Friday, June 10, 2011

What is NFC, and Why Do We Care?

Behold, the magic of NFC

NFC, the brainchild of Sony and NXP, is at the bottom of the wireless totem pole. It allows two devices embedded with chips to snuggle up together and transmit small pieces of data between each other when they are in close proximity. This data can be credit card information, coupons, get the idea. As all of this is rather sensitive, it means you'll need to get up close and personal with the other device in order for it to suck down your data -- a simple swipe or tap should do the trick, and your most intimate bytes will soon be whisked away into the wilds of the internet.  

Editor's Note:  Unless your "intimate data" is encrypted, an innovate new "NFC security platform" created by the folks at NFC Data.  Their NFC Card Reader, (pictured below) is also an NFC reader/writer and viewer, is tamper proof and can store unlimited credit, debit, membership, rewards and loyalty cards.  Sqwizz features a built-in biometric finger scanner AND a 3DES DUKPT encrypted PIN Pad which is hard wired to the CPU.  Why?  Because it ensures a secure NFC experience.  After all, you don't want your "most intimate data" whisked away into the "wilds of the internet"   You'll want it secured and protected.  Which is exactly what Sqwizz does.  Whomever said "convenience and security" were mutually exclusive hasn't had a Sqwizz in their hands...  (want more info?)  

Table of Contents
Behold, the magic of NFC
What can we do with NFC?
NFC: Where is it now?
Major Players
The system isn't perfect, yet
To the future... and beyond

NFC Mobile Payment Weekly Roundup

  1. Google Offers Is A Cheap Knockoff

    Washington Post - 2 hours ago
    Despite all of Google's recent talk about Google Wallet and Offers with NFC payment, that's not available yet. Nor is a mobile app. ...
  2. Mobile Payments Are Coming — But When?

    TIME - Martha C. White - 3 hours ago
    Companies creating NFC payment tools will continue and expand trials around the US, so even if you're not in a city as big as New York or as tech-mad as San ...
  3. M-Commerce Market in China and Globally

    CircleID - Paul Budde - 3 hours ago
    Both subscriber identity module (SIM) card-based payment solutions and non-SIM card-based near field communications (NFC) payment solutions remain in the ...
  4. Visa gets its wallet sorted, or does it?

    Finextra - 8 hours ago
    The big difference between mag-stripe/Chip and PIN interaction and that of a mobile NFC payment is that I can contextualize the interaction before, ...
  5. Barclaycard launches TV ad for NFC payment service

    Near Field Communications World - Christopher Brown - 1 day ago
    By Christopher Brown | | 9 June 2011, 16:50 Barclaycard has reworked its rollercoaster ride TV advertisement to promote the ...

    Near Field Communications World
  6. Oneupweb : The Revolution will be Mobilized

    StraightUpSearch - 1 day ago
    Currently there are some fairly major limitations to NFC payment systems, which include both supporting devices and the availability of NFC point-of-sale ...
  7. Report: NFC payments to reach $50 billion by 2014

    Retail Customer Experience - 2 days ago
    Juniper Research is predicting near field communication (NFC) payment transactions will reach nearly $50 billion globally by 2014. In a new report, ...
  8. AOL's “Analyst Day” Will Define The Company's Future

    Business Insider - 2 days ago
    Payments (AOL's deep credit card database could augment Google's NFC payment efforts), Mobile (AIM could provide the base to compete with Blackberry ...

    Business Insider
  9. What will it take for NFC ...

    The Next Web - 4 days ago
    The key to consumers adopting NFC payment technology will be SAVING MONEY…not convenience. The key to retailers and businesses adopting NFC will also be ...
  10. Why Google Is Like A Fungus And What Facebook Has To Do Next

    Business Insider - 6 days ago
    MR: Google just rolled out an NFC payment system. I was just in a small coffee shop this morning and they had one of those Square readers there. ...

