Businesses are not doing enough to prevent the loss or theft of customers' personal information, according to a new report from MasterCard Worldwide-owned TowerGroup Inc.
The report, Safeguarding Personally Identifiable Infor-mation: Always Use Protection, by TowerGroup Research Director George Tubin, provides an overview of information security methods and emerging tech-nologies that organizations should use to prevent data loss. For more information, visit http://www.towergroup.com.
An e-book, Marketing Secrets of Gift & Loyalty Cards, authored and published by Jay Stuart, a gift card sales veteran, describes examples of successful merchant gift and loyalty card programs and their economic impact.
The book provides case studies illustrating how merchants can add new customers, make their existing customers more profitable, use gift cards as refunds and make more money. For more information, visit www.giftcardmarketingnet.com.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury released the results of its review evaluating the vulnerability of IRS employees to social engineering, or pretexting, attempts and the potential for identity thieves to access the IRS computer system.
This study showed 60% of IRS employees did not comply with computer security practices put into place to protect their passwords. Computer hackers could use this lapse to access the IRS computer system and the personal information of millions of American taxpayers.
Only 5% of adults learned about money management in elementary or high school, a recent Visa U.S.A. survey revealed. In addition, less than half of those surveyed (48%) learned about money management from their parents, while 41% were self-taught or learned the hard way.
The survey also found that 91% of respondents said they supported requiring financial education be taught in high schools. Currently just 15 states have a financial education requirement for high school students.
Visa offers a free money management program at www.practicalmoneyskills.com.
Electronic Payments Inc. (EPI) announced changes to its current Schedule A pricing, as well as enhancements to its free terminal program.
The first of two pricing changes for current ISOs include the removal of all batch and address verification (AVS) fees from EPI's Schedule A, retroactive to the first accounts submitted with EPI.
Enhancements to the company's free terminal program include adding the 1 megabyte version Hypercom Corp. T7Plus POS terminal, ProCharge accounting plugin and a free virtual terminal with no monthly or ongoing per-item fees.
Equity Commerce LP reported record growth in July 2007, compared with the same month last year. Equity's credit card dollar volume rose 61%, the number of credit card transactions processed increased 70%, and active merchant accounts increased 57%.
First Annapolis launched a commercial risk and compliance practice to provide advice, analysis and support to transaction processors, commercial card issuers and the payments businesses of financial insti-tutions. Raymond Carter, a Senior Manager who joined First Annapolis in 2000, will manage the new division.
Four retailers will pilot Pay By Touch's Internet-based Rapid Enroll kiosks to facilitate loyalty program customer sign-up. The retailers are located in New York, Wisconsin, Florida and New England.
Shift4 Corp.'s $$$ On The Net (Dollars on the Net) payment processing system removes personal card data from the transaction process, including POS devices, without the need for purchasing additional equipment.The solution, which can be integrated with existing systems, is compliant with card Association regulations and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, according to the company.
Software Advice launched www.softwareadvice.com/retail, a free resource designed to match prospective buyers of retail software with the right products for their businesses. Participating vendors receive sales leads when prospects explicitly request demonstrations or quotes for their products.
Encore Payment Systems will offer its merchants WAY Systems Inc.'s Mobile Transaction Terminal (MTT) and mobile printer. The terminal, which can process credit, PIN-based debit and smart cards, can be paired with the mobile printer through an infrared wireless connection. Both devices are small and weigh only five ounces and 8.8 ounces, respectively, according to the company.
EProcessing Network has integrated into IP Commerce Inc.'s technology platform. The integration will enable software developers to more efficiently deliver multichannel bankcard processing solutions to eProcessing Network's small-business-focused ISOs.
First Data Corp. and mFoundry will deliver mobile banking and payment services to U.S. and international mobile subscribers. First Data plans to offer mFoundry's full Spotlight mBanking solution to the financial institution community through its more than 5,400 Star member organizations.
NCR Corp. has made a strategic investment in ViVOtech Inc. It will use ViVOtech's technologies to allow consumers to make contactless payments with radio frequency-enabled credit or debit cards and near field communication-enabled mobile phones.
Simplefy Inc., a POS solution provider, will offer its customer base First Data's POS Value Exchange solution. The solution replaces a cash register and traditional POS terminal with a computer-based system.
Capital One Financial Corp. will buy NetSpend Holdings Inc., the parent company of NetSpend Corp., which markets prepaid debit cards, for $700 million in an all-cash transaction. Under the terms of the agreement, NetSpend will become a Capital One subsidiary.
NetSpend claims over 1.5 million customers, more than 15,000 locations where cards can be purchased and 50,000 locations where funds can be loaded onto cards. NetSpend also offers products and services through its Web site.
Richard Savard, NetSpend's Chief Executive Officer, will continue to lead the prepaid business after the acquisition has been finalized.
Fiserv Inc. plans to acquire CheckFree in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $4.4 billion. The deal is expected to close by Dec. 31, 2007.
CheckFree has interests in electronic billing and payment, online banking, investment management technology, automated clearing house payments, and fraud and risk management.
Fiserv serves nearly 6,000 core processing clients and the top 100 banks in the United States. CheckFree's Electronic Commerce business serves 21 of the top 25 U.S. financial institutions and processes more than 1 billion transactions per year.
In conjunction with the transaction's closing, Fiserv will employ Pete Kight, CheckFree Chairman and CEO, as well as appoint him to its board of directors.
Pivotal Payments purchased the assets of Cardex Corp., a Canada-based ISO.
The deal adds over 8,000 merchants to Pivotal's portfolio. Cardex's 51 employees joined the Pivotal team and will work out of Pivotal's downtown Montreal offices.
The National Association of Payment Professionals (NAOPP) appointed Kate Gillespie and Anna Solomon to its board of directors. Gillespie, General Manager and Chief Operating Officer of The Green Sheet Inc., will serve as NAOPP's Director-at-Large. Solomon, President of Fast Transact Inc., an ISO based in Olympia, Wash., will serve as NAOPP's ISO/MLSO Director.
RBS Lynk promoted Larry Mandras to Chief Technology Officer. Mandras joined the company earlier this year as Senior Vice President, Product Management.
In addition, RBS Lynk appointed Michael W. Campbell Senior Vice President, Credit. Campbell comes from Chase Paymentech Solutions LLC, where he was Vice President of Compliance and Fraud Investigations.
Nxgen Payment Services promoted Michael Jaffe to Vice President of Global Marketing and New Programs.
Jaffe, one of Nxgen's founders, has more than 10 years' experience in the payments and banking industries.
John "JJ" Kieley was named Executive Vice President, Chief Technical and Legal Officer of U.S. Merchant Systems.
The Green Sheet Inc. is now a proud affiliate of Bankcard Life, a premier community that provides industry-leading training and resources for payment professionals. Click here for more information.
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