. 3 to $11.51 in after-hours trading, it was a powerful harbinger for the PF community. Square has been aggressive, but what the nation’s largest PF has done is a prototype for others to follow. Square can be seen as the standard bearer for all PFs; their success can be a sign of success for PFs worldwide.

"(The stock price) changed because Square reported earnings that proved their strategy and tactics, which were frowned on by Wall Street, actually worked in the quarter," says Todd Ablowitz, president of Double Diamond Group. "Square is doing exactly what we expected. Their massive investment in sales is paying off. I fail to see any segment of their business disappointing."

When Square’s stock price soared from $10.44 during trading Aug. 3 to $11.51 in after-hours trading, it was a powerful harbinger for the PF community. Square has been aggressive, but what the nation’s largest PF has done is a prototype for others to follow. Square can be seen as the standard bearer for all PFs; their success can be a sign of success for PFs worldwide.

India’s Razorpay Onboards A Month Faster Than Rivals

Onboarding merchants in less than a week, nearly a month quicker than what the CEO says is the industry standard, Indian payment facilitator Razorpay has used that impressive stat to sign up more than 8,000 Indian merchants, including mom-and-pops and global chains such as Papa John’s. Not bad for a company that wasn’t even a Mastercard payment facilitator until last year.

A member of Mastercard's Start Path program since 2015, Razorpay is precisely how the card brand envisions signing 40 million merchants by 2020. The challenges are as plentiful as the opportunities.

Onboarding merchants in less than a week, nearly a month quicker than what the CEO says is the industry standard, Indian payment facilitator Razorpay has used that impressive stat to sign up more than 8,000 Indian merchants, including mom-and-pops and global chains such as Papa John’s. Not bad for a company that wasn’t even a Mastercard payment facilitator until last year.
Mastercard has aggressive goals-and has failed to show how they will meet them. That's one of several reasons for the card brand's reliance-nay, dependence-on payment facilitators. PFs are not helpful to MC's strategy: They are the only thing that gives it a chance to work.

Payment facilitators are absolutely crucial to Mastercard's stated goal of adding 40 million micro and small merchants to its base in five years. Banks can't provide the tech necessary to onboard so large a number, says Double Diamond Group president Todd Ablowitz in this week's podcast, and onboarding—speedy onboarding—is a specialty of payment facilitators.

Mastercard has aggressive goals-and has failed to show how they will meet them. That's one of several reasons for the card brand's reliance-nay, dependence-on payment facilitators. PFs are not helpful to MC's strategy: They are the only thing that gives it a chance to work.

Microsoft And An Australian Mum; The Next PFs?

Small business is booming; sometimes it needs a payment facilitator and sometimes it becomes one. Sometimes huge business takes the plunge too.

Microsoft this past week introduced a Microsoft Office Service named Microsoft Bookings, designed to ease scheduling of appointments for business owners between themselves, employees and customers. It's a short leap to see that businesses could ask customers making appointments to pay first or lock in a date with a deposit. MindBody comes to mind, with its focus on wellness businesses and appointment bookings and payment enabling.

Small business is booming; sometimes it needs a payment facilitator and sometimes it becomes one. Sometimes huge business takes the plunge too.

#Brentrance: Mastercard Buys VocaLink, Now Rules Britannia ACH

MasterCard thinks the U.K. is a jolly good place to do business. With its $920 million purchase of processor VocaLink, the card brand gets a firm owned by 13 U.K. banks that did 11 billion transactions in 2015, but that gaudy number might be the milk and sugar in the cup of tea that is a platform it coveted.

The same day Visa made an ACH-related move by partnering with PayPal so the two mega brands putting their money in bank accounts is no coincidence. ACH represents 50 percent of total electronic payment flows across the world's 50 largest countries.

Mastercard thinks the U.K. is a jolly good place to do business. With its $920 million purchase of processor VocaLink, the card brand gets a firm owned by 13 U.K. banks that did 11 billion transactions in 2015, but that gaudy number might be the milk and sugar in the cup of tea that is a platform it coveted.

PF Podcast: PayPal-Visa Deal Is A Win-Win For Fintech

PFs, make sure your PayPal and Visa relationships are strong. PF giant PayPal and card brand titan Visa each struck digital gold from a partnership announced last week: PayPal can be used with contactless payments because it gets access to Visa's tokenization feature, while Visa gets access to PayPal's 188 million users and can sell issuers on a differentiator the other brands don’t have.

Rick Oglesby, principal of AZ Payments Group and a partner of Double Diamond Group, says on this week's paymentfacilitator.com podcast that frictionless speedy payment processes drives the deal on both ends. PayPal has the signups to cut down a step at checkout while Visa has the rails to decrease the time it takes for PayPal to get paid by banks.

PFs, make sure your PayPal and Visa relationships are strong. PF giant PayPal and card brand titan Visa each struck digital gold from a partnership announced last week: PayPal can be used with contactless payments because it gets access to Visa's tokenization feature, while Visa gets access to PayPal's 188 million users and can sell issuers on a differentiator the other brands don’t have.

