Archives / 2014
  • Tablet POS solutions to play a big role in payments industry in 2015

    The cloud is changing tablet POS technology.

    As the year winds down, payment systems professionals have begun looking at what 2015 will bring for the industry. The consensus is that technological advancements will push what were innovative niche systems to the mainstream. Tablet POS systems are one of these technologies, and given the advancements in hardware and software required to make these tools work, more companies will find it easier to adopt them into their payments infrastructure in the new year. spoke about the ways payments technologies will emerge in the coming year with a number of industry professionals who believe tablet POS systems will not only become mainstream, but that organizations will increasingly use modern technologies like the cloud to facilitate tablet POS … more

  • Top five factors impacting a merchant's effective real rate to accept card payments

    A number of factors can influence your effective real rate.

    Understanding your effective real rate is the key to identifying the most cost-effective payment services provider. Your effective real rate measures the total cost of all processing fees and can be calculated by dividing the total merchant charges and fees over a given amount of time by the total bank card sales volume over that same amount of time. The only way to ensure you have the best effective real rate is to understand what factors into determining this rate.

    Here are the top five factors impacting real rate:

    Your industry: Merchants have different real rates depending on their industry. For example, retail, hospitality, education, the restaurant industry and B2B sales all have different real rates. 

    Card types accepted: There are a growing number of card types in the … more

  • When implementing a payment processing system, training is of the utmost importance

    Make sure your employees are trained on all new payment processing systems.

    The payment technology industry is evolving rapidly, so it's understandable that some consumers are unsure as to what solutions are out there in the market and how they work. Those that accept these payments, whether they are restaurants or retailers, should have no such excuse. Unfortunately, some organizations have not followed necessary steps during the adoption process, which has resulted in confused employees and frustrated customers.

    Apple Pay has been live for almost two months, but not all reported participants have done their part to make the transition from traditional methods to Apple Pay seamless. When Tim Cook first unveiled Apple Pay at an iPhone event in September, McDonalds was listed as an early adopter of the technology, but the popular fast food restaurant never told … more

  • Tablet POS systems can be an important tool on Small Business Saturday

    The holiday shopping season officially kicks off this weekend with Black Friday. Consumers around the country will be lined up at their favorite big-box retailers to get the best door buster deals. On the following Monday — in many cases, at the stroke of midnight — shoppers will go to their computers to find the best online deals for Cyber Monday. Sandwiched in between arguably the two biggest shopping days of the year is Small Business Saturday, which encourages holiday shoppers to buy from small, local merchants.

    This blog recently touched upon the importance of the day. Not only are small businesses vital to the communities which they serve, those who buy from small businesses are often doing so from friends, family and neighbors, rather than large corporations, … more

  • Can merchants do enough to protect customers this holiday season?

    We're a year removed from the Target breach that rocked the retail industry over the 2013 holiday shopping season, and as this year's busiest time approaches, it's important for merchants to ensure they don't allow a repeat of that PR disaster. However, some industry experts suggest they aren't doing enough to mitigate the risk of a breach.

    An article in USA Today suggests merchants are just as vulnerable this year as they were last year, even though a number of measures have been taken to improve overall payment security. The implementation of EMV technology was a major initiative this year, and earlier this fall Bank of America rolled out its security chip program. However, many stores have not implemented the technology needed to process these payments, according to the news source.

    " … more

  • Are you prepared for Small Business Saturday?

    Small business Saturday is coming.

    Black Friday and Cyber Monday get all of the attention, but they aren't the only two shopping events that take place in the first few days after Thanksgiving. While major retailers like Walmart and eCommerce providers like Amazon do great business on their respective shopping holidays, what about small local businesses? They get their day too. On the day after Black Friday, consumers are encouraged to visit their local businesses in an event called Small Business Saturday.

    This is an opportunity for smaller companies who can't compete with those offering major door-buster deals as early as Thanksgiving morning to take advantage of the busy shopping weekend. It's a chance for those who want to support their local economy to do just that. Erikka Storch, the Wheeling Area Chamber of … more

  • Report: 58 percent of holiday shoppers will pay with their mobile device

    This may be the first true mobile holiday shopping season.

    This may be the first true mobile holiday shopping season. While we've already examined some of the trends leading into the biggest season of the year for retailers, as the holiday season quickly approaches many have begun to examine just how big of an influence the mobile device will have on retail purchases. According to most projections, it's going to make a major difference. 

    A Deloitte study revealed that at least 58 percent of shoppers will use their mobile device to help them make purchases this holiday season. Uses vary, ranging from using a phone to find a particular store location or item to scanning and comparing prices, making purchases from mobile eCommerce sites and using the phone to pay at a POS system with NFC technology. The results ultimately … more

  • How will Apple Pay and CurrentC work together?

    The important thing to know is that mobile devices are the future of payments, so merchants must be prepared regardless.

    Apple Pay has been available for about three weeks now, and adoption is rising among both retailers and consumers. While the list of retailers currently accepting Apple Pay is well known by most in the tech world, so are those who will not accept it. A significant number or prominent retailers, many of which will play a major role in the upcoming holiday shopping season, are not going to accept Apple Pay and implement the necessary technology because they are waiting for their own system, one that won't be out until next year.

    You may have heard of the Merchant Consumer Exchange (MCX), but if not, it's an organization started by Walmart that contains a few popular retailers including Sears, CVS and Best Buy. The group got together years ago with the mission of making payments … more

  • Why a tablet POS system might help you survive the holiday season

    A tablet POS might be a better option than a traditional checkout counter this holiday season.

    You've probably begun to think about the logistics of managing the holiday rush at your retail store. Not only do you have to worry about having enough inventory to fulfill your customers' requests and having the ability to order new shipments in a timely manner, you must also consider the layout of your store during the next two months. Starting officially after Thanksgiving (but more realistically, around now) malls and plazas will start seeing more foot traffic, which means you will see more people in your store. While this is good for your revenue, you have to make sure you can get them in and out of your store in a timely manner. One way to do this may be by providing your retail clerks the flexibility to check out customers from anywhere on the floor.

    The age of the traditional … more

  • How do consumers feel about shopping at breached retailers this holiday season?

    More than half of surveyed consumers are ok with shopping at breached retailers this holiday season.

    This upcoming holiday shopping season will be the culmination of what was a tumultuous year in the retail security industry. Starting shortly after last Thanksgiving at Target, a number of big-name retailers have been victims of serious security breaches, ranging from Home Depot to Michael's and Staples, which is currently investigating a potential incident that may have occurred earlier this fall. These were all high profile cases, which means the public, who will soon have to decide which stores to shop at for holiday gifts, may want to stay away from those that have been victimized by security breaches.

    A recent study conducted by sought to evaluate the general sentiment surrounding stores like Target, Home Depot and Staples as we head into the holiday shopping … more

  • Should you buy or lease your POS equipment?

    Is it better to buy or lease your POS equipment?

    Leasing is a popular practice in many areas of business. It's often a cheaper alternative to buying something outright and, if the leased item in question is technology-based, it may allow you to stay current with constant innovation. Rather than being burdened with an aging piece of technology that you invested heavily in by buying, you can return the model and lease a newer version. Of course, this won't apply to everything, and you have to consider specific factors pertaining to your technology before deciding if leasing or buying is the right choice. For example, consider your POS system.

    Leasing POS equipment is not uncommon, but is it the best practice? Is it actually cheaper to lease this item rather than buying it? The Bureau of Consumer Protection Business Center says no. … more

  • How will Apple Pay work with EMV?

    Apple Pay could have a positive impact on EMV adoption.

    Apple Pay has been out for a little more than a week now. Thus far, a number of merchants have adopted the service, with varying results. And while user adoption will take time, there is a tremendous amount of hype surrounding Apple Pay as it enters its second week of existence. This is consistent with most Apple product and service launches, and the belief shared among many is that the company that revolutionized digital music, the cell phone and the computer tablet will do so again with payments. However, that still remains to be seen and, before Apple Pay can truly take off, a number of questions must be answered. For example, how will it work with EMV?

    The launch of Apple Pay wasn't the only major industry event to take place in October. Earlier this month, Bank of America rolled … more

  • Dairy Queen attacked by vicious malware

    Ever since Target was crippled by a high-profile card data breach, all eyes have been turned to the IT security of major retail-level stores. Dairy Queen recently announced that it had also been targeted by a breach involving a new form of malware called "Backoff." Though it is downplaying the effects of this intrusion, the company admitted that payment card data at nearly 400 locations across the country was affected over the summer.

    The company says that the breach exposed multiple types of identifying data, including card numbers and expiration dates, but that there's no evidence that more sensitive information, like Social Security Numbers and PIN, were revealed to outside forces. One Orange Julius store was also affected in addition to the Dairy Queens.

    "We are committed to working … more

  • Security a major point of focus this holiday season

    Black Friday is just around the corner.

