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2017

Every month, Vantiv and PYMNTS.com team up to deliver the latest news in developer spaces. Here’s the overview of the Developer Tracker published in February 2017.

 

According to an estimate from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), more than 500 million smartphone users are actively using a health care–related application. The FDA also projects that more than 1.5 billion smartphone users will have downloaded a mobile health app by 2018.

 

While these apps may allow users to take better care of their personal health, they often lack the personalization that health care typically requires.

 

Gilad Meiri, founder and CEO of Neura, and his team are working to change that. This month, the company debuted a new software-as-a-service development kit that’s designed to help medical and health care app builders make their software more personalized. February’s Developer Tracker features an interview with Meiri in which he discusses personalization in health care software and how it can help improve outcomes for patients and providers alike.

 

While there is a wide range of apps that claim to help patients track their treatment and prescription plans, a study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that most apps do not do enough to affect a patient’s behavior and would benefit from a more personalized approach. As a result, the study concludes these apps do not have a true impact on adherence to medical plans.

 

Meiri says that Neura’s new software development kit is designed to combat this exact problem. The software adapts to user needs, he explains, monitoring their behavior and using it to help patients build better, healthier habits.

 

He notes that the software allows app builders to use this behavioral data to send alerts to users when they are most likely to act on the notification and, as a result, increase adherence to treatment plans and improve health outcomes.

 

“This is an impactful place for us to be. People who aren’t able to follow their doctor’s prescription plan can significantly compromise their health or preventative care treatment,” Meiri says. “Medication management apps and medical devices enabled by Neura adapt to the user’s day and help the user do what they need to do, right when they need to do it.”

Neura learns when to remind users to take prescriptions or engage in treatment by finding out more about a patient’s behavior and patterns, Meiri says.

 

The service uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to discover what a user does in the real world, by tracking movements along with biometric indicators, similar to devices like fitness trackers. However, Meiri says that he and his team have improved on popular wearable devices that measure whether a user is taking part in a healthy activity — like working out — based on data from technological devices. This includes information from devices like accelerometers, which measures how fast a person is moving and can determine if they are going for a jog or bike ride, or a heart rate monitor, which can tell if a user’s heart is working harder than normal.

 

But these indicators have a major flaw, Meiri says.

 

“Right now, most apps and devices can tell you if you are doing something but not why you are doing it,” he explains. “They cannot determine if you’re moving faster and your heart rate is increasing because you’re going for a jog and working out or if it’s because you’re running to catch the train or catch the bus. So they don’t know if you’re really engaging in a healthy activity or just doing something as a result of circumstance.”

 

The software combines multiple data streams that can be collected by a smartphone app or a wearable medical device to learn about a user’s daily activity, such as when they typically wake up or go to sleep, leave for work and return home, where and what they eat, and when they typically work out.

 

Meiri explains that, over time, devices and apps that use Neura’s software can determine, for example, when a patient arrives at the gym or another location where they typically work out or exercise. The software can then be used for reminders like prompting a diabetic to check his or her glucose levels before working out, increasing the odds that a user will follow through with treatment. With benefits for consumers, providers and developers, keep an eye on increased personalization coming to health care apps, now and in the near future.

 

Read the full interview in February’s edition of PYMNTS.com’s Developer TrackerTM, powered by Vantiv. It also covers other developer-focused news and updates including:

 

  • castAR taps Broadleaf Commerce for developer marketplace

castAR seems to be turning over a new leaf. The company recently selected Broadleaf Commerce to help build a new marketplace for developers. The marketplace will allow developers to upload and develop projects from any location. According to a release, castAR turned to Broadleaf Commerce due to its framework, which the company plans to leverage for this new marketplace. “Augmented reality will fundamentally change how people play and work together, and we’re excited to be working to bring this technology to consumers in 2017. We looked at several customizable Java frameworks and found that Broadleaf was best-suited.”

