Amazon.com launched a new feature, Amazon Currency Converter, which allows international customers to pay for purchases in the currency of their home countries, instead of U.S. dollars.
Before this, international customers did not know their final purchase prices until they received their bankcard statements. Now customers will know the exact amount of each purchase, including shipping charges, prior to completing the purchase.
Amazon Currency Converter supports payment cards denominated in 11 currencies, which include the Australian, New Zealand and Hong Kong dollar, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian krone, Japanese yen, South African rand, Swiss franc, and the U.K. pound sterling.
The Network Branded Prepaid Card Association published Recommended Practices for Anti-Money Laundering Compliance for U.S.-based Prepaid Card Programs and said this document will "assist in the industry's response to reduce the potential for prepaid cards to be used for money laundering, financial crime or other illegal activity such as terrorist financing."
The document provides recommendations for all network-branded prepaid card industry participants to support compliance with the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act anti-money-laundering (AML) program requirements.
It recommends how to implement internal controls, monitor and manage third parties involved with prepaid card processes and mitigate risks associated with money laundering.
"Prepaid cards are less vulnerable to illicit activity than other forms of payment such as cash or checks, but the recommended practices in this document provide a roadmap to risk reduction that will further safeguard prepaid cards," said Terry Mather, Partner, Baird Holm LLP, and Chair of the NBPCA AML task force. The NBPCA report is available to anyone in the prepaid card industry and can be downloaded at www.nbpca.com.
Biometrics payment company Solidus Networks Inc., which does business as Pay By Touch, seeks to sell off in separate auctions what it calls its core and noncore assets.
The core assets center on Pay By Touch's biometric-authentication technology, which uses fingerprint identification. Assets also include its loyalty services unit, which developed shopper identification services and loyalty programs accessible through kiosks and the Web, and the S&H Marketing subsidiary that includes the S&H Greenpoints Internet-based rewards program.
Trustwave Holdings Inc., a provider of information security and compliance management solutions, has upgraded TrustKeeper, a Web-based, real-time compliance management tool for the Payment Card Industry Self Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) version 1.1.
This new SAQ was issued by the PCI Security Standards Council in early February 2008.
The SAQ is a validation tool used primarily by levels 2, 3 and 4 merchants as defined by the major credit card brands - Visa Inc., MasterCard Worldwide, Discover Financial Services, American Express Co. and JCB International Credit Card Co. Ltd. - to validate compliance with the PCI DSS.
This updated SAQ created four variants, allowing merchants to choose which version they wish to complete and ensuring they only answer questions relevant to their environment.
TrustKeeper now supports both the previous SAQ version 1.0 as well as the four forms of the new SAQ 1.1.
Charge Anywhere LLC, dba Comstar Interactive, a provider of secure mobile payment software solutions and electronic payment services, had its Charge Anywhere v2.0 Secure Mobile Payment Software solution meet the Payment Application (PA) DSS - formerly Visa Payment Application Best Practice Standard _ requirements for the Windows Mobile 5.0+ operating system.
Trustwave conducted an independent security assessment to determine the POS software application's ability to meet the PA DSS. "Data security and customer confidence are critical issues in today's business environment, especially within the financial payments industry," said Paul Sabella, Chief Executive Officer of Charge Anywhere. China expands wireless
Bank of China Ltd. extended its long-term relationship with VeriFone by placing an order for 16,000 Verifone wireless and countertop payment solutions as that country continues to expand its card payment processing infrastructure.
Bank of China is one of China's four state-owned commercial banks and the sole banking partner of the Bejing 2008 Olympic Games.
Moneris Solutions Corp., a North America payment processor, launched eSELECTplus, a multifunctional Internet-based application that uses a PC and Web browser to process bankcard payments.
Developed by Moneris, eSELECTplus enables merchants to process electronic payments, including credit cards, signature and PIN-based debit cards, and automated clearing house (ACH) transactions without the need to install special software.
