Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Napster Is Back Again - This Time $5 Gets You Unlimited Streaming and 5 Songs Per Month

Best Buy's Napster introduces a new music offer
Napster, which helped start the digital music revolution (and helped end the music industry) by enabling consumers to share tunes online, has unveiled its first new subscription offer since being acquired late last year by Best Buy Co. Inc.

For $5 a month, subscribers can download five songs each month and stream all the music they want to their PCs. Songs that are downloaded are free of restrictions, and can be played on all portable music players, including Apple’s iPods and its iPhone mobile phone, Napster says. The streamed music can only play on PCs. Subscribers can buy additional downloads for between 69 cents and $1.29.

“A decade ago, Napster revolutionized the way people discovered and enjoyed music,” says Julie Owen, senior vice president of entertainment for Best Buy. “The brand that started it all is shaking things up again with this new service that provides music lovers continued access to the entertainment experience they’ve come to expect of Napster and Best Buy.”

Here's the Press Release:

Napster Unveils Latest Digital Music Service
Napster Offers MP3s With its Popular On-Demand Streaming Service for One Low Monthly Price

LOS ANGELES – MAY 19, 2009 – Napster, the pioneer of digital music, today unveiled its latest music offering combining the freedom of MP3s with the discovery benefits of a high-quality streaming music service – all for one low price. For as little as $5 per month, Napster users get five unrestricted MP3 downloads, and unlimited access to Napster’s award-winning on demand music streaming service.

Music fans now have the best of both worlds: MP3s to keep forever, play, transfer and burn as much as they like, as well as unlimited music listening from Napster’s catalog of more than seven million tracks. “There’s no need to settle for 30-second clips to decide if you want to buy a song,” said Chris Gorog, CEO of Napster. “For five bucks now you can have access to our entire music catalog and get five MP3s to add to your permanent collection.”

Napster users can now:
• Get five MP3s each month to download, with their choice of songs from the Napster MP3 library that covers all types of music from all the major labels and includes the largest catalog of independent artists available.
• Listen to any track, as often as they like, in CD quality from Napster’s catalog of more than seven million songs.
• Choose from more than 60 commercial-free radio stations and more than 1,400 expertly programmed playlists.
• Discover new music and artists through personalized recommendation tools.
• Enjoy the top hits from more than 50 years of Billboard charts. Want to know what was popular when you graduated high school? Now you can.
• Play MP3s on any MP3 player, including iPod®, iPhone® and music enabled MP3 mobile phones.

“A decade ago, Napster revolutionized the way people discovered and  enjoyed music,” said Julie Owen, senior vice president of entertainment for Best Buy. “The brand that started it all is shaking things up again with this new service that provides music lovers continued access to the entertainment experience they’ve come to expect of Napster and Best Buy.”

The new Napster offering is now available for U.S. residents at

About Napster

Napster (, the pioneer of digital music, offers the ultimate in interactive music experiences, creating better ways to discover, share, acquire and enjoy music – anytime, anywhere. The company’s flagship service, Napster, is the ultimate digital music package, offering unlimited ondemand music streaming as well as downloadable MP3s for one’s permanent collection playable on any MP3 compatible device, including iPod®, iPhone® and all MP3 music-enabled mobile phones. The company’s online service is available in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Germany and Japan. Napster Mobile, one of the industry’s fastest growing mobile music platforms, provides the premier mobile music experience for customers in select markets around the world. A wholly owned subsidiary of Best Buy, Inc. (NYSE: BBY), Napster’s headquarters are in Los Angeles.

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Malignant Brett Favre Virus Infects Millions of PC's

Scam / Fraud / Hoax Alerts
Complete item:

A warning from computer security specialists (issued on May 9, 2009) asks the general public to be on guard against 'Brett Favre,' a new computer virus that has reportedly infected a massive number of PCs, counting to some millions, as reported by bleacherreport on May 9, 2009.

The virus sends e-mail spam to the end-user. The messages depict misguided and inflated content on retired football star Brett Favre who used to play for the National Football League.

It is understood that while the worm wildly propagates on both PC and Mac operating systems, it installs itself on the target computer's hard-drive as its user accesses the websites of Foxsports, ESPN, Yahoo Sports and Access Vikings.

Moreover, the virus downloads itself whenever the computer user views a S.A. Smith, Siefert, or Florio article.