AVG CEO Calls for Tax Credit on Internet Security Tools

Company launches Twitter campaign in response to Maine ruling on consumer and business liability in high-profile hacker theft

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AVG Technologies CEO JR Smith today called the Maine US District Court’s ruling that Ocean Bank is not liable for $300,000 stolen by hackers from Patco Construction Company’s online banking profile, a “landmark decision” to which consumers and small businesses pay close attention. The judge asserted it was Patco’s responsibility to protect account credentials – namely via use of internet security and identity protection tools. Smith believes the decision represents a critical shift in liability of the industry’s willingness to absorb the skyrocketing costs of identity theft and fraud via the World Wide Web. With more than 110 million customers around the globe, AVG is one of the leading providers of internet and mobile security software. The company has been on the forefront of protecting consumers and small businesses from organized crime on the internet for more than a decade.
“Banks and retailers are going to expect small businesses and consumers to meet them halfway when it comes to security”
“AVG has long predicted that banks and retailers would reach a tipping point where they could no longer fully cover losses that are incurred as a result of small businesses and consumers not taking responsibility for securing their personal information,” said Smith. “More than two years ago AVG began asking governments to consider tax incentives for consumers and small businesses as a way of helping them understand their role in securing the World Wide Web. We believe the money ultimately saved by thwarting online attacks could not only offset, but supersede the revenues lost in a tax incentive.”
Smith would not be surprised if the Maine decision is soon joined by others that take the side of the retailer and banks who have long covered for their customers’ inattention to security threats. According to Smith, a recent US study carried out by AVG Technologies and the Ponemon Institute revealed very disconcerting trends relating to consumer practices in the mobile space – trends that banks, governments and retailers will probably no longer ignore.
  • 66 percent of respondents store significant data on their phones
  • 29 percent store debit and credit card information
  • 38 percent use their phone to make payments
  • 89 percent of respondents were unaware that smartphone applications can transmit confidential payment information such as credit card details without the user’s knowledge or consent
  • 91 percent of respondents were unaware that financial applications for smartphones can be infected with malware designed to steal credit card numbers and online banking credentials, while nearly a third (29 percent) report already storing credit and debit card information on their devices and 35 percent report storing “confidential” work-related documents as well
  • Less than half of consumers use keypad locks or passwords to secure their smartphones and only 10 percent of consumers say they turn off Bluetooth “discoverable” status on their smartphone when not in use
  • 90 percent do NOT turn off Bluetooth discoverability
  • Less than 50 percent use key pad locks and 71 percent have never even considered installing AV software
Furthermore, AVG’s recent SMB landscape report found that one in seven small businesses have no security software (rising to one in four for single-employee businesses in the US) – and less than half are aware of the real and tangible threats posed by Internet based attacks. AVG also found that 77 percent of firms recognise that a security breach could have a significant impact on their business and 83 percent feel that having the right level of protection is critical to their business. Yet less than half have a clear security policy in place.
“Banks and retailers are going to expect small businesses and consumers to meet them halfway when it comes to security,” said Smith. “AVG believes that tax incentives for small businesses and consumers are important steps in the process of helping them understand they are a critical link in the security chain. Because consumers and small businesses really do not have a choice when it comes to doing business in the digital world, and as business and government are completely dependent on the worldwide web to conduct commerce, it is important they have tax incentives to make the right security investments.”
For people who wish to show their support for the government to provide tax incentives for consumers who utilize security software and tools to protect their online activities, AVG is initiating a viral effort on Twitter where consumers can get involved. Please tweet the following: @avgfree The US government needs to provide tax incentives to help consumers utilize security software #SecurityCredit Please retweet . The volume of tweets will send an important message to the decision makers who can enact this important decision to protect consumers.
About AVG
AVG is a global security software maker protecting more than 110 million consumers and small businesses in 170 countries from the ever-growing incidence of Web threats, viruses, spam, cyber-scams and hackers on the Internet. AVG has nearly two decades of experience in combating cyber crime and one of the most advanced laboratories for detecting, pre-empting and combating Web-borne threats from around the world. Its free, downloadable software allows novice users to have basic anti-virus protection and then easily upgrade to greater levels of safety and defense when they are ready. AVG has nearly 6,000 resellers, partners and distributors globally including, CNET, Ingram Micro,, Wal-Mart, and Yahoo!

