Results are in for the PCI Security Standards Council's (PCI SSC) first Special Interest Group (SIG) elections. SIGs are working groups culled from over 600 PCI SSC member organizations that provide input and ideas for the security standards body to consider when it expands, updates or clarifies security mandates and best practices.
Nearly 500 merchants, financial institutions, service providers and associations reportedly participated in the vote that resulted in three new SIGs that will focus on cloud computing, e-commerce security and risk assessment.
The three new SIGs were part of seven potential SIGs winnowed down from 13 initially proposed new SIGs. PCI SSC European Director Jeremy King said he was impressed that one third of voters came from outside North America. He said it shows the council's mission to secure payments is a global endeavor. The new SIGs will begin work early in 2012.
Payments industry veterans are anticipating a processing windfall as the U.S. Congress looks again at regulating the online gambling industry. Two congressional hearings on online gambling held in mid-November 2011 point to the increasing agreement among legislators that online gambling can create much-needed revenue and jobs.
The first of the two hearings was held before the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. It was the first Senate hearing on Internet gambling since passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. The UIGEA legislation initiated the closing of online poker sites in the United States.
In the second November hearing, entitled "Internet Gaming: Regulating in an Online World," the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade met for the second time in two months to discuss the topic.
Internet gambling advocate Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., testified at the hearing. Previously, Frank recommended to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (the so-called super-committee, which failed to reach consensus on a federal deficit reduction plan) that it include provisions to tax and regulate Internet gambling in its deficit-reduction package.
Congress is also considering at least two pieces of pro-Internet gambling legislation - The Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act (H.R. 1174) sponsored by Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif., and the Internet Gambling Prohibition, Poker Consumer Protection, and Strengthening UIGEA Act of 2011 (H.R. 2366) sponsored by Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas.
H2 Gambling Capital, a gaming data and market research firm, said in a recent report that regulating all U.S. Internet gambling (except sports) would create approximately $67 billion in revenues and 25,740 new jobs over five years.
Retail Decisions Inc. (ReD) upgraded its Internet Protocol (IP) geo-location detection technology to allow the tracking of otherwise anonymous fraud threats using IP identification and geo-location information.
This means retailers can quickly and accurately check the origin location of online orders and decline suspicious transactions. It is a common practice for criminals to hide their IP addresses or make it appear as if the IP addresses came from false locations, ReD said.
ReD Chief Executive Officer Paul Stanley said, "The new IP geo-location technology identifies and tracks IP addresses flagged as 'Anonymiser.'
"On average, rules with 'Anonymiser' flagged in conjunction with other ReD Shield services have a 50 to 70 percent cancellation rate and, since its trials, there has been a 30 to 50 percent improvement in orders processed successfully."
Swedish firm Payair AB introduced its mobile payment application technology to the United States. The Payair mobile checkout application allows consumers to initiate transactions by pointing mobile phone cameras at quick response or bar codes to corresponding products.
Customer then enter personal identification numbers and confirm either debit or credit card payment methods to complete transactions.
The Payair application is available on Apple Inc. devices and devices that run on Google Inc.'s Android operating system. Payair said its payment process is encrypted for a higher level of security, even with its "card in a cloud solution" that allows consumers to access debit and credit card information without storing the sensitive data on smart devices. The Payair technology accepts both POS and Internet payments.
Groupe Speciale Mobile Association, the pan-European group formed in 1982 to promote mobile technology, said at its November 2011 Mobile Asia Congress held in Hong Kong that 45 of the world's biggest mobile telecommunications companies are committed to subscriber identity module- (SIM) based near field communication (NFC) solutions and services.
The companies volunteering to use and promote NFC mobile technology include China Mobile Ltd. and China Unicom Ltd. - two of the largest mobile phone manufacturers in the world's largest mobile phone market; together the companies serve nearly 800 million customers in China.
The GSMA recently published a set of industry specifications for SIM-based mobile NFC services. Other major companies committed to NFC include AT&T Inc., Deutsche Telekom AG, Orange Group Ltd., KT Corp., Rogers Communications Inc., Vodafone Group PLC and ISIS.
