With a 2.3% increase in holiday retail sales this season, 40% of consumers plan to spend less while 10% intend to not buy gifts at all. Moreover, 90% plan to use cash this holiday season, up from 85% in the year ago period and more than double the 41% planning to use a credit card while 76% are planning to stick to budget, compared to the 56% last year. This, according to USAAâs second annual holiday spending survey, also shows women are more likely than men to manage their holiday spending wisely (17% vs. 13%); more likely to develop a holiday budget (67%vs. 54%); to stick to a budget (52% vs. 41%) and to use a credit card in order to gain rewards on their purchases (30% vs. 22%). This holiday season will be a little less bleak than the previous two, according to CardFlash, with U.S. consumers planning to spend an average of $688.87. This, compared with the $681.83 last season, is still not what it was before the bubble burst in 2007. Spending on gifts are up 2.1% year-over-year to $518.08, $393.55 of which to family members; $71.45 for friends; $18.26 for coworkers; and $34.82 to others. This follows research indicating consumers are carrying less credit card debt, with median balances of $3,793â $1,100 lower than in 2009 while 23% of respondents are motivated to pay off their credit cards faster by the Minimum Payment Warning on their bills mandated by the Credit Card Act of 2009. Still, only 28.5% are very confident or confident in chances for a strong economy in October, up from 27.4% last month but down from the year ago figure of 30.4%, 48.6% are more practical in their holiday gift purchasing, compared to 47.6% in September and down only slightly from the year ago figure of 48.8%. Additionally, bankruptcies continue assenting- albeit at a slower pace- up 3.3% to 130,329 in September from the August figure of 127,028 and up 4.4% on the year ago figure of 124,790 (CardFlash News Library 2010/10/19, 2010/10/20, 2010/10/21).Details
Providing expertise on the use of PIV-I cards with physical access control systems (PACS) beyond the federal government to state and local governments and the private sector will be a top priority for the coming year, the Smart Card Alliance Physical Access Council said, announcing its new officers and steering committee. The Council also announced a workshop on PIV-I credentials at the 9th Annual Smart Cards in Government: Identity, Security & Healthcare Conference in November in Washington DC.
“Non-federal government and commercial organizations are now looking at how to leverage the smart card-enabled federal government FIPS 201 Personal Identity Verification (PIV) credential standard to implement trusted, interoperable identification credentials. As a result, we’re making education on PIV interoperable credentials a focus, helping organizations understand how they can be used with existing or new PACS systems,” said Physical Access Council Chair Lars Suneborn, Hirsch Electronics. “Our first step to this end is the PIV-I workshop next month, and an accompanying white paper coming out soon.”
The workshop, “PIV-I Credentialing Workshop: Strategies for the Implementation of PIV-I Secure Identity Credentials” will be held on Tuesday, November 16th from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and includes lunch. This full-day, interactive Smart Card Alliance educational workshop will explain the requirements of PIV interoperable identity credentials and examine real life business applications and usage models for implementing trusted identity credentials that comply with the technology, credential issuance policy, and security infrastructure for secure access applications.
“The Physical Access Council has become the go-to resource for guidance on challenging access control issues,” said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. “The Council also provides direct input to government organizations on how new technologies and policies impact current and next generation physical access control systems.”
Physical Access Council white papers published this year, “FICAM in Brief: A Smart Card Alliance Summary of the Federal Identity, Credential, and Access Management (FICAM) Roadmap and Implementation Guidance” and “Authentication Mechanisms for Physical Access Control Systems” are available on the Smart Card Alliance Web site.
The Physical Access Council elected new officers and steering committee representatives in October. The Council is made up of more than 140 individuals from over 55 organizations spanning government agencies, smart card and software manufacturers, reader manufacturers, physical access control system manufacturers, systems integrators and biometrics solutions providers. New officers are:
Chair: Lars Suneborn, Hirsch Electronics
Vice Chair: David Nichols, HID Global
Secretary: Salvatore D’Agostino, IDmachines
The newly elected 2010/2012 Steering Committee is:
Salvatore D’Agostino, IDmachines
Tony Ferguson, Bioscrypt / L-1 Enterprise Access Division
Bob Gilson, Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC)
Walter Hamilton, Identification Technology Partners
Kevin Kozlowski, XTec, Inc.
Lolie Kull, HP
Bob Merkert, SCM Microsystems
David Nichols, HID Global
Steve Rogers, Intellisoft, Inc.
Adam Shane, AMAG Technology
Mike Sulak, Department of State
Lars Suneborn, Hirsch Electronics
With more than 800 registrants and 50 exhibitors and sponsors expected, The 9th Annual Smart Cards in Government: Identity, Security & Healthcare Conference is the largest annual event for the government identity and security sector. This year’s conference will be held November 16th through the 19th at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. Details on the agenda, pricing, sponsors and exhibitors, and registration can be found on the Smart Card Alliance Web site.