In addition, the worm is the first malware that disseminates its payload through Twitter. Consequently, Twitter users worldwide are complaining of inundating with 'Brett Favre' tweets. Some of the users say that they are from Brett Favre himself.

The security specialists state that to exploit a user's computer, the virus implants itself into each process running on the CPU. It also uses P2P file sharing to spread all over the Web. Further, according to the specialists, as the virus renews its diction and form, it makes detection more difficult by antivirus software.

Ronald Wolf, Security Expert, Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), says that the virus has amassed a large number of compromised, zombie PCs all of which produce content on Brett Favre at a frightening rate. According to him, the virus has created a perilous situation, inflicting chaos on computer networks and web servers all over, as reported by bleacherreport on May 9, 2009.

Meanwhile, reputed sources say that security researchers working at well-known antivirus firms are spending most of their time and efforts to find a means to destabilize the 'Brett Favre' virus. A major problem that the researchers have discovered is that any time a computer user believes that the virus is dormant or has gone away, it just reappears.

Security experts at the top anti-virus companies are working aroundthe clock looking for a way to stop this virus. One of the problems,they say, is that even when you think it's gone away and seems to bedormant ("retired", in computer-speak), it just comes right back.

For now, there is no known way to stop it, but they say the bestapproach is probably to just ignore it and it will retire itself.

Disclaimer: There is no guarantee that the article you are reading right now is real. Yes folks, Brett Favre has gone viral.  What a joke.

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Janco Browser Share Rankings - Chrome Tanks

Janco in Park City and the IT Productivity Center have just released their March 2009 Browser and Operating System Market Share White Paper.

Janco reports Microsoft’s IE browser market share has stabilized at 72.23 percent versus 69.72 percent in March 2008 and 78.69 percent in March 2007;

Firefox maintains its number two browser position and is used by almost 17.18 percent of all users;

Google, with its Desktop and Chrome offerings, has just under percent of the market; and acceptance of Vista continues to be below Microsoft's expectation.

Victor Janulaitis, the CEO of Janco, said, “The major browser findings of the study are: Microsoft's Internet Explorer’s market share has stabilized, Firefox a strong number 2, and Google’s Chrome is a non-event.” The White Paper has a detailed historical analysis of browser market share since 1997. The findings are supported by data that is provided both graphically and in spreadsheet format.

On the Operating System front, Microsoft's Vista is installed on just under 1 in 5 desktops (19.53 percent) after 27 months since Vista's first release (RC1).

Janulaitis added, "Vista proves that large companies like Microsoft can and do make huge blunders in technology.

Microsoft can no longer count on moving users to new products like Vista as quickly as they want."

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gomez: Google Outage Caused Slowdown in Online Retail Sites

gomez Reports that Google outage caused slowdown in online retail sites

A networking glitch that Google says caused a traffic jam in its Internet servers led to a drop in performance at many retail web sites, with some transaction speeds four times slower than usual, site performance measuring firm Gomez Inc. reports.

The May 14 outage occurred for about an hour starting at 7:48 a.m. Pacific time, Urs Hoelzle, Google’s senior vice president of operations, said in a Google blog posting last week. “An error in one of our systems caused us to direct some of our web traffic through Asia, which created a traffic jam,” he says. “As a result, about 14% of our users experienced slow services or even interruptions. “

Visit gomez or Read Article at Businessweek

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Credit Card Reform Passes in Senate

Is Interchange Next? 

Credit Card Reform Passes Senate
Analyst Blog: Credit Card Reform Passes Senate
By: Eric Rothmann
May 20, 2009 |

On Tuesday May 19, 2009, the Senate overwhelmingly voted to curtail credit card rate increases and excessive fees, in an attempt to give consumers (i.e. voting constituents) some latitude amid the current recession. It appears all that is needed is to have the executive branch sign off on it.

If enacted into law, the players in the credit card industry -- such as, but not limited to, Visa (V), MasterCard (MA), American Express (AXP) and Capital One (COF) -- would have less than a year to make changes. These changes would include card lenders having to post their credit card agreements on the Internet, and permit all customers the ability pay their bills online or by phone without an added fee, rationalize over-the-limit fees and provide 45 days notice and an explanation before interest rates are increased.

Continue Reading at

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Study Says Online Research Leads to Quick Buying Decisions

Online research can lead to quick buying decisions, study says

Among shoppers who buy something online or offline after conducting online research, 49% buy within three days, JupiterResearch says in a new report.

