Monday, May 18, 2009

Quebradita MasterCard!

Did MasterCard see Visa's press release (see previous post) regarding their 26% Growth in Latin American and the Caribbean? Otherwise this is simply a fun coincidence...

MasterCard Launches Integrated Marketing and Consumer Education Efforts Focused on U.S. Hispanic Consumers

Elements of Integrated Campaign include a new “Priceless” Advertising Spot and Financial Education Grassroots Tours in Partnership with Univision and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation

PURCHASE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MasterCard Worldwide today announced a marketing and consumer education campaign that speaks directly to U.S. Hispanic consumers. As part of its ongoing efforts to educate consumers about the value of its myriad of payment products, MasterCard released a new 30-second Spanish language Priceless commercial entitled “Quebradita.” The commercial emphasizes how consumers can better manage their money through the use of debit and prepaid MasterCard cards. Translated as “little break,” quebradita is a modern, acrobatic Latin American dance style recognizable by its western clothing, hat tricks and daring flips.

“Hispanics are the largest and fastest growing ethnic group in the U.S. representing about 15% of the total U.S. Population, according to the U.S. Census. As we look to continue to bring value to Hispanic consumers, it is important for MasterCard to be speaking in their language in channels that are relevant to them,” said Chris Jogis, senior vice president, US Consumer Marketing. “Our campaign, coupled with our grassroots education efforts, is designed to build an emotional connection with consumers, first through our advertising, and then by speaking directly with them at a local level through community organizations that they know and trust.”

The integrated campaign informs and educates U.S. Hispanics on the many benefits, including budget control features, that MasterCard products, specifically prepaid and debit MasterCard cards, offer.

“Many U.S. Hispanic consumers still rely on cash as their primary tool for managing finances, and in doing so are not able to take advantage of the convenience, security, and cost-savings that electronic payments can offer,” explained Laura Kelly, senior vice president, Global Prepaid Product Solutions. “Understanding the benefits of products like Everyday Prepaid MasterCard cards, which once registered, can enable online purchases, access to ATMs, direct deposit of pay checks, and with Zero Liability* protection for unauthorized purchases, are safer to carry than cash, is an important step toward taking advantage of financial options that make life easier. Our community-based efforts reinforce this through an emphasis on strong financial literacy.”

MasterCard recognizes that financial education and awareness is important for all segments of the population. To help contribute to the financial education of Spanish speaking U.S. consumers, MasterCard has developed a grassroots financial education series and will partner with Univision Communications, Inc., the nation’s leading Spanish-language media company to tie-in to Univision's successful financial literacy program "Cuentas Claras" (Clear Finances). Through this effort MasterCard will leverage elements across Univision’s television, radio, and online platforms including grassroots financial education events conducted in several cities in the country with a strong U.S. Hispanic population footprint. The series is designed to build financial literacy among US Hispanics by informing and educating them at various touch points with information on the different financial products that are available to help them manage their finances more effectively and efficiently. Additionally, Julie Stav, Univision’s financial expert, will be on hand at various grassroots events to provide tips on how to balance a budget, understand credit and save for one’s future.

MasterCard has also partnered with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, the sponsor of the Hispanic Heritage Awards and Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards, and other organizations, who will provide support on-site at additional community events conducted in U.S. cities with a strong U.S. Hispanic population footprint. These events will also focus on important principles of better financial management and emphasize the benefits of debit and prepaid payment options.

“Quebradita,” which features the International Quebradita Dancing Champions, will hit the airwaves across the country on Hispanic television in 11 key U.S. markets where there is the highest concentration of Hispanic consumers: Chicago; Dallas; Harlingen, TX; Houston; Los Angeles; Miami; New York; Phoenix; Sacramento; San Antonio; and San Francisco.

In addition to the TV spot, MasterCard has also created Spanish-language radio advertising, out-of-home and on-line advertising to extend the campaign across relevant channels. MasterCard will also continue to build on its robust online presence,, where U.S. Hispanic cardholders can find useful information on MasterCard offerings available to Hispanics to help manage their financial needs.

*Certain exceptions apply. For terms and conditions, see

Creative for the MasterCard "Priceless" campaign is driven by McCann Erickson/New York: Joyce King Thomas, EVP, Chief Creative Officer; Tim Dillingham, SVP, Creative Director; Mark Gonzalez, Creative Director; Sally Hotchkiss, SVP, Executive Producer.

About MasterCard Worldwide

MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes approximately 21 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial-institution customers and merchants. Powered by the MasterCard Worldwide Network and through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus®, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information, go to

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Visa Payments Volume Grew 27% in Latin American/Caribbean

Visa Payments Volume Grew 27% in Latin America and the Caribbean
Visa Payments Volume Grew 27% in Latin America and the Caribbean
Growth at point-of-sale

MIAMI-- May 18, 2009 -- Visa Inc. payments volume on all Visa-branded products in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region (LAC) grew 27% over the previous year to US$193 billion for the year ending on December 31, 2008. The growth achieved at the point-of-sale demonstrates that Visa is part of the everyday lives of millions of consumers, merchants, businesses and governments in the Region.