    Halloween is Friday, which means by this time next week, we'll be well into November, Thanksgiving will only be a few weeks away and the holiday shopping season will be looming just around the corner. In fact, some organizations have already begun holiday-themed displays, but of course the season's unofficial kickoff doesn't commence until Black Friday, which is only four short weeks away. This year industry experts predict a gigantic shopping season, which puts pressure on retailers to keep up with increased traffic while maintaining the security of customer data.

    It was only last year when Target was hit hard right at the apex of the holiday shopping season — an incident that resulted in a PR nightmare the company is still trying to overcome. What followed was what can only be … more

  • Detailing the first 48 hours of Apple Pay

    Many believe Apple Pay is going to change the way retail works.

    On Monday, October 20, Apple released iOS 8.1, an updated version of its latest mobile operating system. With it came a number of new features and adjustments to the iOS 8 platform, but none were more notable than the launch of Apple Pay. Now, users with either an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus can update to iOS 8.1 and use Apple Pay at a number of participating retailers. 

    To get set up, users have to register a credit or debit card with their phone and take proper measures to verify that it's their card. For example, Bank of America has an Apple Pay registration department set up and users are required to call to verify that they indeed mean to attach their debit or credit card with their phone. Once this is done, they can begin to use their phone at stores such as Walgreens and … more

  • Can a more secure iPad help your tablet POS system?

    Apple has been busy so far this fall. Last month, the company unveiled and launched two new iPhones — the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus — which come fully loaded with iOS 8, the latest Apple mobile operating system, and a myriad of new features including Apple Pay, which allows users to use their devices to pay at some of the world's biggest retailers. While Apple Pay has not gone live as of yet, this week the company announced that it will finally allow iPhone owners to use the feature on Monday, October 20. This came at a second fall event in which Apple launched Yosemite, the latest Mac desktop operating system and unveiled two new iPads, which will be available in a few weeks. 

    The iPad announcement could mean big things for retailers who are already in the … more

  • Mobile commerce plays role in curbside pickup at retail stores

    Mobile commerce can integrate with standard brick-and-mortar retail.

    The dichotomy between eCommerce and brick-and-mortar retail isn't as significant as once thought. The lines are becoming increasingly blurred as innovations in the retail space allow customers to start the purchasing process online and continue in store as they pick up their item.

    Imagine that you're at the mall and you plan to go to Best Buy to purchase a new television. You are already in the area so you could just walk to the store, wait to speak with a representative, wait to have your questions answered and then finally select the model you want before paying for it and taking it home. Or you could walk into the store having already purchased what you want so you can simply receive your item and walk out of the store without the hassles that come with traditional shopping … more

  • Hacking incidents put pressure on small businesses to become PCI compliant

    PCI compliance is a major issue at organizations of all sizes, but many small businesses don't seem to understand the risks associated with fraud.

    Most of the security breaches that have made headlines over the course of the past year have involved major corporations in either retail or banking. Target and Home Depot have fallen victim to highly publicized incidents in the past 12 months, and most recently the JP Morgan/Chase breach may have affected 76 million households. But due to the organization's dealing with small businesses, roughly 7 million small business owners may also be at risk.

    Small business owners often feel as if they aren't susceptible to security breaches due to their "unattractiveness" in the eyes of fraudsters. This is not the case. In fact, small businesses are often even more vulnerable to fraudulent activity, and according to the National Small Business Association, as many as 44 percent of all small … more

  • Bill Gates praises Apple Pay

    Bill Gates believes Apple Pay could have a dynamic impact on the payments industry.

    When Bill Gates speaks on a tech issue, it's best to pay attention. Earlier this month, he shared his thoughts on the mobile payments space and according to the Microsoft founder, NFC and Apple Pay are driving the industry into the future. 

    Gates was recently interviewed by Bloomberg and the two sides discussed several topics. When Microsoft's long-time rival and its recent announcements regarding new smartphones, a smart watch and an NFC-based payment system were mentioned, Gates was enthusiastic in his answer, stressing that Apple is setting the bar for mobile payments.

    "Apple Pay is a great example of how a cell phone that identifies its user in a pretty strong way [i.e. the fingerprint sensor] and lets you make a transaction that should be very, very inexpensive," he said.& … more

  • Bank of America begins EMV debit card rollout

    Bank of America will be implementing EMV technology into its debit cards.

    After months of anticipation, Bank of America is finally beginning to roll out an EMV program that will impact its consumer and small business debit cards. On Wednesday, the bank announced that all consumer and small business debit cards will include an EMV security chip, matching the technology already included in most of its credit cards. This will make Bank of America the first major bank in the United States to implement EMV technology into its debit cards.

    The EMV chip technology encrypts transaction information every time the card is used. According to Bank of America, this information will change with each use, making fraud difficult. Although Bank of America is the first major American bank to use EMV in its debit cards, the expectation is that others will join them and this … more

  • Tablet POS systems present opportunities for food trucks

    Tablet POS systems are helping food truck owners better serve their customers.

    The food truck is one of the fastest growing business trends, and anyone who has spent time in any major city can't walk far without running into one. Go outside during lunch time on a work day and you'll see whole fleets of food trucks on just about every busy corner. And as their popularity grows, food truck owners know they must ensure they can keep up with their customers' preferences. Although food trucks have traditionally been cash-only establishments, that form of currency has become increasingly scarce, which is why tablet POS systems have become must-have tools for any food truck owner. 

    A tablet POS system that either runs on a carrier network or on a WiFi network set up in the truck can allow merchants to process all kinds of payments without having to use traditional … more

  • What will the new iPad bring to the payments table?

    What impact could new iPads have on the tablet POS market?

    The tablet POS market may be receiving some big news in a couple of weeks. In October, Apple CEO Tim Cook is expected to once again take the stage and introduce the latest version of a popular mobile device. While his September keynote was all about the iPhone and the introduction of the Apple Watch, next month Cook's announcement should center around the iPad.

    According to numerous sources, Apple will unveil the latest version of the iPad Air and iPad Mini and could even add a third member to the tablet family. The iPad Pro has circulated the rumor mill for much of the past year and the popularity of the Air and Mini have led many to believe they will be receiving upgrades. 

    Will we get a Retina Display iPad Mini, a second generation iPad Air and an all-new iPad Pro, rumored to … more

  • How will NFC and the Internet of Things work together?

    The Internet of Things and NFC technology can have a dynamic impact on the payments industry.

    The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest topic in the tech industry these days. The concept of connecting all devices — whether they were designed for communication or not — to the Internet is an exciting prospect with great potential. The number of worthwhile applications this technology can have in both the business and consumer realms is virtually limitless. It could end up having a dramatic impact on payments as well, provided that NFC technology continues to penetrate the market as the Internet of Things grows.

    Apple CEO Tim Cook and his team made a number of exciting announcements when the company unveiled the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus on September 9. One was Apple Pay, the company's new payments system that will take advantage of the NFC … more

  • What will Apple Pay's impact be on the payments industry?

    Last Wednesday, Apple released iOS 8, the latest version of its mobile operating system. This past Friday, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were released to record-breaking sales figures. Now that adoption is ramping up and more people are getting their hands on an iOS 8-loaded next-gen iPhone, the consumer electronics giant is just about ready to unveil Apple Pay. 

    The functionality is already in place. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus contain NFC technology, and it is simply now a matter of Apple releasing upgrades to its operating system that allow users to take full advantage of it. This process is taking place simultaneously with an effort to get more merchants on board and organized with the tools they need to facilitate these payments. 

    In an interview featured on,  … more

  • What to look for in a tablet POS system

    A good tablet POS system will be able to create real-time reports.

    Whether your company decides to use an iPad or another tablet to manage your mobile POS system, there are certain characteristics that your devices must display in order for your new system to be successful. Prior to procuring and implementing a tablet POS system, evaluate your potential solution and make sure it contains these characteristics. 

    Here are five things to look for in any new system, as referenced in a recent Business News Daily article:

    Cloud-based: Does your sales data upload to the cloud so it can be accessed by other machines?

    Backend capabilities: Can your system process pertinent data such as inventory numbers and generate real-time reports? Speed and efficiency is a major factor.

    Security: Given recent incidents at major retailers such as Target and Home … more

  • What merchants should know about consumer behavior in the mobile commerce era

    Customers who go to eCommerce sites on their phones are more likely to buy.

    The increasing usage of mobile devices in the payments space is causing merchants to rethink the way they interact with customers. Businesses have to be mindful of trends pertaining to mobile commerce, particularly those that dictate behavioral changes.

    For example, studies show that individuals are more likely to visit a mobile website with a purpose than they would if they were on their desktop computer. The idea of mindless web browsing is far more applicable to traditional computing environments, as online users go from page to page while at work or on their home computers. There is a far greater chance that someone who lands on a web page on their mobile device is going to do something other than look around. This is why sales conversions take place more often on mobile. … more

  • Apple truly enters mobile payments game with Apple Pay

    Tim Cook unveiled Apple Pay this week.

