Friday, October 9, 2009

PayPal Debit Access Program with STAR Big News

In one of the debit industry's biggest news events of the last couple of years PayPal introduces Debit Access, a PIN-less debit transaction in conjunction with First Data's STAR Debit Network.

Definitely an innovative move by STAR. Definitely an innovative move by PayPal. Definitely good news for PIN Debit on the web.

On the other hand, I don't think this is very good news for a company like Acculynk, who has, up to this point, made some real progress as the only software based PIN Debit application on the web. The repercussions from having the choice between two software PIN Debit providers, with one being a PayPal and First Data/STAR combination presents a challenge.  Unless they can provide a lower rate, I suspect they might find it exponentially more challenging to secure customers for their floating PIN Pad system.

Meanwhile, HomeATM remains the only PCI 2.x certified PIN Entry Device designed for eCommerce use.  Ideal for secure two-factor online banking authentication, real-time bill pay, real-time money transfers and...ultimately...a "card present" solution designed to eradicate "card not present" fraud. 

I'll have more on the significant effect this news has on various players in the industry in the days to come. 

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AMEX President to Get Millions

Source: BusinessWeek:  American Express Co.'s departing president will receive separation payments totaling $9.7 million along with a $4 million performance bonus and his regular salary, the company said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday.

Alfred F. Kelly, who plans to leave the company effective April 10, 2010, will receive a salary of $765,000 per year through Dec. 31 and $850,000 per year from Jan. 1 until he departs in April.

Kelly, 51, wants to run a company as a chief executive, a position that is unlikely to come open anytime soon at American Express as chairman and CEO Kenneth Chenault, 58, is entrenched in the job.

In a memo to the company's 60,000 employees about organisational changes at AmEx, Mr Chenault said Mr Kelly had made it "clear to me that he wanted the opportunity to run a company as a chief executive. Given my own plans for the coming years, we both agreed that was not likely to happen at American Express in the short term." - Kenneth Chenalut

Kelly will continue to lead the credit card lender's transition to a bank holding company until his departure. He has been president and head of the global consumer group since 2007.

Continue Reading at BusinessWeek

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American Express Launches Premier Rewards Program

American Express Launches Premier Rewards Gold Card Offering Triple Points On Airline Purchases, Double Points On Gas and Groceries

New Card Part of Company's Focus on Charge Card as "Smarter Way to Pay"

October 9, 2009 Source: PIN Payments News Blog

New York (October 8, 2009) - American Express (NYSE:AXP) today announced the launch of the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, a new Charge Card for U.S.-based consumers that provides generous rewards on airfare, gas and grocery purchases through the Membership Rewards program. Offering a simple 3-2-1 rewards structure, the Premier Rewards Gold Card gives Card members the opportunity to earn triple Membership Rewards ® points on airfare purchases, double points on gas and grocery purchases, and one point for all other purchases. Card members can also earn 15,000 bonus points when they spend $30,000 on the Card per calendar year, an average of $2,500 per month. The new Card is available for an annual fee of $175, which is waived for new Card members the first year.

"We're delighted to expand the Charge Card family of products with an even richer Card that allows Card members to earn Membership Rewards points faster," said Christopher Fred, vice president, Gold Card, American Express. "The Premier Rewards Gold Card is an especially attractive option for consumers who love to travel, since it offers three points on airfare purchases, more than airline rewards cards typically offer, and Card members earn triple points on all airfare purchases, not just with one airline."

The Premier Rewards Gold Card is part of American Express' renewed focus on its Charge Card portfolio and efforts to educate consumers about why a Charge Card is a "smarter way to pay," particularly in these economic times. Most recently, American Express launched the "Don't Take Chances. Take ChargeSM" marketing campaign that highlights the benefits of Charge Cards, including the financial discipline of a pay-in-full product, rich rewards and valuable retail and travel protections.

Premier Rewards Gold Card members can take advantage of the financial control, security and protection a Charge Card offers while reaping plentiful rewards. Card members are automatically enrolled in the Membership Rewards program from American Express and can redeem points for travel, shopping, dining and entertainment rewards with more than 500 brands. Frequent fliers can enjoy a wide variety of ways to redeem points for travel that the Membership Rewards program offers. Card members have the option to transfer points directly into 17 airline frequent-flier programs for award seats or use the Pay with Points feature to book any seat, anytime, on any airline with no blackout dates or other restrictions. Points have no expiration date, and there is no limit on the number of points a Card member can earn.

