| | DECEMBER 20238IN FOCUSJCB, WORLDPAY EXTEND UK CONTACTLESS DEPLOYMENTMARKEL CFO ASSUMES DUAL ROLE AT PARENT COMPANYJCB International Co., Ltd., the global subsidiary of JCB Co., Ltd., has announced an expansion of its partnership with FIS, a leading financial technology firm, and its merchant solutions division, Worldpay from FIS. This collaboration aims to facilitate JCB Contactless payments for UK merchants, marking the largest JCB contactless implementation in the UK thus far. By 2023, nearly 20 percent of Worldpay Point of Sale (POS) systems in the UK will be capable of accepting JCB contactless payments. As part of JCB's mid-term strategy, the subsequent phase will extend JCB Contactless functionality to the remaining 80% of Worldpay terminals across the UK, with the entire rollout expected to be concluded by the end of 2024.JCB Contactless serves as JCB's contactless payment solution, enabling customers to make purchases by simply hovering their JCB Card or JCB-enabled smartphone over the store terminal. The system, based on the globally recognized chip standard 'EMV(R),' prioritizes security measures. According to the recent Worldpay from FIS Global Payments Report, cash usage at points of sale (POS) continues to decline, with a surge in contactless payments through digital wallets and contactless cards. In the UK, the combined usage of cards and digital wallets contributed to 86 percent of POS spending. Consequently, many UK merchants are embracing a cashless future, where comprehensive contactless payment solutions are becoming increasingly essential. Integrating JCB Contactless will aid Worldpay in meeting the escalating demand among its merchants for comprehensive contactless acceptance.The implementation of JCB Contactless by Worldpay's UK merchants will provide them access to JCB's extensive network of 154 million card members, thereby unlocking additional sales opportunities. The swift, secure, and user-friendly payment process for cardmembers, coupled with the higher average transaction value associated with contactless payments, will assist merchants in expanding their sales prospects. Ray Shinzawa, Managing Director for JCB International (Europe) Ltd., expressed enthusiasm about the progress of this ambitious initiative, reinforcing the collaboration with Worldpay. Shinzawa anticipates ongoing collaboration to ensure the integration of JCB Contactless throughout the entire Worldpay POS network. Markel Group, the parent company of the insurance business Markel, has appointed Brian Costanzo, the current chief financial officer (CFO) of Markel, as the new CFO of the group. Costanzo assumed this role within the group on December 18 while retaining his position as Markel's finance chief. As per the announcement by Markel Group, the former group CFO, Teri Gendron, will depart from the company on December 31. Gendron joined the company on March 20. However, the reason for her departure by the year-end has not been disclosed.Before the New Year, Bob Cox, Markel's President and Chief Operating Officer of Global Insurance Operations, will also be departing. Additionally, Alex Martin transitioned from his role as Markel CFO to assume the position of Markel Specialty President at the beginning of this month. Commenting on the recent appointment, Tom Gayner, the CEO of Markel Group, stated, "Brian's proven leadership will ensure our financial discipline and drive sustained profitable growth. I extend gratitude to Teri for her contributions in advancing the CFO function at the holding company level".Having been part of the enterprise for 14 years, Costanzo, serving as the Chief Financial Officer for both Markel Group and Markel, will oversee and manage all financial operations for the holding company and the insurance division. Meade Grandis, the Managing Director of Accounting Policy and Reporting with 13 years of experience in the business, will assume the role of Chief Accounting Officer and Controller at Markel Group.
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