Direct Response Forms a Board of Advisors

Direct Response Financial Services, Inc. announced the formation of its Board of Advisors. The first two advisors to join are Chris del Rey, President of del Rey Marketing, a leading Hispanic marketer to grocery retailers nationwide and Patrick Merkley, President of ATMSafe, a provider of insurance and other services for ATM users. The Company intends to expand its Board of Advisors by adding experts from complimentary fields supporting Direct Response’s growth. Direct Response Financial Services, Inc. is a provider of payment card systems including a variety of branded and co-branded stored value cards and has targeted marketing for payment solutions for un-banked and under-banked Latinos, the largest and fastest growing population in the United States.

Details

Spartanics Intros Super-Simplified Feed Software

Illinois-based Spartanics has introduced super-simplified feed software enabling operators with minimal training to significantly decrease set-up time in card punching operations. It is specifically geared for the growing number of card manufacturers that seek to use lower cost labor in order reduce costs in the increasingly competitive card manufacturing industry. Spartanics manufactures technology for inspection, card punching, die cutting, counting/batching and special material handling systems for worldwide card manufacturers.

Details

Sophisticated Phishing Lures Abound in Feb

There were more than 13,000 unique phishing lures reported during February, a modest increase over the prior month. However, the Anti-Phishing Working Group says there was a marked increase in the use of malicious software associated with the attacks. The APWG says it is witnessing a disturbing uptick in field reports of malicious code being employed to either filter consumers’ logins and passwords from their keystrokes or to redirect them to convincing counterfeit sites even when observing the “best practice” of directly keying a bank’s URL into the browser’s address bar (so-called “Pharming”). The AWPG also has been watching so-called “technical subterfuge” attacks (which use malicious code to manipulate consumers’ PCs). Financial services continues to be the most attacked industry segment, with 78% of attacks targeting their customers. The AWPG is supported by 700 companies including ActivCard, Corillian, Cyota, Experian, MasterCard, Microsoft, Vasco, and VISA.

Details

FDC Names a Strategic Relationships Executive

Denver-based First Data Corp. has appointed Ron Congemi to senior vice president, strategic industry relations. Congemi joined First Data as CEO of Debit Services following the Concord EFS acquisition in 2004. Previously, Congemi was senior vice president of Concord EFS, Inc. and president of Concord’s Network Services segment, with management responsibility for the STAR network. Prior to joining Concord, Congemi was president and CEO of Star Systems, Inc., a leading coast-to-coast ATM and PIN-secured debit network, which he founded in 1984. Congemi graduated from Lamar University with a degree in management. First Data Corp globally serves 4.1 million merchant locations, 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers

Details

Wal-Mart Veteran Gets Booted Over Gift Cards

Wal-Mart kicked a member off its Board last week for the alleged unauthorized use of corporate-owned gift cards. Thomas Coughlin was asked to resign after a recent internal investigation turned up questionable personal reimbursements based on alleged false information on third-party invoices and expense reports. Wal-Mart estimates to loss to be between $100,000 and $500,000. The Company has referred the results of its investigation to the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas. Coughlin was a member of the Boardâ™s Strategic Planning and Finance Committee, Executive Committee and Stock Option Committee. He joined Wal-Mart on 1978 and was elected to the Board in 2001. Prior to becoming Vice Chairman, Coughlin served as EVP and President and CEO of the Wal-Mart Stores Division and SAM’S CLUB.

Details

VISA’s CCE Breaks-Out 05 Spending Estimates

VISA’s new “Commercial Consumption Expenditure” has been expanded with detailed segment forecasts. The “VISA CCE” estimates that large- and middle-market companies will represent 59% of non-payroll business spending this year. The public sector is expected to make up 10% and small business is projected to comprise 31% of non-payroll business spending. The largest share of commercial expenditures consists of core business services (which includes accounting and bookkeeping, insurance, and shipping services). Expenditures in this area are expected to grow 4.7% this year to $5.5 trillion. Travel and entertainment expenses are expected to rise 3.7% in 2005 to $305 billion. The “VISA CCE” anticipates $15 trillion in commercial spending across industries, purchase categories, and business segments. VISA introduced the next index in May 2004. (CF Library 5/19/04)

Details

Axalto PED Passes EAL4 Against APACS’ PED PP

Axalto’s PED has passed the “Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level 4” (EAL4) against the “PED Protection Profile”
defined by APACS. The “EAL4” evaluates the security of PED
products along its entire life cycle, covering design, development, production, evolutions and utilization. Axalto has been a major supplier of “MagIC 6000” and “MagIC 6100” POS terminals to the UK market. With
the UK’s new security requirements, Axalto also introduced “MagIC 1100,” a PIN pad that incorporates a smart card reader, and delivered large volumes of “MagIC 1100” to the UK market in 2004. This offering
allows previously installed terminals to be easily updated to accept PIN
with the security level required by APACS. “MagIC 1100” allows consumers to insert their own chip card and key in their PIN code in total
privacy.

Details

WA State Legislature Debates Card Marketing

The State of Washington is considering a bill that would restrict the marketing of credit cards to college students on the state’s public school campuses. The bill would require public colleges and universities to create policies regarding credit card companies on campuses. As part of the policies, the schools could ask the companies to register with them, limit the times and places they could market the cards and even prohibit the gifts companies offer to students. Many schools have policies regulating commercial vendors but enforcement has posed a challenge.

Details

VISA ELECTRON

Digital River has launched a PIN debit card for the global clients of its hosted e-commerce sites. The new “Digital River VISA Electron Card” is targeted at small- to mid-sized clients operating where credit card acceptance is low or withdrawing cash from banks is difficult. The card can be used for making off-line PIN purchases, withdrawing cash, and receiving payments from the company for revenue they generate on their Digital River-hosted e-commerce sites. The
card also is accompanied by a “Virtual VISA” card, which can be used to
make online purchases. The “Digital River VISA Electron Card” is powered by ePassporte. Digital River has more than 40,000 software publishers,
manufacturers, distributors and online retailers as clients.

Details

VeriFone EMEA Names a Head of Marketing

VeriFone has named Chris Lomax as Head of Marketing for VeriFone
EMEA. Lomas previously worked for Aconite, Datacard, and Racal (now Thales). Aconite is a consultancy and software solutions provider with expertise in smart card systems and security for the banking and retail sectors. Lomax replaces Richard Crookston, who becomes Director of Product Strategy. VeriFone has shipped over eleven million electronic payment systems since inception in 1981.

Details