Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sqwizz 2.0: Low Cost NFC Reader, Writer and Viewer from NFC Data, Inc.

From NFC News:  Chicago-based start-up NFC Data Inc. has developed a new contactless key fob as a low-cost payment alternative to NFC phones, according to American Banker. (to request more information on NFC Data's Sqwizz, please click here) Designed to be toted around on a key chain, Sqwizz houses a mobile decoupled debit card that users can link to any checking account of their choosing to make contactless payments at the point of sale. The device can also perform other NFC functions, such as reading tags and smart posters, sharing data with other NFC phones, and storing loyalty points and coupons. The Sqwizz is set up kind of like an MP3 player, with a scrollable menu screen that lets users choose which function to perform. The back of the device contains a small PIN pad used to verify the holder’s identity before an action is performed. According to American Banker, NFC Data has already made an agreement with a Silicon Valley company to launch 100,000 Sqwizz devices in August. The company is currently looking for a bank to co-brand the device’s contactless payment function. NFC Data is also working on creating an app that would bring Sqwizz capabilities to NFC-enabled smart phones, says American Banker. Read more here[end]

Read more: ePayment News Blog: Low Cost Payment Alternative to NFC Phones http://epaymentnews.blogspot.com/2011/03/low-cost-payment-alternative-to-nfc.html#ixzz1ObtqoSpK
ePayment News Blog
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

NFC Mobile Payments to Reach Nearly $50 Billion by 2014 says Juniper Research Report

Want a "Secure" NFC Experience?  Sqwizz Answers the Call
Press Release: NFC Mobile Payments to Drive Contactless Transactions to Reach Nearly $50 billion Worldwide by 2014: New Juniper Research Report

Hampshire, UK: 7th June 2011 – A new report from Juniper Research, www.juniperresearch.com, forecasts that global NFC mobile contactless payment transactions will reach nearly $50 billion worldwide by 2014. Following on from the Orange Mobile Payments service launch in the UK, 2011 and 2012 are expected to be banner years for NFC service rollouts.  
In researching the new report, Juniper concluded that prospects for NFC have improved markedly in the last half year. This has resulted in a vibrant sector with significant potential to make peoples’ lives easier by simplifying lower value payments whilst also offering a range of exciting retail possibilities including coupons and promotional offers. Together these elements form a compelling consumer proposition that will help to drive transaction frequency and value.
According to Senior Analyst David Snow: "Based on our analysis and interviews with key industry players our view is that the next 18 months will see launches in up to 20 countries. As a result Juniper is forecasting that North America and Western Europe together will exceed the Far East region in under three years based on transaction value."
However in the new NFC Retail Marketing & Mobile Payments Report Juniper also warns that even after the recent vendor announcements, much more progress is required to make NFC devices mainstream. Typically launches are based on a small number of NFC phones initially.
Juniper’s new report contains comprehensive and detailed six year forecasting for all the key market parameters including users, transactions and values for both NFC ticketing and retail payments. The report also breaks out the opportunity for value added retail marketing services through coupons and smart posters. Additionally the report pinpoints the drivers and constraints impacting the market, and tracks the status of 14 vendors addressing the market.
Further findings include:
• North America and Western Europe will account for 50% of NFC payments market by value in 2014.
• Poor user experience is an implementation risk - such as transport gating delays.

Juniper Research provides research and analytical services to the global hi-tech communications sector, providing consultancy, analyst reports and industry commentary.


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Smart Card Alliance and the NFC Forum Partner to Launch First NFC-Focused Event in U.S.