"Joint efforts among Visa and its clients are driving greater access to electronic payments, resulting in more usage of payment cards over cash and checks,” said Eduardo EraƱa, president of Visa Latin America and Caribbean region. “More importantly, amid this challenging economy, we see the increasing value of our debit products, on which consumers rely more to manage their budget and increase convenience, reliability and security.”

Visa’s strategy in the Region to increase debit card activation and migrate transactions to the point-of-sale played a key role in the growth during this period. In fact, the total number of payment transactions continued to advance reaching 5 billion, which reflects a growing proportion in non-discretionary spending at the point-of-sale by consumers in key areas such as gas stations, supermarkets, fast food restaurants, healthcare and recurring payments.

At the same time, Visa’s ability to provide its financial institution clients in the Region with a mix of specialized and best-in-class products, marketing promotions, incentives and rewards are enabling them to more effectively reach greater segments of the population, ranging from entry level to upscale consumers. The result was an expansion in the number of cards carrying the Visa brand in the region, which reached 340 million in 2008.

About Visa

(Editor's Note: No pun is intended with's the Caribbean theme thing)

Visa Inc. operates the world's largest retail electronic payments network providing processing services and payment product platforms. This includes consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments, which are offered under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and PLUS brands. Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world, and Visa/PLUS is one of the world's largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in more than 170 countries. For more information, visit

Source: Caribbean  Press Releases 

285M Records Breached in 08, More Than Previous 4 Years COMBINED!

Data theft has exploded in 2008 as the total number of records compromised stands over 285 million for 90 confirmed breaches – exceeding the four preceding years combined.

This is a trend that is continuing...according to a recent report from the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC), a nonprofit which supports and educates consumers on identity theft.

Breaches in 2009 already amount to over 1.5 million records compromised with more unreported cases on the horizon according to the ITRC’s report. Those figures don’t yet include the big name breaches in the news like Heartland Payment Systems and RBS Bank, both who were hit hard by large breaches involving potentially millions of records being compromised. Although large company breaches are making news lately, Visa® has stated on its website that a majority of data breaches are actually from small and medium sized businesses.

“Often we find there’s a ‘hear no evil, see no evil’ mentality.” explains Dustin Niglio President of Payment Logistics Limited, a data security and credit processing company headquartered in San Diego, CA, “This happens because small business owners don’t see their peers in the news which leads to a lack of data security preparation under the assumption ‘I’m too small to matter’ – unfortunately this makes these businesses easy targets for data thieves.”

The Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Council, an association comprised of security experts from major card brands including Visa®, MasterCard®, Discover® and American Express® have assembled a set of 12 guidelines known as Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS). The standards are meant to help businesses strengthen their security systems. Compliance with PCI-DSS is mandatory for all businesses accepting credit or debit cards however this can prove a daunting task for business owners.  

Editor's Note:  HomeATM has the solution for Internet Retailers.  It's simple.  This from TechDirt:  

"The most effective way to get rid of Card Not Present fraud is to make
the Card Present. In the brick and mortar world the customer goes to
the store and swipes their card (and enters their PIN) into a Point of
Sale device at the store...hence card present. In the "virtual" world,
since the customer can't go to the store to swipe their card and enter
their PIN into a POS device, they need to have their own "personal" POS
Device. HomeATM designed and currently manufactures the "first and
only" PCI 2.0 Certified PIN Entry Device designed exclusively for e
Commerce. ($15)
Data leaking is also solved as it 3DES Encrypts the data inside the box
and the data is NEVER in the clear. It is sent encrypted and is not
decrypted until it reaches its destination (which has a unique key to
unlock each transaction) With fraud at an all time high, and growing
higher still, this is the only way to secure financial transactions on
the Internet. To read more about Payments Security, feel free to visit
the PIN Payments News Blog at

Continue Reading 2008 Breaches Surpass Previous 4 Years Combined

Online Banking Customers Hit Hard...need Hardware

Consumers Being Hit HARD By Fake Banking Spam - Smarthouse

By Kate Castellari | Monday  5/18/2009

Consumers in Australia are being hit every day with hundreds of emails that are suppose to be from the Commonwealth Bank and the Federal Reserve Bank however investigators and the banks say they are all part of a massive global scam to extract money.

Credit card fraud ­ and particularly online transactions ­ accounts for the lion's share of most types of financial fraud, including those involving checks. 

The rate of credit card fraud has grown over the past year from 45 cents per $1000 to
53 cents in 2008, says the Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA)

According to the APCA, increases in Australia's card fraud are through increases in card-not-present (CNP) fraud and counterfeit (cloned cards) as well as skimming.

In comparison, fraud on checks remains very low, with less than a cent in fraud for every $1000 and only four fraudulent transactions out of every million.

CDN has firsthand experience. This writer nearly became the victim of a failed phishing attempt to defraud her of the contents of her credit card by fraudsters quoting an outdated payment to a bank in a vain attempt to gain her name and password. The bogus bank site was almost the spitting image of the original.

This writer phoned the bank in question and they confirmed it was a fake.  Thanks to that, we got there in time to change the password. 

Continue Reading at

Editor's Note:  Did he say password?  Did he say fake website?  Why on earth are banks still using passwords? 

