Alto Global Processing: Target CIO Resigns Following Massive Data Breach

Posted by  (@sarahintampa) for TechCrunch.com 

Target Corp.’s Chief Information Officer Beth Jacob is resigning, effective immediately, in the wake of the massive data breach during the holiday 2013 shopping season during which as many as 70 million customers had their personal information stolen, including 40 million debit and credit card accounts.

The retailer also said it would be overhauling its information security practices and compliance division, and would be looking for external candidates to serve as interim CIO.

Jacob had worked at Target from 1984-86, then returned in 2002 as Director of Guest Contact Centers. She was promoted to her current position in 2008, after becoming a VP two years prior.

“While we are still in the process of an ongoing investigation, we recognize that the information-security environment is evolving rapidly,” Target Chairman, President and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said in a brief statement released this morning. “To ensure that Target is well positioned following the data breach we suffered last year, we are undertaking an overhaul of our information-security and compliance structure and practices at Target.”

This also includes elevating the role of the Chief Information Security Officer – another position that Target will hire externally, along with a Chief Compliance Officer.

The company also noted that it’s working with external adviser Promontory Financial Group to help it with its transformation.

Target has been working towards the implementation of chip and PIN card support, a tool that will further ensure customer security. The company also offered free credit monitoring for a year in the wake of the breach disclosure.

Hackers connected to the internal wireless systems at Target stores and grabbed credit card information as it passed through the system. The resulting breach, one of the biggest to date, resulted in millions of credit cards being sold on the black market.

Additional reporting: John Biggs

Source: http://techcrunch.com/2014/03/05/target-cio-resigns-following-massive-data-breach/

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Alto Global Processing: 4 Ways to Build Trust in Ecommerce by Transactionage.com

Recent industry reports put shopping cart abandonment rates at an average of 67%, that’s almost 7 out of 10 shoppers falling off before purchase. Reasons for abandonment are numerous, and not always indicative of poor checkout experience, but unnecessary barriers, confusing clutter, slow loading times and crucially, security concerns are key considerations when analyzing and optimising your ecommerce site.

Mistrust is rife in the online world, so assuring your customers that their payment details are safe with you will make an enormous difference to conversion rates, and ensure you’re not missing out on valuable revenue.

Here are 4 strategies to make sure your online checkout experience is not off-putting to potential customers, delivering the assurance they need to stay the course.

1. Clear policies and company information

You should be providing clear links to your privacy policy, shipping and returns policies, FAQs and company information. You cannot be transparent enough when it comes to helping customers understand who you are, where you are, and what your credentials as a business are.

It is especially important for new online merchants without a well-established brand to introduce themselves and help their customers understand who they are doing business with.

2. Security certificate

In order to accept credit cards and debit cards online you’ll need to ensure your third party providers that have access to cardholder information are PCI DSS compliant (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard). You will need to certify that your site meets these requirements.

3. Recommendations & testimonials

Consider employing a product review system on your site. Customers want assurance from their peers, and social recommendation (word of mouth) is a powerful persuader. According to a recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, 80% of Internet users conduct product research online before making purchases. By allowing customers to provide not only product reviews but also testimonials on their experience with your company, you can go some way to providing peace of mind and comfort to even the most cautious customers.

Of course, not all reviews are glowing, and you should be confident that your business is ready, your fulfillment process is solid, and your checkout is smooth. One silver lining to unfavourable reviews however, is the chance to use the insight, address the issue and deliver a better service for your customers.

4. Payment processing

Help your customers understand how their payments are processed by providing clear information on what happens to their details and information during, and after the transaction.

Make it clear which third parties your site is working with to process payments, and detail any security measures that are in place (provided by your ecommerce payment gateway provider). Third party service providers will meet international standards for data handling and privacy, which will reassure your customers of the safety of your site.  Most even provide their logo for you to include on your site.

In the world of online retail, nothing separates the successes from the failures more than the checkout. With competition for new and existing customers intensifying every year, online retailers need to optimise their checkout processes through conversion rate optimisation to ensure they are doing everything they can to reduce checkout abandonment, and convert shoppers into loyal customers. Getting the assurance piece right is a critical component in achieving your ecommerce goals in 2014.

