Alto Global Processing: CNP Report: Cross-Border Retailers Nab Growing Piece of Brazilian E-Commerce

Report: Cross-Border Retailers Nab Growing Piece of Brazilian E-CommerceDespite the challenges involved, Brazil has long been an attractive market for e-commerce businesses looking to expand internationally and results of a new survey highlight why. Total e-commerce in Brazil rose 24 percent last year, generating $13.3 billion and 40 percent of consumers in Brazil shop at sites based outside the country, according to the report from e-bits.

Brazilian consumers are resorting to foreign e-commerce sites mainly for lower prices and better product availability, the report said. And, while physical products were the most popular, digital content is gaining, according to Ralf Germer, CEO of PagBrasil, a Brazilian payments provider.

“Physical products shipped into Brazil have always played a predominant role in cross border e-commerce, but there are more and more digital goods and international service providers moving into Brazil with websites localized into Brazilian Portuguese,” said Germer. “Payments from games already account for nine percent of all cross border payments.”

Consumers in Brazil prefer to pay on international Websites using a credit card—they account for 57 percent of payments on international Websites. Boleto bancário, a popular way for Brazilians to pay on domestic sites, is gaining favor in cross-border transactions as well (23 percent) as an increasing number of savvy retailers offer it as a payment option.

Source: http://cardnotpresent.com/news/default.aspx?id=8379

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Alto Global Processing: This New Tool Could Help Businesses Drive More Sales Through Instagram

By Carly Okyle (editorial assistant) for http://www.entrepreneur.com/

Imagine you’re on Instagram and you see a photo from Target of a new Fall blazer you just have to have. Well, now you can — and you don’t even have to switch apps.

Today, the visual analytics and marketing platform Curalate officially launched Like2Buy, a tool that allows brands to make their Instagram images “shoppable.”

It’s a bit more complex than it sounds: Instagram users that click on a company’s profile will see a link to a Like2Buy website. From there, a gallery of clickable photos will take shoppers directly to the ecommerce website.

While Like2Buy is intended to make an Internet user’s shopping experience more seamless, it also helps companies increase user engagement and make a stronger connection between social media and sales, which has been notably difficult for retailers.

Making the service part of Instagram will help give it a wider reach.According to Forrester, Instagram is the most engaging social network, with 58 times the engagement of Facebook and 120 times the engagement of Twitter. Target called Like2Buy “an Insta-game changer.”

Although the self-described “part store, magazine, and wishlist” Fancy created a similar product last year for the Google Glass interface, Curalate CEO Apu Gupta doesn’t view that as competition. “Fancy is a visual and social network that we can extend to at some point,” he said.

In addition to Nordstrom and Target, Curalate has more than 450 clients, which include retailers such as Charlotte Russe, Gap and Neiman Marcus. These companies have the option to participate with Like2Buy on their Instagram pages immediately, while non-clients can participate in the wider rollout which Gupta expects will happen within the next month. A free trial is also available to retailers at large, and those who choose to pay for Like2Buy as a standalone service will pay $1,000 per month. Clients will receive a discount, in accordance with the other Curalate services they use.

Source: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/236914

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Alto Global Processing: E-Commerce to Hit $50 Billion by Year’s End Report By CardNotPresent.com

071414-Report-mCommerce-to-Hit-50-Billion-by-Years-EndMobile e-commerce sales in the U.S. will hit $50 billion by the end of this year, according to a new report. The May edition of the Custora Pulse, an e-commerce benchmarking effort by the online marketing firm Custora, said U.S. consumers spent $12.2 billion online using mobile devices in the first quarter of this year and estimated its 2014 total based on growth in the past four years. The Pulse reported that mobile e-commerce has grown nearly 2000 percent from $2.2 billion in 2010 to $42.8 billion last year.

Custora also found smartphones and tablets currently account for more than one-third of all visits to online stores from virtually none three years ago and that Apple devices still account for the majority of e-commerce sales, but the company’s share is eroding. Over the last two years, the share of orders originating on iPhones went from 75.1 percent in 2012 to 50.6 percent in Q1 2014. Samsung has been the beneficiary of most of that decrease, growing from 6.9 percent in 2012 to 30.5 percent in 2014.

 

Source: http://cardnotpresent.com/news/default.aspx?id=6055

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Alto Global Processing: GBP3,170 is spent online with Visa every second at UK-based merchants

GBP100 bn was spent online with Visa at UK-based merchants in the year to August 2013, equating to GBP3,170 being spent every second. This is according to figures from Visa Europe who also reveal that GBP1 in every GBP4 of all spend with Visa at UK merchants is now spent online.