Non-Profit PFs Won’t Like This – Facebook, The Latest PF, Is Going To Take Your Share

Facebook is charging back into the payments space but this time charging hard -- taking 5% on every donation it processes through its recently launched non-profit features, announced to page administrators Tuesday. Facebook introduced a Donate button for 19 select non-profits in 2013, but didn't charge a fee, instead sending 100 percent of donations to the charity. The social media giant says of each donation made through Donate buttons that keep donors on a non-profit's page:

"We’re committed to building products that make it as easy and safe as possible for people to contribute to the causes they care about. To make this possible, starting in August, 2% of contributions will be used to cover a portion of the costs of nonprofit vetting, security, and fraud protection, operational costs and payment support and 3% of contributions will go to payment processing. The remaining 95% will go straight to the nonprofit. Facebook's goal is to create a platform for good that’s sustainable over the long-term, and not to make a profit from these charitable giving tools.”

Facebook is charging back into the payments space but this time charging hard -- taking 5% on every donation it processes through its recently launched non-profit features, announced to page administrators Tuesday. Facebook introduced a Donate button for 19 select non-profits in 2013, but didn't charge a fee, instead sending 100 percent of donations to the charity. The social media giant says of each donation made through Donate buttons that keep donors on a non-profit's page:

On China’s Payments SuperHighway, Regulators Stomp The Brakes And AsiaPay Hits The Gas

When you drive on rough roads you don't have to slow down, but you do steer more carefully, guiding your car to smoother surfaces. Chinese payment facilitator AsiaPay is welcoming China's recent regulation tightening as a move to help clean up the country's payments industry's fraud-infested reputation. AsiaPay is reading the new road sign as it zooms by, according to our interview with its CEO Joseph Chan, a key player in the massive payments market that is China.

How massive? In their 2015 report on global payments, Capgemini and the Royal Bank of Scotland said China's non-cash transaction volume growth in 2013 led the world's countries at 37 percent, with the region they call Emerging Asia (India, China, Hong Kong and other Asian countries) leading global regions with more than 21 percent growth. Alipay and WeChat are the dominant third party service providers in the online and mobile payments. ApplePay and SamsungPay have entered the market as well, though they use NFC rather than the QR code conduit favored by Alipay and WeChat.

When you drive on rough roads you don't have to slow down, but you do steer more carefully, guiding your car to smoother surfaces. Chinese payment facilitator AsiaPay is welcoming China's recent regulation tightening as a move to help clean up the country's payments industry's fraud-infested reputation. AsiaPay is reading the new road sign as it zooms by, according to our interview with its CEO Joseph Chan, a key player in the massive payments market that is China.

Hug a Payment Facilitator, Save A Tree

Payment facilitators are helping to save the planet. By enabling electronic and mobile payments for all sorts of markets – like lunch money and rent and race registrations-- that used checks and cash before, less paper is being used, and less paper needed means more trees left standing to produce more oxygen. That's not a stretch at all.

One such example of a new marketplace is Bill.com, which allows small- and medium-sized companies to electronify the entire accounts payable and accounts receivable process, chopping waiting times for both parties using it. And while Bill.com facilitates payments, it is not a payment facilitator, also not a stretch.

Payment facilitators are helping to save the planet.
By enabling electronic and mobile payments for all sorts of markets – like lunch money and rent and race registrations-- that used checks and cash before, less paper is being used, and less paper needed means more trees left standing to produce more oxygen. That's not a stretch at all.

Global Mobile Brew Is Strong

Turkish coffee is almost as strong as Turkish use of mobile devices for banking and shopping and payments, but not as strong as the payments industry action in Europe. The Turks led a group of 15 countries in most of the categories of questions asked about mobile device usage for a recently released report on mobile banking, mobile shopping and mobile payments conducted for ING International by Ipsos.

The report is titled ING International Survey Mobile Banking 2016 but as ING economist Ian Bright explains, one thing has led to another, as it usually does in fintech, and banking only scratches the surface now, four years after its first mobile banking report.

Turkish coffee is almost as strong as Turkish use of mobile devices for banking and shopping and payments, but not as strong as the payments industry action in Europe. The Turks led a group of 15 countries in most of the categories of questions asked about mobile device usage for a recently released report on mobile banking, mobile shopping and mobile payments conducted for ING International by Ipsos.

Podcast: MAC Wants YOU To Learn Payment Facilitator Mastery

If you want to hang out at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, exchanging payment facilitator information and battle scars, you only need to join the Merchant Acquirers Committee (MAC). New and veteran payment facilitators can climb their steep learning curve with help from the members of the MAC; experienced peers, vendors, lawyers, government representatives and card brands exchange information and lessons learned to advance the cause of the payments industry.

