Payment News

Alto Global Processing: MasterCard to deploy 410,000 Contactless Terminals In Japan

MasterCard has announced that it will deploy a target of 410,000 MasterCard PayPass– enabled point of sale (POS) terminals throughout Japan over the next three years, enabling travellers visiting the country to enjoy the speed and convenience of making contactless transactions.

In February, MasterCard announced strong growth of contactless payments on MasterCard-enabled cards across the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region in 2012, citing a 28% (YoY) increase in Mastercard_220_1000merchant locations, reflecting a strong demand from consumers in the region for simple and secure ways to make everyday payments.

The early adoption and penetration of contactless payments in Japan, ahead of other countries, saw transactions amounting to over 2 trillion yen in 2011, according to the Bank of Japan. Contactless payments continue to expand at a rapid rate, in part due to the increased use of NFC payments.

The 410,000 MasterCard contactless terminals will be deployed by domestic card companies including Mitsubishi UFJ NICOS, Sumitomo Mitsui Card, Orient Corporation and UC Card.

Robert Luton, division president of MasterCard Japan said, “Consumers around the world are embracing the contactless payment experience. With the introduction of MasterCard’s contactless terminals across the country, cardholders traveling from abroad will get the benefit of safe and secure contactless payments in Japan. We look forward to providing more contactless payments opportunities for cardholders around the globe when they visit Japan, through a wider range of MasterCard-enabled cards and devices.”


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Alto Global Processing: PKO Bank Polski launches mobile payment service

PKO Bank Polski has launched IKO a comprehensive mobile payment service. The roll-out includes all Bank’s ATMs and ultimately more than 65000 POS terminals of eService, the Bank`s daughter company.


“The possibility of paying by a telephone creates brand new quality regarding convenience, availability, as well as meeting of customers` expectations. Combination of banking and transactional functions in one device is a real breakthrough. We are pioneers in mass mobile payments in Poland, and this proprietary solution has realistic chances for becoming a local mobile payments standard in the European market”, says Piotr Alicki, CIO at PKO Bank Polski.

The IKO mobile payment service is available for PKO customers and at the service launch available on Android and iOS systems (ultimately also on BlackBerry, Symbian, Java and Windows Phone).

The mobile payment service is based on Accumulates mobile financial services technology platform, Mobile Everywhere (ME) and Pera Mobile, the global open technology standard for mobile payment. The basic solution have been customised and functionally extended within PKO Bank Polski`s project, thanks to the support of HP and Accumulate. With the ME platform ALL mobile payments, mobile banking and mobile security services can be enabled using ONE platform. More services like mobile ticketing, loyalty, coupons and gift cards can easily be added to mobile service based on Accumulates technology.


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Alto Global Processing: Credit card settlement unlikely to help stores charge fees

By Jessica Dye

NEW YORK | Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:47pm EDT

(Reuters) – Stores may not find it easier to charge shoppers fees for paying by credit card as a result of a $7.25 billion class action settlement with Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc, a problem that may delay or derail its approval, an analyst said on Monday.

The proposed settlement between retailers and the two biggest credit card companies would resolve stores’ claims that Visa and MasterCard conspired with major banks to fix swipe fees—- the amount paid to process debit and credit card payments.

In addition to a $6.05 billion payment and temporary $1.2 billion swipe-fee reduction, the deal would also allow stores to start charging so-called checkout fees to customers who pay with MasterCard or Visa credit and debit cards.

But senior Bernstein Research analyst Rod Bourgeois wrote in a July 23 report that retailers would in reality not get much help from the deal in offsetting the swipe fees by charging customers more.

“We think the settlement’s much-touted surcharging provisions (as currently written) actually have no real usefulness to merchants,” he said.

Buried in the fine print of the agreement are provisions that undercut the stated intent of the settlement, he said.

For example, if retailers force customers to pay more for using Visa and MasterCards, they essentially must charge consumers more when they pay using other credit card networks, such as American Express, according to Bouregois’ analysis of the proposed settlement.

But American Express prohibits merchants from implementing policies that discriminate against its cards, like discounts designed to steer customers to different forms of payment, Bourgeois said.

The settlement is subject to approval by a federal judge.

The surcharge rules will also not apply in the 10 states that prohibit that practice, including Texas, California and New York.

“This situation could undermine the settlement if merchants voice their objections to this provision during fairness hearings prior to the court’s final approval,” Bourgeois wrote. Such objections may open the door for some stores, particularly large ones, to object to the settlement or appeal its approval, he said.

Some stores have said they will not impose extra fees for paying with plastic, even if they can. One of the largest U.S. retailers, Target Corp., issued a statement Friday saying it did not intend to impose checkout fees, and calling it “bad for both retailers and consumers.”

Hours after the proposed settlement was filed, the National Association of Convenience Stores rejected the deal, saying it did not alleviate stores’ long-standing concerns over how Visa and Mastercard set swipe-fee rates.


Craig Wildfang, a lawyer for merchants who helped negotiate the deal, said the settlement would give retailers several different options should they choose to pursue checkout fees.

For instance, stores could choose not to assess the fees, or if they did, they could re-examine their agreements with competing card issuers or even drop those other cards altogether, he said.

