Monday, June 27, 2011

CashPlus: Prepaid MasterCard Helping Councils to Cut Costs

LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The government and local councils throughout the UK are looking to prune their budgets where possible in these tough economic times. But how can you make a saving without it hurting? Prepaid MasterCard® cards can help save money, improve accountability and transparency, yet actually make life easier for both council employees and customers who receive benefits.

The savings can be vast. Over in the U.S.A., the General Services Administration uses a card programme to provide purchase, travel and fleet payments, which is saving around $1.7 billion*. And the U.S. government believes it will save up to $42 million by switching from paper cheques to prepaid cards.
There are many reasons why councils over here in the UK may find prepaid cards attractive – as well as being a cost-efficient way of disbursing Direct Payments and Personal Benefits, prepaid cards are more secure and convenient than cash or cheques.
In fact, by contracting directly with APS, (the company behind the Cashplus brand) the council may take full control of the accounts, enabling real-time monitoring and auditing of expenditure. This of course is key for the council, as checking that the funds are being used for the correct purpose becomes simple.
Prepaid cards are an excellent replacement for cheque payments and cash disbursements for council expenses, as they make reconciling everything from travel to office supplies so much more efficient.
Cashplus prepaid Gold MasterCard cards can also help councils to meet their commitment to the ‘Putting People First’ vision of finding new ways to improve social care in England. That’s because Direct Payments to service users can be made efficiently and securely to the cards in lieu of Community Care Services that they’ve been assessed as needing. Currently, service users have to set up a separate bank account to receive the benefit, and then send in statements on a regular basis to the council.
So if you’re looking to make government or local council savings, prepaid cards can make a large impact by cutting costs and by simplifying payments for both employees and customers who claim benefits.
Source: US Treasury Presentation, Prepaid 08 Conference, June 2008.


Kezia Bibby
01273 704 434

The Global Contactless Payment Cards Market 2011: An Analysis of Current Developments, Opportunities and Perspectives in the Contactless Payments Market

Image representing Business Wire as depicted i...Image via CrunchBase

DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "The Global Contactless Payment Cards Market: Developments, Opportunities and Perspectives" report to their offering.

Much space has been devoted to describing the current position of particular systems functioning in various countries and to the implementation of the most important pilot schemes. The Polish market is an excellent example of a successful strategy of accelerating contactless payments development through joint investment in a fast expansion of the terminal network and mass issuance of cards.This report describes the evolution and operation of contactless payment methods used at POS, with particular reference to the solutions offered under the American Express/MasterCard/ Visa Agreement. The report discusses the benefits contactless payments can bring to all market participants, including card issuers and merchants.
The report also describes the prospects for the development of contactless payments all over the world, including the potential to develop into NFC-based mobile payments. The report is based on the opinions of experts and business practitioners as well as on a range of data obtained from the most important contactless payments market participants and international consulting firms.
Key Findings:
  • In the following years the replacement of a considerable number of cash transactions with contactless payments at POS, in public transport, or anywhere fast service is required, can become a fact in most developed countries.
  • However, mass popularisation of electronic payments requires time to deal with customers' habits and their deep conviction about the advantages of cash as an anonymous and a commonly accepted method of payment.
  • Benefits from contactless payments can accelerate the development of whole cashless turnover in retail transactions all over the world.
Key Topics Covered:
  • The Idea And Functioning Of Contactless Payment Cards
  • The evolution of contactless payments
  • Classification of electronic payment instruments
  • The functioning of EPP contactless cards
  • The payment gadgets revolution
  • Moving to mobile NFC payments
  • Benefits Of Using Contactless Payment Cards
  • The Contactless Payment Card Market In The World
  • The number of contactless payment terminals and cards issued
  • An overview of contactless payment systems in the world
  • Contactless Payments In Poland: Two-Sided Development
  • The use of payment instruments in Poland
  • The beginnings of contactless cards in Poland
  • A breakthrough in the acceptance of contactless cards
  • The biggest player changes the market
  • Prospects for the Polish contactless market
  • Prospects Of Development For Contactless Payments
Companies Mentioned:
  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • Bank Zachodni WBK SA
  • Gemalto
  • Fenbrook Consulting
  • Forrester Research
  • JCB
  • American Express,Sony
  • Barclays Bank
  • Garanti Bank
  • NETS
  • EDY
  • Suica/Pasmo
  • 7-Eleven
  • Nanaco
  • QUICPay
  • iD
  • T-money
  • Octopus
  • Citibank,EZ-Link
  • McDonald's
  • Coffe Heaven
  • Tesco
  • Zabka Polska
  • DeviceFidelity

