Wednesday, June 10, 2009

NRF Welcomes H.R. 2695

The National Retail Federation welcomed the introduction of Senate legislation requiring credit card companies to negotiate over hidden credit card processing fees on Tuesday.

FYI: When it comes to Interchange, Internet Retailers pay even more than their brick and mortar counterparts. Unless a consumer swipes their card, Visa and MasterCard consider it a "card not present" (CNP) transaction. CNP transactions are inherently more risky, and as such, carry higher Interchange Fees.

With HomeATM's PCI 2.0 Certified SwipePIN device, the consumer 100% replicates the brick and mortar transaction, thus replicating all the protocols for required to provide "card present" Interchange rates for eMerchants.

Better yet, our SwipePIN device comes complete with a built-in PIN Entry Device, meaning that consumers are enabled to "enter their PIN" if they are using a debit card. This results in "TRUE" PIN Debit* and an even lower (in fact the lowest) Interchange Rate, one we've dubbed: "PINterchange"

An eCommerce merchant can save 100 basis points (or more) on what they are currently paying in their "card not present" environment. We can PINter"change" that and save hundreds of thousands of dollars off your processing costs annually. Do a billion a year in sales? Well save you millions!

So whether you customer uses their credit card, (card present) or their debit card (card present PLUS TRUE PIN Debit) you'll save big!

The brick and mortar associations
(National Retail Federation, National Association of Convenience Stores) are up in arms over interchange and since eTailers are paying an "arm" AND a "leg" for "Card Not Present" rates, you should investigate how we can provide a way for you to get a leg up on Visa and MasterCard with our PCI 2.0 certified PED. And it won't cost you an arm and a leg...$12 in quantities over 1000! (and our device comes encrypted, normally a $25 fee after purchasing a $150+ PIN Pad)

*TRUE PIN Debit (as opposed to a Software PIN Debit) There is a competitor's software based system which calls itself PIN Debit, but in fact, if you look at Visa or MasterCard's published Interchange Rates, you will NEVER find a "Card Not Present" PIN Debit rate...because CNP PIN does not exist. Thus, our competitor, is not really a competitor, as their rates will be exorbitantly higher than "card present" TRUE PIN Debit.

This from International Business Times
“This bill is the next step in the credit card
reform process that Congress began last month,” NRF Senior Vice
President and General Counsel Mallory Duncan said.
These hidden fees are believed to cost the average household more $400 a year and total more than $48 billion annually.

Duncan said “Congress can’t claim to have fixed credit cards without addressing the billions of dollars in artificially inflated prices that result from credit card interchange fees.” He added that this legislation would become the final step in protecting consumers against the rapidly increasing fees.

In 2008, interchange collections totaled $48 billion, up from $16.6
billion when NRF started tracking the fees in 2001. The increased
prices resulting from fees cost the average household an estimated $427
last year, up from $159 in 2001

Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., today introduced the Credit Card Fair Fee Act of 2009. The measure is similar to legislation Durbin sponsored last year and would require Visa and MasterCard banks to negotiate over “interchange” fees that are currently imposed on merchants on a take-it-or-leave-it basis.

Interchange is a fee averaging close to 2 percent that Visa and MasterCard banks charge merchants every time a credit card is used to pay for a transaction.

Visa and MasterCard effectively force merchants to pass the fees on to consumers by requiring them to be included in the advertised price of merchandise and making cash discounts difficult. Interchange is largely unknown to most consumers because Visa and MasterCard keep merchants from disclosing it on receipts and don’t disclose the fees on consumers’ monthly statements.

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DOS Attacks Endanger Mobile Data Networks - SECPOINT

Latest DOS Attacks Endanger Mobile Data Networks
During a session at the Cyber Infrastructure Protection Conference at the City College of New York last Thursday, a senior security researcher alerted than an evolved type of DOS (Denial of Service) attack is currently jeopardizing mobile data network security.

The DOS attack is a hacking method used to force a computer resource—i.e., a website—to become inaccessible to its target users—i.e., regular visitors of a website. One common DOS technique involves oversupplying the targeted computer system or network with outside communications requests so that it cannot process real information traffic, or it is accessed so sluggishly that it might as well have been unavailable.

