Friday, September 25, 2009

The Password is...Two Factor Authentication



Editor's Note: Sounds like the author of this article is my kind of guy...



1. Take everything he says about "company passwords" and apply it to "online banking



2. Then combine what he says with the ongoing and growing threats caused by Trojans which eat up online banking credential like PacMan swallows dots...



3. Now take into account (pun intended) that 49% of all online banking customers would switch banks if they or someone they know was a victim of a breach.



4. Add to the equation the fact that there is a a lawsuit claiming that Citizen Bank's "username" "password" authentication was too weak to protect a customers account integrity...which a judge ordered to go to trial.



5. Finally, examine how much banks are spending on not only losses incurred by fraud, but all the useless promotions banks run, such as $100, $150 and $200 cash giveaways, DVD's, LCD TV's, Smokey Joe Grills...iPod's, GPS Systems, etc. None of those promos protect either the bank or the online banking consumer.



It doesn't take a wild (or vivid) imagination to envision how logical it is to stop giving away $150 to get a new customer and start protecting the ones you have. Give away a HomeATM so they can Swipe Their Card/Enter Their PIN (the same way they pull cash from an ATM)



Banks would retain their current customers (vs. risking 49% of them) and the bank would attract the 49% who leave banks because they DON'T HAVE Two-Factor Authentication.



Like I've been saying...it's a no brainer! 








"Two-factor authentication is bound to supersede traditional physical layer security, providing numerous reseller opportunities"



Written by John Turner  - CRN, Sep 2009



Company passwords are only secure if strict policies control how they are used and formulated. Because a password change is required every 60-90 days, users often resort to writing down passwords. But they can be guessed and stolen easily, which leaves businesses open to threat.



HID Technology estimates that password resets cost businesses $200 (£121) per user per year in lost time and productivity.




Investment in two-factor authentication (2FA) may provide a solution, along with healthy reseller margins.

Combining a PIN with a second factor (a card) increases security as well as user convenience. Instead of having to remember a 10-character password, users can use a card and PIN ­ just as if they were at a cash machine.





This provides an extra layer of protection; the other provides a backup.  And setting up two different authentication systems that work in tandem means resellers that can provide installation support will be one step ahead.  There are numerous opportunities available around 2FA to increase margin and expand offerings.



As system administrators are beginning to wake up to the dangers of relying solely on usernames and passwords, 2FA is proving to be a viable solution to improve security, lower costs, mitigate risk and strengthen compliance for end-user organizations.




With solutions available that are not only secure, but also affordable and simple to install and maintain, the reseller opportunities are similarly beginning to measure up.




John Turner is head of IP physical security at Computerlinks





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Ingenico Acquires easycash for Cold Hard Ones

Private equity firm Warburg Pincus has tripled the capital invested in a Munich-based payment services company called easycash following its sale to Ingenico as the buyout firm ramps up its activity in Germany.



A major step in Ingenico’s strategic development



Neuilly sur Seine – September 25 2009



Ingenico (Euronext Paris : ING) announces today the acquisition of 100% of easycash Beteiligungen GmbH, a leading German payment services provider for an enterprise value of €290 million.



This transaction is a major step in Ingenico’s plan to position itself in the transaction services value chain in order to offer solutions around POS terminals and to leverage on the growth of payment transactions in the coming years. Finally, easycash acquisition will increase the contribution of recurring revenue on a per transaction payment type.



Over the past three years, easycash has, under the ownership of Warburg Pincus, built a strong position in payment services in Germany, one of the most promising markets in Europe in terms of growth potential. easycash covers the whole payment value chain in POS terminal services, transaction processing and loyalty solutions.



In 2008, easycash generated revenue of €85.7 million. Revenue coming from transaction processing represented 56% of total revenue, while revenue generated by POS terminal services and loyalty solutions represented 29% and 15% of total revenue, respectively. Thanks to its positioning on the payment value chain, easycash generated adjusted EBITDA1 margin in excess of 20% in 2008. In 2009, thanks to internal and external growth in Germany, easycash is expected to generate by year end pro forma revenue close to €100 million along with EBITDA margin expansion.



This transaction is expected to be accretive from 2010 in terms of earning per share (before purchase price allocation). Synergies have been identified and should mainly result from net increase in revenue, both in terms of POS terminals and payment transactions solutions.



