Wednesday, February 25, 2009

HomeATM Featured in American Banker

In an article published by American Banker, Will Hernandez, Associate Editor of ATM&Debit News writes about "some" of the recent developments occuring within the exciting world of HomeATM.  Normally, I'd provide a few quotes and a link to the full article, but in this case, you would need to be a subscriber to either American Banker or ATM&Debit News in order to read the article in it's entirely.

Test Planned for Debit Reader for Use at Home

American Banker | By Will Hernandez

creased attention to data breaches could provide a boost to a Montreal company that has developed a way for shoppers to use plug-in card readers with their home computers to make PIN debit purchases online.

HomeATM ePayment Solutions is preparing to test a reader that consumers can plug into a computer's USB port. When shoppers make a PIN debit purchase at participating merchants' Web sites, the checkout software prompts them to swipe the card and enter the PIN.

Kenneth Mages, HomeATM's chairman and chief executive, said in an interview last week that the SafeTPIN reader could make consumers more comfortable using their cards online and will enable merchants to process the payments at card-present interchange rates, rather than the more expensive card-not-present rates.

Several merchants, including a large U.S. airline, are considering participating in the upcoming test, Mr. Mages said, though he would not name them.

"It's a lot more acceptable now to plug something into the USB port," said John B. Frank, HomeATM's executive adviser. "Combined with all these breaches, it's time for people to make some new decisions." 

The transaction processor Heartland Payment Systems Inc. reported last month that hackers breached its network last year and captured the account numbers and expiration dates of a number of debit and credit cards.

Since 2001, 72% of all payment card breaches have involved software at the point of sale, according to the Chicago data security company Trustwave Holdings Inc.; 23% occurred through online shopping carts, and 1% involved a hardware breach.

Analysts said they persuading consumers to use the readers will be a challenge.

Adil Moussa, an analyst at the Boston research company Aite Group LLC, said consumers are reluctant to use such devices. "People want easier and simpler things to use. Asking people to have another device on their desk for their online shopping is not really a way to achieve that."

Avivah Litan, a vice president and research director at the market research company Gartner Inc., routinely warns people not to use debit cards and PINs online.

"The Holy Grail for criminals is PINs and ATM cards," Ms. Litan said. "I would highly recommend [to any consumer] not entering their PIN anywhere on the Internet unless it was hardware-based."

Mr. Mages said HomeATM's device encrypts payment data moving between consumers' computers, HomeATM's data center, merchants, and processors. "We also encrypt the Track 2 data, which isn't done at" retailers.

Fidelity National Information Services Inc.'s eFunds Inc. will process HomeATM transactions.

Mr. Mages said lower interchange rates will appeal to merchants and hopefully will encourage them to distribute the readers to their customers.

According to Mr. Frank, merchants can save more than 75 basis points on card-present transactions compared with card-not-present ones. "That's a $7.5 million interchange savings for a $1 billion retailer converting its customers to a card-present environment."

However, HomeATM could face some hurdles in delivering the readers to consumers. The company plans to sell them to merchants, which would distribute them to customers. They cost about $15 to produce. Mr. Mages said lower interchange rates will attract merchants; the next step is securing merchants to distribute the device.

Ms. Litan said this is a classic "chicken-and-egg problem."

"Consumers will not start using these devices until merchants accept them, and merchants will not accept them unless there are huge incentives," she said. "The trick is finding someone with a big market presence that's willing to introduce something new to the market."

Mr. Hernandez is the associate editor of ATM&Debit News.

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HomeATM Added To FinovateStartup09 Lineup

HomeATM has been added to the FinovateStartup09 Lineup to be held April 28th and we look forward to demonstrating how our technology can completely change the online payments landscape. 

In addition to providing an immensely more CNP2CP (Card Present To Card Present) Platform, HomeATM transactions are dually authenticated. (1.What you have/Card and 2.What you know/PIN)

Unlike any other payment method that we know of, HATM also provides a 3DES DUKPT End-to-End Encryption.  Our Pin Entry Device was recently tested by Witham Laboratories and met or exceeded PCI 2.0 PED requirements.  We are confident that our patented process offers the most secure online payment methodology in the industry.  We look forward to providing more insight to attendees of FinovateStartup09 in April.  See you there!

Finovate Startup Conference Lineup

The financial services startup community will be out in force April 28 at our second annual Finovate Startup conference.

The nine new companies below, along with the 39 participants announced two weeks ago, plus several we can't yet name, brings the total to 50 startups. That's eleven more than we had last year! We can now say that we'll have the largest group of financial services startups ever assembled in one place.

Don't miss your opportunity to talk to the companies that will help change the financial services landscape in the coming years. Join the many bank, credit union, and technology execs in San Francisco on Tuesday, April 28 for a thought-provoking and exciting day (see note 1).

The early-bird deadline ends Friday, so register now for just $795. Current Online Banking Report subscribers can save even more. Look on the back page of the most recent issue, or email for your customer discount code.

