Friday, August 22, 2008

Video - First Data Announces New Payment Technology "Go Tag"

New Contactless Payment Technology Showcased at Democratic National Convention
First Data Gives Attendees a Glimpse into the Future of Paying "On the Go"

DENVER, August 22, 2008 /PRNewswire/ — During this year's Democratic National Convention (DNC), Denver's Pepsi Center will serve not only as a focal point of American politics, but also as an arena for the future of how people will pay for goods and services.

Next week, First Data will introduce a new payment technology to thousands of select media and delegates attending the DNC. Beginning August 25 through August 28, media and delegates receiving a limited edition pin from First Data can use the commemorative pin as a payment device to purchase refreshments up to $10 in value at participating Pepsi Center concession stands.

The First Data® GO-Tag™ Solution behind the limited edition pin utilizes contactless payment technology that is easy to use and makes the shopping experience quick and convenient. Its flexibility allows for many different forms such as stickers, attachable to personal items like mobile phones or employee badges, wristbands and novelty key chains. This new technology provided by First Data eliminates the need to carry cash, credit or debit cards.

"First Data, as a leader in electronic and mobile payments, gives you a glimpse into the future where cash is not needed and purchases can be made simply by the tap of your mobile device," said Michael Capellas, chairman and chief executive officer of First Data. "Consumers will be able to make purchases faster and easier—no more waiting in long lines—and better yet they can leave their wallets at home."
Consumers will experience the technology first as a contactless sticker, like the GO-Tag Solution, and then directly inside their mobile phones. Merchants will benefit from the ability to offer more value through faster speed of service and increased customer loyalty.

"Contactless is a key mobile commerce technology especially well suited for fast payment applications at quick service restaurants, theme parks, event concessions and even vending machines," said George Peabody, director of emerging technologies, Mercator Advisory Group. "As contactless continues to gain traction, the GO-Tag Solution helps both merchants and consumers become familiar with the benefits of this technology."

First Data is distributing a limited number of commemorative pins while supplies last. Credentialed media attending the Democratic National Convention may pick up a pin on August 25 and 26 between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. at the First Data-hosted media lounge located in Pavilion 5 outside the Pepsi Center.

For questions about obtaining a limited edition pin or for images and b-roll please contact:

First Data Media Relations

For more information about First Data, please visit

About First Data
First Data is a global technology leader in information commerce. The company processes transaction data of all kinds, harnesses the power of that data and delivers innovations in secure infrastructure, intelligence and insight for its customers. With operations in 37 countries, First Data serves more than 5.4 million merchant locations and more than 2,000 card issuers and their customers. It powers the global economy by making it easy, fast and secure for people and businesses around the world to buy goods and services using virtually any form of payment. The company's portfolio of services and solutions includes merchant transaction processing services; credit, debit, private-label, gift, payroll and other prepaid card offerings; fraud protection and authentication solutions; electronic check acceptance services through TeleCheck; as well as Internet commerce and mobile payment solutions.

The company's STAR Network offers PIN-secured debit acceptance at 2.1 million ATM and retail locations. Through First Data's centers of excellence, such as security, analytics, customer loyalty and mobile payments, it offers data-driven commerce solutions for customers around the globe. For more information, visit

Credit Card Useless Overseas? PIN it with HomeATM

The headline might be a bit dramatic, but it's true that more and more merchants in Europe and elsewhere will not accept credit cards without the "Chip and PIN" system — The term is "chip and PIN" (or EMV, for Europay, Mastercard and Visa). Most European banks and merchants are switching to it. Canada's switching too. By 2010, you'll have trouble using a standard American credit card at many Canadian merchants.

Banking officials say the chip-and-PIN method has reduced credit-card fraud substantially in Europe, where the problem grew exponentially when former Soviet bloc countries joined the European Union.  Sure...blame it on the bloc heads.

Chip and PIN has an embedded chip in the card along with a PIN number (similar to that you are probably accustomed to with your ATM card).  What's that you're thinking?  You don't have a PIN associated with your credit card right?  That is correct, and, unfortunately, as this L.A. Times article reports, it's not an easy problem to fix:

If you don't have a credit card with an embedded ID chip and accompanying PIN, you may be limited in the number of transactions you can make.  Here's the catch: Americans cannot get such a card through U.S. card issuers.

So what do you do? Well, one way to be sure you always can get by is if your bank offers a combination ATM / debit card with the Visa or MasterCard logo. That has a PIN, so you're OK. But of course this means the money will come straight out of your checking account, so you'd better have enough in there to cover your purchases.

Of course, that's not really credit, it's plain ole PIN Debit.  What about acquiring a chip-and-PIN "credit" card?  Neither American Express nor HSBC, despite their global scope, offers such a product for U.S. customers.  So I guess credit cards really ARE useless overseas.