The study, “Behavioral Targeting: Pushing Relevance to Maximize Advertising Spending,” also notes that 65% of online shoppers pay more attention to behaviorally targeted ads, which are based on a consumer’s tracked shopping behavior, than to contextual ads, which appear on web pages showing content related to the ads.

JupiterResearch, a unit of Forrester Research Inc., conducted the study of 2,151 U.S. online consumers for AudienceScience, an online marketing services company that delivers behaviorally targeted ads for advertisers.

Continue Reading at Internet Retailer

Wells Fargo Mobile Banking ( Available Free in Apple App Store

Wells Fargo Mobilesm Banking Makes It Quick and Simple
to Stay in Touch with Your Money Anywhere, Anytime Now Available Free* in Apple® App Store; Broader Distribution of Service
Reflects Rise of Mobile Banking Adoption

San Francisco — May 20, 2009

As Americans increasingly rely on mobile devices for communications andfinancial management, Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) todayannounced it has expanded availability of Wells Fargo Mobilesm Banking service for iPhone™ and iPod® touch users by making it accessible from Apple’s App Store online.

Wells Fargo’s secure and innovative mobile banking provides customers with mobile account access that is fully iPhone and iPod touch-optimized. This ensures that key banking tasks such as checking account balances, moving money between Wells Fargo accounts and paying bills can be done quickly. In addition, Wells Fargo Mobile Banking is integrated with the iPhone and iPod touch built-in maps feature so customers can search for the nearest ATM or Wells Fargo banking store with the touch-of-a-button.

According to Aite Group, a leading independent research and advisory firm, the mobile banking market is expected to more than double in 2009 to 21.1 million users in the United States. That’s expected to increase to 35 million users by 2011.  Aite Group attributes that growth to consumers’ desire to access financial services remotely, increased mobile device penetration, more sophisticated devices, faster networks and increasing familiarity with data applications.

“We’re committed to providing products and services that meet our customers’ evolving banking needs,” said Secil
Watson, senior vice president, Wells Fargo Internet Services Group.  “We’ve been providing the mobile banking service for nearly two years, and we know that customers want and demand convenient banking solutions that help them manage finances while on-the-go. We help them view accounts and take care of tasks anytime, anywhere -- whether it’s a
customer in a taxi or a customer who realizes at the last minute that the utility bill needs to be paid before leaving for vacation.” 

The free* service allows users to connect to their Wells Fargo accounts in two easy ways:
  1. Customers who browse the web on their
    mobile phone can go to Wells Fargo’s mobile website at and sign
    on to their bank accounts to:
    • Check account balances
    • Check account activity
    • Transfer funds between accounts
    • Pay a bill
    • Find the nearest ATM or store location
  2. Customers who send text messages on their phone can send a
    text message to the short code “93557” (for “WELLS”) to automatically
    receive their balance within moments - without having to log in.
    • Type – “bal” to check primary account balance
    • Type – “bal all” to check all account balances
    • Type – “act” to check recent account activity

“Mobile phones are becoming an integral part of our customers’ lifestyles,” said Arah Erickson, head of Wells Fargo’s Retail Mobile Banking. “People are expecting to do so much more on their phones: check e-mail, get directions at a maps site or find a restaurant.  That’s why we’re seeing ever increasing adoption of mobile banking. We have seen growth beyond our expectations.” Wells Fargo customers use the mobile website service an average of six times per month and
text banking customers send a balance request an average of 19 times a month.
The Wells Fargo Mobile service has a number of practical uses:
  • Consumers can review their account balances while standing in the store checkout aisle. This option can help ease anxiety about making a large or special purchase.
  • Travelers can search for the nearest ATM location “on the spot.” This helps save time for travelers who want to
    find an ATM quickly or are in a hurry.
  • Working parents can pay a bill while attending their sons’ or daughters’ soccer practice. This allows parents to address their “to do” lists in real-time.
  • College students, who have grown up relying on their mobile phones, can
    check account balances while walking to the campus bookstore. To ensure
    there is enough money

The free* Wells Fargo Mobile Banking app is available from Apple’s App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at For those customers who use a BlackBerry® smartphone, a icon can be
placed on the home screen for “one-click” access to Wells Fargo anytime. Just go to from the BlackBerry® browser and follow the simple steps to download the icon.