Notice I didn't ask "Why are there (cloned) fake websites?"   That's too easy...

"Because there are Passwords!"

The missing piece to the puzzle is HomeATM  (see related articles)

1. Bank Issues Card.   -  Done
2. Bank Issues PIN   -  Done
3. Bank Issues Secure PCI 2.0 PED Login Device...

The writing is on the wall.  The reason "phishers exist" is to try and get pertinent information.  What's more pertinent that a username and password?  So how do we stop them?  We "encrypt" the "pertinent information" so that the data is NEVER in the clear.  That's how.  HomeATM doesn't "lessen" the threat of phishing or cloned bank websites, HomeATM "ELIMINATES" the threat. 

Let's take a look at the recent phishing (last Friday) attacks launched towards Facebook users as an example,  shall we? 

"We're aware of the attackand are already blocking links to these new phishing sites from beingshared on Facebook. We're also cleaning up phony messages and Wallposts and resetting the passwords of affected users," a spokeswomanfrom the site said Friday. Facebook said Friday that it was aware of a recent phishing attack against its users, and believed it was tied to an earlier campaign.

The fake sites were designed to mimic Facebook, and prompt users toenter their username and passwords.

and this....which blew up in their

Facebook locks out users with weird names in effort to purge fakes
- The Associated Press

Alicia Istanbul woke up one recent Wednesday to find herself lockedout of the Facebook account she had opened in 2007, after the socialnetworking site suddenly deemed it fake. The stay-at-home mom was cut off not only from her 330 friends,including many she had no other way of contacting, but also from thepages she had set up for the jewelry design business she runs from herAtlanta-area home.  (Editor's Note...that must've made her happy)

Although Istanbul understands why Facebook insists on having realpeople behind real names for every account, she wonders why the onlinehangout didn't simply ask before acting. "They should at least give you a warning, or at least give you thebenefit of the doubt," she said. "I was on it all day. I had built myentire social network around it. That's what Facebook wants you to do."  (Editor's Note:  My bad...she doesn't sound happy!)  Facebook's effort to purge its site of fake accounts, in the processknocking out some real people with unusual names, marks yet anotherchallenge for the five-year-old social network

Editor's Note:  After reading that example (and yes, HomeATM's device would not only authenticate Facebook users but it would empower them with a Real-Time Person to Person Money Transfer Program) but right now I'm talking online banking.  I only use Facebook as an example for online-banking in order to suggest that if you don't want to lose face, customers, or lose customer money, then your Online Banking Platform must engage users with secure 2FA (Two Factor Authentication)  There's only ONE PCI 2.0 Certified PIN Entry Device designed specifically for eCommerce (and online banking) and it happens to also completely eliminate the threat of phishing and cloned web sites. 


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ACH Fraud - Payroll and Kiting

In an article published today, Bank Info Security discusses the top trends in ACH Fraud, including Payroll Fraud and ACH Kiting.  Here's a snippet from the article.  To read it in full, please visit

Top Trends in ACH Fraud

Top Trends in ACH Fraud: What You Need to Know About Payroll Fraud, ACH Kiting and Solutions to Fight These Threats
Payroll fraud, kiting - these are among the latest threats to Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments, which are gaining extra attention from fraudsters.  There will be 25 billion ACH transactions occurring annually by 2010, estimates NACHA, the electronics payment association. Many of these transactions will be check conversions at merchants, including Wal-Mart, Target and large supermarket chains.  With these numbers growing every year, ACH fraud is also growing, says Michael Thomas, Executive-in-Charge of the Financial Institution Group at Crowe-Horwath. Criminals are finding it more enticing "to follow the money," Thomas says.

This article reviews the latest ACH fraud trends - and what institutions should be doing to protect themselves.

How ACH Fraud Happens

Before ACH did check conversion, there was very little fraud, because most transactions were driven by relationship, notes Nancy Atkinson, wholesale banking senior analyst at the Aite Group. "So when a corporation had to get an individual's permission to credit, much less debit their account, the banks knew the corporation, and they knew they could depend on the corporation to stand behind its transactions if a debit or credit came into question by a consumer."

On the business side, the companies using ACH set up accounts that would either only accept ACH credits or issue them. As ACH has expanded past the payroll, social security payment or repetitive bill-pay solution, moving into mainstream transactions that can be used for almost any kind of payment and check replacement truncation - fraud risk has grown. "This includes at point of sale or on the web or over the phone," Atkinson says. "You've lost the controls that used to exist, and those direct relationships that used to exist. Banks used to have controls on how big a transaction a business can make and how much coverage it has to have over the two-day period it takes for that transaction to settle."

One way ACH fraud can occur: Companies can get hooked into a legitimate bank ACH network and then send out fictitious changes, like telling checking accounts they've agreed to pay a small amount to a charity. "By the time the customers get a copy of these transactions and they protest the withdrawal, by that point the bank is stuck with all the returns, because the sham operator of the fraud has withdrawn all the money and left," Thomas says.

The good news is that type of ACH fraud had been the most common type of fraud over the years, but NACHA and a number of financial institutions have been doing a much better up front job in determining who they will let become an ACH customer. So this specific type of fraud, while still occurring, has slowed down a lot, Thomas notes.