Source: http://www.transactionage.com/2014/02/05/4-ways-to-build-trust-in-ecommerce/#sthash.bV6YaBTR.dpuf

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Alto Global Processing: Target Breach Widens, Neiman Marcus Also Admits to Attack by CardNotPresent.com

011314-Target-Breach-Widens-Neiman-Marcus-Admits-to-Attack

On Friday, Target disclosed that the security breach it originally said exposed the payment-card information of up to 40 million U.S. consumers, may end up affecting more than 70 million. The retailing giant acknowledged on Friday that, in the course of its investigation of the original breach, the company uncovered 70 million accounts where names, mailing addresses, phone numbers and emails were compromised. The company acknowledged that overlap between the two breaches—that is some customers whose credit-card numbers were stolen also had their names, emails and other information hacked as well—was “likely.”

And, this weekend, Dallas-based luxury department store Neiman Marcus also admitted it had been hacked during the holiday season. In a statement, the company said it had been informed by its processor in mid-December of “unauthorized payment card activity.” The retailer has not disclosed any guesses on the size of the breach and has enlisted both the U.S. Secret Service and a third-party forensics firm to investigate.

A Reuters report yesterday suggested three breaches that hit “well-known” but unnamed retailers earlier in the year were tests for hackers for the big holiday breaches. Sources told Reuters the techniques used in the smaller attacks were similar to the ones that hit Target and Neiman Marcus. The sources suspect the attacks were carried out by the same criminals but cannot be sure.

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Alto Global Processing: Datacard Group acquires Entrust Inc.

Datacard Group, a provider of secure identification and card personalisation solutions, has acquired Entrust, a provider of secure digital identities and information and a Thoma Bravo LLC portfolio company. Image

The acquisition builds on the strengths of each company to enable its customers and partners to deliver better services in highly connected environments.

“We are pleased to announce the proposed combination of two market pioneers with one ambitious goal – helping our customers and partners reduce complexity while strengthening trust,” said Todd Wilkinson, president and CEO of Datacard Group.“Connectivity is redefining physical and digital boundaries. For our customers and partners, this means opportunity, but also significant complexity. For years the paths of our companies have intertwined as we served customers – often the same financial and government customers – from different points within the technology spectrum. Those paths now converge to bring powerful new innovations in secure identity to enable trust while reducing complexity in deployment, management, and use.”

“Entrust is firmly established as a leader in identity-based security. We take this position very seriously, and because of that it was important that we find the right partner,” said Bill Conner, president and CEO of Entrust. “As a result of our deliberate shift to a SaaS-based business model, a significant portion of Entrust’s revenue is recurring, positioning it well for growth. I’m confident both Entrust and Datacard customers will realize value from our companies’ combined expertise. Simply put – this is a win-win scenario.”

 Source: http://www.paymenteye.com/2014/01/06/datacard_group_acquires_entrust_inc/#.UsrNpWRDtLo

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Alto Global Processing: MasterCard and Worldline partner to deploy and integrate MasterPass

MasterCard and Worldline have announced their partnership on the integration and deployment of MasterPass, the future of digital transactions. This collaboration, which covers all countries operated by Worldline – France, Benelux, Germany, UK, Spain, India and other Asian countries paves the way for the adoption of MasterPass by thousands of merchants.

MasterPass, the digital platform from MasterCard, simplifies online purchases made from connected devices including PCs, touchpads and smartphones. MasterPass eliminates the need for consumers to enter detailed shipping and card information to complete their online shopping at MasterPass merchant sites that have the Buy with MasterPass button on their check out page.

This solution, which is initially being deployed for e-commerce, will at a second stage enable merchants to offer to their customers to pay in store with MasterPass and encourage the convergence of payment experiences using new technologies such as NFC, flashcode, and QR code from November 2013. MasterPass will be available on Worldline’s online payment platform, an online, secure and cross-channel solution. This partnership should help to expand the adoption of MasterPass to thousands of e-merchants starting from 2014, who may now benefit from the many advantages offered by this simple and quick solution for consumers.

As an Atos subsidiary specialized in electronic payments and transactional services, our goal is to offer our clients a solution that will improve both online and offline shopping experiences“, declared Xavier Brucker, Head of multichannel payments  at Worldline. “We share with MasterCard the same vision for the future of commerce, which implies innovative payment solutions.”