Mobile Banking is covered by the Wells Fargo Online Security Guarantee. Mobile banking sessions have the same layered security approach and technology as all sessions on In text banking sessions, there’s never more information in a text message than would be found on an ATM receipt.

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The Mentor Factor "The 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking"

The Mentor Factor

The Mentor Factor

The Mentor Factor
a leadership development one-day
for women who are pursuing successful careers in financial
services. The workshop, taking place June 9, at the Union League Club in NYC,
by successful female
from financial institutions around the country who will
share their experiences and talk about how they achieved positions of seniority
and influence within their organizations and within their communities.

View Agenda Here.

The participants will not only benefit from interacting
with their peers at other financial institutions but will receive practical,
on the qualities of leadership: how to nurture them, how
to apply them and how to pass them on to others.

Register Here.

forward this email to your female team members.

June 9 | New York | Union
League Club

Special rate: $295
With Promo Code: 

Register Now for the Mentor Factor, June 9, NYC

To become a partner of the
Women in Banking franchise which includes the Mentor Factor career development
workshops and honoree events in October, contact Melissa Buono at 212.803.6067

The Corporate Participation Package entitles your organization to a
block of seats to the Mentor Factor workshops; table seating at the 25 Most
Powerful Women in Banking awards gala in October; and two complimentary passes
for senior female executives to attend the National Leadership Workshop.

  Presented by:

US Banker

*SourceMedia cancellation policies
apply. All special offers are valid for NEW registrants only and

Amazon CounterSues Over eCommerce Patents

Amazon Countersues Discovery Over E-Commerce Patents

By David Kaplan - Tue 19 May 2009 03:01 PM PST
imageNow it’s Amazon’s turn: the online retailer is suing Discovery (NSDQ: DISAB) Communications (NSDQ: DISCA) over four patents related to e-commerce, TechFlash reported (via WSJ).Amazon’s suit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in WesternWashington on Friday, specifically concerns patents for search andrecommendation.

In March, Discovery initiated legal action against Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN)over e-commerce patents. In particular, that initial suit alleged thatAmazon’s sale of the Kindle and its electronic book delivery infringeson one of the patents owned by Discovery and its founder John S.Hendricks on a digital content and delivery system that was filed inthe 1990s, but wasn’t issued until Nov. 20, 2007. The Discovery suitwas filed in a U.S. District Court in Delware.

Amazon did not specify what damages or penalties it is seekingagainst the cable TV operator. In its suit, Discovery did not seek tohalt sales of the Kindle, and so is likely expecting to get a cut ofits sales, assuming Amazon is able to build on the enormous momentumgenerated around the e-reader so far.

Dubai with Contactless...Don't Buy with Confidence

Is this not one of the coolest buildings in the world?  Here's a story from Finextra about Dubai's contactless mpay trial, which gave me an excuse to post this picture.  I will go inside that building one day!  I did an earlier post on Sheetz' NFC pilot earlier and this looks like kind of the same deal.  Wave your phone and NFC will take care of the rest.  Could have sworn I've read several articles on the insecurity of NFC.  Maybe this is NFC 2.0 or something. 

Finextra: Dubai set for contactless m-payments trial
Middle Eastern consumer finance outfit Dubai First and local telco du are teaming to launch the UAE's first contactless mobile payments pilot ahead of a commercial roll out later in the year.

The six month trial will involve around 250 Dubai First Platinum MasterCard customers in the Jumeirah Beach Residence area.

Trial participants will be able to download their credit card functionality to specially equipped mobile phones over du's network before using the handsets to make contactless purchases at retailers with MasterCard PayPass enabled terminals.

Ibrahim Al Ansari, CEO, Dubai First, says: "The launch of the NFC payment programme is a landmark in our efforts to bring innovation to credit card customers in the UAE. The programme will help us evaluate how customers use this new technology. We believe that mobile payments will play a major role in the future of credit cards."

