Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Elephant Talk, ValidSoft Plan to Secure the Mobile Wallet

June 15, 2011 10:00 ET
SCHIPHOL, THE NETHERLANDS--(Marketwire - Jun 15, 2011) - When Google recently announced plans for the Google Wallet, it declared that the wave of the future is coming soon, literally. With a mobile wallet, the consumer will be able to wave or touch a mobile phone at a store terminal, both to pay and to receive discounts and coupons as part of one transaction.
This revolutionary new technology, however, will not be accepted by retailers unless security and privacy are assured. Elephant Talk Communications (OTCBBETAK) (, an international provider of business software and services to the telecommunications and financial services industries, is planning to provide security services for Near Field Communications (NFC) on which the mobile wallet is based.
In a recent interview with Dustin Moore of Seeking Alpha, Elephant Talk CEO Steven van der Velden noted that the company will offer one of the first fully integrated mobile wallets.
"We have begun integrating NFC technology into our mobile platform," Mr. van der Velden said in the interview. "[This will allow] mobile operators to immediately start offering these services without having to worry about all the time, costs, and risk elements involved in upgrading their legacy back office systems to be NFC-ready."
In addition, ValidSoft (, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Elephant Talk, is ready now for the mobile wallet, with a suite of multi-layered security products with strong, built-in privacy protections. So effective are ValidSoft's privacy protections, that ValidSoft is the first and only mobile security software company to be granted the rigorous European Privacy Seal by EuroPriSe.
"For the mobile wallet to be accepted, consumers must be assured not only that their money is safe, but that their privacy is protected as well," said ValidSoft CEO Patrick Carroll. "ValidSoft's cross-border technology includes four-factor verification: something you know, something you have, something you are, (or are not) and somewhere you are (or not) along with a range of cutting-edge protections, among other powerful features."
Mr. Carroll pointed out that the strength of Elephant Talk's platform enables ValidSoft to process up to 400,000 transactions per second, to "carrier grade" level, the industry standard in telecommunications. In addition, Elephant Talk is a leading provider of Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) and Mobile Virtual Network Enabler (MVNE), software which offers ValidSoft the opportunity to service the security layer needs of this capability.
Furthermore, ValidSoft has highly relevant experience at the leading edge of high-volume, high-speed transaction security. Currently, the company has an agreement with Visa Europe to provide ValidSoft's fraud-prevention solutions, VALid-POS®, and VALid®, ValidSoft's Four-factor authentication platform. The agreement will allow Visa Europe to integrate and market the solutions as services to its member banks as part of its European processing platform. There are about 4,000 member banks in the European Visa group, handling about 24 billion transactions a year. (source Visa Europe Annual Report - 2010).
About Elephant Talk Communications
Elephant Talk Communications, Inc. (OTCBBETAK) is an international provider of business software and services to the telecommunications and financial services industry. The company enables both mobile carriers and virtual operators to offer a full suite of products, delivery platforms, support services, superior industry expertise and high quality customer service without substantial upfront investments from clients. Elephant Talk provides global telecommunication companies, mobile network operators, banks, supermarkets, consumer product companies, media firms, and other businesses a full suite of products and services that enables them to fully provide telecom services as part of their business offerings. The company offers various dynamic products that include remote health care, credit card fraud prevention, mobile internet ID security, multi-country discounted phone services, loyalty management services, and a whole range of other emerging customized mobile services. For more information, visit (
About ValidSoft
ValidSoft is a subsidiary of Elephant Talk Communications, Inc. (OTCBBETAK), ( and is a market leader in providing solutions to counter electronic fraud relating to card, the internet, and telephone channels. ValidSoft's solutions are at the cutting edge of the market and are used to verify the authenticity of both parties to a transaction (Mutual Authentication), and the integrity of the transaction itself (Transaction Verification) for the mass market, in a highly cost effective and secure manner, yet easy to use and intuitive. For more information, please visit (

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Emerging Mobile Payment Methods Could Pose Financial Risk to Consumers

