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Breaking News articles for March 2011

Payroll cards touted in TMG white paper

Thursday, March 31, 2011

While marketing reloadable prepaid cards to consumers is one strategy, banks may find targeting businesses with prepaid cards a more effective one. That is the finding of Getting Down to Business: How Financial Institutions Can Attract and Retain Business Clients with Reloadable Cards, a white paper written by Konrad Christensen, The Members Group Retail Payments Product Manager.

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Durbin Amendment regs delayed temporarily

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Don't count on the Federal Reserve Board issuing final regulations implementing the Durbin Amendment by the April 21, 2011, deadline Congress set under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. After being inundated with more than 11,000 comment letters, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said in a recent letter to Congress that staffers need more time to review and consider issues raised by those letters before they can finish the rule-making process.

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Comodo compromise draws swift response

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

In a recent cyber attack, nine secure sockets layer (SSL) certificates across seven domains were fraudulently obtained from a registration authority (RA) affiliated with the Comodo SSL Certification Authority (CA). Comodo issued an incident report March 15, 2011, stating that all nine certificates had been revoked, which affected domains of Mozilla, Firefox, Yahoo and others. The RA account in question was suspended pending further forensic investigation.

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Bank Freedom to leave MetaBank

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Prepaid Card Holdings Inc. subsidiary Bank Freedom reported it is phasing out its relationship with Financial Group Inc. subsidiary and prepaid card issuer MetaBank. Bank Freedom said it recently informed MetaBank that it contracted with a new bank to issue its Bank Freedom Prepaid Cards. MetaBank recently informed Bank Freedom that it would not renew its existing agreement, which expires November 2011.

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PCI SSC dials up call center compliance

Friday, March 25, 2011

To mitigate the increasing levels of fraud directed at MO/TO operations, the governing authority of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) issued an educational resource that details tactics and best practices for securely processing payment card transactions over the telephone. The new supplement outlines what card data call centers need to protect and how to do it. The supplement, entitled Protecting Telephone-Based Payment Card Data Information Supplement, explains how the PCI DSS applies to cardholder data stored in call recording systems.

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Hewlett Packard enters prepaid through bank initiative

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Personal computer and printer manufacturer Hewlett-Packard Co. entered the prepaid card industry through its new HP Prepaid Card Services, part of HP's business and technology services division HP Enterprise Services. HP Prepaid Card Services will focus on providing banks with self-service prepaid card programs.

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Fifth third seeks innovation through open platform

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fifth Third Processing Solutions LLC, the nation's fourth largest bankcard acquirer by volume, in conjunction with IP Commerce Inc., a cloud-computing payment platform developer, has launched e-Similate, an open payment platform and workflow engine to facilitate delivery of FTPS's payment solutions to the software development community. As a leading acquirer, FTPS follows Chase Paymentech Solutions LLC in being among the first to introduce an open platform.

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Senators worried by border uses of prepaid cards

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

In a letter to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, three senators of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control urged a crackdown on prepaid cards transported across the U.S.-Mexico border.

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Did hackers gain insight into RSA's methodology?

Monday, March 21, 2011

RSA, the security division of EMC Corp., reported that its network was hacked and that information relating to its SecurID two-factor authentication product was stolen. RSA's SecurID products are used on PCs, USB devices, phones and key fobs in about 25,000 corporations. They provide a level of security beyond user names and passwords when accessing virtual private networks or other systems containing sensitive information, such as financial data.

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Credit volume growth overtakes debit

Friday, March 18, 2011

Consumer card spending jumped 8.5 percent in February 2011 over the same month in 2010, according to First Data Corp.'s SpendTrend analysis. The dollar volume growth exceeded January's year-over-year increase of 7.4 percent. Consumers demonstrated renewed faith in the economic recovery as the unemployment rate dropped to 8.9 percent in February, according to First Data.

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FinCEN announces new AML guidelines

Thursday, March 17, 2011

On March 1, 2011, the updated federal anti-money laundering regulations went into effect. The updated regulations, which prepaid card companies must comply with, are designed to shore up regulatory gaps that arose due to the growth of the little-over-a decade-old prepaid card industry, which wasn't in existence when the original Bank Secrecy Act regulations were propagated.

