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Point-of-Sale Industry Technology Blog

Our Passion is Focused on the Advancement of Payment Processing and Point-of-Sale Technology

The Braintree v.zero SDK

Payments gateway Braintree is making its first significant product announcement since its acquisition by PayPal last year, with the launch of a jointly developed Braintree SDK (software development kit) for developers. The new toolset is being called the “Braintree v.zero SDK” to indicate how it’s been rebuilt from the ground up, and is said to be easier and quicker to integrate within web, mobile web and native mobile applications.

Braintree previously offered SDKs for developers looking to accept payments within their applications, and this is meant to replace those earlier versions as the new Braintree experience.

While the standout feature, of course, is the inclusion of PayPal as a payment method, the new SDK has actually been built in such a way that turning on or off PayPal, as well as any future payment methods Braintree chooses to integrate, will be as simple as flipping a switch.

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July 2014 - This Month we Celebrate 5 years of Ongoing Business

It has been an exciting road we have traveled, at times it felt like a roller-coaster.  Finally after 5 years we are riding on a smoothly paved road.  There is something about that 5 year mark that tends to be magical in business; we were taught this when we first launched and feel fortunate that we made it to stability.  Thank you to all of our customers!

The Supreme Court And Your Software Patents

The Supreme Court recently issued its long-awaited opinion in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l, known more affectionately in many circles as the Supreme Court case deciding whether software is patentable. Although the Supreme Court did not tackle that broader question in its June 19 opinion, it did address whether CLS Corp. should be allowed to patent the concept of mitigating settlement risk implemented in software. And the Supreme Court’s analysis of that issue should have important implications for anyone with interests in software patents.

Alice Corp. owns several patents related to computerized schemes for mitigating “settlement risk” – i.e. the risk that only one party to an agreed-upon financial exchange will satisfy its obligation. Although the practice of risk mitigation had existed long before Alice Corp. sought to patent the software version of doing so, Alice Corp. argued to the Supreme Court that it should be able to patent the process of implementing risk mitigation so long as a computer implemented that process.

The Supreme Court disagreed. It has long been recognized that “abstract ideas” are not patentable. Although difficult to ascertain the line between a patentable software invention and an un-patentable abstract idea, the Supreme Court provided the software industry with guidance. When analyzing whether a software patent relates to nothing more than an impermissible abstract idea, the Supreme Court says that you should look at a patents’ claim, i.e. the part of the patent that defines the metes and bounds of the invention.

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Oracle’s Deal Won’t Do Much for Its Cloud Computing Efforts

Oracle’s $5.3 billion deal for Micros Systems provides an uncertain forecast for shareholders in the database giant. Even if it’s the start of a new deal binge by Oracle’s chief, Lawrence J. Ellison, it’s not at a crazy valuation. But Mircos, a longtime partner, is more of an add-on than a way to supercharge Oracle’s effort in cloud computing.

Oracle is paying $68 a share in cash for the Micros, a maker of hotel and restaurant business technology systems. At a 24 percent premium to the undisturbed share price, it’s at about half the premium Priceline recently agreed to pay for the restaurant reservations site OpenTable, as one example.

The deal, Oracle’s biggest since its 2010 purchase of Sun Microsystems, values Micros at about 26 times forecast earnings for fiscal year 2015. That’s no rock-bottom price, but it’s also hardly egregious considering bubbly multiples elsewhere in tech land. Demandware, a cloud-based e-commerce competitor, for instance, trades on 1,400 times expected earnings.

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Seven Steps to a Successful Restaurant Launch

If only our customer's customers found that operating a restaurant was this simple.  The fact is, if you own a self-sustaining restaurant and have been in business for more than two years, you are in an elite group.  Good job!!

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In a Move That Baffles Experts And Vexes Some Users, PayPal Drops Remote Capture

With its abrupt move over the weekend to discontinue mobile remote capture of checks, PayPal Inc. has puzzled payments experts and vexed at least some users.