Régis Folbaum, CEO of MasterCard France, commented: “This partnership with a global leader such as Worldline will accelerate the adoption of MasterPass in France and in Europe, as it will increase the number of merchants adopting this practical, fast and secure solution. With MasterPass, merchants will greatly improve their customers’ shopping experience online and in store. MasterPass is undoubtedly the future of electronic payments. ”

Source:  http://www.paymenteye.com/2013/10/18/mastercard_and_worldline_partner_to_deploy_and_integrate_mas/#.UmgzNZRAREB

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Alto Global Processing: GBP3,170 is spent online with Visa every second at UK-based merchants

GBP100 bn was spent online with Visa at UK-based merchants in the year to August 2013, equating to GBP3,170 being spent every second. This is according to figures from Visa Europe who also reveal that GBP1 in every GBP4 of all spend with Visa at UK merchants is now spent online.

E-commerce is exploding, with UK merchants attracting spend from well beyond the country’s borders with almost a fifth of e-commerce spend from outside the UK. International spend with Visa at UK merchants totalled GBP16bn, with GBP7bn of that spend from outside Europe. The top five international spenders were: the USA at number one, Italy at number two, and France, Japan and Germany at three, four and five respectively.

Total annual online spend with Visa at UK merchants has doubled in four years: in 2009 GBP50.2bn was spent online with UK merchants, a total that was surpassed in the first six months alone in 2013 (GBP52bn).

UK consumers are leading the world when it comes to online spend. In February 2013, Ofcom announced in a report that internet shopping is now more popular in the UK than any other major country, as consumers in the UK spend an average of GBP1,083 a year on internet shopping compared to just GBP842 in Australia (the second highest country studied). Fuelling this uptake is UK consumers’ high adoption rates of smartphones and tablets.

Visa Europe is developing products and services that will help merchants to tap into the burgeoning opportunities that e-commerce present. Leading this response is the development of V.me by Visa, its digital wallet which a range of merchants and banks have already signed up to.

Marc O’Brien, Managing Director at Visa UK said: “In just four years we have seen online spending at UK clothing merchants with Visa nearly double in growth from GBP1 in £7 in 2009, to GBP1 in GBP4 in 2013. In fact, online spending with Visa is now at an unprecedented scale across all sectors including airlines, supermarkets and services, indicative of the ever increasing preference to make purchases online, largely fuelled by the explosion in smartphones and tablets.

“At Visa Europe, we are enabling merchants to take advantage of the possibilities that e-commerce present by making sure that online spend is safe, through Verified by Visa, and convenient through the introduction of V.me by Visa, our digital wallet. Wherever customers are based, no matter what they buy, we are working with merchants to make sure that their customers have the best quality, safest and most convenient online spending experience.”

Source: http://www.paymenteye.com/2013/09/30/gbp3170_is_spent_online_with_visa_every_second_at_uk-based_m/#.UkmaCuAgaFk

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Alto Global Processing: Credorax Banks $40M for International Expansion

By Deborah Gage of The Wall Street Journal

Source: http://blogs.wsj.com/venturecapital/2013/08/27/credorax-banks-40m-for-international-expansion/

Software and hardware are changing so rapidly that multi-billion dollar industries are being disrupted, but it’s still hard for a small startup with new technology to get that new business when it appears.

Consider Credorax Inc., which raised $40 million from FTV Capital to modernize how payments are made, taking its total funding to close to $100 million, as VentureWire reported today.

“The payments world is changing so fast, there are all kinds of services you need today that 10 years ago nobody would have thought of,” said founder and Chief Executive Benjamin Nachman, who started Credorax in 2008. He said he hopes to take the company public in about three years.

Credorax is known in the banking world as an acquiring bank, meaning that it processes credit and debit card payments for merchants. It competes with huge, global publicly traded banks like J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc., but uses modern technology and has superior ways of detecting fraud, according toDavid Blumberg, managing partner of Blumberg Capital, which is Credorax’s first investor.

Since it went to market in the third quarter of 2011, the company has been growing so fast that a wary Visa Inc. required millions of dollars in escrow before it would do business with Credorax, Mr. Blumberg said. Blumberg Capital provided the money, which Credorax didn’t have, in exchange for more equity, making Credorax its largest single investment. In the last 18 months, the value of those warrants has quadrupled, he said.