E-commerce is exploding, with UK merchants attracting spend from well beyond the country’s borders with almost a fifth of e-commerce spend from outside the UK. International spend with Visa at UK merchants totalled GBP16bn, with GBP7bn of that spend from outside Europe. The top five international spenders were: the USA at number one, Italy at number two, and France, Japan and Germany at three, four and five respectively.

Total annual online spend with Visa at UK merchants has doubled in four years: in 2009 GBP50.2bn was spent online with UK merchants, a total that was surpassed in the first six months alone in 2013 (GBP52bn).

UK consumers are leading the world when it comes to online spend. In February 2013, Ofcom announced in a report that internet shopping is now more popular in the UK than any other major country, as consumers in the UK spend an average of GBP1,083 a year on internet shopping compared to just GBP842 in Australia (the second highest country studied). Fuelling this uptake is UK consumers’ high adoption rates of smartphones and tablets.

Visa Europe is developing products and services that will help merchants to tap into the burgeoning opportunities that e-commerce present. Leading this response is the development of V.me by Visa, its digital wallet which a range of merchants and banks have already signed up to.

Marc O’Brien, Managing Director at Visa UK said: “In just four years we have seen online spending at UK clothing merchants with Visa nearly double in growth from GBP1 in £7 in 2009, to GBP1 in GBP4 in 2013. In fact, online spending with Visa is now at an unprecedented scale across all sectors including airlines, supermarkets and services, indicative of the ever increasing preference to make purchases online, largely fuelled by the explosion in smartphones and tablets.

“At Visa Europe, we are enabling merchants to take advantage of the possibilities that e-commerce present by making sure that online spend is safe, through Verified by Visa, and convenient through the introduction of V.me by Visa, our digital wallet. Wherever customers are based, no matter what they buy, we are working with merchants to make sure that their customers have the best quality, safest and most convenient online spending experience.”

Source: http://www.paymenteye.com/2013/09/30/gbp3170_is_spent_online_with_visa_every_second_at_uk-based_m/#.UkmaCuAgaFk

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Alto Global Processing: Credorax Banks $40M for International Expansion

By Deborah Gage of The Wall Street Journal

Source: http://blogs.wsj.com/venturecapital/2013/08/27/credorax-banks-40m-for-international-expansion/

Software and hardware are changing so rapidly that multi-billion dollar industries are being disrupted, but it’s still hard for a small startup with new technology to get that new business when it appears.

Consider Credorax Inc., which raised $40 million from FTV Capital to modernize how payments are made, taking its total funding to close to $100 million, as VentureWire reported today.

“The payments world is changing so fast, there are all kinds of services you need today that 10 years ago nobody would have thought of,” said founder and Chief Executive Benjamin Nachman, who started Credorax in 2008. He said he hopes to take the company public in about three years.

Credorax is known in the banking world as an acquiring bank, meaning that it processes credit and debit card payments for merchants. It competes with huge, global publicly traded banks like J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc., but uses modern technology and has superior ways of detecting fraud, according toDavid Blumberg, managing partner of Blumberg Capital, which is Credorax’s first investor.

Since it went to market in the third quarter of 2011, the company has been growing so fast that a wary Visa Inc. required millions of dollars in escrow before it would do business with Credorax, Mr. Blumberg said. Blumberg Capital provided the money, which Credorax didn’t have, in exchange for more equity, making Credorax its largest single investment. In the last 18 months, the value of those warrants has quadrupled, he said.

Mr. Blumberg compared Credorax to ITA Software Inc., which Google Inc. acquired in 2011 to process travel reservations, thereby disrupting competitors in the travel industry that relied on mainframe computers developed as early as the 1960s. Credorax, like ITA, uses commodity hardware to conduct massive parallel processing of transactions, which is fast, flexible, scalable and cheap.

So far, Credorax is licensed and regulated in nearly 30 countries, including all countries in the European Union. The goal is to get licensed in all major global markets. In international transactions where a merchant might require five or six acquiring banks—some of them running in different countries and using different technologies that require data to be reconciled at the end–Credorax can do it all, Mr. Nachman said.

To evaluate potential fraud, for instance, Credorax can analyze multiple pieces of data–time zone, Internet Protocol address, shopping history and so on–and notify Visa or Mastercard if warranted. If the transaction is not fraudulent but is in a riskier geography, the local merchant could have the confidence to close it anyway, raising sales.

