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Breaking News articles for June 2015

NYPAY, Deloitte take on real-time payments

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

New York-based payments organization NYPAY and Deloitte LLP co-hosted an event on June 26 to explore the meaning and impact of real-time payments. Approximately 60 financial services executives attended the three-hour session at Deloitte's New York offices, which included a networking hour and panel discussion. The combined effects of high-speed communications technologies and changing trends in card-present, mobile and ecommerce payments schemes have spurred interest in real-time payments from all sides of the equation.

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Criticism of CFPB grows

Friday, June 26, 2015

Recent reports about computer hacks of government data bases, notably those run by the Internal Revenue Service and the federal Office of Personnel Management, are raising new concerns about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the security of consumer financial information the agency collects to inform its policy making. The CFPB was created as an independent federal consumer watchdog under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. That legislation gave the CFPB sweeping powers to collect all types of transaction-level information from financial institutions and their processing partners in support of its consumer protection activities.

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FCC declares Robo-geddon

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

In response to numerous complaints from consumers and business owners about unwanted robocalls and spam text messages, The Federal Communications Commission released new, restrictive guidelines on June 18, 2015, for automatic telephone dialing systems that use prerecorded messages and artificial voice technologies for telemarketing. The newly updated FCC ruling has the potential to significantly affect companies that use call center software, exposing them to harsh penalties and statutory damages of between $500 and $1,500 per unsolicited message.

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Harbortouch aims to turn AmEx OptBlue into merchant green

Monday, June 22, 2015

Harbortouch, a merchant services and POS provider based in Allentown, Pa., launched a new version of the American Express Co.’s OptBlue program. On June 11, 2015, the company and sales channel partners began offering select merchants a 1.99 percent rate plus $0.10 on AmEx card-present transactions processed on Harbortouch POS systems. Restaurant merchants must have active Harbortouch processing and POS system service agreements in place with average tickets below $150 to be eligible for the program. The company expects this to drive adoption of Harbortouch POS systems while providing a point of differentiation for its agents and partners. Participating merchants will be guaranteed the discounted AmEx rate for a full year, the company reported.

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New generation of malware hiding deep within the POS

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Upscale food emporium Eataly disclosed a security data breach in May 2015 that involved its retail marketplace POS system in New York City. None of the adjacent seven restaurants that occupy the building were affected, the Italian retailer stated. Subsequent forensic analysis uncovered a sophisticated form of malware that had been operating undetected from Jan. 16 to April 2. Eataly notified consumers potentially affected and offered complimentary fraud and identity protection services.

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Congressman blasts CFPB's prepaid card plan

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Lawmakers are turning up the heat on Consumer Financial Protection Bureau efforts to regulate prepaid debit card programs. Speaking at the Power of Prepaid conference that took place June 11 to 12, 2015, U.S. Congressman Sanford D. Bishop Jr., D-Ga., said he and other lawmakers are concerned a set of proposals being readied by the federal consumer watchdog agency amount to regulatory over-reach. “I believe the proposed rule is harmful to a large body of consumers,” Bishop told the gathering, an annual event presented in Washington, D.C., by the Network Branded Prepaid Card Association. “It’s clear that the CFPB did not work with the market to come up with an effective rule.”

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Apple Pay road map unveiled at developer conference

Monday, June 15, 2015

Apple Pay was an integral part of Apple Inc.'s annual World Wide Developers Conference held June 9 to 12, 2015, in San Francisco, where the company revealed its product road map and near-term plans. Developers obtained tickets by random selection or as part of 350 scholarships awarded to students and members of participating STEM organizations. Select sessions were streamed live on the WWDC website and mobile app, and real-time information and video conferences were posted throughout the four day event.