Networking research Vice-President Krishan Sabnani of Bell Labs have uncovered an intrinsic vulnerability in mobile IP protocol that enables the launch of cyber attacks that are fairly simple to prepare but incredibly difficult to prevent or expose. The mobile IP DOS attacks, like the ones described above, would typically take the shape of, say, a inundated method of assault that requires constant setup and release of connections...

Read the entire article at

...At this time, Bell Labs is applying Sabnani's theories and studies on DOS hazards to create special security devices specifically engineered for mobile network protocols and architecture.


T-Mobile Data Breach Raises Retail M-Commerce Concerns

Written by Evan Schuman
June 10th, 2009

Excerpts from

"As retail IT execs start to experiment with—and actually deploy—mobile-commerce applications more, the realization that they have to rely on their new telecom partners to safeguard their experimental data is proving to be unnerving.

Recent incidents involving T-Mobile—where the carrier was forced to confirm some claims of a supposed cyberthief who said that he had hacked in and stolen databases, documents and scripts—don’t help.

As e-tailers have learned the hard way from E-Commerce, customers don’t care about tidy legal contracts assigning responsibility and quality-of-service obligations.

If they go to a Wal-Mart or a Home Depot site and they have a bad experience—whether it’s with uptime, a FedEx delivery hiccup, incorrect status reports, a video consumer comment that glitches or anything else that the retailer may or may not be directly handling—those customers are going to blame Wal-Mart or Home Depot and might take their business elsewhere.

If M-Commerce is on your plate, you need to get used to living by the carrier’s standards. The T-Mobile situation is much more than unsettling. It’s also baffling, with the public positions taken by both T-Mobile and the supposed intruder internally contradictory. (When a company seems to contradict itself in mid-statement, times are tough. When both entities in a conflict do it, welcome to telecom security discussions)" 

Continue Reading at

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No See in the Phish

Trojan Variant Infecting Singapore Banks

According to news reports from ZDNet Asia a newly found Trojan program is attacking online banking customers of local banks in Singapore.

The Trojan that infects a computer redirects the end-user onto a phony bank site, while the malware steals the user's actual login details.
Editor's Note:  Well there's a new one.
Actually, on the phony site, the user is asked to fill up a third space apart from the normal spaces for username and 'personal identification number.'

At this point, the browser seems as if it is stuck; so the user is suggested that he re-submit his log-in details a number of times, till the Trojan intercepts them all.

Okay, once again, as I've stated numerous times on this blog...the old-fashioned "username | password" login is long obsolete.  When it comes to phishing, let me give you a tip.  You type, They swipe.  It really is that simple. 

So why is it that banks make it simple for the hackers?  It's easy as 1-2-3 to completely eliminate the threat of phishing.  Banks have already completed the 1-2 part.  It's the three that would completely eliminate phishing, the threat of cloned bank websites, eliminate the usefulness of DNS hijacking, stop trojans in their tracks, etc, etc, etc.  How do you do ask?

With HomeATM's 2FA (Two Factor Authentication) 3DES, Protected by DUKPT, PCI 2.0 Certified  PIN Entry Device, the users login data is encrypted, i.e. "never in the clear"

Since users never typed "ANYTHING" into a website, then there isn't "ANYTHING" for phishers to see. If there's nothing for them to see, then there is, in effect, no phish in the sea.  Do you know of anyone who goes phishing where there are no fish?   

Easy as 1-2-3

1. Banks Issue Card
2. Banks Issue PIN
3. Banks Issue HomeATM SwipePIN Device

End Result: Phishers are Toast!

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Twitter Study: 55% Go "Untweeted" and Don't Follow Anyone

SOURCE: HubSpot, Inc.

