Friday, December 18, 2009

TrialPay Advocating Offer-based Payments that Put Consumers First

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- In the wake of a scandal that revealed unethical practices by many companies in the offer-based payments industry, TrialPay today issued a whitepaper titled, “Doing Right by the Consumer: Going Beyond Compliance.” The paper, which is based upon guidelines that TrialPay has adhered to since the company’s inception 2006, outlines best practices for gaming developers, publishers, advertisers and offer companies to ensure consumer protections and long-term success of the industry at large.

To download a free copy of the whitepaper, visit:

Offer-based payments are a method for consumers to pay for online games or to purchase virtual goods within online games. Instead of paying with cash, offer-based payments enable consumers to make their purchase by transacting with a third-party advertiser -- which could include making a purchase or signing-up for a free trial.

Following public revelations that some offer companies displayed ads that mislead consumers with hidden or reoccurring charges, the leading social networks on which these games are played quickly published new sets of guidelines for what they deem acceptable. Since that time, both Facebook and MySpace have banned companies for operating outside of their new regulations.

Offers that are done well and implemented ethically can benefit everyone. Gaming companies generate revenue from customers that may not have been willing to pay directly; advertisers make a sale and potentially gain a new customer; and consumers get their game or virtual goods for free in return for purchasing something they need or want from a reputable advertiser.

To help ensure that the industry returns to its mutually beneficial roots, the whitepaper issued today by TrialPay offers a number of tips gleaned from its years of experience in the software, retail, online services, social apps and casual games markets, including:

5 best practices for ensuring offers are consumer-friendly

7 ways to tell if an offer company is built to deliver consumer satisfaction

“Facebook and MySpace deserve recognition for their new policies and their quick action,” said TrialPay CEO, Alex Rampell. “However, it’s time to raise the bar and go beyond the bare minimum. Offer companies and game publishers must take it upon themselves to focus on higher quality and transparency to expose scammy offers and ensure long-term sustainability.”

About TrialPay

TrialPay introduces e-commerce solutions that increase conversion rates and boost order values for any online seller. TrialPay’s payment and promotions platform uses the efficiencies of the Web to pair online shoppers with ideal offers at every stage of the purchase process. With TrialPay, everyone wins: online stores make more sales from their current traffic, advertisers acquire new customers on a pay-for-performance basis and shoppers get a free product with every purchase.

TrialPay works with name-brand companies across many verticals, including: The Wall Street Journal, Gap, McAfee, Netflix, and thousands of others. In just two and a half years, TrialPay has provided 40 million registered users with compelling payment options at more than 7,500 online stores.

UChoose Chosen as Top 10 Technology by BTN

Image of Bank Technology News from Twitter

Fiserv, Inc., the leading global provider of financial services technology solutions, today announced that Bank Technology News has named UChoose Rewards as one of the "Top 10 Technologies of 2009" in its December Innovators issue. Bank Technology News selected ten companies/technologies for recognition based upon innovation that rose to meet the demands of this year's market conditions.

UChoose Rewards from Fiserv Named Among Top 10 Technologies of 2009 by Bank Technology News

Brookfield, Wis., December 18, 2009 - Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), the leading global provider of financial services technology solutions, today announced that Bank Technology News has named UChoose Rewards(r) as one of the "Top 10 Technologies of 2009" in its December Innovators issue. Bank Technology News selected ten companies/technologies for recognition based upon innovation that rose to meet the demands of this year's market conditions.

UChoose Rewards from Fiserv is a turn-key rewards and loyalty solution that provides debit and credit card reward capabilities for financial institutions. Marketed to institutions of all sizes, UChoose Rewards enables smaller banks and credit unions to compete with the well - established reward programs of the nation's largest banks.

The ability for clients to choose from merchant-funded or issuer-funded programs - or a blend of the two - to meet their specific profitability objectives speaks to the innovation of UChoose Rewards; as does the solution's emphasis on local merchant recruitment, which enables clients to nominate smaller-scale neighborhood merchants to participate along with national chain stores. UChoose Rewards enables financial institutions to build programs based on the wants and needs of their cardholders, with options for debit, credit and opening an account. In addition, financial institutions have the opportunity to give customers the ability to combine points earned for all their bank or credit union accounts.

"UChoose Rewards truly is an innovative solution that enables financial institutions to increase their revenue and improve customer loyalty through a rewards program that is fully customizable to fit their unique business needs," said Andy Brown, vice president of Product Development for EFT Solutions from Fiserv. "Many of our UChoose Rewards clients are already seeing a significant increase in the number of transactions processed each month and average spend per cardholder, per month."

