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Breaking News articles for February 2015

Google, Softcard open doors, close Windows

Friday, February 27, 2015

Google Inc.’s acquisition of Softcard, announced Feb. 23, 2015, ended four years of competition between the two companies’ mobile wallet divisions. Payments analysts expect Softcard’s intellectual properties to add value to Google Wallet and level the mobile wallet playing field. Softcard, formed in 2010 by mobile networks AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless under the name Isis, marked a strategic shift for the competing cellular networks. Chief Executive Officer Michael Abbott described the venture as a four-sided market that included consumers, merchants, parent companies and mobile network carriers.

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EMV, interchange concern ATM deployers

Friday, February 27, 2015

With EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) implementation deadlines looming in the United States, efforts to facilitate the transition from mag-stripe to EMV technology have intensified among all affected parties, including ATM deployers, which have a longer time to become EMV-compliant than most merchant sectors. And how to enhance the consumer self-service ATM experience while also addressing EMV and interchange issues was a major focus at the annual ATM Industry Association convention held Feb. 17 through 19 in Las Vegas.

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AmEx to appeal court ruling on merchant steering

Monday, February 23, 2015

American Express co.'s anti-steering rules have long been a stick in the craw of card-accepting merchants, and anti-trust attorneys at the U.S. Department of Justice. On Feb. 19, 2015, a U.S. District Court judge weighed in, ruling that AmEx's take-it-or-leave it policy amounts to "an unlawful restraint on trade." AmEx, however, isn't budging on its position. Within hours of the decision being handed down the card company said it was readying an appeal.

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Massive hack siphons nearly $1 billion from banks worldwide

Friday, February 20, 2015

It's being billed as the largest data heist in the history of banking. And it may not yet be over. Reports published recently in various media outlets revealed that at least 100 banks in 30 countries were hit with malware that resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. However, no banks have yet revealed whether they were hit. The reports were based on information released by Kaspersky, a Russian-based security firm. Kaspersky said it was called in to investigate possible network breaches after ATMs in Kiev began dispensing cash at seemingly random times throughout the day.

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Costco, JetBlue disengaged with AmEx

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

American Express Co.'s rapid-fire break-ups in February 2015 with co-branded payment card partners Costco Wholesale Corp. and JetBlue Airways Corp. led to sharp declines in the company's blue chip stock. However, a number of financial analysts stated they expect AmEx to recover from these temporary partnership setbacks.

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PCI SSC deems SSL v3.0 protocol no longer acceptable

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

On Feb., 13, 2015, the PCI Security Standards Council issued a follow up to its Jan. 30 Assessor newsletter. The bulletin indicated the PCI SSC will publish a revision to the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) and its Payment Application (PA) -DSS v3.0 in the near future. The revision will address a "few minor updates and clarifications and one impacting change." The impacting change pertains to the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) v3.0 protocol, which the council said contains inherent weaknesses that prevent it from fitting the definition of "strong" cryptography. Thus it is not PCI compliant.

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Raising payment security awareness via Twitter chat

Friday, February 13, 2015

Heartland Payment Systems Inc. and the National Restaurant Association hosted a Twitter chat Feb. 12, 2015, focused on securing payment data, a topic of growing concern for restaurateurs and consumers alike. Anna Tauzin, Senior Marketing Manager at the association moderated the one-hour discussion, led by Michael English, Heartland's Executive Director of Product Development and Jim Higgins, the Association's Vice President of Payment and Financial Services. Attendees followed along and asked questions using the hashtag #SecurePayment.

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MAC says more can be done to secure card data

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Merchant Acquirers Committee wants merchant acquirers and processors to invest more in card data security tools that can relieve merchants from the hassles of Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) and related security standards compliance. It could be good for business, MAC wrote in a new report. It also would make card payments safer and easier for merchants to accept.

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Two breaches within five years roil Anthem

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A security breach at Anthem Inc. reported Feb. 4, 2015, is the second in recent years for the health insurance carrier. Anthem, a Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association insurer, paid 1.7 million in penalties to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for a data security breach that occurred in 2010.

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U.S. EMV adoption celebrated at SCA

Friday, February 6, 2015

Payment professionals from around the globe convened in Salt Lake City for the 8th annual Smart Card Alliance Payments Summit, held Feb. 3 to 5, 2015. EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) migration topped the conference agenda, which featured keynote addresses from card brands Visa Inc., MasterCard Worldwide, American Express Co. and Discover Financial Services. U.S. issuers have already released 120 million chip cards, according to EMV Migration Forum estimates.

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MCX braves upstream CurrentC launch

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Three years after Merchant Consumer Exchange (MCX) disclosed plans for a digital wallet, the CurrentC app is available for free download in Google Play and Apple iTunes stores. Users in select launch zones can enter an invitation code and use the app at local stores and restaurants, while others can request to be notified when merchants in their areas are app-enabled.

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Worldpay warns of online fraud spree

Monday, February 2, 2015

All businesses need to be vigilant in identifying potentially fraudulent card payments, but small businesses should be extra vigilant this month, said international acquirer Worldpay. In a statement issued Feb. 2, 2015, Worldpay's London office warned small businesses to be on their guard as "unprecedented levels of attempted fraud" are expected throughout the month of February.

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