In addition to enjoying a rich rewards structure, Premier Rewards Gold Card members have access to all of the distinct Gold Card benefits currently available, including:

§Gold Card Destinations program, which offers Card members:

oSpecial amenities valued at $100 - $150 on virtually any trip from American Express Gold Card Destinations travel partners.

oA $75 food and beverage credit whenever they book a stay of two or more consecutive nights at more than 500 Starwood properties around the world.

oA wide variety of exclusive, unique travel and entertainment packages that are updated monthly at

§Gold Card Events, which offers them access to advance tickets and premium seating at some of the most sought-after shows and concerts, as well as VIP packages, exclusive tickets to family events, and much more.

Premier Rewards Gold Card members also enjoy the peace of mind and security that comes with carrying an American Express ® Card with benefits, such as:

  • Emergency assistance when Card members are 100 miles or more away from home with Global Assist ® Hotline

  • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance, at no additional charge

  • 24/7 Roadside Assistance Anywhere

  • Baggage Insurance Plan

  • Purchase Protection

  • Extended Warranty

  • Return Protection

Terms, conditions, and restrictions apply to these benefits. Visit for details. For more information about the Premier Rewards Gold Card, please visit: or call 800-223-2670.

About American Express

American Express Company ( is a leading global payments, network and travel company founded in 1850.

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Citibank Launches Citi Mobile(R) En Espanol

First major U.S. bank to offer mobile banking in Spanish

October 9, 2009 Source: PIN Payments News Blog

NEW YORK, Oct. 8 - Hispanic consumers now have even more options when it comes to their everyday banking. Citibank has just launched Citi Mobile en Espanol to enable customers who prefer to bank in Spanish to do so from their smartphones. The Spanish-language service lets customers manage their accounts, pay bills, locate Citibank branches and more - all from the convenience of their cell phones. Citibank is the first major U.S. bank to offer mobile banking in Spanish.

"Citi Mobile en Espanol offers our Spanish speaking customers the ability to bank anywhere, anytime on their smartphones," said Liza Landsman, Executive Vice President, North America Internet & Mobile, Citi. "With Hispanic customers making up almost one-quarter of our customer base, the service makes banking even easier for this important and growing audience."

Hispanics are among the most active mobile Web users in the United States. According to a recent independent report on Wireless Internet Use from Pew Research, nearly one-half of English-speaking Hispanic consumers reported accessing the Internet via a handheld device in 2009.(i) Of these consumers, about 29 percent reported going online "on a typical day" through a mobile device.(ii)

Citi Mobile en Espanol mirrors the functionality of the English-language Citi Mobile for Smartphones. It is accessed via the same convenient URL as the English version,, from any mobile device. Using Citi Mobile en Espanol, users of web-enabled mobile devices including BlackBerry® smartphones, Palm® devices and iPhone(TM) devices can easily do all of the following in Spanish:

•View Citi account balances and account activity

•Pay bills and set up recurring payments

•Make transfers between Citi accounts

•Locate Citi branches and ATMs

•Connect to Customer Service

Citi Mobile en Espanol provides easy navigation on virtually any recent device that has a mobile browser and an internet connection. And signing in is easy -- customers enter the same personal User ID and password they would use on their home computer.

Citibank was also the first major U.S. bank to offer Spanish-language online banking, in 2004. Today, with the introduction of Citi Mobile for Smartphones en Espanol, Citibank's fastest-growing customer segment gains even greater access to quick, easy and highly secure banking.

(i) Horrigan, John, Wireless Internet Use, Pew Internet & American Life Project, July 2009,, accessed Sept. 30, 2009. Page 14.

(ii) Horrigan, John, "Going online with a handheld by race," Wireless Internet Use, Pew Internet & American Life Project, July 2009,, accessed Sept. 30, 2009. Page 18.

About Citi Mobile and Citibank

Citi Mobile for Smartphones is a mobile banking application built by Citibank with support from Mobile Money Ventures, a joint venture of Citi and SK Telecom that provides mobile financial services applications globally. Citibank was the first major U.S. bank to launch a downloadable mobile banking application in 2007.

