Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Google to Unveil it's NFC Mobile Payments Platform on Thursday

Announcement at Press Event on Thursday at 11:15 AM EST.

According to reports, Google is preparing to roll out a payment system on Sprint phones that would use near-field communications (NFC) technology.   Bloomberg reported that the service would be available across five different U.S. metropolitan regions: New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C. 

A model demonstrates a Nexus One smartphone at Google headquarters in Mountain View, California January 5, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith/Files
Google Inc will take the wraps off a mobile payment system on Thursday that lets consumers pay at checkout with phones instead of cards, a source said, hoping to beat Visa and others to the punch. The Internet search and advertising leader will work with MasterCard Inc, the world's second-largest credit and debit card processing network, to launch the system, the source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday. Google has teamed with MasterCard and Citigroup Inc to develop the system, the Wall Street Journal reported in March. It has now signed up retail partners Macy's Inc, American Eagle Outfitters Inc and Subway, though it is unclear if the project will be launched nationwide or just in New York initially, the Journal cited sources as saying Tuesday.  <<continue reading>>

Introducing iZettle: EMV Card Reader for iPhone

Zettle turns any iPhone into a smartcard reader
EMV Card Reader hooks into iPhone
Starting in Sweden in June, anyone can take card payments. You and your friends. Your business. All you need is an iPhone and iZettle.
Yes, it's the EMV Version of Square and a company called iZettle is reporting that it will be available in Sweden in June.  
The smart card reader plugs into the iPhone but rather than use a PIN to authorize payment, the customer signs...the...screen...

According to TechEurope, "iZettle "wanted" to use PIN,  but "PIN is still not allowed in cellphones and iPads" said Jacob de Geer, CEO and founder of iZettle.  

While that may be true (and for good reason) but the PIN Pad could've been built-in to the Smart Card Reader alleviating that problem.  (Guess heZettled for customer signature)  Sure, a tamper-proof built-in PIN Pad would have made manufacturing more cost intensive, but one day, everyone will realize how important security is when it comes to payments.  That said, the only Chip and PIN Card Reader that I know of with a built-in PIN Pad is from a Hong Kong company called BBPOS.  If you would like to learn more, click here.

On the other hand, the immediate benefit that iZettle has is that "not everybody" values security as much as "convenience."

iZettle's willingness to provide the iZettle software and card reader for "Free."  is quite a value proposition (more so than Square) because smart card readers currently cost from 
€200 and on up.  iZettle plans to make their money on the transaction fees generated from the devices.  Frankly, it might make sense for Square to take a look at how much they could swipe up iZettle for.  Oh...and here's a cool iZettle video...

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Javelin: Depositing Checks With Your Phone’s Camera: Are You Ready? Is It Safe? Are Banks Ready?

