Thursday, January 29, 2015

Emerging Markets Shaping Face of Global Cryptocurrency Revolution

 "Leapfrog Effect" Driving Rapid Adoption and New Disruptive Models

By Marc Dresner, Senior Editor, IIR


“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”  
–  Lao Tzu

One of my favorite thinkers on the subject of change—author and inventor Ray Kurzweil—posits that the pace of technological change accelerates exponentially.

According to Kurzweil, we have reached the point where the technologies that move our world—it may not be on your radar yet, but it’s already out there—radically change every six months, and that rate will only increase.

Rik Willard
I mention this because I was reminded of it in a recent podcast interview I conducted with Rik Willard, a leading cryptocurrencies expert, who argues that alternative currencies are rapidly approaching an inflection point in emerging markets with dramatic implications for the rest of the world.

Willard, the CEO of MintCombine—a “think tank and product lab delivering blockchain solutions for brands and causes”—described what’s happening in markets in Africa, Southeast Asia and South America as defining moments in a global currency revolution.

The way these emerging markets use new currencies will have a global influence that has never been seen in modern accounting.”

“The way these emerging markets use new currencies will define what the future looks like and have a global market influence that has never been seen in modern accounting,” Willard told me.

He emphasized that the lack of both infrastructure and entrenched institutional interests is producing a “leapfrog” effect in emerging markets, enabling swift adoption of cryptocurrencies and driving new models that encumbered first-world economies will have to catch up with.

For example, he pointed out that it took just six months to get BitPesa up and running in Kenya, where almost 90% of the population is unbanked and about 80% have cell phones.

For venerable, traditional financial services providers like Western Union these types of developments could be category killers, he warned.

Rules are being rewritten right now.”

“Rules are being rewritten right now,” said Willard.

“You have to put away your old thinking and look at what’s happening around the world or you will quickly find yourself three or four steps behind in a very, very fast race,” he added.

Willard predicts there won’t be one single world currency—say Bitcoin—but a plethora of alternative currencies, perhaps thousands, based on everything from basketing of commodities in mineral-rich nations to regional, municipal, industrial and even corporate coins.

“You have Overstock.com playing with the idea with Counterparty right now of having their own currency. Not just accepting Bitcoin. That was the first phase. They are actually trying to decide if they have enough equity that they can spread around in a currency,” Willard noted.

“It’s a time of flux and that has always presented opportunities for people in finance,” he added.

In this podcast for On Payments—the All Payments Expo (APEX) interview series—Rik Willard discusses how development of cryptocurrencies in emerging markets is shaping up to disrupt the status quo and what the future of alternative currencies may look like.


Editor’s note: Rik Willard will be a featured speaker at APEX 2015—the All Payments Expo—taking place February 23-25 in Las Vegas.

For an agenda or to register for APEX, please visit www.allpaymentsexpo.com.

Ps. REGISTER and SAVE $100 with promo code XU2848BLOG


ABOUT THE AUTHOR / INTERVIEWER 
Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s sr. editor and special communication project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the market and consumer research industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.



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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Starbucks Leading the Way With Their Gift Card Strategy


Starbucks are leading the way with their gift card initiatives, attracting many new customers since their introduction. The Starbucks e Gift cards can be sent for Valentine’s Day, weddings, the Lunar New Years and more. They can be sent via email, text or with a physical card. These gift cards which have a certain amount of credit will encourage people who may not usually be customers to visit a Starbucks store to redeem. From there these customers often just find it convenient to simply top up the cards for easier and quicker future purchases.

Many of these gift card users have then gone on to sign up for Starbucks ‘My Starbucks Reward’ program. The program allows members early access to new products, free drink or food rewards and easy payments with the online app. In Q1 alone there has been 0.9 million new MSR members, bring the total number of members to a staggering 9 million. These numbers show the huge success that the scheme has had due to the customer being able to have a quicker and more efficient experience. The other advantage of having so many people sign up for schemes such as MSR program keeps a loyal base of customers that know they will keep coming back as it is in the customer’s interest to buy from Starbucks as it helps their reward points.