"Membership in MAC is a huge opportunity because you can apply your questions to a wealth of knowledge from years and years of experience," said Dione Hodges, MAC's senior director of risk management. "From a payment facilitator standpoint, what you've found challenging today someone has already experienced previously."

If you want to hang out at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, exchanging payment facilitator information and battle scars, you only need to join the Merchant Acquirers Committee (MAC). New and veteran payment facilitators can climb their steep learning curve with help from the members of the MAC; experienced peers, vendors, lawyers, government representatives and card brands exchange information and lessons learned to advance the cause of the payments industry.

Podcast: The Forming Of A PF Platform

The payment facilitator model is exploding because of the vast number of small to medium sized merchants who like their lives uncluttered by multiple partners trying to help them run their business, including those that enable them to accept electronic payments. They want the simplicity of valuable services as well as payment ability, and not from two vendors.

But becoming a payment facilitator is no picnic; who's there to help potential payment facilitators who are hesitant to take on the maze of underwriting, compliance, fraud risk, and monitoring despite the growing evidence that market share and revenue can be gained?

The payment facilitator model is exploding because of the vast number of small to medium sized merchants who like their lives uncluttered by multiple partners trying to help them run their business, including those that enable them to accept electronic payments. They want the simplicity of valuable services as well as payment ability, and not from two vendors.

Chargeback Mitigation Date Is Nigh For Visa While MasterCard Says It Has Already Begun

July 22 is TVIF --Thank Visa It's Friday – for non-EMV compliant merchants, especially small merchants and the payment facilitators who target them. That day Visa will ease the burden on merchants not yet compliant with EMV hardware and/or certification of that hardware by blocking all U.S. counterfeit fraud chargebacks under $25 until April 2018.

It's a big deal that the giant brand is paying attention to the little guys, who not only win financially but also save time and headaches involved with chargebacks.

July 22 is TVIF --Thank Visa It's Friday – for non-EMV compliant merchants, especially small merchants and the payment facilitators who target them. That day Visa will ease the burden on merchants not yet compliant with EMV hardware and/or certification of that hardware by blocking all U.S. counterfeit fraud chargebacks under $25 until April 2018.

Alipay To Begin Conquest Of Munich And Beyond

In two weeks, Chinese tourists landing at Munich Airport will be able to use coupons sent to them through their mobile devices by retailers in the terminals. They will get a notification, directions to the retailer with the coupon, then once they bring the item to the POS, have a bar code scanned without worrying over currency conversion.

Alipay, a mobile payment app run by Alibaba partner Ant Financial, will be accepted in all POS terminals run by German processor Wirecard, which struck a deal with the company that operates 69 shops inside the airport. Markus Eichinger, head of mobile services at Wirecard, which is acting as both acquiring bank and processor for Alipay, gave an interview to paymentfacilitator.com just after coming from the partnership's final testing session.

In two weeks, Chinese tourists landing at Munich Airport will be able to use coupons sent to them through their mobile devices by retailers in the terminals. They will get a notification, directions to the retailer with the coupon, then once they bring the item to the POS, have a bar code scanned without worrying over currency conversion.

The Payments Standard Bearers Are Waking Up To The Payment Facilitator Opportunity (And Threat)

There is growing realization among researchers that the payment facilitator model is a rocket ship, and that old models in the payments industry have slowed their rolls at the PFs' expense. Major players are now saying what we’ve been shouting from the rooftops for years.

In the past three years, I said: "We are seeing more ISOs looking to do frictionless on-boarding and move into aggregation. Support for the aggregation model among acquirers is also increasing."

There is growing realization among researchers that the payment facilitator model is a rocket ship, and that old models in the payments industry have slowed their rolls at the PFs' expense. Major players are now saying what we’ve been shouting from the rooftops for years.

It Was Hip To Be Square In Portland

Not only can small merchants ride the coming wave of mobile payments, they can make more in tips. That was part of the fun learned from a two-month Square promotion in Portland, Ore., that ended last week. The drive highlighted the company's NFC/chip readers in a marketing siege of a city chosen for the tactic because of its high implementation of the new Square hardware and its commerce counterculture.

Apple got in on the techfest because its wallet Apple Pay is the other side of the two-way connection Square needs to boost not only wallet use but comfort with wallet use. Apple hosted a merchant tutorial on Apple Pay in one of its stores one day during the Square campaign.

Not only can small merchants ride the coming wave of mobile payments, they can make more in tips. That was part of the fun learned from a two-month Square promotion in Portland, Ore., that ended last week. The drive highlighted the company's NFC/chip readers in a marketing siege of a city chosen for the tactic because of its high implementation of the new Square hardware and its commerce counterculture.

Podcast: Vantiv’s Danner Calls Payfacs ‘Epitome of Tech Companies’

Chuck Danner, GM of Payfacs for processor Vantiv, admires not only the software expertise of payfacs but also their creative nature in finding new verticals to help with their value-adds and efficiencies. "We're reliant on these companies for new ideas," Danner said in this week's edition of the PaymentFacilitator.com podcast.

