Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Featured Post: Card Reader Use Online Jumps 31%

Card Readers, used to authenticate online banking, were virtually non-existent a couple of years ago.  According to the new CyberSource UK Fraud Report, In 2008, 22 out of 100 people in the UK used them to authenticate their online banking session. 

That number jumped 31%, up to 29 out of 100 people in 2009. 

So, there definitely is a trend developing towards using a hardware device to authenticate online banking sessions.   To B. Frank, I'd settle for 29% of the online banking market, but the fact is, we do SO MUCH MORE than securing online banking sessions.  We secure ANY financial transaction conducted online. 

That is why I believe that eventually, there will be a HomeATM in every household.  It's the only way to stop fraud in it's tracks.  We eliminate the card not present environment, we eliminate the threat posed by phishing, (by eliminating typing) and via operation SWIPE, consumers will finally start swiping their own card data instead of the bad guys doing it.

In a report  "Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode: or How Not to Design Authentication"  University of Cambridge professors,  Ross Anderson and Stephen J. Murdoch write:

"In the long term we need to move to a trustworthy payment device. (Editor's Note: "Hardware") This is not rocket science; rather than spending $10 per customer to issue CAP calculators, banks should spend $20 to issue a similar device but with a USB interface..."

HomeATM's patented PCI 2.0 Certified PIN Entry Device is EMV ready and would not only securely authenticate the online banking session, (using the same process TRUSTED  to disperse $200.00 from an ATM, 1000 miles away from the bank's branch, at 2:00 AM in the morning, e.g. Swipe Card, Enter PIN) it would also secure online shopping by transforming the Card Not Present environment, into a "Card Present" one...thus eliminating Card Not Present Fraud. 

Why is that important?  I thought you might ask that, so here's a link and a graphic example why...
UK "Card Not Present" Fraud Responsible for 86.6% of Total Fraud

So...what are we waiting for? 

Voltage Security Announces Profitable Year with Increased Momentum Across Product Lines

Over 70% Revenue Growth for Fiscal Year

PALO ALTO, Calif. – February 9, 2010–Voltage Security™, the global leader in end-to-end data protection, today announced financial results for the fiscal year ending January 31, 2010. With growing market acceptance of its broad set of encryption solutions, including Voltage SecureData™, its end-to-end encryption product line for enterprise and payment applications, Voltage completed four quarters of year-over-year revenue growth, and three consecutive quarters of profitability and cash generation from operations, resulting in over 70% revenue growth for the fiscal year. The company also was cash flow positive from operations and profitable for the fiscal year.

“We are extremely pleased with our performance over this past year, especially given the tough economic climate,” said Sathvik Krishnamurthy, president and CEO of Voltage Security. “We continue to see demand increasing across our entire product line, with our sales pipeline having tripled as compared to this time last year.”

Multiple Trends Driving Growth

The heightened demand for Voltage solutions is being driven by three broad trends:

  • Increasing set of cyber threats across the enterprise is causing enterprise IT executives to be more vigilant in protecting valuable data assets, and particularly, private and personal customer data.

“Customers are battling cyber crime throughout the enterprise. Much of the publicity is focused on endpoint security but our customers around the globe are increasingly concerned with malware and cyber threats within the data center as well,” commented Krishnamurthy.

  • Reducing audit scope for payment card industry (PCI) compliance continues to be an important objective for large companies in regulated industries, particularly in the financial services, payments, insurance and medical sectors. These enterprises are responsible for protecting the privacy of customer credit card data, and are subject to mandatory time-consuming and expensive assessments.

    By utilizing Voltage encryption and key management solutions, our customers are dramatically reducing audit scope, and saving significant amounts of time and money,” continued Krishnamurthy.

  • Displacing competitive legacy encryption solutions is also increasingly driving Voltage growth. In the past, enterprises have chosen encryption solutions based on legacy technology like PKI, which quickly becomes unmanageable and too expensive to administer. Now customers are turning to more simplified but innovative Voltage end-to-end encryption and key management solutions.

Leadership in Payment Security

Throughout the year Voltage continued to build its leadership position in providing information security solutions for the broader payments industry. Voltage continued to build out its customer and partnership base as follows:

One of the nation’s top five credit card processors has selected Voltage to power its encryption of credit card data, from card swipe to card brand hand-off, covering the critical endpoints of the payment stream.  

Heartland Payment Systems: Heartland’s E3 End-to-End Encryption solution is powered by Voltage SecureData and protects cardholder and sensitive authentication data throughout the payment acquiring network.