World's Largest Twitter Study by HubSpot Reports Over Half of Accounts Don't Tweet

Despite Buzz and Growth, HubSpot's State of Twittersphere Finds Twitter Users' Participation and Activity Lags
Highlighted Links

June 09 State of Twittersphere
HubSpot Website

CAMBRIDGE, MA--(Marketwire - June 10, 2009) - HubSpot released its June 2009 State of the Twittersphere ( (Twitter hashtag: #SOTwitter) report, analyzing data from more than 4.5 million Twitter accounts over a nine month period to measure Twitter growth and report statistics on tweets, the Twitter user base and user geography. The study finds that despite obvious growth in the number of Twitter accounts, over nine percent of Twitter users are inactive.

While the Wall Street Journal reports that the number of Twitter accounts has grown to 32.1 million from 1.6 million a year ago, the HubSpot State of the Twittersphere study reports low activity levels for a significant number of users. Specifically, 55.5% of users are not following anyone, 54.9% have never tweeted and 52.71% have no followers.

This is HubSpot's second State of the Twittersphere report and is based on data gathered from Twitter Grader, one of HubSpot's free marketing tools that measures the power and authority of Twitter accounts based on factors such as number of followers, reach and frequency of updates. The study uses data from the past nine months on a pool of over 4.5 million users who have evaluated their accounts using Twitter Grader.

"Recently, there has been a lot of buzz from mainstream media about the growth of Twitter," said Brian Halligan, CEO and co-founder of HubSpot. "However, the June 2009 State of the Twittersphere points out that people may not be using Twitter to its full potential. If new users aren't really engaged, should it really be considered growth?"

Download the new June 2009 State of the Twittersphere report at

HubSpot encourages feedback and comments about #SOTwitter on the HubSpot Inbound Internet Marketing Blog at

Find HubSpot's first, Q4 2008 State of the Twittersphere report at

About the State of the Twittersphere

The State of the Twittersphere is a regularly updated study about Twitter to communicate significant findings about Twitter growth and statistics about tweets, the Twitter user base and user geography. The study reports on data gathered from Twitter Grader, a free, online diagnostic tool that measures the power and authority of Twitter accounts. The State of the Twittersphere is compiled by HubSpot, Inc.

About HubSpot

HubSpot, Inc. provides Internet marketing software that helps businesses get found online, generate more inbound leads and convert a higher percentage of those leads into paying customers. HubSpot's software platform includes tools that allow professional marketers and small business owners to manage search engine optimization, blogging and social media, as well as landing pages, lead intelligence and marketing analytics. Based in Cambridge, MA, HubSpot can be found at HubSpot's free marketing tools can be found at

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Money Transfer Market Hit by Recession - Report

Recession hits International Money Transfer Market Says New Report

Report Buyer, the online destination for business intelligence for major industry sectors, has added a new report presenting the drivers of the global money transfer industry and the opportunities available within the market.


PRLog (Press Release) – Jun 10, 2009

The report “Global Money Transfer (Remittance) Market: An Analysis” available at analyzes the historical trend of money transfers and the recent impact of economic slowdown on the industry.

The money transfer market or the remittance market is extremely large and has been growing at a steady rate over the last two decades, driven mostly by a combination of long-term trends relating to immigration flows, disparities among national economies and technological innovation.

According to the new report the remittance from overseas workers is under pressure as a consequence of the downturn in the global economy. With global GDP (gross domestic product) expected to contract by 0.9% in 2009 and with recession hitting the key destinations for migrants especially the United States, the European Union and the Gulf countries, the flow of remittances is expected to decline considerably this year. The developing countries that are popular for the export of labour have already started facing the inevitable problem of declining remittances with companies across the globe having started shedding employees.

The formal money transfer industry is highly fragmented with MTOs like Western Union, MoneyGram and Ria (Euronet) controlling a very small share of the total market. Smaller and local players hold the majority of the share but do not have the financial strength to gain further investments or market their products and develop their brands.

The report titled "Global Money Transfer (Remittance) Market: AnAnalysis" analyzes the historical trend of money transfers and therecent impact of economic slowdown on the industry. The report presentsthe drivers of the industry and the opportunities for the moneytransfer organizations despite a slowdown in the flow of remittances.The challenges that MTOs are facing have also been illustrated in thereport. Further, the competitive landscape of the industry in whichglobal MTOs like Western Union, MoneyGram, Euronet and Coinstar areoperating has also been analyzed. The future of the industry has alsobeen critically discussed in this report.