In addition to being recognized as one of the top technologies of 2009 by Bank Technology News, UChoose Rewards from Fiserv was recognized this year by Cards International for being the "Best Innovation in a Loyalty Program." Additionally, Chessie Federal Credit Union, an UChoose Rewards client, was selected for Best Practice recognition by Credit Union Journal for debit card use and card rewards.

About Fiserv

Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV) is the leading global provider of information management and electronic commerce systems for the financial services industry, driving innovation that transforms experiences for financial institutions and their customers. Ranked No. 1 on the FinTech 100 survey of top technology partners to the financial services industry, Fiserv celebrates its 25th year in 2009. For more information, visit

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CardinalCommerce Offering NYCE's SafeDebit Altpay

CardinalCommerce to offer NYCE’s SafeDebit solution

Secaucus, N.J., Dec. 14, 2009 -- NYCE® today announced that CardinalCommerce has signed an agreement to offer SafeDebit®, NYCE’s secure online payment solution for Internet purchases, to its merchant clients through Cardinal Centinel. CardinalCommerce Corporation is a leader in enabling authenticated payments, secure transactions and alternative payment brands for both e-commerce and mobile commerce. NYCE Payments Network, LLC, is a leading U.S. electronic payments network and an FIS™ company. FIS is one of the world’s largest providers of banking and payments technology.

CardinalCommerce will add the SafeDebit solution to its Centinel platform, which will enable CardinalCommerce merchants who elect to offer the solution to implement it quickly and efficiently. Centinel allows merchants to implement multiple payment brands with a single installation and reduces the integration efforts associated with activating additional solutions later.

“We chose to be an early adopter of the SafeDebit solution because we believe the solution fills a market need for our clients and fits competitively within the payment offerings we already provide,” said Michael Keresman, CardinalCommerce Chief Executive Officer. “Many merchants desire a debit option with rigorous cardholder authentication, which means our clients benefit from fewer chargebacks and the immediate verification of good funds. And with its combination of security and convenience — the elements consumers have said they are looking for in online retail payments — the SafeDebit system has the potential to boost merchant sales and bring in new transactions.”

Earlier this year, NYCE released results from a study it commissioned from the marketing research firm Analytica Inc. The study surveyed consumers regarding their behaviors and preferences related to Internet purchases. Security and convenience emerged as top considerations that affected whether and how often the respondents shopped online, as well as how they chose to pay.

“CardinalCommerce’s technology will allow merchants to implement the SafeDebit solution quickly and efficiently,” said Steve Rathgaber, president of NYCE. “By offering this solution to Cardinal’s large network of merchants, we are confident that cardholders whose institutions offer the SafeDebit system will easily find a place to shop.”

Using technology provided by Verient, the SafeDebit online payment solution enables consumers to pay for Internet purchases directly from their deposit accounts without disclosing their debit card information online. The system validates shoppers through their online banking credentials, and generates a pseudo card number for one-time use on a merchant’s site.

About CardinalCommerce Corporation

CardinalCommerce Corporation is the global leader in enabling authenticated payments, secure transactions and alternative payment brands for both eCommerce and mobile commerce. Cardinal Centinel®* enables payment brands such as Verified by Visa, MasterCard® SecureCode™, Amazon Payments™, Bill Me Later®, ClickandBuy®, Ebates™, eBillme™, eLayaway™, Google™ Checkout, Green Dot® MoneyPak®, Mazooma™, Moneta®, MyECheck, NACHA® Secure Vault Payments (SVP), NYCE® SafeDebit®, OneTouch Online Purchasing™, PayPal™, paysafecard, RevolutionCard™, SafetyPay™ , TeleCheck®, Ukash®, and more to a network of thousands of merchants and merchant service providers. Our mobile commerce platform, Cardinal MAX™, makes it simple for retailers to sell and market products through the mobile channel. Cardinal's proprietary and easily deployable technology provides consumers, merchants, credit/debit card issuers, and processors the ability to conduct authenticated Internet, wireless and mobile transactions safely and securely. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, with facilities in the United States, Europe, and Africa, Cardinal services a worldwide customer base.

About NYCE

NYCE Payments Network, LLC, an FIS™ company, helps its clients grow with innovative new products and strategic alliances that enable them to capitalize on the efficiency, consumer convenience and security of electronic real-time payments. The NYCE Network provides consumers with secure, real-time access to their money, offering hundreds of thousands of ATM locations and millions of point-of-sale locations nationwide. The NYCE Direct Bill Payment service offers cardholders a convenient way to pay bills online in real-time using their deposit accounts. NYCE Balance Transfer services drive asset growth for consumer credit issuers through automated balance transfer/consolidation payment services. Headquartered in Secaucus, N.J., NYCE Payments Network, LLC, ( ) is a wholly owned subsidiary of FIS (NYSE:FIS).