Consumer Demand for Mobile Remote Deposit Capture  Are FIs Able (and Willing) to Provide the Latest in Mobile Banking Technology?
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A new Javelin Strategy & Research report issued today —2011 Mobile Remote Deposit Capture” reveals one in every four consumers and one in every two mobile bankers want mobile remote deposit capture (RDC) to bypass ATMs and bank branches and deposit checks using cell phones. However, only three of the top 10 largest U.S. financial institutions— JPMorgan Chase, PNC, and U.S. Bank — currently offer this service, highlighting a huge market gap for mobile RDC. Javelin takes an in-depth look at the market for mobile RDC and answers such questions as how ready are consumers to adopt mobile RDC, how can banks meet this need, and what are the security and fraud risks of this timesaving technology? Javelin’s latest fact-based research-backed report, using data from surveys of more than 13,000 consumers and interviews with 25 bankers, examines consumer demand and bank offerings and explores the impact of mobile RDC.
http://www.javelinstrategy.com“FIs can use mobile RDC to lure consumers away from competitors. Similarly, FIs can use mobile RDC as a customer retention and growth strategy.”
Javelin data shows that over half of financial institutions (FIs) will roll out mobile RDC in the next 12 months. The report pinpoints ideal consumer segments, describes benefits to both consumers and FIs, and delineates marketing strategies.
“Mobile RDC is the latest gold rush opportunity for first-mover FIs to grab market share,” said Mark Schwanhausser, Javelin. “FIs can use mobile RDC to lure consumers away from competitors. Similarly, FIs can use mobile RDC as a customer retention and growth strategy.”
“Mobile RDC offers revenue and cost-cutting opportunities,” said Javelin’s Mary Monahan. “FIs are able to lower check processing costs by directing consumers away from bank branches and ATMs. FIs can position mobile RDC as a premium service that provides value to customers and charge customers fees for making mobile deposits. It’s a win all around for consumers and FIs.”
The perception of fraud is one major barrier that FIs face when considering adding mobile RDC to their product mix. Almost one in three FIs surveyed state that security concerns are inhibiting their adoption of mobile deposit. Javelin research analyzes fraud risks and identifies steps FIs need to take now.
Javelin’s research views technologies such as mobile RDC as important building blocks for mobile (“wallet”) payments. Rather than waiting for a sudden adoption of mobile payments, Javelin advises that consumers and banks will steadily migrate to mobile money via component technologies.
Selected Key Report Findings
  • Consumer segments most likely to use mobile RDC – and how FIs can successfully position mobile RDC to each.
  • The most effective ways to launch and promote mobile RDC for optimum consumer adoption – and which smartphone device FIs should offer mobile RDC through first.
  • Details of the value proposition of mobile RDC for FIs and the compelling reasons why they need to act sooner.
  • Barriers to FI implementation of mobile RDC – and the specific steps FIs need to take to prevent fraud.
  • A case study of USAA, the pioneering FI that first introduced mobile RDC.
About Javelin Strategy & Research
Javelin Strategy & Research is the leading provider of quantitative and qualitative research focused on the global financial services industry. Our extensive quantitative data and deep analyst experience enable us to forecast the direction of the financial services market and make recommendations that empower you and your business to succeed. https://www.javelinstrategy.com/


Javelin Strategy & Research
Crystal Mendoza, 925-225-9100 ext. 35

Breakthrough Credit and Debit Card Security Technology Earns Muscato Group US Patent

MAITLAND, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Muscato Group, Inc. and its operating company M2, announced today the United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted the company a patent for its single-transaction security code technology for credit and debit cards. Called SAFE, (Secure Access for E-Commerce), it allows a cardholder to easily generate and use a unique, one-time use card security code for each transaction, making online or telephone purchases far more secure than ever before. SAFE replaces the three-digit value located on the back of a card.
“SAFE has been extraordinarily successful in reducing online transaction fraud for cardholders worldwide since being introduced in 2009”
SAFE was designed to put card security in the hands of the cardholder, while making it very easy to use. Single-use card security codes can be obtained immediately via text message or email, fitting today’s lifestyle. A unique security code also can be requested on the cardholder account portal. For merchants, SAFE requires no changes to the pay page or Website, no plug-ins, no registration and is cost-free.
“SAFE has been extraordinarily successful in reducing online transaction fraud for cardholders worldwide since being introduced in 2009,” said Mike Muscato, CEO. He added, “We are very confident SAFE technology can and will cut online credit and debit card fraud worldwide.”
M2 incorporates SAFE into its card programs around the world. Combined with an array of SMS alerts and other cardholder security features, M2 payment cards are the most cardholder-friendly yet secure cards available. M2 plans to license SAFE technology to issuing banks, payment card networks, card program managers, and other card processors.
About Muscato Group/M2
Muscato Group/M2 specializes in architecting, developing and implementing transaction and payment technologies and licensing and operating its products and services. Muscato has a foundation in several markets, including healthcare and insurance, logistics and financial payments, and a 25-year track record of architecting, developing and implementing highly scalable, flexible transaction processing software. www.M2-corp.com