Thales: Thales, a leading provider of information systems and communication security, that secures more than 70 percent of the world’s card payment transactions, has integrated Voltage SecureData technology with its hardware security modules (HSMs).

In addition, Voltage launched the industry’s first, global, zero-cost licensing program, the Voltage SecureData Open License Program™. This dramatically lowers the barriers to enable the easy integration of encryption with any POS device, electronic cash register (ECR), mobile device or eCommerce Payments platform, protecting credit card data from the point of entry into the payment flow.

Early participants in the program include Hypercom, one of the leading global point-of-sale (POS) device manufacturers, and XAC, one of the world’s leading private label electronic payment system manufacturers.

In addition, Voltage added payments industry executive Doug Dwyre, previously with First Data Corp., to its executive team as vice president, business development, payments.

Successful Product Line Diversification Results in Increase in Suite Sales

Over two years ago Voltage strategically began product line diversification, bringing to market solutions such as Voltage SecureFile™ and Voltage SecureData™, to complement its flagship, market leading enterprise email security solution, Voltage SecureMail™. Based on innovative encryption technology and sharing an underlying common key management architecture that greatly simplifies administration and total cost of ownership, customers are now increasingly purchasing “suites” of Voltage products to protect information as it flows within and beyond the enterprise.

During the fiscal year, over 40% of Voltage’s revenues came from suite sales, and the company expects to see this number continue to grow.

Some of those customers include:

  • A Fortune 10 telecommunications company.

  • A top 5 payments processor.

  • A leading auto insurance company.

Industry Leadership

Voltage continued to take a leading role in both standards and educating the broader market.

Earlier in the year, Voltage unveiled the Voltage Data Breach Index and Map. The company maintains this interactive tool, found here www.voltage.com/data-breach, which is continuously updated with global data breach information.

In the standards area, Voltage continued its work with memberships in the following organizations: FIPS, PCI Security Standards Council, OASIS KMIP Working Group and SPVA (Secure POS Vendor Alliance).

About Voltage Security

Voltage Security, Inc., an enterprise security company, is an encryption innovator and global leader in end-to-end data protection. Voltage solutions, based on next generation cryptography, provide end-to-end encryption, tokenization, masking and stateless key management for protecting valuable, regulated and sensitive information based on policy. Voltage products enable reduction in PCI audit scope with rapid implementation and the lowest total cost of ownership in the industry through the use of award-winning cryptographic solutions, including Voltage Identity-Based Encryption™ (IBE) and a new breakthrough innovation: Format-Preserving Encryption™ (FPE). Offerings include Voltage SecureMail™, Voltage SecureData™, Voltage SecureFile™ and the Voltage Security Network™ (VSN), an on-demand managed service for the extended business network.

As a service to the industry and general public, the company maintains the Voltage Data Breach Index and Map which is continuously updated with global data breach information: www.voltage.com/data-breach. The Company has been issued several patents based upon breakthrough research in mathematics and cryptographic systems. Customers include Global 1000 companies in banking, retail, insurance, energy, healthcare and government. To learn more about Voltage customers and sign up for the customer news letter please visit www.voltage.com/customers.


PayPal Stops P2P Payments in India

Medianama and just about everybody else is reporting that PayPal abruptly shut down it's P2P payments with the Indian Rupee...

eBay’s PayPal Disallows P2P Payments, Transfers To Local Banks

By Preethi J on February 9th, 2010

The eBay owned online payment service PayPal has abruptly stopped person to person (P2P) payments (transfer of money to a family or friend or for donations) and withdrawal from Indian banks for users attempting to send money from and to India, TechCrunch reported. 

The website’s international send money portal no longer offers the Indian Rupee (INR) in the drop down list of currencies and India has been removed from the list of countries allowing users to send money using the Personal Payment option. (Screenshot below)
PayPal has clarified that it has not halted e-commerce transactions and Indian merchants can continue to charge their clients and receive payments for goods shipped to an address: but they will be unable to withdraw the funds from local banks.

The company has earned the wrath of customers by not offering a prior intimation nor a time-line for when the service will be back on track. More grist to the mill for sites such as PayPalSucks.com!

Continue Reading

Former MasterCard Execs Lead Processor into USA to Get Ready for Online Gambling

WILSON, Connecticut -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Anticipating the passage of federal legislation to regulate online gambling, U.K.-based UC Group Ltd., an advocate for regulating Internet gambling in the U.S. and a leading provider of online payment processing services announced today the launch of its U.S. subsidiary, SecureTrading Inc., to allow licensed companies to serve the U.S. market once the marketplace is regulated. The company is poised to provide a complete suite of services that ensure safe financial transactions and required consumer protections.