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Edenred Launches MasterCard® PayPass™ Commuter Check Card

June 09, 2011 11:06 AM Eastern Daylight Time 
New service brings convenience to your everyday commuting needs
BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Edenred, the premier provider of national commuter benefit programs, Commuter Check and WiredCommute, today announced the launch of a new contactless Commuter Check Prepaid MasterCard card. Enabled with MasterCard® PayPass™ contactless payment technology, the card enables commuters to pay for qualified public transportation expenses through their employer sponsored pre-tax benefit program with a simple tap.
“The addition of MasterCard PayPass to our Commuter Check Card affirms Edenred’s commitment to providing a flexible commuter benefit program and leading innovation to meet the everyday commuting needs”
In addition to helping commuters save money on their transit expenses, the card can be used as its own fare card within transit environments already equipped with contactless payment readers, such as subway turnstiles and bus fare collection boxes. Commuters just need to look for the MasterCard PayPass brand mark or universal contactless symbol “Tap and Go™,” eliminating the need to fumble for exact change and fare funds or wait in line at ticket machines and counters.
“The addition of MasterCard PayPass to our Commuter Check Card affirms Edenred’s commitment to providing a flexible commuter benefit program and leading innovation to meet the everyday commuting needs,” said Gerard Bridi, President of Edenred USA.
Riders using the new MasterCard PayPass-enabled card can choose from several different fare options per availability from the transit agency such as, a “pre-fund”, “pay-as-you-go”, time-based fares (one day, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly passes) as well as discounted fares for senior citizens, disabled and student riders.
The new cardis currently available to all participants in both the Commuter Check and WiredCommute programs, and can be used anywhere MasterCard PayPass is accepted within transit agencies across the US. In Salt Lake City, UT, the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) has installed electronic contactless payments readers on all the city buses and transit platforms. Earlier this year, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PATH), and NJ TRANSIT conducted a contactless payments pilot program on selected train and bus routes throughout New York City and New Jersey. Commuters in Portland, OR can purchase their transit pass at select ticket vending machines with just a tap. With more transit agencies adopting open payment systems Edenred is there to serve the needs of the everyday commuter.
Additional information about Edenred’s products and services can be viewed at
About Edenred USA
Edenred USA is a leader in innovative employee benefits solutions and premier provider of national commuter benefit programs: Commuter Check, a nationwide commuter benefits program provider; and WiredCommute, a private label program for third party administrators. Its mission is to make tax-free commuter benefits a staple in employee benefits packages throughout the American workplace – while helping protect the environment.
About Edenred Group
Edenred, which invented the Ticket Restaurant® meal voucher and is the world leader in prepaid corporate services, designs and delivers solutions that make employees’ lives easier and improve the efficiency of organizations.
By ensuring that allocated funds are used specifically as intended, these solutions enable companies to more effectively manage their:
  • Employee benefits (Ticket Restaurant®, Ticket Alimentación, Ticket CESU, Childcare Vouchers, Commuter Check, WiredCommute etc.)
  • Expense management process (Ticket Car, Ticket Cleanway, etc.)
  • Incentive and rewards programs (Ticket Compliments, Ticket Kadéos, etc.)
The Group also supports public institutions in managing their social programs.
Listed on the NYSE Euronext Paris stock exchange, Edenred operates in 40 countries, with 6,000 employees, nearly 530,000 companies and public sector customers, 1.2 million affiliated merchants and 34.5 million beneficiaries. In 2010, total issue volume amounted to €13.9 billion, of which 55% was generated in emerging markets.
Ticket Restaurant® and all other tradenames of Edenred products and services are registered trademarks of Edenred SA.
About MasterCard Worldwide
MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes over 22 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial-institution customers and merchants. Powered by the MasterCard Worldwide Network and through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus®, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information go Follow us on Twitter: @mastercardnews.

Socialwise Changes Corporate Name to BillMyParents, Inc.

June 10, 2011 09:35 ET
SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - Jun 10, 2011) - Socialwise, Inc. (OTCQBSCLW) (OTCBBSCLW) announced today that effective Monday, June 13, 2011, it is changing its corporate name to BillMyParents, Inc. Accordingly, the ticker symbol of the company will become (OTCQBBMPI) (OTCBBBMPI).
Interim BillMyParents CEO Mark Sandson stated, "We changed our name to better reflect our business and lead product. Going forward, we want to fully leverage the brand name of BillMyParents."
Headquartered in San Diego, CA, BillMyParents recently received $7MM in investment funds, enabling the company to boost the significant brand momentum coming off of their recent exposure on MTV's hit reality show "Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory" and their first nationally-aired television commercial on ESPN. The Spend Smart card from BillMyParents is now available, providing a unique and powerful way for teens and their parents to learn how to spend smart. With instant feedback from real-time text alerts, instant load and lock and unlock features and more, high parental visibility of teen account activity allows for important teachable moments.
For more information, please visit
About BillMyParents
BillMyParents provides payments solutions targeted to teens, young adults and their parents. Our solutions facilitate the communication between parents and young people and teach them financial responsibility. Follow us on For more information:

U.S. Bank First in United States to Issue Dual EMV Chip and Contactless Payment Solution for International Travelers

New FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa® Signature Credit Card Offers Widespread Global Acceptance and Improved Security
MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--U.S. Bank, lead bank of U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), in partnership with Visa (NYSE: V) and Oberthur Technologies, announced its release of a dual interface payment solution that offers enhanced acceptance and compatibility with credit cards systems worldwide. The new U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa® credit card combines Visa payWave, EMV chip, and magnetic stripe technologies, enabling customers to have the best experience possible wherever they use their cards.
 U.S. Bank
“Visa is delighted to support U.S. Bank in its effort to offer their customers the convenience and ease of acceptance made possible by dual interface EMV cards.”
“U.S. Bank is pleased to be the first issuer in the United States to provide dual interface EMV cards that can be conveniently used anywhere – whether it be a chip-card reader with a merchant overseas or a contactless payment terminal or magstripe reader here in the United States,” said Cliff Cook, chief marketing officer for U.S. Bank Retail Payment Solutions. “While we believe EMV is important for our international travel cardholders, we are committed to driving contactless mobile payments in the United States.”
Visa payWave employs the latest contactless technology for sending payment information to a secure reader at the point of sale. Similar to EMV, a special computer chip is embedded in the card, allowing the customer to simply ‘wave and go’ when making a purchase. Transactions are processed through the same, reliable payment network as magnetic stripe transactions and offer the same multiple layers of security protection. U.S. Bank provides zero fraud liability for unauthorized transactions.
“U.S. Bank’s implementation allows cardholders a more positive payment experience, whether it’s speeding through contactless transactions or traveling in countries that rely on EMV chip,” said Stephanie Ericksen, head of chip product integration, Visa Inc. “Visa is delighted to support U.S. Bank in its effort to offer their customers the convenience and ease of acceptance made possible by dual interface EMV cards.”
The dual interface smart cards, manufactured and personalized in the United States by Oberthur Technologies, will be introduced to more than 20,000 U.S. Bank FlexPerks Visa cardholders this month, with plans to expand the offering to other travel reward cardholders in the coming year.
EMV® is a global standard for credit and debit payment cards based on chip card technology with enhanced security. Embedded in the card is a microprocessor containing the necessary information to make a payment. Over one billion card users outside the United States are currently utilizing this technology.
“While EMV is widely accepted internationally, it is still very new to the United States, but U.S. Bank understands the need for its customers to be able to access funds while traveling,” said Martin Ferenczi, managing director for the Americas region for the card systems division at Oberthur Technologies. “Oberthur Technologies offers unique capabilities to guide its customers through the migration.”
U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards card offers industry-leading value and innovation for customers who want travel rewards. Customers have the flexibility to choose the rewards they want with FlexPerks. In addition to travel, customers can earn cash back, merchandise, gift cards and statement credits. Cardholders also enjoy the universal acceptance that is available to Visa card customers. To learn more about the full suite of U.S. Bank FlexPerks credit, debit and business products, go, or visit any U.S. Bank branch office.
U.S. Bank Retail Payment Solutions (RPS) is one of the nation's leading payment processing and full-service issuing providers. RPS offers credit, debit, and prepaid payment solutions to consumers and small businesses through U.S. Bank and in partnership with financial institutions, businesses, governments and employers.
About Oberthur Technologies
Oberthur Technologies is a world leader in the field of secure technologies: systems development, solutions and services for smart cards (payment cards, SIM cards, access cards, NFC) and for secure identity documents, traditional and electronic (identity card, passport, health care card), production of banknotes, cheques and other fiduciary documents, intelligent systems to secure cash-in-transit and ATM. Oberthur Technologies has 6,800 employees through 40 countries and 65 sites. The Group posted 2010 sales of €979M. Website
About Visa
Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world’s most advanced processing networks – VisaNet – that is capable of handling more than 20,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovation, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit
About U.S. Bank
U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with $311 billion in assets as of March 31, 2011, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the fifth largest commercial bank in the United States. The company operates 3,082 banking offices in 25 states and 5,238 ATMs and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. U.S. Bancorp and its employees are dedicated to improving the communities they serve, for which the company earned the 2011 Spirit of America Award, the highest honor bestowed on a company by United Way. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at