Within the context of financing the acquisition, Ingenico negotiated a club deal bank facility of €270 million, including a €210 million term loan to fund the transaction and €60 million for working capital needs. This bank facility will replace the current syndicated loan at closing.



The implementation of final agreement is subject to the approval of German anti trust authority, Bundeskartellamt, and consultation of Ingenico SA workers’ council.



Philippe Lazare, Chief Executive Officer of Ingenico, commented: « The acquisition of easycash is a major step in the strategic development of our Group. This will enable us to accelerate our presence in the payment solutions and to grow our activities in Germany, one of the most promising payment markets in Europe. Finally, this acquisition will enhance value for our shareholders from the first year. »



Siegfried Heimg√§rtner, Chief Executive Officer of easycash added: « In partnership with Warburg Pincus, we have been able to rapidly grow easycash, taking it from strength to strength and we are extremely grateful for their support. For easycash, joining Ingenico represents a unique opportunity to strengthen our position in Germany, and to leverage on Ingenico’s reputation and international presence to meet our customer needs globally and to expand abroad”.



Jeremy Young, Managing Director of Warburg Pincus in Europe said: “Our extensive experience in the financial technology sector and history of growing companies over the long term has enabled easycash to undertake a period of significant growth both organically and through acquisitions and to consolidate its position as the market leader in the German payment sector. The firm's experience with easycash exemplifies our growth-oriented investment strategy and is consistent with our approach across our portfolio in Germany. We are very proud that under our ownership, easycash management has been able to foster its position in the German payment solution market. We would like to thank the easycash management team for their partnership and we are confident of the company’s continued success”.















easycash

Stage: Growth

Date of Investment: 2006


Web Site : http://www.easycash.de



easycash is the leading German point of sale (POS) Network Service Provider. easycash offers customised card-based payment solutions and credit card routing to a broad range of merchant customers. With more than 700 million transactions in 2005 and with a total transaction volume of €43 billion through 165,000 active connected POS terminals easycash is the market leader in card-based transaction processing in Germany. Warburg Pincus' in-depth expertise in the financial and business services sector was key to position Warburg Pincus as the company’s preferred partner. easycash will continue to build on its leading position in the German market and extend its service portfolio in new business areas and geographies. Warburg Pincus acquired easycash in November 2006.





 

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Looks Like Chris Dodd is in the Retailers Corner for Interchange Fight...

U.S. Sen. Dodd Pushes for Interchange Fee Reform 



Connecticut senator says he will propose legislation to “substantially modify” the credit card interchange fees that retailers pay.


HARTFORD, Conn. –September 25th - NACS Online:



The National Association of Convenience Stores is reporting that  U.S. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) is working on legislation to “protect Americans from excessive checking account overdraft fees,” and the senator told the Hartford Courant that the bill would also “substantially modify" the interchange fees that merchants pay. "Every state you go to, you hear it from retailers," Dodd told the newspaper. "The fees are excessive." Dodd told the paper as the Connecticut Senator put his hat into the ring. 



Continue Reading





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Fiserve 2 Serve Six More Banks



BROOKFIELD, Wis.--PIN Payments News Blog)--Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV - News), the leading global provider of financial services technology solutions, announced today that six more financial institutions have chosen Fiserv as their technology partner, selecting one of the company’s bank platforms, delivered through Fiserv’s national data center network. Demand for Fiserv solutions, and outsourced processing services in particular, remains high, confirming what the company and industry analysts see as a current market trend. The banks also selected a wide range of value-added Fiserv solutions, including Internet banking, electronic bill pay, mobile banking, remote capture, electronic funds transfer, item processing, and risk and compliance products.



“One of the strengths of Fiserv is that we offer financial institutions a wide range of delivery choices — from outsourcing to in-house processing, along with viable options that fall somewhere in between,” said Mike Young, president of Bank and Credit Union Solutions at Fiserv. “In an economy that remains a challenge, many banks see outsourced processing as a great way to efficiently deliver more customer value, as they preserve capital.”



According to Robert Hunt, senior research director at TowerGroup, “The trend to outsourcing continues, as community banks and thrifts face the increasing complexity of risk and compliance requirements. The senior management at these financial institutions tends to prefer that their internal resources stay focused on business issues, as they recognize that information technology processing can be entrusted to outsourcing companies with proven expertise.”