Leading SecureTrading Inc.'s U.S. operations are three former senior executives from MasterCard Inc. (NYSE:MA): Chris Thom, Ted Friedman and T.J. Sharkey who joined as Chairman, Chief Operating Officer and Head of Customer Sales and Support, respectively.

"Momentum for regulating Internet gambling in the U.S. has been building for some time," said Chris Thom. "As Congress prepares to take the final step, SecureTrading Inc.'s turnkey system is primed to enable our customers to go live the moment Internet gambling is regulated."

SecureTrading Inc.'s services will enable licensed gambling operators quickly and efficiently to be in full compliance with Internet gambling regulation. Offerings include player registration, verification and validation to ensure that the player is not underage and is in a location where online gambling is legal. The company also provides financial payments processing, anti-money laundering and fraud tools, tax computation and collection, payment and reporting; and responsible gambling tools that will allow players to self-exclude from online gambling activity or elect online to seek help in real-time for problem gambling.

"Individually and collectively Chris, Ted and T.J. have extensive experience in the Card and Banking industry for providing Internet payment services across multiple market sectors," said Kobus Paulsen, Chairman of UC Group Ltd. "They bring substantial value to SecureTrading Inc. and our customer base as we prepare for the passage and implementation of online gambling regulation in the U.S."

Prior to joining SecureTrading Inc. as Chairman, Chris Thom was Chief Risk Officer at MasterCard, where he spent 11 years covering responsibilities ranging from franchise management, security and risk management, to product development. Prior to joining MasterCard, Thom served as a senior executive at HSBC, one of the world's largest banks.

Ted Friedman, Chief Operating Officer at SecureTrading Inc., previously worked at MasterCard New York and Europay International in Belgium. At MasterCard, Friedman served as the Global Head of Credit Products and Senior Vice President Change Management. At Europay, he was the Head of Corporate Strategy and a member of the Management Committee.

Before joining SecureTrading Inc. as Head of Customer Sales and Support, T.J. Sharkey spent 17 years at MasterCard, most recently as the Group Head of Global Merchants and Acquirers. Sharkey's previous responsibilities at MasterCard included strategy, sales, business development, corporate and regional finance and internal audit. Sharkey also led the merchant sales strategy for MasterCard's PayPass implementation. Prior to joining MasterCard, Sharkey spent three years within KPMG's financial services audit practice.

The Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act of 2009 (H.R. 2267), introduced by Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) in May 2009, would establish a framework to permit licensed gambling operators to accept wagers from individuals in the U.S. The legislation, which has attracted broad support, would require an array of consumer protections. Each state would also be able to determine whether to allow Internet gambling activity for people accessing the Internet within the state and if so to apply other restrictions on the activity.

Flat-Fee Pricing on PIN Debit Hurts Acquirer Margins, Expert Says

(February 9, 2010) Americans now spend more than half a trillion dollars a year on PIN-debit cards, but the merchant-acquiring industry is still adjusting to consumers’ embrace of point-of-sale. At the same time, debit card pricing is shifting from a simple, flat-fee model to a more complex one, which is raising the stakes for acquirers as they try to make a profit in a rapidly changing environment.

Those are some of the conclusions in a new report from Mercator Advisory Service Inc. dubbed “The Economics of Debit Acquiring”. Drawing on primary research involving numerous acquirers as well as secondary sources, report author David Fish estimates PIN-debit dollar volume was $525 billion to $550 billion in 2008. That’s an impressive achievement for the surviving electronic funds transfer networks, which started out in the 1970s and early ‘80s doing nothing but switching ATM transactions.

Continue Reading at Digital Transaction News

Class Lawyers Not HPY With Visa/Heartland Settilement... Are Committed to Go Forward

Visa/Heartland Payment Systems Litigation: Class Lawyers Are Committed to Go Forward

HOUSTON, Feb. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Early last month, it was announced that Heartland Payment Systems ("Heartland") had negotiated a $60 million settlement with Visa to obtain releases of liability from financial institutions issuing Visa payment cards compromised by the Heartland Data Breach first announced in January 2009. Visa sent customized settlement information packets to the affected financial institutions on January 14, 2010. In order to accept the settlement, a financial institution was required to affirmatively complete and return the settlement paperwork to Visa by January 29, 2010. The offers–at least those reviewed by class counsel–appeared to be less than 10 cents on the dollar for most financial institutions (and some at less than 1 cent on the dollar).

