Saturday, August 22, 2009

International ACH Payout Option Offered by Webmasterchecks

Webmasterchecks Releases New International ACH Payout Option

payout processor Webmasterchecks announces they are now able to provide
International ACH Services for companies interested in making direct
payments to Canada, Mexico, and European countries such as Austria,
Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Surprise, AZ (PIN Payments Blog) August 22, 2009 -- Arizona-based check payout processor Webmasterchecks has announced they are now able to provide International ACH Services  (PDF) for companies interested in making direct payments to Europe, Canada, and Mexico. These new payment options allow international affiliates of Webmasterchecks clients to receive their funds directly to their bank accounts in a shorter time span than previous methods, as well as ACH being generally recognized as among the most commonly used payment transfer methods in those regions.

"We have made transactional arrangements with U.S. Bank" said Rich Lloyd, of Webmasterchecks" to expand our international ach payment methods that we offer to include an ACH solution for Canada and Mexico, as well as Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, which is a very big step forward for our company and our clients because citizens in many areas of those regions are very familiar and comfortable with ACH, much more so than other payment types such as foreign checks, for instance."

U.S. Bank is the 6th largest commercial bank in the United States, backed by its parent company U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), a publicly traded financial institution with $266 billion in assets. The bank operates 2,850 banking offices and 5,173 ATMs along with its concentration in paperless payment processing.

Automated Clearing House (ACH) transactions are quickly becoming popular in Europe, as the individual European governments are quickly expanding infrastructure to accommodate Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), an initiative for the European financial infrastructure which involves the creation of a zone for the euro in which all electronic payments are considered domestic, and where a difference between national and intra-European cross border payments does not exist.

"Business owners are seeing International ACH as a increasingly useful payment tool because the transactions are booked directly with the bank and can be settled in a variety of currency choices" said Rich Lloyd. "That makes the accounting side of the equation much easier with the transactions instantly reported and the electronic data-trail far easier to work with than a traditional paper-trail from thousands of physical checks."


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Hacker Costs Keep Growing

Millions in expenses for Mass. companies follow data breaches

The massive credit card data thefts linked to Miami hacker Albert Gonzalez have cost New England companies several hundred million dollars.

Gonzalez and several unnamed accomplices were accused this week by the Department of Justice of conspiring to steal 130 million credit cards - the largest data breach reported - after penetrating the computer networks of major retailers and a credit card processing company, Heartland Payment Systems.

Gonzalez was previously charged with orchestrating the heist of more than 40 million credit cards from nine retailers, including discounter BJ’s Wholesale Club of Natick and Framingham-based TJX Cos., which operates TJMaxx and Marshalls stores.

Those companies in turn say they have been forced to spend millions of dollars to contend with the damage.

TJX said it has spent $132 million on expenses related to the breaches, including the cost to investigate and contain the intrusion and to handle lawsuits and other legal claims. It has set aside another $39.5 million to handle further claims. Spokeswoman Sherry Lang said TJX has also spent millions of dollars beefing up its computer security.

The retailer has faced a raft of litigation initiated by banks, individuals, and government agencies accusing TJX of lax security that allowed hackers to penetrate its network and obtain millions of card numbers. In June, for instance, TJX struck a $10 million deal to settle a lawsuit brought by 41 states alleging the company did not do enough to protect customers. And it spent $65 million to settle suits by banks that issued Visa and Mastercard credit cards.

Meanwhile, BJ’s set aside $13 million between 2004 and 2007 to handle claims for fraudulent credit and debit card charges and the cost of replacing cards, offering credit monitoring, and related expenses. But it also cautioned that it faced a number of outstanding legal claims. BJ’s officials did not respond to requests for comment.

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