Archive for the ‘Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)’ Category

Barclays to launch new m-payment service

February 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Mobile payment service to launch in UK in Q2; firms say 40,000 stores ready to accept payments.

U.K. mobile operator Everything Everywhere and Barclays PLC’s Barclaycard said Thursday it will roll out the U.K.’s first commercial contactless mobile phone payment service by the second quarter of 2011, which is expected to make shopping and dining out easier.

The new service will offer consumers greater convenience and control on the high street with more than 40,000 stores ready to accept contactless payments, according to the companies.

“This is the beginning of a revolution in how we pay for things on the high street. It’s a cultural shift that is as important as the launch of the personal credit card or ATMs,” said Gerry McQuade, chief development officer at Everything Everywhere.

Everything Everywhere is made up of mobile operators Orange and T-Mobile in the U.K.
Barclaycard and Orange, which last year announced their strategic partnership to bring contactless mobile payments to market, believe this will be the “biggest revolution in payments since credit cards were introduced in the U.K. by Barclaycard over 40 years ago.”

The new contactless mobile payment technology has been developed to ensure customers’ transactions and personal data will be protected and secure, Everything Everywhere and Barclaycard said in a statement.
MasterCard Inc. will provide the payment capability for the contactless mobile transactions. 

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Google exploring mobile payment system

January 11, 2011 1 comment

NFC service could be introduced this yeat, according to Bloomberg.

Google Inc. is considering building a payment service that would enable users to make purchases by tapping or waving their mobile phones against a register at checkout, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported Tuesday, citing two people familiar with the plans.

The service could be introduced this year, the sources said. It is based on near-field communication, or NFC, technology, which can beam and receive information wirelessly from 4 inches away.

BusinessWeek quoted Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt describing NFC at a conference in November:”You’ll be able to walk in a store and do commerce. You’d bump for everything and eventually replace credit cards.”

Andy Rubin, Google’s vice president for engineering, declined to comment to the magazine about future services and products.

A single NFC chip on a mobile phone would contain a consumer’s financial account information, gift cards, store loyalty cards, and coupon subscriptions, and users may also be able to make online purchases from their phones, the sources said.

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Visa Mobile Contactless Payments Solution Certified for Commercial Use

December 20, 2010 Leave a comment

San Fransisco, CA – 7 December 2010 – Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) and Visa Europe[1] today announced the commercial availability of mobile contactless payments enabled by DeviceFidelity’s In2Pay microSD solution. For the first time in Visa’s history, a mobile contactless payment solution is now included in the list of Visa compliant products available for potential commercial deployment by financial institutions in the U.S. and select markets.

Following 18 months of technology development in partnership with Texas-based DeviceFidelity, and trials with leading financial institutions in the United States, Europe and Asia, Visa has tested and supports commercialization of In2Pay microSD for use with leading smart phones.

Smartphone models compatible for use with this landmark technology include the BlackBerry® BoldTM 9650[2] the iPhone 4, the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, and the Android based Samsung Vibrant Galaxy 5, representing three of the leading mobile operating systems in the world. Visa expects to add additional phone models for use with this technology, including phones based on the Symbian and Windows operating systems.

“This is a historic milestone for Visa and its clients,” said Bill Gajda, head of Visa Mobile. “In addition to issuing plastic magnetic stripe or chip-enabled payment cards, financial institutions can now consider offering their account holders a new technology that enables them to transform their existing phones into fully functional mobile payment devices.”

From Trials to Commercial Availability

The compliance testing process for mobile devices established by Visa includes extensive technical, security and usability testing with respect to the Visa mobile payment functionality. It ensures reliable and secure Visa transactions that are compatible with the global standard for chip-enabled payments, and establishes a required signal range for all mobile contactless payments. Visa’s compliance testing process ensures the combination of the phone; secure chip and mobile payment application will provide the level of user experience Visa accountholders have come to expect from Visa.

The microSD payment technology has been developed in partnership with DeviceFidelity and had previously been available only to financial institutions who were participating with Visa in mobile payment trials including some of the largest financial institutions in the U.S. – JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo Bank, US Bancorp and Bank of America. Now, any Visa issuer can obtain the technology under Visa’s standard contract terms and can load the Visa mobile payment application to microSD cards.

