Verizon to Assess Hypercom ePayment PCI DSS

Hypercom has worked with Verizon Business to ensure its “SmartPayments Wynid” hosted electronic payment platform complies with PCI DSS. Hypercom card and PIN payment terminals and systems enable millions of electronic transactions to be conducted quickly and securely every day. Verizon Business’ professional security services team has provided a range of audit, management and implementation services that have helped Hypercom achieve and maintain PCI-DSS certification.

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LUOTTOKUNTA EMOBILE

Luottokunta, BookIT Oy and Microsoft have worked together to develop its “iSMS” authentication service through “Luottokunta eMobile” to allow for mobile payments from any mobile phone and any operator. The digital service based on a new authentication method gives consumers an easy way to purchase services, and vendors a flexible way of making additional sales. The “iSMS” service does not require additional accessories or applications for the phone while the system is entirely within the network with no separate certificates or mobile wallets are necessary. Luottokunta’s eMobile service is free for the consumer, and it can be used with any European credit or debit card in addition to the Finnish payment cards. Charges for the service are covered by the companies that use it.

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CFIB

The Competition Bureau’s has introduced its application in conjunction with the Competition Tribunal to strike down alleged ‘restrictive’ and ‘anti-competitive’ Visa and MasterCard rules imposed on Canadian merchants whom accept their payment cards. With this, the CFIB has proposed a Code of Conduct for the credit and debit card industry in Canada to give merchants more power in their relationship with credit card companies and banks. Together, Visa and MasterCard processed more than 90% of all credit card transactions by Canadian consumers in 2009, representing over $240 billion in purchases. The Commissioner of Competition alleges the issuers’ rules have effectively eliminated competition between Visa and MasterCard for merchants’ acceptance of their credit cards, who collectively pay an estimated $5 billion annually in hidden credit card fees, among the highest in the world. Canadian Card Acceptance Fees are between 1.5 and 3% or higher of each purchase. This is partly in response to complaints from the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA), which originally took its complaints about unfair rules imposed by credit card companies to the Competition Bureau in 2009, and in April of that year the Competition Bureau initiated a formal enquiry. This response is ultimately in an effort to reduce the higher prices for all consumers, whether they pay by cash, cheque, debit or credit, which are the alleged direct result of merchants having pass along some or all of the high costs they are forced to pay. In doing so, the Competition Bureau will challenge rules requiring merchants to accept all credit cards from a specific network including premium cards with higher fees; preventing merchants from charging a fee on transactions made with Visa or MasterCard credit cards; and preventing merchants from encouraging or discouraging customers from using certain credit cards. Reportedly, the Canadian Independent Petroleum Marketing Association (CIPMA) applauds the efforts of the Bureau and has taken an active role in bringing evidence of anti-competitive behavior forward to bring the issue of increasing and unfair credit card merchant fees to the attention of Ottawa policy makers.

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BOKU MPAYMENTS

BOKU mobile payments has partnered with Gumtree.com to give users a convenient way to pay for classifieds listings via their mobile phone number. Gumtree users can now pay for listings and other features on the website by entering their mobile number and charging directly to their mobile phone bill. Users choosing to pay by mobile at checkout can now enter their mobile phone number. They receive a text to confirm the payment, and the charge appears on their mobile phone bill or is deducted from their pay-as-you-go credit. An integrated payment connection between Gumtree and BOKU provides a value-added service to the British online consumers and merchants, including a secure payment mechanism that is both convenient and easy to use.

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Nexon Selects PlaySpan Monetization Platform

Nexon America publishing arm of Nexon has partnered with PlaySpan monetization solutions for online games, virtual worlds, and social networks, and video games. With this, Nexon will leverage PlaySpan’s Monetization-As-A-Service platform to expand purchasing capabilities to millions of gamers and provide comprehensive credit card processing and fraud risk management services to cover sales of “NX,” the publisher’s virtual currency. UltimatePay (the union of PayByCash’s twelve years of payment and fraud management experience with Spare Change’s social network micro-payment expertise) provides over 90 global payment methods including mobile, cash based, and the top-selling Ultimate Game Card. UltimatePay enables players to quickly and easily make in-game purchases, allowing Nexon to maximize global reach and conversion.

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IISS

The Flint Telecom Group “Ingedigit India Software Services” (IISS) Indian subsidiary is expected to commence prepaid debit cards and remittance services to Indian customers by the end of 1Q/11. This lets consumers use their domestic bank accounts and debit cards linked with cards of Indians working abroad. Those users can then simply remit funds to family members at home at any time by loading funds, by having their wages directly deposited to the card, or with the added convenience of using their regular cell phone. Unlike traditional remittance programs family members will have access to the remitted funds immediately in a more convenient way and at a fraction of the normal cost. They simply withdraw the funds from the client bank’s ATM network as required. IISS has been working with several banks in India to approve and implement these Card-to-Card and Mobile Remittance Services, which are fully compliant with the guidelines laid down by the Reserve Bank of India.