Last week, as expected (given the fact that the vast majority of the compromised cards were issued by a relative handful of mega banks), Visa announced that financial institutions representing 97% of the compromised payment cards accepted the proposed settlement. However, that leaves roughly 2.5 million cards and tens of millions of dollars in costs and absorbed fraudulent charges outside of the settlement for the Visa cards alone (not to mention the roughly 50 million compromised Master Card accounts). Visa and Heartland have now "renewed" and extended the settlement offers until February 8, 2010, for those financial institutions that did not previously accept them.

Joe Sauder of Chimicles & Tikellis LLP, one of the Co-Lead Interim Counsel for the financial institutions in the federal court class action case in Houston, commented, "If Visa truly had the financial institutions' interests at heart," Sauder continued, "Why didn't Visa give everyone 30 days at the outset to decide whether to accept the offer? We have asked this question since Visa first announced the settlement. There was no reason to set an arbitrary and unreasonably short deadline."

Mike Caddell of Caddell Chapman, LLP, another of the Co-Lead Interim Counsel for the financial institutions, added: "The bottom line is that the "renewed" deals Heartland and Visa are currently offering are precisely the same deals offered two weeks ago, the calculus remains the same for the financial institutions based on their own unique damages experiences and, most important, these "renewed" settlement offers will in no way impact the federal class action in Houston–we are committed to going forward and intend to vigorously litigate this action.

Micros Retail Systems to Provide Customers Mobile-Enabled Loyalty & Gift Programs Through a Strategic Relationship with Mocapay

Image representing Mocapay as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase
Micros Retail Systems to Provide Mobile-Enabled Loyalty & Gift Programs With Mocapay

Largest Point-of-Sale Distributor to Hospitality Industry in the New York Metro Area Expands Service Offerings to Bring a Mobile Solution to Help its Customers Leverage a New Sales and Marketing Channel

Denver – Feb. 9, 2010 – Merchants continually express interest in leveraging innovative ways to expand their loyalty and gift programs to attract and retain customers. Today, Micros Retail Systems, the largest provider of enterprise applications serving the hospitality industry in the New York metro area has forged a relationship with Mocapay to mobile-enable its customer’s loyalty and gift programs, ultimately helping merchants increase their revenue and brand loyalty.

“We continue to strive to offer our customers innovative and cost effective solutions to help them increase their businesses’ efficiency and profitability,” said Lubodar Z. Olesnycky, president, Micros Retail Systems. “Mocapay provides a solution that lets our customers enhance and leverage their existing point-of-sale equipment while also tapping into a new channel – the mobile channel – that reaches customers before, during and after a transaction to increase repeat customers and brand loyalty.”

Mocapay is the only mobile Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution merchants can leverage to integrate mobile marketing into the payment stream to create a new and cost-effective channel to enhance the lifetime value of a customer without the expense of new hardware requirements or security concerns. Mocapay has fully integrated its mobile SaaS platform with the Micros iCare Solution as well as a number of point-of-sales systems Micros Retail Systems customers’ use, including Micros Series POS E7, 3700 and 9700.

Using Mocapay's mobile SaaS technology, Micros Retail Systems’ customers will have a secure mobile solution that can distribute customized promotional text messages and mobile offers to targeted customers in a certain geography or store location. Consumers who create mobile accounts will be able to conduct mobile transactions at the point-of-sale, access their account balance and transaction history, find the nearest merchant location accepting the mobile loyalty and gift programs as well as reload their account, all from their mobile phone. Mobile account holders will also be able to conduct mobile gifting, which allows real-time gift giving directly to another mobile phone. The mobile gifting feature also helps merchants to increase their revenue and customer base.

“We’re excited to be teaming with Micros Retail Systems to increase the value they deliver to their customers by adding a mobile solution to their suite of services,” said Kevin Grieve, CEO, Mocapay. “To support this growth and the relationship with Micros Retail Systems, we will be opening an office in the New York area this quarter. We look forward to furthering our relationship with Micros Retail Systems and working closely with merchants in the New York metro area.”

About Mocapay Mocapay is a mobile experience platform for innovative merchants that offers an integrated marketing and sales solution to enhance the lifetime value of a customer. The platform addresses these merchants’ need for a new channel that will broaden their loyalty and gift programs by mobilizing sales and marketing to reach customers anytime, not just at the point of sale, encourage purchases and build a stronger brand affinity. Based in Denver, Mocapay is a privately held, venture funded company founded in 2006. For more information visit www.mocapay.com.