 

  • Vantiv, CardFlight collaborate on EMV mobility

Have EMV reader, will travel. Payment processing service and technology solution provider Vantiv recently announced the debut of a mobile EMV POS solution, based on a partnership with mPOS provider CardFlight. Under terms of a new agreement between the two companies, Vantiv will offer CardFlight’s SwipeSimple mPOS solution, which includes an EMV-enabled mobile chip card reader and a mobile app for iOS and Android devices to its merchants. The solution offers additional features, including back-office reporting portals and other business tools. "EMV and mobile are two of the important trends for financial institution customers, who offer payments solutions for their business customers," Kelly Beatty, SVP and general manager of merchant solutions for financial institutions at Vantiv, said in a press release. "CardFlight's mobile POS solution is a natural fit, and their ability to co-brand the solution for our customers is a key differentiator."

 

Download the report.

What can a cutting-edge software development company like yours learn from a book written back in 1992 by the head of transportation equipment refurbisher Springfield ReManufacturing?

 

A ton.

 

I know that seems counterintuitive, but Jack Stack’s The Great Game of Business can spark sustainable growth, increase productivity, and reduce employee turnover at your company.

 

The book is about “promoting clear, effective, and open communication in a company,” Stack writes. “We try to take ignorance out of the workplace and force people to get involved, not with threats or intimidation but with education. The problem is that most companies never train people to look beyond their computers.”

 

I learned this lesson the hard way early in my 11-year tenure as president of an SMB company involved in the IT channel. Sure, we celebrated successes as a team, but we didn’t dive into the details of our financial situation. When the Great Recession of 2008-09 bludgeoned the IT industry, my company wasn’t immune. Sales and profits evaporated, and we were forced to conduct three rounds of layoffs in ‘09.

 

The first announcement was the worst because few outside of our management team saw it coming. Because we hadn’t taught our team the fundamentals of our business and talked only about sales wins and not profits, employees were blindsided when I stood in front of them to announce that several of their teammates (and friends) had been furloughed. I knew I couldn’t promise that our economic situation would improve immediately, but what I could control was the information we provided to them.

 

So I sat down with any employee who was interested – veterans and new hires, sales and operations – to walk through our financial statements. This wasn’t a one-time event; this was every month after financials were tabulated. These reviews became shorter as the employees expanded their understanding of our business.

 

With this new perspective, our employees didn’t complain, and they didn’t just hold down the fort. They innovated and positioned each of our products to take advantage of growing sectors. In 2010, we grew our sales 20%, and we began hiring again because we had more customers to take care of. It was a monumental accomplishment in a tumultuous time, but it wouldn’t have happened without that clear, effective, and open communication.

 

So you can see why I’m a big fan of The Great Game of Business and the concepts it promotes. Following are 32 tremendous quotes from the book that I think apply to ISV organizations:

 