Some PayPal devotees took to Twitter on Sunday to post their reactions, which were generally negative. “I was told today you all won't be doing [remote deposit capture] anymore which has me switching away from PayPal,” noted one tweet. “Boo for stopping check capture!” went another post, and “It's a shame you folks are discontinuing your check capture service. It was the most convenient way to send $ to PayPal,” read yet another one.

PayPal notified users in an email Sunday that it was shutting down the service as of that date for its mobile app. It also announced it had on June 12 dropped the mobile-deposit feature from its PayPal Here mobile point-of-sale app, which is used by small merchants to process payments on smart phones. The processor adds in a statement on the matter that business users can still “record checks” in PayPal Here the same way they record cash transactions.

Both the decision and its suddenness are perplexing to some observers who follow mobile deposit capture. “I’m surprised by this move by PayPal,” says John Leekley, chief executive and founder of RemoteDepositCapture.com, an Alpharetta, Ga.-based research firm. “Remote deposit capture is one of the top reasons consumers and businesses change financial-service providers.”

PayPal sent its statement in response to a Digital Transactions News inquiry, but at the time of this posting had not responded to a request for more information about the rationale for the move. It has not released how many consumers or businesses have used the service.

In the statement, the company implies the remote-capture feature simply wasn’t getting sufficient usage. “Checks have become a less common way to pay for things and many of our customers have either fully moved away from checks or have other ways to pay,” the statement reads. “In doing this, it allows us to focus on our primary mission, creating a truly digital economy – whether shopping online, paying a friend, or using a mobile device to pay.”

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Oracle Near Deal to Buy Micros Systems

Oracle Corp. is nearing a deal to buy Micros Systems Inc. for more than $5 billion, people familiar with the matter said, as Chief Executive Officer Larry Ellison moves to combat slowing growth by adding software for hotels and restaurants.

Oracle and Micros are in exclusive talks, though the two sides could still fail to reach an agreement, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing a private matter.

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Dwolla Makes it Easier to Pay Online using Your Bank Account

Payments network Dwolla has been trying to change how money is moved around electronically, with services meant to replace traditional bank technologies, such as the days-long process of ACH transfers. But today’s announcement of a new service called Dwolla Direct is an admission of sorts that ACH transactions aren’t going away any time soon.

With Dwolla Direct, the goal is to make the sign-up process for first-time Dwolla users easier and quicker, allowing them to send a business money from their bank account, without having to first establish a Dwolla account via the company website. But then that money is moved through “whatever method is the fastest,” which, sadly, is still ACH.

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Priceline's Acquisition of OpenTable for $2.6B Investigated for being too Low

Travel behemoth Priceline this morning said that it planned to gobble up restaurant booking service OpenTable for $2.6 billion in cash, news that sent OpenTable’s share price skyrocketing by nearly 50 percent to over $104 per share. But, a little like a belch after a big meal, swiftly on the heels of that news comes another development: Former SEC attorney Willie Briscoe and securities litigation firm Powers Taylor say that they are going to investigate the deal for being priced too low.

“The investigation centers on whether OpenTable’s Board of Directors is acting in the shareholders’ best interests, whether the board is properly negotiating a higher share price for the shareholders, and whether the board has employed an adequate process to review and act on the proposed transaction,” the firm writes in a statement.

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EMV Chip Based Debit and Credit Cards soon to be in More Wallets

The conversion of U.S. magnetic-stripe credit and debit cards to the Europay-MasterCard-Visa (EMV) chip card standard is about to shift into high gear, and the payments forecasters are busier than their counterparts at The Weather Channel just before a hurricane’s landfall. The EMV Migration Forum, an affiliate of the Princeton Junction, N.J.-based Smart Card Alliance trade group, on Thursday predicted more than 100 million EMV payment cards will be issued by year’s end.

Earlier this week, Aite Group LLC issued a report predicting that 25% of U.S. credit cards and 8% of debit cards will have EMV capability this year. With Americans carrying more than 1 billion general-purpose payment cards in 2013—an estimated 579 million credit cards and 597 million debit cards—Aite’s projections mean that about 157 million cards could be EMV-enabled by Dec. 31.

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