About Micros Retail SystemsMicros Retail Systems, Inc. is the preeminent hospitality technology vendor in the metro New York/New Jersey area. With more than 2,200 installations, Micros Retail Systems is the largest independent and exclusive dealer of MICROS Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MCRS). The company serves table service and quick service restaurants with complete information management solutions including software, hardware, enterprise systems integration, consulting and support. Micros Retail Systems is the only hospitality technology vendor in the metro New York/New Jersey area with a true 24 hour/365 in-house call center, never an outside answering service. For more information visit http://www.microsnyc.com/.

For the Third Consecutive Year, 50% of UK Consumers Won't Shop Online

New CyberSource UK Fraud Report finds:

  • 71% are concerned about the level of risk when purchasing online, up from 66% in 2008 – so their perception of online shopping as a safe activity is not improving.

  • 76% of these consumers say that they would never use a mobile phone to make purchases. 

  • 3D Secure schemes (Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode) are being used by 69% of respondents  (Editor's Note:  According to a recently released study (PDF) 3DSecure Schemes are a "textbook" example of how NOT to authenticate an online user.)

  • Card reader usage increased slightly in 2009 - 29% of consumers now utilize such devices as part of their online banking process.

  • 68% of consumers who shop online said they trust retailers with their personal details and payment information. In direct contrast, when looking at all consumers (including those who do not buy online), 59% are not comfortable with retailers storing their credit card details

CyberSource Fraud Report: Consumers Hold Retailers Responsible for Safety of Online Shopping

READING, England--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fraud Report: Almost a quarter (24%) of UK adults believe retailers are primarily responsible for making online shopping safer, according to a survey of 1004 consumers by CyberSource Ltd. This sentiment has not changed since 2007. Significantly, only 12% of consumers state that they are personally responsible.

Sixteen percent of respondents feel that banks are answerable, whilst 12% believe their ISPs are responsible. The same percentage said the government or the card schemes are accountable. Only 5% of respondents feel the police own responsibility for making online shopping safer.

The survey revealed that UK online shoppers are taking measures to protect themselves. Eighty-five percent of respondents say they look for signs that the payment page is secure, such as the green address bar; the same percent prefer to buy online from reputable retailers. 3D Secure schemes (Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode) are being used by 69% of respondents, whilst card reader usage increased slightly in 2009 – in all, 29% of consumers now utilise such devices as part of their online banking process.

Simon Stokes, Managing Director at CyberSource Ltd, said, “Consumers say they feel retailers are primarily accountable for making online shopping safer. But consumers themselves have a role in this effort, and they should be encouraged to play it. Never divulge personal information on social networking sites, for example; never respond to requests for personal information from banks or government agencies that should already have that information. And of course those of us in the eCommerce industry need to do more to help educate consumers on ways security can be boosted.”

Third Consecutive Year: Half of UK Consumers Still Not Shopping Online

Fifty percent of UK consumers (aged 16+) still do not buy online, representing a large untapped market. This figure has only declined slightly since the first survey in 2007. The non-buyers cite several reasons in the survey – 67% say they prefer the high street experience. 41% say they are concerned about online security, and 36% say they don’t have internet access. When looking at the total sample, 71% are concerned about the level of risk when purchasing online, up from 66% in 2008 – so their perception of online shopping as a safe activity is not improving.

The primary motivator for those who do shop on the internet, according to the survey, is to save time and hassle (83%). Other significant reasons include immediate access to a wide range of products and services (73%) and greater cost savings (61%). Interestingly, 76% of these consumers say that they would never use a mobile phone to make purchases.

Stokes continued, “Mobile payments mean different things to different people – both merchants and consumers. This may have contributed to a lack of understanding about the whole area. It will be interesting to see how consumer perceptions evolve as we move out of the early adopter phase and mobile payments become more mainstream. The introduction of new smart phone devices and technologies should also help to drive consumer acceptance.”

Uncertainty Surrounds Payment Data Security

Sixty-eight percent of consumers who shop online said they trust retailers with their personal details and payment information. In direct contrast, when looking at all consumers (including those who do not buy online), 59% are not comfortable with retailers storing their credit card details. This may, in part, be due to media coverage; survey respondents hear more negative stories about the safety of shopping online (59%) than positive news (46%).

“With the right strategies in place, online retailers can provide a safe and secure environment for their customers,” said Stokes. “However, the public perception may differ. Retailers should clearly inform consumers not only about the anti-fraud methods they employ, but also the efforts they take to secure sensitive payment data. This is particularly important as companies look to grow their internet sales channel and tap into the high proportion of consumers that are yet to embrace online shopping.”

