Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Element's Hosted Payments is Validated to Take ISVs out of PCI Scope Removing the Need for PCI PA-DSS Assessment

Image representing Trustwave Holdings as depic...Image via CrunchBase
Phoenix, AZ (PRWEB) July 19, 2011

Element Payment Services, Inc. the industry leader in PCI compliant payment processing, announced today that their Hosted Payments solution, an integration option to Element's Express Processing Platform, has been validated by Trustwave Holdings, Inc. for its ability to remove software applications from the scope of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). The objective of the assessment was to determine the applicability of the PCI DSS and PA-DSS to software applications integrated to Express via Hosted Payments. Through this independent evaluation, Trustwave confirmed that Hosted Payments eliminates integrated software vendor's (ISV's) applications from the scope of PCI DSS and PA-DSS compliance requirements when implemented according to Element's specification.

Hosted Payments removes the need for software applications to handle cardholder data as part of authorization and settlement while preserving the benefits associated with integrated payments. Because PCI DSS only applies in environments where credit card numbers are stored, processed or transmitted, Trustwave validated that ISVs leveraging Hosted Payments, assuming they (or their applications) do not otherwise store, process or transmit cardholder data, are eliminated from PCI scope and compliance costs.

Additionally, Trustwave confirmed that Hosted Payments meets the definition of a hosted application, as defined by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC). As a hosted application, ISVs with integrated distributed software applications that utilize Hosted Payments to process payments are not required to undergo a PCI PA-DSS audit.

"The payments industry and our ISV partners have recognized the scope removing attributes of Hosted Payments since market availability in 2008. This third party validation will allow ISVs to provide reassurance to customers that out-of-scope processing is an industry-accepted alternative to PA-DSS/PCI DSS validation for software applications," said Sean Kramer, CEO and president, Element Payment Services.
Hosted Payments removes scope by shifting the responsibility of handling sensitive card data to Element's PCI DSS compliant Express Processing Platform. Software vendors not only avoid the hassle and cost of achieving PCI DSS and PA-DSS compliance, but because the Hosted Payments solution is integrated with Element's Level 1 PCI DSS compliant Express Processing Platform, merchants and consumers also receive the highest level of protection from cardholder data compromises.

To date, more than 100 software applications have certified to the Express via Hosted Payments. To learn more about Element's Hosted Payments and other PCI scope removing/reducing technologies contact us.

About Element Payment Services
Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Element Payment Services, Inc. is the industry-leading provider of fully integrated PCI DSS compliant payment processing solutions for merchants and business management software providers. Engineered using service-oriented architecture, Element's Express Processing Platform allows for easy integration, supports advanced technologies and manages more than $6 billion in transaction volume annually.
Element's TransForm™ approach to payment processing is built on a simple idea - remove the value and accessibility of cardholder data to eliminate the risk. Leveraging advanced point-to-point encryption and tokenization, Element's suite of payment solutions transform how payments are secured in a simplified way-delivering optimal security that not only meets but exceeds PCI DSS/PA-DSS compliance requirements. Element's innovative technology, Hosted Payments, was the first payment processing solution on the market to take software providers out of scope for PA-DSS/PCI DSS compliance requirements.

More information about Element Payment Services can be found at www.elementps.com.
# # #

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/07/19/prweb8642182.DTL#ixzz1Sc59sAhK

