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« May 2, 2004 - May 8, 2004 | Main | May 16, 2004 - May 22, 2004 »

May 15, 2004

Phishing Jumps 500 Percent Since January

SurfControl reported yesterday that the number of "brand spoof" attacks have increased nearly 500 percent since January and by 51 times since May 2003.
In the latest scam addressed to US Bank customers, the scam asks e-mail recipients to verify and update their “Internet Banking Accounts,” by clicking on a link within the e-mail. E-mail recipients who click the link in the scam e-mail are taken to a page that displays a fake address bar containing the real US Bank Web site address. This address bar has been constructed to overlay an e-mail user’s existing address bar, which normally identifies the address of the scammer’s server. Larson said the spammers use Javascript code to calculate where the address bar is located on the e-mail user’s Web browser, so it can be covered with the alleged “legitimate” address details.

Phishing for Gold

Mary Kirwan reports in Canada's Globe and Mail on phishing.
Why bother? Brand value is an extremely important business asset. Do you really want to sit back and watch it dissipate?

May 13, 2004

SmarTrip MasterCard

WJLA in Washington, DC reports on a new combination MasterCard and SmarTrip fare card for the Washington area Metro transit system to be issued by Citibank.

Dollars Without Borders

The New York Times has an editorial this morning titled Dollars Without Borders addressing the need for lower cost money transfer and remittance services.
The total amount of money flowing from developed nations to developing nations through remittances has nearly quadrupled in the last seven years. But the systems by which emigrants send the money home have not kept pace. Too many people still rely on transfer agencies like Western Union. These agencies have become cheaper and safer, but much more can be done to foster the development of poor nations' financial systems, which still serve only one in 20 households that get remittance money.

Visa EU Publishes Interchange Rates

Visa EU has updated it web site to include details of Visa's interchange rates as they apply to intra-regional transactions.

Token Authentication to Fight Phishing

Consult Hyperion, a UK-based consultancy, discusses how banks may be able to take advantage of their current roll-out of chip and PIN capability to fight phishing attacks.

May 12, 2004

Preventing Identity Theft

Carol Coye Benson of Glenbrook Partners has just posted a pretty provocative opinion piece on the subject of preventing identity theft over on the Glenbrook web site. READ MORE »

Card Skimming

News 11 in Atlanta is reporting on how the US Secret Service is going after waiters who skim credit and debit cards when diners pay for their meals.

Chip and PIN in the UK

Gareth Mackie reports in The Scotsman on the chip and PIN rollout in the UK.
By the end of this year, the majority of credit and debit cards in the UK will contain a small computer chip that will store data to identify the cardholder, and by 2005 most users will enter a four-digit personal identification number (pin) rather than signing a receipt.

Bill Payment Intermediary Goes Bankrupt

The Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate is alerting consumers that may have paid utility bills using CashPoint Network Services to carefully check their next statement to ensure proper credit was given. CashPoint recently filed for bankruptcy protection.

May 11, 2004

Consumers Want Convenience

Dave Webb reports in IT Business Canada the results of a consumer discussion on wireless held recently.
To the surprise of other participants, every consumer panelist had a gas station micropayment card, either an Esso Speedpass or a Shell EasyPay tag. And in terms of customer behaviour, it's probably the application that has the most influence, especially when it's 30 below outside. Panelists agreed they go out of their way for a Shell or Esso station, just for the convenience factor. One seemed to yearn for a world in which it was the only way to pay: "If everyone used it," he said, "life would be much simpler." At the same time, nobody looked forward to the idea of a dozen micropayment tags dangling from their key rings. Aggregation of micropayment services was high on the wish list.

OCC Issues Risk Management Letter

The US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has issued a letter to banks regarding risk management new, modified, or expanded bank products and services.
During periods of reduced net interest margins, stagnant growth in traditional business lines, and increased competition, bank managementrs and directors face many challenges in seeking to improve the bank's financial performance. Engaging in new, expanded, or modified bank products or services is often considered a solution. However, if management and the board are overly focused on expected returns, do not have a good understanding of the inherent risks, or have poor governance practices, the bank's ability to effectively measure, monitor, and control the risks inherent in such products or services may be compromised.

May 10, 2004

PayPal Pursues Mass Merchants

Steve Bills reports in the American Banker on PayPal's efforts to sign mass merchants including its recently introduced application programming interfaces.

Phishing Spreads in Europe

Sam Varghese reports in The Age from Australia on new phishing attacks in Europe not using the English language.

Meanwhile, the UK's icLiverpool reports on phishy emails.

India Launches First Credit Bureau

A report from India's Financial Express on the launch of Cibil, Credit Information Bureau (India) Ltd., India's first credit bureau.

Dual Use Cards

George Albert writes in India's Hindu Business Line about growth in dual use cards, particularly a focus for GE.

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