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Breaking News articles for August 2018

PCI SSC unveils new security guides for SMBs

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

In response to rising cyberattacks against small and midsize merchants, the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) unveiled the PCI Data Security Essentials Evaluation Tool on Aug. 28, 2018. Council members said the solution is designed to simplify security for small business owners. Citing Verizon's 2018 Data Breach Investigation Report, the council said small and midsize merchants accounted for 61 percent of all data breaches in 2017, underscoring a need for better educational resources and tools to help protect consumer payment card data.

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Faster payments growing, NACHA poised to help

Monday, August 27, 2018

The U.S. market is moving closer to a faster payments environment. A new report from Mercator Advisory Group projects $255 billion will be sent this year via faster payments initiatives available in the U.S. The projection represents just a fraction of total payments – in 2017 the top five card acquirers in the United States saw nearly $4 trillion in credit and debit card payments, and automated clearing house (ACH) payments topped $46 trillion, according to various sources. However, Mercator sees a strong growth trajectory; the consultancy projects the total of payments sent through faster payments networks will more than triple by 2021.

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Security experts call for better detection, updates, as cyberattacks escalate

Friday, August 24, 2018

Almost one year ago, the President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council called for the government to take a unified stance against escalating cyberthreats. In a Sept. 2017 letter to the President, the council maintained that cyber capabilities are fragmented, uncoordinated and even duplicated across Federal agencies. “This presents a national security challenge unlike any other,” council members wrote. “Industry access to federal resources is often hindered by multiple technical, legal, liability, and information sharing constraints.” Since then, a steady stream of attacks against commercial networks has continued unabated. Two recently disclosed attacks were against cellular carrier T-Mobile and Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, a fast-casual chain owned by Darden Restaurants.

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New era begins for Verifone, Francisco Partners

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Francisco Partners' acquisition of Verifone Systems Inc. for $3.4 billion, completed Aug. 20, 2018, heralds a new chapter for the storied payments industry brand. Incoming CEO Michael Pulli underscored the company's continuing commitment to customers, partners and payments industry stakeholders. "Becoming a portfolio company of Francisco Partners will allow us to accelerate and enhance the services and solutions that you – and our entire, global network of customers and partners – rely on each and every day," he stated.

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Over 2,300 breaches exposed 2.6 billion records in first half of 2018

Monday, August 20, 2018

More than 2,300 data breaches were publically disclosed during the first six months of this year, exposing roughly 2.6 billion consumer records, according to a new report from Risk Based Security Inc. And more than four in 10, or 1,000 of breaches reported occurred at U.S. business, the Richmond, Va., firm reported. The company said its research suggests breach activity fell from 2017 during the first three months of the year, but began rising during the second quarter, and is on track to exceed the 3,000 reported breaches reported in 2017.

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Payments prominently featured in Inc. 5000

Friday, August 17, 2018

The latest ranking of fastest-growing privately held U.S. companies, compiled annually by Inc. Magazine, includes numerous payments industry firms, which reflects growth and diversity in financial services. Inc. editor James Ledbetter noted that American companies encourage and depend on continual growth, which can present a unique set of challenges. For example, it is not easy to find good talent, Ledbetter pointed out. "A business that is doubling or tripling in size every few months usually needs new staff constantly--and that pace of hiring brings risk," he wrote.

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FBI warns of impending global ATM cash-out blitz

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The FBI is warning banks, transaction processors, and operators of ATMs and ATM networks of an impending cyberheist involving ATMs. This is according to a confidential alert sent by the FBI to U.S. banks and obtained by Krebs on Security, which tracks cybersecurity breaches and trends. The impending ATM cash-out scheme is imminent and will be global in reach, the FBI said, and it's not apt to be a one-off occurrence.

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U.S. in cybercrime crosshairs, researchers say

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Data protection methodologies and legislation have made little impact on international cybercrime, according to a new study published Aug. 8, 2018 by U.K.-based Juniper Research Ltd. The Future of Cybercrime & Security: Threat Analysis, Impact Assessment & Leading Vendors 2018-2023, predicts a plethora of attacks will continue to grow, defrauding organizations of more than 146 billion personal records worldwide over the next five years. Researchers place the United States at the epicenter of criminal activity due to the country's disparate methodologies for storing and transmitting data.