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Integrated Bank Technology Certifies Digital Check Scanner

IBT financial services products has added to its suite of products the “TS240” check scanner from Digital Check check scanners for the distributed check capture industry. IBT’s, certification of the “TS240” is thanks in part to its higher resolution 300 dpi cameras (a 50% increase over the TS230); a higher capacity, 100 document feed and exit pocket, and an optional franker. The scanner is available in speeds of 50, 75, and 100 documents per minute and features an optional franker. Digital Check’s recently introduced integrated “TS240” scanner/ thermal teller transaction receipt printer module (TTP) sits underneath the “TS240.”

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Discover 4Q/10 Net Income Up $90mm Q/Q

Discover Financial reported 4Q10 net income of $350.0 million compared to the year ago figure of $577.8 million and 261.0 million last quarter. This was thanks in part to $23 billion in card sales volume, an increase of 6% year-over-year but $1 billion less than 3Q/10; net card charge-offs down $103 million from the prior quarter to a net charge-off rate of 6.58%; a delinquency rate of 3.89% for loans over 30 days past due with delinquent balances down a total of $181 million; and its Payment Services division having processed a record transaction volume of $40.4 billion. Additionally, Discover Payment Services’ profit before tax up 32% from the prior year. For complete details on Discover Financial Performance, visit CardData.com (www.carddata.com).

U.S. CARD PRE-TAX PROFITS
1Q/09: $167.0 million
2Q/09: $387.9 million
3Q/09: $577.8 million
4Q/09: $546.5 million
1Q/10: $207.6 million
2Q/10: $258.0 million
3Q/10: $261.0 million
4Q/10: $350.0 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Mobey Forum Appoints Executive Director

Sirpa Nordlund has been appointed Mobey Forum Executive Director. Bringing with her vast experience in mobile services and NFC, Nordlund was with Nokia over 10 years in NFC research and development, and subsequently drove NFC development and sales. She was most recently responsible over the past three years for the sales in selected European markets at Venyon, a subsidiary of Giesecke & Devrient which provides trusted NFC services. Mobey Forum defines sustainable and prosperous mobile financial services through financial institutions, mobile network operators, mobile handset manufacturers, payment processors and vendors to accelerate the mass-market deployment of mobile financial services by promoting open and secure technology standards.

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FICO Patents 100th Analytic Innovation

FICO analytics and decision management has been awarded 8 new patents by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, bringing its portfolio total to 100. The breakthroughs covered by these patents are behind FICO’s industry-leading solutions in credit scoring, credit account management, credit fraud management, insurance fraud management and other areas. FICO’s patents cover predictive analytics, fraud management, insurance fraud management, business rules and credit technology. The are to thank for the onset of FICO “Score”; “Falcon Fraud Manager”; the “Blaze Advisor” business rules management system; and its “TRIAD Customer Manager,” used to manage two-thirds of credit card accounts worldwide.

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Avidia Bank Joins Secure Vault Payments Network

Avidia Bank is now participating in the Secure Vault Payments network, developed by NACHA. This will allow it to offer online payments to its commercial banking clients. Online consumer banking customers can also use Secure Vault Payments to shop or pay bills online wherever it is offered as a payment option. Secure Vault Payments secure online payment network is designed for the unique security and convenience requirements of online payments and e-commerce. It allows consumers to initiate payments on a merchant or biller’s web site and are automatically redirected to their own financial institution’s online banking platform for authentication and to select which account they wish to use for payment.

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American Express Supports Ellis Island Restoration

American Express announced a $100,000 grant to the National Trust for Historic Preservation to support Save Ellis Island to facilitate the launch the next phase of rehabilitating and re-opening the 29 unrestored buildings on Ellis Island. This includes the expansion of Save Ellis Island’s Board of Directors and organizational infrastructure to meet the challenges of the project. American Express is deeply committed to historic preservation and in partnership with the National Trust will contribute $10 million to support preservation projects in five cities over the next five years. The Company has already provided more than $5 million in grants to historic sites across the U.S. over the past five years through Partners in Preservation, and has also supported the restoration of iconic international sites including St Paul’s Cathedral, London, England; Mexico City’s Historic Center, Mexico; Delhi Heritage City, India; Route 66 and Easter Island, Chile.

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