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FIRST QUARTER RESULTS FROM BRAINTREE: In a blog post yesterday, Braintree CEO Bill Ready shared some of his company’s first quarter results. Braintree, which was acquired by PayPal last year, processes online and mobile payments for well-known startups and is also parent company to peer-to-peer payment app Venmo.
- Braintree has 56.5 million customer cards on file.
- Payment volume grew 24.6% quarter-over-quarter in the first quarter of 2014.
- Venmo grew payments volume 62% quarter-over-quarter, and is now handling more than $US1 billion in consumer mobile payments annually ($314 million in the first quarter).
Braintree has positioned itself as a hip and tech-savvy alternative to legacy online payment processors, emphasising its customer service, and the ease with which businesses can use Braintree to build e-commerce and mobile commerce sites and apps. The Chicago-based company has targeted start-ups specifically, scoring big-name accounts with Uber, AirBnb, and Fab. Venmo, its consumer-side payments app, has grown explosively on college campuses.
TSYS TO OFFER SHOPKEEP POS: Total Systems, a large payment processor also known as TSYS, announced yesterday that it would begin selling point-of-sale cloud software ShopKeep as part of its merchant services offerings. The deal gives ShopKeep, which recently raised $US25 million in Series C funding, a powerful new distribution channel through the TSYS sales organisation. The deal is also an example of the growing interest legacy payments players are showing in SaaS solutions for retail.
Those who aren’t partnering with disruptors like ShopKeep are trying to beat them. JP Morgan Chase announced yesterday a new mobile dashboard for its merchant accounts, which mirrors some of ShopKeep’s functions by allowing store owners to remotely monitor sales in real-time from an iPad.
IPO FILING SAYS ALIPAY ‘CRITICAL’ TO ALIBABA: Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, relies on payments service Alipay to process 79% of sales on the site, according to documents the company filed yesterday for its U.S. initial public offering. “The settlement and escrow services and convenient payment mechanisms provided by Alipay are a critical factor contributing to our success and the development of our ecosystem,” the documents read. Alipay was spun off from Alibaba in 2011 to appease Chinese regulators. Alibaba’s stock offering is expected to be larger than Visa’s 2008 IPO, which raised nearly $US18 billion.
GLOBAL EMV CARDS HIT 2.37B:The latest stats from EMVCo, the global technical body overseeing deployment of the EMV microchip security standard for payment cards, says there are now 2.37 billion cards and 37 million terminals deployed with EMV worldwide. That represent a 46% jump in cards and 55% jump in terminals from a year prior, although the latest figures include data from card issuers not previously included. The figures also exclude the U.S., which is migrating to EMV ahead of a 2015 deadline.
GOOGLE GLASS TO ADD GOOGLE WALLET — REPORTS:Citing a source close to the company, TechCrunch reports that Google is testing an integration of Google Wallet and Google Glass, which will allow users to send money with voice commands. The service is said to be launching “in the near future.”
WELLS FARGO PUSHES UPMARKET WITH NEW AMEX CARDS: As part of a previously announced partnership, Wells Fargo announced two new rewards-based cards from American Express. The cards, targeted at affluent frequent travellers, are part of Wells Fargo’s ongoing push to expand its credit card business and compete for highly coveted affluent customers.
PAYPAL CEO BLASTS EX-EXEC:PayPal CEO David Marcus yesterday took to the company blog to fire back at recently departed PayPal executive Rakesh “Rocky” Agrawal, who went on a Twitter tirade over the weekend, firing off a litany of misspelled tweets insulting PayPal executives. Agrawal later deleted the tweets and blamed an unfamiliar phone, but they were captured by Business Insider. In his blog post, Marcus dismissed Agrawal’s tweets as “mad rants,” and said PayPal should put the entire affair behind it. “I think the world of the people you’ve insulted,” Marcus added. Agrawal joined PayPal in March 2014 as director of global strategy, but had already put in his two weeks notice as the episode began to unfold.
VERIFONE EXEC DISHES ON EMV, NFC, BLE: VeriFone’s Erik Vlugt spoke to BI Intelligence Research Analyst John Heggestuen about the latest trends in payment terminal tech. As vice president of product marketing at the largest domestic terminal provider — which commands a 61% share of the U.S. market — Vlugt has a privileged vantage point on the technologies that are changing the way consumers pay offline.
On data breaches and EMV migration: “There are some opportunities as a result of accelerated plans retailers have put out following some of the data breaches, but those are more niche opportunities. On the whole, we see the replacement cycle in line with the natural churn rate.”
On near-field communication (NFC): “I think we’ve had a major turn of events with host card emulation (HCE) which was announced last year. We’ve seen a general increase in interest in NFC since HCE was announced…”
On Bluetooth Low Energy: “I don’t necessarily see it as an alternative to NFC, but I think both NFC and BLE will play a role in the ecosystem going forward. …when it comes down to accurately charging the right consumer, BLE is not ideal.”
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