Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Surprise! Fed Involvement Complicates Debit Game for Everyone

Looking Ahead: Fed's Rule Will Complicate Debit Game for All Players
(from Digital Transactions: on 7-6-2011)

Jul. 6, 2011: Fully a week after the Federal Reserve issued its final rule on debit card pricing and routing, payments experts are busy parsing the central bank’s language. One thing seems likely: The controversial rule, which banks and networks must start following by Oct. 1, will have a disparate impact on payments players, reshaping the business in favor of prepaid products and away from signature debit. It also raises as many questions as it answers.  For one thing, some aren’t even certain the final rule is final. read more»

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Black Hat Abu Dhabi 2011



Black Hat will host its second event in the Middle East in Abu Dhabi with a full contingent of selected Training and three tracks of Briefings over four days. Official Registration for Black Hat Abu Dhabi will open on June 15. The Call for Papers will open on July 1 and will close on October 15. Submit your presentation for a chance to be a part of this illustrious event.
Please visit this page regularly for updates on training, briefings and full registration.


Register Button
  • Best: $1,095 // Ends Aug 15
  • Early: $1,395 // Aug 16-Oct 17
  • Late: $1,795 // Oct 18-End Dec 15


Black Hat USA 2011 Venue
Emirates Palace Hotel
P. O. Box 39999,
Abu Dhabi, UAE
For other inquiries on flights, visas and
hotels they can contact:
Events in Focus
Contact: Elizabeth Kelly / Randy Wright
London, United Kingdom
Tel.: + 44 207 902 7760
Fax: + 44 207 633 9427
...more info

Black Hat official event info:
@blackhatevents >>
Behind the scenes with BH Staff:
@blackhathq >>

WikiLeaks Spoofs MasterCard "Priceless" Advertisement

WikiLeaks spoofs MasterCard advert

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange hits back at MasterCard, one of the major credit card companies that is blocking over $15 million in donations to the whistle-blowing organization.
The fund-raising video spoofs MasterCard's signature "Priceless" advertising campaigns by listing expenses incurred by WikiLeaks while fighting off legal challenges.  read more
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Oberthur Technologies Delivers Contactless Payment Stickers to Support MasterCard Events

FlyBuy PayPass stickers integrated in MasterCard VIP wristbands during the Isle of Wight Festival
NANTERRE, France--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oberthur Technologies, a world leader in the field of secure technologies, has been chosen by MasterCard to provide contactless FlyBuy stickers for payment applications.
“For this project, we have worked closely with MasterCard and their partners to adapt our award-winning and best selling FlyBuy stickers to this PayPass wristband, which is indeed a very convenient product and very well adapted to this kind of event.”
Featuring the MasterCard® PayPass™ application, the contactless payment stickers were integrated into the wristbands worn by MasterCard selected VIPs at the UK’s Isle of Wight Festival in June. The wristbands enabled contactless payments within the festival facilities in a convenient and secure way for the selected VIPs.
The Isle of Wight Festival is a leading event, and one of the first chosen by MasterCard to propose such a PayPass wristband to spectators and visitors. It is a fun, convenient and secure way to replace cash during busy events and the wristbands are anticipated to become fashion items.
“We have been at the forefront of contactless payment from the beginning, from pure contactless cards and dual interface cards, to different form factors (fobs, stickers…)” said Cédric Collomb, General Manager Card & Services, Card Systems Division at Oberthur Technologies. “For this project, we have worked closely with MasterCard and their partners to adapt our award-winning and best selling FlyBuy stickers to this PayPass wristband, which is indeed a very convenient product and very well adapted to this kind of event.”
This project has allowed Oberthur Technologies and MasterCard to demonstrate jointly the usability, flexibility and scalability of NFC technologies, globally.
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.