Enhanced by Zemanta

FIS Announces Second Quarter Results

FIS Announces Second Quarter Results

  • Revenue of $1.44 billion, up 13.4%; organic growth of 5.8%
  • EPS of $0.55, as adjusted, up 17.0%
  • Free cash flow of $195 million
JACKSONVILLE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--FIS (NYSE:FIS), the world’s largest provider of banking and payments technology, today reported financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2011.
“These results reflect our ongoing focus on expanding client relationships, driving operational excellence and further extending our market leadership position.”
GAAP Results
Revenue from continuing operations increased 13.4% to $1.44 billion in the second quarter of 2011, compared to $1.27 billion in the second quarter of 2010. GAAP net earnings from continuing operations attributable to common stockholders totaled $129.3 million, or $0.42 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2011, compared to $94.9 million, or $0.25 per diluted share, in the prior year quarter.
Non-GAAP Results
Adjusted revenue growth was 13.0% in the second quarter of 2011, and organic revenue growth was 5.8%. EBITDA increased 5.9% to $414.5 million, compared to EBITDA of $391.5 million, as adjusted, in the second quarter of 2010. EBITDA margin was 28.8% in the second quarter of 2011, compared to 30.7%, as adjusted, in the prior year quarter. The current year quarter reflects strong growth in lower margin services revenue, the addition of Capco and approximately $5.0 million of integration, severance and merger and acquisition costs that are included in the current period.
Adjusted net earnings from continuing operations totaled $171.7 million, or $0.55 per diluted share, compared to $181.0 million, or $0.47 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2010. Integration, severance and merger and acquisition costs reduced second quarter 2011 adjusted earnings by approximately $0.01 per share. Free cash flow increased to $195.3 million compared to free cash flow of $107.5 million, as adjusted, in the 2010 quarter. Definitions of non-GAAP financial measures and reconciliations of non-GAAP measures to related GAAP measures are provided in subsequent sections of the press release narrative and supplemental schedules.
“We are pleased with the continued revenue momentum and the strong growth in earnings per share,” commented Frank Martire, president and chief executive officer of FIS. “These results reflect our ongoing focus on expanding client relationships, driving operational excellence and further extending our market leadership position.”
Segment Information
The following is a discussion of second quarter results by segment:
  • Financial Solutions:
Second quarter 2011 Financial Solutions revenue increased 12.7% to $516.5 million compared to $458.3 million in the 2010 quarter, driven by growth in account processing, higher services revenue, and the addition of Capco’s North American operations. Financial Solutions revenue increased 5.2% on an organic basis. Financial Solutions EBITDA increased 3.5% to $208.3 million compared to $201.3 million in the second quarter of 2010. The EBITDA margin was 40.3% compared to 43.9% in the prior year quarter, reflecting strong growth in lower margin services revenue and the addition of Capco.
  • Payment Solutions:
Second quarter 2011 Payment Solutions revenue totaled $632.0 million compared to $630.6 million in the 2010 quarter. The consolidation of our merchant processing platforms resulted in utilization of the net method to account for certain merchant interchange fees which negatively impacted year-over-year comparisons by $17.8 million. In addition, declining check usage negatively impacted revenue growth by $1.2 million. Payment Solutions revenue increased 4.1% excluding the impact of the gross-to-net accounting mentioned above and the check related businesses. Payment Solutions EBITDA increased 2.9% to $238.9 million in the second quarter of 2011 compared to EBITDA of $232.2 million in the 2010 quarter. The EBITDA margin improved to 37.8% compared to 36.8% in the prior year quarter.
  • International Solutions:
International Solutions revenue increased 57.8% to $293.0 million compared to $185.7 million in the 2010 quarter. The growth was driven by higher payment volumes in Brazil, increased license revenue and the addition of Capco’s international operations. International Solutions revenue increased 25.2% on an organic basis. International Solutions EBITDA increased 44.3% to $61.2 million compared to $42.4 million in the second quarter of 2010. The EBITDA margin was 20.9% compared to 22.8% in the prior year quarter, reflecting the addition of Capco.
  • Corporate/Other:
Corporate expense totaled $93.9 million in the second quarter 2011, compared to $84.4 million in the prior year quarter. Net interest expense totaled $65.8 million compared to $19.3 million in the prior year quarter due primarily to the recapitalization completed in the third quarter of 2010. The effective tax rate declined to 32.0% in the second quarter of 2011 compared to 37.0% in the prior year, reflecting a one-time benefit in the current year quarter.
Balance Sheet and Cash Flow
Cash and cash equivalents totaled $427.3 million as of June 30, 2011. Debt outstanding declined to approximately $4.9 billion as of June 30, 2011. Capital expenditures totaled $68.0 million in the second quarter of 2011, compared to $76.0 million in capital expenditures in the prior year quarter.
Free cash flow totaled $195.3 million in the second quarter of 2011 compared to adjusted free cash flow of $107.5 million in the 2010 quarter.
2011 Outlook
FIS reiterated its full year outlook for 2011 as follows:
  • Revenue growth of 9% to 11% (4% to 6% organic revenue growth);
  • EBITDA growth of 7% to 9%, reflecting a higher proportion of consulting and services revenue;
  • Adjusted net earnings per share from continuing operations of $2.24 to $2.34;
  • Free cash flow is expected to approximate adjusted net earnings in 2011

FIS Announces Quarterly Dividend

July 19, 2011 04:05 PM Eastern Daylight Time 

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--FIS™ (NYSE: FIS), the world’s largest provider of banking and payments technology, today announced a regular quarterly dividend of $0.05 per common share. The dividend is payable September 30, 2011, to shareholders of record as of the close of business September 16, 2011.
FIS (NYSE: FIS) is the world’s largest global provider dedicated to banking and payments technologies. With a long history deeply rooted in the financial services sector, FIS serves more than 14,000 institutions in over 100 countries. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., FIS employs more than 32,000 people worldwide and holds leadership positions in payment processing and banking solutions, providing software, services and outsourcing of the technology that drives financial institutions. FIS is ranked 426 on the Fortune 500, is a member of Standard & Poor’s 500® Index and consistently holds a leading ranking in the annual FinTech 100 list. For more information about FIS, visit www.fisglobal.com.