“Financial institutions are certainly not all alike, and they select the processing option that best fits their particular business model,” explained Young. “The fact is we continue to see clients move from outsourcing to in-house processing, but these days in particular, more seem to be moving the other direction. Deploying innovative products managed by a dedicated, performance-oriented service partner can be an appealing option, in part because outsourced processing enables banks of all sizes to concentrate more fully on delivering popular services and an outstanding customer experience.”



“We want to focus on banking,” said Robin Moadus, senior vice president and chief operating officer at 1st National Community Bank of East Liverpool, Ohio. “By outsourcing our data processing, 1st Bank can concentrate its efforts on satisfying customers’ needs, including new or more sophisticated products and services, and transfer to Fiserv much of the work that goes with the compliance, security and disaster recovery preparation associated with data systems.” She went on to explain that outsourcing relieves management from much of the oversight that goes with an in-house system, and helps banks keep up with rapid changes in technology without making major up-front expenditures.



According to Gary Amereihn, president of Kopernik Bank of Baltimore, Md., advanced technology was the determining factor in their selection. “In Fiserv, we saw the opportunity to significantly upgrade our capabilities. As a community bank, we take pride in offering friendly and personal service to our customers, but we know we also need the technology to deliver our services effectively. Outsourcing our core account processing to Fiserv meets our technology needs while allowing us to focus on what we do best — serve our customers.”



For 25 years, Fiserv has been a trusted partner to thousands of financial institutions of all types and sizes. The company has built a reputation of having core competencies in account and item processing, payment solutions, customer and channel management, business intelligence and optimization, and risk and compliance.



Fiserv’s newest outsourcing clients include:

  • CenTrust Bank of Northbrook, Ill., with $138 million in assets, has selected the Premier® bank platform from Fiserv, as well as Fiserv’s item processing and source capture services.

  • The Farmers National Bank of Canfield, Canfield, Ohio, with assets of $926 million, has chosen the Premier bank platform from Fiserv, as well as image archive, content management, electronic funds transfer, online banking, and more.

  • First National Bank of South Carolina, based in Holly Hill, S.C., with assets of $162 million, has selected the PrecisionTM bank platform from Fiserv, as well as content management, online banking and electronic bill pay solutions, among others.

  • 1st National Community Bank of East Liverpool, Ohio, with $115 million in assets, has chosen the Precision bank platform from Fiserv, as well as Internet banking, content management and item processing services, among others.

  • Kopernik Federal Bank of Baltimore, Md., with $33 million in assets, has selected the Cleartouch® bank platform.

  • TriCentury Bank of Simpson, Kan., with assets of $3.3 million, has chosen the Premier bank platform, along with Internet and mobile banking, source capture, ATM driving, debit card processing, card production services, item processing, and electronic bill pay.

“It makes perfect sense that so many banks are choosing Fiserv, because no one in our space invests more in technology, has greater financial stability, or offers a wider array of solutions,” said Young. “We’re very proud to be able to begin serving these banks. Each is a leader in the community, and each has become successful by making smart choices. That’s the real significance of partnerships like these — they highlight the ‘win-win’ nature of Fiserv’s relationship with so many of America’s financial institutions.”



About Fiserv



Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV - News) is the leading global provider of information management and electronic commerce systems for the financial services industry, driving innovation that transforms experiences for financial institutions and their customers. Ranked No. 1 on the FinTech 100 survey of top technology partners to the financial services industry, Fiserv celebrates its 25th year in 2009. For more information, visit www.fiserv.com.



(FISV-G)

At-Home Payments for Paris Commuters



The trend to enable consumers to use payment card readers from home continues...



On Wednesday, Todos announced
that Raiffeisen Bank Romania has contracted with Swedish security vendor Todos for the supply of 190,000 portable smart card readers which will be rolled out to its Internet banking customers.The RZB subsidiary will provide online customers with Todos A200 smartcard readers that have been customized with Romanian manuals, menus and the bank's logo.  The devices generate one time passwords that can be used for accessing online banking accounts as well as for verifying payments.  Iulian Dascalescu, director, procurement, Raiffeisen Romania, says: "This brings a new level of security to Romanian eBanking."



Now...comes an announcement that Commuters in France are testing a system that enables them to refill their transit cards at home using payment card readers that they attach to their computers.



