Affirm is partnering with Expedia and Eventbrite so you can pay for experiences over time

affirmlogo-green_lg1_30807

 

Affirm has made it no secret that its success will hinge on its ability to offer customers a wide range of retail partners where they can frequently use Affirm to pay.

While the lending startup originally launched with niche partners like Casper mattresses and Boosted Boards, they have expanded partnerships to over 700 retail merchants with the hopes of tempting a more diverse range of shoppers to try the service.

But today at Shoptalk Affirm announced they are partnering with Expedia and Eventbrite to offer 3-, 6-, or 12-month payment plans to customers buying intangible “experiences” like a vacation or concert ticket.

On the surface, the benefits for both sides are clear. Affirm gets a large, pre-existing customer base with whom it can offer financing, and Expedia and Eventbrite get to offer their customers a new payment option, which Affirm says typically leads to increased sales performance by retailers.

But are one-time experiences really something consumers should finance? The answer is probably that it depends on when the actual experience is in relation to when you made the purchase.

For instance, it would be nice to pay over six months before you fly to that exotic country you’ve always been dying to visit. But on the other hand, who wants to be stuck paying for six months after you’ve experienced the trip?

Financing experiences also raises the question of whether or not shoppers will still repay Affirm after they already went on a vacation. With a tangible good, you continue to gain utility every day for months or even years after you’ve repaid the company. But with a vacation, shoppers may be more likely to leave Affirm on the hook for the balance of the trip when they are still paying a year after the experience they now barely remember.

The company’s response to this is that they will be treating travel and ticketing the same way as material goods, and still will use “thousands of data points” to assess a consumer’s ability to repay. And, if repayment trends do change, they will “adjust their models accordingly to ensure they approve consumers in ways that maximize repayment rates”.

As we’ve discussed before, high-interest rate financing plans like the ones offered by Affirm can be a sticky situation.  On one hand, there is a risk of customers using the service irresponsibly to finance nonessential items that they can’t afford. But, if used responsibly,  Affirm can empower consumers to stretch their dollar – so they don’t have to settle for goods or experiences that they don’t really want, but are the only thing they can immediately afford.

TechCrunch

 


Visa Tweaks Chip Card Processing Protocol; Says EMV Debit Cards Now Surpass Their Credit Brethren

More-information-on-Visa-chip-credit-cards

 

Many consumers and merchants adjusting to using newly-issued EMV credit and debit cards may undergo a perception versus reality check as Visa Inc. prepares to debut its Quick Chip for EMV program. Visa also provided updated chip card issuing and acceptance data.

Announced Tuesday, the program enables consumers to remove their EMV cards typically within two seconds of inserting them into compatible point-of-sale terminals. The program addresses a perception issue that chip transactions take more time than those made with a magnetic-stripe payment card, Stephanie Ericksen, Visa vice president of global risk products, tells Digital Transactions News.

“With more and more cardholders and merchants using chip cards as part of their lives we have heard concerns about chip transactions,” Ericksen says. The move will enable consumers to put away their cards quicker while the merchant rings up purchases.

Unlike mag-stripe transactions, the chip card must be inserted and left in the POS terminal until authorization. That is a measure to ensure the card is not counterfeit. The Quick Chip program does not alter the speed or components of an EMV transaction, Ericksen says. What it does is to enable the consumer to remove the card from the reader prior to the authorization response.

“From a card perspective no changes are required,” she says. “It works on all our cards today.”

What does need to change is the instruction sent to the POS terminal. “There’s a small change to the terminal to allow for the prompt to remove the card in advance of the authorization response,” she says.

No additional testing or certification is necessary because this protocol is part of the EMV standard already, Ericksen says. The middleware provider, terminal maker, or potentially the acquirer or processor has to make the prompt alteration.

The process is somewhat similar to when a power outage strikes a merchant location that has EMV terminals, she says. In that case, the transaction proceeds, but the authorization response is deferred until the terminal connects again. “It’s already an existing function being used today in some environments,” Ericksen says, pointing to in-flight EMV transactions that are processed once the plane lands.

Already, some payments-industry companies are working with Visa on reduced insertion times, including processor Total System Services Inc. (TSYS), POS terminal makers Equinox Payments and Ingenico Group, and payments software and certification firm B2. No merchants are enrolled yet, but Ericksen says Visa is working with some to do just that.

Meanwhile, Visa’s update on EMV data shows that for the first time there are more EMV debit cards in issue in the U.S. than EMV credit cards. As of March 31, there are 133.9 million Visa debit EMV cards and 131 million Visa credit EMV cards. The total of 264.9 million is 86.6% higher than the 142 million cards in October 2015, making the United States the largest chip-card market. At the end of December, Visa said there were 212 million Visa chip cards, but it did not split the total by credit or debit.

