Wednesday, February 8, 2012

MasterCard Establishes Relationship with Silver Tail Systems to Combat Online Fraud

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Alliance will enable online merchants to more effectively differentiate fraudsters from legitimate consumers
PURCHASE, N.Y.--()--MasterCard Worldwide and Silver Tail Systems, a leading provider of web session intelligence, announced today a new exclusive relationship that will focus on leveraging and creating innovative solutions to help combat online fraud.
“Web-based navigation-centric solutions view the HTTP stream of a website and analyze in real time the traffic and Web sessions by user and IP addresses”
The companies’ collective expertise will enable merchants to differentiate fraudsters from legitimate consumers in real-time during the online shopping experience.
With eCommerce transactions reaching record levels*, both merchants and consumers benefit from identifying the safest and smartest ways to conduct online transactions.
By combining Silver Tail Systems’ technology with MasterCard’s extensive payments experience and insights, merchants will be better equipped to spot malware or robotic (“bots”) activity originating from personal computers or smart phones attacking their online payments systems.
“Online fraud resulting from malware, viruses and criminal-controlled bots is a serious concern for both merchants and consumers,” says Johan Gerber, Group Head, Global Network Products for MasterCard Worldwide. “With the increased sophistication of these fraud attacks, merchants are finding it more difficult to distinguish between good customers and criminals. Our relationship with Silver Tail Systems allows us to extend beyond the traditional fraud detection methods and provide merchants with a strong defense against fraud, while improving the consumers’ online experience.”
"We are excited to join forces with MasterCard to help reduce fraud for online merchants," says Tim Eades, CEO of Silver Tail Systems. "eCommerce merchants have broadened their focus to embrace the notion of customer interactions, not simply customer transactions. Smart phones, social networks, and app stores represent new catalysts that are forcing merchants to rethink customer interaction with their web presence. Cybercriminals are also exploiting these trends and traditional security tools may not be capable of keeping pace. We provide that granular level of visibility and security throughout consumers' entire online shopping experience, without requiring modification to the end user's device or the back-end website infrastructure."
“Web-based navigation-centric solutions view the HTTP stream of a website and analyze in real time the traffic and Web sessions by user and IP addresses,” says Avivah Litan, Vice President and Distinguished Analyst at Gartner Research. “This method has been successfully used by Gartner clients to spot malware-based activity that shows up as abnormally quick navigation or navigation that doesn't follow normal human patterns and behavior. It has also been used successfully to identify fraud rings and to gain visibility into attacker patterns and behavior.”
Through the new alliance, which is exclusive within the payments industry, MasterCard and Silver Tail Systems will immediately work together to bring innovative fraud solutions to online merchants in the U.S., while exploring future opportunities to expand the scope and reach of the relationship.
* In 2011, U.S. retail e-commerce spending reached a record $161.5 billion, a 13-percent increase from 2010, according to comScore, which measures digital data.
About MasterCard
MasterCard (NYSE: MA) is a global payments and technology company. It operates the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Learn more at, follow us on Twitter @mastercardnews or join the conversation on The Heart of Commerce Blog.
About Silver Tail Systems
Silver Tail Systems is a leading provider of web session intelligence and protects the world’s leading websites against fraud and cyberattacks at the navigation layer. Silver Tail Systems' award-winning solutions are made possible by the unmatched expertise of its management and technology teams, who bring deep experience, know-how and personal commitment to protect their customers' businesses against online fraud. For more information, visit Silver Tail Systems at