    For many years, critics of Apple have been quick to point out that while the company prides itself on innovation, it is behind the times in regards to mobile payments. A lack of NFC technology, despite rumors that have circulated for years prior to each unveiling of a new mobile device, has prevented Apple from having any significant impact in the industry. On Tuesday, CEO Tim Cook and other Apple executives put an end to the scrutiny by unveiling Apple Pay, which the company believes will revolutionize the payments process.

    This October, Apple users with the appropriate devices — for now, this means those who buy the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus when both launch towards the end of the month or those who wait and buy an Apple Watch early next year — will be able to pay … more

  • Retailers must adjust to changing mobile payment market

    The mobile payment market is changing rapidly, and retailers have little choice but to adjust.

    For the past few years, the mobile payments market has been more of a curiosity than a major area of investment. Though a few companies, such as Google and Square, have taken early steps in the market, most consumers still opt to use their physical credit and debit cards to make payments, or even cash.

    But that may be changing faster than people expect, and merchants will have to adapt. As a recent article on Wired argues, "the mobile payments marketplace is set to explode — and soon." 

    The news source cites reports that Apple's upcoming iPhone 6 will include the technology to make mobile payments possible. But it's more than that. The source added that a number of different market participants are racing to develop a payment option that will appeal to the greatest number … more

  • New iPhone payments rumor sparks excitement

    Apple could finally be getting into the mobile payments game.

    On September 9, Apple is hosting its annual iPhone event. The expectation is that the consumer electronics giant will unveil the latest version of the popular smartphone — the iPhone 6. While that bit of information appears to be all-but-confirmed, it's the latest rumor attached to the news that has people really excited. According to several sources, Apple is expected to finally release a mobile payments system with its new phone.

    Bloomberg has added weight to these claims by reporting that Visa, MasterCard and American Express have all inked partnerships with Apple. The nature of these agreements is still unknown, but it's likely all questions will be answered on September 9 when CEO Tim Cook and the rest of the Apple executive team take the stage to showcase what … more

  • The hospitality industry can benefit from a cloud-based tablet POS system

    A cloud-based tablet POS system can help retailers in a number of ways.

    Cloud-based POS systems can benefit organizations across a wide range of industries, but the technology's advantages are particularly beneficial to those in hospitality. Hotel staffers, cruise line crew members and other professionals tasked with servicing guests over an extended period of time have one mission: to provide each guest with the best possible experience.

    In most cases, each experience will be customized to the preferences of the individual or family. In all cases, staff members working in the hospitality establishment must be prepared to properly manage guest interactions at all times, even while on the go. This is why tablets have become such a vital component of the industry's technology infrastructure. 

    Royal Caribbean understands this. The popular … more

  • Why businesses need to stay on top of credit card processing fees

    Businesses need to monitor their credit card processing fees to ensure they don't pay anything unnecessary.

    If you accept card payments, then you know all too well the need to manage your merchant account and the card processing fees being billed. While some merchants "set it and forget it" never opening a merchant statement, others tend to believe every offer that crosses there desk - neither of which is your best strategy.

    A recent article from Internet Retailer profiled baby product company Uppababy. The company started in 2006 to sell strollers and is now present in 12 countries, selling multiple versions of strollers and car seats. The company is partnered with several major retailers including Amazon and Bed, Bath and Beyond, as well as a number of smaller boutique retailers.

    Their wholesale business transactions are mostly conducted in a "card-not-present" sales environment and they … more

  • Why you should know the difference between a mobile commerce technology and a mobile commerce strategy

    Mobile commerce comes in a number of different forms.

    When your company talks about its mobile commerce strategy, what is it really saying? The truth is, simply talking about mobile commerce as a strategy geared towards facilitating future sales may be a misguided approach. 

    This was brought up in a recent Gigaom article that suggested "the future of mobile commerce is commerce." What exactly does that mean? Cormac Foster, the article's author, says too many organizations are concerning themselves with implementing a technology designed to process mobile payments, and that they are tying their mobile commerce strategy to whatever technology they buy. Foster's thesis ultimately is that mobile commerce is an abstract concept because it entails so many different ideas and technologies, so finding the "right" technology to manage … more

  • Mobile commerce helps small businesses compete and overcome challenges

    The average mom and pop shop doesn't have the resources or technology to offer the same streamlined checkout experience customers come to expect at large retailers and department stores. And while customers choose small businesses over larger corporations for a myriad of other reasons, the discrepancy has long been a challenge that the former has had to overcome.

    There will always be a sizable gap between what Sears or Target can offer their customers versus the neighborhood convenience store, but small businesses have begun to close that gap by implementing mobile technology into checkout operations.

    The implementation of tablets as standard POS tools has opened up new opportunities for retailers of all sizes. Not only are small organizations capitalizing on the advantages gained … more

  • Millennials leading mobile payments adoption

    The mobile commerce trend is being led by the millennial generation.

    Most of today's tech trends are fueled by behaviors exhibited by the millennial generation. The emergence of social media, the transition from traditional land lines to mobile communication and, most recently, cable cutting, have primarily gained popularity because of millennials. Now, they are the main demographic leading another major tech trend -- mobile payments.

    Today, virtually everyone born in the last 20 years of the 20th century owns a mobile phone. In most cases, those phones have upgraded from the traditional Nokia "brick" that was seemingly everywhere in the early 2000s to a flip phone and finally to a smartphone, which dominate the mobile space in 2014. Millennials have taken advantage of the evolving functionality of their gadgets by using them for just about every … more

  • Updates revealed to previously big POS breach news

    New updates show the reach of a credit card breach.

    Security breaches at major companies are becoming common headlines. Over the last six months, Target, Apple, Microsoft and P.F. Chang's, to name a few, have been victims of a security flaw in some form. With investigations ongoing, some new details are being released.

    The first major news that was announced this week came from Target. The retailer was the victim of a major breach during the 2013 holiday shopping season. Since then, there has been senate hearings, an executive shake-up and investment in new POS hardware and software. This week, however, an article from Forbes announced the actual cost of the breach, which amounts to $148 million.

    P.F. Chang's China Bistro also released more information about its breach this week. According to a statement from the company, over the … more

  • Apple allows bitcoin app back in App Store

    In the case of mobile commerce, many payment experts are still waiting for Apple to get involved in the industry before they declare the mobile wallet the next big thing. With every press event, there are rumors that the company is adding near field communication technology to the hardware, and when it passes without an announcement, there is disappointment.

    This week, that excitement is back, not because of NFC, but rather bitcoin. According to an article from Wired, after a six month ban on the app, Apple has allowed Blockchain to return to the App Store. Considering it is the world's most popular bitcoin wallet, this move could be the first step in embracing a new form of digital wallet on the Apple platform.

    "This seems to be the first strong and real sign [Apple … more

  • Visa, MasterCard facing more interchange lawsuits

    Visa and MasterCard are facing more merchant interchange fee lawsuits.

    Just when it seemed that the credit card processing fee lawsuits against Visa and MasterCard were coming to an end, the processes is starting again. Previously, a large group of retailers had come together and filed a lawsuit against the card companies over processing fees. A settlement was reached in 2012 and a $5.7 billion final settlement was approved by a judge in December of 2013.

    However, a large portion of the merchants involved in the suit rejected the settlement and pulled out, looking to re-file. Now, according to an article from Bloomberg, Visa and MasterCard are facing more than 30 new suits that have been filed by some of the top merchants in the country including Target, Wal-Mart and Macy's. These suits just overcame their first hurdle, as the card … more

  • EMV and mobile POS systems to collide

    Square has announced it is working on a mobile EMV chip reader.

    Two of the hottest trends in the payment landscape are mobile devices and EMV chip-cards. The latter is a security feature that has an industry-wide deadline for adoption of October 1, 2015, and the former is a new way to look at POS hardware. While both have companies updating payment systems, they are few options on the market that handles both of them.

    However, it now seems as if that could be changing. According to a recent article from Payment Source, Square has announced that it is creating a version of its mobile card reader that will be able to handle EMV-chips.

    Square is one of the leaders of the mobile POS marketplace. With just a small piece of plastic plugged into the headphone jack and a mobile application, any smartphone or tablet is now capable of accepting credit card … more

  • What accessories are needed to improve a tablet cash register

    Every company is looking for ways to improve operations while saving money. In recent years, this idea has led to an increase in the adoption rates of various technologies, one of which was the tablet POS system.

    Mobility is something that every company is dealing with, and the reason is that these devices have evolved to the point that they can handle business critical tasks. This includes acting as a cash register. However, for it to be successful, there are several accessories needed.

    A recent article from TabTimes examined the different peripherals that are available. The list includes mainly traditional tools like a cash drawer, receipt printer, barcode and a credit card reader, as well as a stand for the tablet. If you are using this system to replace a traditional cash … more

  • Majority of consumers believe in security of EMV

    Security is a major topic of conversation in the payment industry. Every major breach is news and consumers and businesses alike are putting a higher priority on having the right security features in place.

