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The Green Sheet Online Edition

October 25, 2010 • Issue 10:10:02

Trade Association News

An ETA teach-in at Capitol Hill

What is interchange? How can I differentiate between a signature debit card and a credit card? What's the difference between a card issuer and an acquirer? These are just a few of the questions the Electronic Transactions Association set out to answer for federal and congressional staffers at an Oct. 1, 2010, educational briefing on Capitol Hill.

Personnel from agencies as diverse as the National Park Service and the Internal Revenue Service, along with congressional staffers, attended what the ETA billed as Electronic Payments Education Day.

"ETA takes self-regulation seriously," Carla Balakgie, the ETA's Chief Executive Officer, said in kicking off the event. It is the third such event presented by the association in recent years. And education is a critical component of regulation, she offered.

Presenting to the group, in addition to Balakgie, were Diana Mehochko, President of the acquirer First National Merchant Solutions LLC; Rick Plyant, Chairman of ISO CoCard Marketing Group LLC; and Robert McCullen, Chairman, CEO and President of Trustwave, which specializes in data security and PCI compliance.

These experts discussed the roles and responsibilities of the various players in card payments and then walked the group through the life of a card payment.

McCullen wrapped things up with a concise explanation of how cardholder information gets compromised and what PCI and encryption do to address the specter of data breaches.

SCA big on contactless and mobile

At its Transportation Council meeting in New York City on Sept. 22 and 23, 2010, the Smart Card Alliance hosted executives from transit operators, card issuers, payment brands and technology providers to share visions on open payment for transit.

Open payment involves "accepting contactless credit, debit and prepaid payment cards and devices for fare payment at the turnstiles and fare boxes of the nation's subways, regional railroads and buses," the SCA reported.

Leading card issuers voiced their commitment to open payment initiatives; transit agencies examined the potential of open payment and discussed several proposed projects designed to implement the technology.

On Oct. 6, the SCA shifted gears and released a white paper, Chip-Enabled Mobile Marketing, focused on mobile marketing applications that take advantage of mobile phones that are equipped with radio frequency chips for initiating payments. The chips are either built into mobile phones or added to them.

"It is no surprise that mobile marketing and advertising are expected to nearly triple over the next three years," said Randy Vanderhoof, Executive Director of the SCA.

"Consumers like using their mobile phones to redeem coupons and take part in marketing campaigns - it is so much more convenient and even fun compared to traditional paper coupons and card-based loyalty programs. "The paper is available for free download at www.smartcardalliance.org. end of article

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