The Green Sheet Online Edition
February 28, 2011 • Issue 11:02:02
Improving economy lifts First Data
For the fourth quarter of 2010, privately held First Data Corp. reported adjusted revenue of $1.7 billion, a 1 percent improvement over the same quarter of 2009. Including reimbursables such as debit network fees, consolidated revenue rose 6 percent year over year, to $2.73 billion. The company attributed the growth to increases in debit network fees and merchant services related to modest domestic economic growth.
A net loss for the period of $179 million attributable to First Data was a 51 percent improvement over the same quarter 2009, when the company showed a loss of $369 million. Chief Executive Officer Jonathan J. Judge said, "We are encouraged by the solid growth in our U.S. merchant acquiring business, driven by an improving economy and related consumer spending."
Nasdaq a 'juicy target' for fraudsters
Cyber attackers targeting computers used by Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. - the company that runs the Nasdaq Stock Market - apparently didn't gain access to the company's trading systems but did manage to infiltrate its Director's Desk portal, a web-based tool used by directors of companies to share governance information.
Nicholas Percoco, Senior Vice President and head of Trustwave's advanced security team, SpiderLabs, said the level of the users and type of information shared across the application makes the portal "a pretty juicy target for attackers." Although noting that Trustwave is not involved in the Nasdaq investigation, Percoco remarked that "web application flaws are common in custom-developed applications. A motivated attacker has infinite time to find these flaws because these applications are maintained on the Internet and can be accessed from anywhere in the world."
Visa, MasterCard end year on a high note
The two leading card brands posted strong results for the quarter that ended in December 2010. Revenue at Visa Inc. jumped 14 percent year over year to $2.2 billion for its first fiscal quarter, which ended Dec. 31. The results were driven by double-digit growth in service, data processing and international transaction revenue.
Profit attributable to Visa was $884 million, up 16 percent from $763 million for the same period of 2009.
At MasterCard Worldwide, revenue rose 10.7 percent year over year to $1.4 billion for its fourth quarter. Profit attributable to MasterCard skyrocketed 41.2 percent, to $415 million, from $294 million a year earlier. That lifted earnings to $3.16 a share, from $2.24 a share in the prior year's quarter. Income was higher due in part to a lower tax rate for the quarter.
USDT service gets tough on friendly fraud
US Digital Transactions Corp. launched a chargeback recovery service for merchants wishing to collect revenue from consumers who perpetrate friendly fraud.
The company will pursue consumers who, without valid reasons, refuse acceptance of charges for transactions they performed but for which they then submitted false requests to their issuers for refunds, or chargebacks.
"Chargebacks can be the most frustrating aspect of a business," said Greg Wooten, CEO of USDT. The company's service is a browser-based application that provides merchants two options for recovering revenue. The first is an automated, flat-fee collection service of merchant-initiated debt-collection letters and reporting of the debt to the major credit bureaus. The second option is a performance-based full service with no upfront fees.
ACH Direct offers free webinars
ACH Direct Inc. and Upper Midwest ACH Association are offering a series of free webinars to help merchants and their service providers navigate the regulations governing the automated clearing house network. Participants must register in advance at www.achdirect.com. All 90-minute sessions begin at 1 p.m. central time. Webinar dates and topics include:
- March 8 - Introduction to ACH
- April 12 - Authorization requirements
- May 17 - Exception processing
- June 21 - Unauthorized entries and stopped payments
- July 19 - E-check conversion products
- Aug. 16 - WEB and TEL entries
- Sept. 13 - Check basics/Check 21
- Oct. 18 - Remote deposit capture basics/corporate capture
Rover POS now PED 2.1 certified
AnywhereCommerce, a division of HomeATM, said its handheld Rover POS is now certified to the Payment Card Industry (PCI) PIN Entry Device standard 2.1. The device provides end-to-end encryption and begins shipping in March 2011.
Bling Nation rolls out social rewards in Chicago
Bling Nation launched its FanConnect social rewards program in Chicago as part of a broader national rollout. FanConnect enables businesses to connect with customers when customers visit, which can generate awareness, encourage in-store traffic and build customer loyalty through special rewards, the company reported.
Cynergy introduces LaunchPad for training
Cynergy Data LLC recently implemented LaunchPad, a program that, according to the company, welcomes ISOs to Cynergy with 90 days of personal attention, assistance and hands-on training.
