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Breaking News articles for December 2013

Virtual could supplant plastic in card world

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

While the recent Target Brands Inc. data breach was a clear reminder of the inherent risks associated with mag stripe technology, some industry observers feel that virtual solutions involving one-time-use credit card numbers could remedy the problem before Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) chip-based cards take root among U.S. merchants. The major card brands mandated that EMV be implemented at the POS to enhance payment card security in the United States.

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Target breach highlights need for 3D Secure

Friday, December 27, 2013

In the wake of the Target Brands Inc. breach, where an estimated 40 million bankcard accounts were compromised during some of the busiest days of the 2013 holiday shopping period, a new focus is being put on the weaknesses in the U.S. data security infrastructure. While media reports have focused on the easy counterfeiting of mag stripe cards in the Target fraud, the card-not-present (CNP) online realm remains just as vulnerable.

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Fed study confirms growth in electronic payments

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The payment pie continues to grow, driven largely by credit and debit card payments. Meanwhile, although U.S. consumers are writing fewer checks, they're writing checks for larger amounts, and virtually all those checks are clearing electronically. In fact, one out of six checks written in 2012 was deposited by the payee as an electronic image using a mobile phone camera or other remote deposit capture option. These are just a few of the high-level findings from the Federal Reserve's recently released payments study.

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Millennials love holiday gift cards, Blackhawk finds

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The millennial generation of consumers are known for their love of twenty-first century technology like smartphones and social networking. But they apparently also love a holdover from the last century − the ever resilient plastic gift card. That is the conclusion of a survey conducted by gift card mall innovator and Safeway Inc. subsidiary Blackhawk Network.

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Mobile marketplace a target for fraudsters

Monday, December 23, 2013

The allure of smartphones and tablet computers has led to an explosion in mobile app development, resulting in mobile app stores that offer apps for a million-and-one uses. In the retail sector, merchants recognize the importance of having their own private-label mobile apps to capture the coveted top-of-wallet placement with consumers. However, the incredibly diverse and all-pervasive mobile app marketplace is fast becoming a target for fraudsters.

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Does Target breach show PCI SSC not reaching merchants?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Discount retailer Target Brands Inc. confirmed Dec. 19, 2013, that its U.S. stores were the source of a nationwide fraud scheme perpetrated between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, 2013. While the details have not been officially disclosed, Target reported that approximately 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been breached in the attack. The retailer said it is working with law enforcement and has contracted with a third-party fraud examiner on the investigation into the incident.

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Does Target breach show PCI SSC not reaching merchants?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Discount retailer Target Brands Inc. confirmed Dec. 19, 2013, that its U.S. stores were the source of a nationwide fraud scheme perpetrated between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, 2013. While the details have not been officially disclosed, Target reported that approximately 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been breached in the attack. The retailer said it is working with law enforcement and has contracted with a third-party fraud examiner on the investigation into the incident.

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Gift card buying jumps at holiday outset

Thursday, December 19, 2013

First Data Corp.'s SpendTrend analysis of electronic transactions processed for the first week in December 2013 showed that closed-loop gift card purchasing had hit a "lull." But that shouldn't dampen the enthusiasm for SpendTrend data from the previous week of Oct. 31 through Dec. 2, 2013, as the acquirer revealed that gift card buying jumped by 8.9 percent from the same time last year. The spike occurred despite fewer November shopping days following Thanksgiving this year than in 2012, First Data said.

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CFPB pushes back GPR card rules proposal date

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's rulemaking agenda, the proposed rules designed to regulate the general purpose reloadable (GPR) prepaid card sector will not be released until May 2014. Previously, the prepaid card industry expected the CFPB to issue its proposal on how it expects to regulate GPR cards by the end of 2013.

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Class-action interchange fee settlement approved

Monday, December 16, 2013

At last, the controversial and long disputed $7.25 billion settlement of the class-action lawsuit brought by retailers against Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide over interchange fees was approved. The Dec. 13, 2013, order of Judge John Gleeson of the United States District Court Eastern District of New York paves the way for merchants large and small to receive compensation for allegedly excessive electronic transaction processing fees imposed by the card brands over an eight-year period. In his memorandum and order, Gleeson found that the settlement plan was both fair and reasonable.