Issuers who choose to adopt the technology can provide their account holders with a tiny microSD card that can be inserted into the phone’s existing memory slot to enable the device for payment. The technology is compatible with existing contactless payment terminals already installed at retail outlets worldwide and enables account holders to simply hold the phone in front a payment terminal in order to pay.

This technology also opens the way for mobile operators, retailers and other stakeholders in the payments ecosystem to partner with financial institutions to bring Visa mobile payment functionality to consumers.

“This is a significant step towards the next generation of payments, loyalty and rewards, allowing banks and retailers to build entirely new business models” says Nick Holland, Senior Analyst with Yankee Group. “Visa’s announcement clearly illustrates that the future of payments will be mobile.”

Financial Institutions have the option to integrate Visa’s mobile payment solution into their existing mobile application, and offer additional services such as Visa transaction alerts that notify account holders in near real-time of account activity, and targeted merchant offers that are tailored to consumer lifestyle and location. Together, these services have the potential to enhance the consumer payment experience and allow account holders to better manage their payment accounts.

”This is a win-win for banks, merchants, wireless carriers, handset makers, app developers and consumers alike as it delivers a unique combination of consumer preferred devices, smart chip based security and application driven innovation, something that the NFC ecosystem has aspired for a long time”, says Deepak Jain, President and CEO of DeviceFidelity, Inc. “Working with Visa and its financial institution partners, we are excited to be at the forefront of this important milestone and helping to make mobile payments a reality for consumers”.

With nearly 5 billion mobile handsets in market around the globe, consumers everywhere have come to rely on their mobile phone as a part of everyday life. According to IDC, smart phone shipments globally are expected to increase 24% in 2011, helping drive continued growth in more robust and powerful mobile devices that are capable of supporting contactless payment.

“Mobile payments are a strategic priority for Visa in Europe where we have played a leadership role in developing the market,” commented Sandra Alzetta, Head of Innovation at Visa Europe. “We are delighted that the hard work we’ve invested in market trials has paid off. With this milestone, we can help our customers enter the mobile payment space on a commercial basis, offering valuable and exciting benefits to consumers.”

[1] Visa Europe is a separate entity that is an exclusive licensee of Visa Inc.’s trademarks and technology in the European region [2] The BlackBerry RIM families of related marks, images and symbols are the exclusive properties and trademarks of Research In Motion Limited .

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Visa Empowers Cardholders to Fight Fraud

October 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Visa Marks National Cyber Security Awareness Month with Launch of New Website to Help Consumers Fight Payment Card Fraud

San Francisco, October 4, 2010

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) marks National Cyber Security Awareness Month with the launch of a new website to help cardholders and small businesses protect payment card account information, avoid payment card scams and resolve unauthorized use of their cards.

Visa is providing cardholders tips with practical know-how for protecting account information, avoiding payment card scams, and resolving unauthorized card use. Visa’s new website, at, is available in English and Spanish. Visa also joins the National Cyber Security Alliance’s “Stop. Think. Connect.” campaign to educate consumers about protecting themselves and their personal information online.

“While cardholders using Visa debit and credit cards are protected by Visa’s zero liability policy(1) , many consumers believe that security is a shared responsibility and want to take an active role in managing and protecting their Visa accounts,” said Jennifer Fischer, head of U.S. Payment System Risk, Visa Inc. “Visa’s site is intended to empower cardholders with information to prevent fraud, avoid deceptive marketing practices and learn about important protections and resources available to them.”

A study by Javelin Strategy & Research found more than half of consumers view the responsibility for protecting financial accounts from fraud as shared between themselves and their financial institution(2).