However in a study carried out in January of 2014, only 3% of retailers said that gift card strategies were its main priority in their retail plan. Only 17% of retailers said that gift card purchase or redemption were a priority at all in their future strategies. Most were more focused on their online platform, making sure that was a tool that keeps customers coming back. The Starbucks online app has managed to incorporate their gift card redemption scheme into it as well as being able to order coffee and manage your Rewards Program. There is soon to be a delivery service as well in the second half of 2015.

Understandably many of the smaller retailers do not have the financial power to have such a large all-encompassing online service, however Starbucks can be used as an example that is leading the way in terms of omnichannel retail as they are constantly striving to provide a service that not only makes the customers life easier but gives them rewards for their loyalty.

APEX is where merchants rule. As new companies create new iterations of payments that combine mobile capabilities, loyalty, closed-loop currencies, wallets, acceptance devices and lower transaction costs, it is the retailer that decides what is successful and what is an also-ran. At APEX, retailers can view the latest technology alongside their peers and discuss the challenges and feasibility of implementation that are unique to this industry.

Download the complete agenda.

Register with the code XU2848BLOG and save $100!

___________________________________________________________

Sources:
Forbes - http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2015/01/26/starbucks-gift-cards-initiative-and-mobile-commerce-drive-customer-traffic-in-q1-2015/
Accenture - http://www.accenture.com/us-en/landing-pages/Documents/Seamless/Accenture-hybris-Forrester-new_2014.pdf



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Friday, January 23, 2015

Are New Payment Entrants the Enemy?



In payments, does competition from new companies create strange chaos or new opportunities?

Does competition create strange bedfellows, market fissures or new partnerships? That's what the media is constantly debating whenever a new payment technology - from ApplePay to MCX to Bitcoin - debuts.

For long-standing players, the influx of new players creates a constant need to fine-tune strategies and calibrate evolving value in a competitive marketplace. For new companies, the crush of equally novel competition means more fighting for the same slice of the "disruption" pie.

At All Payments Expo, you'll get a front seat to the debates to determine the role that new technologies will play in the payments universe - and what it means for you. Onstage analysis will include:
  • A keynote address from Square on their shifting strategy
  • ApplePay's impact on acquiring, fraud, and the mobile payments ecosystem
  • Bitcoin's future implications and applications for remittance, prepaid and retail payments
  • Retailers' strategies for a tech-fueled path to for bigger basket sizes in-store, online and in the mobile environment
  • Onstage demonstrations of some of the hottest technologies, including wearable tech and iBeacon
By attending APEX, you'll solidify your strategy within the conflicting debates - and meet hundreds of new companies who are taking the headlines.

This is your last chance to save on your APEX ticket.
Register today to save $200 - Use code: XU2848BLOG



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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Lord & Taylor / Hudson's Bay iBeacon Pilot Shows Promise

Former Hudson's Bay/Lord & Taylor CSO: iBeacon Engagement "Phenomenal" But Does it Have a Future in Payments?

By Marc Dresner, Senior Editor, IIR

The shopper’s path to purchase took an exciting turn in mid-2013 with Apple’s introduction of the iBeacon (followed in short order by a bevy of beacon competitors, of course).

And then things got quiet as everyone went off to play with the shiny new toy…

The attraction is a no-brainer. The ability to beam marketing messages, coupons, etc., to the shopper’s phone in the store while they’re actively shopping and to then check them out at POS is something with the potential to revolutionize retail.

According to Business Insider, about half of the top 100 U.S. retailers have been testing beacons and it estimates the technology will be installed in roughly one-third of stores by the end of 2015.

Indeed, everyone from Walmart to McDonald’s to Major League Baseball has been trialing the Bluetooth transmittors.

Ryan Craver
And the results from those tests are now, finally, slowly trickling into news reports.

