Alto Global Processing: Amazon Launches Recurring Payments for Third-Party Sellers

 

alto global processing amazon launchesAmazon this week expanded its third-party payments service to include support for recurring billing. Two hundred and forty million consumers have Amazon accounts and the company has long been seen as a sleeping giant in the e- and m-commerce world. Amazon will now enable online sellers to access those accounts for sales made using a subscription model. The Seattle-based company tested the service with several Websites including mobile phone company Ting, according to a Reuters report confirmed by Amazon.

Amazon’s hope, according to the report, is that startups like Ting, which might have trouble convincing consumers to hand over their credit-card details for automatic periodic payments, will have no such trouble when that information is already vaulted by Amazon. A Ting representative told Reuters that customers who used Amazon recurring payments spent 30 percent more than customers who did not.

Amazon is expected to expand its payment activity even further next week, when, industry observers say, the company will launch its own smartphone.

Source: http://cardnotpresent.com/news/default.aspx?id=5826

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Alto Global Processing: American Express Expands OptBlue Merchant Acquirer Program

American Express has announced the expansion of OptBlue, its new merchant acquiring program that extends U.S. small merchant acceptance coverage for its cards. alto global processing amex

Amex reports there are now 10 participating acquirers in OptBlue, five of which are among the top 10 in the United States. New to the program are: First Data, EVO, Merchant e-Solutions and First American Payments Systems. The program was announced at American Express’ Financial Community meeting earlier this year with Vantiv, Global Payments, Heartland Payment Systems, Worldpay, Transfirst and JetPay as the first participants. Participating acquirers will provide a full one-stop servicing solution for American Express Card® acceptance to eligible U.S. small merchants.

OptBlue is part of American Express’ ongoing commitment to enhance the U.S. small merchant experience and is an evolution of our acquiring business,” said Ed Jay, Executive Vice President, Merchant Services – Americas, American Express.

“The program will help deliver a smart and easy solution for U.S. small merchants to enjoy the benefits of American Express Card acceptance while making it convenient for consumers to Shop Small® year round.”

With OptBlue, participating acquirers can offer U.S. small merchants the benefit of a single statement, one settlement process, and one contact for all the major card brands. Acquirers determine merchant pricing in addition to providing payment processing and servicing. OptBlue will help expand American Express’ U.S. small merchant coverage, providing consumers more payment options at local businesses. American Express continues to receive the same transactional information it does today, allowing OptBlue merchants to benefit from the valuable tools, services and marketing that the Company delivers to small merchants. OptBlue is limited to eligible U.S. small merchants that have a projected American Express charge volume of less than $1 million per year.

Source: American Express Expands OptBlue Merchant Acquirer Program.

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Alto Global Processing: IRS DEEMS BITCOINS TAXABLE PROPERTY

Senior Analyst at PYMNTS.com
Bitcoin collecting and use just got a lot more complicated, thanks to a March 25 IRS notice classifying bitcoins as property and not currency. As such, it imposes a huge record-keeping burden on anyone who is dealing in bitcoins.

According to the IRS, general tax principles that apply to property transactions apply to transactions using virtual currency. Among other things, the notice imposes a huge record-keeping cost on anyone dealing with bitcoins.

“Anytime you buy or sell you have an IRS record-keeping obligation,” David Evans, chairman of Global Economics Group, tells PYMNTS.com in commenting on the IRS notice. “Obviously, they are only going to enforce that selectively, but people that are heavily into this will have issues.”

The IRS decision also provides what Evans believes is a real impetus to using bitcoins only for things that are only denominated in bitcoins. If a website offers “stuff” that is only priced in bitcoins, then it would be hard to argue that there’s been appreciation, he said.

Still, the IRS created some major headaches for many bitcoin users. “It imposes huge paperwork requirements; every time you pay with an appreciated bitcoin, you face a tax liability,” he said. “And it means you have to pay your personal income tax rate of about 10 percent to 40 percent (more if state taxes apply) if you’ve held the appreciated bitcoin for a year or less.”

Most people, Evans suggested, will ignore the IRS rule, and merchants don’t have to worry about taxes if they are using a bitcoin wallet provider that pays them in real currencies. Still, this provides a strong incentive to hold on to one’s bitcoins if the belief is they will appreciate. That way, the holder is liable only for long-term capital gains instead of using them for transactions, he said.

“For people in the with paper losses, it might provide an incentive to dump them and get the tax write-off,” Evans added.

To read the full IRS notice, click here.

