Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Square COO says NFC has "No Value"

Does this go into the "I can't believe he said that" category or the "I can't believe he believes that" one?

SlashGear is reporting that Keith Rabois, COO of mobile payment firm Square was on hand at the GigaOM mobilize conference and made a statement that NFC has no value. He went so far as to say that he has never met a retailer that said they wanted NFC tech in their store. 

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eMarketer: Mobile Wallets Move Closer to Reality

Mobile Wallets Move Closer to Reality

SEPTEMBER 27, 2011

NFC-Enabled Phone Installed Base and Transactions Worldwide, 2010 & 2014Marketers must get consumers on board

The potential for mobile payments is huge. Globally, consumers make trillions of dollars in credit and debit card transactions each year. Migrating just a small percentage of that spending to mobile-based transactions would be a lucrative opportunity for the companies that facilitate it.

The mobile payments market is difficult to size in its nascent state, and research firms vary widely as to the dollar figures involved. But they agree on one thing, as eMarketer’s new report, “Mobile Payments: Moving Closer to a World Without Wallets,” notes: dramatic growth.
Gartner’s July 2011 forecast is one of the most conservative for mobile payment volume. It predicts that total worldwide mobile payments—including SMS, USSD and NFC payments as well as WAP/mobile internet purchases—will rise to $86 billion in 2011, a 76% increase over its estimate for 2010.

Mobile Payment Users and Volume Worldwide, 2010 & 2011An earlier estimate of only NFC-enabled transactions from the Yankee Group forecast they would nearly double between 2010 and 2014, to $40 billion worldwide.

But there are a range of other types of truly mobile payments—methods in which consumers store value on their phone or connect it to a payment account and use the phone to swipe for payment at the point of sale, for example—that don’t use NFC, SMS or USSD. And app-based payment methods abound.
After close to a decade of maneuvering, the key players are formally lined up behind specific initiatives. But consumer adoption is the final—and biggest—hurdle. Consumers will need reassurance on the security and privacy issues related to making the mobile handset an actual payment device.

The full report, “Mobile Payments: Moving Closer to a World Without Wallets,” also answers these key questions:
  • What is the outlook for mobile payments in the US and elsewhere?
  • Who are the key players and what are the leading platforms?
  • What are the drivers and inhibitors to the adoption of mobile payment systems?
  • How do consumers feel about storing credit card information on their phones?
  • What’s in it for marketers?
To purchase the report, click here. Total Access clients, log in and view the report now.

HTC, LG, Motorola Mobility, RIM, Samsung Mobile, Sony Ericsson and DeviceFidelity to Implement Isis NFC and Technology Standards

