Wednesday, March 3, 2010

MetaBank Says Dubai Suspects Used Fraud to Get Cards

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Bloomberg's Peter Eichenbaum reports for BusinessWeek.  Here's a snippet:

March 3 (Bloomberg) -- Suspected assassins of a Hamas leader in Dubai “fraudulently” acquired prepaid payroll cards and stole identities to obtain jobs or compensation from U.S. companies, according to card-issuer MetaBank.

Authorities informed the lender, a unit of publicly traded Meta Financial Group Inc., that the suspects used fake passports to get cards issued by the firm and other banks, according to an e-mailed statement from Meta yesterday. The company, rooted in regions of Iowa and South Dakota tied to farming, said it followed proper procedures and that the people weren’t on federal lists designed to block potential terrorists.

“No other readily apparent method existed for Meta to determine that identity theft had been perpetrated on valid governments and their citizens,” MetaBank said.

Fourteen of the suspects in the January killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh used MasterCards issued by MetaBank to book hotel rooms and pay for air travel, Dubai police said last month. Police Chief Dahi Khalfan Tamim accused Israel’s spy agency, Mossad, of orchestrating the murder of al-Mabhouh, a founder of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Palestinian movement Hamas.

MetaBank’s home town of Storm Lake, Iowa, is about 200 miles southwest of Minneapolis and 150 miles northwest of Des Moines. The bank said the cards were issued through New York- based Payoneer, which markets them to U.S. companies and has a research and development facility in Tel Aviv.

Continue Reading at BusinessWeek

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Litle & Co. Wins eCommerce Customer Service Honors at 2010 Stevie Awards

LOWELL, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Litle & Co. won a Stevie® Award for e-Commerce Customer Service at the 4th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service presented in Miami Beach, Florida last week. Litle & Co.’s selection was, in part, determined by demonstrating the success of its payments reporting & analytics platform in helping customers analyze their own customer data to engage with customers, and third-party partners, to uncover new ways to improve operational efficiencies and maximize customer lifetime value through payments.

“We strive to provide value above and beyond what businesses consider typical in customer service, reviewing on a regular basis our customers’ businesses practices to streamline their operations, minimize the cost of payments acceptance and grow revenue.”

More than 500 entries from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted to this year’s competition. The awards are presented by the Stevie Awards, which organizes several of the world's leading business awards shows including the prestigious American Business Awards.

“It is an honor to receive a Stevie Award in recognition of our Merchant Services Group’s commitment to driving client success through service,” said Bob Botelle, Chief Customer Officer and Executive Vice President, Merchant Services at Litle & Co. “We strive to provide value above and beyond what businesses consider typical in customer service, reviewing on a regular basis our customers’ businesses practices to streamline their operations, minimize the cost of payments acceptance and grow revenue.”

Litle & Co. said the Stevie Award will embark on a cross-country tour among its clients to thank them and to encourage their continued demand for excellence in customer service in the competitive world of payments.

“This year’s honorees demonstrate that even in challenging economic times, it’s possible for organizations to continue to shine in sales and customer service, the two most important functions in business: acquiring and keeping customers,” said Michael Gallagher, president of the Stevie Awards.

Details about the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service and the list of honorees in all categories are available at

About Litle & Co.

Litle & Co. is a leading payments management company for merchants who sell goods and services directly to consumers. Providing payment processing and consultative merchant services for card-not-present (CNP) and alternative payments, the Litle & Co. payments platform is engineered specifically to meet the needs of companies in Direct Response (DRTV, radio, print), Multichannel Retail (including catalogs), Internet Retail, and Online Services. Founded in 2001, and based in Lowell, Massachusetts, Litle & Co.’s growth has been acknowledged by a No.1 Inc. 500 ranking (2006) and a No.8 Entrepreneur Hot 100 ranking (2008). To learn more about Litle & Co. visit, or call 1-800-548-5326 (1-800-LITLECO) or 978-275-6500.

Twitter: @LitleCo



About The Stevie Awards

Stevie Awards are conferred in four programs: The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at

Sponsors of the 4th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service include official publications Sales & Marketing Management (SMM) and Training magazines, as well as the Sales Association, SalesLabs, and ValueSelling Associates.