Muscato Group/M2
Craig Taylor, 407.551.1309

ROAM Data Adopts New Visa Mobile Payment Security Best Practices

Mobile Payment Pioneer Is First To Announce It Follows All Best Practices Unveiled By Visa On April 27th
BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ROAM Data, the leading mCommerce platform provider that extends both physical POS and eCommerce to the mobile environment, today announced that it is following the best practices and minimum standards for encryption guidelines for mobile payments released by Visa last month. After careful review, the company said its solutions meet or exceed all Visa guidelines for mobile payment acceptance solution vendors, from encrypting cardholder data at the time of swipe through authorization to encryption of key management processes.
“From day one, we designed our solutions with security as a top priority. We are happy to announce that we meet all guidelines Visa put out for protecting mobile payments, and we will continue to meet or exceed industry guidelines to protect our customers and partners.”
Today there are multiple mobile card acceptance providers that are not compliant with either PCI security standards or best practices, leaving significant holes in their systems for card fraud. According to Visa, building security into the DNA of mobile acceptance solutions is necessary to help grow the channel and encourage innovation. Commenting on this, CEO and Founder of ROAM Data, Will Graylin, said, "From day one, we designed our solutions with security as a top priority. We are happy to announce that we meet all guidelines Visa put out for protecting mobile payments, and we will continue to meet or exceed industry guidelines to protect our customers and partners."
ROAM Data offers ROAMpay as its turnkey mobile card acceptance solution that runs on hundreds of phones and is also compatible with the ROAMpay Swipe device, which is the world’s first encrypted mag stripe card reader that plugs into a phone’s audio jack. Mr. Graylin, who pioneered mobile phone POS as founder of WAY Systems (now part of Verifone), has now brought to market a more ubiquitous, lower cost and highly secure solution that works across the vast majority of smart phones, tablets and PCs. ROAM has leveraged its own patented technology, and has licensed exclusively and non-exclusively three other pieces of technology to enable its secure mobile card acceptance solutions.
ROAM partners with payment providers, integrators and app developers -- who are incorporating mobile commerce into their offerings to merchants -- to distribute its solutions. These customers and partners include First Data, Chase Paymentech, Intuit, Global Payments, Sage, Ingenico and hundreds more. ROAM won the 2010 Technology Innovation Award sponsored by the Electronic Transaction Association and is the leader in providing a scalable mCommerce platform that extends both POS and eCommerce to the mobile environment.
About ROAM
ROAM Data is the leading mCommerce platform provider that extends both physical Point of Sales (POS) and eCommerce to the mobile environment. It provides patented mCommerce software-as-a-service, payment peripherals, and development tools that enable scalable mobile commerce applications to help merchants win customer spend and loyalty. Its apps & tools turn merchants’ mobile devices into secure POS terminals to accept payment anywhere, and also enable consumers to accept remote offers and easily buy from their cell phones anytime. Visit us atwww.roamdata.com


Will Graylin, 781-521-0755

No Compromise "Pay Anywhere" Mobile Payment System Now Available for Android

Free mobile credit card app and card reader device now compatible with Android platform, in addition to all Apple devices