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Smartphone "Web Use" Rivals PC

Around the world, smartphone owners are checking the web almost as frequently via mobile as they are via desktop PC, and they are pursuing the same content activities on both devices. Online video viewing and social networking are both now common on smartphones.  Full Article


Survey Says! 9 Out of 10 Businesses Suffer Breaches in 2010

Ninety percent of businesses have been hacked in the past year, according to a survey (PDF) of 583 US companies sponsored by the Ponemon Institute and Juniper Networks.
90% of Businesses Hacked Last Year
(from InfoSecurity at 25-6-2011)
Astonishing According to a recent Ponemon survey, and subsequent report via the Ponemon Institute and Juniper Networks, nine out of ten businesses report breaches in the past year. Equally astounding, as reported within the survey, is evidence leading researchers to believe a clear majority of those organizations have also been the subject of multiple, successful attacks against their respective network infrastructure. Evidently, the information security industry is either not alive and well, co... read more»

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Introducing Secure DNS: New Global Internet Security System

A stronger internet security system is deployed
(from mercurynews on 6-26-2011)
Add caption
A small group of Internet security specialists gathered in Singapore this week to start up a global system to make email and e-commerce more secure, end the proliferation of passwords and raise the bar significantly for Internet scam artists, spies and troublemakers. "It won't matter where you are in the world or who you are in the world, you're going to be able to authenticate everyone and everything," said Dan Kaminsky, an independent network security researcher who is one of the engineers .  

The Singapore event included an elaborate technical ceremony to create and then securely store numerical keys that will be kept in three hardened data centers there, in San Jose, Zurich and Singapore. The keys and data centers are working parts of a technology known as Secure DNS, or DNSSEC. DNS refers to the Domain Name System, which is a directory that connects names to numerical Internet addresses. Preliminary work on the security system had been going on for more than a year, but this was the first time the system went into operation, even though it is not quite complete.  The three centers are fortresses made up of five layers of physical, electronic and cryptographic security, making it virtually impossible to tamper with the system. Four layers are active now. The fifth, a physical barrier, is being built inside the data center.. read more».


DNSSEC, DNS Security Extensions, is a set of extensions to DNS, which provide origin authentication of DNS data, data integrity, and authenticated denial of existence.  DNSSEC covers all DNS data including name to IP address translation for web servers, voice over IP (VoIP), email, chat protocols, etc.

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Lulzec's Disbands - Hack Attack Infographic

LulzSec disbands, joins forces with Anonymous
(from IT Business at 27-6-2011)
The decision by computer hacking group LulzSec on Saturday to fold operations may be helping another online group, Anonymous, which stepped up attacks over the weekend. Members of LulzSec appear to have rallied around Anonymous with both the group, and some LulzSec members claiming they were now with Anonymous.... read more»
Hack Attack Infographic: Lulzsec's Hacks and Security Stats
(from Gadgets And Gizmos at 27-6-2011)
Editor's Note: The "infographic" on the right was put together by the folks at Gadgets and Gizmos