Mercator Says Acquiring Industry Main Focus is on Mobile

The U.S. Merchant Acquiring Industry in 2011:
Going Mobile
Boston, MA -- Many merchant acquirers in the US have truly begun to rationalize their delivery of value-added services and innovative technology. With the rising emphasis on mobile devices across the market ecosystem, providers of merchant services have focused significant development and marketing resources on the mobile / micro-merchant space. Acquirers have also moved to bring mobile solutions to national and global retail brands, but a plethora of smaller players with agile, slickly-designed solutions are encroaching on this segment. Not only does the mobile revolution have acquirers active, but issues surrounding security, industry compliance, and regulatory impact promise to make interesting times for merchant acquirers in 2011 and beyond.
At every level of the merchant acquiring business, competition is fierce. Intelligence about what your competitors are doing is essential for success. Lack of differentiation in new products just transliterates the same issues to a new market. And not to minimize the achievements that these service providers have performed - as the effort involved in bringing magstripe reader sleds, apps, and gateway interfaces to market and modifying back office processes for everything from sales to underwriting and risk management is no small task - innovation without the stroke of genius that ensures adoption and market penetration is just as good as the next guy/s innovation.

The latest of Mercator's annual reports on the state of the U.S. merchant acquiring market examines not only market data from the last year but also presents analysis and commentary surrounding what our analysts deem the most pressing topics, themes, and trends impacting the space. This year, the story is Mobile. While our coverage of the U.S. acquiring space obliges us to refresh our data series, the twist for this year's report is an in-depth examination of the mobile payment acceptance phenomenon, and how acquirer business models are changing as the market prepares for more demand around mobility.

"Without a plan for niche segmentation and targeted solutions, competition for the general populace of potential card acceptors via smartphone could be quite bloody indeed. Strategies for penetrating the extremely broad 'services' sector that may be receptive to payment solutions that utilize mobility should incorporate non-payment related functionality of mobile devices in order to tailor offerings to target segments,"David Fish, Senior Analyst at Mercator Advisory Group and author of the report comments. "The opportunities will certainly become richer with the advent of smartphones and tablets that come with NFC chips embedded by the OEM in the device."

Highlights of this report include:
The U.S. merchant acquiring market grew in 2010 due mostly to a rebound in retail and food service sales, which were up over 6% for the year.Growth in card payments was even more robust as volume for Visa and MasterCard bankcard at the top 100 U.S. acquirers grew 8.8% and general purpose card volume grew 9.3%.
Our annual recap of the largest U.S. acquirers' prior year market performance demonstrates the effects of market consolidation on individual companies' market share.
Adaptation of mobile devices to accept card payments has been a bandwagon that many in the acquiring space have been quick to jump on in the past year, with no less than 63 card acceptance applications (with varying degrees of legitimacy) inhabiting the iTunes App Store at the time of this research.
Creative thinking about the mobile merchant space will necessitate acquirers' quick development of niche specialization.
Acquirers who are strategizing or implementing mobile payment acceptance solutions will need to consider emerging payment instrument form factors as the global payments industry moves ever-quickly into NFC contactless payments and as the U.S. continues to mull over EMV smart card adoption.
One of 15 exhibits in this report:

This report is 24 pages long and has 15 exhibits.

Companies mentioned in this report include: Advent International, AisleBuyer, American Express, Banc of America Merchant Services, Chase Paymentech Solutions, Citi Merchant Services, Discover, Elavon, Electronic Transactions Association, Fifth Third Processing Solutions / Vantiv, First Data, First National Merchant Solutions, Global Payments Inc., Heartland Payment Systems, Home Depot, Ingenico, Intuit Payment Solutions, Key Merchant Services, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, MasterCard, Mercury Payments, Moneris, National Processing Company, PNC Merchant Services, Red Laser, RoamPay, Royal Bank of Scotland, Sage Payment Solutions, Sovereign Bank, Square, SunTrust Merchant Services, TransFirst, TSYS Merchant Solutions, Twitter, US Bancorp, VeriFone, Visa, Wells Fargo Merchant Services, WorldPay.

Members of Mercator Advisory Group
 have access to this report as well as the upcoming research for the year ahead, presentations, analyst access and other membership benefits.
Please visit us online at www.mercatoradvisorygroup.com.
For more information and media inquiries, please call Mercator Advisory Group's main line: (781) 419-1700, send E-mail to info@mercatoradvisorygroup.com.
For free industry news, opinions, research, company information and more visit us atwww.PaymentsJournal.com.

Follow us on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/MercatorAdvisor.

About Mercator Advisory Group
Mercator Advisory Group is the leading, independent research and advisory services firm exclusively focused on the payments and banking industries. We deliver pragmatic and timely research and advice designed to help our clients uncover the most lucrative opportunities to maximize revenue growth and contain costs. Our clients range from the world's largest payment issuers, acquirers, processors, merchants and associations to leading technology providers and investors. Mercator Advisory Group is also the publisher of the online payments and banking news and information portal PaymentsJournal.com.