Issuers delayed their EMV debit card plans while technicalities over a software tweak to enable multiple debit network transaction-routing options were worked out. The tweak was necessary to comply with the Durbin Amendment to the 2010 Dodd Frank Act.

Visa also says there are 1 million merchant locations with chip-enabled terminals, or about 20% of all merchants, Ericksen says. More than three-fourths of them are small and mid-size merchants.

Counterfeit card fraud, which EMV chip cards aim to prevent, is down at the five top chip-enabled merchants by 18.3% from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the same quarter in 2015. That contrasts with the top five non-EMV merchants, which saw counterfeit card fraud increase 11.4% in the same period.

Once at least 50% of U.S. payment card transactions are made with chip cards at chip-activated terminals—in a so-called chip-on-chip transaction—fraud rates will begin to decline, Ericksen says. “That’s where we start to see occurrences of the counterfeit card fraud trend line go down overall.”

 

source Digital Transactions


Vantiv takes a pass on Daily Fantasy Sports

Daily-Fantasy

Top 10 acquirer Vantiv Inc. seems to have done that. In the face of increased state scrutiny of daily fantasy sports operators, Vantiv decided to suspend all processing of payments for these firms effective Feb. 29, 2016. Vantiv is said to be the largest provider of acquiring services for these businesses.

Daily fantasy sports is a turbo-charged version of the original. Instead of lasting an entire season, like traditional fantasy sports games, though, participants draft players for teams that play just one game and compete for cash prizes. Several state attorneys general recently issued cease-and-desist orders to the online companies behind daily fantasy sports games, asserting the games amount to illegal gambling. And, in fact, six states have ruled the games illegal.

Vantiv President and Chief Executive Officer Charles Drucker addressed the company’s decision to exit this particular aspect of the business in a Feb. 3 earnings call. “We have decided that it is prudent to suspend processing for transactions involving daily fantasy sports due to the increasingly uncertain regulatory and judicial environment around these operations,” he said. “We may re-enter the space in the future should conditions change.

“In the meantime, we remain firmly committed to processing for online and land-based gaming operators, including state lotteries and other regulated gaming activity where the regulatory and judicial frameworks are more clearly established.”

 


EMV: Merchant Migration Slower Than Anticipated

VX520_emv_verifone

Only 37% of U.S. merchant locations are fully equipped for EMV card acceptance, narrowly missing a projected 40% rate of deployment predicted by management consulting firm Strawhecker Group, according to research it published Wednesday.

The current study showed payment processor readiness, gateway readiness, and technical staff resource availability affected the speed of implementation most. The card networks set an Oct. 1, 2015 date for EMV adoption, after which non-compliant parties faced a shift in fraud liability.

Jared Drieling, business intelligence manager at TSG, anticipates a faster rate of implementation by merchants who delayed to avoid any changes to the payment process ahead of the 2015 holiday season.

“It appeared that some merchants delayed EMV migration completely until the holiday season ended to prevent friction and confusion at the checkout line,” he said in a Feb. 17 news release. “I suspect that many merchants that have delayed, especially merchants in higher risk categories, felt the impact of the liability shift last year and we’ll see them aggressively ramp up plans to migrate.”

TSG said it expects 50% of merchant locations to be able to accept EMV cards by June, and 90% in 2017.

TSG sampled 92 payments services providers that service almost 4 million merchants, or 50% of card transactions.

 

CardWorks Merchant Services is offering FREE upgrades to EMV equipment for all merchants new and old.  Reach out to your sales agent or our Merchant Support Team (merchantsupport@cardworks.com) for more information about becoming compliant today!

 

 

Source: PaymentSource


NRF applauds Senate consideration of e-fairness legislation

enhanced-21881-1421339412-4

 

Washington, Feb. 9, 2016 – In response to comments from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell today that Internet sales tax legislation would be considered by the chamber during the current session of Congress, NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said:

“Retailers applaud e-fairness champions Sens. Dick Durbin, Lamar Alexander, Mike Enzi and Heidi Heitkamp for continuing to push for action on removing the government-imposed sales tax advantage that Internet sellers enjoy. Leader McConnell’s plan to work with his colleagues to facilitate a Senate vote on e-fairness legislation this year is a promising step forward, and it helps to ensure that the important Customs conference report can now proceed in the Senate. Retailers across America urge Congress to finish the job on e-fairness before more Main Street businesses are forced to close their doors due to unfair tax preferences.”

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. NRF.com .

Source: Company press release.


