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Breaking News articles for October 2017

Holiday spending projections bode well for retailers

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Two separate consumer surveys conducted by Deloitte and the National Retail Federation point to a robust 2017 holiday season ahead for U.S. retailers. The NRF projected total holiday retail sales in November and December could reach $682 billion, up 4 percent from last year, as consumers plan to spend an average $967.13 during the holidays. Deloitte projected holiday spending will average $1, 226 for both gift and non-gift items. For the first time in survey history, both Deloitte and the NRF found that a majority of holiday shoppers plan to shop online, overtaking mass merchant and department stores. Fifty-five percent of those surveyed by Deloitte and 59 percent by NRF designated online as their preferred holiday shopping destination.

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Call centers face inside, outside threats

Monday, October 30, 2017

Semafone Inc. is urging call centers to update their data collection and storage methods. The global security company surveyed more than 500 call center agents across multiple industries and compiled the findings in The State of Data Security in Contact Centers, published Oct. 30, 2017. When asked about data-security vulnerabilities, seven percent of survey respondents admitted that people within their organizations have asked them to share confidential customer data; 4 percent stated the same was true of people outside of their organizations; 9 percent said they know someone who has unlawfully accessed or shared customer information.

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ELFA celebrates next-gen leasing, finance

Friday, October 27, 2017

More than 1,000 attendees convened in Orlando, Fla. Oct. 22 to 24, 2017, for the 56th annual Equipment Leasing and Finance Association conference. The festive event, held at JW Marriott Grand Lakes, was designed to help companies in the $1 trillion equipment finance sector build future-proof businesses and remain competitive in a continually evolving industry. "Our convention theme is Building the Next Generation Business, and the agenda is designed to help you position your company for success in the face of new policy, new people and new technology," stated Ralph Petta, ELFA President and Chief Executive Officer.

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Customer service, data security not mutually exclusive

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Merchants can implement security without sacrificing the customer experience, according to a new study commissioned by Vasco Data Security Inc. and conducted by Information Security Media Group. The 2017 Faces of Fraud Survey, published Oct. 19, 2017, identifies top forms of fraud, as well as fraud detection and mobility in financial services. The survey, conducted online, was geared for information security and financial services professionals. Primary areas of inquiry included the top forms of fraud afflicting financial organizations, biggest gaps in organizations' efforts to detect and prevent fraud, and how to counter the surge in mobile exploits while also preserving a frictionless customer experience.

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Square merchants' loyalty texts under investigation

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Keller Rohrback law firm revealed in a September 2017 blog post that it is investigating "telemarketing-loyalty texts from Square Inc." The firm has several practice areas, including consumer and data privacy protection, financial products and services, and class action and consumer litigation. Keller Rohrback has determined that if retailers using Square send promotional text messages to customers who have not given them their cell phone numbers, this may be in violation of state and/or federal law. Such messages often welcome consumers to loyalty programs they did not join.

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Mastercard scraps signatures, expands tokenization, makes blockchain play

Monday, October 23, 2017

It's been a busy time at Mastercard. The past week has seen a flurry of news coming out of the Purchase, N.Y.-based payments giant. Specifically, Mastercard has heralded the following: release of a blockchain application programming interface (API) for business-to-business (B2B) transactions; certification of The Clearing House as a provider of Mastercard-branded tokenization services; and the elimination of signature requirements POS transactions, beginning next year.

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Experts bring insights, rigor to data breach pandemic

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Reports of a second security breach at Hyatt Hotels and orchestrated attacks against Wi-Fi networks highlight the need for enhanced protections, security analysts say. Security consultant and author Brian Krebs of KrebsonSecurity, reported Oct. 17, 2017, that hackers infiltrated Hyatt's payment systems between March 18, 2017 and July 2, 2017. An earlier breach in 2015 had compromised 250 Hyatt properties in 50 countries, including 5 U.S. locations, he noted. "Organized crime groups (most notably the Carbanak gang) have been targeting customer service and reservations specialists at various hospitality chains with tailored social engineering attacks that involve well-aged fake companies and custom malware," Krebs stated.

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PayPal goes mobile with Venmo POS play

Thursday, October 19, 2017

PayPal Inc. is launching a mobile assault on the retail POS. The online payments giant just proclaimed that consumers can now use their Venmo accounts to initiate mobile payments at millions of merchant locations where PayPal payments are accepted. PayPal stated that over 2 million merchants now accept PayPal payments at their checkouts, including big-box merchants like Home Depot and Foot Locker, and over 7 million people use of Venmo, a mobile person-to-person (P2P) payment app especially popular with millennials. In a statement posted on Oct. 17, 2017, PayPal Chief Operating Officer Bill Ready said consumers can now use their mobile devices to initiate Venmo payments "almost everywhere PayPal is accepted."

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iPayment supports, promotes Small Business Saturday

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

iPayment Inc. launched a multichannel initiative Oct. 11, 2017, designed to help small and midsize businesses (SMBs) leverage Small Business Saturday. Created by American Express Co. in 2010, the one-day event has steadily grown year-over-year, increasing consumer spend in local communities across America. The 2016 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey estimated 112 consumers participated in the one-day event. Retail analysts expect small merchants to outperform last year's numbers Nov. 25th, when the event will take place in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., iPayment representatives stated.

