A decade ago, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. attempted to enter financial services via bank acquisition; MasterCard Worldwide predicted debit, payroll and smart card usage would grow; and Authorize.Net faced allegations of unauthorized access to its database. Since then, Wal-Mart has found other ways to enter the financial services realm, MasterCard's predictions have come to pass and companies are still under attack by fraudsters.
Wal-Mart, after twice failing, attempted for a third time to enter the banking and financial services sector. According to a Wal-Mart statement at the time, the acquisition of Franklin Bank of California would have enabled the company to wholesale many of its check and debit card processing costs.
In a keynote address at the Card Forum and Expo, Ruth Ann Marshall, then President, The Americas, for MasterCard, said that over 3.6 million U.S. households were paying bills online, potentially saving financial institutions $8 billion annually in check processing costs. She also predicted growth in smart card adoption and a rise in U.S. usage of debit and payroll cards.
An MSNBC.com report of a scheme involving hackers using passwords to access merchant accounts and virtually return merchandise for funds via the Authorize.Net merchant database prompted Authorize.Net to counter that no unauthorized access occurred; instead, hackers were able to guess merchant log-in IDs to perform one credit run before being detected.
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