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Breaking News articles for February 2013

VeriFone fires up popular reality TV series

Thursday, February 28, 2013

VeriFone Inc. will hit the stage during the debut episode of NBC's All-Star Celebrity Apprentice set to air on March 3. This marks the 13th season for The Apprentice television series hosted by Donald Trump, and the first program appearance by global electronic payment solutions provider VeriFone.

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When kiosks become ATMs

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Coin-to-card kiosk operator Coinstar Inc. and alternative financial services provider PayPal Inc. may have just redefined the ATM. The companies have embarked on an initiative that allows PayPal users to deposit and withdraw money from Coinstar kiosks, as well as send money to other PayPal users. The service is currently available on kiosks in Texas, Northern California and Ohio.

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New cyber threat targets SMBs

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Security awareness training firm KnowBe4 warned of a new security threat to small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). The threat, called Advanced Persistent Threat, or APT, is usually initiated via spear-phishing attacks orchestrated by teams of fraudsters, according to KnowBe4. The attack targets company executives who have access to businesses' most sensitive and secure information. KnowBe4 said APTs are typically sponsored by governments that have the capabilities and intent to persistently target specific entities.

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Gift card upsurge explained in Canada

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Gift cards are gaining popularity in Canada, according to a survey of over 1,000 Canadian consumers. The survey commissioned by prepaid card distributor InComm and conducted online by Northstar Research Partners said gift cards are becoming more popular because Canadians like their convenience, ease of use, variety and last-minute gifting functionality.

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Payments by the numbers

Monday, February 25, 2013

Following are research highlights from recently published payments industry reports. #h2Local pricing essential to e-commerce A white paper titled Local Currency Pricing for eCommerce – Increasing Online Sales by Implementing a Global Pricing Strategy, which was commissioned by multicurrency settlement provider E4X, surveyed 30,000 global online shoppers and found that 92.2 percent of respondents preferred to make purchases on websites that offer product pricing in their local currency; 33 percent would likely abandon a purchase if pricing was only available in U.S. dollars.

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TSYS to don NetSpend's PM mantle

Monday, February 25, 2013

The competitive landscape of the prepaid card industry is about to be rearranged with the declaration by Total System Services Inc. (TSYS) that it intends to acquire NetSpend Holdings Inc. for approximately $1.4 billion. TSYS executives said during the Feb. 19, 2013, conference call announcing its intent that the move allows the Austin, Texas-based transaction processor to expand its corporate and retail footprints by becoming a prepaid card program manager (PM) itself.

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Africa takes the CNP fraud origination crown

Thursday, February 21, 2013

It may come as a surprise to some in the electronic payments community that the highest percentage of card-not-present (CNP) fraud by continent originates in Africa. But that is the conclusion of online fraud prevention firm iovation Inc. Seven percent of online transactions initiated from Africa in 2012 were fraudulent, based on transactions processed online via iovation's ReputationManager 360 software.

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Africa takes the CNP fraud origination crown

Thursday, February 21, 2013

It may come as a surprise to some in the electronic payments community that the highest percentage of card-not-present (CNP) fraud by continent originates in Africa. But that is the conclusion of online fraud prevention firm iovation Inc. Seven percent of online transactions initiated from Africa in 2012 were fraudulent, based on transactions processed online via iovation's ReputationManager 360 software.

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NAC suit dismissed

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A federal judge in the District of Columbia on Feb. 13, 2013, dismissed actions filed by the National ATM Council Inc. and two other groups of plaintiffs alleging antitrust actions on the part of Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide. The court ruled the plaintiffs were not able to prove a conspiracy on the part of the card companies.

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CFPB probes campus financial products

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launched an inquiry into the financial products marketed to college students. The bureau expressed concern that products like financial aid disbursement cards and campus ID cards that double as prepaid debit cards are not consumer friendly financial instruments for college and university students.

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Reservations about EMV security, timeline surface

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Doubts regarding the viability of the Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) global standard for chip card interoperability, as well as concerns about aspects of its U.S implementation timeline, surfaced recently. Douglas King, a Payments Risk Expert in the Retail Payments Risk Forum at the Atlanta Federal Reserve, indicated in a Feb. 11, 2013, Atlanta Fed blog post that he doubts the business case can be made for EMV as a fraud prevention tool, even though the card networks' liability shifts for counterfeit transactions is only two years away.

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Vatican looks outside EU for card solution

Friday, February 15, 2013

A dispute with the Bank of Italy over potential money laundering led the Institute for Works of Religion, commonly known as the Vatican Bank or IOR, to partner with a payment processor in Switzerland, a country not part of the 27-state European Union. The agreement arrived approximately 40 days after POS card-present transactions in Vatican City were blocked.

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Bill would close Internet tax loophole

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators and representatives introduced the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 on Feb. 14. The bill, an attempt to remedy a tax loophole and help brick-and-mortar retailers compete more effectively against out-of-state Internet merchants, resolves differences in legislation previously introduced in the U.S. House and Senate.

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California bill would 'unsweeten' EBT cards

Thursday, February 14, 2013

On Jan. 28, 2013, California State Senator Michael J. Rubio, D-16th District, introduced a bill that would ban state food stamp recipients from using electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards to purchase sugar-sweetened beverages. The bill is designed to combat the epidemic of obesity in California.

