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Breaking News articles for January 2009

Money launderers game for online merchants

Friday, January 30, 2009

For online gambling merchants, money laundering and fraud rings are threats to both profits and reputation. To help them combat these issues, Scott Olson, Vice President of Marketing for fraud management company iovation Inc., discussed strategies to curb money laundering related to online gambling at a recent conference in London.

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Heartland's call to action

Friday, January 23, 2009

On Jan. 20, 2009, Heartland Payment Systems Inc. reported it had been victimized by hackers who compromised an unknown number of cardholder data accounts. To foster transparency, as well as reassure businesses, Heartland notified its entire roster of over 150,000 merchants to help them understand the breach and what it means to them. "We have a very dedicated staff here who believe solid, trusted relationships with our merchants are more important than anything else," said Jason Maloni, Spokesman for Heartland. "This stands right alongside our respect and appreciation for data security, which we hold very dear. We here at Heartland are just sick about what happened, so we're acting as quickly as possible to make certain that it never happens again."

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Heartland clamps down on breach

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Heartland Payment Systems Inc., one of the largest payment processors in the United States, learned in mid-January 2009 that it was a victim of a security breach. In late 2008, Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide officials notified Heartland of suspicious activity associated with transactions the company processed. Since learning of the attack, Heartland reported it has aggressively worked to ascertain the extent of the breach and its impact, as well as ensure the integrity of cardholder data.

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Discover streamlines compliance

Monday, January 19, 2009

Discover Financial Services rolled out an enhancement to its Discover Information Security and Compliance (DISC) program on Jan. 16, 2009. It is designed to streamline the validation and reporting processes and make it easier for merchants who process transactions on the Discover network to verify their compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS).

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Faster fleet fueling

Friday, January 16, 2009

Convenience store operator Sheetz Inc. and Wright Express, a provider of payment processing services to U.S. commercial and government vehicle fleets, launched a trial of a new ViVOtech Inc. mobile payment solution. Vehicle drivers participating in the Sheetz Business Advantage fleet program will tap their near field communication- (NFC) enabled mobile phones on contactless payment readers at the pump. The trial will span 350 Sheetz locations in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina. Drivers will download fleet cards over mobile networks into their NFC-enabled handsets.

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Mobile payments coming of age

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A December 2008 Mercator Advisory Group report, Mobile Commerce and Remote Payments: Consumers and Merchants Are Getting It, But Will They Really Use It?, examines mobile payment as a value added service for merchants and an additional revenue stream for ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs). According to the report, smartphone-based remote payments are estimated to reach $8.6 billion by 2014, up from $76 million in 2008. "As a value add for ISOs and MLSs, it's huge," said George Peabody, Principal Analyst for Mercator and the report's author. "All you have to do is go back and look at history. Look what's happened since the Internet showed up; e-commerce payments are becoming ever more prevalent. Now we've got an even more immediate potential payment platform because we all have a phone in our pocket.

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Facebook payments on back burner

Friday, January 9, 2009

According to Inside Facebook, a blog that tracks developments for social networking Web site provider Facebook Inc., the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company has put on hold plans to implement its own payment platform. In a company press release, a Facebook spokesman said "pursuing a payment platform has been deprioritized while Facebook focuses on other revenue generating initiatives such as direct advertising and virtual gifts sales. We've been excited by advertising and payment solutions provided by the market, and we currently do not have anything to share around a Facebook payment system at this time."

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Amazon parts with Bill Me Later

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

On Dec. 30, 2008, Amazon.com informed its customers it was cutting off Bill Me Later as a payment option as of Dec. 31. The move was a result of eBay Inc.'s purchase of BML in October for $945 million. Amazon's statement offered no explanations; it simply said, "Bill Me Later will no longer be accepted as a payment method on Amazon. However, all sales and orders processed with Bill Me Later prior to the sunset date will continue to be processed." More than 1,000 online stores, catalogs and travel sites currently offer BML as a payment method.

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TARP eases AmEx woes

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

American Express Co., the fourth-largest card issuer in the United States, said the U.S. Department of the Treasury gave preliminary approval for the company to participate in the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). AmEx reported it will receive $3.39 billion from the financial institution rescue fund to ensure the card brand's survival. In exchange for the funds, AmEx agreed to issue and sell to the Treasury Department preferred stock worth approximately $3.39 billion and warrants for common stock worth up to 15 percent of that amount. The preferred shares will pay dividends at a rate of 5 percent annually for the first five years and thereafter 9 percent annually.

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Online shoppers stay the course

Friday, January 2, 2009

According to market research firm comScore Inc., online consumer spending patterns for the 2008 holiday shopping season exceeded industry projections. The year's transaction volumes kept pace with 2007 and soundly beat spending figures for 2006. The company said Web surfers cut back somewhat with online spending this year. But retailers reported $25.5 billion in holiday sales, down only 3 percent from 2007. This is the first time online spending during the November and December holiday shopping season has fallen since the reporting firm began tracking e-commerce sales in 2001.

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