About FIS

FIS delivers banking and payments technologies to more than 14,000 financial institutions and businesses in over 100 countries worldwide. FIS provides financial institution core processing, and card issuer and transaction processing services, including the NYCE® Network. FIS maintains processing and technology relationships with 40 of the top 50 global banks, including nine of the top 10. FIS is a member of Standard and Poor's (S&P) 500® Index and consistently holds a leading ranking in the annual FinTech 100 rankings. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., FIS employs more than 30,000 on a global basis. FIS is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the “FIS” ticker symbol. For more information about FIS see .

Source: Company press release.

Discover and Pulse Offer Tips at

RIVERWOODS, Ill. & HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In the final dash of the holiday shopping season, consumers should not overlook the need to protect themselves against fraud and identity theft.

Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) and PULSE, one of the nation’s leading ATM/debit networks, are urging consumers to take care when using credit and debit cards in order to guard their identities and finances while finishing holiday shopping.

“Credit card fraud can affect anyone, at any time, but consumers are particularly vulnerable around the holidays,” said Jack McCoy, vice president of corporate security for Discover Financial Services. “However, there are a number of tips that smart shoppers can adopt to reduce the likelihood of falling victim to scammers, hackers and credit card thieves.”

“Debit cards are also susceptible to fraudulent activity,” added Cindy Ballard, executive vice president of PULSE. “Between all of the holiday expenses like gifts, travel and entertainment, it can be difficult to keep track of accurate and potentially fraudulent expenses.”

Both McCoy and Ballard agree about the importance of monitoring spending on a regular basis. Whether working from a small or large budget, consumers should keep track of their daily spending by monitoring checking accounts and account statements online. This will keep consumers up to date on credit limits and account balances and give them the opportunity to review accounts for fraudulent activity.

In terms of managing spending, consumers are encouraged to look around the house for gift cards that might have value. If necessary, combine two or three cards to purchase a gift without affecting other money set aside for gift giving.

Plus, look for promotional codes and discounts that many retailers are offering around the holidays. These can provide great deals without breaking the budget.

Many e-retailers offer promotional codes that give discounts at checkout or free shipping. There are also ways to get extra cash while shopping online. Discover Cardmembers can earn Double Cashback Bonus through the end of the year on up to $1,000 in purchases when they use their card to buy gifts anywhere online., Discover’s online shopping portal, offers cardmembers the ability to earn five to 20 percent Cashback Bonus at participating retailers when making purchases through the site.

These spending and security tips and tools will help keep consumers’ finances safe and secure through the holiday season. For additional information about the difference between debit and credit cards, and debit card usage information, visit

Visa, FTC and BBB Partner to Educate Consumers about Online Scams

Twenty-nine percent of online U.S. consumers victimized by deceptive marketing

Washington, DC, December 17, 2009 /PRNewswire/ — Today Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) joined the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau in a press conference to alert consumers to online deceptive marketing practices associated with free trials with a negative option feature. According to a Visa survey, 29 percent of American consumers have fallen victim to deceptive marketing when unscrupulous e-commerce merchants require them to cancel or opt-out of a recurring charge for future products or services.¹

With free trials with a negative option feature, a company takes a consumer’s failure to cancel as permission to begin charging. While many merchants use this billing process appropriately, others pre-check consent boxes, bury the details of the offers in the terms and conditions and make cancellations or returns difficult, catching consumers in a cycle of recurring charges for products and services they do not want.

“Most e-commerce merchants care about their customers and conduct business fairly, but even a few bad actors can cause consumer distrust,” said William M. Sheedy, Group President, The Americas, Visa Inc. “We want to let consumers know more about the protections they have against these types of practices and how to pursue a reversal of charges if they’ve been charged improperly.”

Visa monitors its payment network to identify merchants with excessive levels of cardholder disputes which may indicate the use of deceptive marketing practices. In fact, merchants who use deceptive marketing practices have up to 20 times as many consumer disputes as the average e-commerce merchant. Visa requires the merchant and its bank to take corrective action to reduce excessive consumer disputes, or risk termination of Visa acceptance privileges.

