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Breaking News articles for February 2018

SEC toughens cybersecurity guidelines

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Securities and Exchange Commission published new cybersecurity guidelines for publicly-traded companies that became effective Feb. 26, 2018. Security analysts have praised the interpretive guidance, most notably for requiring companies to disclose cybersecurity risks and incidents within prescribed timeframes. "Given the frequency, magnitude and cost of cybersecurity incidents, the Commission believes that it is critical that public companies take all required actions to inform investors about material cybersecurity risks and incidents in a timely fashion, including those companies that are subject to material cybersecurity risks but may not yet have been the target of a cyber-attack," the SEC wrote in its Commission Statement and Guidance on Public Company Cybersecurity Disclosures document.

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Travel industry fraud spikes to $1 billion

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The International Air Transport Association estimates that 4.1 billion airline passengers boarded 42 million flights in 2017. Yet of the $7 billion collected to process payments during the year, fraud cost the travel industry nearly $1 billion, which IATA attributes in large part to increased fraudulent usage of stolen, compromised or fake credit card details in the purchase of airline tickets. To combat this growing fraud epidemic, the IATA formed the Payment Method Working Group to tackle industry-wide fraud. In the initial phase, the group has focused on card-not-present fraud, which impacts not only airlines, but also travel agents and other travel providers.

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Visa deploys global token management system

Monday, February 26, 2018

In response to growing adoption of mobile technologies worldwide, Visa Inc. unveiled Token Management Service on Feb. 22, 2018. Designed to facilitate diversified payment methods across multiple channels, platforms and geographies, the service will securely process payments while providing a single-access view of global commerce across an enterprise. The service is part of Visa's CyberSource payment management platform, Visa representatives stated. "Our clients are seeking to create new, integrated commerce experiences that unify their digital and physical operations to gain a comprehensive 360-degree view of their customer interactions," stated Andre Machicao, Senior Vice President, Digital Merchant Products at Visa. "Today's launch of Token Management Service brings merchants a vital capability to better service their customers by enabling them to embrace and create new, frictionless and secure payment experiences and maintain their competitive edge."

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ETA update: Transact 2018, Transact Tech NYC, activism

Friday, February 23, 2018

The Electronic Transactions Association opened 2018 with a packed agenda. Following are highlights of particular interest to payment professionals. Of immediate importance to those planning to attend the ETA's annual Transact tradeshow, taking place April 17 to 19, 2018, in Las Vegas, the deadline for a discounted rate on early registration is Fri., Feb. 23. For registration details, visit www.electran.org/events/etatransact18/register/ . New to the Transact exhibit area will be the Contactless Zone, presented by FreedomPay Inc., which will showcase the innovation and collaboration advancing growth in contactless payments. "As consumer expectations for payments evolve, companies must look to contactless to find a way forward," said Jason Oxman, CEO of the ETA. "Contactless payments offer better security, convenience and opportunities for innovation."

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DOJ steps up cybersecurity vigilance

Thursday, February 22, 2018

To bolster efforts to eliminate national cyber threats through detection, deterrence and disruption, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, on Feb. 20, 2018, ordered the U.S. Department of Justice to create a new Cyber-Digital Task Force. The new entity's assignment is to canvass global cyber threats and identify how federal law enforcement can more effectively thwart malicious attacks. "The Internet has given us amazing new tools that help us work, communicate and participate in our economy, but these tools can also be exploited by criminals, terrorists, and enemy governments," Sessions said. "At the Department of Justice, we take these threats seriously. That is why today I am ordering the creation of a Cyber-Digital Task Force to advise me on the most effective ways that this Department can confront these threats and keep the American people safe."

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Google Pay replacing Android Pay, Google Wallet

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Alphabet Inc., d.b.a. Google LLC, disclosed Feb. 20, 2018, that the Google Pay mobile app is nearing completion. The newly branded Google Pay mobile platform will absorb the Android Pay and Google Wallet brands, broadening and consolidating their capabilities, according to company representatives. The legacy mobile apps were part of the company’s iterative journey dating back to 2011, when Google partnered with Sprint to launch Google Wallet on near field communication (NFC)-enabled Nexus S 4G phones and Google's subsequent carrier-agnostic launch of Android Pay in 2015. Google representatives said the new Google Pay app will replace Android Pay on Android phones. Consumers may notice subtle differences in the user interface, which is designed to display credit, debit and loyalty cards in a scrolling menu below the default payment card. An optional geolocation feature displays nearby stores that accept NFC payments.

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Top four faster-payments contenders emerge, Mercator says

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

In July 2017, a Federal Reserve-commissioned task force issued a call to action with the ambitious goal of making faster payments available to every consumer and business in America by 2020. While "faster payments" is a relative term and many issues are as yet unresolved, recent research by Mercator Advisory Group indicates progress is being made, especially among four faster-payments solutions with "compelling use cases." Mercator is an independent research and advisory services firm exclusively focused on the payments and banking industries. "[P]ayment platforms and products that offer the ability to send and receive transactions within seconds (or at least minutes) are beginning to be launched in the United States," Mercator stated. "Not since ACH and wire transfer became available has a truly new way to move money been introduced."

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Proposed REFER Act extends marijuana protections

Friday, February 16, 2018

The U.S. Department of Justice's tough stance against marijuana may have unintentionally sparked a backlash among legislators and cannabis industry lobbyists. Reaction was swift when Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Obama-era Cole memo, which recommended not prosecuting marijuana-related activities in states where the practices were legal. Days after Sessions' Jan. 4, 2018, memo that reinstated the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, a movement was underway to protect medical and recreational marijuana usage across the United States. On Jan. 11, the House of Representatives introduced the Restraining Excessive Federal Enforcement and Regulations of Cannabis Act (REFER). Currently under review by the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations, the act would protect individuals and companies from federal prosecution for marijuana crimes in states that have decriminalized these activities.

