As the holiday season draws near, cybercriminals are making lists and checking them twice, according to a new study by Arkose Labs. The Q4 Fraud and Abuse Report cited a 70 percent increase in bot-driven account fraud. Researchers analyzed over 1.3 billion financial service, ecommerce, travel, social media, gaming and entertainment transactions between July 1 and Sept. 30, and found one in five account openings were fraudulent.
Arkose Labs CEO Kevin Gosschalk said, "One thing is clear: the way fraudsters are weaponizing compromised data from recent high-profile breaches highlights the deep connectivity of the global cybercrime ecosystem that goes way beyond selling stolen data or knowledge sharing," he stated. "One attack is a precursor to another attack, and they can be in two different industries, across two different geographies."
Global payments acquirer Elavon, subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp, disclosed that it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Sage Pay, a U.K.-based payment gateway and division of The Sage Group, a cloud solutions provider. The $300 million agreement is expected to close in 2020, subject to regulatory approval. Declan Lynch, CEO of Elavon Financial Services DAC, is optimistic that the newly formed entity will accommodate Sage Pay assets and staff. "We are thrilled to bring the talents and capabilities of Sage Pay employees to Elavon, where they will be an integral part of our company that is investing in the future," he stated. Elavon Financial Services DAC, doing business as Elavon Merchant Services, is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
Fresh off a series of congressional inquiries, technology giants Facebook and Google are planning to broaden their reach with new payment and banking services. Facebook stated it is consolidating payment functionality across its social media apps – Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp onto a single payments platform, called Facebook Pay. Meanwhile, Alphabet Inc., parent of Google, reportedly is working to expand its Google Pay app to function more like a bank. The Wall Street Journal reported that Google's plan, code named Cache, is to offer consumer checking accounts beginning next year. The service would be offered through the Google Pay app, but checking accounts would be maintained at various U.S. banks. The mega-bank Citigroup, is said to be partnering with Alphabet on the project, as well as Stanford (University) Federal Credit Union.
EMVCo, the global technical body that facilitates worldwide interoperability and acceptance of secure EMV-compliant payment transactions, disclosed Nov. 19, 2019, that it enhanced its EMVCO Associates Program (EAP) to attract more like-minded organizations to its ongoing discussions and initiatives.
Ideal candidates are companies that share EMVCo's interest in integrating a range of technologies and acceptance methods into a unified international payments framework, according to EMVCo representatives. EAP, established in 2010, is expanding participation to facilitate new approaches to EMV Specifications, stated Bruce Rutherford, EMVCo Executive Committee chair.
PayPal just paid $4 billion for Honey Science, a technology firm that develops browser add-ons that automatically find and apply coupon codes for member shoppers at participating online stores. Honey claims 17 million monthly active users worldwide and an online merchant base in excess 30,000. The acquisition cost works out to about $235 per active Honey user.
The acquisition signals that PayPal is willing to spend big as it charts a course to "democratize" the shopping experience. In a blog post, Honey's co-founders, George Ruan and Ryan Hudson, wrote, "PayPal's mission is to democratize financial services and empower everyone to improve their financial health, one that aligns closely with ours."
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