Thursday, June 9, 2011

This Week's International ePayments News

Click any of the free stories below to read this weeks ePayment International News
Visa acquires Fundamo for $100 million

Visa acquires Fundamo for $100 million

Visa Inc. has acquired mobile financial services provider Fundamo for $110 million. The company has also announced a new, long-term commercial agreement with the mobile money solutions provider Monitise.Free
Sluggish take-up of e-invoicing not a technology fault

Sluggish take-up of e-invoicing not a technology fault

Slow e-invoicing adoption is down to corporates’ reluctance to change their payment behaviour and is not the fault of the technology available in the market.Free
eWise secures $14m in funding

eWise secures $14m in funding

Online financial management solutions provider eWise has secured $14m in its latest financing round thanks to its “simple yet disruptive proposition”.Free
Large firms falling behind mid-size in invoice management

Large firms falling behind mid-size in invoice management

Payment processes are less expensive and time-consuming for mid-size companies as a study shows they are outperforming their larger contemporaries in invoice management.Free
Travelex launches payments into China

Travelex launches payments into China

Travelex Global Business Payments has announced that its business customers will now be able to trade in Chinese renminbi.Free

Uncertain future for Interac

Uncertain future for Interac

Canada’s domestic debit network Interac has so far been able to fend off the threat of the international networks entering the local debit market. However, its future remains uncertain as Interac’s not-for-profit status means that it is limited in its ability to compete against further challenges from the likes of Visa and MasterCard, writes Jane Cooper.
RSA offers to replace SecurID tokens

RSA offers to replace SecurID tokens

Business security solutions firm RSA has offered to replace its SecurID tokens for selected customers as it reveals information from a recent RSA hacking was used to attack a major US government defence contractor.Free
Contis Group acquires GTP Financial Services

Contis Group acquires GTP Financial Services

Online banking and prepaid card technologies provider Contis Group has acquired prepaid card issuer GTP Financial Services for an undisclosed sum.Free
BP rolls out contactless payment terminals

BP rolls out contactless payment terminals

BP petrol stations, together with its German unit Aral, will begin accepting MasterCard PayPass contactless payments across its UK, Swiss and German forecourts over the next two years.Free
EPC opens consultation on latest SEPA requirements

EPC opens consultation on latest SEPA requirements

The European Payments Council (EPC) and the Cards Stakeholders Group have released the latest SEPA Cards Standardisation Requirements for public consultation.Free
CUP strikes card acceptance deal in Brazil

CUP strikes card acceptance deal in Brazil

China UnionPay (CUP) payments cards are to be accepted in Brazil for the first time following an agreement with merchant acquirer Redecard and Latin America’s Banco Itau.Free
Monarch Airlines axes debit booking fees

Monarch Airlines axes debit booking fees

Monarch Airlines has blasted its rivals for “stinging” customers with hidden fees as it makes moves to abolish debit card fees and cap credit card fees for booking flights.Free
UK MPs accused of credit card misuse

UK MPs accused of credit card misuse

Calls for greater transparency in the credit card spending behaviour of UK public sector staff are becoming deafening as MPs have once again found themselves in hot water regarding their expenses.Free

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Cards and Payments Europe 2011 in Frankfurt June 21st

iPhone Mobile Payment 100 EuroImage by monty.metzger via Flickr

VRL: Technology and Cards are Key Opportunities for Banks, Say European Cards and Payments Leaders