Smartphone Use Soars, While Mobile Banking Adoption Stalls

Financial Institutions Need to Address Consumers’ Security Concerns to Get Mobile Bankers Online
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Javelin Strategy & Research announces its latest research report — Smartphone Banking Security: Mobile Banking Utilization Stalls As Consumers React To Security Issues”. With the explosive growth of smartphone ownership, zooming upwards of 40% since 2010, and constant buzz about such hot new technologies as mobile wallets for payments, financial institutions (FIs) expected that mobile banking growth would continue to skyrocket as well. However, Javelin’s data reveals that mobile banking has actually plateaued. The Javelin report, based on surveys conducted with more than 13,000 consumers, examines this surprising trend, identifies the real reasons why more consumers aren’t using mobile banking, and presents the steps FIs must take if they want to engage more mobile consumers.
“FIs need to get ahead of the problem and focus both on addressing security concerns and responding to consumers’ needs around mobile banking”
Tech-savvy consumers are increasing their use of smartphones to do almost everything these days – everything, that is, except mobile banking and purchasing. Javelin found that the rate of adoption of mobile banking barely budged between 2010 and 2011, despite FIs’ aggressive promotion, and rates of mobile purchasing also stayed the same. One reason - smartphone owners perceive mobile banking as less secure. Between 2009 and 2010 the number of consumers who rated mobile banking as “unsafe” or “very unsafe” increased by a shocking 54%.
“This study is a wake-up call to FIs to look into what consumers really want,” said Philip Blank, Managing Director, Security, Risk and Fraud. “First and foremost, FIs need to address consumers’ needs around security and communicate to consumers their commitment to creating a safe and trusted channel for mobile banking.”
As FIs forge ahead to build mobile relationships with smartphone users, they must neutralize mobile threats in order to build consumer confidence. These consumer responses reflect attitudes before the big data breaches of 2011, which affected more than 180 million personal records, and the malware attacks in early March 2011 on Google’s Android Market. These data breaches make consumers feel even more uneasy about using mobile channels.
“FIs need to get ahead of the problem and focus both on addressing security concerns and responding to consumers’ needs around mobile banking,” said James Van Dyke, President and Founder of Javelin. “Really listen to consumers and give them what they want. Our report clearly shows how the consumer prefers to do their mobile banking. That’s where FIs need to concentrate their development efforts to boost interest in mobile banking and –at the same time - respond to consumers’ significantly increased fears.”
Selected Key Report Findings – Smartphone Banking Security
  • The key factor that mobile banking is lacking, and what FIs need to do to generate significant and compelling demand for mobile banking.
  • The FIs that have the most active mobile banking consumers – and the surprising FI that ranks the highest.
  • Details behind the rates of rates of mobile banking and purchasing and smartphone adoption by consumers.
About Javelin Strategy & Research
Javelin Strategy & Research is the leading provider of quantitative and qualitative research focused on the global financial services industry. Our extensive quantitative data and deep analyst experience enable us to forecast the direction of the financial services market and make recommendations that empower you and your business to succeed.

Isis Forms Relationships with Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express

Isis Becomes the First Mobile Commerce Platform with Support of All Four National Payment Networks
ASPEN, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Isis, the national mobile commerce joint venture between AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, today announced that Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express will join Isis in making mobile commerce a reality for millions of U.S. consumers and merchants. Isis’ relationships with all four payment networks mean that with Isis-enabled phones and payment terminals in place, merchants and consumers will have ubiquity and freedom of choice when it comes to payment network acceptance.
“Isis’ open strategy is the right approach to establishing a highly secure environment for mobile commerce that will be achieved through the participation of banks and payment networks like Discover.”
“Since the formation of Isis in November, we have been committed to building a mobile commerce platform that aligns and advances the interests of consumers, merchants and banks,” said Michael Abbott, chief executive officer for Isis. “By working with the nation’s payment networks – Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express – we significantly advance the vision of an open and secure platform that provides banks and merchants with a new and highly relevant way to connect with consumers.”
Today’s announcement underscores Isis’ inclusive approach, providing all critical stakeholders – banks, merchants and consumers – with the freedom and choice necessary to foster a robust new industry and make mobile commerce a reality.
“Visa has long championed an open approach to mobile commerce that allows consumers to choose which account they want to enable for mobile payments,” said Joe Saunders, chief executive officer, Visa Inc. “We are committed to working closely with Isis, handset manufacturers, platform providers and financial institutions to offer consumers a suite of mobile services – mobile payments, coupons tailored to location and lifestyle, real time account information and more.”
Earlier this year, Isis announced Salt Lake City, Utah and Austin, Texas as initial launch markets, slated to roll out in the first half of 2012 with support from all four payment networks.
“We fully support an open commerce ecosystem which will drive the scale necessary for widespread adoption of mobile payments, providing consumers with exciting new possibilities for shopping and saving,” said Ajay Banga, president and chief executive officer, MasterCard Worldwide. “Our work with Isis reinforces MasterCard’s commitment to the continued development, innovation and evolution of mobile payments technologies.”
Isis will bring mobile commerce to consumers and merchants by using mobile phones to make point-of-sale purchases through the use of near-field communication (NFC) technology. Isis will offer customers a secure and convenient way to pay, redeem coupons and store merchant loyalty cards, all with the tap of a phone.
“Discover has been working with Isis from the start to facilitate mobile commerce, which will provide added convenience and benefits to consumers while delivering increased loyalty and sales to merchants,” said David W. Nelms, chairman and chief executive officer for Discover. “Isis’ open strategy is the right approach to establishing a highly secure environment for mobile commerce that will be achieved through the participation of banks and payment networks like Discover.”
Since its formation, Isis has had a strong vested interest in generating industry involvement and support for a mobile commerce platform that is open and inclusive by design. By working with all four payment networks, Isis will set the standard for what it means to be open, secure and reliable in the mobile commerce industry.
“Isis is able to bring choice and opportunity to mobile commerce by helping cardmembers bring the cards in their leather wallet onto their mobile device,” said Bill Glenn, president, Global Merchant Services, American Express. “This relationship is another way for American Express to expand the digital experience in the social marketplace. As the line between online and offline continues to blur, American Express is leveraging our digital closed loop to help connect our merchant network with our cardmembers in any environment.”
Today’s announcement was made at the annual Fortune Brainstorm TECH conference in Aspen, Colorado.
About Isis
The joint venture is between AT&T Mobility LLC, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless and is based in New York City. The venture is chartered with building ISIS™, a national mobile commerce venture that will fundamentally transform how people shop, pay and save. The Isis mobile commerce network will be available to all merchants, banks, payment networks and mobile carriers. ISIS is a trademark of JVL Ventures, LLC in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other logos, product and company names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