"This is the best way to really get to know a new ISO: in their offices, with all their people, learning about their unique needs and goals," said Kevin Smith, Cynergy's Executive Vice President of Sales.
Foregenix, Visa Europe hold webinar series
Foregenix Ltd. is working with Visa Europe to deliver a series of training webinars to help acquiring banks and merchants understand how using cardholder data discovery solutions can help them become compliant with the PCI Data Security Standard.
The webinars give guidance on how businesses can identify, then encrypt or remove hidden or unprotected cardholder data. Upcoming webinar dates are March 9, March 25, April 6, and April 15, 2011. All sessions begin at 6 a.m. eastern time. For information, visit www.foregenix.com.
IPay named a top place to work
The iPay Technologies division of Jack Henry & Associates Inc. was named among the best places to work by the Louisville, Ky.-based Courier-Journal's list of Top Workplaces 2011. IPay was one of only 15 midsize employers chosen for the list in the region.
IronKey's Jevans talks defense against cyber crime
IronKey Inc. posted a 20-minute webcast on its site regarding the explosion of malware aimed at the banking sector. In the webcast Protecting Online Banking Customers from Evolving Cyber Crime Threats, Dave Jevans, founder and CEO of IronKey, addresses the latest bank phishing attacks, Trojans and other topics related to cyber crime. Jevans is the Chairman of the Anti-Phishing Working Group, a consortium of 1,500 organizations that fight online fraud.
The webcast covers:
- Emerging tactics used to take over online bank accounts
- Why antivirus software and strong authentication cannot stop online account takeover
- The increasing sophistication of bank phishing, Trojans and other attacks
- How cyber gangs use the Internet, botnets and "mules" to evade law enforcement
- Why the financial malware threat level will continue to grow in 2011
- What the banking industry can do to fight back against online banking fraud
To view the webcast, visit www.ironkey.com; click the link titled "The Evolution of Cybercrime."
Louisville arena signs with TrustCommerce
The Louisville Arena Authority chose TrustCommerce for payment processing. The authority operates the KFC Yum! Center, which hosts University of Louisville basketball games and other large events.
Powerhouse unveils CRM portal
Powerhouse Payments LLC launched its web-based CRM software suite for ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs). Powerhouse stated the suite "will play an integral part in every sales office's marketing strategy. Our CRM improves your ability to deliver information and services timely and effectively."
Private Quarters signs with EPX
Private Quarters Inc., a direct-sales retailer, entered an exclusive payment processing agreement with Electronic Payment Exchange.
A factor in the choice is EPX's ability to integrate with direct-selling software from PartyPlan Solutions.
Mobile payments debut at Sundance
ProPay Inc. debuted its social mobile payment platform Zumogo during the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. The application facilitates payments and bi-directional communications between merchants and consumers.
TopGrading rebrands, names director
Payments industry recruiting firm TopGrading Solutions changed its name to LifeWork Search. The new identity reflects an evolution in the industry and indicates the firm's core philosophy promoting a balance between life and work.
In conjunction with the rebranding, Equity Partner Larry Lebofsky was named Managing Director, leading the overall vision and operations of the company's Payments and Retail Technology Practices.
Consumer protection bureau launches website
The U.S. Department of the Treasury launched the beta version of ConsumerFinance.gov, the website of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Elizabeth Warren, Assistant to the President, said, "This agency will put a cop on the beat to enforce the laws on credit cards, mortgages, student loans, prepaid cards and other kinds of consumer financial products and services." The agency is asking the public for input on development of the site.
CardNET implements VeriShield
Dominican Republic processor Consorcio de Tarjetas Dominicanas S.A. (CardNET) deployed VeriShield Total Protect from VeriFone Inc. CardNET uses the system for end-to-end encryption of card data.
First Data, World's Foremost renew agreement
First Data and World's Foremost Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cabela's Inc., recently renewed their credit card processing agreement. First Data will continue to provide processing services for approximately 2 million credit card accounts. First Data also provides statement production, plastic card production and associated mailing services for the bank.
Discover expands in Puerto Rico
Discover Financial Services partnered with Banco Popular de Puerto Rico to expand card acceptance in the territory. The arrangement could add Discover and Diners Club acceptance at 20,000 merchant locations there.
Elavon certifies Hypercom mobile products
Elavon Inc. Class-B certified Hypercom Corp.'s Standard POS 32 (SPOS32 EMV) payment software on the Optimum T4200 and M4200 mobile product family. Elavon can process card transactions originating from these devices in Canada.
