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Breaking News articles for August 2010

U.S. puts dent in global cybercrime

Monday, August 30, 2010

Following guidelines in the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, drafted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2003, U.S. federal law enforcement agencies have increasingly searched globally to disband international cybercrime syndicates perpetrating crimes on U.S. residents via complex networks hosted and operated outside of U.S. jurisdiction. In August 2010, due in part to these efforts, one alleged ringleader of an international card fraud scheme was nabbed, and a business owner charged by the FBI with money laundering settled in court.

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Are thermal paper receipts toxic?

Friday, August 27, 2010

A chemical used in thermal receipt paper is increasingly under scrutiny as a potential health hazard. A July 2010 study commissioned by the Washington-based Environmental Working Group confirmed that high concentrations of the chemical called bisphenol A (BPA) were found in 40 percent of thermal paper receipts in a sampling culled from national retail chains, post offices and ATMs. Scientists have recognized a link may exist between BPA and a host of disorders, including cancer, obesity and diabetes.

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FDIC to seek public input on financial reform rules

Monday, August 23, 2010

On Aug. 12, 2010, The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. stated it will accept public input as it prepares regulations for the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which was signed into law on July 21. Under the complex, 2,100-page law, the FDIC and the Federal Reserve are each given distinct regulatory responsibilities; the Fed, for example, is charged with devising regulations pertaining to Section 1075, "Reasonable Fees for Rules and Payment," which addresses, among other things, debit card interchange.

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Proliferating smart-phone terminals: Friend or foe to payment pros?

Friday, August 20, 2010

A new report from Mercator Advisory Group predicts mobile phone-based card acceptance is going to skyrocket in the coming years. According to George Peabody, the report's author and Director of Mercator Advisory Group's Emerging Technologies Advisory Service, over 1.4 million smart phone-based payment terminals will be in use by 2014. Peabody could not pinpoint precisely how many smart phones are used as terminals today, but he said it is "a very small base" numbering well under 100,000.

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PCI SSC summarizes upcoming changes to standards

Thursday, August 19, 2010

In advance of the October 2010 release of the updated security standards that govern how merchants and payments businesses safeguard sensitive cardholder data, the PCI Security Standard Council (PCI SSC) disclosed a summary of changes it intends to make to the standards. The council said that, while version 2.0 of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) and the Payment Application (PA) DSS do not introduce new requirements, they reflect changes concerning updates, clarifications and guidance. According to Bob Russo, General Manager of the PCI SSC, chief among the changes are:
  • Reinforcing the need for merchants to conduct thorough "scoping" evaluations of their networks prior to security audits
  • Adding a mandate for centralized logging to the PA-DSS
  • Allowing organizations greater flexibility when conducting risk assessments in order to prioritize security vulnerabilities
  • Clarifying the language of the standards

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Skimmers shifting from ATMs to gas pumps

Monday, August 16, 2010

A rash of recent incidents in Florida involving card skimmers at gas stations may indicate a shift away from the use of skimmers at ATM sites and toward their use at other automated payment kiosks, analysts have said. Gas stations appear to be particularly vulnerable. Two skimming devices were found July 23, 2010, at a Gainesville, Fla. gas station. Gainesville is in Alachua County, where several other skimmers had been found earlier in the month.

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Debit surcharges in California endangered

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A debate has emerged in California over the practice of merchants surcharging consumers when they use debit cards to make purchases at the POS. On one side stand proponents of a California State Senate bill designed to prevent merchants from applying fees to debit and prepaid card purchases. On the other side are retailers and representative associations who protest that the proposed ban would hurt business.

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MasterCard bringing online PIN debit to the fore

Monday, August 9, 2010

MasterCard Worldwide recently disclosed its intention to offer issuing banks an online PIN debit service from technology provider Acculynk. This clears the way for all MasterCard-branded debit cards to become compatible with online PIN debit transactions. Adoption of Acculynk's service, PaySecure, has been growing since the service debuted in March 2009; however, PaySecure isn't compatible with every kind of debit card, according to Kevin Gallagher, General Manager, E-Commerce for online processor Merchant e-Solutions Inc.

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MWAA inspires and informs once again

Friday, August 6, 2010

A mid-summer highlight for many in the payments industry was the Midwest Acquirers Association's Eighth Annual Conference held July 21 to 23, 2010, in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, Ill. The event explored the theme, Changing Times … Changing Visions, in multiple ways. While vendors set up booths on July 21, attendees enjoyed two educational tracks. Track 1, Field Guide Seminar's ISO Strategies for a Changed World, delivered wisdom and practical advice on such topics as international acquiring, mobile marketing, portfolio investment, recruiting and hiring, sales training, and social networking.

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Have NFC payments reached tipping point?

Friday, August 6, 2010

A reported partnership between several major cellular phone carriers to implement contactless mobile phone payments at the POS is being hailed by some as the long-awaited breakthrough that will finally drive near field communication (NFC)-enabled smart phone payments into the mainstream. Recently, news outlets reported that Verizon Wireless, AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile USA joined forces for a smart phone program that enables NFC payments at the POS. The carriers are apparently working with Discover Financial Services and U.K.-based global financial service provider Barclays PLC to pilot the system in a handful of U.S. cities.

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ETA/Strawhecker report: Reason for optimism

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A joint report from the Strawhecker Group and the Electronic Transactions Association indicates the payments industry has reason to be optimistic despite the ongoing recession and new legislation that will regulate card interchange.

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