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Breaking News articles for March 2012

Global Payments reportedly breached

Friday, March 30, 2012

Atlanta ISO and payment processor Global Payments Inc. is reportedly the victim of a data breach. The estimate of the number of cards compromised ranges, depending on the report, from just fewer than 50,000 to more than 10 million. Trading on Global Payments stock was halted Fri., March 30, 2012, after the reports of the breach surfaced. Before trading was stopped Global Payments' stock prices fell just over 22 percent to $47.50.

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Upward trend seen for prepaid electricity metering

Thursday, March 29, 2012

According to clean technology market consultancy Pike Research, the adoption of smart meter technology will accelerate the growth of the market for prepaid electricity metering in the United States and globally. "Hardware, software and service vendors are seeing increasing opportunities, as utilities worldwide are preparing to launch new prepaid programs or expand their existing prepaid services to a larger customer base," the consultancy said.

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Consultancy faults PCI tokenization guidance

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

According to a webinar conducted by research firm Securosis LLC, the PCI Security Standards Council's (PCI SSC's) tokenization guidelines lack exactly that – guidance. In the webinar, Adrian Lane, Senior Security Strategist at Securosis, criticized the council's supplement as offering broad generalizations rather than practical advice on how to implement tokenization as a data security solution. Lane said the problem with the PCI SSC's tokenization guidelines is that "the supplement is sorely lacking in actual guidance." He faults the supplement for not providing actionable advice on how to maximize Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) scope reduction using tokenization.

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Direct Air's bankruptcy threatens JetPay

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The bankruptcy of a charter air service and the possible mismanagement of the charter's transaction escrow account are apparently threatening the solvency of Bingham Farms, Mich.-based ISO JetPay Merchant Services LLC. According to court filings, JetPay said it could be bankrupt "in a matter of weeks" unless money in the transaction escrow account of Southern Sky Air & Tours LLC (dba Direct Air) is released to the processor. JetPay's March 21, 2012, filing in the United States Bankruptcy Court District of Massachusetts Central Division in Worchester, Mass., followed Direct Air filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection six days previous, on March 15.

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Trusko says NBPCA proactive in combating tax fraud

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

In March 20, 2012, testimony before a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing on tax fraud, the Network Branded Prepaid Card Association's Kirsten Trusko informed senators of the role the association is playing in combating tax fraud perpetrated via prepaid cards. Trusko, the association's President and Executive Director, said when the NBPCA identified the connection between tax return fraud and general purpose reloadable (GPR) prepaid cards, "members of the NBPCA acted aggressively to address this problem."

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Vantiv now publicly traded

Monday, March 26, 2012

Payment Processor Vantiv LLC launched its initial public offering (IPO) March 22, 2012. The company, formerly known as Fifth Third Processing Solutions LLC, offered 29,412,000 shares of its Class A common stock at a public price of $17 per share. It is expected to realize approximately $460 million from the offering. Underwriters were allowed a 30-day option to buy up to 4,411,800 shares to cover over-allotments. Vantiv stock is now trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol VNTV.

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Heartland breach suit settled

Monday, March 26, 2012

On March 20, 2012, a judge in the Southern District of Texas approved a settlement agreement in the consumer complaint brought against Heartland Payment Systems Inc. The settlement gives almost nothing to consumers and leaves three nonprofit organizations and plaintiffs' attorneys to divide settlement funds. The complaint and settlement are the fallout from hackers that broke into Heartland's computers and stole at least 130 million debit and credit card numbers. The breach, which was reported in January 2009, was one of the largest data breaches in history.

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N.J. Assembly passes escheatment rollback bill

Thursday, March 22, 2012

On March 15, 2012, the New Jersey Assembly passed a bill that would reverse a controversial state law that governs abandoned property, such as balances on unused gift cards. Among the provisions of New Jersey State Assembly bill A1871 is the removal of certain types of stored-value (gift) cards from the list of instruments covered under New Jersey's abandoned property provisions. The bill, sponsored by Democratic Assemblymen Patrick J. Diegnan Jr., Paul D. Moriarty and Gordon M. Johnson, was approved on a 48 to 27 vote, with four legislators abstaining.

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Short takes on payments

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Here are a few items from the mobile payments realm that caught our eye today. #h2PayPal Here a hot item A week after the launch of PayPal Here, PayPal Inc.'s new mobile card reader solution, Anuj Nayar, the company's. Director of Communications, reported that the company signed up PayPal Here customers at the rate of 1,000 per hour on the first day of the PayPal Here release. "To say there's been some interest in our new offering would be an understatement," Nayar said.