Discover U.S. Spending MonitorSM Consumer Confidence Jumps in January

Consumers’ Views About the Economy and Their Finances Are Improving
RIVERWOODS, Ill.--()--Consumer confidence jumped in January, with more consumers saying the general economy and their personal finances are improving. The Discover U.S. Spending Monitor, a 4-year-old daily poll tracking economic confidence and spending intentions of nearly 8,200 consumers throughout the month, recorded a 5.5-point jump from the previous month to 90.5. This is the first time since May 2010 that the index has topped 90.
Nearly 30 percent of consumers felt the overall economy is getting better, a jump of more than 6 percentage points from December and the highest figure in the last year. At the same time, those who reported their personal finances were improving rose nearly 5 percentage points to 23 percent – also the highest figure since February 2011.
The percentage of people who rated the U.S. economy as poor also declined from the previous month, down 2 percentage points to 56 percent. At the same time, the percentage of people who rated the economy as good or excellent exceeded 11 percent, an increase of more than 2 percentage points from the month before and the highest percentage for the Monitor since September 2008.
Views of Personal Finances Improve; More Money Left Over
Consumer sentiment toward their personal finances showed a marked improvement, while more consumers also reported more money left over at the end of the month:
  • Consumers from households of all incomes reported a brightening attitude toward their personal finances, with those from households earning between $40,000 and $75,000 annually seeing the biggest jump in sentiment. Of that group, nearly 27 percent said their personal finances were improving, up more than 7 points from the month before. In comparison, of consumers from households with less than $40,000 in annual income, nearly 15 percent reported they feel more positive about their personal finances, up nearly 4 points from the month before.
  • 47 percent of consumers reported they had money in their pockets after paying bills last month, an increase of 2 points from the month before.
  • Of those who reported having money left over, more than 16 percent said that amount was greater than they had the previous month, a jump of nearly 6 points from December.
Spending Intentions Remain Steady
Consumers reported they spent markedly less in January compared to the previous month, which is typical spending behavior after the holidays. Despite the increase in the number of consumers having money left over after paying bills, consumers say they will hold the line on spending next month.
  • 54 percent said they would spend about the same next month, compared to just 43 percent who said that last month. In addition, the percentage of people who said they would spend more did not change.
  • The percentage of people who said they would spend less also declined: 21 percent reported they would spend less, a decrease of 10 percentage points from the month before.
Consumers Stay Conservative with Discretionary Spending Plans
Consistent with last month’s data, consumers reported this month that they intend to be conservative with their discretionary spending.
  • Just 7 percent said they would spend more next month on discretionary personal items like going out to dinner or the movies, which is the lowest percentage since January 2011. In addition, 49 percent said they would spend less next month on discretionary personal items, an increase of 1 percent, while 41 percent said they would spend about the same as the prior month, an increase of 3 points.
  • In addition, 45 percent reported they would spend less next month on major personal purchases like a vacation, which is down 2 percentage points from the month before, while 40 percent said they plan to spend the same, up 3 points from December.
  • Household expenditures are expected to remain largely the same in February: 37 percent planned on spending more in the next 30 days, the same as last month, while 9 percent said they would spend less, an increase of 1 percentage point from the month before. Fifty-two percent said they would spend the same amount as the month before, a decrease of 1 percentage point from the month before.
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

Virtual Piggy Announces New Mobile E-Commerce Application for Apple iOS Devices and NFC Plans

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Innovative Solution For Online Purchasing For Kids Now Available On iPhone and iPad
PHILADELPHIA--()--Virtual Piggy, Inc. (OTCBB: VPIG), the innovator in safe-online youth purchasing, today announced the release of its mobile iOS application, which allows parents and kids to manage their Virtual Piggy accounts on their Apple phones and tablets. Virtual Piggy offers a secure, COPPA compliant, e-commerce solution to enable kids under 18 to make online purchases.
“The Virtual Piggy app brings our secure online payment method to the platforms where kids spend the majority of their time.”
Kids between the ages of 8 and 18 have more than $50 billion in annual spending power and yet when it comes to online purchases they either have no ability to spend or they have their parent’s credit card. Virtual Piggy provides technology that gives kids the ability to shop online in a controlled environment that parents can feel comfortable about.
“Kids are very comfortable with e-commerce and over a third of kids 8-11 now have their own mobile device and that number is rising,” said Virtual Piggy Executive, Catherine Williams. “The Virtual Piggy app brings our secure online payment method to the platforms where kids spend the majority of their time.”
The introduction of the Virtual Piggy mobile application is an integral part of the company’s plans to bring their family approved e-commerce solution to the global U18 market, whether they are shopping online using mobile devices or PC’s, or in-store with the integration of NFC technology.
The application is available for download at and in the iTunes store for no charge.
About Virtual Piggy, Inc.
Virtual Piggy, Inc. delivers a technology platform designed for the management of the under 18 age group in the global online market. Virtual Piggy’s technology enables online businesses to function in a manner consistent with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and similar international children’s privacy laws. Virtual Piggy’s technology enables the under 18 audience to play, transact and socialize in a secure online environment guided by parental permission, oversight and control. For more information about Virtual Piggy, please visit the Company’s website at:

