Friday, March 5, 2010

43% of Experienced Internet Uses "Extremely Concerned" about Online Banking Security

VeriSign Internet Trust Index points Who Trusts the Internet, Who Doesn't, and Why Released Today, New Semi-Annual Report Monitors Online Trust Across U.S.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (Marketwire) -- March 4, 2010 -- RSA Conference, Booth #1212 -- VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN), the trusted provider of Internet infrastructure services for the networked world, today released its inaugural VeriSign Internet Trust Index Report, a rigorous new method to help gauge and understand the level of confidence American adults have interacting and transacting with different types of Web sites.

The inaugural VeriSign Internet Trust Index Report scores the oerall U.S. trust level at 61.5 on a scale of 100, with zero representing no trust and 100 representing absolute trust in the Internet. While trust levels vary widely among specific users, an Internet Trust Index score of 61.5 suggests that consumers have a modest level of confidence in their online activities. The score also suggests that, for online businesses and Web site operators to compete and grow, they must work harder to earn the trust of more consumers.

The VeriSign Internet Trust Index measures trust by surveying thousands of U.S. adults to capture relevant behaviors and attitudes that relate to Internet usage, while providing diagnostics that help trace why trust levels vary among individuals or groups. The VeriSign Internet Trust Index also helps to gauge how worries over online security and privacy threats affect consumers' behaviors on the Internet.

The March 2010 VeriSign Trust Index Report is based on written and online interviews conducted with 6,403 individuals from Nov. 4 to Dec. 18, 2009. The data is weighted against U.S. Census Bureau statistics to ensure the results are representative of the U.S. adult population. The survey is conducted for VeriSign by TNS, the world's largest custom research company, which also conducts the monthly Consumer Confidence Survey® for The Conference Board.

The inaugural March 2010 report helps to establish a baseline measurement of trust among Internet users. Every six months, VeriSign will issue a new VeriSign Internet Trust Index Report, enabling researchers to not only determine how trust levels change over time, but why. VeriSign will issue the next report in the third quarter of 2010.

Key Findings

Among the key findings in the inaugural VeriSign Internet Trust Index Report:

  • -- Trust levels rise as users spend more time online, and as consumers grow more educated about the Internet and the risks they face online. Frequent users (those who go online three or more times a week) have a VeriSign Internet Trust Index score of 80. These users tend to be younger (42 years on average) than infrequent users (who, at an average age of 56, go online no more than once a week, and in some cases never). By contrast, infrequent users have a VeriSign Internet Trust Index scoreof just 24.

  • -- Frequent users (24 percent) are twice as likely to have been victims of identity theft, or to have known a victim, than infrequent users  12 percent). It's unclear if this has reduced their frequency of use, and frequent users still see the Internet as a positive influence on their lives.

  • -- Half of frequent users (51 percent) and infrequent users (50 percent) agree that the amount of information on the Internet is overwhelming. Internet Users also agree that no information is safe from hackers or other threats.

  • -- The more frequently people use the Internet, the more likely they are to employ proven safeguards. More frequent Internet users tend to ignore emails from senders they do not know, install virus protection, ignore pop-ups and delete cookies and temp files, limit the amount of personal  nformation they put on the Internet, and make purchases only on well-known sites.

  • -- Trust levels increase by more than 60 percent when users check for security seals, the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) padlock, a green address bar, or https when making online purchases or sharing personal information. More than half (52 percent) of frequent users look for these visual security indicators, compared to just 5 percent of  infrequent visitors.

  • -- Among less frequent users, about four out of 10 would never conduct online bill pay or online banking because of security concerns. Roughly one-third would never manage investments, shop/purchase online because of security issues.

Report Uncovers Differences Among Demographic Groups and Regions

VeriSign Internet Trust Index research also captures demographic data that shows how Internet engagement and trust levels vary across various subgroups and populations. Those findings include:

-- Though equally active online, men and women tend to engage in different activities. Men check sports scores more often, while women engage in social networking more. Women are more concerned about being online than men when conducting financial activities and releasing personal information online.