According to Better Business Bureau, consumers should research the business before they buy. “Online trial offers for acai berry supplements, colon cleanser and detox products, teeth whiteners, free government grants and debt consolidation services may sound risk-free, but BBB has received thousands of complaints from people who learned the hard way that a free trial can cost a lot of money in the end,” said Steve Salter, Vice President of BBBOnline. “Before handing over debit or credit card numbers to any business online, shoppers should always check the company’s Reliability Report® first with BBB.”

Visa, the FTC and BBB offers tips to online shoppers on how to spot deceptive free trial offers and deceptive negative option features, and how to deal with unauthorized charges:
  • Take time to read and understand all terms and conditions, so a free trial doesn’t turn into a costly purchase you didn’t intend to make.

  • Pay particular attention to any pre-checked boxes before you submit your payment card information for an order. Failing to un-check the boxes may bind you to terms and conditions you’re not interested in.

  • Review card statements when you get them for any unauthorized charges, and notify the card issuer promptly of any unusual activity or unauthorized charges.

  • Try to resolve the situation with the merchant. If you’re unsuccessful, contact the card issuer immediately to dispute the charge.

David Vladeck, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection said, "Online shoppers: If you see charges on your statement or debits that you didn't authorize, fight it. Start by contacting the merchant. If you are unable to contact the merchant or they can't or won't help, call your card issuer and then file a complaint with the FTC. You can do that online at or by phone at 1-877-FTC-HELP."

The FTC has outlined five principles regarding the appropriate use of negative options, which call for:

  • Disclosing material terms in an understandable manner, without making them unnecessarily long or inconsistent;

  • Making the disclosures clear and conspicuous by placing them where consumers are likely to look on Web pages, by labeling disclosures (and links to them) to indicate their importance and relevance, and by using easy-to-read fonts and colors;

  • Disclosing the offer’s material terms before the consumer incurs a financial obligation;

  • Getting consumers’ affirmative consent to the offer by, for example, having them click “I Agree” And without relying on pre-checked boxes;

  • Not impeding the effective operation of promised cancellation procedures and honoring cancellation requests that comply with such procedures.

Consumers who think they’ve been victims of deceptive marketing and who haven’t been able to resolve the issue directly with the merchant should call their card issuer to dispute the charge. They also may report their experiences to the FTC at or their local BBB at More information is available at


Note to Editors: Media information and materials can be found at Consumer tips and information are at

Radiant Systems Calls for Industry to Unite Against Data Thieves

http://www.radiantsystems.comCompany announces creation of new leadership position in the fight against credit card criminals

ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Radiant Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: RADS) today issued a new challenge to the industry to come together to dramatically improve data security in the transaction-processing industry.

“Our vision is to encourage all involved in transaction processing to move from a mindset of independent compliance to one of collaborative security that will greatly reduce the risk of data theft,” said John Heyman, chief executive officer at Radiant Systems. “We believe the current data security blueprint in the payments industry is designed with many constraints in mind and therefore is not able to go far enough.”

Today, payment application technology providers have a narrowly defined requirement to develop secure payment applications, which is only a small piece of protecting merchants and the consumer data they handle. Improving the security of data requires many companies throughout the transaction process to work together on a united front. Radiant is committed to taking an industry-leading stand against criminal activity and is inviting everyone in the industry to participate.

Under current industry guidelines, card issuers, banks, processors, network providers, merchants and point-of-sale vendors all play a role in processing each credit or debit card transaction. Businesses that support this transaction process have evolved independently over the past 40 years. By working together, these businesses can more tightly integrate the payment solution to protect consumers, resulting in significantly reduced risk for retailers and restaurants.

“We have expanded the responsibilities of Jimmy Fortuna, vice president of product development for the hospitality division at Radiant Systems, to now include industry data security,” added Heyman. Fortuna brings 10 years of industry experience to this role. ”Jimmy will work inside and outside the walls of our company to fight for increased levels of data security in the retail and restaurant industries.”

Radiant is investing in these activities to help define new standards across the payment process, educate businesses on how to reduce theft by meeting the current 12-step Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requirement process, and build new technologies outside its POS software to combat theft.

“We have been a leader in meeting payment application requirements, and we applaud the standards set forth by the Payment Card Industry, as well as the mission of newly established organizations such as the Secure POS Vendor Alliance,” Fortuna said. “But using a secure payment application is only part of the 12 steps for a business to be fully compliant with the PCI DSS requirements. And, being fully compliant with this standard does not eliminate the risk of criminals stealing card data from merchants, so we want to do more.”