This year has seen the rise of hackers in the public eye, groups such as Anonymous and Lulz Security (Lulzsec) have breached the security of some of the biggest brands on the planet. Yesterday, Lulzsec announced their retirement from hacking, but encouraged their fans and other groups to continue their work. We have created an info graphic, entitled Hack Attack to draw together some vital statistics of hackers and online security on the whole.... read more»
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IFX Forum President Richard Urban Invited to Participate in Federal Reserve Workshop on Remittance Standards

Invitation-only Event Will Take Place in Chicago June 28-29

http://www.ifxforum.orgWAKEFIELD, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The president of the Interactive Financial eXchange (IFX; Forum, Richard Urban, is one of a select group of corporate users, vendors, bankers and standards developers – invited to an industry workshop on the topic of remittance standards, the Forum has announced. The event will be held June 28-29 at the Federal Reserve Bank facility in Chicago. Other members of the IFX Forum have also been invited, as representatives of their own organizations.
“The timing of this workshop is excellent, given the growing worldwide interest in ensuring interoperability among the various banking standards”
The IFX Forum is an international non-profit industry association whose mission is to develop and promote the adoption of its open, interoperable standard for financial data exchange, IFX, which is available at no charge at The objective of the workshop is to better understand issues and options for improving remittance data exchange and automated reconciliation of payments. Urban will address the participants on the opening day concerning the Forum's activity in the area of remittance, both on its own and with respect to work on ISO 20022.
"The timing of this workshop is excellent, given the growing worldwide interest in ensuring interoperability among the various banking standards," said Urban. "I thank the workshop organizers for inviting me to offer insights gained from the IFX Forum's broad experience in this area, and I look forward to learning from the others attending. I'm also hopeful that together we will develop a new comprehension of common issues and new approaches to surmounting the challenges involved. The IFX Forum is prepared to play an active, leading role in this effort."
The organizers of the workshop provided background information about the topic: remittance information is data exchanged between trading partners to "explain" a payment. Recent studies have found that corporations are reluctant to adopt electronic payments and replace paper checks, in part because they have difficulty reconciling electronic payments. They report that they do not always have sufficient remittance data, and a lack of remittance information standards contributes to the problem. Results of the workshop discussions of these issues will be posted.
Remittance and payments are areas of significant activity for the IFX Forum. For example, in addition to its longtime liaison efforts with ISO and contributions to ISO 20022, the Forum recently announced a collaborative effort with BIAN (the Banking Industry Architecture Network) that is focusing on interoperability in payment execution. More information about the IFX Forum's history of collaborations can be found at
About the IFX Forum
Founded in 1997, the Interactive Financial eXchange (IFX) Forum is an international not-for-profit industry association whose mission is to develop IFX and promote its adoption as an open, interoperable standard for financial data exchange, suitable for use by all sectors of the financial services industry. The IFX Forum also promotes interoperability of industry standards by working cooperatively with other standards organizations and consortia.
Forum membership is open to organizations interested in contributing to the development of open financial standards. Forum members include financial institutions, hardware, software and service firms, and related non-profit groups. The IFX Forum is currently organized into the following Working Groups: ATM/POS; Branch Banking Services; Business Banking; Card Management & Servicing, and Liaison & Interoperability. IFX Forum Working Groups, in concert with an Architecture Committee to coordinate their efforts, develop open Internet-compatible messages for all sectors of the financial services industry. To learn more about IFX Forum standards or the benefits of IFX Forum membership, please
See this press release on a social media/sharing platform at


Virtual, Inc.
Judith Vanderkay, 781-876-6208

Financial Technology Partners Advises EDC on Its Highly Successful $145,000,000 Cash Sale to Cardtronics