What Will be the ‘Next Big Thing’ in Mobile for the Travel Industry?

In-Depth: Robert Dawson, VP, Internet Marketing & Web Development Services, Sabre Hospitality Solutions, says one of the next big innovations in the mobile space that will quickly impact the travel industry is the inclusion of the NFC (Near Field Communications) chipset in smartphones. This is also expected to change the way the industry sells travel in the future.
Travel Distribution Summit North America 2011
 By Ritesh Gupta

Las Vegas, NV – July 2011 – m-Commerce and Near Field Communications (NFC) are improving and enhancing the travel experience for travellers.The ability of the mobile device to pay for goods and services, coupled with the seamless exchange of information electronically, enabling payments, check-in and personalised marketing messages with a simple swipe of the device against a reader, offers not only traveller efficiency but new opportunities for personalised interaction with the travel provider.

Overall, mobile is growing incredibly fast. Whether a company likes it or not, their customers are already going to their website using their phones. There are some countries around the world, especially in Asia, where mobile usage actually outnumbers desktop computer usage. Travel companies that do not invest in the mobile web may be left behind in the years to come as smartphones and tablets become even more ubiquitous.

Mobile delivers us on demand navigation, prices of the nearest hotels, and the highest rated restaurant nearby.  Mobile is allowing us to maintain digital connectivity at all times. The mobile platform should be considered a connective tissue between the online and offline worlds and shouldn’t be viewed as a stand-alone platform for delivering unique content. Rather, as Google says, the mobile platform is a way to draw together a brand experience overall, for continuity and consistency in the eyes of the consumer.  This is certainly a huge perception shift, and it’s transforming how we live our lives - how we shop, how we communicate, and ultimately, how we interact with businesses.

What Will be the ‘Next Big Thing’ in Mobile for the Travel Industry?In order to know more about the utility of mobile sites as well as mobile apps in the travel sector and other technology-related issues, EyeforTravel’s Ritesh Gupta spoke to Robert Dawson (pictured), VP, Internet Marketing & Web Development Services, Sabre Hospitality Solutions. Excerpts:

What will be the ‘Next Big Thing’ in mobile and how will this impact the way we engage, market and distribute and up-sell travel in the future?

Robert Dawson:

One of the next big innovations in the mobile space that will quickly impact the travel industry is the inclusion of the NFC chipset in smartphones. NFC technology could easily replace the need for hotel room keys and with this technology we could even see a fully self-serve hotel check-in process being done completely through a guests' mobile device. Additionally NFC-enabled phones have the ability to interact with everything from billboards to business cards. This technology could be leveraged to bring inanimate items throughout the hotel to life by providing real-time data and updates to a mobile device by simply swiping it passed the NFC embedded items.

What are the major challenges when it comes to increasing the utility of mobile sites as well as mobile apps in the travel sector?

