Tag Archives: Payments

How Biometric POS Solutions Became Market-Ready

Started by a young visionary, the company’s innovations quickly came to define the century, its name adorned countless household technologies and its newest advances are poised to set the stage for a revolution in payments security. No, we’re not talking about Apple.

That innovator is William Henry Merrill, and that century was the 1900s. The electrical engineer founded safety consulting and certification specialist UL in 1894, and since then, the Illinois-based organization has grown to become a leader in developing innovative technologies, whether it’s the tin-clad fire doors of year’s past or the biometric solutions that are shaping commerce today.

UL’s latest contribution to the future of payments has been accomplished through its three years of work with National Security, a French biometrics company that has created a commercially viable biometric technology solution for the point of sale.

The move positions UL and National Security at the forefront of an industry that is expected to expand by 140 percent to reach $12 billion in revenue over the next five years, potentially transforming online, mobile and in-store commerce by increasing the speed of transactions in the process.

Still, arguments can be made that biometric use at the point of sale will remain limited. Why does UL believe the market is right for biometrics, and how did it successfully ensure biometric payments will be ready for all parts of the payment process?

We preview UL’s latest transaction security case study to reveal more.  Continue reading


Why Payments Are Disappearing, And Mobile Will Win

Ok, so if you think we’re done with the whole “when is a mobile payment a payment” argument, think again. The reality is that the biggest evolution in payments is not about Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Square or faster payments, but it is about context and simplicity, and that’s where the mobile and other technologies are leading us.

You are probably familiar with the Gartner “Hype Cycle” which has pretty accurately predicted the adoption and maturity cycle of various technologies. The Hype Cycle is pretty good at describing the hype around things like NFC and Mobile Payments generally, and how now we’re at the working end of enlightenment and productive ideation. There are a few exceptions to the Hype Cycle. Facebook, for example, is notably absent from their analysis because it has never quite emerged into trough of disillusionment phase – it got hyped and then went straight through to the enlightenment stage. Theoretically you could call the IPO failure the disillusionment phase, although that wasn’t with the tech. I digress… Continue reading

How Stripe, a company you’ve never heard of, powers the sharing economy

The sharing economy has made life’s annoyances a little less irritating. In the old days, you would hail a cab on the street and pull out a $20 bill to pay the driver. Today, you find a Lyft nearby using a smartphone app, and the app just charges your credit card, which is on file. No muss, no fuss.

But the backbone of that seamless user experience is a third party you never interact with at all. Stripe, based in San Francisco, has staked out its spot as the easiest way to make any kind of payment to anyone, anywhere in the world. That’s a lofty goal–but the company, which turns two years old on Monday, is well on its way to achieving it. Continue reading

Forthcoming PCI changes will bring challenges for payment card network community

Organizations that make use of SSH keys for secure access to servers should be aware that they may need to make some changes soon when it comes to managing any of their networks related to payment-card processing, according to the CEO of SSH Communications security, Tatu Ylonen.

That’s because the next version of the Payment Card Industry (PC) standard to be published in early November, PCI v.3, is expected to include some new guidance on authentication and remote access to any network segment that processes or stores payment cards that could impact use of Secure Shell (SSH) cryptographic technology,  Ylonen says. Continue reading

PayPal to Give Small Businesses Access to Working Capital in Minutes

Online payments company PayPal launched a lending platform today whereby small-business owners can apply for access to capital and be approved in minutes.

Called PayPal Working Capital, the funding tool allows business owners to pay back their loans based on a fixed percentage of sales. For example, if you opt to pay back your loan at a 10 percent rate, and you bring in $500 in total sales one day, $50 goes toward paying off your loan. If you bring in $5,000 in total sales the next day, then $500 goes toward repaying the loan. If you make zero sales on a particular day, you don’t make any payments on your loan.

The other unique aspect of the PayPal capital access product is that borrowers pay a single fixed fee for the loan. The faster a business owner opts to repay the loan, the smaller the fee. Many loan products have multiple, hidden fees associated with late payments, initiation, processing and even early termination fees. The PayPal loan product prides itself on being exceptionally transparent about the entire cost of the loan up front. Continue reading

With Paylib, French Banks Work Together To Compete With PayPal



Three major French banks have worked together on a new payment system for the web called Paylib. With a Paylib account, users will be able to pay on the web using a simple login and password instead of having to enter all their credit card information. The user experience should be similar to paying with your PayPal account, and it will make even more sense on mobile. Multiple ecommerce websites are already on board.

BNP Paribas, Société Générale and La Banque Postale are the three initial banks, but it’s an open standard. They hope that more French banks will join them. In total, 23 million users can already pay using Paylib, compared to 7 million PayPal users in France.

When you first use Paylib, you have to select the credit card to link with your Paylib account. In addition to the login and password, users will have to enter a second code from the companion app on their smartphones. It’s very reminiscent of Google’s two-step verification process.

Paylib has worked with Voyages-sncf.com, Ventesprivees.com, PriceMinister and Leroy Merlin for the service’s launch. As those websites are very popular ecommerce platforms, the partnerships will be a major asset of the initial growth strategy.

While anybody can start processing payments through Paylib, the solution will remain restricted to the French market as only French banks are part of the initiative. One of the incentives for merchants is that the processing fee is lower than PayPal’s processing fee (usually around 3 percent in France).

Working together is the only way that French banks could come up with a compelling alternative to PayPal and soon-to-be-launched Stripe. Yet, French authorities are following Paylib very closely. The service could create antitrust issues.

If Paylib can partner with more banks, it could become a competitive payment processor in France, giving a lot of power to the major French banks.
With Paylib, French Banks Work Together To Compete With PayPal. 2013, September 17. By Roman Dillet. Retrieved from http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/17/with-paylib-french-banks-work-together-to-compete-with-paypal/.

Underreporting of Business Income

The IRS has been reaching out to small businesses that receive income via credit and debit cards inquiring if they are declaring all their business income in an effort to curb what is known as the “underground economy.”

The agency has sent approximately 20,000 Notification of Possible Income Underreporting to businesses requesting an explanation of why credit and debit card sales are a higher percentage of income than sales made by cash or check. I suppose this is an effort to close the tax gap – the difference between what is reported and paid to the IRS and what is actually owed.

The letters are accusatory, in that the first line reads: Your gross receipts may be underreported. This may cause fear and panic even to the most honest business owner.  David Kautter, a professor of taxation at American University’s Kogod School of Business, says it’s reasonable for Uncle Sam to want to close the tax gap.

“The biggest component of the tax gap is underreported cash transactions.” He called the letters a “research project” to help gather data on how to target future audits to determine unreported income.

“Whatever their purpose, it’s going to cause a lot of anxiety and be time consuming for small business owners. It’s disruptive, intimidating and will be expensive for the small businessperson to deal with.”

But don’t fear. Here’s what’s going on: Beginning in 2012, credit card processing companies were required to begin issuing Form 1099-K to participating businesses to declare annual income via credit and debit card payments. The 1099-K is broken down by month for ease in reconciliation with your own records.  Continue reading