Datacap Releases Certified TSYS US EMV Solution for Point of Sale

DatacapLogo

Datacap Systems, a leading integrated payments middleware provider, has completed US EMV level 3 certification with TSYS and has released an EMV-capable version of NETePay™ that’s available for download today. NETePay for TSYS provides PC-based point of sale providers with the ability to deliver US EMV functionality via an evolving list of PIN Pads and simple out-of-scope interface.

NETePay for TSYS supports host-based tip adjustment for US EMV transactions, making it ideal for bar and restaurant applications. The initial release of NETePay for TSYS is certified to utilize the VX 805 PIN Pad from Verifone that supports EMV, MSR, PIN and NFC contactless transactions. Additional hardware options supporting mobility and point to point encryption will be available as Datacap completes queued device certifications.

“We’re excited to announce our latest US EMV certification with TSYS,” commented Justin Zeigler, marketing director at Datacap Systems. “Perfect for table-service restaurants, the host-based TSYS Summit platform supports US EMV tip adjustment and tokens so merchants can continue to handle gratuities without forcing the update to mobile devices.”

This release adds yet another processing option to Datacap’s current EMV-certified versions of NETePay which to date include Mercury, Vantiv, Paymentech, Sterling Payment, First Data Rapid Connect and TSYS, with more to follow. In advance of the release of Datacap’s Tran™ apps, embedded POS providers can utilize Datacap’s PDC™ to communicate with an EMV-enabled version of in-store NETePay today.

About Datacap Systems
Datacap Systems celebrates 32 years of successfully designing, manufacturing and marketing innovative integrated payment solutions. One simple interface allows Point of Sale developers to keep pace with evolving trends and payment industry standards, so they can spend development dollars on POS innovation rather than integrated payments. Because we sell our products exclusively through authorized POS resellers, merchants receive high-end payment solutions coupled with top-tier installation, service and support. Integrated payment solutions from Datacap are utilized by hundreds of POS applications in an array of vertical markets.

For more information about integrating Datacap Systems into your business, please contact CardWorks Acquiring today!


How Can Merchants Close the EMV-NFC Knowledge Gap?

 

 

EMV NFC

One of the more perplexing elements of the slow, long-awaited march to EMV-chip cards in the U.S. is the lack of awareness that still pervades among merchants and consumers alike.

At the same time, mobile wallets such as Apple Pay have had no trouble becoming household names despite having fairly low adoption.

Three months past the U.S. EMV liability shift — the soft deadline set by the card networks for EMV adoption — Scott Holt, a vice president at Ingenico in North America, sees a chance to finally shift consumers away from their old payment methods. The twist is that it won’t be by consumers’ choice.

By the end of 2016, much of the U.S. retail market will be compliant with EMV and mobile wallets, Holt said. Consumers will have no choice but to abandon magnetic stripe payments, but when they do it will open up the opportunities to choose something other than EMV’s chip-and-dip process, he said. “People will have to learn a new experience with EMV anyway.”

The migration to both Near Field Communication-based wallets and EMV will place pressure on floor-level personnel at retailers to educate consumers on the new technologies. In particular, cashiers are the key to a smooth transition to new payments technology, as Beatta McInerney, a business development manager of payments for point of sale technology company ScanSource POS and Barcode, explains in recent column for PaymentsSource.

Retailers must train cashiers to spot if a consumer has an EMV chip even if the merchant is not accepting EMV cards at this point, McInerney said. This gives retailers an opportunity to teach the process at a more measured pace.

“Consumer experience is largely dependent on the education of retailers,” Holt said, adding that includes the skills to recognize and help consumers who are confused about how the new terminals work. Placing the right prompts into point of sale software is also important, he said.

The delays aside, Ingenico reports the EMV migration in the U.S. is progressing similar to other countries, adding it’s tracking the migration to tailor the education it will provide to merchants over the course of the next year.

Read the rest of this article at PAYMENTSSOURCE.COM.


In a First for Debit Networks, Shazam Adds a Mobile Feature to Shut off Lost Or Stolen Cards

BoltsLogo

In the wake of the arrival of EMV chip cards and ahead of the holiday shopping rush, the Shazam debit network has launched a mobile feature that lets cardholders disable their debit cards should they be lost or stolen.

While networks like Discover Financial Services have advertised a similar feature for credit cards, the new Shazam feature, which is part of its Bolts mobile app, is the first of its kind for a debit network, a spokesman for the network tells Digital Transactions News. “You just click a button and [the card] is off,” he says. “It’s attractive for consumers and financial institutions because that’s less fraud for them.”