Other fraud threats, alas, have grown.

ACH Risk #1: Payroll Fraud
ACH Risk #2: Kiting

Continue Reading at Bank Info Security's Website

Virgin Money Plans Internet Bank

Source: Finextra
Complete item:

Virgin Money is planning to launch a UK Internet bank in a bid to take advantage of public anger at traditional high street outfits, according to the Observer newspaper.

The financial services arm of Richard Branson's empire is preparing to apply to the Financial Services Authority for a banking licence that would allow it to take deposits and offer mortgages.

Virgin Money was launched in 1995 and claims over two million UK customers, offering credit cards, personal loans, savings products and insurance. Sales rose from around £70 million to £100 million in 2008 with profits estimated at £30 million.

The unit is now looking to follow the lead of Tesco and push much further into financial services, taking advantage of public anger at traditional banks.

Tesco bought out RBS to take complete control of Tesco Personal Finance in December and plans to open 30 bank branches in its stores by the end of the year. Another retailer, Boots is also considering following Tesco's lead.

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Gradian Tackles Identity Theft with PINs & OTP's

May 18th (PIN Payments News Blog) Gradian has joined forces with Swiss technology group Cidway to help UK businesses and consumers tackle identity theft and fraud. From today, Gradian will provide Cidway’s ground-breaking technologies for mobile phones that make transactions like online banking, remote access or mobile payment much more secure.
By using unique PINs and one time passwords, enabled over mobile phone based applications, Cidway protects customers from rising security risks and attacks such as phishing (fake emails and websites designed to gain customers’ account details) or man-in-the-middle (fraud in which the attacker makes independent connections with the victims and relays messages between them to change transaction details). Cidway products are already being deployed by banks, governments and enterprises right across Europe, Middle East and Asia.

This clever technology has never been needed more. The latest Unisys Security Index revealed that almost three-quarters (72 per cent) of UK citizens believe they are at greater risk from identity theft and related crimes such as credit card fraud as a result of the financial crisis. According to the recent study, 88 per cent of consumers are concerned about other people obtaining and using their credit card, debit card or bank account and another 88 per cent are concerned about others gaining unauthorised access to or misusing their personal information. These worries are supported by evidence from APACS, the payments industry association, which saw total fraud losses on UK debit and credit cards rise by 14 per cent to £609m last year.

Damian Acklam, Managing Director, Gradian, said “Cidway’s technology is a revelation in the fight against identity theft and fraud, and I’m genuinely excited about the tangible difference it will make to individuals and organisations alike. I’m proud to be the sole UK supplier of Cidway products at a time when protecting finances is paramount.”

Gustavo Racioppi, CEO, Cidway, said “Gradian’s broad knowledge and expertise in data security and managed networks means they are the perfect partner to share Cidway’s technology with their customers. We’ve cut fraud and saved money for people in many other parts of the world, and I’m looking forward to seeing success stories develop in the UK.”

About Gradian Systems Ltd
Gradian is one of the UK's leading enterprise security solutions providers, specialising in messaging applications. Its principle activities include the provision of technology and services to regional, national and international firms focused on mitigating IP, governance, compliance, and data security risks associated with the proliferation of mobile devices, users and applications.

With unrivalled support and service offerings Gradian currently help over 150 customers across the UK and Europe communicate more effectively, and securely.

For more information, see

Source: Press Release

Accredited Standards Committee X9 Developing New Merchant Data Security Tech Standard

Accredited Standards Committee X9 Developing New Merchant Data Security Technology Standard
Heartland Payment Systems to Host Planning Meeting for Brainstorming Technical Approaches to Protecting Sensitive Payment Cardholder Data

PRINCETON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Accredited Standards Committee X9 (ASC X9), accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), is embarking on the development of a new standard to protect cardholder data in the electronic payments industry. ASC X9 develops, maintains and promotes standards for all financial services in the United States and pioneered standards for items including the credit card magnetic stripe and ATM systems.

In advance of formally launching this “Sensitive Card Data Protection Between Device and Acquiring System” initiative, Heartland Payment Systems is hosting a preliminary planning workshop on Thursday, May 7, in Plano, TX. There, data security experts and industry leaders will brainstorm technical approaches to protecting this data. Ideas generated at this meeting will be presented at ASC X9’s initial standards development meeting on June 1-5 in Foster City, CA.

“This preliminary meeting marks an important step in expediting the development of next-generation data security solutions. Exchanging ideas is critical to the creation of a robust and public standard that protects the security of cardholder data and safeguards consumers and businesses nationwide,” said Bob Carr, chairman and chief executive officer of Heartland Payment Systems. Heartland, one of the nation’s largest payments processors, is a member of the ASC X9 working group. Carr is a strong proponent of information sharing and end-to-end encryption as a means to enhance consumer data security at all points of a payments transaction.

“All players in the payments industry have a mutual stake in protecting consumer information,” said Dodd Roberts, president and chief executive officer of the Merchant Advisory Group (MAG). “It is essential that industry leaders work together to eliminate all risk to personal information. A meeting like this is critical to creating the solutions needed.” The MAG, also a member of ASC X9, is a nonprofit industry association that brings together all parties in the payments industry to collaborate on issues and ensure the voice of merchants is represented.