EMG supports software from pcAmerica
Card and check processor Eliot Management Group added retail and restaurant POS software from pcAmerica to its product line. The collaboration reportedly simplifies card acceptance for merchants using pcAmerica POS systems.
Flat Fee picks Cynergy
Flat Fee Merchant Services chose Cynergy as its payment processor. The company cited Cynergy's upcoming applications for smart phones as a factor.
Shazam invests in Adaptive Payments
Electronic funds transfer network Shazam Inc. made a strategic investment in payment authentication company Adaptive Payments Inc. The two companies were already partners in Internet PIN debit processing and gateway services.
Ask The Expert set to serve
Take Charge Business Consulting LLC partnered with Payments Market to create Ask The Expert, a free service designed for ISOs, MLSs, banks, merchant cash advance companies and other payment professionals, as well as merchants. According to TCBC, questions can be anything from "how to handle an unusual exception item on your risk report for the day to what are the steps needed to be taken to go direct with a processor." For further information, visit www.paymentsmarket.com.
TMS selects ROAM Data for smart phone program
Total Merchant Services Inc. released a new credit card processing program for BlackBerry users and users of other smart phones. Provided in partnership with Roam Data Inc.'s ROAMpay, the service includes a small swiping device that plugs into the headphone jack on a phone, which enables merchants to process transactions as "qualified" since the device reads card information from the mag stripe, TMS reported.
TrustCommerce engine integrates with iPay POS app
IPhone mobile processing application iPay POS now integrates with the payment engine of TrustCommerce. IPay POS accepts credit card payments on vendors' iPhones. Merchants with TrustCommerce accounts can process transactions through the iPhone app.
TSYS and Cassis join forces for mobile
Total System Services Inc. (TSYS) partnered with Cassis International on mobile payments utilizing near field communication. Cassis is a mobile trusted service manager for banks and retailers.
NewNet buys Traxcom
NewNet Communication Technologies LLC, which provides mobile messaging to networks, completed the acquisition of Traxcom Technologies LLC, whose products enable mobile payments and e-commerce. Traxcom provides a portfolio of merchant payment products and advanced encryption technology.
Ezic hires two, moves headquarters
In conjunction with relocation of its business headquarters, payment processor Ezic Inc. added two executives to its team. Erica Arena was named Director of Reseller Development. She has five years' experience in client relationship management. Amy Nolan was hired as Consumer Support Supervisor for the company's electronic check product. She has 10 years of experience. Ezic relocated to a larger office space in Vernon Hills, Ill.
FS-ISAC elects new officers
The nonprofit Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center installed new officers and board members for 2011. The organization named JPMorgan Chase & Co. Managing Director and Chief Information Risk Officer Anish Bhimani Chairperson. Other officers include Vice Chair, Gary Owen of Goldman Sachs; Treasurer, Eric Guerrino of The Bank of New York Mellon Corp.; and Secretary, Dan DeWaal of The Options Clearing Corp. Joining the board of directors is Bank of America Corp.'s Craig Froelich.
In collaboration with the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council, FS-ISAC's mission is to assist the financial services sector in preparing for cyber and physical threats.
The Clearing House elects new leadership
The Clearing House Payments Co. elected new board leadership. John Stumpf, Chairman, President and CEO of Wells Fargo & Co., was appointed to a two-year term as Chairman of the organization's Supervisory Board.
Michael Gallagher, HSBC Executive Vice President for Global Transaction Banking, was appointed The Clearing House Board Chairman. Citigroup Inc.'s Michael Helfer was named Chairman of the Association Board. The Clearing House settles 66 million transactions a day.
- In Inside the Buy, a national survey of consumers aged 25 to 49 by AMP Agency, 94 percent of respondents said online research positively influenced their purchasing decisions; nearly four in ten (36 percent) said they'd bought products because of their research.
- According to a survey conducted by BIGresearch for the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, consumers were expected to spend an average of $59.33 on Super Bowl XLV-related merchandise, apparel and snacks, up from $52.63 last year. Total Super Bowl spending was expected to reach $10.1 billion.
- National chain store sales rose 1.7 percent in the first week of February 2011 compared with January, according to Redbook Research Inc. The Johnson Redbook Index also showed seasonally adjusted sales for the period were up 2.7 percent from 2010.
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