This survey was conducted by market research firm GfK NOP as part of a wider CyberSource project – the findings constitute the sixth annual UK Online Fraud Report, available now.

To obtain a copy of the report, please visit www.cybersource.co.uk/ukfraudreport. Journalists or analysts, please contact Danielle Cook or Sarita Sawhney on +44 (0)1628 628080 or cybersource@noiseworks.com.

The sixth annual UK fraud survey was commissioned by CyberSource Ltd and conducted by market researchers Vanson Bourne and GfK NOP. The report this year examines data from 204 merchants and 1004 consumers, aged 16+. The consumer survey took place 16-18 October 2009. The survey group was designed to be nationally representative of adults throughout the United Kingdom, and weighting was applied to the results to bring the data in line with national profiles.

About CyberSource Ltd

CyberSource Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CyberSource Corporation (NASDAQ: CYBS). CyberSource solutions enable electronic payment processing for web, call centre, and POS environments. CyberSource also offers industry leading risk management solutions for merchants accepting card-not-present transactions. CyberSource Professional Services designs, integrates, and optimises commerce transaction processing systems. Approximately 295,000 businesses use CyberSource solutions, including half the companies comprising the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The company is headquartered in Mountain View, California, and has sales and service offices in Japan, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and other locations in the United States including Bellevue, Washington and American Fork, Utah. For more information on CyberSource please visit www.cybersource.co.uk or email uk@cybersource.com.

©2010 CyberSource Corporation. All rights reserved. CyberSource is a registered trademark in the U.S. and other countries. All other brands and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

Vesta’s New Mobile Payment Platform Delivers Innovative, Secure Payment Features for Mobile Operators

Portland, Ore., Feb. 8, 2010 -- Vesta Corporation (www.trustvesta.com ), a global pioneer and leader in electronic payment solutions, today announced the availability of version 5.0 of its industry-leading secure Mobile Payment Platform. The new platform enables wireless operators worldwide to increase subscriber ARPU, accept more payment types and achieve Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance through a managed service that includes a portfolio of new payment services and features.

“Vesta’s new payment platform offers a wide range of benefits to mobile operators,” said Chris Parsons, chief marketing officer at Vesta Corporation. “In addition to facilitating secure transactions, operators can also enjoy significant time to market advantages and a full suite of innovative features. Having processed hundreds of millions of transactions, Vesta has the experience, knowledge and agility to effectively deliver the payment technology desired by mobile operators and their subscribers.”

For operators, the 5.0 version of the Mobile Payment Platform offers a dynamic business reporting portal and Vesta’s token service that provides robust self-care functions and isolates operators from PCI compliance requirements. Enhancements for mobile subscribers include Vesta’s quick code functionality which enables even faster payments through multiple channels; wallet functions supporting multiple users and payment devices; and the integration of social networking applications where subscribers can request, send and receive payment-related gifts.

With the growth of mobile payments, and the increased diversity of new payment channels and methods, Vesta continues to place utmost importance on safeguarding the security and privacy of customer payment information.

Vesta’s Mobile Payment Platform is fully compliant with the PCI data security standard (PCI DSS) as mandated by the payment card networks, ensuring best practices when handling sensitive card holder information. This compliance relieves the operator from the costs and burdens of maintaining compliance themselves, even through emerging channels like handset applications.

Another key benefit of the Mobile Payment Platform is that it allows operators to increase subscriber ARPU while reducing churn. This is accomplished through Vesta’s patented, industry-leading fraud engine which increases the rate of successful payments, and by analyzing the customer data that flows through the Mobile Payment Platform.

Vesta helps mobile operators better understand customer behavior by analyzing payment usage and demographic data, allowing the operator to effectively up sell and cross sell, establish targeted marketing campaigns and optimize their prepaid and postpaid subscriber portfolios.

“As mobile consumers’ payment preferences evolve and they pay via increasingly diverse methods, more and more mobile operators are embracing the flexibility, convenience and security our platform delivers,” continued Parsons. “Vesta’s new Mobile Payment Platform release enables operators to ensure customer needs are met as seamlessly and securely as possible.”

To learn more about Vesta’s Mobile Payment Platform 5.0, visit Vesta Corporation at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from 15–18 February 2010.

About Vesta Corporation

Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, with operations in Europe and China, Vesta has been a pioneer and worldwide leader in electronic payment solutions since 1995. Vesta has established long-term, successful relationships with leading international companies including AT&T, Boost Mobile, China Mobile, China Unicom, Cricket Communications, Meteor Mobile Communications, O2, Sprint, T-Mobile, Tele2, Verizon, Vodafone and Yoigo.

