The National Retail Federation, Retail Industry Leaders Association, Food Marketing Institute, Merchant Advisory Group, National Association of Convenience Stores, National Grocers Association and National Restaurant Association are jointly calling for an open and universal tokenization standard in the U.S. payments system. The groups released a statement saying payment card data is currently vulnerable to theft where card information is swiped or entered, where card information is stored, and where it's transmitted. The group is calling for payment industry stakeholders to adopt tokenization — i.e., replacing sensitive account data and identity information with a unique token or symbol.
PayPal launched a pilot program this month to offer next-day settlement for eligible businesses in the U.S. The company explained, "With next-day settlement, eligible businesses transferring money from their PayPal account to their bank account now have the ability to receive their money within 24 business hours instead of the three to four business days it used to take." PayPal said it's notified businesses which are eligible for the next-day settlement. Merchants must opt in to the program. As long as they make their transfer by 5 p.m. local U.S. time, they'll receive their funds the next day.
Bitcoin users can now buy merchandise from Lord & Taylor department stores using a mobile software application, the latest step by startups to make the virtual currency useful in the physical world. The mobile app, Pounce, lets shoppers make purchases by using their phones to scan images in print advertisements. The software, made by an Israeli startup, now works with Coinbase Inc.'s digital Bitcoin wallet, the companies said yesterday. Pounce has had a partnership for print-ad shopping with Hudson's Bay, Lord & Taylor's parent company, since January.
Mt. Gox may have gone bankrupt and roiled the digital currency market last week, but Overstock.com says Bitcoin has triggered a boost in new customers. The e-commerce giant announced Tuesday that it's sold more than $1 million in product to Bitcoin users since the site started accepting the virtually untraceable cryptocurrency on Jan. 9. What's more, it estimates that some 60 percent of the 4,300 Bitcoin transactions over the last two months have been from new customers, helping to drive sales and traffic.
Choosing the right payment processor is one of the most critical steps in making your e-commerce site as accessible and useful to your customers as possible. Depending on what you sell and where you're selling from, there are a host of factors to take into consideration that affect not only how much you'll be spending on your online experience, but how much your customers will be charged and how convenient it is for them to finally click the buy button. To help guide new merchants looking to establish their first business or veteran sellers looking for a better rate, here are five essential issues to evaluate when choosing your next payment processor:
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Amazon.com plans to offer brick-and-mortar retailers a checkout system that uses Kindle tablets as soon as this summer, people briefed on the company's plans said. In one scenario, the Seattle company would give merchants Kindle tablets and credit card readers, the people said. Amazon also might offer retailers other services, such as website development and data analysis, the people said. To accelerate the project, Amazon last year bought certain technology and hired some engineers from GoPago Inc., a startup that offered checkout systems linked to a smartphone app.
Michaels, the biggest U.S. arts and crafts retailer, said it's investigating a possible breach on its network and advised customers to check financial statements for fraudulent activity. The warning, which comes in the wake of the unprecedented breach at Target Corp. over the holiday shopping season, suggests that hackers may be attacking retailers in a spree the extent of which is yet to be fully understood. Target last month disclosed an unprecedented breach that resulted in the theft of some 40 million payment card records and another 70 million customers’ records.
Some shoppers who received a Target gift card this holiday season may find that redeeming it requires some work. Target confirmed Tuesday that a number of gift cards sold during the holiday period weren't fully activated, so shoppers attempting to use them would find they had no value. The snafu comes at a tough time for Target, to say the least. The company recently announced that a data breach had affected an estimated 40 million debit and credit card accounts used to make purchases at Target stores during the holiday rush.
Kmart is introducing a rent-to-own program charging the equivalent of 100-plus percent annual interest, a move into a business that's drawn criticism for hurting low-income consumers. The Lease-to-Own program touts instant gratification — customers without credit take a product home right away, make biweekly payments, then decide whether to buy out or return the product. A typical deal could turn a $300 television into a $415 purchase. Sears Holdings Corp., which owns Kmart, debuted a similar program at its namesake stores earlier this year.