Wednesday, January 4, 2012
UL to support all parties in payment and security industry with leading information and hardware security testing
NORTHBROOK, Ill. and MELBOURNE, Australia, Jan. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- UL, a world leader in advancing safety, announced today the acquisition of Melbourne, Australia-based Witham Laboratories, a leading provider of payment card security assessment and advisory services. By adding Witham Laboratories' global capabilities and expertise in payment terminal, software and infrastructure security, UL can benefit customers throughout the payment card value chain.
As a leading assessor to industry-accepted payment security standards compliance throughout the world, Witham Laboratories helps customers across Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Americas guard against payment fraud and data theft. The company tests various payment-related software and hardware, including PIN devices, encryption processes and component circuit boards, to ensure data protection and integrity as well as product performance. It is the only laboratory in the Asia-Pacific region accredited by the Payment Card Industry (PCI) to evaluate PIN Entry Devices for compliance.
"As a company committed to the protection and security of payment data, we are excited to join the world's most trusted name in safety," said Mario Sist, a senior leader at Witham Laboratories. "UL brings an unmatched standard of scientific rigor and integrity, a far reaching global platform and an aggressive growth strategy for the technology sector."
The addition of Witham Laboratories accelerates UL fast entry into high growth payment arenas like smart metering, mobile ticketing and a worldwide mobile payments industry that is expected to grow 43 percent annually to $984 billion by 2014. Their Melbourne facility also extends UL's capabilities locally to an Asia-Pacific region that is projected to become the second largest card payment market in 2016 with US$4.7 trillion in card payment volume.
"Witham Laboratories' people and expertise are unmatched in the industry, which makes for a great fit," said Sajeev Jesudas, President of UL Verification Services. "By adding their back-office capabilities to our smart card and terminal evaluation offerings, we are developing a seamless, end-to-end solution for retailers, banks, gateways and consumers."
Witham Laboratories is the second payment and security testing acquisition in eighteen months to join UL's Verification Services business unit, which provides testing, inspection, and audits to the appliance, high-tech, lighting and retail industries. RFI Global Services Ltd. joined UL as a leading provider of testing, approval and consulting services to the global technology market, providing security evaluation services for smart cards, PIN devices and Point-of-Sale (POS) terminals across the world.
About Witham Laboratories (Witham Pty. Ltd.)
Witham Laboratories provides services to clients around the world, with many years of experience in the detailed review of payment software and hardware security, delivering timely and cost-effective services, expert guidance early in the product design stage, and training in the various complex security standards around the world. During the evaluation process we stay in close contact with our clients, offering real-world knowledge and advice. Our aim is to facilitate understanding of the complex legal and industry requirements that must be met by all manufacturers, distributors and users of payment devices or applications. Additional information about Witham Laboratories may be found at withamlabs.com.
UL is a premier global independent safety science company with more than 117 years of history. Employing more than 9,000 professionals in over 100 countries, UL has five distinct business units -- Product Safety, Environment, Life & Health, University and Verification Services – to meet the expanding needs of our customers and to deliver on our public safety mission. Additional information about UL may be found at UL.com.
 Yankee Group, "A View from the Trenches: What Consumers Think of Mobile Transactions", Feb. 2011
 Research & Markets, "Assessing the Payment Landscape in Asia Pacific", Oct. 2011
InteliSpend's New Expense Visa® Prepaid Card Helps Businesses Streamline Expense Management and Control Costs
ST. LOUIS, Jan. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- InteliSpend Prepaid Solutions™ is today announcing its new Expense Visa Prepaid Card, designed to help companies better manage corporate spending and streamline administration for business expenses. The Expense Visa Prepaid Card offers spending limits, transactional reports and is supported by InteliSpend's program management options that range from self-service to a fully customizable solution. InteliSpend brings more than a decade of expertise in thebusiness-to-business prepaid industry to expense management.
According to a March 2011 report from the Aberdeen Group, companies that automate their expense management processes showed a 63 percent cost reduction rate over competitors and a 42 percent higher rate of compliance with corporate travel policies.