June 07, 2011 08:14 ET

PRINCETON JUNCTION, NJ--(Marketwire - Jun 7, 2011) - The Smart Card Alliance and the NFC Forum will co-host an event focused on Near Field Communication (NFC) in spring 2012, the two organizations announced today. The NFC conference, the first in the United States, will focus on the state of the technology for NFC, NFC devices and add-ons, NFC ecosystem development, use cases for NFC-enabled applications (both payment and non-payment), NFC implementation, and North America and international markets for NFC.
"The development of NFC-based applications and services has gone through dramatic change in the last few months, and 2012 is going to be the year when many new business partnerships, technologies and applications will hit the market," said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. "We are launching this new conference in response to the industry's demand for more education and networking opportunities around NFC. We are looking forward to building a conference agenda that explores the many exciting NFC-enabled applications that enrich consumers' lives, including payments, coupons, loyalty, ticketing, IT network and building access, identity and healthcare."
NFC technology makes life easier and more convenient for consumers around the world by making it simpler to make transactions, exchange digital content, and connect electronic devices with a touch. In the United States NFC is gaining a lot of momentum with recent product and joint venture announcements from industry-leading handset manufacturers, financial service providers, and mobile network operators.
These announcements represent big steps toward establishing a nationwide infrastructure for NFC-enabled mobile payments and retail applications in the United States. Also helping are the over 150,000 merchants with installed NFC-compatible POS terminals that are eager to give consumers the option of receiving offers and paying for purchases with just a tap of their NFC phone.
"The timing for this event couldn't be better, as we're seeing more and more members of the NFC ecosystem unveiling their plans for the technology in North America," said Debbie Arnold, NFC Forum Director. "As one of the NFC Forum's valued liaison partners, the Smart Card Alliance is key to our efforts to educate the market about the many benefits of NFC technology for both businesses and consumers. We look forward to working together with our Smart Card Alliance colleagues to make this a must-attend event for any company seeking new business opportunities with NFC."
Analysts are predicting rapid growth for NFC:
  • Juniper Research has forecasted that 1 in 6 users worldwide will have an NFC-enabled phone by 2014 and that, in 2016, the value of transactions made using NFC services in North America will reach nearly $47 billion, or 41.6% of the global share. Juniper Research also forecasts that 500 million people around the world will use their mobile devices as travel tickets on metros, subways and buses by 2015 and that NFC will drive this growth.
  • Frost & Sullivan forecasts that, by 2015, NFC technology will be the most-used solution for mobile payment.
The Smart Card Alliance and the NFC Forum websites contain many NFC resources for those looking to learn more about the technology. Visit the Smart Card Alliance NFC Resources page, or the multimedia page to hear first-hand opinions on NFC from experts. Read about NFC technology or check out NFC Forum resourcesincluding white papers, webcasts, presentations, FAQ, and more.
The Smart Card Alliance and NFC Forum will announce the date and location of the 2012 NFC conference later this year.
About the Smart Card AllianceThe Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and widespread application of smart card technology.
Through specific projects such as education programs, market research, advocacy, industry relations and open forums, the Alliance keeps its members connected to industry leaders and innovative thought. The Alliance is the single industry voice for smart cards, leading industry discussion on the impact and value of smart cards in the U.S. and Latin America. For more information please visit http://www.smartcardalliance.org.
About the NFC ForumThe NFC Forum was launched as a non-profit industry association in 2004 by leading mobile communications, semiconductor, and consumer electronics companies. The Forum's mission is to advance the use of Near Field Communication technology by developing specifications, ensuring interoperability among devices and services, and educating the market about NFC technology. The Forum's 140 global member companies currently are developing specifications for a modular NFC device architecture, and protocols for interoperable data exchange and device-independent service delivery, device discovery, and device capability.
The NFC Forum's Sponsor members, which hold seats on the Board of Directors, include leading players in key industries around the world. The Sponsor members are: Broadcom Corporation, INSIDE Secure, MasterCard Worldwide, Microsoft Corp., NEC, Nokia, NTT DOCOMO, Inc., NXP Semiconductors, Renesas Electronics Corporation, Samsung, Sony Corporation, STMicroelectronics, and Visa Inc.

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MasterCard Announces Annual Meeting Results; Stockholders Re-elect Four Members to Board of Directors

MasterCard Board of Directors Announces Regular Quarterly Dividend

PURCHASE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MasterCard Incorporated (NYSE: MA) announced the results of its Annual Meeting of Stockholders, held earlier today at the company’s worldwide headquarters in Purchase, NY.
At the meeting:
  • the following directors were re-elected with a term to expire in 2012: Marc OliviĆ©, President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director of W.C. Bradley Co; Rima Qureshi, Senior Vice President and Business Unit Head, CDMA Mobile Systems at Ericsson; Mark Schwartz, Chairman of MissionPoint Capital Partners LLC; and Jackson P. Tai, former Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DBS Group and DBS Bank Ltd;
  • the compensation of MasterCard’s named executive officers was approved on an advisory basis;
  • MasterCard’s stockholders voted in favor of future advisory votes on MasterCard’s executive compensation occurring every year; and
  • the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm for 2011 was ratified.
Addressing stockholders on the Company’s business, MasterCard President and Chief Executive Officer Ajay Banga noted that MasterCard continues to make great progress in strengthening its position in the marketplace and delivering solutions that add value to society.
“MasterCard is an integral part of people’s daily lives. Every day our products and solutions provide greater convenience, security and efficiency than cash or checks ever could and help facilitate global commerce. Looking into the future, we remain committed to creating meaningful solutions that benefit consumers, businesses and governments all around the world while consistently delivering shareholder value.”
MasterCard’s Board of Directors also declared a cash dividend of $0.15 per share yesterday afternoon, payable on August 9, 2011, to holders of record of its Class A common stock and Class B common stock as of July 8, 2011.
About MasterCard Incorporated
As a leading global payments company, MasterCard Incorporated prides itself on being at the heart of commerce, helping to make life easier and more efficient for everyone, everywhere. MasterCard serves as a franchisor, processor and advisor to the payments industry, and makes commerce happen by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, governments, businesses, merchants, and cardholders worldwide. In 2010, $2.7 trillion in gross dollar volume was generated on its products by consumers around the world. Powered by the MasterCard Worldwide Network – the fastest payment processing network in the world – MasterCard processes over 23 billion transactions each year and has the capacity to handle 160 million transactions per hour, with an average network response time of 130 milliseconds and with 99.99 percent reliability. MasterCard advances global commerce through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro®, and Cirrus®; its suite of core products such as credit, debit, and prepaid; and its innovative platforms and functionalities, such as MasterCard PayPass™ and MasterCard inControl®. MasterCard serves consumers, governments, and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information, please visit us at www.mastercard.com.