Source: Company press release.

ClickandBuy: New Facebook App Makes Money Transfer Possible for 350 Million Facebook Users Worldwide

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Before long, all Facebook users will be able to easily execute money transfers among each other with a ClickandBuy app and purchase Facebook apps quickly and conveniently. As one of the leading Internet payment systems, ClickandBuy makes it possible for the world’s largest online community to easily and securely pay for content and services. Content and services as well as virtual goods, that Facebook users exchange with each other – and also paid content and services that are professionally offered on the platform.

The new app is geared toward "normal” users and to developers/marketers of apps. Facebook users can both transfer money – after loading the account beforehand with ClickandBuy – and request money directly from Facebook friends. For application developers, an interface (API) will already be provided at the outset. These Facebook apps can then be conveniently and securely paid by the platform users with ClickandBuy. Payments up to EUR 50 will usually be possible in the first stage – in euro and dollar currencies.

Over 1 billion images and 10 million videos are uploaded to Facebook every month – and the general Internet trend continues to clearly evolve in the direction of paid content.

“The monetisation of Web 2.0 has just started; the significance of social networks continues to grow – and ClickandBuy, with its 10 years of experience, is among the leaders again”, said CEO Charles Fränkl as he explained the strategic decision to focus on the paid content model, even with social networks. “We are making our first person-to-person payment service available to the world’s largest social networking community – and others will soon follow", continued Fränkl.

Most of Facebook’s users hail from the USA (over 70 percent) and are younger than 25 years. In Germany and Austria, almost 10 percent of online users already use the platform; Switzerland has approximately 18 percent active users. More than 75 million Facebook users access the platform via mobile terminals.

About ClickandBuy

ClickandBuy is one of the leading online payment systems. The system, which has been tested by TÜV and certified by McAfee, is already being used by more than 14 million people to pay for their purchases on the Internet. After doubling its turnover with retailers and end customers to 922 million euro (TTV) in 2008, the ClickandBuy group was able to break the billion euro barrier for the first time in 2009.

More than 16,000 online retailers use ClickandBuy for their e-commerce, online entertainment and paid content & services transactions, including Apple iTunes, Electronic Arts (EA), McAfee, Panda, T-Online Gamesload, Softwareload, Videoload, Musicload, Vodafone, Medion, Napster, AOL, Telefónica, Orange, Redcoon, notebooksbilliger.de, Meetic, Parship, AutoScout24, ADAC, RTL, Stiftung Warentest, Bild, Die Welt, Playboy.de, ftd.de, faz.net, Spiegel ONLINE, buch.de, Foto.com, Deutsche Börse Group, KPMG etc.

Merchant Risk Council Expands Presence to Help European Merchants Fight Online Payment Fraud

Inaugural European e-Commerce Payments and Risk Conference Set for Brussels in April

(Seattle, WA—February 9, 2010) The Merchant Risk Council (MRC) announces the creation of MRC Europe. This expansion will formally launch with its inaugural European e-Commerce Payments and Risk Conference in Brussels, Belgium on 21 and 22 April 2010.

“MRC Europe is a natural extension of our successful U.S.-based programs,” says Tom Donlea, MRC Executive Director. “U.S. and European online merchants face many of the same fraud issues, security risks and payment challenges – there are nuances that MRC Europe will adapt to best serve European merchants.”

The two-day conference in Brussels will include 18 unique sessions delivered by over 25 industry-leading presenters. Attending the Brussels conference will help European retailers improve their electronic payment strategies and adopt operational best practices for managing online payment risk.

“MRC has a proven structure for connecting its members to other members, sharing best practices, creating essential benchmarking research and working together to improve the industry,” says Belgium-based Philippe Depautex, General Manager of Sales and Operations of SonyStyle. “I am excited to employ their experience to create successful MRC programmes in Europe.”

Other merchants who are actively building MRC Europe include: Canon, Carphone Warehouse, eDreams, Eurostar, Ezetop, Lastminute.com, Nike, Philips, Seatwave.com, Skype, Symantec, Tesco and Tommy Hilfiger.

“This is truly a merchant-driven expansion,” adds Donlea. “European merchants are very eager to begin a cross-Atlantic collaboration to better fight globally-organized online fraud.”

The MRC Europe Conference takes place at NH Hotel du Grand Sablon in the heart of downtown Brussels. For conference registration details, or to receive MRC membership information, please visit the MRC’s website at www.merchantriskcouncil.org.