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FBI: U.S. Banks Have Lost "Hundreds of Millions" of Dollars to Cyberthieves

According to Reuters,  The FBI is reporting that cyberthieves  have stolen hundreds of millions of dollars from U.S. banks.   The bureau says one bank's security system was breached leading to a loss of $10 million in cash in one day and another lost $5 million which was enough to put it out of business.  Wow.  You would think that would be a story that would make the nightly news. 
You'd also think banks would be supremely interested in shoring up the holes in their security.  There's one that's easy to fix.  You know, that big gigantic hole called "username"/"password"?  The one which opens the door for "phishing, DNS Hijacking, Cloned Web Sites etc. 
Those types of attacks are on the rise and I guarantee you that you'll be reading or hearing about a "sophisticated and highly organized scheme" whereby a bank had their website's DNS hijacked and while unsuspecting online banking customers were busy "typing" in their "username" and "passwords" into a brilliantly cloned bank website, the fraudsters were busy going to the real website and taking control over banking accounts resulting in the loss of millions of dollars. 

Mark my words.  It's coming.  It's too easy to do, in fact,  it's already been done, just not on a grand scale yet.  When it happens I'll provide a hyperlink back to this post.  But it CAN be EASILY prevented! I'll Keep It Simple...If you "DON"T TYPE" the "Bad Guys" can't swipe.

Here's a scenario: The "Good Guys" do the Swiping.  Swipe your bank issued card, and enter your bank issued PIN into HomeATM's PCI 2.0 Certified PED and you've got yourself some 3DES End-to-End Encrypted, "Protected by DUKPT" 2FA secure log-in.  No phishing allowed!  Cloned Websites are useless AND you're enabled to do some secure online shopping, secure money transfers and more.  It's so simple its stupid simple. 

You know what I love?  It's when I hear an objection that goes something like this: "Oh...then we've got to get a device into all our online banking customers hands!"  Here's my standard response: "Well you did it with toasters throughout the 50's, 60's and early 70's before you moved on to other stuff and none of those promotional items did a thing to secure your banking.  Can you imagine back in the early 80's if banks had said, "Switch to electronic POS devices?"  Are you nuts?  Oh...then we'd have to get a device into the hands of every retailer.

I just don't get it.  It is what it is and what it is (the web browser space) insecure.  Hardware isn't an's a necessity.

HomeATM (on a perfect 1.0 correlation) has replicated a brick and mortar transactions for the internet.  In the brick and mortar world, the retailers have the POS device because that's where consumers go to shop.  But where do consumers shop online?  Right, their computer.  So our PCI 2.0 Certified PIN Entry Device plugs into their laptop/PC and they've got their own personal POS device at home.  Same difference right?  Card Present, TRUE PIN Debit and Secure Two Factor Authenticated Log-In for online banking.  It doesn't get any simpler and it doesn't get any more secure than that.

Here's the Reuters story:
WASHINGTON, USA: U.S. banks have lost hundreds of millions of dollars to cyberthieves who have electronically broken into ATMs and forged electronic transfers, a top FBI agent said on Tuesday.

"Particularly in the last couple of years, the threats have spiked," said Shawn Henry, the agency's assistant director of its cyber division. "Attacks on our financial sector are significant, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars."

The bureau knew of one bank whose security system was breached and which lost $10 million in cash in a day, while another lost $5 million, enough to put it out of business.

"The bank was in business on Friday (and) was out of business on Monday," he said. Henry did not identify either bank.

President Barack Obama's proposed fiscal 2010 budget, announced in late February, included $355 million for the Department of Homeland Security to make private- and public-sector cyber infrastructure more resilient and secure.  The administration also said it would put "substantial" funding for cybersecurity efforts into the national intelligence program, but gave no details.

Obama had asked for a cybersecurity audit that was due in mid-April.

"The intent is to release that report," Henry said. "I think it's imminent, in the next couple of weeks."

When it comes out, the PIN Payments Blog will bring it to you here.  In the meantime, there's a Cyber War going on and the best defense is: Don't Type...Swipe.

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Sheetz NFC Testing Done

ViVOtech and Wright Express Done with Pilot

ALTOONA, Pa. -- Sheetz Inc., Wright Express Corp. and ViVOtech have completed a multi-city NFC mobile payment pilot. During the trial, drivers used their Sheetz Fleet Business Advantage card loaded into their specially enabled near-field communication (NFC) mobile phones to make fuel and convenience store purchases at hundreds of Sheetz locations by just waving their NFC mobile phones at contactless-enabled readers. Wright Express was able to authorize and process the mobile transactions as easily as those done by drivers using plastic cards.

"The mobile payment pilot was a huge success, meeting and exceeding our initial objectives," said Russ Lamer, Wright Express manager of emerging technologies. "It helped us gain insight into the benefits of using a mobile phone as a payment device, document fleet driver usability at the pump and inside the store and also better understand the mobile payments operating systems."

