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February 27, 2004

ERG Gives Up on Smart Cards

West Australian reports on smart card integrator ERG's decision to exit its smart card business.

Boardman Named Visa International Interim CEO

Visa International board chairman William P. Boardman has also been named Interim CEO of Visa International. Boardman replaces retiring CEO Malcolm Williamson on an interim basis until a new CEO is appointed. READ MORE »

February 26, 2004

Richard Srednicki Elected Chairman of MasterCard US Region Board

Reuters is reporting that JP Morgan Chase executive Richard Srednicki has been elected chairman of the board of its US region.

First Data Files 10-K

First Data Corporation's 10-K report for 2003 is now available from the SEC's Edgar online site.

February 25, 2004

PayPal Debuts in Taiwan

Jessie Ho reports in the Taiwan Times on PayPal's launch in Taiwan.

Internet Insecurity Index Worsens

RSA Security reported today the results of its second annual Internet Insecurity Index -- with negative progress (from a score of 6 to a 7 on a 10 point scale) having been made in the last year.

In a related story, RSA Security reported the results of its second annual consumer survey on identity theft. READ MORE »

GAO Reports on Use of SSN's

The US General Accounting Office has released a study on the use of Social Security Numbers (PDF). READ MORE »

Acxiom, TransUnion Focus on Fraud

Acxiom and TransUnion have announced the availability of a new Fraud Management Platform to verify a consumer's identity at any point of sale. The two companies have made available a white paper (PDF) on the subject of identity theft.

Opportunities for Prepaid Micropayments

Tower Group's Edward Kountz writes in Bank Systems and Technology Online about opportunities for the bank card industry in prepaid micropayments. READ MORE »

Magic Johnson and MAGICCash

Magic Cards International has announced the launch of a new prepaid Visa card featuring the likeness of basketball great Magic Johnson on the face of the card. READ MORE »

February 24, 2004

Microsoft's Gates Discusses Security Initiatives

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates spoke this morning at the RSA Conference in San Francisco about Microsoft's various security-related initiatives. Included was an update on Microsoft's approach to reducing the volume of Internet email spam.

eBay Introduces eBay Toolbar with Account Guard

eBay yesterday introduced a new eBay Toolbar for Microsoft Internet Explorer users that includes Account Guard, a feature designed to thwart phishing attacks on eBay users. An FAQ is available online. READ MORE »

February 23, 2004

PassMark Security Introduces Anti-Phishing Approach

PassMark Security has introduced new countermeasures to enable enterprises to prevent phishing attacks on their Internet users. READ MORE »


An updated version our recent phishing analysis is now also available here on Payments News. READ MORE »

US E-Commerce Sales Up 25.1%

The Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced today that the estimate of U.S. retail e-commerce sales for the fourth quarter of 2003, not adjusted for seasonal, holiday, and trading-day differences, was $17.2 billion, an increase of 25.1 percent (±4.2%) from the fourth quarter of 2002. Total retail sales for the fourth quarter of 2003 were estimated at $918.2 billion, an increase of 6.2 percent (±0.4%) from the same period a year ago.

Cellphone Reads User's Fingerprint

Wired carries a Reuters story about Atrua Technologies, a Silicon Valley-based startup funded by the venture capital groups of Ericsson, Nokia and Intel. Atrua's first product is a cell phone touchpad capable of user fingerprint verification. Details in the company's press release. READ MORE »

WSJ: Computer Security Efforts Intensify

Wall St. Journal reporters Don Clark and Nick Wingfeld report (subscription reqd) on new techniques to verify online the identity of companies and computer users. READ MORE »

Australia's Reserve Bank and Visa Debit

The Reserve Bank of Australia has designated Visa International's debit card scheme in Australia a payment system, a possible first step toward regulating it.

VeriSign Launches Open Authentication Initiative

VeriSign this morning announced OATH, Open Authentication reference architecture along with a new network-based authentication utility. More information about OATH is available at a new OATH web site.

February 22, 2004

E-Money is the Smart Way to Pay in Japan

Japan Today reports on Japanese smart card-based e-money systems, including Suica and Bitwallet's Edy cards.

'Nickel and Diming' Across the Internet

Gregory Lamb writes in the Christian Science Monitor about micropayments.

PayPal Email Spoofs?

David Steiner writes in AuctionBytes about two emails he received from PayPal - or, rather, he thought they came from PayPal. READ MORE »

Card Issuer Gives Access to Consumer Credit Scores

Kenneth Harney writes in this morning's San Francisco Chronicle about Providian's plans to give some of its credit card customers unlimited access to their credit scores including free email alerts anytime their scores move by more than 10 points. READ MORE »

A Card to Change Your Life?

Wong Kim Hoh reports in the Straits Times on Visa's contactless card technology.

February 20, 2004

Money - Round and Round It Goes

Doreen Carvajal reports in the International Herald Tribune on the world of international money transfer.
Meanwhile, the immigrants themselves have transformed the post office in Saint-Denis into one of the busiest branches in France. But its chief business is no longer handling mail, according to Lionel Maestroni, the branch's postal manager. Behind the counters, he said, workers spend more time on financial transactions: dispensing money and making transfers.

Debit Card Strategies

Hugh Gallagher from Edgar, Dunn & Company shares his perspectives on issuer debit card strategies.

Among the interesting findings:

"...the typical issuer loses money on an average debit transaction – even without accounting for the recent declines in debit interchange brought about by regulators and merchants."


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