So I was pretty excited to learn that Ryan Craver, former SVP of Strategy for Lord & Taylor/Hudson’s Bay Co. and who had spearheaded a beacon test for the department store chains, was available to discuss the results.

Craver and his colleagues tested beacons in three different store environments in the U.S. and Canada ahead of a 140-store rollout. (Author's note: The initiative won Mobile Marketer's 2014 Program of the Year. It's toward the end of the linked article.)

And the results were mixed, but very promising.


“The open rates were phenomenal!”

“Our first hypothesis was that the engagement numbers would be off the chart. That held true. The open rates were phenomenal,” Craver told On Payments.

The beacons did not, however, drive traffic in the numbers Craver expected.

Craver says that’s because the app simply isn’t ubiquitous…yet.

“Once beacons are integrated into apps like Facebook and Twitter, we are going to see much, much bigger numbers.”

“Beacon ecosystems haven’t built up yet. But once they are integrated into some of the apps like Facebook and Twitter, we are going to start to see much, much bigger numbers,” Craver predicted.

But whether beacons have a future as a payments tool is questionable. Craver notes the growing popularity of NFC platforms makes it less likely.

“By the end of 2015 or early 2016, all retailers will need to have chip-and-PIN POS.”

“By the end of 2015 or early 2016, all retailers will need to have chip-and-PIN point-of-sale equipment and that will naturally lead to additional retailers that have NFC capabilities,” Craver said.

“So, maybe NFC beats out beacons?” he added.

In this podcast for On Payments—the All Payments Expo (APEX) interview series—Ryan Craver discusses Lord & Taylor’s beacon study, opportunities and challenges for retailers and whether or not the beacon will be the it app for shoppers.


Editor’s note: Ryan Craver will be a featured speaker at APEX 2015—the All Payments Expo—taking place February 23-25 in Las Vegas.

For a brochure or to register for APEX, please visit www.allpaymentsexpo.com.


Ps. LAST CHANCE! REGISTER and SAVE $200 by FRIDAY 1/23 with promo code XU2848BLOG



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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Omnichannel - The Key to Retail Success


At present retailers are increasingly looking into implementing omnichannel retail strategies in order to create a better experience for their customers. These strategies help not only with sales revenue but they let the customer do whatever they need to do throughout their shopping experience no matter what device or platform they are on. This creates an easier and more efficient way for the customer to shop.

An omnichannel strategy that is becoming more popular with retail decision makers is the advancement in mobile capabilities. Retailers are increasingly looking into ways that they can interact with their customers through online platforms which can be accessed through smart phones or tablets. Some online sites include a feature that lets the shopper interact with a stylist to help choose products dependent on the customers likes and dislikes. This kind of service can normally only be found in a physical store. For example Nordstrom acquired Trunk Club, the personalized clothing service which meant shoppers had clothes hand selected by stylists and sent straight to their door with no shipping costs. A service like that in a world where working hours are getting longer and customers are increasingly looking online to shop means that a better online relationship with customers can yield higher revenue sales. Nordstrom experienced a 6.2% increase in sales after their acquisition of the Trunk Club. By creating an omnichannel retail experience, shoppers can still have the same experience they might expect in store whilst on the move on a tablet, laptop or smartphone. 

In store, mobile advancements are creating more efficient shopping experiences for customers. Store associates are often equipped with iPads or other tablets and can walk the isles and interact with customers. This gives them the ability to look up stock numbers on the spot, order in from other stores to cater for the customer’s exact needs or in some cases pay for the products then and there. This makes the shopping experience a more fluid and efficient process.

A recent app powered by Pick’n’Tell for Alfred Angelo bridal company has recording mirrors in store which allows brides to record or take pictures of themselves in the dresses they like. These images or videos then are immediately sent to the consumer’s smartphone which allows the shopper to be able to take the time at home to review the best option and can then buy it easily online. The app can also be used to choose dresses online which will be ready for them on arrival at the store. This creates a seamless customer experience across the digital and physical shopping world.