Mobile Device Makers to Accelerate Adoption of Mobile Commerce; NFC Architecture Provides Security and Convenience
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Isis, the joint venture between AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, announced today that HTC, LG, Motorola Mobility, RIM, Samsung Mobile and Sony Ericsson will introduce NFC-enabled mobile devices that implement Isis’ NFC and technology standards. For consumers who have or purchase smartphones that are not NFC-enabled, Isis is working with DeviceFidelity to add NFC functionality to the mobile device, ensuring a wide range of consumer choice.
“Working side-by-side with Isis and leading handset makers, we aim to provide the scale and choice of consumer preferred devices to ignite the industry and assure continual mass adoption of mobile commerce.”
“Isis’ technology standards provide the direction and certainty needed for the development and deployment of NFC devices and the mobile commerce ecosystem,” said Scott Mulloy, chief technology officer, Isis. “Working together with the device makers and our founding mobile carriers, Isis can provide the consumer choice and scale necessary for widespread adoption of mobile commerce.”
NFC-enabled phones will allow Isis consumers to securely make payments, store and present loyalty cards and redeem offers at participating merchants with the tap of their phones.
“Today’s announcement signals the growing acceptance of NFC technology by some of the world’s leading device makers,” said Kouji Kodera, chief product officer, HTC Corporation. “At HTC, we see tremendous opportunities for consumers and merchants as we move beyond traditional payments to a future of NFC-enabled mobile commerce.”
“NFC technology on LG devices will provide consumers with an all-in-one mobile experience that delivers convenience without comprising security or piece of mind,” said Jeff Hwang, president, LG Mobile Phones. “Creating the ideal mobile wallet, LG NFC enabled devices will help change the way consumers shop, pay and save.”
“NFC is the future of mobile payments and will ensure that transactions are done securely from mobile devices,” said Christy Wyatt, corporate vice president of software and services product management, Motorola Mobility. “Through working with Isis as well as the broader Android ecosystem, we look forward to providing consumers with NFC-enabled handsets that make mobile commerce a reality.”
By using NFC-enabled smartphones, Isis will enhance how consumers, banks, payment networks and merchants interact, significantly modernizing the payment experience.
“RIM is working in close collaboration with Isis to help make the concept of mobile commerce a reality,” said Andrew Bocking, vice president of BlackBerry Software, Research In Motion. “The new line-up of BlackBerry® 7 smartphones include various models that are NFC-enabled and demonstrates RIM’s commitment to enabling NFC-based experiences on BlackBerry.”
“The key to widespread adoption of mobile commerce will be the broad availability of NFC-enabled handsets,” said Dale Sohn, president, Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile). “Samsung Mobile will be working with Isis and the mobile carriers to ensure NFC-enabled handsets are widely available to consumers.”
Isis is committed to developing a comprehensive, open mobile commerce platform that aligns the interests of all key stakeholders and provides consumers with freedom of choice and security.
“NFC offers consumers the ability to broaden their communication experience beyond the phone, and common standards and best practices are key to a secure and convenient mobile commerce experience. Sony Ericsson is poised to be part of this movement and to drive the development of new, exciting and creative experiences to deliver the most entertaining smartphones,” said Jan Uddenfeldt, chief technology officer, Sony Ericsson.
“DeviceFidelity is proud to be among those chosen by Isis to power its NFC mobile wallet offering,” said Deepak Jain, chief executive officer and co-founder, DeviceFidelity. “Working side-by-side with Isis and leading handset makers, we aim to provide the scale and choice of consumer preferred devices to ignite the industry and assure continual mass adoption of mobile commerce.”
About Isis
The joint venture is between AT&T Mobility LLC, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless and is based in New York City. The venture is chartered with building ISIS™, a national mobile commerce platform that will fundamentally transform how people shop, pay and save. The Isis mobile commerce platform will be available to all merchants, banks and mobile carriers. Isis is a trademark of JVL Ventures, LLC in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other logos, product and company names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Discover Ranks Best in Resolving Identity Fraud

Independent Study Evaluates Methods of the Top 23 Card Issuers
RIVERWOODS, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Discover ranks best in identity fraud resolution among the top U.S. credit card issuers in Javelin Strategy & Research’s annual assessment of identity safety in the credit card industry. This was the second year in a row that Discover placed first in the resolution category.
“We take pride in our resolution services as it shows our commitment to quickly restoring the accounts of our valued customers.”
The Seventh Annual Card Issuer’s Safety Scorecard from Javelin evaluated the top 23 card issuers in the categories of identity fraud prevention, detection and resolution based on research from issuers’ websites and calls to customer service representatives. In addition to achieving the highest score in the resolution category, Discover finished second overall among issuers across all categories.
“Discover is continually monitoring and adapting to the latest criminal trends related to credit card fraud in order to protect our cardmembers,” said Carlos Minetti, president of consumer banking and operations for Discover. “We take pride in our resolution services as it shows our commitment to quickly restoring the accounts of our valued customers.”
Discover has finished among the top-scoring issuers since the scorecard was created seven years ago. Javelin, a leading independent provider of financial services research and analysis, incorporates data from annual household, consumer and issuer surveys in order to identify relevant security features. The study works to provide an understanding of the current trends in fraud and the evolving security criteria that credit card issuers are using to address them.
Available security features for Discover cardmembers include:
  • $0 Fraud Liability Guarantee
  • Proactive account monitoring for suspicious activity
  • Fraud alerts via phone, e-mail or text
  • Dedicated fraud specialists
  • Credit score monitoring
  • Paperless statements
  • Fraud prevention education tips
Go to www.Discover.com for more information.

