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Breaking News articles for May 2018

Router reboots halt VPNFilter but won't ensure security

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The FBI issued an alert on May 25, 2018, after discovering a global attack on small-office and home-office routers. Bad actors have used VPNFilter malware, which can detect and exploit data transitioning through infected devices, authorities stated. Forensic researchers noted the malware can block network traffic, and its use of encryption and spoofed networks as camouflage makes it difficult to find. The bureau estimates hundreds of thousands of networked devices may have already been compromised. "The size and scope of the infrastructure impacted by VPNFilter malware is significant," FBI agents stated. "The malware targets routers produced by several manufacturers and network-attached storage devices by at least one manufacturer. The initial infection vector for this malware is currently unknown."

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Verifone set to privatize in $3.4 billion deal

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

On May 25, 2018, the "go shop" period expired for soliciting alternative purchasers of Verifone Systems Inc., as outlined in a definitive agreement reached in April with Vertex Holdco LLC. During that period, 42 potential purchasers were said to have been in contact with Verifone representatives. Four signed nondisclosure agreements; however, no potential purchasers submitted an acquisition proposal. Under terms of the April agreement, the purchase of Verifone will move forward with certain affiliates of an investor group led by Francisco Partners and British Columbia Investment Management Corp.

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Congress strengthens fraud protections, rolls back Dodd-Frank regs

Friday, May 25, 2018

A broad set of anti-fraud measures with bipartisan support from the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives was signed into law on May 24, 2018. The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2115) seeks to mitigate synthetic identity fraud, which involves criminal use of stolen Social Security numbers (SSNs) to secure loans and lines of credit. It also seeks to remedy portions of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, which drafters of the new legislation believe did not distinguish sufficiently between the huge financial institutions (FIs) that contributed to the 2008 crash and the smaller, community-based FIs that did not.

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BAI pegs top FI fraud threats, security strategies

Thursday, May 24, 2018

To counteract the flood of attacks by fraudsters employing diverse and sophisticated tactics, financial institutions must be more nimble in addressing malware intrusions, exploitation of web-facing vulnerabilities and illicit access gained via third parties. That is according to a BAI Banking Strategies report, Fraud and cybersecurity: Staying steps ahead, which delves into the top cyber threats to FIs and strategies for diffusing them. Among the threats cited, state actors, especially North Korea where state-sponsored hackers allegedly breached the SWIFT banking messaging system, are actively targeting victims in the Americas, Europe and Southeast Asia.

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Will sports betting win its own MCC?

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

A May 14, 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling allows states to legitimize betting on individual sporting events. The decision effectively ends the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) that restricted sports betting and imposed strict penalties on activities outside the State of Nevada. Card brands and merchant acquirers said they expect the ruling to motivate issuing banks to establish new merchant category codes for sports betting. JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and American Express Co. currently restrict card usage at sports gambling events, analysts noted. Mary Jane Rogers, a spokeswoman for JPMorgan, advised media outlets, "We will closely watch developments from the ruling and will consider any implications to our policy as the states put their own processes in place."

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PayPal acquires iZettle in omnichannel push

Monday, May 21, 2018

Nonbank payments giant PayPal entered an agreement to acquire iZettle, a small business payments platform with a market footprint that includes major European markets as well as Mexico and Brazil. PayPal has agreed to pay $2.2 billion for the Stockholm, Sweden-based firm, two times the firm's estimated market value. iZettle earlier this month announced plans to list on NASDAQ Stockholm; the initial listing price for its stock offering was expected to generate about $1.1 billion, according to published reports. The move comes at a time when PayPal is expanding its global footprint with small and midsized businesses across channels.