Xiring, the French payments technology company, said the test involves 1,000 people who ride the Transilien SNCF trains in the Paris region and is expected to last into the fall. When it concludes, Xiring expects the train operator to begin offering the system generally. Riders can reload weekly or monthly passes with the Teo smart card readers, which SNCF is providing for free.



SNCF hopes the system will reduce lines at ticket desks and vending machines. Other companies are also testing similar systems. The Dutch contactless technology vendor Gemalto NV said last week that it is supplying readers for transit card top-ups for commuters who ride Paris buses and subways operated by Regie Autonome des Transports Parisiens.



Unlike the SNCF pilot, RATP consumers must buy their readers; Gemalto did not provide the price. Xiring is involved in similar tests with Transport Express Regional SNCF, an express rail service in France, and Compagnie des Transport Strasbourgeois, a public transit company in Strasbourg, France.

7-Eleven Press Conference to Coincide with Petition Delivery to Congress





Washington, D.C., Sept. 25, 2009 -PIN Payments News Blog- In an unprecedented call for urgent Congressional action, 7-Eleven CEO Joe DePinto and 7-Eleven® store franchisees from around the country will present more than 1.66 million customer signatures to Congress collected during its “Stop Unfair Credit Card Fees” petition drive.



DePinto and the 7-Eleven store operators will hold a press conference on WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 30, at 1:30 pm, surrounded by 130 boxes, containing 14,000 petition pads to be delivered to Members of Congress. The press conference will be held at the Taft Memorial on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol.



7-Eleven customers made their voices heard, standing side-by-side with their neighborhood stores and store operators and calling for Congress to pass legislation that stops credit card companies from charging unfair, non-negotiated transaction fees. The 1.66 million signatures are the largest number of signatures collected for a public policy issue on record, beating a healthcare reform petition submitted to Congress earlier this year with 1.3 million signatures.



The 7-Eleven franchisees in attendance include the eight of the most successful signature-gatherers among 7-Eleven’s 6,300 participating stores. Following the press conference, the franchisees will personally deliver petitions to their Members of Congress.



  • WHO: Joe DePinto, CEO of 7-Eleven, Inc. Members of Congress (TBD), 7-Eleven Franchisees from around the U.S.,Hank Armour, President of the National Association of Convenience Stores

  • WHAT: Press Conference and Presentation of 130 Boxes of Petitions

  • WHEN: Wednesday, Sep. 30, 2009

  • WHERE: Taft Memorial on the U.S. Capitol Grounds, Washington, D.C.



Source: Company press release.

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Me-to-Me Money Transfer Launched by Fifth Third Bank





New York, N.Y., Sept. 24, 2009 -- CashEdge, Inc. (www.cashedge.com ), the leader in Intelligent Money Movement™ products for financial institutions, announced today that Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank (www.53.com ) has launched TransferNow™ Me-to-Me Transfers, CashEdge's industry-leading online money movement solution.



TransferNow Me-to-Me Transfers is an online funds transfer solution that enables consumers to securely transfer funds between accounts they own that are held at more than 23,000 banks, credit unions and brokerages via the ACH network. With TransferNow Me-to-Me Transfers, Fifth Third Bank customers can enjoy the control and convenience of securely transferring funds between their accounts using Fifth Third Bank online banking.



"We are very pleased to offer our customers the ability to easily and securely move their money between other financial institutions and their Fifth Third Bank deposit accounts," said Anthony Sperelakis, Vice President of Alternative Delivery for Fifth Third Bank. "CashEdge's TransferNow solution allows us to offer our customers the latest in online money movement functionality."



"Fifth Third continues to enhance its online financial platform for customers who have demonstrated a need for quick, easy and secure money movement solutions," said Neil Platt, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Banking, of CashEdge, Inc. "With the TransferNow Product Suite, financial institutions can continue to increase their share of the 18 billion consumer-to-consumer transactions that take place each year with a solution that is also easy for customers to adopt and navigate - a win/win for banks and consumers."



In 2008, CashEdge executed nearly $50 Billion in online transfers for bank customers via its TransferNow platform. For more information, visit http://www.cashedge.com/products-money-movement-transfernow.php .