About Heartland Payment Systems

Heartland Payment Systems, Inc., a NYSE company trading under the symbol HPY, delivers credit/debit/prepaid card processing, payroll, check management and payments solutions to more than 250,000 business locations nationwide. Heartland is the founding supporter of The Merchant Bill of Rights, a public advocacy initiative that educates merchants about fair credit and debit card processing practices. For more information, please visit and

About ASC X9

The Accredited Standards Committee X9, Inc, is the only industry-wide forum that brings together bankers, securities professionals, manufacturers, regulators, associations, consultants and others in the financial services arena to address technical issues, find the best solutions and codify them as nationally and internationally accepted standards. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) officially accredited ASC X9 in 1984. In addition, ASC X9 is recognized as the official secretariat to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) committee TC 68 on Banking and Financial Services.

About the Merchant Advisory Group

The Merchant Advisory Group is a 501(c)6 nonprofit industry association that brings together all parties in the payment industry to collaborate on issues that concern everyone, and ensure the merchant voice is heard on such issues. The MAG is a vital source for educational and networking opportunities, best-practice sharing and information on new technologies. The group is supported primarily by merchant members and industry stakeholders such as acquirers, issuers and vendors. For more information, please visit

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EPC and GlobalPlatform Coordinating Mobile Payments Standards

ContactlessNews | EPC, Global Platform coordinating mobile payments standards
EPC, Global Platform coordinating mobile payments standards
Monday, May 18, 2009 in News

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been agreed between the decision making body of the European payments industry, the European Payments Council (EPC) and GlobalPlatform, the specification body for smart card infrastructure, to coordinate initiatives within the mobile contactless environment. By signing the memo the two parties aim to promote interoperable and neutral technology that will support a mobile payments marketplace.

The formal relationship between the EPC and GlobalPlatform aims to ensure that the mobile contactless technical specifications and use cases of each organization are compatible and adhere to pre-defined common requirements for mobile payments. By synchronizing their activity the organizations will minimize the duplication of effort, have access to member-only work priorities, and capitalize on the impressive wealth of market and technical expertise available across both parties.

The first priority of the organizations is to verify compliance between GlobalPlatform’s technology and the EPC use cases. Focus will also be placed on the capabilities of the GlobalPlatform Messaging Specification to standardize communication between the different players in the mobile proximity payments ecosystem such as banks, trusted service managers and mobile network operators.

The second objective is to analyze cooperation on compliance and certification of the secure element that hosts the mobile payment applications.

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MasterCard in Licensing Agreement with Cryptography Research

Source: 05.18.2009 - American Banker Article
MasterCard in Licensing Pact  | Cardline Global | Monday, May 18, 2009

MasterCard Inc. has agreed to require suppliers of contactless and smart cards that use the EMV Integrated Circuit Card Specification to license antifraud technology from Cryptography Research Inc. of San Francisco.  The agreement, which Cryptography Research announced last week, followed an out-of-court settlement it reached last fall with Visa Inc. in a suit that claimed the vendor's patented technology had been used in hundreds of millions of cards issued under the Visa brand dating back to 2001.

Visa paid an undisclosed sum and agreed to license Cryptography Research's technology, which is designed to protect cards against a hacking technique called differential power analysis. (Whitepapers)

Cryptography Research had accused MasterCard of anticompetitive behavior but did not sue the Purchase, N.Y., company.

"I can't really talk about how much money MasterCard is paying us," Kit Rodgers, Cryptography Research's vice president for business development and licensing, said in an interview. "I can say products approved prior to the April 16 agreement will remain approved for use with MasterCard."

Differential power analysis lets hackers extract encryption keys from smart cards. Cryptography Research's chief executive, Paul Kocher, and two colleagues say they invented the attack in 1998 and developed countermeasures.

Many smart card and chip vendors say they developed their own countermeasures, but Rodgers said the settlement with Visa and the agreement with MasterCard will require all of them to pay Cryptography Research licensing fees if they want to do business in the bank card market.

Here's more on DPA (and licensing fees) from Cryptography Research


a differential power analysis overview

Differential Power Analysis (DPA) is a class of attacks discovered by
researchers at Cryptography Research. DPA is a powerful tool that allows
cryptanalysts to extract secret keys and compromise the security of smart
cards and other cryptographic devices by analyzing their power consumption.
Simple Power Analysis (SPA) is a simpler form of the attack that does
not require statistical analysis.

Unlike physical attacks, SPA and DPA attacks are non-invasive,
easily-automated, and can be mounted without knowing the design of the
target device. Cryptography Research has developed solutions for
securing devices against these attacks.

Cryptography Research and DPA

Cryptography Research is committed to helping companies understand and address issues related to cryptography and security.
The following links provide more information about our technologies and services.

Patent Licensing

The Cryptography Research patent portfolio includes numerous fundamental patents relating to DPA and
countermeasures. A license to these patents is required to make, use, or sell DPA-resistant devices.
To encourage education and research, free licenses are available for qualifying non-commercial use.

