OPERATIONS

Carrefour not in talks with Wal-Mart

BY Staff Writer

New York City — Carrefour SA said Tuesday that it is not in discussions to sell its Brazilian unit to Wal-Mart Stores.

Newspaper Valor Economico had reported that the U.S. retailer was in discussions with Carrefour to acquire the French retailer’s Brazilian unit. The acquisition would have made Wal-Mart the largest retailer in Brazil after the acquisition.

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Retail container traffic drops, but slated to gain as holidays near

BY Staff Writer

Washington, D.C. — A report released Tuesday by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates showed that import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports dropped below last year, but are expected to see year-over-year gains again this fall.

According to the monthly Global Port Tracker report, volumes will stay below last year through the summer, but will edge up as retailers begin to stock up for the holiday season.

“Cargo numbers have been down this summer but that’s a reflection of last year’s unusual shipping patterns more than the economy,” NRF VP for supply chain and customs policy Jonathan Gold said. “The economy continues to face challenges, but job growth has been steady and retailers have been adding jobs themselves as sales improve. Cargo figures for this fall clearly show that retailers are expecting a healthy holiday season.”

U.S. ports followed by Global Port Tracker handled 1.25 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units in June, the latest month for which numbers are available. That was down 2.6% from May and 5% from June 2010. One TEU is one 20-ft. cargo container or its equivalent.

June’s volume broke an 18-month streak of year-over-year improvement dating to December 2009, and declines continued in July, which was estimated at 1.3 million TEU, down 5.7% from July 2010..

Year-over-year increases are expected to resume in September, which is forecast at 1.48 million TEU, up 10.4% from last year. October is forecast at 1.46 million TEU, up 8% from last year; November at 1.31 million TEU, up 6.2%; and December at 1.18 million TEU, up 3%.

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Visa to accelerate chip migration and mobile payment adoption

BY Katherine Boccaccio

San Francisco — Visa announced Tuesday that it plans to accelerate the migration to EMV contact and contactless chip technology in the United States.

The adoption of dual-interface chip technology will help prepare the U.S. payment infrastructure for the arrival of NFC-based mobile payments by building the necessary infrastructure to accept and process chip transactions that support either a signature or PIN at the point of sale.

"By encouraging investments in EMV contact and contactless chip technology, we will speed up the adoption of mobile payments as well as improve international interoperability and security," said Jim McCarthy, global head of product, Visa Inc. "As NFC mobile payments and other chip-based emerging technologies are poised to take off in the coming years, we are taking steps today to create a commercial framework that will support growth opportunities and create value for all participants in the payment chain."

According to Visa, chip technology will accelerate mobile innovations, as well as secure payments into the future through the use of dynamic authentication. Chip technology greatly reduces a criminal’s ability to use stolen payment card data by introducing dynamic values for each transaction. Even if payment card data is compromised, a counterfeit card would be unusable at the point of sale without the presence of the card’s unique elements.

With regard to its specific plans, Visa said that, effective October 1, 2012, it will expand its Technology Innovation Program to the United States, eliminating the requirement for eligible merchants to annually validate their compliance with the PCI Data Security Standard for any year in which at least 75% of the merchant’s Visa transactions originate from chip-enabled terminals.

As well, Visa will require U.S. acquirer processors and sub-processor service providers to be able to support merchant acceptance of chip transactions no later than April 1, 2013.

And Visa said it intends to institute a U.S. liability shift for domestic and cross-border counterfeit card-present point-of-sale transactions, effective October 1, 2015.

Fuel-selling merchants will have an additional two years before a liability shift takes effect for transactions generated from automated fuel dispensers.

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