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Android Pay gains pre-launch mojo

Friday, June 12, 2015

Google Inc. shared the look of its forthcoming Android Pay app at Google I/O 2015, a conference for developers held May 28 to 29 in San Francisco. In his opening comments, Sundar Pichai, Google's Senior Vice President of Products, used a picture of cute babies to illustrate the sheer critical mass of Android adoption. “Last year, four times as many Android devices were sold per day as there were babies born,” he said. He estimated more than 8 million Android devices are activated every day.

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MWAA revisits heart of Chicago

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Nearly 700 payment professionals are expected to attend the Midwest Acquirers Association's Taking It To The Streets conference being held July 14 to 16, 2015, at the historic Palmer House Hotel in Chicago's central business district, the Loop. A performance by The Bluez Brothers tribute band will set the stage for the hosted Sweet Home Chicago party, as will other local flavors made famous – from Chicago-style pizza to "dragged through the garden," all-beef hot dogs.

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Remediation, call to action in response to massive breach of federal workers' PII

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The United States Office of Personnel Management confirmed on June 4, 2015, that a cybersecurity attack may have impacted as many as 4 million current and former government workers. This new attack follows the recent intrusion of a consumer-facing web portal hosted by the Internal Revenue Service disclosed May 26 and the breach of an unclassified network at The White House reported in October 2014. The recent OPM incident occurred during a window of vulnerability before the agency's network was reinforced with new security tools and capabilities, authorities said. Recently installed threat detection tools and capabilities led to the discovery in April 2015 of an intrusion that had been operating undetected for an unknown period.

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Survey finds online fraud down, more chargebacks challenged

Monday, June 8, 2015

E-commerce may be prone to fraud, but merchants are getting a handle on the problem. They also are becoming more adept at challenging chargebacks. These are two key takeaways from a new survey of e-commerce merchants by the Merchant Risk Council. According to results of the MRC's 2015 Global Fraud Survey, the average fraud rate for online merchants was 0.53 percent of 2014 global sales, down slightly from 2013. At 0.10 percent, the fraud rate for transactions initiated via e-wallets was lower than any other type of fraud, the survey showed. The average fraud rate for credit cards was 0.46 percent; for debit cards it was 0.45 percent.

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Exponential Finance: Exploring technology's role in human evolution

Friday, June 5, 2015

Technologists, financial services professionals and global industry leaders convened June 2 and 3, 2015, in Battery Park City in New York City for the second annual Exponential Finance Conference hosted by CNBC and Singularity University. Over 40 speakers and 500 attendees participated in the two-day event, co-sponsored by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd., Credit Suisse Group AG and an honor roll of participating partner companies. The interdisciplinary agenda focused on technology's double-edged role as a disruptor of traditional industry and as a resource that can be tapped to solve complex global issues. Technology demos on the main stage and in the exhibit hall's Innovation Lab included artificial intelligence, big data, robotics, 3D printing, digital medicine, bitcoin/blockchain, autonomous vehicles and nanotechnology.

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Heartland breached via payroll office

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Heartland Payment Systems Inc., which in 2008 was the first major card acquirer known to be hit by a data breach, is on the hot seat again. This time its payroll arm is the source of problems. According to a public statement released via Business Wire on June 1, 2015, a burglary in May at a Heartland Payroll office in Santa Ana, Calif., resulted in the loss of 11 password-protected desktop computers, among other items. "Of these 11 computers, Heartland suspects that four computers contained personally identifiable information [PII]," the company wrote. Heartland said it had filed necessary reports with federal, state and local authorities, and alerted an estimated 2,200 individuals that their personal information may have been stolen.

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Trading cattle futures for bitcoin

Monday, June 1, 2015

Living up to its brand promise of being "a different kind of cattle company," Conexus Cattle Corp. disclosed on May 19, 2015, that it acquired a 51 percent membership interest in Bitcoin Direct LLC, a Nevada limited liability corporation focused on deploying automated bitcoin machines (ABMs) throughout North America. Conexus agreed to provide up to $300,000 in working capital to Bitcoin Direct, which would be repaid by operational revenue.

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