Danner said payfacs are ideal for emerging markets that were either less complicated, non-existent or not tech-enabled, such as healthcare, ride-sharing, crowd funding and vending machines. Because the payfac model is so young, the need and opportunities for payfacs are outpacing the supply. "Growth is phenomenal," Danner said, but closing that gap will take "maturity and time."

Chuck Danner, GM of Payfacs for processor Vantiv, admires not only the software expertise of payfacs but also their creative nature in finding new verticals to help with their value-adds and efficiencies. "We're reliant on these companies for new ideas," Danner said in this week's edition of the PaymentFacilitator.com podcast.

Visa Puts Signature On Skirmish With Retailers

Visa filed a suit against Walmart June 30, the latest volley in a legal shootout with large retailers over EMV, chip-and-PIN and signature policies. "To me, it’s a clear escalation in the battle, said Rick Oglesby, president of AZ Payments Group and a partner at Double Diamond Group. "It’s never a good thing to be wrapped up in a public dispute with one of your largest and most influential customers, and the networks versus Walmart has been ongoing for many years."

The suit claims Walmart surreptitiously tested a process in which shoppers were not given the choice to verify their Visa debit card purchases with a signature. It's the most recent salvo in a battle among Visa and large retailers over the use of either signatures or PINs to verify transactions.

Visa filed a suit against Walmart June 30, the latest volley in a legal shootout with large retailers over EMV, chip-and-PIN and signature policies. "To me, it’s a clear escalation in the battle, said Rick Oglesby, president of AZ Payments Group and a partner at Double Diamond Group. "It’s never a good thing to be wrapped up in a public dispute with one of your largest and most influential customers, and the networks versus Walmart has been ongoing for many years."

Master Caveats In UK MasterCard Mega Payout Story

Here's a few examples of sensational headlines from July 6: "MasterCard faces £19bn claim over excessive fees; UK card users could claim hundreds in compensation"; "MasterCard facing £19bn rip-off payout: Millions could each get £450 back following case over charges imposed for processing payments"; "MasterCard could be forced to pay back £450 each to millions of customers - are you one of them?"

Here's one example of sober reckoning from a UK payments consultant: "It is a little early for consumers to be spending their £400 ‘windfalls’ just yet," said Tim Buckingham, a lawyer and director of Payment Services Consulting Ltd., a company providing risk and legal advice to the payments community. "This is certainly not the obvious ‘win’ that is being portrayed in the British press who have, in recent years, found it increasingly easy to attack the UK’s beleaguered banking system."

Here's a few examples of sensational headlines from July 6: "MasterCard faces £19bn claim over excessive fees; UK card users could claim hundreds in compensation"; "MasterCard facing £19bn rip-off payout: Millions could each get £450 back following case over charges imposed for processing payments"; "MasterCard could be forced to pay back £450 each to millions of customers - are you one of them?"

J.P. Morgan To Incubate FinTech Talent

Private fintech companies attracted almost $6 billion in funding in the first quarter of 2016, according to a CB Insights report. Nearly half of that global number was from three deals, but it's clear there's investment to be had with the right idea, software, gadget or app. J.P. Morgan is investing too, this week (June 30) announcing In-Residence, a program to help fintech startups develop their work using J.P. Morgan's resources.

Each residency is for six months, with a rolling application process, according to Brian Marchiony, managing director of communications for J.P. Morgan. Applicants can expect a decision in six weeks or less, according to the In Residence website.

Private fintech companies attracted almost $6 billion in funding in the first quarter of 2016, according to a CB Insights report. Nearly half of that global number was from three deals, but it's clear there's investment to be had with the right idea, software, gadget or app. J.P. Morgan is investing too, this week (June 30) announcing In-Residence, a program to help fintech startups develop their work using J.P. Morgan's resources.

Podcast: Brexit Effect and Kroger-Visa Battle

Payfacs can benefit from any complications caused by the Brexit referendum result because more confusion and regulatory conundrums will drive merchants to find a third party to navigate the maze, says Evan Schuman, editor in chief of PaymentFacilitator.com in this week's podcast. Schuman detailed the fallout from the Brexit vote that's throwing the Old World into a tizzy.

Payfacs can benefit from any complications caused by the Brexit referendum result because more confusion and regulatory conundrums will drive merchants to find a third party to navigate the maze, says Evan Schuman, editor in chief of PaymentFacilitator.com in this week's podcast. Schuman detailed the fallout from the Brexit vote that's throwing the Old World into a tizzy.

Schuman also authored a look into the recent Kroger lawsuit involving Visa over an EMV kerfuffle. Schuman says it's another example of a major retailer putting up its fists over rules and policies.