This ability to create an easier and more personalized shopping experience is increasingly becoming the key in retail strategies. By using omnichannels, companies are able to give the customer a more unique and efficient retail experience which will keep them coming back and thus increasing sales revenue.

APEX is where retailers can leverage payments technology for their strategic roadmaps, including boosting in-store visits, basket sizes, conversion and more. At APEX, technologies deploy mobile capabilities, loyalty, closed-loop currencies, wallets, acceptance devices that drive these strategic objectives. Retailers will scrutinize the latest technology alongside their peers and discuss the challenges and feasibility of implementation.

Join us February 23-25 at All Payments Expo where a new tailored Omnichannel Retail Payments Forum with content built for merchants' strategic executives, exploring how payments-backed technologies are impacting retail. Functions include: Corporate Strategy, CIO, IT, E- and M-Commerce, Finance, Treasury, Payment Services.

Download the complete agenda here to see full session details.

Prices increase this Friday! Register now with the code XU2848BLOG and save $200!

See you in Las Vegas!


_________________________
Sources: 
Forbes - http://www.forbes.com/sites/walterloeb/2014/08/19/nordstroms-unfolding-strategy-reflects-the-future-of-retailing/  
Mobile Commerce Daily - http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/alfred-angelo-makes-shopping-for-bridal-fashions-social-via-new-app




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Friday, January 16, 2015

Digital Currency’s Role in Prepaid, Retail and Banking

How will digital currency change your business?

When Microsoft announced that it would accept Bitcoin as payment last month, the company noted that digital currencies are growing "beyond the early enthusiasts." Microsoft has placed its bets that the growth will continue - and at All Payments Expo, you'll forge the connections to determine your own company's strategy in the digital currency industry.

As digital currency's role in retail, payments and money movement evolves, it's paramount that you make sense of the role crypto will play in retail, prepaid and other industries.

Do you need to rethink your strategy?
 
Get up-to-the-minute analysis from the executives, legal minds and industry entrenched in this next phase, including:
  • Keynote address from Overstock.com Chairman Patrick Byrne, one of Bitcoin's earliest champions
  • A Bitcoin Bootcamp for novices, with perspectives from Strategic Counsel Corp., Ethereum, Gliph, Coinsetter and the Digital Currency Council
  • The legal implications of Bitcoin
  • How digital currency impacts accounting and taxation - a must-see for anyone considering accepting or working with digital currency
  • Sessions on digital currency's applications in retail and products for the under-served

 Special Benefits for Attending
  • Prepare you for the Digital Currency Council (DCC) Certification Exam.
  • For those already DCC Certified, DCC Continuing Education Credits are available.
  • Attendees will receive a 3-month trial Leader Membership in the Digital Currency Council - the leading professional association in the digital currency economy.
 

To see a detailed session breakdown, download the complete agenda. Also, register by Friday, January 23rd and SAVE $300! Use the code XU2848BLOG



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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Digital Gift Cards to Overtake Plastic 1-2 Years

1-800-Flowers E-Card Expert Says Digital Wallets Herald End to Another Holiday Tradition
By Marc Dresner, Senior Editor, IIR
Like almost every other person I know who is not the parent of a young child, the 2014 holidays concluded with a stack of gift cards in place of a mountain of crumpled wrapping paper.
I’m not complaining, but if you’re the sentimental type like me, you probably get a little wistful looking at a Christmas tree that doesn’t have any presents under it.
My father-in-law still insists on hiding gift cards inside large, ornately wrapped boxes—sometimes it’s a series of boxes like those Russian nesting dolls—but the gag has gone a little stale and it annoys his wife to no end.
Friends of mine keep a pile of phony presents under their tree to achieve that nostalgic effect, which I find a little creepy and depressing.
At my home, we’ve taken to interspersing the cards in colored envelopes among the ornaments. We take turns hunting-and-plucking them from the tree on Christmas Day. 