Robert Dawson:

One of the biggest challenges when it comes to increasing the use and function of mobile sites and mobile apps is having to deal with the variations in each of the mobile OS's (operating systems). Though a standard is in place with HTML5, not every Mobile OS is following these standards 100%. The mobile development landscape is falling prey to the same thing that has happen with desktop browsers, in that Websites and mobile apps work differently on each device. As a result if a mobile app or website was developed without considering the unique factors needed for that device, users can find themselves frustrated and avoid using the mobile site all together.

How should travel companies go about budgeting and planning for mobile website enhancements and mobile marketing initiatives?

Robert Dawson:

In my opinion the strategic alignment of the company’s website and mobile initiatives need to be tied together at the hip. As we strive for a Device Agnostic model for all things mobile, the strategic value of the mobile solutions should be driven from what is being developed for the Website. Budgets will need to increase and the marketing objectives altered to understand the needs of users on smaller devices, however, the core strategy for mobile needs to remain in line with the overall branding and marketing messages that has already been established for the brands DOT COM site.

The mobile device market is fairly fragmented at this time, with many platforms vying for market share. With that as the backdrop, travel companies should continue to innovate and offer travellers the ability to access their content across different mobile platforms, so they can reach the greatest number of travellers possible. How do you expect the whole segment to shape up?

Robert Dawson:

Overall, I feel that developers like us are going to have to take on this responsibility by making mobile solutions that are Device Agnostic. By developing a content delivery system that can easily adapt in real-time is no longer going to be a nice to have. Content is dynamic and diverse and the technology in the mobile space is actually stepping up to the challenge. With HTML5 and advances in CSS, a real-time dynamic content delivery system is actually achievable. The challenge for developers is how quickly this technology evolves and getting mobile device makers to agree on a set of standards.

It is being considered that HTML5, with its ability to provide geo-location, cleaner multimedia support, etc. is one technology that is going to revolutionise mobile devices, tablets in particular. It is being acknowledged that most of the platform vendors promise to support HTML5, but the concern is that — on the mobile side especially — HTML5 could be a lowest common denominator technology while the true innovation occurs (fragmented) platform-by-platform. What’s your viewpoint regarding this?

Robert Dawson:

The great thing about HTML5 is that it is a support standard that is backed by The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). With their backing and support every browser worth installing, mobile or otherwise, understands the needs to comply with the W3C's standards. The challenge is that HTML5 standards can't carry the innovation needed for the future of mobile browsing on its back. It needs help from other technologies in the space. CSS, JavaScript and even Flash technologies all play an important role in defining the future of HTML5 and in particular its role in mobile. I do believe HTML5 is here to stay and it will be a critical part of our computing and mobile experience.

Standardisation versus innovation is one of the longest standing debates in the technology or product world. Today, there are many different approaches identified to provide an optimised way to device coverage, such as Hybrid, Interpreted, Mobile Web (utilise power of HTML5 and JavaScript to develop an appropriate solution), and “No platform” (where you code for each platform, but use optimised development techniques so that multiple platforms doesn’t immediately translate to duplication of effort for each). What should one consider before going for a native application development or cross platform application development methodology?

Robert Dawson:

The key here is understanding how things will scale for the future. For example, our development team is charged with thinking of what the mobile web experience will be like in 3-5 years from now. Don't just develop solutions for today's technology. This is where innovation and out of the box thinking is required. However, there needs to be a balance to ensure your solution adheres to the predefined standards. Ultimately, I strongly believe both can be achieved with thoughtful planning, having properly funded initiatives, and having a keen eye to where the technology is headed.

How do you assess efforts related to an approach that integrates rich content, geo-location, social networks and features like Augmented Reality? How do you assess the current efforts to simplify the overall user experience in the overall planning and booking process?

Robert Dawson:

We strongly believe that the mobile browsing experience is still so unique that things like rich media content, and geo-location solutions etc, are only as good as they are useful to the user. Flashy cool features are tempting to consider, but we strongly urge hoteliers and travel companies to really know what their users are looking for. This is especially true for any type of booking process. For example, if you are a downtown hotel with a strong business clientele, things like Augmented Reality (AR) apps and social network hooks may not be that appealing to your user. Our recommendation is to know who your customer is and provide them the easiest and most efficient way to do business with you.

Travel Distribution Summit North America 2011Robert Dawson is scheduled to speak at the forthcoming Travel Distribution Summit North America 2011, to be held in Las Vegas (September 19-20) this year.
For information, click here:
Company Contact:
Marco Saio
VP Global Marketing & Events
800-814-3459 ext. 7219
Company registration number for EyeforTravel Limited is 06286442. It is also registered in England & Wales. Registered office is 7-9 Fashion Street, London E1 6PX. United Kingdom

CitiGroup Declares Dividends

From ePaymentNews.2Blog4.com - for breaking news visit ePaymentNew.2blog4.com

The Board of Directors of Citigroup Inc. today declared a quarterly
dividend on the company’s common stock of $0.01 per share, payable on
August 26, 2011 to stockholders of record on August 1, 2011.