TROY, Mich.May 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In its latest product milestone since its initial launch in January 2011, North American Bancard (NAB) today expanded the reach of Pay Anywhere – the only true "no compromise" credit card reader for mobile payments – announcing the system is now compatible with Android devices, in addition to all Apple devices.
Currently, Pay Anywhere for Android is supported on: HTC EVO 4G, Motorola Droid, HTC Droid Incredible, Motorola Droid X, Samsung Galaxy S and Samsung Galaxy S Epic, with additional devices being added regularly.  Android customers can visit payanywhere.com for the most current list of supported devices.  Additionally, Pay Anywhere is fully compatible with iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4, as well as iPad, iPad 2 and iPod touch.  Pay Anywhere will soon be available for BlackBerry mobile customers.
Since its inception, Pay Anywhere has outperformed its competition in the areas of both security and unmatched 24/7 customer service support, combined with affordability and a user-friendly application.  Additionally, Pay Anywhere is backed by NAB, an industry leader in credit card processing, which currently processes more than $1 billion in electronic transactions monthly for more than 110,000 merchants nationwide.    
"We can't wait to welcome Android customers to the NAB family and to Pay Anywhere, which we're confident is the most intuitive and robust mobile payment system available on the platform," said Marc Gardner, NAB founder and president.  "We look forward to Android users experiencing what Apple customers already enjoy about Pay Anywhere – free software and hardware, no setup fees, no application fees, no monthly service fees and no monthly minimums required.  Additionally, the Pay Anywhere Android application combines a simple user interface, comprehensive merchant portal and a built-in lead generation program that results in automatic merchant bonuses."  
Getting started with a Pay Anywhere account is easy.  Android and Apple users simply download the free app from Android Market or the App Store, respectively, and the appropriate free card reader device will be delivered directly to each customer.  For more information or to get started with Pay Anywhere, visit www.payanywhere.com.
About North American Bancard
Headquartered in Troy, Michigan, North American Bancard is a multi-faceted payment solutions provider dedicated to providing the latest technology as well as committing to the highest service levels.  As a registered MSP/ISO since 1992, North American Bancard provides its clients with a full suite of products and services including Credit, Debit, EBT, Check Conversion and Guarantee, ATM, Gift and Loyalty Cards and Online Payment Gateway solutions.  NAB processes over $12 billion in electronic transactions annually for over 110,000 merchants nationwide.  For more information, visit www.nabancard.com.
SOURCE North American Bancard

Electronic Payments Coalition: In Michaels Fraud Dispute, Banks Once Again Pick Up the Tab

Massive Data Breach Occurs as Senator Dick Durbin Works to Eliminate Fraud Protection Funding for Banks, Credit Unions

WASHINGTONMay 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Electronic Payments Coalition issued the following statement in response to the recent Michaels data breach:
Michaels craft stores urged thousands of their customers who recently had their debit card PIN numbers stolen to "immediately contact your bank" and "seek their advice on how to protect your account," even as their Senator Dick Durbin works in Washingtonto eliminate the revenue that banks and credit unions use to cover such breaches.
The massive data breach, in which customers in 20 states had their PIN numbers stolen and their bank accounts looted, began inIllinois – the home state of Senator Durbin, who sponsored legislation in the U.S. Senate last year that would severely hinder the ability of banks and credit unions to prevent or to recover from this type of fraud.
Under the current system, losses from data breaches at retailers such as Michaels are absorbed by the banks and credit unions that issue these cards – including reimbursing the customers and re-issuing the cards themselves. These institutions use the interchange revenue they receive from merchants to help cover those costs, which are a significant part of any debit program. In fact, banks and credit unions in 2009 incurred approximately $1.4 billion in fraud losses related to debit card transactions in order to ensure the safety of consumers and retailers.
Under a new rule proposed by the Federal Reserve as directed by the Durbin amendment, the current interchange rate would be slashed by up to 90 percent – without taking into account a single penny of the fraud recovery costs that debit card issuers face in the event of a breach like Michaels. Community banks and credit unions in particular would be unable to afford the same level of fraud protection and recovery, and would be forced to raise fees on their customers as a result.
"This letter from Michaels to their customers makes it crystal clear – merchants want fraud protection, they just don't want to pay for it," said Trish Wexler, spokeswoman for the Electronic Payments Coalition. "They want consumers to pick up the tab instead, and that's not fair."
About the Electronic Payments Coalition
The Electronic Payments Coalition (EPC) includes credit unions, banks, and payment card networks that move electronic payments quickly and securely between millions of merchants and millions of consumers across the globe. EPC's goal is to protect the value, innovation, convenience and competition in today's growing electronic payments system. EPC educates policymakers, consumers and the media on the system's role in economic growth, and the importance of protecting consumer choice and stability for the continued growth of global commerce.
SOURCE Electronic Payments Coalition

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Smartphone Payment Processing for Shooting Sports Industry Now Available from Payment Alliance International