Consumers Union Calls On Wireless Carriers to Protect Consumers When Fraudulent Charges or Mistakes Are Made With Mobile Payments
SAN FRANCISCOJune 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mobile payments are being touted as the next big thing for consumers but could pose a financial risk when mistakes are made by merchants or if a phone is lost or stolen and used to make fraudulent charges.  Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, is calling on wireless carriers to make sure consumers are protected from mobile payment fraud and mistakes by adopting strong safeguards in customer contracts.  
In a report on mobile payments issued today, the group highlighted how consumer protections vary widely for different mobile payment methods, how wireless carrier contracts fail to provide needed safeguards, and tips for consumers using mobile payments.  Consumers Union has launched a Facebook campaign to encourage wireless carriers to adopt stronger contractual protections for mobile payments linked to wireless accounts.  
"As more Americans start using mobile phones to make purchases, we need to make sure that consumer protections keep pace with all the new technological advances," said Michelle Jun, senior attorney for Consumers Union's Defend Your Dollars campaign (  "Consumers shouldn't have to worry that a lost or stolen mobile phone or billing error could turn into a costly financial headache."  
On May 23, Consumers Union sent letters to 18 wireless carriers urging them to strengthen their contracts so consumers using mobile payments are provided protections similar to those offered to credit card or debit card users.  CREDO Mobile is the only wireless carrier that has responded to the letter to date.  CREDO maintains that it provides ample safeguards, although Consumers Union believes its contract could be strengthened to more fully protect consumers.    
Federal law currently offers protection to consumers in the event that their credit card or debit card is lost, stolen or misused.  Credit cards provide the strongest protections that help limit a consumer's liability, while debit cards provide some, but not all, of these protections.  If mobile payment transactions are linked to credit cards or debit cards, then consumers are entitled to the same guaranteed federal protections that apply when a credit card or debit card is used directly in a transaction.  
Unfortunately, mobile charges linked to other forms of payment don't enjoy any of these legal protections.  For example, if a mobile payment transaction is funded by a prepaid card or gift card, consumers are not entitled to any federal protections that limit how much money they can lose to unauthorized transactions or errors.  If the payment service is provided directly by the wireless carrier and the charges appear on the customer's cell phone bill, the product might escape consumer protections entirely unless the contract provides them.  If the wireless carrier asks the consumer to make a prepaid deposit to cover future charges, protections also will be missing unless they are included in the contract.
Consumers Union reviewed the contracts of 18 wireless carriers to find out what kind of baseline protections they provided to consumers regardless of the kind of mobile payment method used to make charges:
  • None of the wireless contracts provided protections for mobile payment transactions that are as strong as those guaranteed by law when consumers make purchases using a credit card or debit card.  Consumers making mobile payments linked to wireless phone accounts, prepaid cards, or gift cards run the risk of losing funds to fraudulent or erroneous charges.
  • 16 of the 18 wireless contracts require consumers to pay for charges resulting from merchant mistakes or other errors while an investigation of disputed charges is pending.  One wireless contract did not address this issue.  Consumers using mobile payments linked to credit cards have the right to withhold payments for all disputed charges, including merchant mistakes.  Consumers using other forms of mobile payments, including those whose charges are linked to wireless accounts, would not have this same legal right.  
  • Only four of the 18 wireless contracts explicitly protect consumers from being held liable for disputed charges when a mobile device is lost or stolen.  Consumers using mobile payments linked to credit cards and debit cards can limit their financial liability by promptly reporting a lost or stolen phone.  Mobile charges linked to other forms of payment, including those billed to wireless accounts, do not receive these same legal protections.  
  • Seven of the 18 wireless carrier contracts explicitly require consumers to pay late fees if they decide to withhold payments for disputed charges.  Consumers using mobile payments linked directly to wireless phone accounts would be subject to late fees if they failed to pay for disputed charges by the due date.  