RewardsNOW to Host Webinar Citing the Importance of Loyalty Programs in a Post-Durbin World

DOVER, N.H.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--RewardsNOW Inc., the leading marketing solutions company for loyalty programs, is hosting a complimentary webinar offering crucial insight into the importance of loyalty and reward programs given the Durbin amendment and the Federal Reserve Board’s recently released final regulations for debit interchange.
The webinar, which is scheduled for October 6, from 1-2 pm EST, will include presenters Steve VanFleet, CEO of RewardsNOW andTim Kolk of TRK Advisors. It will be moderated by Margaret Weichert from Market Platform Dynamics. The webinar will be presented again on October 18th 1-2 pm and hosted by Loyalty 360. For more information, visit: www.loyalty360.org/webinars/
During the webinar, the presenters will discuss how loyalty programs for major financial institutions (FIs), credit unions and community banks will be impacted by the new regulations. They will also present the business case for using loyalty programs for banks large and small.
In addition to highlighting the best practices for using a customer loyalty program in a post Durbin amendment world, the presenters will look at ways that FIs might use these reward programs to offset losses from interchange caps.
To sign up for the webinar, go to: http://pymnts.com/webinar-sign-up-rewardsnow
About RewardsNOW, Inc.
Loyalty programs generate incremental profits from increased customer retention and acquisition, increased product usage, and a higher level of customer engagement. As the premier provider of turnkey loyalty programs, RewardsNOW and its exclusive Extended Rewards Networksm (ERNsm) encompasses all the critical elements for a customer loyalty program to be successful. This includes design, implementation, analysis and reporting, marketing and rewards offerings and redemptions as well as 24/7/365 customer service. For more information, visit www.rewardsnow.com

DigitalPersona Showcases Fingerprint Biometrics for Civil ID Applications at the Biometric Consortium Conference

DigitalPersona U.are.U Fingerprint Readers Accurately Authenticate Citizens for National Elections, Entitlements, Law Enforcement and Micro-finance

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.Sept. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- DigitalPersona, Inc., a global provider of authentication and endpoint protection solutions, will showcase the company's portfolio of fingerprint biometric Civil ID solutions at this week's Biometric Consortium Conference in Tampa, Fla. Supported by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Security Agency (NSA), the Biometric Consortium Conference is focused on biometric technologies for Defense, Homeland Security, Identity Management, Border Crossing and Electronic Commerce. DigitalPersona® will demonstrate applications of the company's U.are.U® Fingerprint Readers, and preview forthcoming mobile identity and PIV-compliant solutions, in booth #417 at the Tampa Convention Center, September 27-29, 2011.
The adoption of biometrics is growing rapidly in the emerging countries of the world. Growth, prosperity and political stability in these countries depend on providing burgeoning populations access to basic services such as pensions, entitlements, education, banking and secure voting systems. However, effective delivery of these services requires a reliable and cost-effective means of identification at point-of-service access. Without such identification, fraud can run rampant and divert precious resources from their intended recipients. In addition to preventing fraud, biometrics is seen as a means of providing citizens with portable, easy-to-manage IDs in countries with no other reliable identity infrastructure.
DigitalPersona fingerprint biometrics are used worldwide to support electronic voting, voter registration, mobile micro-finance, entitlement and other Civil ID programs.  Over the past 15 years, DigitalPersona has supplied authentication products to governments, multi-national banks and leading technology companies such as IBM, NCR and Microsoft®. DigitalPersona stands apart in the Civil ID industry for the company's unmatched combination of manufacturing, biometric technology expertise and product breadth.  DigitalPersona provides strategic partners with:
  • Fast-ramp, high-volume manufacturing – DigitalPersona has delivered hundreds of thousands of fingerprint readers to customers and partners over timeframes as short as two months.
  • Deep Expertise in Biometrics Hardware and Software – DigitalPersona assists partners in responding to bids, providing insight into various issues such as fingerprint sensor integration, nuances of template formats and accuracy, and on-the-fly changes to evolving requirements and technical issues.
  • Industry-Leading Technology – Quick integration of U.are.U® Fingerprint Readers is facilitated by high-quality 500 dpi images, support for international standard images formats and compact size. In addition, the fingerprint reader's ergonomic "cool blue" illumination can enhance the appearance of any Civil ID system.
  • Flexibility and Responsiveness – DigitalPersona provides rapid-response technical support that helps partners get from the design of the biometrics component to high-volume manufacturing in a matter of weeks.