Offer Part of Comprehensive PAImobile™ Suite of Solutions
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Payment Alliance International (PAI), a leader in electronic payment processing solutions and the Electronic Transactions Association’s (ETA) 2011 “ISO of the Year,” is pleased to announce smartphone mobile payment processing capabilities for its Shooting Sports Payments Package. The new mobile payments capabilities garnered widespread attention and resounding support earlier this month when introduced at the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, Pa.
“We are very excited to help the shooting sports industry use payments technology to grow revenue, whether it’s in a retail store environment, through an e-commerce website or via mobile processing. We’re there every step of the way.”
The Shooting Sports Payments Package is an ongoing collaborative effort between PAI and shooting sports industry leaders, with the goal of providing payment solutions that meet the needs of firearm retailers and related professionals. Along with traditional brick-and-mortar and e-commerce card processing and check services, PAI now offers shooting sports merchants a cost-effective way to accept mobile swiped card payments from their iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Galaxy Tab and other Android devices, utilizing a Secure Card Reader Authenticator (SCRA) attachment.
Rather than prohibiting service to the firearms industry, PAI has embraced it, resulting in the Shooting Sports Payments Package being endorsed by the major associations, including the NRA’s Business Alliance, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS).
“As a committed partner to the unique firearms market, we are constantly looking for ways to benefit our customers,” explains Nathan Danus, vice president of PAI’s target marketing group. “We are very excited to help the shooting sports industry use payments technology to grow revenue, whether it’s in a retail store environment, through an e-commerce website or via mobile processing. We’re there every step of the way.”
To learn more about the PAImobile suite of mobile solutions and the Shooting Sports Payments Packageplease visit www.GoPAI.com/shooting or call us at 866.371.2273 (option 1).
About Payment Alliance International (PAI)
Payment Alliance International is a leading provider of payment processing solutions for businesses nationwide and has been recognized as the 2011 “ISO of the Year” by the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA). We provide credit/debit card acceptance and processing services, check processing, ATM network management and business information services, all designed to maximize customer success and make business easy. Payment Alliance International is based in Louisville, Ky., with offices in West Palm Beach, Fla., Jackson, Miss. and Billings, Mont. For more information, please visit www.GoPAI.com.
PAImobile is a trademark of Payment Alliance International (PAI). Other marks are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owner.


Payment Alliance International
Terri Newton, 502-671-4088
Strategic Marketing Director

25% of Mobile Network Operator Survey Respondents not PCI DSS Compliant

25% of Mobile Network Operator survey respondents not PCI DSS compliant
(from ePayment News - May 24th 2011)

35% of respondents unaware of potential penalties for non-compliance
Dublin, Ireland, 24th May 2011 – A survey conducted by Vesta Corporation, a global pioneer and leader in electronic payments, has revealed over a quarter of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are not compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). A further 35% of respondents did not know that financial penalties could be levied for non-compliance by the card associations.
Today, just 37% of all payments are made with cash or cheque (Federal Reserve Bank of Boston: 2009). Consumer migration towards electronic payment methods means that securing payment information is becoming increasingly important. A number of recent high profile data breaches resulting in the loss of cardholder data, such as Sony, are a testament to this.
In Q1 2011, Vesta invited 16 tier one and tier two MNOs in the U.S. and Europe to participate in a survey assessing PCI DSS compliance. Summarised in a whitepaper available today, Vesta’s indicative research reveals how PCI DSS compliance most impacts operators, how operators are managing compliance, and best practice solutions for maintaining the security standard. 
The survey revealed that:
  • 25% of respondents are not currently PCI DSS compliant
  • The average cost of initial PCI DSS compliance was approximately $700,000 USD
  • The average annual cost of maintaining PCI compliance was over $1,390,000 USD
  • 35% of respondents did not know that penalties could be levied by the card associations for non-compliance
  • Respondents believed the greatest risk of non-compliance is the loss of customer confidence in the MNO
In the case of MNOs, PCI DSS compliance is particularly important. Compared to merchants in other industries, mobile operators usually operate more complex electronic payment channels including web, IVR, live agent, SMS and handset application, among others. Ensuring compliance across this range of payment channels provides a number of unique challenges.
“The survey shows that there is clearly room for improvement by the mobile operator community in addressing PCI DSS compliance, and it is critical that operators not yet compliant take appropriate measures to ensure the security of their customer’s sensitive cardholder data,” said Joshua Rush, VP Marketing at Vesta. “However compliance should not be viewed as a mandatory demand by the card associations but as a competitive sales and marketing differentiator at a time where data security is of paramount concern to subscribers.”
The full whitepaper can be downloaded here: http://www.trustvesta.com/download.aspx, alternatively please email vesta@ccgrouppr.com 
For complete information on PCI Security Standards, self assessment information and guidelines, visit: www.pcisecuritystandards.org
- Ends -
About Vesta CorporationHeadquartered in Portland, Oregon, with operations in Europe and China, Vesta has been a pioneer and worldwide leader in electronic payment solutions since 1995. Vesta offers a full suite of payment services that can reduce and eliminate PCI scope and costs for wireless operators.  Vesta has established long-term, successful relationships with leading telecommunications and financial companies including AT&T, Boost Mobile, Bank of China, Bank of Ireland, Chase Paymentech, China Mobile, China Telecom, Cricket Communications, Green Dot, Metavante, NetSpend, O2, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Vodafone.
For more information, visit: www.trustvesta.com 
Media InquiriesCCgroup for Vesta
Daniel Lowther
E: vesta@ccgrouppr.com  
T: +44 7747 636 687

