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Breaking News articles for August 2008

Processing for newbies

Thursday, August 28, 2008

So, you're a brand new merchant level salesperson (MLS) and you've found early on that there is much to learn regarding the technical side of payments. The industry has its own vernacular, and you may be finding it difficult to assimilate and organize the complex array of terminology and processes. Charm and innovative sales techniques will only get you so far. MLSs need to know how the payments business works from the ground up. To help with that education process, David Fish, Senior Analyst, Credit Advisory Service, Mercator Advisory Group, presented Merchant Acquiring 101, a teleconference held Aug. 26, 2008.

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VeriFone turns triple play

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

VeriFone Holdings Inc. is taking steps to quell volatility among its Wall Street investors and regain buyer confidence in its products and publicly traded stock after accounting errors in the first three quarters of 2007 caused the company's profit margins to be inflated. On Aug. 19, 2008, VeriFone filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission an amended and restated report for the first three quarters of fiscal 2007. Furthermore, the San Jose, Calif.-based POS terminal manufacturer filed a new annual report for fiscal 2007, as well as new reports for the first and second quarters of fiscal 2008.

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No wiggle room with Red Flag Rule

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Nov. 1, 2008, deadline to comply with the FACTA (Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003) Identity Theft Red Flags Rule is looming. In light of that deadline, the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) unveiled new examination procedures Aug. 11, 2008, to determine deficiencies in financial organizations' ability to comply with FACTA's 37 red flag and two prescriptive guidelines. Many financial institutions, therefore, are realizing they need to expedite implementation of the necessary policies and procedures.

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Sun setting on PCI version 1.1

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council (SSC), managing body of the PCI Data Security Standard (DSS), disclosed a summary of proposed changes it will make to version 1.1 of the PCI DSS. Version 1.2 will take effect Oct. 1, 2008. According to the Council, the changes to version 1.1 are intended to clarify and explain the 12 requirements of the PCI DSS. The main goal of the changes is to improve the "flexibility" of the PCI DSS in addressing the data security challenges that face the payments industry, the Council said.

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Bohemia, payments style

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Attention all financial services professionals: Check your ties, jackets, dresses and fancy shoes at the door. The Western States Acquirers Association will hold its 2008 conference at the Doubletree Paradise Valley Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz., Sept. 24 and 25. This year's theme is ISOs in Paradise because WSAA wanted to provide topics and information in a comfortable environment.

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Opening Pandora's Box?

Friday, August 15, 2008

On Aug. 13, 2008, an article about the Electronic Transactions Association's survey to determine the feasibility of a certification or other type of credentialing program for merchant level salespeople (MLSs) was posted on GS Online. Reaction by MLSs to the idea for MLS certification was swift – and mixed.

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Off to payments school, anyone?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Electronic Transactions Association is conducting a survey to determine the feasibility of a certification or other type of credentialing program for merchant level salespeople (MLSs). The survey will continue through Aug. 23, 2008. "This study is to determine if there is a need for industry certification, if employers see any benefits for their staff, and if industry practitioners think that this could make them more marketable or enhance their professional development," said Rori Ferensic, ETA's Director, Education and Professional Development. "We want to know what the industry wants and needs … in terms of additional professional development activities."

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Senate committee brings interchange to account

Monday, August 11, 2008

Members of the U.S. Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee requested in a July 30, 2008, letter that the Government Accountability Office investigate the structure of credit card interchange fees. Sens. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, Olympia J. Snowe, R-Maine, and Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md., asked the GAO to take a balanced look at whether fees are properly disclosed, how they are set, and the level of competition in the marketplace.

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HMS' parent sold

Monday, August 11, 2008

On July 25, 2008, Humboldt Merchant Services LP's parent company, First National Bank of Nevada (operating as First National Bank of Arizona in that state) and its California-based affiliate First Heritage Bank of Newport Beach N.A. were declared insolvent by the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The two banks, owned by First National Bank Holding Co., were closed, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was named receiver. The FDIC's board of directors then approved a $3 billion purchase and assumption agreement with Mutual of Omaha Insurance Co. subsidiary Mutual of Omaha Bank (Mutual) to take over all deposits and certain assets of the financial institutions, including the wealth management and home owner association divisions.

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Alleged TJX cyber criminals indicted

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hackers are adept at staying one step ahead of the law. However, U.S. authorities caught the alleged cyber crooks who compromised the TJX Companies Inc. computer systems in 2006 and stole the credit and debit card numbers of over 40 million TJX retail network customers. The eleven conspirators who allegedly hacked the networks of nine TJX retailers were charged with conspiracy, computer intrusion, and fraud and identity theft. It is reportedly the largest hacking and identity theft case ever prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice.

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W.net set for Boot Camp

Monday, August 11, 2008

Women Networking in Electronic Transactions (W.net), an organization dedicated to the personal and professional growth of women in electronic transactions, will host its first Designer BootCamp Career Development and Leadership Summit Oct. 23 to 24, 2008, in Chicago. "What we wanted to create was a multiday event that provides an opportunity for women in the [payments] industry to network with other, highly successful women willing to share their skills and increase women's chances for success in this business," said Victoria Tobin, W.net's Managing Director since September 2007.

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$1 million gift card scam busted

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Authorities in Sacramento, Calif., recently busted a gift card scam that netted over $1 million worth of merchandise from big box retail stores in Northern California. The six women arrested in the case all had ties to Richmond, Calif., and were dubbed The Richmond Girls. The women, ranging in age from 21 to 37, traveled up and down Interstate Highway 880 in the East Bay and along Interstate Highway 80 as far north as Sacramento. Along the route they hit big box retail stores with fraudulent, network-branded gift cards.

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MWAA meeting goes the distance

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Midwest Acquirers Association held its annual meeting July 23 and 24, 2008, in St. Louis, Mo. The event was jammed with educational sessions, an inspirational keynote address and many networking opportunities. Wednesday started off with the very popular Field Guide for ISOs seminar. As usual, Mark Dunn put together a well-thought-out program containing essential educational information for all merchant level salespeople (MLSs). This event alone is well worth attending.

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