  1. The best, most efficient, most profitable way to operate a business is to give everybody in the company a voice in saying how the company is run and a stake in the financial outcome, good or bad.
  2. It’s easy to stop one guy, but it’s pretty hard to stop 100.
  3. Our real business is education. We teach people about business.
  4. No one ever shows employees how they fit into a bigger picture and what impact they all have on the company as a whole.
  5. When people come to work at our company, we tell them that 70% of the job is whatever job title they have, and 30% of the job is learning.
  6. There is no security in ignorance. The only way to know if your job is safe is by looking at the financial statements.
  7. I don’t want people just to do a job. I want them to have a purpose in what they heck they’re doing. I want them to be going somewhere.
  8. You have to get people to dream. You have to show them that there really are pots at the end of the rainbow, and you can get your pot if you want it and are willing to work for it. Business is a tool for achieving your highest dreams.
  9. Owners, real owners, don’t have to be told what to do – they can figure it out for themselves. Ownership is not a set of legal rights. It’s a state of mind.
  10. Create an environment in which people are learning all the time.
  11. You’re much better off sharing problems, using the people you work with to come up with solutions.
  12. When you have the responsibility to take care of other people, you do whatever it takes to get the job done.
  13. One of a manager’s main responsibilities is to build confidence in an organization. To do that, you have to accentuate the positive. If you accentuate the negative, it eats away at the organization. It becomes a demotivator, and management is all about getting people motivated.
  14. We start teaching people the game as soon as they come to work at our company. We plunge right into the financial statements.
  15. Key point: The big picture is all about motivation. It’s giving people the reason for doing the job, the purpose of working. If you’re going to play a game, you have to understand what it means to win. When you show people the big picture, you define winning.
  16. Don’t just tell people about the big picture; show it to them. Put it in the form of charts and graphs.
  17. The big picture made us more flexible as a company. I want our players to be more versatile.
  18. A business should be run like an aquarium, where everybody can see what’s going on.
  19. No company serves its people well by elevating emotions over numbers.
  20. I’m all in favor of pom-poms and celebrations and inspirational messages. I just don’t think they should replace solid information about the condition of the company. People should understand why those pom-poms are there.
  21. Sometimes I think what I’m really doing is conducting an orchestra. My job is to keep the rhythm going.
  22. You have to learn how to recognize what the numbers really represent, what sort of behavior produces the numbers, what people can do differently to change the numbers.
  23. If you can get people beyond the day-to-day issues, if you can appeal to something they really want to do, they’ll blow by every obstacle.
  24. Don’t accept any number until you understand where it came from and you know it’s real.
  25. Every year, we figure out what is the greatest threat the company faces, and we get the entire workforce to go after it in the bonus program. We put an annual bounty on fixing our weaknesses. We almost always base one of our annual goals on pretax profit margins.
  26. I am a strong believer in operating a company, any company, as if its future were always on the line, as if something could happen at any moment to threaten its survival.
  27. I personally meet with all 650 employees at least once in the course of each year. In late spring, I hold a series of meetings around the company, in which I talk with people in groups of 20 or 30 and try to get a sense of what’s on their minds. Sometimes I’ll ask them to give me lists of suggestions for improving the company.
  28. Communicating is one of the most difficult challenges in any business, because people hear what they want to hear. If they don’t hear anything, they speculate.
  29. Be a leader, not a boss. If you are running a meeting, be careful to avoid the trap of being the person with all the answers. This doesn’t mean you should be passive. On the contrary, you should lead and you should teach. Look for opportunities to plant seeds in people’s minds.
  30. Know when to push, when to hug, when to cheer, when to boo, and when to kick people in the butt.
  31. It doesn’t bother me to see that we have problems. The important thing is whether or not people are working towards solutions.
  32. By getting people to think at the highest level, you make it possible for them to perform up to the peak of their abilities, and performance is the only control any of us really have.

 

I know that’s a ton of information and many of these principles may seem difficult to execute, especially with all the other immediate challenges on your plate. But you don’t need to go about this quest alone. My job as a Reseller & ISV Business Advisor for Vantiv’s PaymentsEdge Advisory Services is to work with Vantiv partners to help them with hiring right, developing staff professional development programs, and more. Contact me at Jim.Roddy@vantiv.com if you’d like to talk on the phone and determine a go-forward plan to turn your business into one that plays – and wins – The Great Game of Business.

 

 

For more On the Edge content, please visit the Vantiv Partner Advantage website.

 

Jim Roddy is a Reseller & ISV Business Advisor for Vantiv’s PaymentsEdge Advisory Services. He has been active in the POS channel since 1998, including 11 years as the President of Business Solutions Magazine, six years as a Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA) board member, and one term as RSPA Chairman of the Board. Jim is regularly requested to speak at industry conferences and he is author of the book Hire Like You Just Beat Cancer.

Value added services offer retailers a platform to help drive repeat business, enhance customer stickiness, and more importantly, understand their customers’ buying behaviors and patterns. Loyalty and marketing programs and data analytics give retailers valuable insights into their customers’ buying preferences and provide the information needed to create effective marketing programs.  An Accenture survey recently reported that 54 percent of shoppers said they are open to sharing personal information and shopping preferences with retailers in order to receive personalized offers, compared to 51 percent last year, and 33 percent in 2014.[1]

 

The ability to track purchases online, on a mobile device, and in-store gives consumers the flexibility to buy across channels and return products in different channels. These and other features help enhance the customer experience, and are helping drive consumers to adopt mobile payments.

 

According to CrowdTap, once in-store, more than 80 percent of consumers use their mobile phones to compare prices on other retail sites and social networks, and see if stores have online coupons or loyalty programs.[2]

 

At Vantiv, we understand that every point of sale business is unique and serves a specific set of customers. Our value added solutions are designed specifically to help your business succeed, no matter what your system, form factors, or target market needs.