But hold on...there is another alternative that the Times article does not address!

HomeATM ePayment Solutions has come up with a way to solve this problem.  We call it PIN my Card.  It allows consumers to create a PIN for their "credit card" and was initially designed to increase the security of an online "credit transaction" and reduce the cost for internet retailers to accept online credit card transactions.  (The transformation redefines the "card not present, or CNP transaction as a "card present" one, which makes the transactions more secure thus lowering interchange fees for online retailers).  It also appears that PIN my Card would solve the dillemma of Americans traveling abroad with their credit cards.  Just attach a PIN and you're good to go!

HomeATM is currently awaiting approval and issuance of global patents regarding "attaching a PIN to a credit card."  I'll provide more on this process as it develops, or you can search this blog using the keywords "PIN my Card" to find out more right now.

For now, it's certainly not impossible to get by with your American credit card, but it's becoming more work to do so, so take this into consideration if you're hitting Europe any time soon. (or going to Canada in the near future)  Why chip and PIN in the first place?  If your credit card requires a PIN, the reasoning goes, it's useless to a thief.   So...for American's that means no stays at a fabulous luxury suite or a night on the town or a pair of Gucci shoes, courtesy of your "credit" card  unless you "PIN your Card"!  Stay tuned.

Don't Leave Home With It? Card Fraud Fearing Brits Carry Cash

Britons going abroad this summer are warned levels of card fraud overseas has shot up by 77 per cent between 2006 and 2007. Fraud on credit and debit cards cost Brits £207.6 million last year, insurer CPP found, with France, Italy and Spain the top spots for card crime

Four in five of Brits are worried about possible fraud if they use their cards overseas with many (60 per cent) choosing to carry cash instead.

Card cloning tops the list of fraud worries (46 per cent) followed by card not present fraud (42 per cent) among a sample of 1,700 Brits quizzed on behalf of marketing and travel assistance services firm CPP earlier this month. The survey follows recent figures from banking ssociation APACS that show fraud abroad accounts for 39 per cent of theft and fraud on UK-issued cards. International fraud losses rose from £117.1m in 2006 to the £207.6m level in 2007, a big rise that helped push overall losses up to £535.2m.

In the period from June 2007 to June this year, no less than 7000 cards were reported stolen from Brits abroad, according to the research.    Kerry D’Souza, card fraud expert from CPP, said: "We are urging Brits to be particularly vigilant when they travel abroad this summer.  When relaxing on holiday, people can be less aware of their belongings and more prone to card fraud and mugging scams. We are encouraging people to contact their banks before travelling, to keep their valuables out of sight once abroad, and to be especially careful when they use their credit and debit cards."

According to card and payments association Apacs, paying with plastic is very popular abroad – in 2007, card purchases accounted for 50 per cent of all overseas spending.  However, Apacs highlights the fact the introduction of Chip and Pin technology in France and Spain have cut card fraud.  Sandra Quinn, director of communications at APACS, added: "As a nation we are all using our cards more frequently abroad so it pays to be aware of any extra costs that may be incurred for using them overseas, as well as taking steps to protect them from fraud. "Card thieves are hoping to catch us relaxed and off-guard when we are overseas, so we need to take the same sensible precautions with our cards abroad as we would in the UK."

However, the majority of card fraud occurs when card details are stolen in the UK, and used fraudulently abroad.  Fraudsters copy the magnetic stripe details, typically by skimming cards, then create fake magnetic stripe cards that they use overseas in countries that do not have chip and PIN.  CPP advises travellers taking their cards to keep them in a safe if they are in your hotel room and keep your eye on them when you are out and about. The firm also recommends telling your bank if you are away – some will stop your account if they see 'suspicious activity', which may include overseas transactions.

HomeATM Partner Procures Canadian Financial Provider

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, Aug 22, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- As Stated by SmartCard Marketing Systems Inc. (PINKSHEETS: SMKG) "Management is pleased to announce that we have signed an agreement to provide 4000 Pin debit and Prepaid cards to a Canadian Financial service provider in Canada with online and retail services, this is additional from the 9000 with

The agreement includes the use of the loading network, HomeATM's Pin Debit solution and instant issue prepaid cards for money remittance services.

The agreement established is over a period of 2 years to fulfill delivery giving access to their members, which will double our existing number of accounts and make the a service leader in the online payment segment. The price established per customer implemented is $27.50 for a total of $101,000.00 dollars with an estimated number of 8 transactions per month of $150.00 to $240.00 range. This does not include email money transfers, card to card transfers or multi-currency settlement between clients once funds in transit. continues its strong growth through 2008 and believes strongly that 2009 will see more aggressive growth as more merchants and financial institutions continue to realize the benefits of our services online worldwide.

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