Visa Inc. reported in a Sept. 1, 2011, bulletin that thieves can now skim credit cards from POS PIN entry devices (PEDs) using Bluetooth technology. Visa said thieves are removing the original PEDs and replacing them with modified devices. The rogue devices skim account and PIN information entered at the POS and transmit the data automatically via Bluetooth to the crooks. Surveillance video reveals the criminals are able to swap the PEDs in seconds.
Visa said the Bluetooth skimming problem can be addressed using a terminal authentication system to constantly affirm the PED's serial number and be sure the terminal is online and running correctly. To further help prevent skimming Visa recommends:
Visit http://usa.visa.com/merchants/index.html for more information on fraud control.
Discover Financial Services LLC no longer offers customers its Secure Online Account Numbers (SOAN) program, a company spokesman confirmed for The Green Sheet. The program ended Sept. 8, 2011, said Matthew Towson, Discover Senior Manager for Community Affairs and Media Relations.
The SOAN program gave Discover customers the ability to generate a temporary card number when online shopping, a safety feature designed to prevent thieves from using any information if the card numbers were stolen.
"Given the existing security measures taken today by Discover and all credit card companies, we felt that SOANs were no longer needed to keep card members' accounts secure," Towson said. He added that Discover card members are protected by the company's fraud liability guarantee. The guarantee means card members have no liability for unauthorized purchases on their accounts. Discover customers were notified by email in August 2011 of the SOAN program's discontinuation.
Rogers Communications Inc., a Canadian cable television, Internet, and phone services provider, filed a request with the Canadian government for a bank license to enable the company to issue credit cards and financial products. This report came shortly after the Canadian Federal Government issued a discussion paper titled The Way We Pay. This look into the Canadian payments system criticizes the country's payment industry for being slow to adopt mobile payments and too concentrated in its ownership.
According to published reports, approximately a dozen requests for Canadian bank licenses are pending. Rogers has more than 9 million wireless subscribers. A bank license would allow Rogers to issue credit cards to its mobile phone subscriber base and could quickly move Rogers into a leadership role in the yet to emerge Canadian mobile payments market. More than $40-trillion in transactions is processed annually in Canada.
The Way We Pay noted, "The Canadian payments system has proven resistant to change. As a result, Canada is falling behind, especially in mobile payments and electronic invoicing and payments (straight through processing)."
The paper offers an outline of legislation, governance, infrastructure and oversight needed to increase the safety and security of the payments industry while opening up the market to innovation and new players and technology.
S1 Corp., battling with ACI Worldwide Inc. over S1's future, rescheduled its special stockholders meeting called to vote on its proposed merger. S1 has a $700 million all-stock offer on the table to merge with Fundtech Ltd., an Israeli financial services and software company. ACI disrupted S1's merger ambitions when it offered to buy S1 for $540 million cash.
S1's board rejected ACI's overture and continues to pursue its merger with Fundtech, but the matter will be decided when S1 stockholders meet to vote on the proposed Fundtech merger. The meeting is now scheduled for Oct. 24, 2011. ACI is urging S1 stockholders to vote against the Fundtech merger. ACI filed an investor presentation with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Sept. 7, 2011, outlining the advantages it sees in its acquisition of S1. It also sweetened its initial offer by 50 cents a share.
In related news, three lawsuits related to this matter were filed in Delaware against S1. The cases were consolidated and a preliminary hearing occurred Sept. 16, 2011.
Groupe Aeroplan Inc., a global loyalty management company headquartered in the United Kingdom, is partnering with Cardlytics Corp. in a strategic alliance and also joining a group making a $33 million investment in Cardlytics. Cardlytics technology links merchant offers with transactions business using mobile, text message, email and online banking services to directly market to customers.
Others in the investment group include Canaan Partners, Polaris Venture Partners, TTV Capital, ITC Holdings Corp. and Kinetic Ventures
Paul DeRosse, Apriva's Vice President of Business Development for Canada, was recognized by ACT Canada with its Hero of 2011 award. ACT Canada is a nonprofit association dedicated to working with key stakeholders, addressing business and technology matters to enable profitability and competitive advantage for its members.
Rick Pylant, former Chairman and President of CoCard Marketing Group LLC, and Jon Stevens, CoCard's former Vice President, recently formed Strategic Payment Systems Inc., an ISO based in Canton, Mass. Both individuals were instrumental in the formation of CoCard.
Holli Targan, a partner in the Southfield office of Michigan-based law firm Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, P.C., was recently selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2012 in the field of information technology. Targan now serves as Immediate Past President of the Electronic Transactions Association. She also is a founder and Past President of Women Networking in Electronic Transactions, a nonprofit, national association of women in the electronic transactions industry.
Three credit unions signed contracts with Vantiv LLC (formerly Fifth Third Processing Solutions LLC) for credit card processing. Paducah Federal Credit Union and Border Federal Credit Union are existing Vantiv clients and will be expanding their services with the processor. Sonoma County Grange Credit Union is just starting a credit card program and believes Vantiv offers the capabilities and support the financial cooperative needs to manage it.