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Discover Announces Q2 2011 Earnings Release and Conference Call

Discover Financial Services Announces Second Quarter 2011 Earnings Release and Conference Call

RIVERWOODS, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) plans to report its second quarter 2011 results before the market opens on Thursday, June 23, 2011. The earnings release will be available on Discover's corporate website at
A conference call to discuss the firm's results, outlook and related matters will be held at 11 a.m. Eastern time. The general public is invited to listen to the call by dialing 800-447-0521 (U.S. domestic) or 847-413-3238 (international), passcode 29976069, or via a live audio webcast through the Investor Relations section of the website. For those unable to listen to the live broadcast, a replay will be available on our website or by dialing 888-843-7419 (U.S. domestic) or 630-652-3042 (international), passcode 29976069, beginning approximately two hours after the event. The replay of the conference call will be available through July 24, 2011.

Kurt Adams Named to Head U.S. Bank Corporate Payment Systems, Succeeds Robert Abele Who Retires after 20 Years

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kurt Adams has been named head of U.S. Bank Corporate Payment Systems (CPS), succeeding Robert Abele who is retiring on June 30 after 20 years with the company.
 U.S. Bank“This decision has not been an easy one. However, I feel confident turning over the leadership reigns to Kurt Adams. Kurt understands the business extremely well and has a demonstrated record of getting results. I know he relishes the challenge of continuing to grow our business and serve our customers.”
U.S. Bank Corporate Payment Systems issues corporate, government, purchasing, fleet and aviation cards, as well as business-to-business payment products which in total comprised more than $44 billion in processed annual sales volume in 2010. The organization, consisting of more than 600 staff members in the United States, Canada and Europe, posted annualized revenue growth of nine percent and annualized volume growth of close to 12 percent over the course of Abele’s tenure.
“Rob has done a tremendous job leading the growth, expansion and financial performance of our corporate payments business,” said Pam Joseph, U.S. Bank vice chair for Payment Services. “He is loved by customers and employees, and respected by our competitors. His contributions to the industry are sincerely appreciated and will be missed. I wish him the absolute best in his forthcoming retirement years.”
Adams, who was head of strategy and program management for CPS, oversaw corporate strategy, product strategy and program management for programs such as Travel & Entertainment, Payables, Fuel, and Transportation. In addition, Adams led the strategic planning process and merger & acquisition activity for the business.
Previously, Adams was head of European strategy and planning for the bank’s Elavon Merchant Services division, based in Dublin, Ireland. During his tenure, he directed U.S. Bank’s successful acquisition of Citibank’s European merchant acquiring business.
“I am honored and excited to accept this position at a time of tremendous opportunity for the business,” Adams said. “Under Rob Abele’s leadership, U.S. Bank Corporate Payments Systems has been growing steadily, and I believe we are poised to take that growth to the next level. I look forward to working with my colleagues in CPS and across the bank to make that happen.”
Adams joined U.S. Bank in 2005. Prior to that he spent five years as vice president of Piper Jaffray’s investment banking group in Minneapolis, where he managed financial technology and services-related mergers and acquisitions, public offerings and the private placement of equity and debt securities. Adams holds a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and an M.B.A from Notre Dame.
"The time has come to pursue some personal goals, things that I've always set aside for 'someday,'" Abele said of leaving after 12 years of managing the bank’s commercial and government payment products and services. “This decision has not been an easy one. However, I feel confident turning over the leadership reigns to Kurt Adams. Kurt understands the business extremely well and has a demonstrated record of getting results. I know he relishes the challenge of continuing to grow our business and serve our customers.”
U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with $311 billion in assets as of March 31, 2011, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the fifth largest commercial bank in the United States. The company operates 3,082 banking offices in 25 states and 5,238 ATMs and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. U.S. Bancorp and its employees are dedicated to improving the communities they serve, for which the company earned the 2011 Spirit of America Award, the highest honor bestowed on a company by United Way. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at

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