About Fifth Third:



Fifth Third Bancorp (www.53.com ) is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Company has $116 billion in assets, operates 16 affiliates with 1,306 full-service Banking Centers, including 100 Bank Mart locations open seven days a week inside select grocery stores and 2,364 ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Georgia and North Carolina. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Investment Advisors. Fifth Third also has a 49% interest in Fifth Third Processing Solutions, LLC. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of June 30, 2009, has $180 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $24 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at https://www.53.com . Fifth Third's common stock is traded on the NASDAQ National Global Select Market under the symbol "FITB."



About CashEdge:



CashEdge is the leader in Intelligent Money Movement™ services providing innovative payment solutions to financial institutions for their retail and small business banking customers. CashEdge's services include mobile and online person-to-person (P2P) payments and small business payments. CashEdge currently serves hundreds of leading financial institutions, including seven of the ten largest banks in the country.



CashEdge's industry leading products include POPmoney™ for person-to-person payments; OpenNow®/FundNow® for new account opening and funding; TransferNow® for Consumers, which includes Me-to-Me Transfers and Third Party Transfers; and TransferNow® for Small Businesses, which includes Invoicing, Me-to-Me Transfers, Employee Payments and Vendor Payments. All CashEdge products are supported by industry-leading risk management capabilities that leverage proprietary technology to help financial institutions mitigate risk and decrease fraud exposure.



The Company is headquartered in New York with offices in Silicon Valley and India. For more information, visit www.cashedge.com .



Source: Company press release.
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ATM Fraud and Security Digest - August 2009









ATM Fraud and Security Digest - August 2009





Written by Douglas Russell, DFR Risk Management   

Thursday, 24 September 2009 13:47

Transaction Reversal Fraud / Manipulation / Denomination Fraud

A person suspected of being involved with transaction reversal fraud (TRF) perpetrated in Trinidad & Tobago was shot dead on her way to court in August. The Venezuelan national who had previously pleaded not guilty was on her way to the same court that sentenced another Venezuelan national to three years hard labour for ATM fraud known as ATM transaction reversal fraud.



Transaction reversal fraud was also detected in the UK in August.



Vishing / Phishing / Smsishing / Advanced Fee / Funds Transfer Fraud



Seven arrests were made in Saudi Arabia during August for ATM funds transfer fraud. The modus operandi involved the perpetrators pretending to be calling from the customer service department. The victims were instructed to go to an ATM in order to update their accounts but were tricked into transferring funds.



Consumers in Thailand continued to be targeted with vishing and ATM funds transfer fraud in August. The perpetrators instructed their victims to pay ‘outstanding fines and charges' via ATM funds transfers.



Card Trapping / Card Theft / Distraction


Lebanese Loop card traps combined with fake consumer advice notices were prevalent in the USA during August. In particular, CA and WA detected incidents. The fake consumer advice notices instructed consumers to enter their PIN three times should any technical fault occur at the ATM. With three chances, shoulder surfing of the PIN is more likely to succeed.



Other incidents of card trapping were reported globally including various incidents in the UK and in The Caribbean during August.



Distraction fraud
continued in August. In Malaysia the technique involved the perpetrator dropping some money on the ground to distract the victim.



ATM Skimming / Skimming


Incidents of ATM skimming were reported on a daily basis during August. In Jordan, 15 arrests were made. Various arrests were also made in Canada and elsewhere. In one Canadian incident, police investigating a break-in to a hired car uncovered evidence of card skimming.



In the USA many ATM skimming incidents were detected including in the following locations:  SC, NY, VA, TX, WA, IL, TN and FL. A perpetrator in WA was sentenced to four years prison and ordered to pay back $250k to the bank which had been defrauded.



The ATM Industry Association (ATMIA) published "Best Practices for Preventing ATM Skimming - International minimum security guidelines and best practices" in August which includes, in addition to other useful information, an international classification system for ATM skimming and PIN compromise. The classification system was created by DFR Risk Management.



Explosive Attacks


Australia continued to experience explosive attacks including explosive gas attacks as well as non-gas explosive attacks during August. A significant number of arrests were made. Although, many incidents failed to obtain cash from the ATMs targeted, the collateral damage was often considerable.



Safe Cutting / Safe Breaking / Frontal Attacks / Theft from ATM


A variety of cutting and other tools were used to attempt entry to ATM security enclosures in August. In PA (USA) the use of power saws and crowbars failed. Drilling attacks were noted in Canada and cutting attacks were reported in the UK during August.



