New Product Awards Blog

How New Product Awards Winner Helps Merchants Protect Their Customers

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Dec 15, 2011 @ 11:56 AM

Payments management company Litle & Co of Lowell, Massachusetts, USA won a Stevie® Award for Best New IVR or Web Service Solution in the new product awards categories of the 2011 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Ben Saren, their VP of Marketing, will Chair the committee for final judging of the New Product & Service categories in the 2012 edition of the awards, which is accepting entries through January 18 (get your entry kit here).

As online credit card transactions increase, so do the risks. We look at how Litle & Co. is reducing these risks.

Jason PavoneIndustry statistics in the United States suggest that there were more than 900 data breaches involving more than 900 million credit card records in 2009 alone, yet the majority of merchants still keep customers’ credit card numbers on file.

Meanwhile, the Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards for data security are still evolving as they relate to Data Loss Protection (DLP) technologies.

Ahead of the Competition

Litle & Co. has developed a forward-looking solution that protects consumer data. The company believes that tokenization is the next step in enabling safe removal of sensitive cardholder data from merchant systems. The company is ahead of other solution vendors in proactively addressing vulnerabilities in the payment chain of card transactions in order to protect merchants and, ultimately, consumers.

“We believe that best practice approaches in business-to-business customer service should include those in which the design, goal, and benefit is focused not just on the customer, but also on the customer’s customer,” said Jason Pavona, Executive Vice President, Product Management at Litle & Co.  “Our product vision is simple: Build, develop, and implement solutions that help our customers create more secure, more enduring, and more profitable relationships with their customers.”

The Litle Vault, introduced in September 2010, is a web-driven, platform-integrated, tokenization solution that enables card-not-present (CNP) merchants to safely remove sensitive cardholder data from their systems without disrupting any existing card transaction-based process.  The service is delivered directly to Litle’s customers, and therefore to their customers, through the Litle payment-processing platform.

Tokens replace credit card numbers for all payment transactions including
authorizations, deposits, and chargebacks. 

Handling the Customers’ Data

Litle Vault removes merchants’ data security encumbrances so they can focus on selling. Instead, the onus of handling most of the data management is moved to Litle & Co, so the merchants’ customers’ card data exists only on an offsite server that specializes in handling payment data.

The Vault makes electronic commerce more efficient, safe, and profitable by:

Reducing the scope of PCI Compliance

Whenever sensitive cardholder data is replaced with a token and used in association with operational areas such as acceptance of online payments, cardholder data storage, and chargeback processing, it can reduce the scope of PCI audits and associated costs by as much as 60%.

Minimizing the risk from potential data breaches

Data breaches do and will happen. However, with the Vault, hackers cannot steal what merchants don’t have: the customer’s credit card information. In the event tokens are compromised, cyber-thieves will quickly find that the tokens are completely worthless to them.

Centralizing credit card security and reducing data exposure

Once registered, a single token can be used by anyone in an organization, mitigating the time-consuming and often costly process of having to encrypt, decrypt, and re-encrypt information each time someone touches a customer’s credit card.

Eliminating insurance costs

Tokenization is a preventive measure that minimizes the cost of a data breach risk. It also potentially enables a merchant to eliminate certain onerous insurance premiums that can often run to hundreds of thousands of dollars. With tokenization, a component of the Errors and Omissions (E&O) Liability Insurance premium cost—typically $0.60 per card annually—can be eliminated.

Industry Endorsement

“Tokenization of payment card data has quickly become a must-have for e-commerce and direct-response merchants whose web presence exposes them to a great deal of breach risk and who are seeking to reduce their PCI scope,” said David Fish, Senior Analyst at Mercator Advisory Group, the leading research and consulting firm focused on the payments industry.  “Litle & Co. has earned the reputation of a trusted partner in the card-not-present space, where their expertise in dealing with transaction data security in card processing environments has coalesced in … Litle Vault."

