Recent Press Releases

Redstone Payment Solutions believes that education of our staff and our merchant customers is crucial to successful business. Here are some recent items in the news that we think may be of interest to you.
Please check back often as these stories are updated regularly.

09/29/2011 2:33 PM

Bank of America, the nation’s largest bank in terms of assets, is planning to begin assessing a $5 monthly fee for customers paying via debit card.  The charge, which will be implemented early next year, will only apply to customers buying items with their debit card during the course of any given month. ATM transactions will not trigger the fee.

In August, Wells Fargo in a letter to cardholders in five states announced its plans to assess a $3 monthly fee beginning October 14 for purchases made via debit.

JP Morgan Chase is already charging a $3 fee in some places.

Citibank announced earlier this month that while monthly checking account charges will be raised, debit card and online bill pay services will continue to be complimentary.  In addition to increased checking account fees, Citibank will also be implementing stricter fee waiver rules.

Stories originally created by Pymnts.com on September 16th and September 29th.

09/12/2011 1:17 PM – Australia and and Europe have seen skimming fraud drop by 25% and 55%, respectively, after instituting EMV (Europay/MasterCard/Visa) credit card processing technology but it’s not invulnerable.  According to its appeal is its ability to integrate with the ISIS platform for mobile payments.

To encourage adoption, Visa is offering the Technology Innovation Program (TIP) which will eliminate the annual compliance requirement with PCI DSS for any year in which 75%+ of the transactions originate from the EMV terminals.  So, merchants need to be alerted to the fact that although the switch requires an investment up front, PCI may be eliminated from their expenses and the lower risk of fraud will also save them money in the long run.

As of right now, after October 1, 2015, Visa plans to shift fraud liability to merchant acquirers for any counterfeit card-present POS transactions on non-EMV compliant POS systems.

Originally reported in The Green Sheet, September 12, 2011

08/25/2011 2:07 PM – Intuit’s GoPay application and credit card processing system plugs into your smart phone or tablet PC’s audio jack.  Cards can then be swiped or entered manually.  Transactions are completed immediately and funds are available within 2-3 days.  Users can apply sales tax, add tips, and even send customized receipts via text or email.  It will also sync with more recent versions of QuickBooks.

Verizon customers can get the app for free with activation of a GoPay account and a rebate of the $29.97 purchase price.  The basic service has no monthly fee and supports 50 users on one account.  There’s a 2.7% discount rate for swiped transactions with 0 transaction fees.

Originally reported at http://pymnts.com/your-smartphone-or-tablet-now-takes-plastic-verizon-wireless-and-intuit-team-up-to-offer-gopayment-mobile-credit-card-processing-for-small-businesses/

08/14/2011 1:48 PM – China UnionPay is the largest credit card issuer worldwide now, overtaking Visa, according to Retail Banking Research.  Although Visa still tops the chart in spending and usage, China UnionPay now has 29.2% of the world’s branded cards, while Visa has 28.6%.  MasterCard has 20%, American Express has 1.1%, JCB has 0.8%, and Discover has 0.7% of the world’s branded cards.

Read more online at http://pymnts.com/china-unionpay-overtakes-visa-as-world-s-biggest-card-scheme/

08/11/2011 1:53 PM – It is interesting, although somewhat predictable, to note the top items people plan on buying online in the near future:

1. Books – 44%
2. Clothes – 36%
3. Airline Tickets – 32%
4. Electronics – 27%
5. Hotel Reservations – 26%

The most critical buyers are in Asia Pacific at 49% while North America weighs in 4th at 33%.

The graphic outlining more findings and details is located at: http://pymnts.com/eCommerce-by-Continent-How-People-Around-the-World-Shop-Online/

08/05/2011 4:18 PM

Aug 4, 2011, 3:03pm

Justice Department Reaches Settlement with VeriFone and Hypercom After Gores Group is Determined to be Acceptable Buyer for Point-of-Sale Credit Card Processing Terminals Business

Source: Department of Justice

WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice announced today that, in order for VeriFone Systems Inc. to complete its acquisition of Hypercom Corp., it must divest Hypercom’s U.S. point-of-sale (POS) terminals business to an entity sponsored by Gores Group LLC, a private equity fund.  The department said that the divestiture should eliminate the merger’s potential to harm competition in the sale of POS terminals.

The department filed a lawsuit on May 12, 2011, in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, alleging that the proposed transaction would eliminate important competition in the sale of POS terminals and that a proposed divestiture to the only other significant provider of POS terminals, Ingenico, did not remedy the competitive concerns with the merger.  VeriFone and Hypercom together control more than 60 percent of the U.S. market for the POS terminals used by the largest retailers. They are two of only three substantial sellers of other types of POS terminals.