Citibank is a member of Citi, the leading global financial services company, which has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 140 countries. Through its two operating units, Citicorp and Citi Holdings, Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, and wealth management. Additional information may be found at or

Citi, Citibank and Citi Mobile are registered service marks of Citigroup Inc.

Palm is among the trademarks or registered trademarks owned by Palm, Inc. The Trademark BlackBerry is owned by Research In Motion Limited and is registered in the United States and may be pending or registered in other countries. Citibank is not endorsed, sponsored, affiliated with or otherwise authorized by Research in Motion Limited. iPhone is a trademark of Apple Inc.

SOURCE Citibank

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e-Mail Phishing Attacks Only the Beginning

MICROSOFT’S HOTMAIL and Google’s Gmail are among several e-mail services that suffered a substantial phishing attack in the past week. More than 30,000 people had their account details and passwords published on the website services affected included Yahoo, Comcast and AOL’s e-mail systems

In a story posted by Net they say the ramifications of this phishing attack are bigger than has been reported.  Here's their story:

In the wake of the news reports this week of the large-scale webmail phishing attacks, much of the coverage has surrounded the compromise of email accounts which, according to the numbers, affected a massive amount of webmail users.

However, what has been glossed over is the potential impact on the other aspects of the victims' online lives. The bad guys likely now have more than just access to users' email accounts, they have access to a host of other online services the victim uses.
"A user's unique email address is often used to authenticate a number of web sites, including social networking sites and Instant Messaging on a public IM network," said Paul Wood, MessageLabs Intelligence Senior Analyst, Symantec. "If your email address has been compromised, not only should you change the password there, you should also change it on any other site that uses that email address as a log in ID."

Once the bad guys have email account information and the will to take over a related social networking accounts, all they need to do is try the password reminder links from the login pages. They can then not only use your email to spam, they can also gain access to other personal information stored online.

Over the last year, MessageLabs Intelligence has tracked a number of phishing attacks using Instant Messaging whereby the bad guys collected real IM user account information and passwords and used them to send commercial messages to everyone on the user's buddy list. An invitation to view a funny video or embarrassing pictures by clicking on a link in an IM was the bait and the landing site would then ask the victim to log in with their IM user name and password. For public IM networks, the user name is often the same as the web-based email account.

Phishing isn't the only way the bad guys can gain access to webmail accounts. MessageLabs Intelligence has been aware of an increase in the number of "brute-force" password breaking attempts, where dictionary attacks are used against online webmail accounts to break in, perhaps using POP3 or webmail to conduct the attacks. Users with simple or weak passwords are the most vulnerable. On the website, an attacker will be asked to solve a CAPTCHA puzzle to prove they are a real person. CAPTCHAs can be easily bypassed using a variety of CAPTCHA-breaking tools.

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Video: The Importance of Interchange

When merchants accept credit and debit, they sell more, reduce costs, and increase profits.

Merchants don’t want to pay their fair share for this service – and they want consumers to pick up their tab.

They are lobbying Congress for a sweetheart deal that will force consumers to foot the bill instead.

If merchants get their way...

Consumers will foot the bill.

If retailers succeed in their efforts, consumers like you will end up footing the bill.

Find out how consumers were harmed when similar regulation was passed in Australia »

Community banks and credit unions will be harmed.

If interchange was artificially lowered, these small financial institutions would have to make the difficult decision to either raise prices, or stop offering these card products – either option resulting in their customers going elsewhere.

Find out how this legislation will hurt community banks and credit unions »

Small businesses won’t be able to compete with large retailers.

Today’s global credit and debit system allows even the smallest kiosk on Main Street to compete on a level playing field with the world’s largest retailers.

Hear from small business owners about the benefits that they receive when they accept debit and credit cards »

Small businesses across the country will ultimately be harmed – not helped – by this legislation.

See how small businesses would be hurt by interchange legislation »

You pay your bills. Giant retailers should pay theirs, too.

Tell Congress you don’t want to pay retailers’ bills »
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Video: What is Interchange and How Does it Affect You?

Want a simple explanation on exactly what Interchange is? 

How about this one from the Electronic Payments Council called "Interchange and Me." After lunch I'll bring you another one entitled: The Importance of Interchange.  C'mon back in about an hour...