Mr. Blumberg compared Credorax to ITA Software Inc., which Google Inc. acquired in 2011 to process travel reservations, thereby disrupting competitors in the travel industry that relied on mainframe computers developed as early as the 1960s. Credorax, like ITA, uses commodity hardware to conduct massive parallel processing of transactions, which is fast, flexible, scalable and cheap.

So far, Credorax is licensed and regulated in nearly 30 countries, including all countries in the European Union. The goal is to get licensed in all major global markets. In international transactions where a merchant might require five or six acquiring banks—some of them running in different countries and using different technologies that require data to be reconciled at the end–Credorax can do it all, Mr. Nachman said.

To evaluate potential fraud, for instance, Credorax can analyze multiple pieces of data–time zone, Internet Protocol address, shopping history and so on–and notify Visa or Mastercard if warranted. If the transaction is not fraudulent but is in a riskier geography, the local merchant could have the confidence to close it anyway, raising sales.

“Fraud is huge internationally…Some merchants accept no credit cards from the Middle East. They’re cutting off everybody because they cut with an ax instead of a scalpel,” Mr. Blumberg said.

Mr. Blumberg called the company “modestly valued” in the latest round of financing and said the valuation was in the hundreds of millions of dollars, though he and other investors declined to be more specific.

Write to Deborah Gage at deborah.gage@wsj.com. Follow her on Twitter at @deborahgage 

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Alto Global Processing: Facebook – New Pilot Not a PayPal Competitor

Source: CardNotPresent.com

The payments world took notice recently of a report indicating Facebook was testing a payments service that would put it in direct competition with PayPal. The technology publication All Things D cited “sources familiar with the company’s plans” who said the product would allow any shopper who has previously provided Facebook with their credit-card details to make purchases on partnering e-commerce mobile apps without entering billing information. It seems the report, which was widely cited by other publications last Thursday and Friday, might have been premature.

On Friday, Facebook cleared up the matter with a statement that denied its new service would be competitive to PayPal. Under the new service, Facebook would not process payments, but simply use payment information already stored in the cloud to automatically fill in the payment fields in a mobile app when making a purchase. Whatever payment provider the individual app uses is the one that processes the payment.

Facebook’s statement, in full, read:

“We are working on a very small test that lets people populate their payment information already on file with Facebook into the checkout form of a mobile phone app when they are making a purchase. The app then processes and completes the payment. The test makes it easier and faster for people to make a purchase in a mobile app by simply pre-populating your payment information.  It will be a very small test with 1-2 partners.

We continue to have a great relationship with PayPal, and this product is simply to test how we can help our app partners provide a more simple commerce experience. This test does not involve moving the payment processing away from an app’s current payments provider, such as PayPal.”

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Alto Global Processing: Visa, MasterCard Offer Common Debit Solution

Written by writers of Card Not Present

Last week, Visa and MasterCard said they have partnered to offer a common debit solution in the U.S. Debit networks in the U.S. have been working for nearly two years toward a solution that would address inconsistencies between the debit network routing requirements of the Durbin Amendment and limitations of the chips in chip & PIN cards and the rules of EMVco—the organization that administers EMV standards. With migration to the EMV standard underway in the U.S., several groups had been working on the problem, with some consensus among debit networks, but no buy-in from Visa and MasterCard.

On Tuesday, Visa and MasterCard, which each had offered separate solutions earlier this year, said they have made proprietary EMV technologies available that would enable a debit chip transaction originating from a single-chip application to be routed by the merchant to Visa, MasterCard or any other U.S. PIN debit network that elects to participate in the solution.

While yesterday’s decision by a federal judge overturning the Durbin Amendment eventually may render the need for such a solution moot, a working group formed bythe Secure Remote Payment Council (SRPc) that includes most U.S. debit and ATM networks has been seeking the creation of a common application identifier (AID) that would solve the issue. Visa and MasterCard have been part of those discussions, but neither has committed to the common AID, apparently hoping proprietary technology would give them a competitive advantage in routing debit transactions.