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Hop-On to Release iPhone Application for Internet Gambling - Hop-on to Release an iPhone App for Internet Gambling After Legislation Passed
Hop-on, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: HPNN) announced today that they will release an iPhone Application upon approval of the Internet gambling legislation. Last Wednesday Democratic Rep. Barney Frank presented a bill to Congress in hopes of lifting the current ban on Internet gambling.

According to Nielsen Mobile, iPhone boasts approximately 2.3 million US mobile subscribers. Of these users, 20% use their iPhone to play online games. The iPhone App Store continues to grow with a total of 38,075 Active Apps available for download with over 7,000 of those Apps attributed to Games, none of which are a gambling app for money.

Peter Michaels, President and CEO of Hop-on, states, "We believe even more iPhone users will use our application for gaming in real time. As we are in continued support of Rep. Barney Frank's proposed legislation to legalize Internet gambling, Hop-on is moving to release an App immediately after the passing of the bill."

Michaels also stated, "Utilizing the iPhone user interface, players will be able to play interactive gambling games with multiple players in real time. iPhone has the Multi-Touch interface, the accelerometer, GPS, real-time 3D graphics, and 3D positional audio perfect platform for Interactive Streaming Casinos."

About Hop-on:

Hop-on (PINKSHEETS: HPNN) develops and markets wireless phones and accessories for emerging markets and other domestic carriers and is best known for developing the world's first disposable cell phone. Currently, Hop-on is expanding into value-added services, like mobile gambling and SMS wagering. Hop-on's exclusive software will allow users to stream live interactive feed from legal jurisdictions to play poker, blackjack, roulette and baccarat on personal cell phones.

For more information, visit or

Certain statements in this news release may contain forward-looking information within the meaning of Rule 175 under the Securities Act of 1933, and are subject to Rule 3B-6 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and are subject to the safe harbor created by those rules. All statements, other than statements of fact, included in this release, including, without limitation, statements regarding potential future plans and objectives of the company, are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and other results and further events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Future events and actual results could differ materially from those set forth in, contemplated by, or underlying the forward-looking statements.

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Cards Middle East 2009 Payments Conference/Exhibition Kicks Off

Largest Cards and Payments Conference & Exhibition: Cards Middle East 2009 Kicks Off

UAE. Cards Middle East 2009 marks ten years in this week. Firmly established as the Middle East's dedicated cards and payments conference and exhibition, the event continues to be the must-attend event for retail banking professionals, government, transport and retail from the MENA region.

Leaders in banking such as Emirates NBD, Dubai Islamic Bank, Gulf Bank, Jordan Commercial Bank, Mashreqbank, Qatar National Bank, Standard Chartered, HSBC Middle East and many more will headline the 2009 conference.

The conference and exhibition opens on Monday 18 May and will welcome HSBC, who will share their experience in tackling card fraud, Deutsche Bank reveal the global trends in growing a cards business, and Eoncap Islamic Bank discuss the opportunities and strength of Islamic finance and cards in the current economic climate, whilst Bank Muamalat Indonesia share the success story of its prepaid debit card programme.

This is the meeting of choice for cards and payments professionals to stay up to date with the latest trends in payment methods. This year, topics on mobile payments, prepaid cards, NFC and contactless cards were all be tackled.

The 2009 exhibition will see more than 60 exhibitors from across the globe gathered at the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel, including companies from the UK, UAE, Lebanon, India, Germany, Switzerland, South Africa, Turkey, France, China, Korea, US, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt, Belgium, Russia, Bahrain, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Taiwan Belgium and Kuwait with new product launches, new features and new ideas.

Held against a backdrop of the most difficult economic environment the 2009 exhibition has seen a 30% increase in visitor numbers, proving its value to the cards and payments industry.

The new and free on-floor seminar theatre is set to welcome hundreds of visitors to its 26 sessions, ensuring the event continues to be the ideal platform to learn about the new issues.

BillMyParents Puts Kids in Charge

BillMyParents Launches Unique Online Payment System for Teens and Parents
BillMyParents Launches Unique Online Payment System for Teens and Parents
PRESS RELEASE:  2009-05-18 06:11:02 -

Socialwise, Inc. (OTCBB:SCLW) today launched BillMyParents : .. , an innovative online youth payment system that gives teens the freedom to shop online and parents the control over these purchases -- all in a simple, automated system that keeps credit card numbers and other personal information safe and secure.

Out of the more than $132 billion spent annually by youth, $40 billion is spent offline on products researched online. Lack of a credit card was cited by 40% of teens as the reason why they don’t buy online*. “The online teen spending market is hugely underserved and BillMyParents is uniquely poised to tap into the desire for teens to be able to shop online, while still letting parents maintain control in a safe and secure environment,” said James Collas, CEO of Socialwise.

The BillMyParents payment system platform addresses this untapped teen spending market with a multifaceted approach to online payment processing for teens and tweens, and gives them an easy way to purchase products online without a credit card. Using the BillMyParents button at the point of sale, teens can initiate a purchase in seconds. Parents complete the purchase at their convenience through a simple, easy to use, and automated system enabled by instant email and text notifications.