Mobile payments, micropayments, POS and SEPA confirmed on the agenda for Cards & Payments Europe 2011: Conference and Awards in Frankfurt
LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Leading financial and professional services information provider VRL Financial News is bringing together leading banks, companies and retailers from the cards and payments industry, including eBay/PayPal, UniCredit, MasterCard, Salans and Deutsche Bank, to debate the changing role of technology in cards and payments at this year’s conference. Leading speakers will deliver strategies for adjusting to an evolving market and highlight the growing opportunities in micropayments and mobile payments.
http://www.vrlknowledgebank.comCards & Payments Europe takes place in Frankfurt, Germany on 21st June 2011, and includes sessions on learning how to make money from debit, with exclusive research on the best loyalty card programmes in Europe. Delegates can additionally expect controversial discussions around the benefits of credit cards in a credit wary world.
VRL’s Group Editor for Cards and Payments, James Ratcliff, said: “The continued rise of internet spending, allied with post recessionary pressures, presents both opportunities and threats for the cards and payment industry. Business models are changing and new entrants are appearing all the time, so the industry needs to constantly reinvent itself and launch new products. Events like Cards & Payments Europe enable us to gain an insight into the market leading strategies that will shape the industry for years to come.”
Event participants will be privy to a range of thought-provoking and unique insights into the pressures, opportunities and market issues affecting this industry. The one day event, comprises of a conference and an exhibition, followed by a cocktail reception and Awards dinner, which give attendees the opportunity to network with senior industry attendees. Sponsors include MasterCard, SIA (both Gold Sponsors) and Bluerock, First Annapolis and Serverside Group.
Other topics to be covered include:
  • Mobile Payments – sensible scenarios for growth
  • Micropayments – the opportunity matures?
  • Mobile & POS – where the two meet
  • Protecting customer data
  • SEPA: emerging issues
  • Driving growth via co-branded partnerships
  • Social media – how to enhance your offering

Cards & Payments Europe 2011

Cards & Payments Europe is a well established event, running for its 24th year in 2011. 
Unlike other conferences, Cards & Payments Europe is content-led, and has its foundations in VRL's leading publications Cards International and Electronic Payments International, delivering senior attendees and great networking opportunities.
Cards and Payments Europe will examine how those in the cards and payments world are using technology to differentiate themselves from their competitors to grow market share. And to combat new entrants who stole a march in the early days of e-commerce.
The conference will also look at how new patterns of consumer spending are prompting innovation in traditional debit and credit card markets.

To find out more about this event and to secure your place at Cards & Payments Europe 2011, please contact VRL on or +44 (0) 20 7563 5640 or go to


C8 Consulting Ltd
Paula Elliott
+44 (0)1189 001132

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Citigroup Hacked: 210,000 Customer Credit Card Numbers Exposed

CitigroupImage via WikipediaAnother breach in the financial industry shows that Cybersecurity hasn't e-volved as efficiently as Cybercrime...

PC World reports that Citigroup did not explain how the website, Citi Account Online - used by its customers to manage their cards - was compromised. The bank discovered the breach,
 which was first reported in Thursday's Financial Times, early last month.

 Citigroup Breach Exposed Data on 210,000 Customers 
 (from PC World on 6-9-2011) 
 Citigroup admitted on Wednesday that an attack on its website allowed hackers to view customers' names, account numbers and contact information such as e-mail addresses for about 210,000 of its cardholdersread more»

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"NFC Retail Marketing & Mobile Payments: Markets, Forecasts & Strategies 2011-2016"

From Computer Weekly:

Juniper Research's full report on Near Field Communications (NFC) for mobile commerce provides six-year forecasts for NFC ticketing and retail payments, across eight regions of the world. We forecast that the market will begin to ramp and reach approaching 300 million smartphones by 2014. North America and Western Europe will be the largest regional markets.
We forecast strong growth of NFC smartphones in the Far East and China in particular after 2012 as FeliCa featurephones in Japan are churned and replaced by NFC devices as a result of the transition to global standards. This churn will complement commercial launches in other regional countries such as China, where China Unicom launched its scheme in Beijing in late 2010 using its SIM replacement strategy
Click on the button below to download this report (requires registration).

This whitepaper is taken from the Juniper Research report entitled "NFC Retail Marketing & Mobile Payments: Markets, Forecasts & Strategies 2011-2016" published in April 2011.

Juniper Research specialises in identifying and appraising new high-growth market sectors within the mobile ecosystem. The cornerstones of Juniper's research are market sizing and forecasting, together with competitive analysis, strategic assessment and business modelling. Juniper provides independent and impartial analysis of current and emerging opportunities through a team of dedicated specialists.

