Pew: 18% of online adults have had important personal information stolen

On the heels of continuous announcements from national retailers and banks of large-scale data breaches and vulnerabilities grows, findings from the Pew Research Center suggest that growing numbers of online Americans have had important personal information stolen and many have had an account compromised.

Findings from a January 2014 survey show that:

  • 18% of online adults have had important personal information stolen such as their Social Security Number, credit card, or bank account information. That’s an increase from the 11% who reported personal information theft in July 2013.
  • 21% of online adults said they had an email or social networking account compromised or taken over without their permission.The same number reported this experience in a July 2013 survey.

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Quote of the Day: “…a card communicates brand story and service quality…”

“One of the most sacred touchpoints and vehicles of brand communication for any credit card company is the physical card itself. Simply stated, a card communicates brand story and service quality, and reinforces cardholder attributes such as professional role, income level, and personal affinity,” says Kerri Williams, director of client services, Landor Associates.

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Source: DM News

Verifone launches EMV-ready Portable Payment Terminal

Bluetooth, 3G and Wi-Fi communications enable merchants to accept all types of payments in any environment.


VeriFone Systems, Inc. (NYSE: PAY) announced today the VX 690—its first handheld EMV-capable payment terminal featuring Bluetooth, 3G radio and Wi-Fi connectivity for fast transactions and flexible payment capabilities.  The terminal’s size, design and multiple connection capabilities meets merchants’ mobile point of sale (mPOS) demands—especially in North America, Australia and parts of Asia—where 3G connectivity is increasingly required for payment device acceptance.

“It is no secret that merchants increasingly want a user experience that parallels that of a consumer electronics device,” said Bill Nelson, executive vice president of Global Product Management for VeriFone. “The VX 690 achieves this goal while providing 3G connectivity that is critical in many markets where 2G networks are transitioning to 3G. The user experience of the terminal combined with its robustness, flexibility, and technical communication capabilities will not only enable payments today—it will enable commerce tomorrow.”

Enhanced Communication Flexibility

The VX 690’s Bluetooth, 3G radio and Wi-Fi combination provides fast, wireless payment convenience as well as fewer dropped transactions in virtually every type of merchant environment. Dual SIM functionality enables the terminal to quickly connect to different networks to keep transactions moving, while built-in GPS allows merchants to track the location of every transaction, providing greater visibility into operations and inventory across multiple stores.

VX690The terminal is PCI PTS 3.0 compliant and features built-in security protection that includes end-to-end encryption to protect data at every point of the transaction.

Simple, Consumer Electronic Style Design

The VX 690’s simple, handheld design is similar to consumer technologies and easily fits on countertops and in users’ hands. Its built-in functionality includes:

  • 3.5″ capacitive touch display that allows merchants to enable commerce with marketing messages via video streaming and audio capabilities
  • Single micro-USB connector for added convenience and functionality
  • EMV capability for supporting PIN, Signature, and no Cardholder Verification Method (CVM)
  • NFC capability to support contactless and mobile wallet transactions
  • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) support
  • Peripheral capability for potential future expansion, including biometric scanner/barcode reader

“Virtually all consumers use portable technologies providing enormous capabilities in their day-to-day lives. Using these technologies has become second nature, not only because of their practicality, but because they present advanced functionality in a brilliant, yet simple package that is easy to use,” said Nelson. “The VX 690’s purpose-driven design merges advanced, secure mPOS capabilities with the type of sleek and simplistic form factor that is familiar to consumers and can help merchants improve the customer experience.”

The VX 690 from VeriFone is expected to be available in late 2014.

Additional Resources

Source: Verifone

The Cost of Data Breaches on Brand Value

According to ADWEEK magazine, the bad guys hit the bull’s-eye with the massive credit card breach at Target. We all remember the news at the height of the 2013 holiday season when the retailer reported that hackers accessed payment-card data and personal information (names, addresses, emails and phone numbers) of 110 million of their customers.

Target, according to ADWEEK, said costs associated with the cyber invasion totaled $61 million in its fiscal fourth quarter, “contributing to a 46 percent decline in net income to $520 million (81 cents per share) versus $961 million ($1.47 per share) the previous year.”

Target spends over $1.4 billion on advertising and promotions.  The impact of the data breach put a massive dent on that investment.

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Top 5 Don’ts and Do’s to Protecting your Personal Information

April is Financial Literacy Month and MasterCard just published a little refresher on some basic tips and insights to help folks be savvier consumers on how we share our personal information.

We’re all guilty of it. You’re in a hurry, you don’t have time to be as diligent as you’d like and there it is. You let your guard down. You’ve just shared your phone number at the point of sale simply because you were asked. What’s the harm? Well, actually, potentially a lot.

Staying vigilant about protecting your personal information can greatly reduce your risk of theft or fraud – an important and necessary step in today’s digital world. While your credit and debit cards have built in protections, the first line of defense really starts with you.

I like MasterCard’s Priceless Pointers videos for more helpful tools and resources to inform and protect yourself from fraud.

Check out this infographic from MasterCard for their top five tips



Source: MasterCard

Walmart and Sam’s Club Converts Discover Co-Branded Cards to MasterCard

Sam’s Club Extends Contract for Branded Credit Card Program with GE Capital Retail Bank and Converts Discover Card Co-Branded Cards to MasterCard

Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., has finalized a multi-year agreement with GE Capital Retail Bank to extend their existing relationship to provide Sam’s Club-branded credit cards to club members in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

As part of the extension, GE Capital’s Retail Finance business will continue to manage and service the credit card programs for Sam’s Club Savings, Business and Plus members.  Under the agreement, the Sam’s Club co-branded credit card programs will be converted to MasterCard later this year, providing members with a broader card acceptance network, as well as more robust features and benefits.

Walmart has also extended their relationship with GE Capital Retail Bank and branded cards will transition to MasterCard later this year.

GE Capital’s Retail Finance began its relationship with Sam’s Club in 1993, providing credit programs for business members; adding revolving credit programs for Sam’s Club consumer members in 1995; and currently offering Sam’s Club private-label credit card programs and co-branded cards for Savings, Business and Plus members – all of which double as membership cards.


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