-- Users in the Pacific region are more likely to engage in a wide range of online activities. Across all regions (see editor's note below), up to half or more of overall users would never engage in such activities as online dating, social networking, adult content, virtual networks, managing stocks online and logging into work remotely. However, the Pacific region (compared to Mountain and West North Central regions) is less inhibited to engage in these activities, most likely due to the West Coast's more tech-savvy contingency.

-- Trust in the Internet is highest in West North Central, New England and Mountain regions, and lowest in East South Central and East North Central regions.*

The research also reveals Internet Trust Index scores for six key subgroups within the Internet user community, which helps reveal how different levels of trust play out. For instance, two subgroups, "Connected Homemakers" and "Men Who Follow Sports," are in many ways very different (the first is predominantly women, and the second is 100 percent men), yet they share an Internet Trust Index Score of 81. They also share similar experience levels with technology, optimistic attitudes toward the Internet and its relevance in their lives, and security habits.

But the differences couldn't be starker between "Super Internet Users" and "Retired, Infrequent Users." With an average age of 37, Super Internet Users have a VeriSign Internet Trust Index score of 86, one of the highest of all subgroups. They are savvy, everyday users of the Internet, with 69 percent looking for security seals and other indicators while on the Internet. In contrast, the VeriSign Internet Trust Index score for "Retired, Infrequent Users" is just 20. As technology novices, they feel the Internet is not as relevant to them, so they tend to be less educated about security indicators and security software.

A complete summary of all profiles is available in the VeriSign Internet Trust Index Report.

"Trust is the currency with which Web sites build lasting relationships with consumers. Without it, people and organizations won't freely share information or purchase online," said Mark McLaughlin, president and chief executive officer of VeriSign. "Designed and implemented by the same researchers responsible for the Consumer Confidence Index, the VeriSign Internet Trust Index introduces a new, ongoing indicator gauging behaviors and attitudes about the Internet experience. The inaugural report uncovers a vast disparity between those who use the Internet frequently and those who go online rarely or never -- a disparity that results in a severe trust gap that might prevent some infrequent users from making use of needed online services. Insights like this are why we've initiated this research, and we look forward to following it further."

The complete VeriSign Internet Trust Index Report is available at For more information on how to stay safe online, visit

About VeriSign

VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN) is the trusted provider of Internet infrastructure services for the networked world. Billions of times each day, VeriSign helps companies and consumers all over the world engage in communications and commerce with confidence. Additional news and information about the company is available at

Statements in this announcement other than historical data and information constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause VeriSign's actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, the uncertainty of the production of future VeriSign Internet Trust Index Reports on the timeline set forth herein or not at all. More information about potential factors that could affect the company's business and financial results is included in VeriSign's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009 and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. VeriSign undertakes no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this press release.

©2010 VeriSign, Inc. All rights reserved. VeriSign, the VeriSign logo, the checkmark circle, and other trademarks, service marks, and designs are registered or unregistered trademarks of VeriSign, Inc., and its subsidiaries in the United States and in foreign countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

*Editor's Note

The VeriSign Internet Trust Index Report groups U.S. states into nine


Pacific (WA, OR, CA, AK, HI);

Mountain (MT, ID, WY, NV, UT, CO, AZ, NM);

West North Central (ND, SD, NE, KS, MN, IA, MO);

New England (ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT);

East South Central (KY, TN, MS, AL);

East North Central (WI, IL, MI, IN, OH);

South Atlantic (FL, GA, SC, NC, VA, WV, DC, MD, DE);

Middle Atlantic (NY, NJ, PA);

West South Central (TX, OK, AR, LA)

Contact Information:     Contacts
Christina Rohall

Investor Relations:
Nancy Fazioli

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APWG Report: More Brands Subject to Criminal Exploitation than Ever, with Record High in Q4, 2009

http://www.antiphishing.orgIncreasing reports of customized, focused phishing attacks against high-value targets point to troubling trend

LOS ALTOS, Calif. & CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--The APWG’s Q4, 2009 Phishing Activity Trends Report reveals that eCrime syndicates are expanding the base of brands they exploit for online fraud far beyond major financial institutions and online merchants, with the number of hijacked brands reaching a record 356 in October, up nearly 4.4 percent from the previous record of 341 in August 2009.