Members of the working group are interested in Tuesday’s announcement from Visa and MasterCard, but further evaluation would be necessary to determine if signing on with the solution is fair, according to Paul Tomasofsky, president of the Secure Remote Payment Council.

“The announcement is an interesting one on the surface but of course more information is needed to determine how other networks would fit into the picture,” Tomasofsky said. “Before that, it would be helpful to understand how Visa and MasterCard will work together from an operational viewpoint. The SRPc Chip-and-PIN working group members have always advocated a solution that allows all participating networks equal access to technology, a voice in governance, appropriate business terms and the ability to compete and innovate on future enhancements. In short, our solution calls for a multilateral solution and not a bilateral one.”

Read more at http://cardnotpresent.com/news/default.aspx?id=1576

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Alto Global Processing:Mobile POS Will Surpass $2 Billion in 2013, iPad As Cash Register

Written by TJ McCue of Forbes.com

When Apple began using mobile devices in their stores, people in retail started paying attention. According to a recent study from research firm IHL Group, 28 percent of North American retailers plan to adopt Mobile POS in some form by the end of 2013. The Mobile POS market will surpass $2 Billion in hardware/software sales in North America this year.

Clarification: This data is not consumer point of sales transaction value, but sales of POS equipment hardware and software.

Overall, mobile in retail is now a $5.7 Billion business worldwide and continues to grow rapidly. It is the single fastest moving trend in retail since Internet was added to the stores, according to IHL Group.

The report summary also stated that more retailers, however, are not planning to install Mobile POS at all within the next 3 years (33 percent).  Naturally, the adoption of a mobile POS solution is dependent on the type of retailer and volume of transactions, but I am drawing a blank for a retail environment that could not benefit from some mobility. See link in resources below for the report blog post, which is all I read — the report is not free. But you can download a free preview.

But you do not have to be Apple to turn an iPad into a cash register in your business. The iPad on its own, with free or premium apps, can serve as a full-blown POS (point of sale) system for small and large businesses. If you have not been to a farmer’s market recently, take a look at all the merchants who can now take more than cash. Add a Square credit card reader or one from Intuit , and you are a mobile retail machine.

Years ago, I worked with a wireless software company that was building a mobile point of sale solution for wireless handhelds. They were ahead of their time — having to use ruggedized handhelds from Symbol and Intermec and integrating with proprietary systems. But today, you can do all of that and more with an iPad. There are plenty of stories of how iPads and tablets, in general, are making their way beyond email or web surfing on the couch or using a tablet to show photos, but it is a serious profitability tool.

As a product reviewer, I see a lot of useless mobile stuff (to be candid) and I have seen no shortage of iPad stands, iPad cases, iPad accessories. Many are useful, some are definitely not. But I love this newest one on Kickstarter: MagBak, the World’s Thinnest iPad Mount. Elegant and brilliant are words that come to mind and it is already over-funded. I sure hope they make versions that will do the same for a variety of smartphones, too. Hint: I have an S3, S4, and Nexus 4 and would buy one of these… The reason I included this mount, however, is it makes for an even more functional point of sale system. Put up a magnet mount in your food truck, kiosk, or retail store and you have an impressive modern cash register.

The iPad can change your business processes. If there is not an app, you can get one custom built or build it yourself. The team at Sweb Development is working on custom apps, but also has a platform for building your own (on iOS or Android). Or look at the FileMaker platform that lets you custom develop your own, too. As most Forbes readers know, the iPad is not only a consumer device for fun gaming or watching videos; it is a robust business machine that can help you serve customers and get more work done out in the field or on the shop floor.

More Resources:

The use of tablets (iPad and Android-powered) is growing fast with shipments increasing at a rate of 38 percent in 2013 according to the IHL Group report Mobile POS: Hype to Reality.

I shared a few reasons in a post last year on Why Your Business Needs iPads atAmerican Express OPEN Forum.

USAToday reported on a few unique businesses leveraging the iPad.

If you cannot bear the idea of hanging a naked iPad on the wall or leaving it on the retail counter, then check out this very cool handmade wooden register box from Happy Owl Studio called the Cashbox.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/tjmccue/2013/07/30/mobile-pos-will-surpass-2-billion-in-2013-ipad-as-cash-register/?partner=yahootix

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