eWise Secures $14 Million in Financing

eWise Secures $14 Million in Financing Led by Wellington Partners

New Funding Accelerates the Growth of Secure Vault Payments in U.S. and eWise payo in the U.K.
DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--eWise, a global payments and online financial management solutions provider, has closed a $14 million financing round, led by venture capital firm Wellington Partners. Previous investors also participated in this round, including Balderton CapitalTTV Capital and Patagorang.
http://www.ewise.comeWise’s technology already powers global brands such as U.S. Bank, and this funding enables the company to accelerate its plans to transform the payments landscape. It will drive the expansion of Secure Vault Payments® in the U.S. and of eWise payo in the U.K. eWise will also unveil a mobile solution, which will be piloted later this year.
“eWise is exactly the type of company Wellington likes to back – global and disruptive with tremendous potential. eWise is targeting markets which still rely heavily on cash and checks, as well as ecommerce and point-of-sale opportunities with the introduction of its innovative mobile solution. In the U.S., these initial markets represent over five billion transactions per year. We are delighted to work with Alex Grinberg and his team to support the growth of eWise,” says Wellington Venture Partner Alexandre Gonthier, who has joined the board of eWise. Gonthier has a long track record with successful companies in the online and mobile payment sector including iPIN (now part of Aeopona) and Paymo/BOKU.
eWise’s technology provides consumers with the most convenient, secure and cost-effective way to pay online using their bank account straight from a merchant’s site – without a credit or debit card. It also gives banks and merchants the only online payment option that provides real-time authorization of funds and guaranteed payments – at costs typically lower than traditional and other alternative payment methods. Over the past decade, eWise has worked with leading financial institutions such as HSBC, Westpac and Ping An, delivering solutions that make transacting online easier and more secure for millions of end-users worldwide.
The new funding round will enable eWise to continue its global expansion, bringing online banking electronic payments (OBeP) to new markets, and to focus on expanding the Secure Vault Payments network and accelerating consumer adoption. Secure Vault Payments was launched in 2010 by eWise and NACHA – Electronic Payments Association, which acts as the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network regulator in the U.S. It is being implemented by nearly 40 financial institutions including U.S. Bank, America’s fifth-largest bank. By the end of this year, eWise anticipates more than 30 million consumers will be enabled to transact over the Secure Vault Payments network. eWise payo launched in the UK in January 2011.
Dharmash Mistry, partner at Balderton Capital, added: “eWise has a simple yet disruptive proposition – pay online or on mobile through your bank account – which is faster and safer for consumers, more profitable for banks and merchants, and underpinned by great technology. Alex and his team are rapidly transforming the way people around the world make payments, and we are very pleased to deepen our involvement with this exciting company.”
Alex Grinberg, CEO of eWise, said: “eWise is really taking off as we continue to aggressively grow the network while investing in delivery of an outstanding user experience – focused on speed, simplicity and security. We already have significant financial institution traction with Secure Vault Payments and eWise payo, which are embraced by the industry as bank-friendly alternative payment systems that link consumers directly to their financial institutions.”
About eWise
eWise is a payments and online financial management solutions provider with a reputation for providing innovative solutions that make transacting online easier and more secure. eWise offices in UK, US, China and Australia support some of the world's top 50 financial institutions with solutions delivering outstanding, proven ROI for its customers and a better online experience for millions of end-users worldwide. The company is well positioned to take advantage of growing demand for alternative payments and continues to work with other members of the International Council of Payment Network Operators (ICPNO) to develop interoperability between international payment networks. For more information, visit www.ewise.com.
About Wellington Partners
Wellington Partners is one of the most successful pan-European venture capital firms. With some $1.2 billion under management and offices in London, Munich, Palo Alto and Zurich, the firm invests into companies throughout Europe and the US that have the potential to become global leaders, in the areas of Digital Media, Cleantech, Electronics, Software and Life Sciences.
Since 1998, Wellington Partners has invested in more than 100 companies in Europe, the US and Israel, including now publicly traded Actelion and XING and successful privately held companies like Alando (acquired by eBay), Ciao (acquired by Microsoft) and ImmobilienScout24 (acquired by Deutsche Telekom). For more information please visit www.wellington-partners.com.
About Balderton Capital
Balderton Capital is one of the leading venture capital firms in Europe. Based in London, Balderton manages $1.9 billion in committed venture capital, and has invested in over 100 companies, principally in Europe but also in the US and Asia. Balderton focuses on the technology sector and notable investments include Betfair (floated on the LSE in October 2010), LOVEFiLM (sold to Amazon in January 2011), The Hut Group, World Stores and KupiVUP.ru (three of Europe’s fast growing online retailers), bebo (acquired by AOL for $850m), YOOX Group (listed in Milan in December 2009) and MySQL (acquired by Sun Microsystems for $1 billion). For more information visit www.balderton.com.
About TTV Capital
TTV Capital was founded in 2000 as one of the few venture firms focused exclusively on investing in technology-enabled financial services companies. TTV Capital partners possess more than 100 years of collective experience operating, investing and building technology-enabled financial services business. The firm specializes in early stage businesses operating in the banking, payments, capital markets, data analytics and security sectors. For more information visit www.ttvcapital.com.