    Recently, NXP sponsored a survey by Vision Critical of 1011 American adults to examine consumer feelings toward EMV chip-card technology and POS security in general. The results show that that 69 percent of respondents believe that an EMV chip would make their credit payments more secure, while only 5 percent believe the opposite would be true.

    "There is a trust in technology and [in] their financial institutions to ensure their safety," Brintha Koether, the segment director for payments at NXP, told eWeek in a recent article.

    She added that many consumers in the U.S. appear to … more

  • Business cite several reasons for upgrading POS systems

    Companies cited several different reasons why they upgraded their POS system.

    More organizations are looking at their POS systems in a new way. The ever evolving technology landscape has sped up the decline of traditional systems and increased the need to upgrade to a new solution that embraces the latest in technological innovation.

    Recently, Vertical Systems Reseller released its third annual "State of the POS Market Study 2014." The research looked at the point of sale market across numerous industries and asked the question, why upgrade? The answers to this were numerous, but hit on a number of core payment processing challenges and trends.

    Topping the list, cited by 53 percent of the respondents, is PCI compliance. This is a challenge that businesses never fully conquered because PCI regulations are always changing. Keeping customer and payment … more

  • Ballpark deploys tablet POS to speed up transactions

    A minor league baseball park deployed a tablet POS system to improve transactions.

    One of the main reasons an organization would want to upgrade its POS system is the speed of processing transactions. The longer a customer has to wait for a credit card payment to be processed, the longer the line at the cash register, which can heighten the level of frustration for those waiting. As any business knows, upset customers can cause major problems.

    A recent case study profiled some moves made by the Joliet Slammers, a minor league baseball team. During the most recent offseason, the organization hired a new Director of Food and Beverage named Tom Fremarek. He started looking at the biggest customer service issues that the organization has faced and found multiple complaints about the wait times for processing credit cards.

    The manual registers and … more

  • How hard is the EMV deadline?

    One of the biggest topics in the EMV chip card conversation is the looming October 1, 2015 deadline for banks to deploy it. Over the last year, talk surrounding the technology has increased significantly, especially in the wake of the Target security breach. After this debacle, Congress summoned executives from the company to answer questions.

    While all paths seem to be heading toward this solution, the road is not as clear as you may think. A recent article from Fox Business examined several frequently asked questions about EMV, one of which is about the deadline. Many experts seem to believe that this deadline will not be hard.

    "Don't expect a big bang in October of 2015," Doug Johnson, vice president of risk management policy for the American Bankers Association, told the news … more

  • Examining the murky waters of credit card swipe fees

    Credit card swipe fees can be very costly for small businesses.

    This blog has been covering the ongoing issues, both legal and regulatory, surrounding credit and debit card fees and rules for some time. Recently, NACS featured a guest column from Jeff Miller, the president of Miller Oil Co. and the NACS chairman from 2010 through 2011. He wrote about how swipe fees are really hurting businesses.

    Card fees (or swipe fees in retail environments) represent the cost that businesses pay in order to accept cards and process these payments from approval code through settlement of funds to their business bank accounts.  While these fees vary depending on the provider, most of the underlying costs are largely regulated either by the Fed or by the card companies themselves, who publish Interchange in the public domain and are set the same for all banks … more

  • AmEx starts trial over interchange fees

    American Express starts trial over interchange fees.

    The legal battles between businesses and credit card companies have mainly seen Visa and MasterCard as the defendants. However, a trial started this week that has American Express defending itself from allegations from the Justice Department that it is trying to stop competition.

    According to an article from Time Money, the battle has been ongoing for nearly four years. The Justice Department originally brought the suit against Visa, MasterCard and American Express in 2010. Visa and MasterCard quickly settled, but AmEx fought.

    The allegations stem from American Express' "take it or leave it" policy. Merchants are required to pay a fee - generally between 2 percent and 3 percent of the total purchase - every time they process a credit transaction. The government claims American Express … more

  • Best practices for implementing small business credit card acceptance

    Adding credit card processing to a business can be a complicated process. The decision to accept or not accept credit card payments is something that every business owner will need to make.  Because it takes research, it is advisable to not wait until the last minute.  Proper planning is essential to identifying the best payment service providers for your business. 

    A recent article from Business News Daily laid out some advice that every organization should consider when it comes to implementing credit card payment processing. These include:

    Educate yourself on the lingo

    Partner with a credit card processor that meets your needs

    Understand data security and PCI compliance requirements

    Know the processing fees

    As we have written about in the past, for those just starting out in business we suggest companies consider their payment … more

  • New York attorney general backs payroll card regulations

    New York is looking to regulate payroll cards with a new bill.

    Earlier this month, this blog covered a bill that is currently working its way through the Illinois state government that would clarify the parameters for companies using direct deposit payroll cards as a way to pay employees. Now another state is getting on this bandwagon.

    According to recent article from The New York Times, New York's attorney general Eric Schneiderman is taking up a battle to regulate the use of payroll cards through a new piece of legislation. The goal of the bill is to protect employees as there is concern that low wage workers can be unfairly targeted.

    "The goal of this legislation is to move past the stage where we're trying to chase down individual employers with laws that were not written with payroll laws in mind," Schneiderman told the news source.

    He went … more

  • NRF examines swipe fee challenges

    Credit card swipes remain a major problem for many organizations.

    Credit card swipe fees have become a battleground for businesses over the last few years. The Fed had calculated an average cost per transaction of 4 cents with a cap of 21 cents -- according to the Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection and Wall Street Reform Act -- and while that may not seem like a huge number, when you multiply that by hundreds of swipes a day it quickly adds up to something that is more difficult to handle.

    Recently, the National Retail Federation (NRF) posted an article examining the impact that these fees have created over the last few years. Since July 2013, there have been two major legal matters that could have widespread implications when they are eventually settled, both of which we have covered before.

    The first is the ruling last July by U.S. … more

  • Credit card swipe fee settlement again asked for appeal

    Credit card swipe fees continue to be a battleground.

    In December of 2013, U.S. District Judge John Gleeson approved a $5.7 billion settlement that ended eight years of litigation between credit card providers Visa and MasterCard and a number of U.S. merchants over unlawful and excessive credit card swipe and processing fees. However, since then it has been appealed but not yet overturned.

    Last week, according to a press release from the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association, the two groups have again asked for an appeals court to overturn the ruling.

    NRF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mallory Duncan said that the initial settlement is not valid because it was only agreed upon by a handful of merchants who were represented in the suit and does not signify the feelings of the retail … more

  • More businesses getting on EMV bandwagon

    More credit card companies are going to get away from the magnetic strips in favor of EMV.

    The need for businesses to adopt EMV technology continues to grow as the October 2015 deadline from MasterCard and Visa gets closer. However, while these two major players are pushing hard, what about the rest of the industry? Is wide-spread adoption really going to happen?

    According to a recent study by the Aite Group, 70 percent of all U.S. credit cards and 41 percent of debit cards will have incorporated EMV technology by the end of 2015. That is a total of 1.1 billion cards. This information was gathered through interviews with 18 out of the top 40 credit card issuers, including seven of the top 10.

    Julie Conroy, the research director at Aite Group, told Computerworld that  "A majority of Americans will have EMV cards in their wallets by the end of 2015."

    This doesn't … more

  • Cloud POS systems gaining more traction for companies

    Cloud-based POS systems are growing in popularity.

    When it comes to the point of sale system, it seems that the only universally agreed upon idea is that change is coming. With the latest technology innovations, the traditional POS system is facing a number of potential changes and organizations need to start being aware of this.

    A recent article from Dazeinfo examined one such trend -- the cloud-based POS.

    "Retail locations need to do all they can to remain competitive and relevant in today's marketplace," the article reads. "The growing adoption of  online shopping habits among consumers has pushed Retail stores to implement more tech-friendly systems. One of most important systems to implement, businesses need to remain relevant to, is a cloud-based POS system."

    Using a virtual solution creates a number of benefits aside from … more

  • Illinois to recognize payroll cards as proper wage payment method

    In the business marketplace, more employers are starting to get on the bandwagon of offering direct deposit payroll cards as a way to pay their employees. It is a way to offer workers greater financial access and inclusion by essentially offering electronic payment options to those that do not have a back account. 

    According to a recent article from The National Law Review, the Illinois Legislature has recognized payroll cards as a legitimate method of wage payments.

    House Bill 5622 amends the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (IWPCA) to expressly mention payroll cards, something that was not explicitly mentioned before. As currently written, the IWPCA only recognized cash, check and direct deposit. Last year, the Illinois Department of Labor issued a report that … more

  • Sam's Club to introduce EMV credit card

    One of the biggest talking points since the Target security breach has been the increased push to deploy EMV chip-and-PIN technology into credit cards. It was brought up when Target executives were brought in front of Congress, and last month the company announced that it has invested $100 million in upgrading its credit card terminals and launching a new company RED Card that uses a chip.