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New Customer and Revenue Opportunities Identified for US Banks identified as a significant channel to drive online bill pay adoption according to a new eBillme study

RYE BROOK, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Twenty-eight percent of eBillme customers were new online bill payers. This is according to a study conducted by eBillme, the payment option that allows customers to shop securely online using online bill pay, to examine the online banking behavior of its customer base. The study shows that eBillme can successfully bring new online banking and online bill pay customers from the eCommerce checkout and drive significant revenue and benefits to banks via their bill pay portals.

The study, based on a survey completed by eBillme customers, was conducted in January 2010. The data uncovered some key characteristics of consumers who use eBillme to pay for online purchases.

  • Over 18 percent of all eBillme customers converted from online bankers to online bill payers.

  • 9.4 percent of eBillme customers enrolled in online banking and enabled online bill pay for the purpose of shopping online and using online banking.

“Banks have made significant investments in online banking and online bill pay resources to create a convenient and secure environment that consumers have come to rely on and trust,” says Marwan Forzley, President and CEO of eBillme. “We know how important it is for financial institutions to convert customers and find new opportunities for revenue. The eBillme customer is one that shops online and pays bills online. eBillme is a way for banks to further extend online bill pay offerings to include eCommerce checkout and to convert customers from bankers to online bill payers.”

As part of eBillme’s value-add to banks, the company created the Affinity and Revenue Sharing program, which was launched in November. Banks can earn 1.5 percent for every eBillme transaction generated by the financial institution, revenue equivalent and in some cases higher than debit and credit cards. The program, open to banks, bill pay and prepaid card providers, and walk-in locations, is an opportunity to expand online bill pay offerings and generate additional revenue.

About eBillme

eBillme™ is the most secure way to pay online and the only online payment solution that extends the convenience of online banking to the merchant’s checkout process. The service enhances security for online shoppers, and enables merchants to increase sales while reducing transaction costs. No financial data is exposed and the payment transaction is securely transferred from the customer’s bank to the retailer’s bank. Consumers can shop online, by catalog or through call centers, and pay for their purchases at their bank, credit union, or bill pay portal using the security and convenience of online banking or by paying the bill at over 75,000 walk-in locations. For more information, please visit or eBillme’s Online Debt-Free Shopping Mall at

About the Study

The eBillme study was conducted by eBillme in January 2010 and surveyed eBillme customers. The results are based on a sample of close to 1,000 consumers.

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Citi is Cracking [the mobile] Code - Exclusive Interview

Exclusive Interview with Citi Managing Director of Internet and Mobile North America, Liza Landsman

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Payments are innovating and consumers are at the center of this change. sits down with Citi executive, Liza Landsman to discuss which side of the platform triangle is driving change — the merchant, the payment vehicle or the access channel. And undoubtedly, as Landsman says, “success or failure ultimately depends on customer adoption” and the tipping point will be “something that gives them the right mix of convenience, choice and control at the right time and in the right place… and mobile now adds the fifth — location — to complete that "just-right" combination.” And for the skeptics that doubt mobile will take hold, Liza draws an interesting analogy to the adoption of the ATM. She says that if asked whether consumers would use or trust a big metal machine that sits outside of bank lobbies and dispenses cash, the answer would have probably been a resounding no. She believes, therefore, that the unarticulated consumer's need for mobile and consumer adoption will be the catalyst for innovation.

The full interviews can be found here: promotes the companies, products and people that drive "what's next" in payments, worldwide. is a joint venture between Berkshire Hathaway's Business Wire and Market Platform Dynamics. In the two months since its launch, has assembled a very large and highly engaged community of relevant (and senior) industry executives and opinion makers across the payments ecosystem who regularly click on its newsletter, visit the site, and spend a lot of time there. has become the "hub" for payments innovation for those whose core business is payments and for those who view payments as central to their own commerce capabilities.

For information on contact You can also follow on Twitter at and join the PYMNTS Linked In group.

About Market Platform Dynamics (MPD):

MPD is a management consulting firm that ignites catalyst businesses by leveraging new technologies, business models and pricing strategies. MPD has a wealth of experience within industries that are characterized by complex platform-centered ecosystems, including payments, mobile/telecoms, digital and advertising-supported media, and software-based businesses.