APWG Secretary General Peter Cassidy said, “No brand is safe from the threat of spoofing for the purposes of online fraud. Once, only the largest banks were targeted. Now, every kind of enterprise from banks and credit unions of all sizes to charities to, in a recent case, a hardware manufacturer, are now seeing their brands exploited in all manner of fraud scheme.”

While the number of unique phishing reports submitted to the APWG in Q4 declined nearly 29 percent from the all-time high of 40,621 in August, dropping to 28,897 reports in December, the statistics obscure a more troubling trend. Member reports to APWG and research reviews in Q3 and Q4, however, reveal a substantial increase in phishing focused on high-value targets such as personnel with treasury authority.

APWG Chairman Dave Jevans said, “Spear-phishing and whale-phishing, where targeted individuals inside of corporations, or of high net worth, appears to be increasing.

“Phishers and malware attackers are sending emails to individuals in a highly targeted fashion, attempting to gain access to corporate online banking systems, corporate VPN networks, and other online resources. These attacks do not contribute significantly to the overall number of unique phishing emails that are sent, as they are not using broad-based spam. Rather, the attackers customize their email messages to target individual users,” Jevans said.

The report is available here:

The APWG Q4, 2009 Trends Report, combining data from APWG members MarkMonitor, Websense and Panda Security with the APWG’s own statistics, also reported:

● October’s high of 46,522 unique phishing websites detected by the APWG was down 18 percent from the August, 2009 record high of 56,362

● The number of unique brand-domain pairs rose to a quarter high of 23,380 in October, still down 4 percent from the all-time high of 24,438 in August, 2009

● There was an increase in rogueware variations of 36 percent in Q4 (252,025), up from Q3 (158,980)

● The total number of infected computers dropped to 10,305,805 in Q4, representing more than 47.8% percent of the total sample of scanned computers, the lowest infection rate recorded in 2009

The results of the Q4 report are of grave concern to the global membership of the APWG and the research centers, treaty organizations, law enforcement agencies, government agencies and industry associations with which the APWG corresponds.

Those members, correspondents and researchers from around the world will be considering the results of this Trends report and other eCrime research at the fourth annual Counter-eCrime Operations Summit (CeCOS) in Sao Paulo, Brazil on May 11-13. CeCOS IV is a three-day event that examines the eCrime phenomenon from the point of view of the responder or manager who has to engage eCrime on a workaday basis. The conference is sponsored by EasySolutions and MarkMonitor and co-hosted by

The conference agenda is here:

About the APWG

The APWG, founded in 2003 as the Anti-Phishing Working Group, is a global industry, law enforcement, and government coalition focused on eliminating the identity theft and fraud that result from the growing problem of phishing, email spoofing, and crimeware. Membership is open to qualified financial institutions, online retailers, ISPs, the law enforcement community and solutions providers. There are more than 1,800 companies, government agencies and NGOs participating in the APWG and more than 3,500 members. The APWG's Web site offers the public and industry information about phishing and email fraud, including identification and promotion of pragmatic technical solutions that provide immediate protection.

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NetSpend Cardholders Load More Than $1 Billion onto Prepaid Debit Cards in February

http://www.netspend.comIncreasing Number of Cardholders Using Direct Deposit

AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--NetSpend, a leading provider of prepaid, reloadable debit cards, announced today that the company’s cardholders loaded a record $1.04 billion onto their NetSpend prepaid cards during the month of February — marking a company and industry first. The NetSpend card is designed to be a more convenient and less expensive financial alternative to cash and traditional banking products for the approximately 60 million un- or underbanked consumers in the United States.

Most of the $1.04 billion was loaded by cardholders who chose to have their paychecks, government benefits and tax refunds electronically deposited onto the card. This reflects the trust customers place in NetSpend as they look to the card as an alternative form of banking rather than a simple alternative to paying with cash.