Payfacs can benefit from any complications caused by the Brexit referendum result because more confusion and regulatory conundrums will drive merchants to find a third party to navigate the maze, says Evan Schuman, editor in chief of PaymentFacilitator.com in this week's podcast. Schuman detailed the fallout from the Brexit vote that's throwing the Old World into a tizzy.

MasterCard Small Merchant Expansion Commitment Should Shake Up PF Game

Payment facilitators and payment facilitators to be: on your marks, get set…Go!

MasterCard on Monday (June 27) announced a plan to add 40 million micro and small merchants to its base in five years. Double Diamond Group president Todd Ablowitz said that spells huge opportunity for both existing payment facilitators and near-term startups. "This is staggeringly important," Ablowitz said.

Payment facilitators and payment facilitators to be: on your marks, get set…Go!

MasterCard on Monday (June 27) announced a plan to add 40 million micro and small merchants to its base in five years. Double Diamond Group president Todd Ablowitz said that spells huge opportunity for both existing payment facilitators and near-term startups.

"This is staggeringly important," Ablowitz said.

Kroger Details Its Fun-Filled Visa Negotiations

Have retailers suddenly started developing backbones, in terms of pushing back on payments companies? On Monday (June 27), Kroger sued Visa about how it was implementing EMV, in much the same way that Walmart and Home Depot have done. This follows Walmart kicking Visa out of Canada and a major German company rejecting PayPal after PayPal apologized and reinstated it. Did somebody spike the NRF water fountains with super-caffeine or something? Or have merchants decided that they can push back on payments giants with little risk of meaningful pain?

EMV rules seems to have been the PIN straw that broke the POS camel's back, as even Apple Pay has suffered performance degradations following EMV migrations. The big picture arguments about security—that it's blindingly obvious that PIN is far more secure than signature—are obscured by the reality that this is really a fight about interchange fees. And the EMV argument that the path to PIN must be glacially slow or else American consumers will freak out from the change, despite the fact that most are quite used to PINs from ATMs and debit cards, is frighteningly valid. And here it is in the land of EMV rules that grocery giant Kroger makes it stand.

Have retailers suddenly started developing backbones, in terms of pushing back on payments companies? On Monday (June 27), Kroger sued Visa about how it was implementing EMV, in much the same way that Walmart and Home Depot have done. This follows Walmart kicking Visa out of Canada and a major German company rejecting PayPal after PayPal apologized and reinstated it. Did somebody spike the NRF water fountains with super-caffeine or something? Or have merchants decided that they can push back on payments giants with little risk of meaningful pain?

For Brexit Payments, A Big PF Opportunity

In the aftermath of the Brexit vote in the U.K., some payments professionals were panicked given the huge number of European Union payments regulations at play. A U.K. that went its own way on payments—just as it did with monetary policy when it stuck with the Pound and never embraced the Euro—could cause confusion and other problems with cross-border transactions.

This issue is critical for payment facilitators for two reasons. First, one of the biggest values offered by PFs is that PFs offer a way for merchants to sidestep payments complexities. With all of this uncertainty throughout the European payments world, confusion could easily make merchants far more open to the idea of bringing in a PF, as a guard against having to deal with a wide range of potentially changing payments rules. Secondly, the other dominant value offered by PFs are services for merchants that go way beyond what is currently offered. Those services include a wide range of offerings, but ways to effortlessly manage cross-border payments in a post-EU payments world would certainly be among them.

In the aftermath of the Brexit vote in the U.K., some payments professionals were panicked given the huge number of European Union payments regulations at play. A U.K. that went its own way on payments—just as it did with monetary policy when it stuck with the Pound and never embraced the Euro—could cause confusion and other problems with cross-border transactions.

PayPal Reinstates German Company, Apologizes. Company: Thanks, But No Thanks

On Wednesday (June 22), a German company that had been cut off from payments from PayPal because of German privacy rules lashed back at PayPal. PayPal had backed down, apologized and reinstated the company, but the German firm said it was too angry with PayPal to necessarily return.

This started out as a tale of regulatory disclosures gone wacky and ended up as a story about companies deciding there is only so much payments guff they'll take before rebelling. That second tale started with Walmart's payments heresy move, as it stopped accepting Visa in Canada. The beginning of this tale happened last week, when PayPay insisted on information from the file-sharing company, Seafile, that the company couldn't provide due to German privacy rules.

On Wednesday (June 22), a German company that had been cut off from payments from PayPal because of German privacy rules lashed back at PayPal. PayPal had backed down, apologized and reinstated the company, but the German firm said it was too angry with PayPal to necessarily return.

Gaming Payments Gets Serious: Tencent Drops $8.6 Billion On Game Firm

Of all of the various payments hotspots that payment facilitators need to focus on, gaming—and all of its in-app potential—may be the one of the most lucrative. Witness Tencent Holdings Ltd., which this week confirmed plans to drop $8.6 billion to buy an 84 percent slice of the Finnish maker of the Clash Of Clans mobile game.