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FS-ISAC updates API for financial data sharing

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) released an updated version of the Durable Data API for secure, tokenized data transfer. The application programming interface and accompanying white paper are available free of charge to the industry and represent the culmination of a year-long effort by the FS-ISAC Data Aggregation Work Group and multiple fintech firms to devise an advanced standard for secure data sharing.

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Industry leaders honored at NEAA 2018

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Northeast Acquirers Association held its 33rd annual conference Jan. 29 through 31, 2018, at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn. The payments industry's longest running regional event included a mix of exhibits and presentations aimed at empowering merchant acquiring professionals. Established in 1985, the nonprofit, non-membership regional association has modeled the way for other regional associations while deepening its ties with the Electronic Transactions Association. This year, a Certified Payments Professional (CPP) review class enabled NEAA attendees to earn up to six Electronic Transactions Association CPP credits.

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PayKademy launches in San Francisco

Monday, February 12, 2018

The presentation of Deep Dive into Electronic Payments coming up on Feb. 20, 2018, marks the official launch of PayKademy in San Francisco. Created by The BayPay Forum, a global organization representing approximately 14,000 payment, fntech and commerce executives, the academy represents an extension of the group's educational and thought-leadership forums.

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Visa explores macro trends shaping global travel

Friday, February 9, 2018

A comprehensive look at travel and tourism in 2017 revealed motivations and planning tactics of global travelers. Visa Inc., in partnership with ORC International Inc., conducted the biannual Global Travel Intentions Study, gleaning data collected from interviews with global travelers in 27 markets. A number of macro trends emerged in the latest research findings. Among the macro trends identified, trips are getting shorter, averaging eight nights per trip versus 10 nights in 2013. More trips abroad are being planned, 2.7 trips in the next two years, up from an average of 2.5 trips over the past two years. Multi-destination trips to multiple countries are a popular choice for 11 percent of travelers interviewed. Japan, the United States and Australia topped the list of planned future destinations.

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PSCU, Pindrop block $1 million in fraud in one month

Thursday, February 8, 2018

With the relentless onslaught of criminal attacks on payment networks and consumer and corporate data, it can seem that those fighting to prevent breaches, data theft and identity theft are fighting a losing battle. But good news arrived in the ongoing effort to stop fraudster from PSCU and Pindrop. Pindrop offers a proprietary platform that fights call center authentication fraud by providing an added layer of voice security and deeper caller authentication to its fraud detection process.

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Secure Technology Alliance offers guidance on contactless payments

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

With increased demand for fast, secure and seamless payments, many payments industry stakeholders are exploring contactless payments as a way to meet consumer expectations. The Secure Technology Alliance, formerly known as the Smart Card Alliance, published a white paper that offers timely guidance for merchants, issuers and processors interested in implementing contactless payment programs successfully in the United States. "The recommendations and best practices included in this white paper address both the perceived and actual challenges of the payment industry in implementing contactless EMV payment – from POS configuration and deployment, processor integration, card issuer consideration and customer experience in the checkout lane," said Randy Vanderhoof, Executive Director of the alliance.

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Leading credit card issuers ban cryptocurrency purchases

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Several of the largest credit card issuers in the United States have put the kibosh on cardholders using plastic to purchase cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin. On Feb. 2, 2018, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup each announced bans on cryptocurrency purchases by credit cards. This follows similar moves announced by Capital One and Discover in January. "At this time, we are not processing cryptocurrency purchases using credit cards, due to the volatility and risk involved," JPMorgan Chase said in a statement published by CNBC. A spokeswoman for BofA told The Green Sheet that the ban "applies to all Bank of America-issued personal and business credit cards." Citigroup, meanwhile, left the door open to a change in its position. "We will continue to review our policy as this market evolves," the bank said in a statement.

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No growth for Wells Fargo till oversight improves

Monday, February 5, 2018

On Feb. 2, 2018, the last day of Janet L. Yellen's tenure as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, the board clamped down on Wells Fargo & Co. with a cease and desist order. This was in response to what the Fed determined to be "widespread consumer abuses and other compliance breakdowns by Wells Fargo." The Fed took action to restrict the company's growth and improve governance and risk management.

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Jackpotting attacks target bank ATMs

Friday, February 2, 2018

Recent reports indicate jackpotting attacks against U.S. ATMs are on the rise. Popularized in Europe, Asia and Mexico, the attacks involve ATM technician impostors who use a variety of forged or generic keys, jackpotting malware and advanced endoscopic devices, to open ATMs. Once inside, the fraudsters program the equipment to rapidly dispense cash, paving the way for massive withdrawals by criminals posing as consumers. Attacks have taken place in the mid-Atlantic, Southeast and North Pacific regions and predominantly target pharmacy, bank and large retailer locations, according to law enforcement authorities.

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Chargebacks survey sheds light on CNP fraud

Thursday, February 1, 2018

A recently released survey conducted jointly by Kount Inc. and Chargebacks911 assessed the state of fraud and chargeback management in more than 1,000 organizations. Titled the 2018 State of Chargebacks Survey, the study revealed card-not-present (CNP) fraud to be the number one source of chargebacks for 48 percent of businesses surveyed, followed by friendly fraud for 28 percent. "Chargebacks within the CNP channel are a growing concern among online merchants," said Brad Wiskirchen, CEO of Kount. "This inaugural report was important for the industry to understand the state of the market today, the current challenges that merchants face, and the fraud technology and tactics that they are deploying to combat chargebacks."

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