Western Union Addresses Common Scams

Western Union is appealing to consumers to use caution when sending money to people who claim to be family members and friends for emergencies without first confirming that the person is actually in trouble. The most common of these scams are the Grandparent Scam and the Social Networking Scam. Grandparents across the country are falling victim to a surprisingly effective scam in which they receive phone calls from people who claim to be their grandchildren and frantically ask for money. The telephone calls often come late at night with the callers saying they’re in an emergency situation from scammers posing as grandchildren to ask them to send money through a money transfer service as quickly as possible. Another version of an emergency scam involves hacking into social networking sites such as Facebook and then targeting friends in the victim’s account.

Visa Europe Implements Vianet Contactless Vending

Brulines Group subsidiary Vianet secured a contract with Visa Europe to provide contactless payment technology for the vending machines located at its European headquarters. Visa Europe is the driving force behind the growth of contactless payments in Europe. The Vianet project, with its”Touch&Pay” solution, installed on a dozen vending machines across Visa Europe’s three UK offices and subsequently been met with a positive response.

My Mobile Payments Granted RBI Approval

My Mobile Payments Ltd (MMPL) mobile payment service provider has received the RBI’s go-ahead to launch financial services on mobile phones. “Money on Mobile” (MoM) electronic prepaid payment instrument for the mobile phone is set to offer mobile phone users the flexibility and convenience to top up their talk time, DTH account, buy air, bus or movie tickets anytime, anywhere using the mobile platform. MoM service operates independent of the consumer’s mobile operator or bank, and hence any mobile subscriber can avail of its services.

Global Payments to Deply Contactless Ingenico Terminals

Global Payments global electronic payment processing announced its Canadian launch of the Ingenico “iCT250” contactless POS terminal built on Ingenico’s Telium 2 platform. Global Payments is the first merchant acquirer in North America to bring the iCT250 to market. It was selected by Global Payments to provide merchants with advanced features for processing cardholder payment transactions and offers built-in contactless processing, color screen and large, back-lit buttons for high visibility.

Sindh Bank switches to AutoSoft Core Processing

AutoSoft Dynamics bank automation IT solutions signed an agreement with Sindh Bank to provide its “AutoBANKER” software to automate their core banking operations in over 150 branches. The “AutoBANKER” modular architecture and real-time online processing functionalities have allowed banks and other institutions to streamline their core banking services as well as automate more complex banking operations.

VeriFone NFC mSolution Awarded for Innovation

Awarded the SESAME 2011 award at the e-Transactions CARTES & IDentification trade show, the VeriFone “PAYware Mobile Enterprise” works with magnetic stripe, chip and PIN, and contactless/NFC-enabled cards and phones. This honor recognizes the best technological innovations in terms of digital security and smart technology and are the world reference for the payment industry. The “PAYware Mobile Enterprise” offers a mobile card acceptance solution that integrates existing in-store POS systems. It implements “VeriShield Protect” card data encryption and a bar code scanner to provide retailers with a secure solution for mobile POS and other applications.

AmEx Launches Prepaid Target Card

American Express introduced its “American Express for Target” reloadable prepaid card with no monthly or maintenance fees. Available at more than 1,000 U.S. Target stores, the Card provides user access to a consumer-friendly payment solution. Funds can be loaded at the register using multiple loading options with the ability to reload in-store, online or by phone. Additionally, the “American Express for Target Card” can be used at any U.S. merchants that accept American Express Cards. Costs include a $3 initial load fee and each subsequent in-store reload at participating Target stores and a $3 per ATM withdrawal with the first ATM withdrawal per month free, but no fees for monthly usage, balance inquiries, alerts or Card replacement. Also, online tools let users view real-time transaction history and monitor spending; receive email or text alerts about low funds; and disable/enable ATM access.

Thales achieves PCI HSM compliance

Thales’ “payShield 9000” Hardware Security Module (HSM) has achieved PCI HSM compliance. Acquirers and issuers can now build systems based on a PCI HSM that meet the requirements of the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC). PCI HSM is the first HSM standard to be introduced to specifically address the security requirements when handling cardholder data and is projected as the default requirement for payments-related HSMs and is already explicitly mandated in recent guidelines and encryption standards issued by the PCI SSC. The “payShield” offers a high-performance tamper-resistant security platform that protects cryptographic keys and other sensitive information such as customer PINs and cardholder data.

Visa Appeals to Developers with Payment App Center

Visa launched its new “Visa Developer Center” at https://developer.visa.com to provide approved application developers easy access to tools needed for the rapid creation and deployment of payment applications. The “Visa Developer Center” offers eCommerce and mobile application developers a pathway to create a seamless online purchase experience for consumers. Whether enabling the purchase of small in-game digital goods, or the latest appliance from a big-box retailer, to enabling purchases with Visa’s new digital wallet, developers now have access to application programming interfaces (APIs), simplified documentation, and software development kits needed to make online shopping with Visa fast, simple, and secure. Providing access to the payment expertise, open APIs, and development tools offered by Visa and its subsidiaries, this ultimately allows eCommerce merchants, financial institutions, mobile network operators, and gaming developers to integrate Visa payment functionality into their product offerings, such as mpayments and P2P payment.

Consumers to Slightly Increase Holiday Budgets

Shoppers expect to spend approximately $748 this season compared to plans of spending $730 at this time last year while 23% indicated they intend to spend more in 2011, up from 13% that planned to spend more in 2010. Meanwhile, 50% intend to spend the same or more as they did last year; up from 43%. This, according to the Discover 2011 Annual Holiday Shopping Survey, which examines holiday spending intentions and trends for the upcoming holiday season, also indicated 6% said they had purchased a gift through a group-buying site, which more than tripled in 2011 to 20 percent. Moreover, 66% plan to spend within their budget and more than 25% would spend between $500 and $1,000 on holiday shopping in 2011.

Chase Paymentech Index Shows Promise for Holiday Shopping

Chase Paymentech merchant acquirer and payment processor launched the sixth annual edition of its “Cyber Holiday Pulse Index,” offering an inside look at consumer online shopping trends for the key shopping days Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year it indicates ecommerce shoppers are already diving in, with the first two weeks of November showing online sales up over 25% from the year ago period. Average ticket value, however, are currently down over 9% but 2011 annual online sales so far are up an estimated 17% in the first half. Given this, the 2011 shopping season is shaping up to be quite the performer.