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US bill would make concealing data breaches a crime

US bill would make concealing data breaches a crime
(from The Register at 9-6-2011)
US-based companies would be required to report data breaches that threaten consumer privacy and could face stiff penalties for concealing them under federal legislation that was introduced in the Senate on Tuesday. The Personal Data Privacy and Security Act aims to set national standards for protecting the growing amount of personally identifiable information being stored online. Its approval by the Senate Judiciary Committee represents the fourth year the bill has been introduced, said its s... read more»

mopay Named One of the Top 25 Fastest-Growing Media Companies in Europe

mopay the only mobile payments provider nominated, elevating the company to de facto European market leader

MUNICH & PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--mopay, a global leader in innovative payment solutions for online merchants, was selected as one of Europe’s 25 fastest-growing larger digital media companies. mopay was the only pure-play mobile payments provider nominated to the Top 25. The selection took place at the Media Momentum Awards 2011 in Barcelona, where the most innovative and fastest-growing companies in the European Digital Media Economy are recognized. The event is organized by Investment Bank GP Bullhound.
“We feel very honored that the jury voted mopay as one of the Top 25 European companies”
The Media Momentum 2011 awards are based on companies’ revenue growth from 2008 to 2010. This year’s Top 50 have grown their collective revenue base from $558 million USD to $2.2 billion within this three-year period. Notable attendees and speakers at this year’s event included executives from Amazon, Google, Moneybookers, Rovio and vente-privee. mopay is the only shortlisted pure-play mobile payments provider. “Every year, GP Bullhound rounds up a highly renowned judging panel of industry experts and entrepreneurs,” said Christian Lagerling, Founding Partner of GP Bullhound. “In this year’s highly competitive list of the fastest-growing digital media companies, mopay distinguished itself as the only pure mobile payments provider. Every company on this list can be considered a European market leader in its respective industry.”
“We feel very honored that the jury voted mopay as one of the Top 25 European companies,” said Kolja Reiss, Managing Director of mopay. “Today, mopay is a true industry leader, processing every third mobile payment transaction in Europe. This nomination not only recognizes this leadership, but also indicates the rising importance of mobile payments as one of the most innovative monetization strategies for the digital media economy. According to ABI Research, the European mobile payments market is expected to grow tenfold between 2010 and 2015. As the industry continues to grow, so will mopay.”
For the seventh year running, GP Bullhound is recognizing the hottest and fastest-growing digital media companies in Europe. Thought leaders and entrepreneurs from the digital media economy were invited to participate in the CEO Summit and the Media Momentum Awards celebrations to discuss and brainstorm about current and future topics facing the Internet economy.
About mopay:
mopay is a global leader in innovative payment solutions for online merchants. mopay’s core platform enables merchants of virtual, digital and physical goods to bill charges directly to consumers’ cell phone and land line accounts. mopay operates in more than 80 countries across the globe, reaching more than 3.3 billion consumers. The company has a blue-chip customer base including major brands such as Bigpoint, Gameforge, Innogames, Sulake and Travian. mopay, part of the MindMatics group, has more than 100 employees at locations in the United States, Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom and China. For more information, visit


MindMatics AG
Matthias Seidel, +49 89 322986-580
Fax: +49 89 322986-570 ;
PAN Communications
Noah Brown, 978-474-1900