At launch, the BillMyParents payment system platform includes the following elements.

- BillMyParents Shopping e-commerce site : .. : To give teens immediate access to more than a million products, BillMyParents has launched a shopping site powered by through their associate program. The BillMyParents Shopping site ( gives teens and tweens access to the entire inventory available online on today, without needing a credit card to make purchases. Teens will be able to use the BillMyParents system to seamlessly make their selections and send parents their shopping requests to either approve or deny.

- Partnerships with leading online social Web sites: To date, BillMyParents has forged unique partnerships with leading online gaming sites and social network applications targeted at teens and tweens, including Artix Entertainment, Habbo, Outspark and RockYou!, among others, addressing a total potential market of up to 100 million users across these sites alone. Scheduled to be rolled out into these, and other, partner sites in the coming weeks and months, BillMyParents is designed to easily integrate into partner sites, prior to the shopping cart or checkout page, in only a few days with minimal effort. This upfront placement immediately informs teens and tweens, who may not otherwise have a way to pay, that a credit card is not required to initiate the transaction, incentivizing them to request the purchase then and there. With an estimated $1.5 billion of virtual goods purchased each year globally**, BillMyParents provides a service that allows social networking and gaming sites to begin increasing revenues from virtual goods immediately.

- Social network shopping application: In yet another way to reach the teen marketplace, BillMyParents has developed account management applications for leading social networks, such as MySpace and Facebook, that will let teens and tweens track their purchase requests made with BillMyParents, enable their friends to see their recent purchases, and rate products all from a dashboard on their social network profiles. Announced today, the social network application will be publicly available in the coming weeks.

BillMyParents is also currently focused on signing up large third party online retailers.
“Our partnership with Socialwise and BillMyParents adds a valuable and unique payment feature to our online role playing games,” said Daniel Vasile, business development manager of Artix Entertainment, LLC. “Many of our 80 million registered users worldwide are under 18, and by offering our young gamers and their parents an innovative, safe and easy way to make purchases and enhance game play, Artix is continuing to offer leading-edge features that enhance the gaming experience.”

BillMyParents is led by an experienced management team and advisory board, including CEO James Collas, who previously was the chief technology officer of Gateway and helped take it public. Advisory board members include technology industry veterans Maynard Webb, who brings 30 years of experience developing and leading high-growth companies including serving in the role of chief operating officer at eBay, Inc., and Joe Abrams, co-founder of Intermix, the parent company of MySpace which was sold to News Corp. in 2005.

How it Works
The BillMyParents system is ingeniously simple. Teens and tweens can shop online using BillMyParents, either via BillMyParents enabled social networks, virtual worlds or online gaming sites. Once they have made their selections, BillMyParents sends a notification to the parent or other adult guardian, by email or mobile text, through an automated, instantaneous system. Parents then review the teens’ selections and can approve or deny each request individually, or as a group. For the approved selections, the parent then enters their credit card information to complete the transaction. The whole process can be completed within minutes without the teen, or the merchant, ever gaining access to sensitive credit card details or other personal information.

The simplicity and speed of BillMyParents lets the teen resume shopping or play without ever having to leave the e-commerce site.

About BillMyParents
BillMyParents is the innovative new youth payment system that lets teens and tweens shop online without a credit card, while giving parents the ability to easily track and control their teen’s spending. With a simple email request and approval system, BillMyParents provides the independence young people crave and the control over spending that parents want - while ensuring that credit card numbers and personal information are kept safe and secure. BillMyParents is currently available as a payment system in select online retail environments, in addition to social network, virtual world and online gaming Web sites.
BillMyParents is a division of Socialwise (OTCBB:SCLW). For more information: : .. .

About Socialwise, Inc.
Socialwise™, Inc. (OTCBB:SCLW) combines the explosive growth of targeted online commerce, application development, and group interaction by developing platforms that integrate traditional e-commerce products and services into the latest social network applications such as Group Gift Card™ and BillMyParents™. Socialwise™ also enables application developers access to its platforms and tools needed to build and integrate e-commerce transactions into their applications. Socialwise was previously traded under the name ideaEDGE. The Company is headquartered in San Diego, CA. For more information: : .. .

*Harris Interactive YouthPulse Survey. 2007
**New York Times, December 7, 2008


ATM Thieves

Banking/Finance - ATM / POS
Source: huffingtonpost
Complete item:


recently covered a story that started me thinking a little more seriously about
identity theft. Apparently some very daring and technically astute thieves
rigged some ATM machines at two bank locations and swiped half-a-million dollars
from account holders.

Now mind you, they had to go into the enclosed ATM
lobby to do this. Guess those security cameras are only good after the fact. At
any rate, the clever criminals placed a skimming device right above the slot for
the bankcard. That way whenever someone swiped a card, the skimmer recorded and
stored the information on the magnetic strip. The wrongdoers also made a movie
of the keypad as the pin numbers were punched in. They had positioned a tiny
camera in the lighted sign directly overhead. Later they synced up the skimmer
with the camera video and went to town taking from one account after

None of this activity was discovered until one of the bank's
customers reported a discrepancy on his bank statement. And this leads to my
wake-up call. How many of us really check our bank statements that carefully?
Perhaps its because we don't really want to see all those extra fees we may be
paying and could avoid if we only changed banks or accounts. Perhaps its because
we really don't want to know how many times we went to the ATM to get cash we
can't even remember spending.

