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Breaking News articles for May 2013

First EMV-compliant ATMs in U.S. go live

Friday, May 31, 2013

With the move to the Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) standard underway in the United States, news comes from payment technology firm NCR Corp. that the first EMV-compliant ATMs have been deployed. People's United Bank, which operates over 400 branches on the East Coast, went live with a handful of EMV ATMs at its branch on Park Avenue in New York City in late May 2013. NCR said the People's United ATMs included an upgrade to the card reader hardware inside the machines, as well as a software upgrade.

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No liberty for alleged money launderer Budovsky

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Digital currency bitcoin's fluctuating value has received significant attention lately; however, it's Liberty Reserve, a digital currency provider founded in 2006, that is under the gun right now. Liberty Reserve founder, Arthur Budovsky, and six other individuals were indicted by the U.S. government for allegedly laundering over $6 billion in criminal proceeds. Though the operation served legitimate customers, it allegedly aided such illegal activities as drug trafficking, identity theft and child pornography.

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Another ruling against Obama appointment

Thursday, May 30, 2013

On May 16, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that a so-called recess appointment made by President Barack Obama in March 2010 was unconstitutional. The ruling supports a similar finding made by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in January 2013 based on other "recess" appointments made by Obama in January 2012.

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Report sums up prepaid with 'buyer beware'

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Financial services comparison site Bankrate.com issued its annual survey of prepaid cards and concluded that, despite a positive trend of decreasing fees, it still can be a perilous, fee-laden market for consumers. Bankrate.com examined 24 of the most prominent prepaid cards to discover "the usual menu of fees – and some very unusual price differentials, underscoring the 'buyer beware' nature of the prepaid market."

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Rethinking mobile security

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

According to research conducted by MobiThinking.com, there will be more than 6.9 billion cell phone subscribers globally by the end of 2013. Considering that the population of the planet is estimated at just over 7 billion, this number is staggering. Many subscribers are using smartphones to handle tasks formerly conducted only on desktop computers, including online financial transactions. Indeed, smartphones and tablets are becoming default devices for browsing the Internet and making purchases online. An increasing number of merchants are using mobile devices at the POS, as well.

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Google adds to wallet

Friday, May 24, 2013

Google Wallet, the mobile payment venture from search engine giant Google Inc., has taken many turns since its May 2011 debut. After security flaws were exposed, Google moved the wallet to the cloud and later abandoned the wallet's prepaid card component. Now Google is making further changes to its high-profile offering: streamlining checkout, linking the wallet to Gmail accounts, and broadening the wallet to include loyalty programs.

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'Cash reload' scam comes to light

Thursday, May 23, 2013

On May 20, 2013, the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau warned of a new scam involving Green Dot Corp.'s reload service, MoneyPak. The Wisconsin chapter of the national business standards organization reported that scammers are contacting consumers with news that they have won either a lottery or sweepstakes, or alternatively can purchase a discounted product or service, and then instruct individuals to buy MoneyPaks to fulfill the awards or offers.

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Work ahead for NFC payments

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Advocates for near field communication (NFC) technology first touted NFC-enabled contactless payment cards, and later similarly equipped mobile devices, as the future of in-store payments. However, on day one of the two-day NFC Solutions Summit held at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport in Burlingame, Calif., presenters acknowledged that much work still needs to be done to realize the mass adoption of NFC-based solutions in the marketplace. In his May 15, 2013, opening address, Smart Card Alliance Executive Director Randy Vanderhoof alluded to "considerable headwinds in getting the ecosystem aligned" for NFC payments. But he said a great deal of the foundation necessary to realize that alignment, both for payment and non-payment related uses, was laid in the last year.

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MasterCard pilots prepaid ID cards in Nigeria

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Nigeria is moving to electronic payments via MasterCard Worldwide-branded prepaid cards. In early May 2013, MasterCard reported at the World Economic Forum on Africa that it had entered into a pilot program with the Nigerian National Identity Management Commission for a national identity prepaid smart card. The pilot, which involves the rolling out of 13 million MasterCard-branded identification payment cards in the West African country, is the largest and broadest financial inclusion initiative of its kind on the African continent, the card brand said.

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Resources for the feet on the street

Monday, May 20, 2013

We posted a few items under News From the Wire on our home page today that could be particularly useful to merchant level people (MLSs) seeking ways to serve their merchant customers more effectively. They pertain to the areas of chargebacks, e-commerce and business capital. Following is a summary of the news. For full details, access the press releases at the left-hand side of this page.

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CFPB revises international money transfer rule

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau made changes to its international remittance (money transfer) rule now scheduled to take effect on Oct. 28, 2013. The CFPB said the revisions are intended to preserve new consumer protections provided by the rule while easing the financial services industry's compliance burden with the rule. The new rule mandates remittance transfer providers (RTPs), such as banks and money transfer specialists like MoneyGram International and The Western Union Co., disclose exchange rates, fees and taxes to consumers, as well as make RTPs liable for the monetary losses of consumers when customer errors cause disruptions in the money transfer process.