Telephone: +33 1 55 46 71 23
Card Systems Division:
Stéphanie CAU
Telephone: +33 1 47 85 58 06

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Largest One-Month Drop in Consumer Confidence Ever says Discover

Discover® U.S. Spending MonitorSM Consumer Confidence Sees Largest One-Month Drop Ever in June

Majority of Consumers Say Their Personal Finances are Getting Worse
RIVERWOODS, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Consumer sentiment declined significantly in June, as the Discover U.S. Spending Monitor recorded its largest one-month drop ever, moving downward 4.4 points from 89.5 to 85.1. The monitor, a daily poll of 8,200 consumers tracking economic confidence and spending intentions throughout the month, showed significant numbers of Americans who believe both the overall economy and their personal finances are worsening.
“In the absence of good economic news, such as on the jobs front or with housing prices, more Americans are growing pessimistic about their long-term financial outlook and the outlook for America’s economy generally.”
The current index is the worst recorded since July 2009 and comes after few months of little change in consumer confidence despite high gas prices and other financial pressures. In June, however, more than 60 percent of U.S. adults rated the economy as poor, up nearly 4 percentage points from the month before, and nearly 56 percent say the economy is getting worse, a jump of nearly 5 percentage points from those who had that view in May.
Furthermore, for the first time since July 2009, more than half of respondents report that their personal finances are worsening. That figure, at 51 percent, is up from 48 percent the previous month.
The drop in confidence comes even though the number of people concerned they will spend more on household expenses in the following month dropped 10 points from May to June. Just 43 percent now say they expect higher household expenses, which includes groceries and gas.
“The recent dip in gas prices did not appear to have any impact on consumers’ views toward their personal finances,” said Julie Loeger, senior vice president of brand and product management for Discover. “In the absence of good economic news, such as on the jobs front or with housing prices, more Americans are growing pessimistic about their long-term financial outlook and the outlook for America’s economy generally.”
June’s Monitor Reflects Differing Attitudes Among Age Groups
The results of June’s Monitor reflect different attitudes about the economy by different age groups, with older Americans reflecting a decidedly negative view about the future. In June, nearly 59 percent of Americans who are at least 65 years old said the economy is getting worse, compared to just more than 47 percent of that group who felt that way the month earlier.
In addition, more than 56 percent of this age group say that their personal finances are worsening, up from just less than 52 percent the month before.
Other differences in ages:
  • 58.1 percent of consumers ages 40 to 64 believe the economy is getting worse, a figure that moved from 54.8 percent in May. In that age bracket, 55 percent now feel their personal finances are worsening, up from 52.5 percent in May.
  • Younger Americans, ages 18 to 39, are more optimistic compared to their elders about the economy, but their outlook is worsening. Of that age group, nearly 53 percent believe the economy is worsening, an increase of more than 4 percentage points from the month before. In addition, nearly 47 percent of that group believes their personal finances are deteriorating, an increase of nearly 3 points from the month before.
More Spending on Household Improvements
Despite growing concern over the economy and their personal finances, June’s Monitor showed more consumers are planning to spend on household improvements. Just over 18.2 percent plan to spend more on improvements, which is up 1 point from May, and is the highest figure for that category since May 2008. Beyond spending on household improvements, discretionary spending on dining, entertainment and vacations was flat month-to-month.
At the same time, a slightly higher number of Americans are reporting they expect a shortfall in income or increase in expenses this month. Just over 42 percent of Americans are expecting that shortfall, compared to 41 percent in May. This is the fourth straight month this number has been above 40 percent. However, for the first time in four months, the Monitor reported an increase in the number of consumers who expect to have money left over after paying monthly bills. Forty-seven percent of consumers plan to have money left over compared to 45.7 percent in May.
For more Discover U.S. Spending Monitor survey data, charts and information, please visit
About Discover U.S. Spending Monitor
The Discover® U.S. Spending MonitorSM is a monthly index of consumer spending intentions and capacity that is based on interviews with a random sample of 8,200 U.S. adults conducted at a rate of 275 per night. In addition to spending, the survey asks consumers their opinions on the U.S. economy and their personal finances. The Monitor began in May 2007 with a base index of 100. Surveys are conducted by Rasmussen Reports, an independent survey research firm (
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