Here are the latest additions to the conference

  • WeSeed

For further information on FinovateStartup09 please visit or

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Did Heartland Make False and Misleading Statements?

According to there is an investor investigation looking into possible securities violations related to public statements made by Heartland Payment Systems (HPY, see chart, under $5.50 now) between 8/5/08 and 2/23/09. Here's their statement:

Heartland Payment Systems, Inc Investor Investigation

If you purchased Heartland Payment Systems, Inc (NYSE:HPY) common stock between August 5, 2008 and February 23, 2009, you have certain options and you should contact the Shareholders Foundation, Inc. immediately!

You may contact us by using this form, or by sending an email to, or calling us at (858) 779-1554.

Company Name(s): Heartland Payment Systems
Affected Securities: NYSE: HPY  (Editor's Note: Soon to be SAD)

According to a press release there is an investigation on behalf of investors in Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. (NYSE:HPY) concerning possible securities violations related to public statements made by the Company between August 5, 2008 and February 23, 2009 was announced.

According to the press release the investigation by a law firm focuses on allegations that statements made by Heartland Payment Systems, Inc (“Heartland“) between August 5, 2008 and February 23, 2009 were false and misleading and failed to disclose or indicate, among other things, that Heartland’s safety and security measures designed to protect consumers' financial records and data from security breaches were inadequate and ineffective; Heartland faced liabilities associated with a breach of its payment processing network and increasing costs associated with implementing appropriate security measures; and as a result of a breach its payment processing network, Heartland was at risk of losing customers. Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. is primarily engaged in providing bank card payment processing services to merchants in the United States.

Banks Need Alternative Payments

In an article published yesterday in American Banker by Bruce Cundiff, he argues that the global economic slowdown could provide an opportunity for alternative payment companies and banks to strategically partner. Here's an excerpt:
Alternative Payments

The global economic slowdown, which is driving down consumer spending and credit card purchases, could prompt banks to adopt alternative payment systems.

Retailers have become increasingly interested in recent years in offering customers alternatives to credit and debit cards. These systems often exclude the traditional payment providers, and the main benefits of these transactions — revenue, customer relationship enhancement, or brand equity — flow to companies other than banks and card networks.

But many financial companies are wondering whether the economic downturn will fuel faster adoption of alternative payment methods and, perhaps more importantly, how that could impact their own payment revenue.

I argue that it is not a matter of whether alternative payments will gain steam as a result of economic difficulties. Rather, in the face of economic difficulties, financial institutions must embrace the alternative.

We must understand the value proposition, and the motivations, of various players in the retail payment ecosystem.

I'd provide a link to finish reading the article, but American Banker is a subscriber-based publication. To subscribe go to

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Nigeria Chip and PIN Migration Begins with CBN Compliance

THE Central bank of Nigeria, CBN recently recorded compliance to its directive that all banks in Nigeria migrate from magstripe type of payment cards to chip and PIN based cards.

This is as Intercontinental bank Plc rolled out drums last week in celebration of its pioneering the first Chip and PIN verve card tagged Intercontinental Verve card. The event held at its Victoria Island Lagos headquarters at the weekend. 

The CBN in apparent bid to curtail the growing fraud prevalent in the banking sector, woke up recently, directing all banks operating in Nigeria to migrate from the magstripe based payment cards to chip based before the end of the second quarter of this year.

Obviously the magstripe cards were prone to compromise due to its method of usage and easy way of duplication. Because a magstripe card is used mostly by swiping across a terminal, fraudsters devised a means of inventing magnetic mechanism which retains the details of the card after being swiped on the machines and of course its cheap and easy way of production fueled more frauds that left unfortunate card users in misery.

So the introduction of this brand of payment card, which runs on Interswitch platform, makes the bank the first to comply with the CBN directive and according to the bank, gives its customers a leverage which others would always envy to experience.

Group Chief Executive of the bank, Dr Erastus Akingbola, while addressing the gathering at the launch of the card, described the development as another feat by Intercontinental Bank, saying this has separated the men from the boys in the banking business in Nigeria.

According to Akingbola, through today’s event Intercontinental has become the first Nigerian bank to issue the Verve Chip and PIN with loyalty card created in Nigeria for the world. With this development a new symbol of technological progress is making headlines in the Nigerian e-banking industry.

Akingbola said that besides upgrading all its channels to honour transactions initiated from these cards, in line with the CBN directive, his bank also deemed it necessary to move a step further by introducing the chip based card.He noted that staff from relevant departments of the bank were also trained on different aspects bordering on card operations, card issuance, business and product development dynamics set around the functionalities of these cards in order to ensure effective compliance and management.

He stated that the bank has ordered and taken delivery of the two brands of the chip cards and presently working on the modalities involved in migrating all its customers to the new enhanced and more secure EMV chip and PIN verve payment card on the Interswitch platform.