Visa Acquires Fundamo, Signs New Agreement With Monitise

Two investments accelerate delivery of mobile financial services to consumers worldwide as part of Visa’s global strategy to enable the next generation of payments solutions
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Visa Inc. (NYSE:V), a global leader in payments, today announced that it is acquiring Fundamo, a leading platform provider of mobile financial services for mobile network operators and financial institutions in developing economies. It also announced a new, long-term commercial agreement with Monitise plc (LSE:MONI.L), a leading provider of mobile money solutions for financial institutions in more developed geographies.
“We are pleased to add Fundamo’s industry leading technology solutions to our portfolio.”
The investments will accelerate the execution of Visa’s global strategy announced last month to provide the next generation of payments solutions, enabling consumers to transact wherever and whenever they choose, using a card, a computer or a mobile device with Visa’s reliability, security and global acceptance. The combination of acquiring Fundamo and expanding the relationship with Monitise will enable Visa to deliver best-in-class mobile financial services and payments capabilities to consumers across the full spectrum of uses, geographies and mobile environments from basic services on simple handsets to more advanced services for smart phone owners.
Fundamo Acquisition
While mobile financial services in developing markets are growing and have become a core service offered by many mobile operators and financial institutions, these services are often limited in scalability and reach and are not interoperable with other regional payment services or global payments networks.
Fundamo’s platform enables the delivery of mobile financial services to unbanked and under-banked consumers around the world—including person-to-person payment, airtime top-up, bill payment and branchless banking services.
The combined Visa Fundamo platform will add enhanced functionality and new services to existing mobile financial services subscribers across Africa, Asia and Latin America for safe, reliable and globally accepted payments solutions. It will expand the utility of closed-loop systems, enable them to be interoperable, make financial services available to more consumers and offer merchants access to new customers. This has the potential to connect billions of unbanked and under-banked consumers to each other and to the global economy.
“Combining Visa’s unparalleled network scale, global reach, extensive product suite and established financial institution relationships with Fundamo’s expertise in delivering mobile financial services in developing economies presents us with an important long-term opportunity to grow our business and drive financial inclusion in key geographic markets,” said Joseph W. Saunders, chairman and chief executive officer of Visa Inc. “We are pleased to add Fundamo’s industry leading technology solutions to our portfolio.”
“Mobile network operators and financial institutions will now be able to take advantage of Fundamo’s trusted mobile financial services platform backed by Visa’s high standards for security, reliability and scale,” said Hannes van Rensburg, CEO of Fundamo.
Hannes van Rensburg and the Fundamo management team will continue to manage current and future Fundamo implementations as valuable members of Visa’s mobile product organization.
Privately held, Cape Town, South Africa-based Fundamo has more than 50 active mobile financial services deployments across more than 40 countries, including 27 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Fundamo’s deployments currently have a base of more than five million registered subscribers and the potential to reach more than 180 million consumers with mobile financial services. Mobile prepaid payments provide affordable, convenient and secure transaction capabilities that are transformational to the lives of merchants and consumers in those regions.
Visa will pay approximately $110 million in cash. The acquisition is expected to close today, and is slightly dilutive to Visa’s earnings per share in its fiscal year 2011 ending September 30, 2011.
New Monitise Agreement
Today, Visa also signed a new commercial agreement with Monitise to expand delivery of mobile financial services to banked Visa account holders in conjunction with Visa’s financial institution partners. Monitise’s expertise in customizing mobile applications for a broad range of phone models and operating systems enables Visa to virtualize existing Visa accounts on mobile phones and offer Visa account holders globally a new array of payment types.
One key focus of this alliance is the introduction of new mobile services to existing Visa account holders outside the U.S. that enable electronic payments on the go to meet consumers’ daily needs including mobile top-up, utility payments, and transit ticketing.
In addition, Monitise and Visa will launch a mobile banking solution in the U.S. for clients of Visa DPS, Visa’s debit and prepaid processing platform. This new service is designed to enable Visa clients and processing partners in the U.S. to quickly and efficiently offer their customers a suite of services, such as mobile payments, person-to-person payments, mobile transaction alerts and mobile marketing offers.
About Visa
Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world’s most advanced processing networks—VisaNet—that is capable of handling more than 20,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit
About Fundamo
Fundamo’s Enterprise Mobile Financial Services platform is architected for configurability and scalability to evolve with the needs of mobile subscribers to deliver increasingly compelling, tailored and differentiated mobile financial services as the market matures. The company’s vision is for a truly connected financial services ecosystem that supports the ubiquity of mobile devices. Fundamo has some 50 deployments in over 40 countries, including 27 countries in Africa and the Middle East and another 10 globally.
Fundamo was privately held by a group of investors in South Africa that include Sanlam (, Remgro Limited (, and HBD Venture Capital (managed by PoweredbyVC,
About Monitise:
Monitise plc (LSE:MONI.L), is a global leader in Mobile Money solutions, with the proven technology and expertise to enable financial institutions and other service providers to offer a wide range of mobile banking and payments services to their customers in both developed and developing territories.
Monitise web site

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RILA Applauds Senate Vote to Protect Swipe Fee Reform

Reforms on track to take effect in July
ARLINGTON, Va.June 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) President Sandy Kennedyissued the following statement on the vote today in the U.S. Senate to protect meaningful swipe fee reforms scheduled to take effect next month.  
"We applaud the U.S. Senate for standing up for Main Street and protecting reforms that will help fix the broken debit market.
"These bipartisan reforms will bring meaningful relief to millions of merchants and consumers at this critical time.
"With this distraction now behind us, retailers await the Federal Reserve's final rules so they can begin implementing these reforms and saving consumers money.
"RILA thanks Senator Durbin and his colleagues who have fought for Main Street to protect the meaningful relief that will result from these reforms."
RILA is the trade association of the world's largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.
SOURCE Retail Industry Leaders Association

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