Paysafe to Acquire Merchants’ Choice Payment Solutions for USD 470 mln

Paysafe Group has announced plans to acquire Merchants’ Choice Payment Solutions (MCPS), a US-based payment processor.

MCPS is a data-focused full service payment processor for merchants and high-volume Independent Sales Organisations (“ISOs”) in North America. The company provides payments services to approximately 60,000 merchants in 50 states and processes over USD 14 billion in sales volume annually.

This acquisition will help Paysafe to get a foothold in North America. The company will add MCPS’s point-of-sale (POS) infrastructure to its Paysafe Processing division increasing its ability to process POS, online and order ahead payments.
MCPS reported revenue of $446 million and earnings before tax of USD 18.4 million in the year ended 31 December 2016. At that date, MCPS had gross assets with a value of USD 90.4 million.

Paysafe is a global provider of payment solutions. Merchants can, through their websites, use their services and gateway platforms, and innovative prepaid products and solutions, to simplify how they accept credit and debit card, direct-from-bank, and alternative and local payments.

Source: The Paypers

Vodafone Albania Brings Down Curtain on M-Pesa

Vodafone Albania is reportedly in the throes of closing down its M-Pesa mobile money service – a move which could affect as many as 250,000 customers in the country.

A notice sent by the operator to its M-Pesa users revealed the service will cease operations on 14 July. Customers will have until 29 July to withdraw any funds lodged with the service from any Vodafone Albania retail store, with the operator waiving transaction charges, RTK Livereported.

While the news service noted Vodafone Albania is yet to offer an official statement regarding the move, it said the information provided to M-Pesa users in the country cited an internal decision for the shutdown.

Such a move is not without precedent. In May 2016 Vodafone’s South African unit Vodacom announced it was discontinuing M-Pesa after a review concluded it was unlikely to achieve a critical mass of users in the country. It was reported at the time the operator had signed up 76,000 users.

The same rationale may apply to Vodafone Albania. The reported number of M-Pesa users in the country represent a fraction of the 2.3 million subscribers GSMA Intelligence reports the operator had at end-Q1 2017.

Vodafone launched M-Pesa in Albania in 2015 as part of a broader strategy to expand availability of the service in Central and Eastern Europe.

Source: MobileWorldLive

 

Blockchain’s Big Split: Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash

The split of the Bitcoin blockchain has begun and Bitcoin Cash, a new cryptocurrency, was created when a group of miners “forked” from the main Bitcoin blockchain.

In order to create the competing cryptocurrency, the miners began operating a different software and succeeded in officially branching off at around 8:20 a.m. ET, August 1 when they started adding blocks to the separate blockchain.

At about 2:14 p.m. ET, August 1 ViaBTC mined the first Bitcoin Cash block, which came in at a block size of 1.915 MB. That block contained 6,985 transactions, according to public data. Since then, four Bitcoin Cash blocks have been created, though only the first of the initial five had a block larger than 1 MB. By comparison, the most recent block to the publishing date contained 520 transactions, using about 0.4 MB of space in the transaction block.

During the development process, given the relatively small amount of miners running the new software, and the fact that the software carried over with it the same difficulty that regulates how easy it is to find blocks based on the number of miners, Bitcoin Cash struggled to keep up with the main Bitcoin network, which quickly grew in size.

Bitcoin Cash intends to activate new rules that are at odds with the Bitcoin network, aiming to boost transaction capacity by increasing the block size to 8MB and removing Segregated Witness (SegWit), a long-debated code optimization that is likely to activate on Bitcoin later in August.

In addition, the exchanges that accept Bitcoin Cash deposits first will have a lot of activity, and that initial trading will likely cause some significant price volatility due to reduced liquidity.

Trulioo extends identity verification platform to LATAM region

Trulioo, a global identity verification company, has rolled out its real-time identity verification platform for citizens in six new Latin America countries.

The platform is called GlobalGateway and has extended its reach to countries such as Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador and Venezuela. The increased coverage will also help further the company’s mission to provide cross-border Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML)-compliant identity verification for every individual around the globe.

Recent growth in the Latin American economy, a welcome change after nearly two years of declining activity, has seen a transformation within the financial sector. Recent research from Finnovista shows that the number of fintech startups in Latin America recently surpassed 1,000, many of which are catering to the large unbanked population while also reshaping the traditional banking landscape.

Source: The Paypers

Over Half of IT Professionals Don’t Know Where Sensitive Data is Stored: Survey

IT professionals are fixated on perimeter security measures such as firewalls, antivirus protection and content filtering, and are ignoring more important security considerations, suggest the findings of a Gemalto-commissioned survey.

Polling a little over a thousand IT professionals around the world, the survey found that 76 percent had reported that their companies had increased investments in perimeter security, yet 68 percent said that they thought unauthorized users could still gain access to their networks.

Thirty-two percent of the respondents said their organizations don’t encrypt payment data, and 35 percent said they don’t encrypt user data in general. Fifty-five percent said they didn’t know where such data is stored.

The responses paint a dismal portrait of the state of enterprise security at a time when the protection of sensitive data is an increasingly key concern. Just this week, a provider of smart vending machines reported that it had suffered a data breach compromising customer data including biometric credentials.

Meanwhile, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation will come into effect next May, with 53 percent of respondents in the Gemalto survey saying that they don’t think their organizations will be compliant in time. That could prove costly for the businesses and, in the event of hack attacks, their customers.

Source: MobileID World