104 West
Johanna Erickson
Johanna . Erickson@104west.com

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NetSpend Investigated for Potential Executive SEC Violations

Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC Announces Investigation of NetSpend Holdings, Inc.

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC is investigating potential claims on behalf of purchasers of the securities of NetSpend Holdings, Inc. (“NetSpend” or the “Company”) (NASDAQGS: NTSP - News), concerning whether the company and certain of its officers and directors have violated federal securities laws.
On May 19, 2011, the Florida Attorney General announced an investigation of NetSpend for failing to disclose certain prepaid debit card fees to consumers. The announcement stated that in certain instances, every transaction a consumer makes using a prepaid debit card may be subject to a hidden fee. Shares of the Company dropped 10% within 24 hours of this announcement.
If you are aware of any facts relating to this investigation, or purchased shares of MNKD, you can assist this investigation by contacting either Peretz Bronstein or Eitan Kimelman of Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC at 212-697-6484 or via email eitan@bgandg.com. Those who inquire by e-mail are encouraged to include their mailing address and telephone number.
Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC is a corporate litigation boutique. Our primary expertise is the aggressive pursuit of litigation claims on behalf of our clients. In addition to representing institutions and other investor plaintiffs in class action security litigation, the firm’s expertise includes general corporate work, private securities offerings, and securities arbitration.


Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC
Peretz Bronstein/Eitan Kimelman, 212-697-6484

6-Month Delay of Fed’s Debit-Card ‘Swipe’ Fee Rules Weighed by Senators

A Federal Reserve rule capping debit- card “swipe” fees set by Visa Inc. (V) and MasterCard Inc. (MA) would be delayed at least six months under a plan being crafted in the U.S. Senate, said two people with direct knowledge of the talks....read more at Bloomberg

Allied Irish Banks (AIB) Deploys Gemalto Online Banking Solution


AMSTERDAM--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Gemalto, the world leader in digital security, announces Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. (AIB) is deploying the Ezio solution to provide additional security features to its online banking services. As part of the multi-year contract, Gemalto is delivering the complete, future-proof Ezio solution including strong authentication software, Ezio Club EMV card readers as well as consulting services. The driver behind the upgrade is to further develop AIB's online offering with new and enhanced financial services for the benefit of customers.