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The Green Sheet finds a new home

Friday, December 13, 2013

After doing business for two years in Santa Rosa, Calif., The Green Sheet Inc. is returning to Rohnert Park, Calif. We have enjoyed our close proximity to downtown Santa Rosa and its myriad fine restaurants and shops that the office we are leaving has provided. However, we wanted to relocate to a spot that is more centrally located for our staff. We found just the place in downtown Rohnert Park.

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Canada starts prepaid card reform process

Thursday, December 12, 2013

On Dec. 3, 2013, Canada's Department of Finance embarked on a regulatory development strategy designed to result in laws which ultimately protect prepaid cardholders. Via the Canada Gazette, the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper said it intends to establish a financial consumer protection framework and promulgate subsequent regulations that will, among other things, provide rules for fee disclosures on prepaid cards, as well as ban expiration dates from the cards.

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Metrics reveal mobile device disruption of e-commerce

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mobile devices are proving to be the biggest disruptors of the retail economy. Retail sector analyst comScore Inc. released research that details how smartphones and tablet computers continue to reshape how consumers shop and pay. In State of the U.S. Online Retail Economy in Q3 2013, comScore said the online payment ecosystem has become a multiplatform one, with consumers interacting via a combination of desktop computers and mobile devices. As of Sept. 2013, 54 percent of Internet users employed multiple devices, up from 48 percent in February 2013.

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New POS skimmer threat exposed

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Just in time for the holidays − a new type of skimming device designed to steal cardholder data at the POS. As reported Dec. 3, 2013, on security blog site KrebsonSecurity, the new skimmer is a thin plastic overlay that fits over the PIN pad of standard POS terminals. A small battery and flash storage card affixed to the underside of the device records mag stripe data as cards are swiped through terminals and captures passcodes as they are keyed in.

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465,000 Chase prepaid card accounts hacked

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

On Dec. 4, 2013, JPMorgan Chase & Co. said a July 2013 data breach resulted in the compromise of the prepaid card accounts of 465,000 cardholders. Chase said the breach affected approximately 2 percent of the bank's 25 million prepaid card customers. The breach was reportedly discovered by Chase in September 2013.

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China restricts bitcoin – for now

Friday, December 6, 2013

China's central bank notified the organizations comprising the country's banking infrastructure that they are not allowed to deal in bitcoin. The People's Bank of China said it made the declaration to protect China from the risks associated with the volatile alternative virtual currency and its money laundering potential. But the move may be a precursor to China eventually regulating bitcoin, a development that would confirm the long-term viability of the controversial digital currency.

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Microsoft launches holiday gift card promotion

Thursday, December 5, 2013

In a holiday season promotion, Microsoft Corp. is offering a $25 gift card offer when customers buy a new Windows-based touch PC or table computer. The cards are designed to be used in Microsoft's online app store for the purchase of apps and games.

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Cyber Monday sets sales record

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Sometimes retail trends reveal themselves slowly over time, but occasionally they smack you square in the face. An example of the latter occurred this year on Cyber Monday, the quintessential Monday following Thanksgiving: online sales jumped by 20 percent or more over 2012's one-day e-commerce yardstick. The IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark put the Cyber Monday online payments increase at 20.6 percent, with traffic from mobile devices growing to 31.7 percent of all online traffic. This represents a 45 percent jump from the same day in 2012. Additionally, mobile-based transactions increased by 55.4 percent year-over-year, IBM reported.

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PayPal adds gift card redemption feature

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, alternative commerce solution firm PayPal Inc. added gift card redemption functionality to its consumer-facing payment interface PayPal Checkout. The addition is designed to help gift card users easily redeem gift cards online.

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NRF sees glass half full for holiday shopping kick-off

Monday, December 2, 2013

In gauging holiday shopping trends over the long 2013 Thanksgiving weekend, the National Retail Federation reported an increase in the amount people spent online, and a rise in the amount of shoppers who took to the stores (whether virtual or brick-and-mortar), which combined to offset a reduction in overall spending by consumers. In the survey conducted for the NRF by Prosper Insights & Analytics, U.S. consumers were found to have spent on average $407.02 from Thursday to Sunday, down from $423.55 over the same period in 2012. However, the amount of "unique" holiday shoppers hit an estimated 141 million, up by 2 million from 2012.

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