It's less dramatic than a big box, but at least you get to scavenge for something with your name on it.
Now it looks like I may have to kiss that tradition good-bye, too.
Yes, friends, 2015 may be the beginning of the end for plastic gift cards.
Chris Adamo
According to Chris Adamo, Manager of Partnerships & Gift Cards, B2B, at 1-800-FLOWERS, e-cards will overtake plastic as the gift of choice within the next year, maybe two years.


“We’ve seen digital gift card sales triple in the past year.”



“For our brand as a whole we’ve seen digital gift card sales triple in the past year,” said Adamo, who has been developing e-cards in B2B for the online florist for several years.

Adamo says he expects digital wallet adoption to catalyze the migration to e-cards in the consumer space.

That’s good news for retailers, according to Adamo, who reports that digital gift cards have increased redemptions and purchases at 1-800-FLOWERS.

Digital cards are also perfectly suited to double as loyalty cards, says Adamo, which means a new level of access to customer information.

In this podcast for On Payments—the All Payments Expo (APEX) interview series—Adamo shares his experience and explains why it’s time for retailers to ramp up their e-card initiatives.
Editor’s note: Chris Adamo will be a featured speaker at APEX 2015—The All Payments Expo—taking place February 23-25 in Las Vegas.

For information, a brochure or to register for APEX, please visit www.allpaymentsexpo.com.

Ps. SAVE $100 of registration with promo code: XU2848BLOG

ABOUT THE AUTHOR/INTERVIEWER
Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s sr. editor and special communication project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the market and consumer research industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.



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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

This Year, Fraudsters are on the Prowl

 
"In the wake of recent security breaches, 63% of organizations have either adopted additional security measures or are planning to do so in the near future." -- AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey



It's been a year since some of the nation's largest retailers were targeted by fraudsters during the crush of holiday shopping. And from data breaches to account takeovers to e-commerce fraud, there's still trouble percolating.

Dissect the Latest Strategies for Fraud Prevention at APEX

At APEX, you'll take actionable steps to drill into the latest fraudster tactics, prevention strategies and technology aimed at protecting customers, retailers and banking & payment institutions alike.

Some of the strategies being dissected in February:
  • Preventing gift card fraud from employee and external forces, direct from loss prevention retail executives
  • Analysis on the migration from brick and mortar fraud to e-commerce, including the latest schemes
  • Technology that can avoid false positives and avert negative customer experiences
  • The impact of tokenization and ApplePay in fraud reduction
  • Latest info on EMV integration
  • Need-to-know information from the FBI, National Cyber-Forensics & Training Alliance and National Anti-ORC Association

Download the full agenda here.

By attending APEX, you'll take critical steps to protect your customers and your reputation - and stay ahead of fraudsters' evolving efforts to compromise the safety of your institution. Save up to $200 if you register by January 23rd! Use the code: XU2848BLOG | Register here.



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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Bitcoin Poised to Go Mainstream?

Digital Currency Council Formed to Train and Certify Financial Professionals in Crypto Coinage
By Marc Dresner, Senior Editor, IIR


David Berger
Intense scrutiny from regulators and governments and Bitcoin’s precipitous plunge in value over the past year (approx. 55%) have prompted pundits to question the near-term viability of digital currencies, in general.

But according to David Berger, Founder and CEO of the Digital Currency Council (DCC), there’s nothing to be bearish about.

Berger notes ease of access and Bitcoin adoption rates continue to advance at a healthy clip, and he’s confident the currency is poised for mainstream uptake.


It's as easy getting an email account or hitting 'like' on Facebook...

Bitcoin has crossed the chasm from a little-known technology utilized by a small number of very smart people,” said Berger. “It’s now as simple to use as signing up for an email account or, in some instances, hitting a ‘like’ button on Facebook.”

More than 100,000 merchants accept Bitcoin and it's growing by about 1,000 every week!

“Over the past year alone the number of wallets holding Bitcoin has increased seven times. More than 100,000 merchants accept Bitcoin and that's increasing by almost a thousand each week,” he added.