Cashplus: New Cheaper and Easier Alternative to 'Free' Banking

Cashplus’ new Direct Debit service has a number of unique benefits, including:
  • Low balance alerts – If it looks like a Direct Debit is going to bounce, Cashplus® will alert you by SMS and email before the payment is due
  • Instant loans for just 50p a day – If you don’t have the money, Cashplus® offer a loan up to £1,000 to guarantee your bill is paid on time
  • No penalty fees (Debit Protect) – If a Direct Debit can’t go through Cashplus® won’t hurt your pockets further by imposing a penalty
Already trialled with over 100,000 existing customers, Cashplus® is likely to appeal to a wide range of people. It is particularly attractive to those without bank accounts who, until now, have not been able to access the discounts that many companies offer to customers paying by Direct Debit.
To mark the launch, between 8th February and 31st March, Cashplus® customers who set up and pay a Direct Debit via their Cashplus® account will be entered into a prize draw, the lucky winner having their rent or mortgage paid for a year (up to £10,000).
Richard Wagner, Cashplus® CEO said; “A common reason for people getting into debt is that a Direct Debit bounces, sometimes simply because another payment hasn’t gone through. The bank then imposes a penalty, as high as £24, which puts the customer further into the red and into a spiral of debt as more payments then can’t be met, just at a time when money is tightest.
“We have built this product by talking to customers and trying to address the complaints they have about banks and financial institutions. We believe this new service is truly unique. One of our key drivers has been to make all our costs completely transparent, so although the account is not ‘free’ the actual cost, taking account of typical penalties paid by bank customers, is small.”
To out more and enter the prizedraw go to:

USA Technologies Inks New Three-Year Relationship with Elavon, Inc.

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MALVERN, Pa.--()--USA Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: USAT), a leader of wireless, cashless payment and M2M telemetry solutions for self-serve, small-ticket retailing industries, announced that effective November 2011, the company has extended a ten-year relationship for an additional three-years with Elavon, a wholly-owned subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), and a leading global payments provider. Through the delivery of world-class service and competitive pricing, the agreement provides USA Technologies with Elavon’s support to continue with its growth plans.

“This agreement with Elavon is not only important from a business standpoint—helping us towards our goal of profitability and ensuring our services remain positioned for continued growth—but it’s important because it further underlines our commitment to our customers and the consumers who utilize our service”
“We’re very pleased to formalize this new agreement with Elavon, and enter our second decade of doing business together,” said David M. DeMedio, Chief Financial Officer of USA Technologies, Inc. “Our work with Elavon and their commitment to our growth strategy puts us in a position to meet both our long and short-term objectives. We believe that it is also further validation of USA Technologies’ position as a leader in wireless, cashless payments for the self-serve, small-ticket industries.”
“Continuing our relationship with USA Technologies provides Elavon with an opportunity to drive commerce and growth for the small ticket market that USA Technologies represents,” said Tom Boyer, President of Elavon North America. “We are enthusiastic to align with such a well-respected market leader.”
With this new agreement, USA Technologies has reached another milestone along the anticipated path towards profitability consistent with the new priorities the Company recently articulated in a letter to its shareholders. With a safe, secure card-processing provider, USA Technologies has a solid foundation that will support both improvements in functionality as well as a continued increase in customers, connections and resulting transactions processed on the Company’s ePort Connectservices.
“This agreement with Elavon is not only important from a business standpoint—helping us towards our goal of profitability and ensuring our services remain positioned for continued growth—but it’s important because it further underlines our commitment to our customers and the consumers who utilize our service,” concluded DeMedio. “By working with a world-class business partner like Elavon, we increase our value to our customers by providing them the best possible service at competitive rates, and ensuring that their customers have a seamless, enjoyable payment transaction at the point of sale.”
About USA Technologies:
USA Technologies is a leader in the networking of wireless non-cash transactions, associated financial/network services and energy management. USA Technologies provides networked credit card and other non-cash systems in the vending, commercial laundry, hospitality and digital imaging industries. The Company has been granted 79 patents and has agreements with Verizon, Visa, Compass, Crane and others. Visit our website at
About Elavon (
Elavon’s Global Acquiring Solutions organization is a part of U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB). Elavon provides end-to-end payment processing services to more than 1.2 million merchants in the United States, Europe, Mexico, Brazil, Canada and Puerto Rico. Solutions include credit and debit card processing, electronic check services, gift cards, multi-currency support, and cross-border acquiring. Elavon’s industry leading solutions meet the needs of merchants in specialized markets including small business, retail, hospitality/T&E, health care, education and the public sector and are marketed through multiple alliance partner channels including financial institutions, trade associations and ISOs.

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