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February brings new payment schemes

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Corporations continue to invent new ways for consumers to pay for products and merchants to connect with consumers. On Feb. 5, 2013, American Express Co. synchronized its credit cards with Twitter Inc. to allow consumer purchases on the social media site. The following week, Boston-based mobile payment company LevelUp Inc. teamed with ShopKeep POS to allow merchants to build customer loyalty directly at the POS.

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Durbin delaying EMV road map

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The U.S. implementation of the Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) global standard for integrated circuit (chip) payment cards is at a standstill just weeks before April 1, 2013, when processors are supposed to be capable of processing EMV payments. According to interviews with a number of payments industry executives, EMV's introduction into the U.S. market is proving technically more difficult than anticipated because of new federal regulations under the Durbin Amendment to the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, which requires that merchants have a choice of at least two independent debit networks for processing debit transactions.

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Prepaid electricity popularity growing in U.S.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A national survey of consumers revealed that the popularity of the prepaid electricity option is growing in the United States. The survey conducted by DEFG LLC, a management consulting firm specializing in the energy sector, said the interest in prepaid electricity is especially strong among younger adults, renters and men in general.

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PCI SSC releases cloud guidelines

Monday, February 11, 2013

PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) issued cloud computing data security guidelines on Feb. 7, 2013. The 52-page Cloud Computing Guidelines Information Supplement is a resource published to help businesses choose solutions and cloud providers that will secure customer payment data in the cloud in compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS).

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East Coast facing a major storm

Friday, February 8, 2013

New York City and New England are bracing for the impact of a powerful "nor'easter" that is expected to merge with another storm coming from the Midwest today, Fri., Feb. 8, 2013. Weather reports have indicated the resulting blizzard, named Nemo, is likely to dump up to 10 inches of snow on New York City and double that amount on Connecticut and Massachusetts. Other parts of the Eastern United States are also being affected.

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Online giants leverage new money schemes

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A challenge faced by established online businesses is how to leverage their platforms and user bases to sustain or increase revenues. Social media pioneer Facebook and e-commerce retailer Amazon Inc. have hit on new schemes to monetize their services. #h2Facebook enters gift card fray In late January 2013, Facebook launched a gift card scheme that employs physical cards that can hold balances for multiple retailers. The social media website said the Facebook Card service is being rolled out in select regions of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France and Germany, with the cards currently available for use at a mix of retailers that includes grocery stores, convenience stores, discount retailers and a toy store chain.

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Facebook enters gift card fray

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Facebook launched a gift card scheme that employs physical cards which can hold balances for multiple retailers. The social media website said the Facebook Card service is being rolled out in select regions of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France and Germany, with the cards currently available for use at a mix of retailers that include grocery stores, convenience stores, discount retailers and a toy store chain.

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Facebook enters gift card fray

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Facebook launched a gift card scheme that employs physical cards which can hold balances for multiple retailers. The social media website said the Facebook Card service is being rolled out in select regions of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France and Germany, with the cards currently available for use at a mix of retailers that include grocery stores, convenience stores, discount retailers and a toy store chain.

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Checkout fee facts debated

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The controversy over the proposed settlement of the class-action lawsuit that pits retailers against the card brands continues unabated. The latest issue involves the allowance by Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide of credit card surcharging when consumers use credit cards at the POS. The card brands' representative, the Electronic Payments Coalition, said retailers demanded that the surcharge (checkout fee) allowance be included as part of the settlement, while the retailers' representative, the National Retail Federation, said most merchants have no intention of imposing such surcharges.

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New PCI guidelines for ATM, e-commerce

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Guidelines for ATM and e-commerce security were released by the PCI Security Standards Council (SSC) in the final two days of January 2013. The ATM Security Guidelines Information Supplement was released Jan. 30, and the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) E-Commerce Guidelines Information Supplement was released the next day.

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Urban Trust ends controversial prepaid feature

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

On Feb. 1, 2013, prepaid card issuer Urban Trust Bank officially discontinued the overdraft protection feature on its Visa Inc.-branded prepaid cards. Orlando, Fla.-based UTB said elimination of the feature helps the bank streamline card offerings and better serve the needs of its customers. But federal bank regulator Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) might have a different version of why UTB ended overdraft protection on prepaid cards.

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Square wins with Verizon, Angie's List

Monday, February 4, 2013

Verizon Wireless stores nationwide are selling the Square Inc. card reader, Paul Macchia, Verizon Wireless National Public Relations Manager for Small and Medium-sized Business and Converged Content Solution, revealed in a blog posted Jan. 31, 2013.

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ETA promotes Debit AID to assist EMV

Friday, February 1, 2013

A single application identifier (AID) for U.S. debit cards is needed to effectively deploy the Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) global technology standard in the United States, the Electronic Transactions Association said in a press release issued in January 2013. Payment card networks have prescribed a timetable to move U.S. merchants and consumers from using mag stripe cards for payments to using EMV chip-enabled technology in cards and acceptance devices. The card companies are encouraging processors to upgrade to EMV-enabled systems by April 2013.

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Federal appeals court ruling may impact CFPB

Friday, February 1, 2013

In light of an appeals court ruling that President Barack Obama's Jan.4, 2012, recess appointments of three new members to the National Labor Relations Board were unconstitutional, the appointment of Richard Cordray to helm the newly formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is now under question. If Cordray's appointment, which occurred on the same day the other appointments were made, is eventually ruled unconstitutional, the CFPB's actions to regulate the financial services industry, including the prepaid card sector, may be invalidated.

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