    According to a press release, other organizations are also starting to get onboard. Sam's Club has announced that it plans to introduce a new Sam's Club MasterCard on June 23 that will feature chip-enabled technology. This will improve the security of the cards and make the company the first mass retailer to actively implement chip-enabled cards.

    According to Chris McWilton, the president of … more

  • American Express works toward a credit cardless future

    American Express is looking to kill the credit card.

    When you head out for the day, what are the essentials that fill your pockets? For most of us, it includes keys (house or car), mobile phone and a wallet with cash or credit cards. Ask nearly anyone on the street if they have these items and there is a good chance that they will have all three of them on their person. However, what if they could all be combined into a single device? It is not as out there as it seems and the research is coming from unlikely sources.

    A recent article from Wired features a lengthy interview with Leslie Berland, the head of digital partnership and development at American Express. The main topic of the conversation is her efforts to get rid of plastic cards. While this might seem strange for a credit card company to look into, the fact remains that … more

  • Did Apple finally get into the payments industry at WWDC?

    At WWDC Apple only teased a mobile commerce platform.

    Another Apple event has come and gone, and again it seems as if the mobile commerce platform has been left on the cutting room floor. For years there have been rumors that the company would add NFC technology to the mobile hardware and create a platform for payments using a smartphone instead of the credit card to transfer funds.

    However, that doesn't mean that it didn't announce something during this week's Worldwide Developers Conference that got people excited. As an article from RE/code points out, the company may have started to show what it has planned for the payments industry.

    As part of iOS 8, which is currently in its beta phase, third party developers will be able to access and incorporate the Touch ID fingerprint authentication system built into the home button into their … more

  • Is chip technology the peak of security?

    MasterCard and Visa have deadlines of October 2015 for businesses to adopt EMV technology at their cash registers. At that point a liability shift will occur that puts more ownership of a credit card breach on the business if it has not upgraded its systems.

    However, according to an article from the Associated Press, the companies may be trying to speed up the shift and they have some help.

    Richard Hunt, the CEO of the Consumer Bankers Association, brought the banker's perspective to the argument and said that in the case of major fraud, banks are only able to collect pennies on the dollar if a retailer is involved. This is even the case when the card is updated if the retailer in question has not done the same to its processes.

    "We have to improve fraud prevention … more

  • PCI compliance important on any payment platform

    Online shopping requires businesses to focus on PCI compliance.

    In the business landscape, few trends have had as big an impact as the rise of the internet. Aside from the ability to connect with customers, the internet also opens up a new sales platform for merchants. However, it can create a number of challenges that companies may not be aware of.

    A recent article from Business News Daily examined several of these areas, all of which revolve around security measures. The piece points out that even though the customer may not be standing in the same room, businesses must keep customer data secure as per PCI Data Security Standards.

    This means companies need to focus on both simple things like checking billing and shipping addresses, as well as ensuring that they understand PCI compliance requirements and meet them. If … more

  • New retail data sharing process created

    A new data sharing process will help payment process security.

    The ripple effects from the Target security breach have been large and far reaching. Aside from the impact within the company -- executives let go, payment process/credit card overhaul -- the industry as a whole is changing. This has opened the eyes of many business owners to the importance of secure payment processes.

    According to a recent article from the Los Angeles Times, several retail superpowers will be partnering with the Retail Industry Leaders Association, the Homeland Security Department, the Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to create a new organization. The goal is to improve data sharing throughout the industry when it comes to security breaches.

    Through the new process, companies can anonymously share tips with the new government body. A small … more

  • Mobile wallets remain a rocky road

    Mobile commerce remains a rocky road.

    While many payment experts believe the mobile wallet will be part of the future, the takeoff for the system remains grounded. There are again rumors that Apple will be incorporating NFC technology into the new version of the iPhone and create an iWallet solution that will be unveiled at the upcoming Worldwide Developers convention. However, this has persisted for several years and nothing has come of it.

    While there are some versions of mobile wallets available, it remains a rocky landscape.

    In a recent blog post from LifeLock, the company announced that it was pulling its "Lemon Wallet" application from all app stores. According to company chairman and CEO Todd Davis, this is being done because the app may not be fully compliant with payment card industry (PCI) security standards. … more

  • Burger King, Wendy's join growing mobile payment processing revolution

    Companies like Burger King and Wendy's are adopting mobile payment processing systems.

    Mobile payment processing is no longer the trend of the future: it's very much a part of the present.

    More and more, companies are coming to the realization that they need to integrate mobile payment processing into their workflows. Corporations as venerable as Burger King and Wendy's -- not necessarily the institutions one might think of as tech savvy -- are making the move to better serve a customer base increasingly used to having a wide variety of payment options.

    In an interview with USA Today, Chris Versace explained the changing landscape causing these companies to make these decisions. Versace, who is a contributor to RealMoney Pro, pointed out that while in the past, the major options were cash, check, debit and credit cards, now, more consumers are whipping out their … more

  • How mobile technology is impacting the payment business

    Mobile devices are impacting the payment industry.

    The latest technology is rapidly changing how many industries operate. While many people focus on how it will affect the office environment, all areas of business are being revolutionized by new solutions like mobile devices.

    An article from Forbes examined several ways that mobile technology is impacting the current business landscape. These include improving bring-your-own-device security, constantly being connected, cloud-based apps and mobile marketing.

    There will also be a growing impact when it comes to point of sale solutions. Not only will this happen through the use of the mobile wallet, but also tablet POS systems.

    "Brick-and-mortar stores are realizing the benefits of arming floor staff with tablets," the article reads. "Workers can use this technology to … more

  • Many companies to fall short of EMV October 2015 deadline

    Since news of the Target point of sale breach broke late last year, the need for improved payment security has been front and center with industry professionals. One of the biggest topics of conversation has been speeding up the adoption of EMV chip-and-PIN technology before the October 2015 deadline.

    A recent article from Bloomberg Businessweek examined this area more closely and found that many companies are still slow to incorporate this technology. The piece features comments from Merchant Warehouse, a credit and debit card transaction processor which handles this for 80,000 U.S. merchants. It is reporting that 40 percent of its partners will not be ready for the deadline. Crone Consulting, a payments advisory firm, is reporting that more than half of all U.S. merchants will miss the … more

  • How tablets are improving the sales process

    Tablets are becoming a must have tool for sales professionals.

    If you were asked to name all of the tools in the belt of successful sales person, there are several technologies that would be a part of this conversation. While items like VoIP phone systems and cloud-based sales reporting software have been in use for some time, it can be argued that the tablet is the hottest tool in the arsenal.

    A recent white paper from Showpad dove deep into the reasons why organizations can improve their sales team through the use of tablets. First off, the report covers a number of benefits to putting a tablet into the hands of associates. These include:

    Updated support material that can be access and shared with the entire team in real-time.

    Sales conversations flow naturally, as tablets encourage engagement.

    Additional resources can be accessed including … more

  • Tableside tablet POS systems help engage Buffalo Wild Wings customers

    Buffalo Wild Wings is adding tablets to every tablet to better engage customers.

    If you are are sports fan, you've probably been to, or at least heard of, Buffalo Wild Wings. The bar and restaurant chain has over 1,000 locations and markets itself as the best place to watch any game. It may soon become one of the best places to pay for your food and beverage order.

    According to a recent article from Hospitality Technology, the company is looking for a new way to engage customers and plans on using a tablet POS solution to do it. Being piloted in 150 locations with a full rollout scheduled for the end of 2015, the company is adding a tablet to every table. With the device, customers are exposed to special deals, can play games, are able to place food and drink orders and pay for everything without requiring help from the wait staff. … more

  • Target invests in EMV card overhaul

    With the October 2015 deadline for EMV adoption by U.S. business and credit card providers getting closer, it seems as if no movement has really been made. While it has been a major topic of conversation, which hit a fever pitch during the investigation into the Target Breach, there has yet to be a major splash.

    That changed this week when Target announced a $100 million investment plan to improve its payment processes. According to an article from CNN Money, it's headlined by upgraded REDcards -- the retailer's credit card -- that will now feature the chip-and-PIN technology. The merchant will also replace the payment terminals in all 1,797 U.S. stores.

    "Target and MasterCard are taking an important step forward in providing consumers with a secure shopping experience," MasterCard … more

  • Denver experiments with waiving credit fees, sees boost in card payments

    Denver experimented with waiving credit card fees and saw plastic payments increase.

    There are many things that go into the swipe fees that credit card agencies and banks charge, that trickle down to the merchants and consumers. One that doesn't get enough press is the role that states and cities can play in setting caps or eliminating them altogether.

