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Breaking News articles for October 2013

Fed to host payment improvement town halls

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The U.S. Federal Reserve is embarking on a series of six Payment System Improvement Town Halls to be held in November 2013. The meetings will take place at the fed's reserve bank locations in Atlanta, Cleveland, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston and Dallas.

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MasterCard reports on global prepaid efforts

Thursday, October 31, 2013

In an address at the Financial Inclusion 2020 Global Forum held Oct. 28 through 30 in London, MasterCard Worldwide President and Chief Executive Officer Ajay Banga highlighted the central role prepaid accounts and mobile payments are playing in advancing financial access for millions of unbanked and underbanked people worldwide. "Today's payments technology – prepaid and mobile coupled with biometrics – brings millions of people access to financial tools for the first time, enabling them to live more secure, empowered and included lives," he said.

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iCareCard launches charity-focused card

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

iCareCard, a Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based ISO, unveiled the Visa Inc.-branded iCareCard that offers cardholders a way to reward local charities when they make payments with the prepaid card. "Our philosophy is manage, save, give," said Larry Kane, Chief Executive Officer of iCareCard. "We want to use the iCareCard as a way to save people money and also generate money for their chosen causes."

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The Green Sheet celebrates 30 years of service to the payments industry's feet on the street

Monday, October 28, 2013

To help celebrate The Green Sheet's 30th anniversary, many of our advisory board members shared perspectives on what The Green Sheet has meant, and continues to mean, to their own careers, as well as to the payments industry overall.

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Walgreens launches GPR card

Thursday, October 24, 2013

National drug store chain Walgreens entered the prepaid card industry with its own general purpose reloadable card. Walgreens said the Balance Financial Prepaid MasterCard will offer a phased launch of integrated financial services over the coming months. Currently, the card is available in over 250 Walgreens locations in Detroit, Milwaukee and Nashville, Tenn., with a nationwide rollout expected before year's end and additional financial services being added to the card in 2014.

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Tyfone confronts data security 'cross over'

Thursday, October 24, 2013

On Oct. 7, 2013, mobile identity verification and security firm Tyfone Inc. entered a pilot program with Wisconsin-based CoVantage Credit Union to test Tyfone's connected smartcard (CSC) technology. The CSC chip hardware, that can be integrated into different form factors, such as a plastic card, microSD card or key chain dongle, is designed to protect consumers' banking and payment data at a time when the two-factor authentication method of user name and password is widely seen as broken.

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An open letter to the electronic payments industry: Let's put a stop to criminal practices in our industry -- now!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Green Sheet just received the following letter from Robert O. Carr, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Heartland Payment Systems Inc.: Last Wednesday (October 16, 2013), I delivered a keynote address to the Strategic Leadership Forum of the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA) on my views of the evolution of the payments industry. At the beginning of this address, I told the audience that some of my comments would be controversial and I kept my promise, knowing that some members of the audience would be supportive and that others might be offended. Frankly, I didn’t care if I offended some of the attendees because we need a discussion of what is unethical vs. what is criminal in our industry. The goal of my address was not to tell others how to run their business, but rather to shed light on the criminal practices currently taking place in our industry that are duplicitous and designed to prey upon merchant customers, and which I feel must change.

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Phone card growth in Spain creates optimism

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Oct. 19, 2013, blog of the Wall Street Journal said the rise in the use of prepaid phone cards in Spain is an indicator that economic conditions are improving in the southern European country. Blog writer David Roman cited a report from mobile telecommunications firm Telefónica SA that said prepaid phone card users in Spain spent on average 12 to 13 euros per month to recharge their cards in 2013, compared to a monthly average of 10 to 11 euros in 2012.

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FarePay goes live in Utah

Friday, October 18, 2013

On Oct. 14, 2013, the Utah Transit Authority went live with its new reloadable prepaid FarePay transit card. The UTA said the cards are available for purchase online and at UTA customer service centers. The UTA is offering fare discounts of up to 20 percent to encourage transit riders to switch to the card.

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Mobile payments still not customer preferred

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Reflecting recent research that concludes mobile payment adoption remains low, Total System Services Inc. (TSYS) issued results from a survey that confirm consumers prefer banking applications other than payments for their mobile devices. While reinforcing the dominance of debit and credit cards as payment mechanisms, the TSYS 2013 Consumer Payment Choice Study revealed that mobile devices are used as a tool for ancillary financial services, such as checking account balances and accessing discounts and rewards.

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EBT cardholders take advantage of glitch

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

For a few hours on Saturday evening, Oct. 12, 2013, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. locations in Louisiana became ground zero for food snap recipients without spending limits on their government-issued electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards. A reported power outage at Xerox Corp., which processes EBT card transactions, caused the glitch, resulting in spending limits on the cards being disabled and EBT users taking advantage.