In WA (USA) hydraulic tools were used to successfully open an ATM safe (security enclosure) in less than one minute.

A security guard in India was arrested following theft from an ATM using genuine keys to open the security enclosure.



Ram Raid Attacks / Theft of ATM / Smash-and-Grab


Ram raid attacks were the most prevalent type of physical ATM attacks in August.  Not every attack was successful and many failed due to the chain or strap being used breaking (UK, NM -USA).



In TX (USA) arrests were made following a series of smash-and-grab incidents. Bulldozers and trucks were used in FL and TX (USA). In TN (USA) although the ATM was successfully removed using a vehicle and chain, the perpetrator was unable to gain access to the cash.



A backhoe was used in Canada to gain entry to the building but failed to actually open the ATM security enclosure.

In the UK a flatbed lorry and a 4x4 vehicle failed to dislodge an ATM. A UTE was used in Australia to successfully remove an ATM.



In Ireland, a digger was used to gain access to a building but unfortunately (for the perpetrators) there was no ATM to steal.

Prepaid Cards Replace Checks as Rebate Payment of Choice

By Erica Sandberg at CreditCards.com



The next time you're due a rebate or refund, don't expect to receive a paper check. An increasing number of stores and manufacturers are opting to issue prepaid debit cards instead, and some consumers aren't happy about it. Prepaid cards replace checks as rebate payment of choice



Unlike checks, these cards cannot typically be exchanged for cash or deposited directly into the consumer's bank -- they have to be spent somewhere, which merchants love. That fondness led to about $4.24 billion being loaded on to rebate cards in 2008 -- a 53 percent increase over the previous year -- reports Mercator, an advisory firm that provides market research for the prepaid card industry. Experts say there's no slowdown in sight for this trend, whether consumers like it or not...



Continue Reading at CreditCards.com

First Data Announces Senior Management Additions and Two New Board Members





Kevin J. Schultz is named President of Financial Services, and John Elkins is named Chief Marketing Officer; Henry R. Kravis and Joe W. Forehand are New Board Members



ATLANTA  - First Data, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing services, announced today the appointments of Kevin J. Schultz, 51, as president of its Financial Services business segment and John Elkins, 57, as chief marketing officer, effective immediately. In addition, Henry R. Kravis and Joe W. Forehand were appointed as new members to First Data's board of directors.

"Kevin and John bring their passion for the payments industry to First Data, and we couldn't have asked for two better additions to our board than Henry Kravis and Joe Forehand," said Michael Capellas, chairman and CEO. "These additions not only showcase our ability to recruit top talent, but create a powerful team of leaders who will have a tremendous impact on the future of First Data."

Kevin J. Schultz - President, Financial Services

Schultz will lead the Financial Services segment with responsibility for Card Issuing, Debit Services, the STAR Network, Output Services, Government and  Education Markets, and analytic and decision services products. Schultz served as global head of Visa Processing Services for Visa Inc. prior to joining First Data. He is a 27-year veteran of the payments industry and has held several leadership positions with Visa, including executive vice president of Client Services and general manager for Visa Debit Processing, LLC. He holds a master's degree from the Columbia School of International Affairs and bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin.

John Elkins - Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer

In his new role, Elkins is responsible for global marketing and brand development. Prior to this appointment, Elkins served as a senior advisor to McKinsey & Company. He also previously served as executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Visa International from April 2003 until November 2007. He holds a master's degree from the University of Oregon and a bachelor's degree from the University of Exeter, England.

Recently, the company also announced Pat Shannon as executive vice president and chief financial officer. First Data's full executive committee now includes:

  • Michael Capellas - Chairman and CEO


  • Ed Labry - President, Retail and Alliance Services


  • Kevin J. Schultz - President, Financial Services


  • David Yates - President, International


  • Bob DeRodes - Executive Vice President, Operations and Technology


  • Pat Shannon - Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer


  • John Elkins - Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer


  • Grace Chen Trent - Executive Vice President, Communications


  • Dave Money - Executive Vice President, General Counsel


  • Peter Boucher - Executive Vice President, Human Resources

Henry R. Kravis and Joe W. Forehand - Board of Directors

Kravis is a pioneer of the private equity industry and is the co-founder, co-chairman and co-CEO of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR). For more than 30 years, Kravis, along with KKR co-founder George Roberts, has led the firm in its growth into a leading global alternative asset manager with more than $50 billion in assets under management.