Just about every established industry or profession has a trade association or advocacy group to represent its interests. I think it speaks volumes that professionals specializing in cryptocurrencies today have an organization of their own.

The DCClaunched this past Septembertrains and certifies professionals from traditional “terrestrial” disciplines—lawyers, accountants, financial pros—that are looking to expand their practices into digital currency.

That demand for certification in the advisory sphere exists should give even the most enthusiastic virtual tender detractors reason to rethink their position.

In this podcast for On Payments—the All Payments Expo (APEX) interview series—Berger discusses the DCC and explains why betting against Bitcoin may be a lemon strategy.


Editor’s note: David Berger will be a featured speaker at APEX 2015—The All Payments Expo—taking place February 23-25 in Las Vegas.

For more information or to register, please visit www.allpaymentsexpo.com.

Ps. SAVE $100 of registration with promo code: XU2848BLOG

ABOUT THE AUTHOR/INTERVIEWER 
Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s sr. editor and special communication project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the market and consumer research industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.



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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Your Holiday Gift from All Payments Expo | Register by Friday 12/19 & Save $300

Register by December 19th and save $300 - Use the code XU2848BLOG | Register.

Find Your Next Buyer at APEX

With more than 1,300 global payments players on the hunt for new technologies and partners, APEX is the best place to kick off 2015 with meaningful meetings and new business opportunities.

 
 Meet the executives with buying power to take your business to the next level. 

https://www.iirusa.com/allpaymentsexpo/register.xml?registration=XU2848BLOG&utm_source=NMM&utm_medium=BL&utm_campaign=APEX_BL_reg121714
 



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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What’s on the Shopping List for Merchants this Holiday Season?



Retailers will be meeting with existing partners and potential vendors to vet the next generation of technologies they are looking to adopt. At APEX, you'll meet retailers and gain a better understanding of the challenges they are facing.

Hear Case Studies, Research and Insights from:
  • Darden Restaurants
  • The Jones Company/ Flash Foods
  • Overstock.com   
  • Hudson Bay Co.'s Lord & Taylor
  • SeaWorld
  • Sears Holdings Corporation
  • Macys.com
  • Cirque du Soleil    
  • 1-800 FLOWERS
  • Cabela's Inc.
  • Schurman Retail Group (Papyrus)
  • Kahala Brands (Cold Stone Creamery)
  • Fandango
  • Groupon    Domino's
  • DineEquity - Applebee's & IHOP
  • Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
  • Toys R Us
  • Hyatt Incentive Rewards
  • Landry's
  • Home Depot
Download the agenda to see all session details.

Register for All Payments Expo 2015 by Friday 12/19 to save $300! Use the code: XU2848BLOG | Register here.



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Friday, December 5, 2014

Line is Set to Enter the Mobile Payments Space with Line Pay

Line, a free messaging app, announced plans for a mobile payments service way back in October. Today, Line has 170 million monthly users and their new payments service has been branded "Line Pay" and will be released around the world very soon.

The significance of the Line Pay launch is not just surrounding the welcoming of a new competitor, Line is attempting to make their app become a complete "lifestyle platform". It will be interesting to see the adoption rate of Line Pay and whether or not it can become the all-in-one platform Line is hoping for.

As of now, Line Pay allows users to complete transactions through the app at affiliated online and brick-and-mortar stores once you have registered your credit cards. However, on the horizon there is a P2P update that will allow users to send money to other users.

At a time when messaging apps are slowing in growth, Line's entrance into the mobile payments space seems very timely.

Where do you see the future of mobile payments heading? Is Line's attempt to create a complete platform for users to seamlessly handle both conversations and payments the future? Join us in Las Vegas, February 23-25 for All Payments Expo 2015 to learn and explore the ever changing landscape of the payments space.

Have any insight to add to this story? Leave it in the comments.