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DOJ office indicts fraudsters in prepaid scheme

Thursday, May 16, 2013

On May 9, 2013, a New York division of the U.S. Department of Justice reported the arrest and indictment of seven masterminds behind a large and sophisticated fraud scheme involving prepaid cards that netted the fraudsters $45 million. According to the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York, the cybercriminals hacked into the prepaid card processing systems associated with two foreign banks to manipulate withdrawal limits on prepaid card accounts and hit ATMs in 26 countries with fake cards encoded with the hacked accounts.

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Industrializing mobile financial fraud

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

According to a report by the Anti-Phishing Working Group, an international law enforcement, government and industry coalition focused on global response to electronic crime, the global proliferation of mobile devices has "spawned an industrialized mobile financial fraud plexus" that is driven by sophisticated technical innovation funded by new mobile malware designed to exploit mobile device vulnerabilities. "Mobile fraud, we can clearly state, has become an industrialized process, although globally we show currently some countries are more at risk than others," said Jart Armin, Mobile Fraud Research Coordinator at APWG.

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Report sheds light on 51 million underbanked

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

FactorTrust Chief Executive Officer Greg Rable defines the underbanked as people who have existing banking relationships, usually in the form of checking accounts, but for various reasons lack traditional credit options. To better define the approximately 51 million underbanked individuals in the United States, FactorTrust, which analyzes underbanked consumer data, issued the inaugural FactorTrust Underbanked Index.

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DOD accuses China of cyber attacks

Monday, May 13, 2013

A report submitted to Congress by the U.S. Department of Defense May 6, 2013, marked the first time the U.S. government has publicly accused the People's Republic of China and the Chinese military of launching computer-based attacks to steal information from U.S. companies and government agencies.

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Dwolla expands with $16.5 million investment

Friday, May 10, 2013

Dwolla Inc., an Iowa-based online and mobile payment network provider, recently reported it plans to use $16.5 million in new investment capital to double its workforce in Iowa and New York, as well as expand to San Francisco. The new round of funding is led by California Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Dwolla, which was launched by company Chief Executive Officer Ben Milne in December 2009, doesn't use the traditional credit and debit card rails; instead, its network connects to individual bank accounts to transfer money.

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Michigan senator seeks EBT card restrictions

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Michigan State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, said he plans to introduce legislation to ban the use of state-issued electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards at strip clubs and liquor stores in Michigan. "It is an obscene use of tax dollars meant to feed hungry children and provide the necessities of life," Jones said in an April 29, 2013, statement. "Booze and strip clubs need to be off limits to welfare money."

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ETA 2013: A hub for payments innovation

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Electronic Transactions Association's 2013 Annual Meeting & Expo held April 29 to May 2, 2013, in New Orleans was a dynamic showcase for payment startups, mobile innovators and major stakeholders, all vying for position in the next evolution of payments. More than 200 exhibitors and an estimated 3,000 attendees filled the 150,000 square-foot exhibit floor to network and participate in educational sessions throughout the four-day conference.

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Google enters transit card market in Kenya

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Google Inc. launched a near field communication (NFC) -enabled prepaid transit card in the African nation of Kenya. The BebaPay card, marketed by Top Image, which also markets Safaricom's M-Pesa mobile payments solution in Africa, is for use on Kenya's bus system. According to the BebaPay website, the cards can only currently be used on Citi Hoppa buses in Nairobi, the capital city of the East African state.

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Innovator leaves behind payments legacy

Monday, May 6, 2013

Stanley A. Dashew, recognized as the inventor of the credit card, passed away in Los Angeles on April 25, 2013, at the age of 96. In 1950, the Harlem, N.Y., native founded Dashew Business Machines, which automated the nascent credit card industry by replacing paper "charge cards" with plastic cards. "Like the Dustin Hoffman character in the movie 'The Graduate,' it was revealed to me that the answer to all my problems – well, at least this one – was plastic," Dashew wrote in the Huffington Post.

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TSGPX outperforms S&P 500

Friday, May 3, 2013

At the 2013 Electronic Transactions Association's Annual Meeting & Expo held in New Orleans, the ETA issued its quarterly analysis of the U.S. economy, which showed that payments industry companies continue to outperform the economy as a whole. The ETA U.S. Economic Indicators Report for the first quarter of 2013, published in collaboration with payments consultancy The Strawhecker Group, said the industry experienced almost 14 times more growth over a six-year span than the overall economy.

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SheerID dignifies military via discounts at golf events

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Online customer verification service SheerID is keen on helping active, retired and veteran military personnel, and their families, receive discounts to golf events. Recently SheerID partnered with military outreach initiative Birdies for the Brave to provide discounted tickets to that constituency for select PGA Tour, Champions Tour and Web.com Tour events.

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Report says prepaid replacing checking

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A report from CreditCardMenu.com said consumers are turning away from traditional bank accounts and toward prepaid card accounts as a way to avoid fees. In Are Prepaid Cards Replacing Checking Accounts? New Cards Have No Fees and Offer Online Bill Payment, the banking product comparison site said the newest repaid card offerings are "virtually fee-free and a practical option for many people who once used checking accounts and credit cards to manage their finances."

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