Shortly after the filing of the lawsuit, on May 20, 2011, VeriFone and Hypercom abandoned the proposed divestiture to Ingenico and entered into settlement negotiations with the department to find an alternative buyer.  Today, the department filed a proposed settlement, which requires the divestiture to the alternative buyer – Gores Group – that, if approved by the court, would resolve the competitive concerns of the lawsuit.

“The Department of Justice’s proposed remedy ensures that competition will remain in point-of-sale terminals markets,” said Christine Varney, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.  “The proposed sale of the Hypercom assets to Gores will create an independent and significant competitor in the United States, both right now and into the future.”

To remedy the department’s competitive concerns, VeriFone and Hypercom will be required to sell Hypercom’s U.S. POS terminals business to Gores.  This includes physical assets, personnel, intellectual property rights, transitional support and all other assets necessary for Gores to become a viable competitor in this industry.  If the assets are not sold to Gores within 20 days following entry of the final judgment, a trustee will be empowered to sell the assets to another buyer acceptable to the United States, in its sole discretion.

VeriFone is a Delaware corporation headquartered in San Jose, Calif.  VeriFone earned more than $1 billion in worldwide revenues in its last fiscal year, ending in October 2010.

Hypercom is a Delaware corporation headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz.  Hypercom earned more than $450 million in worldwide revenues in 2010.

Gores Group is a private equity firm headquartered in Los Angeles.  Currently, Gores has more than $4 billion in equity under active management.

08/01/2011 3:53 PM

21.5 percent – Combined annual growth rate for prepaid card usage in the United States between 2006 and 2009, according to the 2010 Federal Reserve Payments Study

35 percent – Share of noncash payments made using debit cards in 2009 (Federal Reserve payments study)
3.1 billion – Number of checks written in 2009 that were converted to ACH transactions and cleared electronically (Fed)

$1,294 – Value of the average check paid in 2009 (Fed)

12.1 billion – Estimated number of checks written by consumers to businesses in 2009, down from 17 billion in 2006 (Fed) – Total value of credit card payments in 2009 (Fed)

82 percent – Financial institutions surveyed by Information Security Media Group that were hit with credit/debit card fraud in 2010

32 percent – Financial institutions victimized by third-party POS skimming schemes in 2010 (ISMG)

44 percent – Share of retailers surveyed by Retail Systems Research LLC who have budgets this year for developing shopping list capabilities for shoppers’ mobile devices

38 percent – Retailers who expect to be able to send coupons and offers to consumers’ mobile devices this year (RSR)

$2 billion – Total value of mobile payments PayPal said it expects to process in 2011 – Consumers, globally, who find mobile payments appealing, according to the international research firm Gfk NOP

65 percent – Share of U.S. consumers who want mobile payment services that are offered by banks, according to a survey by Fiserv

60 percent – Share of consumers worldwide who make mobile payments more than once a month, as reported by mopay, an international payment platform headquartered in Germany

67.7 percent – Share of e-commerce sales during the first quarter of 2011 at the top 25 online retailers (comScore)

$37 billion – Javelin estimate of 2010 e-commerce fraud totals

$31.74 trillion – Total value of payments processed through the ACH in 2010, according to NACHA

2.448 billion – Number of ACH transactions in 2010 for consumer online payments, known by the WEB moniker (NACHA)

64 percent – Consumers who told Bankrate.com they’d consider switching financial institutions if their banks raised fees on checking accounts
The most common fraud detection tools currently used by online merchants are:
– 78% address verification
– 75% card verification numbers
– 42% customer order history
– 39% negative in-house lists
– 38% order velocity monitoring
Number of payments per month, per consumer
– 28.2% cash
– 29.3% debit card
– 17.3% credit card
– 12.7% check
– 9.7% electronic banking/bill pay
– 1.2% prepaid card
– 0.8% money order and travelers’ check

07/25/2011 3:32 PM – Forty-six states have data securty breach notification laws, including credit card processing, but these are inconsistent and vary in their level of enforcement.  The Michaels’ stores consumers were hit hardest in Illinois but their law only states that victims must be notified within a reasonable period.  The Obama administration has proposed a national policy to supersede state laws whereby the FTC would be responsible for enforcement and state attorneys general would take civil actions against violators.  No conclusion has been made to date but merchants must keep in mind to keep PCI Scans current, protect cardholder data, maintain a leveled accountability system of data access, and test networks consistently.

In the case of Michael’s, four suspects are being sought by the police and 7200 PIN pads have been replaced throughout the stores.

