Anti-Phishing Solutions Directory Published

The Anti-Phishing Working Group announced the publication of its “Anti-Phishing Solutions Directory” to counter phishing attacks. The directory was developed after repeated requests from IT managers, analysts, researchers, government ministers, police and journalists. The initial classification scheme has 14 categories of solutions. The APWG is the global counter-phishing organization with more than 1200 members worldwide from nearly 700 companies and government agencies and 70 sponsors.

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Corillian and Quova Team to Stop Phishing

Corillian has partnered with Quova to protect financial institutions and eCommerce organizations websites from Internet-based attacks such as phishing. Phishing incidents have increased at the rate of over 40 percent a month, up to nearly 13,000 in January alone. California-based Quova, Inc. is the leading provider of geo-location services to online businesses. Corillian Corp. is a provider of online banking and anti-fraud solutions to financial institutions.

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U.S. Card Base Growth Shifts to Low Gear

The growth in general purpose credit cards in the USA slowed to an annual gain of 2.2% last year, about a third of the pace experienced just five years ago. At the end of 2004, there were 657.5 million U.S. credit cards active on the VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Discover networks. Over the past ten years the number of bank credit cards has increased 31% from slightly more than 500 million cards, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). VISA reported a 4.1% gain in credit cards for 2004, ending the year with 295.3 million cards. MasterCard posted a slight decline from 272.6 million credit cards to 271.5 million. American Express says its U.S. card base grew 9.6% to 39.9 million cards, which includes revolving cards and 30-day credit or charge cards. Discover, which does not officially publish card totals, is estimated to have 50.8 million cards in-force at year-end 2004, a slight gain over the 50.7 million in 2003. For complete details on the performance of all four major networks, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][2]).

U.S. CREDIT CARD GROWTH HISTORICAL
2000: +7.3%
2001: +7.0%
2002: +6.3%
2003: +5.2%
2004: +2.2%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

[1]: http://www.carddata.com
[2]: http://www.carddata.com

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New Tri-Card Places its Logo on Card Back

Unlike the recently issued “Wal-Mart Discover” card, the “SAM’S CLUB Discover” cards announced this week have the SAM’S CLUB logo on the back of cards. The new card is a triple-function card serving as a membership card, a private label credit card and a general purpose credit card. In total, four “SAM’S CLUB” cards will be issued including the “Club Advantage Discover” and “Club Advantage Plus Discover” for consumers, as well as the “Business Discover” and the “Business Plus Discover” for commercial customers. As a private label card, the new “SAM’S CLUB Discover” cards offers access to a dedicated line of credit, exclusive sales and promotions, and loyalty rewards. As a general purpose card, the “SAM’S CLUB” cards will offer up to 2% cash back for “Plus” members, and up to 1% cash back for “Advantage” and “Business” members on every purchase. There is an annual $1 million spending cap. The new card is being issued via GE Consumer Finance. The cards will available in April. (CF Library 3/15/05)

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DOJ and 10 States Clear Western Union

The U.S. DOJ has closed its civil investigation of Western Union’s contracting practices in the money transfer service business. First Data, Western Union’s parent, said the facts did not support a claim that Western Union’s contracting practices have had an anticompetitive effect on markets for money transfer or emergency bill payment services in the United States. Ten of 13 states have also closed their investigations. In early February of 2004, The DOJ issued a CID to Western Union in the matter. Between 2000 and 2001, the FTC and one state conducted preliminary investigations of similar issues. FDC’s Western Union money transfer business delivered $1.1 billion in operating profit last year. (CF Library 2/3/04; 2/6/04; 1/27/05)

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U.S. Bank Adjusts Retail Payment Services

MN-based U.S. Bancorp announced it is moving its Retail Payment Services division to be under Pamela Joseph, who is vice chairman of U.S. Bancorp payment services. Patricia Wesner, EVP of retail payment solutions, will now become part of Joseph’s payment team. Wesner will continue to manage U.S. Bank’s consumer and small business credit card services, affinity cards, co-brand cards, debit and prepaid products. Joseph is also chairman, president and CEO of Atlanta-based NOVA Information Systems, a wholly-owned subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp. U.S. Bancorp also announced that Richard Hartnack, formerly with Union Bank of California, has been hired as the new head of U.S. Bancorp’s consumer banking division.

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NAAG and ATF Enlist Card Industry Help

The National Association of Attorneys General and the ATF yesterday praised the credit card industry for agreeing to take affirmative actions to prevent the illegal sale of cigarettes over the Internet and for agreeing to work cooperatively with law enforcement in shutting down these illegal operations. The NAAG and the ATF announced an aggressive public/private initiative to prevent such sales. They noted that virtually all sales of cigarettes over the Internet are illegal because the sellers are violating one or more state and federal laws, including: (1) state age verification laws; (2) the federal Jenkins Act (which requires that such sales be reported to state authorities); (3) state laws prohibiting or regulating the direct shipment of cigarettes to consumers; (4) state and federal tax laws; (5) federal mail and wire fraud statutes; and (6) the federal RICO law. Many of the sales made by foreign Web sites also violate federal smuggling, cigarette labeling, money laundering and contraband product laws.

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Concord Certifies ComNet Xtremo Mini-ATM

The NexTran Group announced the ComNet Xtremo has been certified for use on ATM networks operated by Concord Processing LP. The Xtremo is a “mini-ATM”, but offers features usually found on larger machines. The certification process also validated that the Xtremo is compliant with the latest data-encryption standards for ATMs known as Triple DES. The NexTran Group LLC is a provider of ATM, Internet and security products and solutions.

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MC Launches a Payment Data Protection Program

MasterCard has launched a new initiative to assist merchants and their business partners with how to best store, secure, and share transaction data. The new “Payment Data Protection” program describes how merchants should store transaction data, keep it secure and share information with vendors and other partners involved in processing payment transactions. The program also will delve into CRM considerations and clarify the guidelines that are already in place to safeguard account information. The MasterCard “PDP” compliments MasterCard’s “SecureCode” and “Site Data Protection” programs.

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OPC Offers a Spanish Language Service

Florida-based MotionPoint Corporation announced it has launched the Spanish website for Official Payments. Customers can now access OP’s “En Espanol” website for customer service, full account information and to make electronic payments to the IRS, 25 states, the District of Columbia and more than 1,600 local government clients nationwide. MotionPoint Corporation provides multi-lingual consumer communication services for online business operations. Official Payments Corp. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tier Technologies, Inc., a provider of electronic payment options to government entities.

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Ingenico and Q Comm Team for Prepaid

Ingenico announced that Q Comm International is developing its flexible prepaid application to run on Ingenico’s multi-application terminals. Q Comm will beta-test its application on Ingenico terminals later this month with certification and launch scheduled for the second quarter of 2005. Q Comm International is a prepaid transaction processor. INGENICO is a provider of secure payment and transaction systems used by banking, retail, petroleum, transportation, healthcare and governments.

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Prepaid Phone/Debit Card to Launch Soon

Nevada-based No Borders has entering into a joint venture agreement with Equity One to deliver and sell open system debit cards at retail locations. The cards will serve as both a prepaid phone card and as a stored value debit card. No Borders provides a payment card platform of financial and commercial services to enable residents of developing countries and immigrants from those countries who reside in the US to send money.

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