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Friday, November 21, 2014

Weekly Payments Round Up

The APEX team brings you your weekly payments round up. Below you will find recent industry news that we found compelling and felt that we needed to share with our readers! Enjoy.

Top Stories:

American Eagle Outfitters Banks On Store Consolidation And Omni-Channel To Improve Store Productivity
With e-commerce not turning into a big business for many retailers despite continued robust growth, the need for omni-channel retailing has emerged. The entire apparel industry is gradually shifting towards this concept, which appears to be the future of retailing. Over the past 15 months, American Eagle has taken several steps towards the development of its omni-channel platform and all of them have shown good promise so far. Its “buy online and ship from the store” pilot program has helped it attract those customers, who could have shied away from the retailer if the inventory pool wasn’t integrated across all the channels. The initial roll out was slow, but the company soon went aggressive on its deployment. In its Q1 earnings call, American Eagle had stated that this service would be available in 100 stores by the back-to-school season. However, it had 255 stores offering this service at the end of Q2.

Lamassu: Bitcoin ATM Owners Earning Up to $36,000 Per Year
Lamassu has reported its bitcoin ATM operators now process an average of $20,000-worth of bitcoin each month, while units placed in prime locations receive as much as $40,000–$60,000 in monthly transactions. Lamassu's survey estimated that its operators earn between $1,000–$3,000 each month on an average commission of 5.5%. This equates to annual earnings for ATM operators of between $12,000 and $36,000 per unit.

Hackers exploit NFC phone payment technology
Several bugs in Near Field Communication (NFC) payment systems have been found by security experts. NFC allows people to pay for goods and services by touching their handset to a payment terminal. But the inclusion of the technology on phones has proved useful to hackers seeking a stealthy way to take over a mobile phone. In most cases the bugs would give an attacker complete access to a device's data.

Snapchat introduces Snapcash for P2P payments
The question "how do you monetize Snapchat" has finally been answered and it's going to open up a lot of possibilities for users. Snapchat has introduced Snapcash, a way to send mobile payments to friends using the image sending-then-destroying service.


Have a great weekend!

- The APEX Team



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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Register for All Payments Expo by Friday to Save $400!






Designed to Help You Find New Partners and Grow Business


2015 promises to be a big one for payments players with the world shifting toward lightning-speed disruption from technology and data players; new currencies and form factors entering the fray; and a vast need to uncover new customer segments to avoid market saturation.

Start the year right at All Payments Expo, the only payments event designed to help you find new partners and do business on-site.


You'll save $300 if you sign up for All Payments Expo by Friday, Nov. 21, but use the code XU2848BLOG and save an extra $100 – total savings of $400!

http://www.iirusa.com/allpaymentsexpo/download-brochure.xml?utm_source=NMM&utm_medium=BL&utm_campaign=APEX_BL_agenda112014https://www.iirusa.com/allpaymentsexpo/register.xml?registration=XU2848BLOG&utm_source=NMM&utm_medium=BL&utm_campaign=APEX_BL_reg112014



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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Five Ways in Which Fraudsters Steal Identities

Below is a Whitepaper from Jumio, an All Payments Expo 2015 exhibitor. To see a complete list of sponsors and exhibitors, learn more about the event, or register. Click here.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4qPVTkhFg2xb1l6UEIxaW4zQ1U/view?usp=sharing


Nearly two thousand years ago, the famous military strategist, Sun Tzu, wrote in his infamous book, “The Art of War” that to beat the enemy you had to get to know the enemy. It’s with this in mind that Jumio is publishing this white paper to help to get to know the enemy so that we can all win more battles against the fraudsters.

The Jumio researchers spent many days talking to convicted ex-fraudsters, professional criminologists, law enforcement practitioners and fraud managers to uncover some of the exploits that fraudsters use.The content of this white paper presents what we heard first hand - how convicted fraudsters steal and exploit identities. This is the first of a series of white papers in which Jumio examines how fraudsters steal identities and then go on to conduct acts of fraud against businesses.

