March is Fraud Prevention Month and MasterCard Canada is
offering Canadians key travel tips to help them reduce the risk of
fraud, theft and illness before, during and after a family vacation.
According to new research from MasterCard Canada, less than 23%
of Canadians let their payment card company know they’ll
be away and 49% don’t remember to renew their passport and 43% forget to get vaccinated.
Notify your credit card issuer in advance – Tell your credit card
issuer when and where you’ll be travelling so if they see unusual
activity on your account they’ll know why. While on vacation, one in 10 Canadians has experienced the loss of money
or important travel documents: only carry the essentials – Carry minimal cash and clean out your
wallet. The more items and pieces of information a thief gets, the
more damage they can do; keep your passport and other important travel documents safe and
secure – Wear a money belt under your clothes or use the hotel safe
to store your valuables. Never leave your money, credit cards,
jewellery, cameras, or other important items out in the open in your
hotel room. When returning home it’s important to check:
Receipts from your credit card purchases – Cross-check them against
your statement and notify your card issuer immediately if you
see any unusual or unexpected items.


Visa will be hosting a free fraud prevention seminar for seniors on
Thursday, March 11, 2010 at the Spencer House in Halifax. Seniors are
all too frequently the targets of fraudsters, and new survey results
from Visa show that many are engaging in unsafe behaviours that put
their personal financial information at risk to criminal and data
thieves. This information session will focus on educating seniors about
safe financial practices, as well as equip participants with the tools
and know-how to protect themselves and their identities.


March is Fraud Prevention Month, for which Interac Association payment network is reminding Canadians to continue to practice debit card safety routinely. The company itself is transitioning to the latest generation of chip payment card technology. Chip technology will significantly reduce debit card skimming and the production of counterfeit cards. With this, Interac is encouraging consumers to shield their PIN with your hand or body; check statements; memorize the PIN; and to notify the issuing financial institution in the event of a lost/stolen card. Interac is recommending retailers treat PIN pads like cash and out-of-sight when not in use; monitor PIN pads for suspicion; surveillance cameras; exercise due diligence when hiring; and to remind customers to protect their PINs when entering.


EnStream mobile commerce company has introduced its “Zoompass Tag” wireless payment device. The “Zoompass Tag” is designed in the form of a sticker that can be attached to a mobile phone, allowing consumers to tap their phones at checkout to make purchases at retail stores. The Zoompass mobile application is accessible on most mobile phones in Canada and can also be used to send money quickly and securely. Payment is automatically drawn from the user’s Zoompass stored value account, and remove the need for coins and cash. Moreover, the Zoompass Tag and Zoompass application allow consumers to monitor their purchase transactions in real-time.


Ingenico payment solutions has received the Canadian certification for its “Ingenico OrSPT” fuel and unattended hardware device from the Interac Association Device Certification Program. It will be sold and distributed the “i9780UPT” in North America as a safe alternative to existing solutions for fuel stations and harsh outdoor unattended environments. With the certification, the “i9780UPT” meets or exceeds the stringent Interac Association Chip Unattended compliance requirements, PCI PED and EMVCo L1 and L2 security standards. Ingenico will start marketing the “i9780UPT” terminal in Canada on March 1.


A new demographic, The “Potentialist” group, individuals spanning a variety of demographics who embrace the notion of actively living more enriched lives, is on the rise in Canada. First identified in an American Express study conducted in October 2009, the number of Potentialists in Canada has risen from 28% to 31%, a sign that more people are taking the time to identify their passions and realize their potential. Some Research Highlights: Potentialists tend to be more optimistic than other Canadians (56% as compared with 46%), and are more satisfied (92% compared to 78%) with what they currently have; Potentialists are more likely than non-Potentialists to have a
Potential List (46% compared with 38%), and the propensity to have
Potential List is highest among women (44% compared with 33% of men). For the most part, Canadians perceive their lives to be full and are
happy, with 89% agreeing they are generally happy with their lives.
Additionally, 82% want their lives to be full of new experiences.
Topping the items included in Canadians’ Potential Lists are travel (77%), philanthropy (41%), learn a new language (32%) and living in a different country (32%) – all activities that align with priorities previously identified by Potentialists to actively live an enriching life.


Spending by international visitors on Visa cards at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and in British Columbia so far has topped US$100 million during the Games.Total foreign spend since the beginning of the Games on Visa now stands at US$101.7 million. Since the Opening Ceremony on Friday, 12 February 2010, through to Friday 26 February 2010, international Visa cardholder spending in British Columbia was up 93% compared to the same 14 days last year.
The total number of transactions on overseas issued Visa cards in British Columbia surpassed the one million mark.
The total number of transactions during this period is also up 85% compared to the same period the year before.


International visitors spent US21.8 million on Friday, Saturday and Sunday using their Visa cards at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games for a 118% increase over the year ago period.
Americans spent US$12 million, followed by China, the UK, Russia, and South Korea, accounting for more than 72% of all international Visa card spend. The following Monday, visitors to British Columbia spent US$5.8 million on their Visa credit, debit and prepaid cards for a 128% over last year. Additional Visa research shows for the first 11 days of the Games, international Visa cardholder spending in British Columbia was US$72 million for an increase of 84% over the same period last year; international visitors have made more than 700,000 transactions since the day of the Opening Day Ceremony on Visa cards in British Columbia for an increase of 71% when comparing the period this year against the same period last year; and ccommodation, travel, entertainment and retail sales accounted for more than 95% of the Visa transactions.


E-commerce provider First Data will integrate bill payment processing services
from payment processor TIO Networks
with First Data’s Money Network electronic payroll distribution service.
First Data’s Money Network electronic payroll distribution service
enables employers to reduce payroll costs while providing a secure,
flexible spending card solution to their underbanked employees, which
cardholders can use to make purchases at millions of debit acceptance
locations. Money Network cardholders
will be able to pay bills online, by phone, and in some cases at
self-service kiosks, thereby reducing the time and cost of paying bills.


Card transaction processor VersaPay Corporation has signed a three-year, exclusive agreement
with Globus, a provider of touring travel and vacation packages.
Under the terms of the agreement, VersaPay will provide Globus with a
credit and debit card payment processing solution, taking advantage of
VersaPay’s PCI compliant (meets all Payment Card Industry data security
requirements) e-commerce gateway. VersaPay will generate revenue based
on a percentage value of each transaction that Globus processes through
its payment system.


Research and Markets has added the “Monexas Cloud-Based Billing Includes Flexible Channel Support” report to their offering. Vancouver, Canada-based Monexas targets small businesses with its billing solution, providing cloud-based, billing and payments offering for online services, for SaaS and cloud computing companies and for more traditional businesses that are moving to electronic billing. Monexas billing-and-payments solution is PCI DSS compliant and highly scalable, featuring an integrated product catalog and a rating engine that supports virtually all kinds of recurring service-billing models.


American Express Canada and Costco Wholesale introduce the no-fee “TrueEarnings Card” designed to offer consumers rich rewards on purchases made inside and outside of Costco. TrueEarnings Cardmembers can increase the amount of cash back they earn by charging everyday purchases to their Card. This robust and flexible rewards offering allows Cardmembers to earn a full 3% cash back at eligible restaurants, 2% cash back at eligible gas stations up to $3,000 annually and 1% thereafter and up to 1% cash back on daily purchases such as groceries. Cardmembers can then easily use their annual rebate toward goods, services or cash at Costco.American Express continues to be the only Credit Card accepted at Costco’s 77 warehouse locations across Canada. The introduction of the new TrueEarnings Card is the most recent milestone in the companies’ long-standing ten year partnership.