The Board also declared dividends on preferred stock as follows:
– 6.5% Non-Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock, Series T, payable
August 15, 2011, to holders of record on August 5, 2011. Holders of
depositary receipts, each representing one-thousandth of a full
convertible preferred share, will be paid $0.8125 for each receipt held.

– 8.125% Non-Cumulative Preferred Stock, Series AA, payable August 15,
2011, to holders of record on August 5, 2011. Holders of depositary
receipts, each representing one-thousandth of a full preferred share,
will be paid $0.5078125 for each receipt held.
– 8.50% Non-Cumulative Preferred Stock, Series F, payable September 15,
2011, to holders of record on September 2, 2011. Holders of depositary
receipts, each representing one-thousandth of a full preferred share,
will be paid $0.53125 for each receipt held.

Citi, the leading global financial services company, has approximately
200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160
countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations,
governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products
and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and
investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and
wealth management. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com.

American Express Launches “Link, Like, Love” on Facebook — First-Ever Platform to Deliver Deals, Access and Experiences Based on Cardmember “Likes” and Interests

From ePayment News.2Blog4.com

Today, American Express launched a first-of-its-kind application on Facebook® — “Link,
Like, Love
” — that delivers cardmember deals, access and experiences based on the likes, interests and social connections of cardmembers and their Facebook friends. Starting today, on the American Express Facebook page, cardmembers can link their cards to the program and choose their favorite deals; American Express will send statement credits to cardmembers’ accounts as they shop online or in stores, without the need to pre-purchase anything, print out or show a coupon at the point of sale. In the coming months, American Express will also deliver Membership Rewards® points offers, entertainment access, exclusive content and special events through the application, all based on a cardmember’s Facebook social graph.

The platform is built upon American Express’ Smart Offer APIs, which
enable coupon-less offers that remove any hassle at the point of sale
for the consumer and free merchants from having to train their staff.

The technology also enables American Express to provide detailed
reporting on deal redemption and customer loyalty to help merchants
design their digital marketing programs. To bring additional value to
merchants, American Express also unveiled a first-of-its-kind marketing
tool, “Go Social,” (americanexpress.com/gosocial)
for its small business merchants to create and distribute coupon-less
cardmember offers into digital channels such as Facebook and other

The new “Go Social” tool will help merchants to build their
business and evaluate their social offer campaigns with detailed reports
that they can access through their own secure dashboards.

“As we continue to transform our business in the digital space, we’re
focused on three key areas: value, relevance and user experience, for
both cardmembers and merchants. Because of our unique business model –
our closed loop – we’re able to deliver on all three in a way that is
unprecedented,” said Ed Gilligan, Vice Chairman, American Express.

“We’re thrilled to bring together the power of the Facebook platform and
our core business assets in a way that is personalized, meaningful, and
will result in significant value for both merchants and cardmembers.”

“American Express has created innovative programs on Facebook that
continue to put people at the center of their business,” said David
Fischer, vice president of advertising and global operations, Facebook.

“Their latest consumer and merchant initiative takes advantage of the
power of the social graph to create value for people and drive
meaningful business results.”

Link, Like, Love: How it Works
When cardmembers use the “Link,
Like, Love
” application on the American Express Facebook page, they
will be connected to a personalized dashboard through which American
Express will deliver deals, content and experiences based on their
Facebook likes and interests, as well as the likes and interests of
their friends. Cardmembers can choose the deals they want and then use
their card as they usually do. American Express will send statement
credits to their card accounts – no coupons, no print-outs.

For example, if a cardmember “likes” Whole Foods Market on Facebook or
has “checked in” on Facebook Places, she may see a Whole Foods Market
deal in her dashboard. If her friend has the Fox television show “Glee”
as one of her interests on Facebook, she may see an exclusive experience
for Glee the 3D Concert Movie on her dashboard. Cardmembers can share
deals with friends, choose the deals they want and then use their card
as they usually do to claim the offer.

The national merchants and partners that created special launch deals in
addition to the offers and experiences already available in the American
Express Network include: 20th Century Fox, Dunkin’ Donuts, Whole Foods
Market, Lord & Taylor, Outback Steakhouse, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse &
Wine Bar, Virgin America, Bonefish Grill, H&M, Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion
Cuisine, Westin Hotels & Resorts, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Sheraton
Hotels & Resorts, Celebrity Cruises, Lenovo, Sports Authority,
1-800-FLOWERS, and Travelocity.

“Go Social” Tool for Small Business Merchants
The new “Go Social” offer tool is a virtual one-stop shop that allows American Express merchants to:
  • Easily establish official merchant locations on social networks in just a few clicks;
  • Create and manage coupon-less offers that can be redeemed without the need to train staff;
  • Track offer campaign results across multiple social networks and locations.
For more information, merchants can visit americanexpress.com/gosocial.

About American Express

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with
access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build
business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and
connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress,
and youtube.com/americanexpress.