Continue Reading at CSP

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Multi-Million ATM Fraud Scheme in Australia

Online Gambling in California by January after Emergency Budget Fails? You Betcha!

Californian online poker edges closer as budget fix fails - eGaming Review
California has rejected emergency budget measures designed to fix the state's budget crisis, providing a major fillip to a framework bill proposing to legalize intrastate online poker as early as next year.

In a special budget referendum yesterday, state voters rejected five of six budget measures centred on tax raises, social spending cuts and borrowing from the state lottery that were designed to plug a major hole in the US state’s finances.

The failure to pass the measures could see California, the world's sixth largest economy, go more than $25 Billion into debt by the end of this financial year, providing a boost to a framework bill proposing licenses for legal, taxed intrastate online poker to help prop up state coffers.

Jim Tabilio, president of grassroots gaming advocacy group Poker Voters of America (PVA), which sponsored a framework bill in 2008 which passed the state's lower house, told eGaming Review: “The framework bill has a majority in support of the concept in both the Assembly and the Senate, and has a group of legislators including people in the leadership in both houses ready to take it forward.”

The bill was introduced by California Assemblyman Lloyd Levine last year, but dropped down the legislative agenda when the economic downturn diverted attention elsewhere and Levine left office at the end of his maximum of two terms.  However Jim Tabilio said that he had been instructed by members of the California legislature to continue working on this bill so it meets its goals of consumer protection and raising state revenue.  Tabilio said the proposal to only allow the roughly 60 native Indian tribes with gaming compacts and 91 licensed land-based card clubs in the state to apply for licenses remains in the framework bill.

He said he was confident provisions could be quickly drafted working alongside these stakeholders to lend potential licensees the ability to compete in the online poker space, given the urgency of the budget problem.

Tabilio added: “It’s a case of writing the bill so it maximizes revenue to the state and participating tribes and clubs. Once that is successful, it becomes a simple matter of having the vote because if everyone is in favor of it, it will pass. This means we’re probably going to be able to get the bill through in mid-summer.

Given the mounting financial pressure it finds itself under, Tabilio thinks the state goverment would then opt to file for temporary regulatory structures to push the initiatives through, so license holders could be offering online poker to California residents from as early as January 2010.

Speaking to yesterday, California-based independent gaming lawyer Martin Owens said: “The state of California now can’t afford to ignore anything that might turn into a reasonable source of revenue, and here you have a multibillion dollar industry that is volunteering to be taxed.”

, , , ,

RBS WorldPay Back on PCI DSS Validated List for V/MC

RBS WorldPay Returns to Visa's and MasterCard's List of PCI DSS Validated Services Providers
ATLANTA, May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Following the successful completion of its Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) assessment, RBS WorldPay has returned to both Visa's and MasterCard's list of PCI DSS Validated Service Providers. RBS WorldPay has successfully validated its compliance with PCI DSS, conducted by Verizon Business/Cybertrust, one of a select group of companies approved by the PCI Security Standards Council as a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA). RBS WorldPay is now certified on PCI DSS version 1.2. The Visa list can be found at

About RBS WorldPay US

RBS WorldPay is a leading, single-source provider of electronic payment processing services - including credit, debit, EBT, checks, gift cards, e-commerce, customer loyalty cards, fleet cards, ATM processing and cash management services.

RBS WorldPay is the US-based payment processing division of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc. For more information, please visit

About The Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS)

The RBS Group is a financial services company providing a range of retail and corporate banking, financial markets, consumer finance, insurance, and wealth management services. The RBS Group operates in the Americas, Asia and the Middle East serving more than 40 million customers.

For More Information Contact:
Dawn M. Thompson
RBS WorldPay US
Phone: 678.587.1652
Fax: 678.587.2652


Smart Card Alliance White Paper Says Collaboration Key for Secure Proximity Mobile Payments

Contact: Deb Montner, Montner & Associates Tech PR Agency, 203-226-9290,

PRINCETON JUNCTION, N.J., May 20, 2009 –
(PIN Payments News Blog) The ability to pay for transit, groceries, and other products by simply waving a cell phone near a point-of-sale (POS) device represents an exciting new era of payment in the United States and Canada.  But how will security be managed in an ecosystem where financial institutions, mobile network operators (MNOs), and others need to come together to manage their own unique aspect of the payment process? 