However, denial and fear of unpleasant
knowledge aside, checking your bank statement each and every month, online or in
the mail, is one way to combat identity theft. And it's important to keep you
from losing money and maybe fighting with your bank to get it back.

, , ,

First Data: $2.1Billion Q1 Revenue

First Data Reports First Quarter Revenue of $2.1 Billion
PIN Payments News on May 18, 2009 at 5:18 AM
  • Revenue growth of 1% on a constant currency basis
  • Signed 117,000 domestic merchant locations
  • Renewed 130 contracts with financial institutions
  • International transactions up 10%, total card accounts on file up 5%
DENVER, May 15, 2009 (PIN Payments News Blog) -- First Data Corp reportedits financial results for the quarter ending March 31, 2009.Consolidated revenues were $2.1 billion, down 2% or up 1% on a constantcurrency basis. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciationand amortization (EBITDA) were $491 million, down 15% or down 11% on aconstant currency basis. In addition to the adverse impact of thestrong U.S. dollar, adjusted EBITDA comparisons were unfavorablyaffected by lower royalties following a large increase in the firstquarter of last year. Excluding currency effects and the change inroyalty revenue, adjusted EBITDA was down 6%. The net loss attributableto First Data was $231 million.

"Our revenue base held steady in the quarter as we added newmerchant and bank customers," said Michael Capellas, chairman and CEOof First Data. "We will continue to invest in new product developmentto fuel long-term growth while driving cost efficiencies to sustainprofitability."

Segment Results

Retail and Alliance Services: Retail and Alliance Services reported revenue of $1.2 billion, up7%. Retail and Alliance Services signed 117,000 merchant locations inthe quarter. In addition, 21 new independent sales organizations, 12new referral partners and two new revenue share agreements were addedto the distribution network. Excluding debit network fees, segmentrevenue was down 7% and was primarily affected by weakness in theoverall economy and continued transaction mix shifts. EBITDA was $242million, down 19%, and EBITDA margin excluding debit network fees was33.2%. Operating profit was $54 million, compared with $83 million inthe first quarter of 2008. Operating profit margin was 4.7%.

Financial Services: For the quarter, Financial Services revenue was $544 million, down3%. Revenue excluding reimbursables was down 1%. Financial Servicesrenewed 130 contracts in the quarter. EBITDA was $158 million, down 6%,and EBITDA margin excluding reimbursables was 42.5%. Operating profitwas $76 million, compared with $90 million in the first quarter of2008. Operating profit margin was 13.9%.

For the quarter, International generated revenue of $369 million,down 16%. Revenue on a constant currency basis, excluding acquisitionsand divestitures, was up 1%. Transactions and point-of-sale locationseach showed healthy growth at 10% and 9%, respectively. EBITDA was $73million, down 9%, and EBITDA margin was 19.9%. On a constant currencybasis, EBITDA was $91 million, up 13%, and EBITDA margin was 20.4%.Operating profit was $7 million, compared with $19 million in the firstquarter of 2008. Operating profit margin was 1.8%.

Other Matters
: Segment Realignment: Effective Jan. 1, 2009, First Data adopted a revised segmentreporting structure. The company's segments include Retail and AllianceServices, Financial Services, International and Integrated PaymentSystems. For applicable prior year and quarterly periods, the companyhas provided financials realigned to these segments in connection withour first quarter 2009 Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-Qfiling.
Non-GAAP Measures

In certain circumstances, results have been presented that arenon-GAAP measures and should be viewed in addition to, and not in lieuof, the company's reported results. Reconciliations to comparable GAAP(generally accepted accounting principles) measures are available inthe accompanying schedules and in the "Investor Relations" section ofthe company's web site at

Investor and Analyst Conference Call

The company hosted a conference call and webcast on Friday, May15, at 8 a.m. EDT to review first quarter 2009 financial results.Michael Capellas, chairman and CEO of First Data, will lead the call.Also participating will be Phil Wall, chief financial officer, andSilvio Tavares, senior vice president, investor relations. A replay of the call will be available through May 20, 2009, at 888-20... (U.S.) or +1-719-... (outside the U.S.), replay pass code 9703413, and via webcast at  Please note: All statements made by First Data officers on this callare the property of First Data and subject to copyright protection.Other than the replay, First Data has not authorized, and disclaimsresponsibility for any recording, replay or distribution of anytranscription of this call.

About First Data
First Data powers the global economy by making it easy, fast andsecure for people and businesses to buy goods and services usingvirtually any form of electronic payment. Whether the choice of paymentis a gift card, a credit or debit card or a check, First Data securelyprocesses the transaction and harnesses the power of the data todeliver intelligence and insight for millions of merchant locations andthousands of card issuers in 36 countries. For more information, visit

Full financial tables can be found here

SOURCE: First Data Corporation
First Data
Investor and Analyst Relations:
Silvio Tavares, 303-967-8276

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