Editors Note: American Express will be hosting a live stream of
this announcement, along with a demonstration of these new capabilities,
on Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 11AM EDT at livestream.com/americanexpress.
The announcement will also be streamed live on

TxVia Completes Certification to Process Payment Cards Using the Discover Network

From ePaymentNews.2Blog4.com  For Breaking Payments Industry News Please visit our sister site on the 2Blog4 Platform

TxVia, Inc., a leader in transaction processing technology for emerging payments and financial services, today announced that it has been
certified by Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) to process for issuers and program managers using the Discover network.

The relationship will support processing for a number of TxVia clients, including InteliSpend Prepaid Solutions, with which Discover announced an issuance and program management agreement earlier this year for point-based, commissionable restricted authorization network (RAN)
prepaid cards as well as other products.

“The certification of TxVia as a Discover processor allows us to ensure the availability of leading enabling technology to partners offering innovative payment products,” said Farhan Ahmad, general manager of prepaid and director of emerging payments at Discover.

“We are delighted to work with Discover,” said Anil D. Aggarwal, chairman and CEO of TxVia. “We believe there exist many opportunities to leverage the Discover network in prepaid and other emerging areas of payments and are excited to provide processing and supporting services
for Discover-branded cards to InteliSpend Prepaid Solutions as well as the marketplace more broadly.”

About TxVia

TxVia offers the most advanced transaction processing technology for
emerging payments and financial services, as well as comprehensive
supporting services. Its solutions encompass the full scope of consumer,
corporate and government payment applications. TxVia enables electronic
payments with a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) delivery model, a fully
customizable solution that supports its clients’ specialized processing
needs. TxVia clients, which include some of the largest payments
companies in the world, realize significant time-to-market, cost,
scalability, reliability and security benefits from its custom—rather
than one-size-fits-all—platforms.
Enhanced by Zemanta

The NFC Adoption Model Only 1.8% of Consumers Globally are Likely To Immediately Adopt NFC Payments Tap and Go

Research and Markets: NFC Payments: Tapping the Future - The NFC Adoption Model Only 1.8% of Consumers Globally are Likely To Immediately Adopt NFC Payments

DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Research and Markets  has announced the addition of the "NFC Payments: Tapping the Future" report to their offering.
NFC Payments Tapping the Future provides an overview of the current state of the global Near Fields Communications payments sector. This includes detailed customer segmentation of likely adopters of NFC, an assessment of some of the key opportunities and threats facing the future of this new payments technology, and key takeaways for issuers who want to harness the potential of NFC.
Features and benefits
  • Understand what NFC can mean for your business by learning about how it works and its potential applications.
  • Plan your strategy effectively by learning about key target demographics and who NFC is most likely to appeal to.
  • Cut through the hype and assess what the latest developments from major players means for your company in the short, medium and long term.
  • Build your business case by understanding the key hurdles and obstacles that stand in the way of full NFC implementation.
The global Near Field Communications market is finally seeing significant commercial launches of hardware and services after years of trials and speculation. However even with significant players such as Google, Apple, Nokia, Orange, and others becoming involved, these launches are more of an evolutionary step than a revolution.
According to The NFC Adoption model only 1.8% of consumers globally are likely to immediately adopt NFC payments once it is released. However a further 12.2% and 31.7% show a medium to low likelihood of immediate of adoption. This suggests that with the right incentives and marketing, the longer term opportunity remains significant.
Your key questions answered
  • What is the business case for NFC and mobile contactless? How do players involved plan on making money?
  • What is happening now in NFC? Is it really a revolution in payments?
  • Who is launching NFC services? What do their models and strategies mean for the payments industry?
  • What impact will the hardware have on the NFC market? Is the technology ready?
Key Topics Covered:
  • An NFC ecosystem is finally emerging
  • Five key findings for the payments industry
  • NFC is only one of several forms of mobile payment
  • The NFC ecosystem is being shaped by hardware and services launches from major players
  • Mobile wallets are emerging as a key battleground in NFC payments
  • Understanding the NFC consumer
  • Datamonitor's NFC Adoption Model sizes the target market for NFC
  • The three key obstacles that NFC must overcome
  • This report is an objective analysis of the opportunities for NFC in mid-
  • While the availability of handsets is expanding, developers are still working out what to do with NFC
  • Couponing is emerging as a major driver of future NFC use
  • Mobile wallets are emerging as a key battleground in NFC payments
  • Mobile operators have made the first moves in developing mobile wallets
  • Datamonitor's NFC Adoption Model sizes the target market for NFC
  • The NFC Adoption Model identifies three target consumer groupings for NFC based on current behavior
  • Early adopters of NFC will come from the banked, and older age groupings
  • Less than 2% of consumers are highly likely to adopt NFC payments immediately
  • Likely NFC adopters hold secure employment and make more money
Source: Datamonitor

Disqus for ePayment News