"DigitalPersona has market-leading, high-volume, low-cost manufacturing capabilities which enabled us to deliver more than 300,000 fingerprint readers to several of the largest voting system opportunities over the past year and a half," said Jim Fulton, vice president of marketing at DigitalPersona. "We are expanding our product families to address the need for standards support on a global scale as well as the need for mobile identification.  We will demonstrate the evolution of our Civil ID portfolio at this year's show."
About DigitalPersona
DigitalPersona, Inc. is a global provider of strong authentication and endpoint protection solutions that close the gap between people and security for enterprises, government agencies and commercial embedded-solution developers. The company's fingerprint biometrics technology helps organizations prevent fraud and increase accountability; it is incorporated into multiple national voting systems, almost all brands of biometrically-enabled point-of-sale (POS) stations, as well as many commercial applications in the retail, healthcare, and financial industries. DigitalPersona's data and access protection software is shipped by computer manufacturers on millions of notebooks and desktop computers per year; its cloud- and Active Directory-managed solutions for full disk encryption, multi-factor/strong authentication and single sign-on (SSO) password management simplify compliance and cut IT costs. For more information contact DigitalPersona, Inc. at: +1 650.474.4000, or visitwww.digitalpersona.com.

What's Next for Online Retailers? Next Generation Credit/Debit Card Chargeback Management System

NEW YORKSept. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- USDT Corporation (USDT) announced today the release of TransExam™ CNP chargeback management system for online retailers.
TransExam is the next generation credit/debit card chargeback management system utilizing the latest cloud-based patent pending technology, licensed under an exclusive international licensing agreement between SignatureLink Inc. and USDT Corporation.
TransExam was designed from the ground up based on the needs and requirements of online merchants to reduce fraud and the occurrence of chargebacks. Conventional chargeback management systems lack the detailed transactional data that is necessary to win transaction disputes. Most chargeback management systems are based more on dispute resolution tracking and more closely resembles a customer relationship management system (CRM).
A chargeback is the reversal of a previous credit or debit sales transaction. A retrieval request occurs when a cardholder's (issuing bank) requests a reproduction of the sales draft used in a specific transaction. Retrieval requests are generated for an assortment of reasons, including cardholder disputes, point-of-sale errors and fraud inquiries. Some merchants outsource chargeback management due to the lack of available tools to automate much of the process. Currently there are no chargeback management systems that contain all of the necessary components to efficiently respond to retrieval requests and store all of the mandatory documentation as required by the card associations. For example, Visa® requires that sales drafts be retained for 5 years and MasterCard® require they be retained for 18 months.
"When a merchant receives a retrieval request, the merchant simply logs into TransExam CNP and within seconds retrieves a single PDF re-presentment document that includes all pre- and post-authorization data, including the terms and conditions that were presented in the sales draft to the consumer at the time of the purchase. The result is a forensic SignatureLink® certified sales draft. No other chargeback management system in the industry provides a more formidable solution. Very few merchants are aware that the issuing banks compensate the acquiring bank for every successful re-presentment; our clients have been able to derive revenue directly from that revenue stream using the TransExam system. Taking all of the efficiencies into concern, TransExam has an outstanding return on investment for merchants," states Greg Wooten, CEO, USDT Corporation.
TransExam was created to save merchants time and money by reducing their cost of payment acceptance. USDT offers additional TransExam CNP options specifically designed to significantly reduce fraud and chargeback disputes. Additional options include payer authentication, fraud screening and CNPS™ signature capture pad.
USDT Corporation | http://www.usdtcorp.com is a recognized leader in cutting edge payment processing technologies, disaster recovery and asset protection solutions. Merchants, payment providers, acquirers and financial institutions deploy USDT's services to streamline operations and reduce expenses. USDT is committed to providing a secure environment for financial transactions and educating the global business community on best practices to reduce fraud and the overall cost of payment processing worldwide.
Media and Industry Contact:
David Ferguson
Tel: 800.728.1190 EX 540
This press release was issued through eReleases(R).  For more information, visit eReleases Press Release Distribution athttp://www.ereleases.com.
SOURCE US Digital Transactions Corporation