 

A recent survey from Boston Retail Partners revealed that 69 percent of retailers see opportunities to utilize social media to enhance the customer experience.[3] Developers have the option to integrate to a vast array of value added services designed specifically to help their customers leverage social media to generate more revenue, strengthen their brand and improve the consumer experience. Our TechLift and TechTools are designed in a manner to help you enhance your merchant and consumer experience and drive more repeat business.

 

Below are a few of our value added services that you can take advantage of when integrating payments to your point of sale system. Our team of dedicated TechLift experts can help you get started.

 

StoreCard

StoreCard is Vantiv Integrated Payments’ suite of stored value solutions designed to create an exceptional merchant and consumer experience. These solutions make it easy for developers to offer customers a feature-packed gift program. Integrating to StoreCard automatically gives your merchants access to customer rewards, mobile gift cards, and more. Additionally, StoreCare features promotional capabilities including social media promotions, digital initiated promotion cards, and more.

 

StoreCard enables next generation gift features like mobile gift payments, mobile gift card account management, rewards, and social promotion. eGifting capabilities are integrated into StoreCard providing a single integration for POS developers to enable seamless processing with both plastic cards and eGift cards

 

Account Updater

Account Updater is available for businesses with recurring and card on file billing needs. Integrated with Visa and MasterCard’s account update services, Account Updater makes card management automatic and easy when updating stored token (PASS) records. The solution eliminates the need for merchants to track down customers to update their payment information for recurring billing services. Coupled with our Transform Tokenization technology, Account Updater offers a valuable service that your merchants – and their customers – will appreciate.

 

Hosted Payments

BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, estimates the number of online shoppers has grown by nearly 20 million from 2015 to 2016. And these 224 million shoppers are spending more, as the total amount spent online grew from $61 billion in the first quarter of 2015 to $68 billion in Q1 2016. Finally, these customers are transacting more frequently, as the number of online transactions has risen by 115 million from 2015 to 2016.[4] Make sure to take your business from in-store to online by enabling our hosted payments option. With a simple API call, your hosted payments page can be displayed in a number of ways, including a full page redirect, an iFrame, a popup etc. and can be displayed in an embedded or non–embedded format.

 

CardSense

Our Express platform provides EnhancedBINQuery to determine if a card falls into a specific BIN range.  CardSense is used to determine if a Visa or MasterCard card falls into a specific BIN range and returns a variable number of fields, each representing a single BIN attribute, such as PrepaidCard, DebitCard, and DurbinBINRegulation.

 

Data and Analytics

Retailers and ISVs have access to an array of metrics on their payment transactions to help better understand shopping patterns and purchasing behavior.  We also provide access to in-depth programmatic reporting on our Express platform. Analytics such as these are also helpful in experimenting with new customer outreach programs.

 

 

Security Features:

Unlock a bundle of security features with our security solutions which include:

 

Tokenization

Reduce the financial risk associated with storing sensitive cardholder data by eliminating the need for merchants to store the data at all.  Payment applications can create payment records on our servers by initially providing the cardholder account number, expiration date, and other card information.  A unique identifier is then generated and provided to the business application. That identifier acts as a pointer for all subsequent transactions and can be stored.

 

Recurring Transactions

A unique type of transaction where consumers authorize merchants or solution providers to bill a specific card on a regular basis (e.g. monthly membership fees).  Once merchants have scheduled a payment within their recurring billing system, the system submits the transaction details and a flag indicating that it is a recurring transaction, along with the previously-acquired pointer, to our processing platform.

 

Point-to-point (P2P) encryption

Get more secure payment processing with P2P encryption provided through devices from industry leading hardware manufacturers. Maximize card data protection and transaction security from the point of swipe all the way to authorization. All of our EMV capable devices support P2P encryption as well.

 

PCI validated point-to-point encryption (P2PE)

Vantiv Integrated Payments offers the only validated P2PE solution, the strongest protection per PCI SSC for a merchant’s business, that supports Verifone. By leveraging Vantiv’s PCI-validated P2PE solution and our PCI PTS SRED certified hardware, payment applications are removed from PA-DSS compliance and merchants can qualify for reduced PCI-DSS scope. Other encryption products are available, but only Vantiv offers VeriFone PCI PTS certified hardware. Our P2PE certified devices are more secure because the solution is designed to deter tampering from ordering to processing. If malicious activity is detected, the device is disabled, preventing a breach at the point of entry.