Games generate one payment for the initial purchase—which, for a popular game, is tantalizing enough on its own—and then a potentially unlimited number of follow-on purchases as players purchase new weapons or characters or cheats or various upgrades. Game companies are generally great at creating the games, but they need help facilitating effortless payments within those games. Enter PFs.

Of all of the various payments hotspots that payment facilitators need to focus on, gaming—and all of its in-app potential—may be the one of the most lucrative. Witness Tencent Holdings Ltd., which this week confirmed plans to drop $8.6 billion to buy an 84 percent slice of the Finnish maker of the Clash Of Clans mobile game.

Will Police Take Payments During Traffic Stops?

For the payments geeks among us, transaction processing can be arresting. But in a bizarre twist, some police are doing both: arresting and processing payments and doing them both in the middle of a traffic stop on the side of the road. Will the familiar flashing-red-light refrain soon be "License, registration and Visa card, please?" In Oklahoma City, the answer might be "yes."

This all comes from a bid request that started with the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety to a Fort Worth supplier named ERAD Group Inc., which specializes in payment offerings for law enforcement.

For the payments geeks among us, transaction processing can be arresting. But in a bizarre twist, some police are doing both: arresting and processing payments and doing them both in the middle of a traffic stop on the side of the road. Will the familiar flashing-red-light refrain soon be "License, registration and Visa card, please?" In Oklahoma City, the answer might be "yes."

How To Get Cracking On Your PayFac-ing

There are at least two great reasons to jump into the payment facilitator game-- increased revenues and market share—and many many tools to help. One of those tools is advice from the hard-won success achieved by those who have made the leap.

In a session on the ins and outs of starting a payfac at the second annual Payment Facilitator Day at Transact16 in April, Kevin Harris of RunSignUp said training people was more of a challenge than software concerns, and David Weiss of Yapstone shared the difficulties of international expansion. Nick Starai of gateway tech company NMI told the audience to concentrate on the business they know best rather than focus on technological bells and whistles. The highlights of the discussion fill this week's paymentfacilitator.com podcast, the next best thing to having been there.

There are at least two great reasons to jump into the payment facilitator game-- increased revenues and market share—and many many tools to help. One of those tools is advice from the hard-won success achieved by those who have made the leap.

Fraud And Compliance And Rules, Oh My!

The pain of keeping all the rules and regulations straight for a payment facilitator is only exceeded by the pain of not keeping them straight. A PF has to protect itself from merchant problems with underwriting and monitoring, while adhering to the mandates from card brands and acquirers. It's a lot now, but as everyone knows, there's more coming.

As heard in this week's edition of the PaymentFacilitator.com podcast, the best PFs can do to mitigate excessive regulation from without is to do more within, said Rich Consulting president Deana Rich, moderator of the session Emerging Threats Cage Match: Compliance v. Fraud at the second annual Payment Facilitator Day at Transact 16 in April.

The pain of keeping all the rules and regulations straight for a payment facilitator is only exceeded by the pain of not keeping them straight.

A PF has to protect itself from merchant problems with underwriting and monitoring, while adhering to the mandates from card brands and acquirers. It's a lot now, but as everyone knows, there's more coming.

Apple Pay Announcement Looks Like A Zero But Could Be A Hero

As exciting as Apple’s annual World Wide Developers Conference can be, the news from Monday’s keynote seemed on its face sort of ho-hum for payment facilitators. The new abilities within the upcoming release of the iOS 10 mobile and macOS desktop software updates are for now merely more options that PFs have to consider along with their merchant clients. The long term view of these Apple payment moves is scintillating however, given the higher incomes of iOS and MacOS users and the huge gap between what they spend on apps compared to Android users.

The features will allow merchants to add Apple Pay to their Safari browser shopping portal’s payment suite, and for merchants to develop apps for iMessage users to use for P2P transactions. In the short term, there are challenges. Shoppers with desktops must have not only a Mac, for communicating with the iPhone or Apple Watch that authenticates the payment, but the Safari browser that Apple owns.

As exciting as Apple’s annual World Wide Developers Conference can be, the news from Monday’s keynote seemed on its face sort of ho-hum for payment facilitators. The new abilities within the upcoming release of the iOS 10 mobile and macOS desktop software updates are for now merely more options that PFs have to consider along with their merchant clients. The long term view of these Apple payment moves is scintillating however, given the higher incomes of iOS and MacOS users and the huge gap between what they spend on apps compared to Android users.

BIN There, But Many Forgot To Done That

The BIN is such a critical part of transactions today that it's taken for granted. And even though it's been said ad nauseum for many years that we're running out of BIN numbers and that a new approach is needed. And ISO's imminent 8-digit BIN standard is intended to address the problem, but the deep integration of BIN means that the transition won't be easy.