Additionally, eSELECTplus offers a variety of modules tailored to different types of businesses and can work in both card present and card not present environments.
NetEconomy, a provider of financial crime management and compliance solutions and a business unit of Fiserv Inc., expanded its financial crime suite to include a next-generation employee monitoring application designed to help financial institutions reduce revenue losses and protect against the growing threat of internal fraud.
NetEconomy's Financial Crime Suite will be fully integrated with the employee fraud platform from Intellinx, a provider of end-user behavior tracking solutions. The combined offering delivers an investigation and case management system for employee visibility in corporate applications.
Studies indicate financial institutions lose an estimated 5% of their annual revenues to insider fraud. NetEconomy's Employee Fraud Manager solution records and analyzes all interaction between employees on any corporate business application across all major platforms.
The Smart Card Alliance is accepting nominations for its Outstanding Smart Card Achievement (OSCA) awards, recognizing those who have significantly influenced and impacted the market for smart cards in North America. The three award categories are:
The OSCA awards will be presented during The Americas Conference, the newly combined Smart Card Alliance Annual Meeting and SourceMedia's CTST conference, May 12 to 15, 2008, at the Orange County Convention Center West, in Orlando, Fla.
Three finalists will be selected in each category based on the nominee's merits and qualifications as outlined in the applications. National submissions are due by Friday, March 21, 2008. Details and nomination forms can be obtained at www.smartcardalliance.org/pages/activities-osca-awards or by contacting the SCA at email@example.com.
Digital Check Corp., a provider of electronic check scanners for the distributed check capture industry, teamed up with Integrated Bank Technology to use IBT's Integrated Image Teller application, which will enable more efficient and accurate processing of check deposits.
Integrated Image Teller allows bank employees to transmit customer transactions electronically at the teller window, eliminating proof operations, which results in more streamlined check processing and immediate access to funds. Tellers are also able to proof and balance collected items at the time of deposit.
"Integrated Image Teller is designed to allow banks to operate in real time and enhances customer service by giving tellers the ability to rebuild transactions to research an issue," said Mike Golebiowski, President of IBT.
Fifth Third Bancorp has partnered with Viewpointe LLC, a provider of check image exchange and archive services, and will begin using Viewpointe's Pointe2Pointe solution for check image exchange.
Through Pointe2Pointe, Fifth Bank can engage in electronic image exchange, clearing and presentment with Viewpointe's customers, which include some of the nation's largest check processors, and reach all of the nation's endpoints. Pointe2Pointe can eliminate the need for paper check exchange, clearing and processing in favor of more efficient electronic methods.
Fleet One LLC, a provider of fuel cards and fleet-related payment solutions to businesses and government agencies, signed an agreement with TransCard Canada Ltd. to be the processor of its new driver settlement card.
TransCard will issue a Fleet One-branded card that will be carried by drivers. Fleet owners and operators can instantly issue cards to drivers, allowing them to manage their personal funds. The process also integrates into the employer's existing direct deposit process.
JCB International Credit Card Co. Ltd. and Cassis International Ltd. agreed to collaborate in a test of near field communication (NFC) over-the-air services.
The two companies will jointly demonstrate end-to-end secure contactless payment issuance services for NFC mobile phones. The demonstration will begin in April 2008 with the following services to ensure secure over-the-air registration of customer data:
Cassis reported it is providing platforms and solutions that will enable customers to receive JCB card application and account information securely over the air on NFC-enabled handsets anywhere in the world.
"Secure over-the-air service is a key factor in mobile payment," said Tom Okabe, Senior Vice President of Global Infrastructure and Technologies at JCB.
"NFC is going to happen in many markets soon, and we need to be ready for commercial deployment when it does."
Two key New York City-area transportation agencies have taken a step forward in the mass transit market, saying they will run a pilot of MasterCard's PayPass system next year.
The Port Authority will install contactless readers at 40 turnstiles in all 13 of its Port Authority Trans-Hudson commuter train stations in New Jersey and Manhattan.