SAN FRANCISCOJune 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Financial Technology Partners LP and FTP Securities LLC (together, "FT Partners"), are pleased to announce the completion of another highly successful landmark transaction in the payments and banking technology sector, serving as sole strategic and financial advisor to EDC and its Board of Directors on its sale to Cardtronics USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: CATM) ("Cardtronics"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cardtronics, Inc., for $145 million.
EDC is a leading provider of turnkey ATM deployment services operating approximately 3,700 ATMs and multi-function kiosks in the United States focused on multi-state retail operators and high-transacting merchant locations such as convenience stores.  The sale adds to the number of Cardtronics' ATM terminals and will significantly increase its market footprint, particularly in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions.  Furthermore, Cardtronics will establish branding relationships with 8 of the top 15 banks in the United States (by assets) through the acquisition.
"With numerous competitive proposals from both strategic and private equity bidders, we were incredibly pleased to represent EDC in its sale to Cardtronics," said Steve McLaughlin, Managing Partner of Financial Technology Partners. "The success of this transaction and the fantastic results for EDC and its shareholders are a testament to the hard work and dedication of Mark Strauch,Edward Page and the rest of the management team at building one of the premier ATM businesses in the United States."
"We enjoyed working with the entire FT Partners team and were impressed with their incredible level of effort and diligence throughout this process," said Mark Strauch, President and CEO of EDC.  "I would strongly recommend that any CEO seeking to realize maximum value for their shareholders consider FT Partners as a true partner they can trust and to ultimately deliver what they promise."
FT Partners was named "Investment Bank of the Year" in 2004 and 2006 and was also recognized as "DealMaker of the Year" in 2007, 2008 and 2009, in addition to receiving multiple transaction awards highlighting the outstanding achievements and results obtained for clients.
Selected FT Partners Transactions:
  • The $145 million sale of EDC to Cardtronics
  • YapStone's $50 million minority investment led by Accel Partners
  • Mercury Payment Systems' approximately 60% strategic investment by Silver Lake
  • The $370 million sale of Custom House to Western Union
  • The $525 million sale of Lynk to The Royal Bank of Scotland
  • The $325 million cash sale of Verus Financial Management to Sage Group PLC
  • The $177 million initial public offering for VeriFone
  • The $292 million debt recapitalization for VeriFone
  • The $300 million acquisition of iPay Technologies by Jack Henry
  • The $60.5 million acquisition of Goldleaf Financial by Jack Henry
  • The $245 million cash sale of Corillian Corp to CheckFree
  • The $40 million Series C financing for ViVOtech
  • The $42.5 million sale of Alogent to Goldleaf Financial

About Financial Technology Partners LP and FTP Securities LLC
FT Partners is the only investment banking firm focused exclusively on providing strategic and financial advisory services to CEOs in the dynamic financial services and technology sector. The firm offers strategic advisory services in mission-critical transactions including mergers, acquisitions, IPOs, LBOs, refinancings, recapitalizations and private capital raisings. FT Partners' Managing Partner, Steve McLaughlin, formerly was a senior investment banker in Goldman, Sachs & Co.'s (NYSE: GS) Financial Technology Group and was the senior investment banker in the Financial Institutions Group in San Francisco before leaving the firm to form FT Partners in late 2001. San Francisco-based FT Partners is comprised of a team of experienced investment bankers formerly with the financial technology, M&A and investment banking groups of Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and Banc of America Securities. FT Partners and Steve McLaughlin were recognized in 2009 by The M&A Advisor as "Dealmaker of the Year". The firm has also been recognized as "Investment Banking Firm of the Year" in 2004 and again in 2006 for "Boutique Investment Banking Firm of the Year."Steve McLaughlin was also named in 2006, 2007 and again in 2008 to Institutional Investor's "Online Finance 40" ranking of most influential leaders in online finance. Any securities related transactions contemplated by or acted upon hereunder are conducted by FTP Securities LLC, a FINRA broker-dealer and a wholly owned subsidiary of Financial Technology Partners LP. For additional information, please visit
About EDC
EDC ATM Subsidiary and Efmark Deployment I (collectively, "EDC"), is a financial services company for consumers who want a quick, easy-to-use, and affordable way to access cash, pay bills, obtain prepaid debit cards, and perform a variety of other day-to-day transactions. We own and operate a network of ATMs and self-service kiosks deployed in thousands of retail locations acrossthe United States.
We believe in the power and simplicity of self-service automation and in the convenience of retail distribution. This is why EDC is now at the forefront of a sea change in financial services that has come about because technology has made us capable of doing what we could never do before and because many consumers have asked for an alternative to the traditional banking experience. We see every transaction as a new customer conversation. Whether it is a traditional ATM cash withdrawal, a brand new way to pay your cell phone bill, or an exclusive in-store coupon to save 50% on a car wash, we see each interaction as a new opportunity to make life a little bit easier for our consumer and a little more compelling for our retailer.
About Cardtronics
Cardtronics (Nasdaq: CATM) is the world's largest non-bank owner of ATMs. The Company operates over 33,200 ATMs in the United States, the United KingdomMexico, and the Caribbean, primarily with well-known retailers such as 7-Eleven®, Chevron®, Costco®, CVS®/pharmacy, ExxonMobil®, Hess®, Rite Aid®, Safeway®, Target®, and Walgreens®. Cardtronics also assists in the operation of approximately 4,000 ATMs under managed services contracts with customers such as Kroger®, Travelex®, and Circle K®. In addition to its retail ATM operations, the Company provides services to large and small banks, credit unions, and prepaid card issuers, allowing them to place their brands on over 12,000 Cardtronics' ATMs and providing surcharge-free access through Cardtronics' Allpoint Network.
SOURCE Financial Technology Partners LP and FTP Securities LLC