Mi-Pay Celebrates Fifth Anniversary in Mobile Payments

London, Oct. 9, 2009 -PIN Payments News Blog- As it celebrates its fifth anniversary, leading mobile payments provider Mi-Pay remains positive about the mobile money market and predicts that the next five years will bring new services, players and greater financial freedom to the world’s most disenfranchised populations.

While global recession has left its mark on many industries, Mi-Pay believes it has also acted as a catalyst for mobile-based financial service adoption; allowing the company, now ranked in the world’s top ten mobile money providers, and top five in terms of service based offering, to continue expansion of its services in Africa, India, Eastern Europe and Latin America during 2009 and 2010.

Norman Frankel, CEO of Mi-Pay explains, “As banks, service providers and mobile operators seek to overcome economic challenges, drive more efficient infrastructure and create stickier services for larger groups of customers, many are now turning to mobile payments, remittances and topup to boost reach, fuel demand and renew customer loyalty.

As a result, we predict that the next five years will see mobile money shift from being a niche service to a viable mass market proposition with widespread global adoption.

Many leading industry analysts confirm Mi-Pay’s outlook. For example, Informa predicts that in 2013 there will be 300 billion mobile payment transactions, totalling US$800 billion. It also suggests that revenue from mobile payments in 2013 will be as high as US$10 billion, a twelve-fold increase on what we see today. Similarly, Berg Insight believes mobile banking will grow at 89% a year; peaking in 2014 with 913 million global users. Berg also forecasts up to 20% of international money transfers will be carrier out via the mobile generating a further US$ 170–680 million in service revenues.

But it is not all plain sailing, according to Frankel, “This is a complex, technically challenging and heavily regulated environment; fraught with difficulties for uninitiated players seeking fast rewards. Our five years of expertise makes us one of the most experienced mobile money service providers in the world. The lessons we have learnt from live implementations and service roll-outs, in some of the world’s most demanding regions, will allow us to continue to navigate these challenges; delivering the most flexible money services to our customers irrespective of location or market.”

In Sep 2004, Mi-Pay started integrating mobile functionality with payments and other financial services and shortly after was offering top-up switching services to its first international client, leading European network operator, KPN Telfort. Following a joint venture with Digital Payments, Voca Ltd and Retail Decisions plc, Mi-Pay has subsequently been able to attract and secure major customers such as Carphone Warehouse, Tesco, Du and Vodafone to its portfolio.

Paul Layte, the Director of Carphone Warehouse comments, “We are delighted at Mi-Pay’s achievements. Its indemnified mobile top-up service has played a core part of our value proposition over the past five years. Not only has it made buying airtime more convenient for our pre-paid customers but it has lowered the costs and reduced the risks normally associated with providing this type of service.”

Today, Mi-Pay’s customer base spans its focused corridors of Europe, Middle East and Africa. While domestic and international topup remains a core part of its business, it is now involved in mobile banking and, mobile money transfer deployments. It has been able to achieve this by using best of breed technology; developing innovative business processes to control and manage payment risk; and choosing its partners wisely.

Postilion, for example, provides the payments platform that handles all of Mi-Pay’s transactions worldwide. Mark McMurtrie, Marketing Director, Postilion International says, “Mi-Pay’s investment in a non-proprietary and flexible architecture demonstrates the foresight that has made the company a leader in its field. Rather than adopting a ‘good enough’ approach, Mi-Pay chose our globally proven payments platform which is based on an open systems infrastructure. With Postilion as the core payments engine, Mi-Pay has been able to expand and diversify into feature-rich mobile financial services as the market evolved.”

With its eyes fixed firmly on the future, Mi-Pay is keen to help others exploit the benefits of mobile money services. An advisory member of the International Association of Money Transfer Associations, Mi-Pay is also a founding member of the GSMA’s Mobile Money Vendor programme, and is an active participant in its Mobile Money for the Unbanked programme.

Frankel adds, “We feel strongly that mobile based financial services can greatly help those people disenfranchised due to social, political, economic or geographical constraints. It allows access to convenient payments mechanisms; generating new opportunities for trade and socio-economic growth. The roll-out of our agent-based, person-to-person money transfer platform in Africa is testament to this; we look forward to witnessing the benefits that it delivers over the years to come.”