Matthew Towson, 224-405-5649

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Blackhawk Network Wins in 9th Annual American Business Awards

Image representing BlackHawk Network as depict...Image via CrunchBase

President Talbott Roche Named an Executive of the Year; PayPower Honored

PLEASANTON, Calif.July 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Blackhawk Network, a leading provider of prepaid and financial payments products for consumers and businesses, today announced that Blackhawk Network President Talbott Roche was named Financial Services Executive of the Year in the 2011 American Business Awards.
This year's awards were more competitive than ever, with more than 2,800 entries from organizations and companies throughout the country were submitted for consideration. More than 200 executives across the country participated in the judging process to determine the Finalists and Stevie Award winners.  
"We are extremely proud of Talbott for receiving this award, as her service to Blackhawk Network and the prepaid industry as a whole certainly deserves this recognition," said Bill Tauscher, Chairman and CEO, Blackhawk Network. "This award is also the business community's recognition of Blackhawk's success as a leader and innovator in making financial services easier, more convenient and accessible to consumers both nationally and internationally."
In addition, Blackhawk Network's PayPower prepaid debit card was recognized as a finalist in the 'New Product or Service of the Year - Financial Services' category at the awards.
The awards were presented during ceremonies at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.  The ceremonies were hosted byCheryl Casone of Fox Business Network and broadcast nationwide on radio by the Business TalkRadio Network.  
Details about The American Business Awards and the lists of honorees in all categories are available at  
About Blackhawk Network
Blackhawk Network, a subsidiary of Safeway Inc., is a leading provider of prepaid and financial payments products for consumers and businesses. The company's Gift Card Mall™ offers the industry's most popular prepaid gift card and telecom products. Gift Card Mall reaches more than 165 million people each week through an exclusive network of leading grocery stores, big box, convenience, pharmacy, and specialty stores and is available through Internet retailers including Blackhawk Network's business solutions include reward and incentive programs that offer choice and flexibility through a wide array of card brands, custom designed Visa® prepaid cards and fulfillment options.
Headquartered in Pleasanton, California, Blackhawk Network Inc. has offices in the United StatesAustraliaCanadaFrance,Mexico and the United Kingdom. For more information about Blackhawk Network visit
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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 companies 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
SOURCE Blackhawk Network

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DealsDirect Improves Security and Customer Experience with TNSPay