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B2B fraud survey shows checks vulnerable

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A new survey conducted by the Association for Financial Professionals and underwritten by JPMorgan Chase & Co. found 66 percent of the businesses it surveyed were fraud victims during the past two years, but 75 percent of the businesses that were victimized by fraud attempts did not suffer losses. Checks represented the payment method most vulnerable to fraud, causing many companies to move to electronic payments. The 2012 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey found business-to-business payment fraud is occurring with more frequency than when the survey first began in 2005 (reporting on 2004 activity), but the percentage of companies victimized by payment fraud was seven percentage points lower in 2011 than it was in 2009.

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FinCEN releases new MSB registration form

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

On March 14, 2012, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) released the Registration of Money Services Business (RMSB) form. The new form, called FinCEN Report 107, replaces FinCEN Form 107, which the agency now calls the "legacy RMSB." The new RMSB form is used by businesses subject to federal anti-money laundering (AML) regulations to register with FinCEN as MSBs.

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TradeHill takes Dwolla to court

Monday, March 19, 2012

TradeHill Inc., an online company that specialized in the exchange of bitcoins (a type of digital currency), sued online and mobile payment processor Dwolla Inc. Trade Hill alleged Dwolla's reversal of its "no chargebacks" policy, done without prior warning, bankrupted TradeHill. Bitcoin open source software allows irreversible peer-to-peer payments using bitcoins, which are distributed through the Bitcoin network.

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Coalition responds to retailers' debit rule complaint

Friday, March 16, 2012

On March 15, 2012, a coalition of financial institution trade associations petitioned to file an amicus brief in a lawsuit brought by a group of retail associations. The retailers are protesting the Federal Reserve Board's rule implementing the Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. #h2The retailers are dissatisfied An amicus curiae brief is filed by entities not a party to a case but who believe they have information to offer that will assist a court in making a decision.

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PayPal introduces dongle for smart-phone payments

Friday, March 16, 2012

On March 15, 2012, PayPal Inc. took a swing at mobile payment startup Square Inc. and others offering smart-phone payment solutions when it introduced its PayPal Here mobile payment solution. The new payment service includes a free app and an end-to-end encrypted card reader that attaches to Apple Inc. iPhones and Google Inc. Android smart phones to allow payment acceptance anywhere. PayPal said the new service accepts more types of payments than any other solution on the market today. ROAM Data was reportedly the first to introduce a payment dongle for mobile phones in 2010. Its ROAMpay is compatible with all mobile phone types.

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Green Dot commits to CFSI's fee disclosure model

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Center for Financial Services Innovation reported that prepaid card provider Green Dot Corp. is consulting with CFSI on a new fee disclosure box that reveals card fees in a list or box format. Additionally, online prepaid card company Plastyc Inc. agreed to develop a fee disclosure box based on CFSI's recommendations and bill pay services firm Ready Credit Corp. agreed to evaluate the effectiveness of a model fee box later this year, CFSI said.

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Consumer catalysts for mobile payments

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A February 2012 white paper by research firm Park Associates estimated that all mobile payment technologies combined processed over $10 billion in transactions in North America in 2011. According to the paper Mobile Payment – Stepping into Uncharted Territory, 50 percent of U.S. households with broadband own smart phones, and just over 50 percent of those expressed interest in having mobile phones with bar code scanning functionality. Park Associates also determined that 80 percent of current U.S. mobile phone users have web browsers on their mobile phones.

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Mobile Payments Conference raises EMV questions

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide initiatives to speed adoption of Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) and near field communication (NFC) technology by U.S. merchants may not turn EMV into the dominant POS choice for consumers or retailers, according to keynote speakers at the Mobile Payments Conference hosted by Mobile Marketing and Technology. The conference, titled Mobile Commerce is the New Buzz, was held at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, Calif., March 8 and 9, 2012.

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Mercator report examines global status of EMV

Friday, March 9, 2012

When Europay International introduced the 1993 initiative to migrate to chip-embedded credit and debit cards in an effort to reduce fraud, it couldn't have foreseen nearly two decades later the technology would still be relatively unknown in certain parts of the world. The Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) international standard for chip and PIN technologies created in 1999 has helped drive the initiative, but in the United States migration to EMV is just beginning. Mercator Advisory Group's latest report, The State of EMV Adoption: A Global Update, explores global markets with the greatest potential for EMV growth and the catalysts most likely to drive demand for EMV in the future.