The first conversation with one of the convicted fraudsters we spoke to revealed a whole new dictionary of fraud terms and yielded insight into the roles of players in the underground economy. A deeper understanding of this underground economy will help us all, as professionals in fraud prevention, and as consumers to make life harder for the fraudsters.

In this, the first instalment of “The Fraudsters’ Playbook” we share our insight into the first stage of the fraud process: identity theft. In our second instalment we will share our insight into the second and subsequent stages of fraud, the act of ID fraud and card fraud and how criminals profit from it. Here are our findings on five ways in which fraudsters are trying to steal your identity…


Five ways in which fraudsters steal identities...


 To view the complete whitepaper, click here.



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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

With the Holidays Coming Up, Most Retailers are Gearing Up for the Biggest Day of the Year: Black Friday

At the APEX offices, we are keeping a close watch on the payments-fueled technology retailers will use to gain traction with shoppers. Because the 2013 season was not the monster hit for retailers (according to Forbes), the pressure is on to lure shoppers away from the turkey on the table.

Our bet? Retailers will deploy more mobile coupons, geolocations/beacons and context-aware technology.


These immersive technologies are a huge opportunity to (literally) point customers toward certain deals or products, incentivize them with time-sensitive door-busters, reap data on customers’ movements during the rush and make customers’ lives easier.

There is a lot of promise in this technology. APEX recently tried the Snip Snap-powered beacon app at Lord &Taylor’s Manhattan flagship, where beacons stationed by the shoe department and Alex + Ani jewelry display populated our iPhones with offers, product information and details on new facets of the store layout, including Birdcage, a new store-within-a-store concept on the 2nd floor.

Picture the throngs of shoppers who line up before sunrise (or immediately after Thanksgiving dinner) to shop. Imagine that captive audience plotting their shopping mission by scrolling through the app while they are waiting in line. Pair that with easy-to-clip mobile coupons, and deals exclusive to the app and you have a recipe for bigger basket sizes, and increased engagement and richer customer data.

We anticipate that these trends will be in use for the rest of the year – not just on Black Friday. (All the better to lengthen the shopping season, right?)

At APEX, you’ll  hear direct from the retailers deploying this technology, as well as the entrepreneurs pioneering new ways for retailers and shoppers to virtually interact – including the CEO of SnipSnap and the former VP of Corporate Strategy for Lord & Taylor. Download the full agenda here.




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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Prepaid Debit Cards Set to Face Rules on Overdrafts and Disclosure

Via Bloomberg

The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will propose to limit overdraft charges on prepaid debit cards and require more disclosure from issuers about all fees they charge, a person familiar with the matter said.

The market size for prepaid debit cards has nearly doubled to an estimated $80 billion since the CFPB began reviewing the products after the initial criticism that transaction fees on some products were too high.

The competition in the prepaid marketplace has driven lower fees over the past four years. The person familiar with the proposal told Bloomberg that it could come in early November and won’t include broad restrictions on transaction fees.

CFPB officials have been studying the prepaid market since 2010, when cards including one issued by reality TV stars the Kardashian sisters were charging as much as $1.50 for withdrawals or for speaking with a customer service. Such fees became rarer after increased competition from new market entrants.

According to Madeline Aufseeser, senior analyst with the Aite Group, a Boston-based consultancy, these cards have risen in popularity. In 2010, consumers had about $37 billion loaded onto prepaid cards, a number that is expected to rise to nearly $80 billion by the end of this year.

To read the complete story from Bloomberg, click here.

With more consolidation and saturation in key niches of the marketplace, it's never been more important for prepaid to continue to drive new growth and unearth new business opportunities. To support prepaid players, that is why at All Payments Expo 2015, we've created the Prepaid Forum, a dedicated forum focused on relevant and important content for the prepaid industry.

Click here to view the updated event brochure. 

Make sure you join us this February 23-25 at the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas - As a blog reader, use the code XU2848BLOG when you register and save $100 off the current rate | Register Here.

See you in Las Vegas!



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