Consumers Union has called on wireless carriers to strengthen their contracts by adding a number of protections against unauthorized or erroneous mobile payment charges, including:
  • Limit a consumer's liability for unauthorized transactions to $50 when false charges are made due to a lost or stolen mobile device
  • Limit a consumer's liability for erroneous charges to a prepaid wireless phone deposit or a wireless phone bill
  • Give consumers the right to have missing funds from disputed transactions re-credited within 10 business days
  • Give consumers the right to withhold payment of any disputed charges while an investigation is pending and protection from penalties for withholding payment on these charges
  • Enable consumers to set a cap on the dollar amount for mobile payments which can be directly made to wireless accounts  

"Ultimately, the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will need to enact mandatory protections for consumers that cover all forms of mobile payments," said Jun.  "In the meantime, wireless carriers should provide strong mobile payment safeguards in their contracts so consumers don't lose money to mistakes or fraudulent charges.  Other mobile payment service providers should adopt similar protections."
SOURCE Consumers Union

LSN Mobile and First Data Partner on Mobile Offers

LSN Mobile, First Data Partner to Deliver First- of-Its-Kind Mobile Offer Program

Program Gives Consumers Simple-to-Redeem Localized Mobile Offers and Retailers the Ability to Drive Traffic and Personalize Future Marketing Campaigns
2011 MMA Forum New York
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LSN Mobile, who owns and operates the nation's largest local mobile news network, and First Data Corporation, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, have together unveiled a new mobile offer program that gives both advertisers and retailers an efficient, cost-effective and trackable mobile marketing solution to boost store traffic. The companies announced the news today at the 2011 MMA Forum New York.
“Second, it needs to drives retail sales, and finally it needs to provide retailers with some additional insights on their mobile customer base. This program delivers all three in a turnkey manner.”
Branded as “My Mobile Offer,” this first-of-its-kind solution leverages the combined characteristics of Short Message Service (SMS), mobile advertising and traditional marketing and capitalizes on the popularity and increasing usage of personalized offers and discounts. The program allows brands to take full advantage of the power of mobile marketing.
Here’s how it works: Once consumers opt-in to redeem an offer, My Mobile Offer sends a unique code to their mobile device on SMS. The consumer then visits the retailer’s store or restaurant and redeems the code at checkout. On the back end, My Mobile Offer provides rich demographic information that retailers and advertisers can use to hone and personalize future marketing campaigns.
The simplicity of the solution is one of its strongest attributes: The codes are simple for both customers and retailers, requiring no additional technology for in-store redemption, and because customers must opt-in to participate, the mobile offers aren’t an intrusion. Retailers and advertisers simply pick the type of offer they want to provide, choose how they want to promote it (through LSN Mobile’s mobile ad network or through their own marketing efforts, or both) and work with LSN Mobile and First Data to design their mobile campaign. My Mobile Offer uses First Data’s Mobile Voucher (mVoucher) solution for redemption, enabling a retailer’s existing point-of-sale infrastructure to handle the redemption of the unique codes with no hardware to install or technology to download.
“We wanted to accomplish several key things with My Mobile Offer. First, it needed to be a simple, seamless program that consumers will readily engage with,” said Lee Durham, co-founder and CEO of LSN Mobile. “Second, it needs to drives retail sales, and finally it needs to provide retailers with some additional insights on their mobile customer base. This program delivers all three in a turnkey manner.”
”Consumers are increasingly turning to text messaging as a fast and mobile means for managing their busy lives, and that includes staying on top of the best offers and discounts from their favorite retailers,” said Sarah Owen, vice president, Personalized Marketing and Loyalty at First Data. “With My Mobile Offer, First Data is working with LSN to connect consumers and merchants together in more ways and to create simple and seamless interactions between them.”
The back-end consumer segmentations give merchants an understanding not only of who is engaging with their offers, but more importantly, who is converting—and how to reach those buyers with future, highly targeted messaging.
My Mobile Offer takes advantage of the combined market strengths of LSN Mobile and First Data. LSN Mobile operates the largest local ad network in the U.S., utilizing all mobile platforms (mobile web, mobile apps, mobile video and SMS/text) to reach mobile consumers. The company also has a proven track record of developing and managing mobile marketing campaigns for national brands and advertisers and maintains strong ties to mobile carriers and major media companies.
First Data serves more than 4 million local merchant locations and is the largest acquirer processor in the U.S. The company processes a broad range of payment solutions globally and has a wealth of experience developing mobile commerce technologies that are simple and accessible for both merchants and consumers.
About First Data
Around the world, every second of every day, First Data makes payment transactions secure, fast and easy for merchants, financial institutions and their customers. First Data leverages its vast product portfolio and expertise to drive customer revenue and profitability. Whether the choice of payment is by debit or credit card, gift card, check or mobile phone, online or at the checkout counter, First Data takes every opportunity to go beyond the transaction.
About LSN Mobile, Inc.
LSN Mobile, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is a mobile media and marketing company that enables local media and brand advertisers to extend their reach to the mobile consumer market via their handset. LSN Mobile has the nation's largest network of local television news content, in both English and Spanish, currently offering news, weather, sports and more to more than 30 million unique mobile users per month. LSN Mobile also enables companies to rapidly deploy direct mobile marketing campaigns to mobile users via text messaging, rich media content, and interactive mobile marketing campaigns across all wireless carriers and handsets. LSN Mobile's "Local News, Weather and More" mobile apps for Android, iPhone, and BlackBerry platforms are among the top ten free downloadable local news applications. To learn more, please visit