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Treasury's regulatory easement may benefit fintechs

Friday, August 10, 2018

In response to Executive Order 13772, issued in February 2017, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has been easing restrictions pertaining to key financial services sectors. The department previously published guidelines for the bank and credit union, capital market, and asset management and insurance sectors. The fourth and final report of the series, published July 31, 2018, provides guidance for fintech firms. U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin said Treasury staff members who crafted the reports met with numerous stakeholders in consumer financial data aggregation, lending, payments and credit servicing sectors, and he expects ensuing recommendations to drive rapid adoption of competitive technologies, data security and operational efficiencies. The goal is to simplify regulatory standards and create a financial system that supports all stakeholders, including nonbank finance and fintechs, he added.

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Kroger, Visa battle over interchange heats up

Friday, August 10, 2018

Beginning Aug. 14, 2018, Foods Co. Supermarkets, a unit of The Kroger Co., will no longer accept Visa Inc. credit card payments, unless the two parties reach an agreement to reduce interchange fees the card brand charges Foods Co. The ban will impact 21 stores and five fuel centers located in California. Acceptance of Visa debit and other major credit cards, including Kroger's Mastercard-affiliated rewards program, will remain in effect. Kroger spokesman Chris Hjelm told Bloomberg that Kroger, which operates 2,800 retail food stores under various banner names, could expand the ban to other stores. He added that when the amount retailers pay in card fees "gets out of alignment, as we believe it is now, we don't believe we have a choice but to use whatever mechanism possible to get it back in alignment."

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WSAA promises a smashing show

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Demonstrating the nationwide camaraderie among the payments industry's regional associations, the Western States Acquirers Association congratulated the Midwest Acquirers Association on its stellar July conference before revealing what's in store for WSAA's September show. "Congratulations to the Midwest Acquirers Association on a fantastic 16th conference," WSAA stated, adding that WSAA looks forward to "continuing the high standards" of the payments industry's conferences at its annual meeting, which will take place Sept. 12 and 13, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale, Ariz.

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AmEx-accepting merchants gain new financing options

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

New York-based American Express Co. has joined forces with GreenSky Inc., a platform provider focused on enabling frictionless promotional payment options to consumers. The aim of their strategic alliance is to bring enhanced digital payments and financing capabilities to help merchants grow their businesses and give consumers greater flexibility in financing their purchases, the partners stated. The collaboration will enable eligible U.S. merchants within the AmEx network and their customers to access Atlanta-based GreenSky's proprietary POS financing solutions. Using GreenSky's platform and technology, home improvement and elective healthcare merchants that accept AmEx will be able to drive incremental sales by providing qualifying customers with options to finance large purchases in a paperless environment, the companies said.

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Consumer security concerns may stymie biometric payments

Friday, August 3, 2018

Biometrically authenticated payments are poised for growth, but consumer concerns about security could thwart this fledgling trend. That's the upshot of a new report from Transaction Network Services. This contrasts with a survey commissioned in 2017 by Visa Inc., which suggested consumers are eager to leave passwords behind for biometric authentication at the POS and for other financial transactions.

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Retail spending robust in Q2 2018

Thursday, August 2, 2018

According to transaction data collected from 1.3 million U.S. merchant locations by First Data Corp., growth in retail spending continued at a steady pace across most sectors during the second quarter of 2018. Nationwide, Washington ranked as the top city for retail spending growth, up 6.4 percent for the quarter, followed by Houston and Boston. Among retail categories measured, gasoline stations tracked the highest rate of growth, at 16.5 percent year-over-year for the quarter, followed by movie theaters (14.8 percent), computer software stores (12.5 percent), steamship/cruise lines (9.9 percent), shoe stores (8.1 percent) and specialty retailers (7.6 percent). Sporting goods-hobby-book-music and furniture-home furnishings were the two retail categories that saw quarterly declines.

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