In other company news, Vantiv introduced Vantiv Direct API, a simplified application programming interface (API) designed to expedite development for Vantiv processing platforms. Vantiv Direct API offers ease of integration for large merchants, vendors and third parties, while shortening the certification cycle, the company said.
VeriFone Inc. is integrating distributors in its newly acquired Hypercom Corp. network into the VeriFone International Partner (VIP) program. The program gives distributors access to VeriFone resources and technology. The VIP program includes product and sales training and access to strategic, product and technology information.
Century Payments Inc. is working with Trustwave to provide Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) compliance validation to Level 4 merchants (fewer than 20,000 online transactions per year or up to 1 million transactions per year). Century Payments customers will have access to Trustwave's security and compliance web portal, TrustKeeper, featuring PCI Wizard, which simplifies PCI DSS compliance.
CRE Secure Payments LLC and X-Cart, a division of Qualiteam Corp., are partnering on a fully integrated X-Cart module. According to the partners, the X-Cart platform will be exempt from much of the scope of the PCI DSS; the partners said the CRE Secure integrated shopping cart module reduces PCI DSS requirements to the lowest, least costly compliance level.
First Data Corp. and ConnectYourCare LLC signed a five-year agreement to continue their partnership providing processing services to health care accounts. First Data will continue to process ConnectYourCare benefit debit cards, which access pretax money saved for health care in flexible spending accounts, health reimbursement accounts and health savings accounts.
In other company news, First Data and Mutual of Omaha Bank reached a multiyear payment processing agreement. Mutual of Omaha will be issuing MasterCard credit cards to consumers and businesses beginning in November 2011. First Data will process all electronic payments, including credit, debit and gift cards, as well as electronic check verification, for Mutual of Omaha Bank.
Marketron Broadcast Solutions LLC, a provider of business software solutions and services to media companies, selected Chase Paymentech Solutions LLC for processing credit card and electronic payments from advertising customers. Marketron said the partnership will reduce days sales outstanding and collection costs.
New payment options for college students is the goal of a partnership between TouchNet Information Systems Inc. and Western Union Holdings Inc. International students will be able to pay tuition in local currencies right from their bank accounts and have the option to pay cash at Western Union Agent locations around the world. TouchNet technology already allows schools to accept tuition payments through its U.Commerce System.
United Bank Card Inc. and Charge Anywhere LLC are teaming on a mobile payment solution with free hardware. Merchants will be able to accept secure credit and debit payments through a smart phone or tablet using the Charge Anywhere software application that works with the major mobile operating systems. The audio jack card reader is free, and the software license fee is being waived for all new mobile accounts.
The EFT Canada Inc. deal to buy credit card gateway technology from Linterna Technologies Ltd. was approved by the TSX Venture Exchange and the EFT Board of Directors. EFT Canada paid $325,000 cash and $325,000 in common shares of its stock for LTL. The LTL technology gives EFT Canada broader access to web-based POS terminals and the option to accept mobile e-wallet payments.
Cleveland-based Financial Transaction Services LLC recently acquired Efficient Payment Processing LLC. EPP, an ISO founded in Chicago in 2008, provides electronic payment processing services for niche merchant communities in need of integrated payment platforms and enterprise solutions. FTS said this acquisition will increase its annual bankcard processing volume by $100 million.
FTS also updated its logo and website to give the company a new look that it said better reflects its scope and technology platforms. FTS is moving beyond payment processing into a range of financial consulting services. It has also recently released FTS Connect, a web-based payment processing platform for businesses and government organizations.
United Kingdom company Mobile Interactive Group Ltd., a worldwide global digital and mobile communications business, acquired Amsterdam mobile payments startup Zaypay International B.V. for an undisclosed amount in an all-cash deal. Zaypay allows third-party developers to process international micropayments through SMS, phone, in-app and other payment methods. It is available in 44 countries.
First Atlantic Commerce Ltd., an international payment solutions provider headquartered in Bermuda, appointed Christopher Burns Chief Executive Officer and Ronnie Viera Chief Operating Officer. Burns was the company's Senior Vice President of Business Development prior to the appointment. Viera previously served as Senior Vice President of Information Technology and Operations.
Michael Daily was named National Director of ISO Sales for Genesis Capital LLC, a merchant cash advance company. Daily was formerly National Director of Sales for Merchant Cash and Capital LLC and a contributor to The Green Sheet forum under the handle 'Approved.'
Dottie Ford is the new Western Region Client Executive for Cynergy Data LLC. Ford left SignaPay LLC, where she was Vice President for Operations to take the Cynergy Data job. She is charged with helping ISO clients grow and increase sales.
Merchant Warehouse added two members to its executive management team. Brian Graham is now the company's Executive Vice President of Sales; David McSweeney is Vice President of Merchant Experience.
Graham has more than 25 years' experience in sales and business development; he most recently served as Senior Sales Leader at Hewett Associates. McSweeney brings 20 years of experience in customer service to his new position. Directly prior, he was Vice President of Merchant Processing at Cross Country Automotive.
Terry Sheff resigned her post on the Southeast Acquirers Association's Advisory Committee after many years of service to the organization. After bidding a fond farewell to Sheff, the SEAA Board of Directors elected Laura Edgar, National Sales Director at Total Merchant Services, to fill the vacant Advisory Committee position.
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