Consumer Tips on How to Stay Safe Online

While the vast majority of Internet shopping purchases go through safely, consumers face hazards ranging from spyware to deceptive marketing practices. Consumers can learn basic tips about navigating the internet safely by visiting the National Cyber Security Alliance’s website at When it comes to protecting financial information online, Visa offers a few additional tips. More information is available at

  • Keep current with anti-virus and anti-spyware software, download only from trusted sites, and don’t click pop-up windows or suspicious links in emails, even from people you know. These can all be tricks to install spyware and steal financial information.
  • When using a website’s checkout, look for the safety symbols such as the padlock icon in the browser’s status bar and “s” after “http” in the URL, or the words “Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).” These are signs that the merchant is using a secure page for transmitting personal information.
  • Activate Verified by Visa to add an extra layer of password protection during online checkout.
  • Remember that Visa never calls or writes cardholders for personal account information.
  • Do not provide sensitive information unless you initiated the communication. Report requests for personal information to your card issuer by calling the number on the back of your card
  • Be wary of “free trial” offers. Take time to read and understand all terms and conditions. Pay particular attention to any pre-checked boxes before you submit your payment card information for an order. Failing to un-check the boxes may bind you to terms and conditions you’re not interested in.
  • Finally, monitor card statements or account activity regularly and report any suspicious or unauthorized charges to the financial institution that issued the card. When fraud does occur, Visa cardholders are protected from unauthorized purchases with a “zero liability” policy.

In addition to educational resources for consumers, Visa makes its transaction alerts and notification service available through participating financial institutions. Alerts are sent on behalf of issuers to cardholders directly from Visa’s global processing network, typically within seconds of a transaction occurring. Alerts are triggered when the transaction meets certain criteria the account holder has selected and are delivered directly to the account holder via email or SMS text message. Visa’s transaction alerts let consumers monitor their accounts for unusual activity and take immediate action if they believe a potentially fraudulent transaction is taking place.

“Criminals can be quite resourceful in their attempts to steal cardholder information, but equipped with the right information and tools, consumers can be very effective in preventing fraud,” Fischer concluded.”

For more information, visit

(1)Visa’s Zero Liability policy covers U.S.-issued cards only and does not apply to ATM transactions, PIN transactions not processed by Visa, or certain commercial card transactions. Cardholder must notify issuer promptly of any unauthorized use. Consult issuer for additional details or click here
(2)Javelin Strategy & Research, Gen Y Security Backlash, “Figure 2: Primary Responsibility for Security – by Generation,” April 2009.


Visa Europe completes €0.5 billion investment in European processing platform

October 1, 2010 Leave a comment
  • The only inter-bank processing service designed exclusively to meet European requirements
  • Capacity to handle 2,500 transactions per second, at average speeds of around 20 milliseconds per transaction

Following a six-year build, €0.5 billion investment and creation of an 800 plus person technology and customer services team based in Europe, the migration to Visa Europe’s new inter-bank processing service is complete. Visa Europe’s member banks are now benefiting from a dedicated European authorisation, clearing and settlement system.

With the ability to process 2,500 transactions per second, the platform provides Visa Europe with ample capacity to support further increases in transaction volumes.

A dedicated European processing service

The only inter-bank processing service designed exclusively to meet European requirements, such as the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), Visa Europe offers same day national settlement services to its members in Europe in 18 currencies.  This minimises exposure to currency fluctuations, and the new system’s efficiency in handling ever increasing processing volumes delivers significant cost benefits to members.  Visa Europe’s members own and control the system and it is they who drive the investment decisions for services to suit their market and business needs.

Steve Chambers, Visa Europe’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), said, “We’ve created an inter-bank processing service without equal in Europe.  We’ve developed it using open system technology delivering incredible scale, processing efficiency and unparalleled resiliency.  It can handle cross-border and domestic market processing services with low costs and high reliability.”

Two identical systems ensure that the total system estate spanning 10,000 square-feet across two data centres is a resilient one.  The efficiency comes from the scale and speed of the operation, which processed an average of 28.6 million transactions a day at a total value of €1.7 billion in August 2010.  The average processing speed of around 20 milliseconds per transaction, almost seven times faster than the competition [1], translates directly into lower resource costs. In the last three years Visa Europe’s new system has delivered 100% availability and 99.999% service quality.

Visa Europe, a membership association of more than 4,000 European banks, responded to its members’ needs to make this investment a priority.  With this processing platform now fully operational, benefits to member banks and retailers will include faster point of sale transactions and stand-in-processing capabilities.

Chambers continued, “As we are an exclusively European organisation it is vital for us to deliver a dedicated service to our European member banks and maintain the levels of reliability they’ve come to expect.