About the Merchant Risk Council

The Merchant Risk Council (MRC) is a merchant-led trade association focused on electronic commerce risk and payments globally. The MRC leads industry networking, education, benchmarking and advocacy programs to make electronic commerce more efficient, safe and profitable.

Today, with the power of its member-base, the MRC is the leading trade association for managing payments, preventing online fraud and promoting secure e-Commerce. The MRC is dedicated to working with e-Commerce and multi-channel merchants, payment processors, credit card issuers, credit card companies, alternative payment providers, risk management experts, and law enforcement to make the Internet a safer and more profitable place to conduct business.

The MRC Board of Directors and Advisors includes: Accertify, Apple, Chase Paymentech, CyberSource Corporation, Dell Inc., Discover, Expedia Inc., Gap Inc. Direct, GlobalCollect, Linden Lab, Microsoft, Neiman Marcus Direct, PayPal, Trustwave, Visa Inc. and Wal-Mart.

The MRC is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, USA

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Acacia Subsidiary Enters into Settlement Agreements Regarding Credit Card Fraud Protection Technology

Agreements reached with Diesel USA and Gymboree Retail Stores

Editor's Note: They've been busy already this year. On February 2nd, they Acquired Rights To Patents for Portable Credit Card Processing Technology.

Last week they won a $12.4 judgment against Yahoo for patent infringement.

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Acacia Research Corporation (Nasdaq: ACTG) announced today that its Financial Systems Innovation LLC subsidiary has entered into settlement agreements covering a patent that applies to credit card fraud protection technology with Diesel USA, Inc. and Gymboree Retail Stores, Inc. This resolves a dispute that was pending before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia concerning the companies listed above.

The expired patent asserted in this litigation generally relates to a computerized system for protecting retailers and consumers engaged in credit card, check card, and debit transactions. The system includes an electronic card reader, and the generation and use of a transaction number, which specifically identifies each transaction processed within the system.


Acacia Research’s subsidiaries develop, acquire, and license patented technologies. Acacia Research’s subsidiaries control over 140 patent portfolios, covering technologies used in a wide variety of industries.

Information about Acacia Research is available at www.acaciatechnologies.com and www.acaciaresearch.com.


Cedacri Selects TSYS for Complete Payment Card Solution

 TSYSCOLUMBUS, Ga. & MILAN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--TSYS today announced that it has been chosen by Cedacri, Italy’s leading provider of outsourcing services to the banking industry, to provide card and payments services to Cedacri’s clients. Cedacri will utilize TSYS’ fully outsourced processing solution, TS PrimeSM.

The agreement marks TSYS’ entry into the Italian market while also providing full connectivity to the domestic bank network and local clearing houses. This relationship aligns with TSYS’ strategy to expand its capabilities across Europe as an established pan-European processor.

“Cedacri was looking for a true partner to help offer our banking clients issuing services and card processing services,” said Fabio De Ferrari, General Manager of Cedacri. “TSYS have the right solution with TS Prime, strong experience across Europe and an interest to invest and develop together in the Italian market, enabling growth for our clients.”

“The payments environment in Italy is changing, with banks looking for alternatives to the traditional in-country processors,” said Bob Evans, group executive of TSYS International. “Italy is a key European market and this partnership with Cedacri provides a great foundation for TSYS to develop its long term presence in this region.”

Italy is the seventh largest card market in Europe, with 70 million cards (excluding prepaid) in circulation. It is also the largest market in Europe for prepaid cards, with 8.2 million cards in circulation, accounting for 9 percent of the total cards in the country.1

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed but include the complete, end-to-end card processing solution for consumer, commercial and prepaid cards, as well as 3D Secure services and TSYS fraud solutions.

1”Payment Cards Western Europe 2010,” Retail Banking Research

About Cedacri

Cedacri is Italy’s leading provider of application, infrastructure and process outsourcing services for the entire world of banking (retail, private, corporate, virtual and specialist) and finance. Its 100 clients include banks of all types and sizes, and Italian subsidiaries of major foreign companies. With over 2,700 counters managed and more than 31,5 million transactions handled daily, the company’s computer centre is among the top providers serving Italian banks. For more information, log on to www.cedacri.it.

About TSYS

TSYS (NYSE: TSS) is one of the world's largest companies for outsourced payment services, offering a broad range of issuer- and acquirer-processing technologies that support consumer-finance, credit, debit, healthcare, loyalty and prepaid services for financial institutions and retail companies in the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific regions. For more information, contact news@tsys.com or log on to www.tsys.com. TSYS routinely posts all important information on its website.

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