To assist victims of the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti, American Express Co. will donate $250,000 to the American Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, International Rescue Committee and the United Nations' Friends of the World Food program.
It will also rebate the merchant discount rate for charitable contributions made on its card to designated nonprofits listed at www.usaid.gov through Feb. 28.
The Western Union Co. initiated grants; consumer, agent and employee donation programs; and a "no transfer fee" initiative for money sent via Western Union to Haiti from the United States, Canada and France. Through its corporate signature program, it will contribute $150,000 toward disaster relief efforts, and the Western Union Foundation will donate an additional $100,000.
Visa Inc. also committed to aiding the Hatian people through the following: a $200,000 donation to the American Red Cross Haiti Relief and Development Fund; a program to match employee donations, two-to-one, through the end of January 2010; donation directly to the Red Cross of its revenues generated by charitable contributions to alleviate the Hatian crisis; and waiving of interchange fees of donations made through the end of February to 11 U.S.-based charities contributing to the relief efforts.
MoneyGram International is doing its part by offering special pricing of $1 USD and similar pricing in foreign currencies for money transfers to Haiti from any of MoneyGram's 186,000 locations throughout the world.
Heartland Payment Systems Inc. and Visa reached a settlement in which Visa-branded credit and debit card issuers may seek recovery of losses from the HPS data breach reported in January 2009. Under the agreement, HPS will pay up to $60 million to fund the settlement program. Visa will present the terms and conditions of the settlement to eligible issuers.
"We are pleased to have reached a fair settlement agreement that helps issuers obtain a recovery with respect to losses they may have incurred from the intrusion," said Robert O. Carr, HPS Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "At Heartland, we are also committed to helping issuers - as well as all stakeholders in the payment ecosystem - mitigate future risk."
Ellen Richey, Chief Enterprise Risk Officer for Visa, said, "Helping financial institutions mitigate costs after a data security breach has been a long-standing component of Visa's security strategy, along with promoting new security technologies, preventing fraud and leading efforts to secure sensitive data across the entire payment system."
A data glitch rendered 30 million debit and credit cards in Germany unusable. According to several sources, the glitch in the embedded microchip's software was called a delayed millennium bug. The smart cards affected included those issued by public-sector, private-sector and mutual banks.
Avoiding the prohibitive cost of recalling the cards, bank staff worked to reconfigure ATMs and payment terminals in Germany and other countries most visited by Germans to accept the cards.
Gemalto, a major distributor to German banks, has since confirmed in a press release that it provided a secure procedure to its customers in Germany to address the glitch. Gemalto's solution was verified and approved by German banking authorities.
"This is a regrettable incident, and we are doing everything in our power to support our banking customers in resuming full normal operations," said Oliver Piou, Gemalto's CEO.
"We worked with them hand in hand to create a strong, secure software solution that enables our customers to resolve the problem of the concerned cards without reissuing these cards. All along we kept at heart to consistently maintain a high level of security for our customers and the German cardholders."
The Consumer Research Center at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has produced an updated snapshot of data on consumer payment habits. The 2008 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice (SCPC) is the fourth in a series of data collection efforts undertaken by the Boston Fed beginning in 2003.
A document made public by the center on Dec. 31, 2009, stated that the latest SCPC data is preliminary and subject to revisions. However, it highlights interesting trends in transition from paper to electronic payments.
Highlights include the following:
The SCPC was designed to help the Fed and other policymakers get a better handle on consumer payment habits; it uses a combination of internal and external researchers to survey consumers directly.
The SCPC differs from the Federal Reserve Payments Study, which collects and analyzes financial institution payments data about every three years.
A final report detailing the SCPC findings is expected to be released this year.
Chattanooga, Tenn.-based ACH Federal formally introduced its automated clearing house (ACH) processing and merchant services solution suites. ACH Federal uses a Web-based platform that enables financial institutions and enterprises to process ACH transactions through a payment terminal that, in conjunction with a sponsor bank, connects to the Federal Reserve.
Applied Trust Engineering Inc. gained Qualified Security Assessor status from the PCI Security Standards Council. With this certification, Applied Trust can now conduct on-site compliance audits for companies that are subject to the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS).
Bankerstuff invites banking industry professionals to speak at its webinars and virtual conferences, which are available throughout the year at www.bankerstuff.com.
The online banking professional's resource will collect submissions on an ongoing basis.
Elavon Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp, released its hosted payment gateway, Fuebox, to provide multipoint connectivity throughout the merchant's enterprise. The gateway stores cardholder data off-site and returns a token to the merchant, thus reducing the merchant's burden regarding data security and PCI DSS compliance.
Hypercom Corp.'s L4150 multilane terminal and L4150 Secure Keypad received PCI PIN Transaction Security 2.1 certification. "The optional L4150 Secure Keypad delivers an alternative solution for secure PIN entry, providing a tactile keypad that addresses the needs of the visually disabled," said Lloyd Baylard, Vice President, Multilane Products for Hypercom.
Ingenico unveiled a strategy for end-to-end security for electronic payment transactions that addresses data in flight, data at rest and payment architecture. The three-prong strategy involves technology, security experts and strategic partnerships. In other news, Ingenico launched the Ingenico iSC350, a multimedia payment terminal, at the National Retail Federation's 99th Annual Convention & Expo.