“We see the settlement agreement as providing freedom to merchants to make those choices that they think are in the best interest of their business and their customers,” Wildfang said.

Noah Hanft, general counsel for Mastercard, said it was unlikely that many merchants would wind up charging checkout fees, largely because of anticipated customer feedback.

“The value merchants get from Mastercard acceptance is far in excess of the actual cost of acceptance, and we think that when merchants consider all those factors they’re not likely to impose checkout fees,” Hanft said.

Visa declined to comment.

Ultimately, it will be up to U.S. District Court Judge John Gleeson to approve or reject the proposed settlement, a process that will play out in Brooklyn federal court over the next few months.

Objectors will be given a chance to voice their positions at a fairness hearing in Brooklyn federal court. Stores will also have the opportunity to opt out of the settlement altogether, although that would only apply to their share of damages, and not the rule changes outlined in the proposal.

The case is In re Payment Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, No. 05-1720.

(Reporting by Jessica Dye; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)


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Alto Global Processing Position on The Big Business Behind Prepaid Debit Cards, Commented by Chairman Luca Bizzotto

Alto Global Processing Stance on The Big Business Behind Prepaid Debit Cards, Comments by Chairman Luca Bizzotto
By Morgan Korn | Daily Ticker – Fri, Jan 13, 2012 8:31 AM EST
Edited by Alto Global Processing

CEO and Chairman of Alto Global Processing, Luca Bizzotto, has put Prepaid and Payout debit cards at the forefront of the Alto Global Processing agenda as prepaid debit cards are the fastest growing form of electronic payment in the nation.

“We have been working on a debit card solution for well over one year now.  It is certainly not the easiest business to get into, but the trends are leaning toward extreme growth in the coming years, so we feel it is certainly worth the time and effort.” explained Luca Bizzotto

Celebrities such as Def Jam Co-Founder Russell Simmons, rapper Lil Wayne and now financial guru and CNBC host Suze Orman are hawking their cards to the masses, wanting a piece of the booming prepaid debit card market. Federal Reserve data shows prepaid card transactions grew more than 20 percent between 2006 and 2009.

These cards are geared toward individuals with little or no credit history or those who have difficulty obtaining traditional credit cards. A 2009 FDIC survey found that 9 million American households do not have a checking or savings account. According to the Mercator Advisory Group, consumers added approximately $71 billion onto prepaid cards last year, a dramatic increase from the $2.7 billion in 2005. The consulting group estimates that the prepaid debit card market will expand to $150 billion in 2012.

Prepaid cards offer perks to a certain segment of the population that it would not normally enjoy, such as the convenience of using plastic to purchase goods online and withdrawing money from an ATM. They do not contribute to one’s credit score and often come attached with exorbitant fees.

“Many companies out there are ‘nickel and diming’ their card holders with fees for every possible thing.  This is not our intention, and also part of the reason why it is taking us so long to roll out our product.  There is plenty of money to be made on transaction fees and interchange rates while still keeping the cardholders happy.  This is our goal.  We are looking for long term cardholders that are happy with our product.” says Luca Bizzotto.

FICO CEO Mark Greene tells Henry Blodget that prepaid cards are ” basically a substitute for a checking account” and a “a great tool for people who are new to personal finance” like college students. There are benefits to choosing such a card, Greene says, but that depends on how often the card is utilized.

“If you use them sparingly they can be a good deal,” he adds. “They do teach you how to manage your personal finances. They’re sort of a training wheel before you’re ready for a regular credit card.”

The fees connected to these cards vary from card purveyor but it’s not uncommon for users to rack up $50 to $100 in monthly charges, says Greene.

Orman’s Approved Card offers benefits that its competitors do not, such as identity protection and a credit monitoring service. In an interview with the New York Times, Orman responded to criticism about the industry and her decision to enter the fast-growing market:

“I couldn’t be more proud of this card if I tried,” she said in the article. “There is something radically wrong here. We are rewarding people for having credit and punishing people who pay in cash. I want to change that paradigm.”

Orman charges a one-time $3 flat fee for her card plus a monthly $3 charge. Simmons offers two prepaid credit plans, with the monthly option costing $9.95 per month (plus a one-time fee, convenience fee, ATM fee, currency conversion fee, etc). Wal-Mart, in partnership with Green Dot, commands similar fees for its card. Bowing to pressure by consumer advocacy groups, the Kardashian sisters pulled the plug on their prepaid debit card late last year.

Alto Global Processing has yet to roll out their fees, however they plan to structure fair fees to optimize the longevity of their card holders.


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eBay Acquires BillSAFE to Enhance PayPal in Germany

 eBay has announced that it has acquired BillSAFE, a payment-upon-invoice payment provider in Germany.

“By combining BillSAFE with PayPal, which serves more than 15 million accounts in Germany, PayPal believes the addition of BILLSAFE will provide a comprehensive payment service for merchants and consumers. BillSAFE works with merchants of all sizes in Germany, giving them a simple and secure way to let shoppers purchase using an invoice. Customers simply select the item they want to buy, and then they receive an invoice for payment after the item is received.”

The BillSAFE website is at


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