    An article from The Denver Post recapped an experiment recently conducted by the city of Denver. Over the first two months of 2014, swipe fees were waived for most plastic payments that were made for city charges. Previously, there was a standard 2.5 percent convenience fee on credit and debit cards for property and excise taxes, court fees (which have an in-percent $3 flat fee) and traffic fines.

    During this time frame, the use of credit and debit card payments increased tenfold or more when compared to … more

  • Mobile commerce to pick up momentum in 2014

    Mobile commerce will gain steam in 2014.

    The payment industry has been experimenting with mobile commerce for some time. Over the last few years, the adoption rate of the technology has increased because the functionality of the hardware and software has improved and the platform has become more secure. According to a new study, things are going to pick up in 2014.

    At the most recent TRANSACT 2014 conference, CAN Capital conducted a survey of payment professionals and executives to determine what their thoughts were on mobile payment technology and other trends.

    According to 42 percent of respondents, new payment technology is the trend that will gain the most traction by the end of the year. This is followed by product integration (24 percent), increased partnerships (23 percent) and company consolidation (11 … more

  • Is Apple getting ready to change its stance on NFC?

    Apple has long been one of the biggest obstacles for the wide-spread adoption of near field communication powered mobile commerce. The technology giant and innovator has resisted adding the feature to its hardware, despite rumors before many previous press events that it would finally be unveiled.

    According to an article from Business Insider, Apple has 600 million customer accounts on file, most of which are linked to a credit card. Once NFC is added to the iPhone, all of these consumers will already be setup to use it at the cash register. However, the company has refused, which has caused adoption of the technology to stall.

    "Every time I bring up payment platform options with my executives, they say 'Let's just wait and see what Apple does,'" one … more

  • No conspiracy found in big credit card collusion lawsuit

    Most of the merchant credit card processing and interchange litigation that has made waves in the payments industry over the last few months belonged to the merchant interchange fees associated with several banks and the credit card companies MasterCard and Visa. However, there has been another suit involving American Express, Citigroup and Discover that was ruled in the card providers' favor last week.

    According to Reuters, the three credit card issuers had been accused in a lawsuit of colluding to require disputes to be settled in arbitration instead of through class action lawsuits. The incidents in question happened between May 1999 and October 2003, when 10 card-issuing banks and their lawyers met nearly 30 times to discuss imposing mandatory arbitration clauses in … more

  • Wyoming businesses talk tablet POS use

    Move businesses are using tablets for their POS solution.

    When you think about a business using tablets as its point of sale solution, what does that company look like? It is likely that it is either a big organization that has money to burn or an upstart that has embraced technology from its inception. For the most part, these companies are located in a major city. You probably are not picturing a company in the middle of a state like North Dakota or Wyoming. The benefits of the technology are so vast, that has changed.

    A recent article from the Billings Gazette profiled several small businesses in Casper, Wyoming that are all starting to go digital with their cash register.

    "In a low-tech state like Wyoming, innovations in the retail sector are slow to appear on the radar. But the increasing presence of tablets and … more

  • How plausible is daily life with a digital wallet?

    Is life with just a digital wallet possible?

    For the last few years, there has been talk of the impact of the digital wallet. With the popularity of the smartphone growing, the ability to make payments at various establishments straight from the device is a feature that consumers and businesses have been looking into. Companies like Google, PayPal, Visa and MasterCard are all looking to stand on top of the mobile commerce market.

    But how plausible is it now? While there are some companies like Starbucks that already have mobile checkout systems at the POS terminal, how far can you make it without a wallet? That is something that Steven Bertoni researched in an experiment with Forbes.

    For one day, he left the wallet at home and only paid with his smartphone through various apps. Because the Metro does not accept smartphones yet, … more

  • Support deadline for Windows XP also means PCI compliance challenge

    When Microsoft stops support for Windows XP, it will have an affect on PCI compliance.

    On April 8, there will be a major computer system shake-up when Microsoft ends its support for Windows XP. This means the 13-year-old operating system will no longer be receiving automatic software updates. The move opens up major security concerns for any company that still has hardware using that platform.

    A recent article from examined how companies that are using Windows XP as part of their point of sale system could suddenly find themselves not only open to more attacks, but could also violate PCI compliance regulations.

    "The Payment Card Industry outlines that an operating system no longer supported by a vendor violates the standard through risks of security breaches, potentially leading to exposed customer credit card data," the article reads. "Retailers … more

  • Understanding the confusion between payroll and prepaid cards

    There is still much confusion when it comes to paycards.

    One payment method that has been hanging in the background for some time is the use of prepaid and paycards. While prepaid cards are more in line with what are  commonly thought of as gift cards, paycards can be issued from a payment solution provider and contain some or all of a paycheck.

    A recent article from PYMNTS examined comments made by Scott Schuh, director of the Federal Reserve of Boston's Consumer Payments Research Center, in a recent podcast. He spoke about payroll cards and prepaid cards and said that there is still a great deal of confusion when it comes to these cards, their differences and how they work in the payments industry. 

    "We have found that surveying consumers about prepaid cards is extraordinarily difficult. It's harder than any other … more

  • How a tablet POS system is helping restaurants succeed

    A tablet POS system is helping restaurants improve operations.

    The use of mobile point of sales solutions is growing as more organizations start to realize what is possible with these tools.

    A recent guest column from Business Solutions examined the different ways the restaurant industry has been able to improve operations through the use of mobile POS systems. These improvements include:

    Turn tables faster - With improved efficiency in the front of house, businesses are able to speed up processes by eliminating double order entry and paying the bill. With the time spent at the table shortened, companies increase the number of people they can see in a single service.

    Improve sales numbers - With a digital format, restaurant owners can add more in-depth information to the menu, helping customers make more informed decisions. The devices can … more

  • Is mobile commerce killing the credit card

    Is mobile commerce pushing the end of the credit card.

    This blog has dove deep into the challenges that come with protecting customer-made credit card payments. The inclusion of chip-and-PIN technology and the EMV deadline that is inching closer every day has often been seen as a monumental step in card security when it becomes widespread.

    However, a recent report from KTVU -- an Oakland, California news outlet -- argues that the use of credit cards could be obsolete. This idea is framed around the story of Regina Stidam, a local resident who had her credit card stolen while sitting at a restaurant. The criminals then went across the street to Target and purchased $1,800 worth of gift cards.

    Despite having security measures in place, anyone who has made a transaction by card at Target knows how easy it can be to fake. The … more

  • Target, Trustware sued by banks of network breach

    Target and Trustware are being sued over PCI compliance.

    Over the last few months, the Target security breach has been a major topic of conversation regarding technology security. A piece of malware was able to infiltrate the retailers network through a backdoor connection and affected roughly 110 million customers.

    According to an article from Wired, since being announced in December of 2013, there has been talk of litigation from consumers and banks. While some have been filed, they have either been settled or dismissed. However, there is one lawsuit that could become a major problem for Target.

    Chicago-based Trustmark National Bank and Green Bank NA, on behalf of all financial institutions affected by the breach, are suing Target and Trustwave -- the security company that certified the security of Target's network in September 2013. … more

  • Walmart files $5 billion lawsuit against Visa/MasterCard

    Walmart has filed a lawsuit against Visa and MasterCard over merchant interchange fees.

    The next big punch has been thrown in the fight between retailers and card providers Visa and MasterCard over merchant interchange rates.

    This particular battle stems from the antitrust lawsuit that has been bounced back and forth for years. The original grievance alleges a "conspiracy" with some of the largest banks to fix fees charged during credit card transactions. In 2012, a $7.25 billion settlement was reached for all merchants that sued. However, roughly 8,000 of them have opted out and appealed because they do not agree with some of the terms and the settlement total has dropped. This has led some companies to file their own lawsuits.

    Today, Walmart joined the ranks, officially filing a $5 billion lawsuit with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of … more

  • Mobile device POS shipments to increase 108 percent in 2014

    The tablet marketplace is expected to grow 108 percent in 2014.

    Walking into a business and seeing an employee using a smartphone or tablet POS system does not have the shock factor that it did a few years ago. As the hardware and backing solutions mature, more companies are starting to get on the bandwagon as a way to improve overall operations and the customer experience.

    According to a new report released by IHL Group, a Franklin, Tennessee-based retail market research firm, the adoption of mobile devices for point of sale transactions is growing across the globe. The report found that new mobile POS device shipments are expected to grow more than 95 percent worldwide in 2014 and will surpass 108 percent in North America.

    "The move to Mobile POS in certain segments is radically changing the face of retail and hospitality, particularly … more

  • Appeals court reverses July swipe fee ruling in favor of banks

    A decision about debit card swipe fees has been overturned.

    The saga of merchant interchange rate regulation took another interesting turn last week, when an appellate court reversed a decision from July regarding rules governing fees banks collect with every debit card swipe.