Monitise Americas LLC, a joint venture between Fidelity National Information Services Inc. and Monitise PLC, described its 2009 achievements: it signed more than 200 financial institutions; registered 1 million U.K. and U.S customers; achieved 200 percent quarter-on-quarter, end-user growth; increased supported handsets to 2,000; launched an Apple Inc. iPhone application; gained PCI DSS certification; and supplied its Mobile Money Manager platform to Visa.
The Merchant Risk Council slated several leading multichannel and electronic merchants for its March conference. Barnes and Noble Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Yahoo Inc., Expedia Inc. and Microsoft Corp. will be among the presenters for the MRC Platinum Meeting and 2010 Annual e-Commerce Payment and Risk Conference at the Wynn Las Vegas Resort, March 16 to 18, 2010.
Financial solution services provider Parsam Technologies LLC's uMonitor signed four credit unions to use its platform: Eli Lilly Federal Credit Union, Cinco Family Financial Center Credit Union, Communications Federal Credit Union and Center for Disease Control Federal Credit Union.
ACM Payment Processing Solutions partnered with 3Delta Systems Inc. to provide payment processing services for the members of the National Association of Credit Management and its affiliated associations. NACM, under the terms of the agreement, will continue to exclusively market ACM's solutions to its members.
EProcessing Network LLC added the VeriFone PINpad 1000SE debit solution to its list of products that can be integrated with its ePNjpos software. "The VeriFone PINpad 1000SE is a perfect compliment to ePN's processing solutions and will provide a strong sales tool for resellers in a highly competitive market," said Steve Sotis, President of ePN.
French contactless chip manufacturer Inside Contactless and TazTag joined forces to develop and launch near field communication (NFC), contactless solutions.
TazTag creates multiapplication, NFC, contactless products on a Java Development Framework.
Key Innovations Inc. signed a preferred distributor and service agreement with Trimble Navigation Ltd.'s Trimble Mobile Resource Management.
"Trimble offers the ability to design and implement tailored, expedited, flexible services that result in increased equipment uptime, improved service level performance, longer product life cycles and decreased overall costs for our customers," said Peter Jarvis, President of Key Innovations.
Six La Chiquita Express check cashing locations in Maryland now use Phoenix Check Cashing, doing business as All Trust Networks' Paycheck Secure fingerprint identification solution.
"Right after we installed the system, we identified customers who had passed bad checks at nearby Paycheck Secure locations and were able to decline those checks," said La Chiquita's owner, German Escobar.
Merchant Warehouse now supports MagTek Inc.'s MagneSafe digital identification and authentication architecture, which features MagnePrint card authentication. "Our goal is to significantly reduce the merchants' counterfeit card fraud losses by allowing their point of sale devices to simply decline any presented card that is not original," said Tom Patterson, MagTek's Chief Security Officer.
Mobile commerce payment and marketing company Transaction Wireless and electronic payment provider PowerPay entered into a partnership that allows PowerPay to offer TW's wCharge Credit Card Terminal to its customers. The Web-based solution enables merchants to accept payments on their mobile phones without installing extra equipment.
SecureNet Payment Systems and Main Street Soft-works Inc. signed a distribution agreement enabling SecureNet to offer Main Street's Monetra payment processing software's end-to-end encryption and tokenization technology via SecureNet's infrastructure.
Total System Services Inc. (TSYS) signed a multiyear agreement with Degussa Bank of Germany for payment products and services for its clients.
"TSYS has strong experience and deep expertise in commercial cards and is the right partner to provide the level of service our clients expect from us as we expand our market presence," said Karl-Heinz Golder, Head of Product Management Cards for Degussa.
Retail installation and integration company Direct Source now supports implementation of ViVOtech Inc.'s ViVOpay 8800 and VIVOpay 8600 customer-facing terminals. "Direct Source and ViVOtech have both the ideal devices and the implementation expertise to create a system quickly and efficiently," said Mohammad Khan, President and founder of ViVOtech.
Hebron, Ky.-based BlueStar Inc. acquired Impuls ID Distribution, a global distributor of automatic identification, security and identification card and specialty application products that is based in Spain.
"BlueStar and Impuls value-added resellers will now have access to greater inventory choices and availability, innovative marketing resources, and the best technical support in the industry," said BlueStar CEO, Steve Cuntz.
"We are very excited about the Vision Point of Sale purchase, along with their dedicated and well trained technical staff and support team, Vision's greatest asset," said Elliott Wallace, President and CEO of DataMax.
Trustwave acquired BitArmor, a data encryption solution provider. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. BitArmor's core solution is Smart Tag technology, which focuses on the protection of data, not the hardware on which or with which data are stored or transmitted.
VeriFone acquired Clear Channel Outdoor's Clear Channel Taxi Media business. This acquisition is in support of VeriFone's entry into the media-enabled payment business. The terms of the agreement were not released.
Travelex Central Services Ltd., said to be the world's largest foreign exchange and international payment specialist, appointed Peter Jackson CEO of the Travelex Group as of early spring 2010. He is currently Manag-ing Director of Lloyds Banking Group's Consumer Banking Division.
ATM USA LLC added Richard A. Kowalski to its advisory board. ATM USA founder Haze Lancaster III said Kowalski is "widely regarded as an experienced builder of profitable and reliable off-premise ATM networks."
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