Since the service went live at the end of September, it has blocked some 600 Shazam cards. As the holiday-shopping season approaches, the network expects many more will be switched off as cardholders lose their cards in the shopping frenzy. “As the volume goes higher seasonally, it stands to reason there’s more potential” for lost-and-stolen fraud, says the spokesman.

The feature, whose formal name is Bolts Transaction Control, is rolling out to the network’s 1,300 member financial institutions and is one of three services available for Bolts, a mobile app Johnston, Iowa-based Shazam launched in January 2013. The other two are transaction alerts and peer-to-peer payments, a service Shazam added this summer.

So far, about half of the Shazam members have integrated Bolts and have added Transaction Control. Those banks account for some 1.3 million debit cards out of the network’s total of 4.9 million active Shazam-bugged cards. Of these, just over half a million are now active on the new service.

For the rest of this story by John Stewart, head to DIGITAL TRANSACTIONS.


TSYS and Ingenico Group to Offer New Semi-Integrated EMV Solution

 

 

TSYS TSS, -1.12% a leading global payments provider, and Ingenico Group , a global leader in seamless payments, today announced a new semi-integrated solution to simplify the EMV [®] certification process. TSYS is the first processor to Class A certify Ingenico Group’s new offering, which is designed to enable partners with the ability to easily build and deploy secure EMV and NFC solutions.

The combined TSYS and Ingenico Group offering provides Value-Added Resellers (VARs) and Integrated Software Vendors (ISVs) with a simple and secure pathway to begin enabling EMV payments. This easy-to-implement solution empowers VARs and ISVs to focus on developing their core products, while offering them a secure method for accepting payments, including magnetic stripe, EMV and NFC contactless payments.

Using a semi-integrated approach, communications between the PIN pad and point-of-sale (POS) system are limited to non-sensitive exchanges, preventing card data from entering the POS. By taking the POS out of the payment flow process, not only are EMV certification and PCI compliance simplified, but overall costs and time required for EMV implementation are reduced as well. Fully certified through all major card brands, this new TSYS-certified solution also has the ability to process with TSYS Guardian Encryption [SM] , ensuring payments are both reliable and secure.

 

For the rest of this article, head to MARKETWATCH.

 

For any further questions about the exciting advances with Ingenico products, please contact CardWorks merchant support:

(866) 210-4625 X1

merchantsupport@cardworks.com


CardWorks Merchant Services Heading To WSAA

wsaa

 

CardWorks is heading to Henderson. NV and the M Resort for the Annual WSAA Conference.  With sponsors from all sectors of our industry, this event is sure to be informative and provide for excellent networking opportunities.

MUST SEE SEMINARS

 

Wednesday

 

Field Guide for ISO’s: Sponsored by American Express

11 AM    Introductions: Mark Dunn, Field Guide Enterprises

11:10 AM  EMV ‐ That Ship has not sailed, you can still get on board: Mark Dunn, Field Guide Enterprises

11:50 AM  How artificial intelligence can ensure required compliance: Neil Jones, Rippleshot

12:30 PM   Selling value added products: Marc Beauchamp, PayProTec

2:10 PM    Alternative lending ‐ How ISO’s make money: Scott Griest, Rapid Capital Funding

2:50 PM    Cracking the medical payments market: Mary Winingham, Mirror Consulting

Thursday

The Technology Bet

Ken Elderts, VP, ISO Sales, AnywhereCommerce

Cory Capoccia, President, Womply

John Priore, President and CEO, Priority Payment Systems

Moderator: Xavier Ayala, CEO, Managing Partner, ONESOURCE Business Advisors. President, WSAA

This dynamic panel of experts will discuss payment technology innovation geared towards enhancing the merchant and consumer payments experience. Discover which technologies merchants and consumers are adopting and how retailers are reducing friction at the POS and using big data to understand their businesses and customers better to increase customer loyalty. Learn how payment technology is becoming more intuitive, transparent, and enhancing the merchant and consumer experience.

How to Manage Through ISO Growing Pains ‐ Hit, Stay, or Fold?

Michael Cottrell, Director, Global Sales and Marketing, ProPay

Jeremy Wing, President, Payscape

Donna Embry, Chief Payments Advisor, Payment Alliance International

Moderator: Deana Rich, CEO, Deana Rich Consulting

During this session a respected panel of industry leaders will discuss the life cycle of the ISO, focusing on major decisions that often must be faced in growing your business. Is registration truly required to be successful? Is a retail model the best solution, or is wholesale the answer? What are the implications of the liability versus no‐liability landscape?

For more details regarding the agenda of the event and specific sponsors, CLICK HERE.

If you will be in Las Vegas and would like to meet with a member of our team, please email CardWorks Partnerships.