Forehand retired as chairman of Accenture Ltd in 2006. In his more than 30 years with Accenture, he served as the CEO from 1999-2004 and, prior to that, as chief executive of the Communications and High Technology Operating Group. Forehand is a member of KKR's Portfolio Management Committee and has also been involved with KKR's growth and emphasis on the technology industry sector.

About First Data

First Data powers the global economy by making it easy, fast and secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services using virtually any form of electronic payment. Whether the choice of payment is a gift card, a credit or debit card or a check, First Data securely processes the transaction and harnesses the power of the data to deliver intelligence and insight for millions of merchant locations and thousands of card issuers in 36 countries. For more information, visit www.firstdata.com.

Media Relations Contact:

Elizabeth Grice

303-967-8526

elizabeth.grice@firstdata.com

Investor and Analyst Relations Contact:

Silvio Tavares

First Data

404-890-3000

silvio.tavares@firstdata.com

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7-Eleven Collect 1.6 Million Signatures on Interchange Petition

7-Eleven, Inc.Image via Wikipedia

Consumers Respond to 7-Eleven’s Call to Action in Public Policy Petition Drive



Company Calls 1.6 Million Signatures Collected a Referendum for Congressional Action




Editor's Note:  Based on this Visa press release  and the results of a survey they conducted, if Visa were to initiate their own petition drive they would be able to collect double...or 3.2 million signatures   According to that new survey:



  • By a 2-to-1 margin, consumers say retailers should pay the cost of accepting credit and debit cards.


  • 78 percent of consumers believe the value and benefits retailers receive from accepting credit and debit cards outweigh the costs of accepting them.


  • 83 percent of those surveyed believe that any savings retailers realize will be used to increase their own bottom lines and will not be passed on to consumers.


  • 91 percent of consumers say they are more likely to shop at stores that accept credit and debit cards.



DALLAS (Sept. 24, 2009) –PIN Payments News Blog -  In what company officials call an overwhelming referendum for Congressional action, 7-Eleven, Inc. today announced its franchisees and store operators have collected more than 1.6 million signatures in the “Stop Unfair Credit Card Fees” petition drive. We believe this marks the largest number of signatures collected for a public policy issue on record.



Thousands of 7-Eleven franchisees across the country asked customers to support their neighborhood stores by signing petitions calling for Congress to pass legislation that prohibits credit card networks and card-issuing banks from charging unfair transaction fees. The signature drive ran from June 22 through Aug. 10 at store counters coast to coast.



“Consumer response to this grassroots petition drive exceeded expectations,” said Joe DePinto, 7-Eleven president and CEO. “Customers share our frustration over the hidden fees that American retailers and, ultimately, consumers are forced to pay. They, too, want Congress to take action to regulate these unfair fees, which are the highest in the industrialized world.”



Interchange fees aren’t transparent to the consumer and assessed to store owners every time a consumer uses a credit card. These charges result in higher prices which are borne by all consumers, whether or not they use a card or cash. In 2008 alone, these fees cost American businesses and their customers $48 billion. According to the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) 2008 State of the Industry data, on average, an American convenience store owner paid 63 percent more in transaction fees than they earned in profits.



Credit card companies typically levy more than $2 in fees for every $100 consumers charge at American businesses.



Convenience stores generally have smaller purchases which typically result in much higher rates. For example, with the recently published rate hike by MasterCard, if a customer uses a MasterCard Pin Debit card to make a $1.00 purchase at a convenience store the charge to the merchant would be $0.20, or 20% of the transaction. This will be nearly twice the current rate. Rules set by the card companies require that retailers accept cards for all transactions. 7-Eleven stores are not allowed to set a minimum sale amount for card use which would help them avoid these outrageous fees.



7-Eleven is bringing eight store operators to Washington, D.C. that represent the various U.S. divisions where stores are located so they can present nearly 15,000 petition booklets to their Congressional representative. They will also participate in a press conference on Sept. 30 at the U.S. Capitol.