“The continued increase in volume is clear evidence that more and more consumers in this country are embracing the convenience and value of NetSpend’s self-banking solution,” said Dan Henry, chief executive officer at NetSpend. “We are immensely proud of the work we have done and we are thankful to all of our partners who help us serve and empower our customers.”

NetSpend believes it provides the self-banked consumer with unparalleled convenience. With more than 90,000 reload locations throughout the country, free direct deposit, free Anytime Alerts and free card-to-card money transfers, NetSpend cardholders have access to the most product features of any prepaid debit card in the industry.

“All NetSpend cards are Visa or MasterCard branded and are issued by FDIC-insured, regulated financial institutions,” said Henry. “We believe we are more effective than our competition when it comes to banking the unbanked. Empowering these consumers with the convenience, security and freedom of being ‘self-banked’ is the mission that motivates all of us at NetSpend.”

About NetSpend Corporation

NetSpend Corporation is one of the leading providers of prepaid debit cards in the United States. A pioneer in the industry since its inception in 1999, NetSpend prepaid debit cards give financial freedom and convenience to the more than 60 million underbanked consumers in the United States. NetSpend is the only company in the prepaid debit industry to offer an end-to-end solution for consumers and merchants with a proprietary processing platform, card fulfillment, customer service and risk management capabilities. More information about the company can be found at or by following the company on Facebook or Twitter.

About MetaBank™

MetaBank is a federally-chartered savings bank regulated by the Office of Thrift Supervision. Meta Financial Group, Inc.® is the holding company for MetaBank, Meta Payment Systems®, and Meta Trust Company®. For more information, visit

NetSpend Savings Accounts are issued by Inter National Bank, member FDIC. Interest is calculated on the average daily balance of your Savings Account and paid quarterly.

†Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is accurate as of January 1, 2009. No minimum balance is necessary to open the account or obtain the yield. Fees could reduce the earnings on the account. This is a promotional rate. Rates are subject to change without notice.

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AllTrust Networks’ Biometric Enrollment Reaches 6 Million; Transaction Numbers Soar

AllTrust was previously BioPay, a Pay By Touch Company
Washington grocer, Fiesta Foods Enrolls Milestone Biometric Check Cashing System Customer

HERNDON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Biometric check cashing leader AllTrust Networks today announced that over six million consumers have now enrolled in AllTrust’s Paycheck Secure system to conveniently and securely cash payroll checks. The steady growth of consumer enrollments proves that there is a continuing need by both the unbanked and underbanked for in-store financial services. The service’s quick and simple enrollment process, coupled with easy-to-use features has helped retailers perform over 70 million transactions worth over $30 billion. With the Paycheck Secure system, customers can enroll at any participating retail store or check cashing location to cash any employer's paycheck or a government check with a simple touch of a finger.

The six millionth consumer enrolled this month at Fiesta Foods in Pasco, WA. Fiesta Foods, a leader in Hispanic grocery marketing in the Northwest, deployed the Paycheck Secure system at its four locations in 2009. As a high-volume check casher, Fiesta Foods, and others like them, have been influential in aiding AllTrust to reach these record numbers. In their short time using the Paycheck Secure system Fiesta has cashed more than $56 million in payroll checks for its nearly 25,000 customers who are enrolled in the system.

"We wanted to improve service for our check cashing customers without the concern of possible fraud," said Craig Gaylord, President of Fiesta Foods. “Paycheck Secure makes it convenient for the customers and virtually eliminates fraud."

"The size of our enrolled consumer database, combined with coast-to-coast business locations, ensures our clients have greater protection against possible fraud," said Jon Dorsey, CEO, AllTrust Networks. "The Paycheck Secure system positively enhances the check cashing experience for the underbanked; and provides businesses with key data to make informed decisions on financial transactions.”

About AllTrust Networks

With more than six million registered consumers, AllTrust Networks is the most widely used biometric financial transaction database and provides key risk analytics tools for walk-in financial services.

Paycheck Secure is a complete payroll and government check cashing solution designed to stop fraud and speed check cashing transactions. AllTrust identifies the consumer biometrically, with one touch of the finger, and uses check cashing history from across its national network to make a real-time assessment of the transaction’s risk.

For more information visit or our industry blog at

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