About Mi-Pay

Mi-Pay the leading mobile money company, provides an innovative range of products and services that enable consumers around the world to undertake safe and secure financial transactions from their mobile phones. Based in the UK, Mi-Pay also has offices in Dubai, Romania, India and Pakistan, bringing a global perspective to the provision of secure transactions from the consumer’s handset through to settlement. Mi-Pay has vast expertise and service offerings that span pre-pay topups, mobile initiated payments, mobile banking, mobile money transfer, handset based authentication and consultancy. For more information visit:

Source: Company press release.


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More on Soaring Online Bank Fraud

Online Banking Fraud Soars in Britain

Despite an overall decline in British credit card fraud, (thanks Chip and PIN) criminals are getting more sophisticated at targeting online bank accounts

Click here to find out more!

Online banking fraud jumped by 55 per cent during the first six months of this year as criminals become even more sophisticated in their use of technology.

Losses from online banking fraud hit £39m in the first half of the year, despite a decrease in the overall amount of credit card fraud in the UK.

Banking industry body Financial Fraud Action UK warned that online fraud is becoming increasingly sophisticated, with fraudsters targeting customers using malware and phishing scams. The number of phishing incidents rose by 26 per cent to 26,000 during the same six-month period from January to June, according to the group.

But it also said online security measures, which require the cardholder to enter a password when making purchases over the web, have contributed to an 18 per cent reduction in the amount of phone, internet and mail order fraud.

But Financial Fraud Action UK's head of fraud control Katy Worobec said in a statement: "Whilst industry online security initiatives such as Verified by Visa (V) and MasterCard (MA ) SecureCode may be making their presence felt, the fraudsters are never going to shut up shop and, of course, there are emerging areas such as online banking fraud which has risen again."

William Beer, a director at PricewaterhouseCoopers One Security practice, said criminals are now very specialised in identifying and exploiting vulnerabilities, unprotected consumer PCs and the public's lack of awareness, which make them much easier to attack than banks' networks. "That said, many companies will need to assess and ensure that their security systems are up to date to counter a new range of complex and aggressive threats including online fraud, cyber attacks and e-espionage," he said in a statement.

The online fraud statistics go against the overall trend, which has seen a decrease in credit card fraud of 23 per cent from the same period last year. Card fraud losses totalled £232.8m in the first half of 2009, translating to around a tenth of a penny being lost to fraud for every £1 spent on cards.

The introduction of chip and PIN in UK stores has played an important role in this reduction, with over-the-counter losses down by 26 per cent year-on-year.

Fraud on lost and stolen cards is also down by six per cent to £25.1m—its lowest level since 1991. The group suggests that the dip may be due to criminals targeting foreign-issued cards, which do not yet use the chip and PIN system.

Financial Fraud Action UK reported there has also been a 45 per cent decrease in fraud abroad. This is largely due to improved fraud detection systems in banks, which monitor irregular spending.

Provided by—Driving Business Through Technology

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FNB CEO Apologizes for Online Banking Downtime

FNB CEO Michael Jordaan apologizes for online banking downtime; promises compensation for any losses

Many FNB online banking clients had to endure a long system downtime earlier this week. FNB CEO Michael Jordaan has now apologized for this downtime, and promised that customers who lost money will be compensated.

Editor's Note:  I wanted to put an FNB Logo on this post, but when I typed in their web-site address the only picture that was available is the one displayed on the left.  Ooops!

“While I sincerely hope that you have not been affected, you may have been one of our unfortunate customers who experienced slow response on our Online Banking platform. Please accept my sincerest apologies for the poor levels of service on our Online Banking systems over the last two days,” said Jordaan.

“We have made a commitment that customers who have experienced quantifiable losses as a result of having to use any other FNB payment channels such as branches, ATM's, call centres, mobile banking, or alternative payments instruments such as cheque or cash payments will be compensated for any additional fees incurred.”

FNB said that claims should be made via email to or through the relevant call centres on 0860 11 22 44 for our Personal Banking customers and 0861 100 141 for our Business Enterprise customers, alternatively through your relationship managers.