About the Smart Card Alliance Physical Access Council
The Smart Card Alliance Physical Access Council is focused on accelerating the widespread acceptance, usage, and application of smart card technology for physical access control. The group brings together, in an open forum, leading users and technologists from both the public and private sectors and works on activities that are important to the physical access industry and that will help speed smart card adoption in this important market.
About the Smart Card Alliance
The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and widespread application of smart card technology.
Through specific projects such as education programs, market research, advocacy, industry relations and open forums, the Alliance keeps its members connected to industry leaders and innovative thought. The Alliance is the single industry voice for smart cards, leading industry discussion on the impact and value of smart cards in the U.S. and Latin America. For more information please visit http://www.smartcardalliance.org.
Heartland Payment Systems payments processors has been selected as the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association (MLTA) exclusive endorsed provider of card processing, gift marketing, payroll services, tip management and check management services. The MLTA represents more than 500 hotels, motels, resorts, bed & breakfasts, attractions and industry vendors and is the 39th state hospitality association to join Heartland in its providing members direct access to best-in-class business solutions reducing expenses, enhance operations and increase profitability. Heartland is also the exclusively endorsed provider of card processing, gift marketing, payroll services, tip management and check management for the American Hotel & Lodging Association.Details
Trustwave, the leading provider of payment card industry compliance solutions, announces its support of the updated Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA DSS), both Version 2.0, released by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC), October 28, 2010. The new version includes existing requirement clarifications, provides additional guidance and reveals minor changes to evolving requirements.
âAfter a thorough review of both the PCI DSS and PA DSS, we noted there were no significant changes that would adversely affect our compliant customers or customers in process to become compliant,â said Robert J. McCullen, chairman and CEO of Trustwave. âWe stand behind the decisions made by the Council and believe this new version will help further secure payment data.â
The changes to the standards include better alignment between the PA DSS and PCI DSS. In addition, changes to the Self-assessment Questionnaire will better align with the changes to the PCI DSS, and bulleted lists will be broken out into sub-requirements.
After reviewing the updates to both standards, Trustwave believes the following changes are most important to address:
PCI DSS Version 2.0
â¢Scoping the Cardholder Data Environment (CDE): The PCI SSC clarified the responsibility of the assessed organizationâs accuracy of their PCI DSS scope by identifying all locations and flows of cardholder data and ensuring they are included in the PCI DSS Scope.
â¢Additional Sources for Secure Coding for Non-Web Based Applications: The PCI SSC clarified that additional sources like SANS CWE Top 25 and CERT Secure Coding, in addition to OWASP, can be used for best practices guidance for vulnerability management.
PA DSS Version 2.0
â¢Facilitate Centralized Logging: Pertaining to requirement 4.4, the new version will mandate that payment applications facilitate a merchantâs ability to assimilate logs into their centralized log server.
â¢Cryptographic Clarification: Pertaining to requirement 2.7, cryptographic key material stored by previous versions will now be rendered irretrievable.
â¢Merger of Requirements 10 and 11: This will help further align the PCI DSS and PA DSS.
âBased on our investigations, these changes align with the problems encountered by our customers,â said Nicholas J. Percoco, senior vice president and head of SpiderLabs, Trustwaveâs advanced security team. âCentralizing logging will help organizations more efficiently investigate an anomaly that may be an indication of a cardholder data breach or an attempt.â
âWe are pleased to see the changes focused on alignment of PCI and PA DSS as well as the elimination of redundant requirements,â said James Paul, senior vice president of delivery at Trustwave. âThe changes will help clarify the relationships and demarcation between PCI and PA DSS assessments.â
To learn more about these and other key changes and how they might affect a merchant, Trustwave has archived its recent webinar, âPCI DSS 2.0: What Can You Expect?â and posted it here for review, on-demand.
The changes to both standards take effect January 1, 2011. The sunset date for the existing standards is December 31, 2011. Any organization submitting a Report on Compliance or Report of Validation after December 31, 2011 will have to comply with the Version 2.0 standards.
For more information about the PCI DSS and PA DSS, please visit www.pcisecuritystandards.org.Details
American Express rolling out its “Blue Sky Preferred” Credit Card,
offering travelers an annual $100 Airline Allowance to cover checked
baggage, in-flight meals, entertainment or Wi-Fi purchases on any
airline. It also offers double points on hotel, car rental and dining
purchases, and one point on all other eligible spending, with an annual
fee of $75. To use the allowance, cardholders must use the “Blue Sky
Preferred Card” to book the flight and to pay for any eligible
incidental fees such as checked baggage, in-flight meals, entertainment
and Wi-Fi purchase. To be reimbursed, travelers simply contact American
Express within 60 days after the airline incidental is first billed to
their Card. Points earned can be redeemed for travel on any airline, any
hotel, any cruise, any car rental and more with no travel restrictions
and no blackout dates. Redemptions start at 7,500 points, which can also
be redeemed for a $100 statement credit.