Double Diamond President Todd Ablowitz is arguing that this could prove calamitous—necessary but calamitous. The potential damage could be severe, but relatively short-lived. It will be short-lived because updating systems will be relatively straight-forward. The disastrous part is he fears that a very large number of people won't initially realize how critical the BIN change is and then will get hit with oceans of declined transactions until they realize it's all about the BIN change. "People aren't taking actions because they don't realize how much this is actually a really big deal," Ablowitz said. "Because the BIN is used for so very much, if you don't have your BIN set properly, you're not going to know until it's too late."

The BIN is such a critical part of transactions today that it's taken for granted. And even though it's been said ad nauseum for many years that we're running out of BIN numbers and that a new approach is needed. And ISO's imminent 8-digit BIN standard is intended to address the problem, but the deep integration of BIN means that the transition won't be easy.

Alibaba-Backed PayTm Struggles With Global Payments. What Chance Do Others Have?

A brutal reminder of how convoluted and treacherous mobile cross-borders are today was shared by Paytm on Friday (June 10). That's when the Alibaba-backed wallet said that it can't be used for overseas payments based on current regulations, requiring instead that wallet users pay in Indian rupees.

Let's be clear. Paytm is no slouch among mobile wallets and it's backed by Alibaba—the multinational's multinational. If Paytm and its partners can't navigate payments from country to country, that's frightening. "While the mobile technology can create lower cost and friction free alternatives for cross border small value payments, the same is subject to licensing under FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999). Any cross border payments services by the payments bank will be offered subject to FEMA authorizations and RBI approvals. As such, the current Paytm Wallet cannot be used for overseas payments," the Paytm statement said. "As per the existing authorization, the wallet can only be used in India and any impression that the existing Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPI) semi closed wallet can directly used offshore/for cross border transactions is unintentional."

A brutal reminder of how convoluted and treacherous mobile cross-borders are today was shared by Paytm on Friday (June 10). That's when the Alibaba-backed wallet said that it can't be used for overseas payments based on current regulations, requiring instead that wallet users pay in Indian rupees.

Square Finally Settles Its Ren Holding Lawsuit

After seven years of back-and-forth legal bickering and on the eve of a civil trial, Square on Friday (June 10) blinked and finally settled with Ren Holdings 3 and Robert Morley. The case was the quintessential Silicon Valley founder tiff, involving arguments over who really came up with the key parts of the idea that launched the now-powerful payment facilitator player. (Why do we never see pitched legal battles over who came up with the idea for companies that quickly fizzled and died? Just asking….)

The particular ideas that were mostly at issue were the patent for Square's payment card reader—seems that glass art business owner Jim McKelvey's name was left off, after he allegedly pointed out the payment flaw that was the essence of Square's raison d'etre—and other mobile payment approaches. The argument is that McKelvey came up with the idea and that he discussed it with Jack Dorsey—now the CEO of Square and, in his spare time, Twitter—and Morley. These arguments are classic Silicon Valley. Whose implementation idea is it? The person who noticed the problem and had a vague idea how to make it work, the more technical person who figured out a precise way to make it work, the specialist (in this case, payments expertise) who amended all of the above to work best with the rules and infrastructure of existing reality or the business person who figured out the way to let it generate revenue and profits? It's usually something close to a true collaboration—which makes splitting up the money later more challenging. Also, these interactions are rarely transcribed, beyond some e-mails and texts. If key meetings happened in person, egos and greed-fueled memories dominate. Hello, judge and jury.

After seven years of back-and-forth legal bickering and on the eve of a civil trial, Square on Friday (June 10) blinked and finally settled with Ren Holdings 3 and Robert Morley. The case was the quintessential Silicon Valley founder tiff, involving arguments over who really came up with the key parts of the idea that launched the now-powerful payment facilitator player. (Why do we never see pitched legal battles over who came up with the idea for companies that quickly fizzled and died? Just asking….)

CFBP Wants Payments Firms To Police Consumers

In a telling lawsuit, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on Monday (June 6) sued processor Intercept Corp. and two of its executives for"enabling unauthorized and other illegal withdrawals from consumer accounts by their clients" and ne having "turned a blind eye to blatant warning signs of potential fraud or lawbreaking by its clients."

This move is interesting in that it places processors—and, presumably, others in the payments arena—in the role of quasi-law-enforcement. Is a mobile carrier to blame if customers use their phones to make obscene phonecalls, sell drugs or arrange murders? Is a hardware store to blame if someone buys a hammer and uses it to attack someone?

In a telling lawsuit, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on Monday (June 6) sued processor Intercept Corp. and two of its executives for"enabling unauthorized and other illegal withdrawals from consumer accounts by their clients" and ne having "turned a blind eye to blatant warning signs of potential fraud or lawbreaking by its clients."

Feds Peer Into Payments Regulatory Crystal Ball—And Get Headaches

For whatever consolation it offers, the feds overseeing payments-related regulatory issues are as apprehensive as payment facilitators. As the payments world is undergoing massive change in new and different ways of handling payments—an area where PFs lead—Justice and Treasury top brass are struggling to figure out the right ways to execute oversight.