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New Credit Card Laws Threat to Consumers, Critics Charge

October 9th, 2009:  The Star:  In another article written today by The Star, 

Two bills currently before the Senate risk reducing competition in Canada's multi-billion dollar debit- and credit-card markets, while driving up consumer fees through heavy-handed regulation, says the parliamentary secretary to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

Liberal Senator Pierrette Ringuette has introduced two bills in Canada's upper chamber that seek to regulate Visa's and MasterCard's entry into the debit market, while giving Canada's banking regulator new powers to control interest rates and fees for both credit and debit cards.  Conservative MP Ted Menzies warns that ordinary Canadians would pay the price if the two pieces of legislation, which face a second reading in the Senate on Thursday, are passed into law.

"Realistically, if we try and shackle this too tight, we'll see competition step out of the market and then we may end up with something worse than what we have already," Menzies said.

The first bill seeks to amend the Canadian Payments Act to make Visa and MasterCard subject to federal regulations at a time when the global giants are preparing to enter this country's debit card market. The amendment would name Visa and MasterCard, along with domestic not-for-profit player Interac, as "designated payment systems" under that piece of legislation to "ensure that all three debit card operators will be subject to the same laws and standards," Ringuette said.

The second bill would grant Canada's banking regulator, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, additional powers to oversee the interest rates and fees charged by banks to use credit and debit cards.

...The Canadian Bankers Association said the potential impact on credit card users was still unknown: "But ... there are always unintended consequences when regulations are imposed on highly competitive and well-functioning markets, and these unintended consequences can have a negative impact on consumers."

MasterCard, meanwhile, issued a statement saying Canada's current regulatory framework is "sufficiently robust" to ensure competition.

Continue Reading at The Star

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Visa Canada to Showcase Contactless Debit at Olympics in Vancouver

The Star is reporting that Visa Canada plans to showcase the first-ever "contactless" debit cards in the country during the high-profile Olympic Games in Vancouver early next year, says a leading supplier of card readers.

According to the publication, the move, believed to be a North American first, comes amid a wave of concern among merchants and small-business owners about the imminent entry by Visa and MasterCard into Canada's $168 billion debit card market. In other countries, where those global giants have introduced debit products, merchants say their processing costs have skyrocketed.

The contactless feature, called payWave, is currently offered on Visa credit cards in Canada. This would be the first time it is offered on a debit card.

Continue Reading

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Customers 'Blamed for Card Fraud' by Bank

People at a cash machine

The Sensible Type: Are you being

sensible when you type in your PIN?

Here is an interesting article from the BBC. With debit having surpassed credit card use and rampant card fraud originating from myriad methods, including tampered with POS devices, or skimmers and camera's placed at ATM's, the decision not to refund money to consumers who have had their PINs compromised could become a PR nightmare for banks.

Consumer groups are calling for banks to change their approach to card fraud when a customer's Pin has been used after the theft of a purse or wallet.

By Bob Howard - Reporter, Radio 4's Money Box

Banks usually reimburse fraud victims, unless the customer acted fraudulently or without "reasonable care".

But some banks are now turning down claims, saying customers must have left a copy of the PIN with their card.

The banking industry says Chip and Pin is secure and each dispute is judged on its own merits. Richard Elphick, a chartered surveyor, told Radio 4's Money Box he had his wallet stolen while he was eating outside a central London restaurant in July.

Although he cancelled his cards within the hour, the thief still had time to withdraw £100 cash from an ATM using his Natwest credit card, and make other purchases and withdrawals using his Natwest debit card. In total the fraud came to £2,300.

Question of liability

Natwest refunded the £100 Mr Elphick lost on his credit card, saying that as he had used the card that day it was credible his Pin might have been observed. But it refused to repay the money taken from his debit card, arguing there had been no explanation for how the Pin number became known to the fraudster. "Mr Elphick's debit card had not been used for 13 days prior to the theft," said Natwest. "His exact debit card Pin was successfully used for all the fraudulent transactions. We can only conclude that Mr Elphick kept a record of his debit card Pin in his wallet." But Mr Elphick emphatically denies his Pin number was in his wallet. "They weren't written down anywhere and I don't know how anyone could get access to them," he said.

"It makes no sense to me at all, the rules should be the same for both."