ViVOtech Closes $24 Million Series C Funding Round

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ViVOtech Closes $24 Million In Additional Series C Funding

Singapore’s EDBI, SingTel Innov8 and Motorola Solutions Join Current Investors to Fund Near Field Communication Pioneer’s Rapid Growth and Expansion
SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ViVOtech, the near field communication (NFC) software and systems company, today announced it has closed $24 million in a multi-stage extension to its Series C round of funding. The extension featured notable new investors Singapore’s EDBI, SingTel Innov8, and Motorola Solutions Venture Capital, which were joined in the round by ViVOtech’s current financial and strategic investors Alloy Ventures, Citi Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurveston, DFJ Gotham, First Data Corporation, Miven Ventures, Motorola Mobility, Nokia Growth Partners and NCR.
“With retail being a key vertical market for Motorola Solutions, it is important for us to identify and invest in solution providers that offer technologies that can have a major impact on the retail ecosystem”
The funds will be used to drive ViVOtech’s rapid growth and accelerate expansion into more countries beyond the 35 where ViVOtech NFC software and systems are used today.
ViVOtech’s NFC software and systems enable rich mobile commerce solutions for in-store payment, loyalty, marketing, and merchandising. Founded in 2001, ViVOtech provides key building blocks of the NFC ecosystem: smart applications for enhancing the customer experience, wallet and trusted service manager (TSM) software, and point of sale systems.
“Businesses today are relying more on innovative solutions to enrich the retail experience,” said Chu Swee-Yeok, CEO of EDBI. “ViVOtech has emerged as the clear leader in this field, with its unique end-to-end NFC-based mobile commerce solutions that are successfully gaining traction with its customers globally. With our investment, ViVOtech will be able to leverage EDBI’s extensive industry networks and understanding of Asia to capitalize on opportunities created by the vibrant mobile commerce industry in the Asia Pacific region. We also look forward to the setting up of ViVOtech’s Global Centre of Excellence in Singapore to commercialize innovative mobile commerce applications for the international markets.”
“As part of Asia’s leading communications group, with access to over 400 million mobile subscribers in the region, SingTel Innov8 is searching for innovative technologies to invest in that will help the SingTel Group deliver exceptional customer experience,” said Yvonne Kwek, CEO of SingTel Innov8. “With NFC set to revolutionize the mobile commerce market, it is important for us to partner with ViVOtech, one of the pioneers in this space, as they expand their global presence.”
“With retail being a key vertical market for Motorola Solutions, it is important for us to identify and invest in solution providers that offer technologies that can have a major impact on the retail ecosystem,” said Tony Palcheck, managing director of Motorola Solutions Venture Capital. “ViVOtech is one of a select group of companies that have the technology, vision and expertise that provides a unique benefit to major retailers, banks, credit and loyalty card providers, carriers and ultimately consumers.”
“Citi has been a ViVOtech investor for more than three years because we see them as a key player in the mobile payments ecosystem,” said Chris Kay, managing director, Citi Ventures. “Citi Ventures’ goal is to develop and commercialize the highest new growth opportunities that directly support Citi’s strategic directions and that foster emerging technologies. We’re happy to work toward this goal with leading companies like ViVOtech.”