 

 

 


[1] https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insight-retail-holiday-shopping-survey

[2] http://corp.crowdtap.com/retail2016

[3] https://bostonretailpartners.com/2016-brp-special-report-social-media/

[4] http://www.businessinsider.com/ecommerce-payment-technologies-overview-trends-2016-10?IR=T

While integrated payments solutions offer many obvious benefits, payment processing remains a confusing topic, for several reasons. Payment processors offer solutions that address different pieces of the payments pie, and integrate with different software solutions and services. Over the past couple of years, the point-of-sale (POS) environment used at a merchant location has seen a significant transformation. Key elements accelerating this change can be attributed to PCI security, EMV chip cards, software deployment and the consumer experience. Creating a product to incorporate all of these elements can be difficult and choosing a partner that meets your target market needs for today and into the future requires a unique integration suite designed with your goals in mind.

 

Your delivery matters

With growing advancements in cloud-based technology, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) deployment is emerging as a best practice for companies looking for the most functionality at the lowest total cost of ownership. Even businesses currently using distributed solutions are realizing that the SaaS delivery model holds promise for lowering operating costs and reducing service maintenance stress.

 

Understanding that each POS is unique, Vantiv delivers two cloud processing, semi-integrated solutions to fit the various needs of our partners. triPOS Cloud encompasses a quick pairing process to an EMV capable PIN pad and the cloud service. TranCloud uses a pre-configured device to communicate with multiple PIN pads via the merchant’s IP Address and COM port. Like most cloud solutions, merchants can be processing in minutes, but an additional advantage of our semi-integrated solutions is that they do not require complex networking.

 

In the past, software developers rarely had to concern themselves with updating PIN pad software. However, with the introduction of EMV, updates are now necessary to ensure functionality and security. Each of our cloud solutions offer remote services to update PIN pads, simplifying the ongoing maintenance of hardware that brings little value to your solution.

 

Semi-integrated is the primer for options

Compliance is most often considered an operational burden that siphons valuable time, expertise and capital. Additionally, newer security and risk services like point-to-point encryption (P2PE) and EMV require the use of a PCI-PTS certified Secure Cryptographic Device (SCD) that must also be integrated. One of the better ways to reduce the onus of PCI and EMV compliance is by utilizing a semi-integrated (SI) POS.

 

There are many perks for both merchants and developers choosing the path of an SI solution. With an SI solution, the responsibility of integrating to device hardware shifts to the service provider. Our EMV integration suites support 15 PIN pads with multiple connection options (IP, Wireless, Bluetooth, USB, and Serial). Moreover, when choosing a solution, developers can implement hardware to meet the various merchant preferences or markets served. Vantiv Integrated Payments supports almost every merchant vertical, and our hardware enriches a variety of use cases. For instance, wireless PIN pads for pay@table or in-aisle. Or high-end PIN pads for jewelry stores or the medical field for custom screen displays for documents. As new devices become certified, the SI solution makes it easy to upgrade your arsenal.

 

Your merchants are processing in a new era– one filled with new possibilities and enabled by a generation of new devices. The new device era (digital wallets, mobile payments, tablet POS, and more) has created a complex ecosystem for merchants and their partners to navigate. That is why it is necessary to have SI offerings that support multiple form factors including Windows, Linux, iOS and browser-based solutions. Vantiv works hard to find the right combination of solutions and services to enable our partners and customers to stay relevant and win together.

 

Improve customer experience and profit

Many merchants are using an out-of-date POS system, or not using one at all. Some retail segments lag behind in POS adoption more than others. As customers expect consistency across all channels, from brick-and-mortar locations to websites, mail order catalogs, mobile apps, emails and text messages, many merchants struggle with how to do it all effectively. Only a third of retailers have streamlined even the basics of cross-channel commerce such as online ordering for store pickup.

 

Customer experience is a core value of Vantiv’s products and solutions. Because we offer support for so many different industries and payment technologies, we are a good platform for developers who need to build OmniCommerce applications. Some examples illustrating OmniCommerce use cases are provided below.