About Jason Pavone
Jason brings more than 15 years of product development, direct marketing, sales, and entrepreneurial experience to Litle & Co.  Jason leads Litle’s Sales & Marketing strategy, which includes business development and sales; product strategy and development; brand awareness marketing and communications; and partner communities and initiatives.  Before joining Litle, Jason served as a Partner of Enflect, LLC, which developed several product companies in the payment, loyalty, financial services, and software industries.  Prior to Enflect, Jason developed Wallaware, Inc., a wireless router company, where he drove the company’s first U.S and International sales, raised several rounds of private equity capital, and opened operations in the US and internationally.  Before Wallaware, Jason was Director of Wireless and Personalization at Terra Lycos, a top-three most-visited Internet destination.  At Terra Lycos he created some of the first wireless portal solutions, available in 30 countries under the brand Lycos Anywhere®.   He also managed Terra Lycos’s Network Personalization products, including MyLycos®, the award-winning personalization destination with 20 million registered users. Before Terra Lycos, Jason was instrumental in building INPHO, Inc. (including, which today is part of IAC’s LendingTree), a pioneer in the Internet real estate space.  Jason received a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Entrepreneurial Studies from Babson College.

About Litle
Litle & Co. is the payment-processing engine behind leading ecommerce and consumer-direct digital brands including,, Gilt Groupe, CSN Stores, and Guthy-Renker.  Founded in 2001, the company’s customer-obsessed culture is committed to Voice of the Customer initiatives, including Net Promoter Score (NPS). Litle & Co won the 2010 Stevie® Award for eCommerce Customer Service and the 2011 Stevie® Award for product and service innovation for its tokenization solution Litle Vault.  To learn more about Litle & Co. visit, or call 1-800-548-5326 (1-800-LITLECO) or 978-275-6500.

Tags: business awards, stevie awards, product of the year, product awards, new product awards, best new product

Touch Screen Gloves: Inspirational New Product Award Story

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Dec 08, 2011 @ 12:29 PM

Agloves® of Boulder, Colorado USA won Stevie Awards for Best New Product of the Year and Best New Company of the Year in the 2011 Stevie Awards for Women in Business. We asked the mother-and-daughter team behind this successful company how they came up with their innovative idea.  (All of the Stevie Awards competitions have new product awards categories - check out the categories in the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service - final entry deadline of January 18 2012).

AglovesIn February 2010, when Jennifer Spencer went to Washington D.C. to visit her daughter, Jean, it was extremely cold and the streets were lined with dirty snow. Jean, who was working as an intern for the Wall Street Journal, was using an iPhone to keep in touch with her office.  While walking along the street, Jean told her mother: “Mom, I am missing calls from my Editor.  When my phone rings, I have to find my phone in my bag, pull off my gloves with my teeth, and then shove them in my pocket in order to take the call.”  She added: “You have to invent gloves that work on touch screens!”

Jean was simply echoing the problem that smartphone and tablet users know only too well: regular gloves don’t work on touch screens. Fortunately for Jean, her mother is both an entrepreneur and a woman of great resourcefulness. The idea intrigued her.

How Do Touch Screens Work?

Jennifer began by studying how touch screens work. Contrary to popular belief, touch screens are not heat sensitive.  They are capacitive, meaning that the screens respond when tiny amounts of moisture, salts, and oils in the skin allow electrons to flow between you and your device. However, when something non-conductive comes between you and your device—such as an ordinary pair of gloves—the touch screen doesn’t respond and the device won’t work.

For Jennifer, the solution was obvious: Create a warm glove that would be able to conduct the body’s own bioelectricity to the capacitive touch screen.

A Warm—and Anti-Microbial—Solution

And so a new product was born: Agloves®. Ag is the symbol for silver on the periodic table and is the most conductive element. With Agloves, the body’s natural bioelectricity flows through the glove to your touch screen device and maintains near-perfect connection.