Discover Financial Services Declares $0.06 Quarterly Dividend

Image representing Discover Financial Services...Image via CrunchBase
RIVERWOODS, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Board of Directors of Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) declared a quarterly dividend of $0.06 per share of common stock, payable on July 21, 2011, to stockholders of record on July 7, 2011.
About Discover
Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a direct banking and payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company operates the Discover card, America's cash rewards pioneer, and offers personal and student loans, online savings accounts, certificates of deposit and money market accounts through its Discover Bank subsidiary. Its payment businesses consist of Discover Network, with millions of merchant and cash access locations; PULSE, one of the nation's leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International, a global payments network with acceptance in more than 185 countries and territories. For more information, visit

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CMoney Analyzes the Weaknesses of Current Market Competitors

cMoney – Provides a Safe and Total Solution

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--cMoney, Inc. (OTCBB:CMEY), is a Houston-based company that is at the forefront of global mobile phone-based payments and money transfers, while using the POS and ATM payment systems. The cMoney solution utilizes secure patent pending technology for mobile phone users, retailers, and financial institutions, and continues to innovate and strengthen the cMoney brand globally. In this fast moving mobile to mobile payments market segment, cMoney analyzes the weaknesses of current market competitors.
“88 flaws that could expose their user’s data…..a total of 359 bugs, about one-quarter of which were classified as high-risk.”
http://www.cmoney.comcMoney Solution – With the early release of the NFC application and capabilities by various companies, including Apple’s anticipated release of the iPhone 5, (now postponed: and Google’s Mobile Wallet, using Android, there has already been a big concern for the security risk associated with transferring funds on consumers' mobile devices. It has been noted according to this one article: that Google’s Android has experienced “88 flaws that could expose their user’s data…..a total of 359 bugs, about one-quarter of which were classified as high-risk.” Google's (Android) integrity was also recently questioned by a Motorola executive; sighting the ability of nearly any entity to design an Android App that could maliciously access data on the user's phone and could also damage the phone handset as well. In a similar regard, Google recently had to use a remote kill switch to remove malicious Apps from users' phones.
NFC is new technology to the consumers; however merchants, mobile carriers, and other affiliates are finding it difficult to troubleshoot the many problem areas. The NFC technology requires an embedded chip to be built into the cell phone that stores the consumer’s personal data leaving private information open to security risks, in the event your phone is lost or stolen. In addition, all systems using the Near Field Communications hardware ("NFC"), including Google Wallet, will be prone to possible theft of personal information and fraudulent purchases. In an article highlighting the ease with which the Starbucks mobile App was hacked, the author likened the threat to all NFC phones.
cMoney, by comparison, is structured to use the consumer’s existing cell phone via an uploadable application, without the purchase of an NFC phone and will provide a platform for the consumer to store and access up to (30) thirty debit and/or credit cards. The cMoney solution stores no personal information on our customer’s phone leaving them with the peace of mind that their data is always safe.
It is anticipated that the mobile to mobile payments market will explode in the next couple of years. In fact, according to this article: to the tune of approximately one trillion dollars, “if retailers receive lower payment processing fees based on a more efficient system.”
cMoney competitors have a very limited means of generating revenue for their company. cMoney currently has (14) fourteen sources of generating cash flow and as the mobile payment sector continues to grow, the cMoney technology will dominate in this market, while providing consumers lower transaction fees. This is one of many reasons why cMoney will provide the consumer with the total solution.

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