Simplee Launches Free Online Payments for Medical Bills

For the First Time Consumers Can Digitally Track, Reconcile, Review and Pay All of Their Medical Bills With a One-Stop Personal Health Care Expense Management Service

PALO ALTO, Calif.Sept. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Simplee has announced the launch of a fully integrated  electronic bill payment service, making it possible for the first time to pay all of your medical bills and manage all of your health insurance plans and expenses in a single place. Whether for an individual or an entire family, Simplee's Web-based personal health care expense management service is now the easiest way to access a complete snapshot of your health care picture and then pay, reconcile and confirm medical payments at the click of a mouse.
In a matter of minutes consumers can create a free online account with Simplee, quickly link it to their medical and dental plans, and then connect a debit card or major credit card (including VISA, MasterCard and Discover) to their profile to begin utilizing the online payments service. There is no charge for using it, and users will receive automated notifications when a bill is ready for review and payment.
"The first step toward achieving better quality care at a lower cost is understanding your health insurance and knowing where and how you're spending your money," said Tomer Shoval, CEO and co-founder at Simplee. "Simplee arms consumers with the information they need to make better health care decisions for their families and ultimately do more with their money. Now, with the introduction of free online payments, we've taken it one step further."
The new application is the latest in a powerful, growing set of features that give Simplee's users complete and convenient digital management of their personal health care expenses. Its intuitive billing dashboard combines both the bill from the medical provider and the explanation of benefits (EOB) from the insurance carrier, so that consumers can review and understand exactly what they owe when an insurance claim has been processed.
By presenting a unified look and feel for every bill, regardless of the procedure or provider, Simplee makes it possible for consumers to navigate the complicated world of medical expenses with ease. They can finally understand what portion of a bill they are responsible for, what should be paid by their insurance and when a payment is due.
A Fresh, Intelligent Way to Manage Health Care Expenses
Simplee transforms health insurance information into a personalized dashboard that allows users to track bills and claims in real-time, and edit transaction details. It intuitively presents medical visits, deductible status, health savings accounts (HSAs) and total family spending over time with a simplified explanation of deductibles, plans and benefits. Simplee also provides alerts and reminders that help consumers take full advantage of hidden benefits offered under each plan like free preventative care.
The password-protected service provides exceptional data security. Simplee is HIPAA-compliant and private health care records cannot by altered or compromised in any way by using it.
Support is currently provided for Aetna, Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield of California, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, CIGNA, Delta Dental, MetLife, UnitedHealthcare, Vision Service Plan (VSP) and WellPoint (Empire BCBS) with additional plans coming online often.
Simplee Presents at Health 2.0
Tomer Shoval will be presenting at the Fifth Annual Health 2.0 Conference, taking place on September 26 and 27 in San Francisco at the Hilton Union Square. He will discuss the Simplee service as part of the "Self Management Devices, Tools and Trackers" session at 10:45 AM on Tuesday, September 27.
About Simplee
Simplee is a privately held company dedicated to empowering consumers to take control of their health care expenses. The free, web-based consumer service helps users better understand and manage their health care expenses, identify ways to save money and find better care at a lower cost through an easy-to-use, simple dashboard with a set of powerful customization tools. Led by former executives from eBay and EMC, Simplee was created and developed by a team of industry veterans with deep online consumer content and commerce expertise. The early-stage funded company is located in Palo Alto, California, and maintains a development center in Israel. For more information go to http://www.simplee.com.