The GSMA said leading analysts predict nearly 1.5 billion SIM-based smart phones will be in use by 2016. Transactions initiated from smart phones are expected to climb to more than $50 billion globally by the same year. Research indicates 85 percent of all new POS terminals will be NFC-enabled by 2016, the group said.
Apriva LLC, a wireless transactions and secure information solutions provider, said sales of Apriva Vend cashless payment solution rose 24 percent in the third quarter of 2011 compared to the previous quarter. The company said the increased sales show cashless vending technologies are gaining market acceptance.
Payment processor BillingTree, a part of Electronic Payment Providers Inc., said it is testing an expanded suite of convenience fee solutions called No Fee to Biller, a service for billers seeking to offset payment processing fees. Another product, called Biller Keeps the Fee, is designed for better management of fee revenue and reporting. The company expects both products will be launched by the end of 2011.
Chase Paymentech Solutions LLC's Cyber Holiday Pulse Index showed sales for the first three weeks of November 2011 were up nearly 30 percent over the same time in 2010. Transactions were 40 percent higher over the same period.
The index is calculated using aggregated daily payment processing activity for 50 of the top U.S. online retailers and uses transactions, dollar volume and average ticket value to measure economic growth.
Google Inc. merged Google Checkout, its online payment service, with Google Wallet, the smart device application that stores credit and debit card information, personal identification data, coupons and rewards for the purpose of contactless, proximity payments at the POS. In other news, Google began to integrate Google Wallet as the payment method on Android Market, YouTube, Google+ Games and other sites.
PayPal Inc., the payment subsidiary of eBay Inc., introduced a new Facebook application that facilitates money transfers. The new app, called Send Money, allows users to log in to PayPal accounts through the Facebook app page, choose the amount to deliver and click the send button to complete the transaction. A message or card for special occasions can be included. The service is free.
European payment processor Point International, a part of the Swedish firm Point Transaction Systems AB, joined the Secure POS Vendor Alliance. The SPVA was founded by leading payment device manufacturers and service providers to promote compliance with security standards. The nonprofit SPVA now counts nearly 20 payment companies among its members. Point International markets payment solutions in 11 European countries.
Structured Technologies Inc., Thales Group and Virtual Piggy Inc. received Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) compliance certifications in November 2011.
Thales, an information systems and communications security firm, said its payShield 9000 Hardware Security Module is certified compliant with PCI Hardware Security Module requirements. Structured Technologies, a provider of security software, said it is now certified to provide qualified security assessor services. Virtual Piggy, a provider of payment processing technology targeted at teens, received Level 1 PCI DSS certification.
Trustwave Inc.'s cloud-based security and compliance portal, TrustKeeper, won an award for new product innovation at the 2011 Chicago Innovation Awards. Eleven Chicago-based companies won awards out of nearly 400 nominees.
Digital document management solution provider Allison Payment Systems LLC and communication technology firm Pitney Bowes Inc. entered a strategic alliance that provides Allison Payment's customers access to Pitney Bowes' Volly delivery service. In addition to facilitating online bill payment, Volly allows consumers to receive, view, organize, and manage bills, statements, direct marketing, catalogs, coupons and other content from multiple providers.
Citigroup Inc. renewed its long-standing, private-label credit card agreement with Sunoco Inc. Citi has provided credit card services to the oil company since 2004.
STAR Network, a First Data Corp. company, said it will join CardinalCommerce Corp.'s Universal PIN Debit Service. STAR is an electronic funds transfer network with more than 2 million retail and ATM locations. CardinalCommerce's Universal PIN Debit Service offers multiple authentication methods for financial institutions that support online debit card payments.
United Bank Card Inc. and Charge Anywhere LLC teamed to release an integrated payment solution for use with Intuit Inc.'s QuickBooks accounting software. The solution gives merchants the ability to process credit and debit card payments via QuickBooks. The plug-in is PCI DSS compliant.
