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Retail groups ask for tokenization in payment security

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. – The National Retail Federation (NRF), Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), Food Marketing Institute (FMI), Merchant Advisory Group, National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), National Grocers Association, and National Restaurant Association (NRA) 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 is transmitted.

The group is calling for payment industry stakeholders to adopt tokenization. Tokenization refers to the process of replacing sensitive account data and identity information with a unique token or symbol, making it less vulnerable to a security compromise. Tokens are randomly generated in a secure environment, like a coin vault, so that no data is stored or transmitted in an unsecure format.

“In order for the full benefits of tokenization technology to be realized by U.S. consumers and businesses, the standards for this technology must be created on an open platform that enables all technology providers to compete equally,” says the statement. “An open, interoperable platform will also ensure merchants can support the technology across multiple providers and make back-end security processes seamless for the customer experience.”

The statement also says tokenization will assist retailers in age verification identity checks, and storage and transmission of electronic health records and pharmacy prescriptions. Payment stakeholders are encouraged to participate in an accredited standards process, such as, but not limited to, the International Standards Organization (ISO) or American National Standards Institute (ANSI X.9), to create, maintain, and coalesce around an open solution approach to payments security.

The statement concludes that solutions for tokenization should align with the following guiding principles:

1. Subscribe to an open standards approach through an accredited standards-setting body.

2. Create a technology neutral platform allowing broad participation in the standard from technology stakeholders.

3. Allow participants to develop proprietary frameworks that operate in adherence to the standard.

4. Ensure the standard works for multiple payment environments, including e-commerce and m-commerce.

5. Require that intellectual property, such as coin vaults and common technology applications, be governed by the industry standards.

6. Require the standard be supported by all networks, brands and payments types (credit, debit, prepaid, ACH, etc.).

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Chinese luxury e-commerce platform raises $100 million

BY Dan Berthiaume

Beijing — Secoo.com, a Chinese luxury and high-end fashion e-commerce company, recently completed a new round of financing that has raised around $100 million. The event represents the largest amount of financing raised in one round across the Chinese luxury and high-end fashion e-commerce sector to date.

The financing was led by CMC Capital Partners, with the participation of IDG Capital Partners, Ventech China, Crehol Capital (Mulliez Family Fund), and Vangoo Capital. Silicon Valley Bank also provided a credit line valued at several tens of millions dollars to the company.

Secoo provides Chinese high-end consumers with "one-stop" professional luxury services, from the identification, appraisal and sale of luxury products to after-sales maintenance and auction sale of luxury goods. Secoo now has more than three million high-end members and sells products from hundreds of top international brands. Secoo operates off-line clubs across mainland China, Hong Kong and Tokyo, and is in the midst of opening more off-line experience clubs in Milan, New York and Paris.

"The funds will mainly be used in our global strategic layout and overseas business expansions, as well as higher budget in marketing, developing its information technology infrastructure,” said Li Rixue, CEO of Secoo. “In the future, we will try our best to meet the demands of high-end clients, both in mainland China and abroad, providing them with authentic, seasonal, and desirable luxury products."

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Fujitsu partners with OnCue for in-aisle kiosks

BY Dan Berthiaume

Sunnyvale, Calif. — Fujitsu is partnering with OnCue Technologies, a developer of in-aisle point-of-information solutions, to resell OnCue Technologies’ InfoCue and Expert OnCue mini-kiosk solutions to big-box, grocery, beverage and hardware retailers in the U.S. OnCue Technologies’ cloud-based, customizable mini kiosks enable retailers to deliver expert advice and product information to customers in the aisle without requiring employee training.

The responsive touch-screen kiosks feature capabilities, including complete SKU data, audio and video multi-media responses to shopper requests, barcode scanning, and shopping list and coupon printing. The solutions empower consumers with immediate information needed to make a purchase decision.

OnCue solutions integrate seamlessly with the Fujitsu GlobalStore POS application, enabling access to real time price checking, local store management and POS terminal capabilities. The solutions are currently available to new and existing customers in the U.S.

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