Radiant Systems’ third generation of Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA DSS) validated POS platforms is currently completing validation by Coalfire Systems, Inc., a leading IT audit and compliance firm. “Over the past year, we have seen a dramatic increase in the sophistication of attacks on payment transactions that look for the gaps between PA DSS-validated payment applications and PCI DSS-compliant network infrastructure,” said Rick Dakin, president of Coalfire. “Radiant Systems’ leadership, a catalyst for increased collaboration efforts between merchants, infrastructure solution vendors and POS platform developers, will be essential to close the gaps that put the entire transaction process at risk.”

“The goal is simple – we want to reduce theft, even though we recognize it is impossible to completely eliminate,” added Heyman. “Even banks with the best vaults can still be robbed.”

“Every consumer deserves to be protected - whether or not they are in a restaurant or shop that uses our technology. We are calling on all companies involved in the card payment process, including our competitors, to work together in the fight to stamp out theft of sensitive data.”

About Radiant Systems, Inc.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Radiant Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: RADS) is a global provider of innovative technology to the hospitality and retail industries. For more than two decades, Radiant's point of sale hardware and software solutions have helped to redefine the consumer experience in more than 100,000 restaurants, retail stores, stadiums, parks, arenas, cinemas, convenience stores, fuel centers and other customer-service venues. Radiant has offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. For more information, visit

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Iranian Cyber Army Hacks Twitter

Twitter compromised, DNS hijacking to blame - HNS

According to Help Net Security, the Twitter web site appeared to be defaced by someone called "Iranian Cyber Army". The situation was fixed and as it turned out, hack was a result of DNS hijacking

Initial message from the official Twitter account:
Twitter's DNS records were temporarily compromised but have now been fixed. We will update with more information soon.
Twitter's blog post that followed:
As we tweeted a bit ago, Twitter's DNS records were temporarily compromised tonight but have now been fixed. As some noticed, was redirected for a while but API and platform applications were working. We will update with more information and details once we've investigated more fully.

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HomeATM Headline Newsletter through December 18th

For more extensive news and industry coverage please see our award winning blog or visit our corporate website.

Cardinal to Offer a Web Debit Product

American Banker  CardinalCommerce Corp., a payment-security company, said it will begin offering SafeDebit, an Internet debit product from the NYCE Payments Network LLC

PayPal App Advances Mobile Trend

American Banker  PayPal Inc. announced that its mobile Send Money application is now available for BlackBerry handsets from the Canadian smart phone maker Research in Motion ...


At a time when trust in banks is at an all time low, a new study by IBM finds that too many are over-reliant on revenue streams that no longer exist, have unsustainable cost structures, and are burdened by excessive levels of operational complexity and inflexibility.  More on this story:


Mobile money outfit Monitise has raised £15.8 million in funding and struck two new partnerships it hopes will help build its presence in the retail sector and Asia Pacific. The company also says it is on track to meet full year revenue expectations after record consumer uptake.  More on this story:

Two-Factor Authentication Falling Short for Security, Gartner Says

In a new report, Gartner points out where strong two-factor authentication is falling short when it comes to preventing fraud and online attacks. According to the company, businesses need to makes some changes.  READ MORE >>


Israel's Bank Leumi is introducing a password re-set feature for online banking customers that is operated by voice biometrics.  More on this story:

Accel/Exchange Plans a Big Acquiring Push for Online PIN Debit

Digital Transactions  ... into online PIN debit by other EFT networks. Acculynk has agreement with half a dozen networks, including Pulse and NYCE, which are large regional systems.

PayPal announces "Send Money" application for BlackBerry smartphones

Canada NewsWire (press release)  16 /CNW/ - PayPal today announced that its mobile "Send Money" application is now available for BlackBerry(R) smartphones. The PayPal application is free to

How the World War on Interchange Fees Transformed the Card Industry

A global war on interchange fees raged during most of the decade and will continue into the next. We'll have to wait until next decade to find out who wins the war. But the war itself has already led to massive ramifications for the card business around the globe.

Facebook Credits Take Another Step Toward Becoming the Web's Currency

Mashable (blog)  All the way back in March, I wrote about how Facebook could rival PayPal by creating a virtual currency and making it usable for financial transactions,

Hackers are defeating tough authentication, Gartner warns

The Industry Standard - San Francisco,CA,USA  ... banks need to quickly implement additional layers of security to protect their customers from falling victim to online fraud, said Avivah Litan,

Ebay expects over 500 million in mobile-based revenue in 2009  To do their part in growing e-commerce eBay has opened up PayPal. eBay is now allowing 3 rd parties to integrate with PayPal in the hopes that it will drive ...

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