“Fraud is huge internationally…Some merchants accept no credit cards from the Middle East. They’re cutting off everybody because they cut with an ax instead of a scalpel,” Mr. Blumberg said.

Mr. Blumberg called the company “modestly valued” in the latest round of financing and said the valuation was in the hundreds of millions of dollars, though he and other investors declined to be more specific.

Write to Deborah Gage at deborah.gage@wsj.com. Follow her on Twitter at @deborahgage 

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Alto Global Processing: Facebook – New Pilot Not a PayPal Competitor

Source: CardNotPresent.com

The payments world took notice recently of a report indicating Facebook was testing a payments service that would put it in direct competition with PayPal. The technology publication All Things D cited “sources familiar with the company’s plans” who said the product would allow any shopper who has previously provided Facebook with their credit-card details to make purchases on partnering e-commerce mobile apps without entering billing information. It seems the report, which was widely cited by other publications last Thursday and Friday, might have been premature.

On Friday, Facebook cleared up the matter with a statement that denied its new service would be competitive to PayPal. Under the new service, Facebook would not process payments, but simply use payment information already stored in the cloud to automatically fill in the payment fields in a mobile app when making a purchase. Whatever payment provider the individual app uses is the one that processes the payment.

Facebook’s statement, in full, read:

“We are working on a very small test that lets people populate their payment information already on file with Facebook into the checkout form of a mobile phone app when they are making a purchase. The app then processes and completes the payment. The test makes it easier and faster for people to make a purchase in a mobile app by simply pre-populating your payment information.  It will be a very small test with 1-2 partners.

We continue to have a great relationship with PayPal, and this product is simply to test how we can help our app partners provide a more simple commerce experience. This test does not involve moving the payment processing away from an app’s current payments provider, such as PayPal.”

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Alto Global Processing: Visa, MasterCard Offer Common Debit Solution

Written by writers of Card Not Present

Last week, Visa and MasterCard said they have partnered to offer a common debit solution in the U.S. Debit networks in the U.S. have been working for nearly two years toward a solution that would address inconsistencies between the debit network routing requirements of the Durbin Amendment and limitations of the chips in chip & PIN cards and the rules of EMVco—the organization that administers EMV standards. With migration to the EMV standard underway in the U.S., several groups had been working on the problem, with some consensus among debit networks, but no buy-in from Visa and MasterCard.

On Tuesday, Visa and MasterCard, which each had offered separate solutions earlier this year, said they have made proprietary EMV technologies available that would enable a debit chip transaction originating from a single-chip application to be routed by the merchant to Visa, MasterCard or any other U.S. PIN debit network that elects to participate in the solution.

While yesterday’s decision by a federal judge overturning the Durbin Amendment eventually may render the need for such a solution moot, a working group formed bythe Secure Remote Payment Council (SRPc) that includes most U.S. debit and ATM networks has been seeking the creation of a common application identifier (AID) that would solve the issue. Visa and MasterCard have been part of those discussions, but neither has committed to the common AID, apparently hoping proprietary technology would give them a competitive advantage in routing debit transactions.

Members of the working group are interested in Tuesday’s announcement from Visa and MasterCard, but further evaluation would be necessary to determine if signing on with the solution is fair, according to Paul Tomasofsky, president of the Secure Remote Payment Council.

“The announcement is an interesting one on the surface but of course more information is needed to determine how other networks would fit into the picture,” Tomasofsky said. “Before that, it would be helpful to understand how Visa and MasterCard will work together from an operational viewpoint. The SRPc Chip-and-PIN working group members have always advocated a solution that allows all participating networks equal access to technology, a voice in governance, appropriate business terms and the ability to compete and innovate on future enhancements. In short, our solution calls for a multilateral solution and not a bilateral one.”

Read more at http://cardnotpresent.com/news/default.aspx?id=1576

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Alto Global Processing: Staples Velocity Lab – Ideation to Innovation at Warp Speed By D.J. Murphy, Editor-in-Chief, CardNotPresent.com

Source http://cardnotpresent.com/ Article by: D.J. Murphy, Editor-in-Chief, CardNotPresent.com

You may not know it, but Staples, the big-box office-supplies chain that introduced us to the “easy button,” is an e-commerce juggernaut. In fact, the company ranked second on the most recent Internet Retailer list of the top 500 U.S. e-commerce retailers, trailing only Amazon.com in online sales. But, as focused as Staples is on reaching customers through the online channel, e-commerce sales still only account for 40 percent of its total sales revenue. That relative balance means the company believes it is uniquely positioned to understand and leverage all of its assets—technological and traditional—in omnichannel efforts that are beginning to define retailing.