    First a quick history. In 2011, the Federal Reserve ruled that debit card swipe fees were to be limited to 21 cents per transaction. In July 2013, a U.S. district court sided with a group of retailers and deemed the cap needed to be lowered. On Friday, that ruling was overturned.

    According to an article from Reuters, the decision by the three-member panel U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the Durbin Amendment's ambiguity gave banks the ability to set a higher cap.

    A statement from the panel said that agencies and courts alike do not have … more

  • The role cloud-based POS systems will play in the future

    Cloud-based POS systems will play a major role in the future of sales.

    The point of sale system is a tool that many companies need to be competitive. Because of this, many organizations are looking to improve this process and take it to the next level.

    A recent article from Entrepreneur examined several ways cloud technology will be reinventing the sales floor in the coming years. The piece touches on ease when it comes to using and collecting data, tracking sales goals in real-time, monitoring information from multiple stores in real-time and cutting down on the hardware needed at the point-of-sale system.

    This includes a bigger push for tablet POS systems backed by a cloud infrastructure.

    "Mobile point of sale systems allow retailers to re-imagine physical store layouts to maximize sales and increase the intimacy of customer … more

  • POS challenges thrust into the mainstream

    The challenges of the POS system have been pushed into the mainstream.

    Over the last few months, the challenges that businesses face when it comes to credit card processing solutions and business payment security have been pushed into the mainstream because of the high profile Target breach. Nearly 110 million customers were affected, and news continues to filter in that keeps the story and its impact fresh in the minds of industry professionals.

    Recently, Mercator Advisory Group examined how the market is changing in the face of increased pressure for businesses because of the Target breach. The findings were released in a 22-page report called: "Card Fraud Detection Software: Enterprise and Transaction Solutions Converge."

    The study examined several aspects of the current landscape, including EMV implementation, fallout from … more

  • Target data breach shows importance of maintaining PCI compliance

    Even being PCI compliant, Target was still the victim of a security breach.

    Whenever there is a breach of payment information, someone at the business where it occurred is going to be held accountable. According to the New York Times, in the wake of one of the biggest breaches in retail history, Target CIO Beth Jacob resigned this week.

    Gregg Steinhafel, Target's CEO, said that this will be the beginning of an "overhaul" of how the company protects sensitive information. He added that while the investigation is ongoing, Target recognizes that the state of the security environment is evolving rapidly.

    A recent article from ComputerWorld examined this move by the business and asked the question, are there more to blame?

    The article features an interview with Gartner analyst Avivah Litan. She noted that keeping payment information safe is facing … more

  • MasterCard, Visa announce new payment security group

    Visa and MasterCard have created a new group to push payment security.

    This blog has covered the increasing push by MasterCard and Visa to speed up the adoption of certain payment technologies and solutions like EMV and near-field communication (NFC). The Senate hearings about the Target breach were the latest example of these card providers highlighting why updated solutions are needed.

    Last week, the two companies took it a step further with the announcement of a new cross-industry group made up of banks, credit unions, retailers and industry trade associations with the initial goal of improving card security before the 2015 deadline.

    "One of the critical roles we play is to protect consumers and businesses against criminals and fraudsters," said Chris McWilton, president of North American Markets at MasterCard. "Only through industry collaboration and … more

  • Mobile POS services more popular with taxi drivers

    Many taxi services are using mobile POS systems.

    Many small businesses that work in non-traditional means have been forced to get creative when it comes to accepting payments. For example, attendance at farmers markets and craft fairs can be a great way for some companies to get their name out and connect with their customers. However, traditionally it can be challenging to accept payments other than cash when making sales in a parking lot surrounded by other small businesses.

    This has changed in recent years thanks to the boom of mobile technology and third party payment applications. In a recent column for GeekWire, Taylor Soper profiled taxi drivers and how the industry has embraced mobile devices for payments.

    In the piece, Soper talks about a two week stay he had in Seattle where, to his surprise, nearly every cab he was … more

  • What are the latest technology trends for small businesses?

    The technology landscape is changing rapidly, and in no place is this more obvious than for small businesses. A recent article from Vertical Systems Reseller examined several of the hottest technologies in the retail market.

    The main takeaway from the report is that existing solutions are evolving with the help of new technology. These are things like sales reporting being influenced by big data and analytics.

    The escalated EMV timeline was discussed as well. The Target breach has put the technology back in the limelight because of the security potential of the solution. While Visa and MasterCard have roadmaps in place for adopting the solution, many other card providers like Chase, Bank of America, Citibank, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo and American Express also are starting to … more

  • PIN a secondary security feature to EMV

    On the outskirts of the United States payment industry sits the Europay MasterCard Visa (EMV) chip card standard. It's a system that has been bandied about for some time for U.S. adoption and has been in play in other countries for some time. However, by October 2015, Visa and MasterCard will require merchants and card issuing banks to deploy the solution or risk increased liability exposure.

    While this seems like a monumental shift in thinking, the benefits of EMV make the technology beneficial. A recent article from ComputerWorld features an interview with Ellen Richey, Visa's chief risk officer. The discussion focused on EMV adoption and more specifically the security benefits that retailers, consumers and banks will experience when it is finally adopted.

    One of the few debates … more

  • Has cash finally been replaced?

    Is the use of cash on its way out?

    There have been several major shifts in the payment industry over the last decade. The use of plastic has increased, eCommerce has grown dramatically and mobile devices have started to gain a serious foothold. Through all this, cash has remained a solid option.

    However, a new study from Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project has found that the use of cash could be on its last legs. According to respondents, 2020 could be the final year for paper money.

    The report found that 65 percent of technology experts and stakeholders believe confidence will grow among consumers and they will fully embrace smart-device swiping for purchases, doing away with cash. This seems inevitable as the use of mobile devices continues to grow and the convenience, security and other … more

  • MasterCard, Visa make strides to improve NFC adoption

    Visa and MasterCard are making strides to improve NFC options.

    Near field communication (NFC) technology has been generating headlines around the payment industry for some time. Its inclusion in the hardware of Apple devices has been rumored, but nothing has come of it yet. The technology could be taking a big step into the mainstream in 2014 thanks to an announcement from two different card providers.

    According to a recent article from PYMNTS, Visa and MasterCard announced a cloud-based solution which is geared toward delivering and supporting mobile contactless transactions. The system will leverage Host Card Emulation (HCE), which is an open architecture that enables payments and other NFC services.

    The November upgrade to the most popular mobile operating platform, Android OS KitKat 4.4, supports HCE, and through the use of some … more

  • EMV technology to be required by the end of 2015

    Last week, this blog covered the fact that "Chip-and-PIN" technology was a focal point of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Executives from both Target and Neiman Marcus said they have plans to use the technology to improve their security systems already in the works, but will be speeding up the process.

    While this may be the idea of these two retailers, the entire industry is also going to need to get on board whether they want to or not. A recent article from the Wall Street Journal features an interview with Carolyn Balfany, MasterCard's expert on all things EMV technology.

    First it is important to know that both MasterCard and Visa have already released a roadmap that organizations need to follow in order to meet an October 2015 deadline. That is when a "liability shift" will take … more

  • What the Target breach means for the new PCI compliance standards

    How do the new PCI compliance standards answer the Target breach questions?

    With the news of the security breach of Target's POS system and servers, as well as the ensuing investigation that found the malware used was linked to several other attacks last year, many people may be asking what is being done to prevent these attacks from happening. This inevitably turns all eyes on the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) and the new security standards (PCI DSS v3.0) which were released in November 2013.

    A recent article from Nerd Wallet took this idea and ran with it by examining the latest version of the report and seeing what the main points retailers need to be on the lookout for. Since the regulations are brand new and do not take effect until the new year, which was after the Target breach was uncovered, some of these … more

  • 'Chip-and-PIN' a focal point during Senate Judiciary hearing

    Last week, this blog covered the news that several retail executives and industry leaders would be heading to Washington to answer questions in front of a Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the Target security breach.

    According to an article from Yahoo News, among the conversation of who knew what happened and when, an interesting topic emerged — how EMV and "chip-and-PIN" technology can add another layer of security and needs to be adopted sooner rather than later.

    "It is of concern to me that our payment card systems really do need improvement," Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said at the hearing. She added that "based on the latest information available to us ... it's clear that companies need to do a lot more, that they continue to make basic … more

  • A long history: EMV and the Olympics

    These prepaid chip cards were used to try and launch the technology in the U.S. during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

    Tonight the world will come together and the focus will be on Sochi, Russia, and the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics. While this is a joyous occasion, there are many reports about security concerns and incomplete infrastructure that could cause major problems.

    One thing that every visitor to the games from the United States will come across is different credit card technology protection processes - namely EMV chip cards. This is a standard across Europe and Canada and, as of 2013, 75 percent of Russian ATMs are compliant with this process. Those unfamiliar with it will be able to see it up close and personal.

    Chip cards are far from being a new technology. In fact, this is not the first time that these two entities have come together. During the 1996 … more

  • Retail executives discuss POS breaches before Congress

    POS security conversation comes to Washington.