Report Buyer product ID: KOA04368

About Report Buyer.
Report Buyer ( ...) is the independent online store for global business information. The website now lists more than 100,000 company overviews, market research reports, industry studies and business books from over 270 specialist publishers. Thousands of professionals from across the world make their first choice in their search for quality business insight.

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Western Union Money Transfer Now Available at US Bank

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. & MINNEAPOLIS - (PIN Payments Blog via Business Wire)

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a global leader in money transfer services, and U.S. Bank, the sixth largest commercial bank in the United States and lead bank of U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), announced today the rollout completion of the Western Union® global money-transfer service across 2,791 U.S. Bank branch locations in 24 states.

Future plans also include expanding the Western Union® global money-transfer service to U.S. Bank online consumers.

“U.S. Bank and walk-in consumers are now able to send domestic or international money transfers at U.S. Bank via Western Union for payout in 200 countries and territories,” said Kevin Wright, vice president of emerging markets at U.S. Bank. “Our relationship with Western Union enables U.S. Bank to meet the unique needs of consumers and the diverse communities we serve. We see Western Union as a strategic partner as we continue to offer products and services to new and existing consumers.”

The signing of U.S. Bank is an important step in Western Union's North America "go-to-market" strategy to continue its expansion into the banking channel. As Western Union expands its service offerings, in an effort to strongly position money transfers to consumers, it looks to tap into consumer banking channels including: Cash-to-Cash, Account-to-Cash, and Account-to-Account.

Carter Hunt, senior vice president strategic accounts and business development, The Americas for Western Union, added, “U.S. Bank and Western Union are brands consumers trust. Together, our businesses will now provide money transfer services to consumers, through an outstanding global network.”

“For many consumers, Western Union's service represents a fast, convenient and reliable connection with family and friends. Anything that we can do to make that connection easier is an example of the tremendous value the Western Union brand adds to banked consumers.”

About Western Union

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in the money transfer segment of global payments. Together with its Orlandi Valuta and Vigo branded money transfer services, Western Union provides consumers with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, as well as send payments and purchase money orders. It operates through a combined network of more than 379,000 Agent locations in more than 200 countries and territories. Famous for its pioneering telegraph services, the original Western Union dates back to 1851. For more information, visit

About U.S. Bancorp

U.S. Bancorp, with $264 billion in assets, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the 6th largest commercial bank in the United States. The company operates 2,847 banking offices and 5,183 ATMs in 24 states, and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at
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Pulse Provides Debit Card/ATM Safety Tips

Pulse Provides ATM and Debit Card Safety Recommendations (click below to enlarge and read) 

The full PDF is here

The Freeze is On Web Poker Players Millions

June 10, 2009
Web’s Poker Winners Face Delays in Collecting

Opening a new front in the government’s battle against Internet gambling, federal prosecutors have asked four American banks to freeze tens of millions of dollars in payments owed to people who play poker online.

The frozen payments of at least $33 million are owed to 27,000 players at four offshore poker sites, including, according to John Pappas, the executive director of the Poker Players Alliance, an advocacy group for online poker players.

Mr. Pappas said prosecutors in the last two weeks have asked Citibank, Wells Fargo and two smaller banks to freeze funds in accounts belonging to two companies, Allied Systems and Account Services, that process payouts on behalf of the poker sites.

The government action came to light over the weekend after checks issued to poker players by the two companies began bouncing, Mr. Pappas said. He said that the online casinos had assured him that they planned to pay players what they were owed.

Yusill Scribner, a spokeswoman for the office of the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, which is bringing the legal action, declined to comment.

Stephen Cohen, a spokesman at Citibank, a unit of Citigroup, confirmed that the bank had received a request from prosecutors. He said that as a matter of policy Citibank complies with such requests.

Wells Fargo, which received a court order to freeze the money, said it had a policy to comply with “valid instructions to seize funds” but declined further comment. It is not clear whether the other banks received court orders or simply requests.

I. Nelson Rose, a professor of law at Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, Calif., and an specialist on gambling law, called the government’s move a surprising and significant new effort to police wagering on the Internet.