To that end, Staples, in December of 2012, officially announced the opening of a facility in Cambridge, Mass. in which it could gather the heads of all the various departments responsible for its e-commerce and mobile initiatives. They all would reside at a hub, located within several thousand yards of much of the finest young IT talent outside of Silicon Valley, where close collaboration would accelerate the pace of innovation the company could bring to the most advanced shopping experience.

Staples scouted various locations for what it dubbed its Velocity Lab including San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto and Amsterdam. But, the tech talent pouring out of MIT and Harvard, the proximity to many of their tech partners—like Akamai and Endeca—and the proximity to the company’s suburban Boston headquarters made Cambridge the best spot for the Lab to set up shop.

Staples recognized the pace the industry is changing and the pace we need to keep up with it. Mobile is changing fundamentally how we live our lives,” says Prat Vemana, director of the Velocity Lab and general mobile strategy at Staples. “That gave us the recognition that we need that kind of skill set more. We need people who can think rapidly and move fast.”

Vemana says Staples envisions the facility as an incubator where the company can leverage its incredible strength in e-commerce and traditional retailing and marry it with the tremendous potential mobile has to change the shopping experience for its customers—and to do it quickly.

He notes that Staples already has implemented a mobile infrastructure that includes Websites optimized for smartphones and tablets (the company was among the first retailers to launch a tablet-only app) as well as a mobile-optimized site for StaplesRewardsCenter.com. Staples had launched all these online properties before the Velocity Lab opened. What the existence of the Lab has done, however, is enable the office-supply giant to brainstorm new ways to leverage its mobile assets to serve its customers. The company also is putting mobile devices in the hands of its in-store associates to increase their productivity and enhance their ability to contribute to a truly omnichannel environment.

“When you look at all our mobile assets, the #1 thing we think about here is how they can help the customer in the shopping journey, no matter where they are and in what channel they’re shopping,” he says. “What are the mobile moments? What are the right moments I need to bring the technology to you so you can actually apply it.”

So, while the technology they’re leveraging is not new, the speed with which they have to move to deliver innovation in the forms that make their customers’ lives easier is. And that’s where the lab comes in, Vemana says.

“The amount of test and learn we need to do in order to innovate is exploding,” he explains. “That requires a true collaboration. If you look at the office here, all the cross-function leads are in the same place. Visual designers, information architects, product managers, project managers, QA, all the leads are in one place. When you’re thinking about an idea or problem and how to make it actually happen, that conversation is happening right here. That is incredible for us. This facility exists to fuse the collaborative element and see if we can push out innovations faster.”

Even the physical design elements of the facility contribute to the speed of innovation. Offices and half-wall cubicles ring a few central bays with comfortable furniture and round tables where informal meetings can take place easily. Also, every wall is literally a blank canvas, on which spur-of-the-moment inspiration can be recorded in dry-erase marker.

The Velocity Lab had been up and running for months before the official launch in December 2012, and an example of how the team worked to bring innovations encompassing all its sales channels to Staples customers could be found in the weeks leading up to Black Friday—the day after Thanksgiving that has become one of the most important shopping days of the year for consumers and retailers.

The team wanted to take advantage of the fact that retailers had seen a more than 15 percent increase in mobile traffic on the previous Black Friday with projections for 2012 even higher. Vemana, seeking out his “mobile moments,” wanted to leverage that to make the holiday shopping experience, as a whole, more convenient and valuable to their customers. The conversation that ensued ranged from flash sales to store-only vs. online coupons to geofencing.

“This was a lively conversation, just sitting kicking around ideas and we said, ‘why don’t we do it?’, he remembers. “From ideation to realization it was three weeks. We thought through it, went live and it was an incredible success for us. It was possible because they were all in one place. They just went for it. That’s the kind of culture we’re trying to cultivate.”

The launch of the lab has coincided with a reinvention of Staples’ strategy that more closely aligns the e-commerce and in store businesses, with an emphasis online and mobile, Vemana says. Staples will continue to leverage the Velocity Lab not only to pump out digital innovation, but to use that innovation to bolster an in-store experience in ways that pure e-commerce plays like Amazon and Google can’t.

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