MPD works with both incumbents and new entrants, offering a unique lens into the dynamics that shape the competitive playing field. In addition to traditional consulting-based services, MPD’s Catalyst Ventures provides intellectual and human capital to new firms. MPD’s experts include economists, econometricians, product development specialists, and strategic marketers who apply cutting-edge business theory and statistical methods to the practical problems of building and growing a profitable catalyst business. MPD is headquartered in Cambridge, MA, and has offices in London and Hong Kong.

For more information visit

About Business Wire

Business Wire, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is utilized by tens of thousands of member companies and organizations worldwide to functionally enhance and communicate investor relations and public relations content to target audiences. As a recognized disclosure service in the United States, Canada and a dozen European countries, Business Wire facilitates the simultaneous flow of market-moving press releases from corporations to financial markets and their audiences, including regulatory authorities, media, investors, financial information systems and consumer news services. Business Wire also handles XBRL tagging, document formatting and regulatory filing into EDGAR, SEDAR, FSA and other systems.

Founded in 1961, Business Wire has dual headquarters in San Francisco and New York, with 30 bureaus in cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Miami, Paris, Frankfurt, London, Brussels, Tokyo, Toronto and Sydney and reciprocal offices throughout the world. Business Wire's patented NX data platform supports XML, XHTML and XBRL code that enhances news release interactivity, social media sharing and search engine optimization. More information about Business Wire and its services is located on its website at

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Global Retail Financial Services Summit - China 2010

Header-LGRFS-China 2010


Lafferty is drawing on its unparalleled global experience in the field of retail banking and

cards to bring together expertise from around the world to the first Lafferty Global Retail Financial Services Summit for China from 24 - 25 March 2010.  The event will be held

at the prestigious China World Hotel in Beijing and signifies the launch of Lafferty in China.
The launch has been carefully designed to ensure critical industry and market issues are addressed in a time-efficient format with premier retail banking leaders, regulators and global industry experts.

Confirmed local & international speakers include:

Armstrong Sheng Chen, Senior Counsel, China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC)

David Marsh CBE, Co-chairman , Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF)

Professor Songzuo Xiang, Executive Deputy Director, Renmin University of China

Jiao Jinpu, Acting Vice Chairman, People's Bank of China (PBOC)

Mark Thundercliffe, Head of Risk, HSBC

Albert Chen, Partner, Accenture

Sandeep Deobhakta, Chief Operating Officer, Retail Banking Group, Shinsei Bank

Michael Mueller, CEO, Paysafe Ltd

Mike Pratt, North Asia Retail Banking Head, Standard Chartered Bank

Gabrielle Harris, Executive Director, PlaNet Finance China

Kumar Ashish, Group Business Head, Rural Micro-Banking & Agriculture, ICICI

Marc Howells, President & CEO, Lafferty Group China

Michael Lafferty, Chairman, Lafferty Group

Peter Kinahan, Head of Analysis and Published Content, Lafferty Group

Key themes:

Stimulating consumer demand

Creating a responsible, sustainable banking industry

The role of consumer lending in the modern economy

Mastering the challenges in today's environment

Strategies for surviving and thriving in turbulent times

Controlling risk in a buoyant economy

Responsible practices in a controlled environment

Choosing the right customers

Learning from global experience

Avoiding boom and bust

Working with the regulators

Regulatory strategies in action

Learning from the Japanese experience

Regulatory strategies in action

A Greenfield experience

A European player in the China market

Cooperation is the name of the game

The future is the consumer - the way ahead

ICICI is a believer

China Merchants Bank is an innovator

Cetelem/Societe Generale has a vision

Managing the biggest retail company in the world: Lessons from China Mobile

Relationship banking is the future

Who should attend:


          Heads of distribution 

          Heads of retail banking 

          Heads of retail strategy

          Heads of IT

          Heads of cards

          Heads of marketing


Heads of consumer banking

Heads of product development  

Heads of channel management

Heads of strategic planning

Heads of consumer lending

Heads of business development

Heads of mobile banking

Heads of sales

Consultancy firms

Heads of debit 

Technology partners


For further details about Lafferty Global Retail Financial

Services Summit China 2010, please contact:

China Office: Marc Howells on +86 138 1191 6443 or  marc.howells
London Office: Matthew George on +44 (0)20 3008 4649 or



Media Partners:


wcilogo china International Business logo LCI Logo 50 RBI Logo - 150pxl

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