Agloves combine a snug, user-friendly design with tech-savvy functionality. The gloves deliver incredible accuracy and intuitive operation. Wearers can swipe, pinch, and pull their touch screens at the same speed they would with bare hands. An added bonus is that, in addition to being conductive, silver is a thermal regulator, making the gloves warmer than most knit gloves—and antimicrobial.

Beating the Competition

The next step was to commercialize the product. Circumventing the traditional brick and mortar retail strategy, Agloves launched its ecommerce website on September 29, 2010.

Working as a mother-daughter team, Jennifer and Jean used an innovative social media strategy to introduce their new product. While their new company was not able to afford television advertising, it needed to level the playing field when it came to competition from other computer accessory and glove companies. And that is exactly what Agloves did by its savvy use of social media.

Agloves received wide online media coverage. The gloves were acknowledged as one of CNET’s “Best of CES 2011” and among MSNBC’s “Top Winter Gadgets 2010.” PCMag included Agloves in its "Best Winter Gadget List 2011," and MacWorld gave Agloves four mice.  Other media coverage included Fox Business News, The New York Times, Yahoo News, AP, National Public Radio, and

What’s Not to (Ag)Love?

By December 2010, Agloves touch screen gloves had sold in 43 countries and were selling at a rate of a pair a minute. Tech-savvy consumers around the globe are falling in love with Agloves.

About Jennifer and Jean Spencer

Jennifer Spencer is a creative thinker and entrepreneur who has been instrumental in myriad start-up companies and innovations over the last 20 years. Jennifer's marketing and business development strategies have provided successful solutions for her clients. Jennifer is president of Agloves.

Jean Spencer is VP of Communication. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Jean decided to take a leap from the world of newsprint into the world of online communications. Jean heads all things social, communicative, and networked for Agloves including media relations, PR, social media, and the company’s online presence.

About AGloves

Agloves® is a patent-pending winter touch screen glove company.  The Boulder, Colorado-based business launched September 29, 2010 and currently employs seven people.  Agloves was globally successful right from the start.  Within three months of launching the business, Agloves had sold roughly 60,000 pairs of gloves in 43 countries worldwide from their online store,   Agloves is currently expanding into retail sales in the European Union.

What is your favorite inspirational new product idea story?

Tags: business awards, stevie awards, product of the year, new product awards, best new product

People's Choice New Product Awards to Return in 2011

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Mon, Jan 31, 2011 @ 05:19 PM

PCSAFNP LogoWith this year's American Business Awards the third edition of the People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite New Products will take place.  This is a nationwide public vote in which the general public will get to choose their favorite products in a number of categories.

All new products and services that are nominated in the new product awards categories of The 2011 American Business Awards will automatically be included in public voting for the People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Customer Service.  Entrants in these categories will receive tools to help them promote voting to their customers and other stakeholders. The entry deadline for the ABAs is March 31. Get your entry kit here.

Voting will open to the public on Friday, May 13 and close on Thursday, June 9.

More than 150,000 votes were cast in the 2010 edition of the People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite New Products, and the winners were honored at the ABA awards banquet in New York on June 21.  2010 People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite New Products winners were:

Favorite Consumer Product: Samsung’s G-Series External Hard Drives
Favorite Desktop/End-User or Server Software: SYSPRO 6.1 ERP Software
Favorite Entertainment or Media Product/Service: Dow Jones Media Relations Manager
Favorite Financial Product/Service: Chase Blueprint: A Revolution in Credit Card Management
Favorite New Product - Other: Delta Faucet Company's Proximity Sensing Technology commercial faucets
Favorite Service: PetRays 30 Minute STAT Service
Favorite Software - New Version: PetRays DICOM Sender 2.3.1
Favorite Software as a Service: Citrix Online's GoToTraining
Favorite Telecom Product or Service: Boost Mobile’s Monthly Unlimited No Contract Wireless Service

Who are your favorites for best new product in 2011?

Tags: product of the year, new product awards, best new product, peoples choice awards