Bankrate: Decline of Free Checking Accelerates

Consumers Facing Higher Fees and Balance Requirements, But Increasing Amount of Fee Waivers Provides Silver Lining

NEW YORKSept. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Only 45% of non-interest checking accounts are free, down from 65% in 2010 and the peak of 76% just two years ago, according to Bankrate.com's (NYSE: RATE) 2011 Checking Study. The full study is available here: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/checking/checking-account.aspx.
"The decline of free checking is in full swing, however, savvy consumers can take advantage of an increasing amount of fee waivers, most commonly with direct deposit," said Bankrate's senior financial analyst, Greg McBride, CFA. "Ninety-two percent of noninterest accounts are either free or can become free."
Both interest and noninterest checking accounts posted big increases in monthly service fees and the balances required to avoid them. On interest accounts, the average monthly fee is $14.15, up 8.5% from $13.04 last year. The balance required to avoid the fee jumped 43.9%, to $5,587 from $3,883, though these balances are increasingly permitted to be held in other accounts and not strictly in the checking account.
On noninterest accounts, the sharp decline in free accounts means 60% more accounts now carry fees and balance requirements. The average monthly fee is $4.37, up from $2.49 last year, and the balance required to avoid it is $585, more than double the $249 from one year ago.
Debit card fees are still rare, despite recently publicized cases. Only 4% of accounts charge a point-of-sale fee when using a debit card, and less than 2% charge a monthly or annual fee for carrying a debit card.
The average ATM surcharge hit a new high for the seventh consecutive year, at $2.40, up 3% from $2.33 last year. The average fee charged by one's own financial institution for going outside the network is unchanged from last year at $1.41.
The average nonsufficient funds fee (commonly known as an overdraft or bounced check fee) set another record of $30.83, up 1% from $30.47 last year. This keeps intact a streak of increases dating back to Bankrate's first annual survey in 1998.
Click to view table full screen
Highest ATM Fees
Lowest ATM Fees
1.   Denver
1.   Cleveland
2.   San Diego
2.   Minneapolis
3.   Houston
3.   Tampa
4.   Seattle
4.   Chicago
5.   New York Metro
5.   Cincinnati

Highest Nonsufficient Funds Fees
Lowest Nonsufficient Funds Fees
1.   Denver
1.   San Francisco
2.   Miami
2.   Chicago
3.   Houston
3.   Cincinnati
4.   Dallas
T4. Los Angeles
5.   Philadelphia
T4. Minneapolis

Bankrate surveyed a total of 10 banks and thrifts in each of 25 large U.S. markets. This included one interest and one non-interest account at 247 institutions that offer checking accounts. In total, 243 interest and 238 non-interest accounts were surveyed.
About Bankrate, Inc.
The Bankrate network of companies includes Bankrate.comInterest.comMortgage-calc.comNationwide Card Services,InsureMeCreditCardGuide.comBankaholicCreditCards.com and NetQuote. Each of these businesses helps consumers to make informed decisions about their personal finance matters. The company's flagship brand, Bankrate.com is a destination site of personal finance channels, including banking, investing, taxes, debt management and college finance. Bankrate.com is the leading aggregator of rates and other information on more than 300 financial products, including mortgages, credit cards, new and used auto loans, money market accounts and CDs, checking and ATM fees, home equity loans and online banking fees. Bankrate.com reviews more than 4,800 financial institutions in 575 markets in 50 states. Bankrate.com provides financial applications and information to a network of more than 75 partners, including Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO), America Online (NYSE: AOL), The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times (NYSE: NYT). Bankrate.com's information is also distributed through more than 500 newspapers.

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