SYDNEY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Online consumers visiting Australia’s leading online discount department store,, are now benefiting from a safer, faster and more user friendly checkout experience thanks to the recently implemented TNSPay™ gateway from Transaction Network Services (NYSE:TNS).
“DealsDirect services around 3,000 orders every day, and our customers expect a reputable and trusted online shopping environment. We chose TNS because its industry reputation and experience in payment security support our requirements. TNSPay will also help address the evolving compliance and payments processing security needs of our online enterprise.”
http://www.tnsi.comDealsDirect has selected TNS to help strengthen the security of its payments processing environment and will use the full suite of TNSPaysolutions, including risk management, hosted payment forms, and stored card tokenization.
Paul Greenberg, Co-Founder and Managing Director, DealsDirect said: “DealsDirect services around 3,000 orders every day, and our customers expect a reputable and trusted online shopping environment. We chose TNS because its industry reputation and experience in payment securitysupport our requirements. TNSPay will also help address the evolving compliance and payments processing security needs of our online enterprise.”
The agreement between DealsDirect and TNS also extends the TNSPay solution to its subsidiary store,, which offers daily specials for dining, shopping, beauty treatments and entertainment in major capital cities across Australia.
Mr Greenberg added: “TNS provides a reliable and secure platform for our eCommerce business with reputable and easy to integrate solutions, helping us address the increasing pressures around compliance regulations. TNS’ scalable solutions suit our growing business and protect our bottom line.”
TNSPay’s risk management, hosted payment form and tokenization features can help businesses reduce the costs and risks associated with fraud.
The TNSPay risk management tool helps combat fraud by allowing a merchant to apply risk assessments on selected transaction criteria, which might include paying special attention to transactions from certain countries or from specific customers or cards. Merchants can also set rules to help speed transaction approval for “known” or repeat customers, which can improve customer satisfaction and help to create loyalty.
Hosted payment forms increase security for online systems by removing sensitive customer cardholder information from the merchant’s website. The solution creates an additional level of merchant security as card data information is posted directly to a secure hosted server within the TNS PCI DSS certified processing environment.
In circumstances where cardholder details need to be retained and managed, merchants can use stored card tokenization to securely exchange card details with a token that represents the information. TNS’ secure encrypted database stores the cardholder information remotely, away from a merchant’s system and files, thereby simplifying their complex PCI DSS compliance requirements.
By combining hosted payment forms with stored-card tokenization, TNSPay provides powerful capabilities for reducing PCI DSS scope and improving data security, allowing merchants to collect payment information and process recurring or repeat payments using this information without handling the card data.
John Banfield, Senior Vice President and General Manager, TNS Payments Asia Pacific said: “Research indicates* that 1 in 5 online consumers abandon purchases at point of card entry due to doubts regarding the integrity of the site’s payment security. By utilising TNSPay, DealsDirect is incorporating steps to secure its eCommerce environment, with the added benefit of a potential reduction in the cost and complexity of its PCI DSS audits. This is because TNSPay complies with the information security standards as defined by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council.”
The TNSPay gateway, which processes more than a quarter of a billion transactions a year for over 30,000 merchants, is part of a comprehensive range of payment services TNS has developed since entering the card transaction processing market as a Payment Service Provider over 20 years ago. Through TNSPay and its broader payment solution offering, TNS now connects over a million merchants and retailer locations to the world’s leading banks, acquirers and processors, enabling secure, efficient and cost-effective delivery and processing of payments.
The core TNS Secure Payments Network is leveraged by the TNSPay platform. This high-availability network spans the globe and has connections into the world’s leading processors and acquirers. With the ability to provide the TNSPay solution directly to merchants or to distribute it via partnerships, TNS has been able to assist companies, including leading card associations, retailers such as Westfield Group, and travel companies such as Continental Airlines, expand and grow their businesses.
TNS’ global expertise extends to more than 60 countries across the Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Americas regions. For more information about TNS and TNSPay visit
About Transaction Network Services:
Transaction Network Services (TNS) is a leading global provider of data communications and interoperability solutions.
TNS offers a broad range of networks and innovative value-added services which enable transactions and the exchange of information in diverse industries such as retail, banking, payment processing, telecommunications and the financial markets.
Founded in 1990 in the United States, TNS has grown steadily and now provides services in over 60 countries across the Americas, Europe and the Asia Pacific region, with our reach extending to many more. TNS has designed and implemented multiple data networks which support a variety of widely accepted communications protocols and are designed to be scalable and accessible by multiple methods.
For further information about TNS, visit . ‘One Connection, A World of Opportunities’
Statements and information contained in our press releases and newsletters that are not descriptions of historical fact may contain forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties or other factors beyond our control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from historical results or performance and from any opinions or statements expressed with respect to future periods.
About DealsDirect: is Australia’s leading online discount department store. If you love a bargain, you’ll love! We offer a huge range of 7,500 big brand names and quality products at heavily discounted prices in 24 categories – everything from toys, manchester, wine, electrical appliances, homewares, home furniture, outdoors, sports and fitness, electronics, floor rugs and more.


Transaction Network Services
Clare Cockroft
PR Manager
Tel: +44 (0)114 292 6416
Tel: +1 703 814 8065
Michelle Ramirez
Marketing Communications Specialist
Tel: +61 2 9959 0835

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