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Senators, coalition say whoa! to Durbin Amendment

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced legislation March 15, 2011, calling for a two-year delay in the implementation of the Federal Reserve's rule on debit interchange so the implications of the rule can be studied further. The bill, called the Debit Interchange Fee Study Act, is being sponsored by Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont.; Bob Corker, R-Tenn.; Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.; Ben Nelson, D-Neb.; Tom Carper, D-Del.; Pat Roberts., R-Kan.; Chris Coons., D-Del.; Mike Lee, R-Utah; and Pat Toomey, R-Pa.

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NetSpend weighs in on Durbin Amendment

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

As the April 21, 2011, date nears for the Federal Reserve to issue the final rules to implement the Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, NetSpend Holdings Inc. gave its opinion on the effects of the proposed amendment on the prepaid card industry. NetSpend's February 2011 letter to the Fed said the regulations should be structured in a way that "best protects the provision of financial services through GPR [general-purpose reloadable] cards, as it provides an extremely important point of accessibility to financial services for many underbanked Americans."

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Square gaining momentum despite security concerns

Monday, March 14, 2011

Twitter Inc. creator Jack Dorsey released in a statement on Twitter that his mobile payment startup, Square Inc., had reached a milestone. After close of business on March 2, 2011, Dorsey tweeted that Square is processing more than $1 million in transactions daily and that the company is signing as many as 100,000 new merchants each month. Dorsey serves as Chief Executive Officer of San Francisco-based Square, which he co-founded in 2009. Square's platform for credit and debit card acceptance uses a mini square-shaped credit card reader that plugs into the headphone jack of a smart phone or electronic tablet, which it offers free to users of Apple Inc. iOS and Google Inc. Android devices.

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House hears how Dodd-Frank may affect small businesses

Friday, March 11, 2011

In a March 2, 2011, House Financial Services hearing entitled The Effect of Dodd-Frank on Small Financial Institutions and Small Businesses, witnesses testified regarding the potential impact of recent financial reform legislation on small businesses and financial institutions with less than $10 billion in assets. Said institutions are exempt under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, which includes the Durbin Amendment regulating debit interchange. "When the House and Senate passed the Dodd-Frank Act, supporters continually purported that small financial institutions, like many I represent, were exempt," said Rep. Shelley Capito, R-W.Va., in a statement.

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India launches prepaid electric meter initiative

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd. began installing prepaid electricity meters in homes in cities across India, according to The Times of India. The meters are recharged over the Internet, as well as via "coupons" in the form of prepaid cards inserted into the meters. The MSEDCL plans to set up 20 self-service vending machines across the state to enable consumers to buy recharge "coupons," the news outlet said.

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Nominations due soon for ETA awards

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Know someone whose work has made a significant contribution to the Electronic Transactions Association or the payments industry in general? You've got a chance to make your appreciation known by nominating that individual or company for an ETA award. All ETA members are eligible to submit nominations, which are due by Mon., March 14, 2011.

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Is 2011 a transitional year for financial services?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pivotal political and financial issues – from the regulatory environment to the state of the economy – may make 2011 a transitional year for the financial services industry. That was the theme of a March 1, 2011, TowerGroup webinar, which also touched on technology initiatives in bank cards. The webinar featured presenters Brian Riley, Senior Research Director, Bank Cards, and Dennis Moroney, Research Director, Bank Cards, at TowerGroup.

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Research and Markets releases findings on underbanked

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dublin, Ireland-based market research firm Research and Markets issued a report that concludes the U.S. underbanked are educated and employed, but remain reluctant to use traditional bankcards primarily due to fears of hidden costs and fees.

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Girl Scout cookie sales go mobile

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

For the first time, two Girl Scout councils are now prepared to accept credit card payments via smart phones to help enhance their cookie sales. Girl Scouts have traditionally only accepted cash or checks. Girl Scouts San Diego has started using iPhones equipped with a Mophie Marketplace credit card case during a trial run at selected booth sale and retail sites in San Diego.

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Gift card crime ring exposed in Phoenix

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Media outlets report that 36 people were indicted as part of an organized crime ring in Phoenix that apparently perpetrated over $1.2 million in gift card fraud in the Phoenix area. Reports said Scottsdale, Ariz., police were alerted in April 2010 to a man auctioning off retail gift cards online. Investigators linked that information to a network of people who sold shoplifted items on the Internet and returned some of the stolen goods to other stores for cash or credit.

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