The Banking Code says a customer is only liable for the first £50 in cases like this, unless the bank can prove the customer acted fraudulently, or "without reasonable care." The banking umbrella group, the UK Payments Administration, agrees that its members must abide by the code.

"The bank or card company must be able to demonstrate that the customer has either been negligent with their cards details, or that they are a knowing party to the fraud, before turning down a customer's fraud claim."

Cathy Neal from the consumer organisation Which? believes banks need to rethink how they interpret these guidelines. "There are just too many cases like this for it to be people actually being careless," she said. "If people are saying they haven't been careless, you have to call into question the kind of proof that they're using."

Chip and Pin security expert Stephen Murdoch from the University of Cambridge believes there are a variety of ways fraudsters could obtain Pins, from compromising Pin entry devices in shops to bank staff divulging customer details. Natwest insists it is not possible for a fraudster to read the Pin on any of their cards, nor for their staff to ever know someone's Pin number.

BC Radio 4's Money Box is broadcast on Saturdays at 12 noon, and repeated on Sundays at 2100h. Download the podcast.

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New Payback Maestro Payment Card Launched in Germany

PAYBACK Maestro card – pay and collect points worldwide

Munich, Dusseldorf –PIN Payments News Blog- In cooperation with WestLB, Germany’s largest bonus programme has launched a free PAYBACK Maestro card on the market. At the request of customers, the conventional PAYBACK card has been equipped with a payment function that can be used with immediate effect worldwide to make cashless payments and collect points. "We have succeeded in combining the best features of PAYBACK and the EC payment card", explains Burkhard Grassmann, spokesman for the PAYBACK Board of Management. "The new PAYBACK Maestro card enables our customers to collect more points than ever before and it is also equipped with state-of-the-art functions."

In addition to the traditional payment options, owners of the PAYBACK Maestro card can also make online and contact-free payments. "All these benefits combine to make the PAYBACK Maestro card one of the most innovative cards on the European market. Customers can now use this card to make cashless payments and collect points at eleven million outlets where Maestro is accepted worldwide. The various elements of the card – a combination of customer card, bonus programme and a means of making payments both at home and abroad – fit together seamlessly", says Steffen Kowalski, member of the Board of Management responsible for Transaction Banking at WestLB AG. What really sets this card apart is that customers do not need to switch bank accounts in order to use it, because payments are charged directly to the customer’s current account.

"For us as a company, the card is a strategically important building block in strengthening customer loyalty. PAYBACK will gain even greater appeal, because customers can accumulate points even faster and thus obtain the rewards they want, benefit from additional advantages and coupons, and the points are now also valid for an unlimited period of time", explains Manfred Mandel, CMO International of the real,- hypermarket chain. The PAYBACK Maestro card is offered by PAYBACK and its partners Apollo-Optik, Aral, Dänisches Bettenlager, dm-drogerie markt, Europcar, Galeria Kaufhof, LINDA pharmacies, real,- and WMF. Application forms for the card are available from branches of these partners and from

WestLB is responsible for all the payment-card-specific processes, from processing the application to issuing the statement. The bank notifies PAYBACK of the number of points to be awarded each month.

Features of the new PAYBACK Maestro card at a glance:

  • Points can be collected from Payback partners

  • Points can be collected when making payments at approximately 11 million outlets where Maestro is accepted (1 point for every 10 euros spent, with the exception of purchases made at service stations and cash withdrawals)

  • Payback points are valid for an unlimited period

  • Online payments via SecureCode

  • Contact-free payments via paypass

  • New cardholders can collect ten-fold points once and are sent welcome coupons

  • Additional promotions

  • Withdraw money from ATMs (for a fee)

  • Available in ten co-branding designs from partners

About WestLB:

WestLB AG is a European commercial bank based in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous federal state. With total assets of EUR 254.5 billion (as at June 30, 2009), it is one of Germany’s leading financial services providers. It is the central institution for the Sparkasse banks in North Rhine-Westphalia and Brandenburg and acts as a link to the global financial markets. Working in close partnership with the Sparkasse banks, WestLB offers a range of banking products and services, focusing on lending, project finance, capital market and private equity products, asset management, transaction services and real estate finance. As at June 30, 2009, WestLB employed a workforce of 5,208 in full-time positions.

Source: Payback


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Disqus for ePayment News