    Last week, we covered the interchange debate in Washington related to the anti-trust lawsuit against MasterCard and Visa. Now, according to CBS News, there is another point of sale conversation coming to Congress, and this one involves POS security.

    When it comes to point of sale breaches, 2013 was a particularly bad year. The attack on Target and Neiman Marcus headlined a year that includes several other organizations becoming the victim of criminals. In January, the FBI issued a warning to the retail industry, stressing the possibilities of an increase in future attacks.

    This week, executives from Neiman Marcus, Target and several other organizations will be in Congress to answer questions about the events surrounding the breaches. Currently, there is talk of new laws … more

  • Examining the benefits of payroll cards

    There are countless ways for individuals to be paid for their work. While it may seem like a straightforward process, there are several options at the disposal of both businesses and employees. One of the more interesting ways is the use of payroll cards.

    A recent article from the Huffington Post touts the benefits of payroll cards, especially for workers who may be in financial need. While it could seem like every employee has a bank account for direct deposit, that is not always the case, meaning a different system is needed.

    "Most workers with established credit and banking services receive their wages via direct deposit, so that their wages are credited to their bank account," the article reads. "For workers without bank accounts, however, this is not an option. … more

  • Interchange cap debated in Washington

    The 21-cent debit-interchange cap that was put into effect in 2011 is being debated in Washington.

    The anti-trust settlement and ensuing quagmire of legal action involving MasterCard, Visa and several major retailers has garnered headlines when it comes to payment swipe fee regulations, but there is another interesting debate brewing.

    A recent article from PYMNTS recapped the current conversation about the 21-cent debit-interchange cap that was put into effect in 2011. Last summer, a federal judge overturned the ruling decision, stating that the amount was too high.

    On January 17, parties on both sides of the debate laid out their feelings in front of a three-judge panel in Washington D.C. The appeals court is still mulling the information.

    "Nearly four years after the law was passed, debit-swipe fees are still far higher than they should be, and banks are raking in … more

  • MasterCard releases new standards for payroll card systems

    MasterCard has released new standards for direct deposit paycards.

    If you are a business owner who used direct deposit paycards as a way to pay employees, there is big news shaking up the industry for you to be aware of. 

    According to a report by the ABA Banking Journal, MasterCard has released new standards to help employees take full advantage of the benefits of payroll card programs. These will require anyone offering this option to provide greater transparency on fees and educational resources. On top of that, there must be a free way for users to check their balance.

    "Payroll cards serve as one way to bring the traditionally underserved into the financial mainstream," Ron Hynes, group executive, Global Prepaid Solutions, MasterCard, told the news source. "These standards will help ensure that employees not only understand the … more

  • Looking back at mobile POS systems on the iPhone's seventh anniversary

    The original iPhone, unveiled seven years ago, has revolutionize a number of industries.

    On January 9, 2007, late Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage for the Macworld keynote address and said "we're going to make some history together today." Ninety minutes later, he reached the point where it was time to unveil three new products — a wide screen music player, a mobile phone and an internet communication device. Then he added that all of these devices were in fact just one, and it was called the iPhone.

    Jobs introduced the smartphone with the device by saying "every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything." Today, the impact of the iPhone and the mobile device marketplace that was kick-started by its inception has spread further than anyone imaged that day seven years ago this month.

    ​For real results of the iPhone's … more

  • American Express added to anti-trust settlement appeal

    Appeals are being filed against a recent anti-trust settlement.

    The multi-billion dollar settlement that was reached last month between Visa/MasterCard and a number of U.S. merchants to end years of litigation is already in the appeal process. 

    According to an article from Business Insider, American Express has filed in federal court in Brooklyn, New York to join several trade associations including Wal-Mart, Amazon, 7-Eleven and Barnes and Noble that have already filed an appeal of the decision.

    This all stems from the decision on December 13 by U.S. District Judge John Gleeson. He approved a $5.7 billion settlement that ends eight years of litigation from a lawsuit against credit companies Visa and MasterCard. The allegations are that the card companies were charging unlawful excessive swipe and processing fees.

    Despite … more

  • New lawsuit filed against Visa, MasterCard

    A new lawsuit has been filed against Visa and MasterCard.

    The financial troubles for Visa and MasterCard when it comes to merchant credit card swipe fees continues to take some interesting twists and turns. Over the last month, things have picked up. The original suit, filed eight years ago, was settled and approved by a federal judge, some plaintiffs are appealing and now a brand new, but similar, lawsuit has been filed.

    According to a report from Law 360, nearly 30-big-name retailers have banded together to file a joint lawsuit against MasterCard and Visa claiming the card companies colluded with banks to fix credit card swipe fees. The complaint includes talk of a conspiracy that "has unreasonably restricted competition" that allowed card companies to "artificially inflate interchange fees from each plaintiff."

    The businesses behind … more

  • Examining the current state of EMV adoption in the U.S.

    EMV payment technology will experience accelerated adoption in the future.

    With the deadlines for EMV adoption inching closer, the question of when it will accelerate continues to linger. Already prevalent in Europe and Canada, the use of chip card technology is slowly starting to spread in the U.S. but still has a long way to go before it is the standard in the industry.

    A recent article from Bank Info Security examined the current state of EMV adoption in the U.S. The piece features an interview with Randy Vanderhoof, the executive director of the Smart Card Alliance.

    "The EMV market for the U.S. is a complicated market because there are a lot of moving parts that need to work together," Vanderhoof says. "One of the things that we found right away is that there are technical issues, as well as questions about how the market is going to get educated about … more

  • Why businesses should ditch the cash register for a tablet

    Businesses should ditch cash registers for tablet POS systems.

    For small businesses to stay competitive in the current landscape, they are relying on the use of the latest technology. Not only are solutions like the cloud and mobile devices leveling the playing field, they're also helping companies offer more advanced solutions to their customers. A recent article from Reuters examined several different technologies that can help small businesses grow as they move into the future. There options include systems like the cloud, loyalty programs, backend productivity and marketing systems. The article also called for small retailers to ditch their expensive cash registers and instead invest in a tablet POS system.

    "Tablets and smartphones with free or premium apps can now replace full-blown POS systems, letting small … more

  • USPS deploys mobile commerce solutions

    The USPS has deployed mobile commerce options.

    The impact of mobile technology on the retail industry is easy to see. Aside from consumers using smartphones to make purchases and compare pricing, merchants have put them in the hands of associates to help them answer customer questions and allow them pay from any location in the store.

    However, mobile commerce goes far beyond brick-and-mortar stores. According to a recent article from the Postal News, the United States Postal Service is rolling out a new program that will put mobile point-of-sale systems in the hands of delivery drivers and sales associates. Known as mPOS, the hardware consists of an iPod Touch and a small mobile printing device that can do receipts and postage. This allowed the organization to scan and accept prepaid packages, scan pickups as delivered, sell … more

  • Merchants should gift themselves mobile POS systems

    Every merchant is in the middle of feeling the holiday rush that has only intensified over the last few weeks. With just a few shopping days left in the holiday season, lines are out the door, as consumers need to make last minute purchases. This added pressure to make sales can cause stress for shoppers and associates alike.

    A recent article from Retail Information Systems News makes the case for mobile commerce point of sales machines, which could be the perfect gift for businesses to give themselves when it comes time to improve sales.

    "A mobile POS system benefits both the retailer and the consumer by creating an approachable workforce that offers improved customer experience, while simultaneously streamlining behind-the-scenes processes," the article reads. "However, … more

  • Retail payment makes list of top job skills in 2013

    Traditional cash registers are starting to be seen as outdated.

    When you consider what could have been the top skills in demand for the corporate world over the last year, there is good chance that the payment industry would not be on it. However, with the way that technology in this sector is evolving, it would seem that it should be in the conversation.

    Well, not only should it be talked about, but a recent study from LinkedIn found that it is near the top of the list. The enterprise social media website recently conducted a study to try and discover what was popular in 2013. This was handled by examining the history and changes made by over 259 million members, as well as what recruitment firms are searching for.

    The result was a top 25 list of in-demand skills from the last year. Unsurprisingly, IT and social media make up the top of the … more

  • What does 2014 have in store for the payments industry

    What will 2014 have in store for the payments industry.

    There have been several innovations over the last few years in the retail industry that are geared toward pushing the cash register to a new level. This trend is just getting started.

    A recent article from Business News Daily examined the retail landscape, calling 2013 a "monumental year" in the industry. This declaration is made with the backing of technology solutions that have taken hold and altered the POS process. These include services like mobile commerce and online shopping.

    One of the more interesting changes that will gain steam in 2014 is mobile wallet adoption by consumers. According to the article, in November 2013, there were 100 million users in China that relied on the Alipay Wallet - a mobile payment application. Consumers that use the app are able to purchase … more

by Ty Hardison

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