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Breaking News articles for October 2009

A certified alternative

Friday, October 30, 2009

In July 2009, The Electronic Transactions Association committed significant funding to begin developing a certification program for payments industry professionals. The ETA's board of directors determined that certification would be the most effective means of measuring individual professional competence and promoting ethical business practices industrywide. The ETA strongly believes this is a critical milestone for the industry and is something that many payment professionals have sought for years.

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MasterCard bids farewell to TowerGroup

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

International business consulting group Corporate Executive Board Co. revealed Oct. 13, 2009, that it had finalized a deal with MasterCard Worldwide to acquire TowerGroup, a financial services advisory firm that had been MasterCard's main research arm since 2004. "After a strategic review of our advisory capabilities, we have decided to focus on information and analytics as opposed to subscription-based research offerings," said Chris Monteiro, Vice President of Global Marketing Communications for MasterCard.

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First Data STARs with PayPal

Friday, October 23, 2009

First Data Corp. announced a new program that allows consumers with the company's STAR debit cards to register with online payment provider PayPal Inc. through online banking Web sites. First Data believes this will provide enhanced security for e-commerce payments as well as bolster revenue for participating financial institutions. For registered financial institutions, the service will provide a direct link from their online banking sites to the PayPal network. Customers who register for PayPal this way will be authenticated by their banking site and then by PayPal, and with every PayPal purchase they make, the payment portal will be branded both with the appropriate bank name as well as the PayPal name.

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VeriFone addresses PCI enforcement confusion

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A large part of what complicates compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards for data, PIN entry device and payment application security is the frequent, though necessary, changing of the rules to keep up with evolving security threats. To make things easier, the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) established specific timelines by which upgrades must be made to payment terminals. Yet, compliance is enforced by the card brands, not the PCI SSC.

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Interchange reformers get lukewarm reception from Congress

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Opponents of the interchange status quo had another shot at grabbing congressional support Oct. 8, 2009, with a hearing before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee. The hearing was called to accept testimony on H.R. 2382, the Credit Card Interchange Fees Act of 2009, and H.R. 3639, the Expedited CARD Reform for Consumers Act of 2009. In terms of H.R. 2382, the hearing appeared to be more a formality than a serious attempt to address interchange legislation. Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., made it clear during the hearing that he was most interested in enacting legislation that would move up the implementation date on provisions of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (Credit CARD Act of 2009).

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Visa prefers data-field encryption

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

When Visa Inc. speaks, the payments industry listens. The world's largest card brand issued a global best practices paper that advises all merchants that accept electronic payments to consider data-field encryption technology be installed on their private networks as a necessary compliment to the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS).

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Encryption debate heads to court

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The race for card data security superiority has taken an unusual turn with two of the most vocal corporate advocates taking each other to court. Terminal manufacturer VeriFone Holdings Inc. was the first to get its points on the record by filing a patent infringement complaint against Heartland Payment Systems Inc. At issue in the case is a patent acquired by VeriFone when it purchased Lipman Electronic Engineering Ltd. and renamed it VeriFone Israel Ltd. The patent (US 6,853,093 B2), issued in 2005, covers what is described as "anti-tampering enclosure for electronic circuitry."

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Congress calls hearings as interchange debate heats up

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Some members of the U.S. Congress are angling for a better perspective on the public debate over credit card interchange. A hearing on interchange and related issues is scheduled to take place before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services Oct. 8, 2009, beginning at 10:00 am. The hearing was called to accept testimony on H.R. 2382, the Credit Card Interchange Act of 2009, and H.R. 3639, the Expedited CARD Reform for Consumers Act of 2009. But as of last evening no list of invited witnesses was available yet.

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Is PayPal a threat to prepaid?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Prepaid cards and the online payment gateway run by PayPal Inc. are both examples of alternative payment tools. Because PayPal eats the cost of interchange instead of passing it along to merchants, which makes it an attractive payment option for merchants, it can be construed as a threat to ISOs and merchant level salespeople. A new service called ePatientPayments.com utilizes PayPal to help health care providers get reimbursed from uninsured patients. The service is an online payment platform that allows providers to set up individual payment plans with patients who may have trouble paying for services and procedures because they are not covered by health insurance plans. The main component of the service is the PayPal gateway.

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Cyber thieves stealing from students

Monday, October 5, 2009

In May 2009 cyber criminals hacked into Sanford, Maine-based Patco Construction Inc. and stole $588,000. Shortly thereafter, Patco's attorneys advised the company to sue its bank for not providing adequate authentication procedures. And now, school districts and other educational markets (trade schools, online universities and so forth) nationwide are being targeted by hackers, who have stolen significant amounts of money from them, according to Melih Abdulhayoglu, Chief Executive Officer of Internet security specialist Comodo Group.

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7-Eleven takes interchange issue to D.C.

Friday, October 2, 2009

On Sept. 30, 2009, 7-Eleven Inc.'s President and Chief Executive Officer Joe DePinto and eight 7-Eleven store franchisees delivered a petition asking Congress to "stop credit card companies from charging unfair transaction fees to the businesses you shop." Petition workers gathered signatures at 7-Eleven locations across the country from June to August 2009. The company claims that the more than 1.66 million signatures it amassed are the "largest number of signatures collected for a public policy issue on record."

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