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ETA asks Visa for more thoughtful FANF rollout

Thursday, March 8, 2012

On March 7, 2012, the Electronic Transactions Association sent a letter to Joseph W. Saunders, Chairman and Chief Executive of Visa Inc. on behalf of the association's more than 450 members. The letter points out the many challenges acquirers and merchants face in implementing Visa's new Fixed Acquirer Network Fee (FANF) and suggests, given the complexity of this new type of fee, that Visa delay implementation of the FANF until it provides all needed implementation guidance to stakeholders.

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Short takes on payments

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Here are a few news items that have captured our attention recently. #h2ABA payment task force formed A Payment Systems Task Force was formed by the American Bankers Association. The task force's assignment is to develop strategies for "a strong, safe and efficient payments market." "The task force will work to ensure new payment technologies promote competitive access for and participation by banks of all sizes and charters," the ABA said in a press release, The task force is chaired by ABA Vice Chairman Jeff L. Plagge, President of Northwest Financial Corp in Arnolds Park, Iowa.

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FinCEN: Overseas MSBs not off the hook

Thursday, March 8, 2012

In February 2012, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) clarified that, even if money services businesses (MSBs) are domiciled beyond U.S. borders, they still must comply with U.S. anti-money laundering (AML) regulations if they do business in the United States. FinCEN said its new definition of MSB, now including prepaid card providers, recognizes that technology allows businesses to conduct business from anywhere in the world and still reach the U.S. market. "FinCEN seeks to ensure that the BSA [Bank Secrecy Act] rules apply to all persons engaging in covered activities within the United States, regardless of the person's physical location," the agency said.

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Square deals

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Square Inc., the company providing free credit card readers for mobile phones, is making inroads into the worlds of brick-and-mortar and transportation payments. For retailers of all sizes, Square updated its free Square Register application, which turns an Apple Inc. iPad into a cash register. Square stated that, when used with its card reader and an iPad, the updated application allows retailers to immediately begin operating virtual registers that accept payment with cards, cash or by just entering a name. According to a Square video on the company's Facebook page, Square Register can now do far more than accept payments.

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Go Direct's countdown to paperless begins

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

On March 1, 2012, U.S. Treasurer of the United States Rosie Rios began the official countdown clock for when all federal benefit payments will be dispersed electronically. By March 1, 2013, all recipients of primarily Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments will either have funds direct deposited to bank accounts or loaded onto MasterCard Worldwide-branded DirectExpress prepaid debit cards.

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Good works make for good TV

Friday, March 2, 2012

When GS Online MLS Forum member Sonny Gartin of Springfield, Mo., posted that a local television news reporter had called and wanted to do an interview with him about his marketing and stored-value card processing business, Reward4ORGS LLC, he garnered many congratulations and probably a little envy from other forum members. Gartin shared his enthusiasm in his post, stating, "So this morning I get a call from a local news station wanting to do a story on my company and our program. It took a lot of running to set up everything, but it is done.

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Short takes on payments

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Stories pertaining to mobile payments and Internet security are what caught our eye today. #h2Girl Scouts accept mobile payments for cookies Business management software firm The Sage Group PLC said its subsidiary Sage North America is partnering with 32 nonprofit Girl Scouts of the USA Councils in 23 states, collectively representing more than 40,000 members, to offer a mobile payments option during the scout's annual cookie sales.

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Payments by the numbers

Thursday, March 1, 2012

One recent report we received indicates revenue for online retailers has grown significantly. Another predicts mobile payments will have an impact on business that is comparable to or greater than that of the Internet. Meanwhile, government statistics indicate card theft is on the rise. #h2Revenue up for online retailers E-commerce technology and services company MarketLive Inc. released its Q4 2011: A Look Ahead at 2012 report, which examines quarterly performance data from 100 retail websites. The report determined revenues for online merchants rose significantly during the fourth quarter 2011.

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Jury finds Blackhawk infringed on InComm patent

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Gift card mall innovator and Safeway Inc. subsidiary Blackhawk Network reported that a jury in the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin found that the Pleasanton, Calif-based gift card distributor was guilty of patent infringement against its rival, Atlanta-based prepaid card distributor InComm.

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