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GDPR rules will affect U.S. merchants, experts say

Friday, May 18, 2018

On May 25, 2018, the European Union will instate the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) protections designed to help European citizens manage their digital destinies. The laws enable consumers to control how companies use, market and store their personal data. European consumers can exercise their “right to be forgotten” by asking companies to delete their personal information. Analysts expect the guidelines to impact any business that transacts with European citizens online, in their countries of origin and in their travels around the world. Gary Glover, vice president of assessments at SecurityMetrics, said supervisory authorities (SAs) will enforce the GDPR and issue non-compliance fines. SA oversight will extend to companies that process European citizens’ personal data, including cloud-storage services, universities, hospitals and merchants outside the EU’s footprint. “Companies need to ask, ‘Do I have any data from any subject in the EU anywhere in my system?’” Glover stated.

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Walmart drops Mobile Scan & Go after lackluster pilot

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Bolstered by the successful launch of its Mobile Scan & Go program in Sam's Club warehouse stores, Walmart Inc. expanded the program to include about 150 Walmart stores as part of a nationwide pilot test. The service enables shoppers to upload an app to scan and pay for items or pickup a handheld device at Scan & Go kiosks located in stores. When the pilot test ended in April, Walmart decided to end the program in Walmart stores but said it will continue to offer the service in Sam's Club stores.

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MCA comes of age at Broker Fair 2018

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Brooklyn, N.Y.' s William Vale Hotel was the setting for Broker Fair 2018, held May 14, 2018, the first conference of its kind for merchant cash advance (MCA) professionals and unsecured small business lenders. Educational sessions, panel discussions and keynote addresses covered a range of topics, from marketing and SEO optimization to syndication, software demonstrations, regulatory issues and business development strategies. In his opening remarks, Broker Fair founder Sean Murray, chief editor and publisher of deBanked, recalled attending numerous conferences that covered algorithms, factoring and traditional lending in depth but sidelined MCA topics. "I felt disappointed that there was no conference for this industry segment," he said. "I asked event organizers, why not include more than one panel on MCA? A lot of them said they didn't think people would be interested."

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Apple, Goldman Sachs co-branded card underway

Monday, May 14, 2018

If all goes according to plan, Apple Inc. and The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. will release a co-branded credit card and in-store loan offering for Apple customers early in 2019. While neither company agreed to comment, The Wall Journal was informed both parties are in discussions regarding the joint offering and terms and conditions of a potential partnership. For Apple, the partnership would extend its foray into finance through Apple Pay. A joint credit card bearing the Apple Pay brand, provided an agreement is reached, is expected to replace the rewards-card and no-interest financing arrangement Apple forged with Barclays Plc. in 2005.

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Wells Fargo aims to wow and retain customers

Friday, May 11, 2018

Wells Fargo & Co. launched Pay with Wells Fargo, a solution designed to simplify mobile payments by consolidating a variety of mobile payment schemes into a single app. Avid Modjtabai, head of payments, virtual solutions and innovation at Wells Fargo, demonstrated the mobile app May 10, 2018, at the company's Investor Day. He described the solution as part of a multipronged effort to transform Wells Fargo's customer experience. "Pay with Wells Fargo is another step in our journey to transform how we serve customers and provide them with tools that make their financial lives easier and simpler, and put them in better control of their finances," Modjtabai stated. "The enhancements we are making in mobile are an example of how Wells Fargo is innovating based on customer needs and feedback about how they want to manage their money."

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First Data streamlines robust ISV offering

Thursday, May 10, 2018

In a move designed to accelerate release of market-ready solutions by the integrated software vendor community, First Data Corp. strategically combined two companies it acquired last year: CardConnect Corp. and BluePay Holdings Inc. The goal: to enable software companies to more easily integrate secure payment processing within software-as-a-service, mobile and POS applications. "We brought CardConnect and BluePay into the First Data family to evolve our ISV business into being a world-class offering," said Frank Bisignano, chairman and CEO at First Data. "Combining these two organizations is the natural next step in furthering our momentum in the high-growth ISV space."