A custom expense and cash management solution, the Expense Visa Prepaid Card can be used as an alternative to traditional corporate cards or to augment current corporate card programs. Using DirectSpend,® InteliSpend's patented process, spending on the Expense Visa Prepaid Card can be limited by industry and merchant. In addition, any unused money preloaded to the card can be returned back to the sponsoring company.
"Keeping a tight rein on spending is a business necessity. With our new Expense Visa Prepaid Card, we have created a solution that gives companies a better way to manage cash expenses with built-in features that allow for the return of unused funds back to the funding company at any time," said Darryl Hutson, CEO of InteliSpend. "Detailed reports that show you where your expense dollars are going and the Visa brand which is known around the world, make this new option a real value for our customers as they search for ways to keep a handle on spending."
The Expense Visa Prepaid Card can improve spending control whether companies are providing funds for corporate travel, per diem, relocation, training, entertainment or other business purposes.
Expense Visa Prepaid Card Features
Acceptance restrictionsDirectSpend, a patented process, ensures corporate funds are spent appropriately by enabling companies to determine where they can be spent and where they can't. Companies can limit by industry and merchant.
Prepaid optionsCards can be issued for a set amount or reloaded over time, and unspent funds can be returned to the sponsoring company. Optional ATM feature with withdrawal limits.
Transactional reportsStandard reports provide access to detailed transactions at the individual card level. Companies can monitor spending, ensure proper use of funds, and streamline administration by eliminating the need to turn in receipts.
Card optionsCards are available with standard plastic or can be co-branded or fully customized to match company or program goals.
Additional features include standard 12-month predenominated, 24-month reloadable or variable expiration options and domestic or international fulfillment.
For more information on InteliSpend Prepaid Solutions, visit www.intelispend.com.
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January 04, 2012 04:00 AM Eastern Time
Innovative Solution Turns Smartphone into Chip & PIN Payment Device
WATFORD, United Kingdom--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Elavon, a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) and a leading global payments provider, has introduced Elavon MobileMerchant, an innovative, affordable and secure payment solution that effectively transforms mobile devices into terminals, allowing small businesses to accept payments quickly and securely anywhere, anytime. The solution is currently running as part of a pilot programme in the UK, with full production availability scheduled for March.
“Our goal is to make payment acceptance easy for all businesses, regardless of type, size or acceptance environment.”
Elavon MobileMerchant combines the ease of using a mobile phone for payments, with an affordable, easy-to-understand rate programme, making it the ideal solution for small businesses on the go. The App is downloaded onto the merchant’s existing smartphone, and a Bluetooth-connected Chip and PIN device securely captures and encrypts card data, ensuring that no information is stored in the smartphone. Receipts are sent to the customer via email or text message. The solution meets all the current UK banking requirements, so as to protect both cardholders and merchants from fraud, abuse and chargebacks.
“Elavon has responded to the call for innovation by delivering a convenient and secure solution that makes payment processing accessible to a new class of customers,” said Simon Haslam, president of International Markets at Elavon. “Our goal is to make payment acceptance easy for all businesses, regardless of type, size or acceptance environment.”
Many types of mobile businesses such as tradespeople, repair or delivery companies, market traders and personal service providers, such as beauticians and photographers, can confidently accept Chip and PIN payments on their mobile phone, and their customers are no longer limited to cash on hand. Elavon MobileMerchant currently operates on Blackberry and Android smartphones and tablets.
In early 2011, Elavon released VirtualMerchant Mobile in North America. The solution turns smartphones and tablets into mobile payment acceptance devices and supports card readers that securely encrypt data before any information is sent to the phone. It runs on the company’s successful VirtualMerchant hosted payment gateway solution.
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January 04, 2012 12:56 PM Eastern Time
Immediate access to production, delivery and inventory information
BROOKFIELD, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), a leading global provider of financial services technology solutions, has expanded access to WC3®, its Web client control center, to include smartphones.
“With the mobile app, clients don’t have to fire up their laptop computers to check an order, they simply log onto WC3 from their phones. We’ve taken the user experience to the next level.”