Indeed, there's even talk of adopting a European-like saferoom approach, where startups have a limited window to explore and innovate without worrying about regulators cracking down. It's a saferoom in the sense that no idea is too risky to not be explored, even for a limited period of time. In other words, regulators are toying with the idea of whether it's sometimes best to not regulate at all.

For whatever consolation it offers, the feds overseeing payments-related regulatory issues are as apprehensive as payment facilitators. As the payments world is undergoing massive change in new and different ways of handling payments—an area where PFs lead—Justice and Treasury top brass are struggling to figure out the right ways to execute oversight.

NRF Mounts An Impressive Takedown Of PCI

The National Retail Federation (NRF) has never been a huge fan of the PCI Security Council. But in a detailed note sent to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) late last month, NRF's lawyers crafted an impressive takedown of PCI, arguing that PCI represents a monopoly-like attempt by the card brands to control retailers.

The trigger for the FTC letter appears to be concerns that the FTC might incorporate PCI compliance with recommendations it is preparing—a move that would solidify and increase PCI's leverage and power. This is one of these arguments that is best articulated in the abstract. At the legal abstract hypothetical level, NRF makes an impressive-sounding case that PCI is indeed a powerplay by the cardbrands.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) has never been a huge fan of the PCI Security Council. But in a detailed note sent to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) late last month, NRF's lawyers crafted an impressive takedown of PCI, arguing that PCI represents a monopoly-like attempt by the card brands to control retailers.

PF Day 16: Value Adds And New Verticals Are The Tickets To Vast Opportunities

One of the six sessions at last month’s 2nd Annual Payment Facilitator Day at the ETA TRANSACT 2016 in Las Vegas was titled “New Verticals in Payments: Why The PF Model Makes It Happen,” and featured Double Diamond Group president Todd Ablowitz and executives who have successfully added payment facilitating to their toolboxes.

As heard on this week’s PaymentFacilitator.com podcast, Ablowitz provided eye-popping growth numbers and made it clear just how many software as a service vendors could benefit from becoming a payment facilitator: nearly 13,000 that could add not only value to merchants but boost their margins.

One of the six sessions at last month’s 2nd Annual Payment Facilitator Day at the ETA TRANSACT 2016 in Las Vegas was titled “New Verticals in Payments: Why The PF Model Makes It Happen,” and featured Double Diamond Group president Todd Ablowitz and executives who have successfully added payment facilitating to their toolboxes.

PFs May Not Know Mobile Wallet Users As Well As They Think

When the new Auriemma Consulting Group Mobile Pay Tracker report was released on Tuesday (May 31), it delivered some surprises. For example, most mobile wallet consumers do not have their favorite (aka most used) card as the default card in their mobile wallet. Even in April 2016, most mobile users (57 percent) don't have the technology to do almost any mobile payments. The report also detailed the higher incomes of iOS users compared with Android.

Even one of the non-surprising details of the report—that tech brands are more trusted than financial brands-is interesting in its scope, with "banks/financial institutions" getting roughly one-third of the trust points awarded to Apple and performing only slightly better when compared with Google and Samsung. (Note: The exact phrasing of the question is unclear. If the choice was literally "banks/financial institutions," that might not be fair to compare a nameless vertical against specific brands. Had they, however, compared Chase and Wells Fargo to Apple and Google, that would have been more, please forgive me, apples-to-apples.)

When the new Auriemma Consulting Group Mobile Pay Tracker report was released on Tuesday (May 31), it delivered some surprises. For example, most mobile wallet consumers do not have their favorite (aka most used) card as the default card in their mobile wallet. Even in April 2016, most mobile users (57 percent) don't have the technology to do almost any mobile payments. The report also detailed the higher incomes of iOS users compared with Android.

New Treasury Rules Mean Huge PF Changes

A new set of rules announced by the U.S. Treasury Department in May will force payment facilitators to reveal not only who owns a company, but also whoever controls and/or manages it. This will mean a lot more information will have to be revealed about charities, non-profits and other PF-friendly businesses. The new rules requires that each owner who has more than 25 percent of ownership must be identified, along with anyone who controls or manages the operations, whether or not they are an owner. On the plus side, these rules are not retroactive and won't even start kicking in until July 11, 2016, with required implementation not happening until May 11, 2018.

What are the key PF implications? "PFs that deal in small mom and pops will have no change when there is one owner and she/he is in control," said Deana Rich, head of Rich Consulting. "PFs will have a big change if there are two owners—such as a husband and wife each with 50 percent. In the past, only one was necessary. Now it will be two. But there's an added string. If their kid runs the business, now (the son/daughter) will be required to be IDed as well."

A new set of rules announced by the U.S. Treasury Department in May will force payment facilitators to reveal not only who owns a company, but also whoever controls and/or manages it. This will mean a lot more information will have to be revealed about charities, non-profits and other PF-friendly businesses.
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