The store operators, their store locations and the number of signatures collected are as follows:
















7-Eleven Franchisee

Store Address

Total # Of Signatures

National Navdeep Bassi

Northeast corner of 204 E. 17th St. Costa Mesa, CA

5,726

Northeast Harshal Patel

8001 Frankford Ave. at Tolbut Philadelphia, PA

4,989

Southwest Matt Mattu

500 W. 7th St. at Olive St. Los Angeles, CA

4,293

Florida Hitesh Patel

1850 Knox McCrea at Barna Titusville, FL

3,450

Central U.S. Dayle Street

4811 South State St. at 4800 South Murray, UT

2,863

Pacific Northwest Sumeet Bedi

5040 148 Avenue NE Near 51st St. Redmond, WA

2,477

Chesapeake area Rene Ayo

6900 Military Highway at Song Meadow Norfolk, VA

1,625

Great Lakes Jon Baloch

31385 Joy Road at Merriman Westland, MI

1,027



About 7 Eleven, Inc.


7 Eleven, Inc. is the premier name and largest chain in the convenience retailing industry. Based in Dallas, Texas, 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses approximately 7,800 7-Eleven® stores in North America. Globally, 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses more than 36,600 stores in 15 countries. During 2008, 7-Eleven stores worldwide generated total sales of more than $53.7 billion. For 15 consecutive years 7-Eleven has been listed among Hispanic Magazine’s Hispanic Corporate Top 100 Companies that provide the most opportunities to Hispanics. 7-Eleven is franchising its stores in the U.S., and is expanding through organic growth, acquisitions, and its Business Conversion Program. Find out more online at www.7-Eleven.com.



Contact:


Margaret Chabris

7-Eleven, Inc.

972-828-7285

margaret.chabris@7-11.com



Source: Company Press Release

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MasterCard and Visa to Appeal Hungary Fine

SAN FRANCISCO - FEBRUARY 25:  People walk by a...Image by Getty Images via Daylife



BUDAPEST (Dow Jones)--MasterCard (MA), Visa Europe and OTP Bank (OTP.BU) will appeal the fine Hungary's competition authority GVH levied on them Thursday as part of a cartel charge, also involving six other Hungarian commercial banks, for setting commission rates.



See yesterday's post: (Visa and MasterCard Each Fined $2.6 by Hungary's GVH)



Here are the statements made by the respective parties regarding the GVH fines:



"During the relevant period, Visa did not set intercharge in Hungary and we do not consider there can be any credible legal basis for the finding of an infringement against Visa Europe or the imposition of a fine. We are confident that this decision will be overturned on appeal to a higher court," Visa Europe said in a statement.



"MasterCard appeals against the decision since the company believes that neither the banks nor the bank card companies infringed the law," MasterCard said in a statement.
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Video: Twitter's Shortened URL's Insecure

Symantec Produced the Video below demonstrating the insecurity of Twitter's Shortened URL's







MoneyGram Loses Patent Infringement Case to Western Union



Western Union Wins Patent Infringement Lawsuit against MoneyGram



Jury Awards Damages Totaling $16.5 Million






Editor's Note:  Out of curiosity, I went to Western Union's website to price out how much they would charge to send $16,500,000 but the highest they would let me do was $16,5000.  Cost?  $709.99. (see below)





ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Sep 25, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU), a leader in the money transfer segment of global payments, announced that it has won a favorable jury verdict in a patent infringement lawsuit against MoneyGram Payment Systems Inc. in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas.



The jury in the case returned a verdict yesterday in favor of Western Union and awarded damages totaling $16.53 million. The jury found that MoneyGram's FormFree system infringes Western Union's Money Transfer by Phone patents.









The lawsuit, filed by Western Union against MoneyGram in May 2007, alleged that MoneyGram infringed Western Union patents for a system of staging money transfers through a call center and completing transactions at an agent location. An investigation by Western Union revealed that MoneyGram was essentially replicating Western Union's patented Money Transfer by Phone service.







About Western Union





The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta and Pago Facil branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, as well as send payments and purchase money orders. Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta operate through a combined network of more than 385,000 Agent locations in 200 countries and territories. Famous for its pioneering telegraph services, the original Western Union dates back to 1851. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com.



WU-G



SOURCE: Western Union Western Union

Tom Fitzgerald, + 1 (720) 332-4374

tom.fitzgerald@WesternUnion.com



Download PDF of Press Release

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