Global Cash Access Holdings cash access products and related marketing services in the gaming industry will be presenting at the Wells Fargo Securities Technology, Media & Telecom Conference on Tuesday, November 9 in New York City. The CEO will speak on Technology, Media & Telecom, to which investors and interested parties may listen to the live audio webcast at www.gcainc.com at the appropriate time. NV-based Global Cash Access provides cash access products and related services to over 1,100 casinos and other gaming properties in the United States, Europe, Canada, the Caribbean, Central America and Asia.Details
DR Collect debt collection has completed upgrades to include a fully automated front end for the implementation of the system as well as the automation of the registration process, the payment process for monthly agency fees and the upload process to load accounts into the system. The DR Collect system is now capable of importing placement files in almost any format so that clients will no longer have to follow other data standards. Clients can use file formats they already use for other vendors or a standard export from their operating collection floor system. The frequency of upload is also determined by the client. In order to further promote adoption of the DR Collect platform, the Company has implemented a new pricing schedule for the agency and law firm market that is simple and cost effective.Details
Allianex has kicked off the “My Tech Card Computer Care Gift Cards” at CVS/Pharmacy stores throughout the United States, at which the gift cards will be available at highly visible point of purchase displays. The “My Tech Card Computer Care Gift Cards” from Allianex offer customers the ability to purchase a Computer Care Gift Card valid for either a session with a live operator to repair a computer related problem or an annual subscription to a proprietary PC Optimization Suite software that contains 22 utilities designed to optimize PC performance and protection.Details
The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard manager, PIN Transaction Security requirements and the Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS), Launched v 2.0 of the PCI DSS and PA-DSS. Focused on providing greater clarity and flexibility to facilitate improved understanding of the requirements and eased implementation for merchants, the new version 2.0 is slated for availability in January. More than 1,500 people from 600 organizations around the world participated in contributing input to the Council received from merchants, banks, processors and the PCI community throughout the development process. With it, however, are no new major requirements, rather, they consist of modifications to the language to clarify the meaning of the requirements and make understanding and adoption easier for merchants and serve to reinforce the need for a thorough scoping exercise prior to assessment in order to understand where cardholder data resides. This begins the new three year lifecycle for standards development allowing for minor revisions or errata to be issued throughout as necessary.Details
Flint Telecom Group has fully completed the acquisitions of the entire issued capital of Ingedigit International debit cards and Gotham Ingedigit Financial Processing. Power2Process. Each company will operate as separate entities within the Flint Telecom group of companies. Ingedigit International Inc. is a U.S. based independent sales organization (“ISO”) offering International pre-paid debit card services in partnership with international banks and other program sponsors, to offer debit cards and other related products to their customers. Ingedigit International will be rebranded Power2Process in the coming weeks to enhance its international appeal and presence and is a U.S. based advanced financial transaction processing and technology company.Details
MoneyPass inked agreements with MasterCard to make MoneyPass the preferred surcharge-free ATM solution for MasterCard debit issuers and ATM acquirers, including banks, credit unions, ISO ATM acquirers and ISO card issuers. MoneyPass was chosen based on its open structure, serving the best interests of a wide variety of potential participants in a highly flexible manner. MasterCard customers that choose MoneyPass as their surcharge-free solution will gain access to nearly 20,000 surcharge-free ATMs across the United States and Puerto Rico. MoneyPass growth over the past five years demonstrates the commitment to becoming the surcharge-free ATM solution of choice, as well as the growing interest within the financial institution and ISO community to offer a value-added service desired by consumers, with over 1250 participating bank and credit union members and nearly 40 million cardholders.Details
With 69% of CFOs most concerned with the challenge of managing cash flow, only 7% plan to slash expenses in 2011. Meanwhile, 39% expect their capital investments to increase next year, mostly on new technology, and 41% will focus on proper capital allocation and cash flow management. Additional findings, according to a recent TD Bank survey of small and medium sized companies, shows 78% projecting the recovery to take up two years to materialize, with the surest signs of a lasting upturn accredited to falling unemployment rates for 46%; 21% depending on sustained growth in their own organization’s sales; and 9% looking to an influx of new customers as an indication. Also, 45% of financial executives have seen their sales increase in the past year, of which 25% say by 10% or more; 58% project their sales to increase in the next year, of which 25% say by 10% or more; 46% believe the most likely constraints on capital investments will be cash flow; 18% blame unsure levels of funding from clients and government; 13% say the political climate is strangling cash flow.Details