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Report addresses issues with CNP acceptance

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fraudsters who perpetrate schemes in the card-not-present (CNP) sphere may unfortunately find comfort in the SecureBuy-Magento 2013 Fraud Report. Based on an online survey conducted from February to May 2013, the report found that merchants globally investigate CNP chargeback requests only 54 percent of the time. The result is that millions of dollars in fraud that could be avoided is not, the researchers concluded. The report noted that the trend of individuals charging back purchases to merchants is on the rise.

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WSAA celebrates 10 years with style

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Western States Acquirers Association's 10th anniversary conference, held October 8 and 9, 2013, at the San Francisco Airport Hyatt Regency drew an estimated 687 exhibitors and attendees to the sold-out venue. "We, at WSAA, are both humbled and thrilled with this year's incredible turnout for the 10th annual conference," said WSAA President Steve Eazell. "We are so thankful for everyone's generous support."

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Budget standoff causes holiday caution

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Echoing fears of businesses and consumers alike, Blackhawk Network, the prepaid card distributor and Safeway Inc. subsidiary, expressed concern about the economic fallout from the partial government shutdown. " [I]f not resolved, there is concern the current budget standoff could impact consumer spending or diminish some of the ongoing improvement in the overall economic picture," said Blackhawk President Talbott Roche in a conference call to discuss the company's third quarter 2013 earnings.

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Feds call for greater due diligence

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

In the wake of an increase in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s scrutiny of banks and payment providers that serve online lenders, decisions made by the agency’s field personnel were publicly challenged recently by representatives of the trades in question. Following this outcry, the FDIC issued a Financial Institution Letter (FIL13043) explaining the basis of its actions and formal position on the matter. The FDIC letter assured banks, online lenders and third-party payment processors that it is the FDIC’s practice to treat all parties fairly and consistently, but counseled banking institutions and payment companies to be extra vigilant in underwriting and managing these accounts.

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Target enters prepaid wireless fray

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Discount chain store giant Target Corp. is taking on its rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc. with a prepaid mobile phone scheme called Brightspot. The move sets up Target to partake in the growing prepaid wireless market, which is expected to surpass $25 billion in 2015.

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Ventra Card goes live in Chicago

Monday, October 7, 2013

On Sept. 9, 2013, the much anticipated Ventra Card went live in Chicago. The dual transit and general purpose reloadable (GPR) prepaid card is being called the first of its kind to be implemented in a major U.S. city. First Data Corp., the largest U.S. acquirer and the payment processor for the GPR portion of the card, characterized the launch as the next step in the convergence of payments, where cards once used for separate purposes are combined into one convenient, multifunction payment instrument. The Ventra Card is MasterCard Worldwide-branded and embedded with near field communication (NFC) technology to enable contactless payments.

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U.K. research reveals Universal Credit hurdles

Friday, October 4, 2013

In the wake of the U.K. government's decision to postpone implementation of its controversial Universal Credit (UC) welfare reform, a U.K. financial institution association released research that supports claims that a sizable population of welfare recipients are not presently equipped to handle the financial responsibilities that the reform imposes on them. The Department for Work and Pensions, the agency in charge of the U.K.'s welfare and pension system, set Oct. 1, 2013, as the start date for UC. But the agency abandoned the idea and instead opted to pilot the program in a few English towns and then expand to other cities, including London, by the spring of 2014.

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Payments Council research reveals UC hurdles

Thursday, October 3, 2013

In the wake of the U.K. government's decision to postpone implementation of its controversial Universal Credit (UC) welfare reform, a U.K. financial institution association released research that supports claims that a sizable population of welfare recipients are not presently equipped to handle the financial responsibilities that the reform imposes on them.

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Prepaid primed for Obamacare

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

On Oct. 1, 2013, the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare, took effect with so-called online health care exchanges going live state-by-state. While many of the exchanges experienced technical problems that hindered individuals from signing up for government-run health care, Phoenix, Ariz.-based ISO CPNUSA.com touted prepaid cards as a viable payment option for when unbanked individuals remit payments to insurers and health care providers.

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Ten ways to save your network

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The beginning of October marks the start of the holiday shopping season for many merchants today. But October is also National Cyber Security Awareness Month. – a time devoted to one of the least pleasant issues facing merchants today: data security. But merchants' dread at the topic can be turned to the advantage of ISOs and merchant level salespeople by advising retailers on the commonsense steps they can take to ensure that their most important time of year is not ruined by a data breach. To that end, cloud-based payment processor 3Delta Systems Inc. released a cyber security best practice document that service providers can use to educate merchants, and themselves.

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