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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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Starbucks Q3 revenue up 11%; increases Americas store openings

BY Marianne Wilson

Seattle — Starbucks that its consolidated net revenue growth accelerated 11% in the third quarter, to $4.2 billion. Consolidated operating income increased 25%, to $769 million.

The coffee giant raised the number of net new stores it expects to open in its Americas region from 600 to 650.

Global same-store sales increased 6%, marking the 18th consecutive quarter of global comp growth of 5% or greater. Same-store sales in the United States rose 7%.

“Starbucks record Q3 results demonstrate both the power of our innovation and the opportunities for growth, globally and in the U.S., that lie ahead. Importantly, record revenues and operating margin reflect an acceleration of top-line growth and meaningful contributions from all operating regions and our Channel Development segment,” said Scott Maw, Starbucks CFO.

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Rite Aid names Roundy’s exec as CFO

BY Marianne Wilson

Camp Hill, Pa. — Rite Aid Corporation announced that Darren Karst is joining Rite Aid as executive VP and CFO, effective Aug. 20.

Karst succeeds Frank Vitrano, who has announced he will retire in September, 2015. Until then, Vitrano retains the chief administrative officer responsibilities for the company’s information technology, real estate and indirect procurement functions. He will also serve as a key resource in the development and execution of new business and growth initiatives.

Karst joins Rite Aid from Roundy’s a leading Midwest grocer based in Milwaukee, Wis., where he has been the executive VP, CFO and assistant secretary since 2002. Prior to that, Karst was a partner at the Yucaipa Companies, a private equity investment firm.

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