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« November 30, 2003 - December 6, 2003 | Main | December 14, 2003 - December 20, 2003 »

December 13, 2003

Slashdot explores Proximity Cards

Slashdot tonight has a thread discussing RFID-based proximity payments triggered by this AP story posted on CNN.

From free to next-to-free on the Net

Eugene Wee writes in the Sunday Straits Times from Singapore about micropayments.

Today, the micropayment model is making a comeback, with big guns like Apple leading the charge. While its iTunes Music Store, which sells digital music for 99 US cents (S$1.70) a song, uses credit card transactions and does not really leverage on new micropayment technology per se, it has shown that people are willing to buy low-cost digital content.

December 12, 2003

TSYS appoints Kelley Knutson

TSYS announced today that it has appointed Kelley Knutson as managing director of TSYS Europe.

An 18-year veteran of the payments industry, Knutson has held various leadership positions with GE Capital and Visa International, and most recently served as chief executive officer of Clear Money Ltd., the leading aggregator of electronic bill presentment and payment services in the UK.

From Free to Fee

Vin Crosbie summarizes the steps to migrating from a free website to one that charges for content based upon the experiences of Donn Friedman, assistant managing editor for production technology and new media innovations at the Albuquerque Journal.

December 11, 2003

US DOJ to Call Retailers in FDC/CEFT Lawsuit

Dow Jones reports that the US Department of Justice plans to call several major retailers and financial institutions as witnesses in the anti-trust lawsuit scheduled to begin on Monday.

The government's tentative witness list of 13 has seven retailers, including representatives from K-Mart, Rite Aid, and Safeway, as well as Target Corp.'s Target Financial Services. Also testifying are witnesses from Fifth Third Bancorp, Citibank and American Express. ...

First Data's witnesses include representatives from Supervalu and ConocoPhillips.

The DOJ's complete witness list is available online.

Wireless Networks in US Banks

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has posted an advisory letter to banks regarding Risk Management of Wireless Networks (Microsoft Word version).

Wireless network solutions provide national banks with an alternative for systems development that requires effective board and management oversight. Effective wireless network management includes maintaining adequate security, ensuring appropriate project management, and achieving performance goals. The OCC requires the board and management to update the bank's security program before implementing wireless networks and monitor the security program to ensure that effective risk management practices are in place.

WSJ: Is acquisition of Concord EFS in the cards for First Data?

This morning's Wall St. Journal "Heard on the Street" column reports on the pending merger of FDC and Concord EFS.

Two months ago, the Justice Department cited antitrust concerns and sued to block the consumer-finance middleman from completing the $7 billion pact, one of the biggest proposed merger deals of the year. But as the two sides prepare for a Monday court date, pressure is building on both government trustbusters and First Data to reach a deal to let the merger go through, according to a number of analysts, investors and industry executives.

The US Department of Justice's filings in the case to date are available online.

December 10, 2003

US Regulators Probe Security Lapses at Retailers

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is finally getting serious about policing the security practices of online merchants:

The Petco case is at least the fourth instance in which the FTC has pursued enforcement actions against companies whose security and privacy practices fall short of assurances made to consumers. "Consumers have every right to expect that a business that says it's keeping personal information secure is doing exactly that," said Howard Beales, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "It's not just good business, it's the law."
PetCo is suspected of exposing 500,000 credit card numbers.

Atmel, OTI Microcontroller used in MasterCard PayPass

Atmel and On Track Innovations (OTI) announced that their microcontroller solution has been selected by MasterCard for use in its PayPass deployments in the US.

Atmel has been selected to supply the secure contactless microcontroller and has partnered with OTI to provide the contactless solution expertise including the operating system, application support and inlay technology.

The contactless chip used is an 8-bit secure microcontroller from Atmel's AT05SC highly secure product family, currently used for a variety of banking applications. The chip features 40KB ROM, 2KB EEPROM, hardware DES and hosts Atmel's high security mechanisms. The contactless chip is compliant with ISO-14443B and ISO-7816 industry standards. Atmel and OTI provide the small, robust chip in both a contactless module form and in an inlay form, providing easy card embedding for card suppliers.

December 09, 2003

TSYS names Tomlinson CEO

Payment processor TSYS has announced the appointment of Phil Tomlinson as CEO and Troy Woods as President and COO. Former CEO Richard Ussery will remain chairman.

BitPass announces general availability

BitPass this morning announced the general availability of its micropayment system. READ MORE »

Avon, BankOne launch new Visa Platinum Card

Avon and BankOne announced this morning a new Visa Platinum card that rewards cardholders in points redeemable for Avon beauty products.

"By partnering with Avon, one of America's leading brands, we are providing a card product that is unprecedented in the beauty and direct-selling industries. Avon Representatives will be able to present this offer using a more personalized approach, instead of relying on a more traditional channel," said Tom Kerwin, executive vice president of relationship management for Bank One's card services division.

December 08, 2003

PayPal announces new pricing for digital music companies

In a press release this afternoon, PayPal announced new pricing for high-volume digital music companies.

An extension of PayPal's existing payment service for online merchants, PayPal's new micro-payment fees are designed to give the digital music industry a more cost-effective payment solution for downloadable music.

The new fees will allow these merchants to process payments at a rate of 2.5% plus $0.09 for each transaction. The reduced fixed fee represents a 30-50% savings compared to the industry's current payment processing rates of approximately 2% plus $0.20-$0.30, which encompasses interchange, processor and gateway fees.

Wells Fargo launches new Global Payment Gateway service

Wells Fargo this morning announced a new Global Payment Gateway service for Internet merchants.

Previously, time strapped businesses had to handle multiple vendors, systems and technologies to manage online payments and incurred losses from fraud and lengthy chargeback and dispute resolution processes. Managing these disparate resources and technologies took business managers' focus and energy away from their primary goal of growing their business. In addition, it created reporting hassles and an inability to efficiently track transactions. To address this problem, Wells Fargo Global Payment Gateway provides merchants with an integrated transaction, reporting and management system.

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