07/25/2011 3:21 PM – In 1994 Delta Card Services brought Larry Petru on board to be President of MCCS where Larry grew a merchant portfolio from zero to over 50,000 merchants across the United States. In 2001, MCCS was sold to its sponsoring bank, Woodforest National Bank, headquartered in The Woodlands, TX. After the sale to Woodforest, Larry continued to run MCCS for several years but decided to retire in 2009. When asked why he was wanting to come out of retirement and start another company he said, “In my years at MCCS, I had the pleasure of working with so many wonderful people who I considered partners in building that great organization, and I would like to do it again. I am looking forward to creating more long lasting partnerships built around three key principals: Honesty, Integrity, and Professionalism. We were successful at MCCS because we always made sure our sales offices were treated fairly and that they had the tools to help their merchants grow their businesses.  In the end, everyone wants to make money, but at the end of the day, taking care of your salespeople and merchants are the most critical components of our industry.   If we can do that, everyone shares in success. And that’s what it’s all about.”

Larry’s new venture, Redstone Payment Solutions, LLC, headquartered in Houston, TX, is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, CA.  All the required tools are in place and the team employed for this new operation is pleased to be open for business.

Mr. Lawrence J. Petru announced today that he has begun a new venture in the merchant credit card processing industry. Larry Petru, former President of Delta Card Services d.b.a. Merchants’ Choice Cards Services (MCCS) said “It is time to get back to work.  Being retired the past two years has been great, but I have missed the fun and excitement that comes in working with great salespeople.”

07/25/2011 3:20 PM – Visa Inc. announced a significant upgrade of its global credit card processing fraud protection system: Visa Advanced Authentication. By the company’s own estimates, the improvements will increase overall fraud detection by 29 percent and the discovery of more sophisticated forms of credit card fraud by 122 percent. With the upgrades, Visa expects to be able to block an additional $1.5 billion in fraudulent charges over the next year.

For consumers increasingly concerned about credit card fraud, the announcement should be welcome news. Ten years ago, few people had even heard of credit card fraud. Today, however, most people have either had direct experiences of fraudulent credit card charges being intercepted or have heard stories of friends or acquaintances falling victim to credit card fraud.
Fortunately, Visa, MasterCard and other global credit card processing companies like Discover and American Express are able to intercept and block a vast number of fraudulent charges before they get processed. For the most part, consumers learn about such pending credit card fraud when they get a call from their credit card company’s fraud alert department.
How do credit card companies detect fraudulent charges to cardholders’ accounts? Payment processing networks have set up complex computer algorithms, which analyze and score every single credit card transaction all over the world for its fraud potential. Each transaction is assigned a risk score based on the characteristics of the transaction matched up with the cardholder’s typical spending patterns.
For Visa credit cards, Visa’s upgraded security software is now able to analyze more pieces of data at once, including the speed of transactions for a particular card, the type of store, the distance between transactions and the time of day transactions occur. Before, in the interest of speed, Visa was able to check only a couple of pieces of data at a time. With the enhanced security features, the company can now analyze huge volumes of transactions in real time and assign risk scores accordingly, which are then used to either allow or block credit card transactions.
The new fraud reduction measures introduced by Visa will particularly improve fraud detection in a couple of areas. The company expects to be able to better detect “high speed fraud,” in which hackers break into a payment processor’s network and run multiple transactions within minutes or even seconds, charging very small amounts in each. These types of transactions are typically used by fraudsters to test large numbers of stolen credit card information to see which numbers work.
In addition, Visa expects to be able to catch more than three times the amount of cross-border fraud and intercept charges before they occur. Cross-border fraud involves both fraudsters using stolen U.S. credit cards in other countries, as well as more complex crimes, such as fake cross-border bank transactions by illegitimate businesses.
The amount of data processing involved in fraud detection systems is staggering. Visa’s Advanced Authentication system is part of VisaNet, the company’s global electronic processing platform, which is able to process and track more than 20,000 transactions per second. With the increased processing capability, the data collected helps to further improve fraud detection models over time.
Still, in the ever-changing cat-and-mouse game of credit card fraud, it’s a constant race to stay ahead. Credit card fraud is increasingly engineered by global criminal syndicates, which become experts in how fraud detection systems work in order to structure fraudulent transactions that won’t trip fraud alerts. According to a survey of more than 200 banks by Information Security Media, banks are increasingly struggling with more sophisticated types of online banking fraud, with which they have little tools or expertise to deal with. With the new upgrades in Visa’s fraud detection systems, at least some of those transactions will now be easier to spot.