The Bank believes that by the new development, it is also adding another feather to its cap by making history as the first bank to issue a full EMV compliant local debit card in Nigeria.

Verve is a chip based card positioned as a premium, innovative brand set to meet the needs of the issuer, merchant and consumer by providing convenience, absolute security, reliability, recognition and reward.

According to Akingbola, “the cards many features have become a hot topic lately, and for good reason, because it surrounds transactions with iron-clad security.  The era of card cloning and loss of funds is coming to an end. In a nutshell, the information stored on the embedded microchip on this card is extremely difficult to hack and transactions are done with an even more secure personal identification number (PIN)”.

He said Intercontinental Bank PLC has always been a front runner in service delivery and customer satisfaction and will be taking the lead in the issuance of this new secured chip cards.

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Prepaid Cards Summit 2009

Through Prepaid Card Summit 2009 and its associated publications Cards International and Electronic Payments International, VRL is pleased to announce this year's conference to be held in Rome, Italy in October 2009. Confirmed dates for your diary will be announced shortly.

Now in its fifth consecutive year, Prepaid Card Summit is an industry leading event and the only truly European card event of 2009. Join us in Rome to experience a stimulating conference, our agenda will be planned with the unique knowledge and understanding of the editorial teams of Cards International and Electronic Payments to cover the key issues and challenges involved in exploiting these relevant markets.

The event will cover European markets including Italian, German and Belgium along with Eastern Europe, all of whom are starting to experience growth with many new programmes launching every month. Italy boasts the most successful prepaid programme in Europe, Poste Italiane, making the location an appropriate choice for the event itself.

For more information

Our website is a regularly updated with information related to Prepaid Cards Summit 2009 including the latest agenda and speaker information.

Want to know more about VRL's previous highly successful prepaid conferences? Download our 2008 reference guide.

Monitise & Metavante Launch Text Message Banking

Service enables consumers to use text messaging for alerts and any-time balance information

PROVIDENCE, R.I., and MILWAUKEE, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Monitise Americas, the mobile money people, and Metavante today announced the launch of text message banking services.

The service will allow consumers to use text messaging to obtain any-time balance information on their accounts.
It also enables consumers to set alerts, to notify them when their balance is low or when their payroll deposit has arrived, for example. Metavante Corporation is the first provider to deploy the new technology from Monitise Americas. Metavante (NYSE: MV) is a leading provider of banking and payments technology.

Monitise Americas is well-known for providing mobile money services using secure applications that consumers download to their cell phones. The company has added text message banking to deliver financial information to all mobile phone users, whether they have advanced, data-enabled handsets or more simple devices.

"Text alerts have become mainstream for many consumer services today. Many of us already receive news alerts on our mobile," said Lisa Stanton, chief executive officer of Monitise Americas. "Especially in this economy, consumers have told us that they want immediate access to their financial information. Mobile financial alerts will allow consumers to manage their money any time, anywhere, and I firmly believe that there is no better time to introduce this than now."

The integration of Metavante payments solutions -- including bill pay, prepaid and the NYCE Network -- with its mobile financial services creates a clear line of sight to mobile payments and commerce. This type of integration also creates the benefit of making mobile services available to virtually all account holders at a financial institution.

"Metavante is committed to keeping our clients competitive by moving consumers to mobile banking," said Frank D'Angelo, group president, Metavante Payment Solutions, and chairman of the board for Monitise Americas. "By enabling this text messaging functionality, we are making money management via a mobile phone available to virtually anyone, and making it easy for even reluctant consumers to engage with the idea of using their mobile phones to manage their finances."
About Monitise Americas

Monitise Americas is a joint venture between Metavante Corporation, a leading provider of banking and payments technologies to financial institutions and businesses worldwide and Monitise plc (MONI.L), the mobile money specialists. Monitise Americas provides mobile banking and payment services to North American financial institutions based on an "ecosystem" principle, which allows multiple mobile carriers and financial institutions to deliver services over a single platform. It has a sister ecosystem in the United Kingdom, MONILINK, developed by Monitise plc in partnership with VocaLink. Current partners of MONILINK include: first direct, Alliance & Leicester, Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest, Vodafone, Orange, O2, T-Mobile and Hutchison 3G.

For more information on Monitise Americas and details of how to benefit from participating in its cross-America ecosystem, please visit and

About Metavante

Metavante Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: MV) is the parent company of Metavante Corporation. Metavante Corporation delivers banking and payments technologies to over 8,000 financial services firms and businesses worldwide. Metavante products and services drive account processing for deposit, loan and trust systems, image-based and conventional check processing, electronic funds transfer, consumer healthcare payments, electronic presentment and payment, outsourcing, and payment network solutions including the NYCE Network, a leading ATM/PIN debit network. Metavante ( is headquartered in Milwaukee.

Metavante and NYCE are registered trademarks of Metavante Corporation, which is the principal subsidiary of Metavante Technologies, Inc.

SOURCE Monitise Americas

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