A survey conducted by Vesta Corporation, a global pioneer and leader in electronic payments, has revealed over a quarter of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are not compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). A further 35% of respondents did not know that financial penalties could be levied for non-compliance by the card associations. Today, just 37% of all payments are made with cash or cheque (Federal Reserve Bank of Boston: 2009). Consumer migration towards e... read more»

Mitek Systems, VSoft Unite to Offer Mobile Deposit Solution to Banks, Credit Unions

Patented Solution Enables Mobile Check Deposits Via Smartphone, Tablet Cameras
ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--VSoft Corporation, a global information and technology provider of process improvement solutions for financial institutions, announced today that it has partnered with San Diego-based Mitek Systems, Inc. (OTC: MITK.OB;), the leader in mobile imaging applications using smartphone cameras for check deposits, bill payments and ACH enrollments, to provide Mitek’s patented Mobile Deposit® to financial institutions leveraging its Agile Mobile Capture™ solution.
“As the use of smartphones and tablets continues to grow, financial institutions that implement a strong mobile imaging platform and provide consumers with convenience in banking will gain a competitive edge”
The partnership will further improve consumers’ ability to deposit checks using smartphone and tablet cameras, including Apple iPhone, RIM BlackBerry and Google Android devices. Mitek’s advanced image analytics and mobile image-quality assessment (IQA) tests provide real-time feedback to mobile users, which, in turn, ensures quality images and high rates of completion for VSoft’s financial institution clients.
“Mitek’s powerful image analytics combined with our remote deposit capture technology create a superior offering in terms of both customer experience and image quality,” said Murthy Veeraghanta, chairman and managing director, VSoft Corporation. “This joining of advanced technologies will be of great benefit to both financial institutions and the end user. Rolling out a new product like mobile remote deposit capture with such a consistent and easy-to-use app will aid in adoption and customer loyalty.”
“As the use of smartphones and tablets continues to grow, financial institutions that implement a strong mobile imaging platform and provide consumers with convenience in banking will gain a competitive edge,” said Drew Hyatt, senior vice president of sales and business development for Mitek. “VSoft’s Agile Mobile Capture with Mitek’s Mobile Deposit® allows consumers to perform secure deposits from any location; together we can deliver a solution that greatly expands consumers’ deposit options while reducing transaction costs for financial institutions.”
About Mitek Systems
For more than 20 years, Mitek Systems (OTC: MITK.OB) has provided financial institutions with advanced imaging and analytics software to authenticate and extract data from imaged checks and other financial documents. Mitek’s patented technology has created the Gold Standard for Mobile Check Deposit and is currently used by leading financial organizations in the United States to process more than 10 billion items per year.
Today, Mitek is applying its patented technology and extensive expertise in image correction, optical character recognition and intelligent data extraction to mobile devices. Using Mitek Mobile Apps, smartphone users can now deposit checks, pay bills, save receipts and fax documents while on the road or sitting at a desk -- eliminating trips to the bank, Post Office and file cabinet. Simply take a picture of the document and Mitek does the rest -- correcting image distortion, extracting relevant data, routing images to their desired location, and processing transactions through users’ financial institutions.
For more information about Mitek Systems, contact the company at 858-503-7810 or visit www.miteksystems.com.
About VSoft Corporation
VSoft Corporation offers core and payment-processing solutions that improve service, reduce cost and maximize efficiency for financial institutions. Its solutions provide seamless, real-time, high-volume and high-performance transactions across multiple channels and can be delivered in–house, or as an outsourced ASP or SaaS model to best meet the needs of individual financial institutions.
VSoft’s services have been trusted by more than 1,900 banks, credit unions and savings institutions, as well as transaction processors, governments, utilities, telecommunications and retail organizations worldwide. The company’s growth and stability has been recognized by inclusion in the Inc. 5000 list for four years running and featured in Bank Technology News’ 9th Annual Innovator Awards for CoreSoft, its core solution. For more information call 770-225-7692 or visit www.vsoftcorp.com.
Editor's Note: The correct usage of the company name, VSoft Corporation, is either referring to it as VSoft Corporation or VSoft, with both the "V" and the "S" capitalized.