Simultaneously, New Jersey Transit will equip 104 buses running on two routes between New York and New Jersey with contactless readers. This New Jersey Transit-Port Authority trial will be open only to MasterCard PayPass cards and fobs for the first two months of an eight-month pilot beginning in early 2009.
Holders of devices that work on other platforms, such as Visa's PayWave and AmEx's ExpressPay, will be available for the duration of the program. This tap-and-go pilot is expected to help commuters ease their way between transit systems and speed up the time it takes to pay their fares.
Sterling Savings Bank, a subsidiary of Sterling Financial Corp., has implemented Goldleaf Financial Solutions Inc.'s Sierra Expedite teller deposit automation solution, along with Goldleaf's Sierra Xchange unified payments gateway. Goldleaf is a provider of integrated technology-based solutions designed to improve the performance of financial institutions.
"We were looking for a solution that would improve our customer experience at the branch while meeting our Check 21 objectives of capturing and clearing checks intra-day," said Kade Peterson, Senior Vice President and Banking Support Director at Sterling Savings Bank.
TransFirst Holdings Inc., a provider of transaction processing services and payment enabling technologies, partnered with Availity LLC, an e-health information exchange, to make Availity's CareCollect solutions available to all physicians and health care providers nationwide.
CareCollect is an efficiency tool used by physician practices and engineered to improve payment processing, workflow and revenue cycle management through effectiveness in handling co-pay and post-adjudication payments from patients.
Via Availity's secure Web portal, office staff can complete credit and debit transactions in real-time for co-pays or known deductibles, collect information for processing future payments, and complete payment processing in back office environments.
U.S. Bancorp and Visa have signed a multiyear agreement through which U.S. Bank will continue to offer the full range of Visa payment platforms to its consumer and business customers.
Under terms of the deal, U.S. Bank will continue to issue Visa-branded credit products, including Visa Signature. The agreement also covers the issuance of Visa debit, prepaid and commercial products across the United States.
The acquisition of Troy Group Inc.'s ACH software product line by Fundtech Ltd. reportedly adds an important component to Fundtech's existing line of cash management and corporate payment systems, as well as enables the company to offer a front-to-back corporate banking solution.
With this new ACH product line, Fundtech offers a single vendor solution for corporate banking. According to the National ACH Association, ACH transaction volumes grew by over 12% in the fourth quarter of 2007, moving over $7 trillion.
NXGEN Payment Services, a member service provider for both NOVA Information Systems and Cynergy Data, has promoted its Chief Operating Officer, Guiseppe Caltabiano, to President of the company.
Caltabiano brings more than 15 years of experience in senior management positions. He will be responsible for managing and directing NXGEN's business for its North American and International facilities.
Hypercom Corp. appointed Heidi R. Goff as President and Managing Director, the Americas. Goff joined the company in February 2008, with the responsibility of directing and driving Hypercom's sales, service and support throughout North America, South America, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.
Goff brings to Hypercom more than 30 years of experience in the electronic payments, transaction transport and automated teller machine industries. Goff is a member of the Board of Directors of the Electronic Transactions Association.
George W. Gresham was named Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Global Cash Access Inc., a provider of cash access services to the gaming industry. Based in Las Vegas, GCA serves casinos in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and Asia.
"George has a strong understanding of the payments industry and its competitive nature," said Scott H. Betts, GCA's CEO.
"His extensive work and leadership in a public company will serve us well. He has a proven track record in situations in which performance management [is] key."
Steve McIntyre, formerly of Comdata Processing Systems Inc., joined Electronic Payments Inc. as its National Sales Manager.
McIntyre will supervise EPI's ISO support department and will be involved in recruiting new ISOs and merchant level salespeople to sell services on behalf of EPI.
Prior to joining EPI, McIntyre held similar positions with both Comdata and Heartland Payment Systems and has developed strong relationships with ISOs and MLSs nationwide.
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