 

  • Securing your application with P2PE and tokenization
  • Multiple transactions, one receipt
  • Buy online, pick up in the store
  • Implementing recurring billing to maximize sales and efficiency
  • Mobility – in-app purchases with Apple Pay
  • Adding EMV to your payment application

 

While industry leaders and solution providers are only now doing work to improve the costumer experience, Vantiv architected an integration suite with optimizations in place. Our experiences in payments around the globe enhances our awareness to anticipate what’s next.

 

Learn more about our two cloud solutions Datacap Systems TranCloud Overview and triPOS Cloud Overview

Security and risk professionals are continuously hit with the tsunami of new vulnerabilities, and there aren’t any signs of breach activity slowing down. According to the Verizon 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report, nearly 43 million security incidents occurred in 2014.[1] And it’s no surprise that the vast majority of these breaches occurred against small to mid-sized companies.

 

A variety of tools are available to boost your point of sale credit card security. Consider the following steps:

  • Upgrade credit card POS swipers to accept EMV chip cards.
  • Upgrade all point of entry hardware to use point-to-point (P2P) encryption.
  • Consider tokenization technology to encrypt credit card information.
  • Consider partnering with a processer that offers bundled PCI compliance assistance programs, such as Vantiv's OmniShield Assure, to safely accept payments and dramatically reduce your fraud liability.

 

A smart card is a smart choice

The dramatic increase in counterfeit card fraud was what originally motivated the global payments industry to move to chip technology (smart cards). Contrary to magnetic stripe cards, EMV chip cards are designed to store sensitive data (such as PINs or keys) securely, and have the ability to manage risk and perform cryptographic computations dynamically. One of the key elements of EMV is the ability to authenticate a card to be sure that it is not a clone or counterfeit of the original card. As a result, any data that is stolen is significantly devalued and cannot be used to create counterfeit magnetic stripe cards.

 

Vantiv offers a set of integration methods and services that help developers extend their payment application to support EMV chip card acceptance. Developers can choose the integration approach that best fits their requirements based on the type of business, target markets, security requirements, and preferred form factor (Cloud, PC or mobile).

 

Stop theft at the door

In a P2P encryption solution, the cardholder data is encrypted at the point of entry and decrypted only at the intended recipient end. Vantiv’s P2P encryption solution helps protect data in transit by encrypting and transmitting cardholder data securely over any network. By leveraging Vantiv’s PCI-validated P2PE solution and our PCI PTS SRED certified hardware, payment applications are removed from PA-DSS compliance and merchants can qualify for reduced PCI-DSS scope

 

Although P2PE isn't the only tool that helps protect sensitive payment data from theft, many experts rank it highly. When polled about security strategies, financial executives believe P2PE will have the highest impact on data security and reducing fraud.

 

Rest easy knowing card data is safe

The use of tokenization in payments is to remove account data from the merchant’s card data environment and replace it with something that is useless outside of the environment in which the token was created. Tokenization can reduce the scope of your systems that fall under PCI DSS compliance requirements, thereby reducing the costs and man hours associated with the validation process. With Vantiv’s tokenization solution, customers can confidently focus on growing their business, while knowing that sensitive cardholder data is protected.

 

Shield your merchants from the elements

When developers bundle their POS application with Vantiv’s EMV acceptance, P2P encryption and tokenization solutions, merchants also gain access to PCI Assist and Breach Assist to help protect against the constant vulnerability threats data breaches present. OmniShield Assure delivers the tools merchants need to comply with new card network regulations, as well as protection from the four major threat factors facing their business: card data security; fraud protection; PCI compliance; and risk, including data breaches.

 

Major breaches do happen and have been costly for several organizations. Merchants are responsible for their own security in the PCI DSS ecosystem. It can be complex, and many merchants do not fully understand the inner workings of the standard, how it applies to them, and how to ensure their technology partners are properly securing their data.

 

As a POS developer for applications that accept payment cards, you must be prepared for a breach to occur and partnering with Vantiv can help reduce the responsibility for handling card data securely. There is no silver bullet to stopping data breaches, but by taking a comprehensive approach to credit card security you can significantly reduce your and your merchants’ vulnerability to internal and external threats.

 

 

 

 


[1] Verizon 2014 PCI Compliance Report,” Verizon, http://www.verizonenterprise.com/resources/reports/rp_pci-report-2014-executive-summary_en_xg.pdf