FINANCE

Visa introduces secure digital payment suite

BY Dan Berthiaume

Foster City, Calif. – Visa Inc. is introducing Visa Digital Solutions, a comprehensive suite of offerings that facilitate secure payments across a broad range of Internet-connected devices and wearables.

Visa Digital Solutions fall into two main categories of supporting new payment models and protecting consumers and supporting innovation.

In the first category, “Support for New Payment Methods,” Visa is extending its support for mobile payments to enable retailers, financial institutions and developers to create new ways to pay via smartphones:

Wave-to-pay: Visa recently published a software development kit (SDK) to make it easier for merchants, financial institutions and application developers to embed Visa payWave, Visa’s mobile payment technology, into their mobile applications. Issuers now have the option to host the Visa account information in a virtual cloud or in a secure chip on the mobile device.

Scan-to-pay: In June Visa published an initial specification for presenting Visa account information in the form of a Quick Response (QR) code. The specification provides retailers with a new, secure option to accept a Visa payment by scanning a QR code on a smartphone screen.

Click-to-pay: Visa recently launched Visa Checkout, a quick and easy payment service that enables consumers throughout the United States, Canada and Australia to pay for goods online, on any device, in just a few clicks. Visa’s application programming interfaces (APIs) for Visa Checkout are available to merchant developers, as well as SDKs for in-app payments.

In the second category, Technology That Protects Consumers and Supports Industry Innovation,”

Visa will introduce a tokenization service in September that strengthens payment security while facilitating industry innovation. The new Visa Token Service enables:

Consumer Protection: Tokens replace the 16-digit account information found on plastic cards with a numeric substitute, facilitating payment transactions without sharing sensitive account information.

Industry Innovation: Tokens can be stored directly in mobile devices, online e-commerce applications and cloud-based mobile applications.

Restricted Use: Tokens can be limited for use with specific merchants, mobile devices or types of purchases.

Convenience and Cost Effectiveness: Tokens linked to lost or stolen mobile devices can be instantly reissued without changing account numbers or reissuing plastic cards.

Easy Processing: Tokens are based on existing ISO standards and can therefore be processed and routed by merchants, acquirers and issuers like traditional card payments.

“Visa Digital Solutions provides the standards, tools and services to turn any Internet-connected device into a secure vehicle for commerce,” said Sam Shrauger, senior VP, Visa Inc. “Smartphone manufacturers can securely load a Visa account within a device, merchants can directly embed Visa payment functionality into their mobile apps and financial institutions can offer mobile and online payments as part of their mobile banking applications.”

Many offerings within the Visa Digital Solutions suite are currently available, with the full range of capabilities expected to be commercially available in the U.S. by January 2015, and global rollouts throughout the year. Visa Digital Solutions will initially be available through the Visa Ready program. Visa will also launch an extended Developer Center in early 2015, providing product specifications, APIs, SDKs, as well as implementation guidelines for financial institutions, merchants and third-party payment providers.

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REAL ESTATE

Von Maur’s new store in Oklahoma is designed for hazardous weather

BY Marianne Wilson

Davenport, Iowa — Von Maur Department Stores will open its 30th store, at Quail Springs Mall in northern Oklahoma City, on Oct. 18. The split-level, 150,000-sq.-ft. store will be the company’s first location in Oklahoma.

Located at the mall’s former Sears location, the store will undergo a complete remodel in order to feature Von Maur’s signature exterior brick facade, which includes arching entryways accented by copper cupolas.

After consulting federal guidelines, Von Maur took the initiative to build a severe weather area within its store to ensure the ongoing safety of its customers and associates during hazardous weather conditions. The 2,200-sq.-ft., partially underground structure, which can accommodate up to 430 people, is fortified by 10-inches of concrete and is equipped with separate bathrooms, battery backup and a dedicated natural ventilation system.

Inside, open expansive floor plans will accentuate Von Maur’s residential ambiance, complete with antiques, original artwork and music from the store’s grand piano. An interactive, life-sized tree in children’s will be designed to entertain Von Maur’s youngest shoppers while an antique pub, motorcycle and television will offer enjoyment in the men’s areas.

"We are thrilled to introduce our brand to this thriving metropolitan community," said Jim von Maur, president of Von Maur. "Whether providing the latest styles or an unmatched shopping experience, satisfaction will always remain a top priority for us, and we look forward to ensuring this experience each and every time our customers step into our store."

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OPERATIONS

U.K. shopping mall deploys ‘virtual’ employee

BY Marianne Wilson

Cambridge, U.K. — Grafton Shopping Centre, Cambridge, is hoping to dazzle shoppers with a “virtual” employee who greets customers when they enter the mall. The shopping center is using the Tensator Virtual Assistant, innovative technology which projects a life-like image of a person.

The display interacts with customers, answering common questions and promoting mall offers. This is the very first use of the technology in a United Kingdom shopping mall.

“We are proud to introduce the newest addition to our team. She is the first of her kind in a U.K. shopping centre and we believe she will be a real help to all our customers. Cambridge is known as the Silicon Fen for its new technology and we are proud to be introducing innovation in Cambridge’s popular retail destination,” said centre manager Lance Stanbury.

The Virtual Assistant has been supplied by customer journey technology specialist Tensator.

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