The Smart Card Alliance answers this question in a new white paper, “Security of Proximity Mobile Payments,” available for download at

The white paper focuses on a "collaboration model," where financial institutions, MNOs, trusted third parties and other stakeholders in the mobile payments ecosystem cooperate in the management and deployment of mobile applications.  The white paper introduces the players, their roles, and their responsibilities in assuring the security of sensitive data.  It explains how the payment application, consumer credentials, and consumer account information (such as a credit card number) are securely delivered to, loaded on, and stored in a mobile device.  It also identifies risks present during the lifecycle of the payment information stored on the mobile device and suggests appropriate countermeasures.

“There is no question that consumers love mobile technology and view it as a necessity in their daily lives, so it makes sense for the next step to be paying with cell phones,” said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance.  “This white paper explains how industry stakeholders can take advantage of this love of mobile technology and introduce secure proximity mobile payments by collaborating and leveraging proven technology and a merchant infrastructure that is already in place.”

Proximity mobile payments
are defined as payments to a merchant that are initiated from a mobile phone that uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology and is held close to the merchant's POS equipment.  NFC will soon be available as standard functionality in many mobile phones, allowing consumers to perform secure contactless transactions, access digital content, and connect electronic devices simply.  NFC-enabled mobile phones use the existing ISO/IEC 14443 standard – the same standard used for contactless financial payments -- for communicating payment information from the phone to the merchant’s POS terminal.  From the consumer's perspective, the proximity mobile payment looks just like a contactless credit or debit card transaction.  Payments are processed over the current secure financial networks, with all of the layers of robust security used with traditional financial payment transactions. 

Participants involved in the development of this report included: Booz Allen Hamilton,  Collis America, Cubic, Discover Financial Services, Giesecke & Devrient (G&D), IBM Global Business Services, IfD Consulting, Infineon Technologies, Keypoint Consulting,
MasterCard Worldwide, VeriFone, Visa, and ViVOtech.   

About the Smart Card Alliance Contactless and Mobile Payments Council

The Contactless and Mobile Payments Council is one of several Smart Card Alliance technology and industry councils. The Council was formed to focus on facilitating the adoption of contactless and mobile payments in the U.S. through education programs for consumers, merchants and issuers. The group is bringing together financial payments industry leaders, merchants and suppliers. The Council’s primary goal is to inform and educate the market about the value of contactless and mobile payment and work to address misconceptions about the capabilities and security of contactless technology. Council participation is open to any Smart Card Alliance member who wishes to contribute to the Council projects.

About the Smart Card Alliance

The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and widespread application of smart card technology.

Through specific projects such as education programs, market research, advocacy, industry relations and open forums, the Alliance keeps its members connected to industry leaders and innovative thought. The Alliance is the single industry voice for smart cards, leading industry discussion on the impact and value of smart cards in the U.S. and Latin America. For more information please visit


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RBS Says Goodbye to Online Gambling Operators

Elijah O'Connor writes that RBS Closes it's Doors to Online Gambling Operators in a post.  The timing is interesting.  I didn't know they were involved and now that Barney Frank has promoted a bill to legalize online gambling in the U.S.  they're pulling.

Royal Bank Of Scotland Says Goodbye To Online Gambling Operators
At a time when online gambling is reaching the height of its popularity, and when more countries than ever are legalizing Internet gambling, one bank is walking away from the action. One of the biggest banks in the world, Royal Bank of Scotland, is closing their doors to the online gaming industry.

The gaming operators have been given the choice to stay with RBS, but the gambling transactions will no longer be processed. That leaves the companies with the decision to use two separate banks or to switch banks altogether.

The Swiss government has been pushing banks to stop processing gambling transactions from Swiss residents. RBS has recently announced the merger of their business with ABN AMRO, a banking group in the Netherlands.

"What is seems like from the outside is that this was a decision that was made to both please the Swiss government, and to satisfy the demands of the merger," said observer Keith Frans.

The Dutch government has been proactive in attempting to stop Internet gambling transactions. Their banks have been asked to comply with their wishes, and being that ABN AMRO is a Dutch bank, that could be the reason for RBS's decision.

"At the end of the day, what the Swiss and Dutch governments are doing is trying to protect their gambling monopolies. I'm not sure these type of actions are going to work under European Union agreements," said Frans.

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