Continue Reading at NY Times

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70 of Top 100 Websites are Malware Haven

UK IT managers unaware of Web 2.0 security risk: survey - Computer Business Review : News
Published:10-June-2009 | By Steve Evans

If SEVENTY of the TOP 100 Websites are a Malware Haven, then why are we "typing" in our credit and debit card numbers into a box in a website?  It doesn't make websense. 

Have you participated in our 5 question survey that popped up when you first visited?  If so, thank you!  Otherwise, I would ask that you please refresh this page and take 50 seconds to let us know what you think regarding "typing vs. swiping."  Thanks! JBF

Seventy of top 100 sites are malware haven

Seventy of the top 100 most popular websites have hosted or directed users to malicious code, phishing, or fraud, according to new research released by security firm Websense.

The research, called Web2.0@Work, examined the rise of Web 2.0 use in businesses. It said that although Web 2.0 tools are pervasive in the workplace, many organizations are at risk from security breaches as they are ill-equipped to protect themselves from potential threats.

The survey found that just 12% of IT managers in the UK believe that the ‘dynamic web’ – the top 100 most popular sites – present the greatest security threat on the web. In reality, Websense claims, 70% of the top 100 most popular websites have hosted or directed users to malicious code, phishing, or fraud.  From the report: To view the 16 Page PDF report in it's entirety, click here.

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Debit Growth Still Surging

Consumers becoming more inclined to use debit cards The recession may be leading more consumers to use their debit cards instead of credit cards, according to a recent report.

In the 2009 Debit Issuer Study released by Pulse this week, debit transactions saw 8 percent growth in the second half of 2008, with a 7 percent growth rate in both PIN and signature-based debit transactions projected for 2009.

"Although the economy is a challenge for debit card issuers, as it is for everyone, debit transaction growth remains strong," Cindy Ballard of Pulse said in a statement, going on to predict continued growth in debit use because "consumers use their debit cards for a large portion of necessary everyday expenses."

Ballard also noted that the debit use is increasingly taking the place of cash transactions - even when small amounts are involved. For example, the report noted that 27 percent of all debit transactions in 2008 were for less than $10.

Another statistic in the report found that active debit card holders are now performing 17.3 point of sale transactions per month, up from 16.6 in 2008.

Security Risks Grow with Emerging Technologies

Security risks grow as businesses rush to adopt emerging technologies

RSAreleased two new research studies that examine the far-reachingsecurity implications of promising technologies such as cloudcomputing, virtualization, social networking and mobile communications,and explore the pivotal business risks and rewards they represent toorganizations worldwide.

The first research study - conducted by IDG Research Services - revealsa significant gap between the speed at which organizations are adoptingnew connectivity, collaboration and communication technologies andtheir readiness to deploy them securely.

The second study, from RSA'sSecurity for Business Innovation Council, outlines how companies cancapitalize on the significant business advantages these newtechnologies represent without putting their organizations at risk.

"Businesses are becoming 'hyper-extended enterprises,' exchanginginformation with more constituencies in more ways and in more placesthan ever before," said Art Coviello, Executive Vice President, EMCCorporation and President, RSA, The Security Division of EMC. "Therapid adoption of nascent web, social and mobile technologies combinedwith the rising use of outsourcing is quickly dissolving what remainsof the traditional boundaries around our organizations and informationassets. Security strategies must shift dramatically to ensure companiescan achieve their goals to cut costs and meet revenue targets withoutcreating dangerous new business vulnerabilities."

Commissioned by RSA, a 2009 IDG Research Services survey of 100 topsecurity executives at companies with revenues of $1 billion or moreshowed that
some companies are so enthusiastic about the potential ofnew web and mobile technologies, they are deploying them withoutadequately securing critical processes and data.

Study findings are summarized in the IDG Research Services white paper, "As Hyper-Extended Enterprises Grow, So Do Security Risks".

Also today, RSA released the results of its fourth Security for Business Innovation Council report, "Charting the Path: Enabling the "Hyper-Extended" Enterprise in the Face of Unprecedented Risk."In this report, top security leaders from around the globe explore howsecurity strategies must transform in a world in which well-intentionedactions to drive new business value could open up disastrous riskexposures.