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NAC petitions Visa for DCC at U.S. ATMs

Monday, October 16, 2017

Jacksonville, Fla.-based National ATM Council Inc. is urging Visa Inc. to enable dynamic currency conversion (DCC) at U.S. ATMs. The not-for-profit association unveiled a petition Oct. 12, 2017, at NAC2017, its fifth annual convention and expo, held Oct. 10-12, at Bally's Las Vegas. NAC Executive Director Bruce Renard said he is hopeful the petition will escalate the issue and convince Visa to add DCC capability to ATMs in the United States. "NAC members are questioning why Visa is not supporting DCC at U.S. ATMs, when Mastercard has enabled this feature for years," Renard stated. "This industrywide petition is broadly supported by global providers."

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NAC2017 reflects retail ATM growth

Friday, October 13, 2017

More than 500 attendees and 50 exhibitors gathered at Bally's Las Vegas Oct. 10 to 12, 2017, for NAC2017, the fifth annual convention and expo of The National ATM Council Inc. The not-for-profit association, formed in 2011 and based in Jacksonville, Fla., represents independent ATM owners, deployers and vendors, many of whom traveled great distances to attend the popular event. In opening remarks, NAC Executive Director Bruce Renard welcomed new and returning attendees, encouraging them to visit with vendors, share ideas and participate in interactive workshops. "NAC is the voice of America's independent ATM providers and suppliers working to solve our industry's most pressing issues," he stated.

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CFPB issues new small-dollar loan rules

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Oct. 5, 2017, disclosed tough new rules for short-term, small-dollar lenders, like payday loan and auto title loan companies. Key provisions of the rules, which have been five years in the making, require small-dollar lenders to assess the ability of applicants to repay before making loans, as well as limit the ability of lenders to collect on these loans by debiting the bank accounts of borrowers. The new rules, spelled out In a 1,700 document, are set to become effective beginning June 2019. But the rulemaking could get shelved or revised. “The final rule likely faces a potential vote to repeal it in Congress,” attorneys with the law firm Kilpatrick, Townsend & Stockton LLP noted in a recent blog post.

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The Green Sheet operational during state of emergency

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

At a packed Oct. 10, 2017, community meeting in Santa Rosa, Calif., after devastating and deadly fires ravaged several communities in Sonoma and neighboring counties, Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano said, “This is nowhere near over. This is still very dangerous.” This is the situation in which The Green Sheet Inc. is doing business right now. We are located in Rohnert Park, which is immediately south of Santa Rosa.

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P20 leaders convene in London

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The inaugural conference of the P20, a new transatlantic payments initiative comprising 20 of the most influential leaders in the global payments industry, convened in London from Oct. 9 to 10, 2017. Leadership delegates representing the P20, along with invited U.K. and U.S. government officials and regulators, industry advocates and fintech innovators, participated in scheduled panel meetings and briefings.

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NCR, Worldpay target micro merchants

Friday, October 6, 2017

NCR Corp., in partnership with Worldpay, launched Ring Up Oct. 3, 2017. It is the latest addition to NCR Silver, a POS solution introduced in 2016 for small and midsize merchants. Targeting micro businesses, Ring Up offers a mobile EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) and magnetic stripe reader, coupled with Worldpay payment processing and cloud-based resources, to help entry-level merchants grow and scale, NCR representatives stated.

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FICO launches algorithms to attack CNP fraud

Thursday, October 5, 2017

At a time when millions of people in the United States are coming to grips with the fact that at least some of their personally identifiable information (PII) is now for sale on the Dark Web, good news on the security front is welcome. And Fair Isaac Corp. (FICO) just introduced machine learning algorithms that it said can boost card-not-present fraud (CNP) detection by 30 percent. Good news indeed. It's true that widespread EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) chip card implementation will make it extremely difficult for fraudsters to use counterfeit cards at the physical POS using PII stolen during the Equifax and other high-profile breaches, but that won't stop them from exploiting vulnerabilities in the CNP arena, which includes not only online, but also mobile wallet transactions.

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Sonic, Yahoo breaches painful reminders of vulnerability

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Sonic Corp. issued a Sept. 26, 2017, statement confirming a massive security breach of its POS systems. The incident led to a fire sale of millions of credit and debit card account numbers on the Dark Web. The fast food giant advised security analyst Brian Krebs, of KrebsonSecurity, that its credit card processor had detected unusual activity. Krebs was first to report the story. "The security of our guests' information is very important to Sonic," the company stated. "We are working to understand the nature and scope of this issue, as we know how important this is to our guests. We immediately engaged third-party forensic experts and law enforcement when we heard from our processor. While law enforcement limits the information we can share, we will communicate additional information as we are able."

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ETA, Strawhecker reveal upbeat report on economy, payments

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

On day-one of the Electronic Transactions Association's Strategic Leadership Forum, taking place in Dana Point, Calif., from Oct. 3 to 5, 2017, the ETA, in partnership with The Strawhecker Group, released the Strategic Leadership Forum (SLF) Special Report on the U.S. Economy. This event and report also help kick off Payments Analytics Month, which was founded by Strawhecker "to highlight the strategic importance of using analytics to enhance decision making while providing payments industry players with a bevy of powerful data," the consultancy stated.

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Our hearts go out to the Las Vegas community

Monday, October 2, 2017

Like countless others in the payments industry, we have enjoyed, for many years, the amenities at Mandalay Bay Hotel and Resort in Las Vegas while attending the Electronic Transactions Association's annual Transact conference. The fact that this welcoming place was used by a criminal to end the lives of more than 50 people and bring grave harm to so many others yesterday is shocking and horrific. Our hearts go out to all those affected by this tragedy.

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