WC3 is a sophisticated, web-based tool that enables Fiserv clients to compose document messages at the individual level, manage document content and monitor production status for products including statements, EOBs and credit, debit and prepaid cards. With the WC3 mobile application, Fiserv clients can now monitor and manage production and delivery information including job status, special handling requests, inventory volumes and usage, and mail dates from the convenience of their smartphone.
“Clients appreciate being able to get immediate updates on the production of their customer communications– even when out of the office,” said Jorge Diaz, president, Output Solutions, Fiserv. “With the mobile app, clients don’t have to fire up their laptop computers to check an order, they simply log onto WC3 from their phones. We’ve taken the user experience to the next level.”
The WC3 mobile application works with the majority of the most popular smartphones, including iPhone®/iPad®, Blackberry® TorchTM, AndroidTM and Windows® Phone. To ensure compatibility, mobile access is provided through a secure URL.
The mobile application syncs to the client’s desktop, so changes made using one access tool, will be reflected on the other. Clients can also designate “favorites” to quickly access certain files and actions. Overall, the mobile app enables clients to stay connected and keep projects moving from the convenience of their smart phones.
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January 04, 2012 07:00 AM Eastern Time
Consumers’ Views About the Economy and Their Finances Are Improving While Post-Holiday Spending Intentions Fall
RIVERWOODS, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Consumer confidence remained fairly consistent in December, as consumers viewed the economy and their finances as improving, but consumers are heading into the New Year with conservative spending intentions according to the Discover U.S. Spending Monitor. The Monitor, a 4-year-old daily poll tracking economic confidence and spending intentions of nearly 8,200 consumers throughout the month, recorded a 1.3-point decline from the previous month to 85.0 percent.
More than 23 percent of consumers felt economic conditions were getting better in December, a rise of more than 4 points from November. Similarly, those who believe economic conditions were getting worse declined by nearly 2 points from November to 53 percent.
The percentage of consumers who rate the economy as poor dropped 3 points from last month to 58 percent. While only 9 percent of consumers rate the economy as good or excellent, a 1-point increase from November.
Views of Personal Finances Improve
Consumer sentiment toward their personal finances improved from last month as well.
- 33 percent of consumers rate their personal finances as good or excellent and 24 percent rate their personal finances as poor, unchanged from November.
- Consumers believing their personal finances are getting better increased for the fourth consecutive month to 19 percent, up 1 point compared to November. The percent of consumers who believe their personal finances are getting worse declined to 49 percent, down nearly 2 points from November and the first time this number has been below 50 percent in seven months.
With Less Money Left Over, Consumers Plan to Pull Back on Spending Next Month
Consistent with previous Monitor reports around the holidays, fewer consumers expect to have money left over after they finish paying their monthly bills. Accordingly, they plan to cut back next month on spending.
- 45 percent of consumers expect to have money left over after paying monthly bills, a 3-point decrease from November.
- Nearly 29 percent of consumers who expect to have money left over anticipate that they will have less money left over after they finish paying their monthly bills than they did last month. This is a 6-point increase from November.
- Consumers planning to spend less in the next month more than doubled, rising from 15 percent in November to 31 percent in December.
Consumers’ Plans For Discretionary Spending Are Conservative
Consumers are heading into 2012 with lower discretionary spending intentions as well.
- Consumers planning to spend less on discretionary entertainment expenses, such as going out to dinner or the movies, increased by 3 points to 48 percent in December and those planning to spend the same or more in this category declined 2 points from November to 49 percent in December.
- Consumers planning to spend less on major personal purchases, such as a vacation, increased by 2 points to 47 percent for the month. Forty-nine percent plan to spend the same or more on this category, which is at the same level as in November.
- On home improvement purchases, 50 percent of consumers planned to spend less in the month ahead, up 2 points; 45 percent plan to spend the same or more, down more than 2 points from November.
- Discover Releases November 2011 U.S. Spending Monitor (epaymentnews.blogspot.com)