VSoft Corporation
Jon Reneslacis, 770-840-0097
For VSoft Corporation
Heather Sugg, 813-374-6362

National Retail Federation and Montana Retail Association Air Radio Ads Aimed at Tester Bill to Block Swipe Fee Reform

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Retail Federation (NRF) and the Montana Retail Association today announced the launch of a radio advertising campaign urging Senator Jon Tester to rethink his opposition to a new federal law that would save retailers and consumers more than $1 billion a month by lowering “swipe” fees banks charge to process debit card transactions.
 National Retail Federation (NRF)
“Montana retailers don’t understand why Senator Tester has taken the side of Wall Street banks over Main Street businesses and consumers here at home”
“Americans pay the highest swipe fees in the world,” an announcer says in the new radio ads. “Senator Tester knows this. But he’s helping the big banks delay debit card swipe fee reform. Senator Tester says he’s for the consumer, but Tester lets the big banks swipe our money.”
The one-minute ads are running on stations across Montana this week as part of NRF’s nationwide 60-day lobbying, grassroots and media campaign aimed at ensuring that swipe fee reform passed by Congress last year goes into effect as scheduled on July 21. A provision in the 2010 Wall Street reform bill will reduce the fees by an estimated 70 percent, saving about $14 billion a year that retailers plan to pass along to their customers through discounts or other benefits, but the banking industry is spending millions of dollars to delay the reform.
“Congress concluded last year that swipe fees have been driving up prices for consumers by far too much for far too long,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Now that Congress has done something about these fees, retailers are ready to pass the savings along to customers through lower prices and higher value. We want to make sure swipe fee reform takes effect as planned, and consumers get to enjoy those new benefits as soon as possible.”
“Montana retailers don’t understand why Senator Tester has taken the side of Wall Street banks over Main Street businesses and consumers here at home,” Montana Retail Association President Bradley Griffin said. “These fees are driving up prices for Montana citizens at a time when the economy is still recovering. Montana doesn’t want swipe fee reform delayed.”
Tester, a Montana Democrat, introduced legislation in March that would delay implementation of swipe fee reform by two years and require a new government study of the issue. Last week, he said he would modify the bill to seek a 15-month delay, including a six-month study, six months for the Federal Reserve to draft new regulations replacing those proposed in December, and three months to prepare for implementation.
Tester’s call for further study comes despite the fact that Congress held seven hearings and ordered two Government Accountability Office studies before passing reform. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has testified before Congress that he has all the information he needs to prepare final regulations on schedule with no need for delay.
Swipe fees, officially known as interchange fees, are a charge averaging 1-2 percent for debit cards and 2-3 percent for credit cards taken by banks each time a card is used to pay for a purchase. The fees have tripled over the past decade to about $50 billion a year, and drive up prices paid by consumers by an estimated $427 for the average household. Debit cards account for about $20 billion of the total.
Congress has yet to deal with credit card swipe fees but included swipe fee reform for debit cards in last year’s Wall Street bill. Regulations proposed by the Federal Reserve to implement the provision would lower debit card swipe fees from their current level of 1 to 2 percent of each transaction to a flat fee of no more than 12 cents per transaction for large banks that adhere to fee schedules set by the card companies. Banks that set their own rates would be free to charge any fee they believe the market would bear provide that they do so independently. Financial institutions with less than $10 billion in assets are exempt.
As the world's largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, NRF's global membership includes retailers of all sizes, formats and channels of distribution as well as chain restaurants and industry partners from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad. In the United States, NRF represents the breadth and diversity of an industry with more than 1.6 million American companies that employ nearly 25 million workers and generated 2010 sales of $2.4 trillion. www.nrf.com
Listen to Radio Ad at http://swipefees.nrf.com/ads