“ViVOtech has worked long and hard over the last 10 years to establish ourselves as a leading enabler of in-store mobile commerce,” said ViVOtech CEO, Michael (Mick) Mullagh. “The market is on the verge of rapid growth and we are gratified by the support and validation of our stellar group of strategic and financial investors. We particularly welcome our new investors from Singapore, EDBI and SingTel Innov8, and Motorola Solutions. In and of themselves our investors represent a mini NFC ecosystem. By collaborating with them and our partners and customers, we will stay on the leading edge of innovation and the development of merchant and consumer friendly applications.”
About Citi Ventures
Headquartered in Palo Alto and Shanghai, Citi Ventures is a unit of global financial services company Citigroup. The Citi Ventures team partners with Citi businesses internally and with leading companies externally to identify, develop, and commercialize the highest new growth opportunities around the world that directly support Citi’s emerging strategic directions.
About EDBI
EDBI (EDB Investments) is a leading strategic investment firm headquartered in Singapore with a worldwide presence investing to drive growth opportunities within the knowledge and innovation-intensive sectors of Biomedical Sciences, Clean Technologies, Internet & Digital Media, as well as other strategic industry clusters with commercial potential. As a value adding investor, EDBI creates sustainable and synergistic partnerships with its portfolio companies, leveraging on its broad network of resources and experience to facilitate the companies’ growth in Asia and the world, through their operations in Singapore. For more information on EDBI, please visit
About SingTel Innov8
SingTel Innov8, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the SingTel Group, is a corporate venture capital fund, with its own set of decision making, approval and funding processes. It has an initial fund size of S$200 million. SingTel Innov8 focuses its investments on technologies and solutions that lead to quantum changes in network capabilities, next generation devices, digital content services and enablers to enhance customer experience. It works closely with the ecosystem of leading innovators, developers, government agencies, R&D and capital providers to bring cutting-edge technologies and solutions to the various markets the SingTel Group operates in. For more information, please visit
About Motorola Solutions Venture Capital
Motorola Solutions Venture Capital is the strategic equity investment arm of Motorola Solutions. Its diversified portfolio is focused on “new-idea” companies and opportunities that complement Motorola Solutions’ business strategy. Motorola Solutions Venture Capital invests at all stages in developing companies to accelerate access to new technologies, new markets and new talents. For more information, please visit
About ViVOtech
ViVOtech, the near field communication (NFC) software and systems company, enables rich mobile commerce solutions for in-store payment, loyalty, marketing, and merchandising. Merchant, payment, mobile, web and advertising companies use ViVOtech solutions to enhance customer experience and grow their business. ViVOtech’s NFC software and systems are the broadest, most tested and deployed worldwide. Founded in 2001, Silicon Valley-based ViVOtech provides the key building blocks of the NFC ecosystem: smart applications for enhancing the customer experience, wallet and trusted service manager (TSM) software, and point of sale systems. ViVOtech’s investors include Alloy Ventures, Citi Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, DFJ Gotham, EDBI, First Data Corporation, Miven Ventures, Motorola Mobility, Motorola Solutions, Nokia Growth Partners, NCR, SingTel Innov8 and Sprint. Join the NFC revolution at


Media Inquires for ViVOtech
Greg Spector, 415-717-4666

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