Source: http://www.pymnts.com/in-depth/2014/irs-deems-bitcoins-taxable-property/#.UzMlNa1dWSo

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Alto Global Processing Report: Merchants Supporting Mobile Doubles in 2013

Merchants have doubled the amount of revenue coming from mobile devices since last year, according to a new report on mobile payments and fraud from CardNotPresent.com, Kount and The Fraud Practice. With nearly 2,000 respondents (more than 1,000 of them merchants), the Mobile Payments & Fraud Survey: 2014 Report is the largest ever to focus on fraud in the mobile channel, the companies said.
The importance of mobile to revenue growth is clearly illustrated in this year’s study—the second annual version of the report. Overall, merchants said mobile was responsible for 20 percent of their business, a 100 percent increase from last year’s survey. Thirty percent more merchants supported mobile commerce in 2013 than the year before, the study found. At the same time, merchants clearly are more wary of mobile payments. More than 30 percent of merchants polled said mobile is riskier than standard e-commerce (25 percent more than last year).
“After establishing the benchmark last year, the 2014 Mobile Payment & Fraud Survey shows continued development in mobile commerce and risk management initiatives as well as changes in expectations and priorities for the mobile channel,” said David Montague, president and executive consultant of The Fraud Practice LLC. “Not only are organizations now more likely to find that the fraud risk associated with the mobile channel is higher than with standard web e-commerce, but organizations are also more likely to believe the mobile channel requires additional tools for managing risk.”
CardNotPresent.com, Kount and The Fraud Practice are offering a sneak peak at what the results mean in a free Webinar today at 2 p.m. ET. Sign up for the Webinar here. A more comprehensive look at the results will comprise a keynote address at the CNP Expo in Orlando, Fla. at the end of May. Find out more about the CNP Expo and register here. A free copy of the report is available on the Kount Website.
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Alto Global Processing: PayPal and Samsung enabling commerce with fingerprint authentication on Galaxy S5

PayPal and Samsung have announced a collaboration that will make Samsung Galaxy S5 users the first to be able to login and shop at any merchant that accepts PayPal on mobile and in-stores with only their fingerprint.

The new biometric feature will mean that Galaxy S5 users will no longer need to remember passwords or login details, PayPal will be the first payments company to support Samsung’s mobile fingerprint authentication technology.

“We spearheaded the Fast IDentity Online Alliance last year and predicted that the industry would soon move beyond passwords, and this announcement brings us one step closer to that reality,” said Hill Ferguson, Chief Product Officer for PayPal“By working with Samsung to leverage fingerprint authentication technology on their new Galaxy S5, we are able to demonstrate that consumers don’t need to face a trade-off between security and convenience. With a simple swipe of a finger, consumers can still securely log into their PayPal account to shop and pay with the convenience that mobile devices afford.”

“We are very excited about our relationship with PayPal as it will bring one of the most trusted online payment solutions in the world to the broader mobile market,” said Hankil Yoon, Senior Vice President of Mobile Product Strategy. “Together with PayPal, we expect to provide our customers with a seamless and secure experience in online shopping and payments on our new Samsung Galaxy S5.”

Please visit http://www.paymenteye.com/ for more news

Source: http://www.paymenteye.com/2014/02/26/paypal-and-samsung-enabling-commerce-with-fingerprint-authentication-on-galaxy-s5/

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Alto Global Processing: Western Union partners with SunTrust Bank

The Western Union Company and SunTrust Bank have launched Western Union global money transfer and bill payment services at more than 1,500 bank Agent locations in the southeastern U.S.

As part of this launch, for the first time both SunTrust clients and the general public can now pay bills or load prepaid cards via Western Union services, or send money to more than 495,000 Western Union Agent locations in 200 countries and territories from all SunTrust bank locations.

“Western Union is adding more choices and convenience for consumers around the world. These new launches with SunTrust are examples of how we’re accomplishing this with money transfer and bill payments in the U.S. and leveraging the strengths of our global brand and network,” said Carter Hunt, senior vice president and general manager, U.S.,Western Union.

“Western Union was a natural choice for collaboration as it gives us more options to serve our communities,”said Beverly Ladley, Consumer Products and Lending Executive at SunTrust Bank. “These additional offerings will allow us to fulfill on our purpose of lighting the way to financial well-being for more families. This is especially important in the New Year as we pay off our holiday expenses and look to find additional ways to successfully manage our finances.”

Please visit http://www.paymenteye.com for more news!

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