Continue Reading
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Internet Explorer Vulnerability Discovered

Core Security Technologies issued an advisory disclosing a vulnerability that could affect millions of individuals and businesses using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browsing software.

A vulnerability researcher working in CoreLabs, the research arm of Core Security Technologies, discovered that in some cases when affected versions of Internet Explorer are used to access an external website, the browser does not apply the appropriate security permissions, thus allowing unknown sites or applications to be treated as trusted URLs. This could potentially lead to malicious or infected URLs remotely executing scripts on systems running the affected versions of IE, via either drive-by or downloaded attacks, without the end user’s knowledge or permission to do so.

Continue Reading at HelpNet Security

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Kiva Launches Online Microfinance in US

Website That Pioneered Online Microloans to Entrepreneurs in Developing Countries Now Brings Same Opportunity to U.S. Entrepreneurs in Partnership With Maria Shriver, First Lady of California

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(PIN Payments Blog - June 10, 2009) - -- the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website -- has launched a pilot expansion in the United States, allowing individuals anywhere to make small loans to U.S. entrepreneurs through the website. brings its global, online micro-lending platform to the United States at a financial tipping-point for many small businesses. Small businesses represent more than 87 percent of all businesses in the United States, and, on average, these microenterprises are responsible for 900,000 new jobs created per year.(1) Despite these statistics, more than 10 million business owners faced difficulty obtaining business capital -- even before the credit crisis and economic slowdown.

Beginning today on, through partnerships with local microfinance institutions ACCION USA and Opportunity Fund, individuals will be able to browse and lend to small businesses across the United States. Through Kiva's website (, a loan of $25 can be made to support an entrepreneur, and the specific progress of the loan can be tracked, from initial funding to repayment. Upon receiving repayment, lenders can withdraw their funds or relend to another entrepreneur, thereby continuing the lending cycle.

"Most people think of microfinance as something that helps people in the developing world alone, but the impact of microfinance can be felt in any community that supports creative, industrious entrepreneurs," said Premal Shah, President of "Kiva's micro-loan model is extremely relevant to low-to-moderate income, U.S. based entrepreneurs, especially given the current economic conditions which makes access to credit a very real problem. The Internet could become a significant source of community driven, low-cost capital for the everyday small business owner in the U.S., and is excited to expand its platform to the U.S. at a time when the need for such capital is greatest."

Kiva's Roots in Microfinance

Founded as a means to combine the impact of microfinance with the utility of technology, has risen as a leader in global microfinance over the past 3 1/2 years. In May alone, users loaned $4.6 million to entrepreneurs, a 51 percent year-over-year increase and a record month for Over $75 million has been loaned through to support more than 180,000 individuals from 44 developing countries.

The push for to expand into the United States was inspired by California's First Lady, Maria Shriver, during her visit to Kiva's San Francisco office in March 2008. As the staff of proudly showed her the enormous impact the website was having on entrepreneurs in the developing world, Shriver asked if Kiva's model could be replicated domestically to support low-to-moderate income entrepreneurs in the United States.

"The message of The Women's Conference is that we all have the power to be Architects of Change in our own lives and in the lives of others," said Shriver. "And this partnership with is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to team up as a community and empower women entrepreneurs here in California and across the United States to start and sustain a small business, become more financially independent, and ultimately fulfill her dreams. By pooling our resources, a loan as small as $25 can change a life. Thanks to, being an Architect of Change has never been easier."

Partnering to Make Microfinance a Reality in the United States

To facilitate micro-lending in the U.S., has partnered with ACCION USA, a microfinance institution lending in 48 states across the U.S., and Opportunity Fund, a community development financial institution based in San Jose, CA. Recent impact studies found that the business survival rate of ACCION USA's borrowers is 97%, while loan provided creates or retains 1.7 jobs. Additionally, 60% of borrowers report an increase in household income. Opportunity Fund loan recipient created or sustained an average of 2+ jobs, 70% of surveyed clients reported an increase in business revenues, and 65% reported an increase in household income. Opportunity Fund's borrowers have a business survival rate of 85% and a loan repayment rate of 90%.