“Simplicity and convenience for our customers were determining factors in our selection of Gemalto’s solution”
In addition to generating One-Time-Passwords the Ezio Club reader is used to verify and sign transaction details, such as amount transferred and account credited. This added layer of ”sign-what-you-see” security ensures the authenticity of the Internet Banking session, whilst enhancing the user’s protection.
“Simplicity and convenience for our customers were determining factors in our selection of Gemalto’s solution,” said Diarmuid Hanrahan, Head of Payments and eChannel Development, AIB. “The Ezio solution flexibility enables us to evolve our eBanking security strategy over time with multiple strong authentication devices.
“More than 50 million online banking customers worldwide use and trust Gemalto’s Ezio technology and we are leveraging this experience to support AIB’s project,” added Philippe Regniers, Senior Vice President, Gemalto.
About Gemalto
Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 GTO) is the world leader in digital security with 2010 annual revenues of €1.9 billion and over 10,000 employees operating out of 87 offices and 13 Research & Development centers in 45 countries.
Gemalto is at the heart of our evolving digital society. Billions of people worldwide increasingly want the freedom to communicate, travel, shop, bank, entertain, and work—anytime, anywhere, in ways that are convenient, enjoyable and secure. Gemalto delivers on the growing demands for personal mobile services, identity protection, payment security, authenticated online services, cloud computing access, modern transportation, e-healthcare and e-government services. Gemalto does this by providing secure software, a wide range of secure personal devices, and managed services to wireless operators, banks, enterprises and government agencies.
Gemalto is the world leader for electronic passports and identity cards, two-factor authentication devices for online protection, smart credit/debit and contactless payment cards, as well as subscriber identification modules (SIM) and universal integrated circuit cards (UICC) in mobile phones. Also, in the emerging machine-to-machine applications Gemalto is a leading supplier of wireless modules and machine identification modules (MIM). To operate these solutions and remotely manage the software and confidential data contained in the secure devices Gemalto also provides server platforms, consulting, training, and managed services to help its customers achieve their goals.
As the use of Gemalto’s software and secure devices increases with the number of people interacting in the digital and wireless world, the Company is poised to thrive over the coming years.
For more information visit www.gemalto.comwww.justaskgemalto.comblog.gemalto.com,, or follow @gemalto on twitter.

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Discover Bank and BJ’s Wholesale Club Announce Gift Card Offer

BJ’s Members Receive Up to $75 Gift Card for Opening Savings, CD and Money Market Accounts through Discover Bank
RIVERWOODS, Ill. & WESTBOROUGH, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Discover Bank and BJ’s Wholesale Club are offering BJ’s members a gift card for opening a Discover savings account.
BJ’s Inner Circle members will receive a $25 BJ's Gift Card and Rewards members will receive a $75 BJ’s gift card when they open a qualifying online savings account, money market account or certificate of deposit account through Discover Bank.
“Discover’s partnership with BJ’s fits naturally because we share the same desire to give customers more value for their money,” said Discover Bank President Christina Favilla. “Discover welcomes the opportunity to introduce BJ’s members to the great savings rates, as well as excellent customer service, that our account holders enjoy.”
“The BJ’s gift card offer is yet another benefit that people receive as members of BJ’s Wholesale Club,” said Laurie Lee, BJ’s specialty business assistant vice president. “I’m always looking for ways to make membership even more valuable through additional services, and BJ’s is proud to partner with Discover Bank on behalf of our members.”
Discover Bank is one of the leading direct banks in the country with more than $20 billion in direct-to-consumer deposits. Accounts are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per depositor, per deposit category.
To qualify for the gift card offer, current BJ's members must open a Discover online savings account with an initial deposit of at least $1,500, or open a Discover CD or money market account with an initial deposit of at least $2,500. All minimum balances must remain in the account for 90 days after the funding date to receive the gift card.
To open an account, BJ’s members should visit http://bjs.discoverbank.com/bjs/about.html or call 1-800-975-0167.
About BJ’s Wholesale Club
BJ's is dedicated to providing members with high-quality, brand-name food and general merchandise at prices that are significantly lower than supermarkets, supercenters, department stores, drug stores and specialty retail stores. BJ's carries the most product variety of any wholesale club with more than 7,000 items, including supermarket-sized staples, USDA Choice meats and stock-up items. BJ's is the only wholesale club to accept all manufacturers' coupons, and for greater convenience, BJ’s offers the most payment options including EBT.
Headquartered in Westborough, Massachusetts, BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc. is a leading operator of warehouse clubs in the eastern United States. The Company currently operates 190 clubs and 103 gas stations in 15 eastern states. Learn more and shop online at BJs.com or for exclusive content visit Facebook.com/bjswholesaleclub andTwitter.com/bjswholesale.
About Discover
Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a direct banking and payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company operates the Discover card, America's cash rewards pioneer, and offers personal and student loans, online savings accounts, certificates of deposit and money market accounts through its Discover Bank subsidiary. Its payment businesses consist of Discover Network, with millions of merchant and cash access locations; PULSE, one of the nation's leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International, a global payments network with acceptance in more than 185 countries and territories. For more information, visit www.discoverfinancial.com.


Jon Drummond, 224-405-1888
BJ’s Wholesale Club
Kelly McFalls, 774-512-5961

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