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Deutsche Bank, IATA launch PSD2-friendly program

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Payments analysts are commenting on a joint initiative by Deutsche Bank and the International Air Transport Association, a global airline trade association. On May 7, 2018, the organizations disclosed plans to test a direct payment scheme enabling consumers to pay airlines from Deutsche Bank accounts. Representatives from both organizations said the pilot reflects the spirit of the European Union's recently revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2). The PSD2 is regulatory guidance designed to promote innovation and efficiencies in the banking sector. Javier Orejas, head of banking EMEA and the Americas at IATA, said the new payment method will use two-factor authentication and bypass credit and debit card rails, thereby improving speed, security and transparency. "The direct payment model promises significant cost savings and efficiency gains for our members," Orejas stated.

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Is VR commerce the next frontier in payments?

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

More than 12,000 people converged at the Los Angeles Convention Center May 4 and 5, 2018, to experience VRLA 2018, an expo produced by New Realities Inc. that features next-generation immersive and transformative technology. "People come to VRLA from all over the world to see the latest advancements in VR, AR, and everything related to immersive technology," expo organizers wrote. You might ask, What does this have to do with payments? Plenty. One advancement featured at VRLA was VR (virtual reality) commerce. And Payscout CEO Cleveland Brown was tapped to give a talk on it at the show. Payscout, www.payscout.com , has made the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing privately held companies for four consecutive years. The company prides itself on serving 3,000 global merchants across all merchant risk verticals and processing billions of dollars annually. It also envisions a time coming soon when VR commerce transforms the payments landscape.

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Fiserv, Rippleshot tackle early breach detection

Monday, May 7, 2018

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, 1,579 data breaches were reported during 2017, a significant increase over the 1,093 reported in 2016. To address this critical challenge, Fiserv Inc. a provider of financial services technology solutions, and fraud analytics firm Rippleshot joined forces to create Card Risk Office Fraud Warning, which the partners describe as an early breach detection solution that allows financial institutions to identify potential fraud events 30 to 60 days before network alerts. "Data breaches continue to occur with increasing frequency, yet it can take time for financial institutions to confirm the extent of the compromise, making it imperative to identify and stop fraud as soon as possible and prevent further exposure and losses," said Patrick Davie, vice president, product strategy, card services at Fiserv.

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POS tablets outshine mobile wallets, ShopKeep finds

Friday, May 4, 2018

In a survey of 1,794 small business owners, ShopKeep found a slight increase in mobile wallet adoption over a two-year period. In a report titled ShopKeep Small Business Pulse: 2018, ShopKeep evaluated responses from a diversified base of U.S. retail and hospitality customers. Among merchants polled, 50 percent had one to three employees, and 57 percent were female business owners, which survey researchers called "a positive sign considering that women's self-employment rate has historically been lower than men's." This year's findings are at odds with the company's 2016 report in which 42 percent of respondents expected half of all transactions soon to be mobile payment schemes. Despite the 2016 forecast, mobile payment activity remained flat among 68 percent of merchants surveyed, with 24 percent seeing only a modest lift.

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TSG TruShop brings mystery shopping to acquiring industry

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Until now, the practice of mystery shopping to measure business metrics internally has been relegated to the automotive, retail, fitness and other merchant segments. Turning the table, The Strawhecker Group recently introduced TruShop, a service that enables merchant acquiring players to objectively evaluate and test how merchants view their brand, products, services, sales and support teams based on TSG merchant engagements. "Clearly, there was a need for it, specifically with a lot of these evolving products or services in the market, the newer entrants," said Jared Drieling, Director of Business Intelligence at TSG. "In terms of the process, what we do is take on the persona of that merchant and we reach out to various payment providers and document that process." The firm provides both online and physical in-store TruShop evaluations for clients.

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Mercator links API growth to open banking platforms

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

In response to interoperability trends in the financial service sector, Mercator Advisory Group Inc. released guidance on deploying and implementing application program interfaces (APIs). Developing an Appropriate and Sustainable Business Plan for an API Portal, published April 26, 2018, traces the API journey from internal use within an organization to broad deployment among competing enterprises.

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