"While microfinance has long been associated with the developing world, ACCION USA's work has proven that it is also an established tool in the United States," said Gina Harman, president and CEO of ACCION USA. "Microloans not only provide access to capital, but fuel business growth and job creation -- key factors in driving economic recovery in the U.S."

"With the economy still reeling and federal stimulus dollars yet to hit the street, Opportunity Fund's mission is more important than ever," said Eric Weaver, CEO of Opportunity Fund. "Microfinance isn't about bubbles, excessive leverage or opaque financial products -- it's about old fashioned hard work and faith in our fellow human beings."

To learn more about how you can help support U.S. entrepreneurs, visit

About is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to an entrepreneur across the globe. Founded in 2005,'s mission is to connect people, through lending, to alleviate poverty. Over 500,000 people have loaned more than $76 million to 180,000 entrepreneurs in 45 countries. Currently, loans made through have a 98% repayment rate. is headquartered in San Francisco.


ACCION USA is a nonprofit microfinance organization that provides access to capital and financial education to low- and moderate-income individuals, primarily minorities and women. A pioneer and recognized leader in U.S. microfinance, AUSA empowers individuals to create sustainable businesses, increase family incomes, and contribute to the economic development of cities across the U.S. Since inception in 1991, ACCION USA has provided nearly $115 million in small business loans ranging from $500 to $50,000, offered nationwide via the AUSA online lending platform. For more information about small business loans, visit

About Opportunity Fund

Opportunity Fund (formerly Lenders for Community Development) is California's largest not-for-profit microlender and offers a unique blend of microfinance products and services to help residents of underserved communities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area work toward economic stability. Opportunity Fund is a not-for-profit financial institution that advances the economic well-being of working people by helping them earn, save, and invest in their future. Since 1995, Opportunity Fund has used an innovative model to direct $150 million, and more than 40,000 hours of financial and business assistance, into neglected neighborhoods, improving the lives of 10,000 households. For more information, please visit

About The Women's Conference

Under the leadership of California First Lady Maria Shriver, The Women's Conference has become the nation's premier forum for women. The mission of The Women's Conference is to inspire, empower and educate women from all walks of life to be Architects of Change in their own lives, in their communities and around the world. Every year, the non-partisan, 2-day conference event gathers the greatest hearts and minds to unite thousands of diverse women -- 20,000 in person and many more online -- with a shared conversation and a collective sense of purpose. The Women's Conference has formed partnerships with established and respected organizations in California, throughout the U.S. and abroad to develop far-reaching women's empowerment programs and initiatives. WE Invest, a program of The Women's Conference, has already been investing in women entrepreneurs in California, linking them to business training, mentoring, and a support network which gives them the tools to either start or expand their own business. This new partnership with Kiva will allow The Women's Conference to empower thousands of women across the country to become more financially independent. Founding WE Invest partners include Chevron, Visa, Wells Fargo and The Women's Self Worth Foundation. For more information about The Women's Conference and its other WE Programs, visit

(1) The Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO)

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EU Says US Gambling Laws Violate World Trade Organization Rules

BRUSSELS -(Dow Jones)- The European Commission Wednesday said that U.S. laws prohibiting gambling over the Internet violate international trade rules and threatened to challenge the ban at the World Trade Organization.

An investigation by the commission, the European Union's executive arm, has found that the U.S. gambling ban is being enforced mainly against non-U.S. companies, a violation of WTO rules.

The commission said that while a WTO case against the U.S. would be justified, it hopes that the two countries can negotiate a solution.

"Internet gambling is a complex and delicate area, and we do not want to dictate how the US should regulate its market," said E.U. Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton. "However, the US must respect its WTO obligations. I hope that we will be able to reach an amicable solution to this issue."

The E.U. says that the U.S. continues to allow remote betting on horse and greyhound races through U.S. companies, while cracking down on Internet poker gambling companies in the E.U., which are mainly based in the U.K., Ireland, Austria, Malta and Gibraltar.

-By Matthew Dalton, Dow Jones Newswires

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