National Retail Federation
J. Craig Shearman, 202-626-8134

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Consumers Are 39% More Likely to Go Online to Manage Credit Card Accounts Than They Were Two Years Ago, According to Auriemma Consulting Group

LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Between 2008 and 2010, consumers became 39% more likely to manage their credit card accounts online, according to research recently published in Cardbeat, a market research report on UK consumer credit card usage published by Auriemma Consulting Group (ACG). In 2010, 61% of consumers used their credit card websites to manage at least some aspect of their credit card accounts. Comparatively, in 2008, just 44% of credit cardholders managed their accounts online.
“There are two primary drivers of consumers’ increased reliance on the internet to manage their financial services accounts: card issuer websites have dramatically improved over the past 2 years, and consumers are increasingly reliant on the internet as a primary source of information for sensitive personal and financial information.”
When specific account management activities are examined, similar increases in consumer reliance on online account management tools becomes apparent. For example, in 2010, consumers were 60% more likely to go online to review recent credit card transactions, versus just 40% in 2008. Further, consumers were twice as likely to go online to order a replacement card (for a card that was lost or stolen) as they were in 2008 (36% vs. 18%).
   Percentage of Credit Card Users
Credit Card Account Management Activity
Who Perform This Activity Online
    2008  2010
Review recent transactions40%  64%
Check account balance40%64%
Pay credit card bill33%65%
Check payment due date33%56%
Order a replacement card18%36%
Megan Bramlette, Director of International Knowledge Management for ACG says, “There are two primary drivers of consumers’ increased reliance on the internet to manage their financial services accounts: card issuer websites have dramatically improved over the past 2 years, and consumers are increasingly reliant on the internet as a primary source of information for sensitive personal and financial information.”
Matt Simester, Managing Director of ACG adds, “As consumers become more comfortable using smartphones and the web for personal transactions and information sharing, this trend of increased online account management is set to continue. However, paper- and phone-based servicing will continue to play a role in credit card account management until tools are developed that allow cardholders to conduct more complex tasks online, like reporting fraudulent activity.”
Cardbeat is a syndicated market research service that tracks changes in consumer attitudes towards topics that affect the payments industry. Cardbeat provides subscribers with reliable data about what consumers are thinking, how they behave and what motivates them. Subscribers are able to suggest new survey topics, and the service is designed to accommodate new questions on short notice. For additional information about this press release, please contact Megan Bramlette at +44 (0) 207 629 0075 or megan.bramlette@acg.net.
About the Auriemma Consulting Group
Since 1984, ACG has offered comprehensive management consulting, research, industry roundtable and benchmarking services to the financial services industry. ACG clients include credit card issuers and networks, commercial banks, auto and mortgage lenders, merchants, and industry vendors. With offices in London and New York, ACG offers actionable solutions to help clients make important business decisions to maximise their efficiencies and revenues.


Auriemma Consulting Group
Megan Bramlette, +44 (0) 207 629 0075

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