“At the same time, it’s also about looking at innovation, our future product offering and how we can ensure adaptability.  We now have the capability to provide further services to our member banks such as SMS mobile transaction text alerts, real time scoring fraud detection and device profiling.”

[1] In comparison to MasterCard’s stated 140 milliseconds in the article “Master who plays his cards right” from the Financial Times “Business Life” supplement on Monday 13 September 2010 (page 14)

First Data will not build ATM network in Turkey

September 12, 2010 3 comments

First Data Corp. has scrapped plans to build a retail ATM network in Turkey, one of the world’s fastest-growing markets for ATM deployments, because the country’s new regulations makes the venture financially unfeasible.

First Data, based in Atlanta, and Turk Ekonomi Bankasi Paribas (TEB-BNP) bank announced in November they would build over the next three years a network comprised of 1,250 ATMs deployed in convenient-merchant locations in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, and other major cities across the country. TEB-BNP, a partnership between BNP Paribas and Turk Ekonomi Bankasi, is based in Istanbul.

On Tuesday, however, First Data disclosed it had dropped plans to build the ATM network because of recently enacted legislation.

“The legislative changes announced in June by BDDK, Turkey’s Banking Regulation and Supervision Authority, mean that we are not longer able to process TEB’s ATM transactions outside of Turkey in Bratislava [Slovakia],” a company official said. “This was the basis of our business case when we engaged with TEB in 2009. As a result of the rule changes, it is not longer economically viable for us to deliver the TEB contract.”

First Data operates a regional ATM processing facility in Bratislava, Slovakia’s capital and largest city. “Since the announcement by the BDDK, we have carefully reviewed our options but the new requirement for processing to be carried out within Turkey is not aligned with our platform- consolidation strategy. This strategy is central to our efforts to build economies of scale and focus our investment where we can generate the best returns,” First Data officials said.

First Data officials said it was a difficult decision to walk away from the business opportunity.

“The decision to withdraw from the Turkish market has not been taken lightly,” company officials said. “We recognize and regret the impact that this will have on our employees and the lost opportunity that this represents for our business.”

Dominic Hirsch, managing director of Retail Banking Research, a London-based consulting firm, said Turkey’s rule requiring ATM processing within the country, has discouraged other organizations from entering the market.

Nicole Sturgill, research director for TowerGroup, a Needham, Mass.-based consultancy, said the law does not surprise her.

“Turkey’s banking sector is strong and this is a way to keep jobs and money in the country,” Sturgill said. “I don’t know who the existing processors are, but I have to assume that they have a strong-enough processing infrastructure that this new law isn’t hampering growth. I doubt if they would do it otherwise.”

Turkey is the sixth-largest ATM market, behind France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, reports Retail Banking Research. At the end of 2008, Turkey’s banks had deployed 22,586 ATMs, a 20 percent increase over 2007.

Last year, Turkey added 3,768 new ATMs, making it the leading country for ATM deployments in Western Europe for the fourth consecutive year, Retail Banking Research said. Retail Banking Research includes Turkey among the countries of Western Europe, although geographically Turkey is located in Southeastern Europe and Western Asia.

Diebold Inc., the world’s third-largest ATM manufacturer based on annual shipments, announced in October that it would open a direct sales office in Turkey because of the growing ATM market. A Diebold spokesperson said the new law will not affect the manufacturer’s expansion plans.

Diebold faces stiff competition from NCR Corp., the world’s largest ATM manufacturer, and Wincor Nixdorf AG, the world’s second-largest manufacturer.

Although First Data is primarily known as a transaction processor in the United States, the company is one of the largest owners and operators of ATM networks overseas.  The business manages ATM networks in Australia, Austria, the Baltic States, Germany, India, Slovak Republic, South Africa and The United Kingdom.

Visa beefs up its e-commerce security, fraud system

April 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Visa said Wednesday that it will acquire CyberSource, which provides electronic payment and e-commerce security software, for $2 billion.

The CyberSource price tag works out to $26 a share. CyberSource closed at $19.44 on Tuesday. The e-commerce security player has more than 295,000 merchants in its network (CyberSource and

Vista said it will take CyberSource’s products and services and sell them throughout its network, improve its fraud detection capabilities and grow the customer base. CyberSource CEO Michael Walsh will continue to run the company as a part of Visa.