USA Technologies Inc. signed a three-year agreement with AMI Entertainment Network Inc. AMI, a manufacturer of touch screen entertainment products and electronic jukeboxes, already uses USAT's ePort Connect Service on its Megatouch countertop products. The new agreement makes USA Technologies the exclusive provider of processing services for all of AMI's credit and debit card-enabled game machines and jukeboxes.
Wausau Financial Systems Inc. and Clear2Pay NV/SA are developing an integrated payment and receivables hub. The partnership combines Clear2Pay's Open Payment Framework and bank payment hub with Wausau's Receivable360, an integrated receivables hub. Together, the hubs will help financial institutions manage cash flow and view incoming and outgoing payments.
Discover Financial Services inked a deal with social game developer Zynga to help launch what is called the first card brand-sponsored FarmVille expansion, Winter Wonderland.
The new, customizable social game on Facebook involves a holiday farm where Discover cards can be used to make virtual holiday shopping purchases. Discover's sponsorship of Winter Wonderland will last two weeks from the time the FarmVille expansion game went live on Dec. 5, 2011.
On the heels of purchasing Level Four Software Holdings Ltd., Clear2Pay bought the Fremont, Calif.-based retail payment technology company ISTS Worldwide Inc. The acquisition will reportedly extend Clear2Pay's payment expertise in the United States and India, as well as bolster its onsite and offshore project management and delivery capabilities.
SelectCore Ltd., a provider of processing services and POS solutions for the prepaid telecommunications and prepaid financial services markets, said it has substantially completed due diligence and is finalizing the terms of an all-stock purchase agreement for the assets of a "Canadian payment processor." The name of the acquisition target has not being released.
Visa Europe purchased a minority stake in Beyond Analysis Ltd., a U.K.-based research firm focused on international consumer insight and strategy.
Visa Europe President and CEO Peter Ayliffe said the investment shows Visa Europe wants to help retailers increase market share by building stronger, more secure relationships with customers.
Matt Benati is the new Vice President of Global Marketing at Attunity Ltd. Benati was formerly the Senior Director of Product Marketing, Analytics at International Business Machines Inc. Benati is now responsible for Attunity's worldwide marketing and sales.
ABC Financial Services Inc., a provider of payment processing services to the fitness industry, hired Justin Fortune as Regional Sales Director in California. Fortune comes from exercise equipment manufacturer Cybex International Inc., where he was Commercial Territory Manager for Nevada and Northern California.
Bruce Hopkins became the General Manager of Processing Solutions for Fiserv Inc.'s Card Services Division, a new position created to manage debit, credit and risk product development, as well as client service delivery.
Before joining Fiserv, Hopkins worked at Fidelity National Information Services Inc. as a Senior Vice President for the Merchant Solutions Division of the Retail Payments Solutions business.
Capital One N.A. co-founder Nigel Morris joined the board of directors of the online payment provider Braintree Payments Solutions LLC. Morris is the Managing Partner of QED Investors. He helped Capital One develop a method to use analytics, risk and mass marketing to target customers who are not typically offered credit cards.
Thomas Oppel joined payment services hub provider Dovetail Systems Inc. as Director of Business Development for Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and Eastern Europe.
Thomas previously held senior positions with MarketAxess Holdings Inc., Calypso Technology Inc., Smart Stream Technology Ltd., Omgeo LLC and Thomson Financial Inc. At Dovetail he is responsible for growing the company's client base and meeting demand for payment services hub solutions.
Kevin Tweddle, Executive Vice President of Sales and Operations for Bank Intelligence Solutions at Fiserv, was named the new President of the Association for Financial Technology.
The AFT is a technology-focused association of companies providing processing services for financial institutions. The organization's goal is to promote high professional standards in the planning, development, implementation and application of financial services technology.
The Green Sheet Inc. is now a proud affiliate of Bankcard Life, a premier community that provides industry-leading training and resources for payment professionals. Click here for more information.
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