A hacker known as Reckz0r on Twitter announced that he has illegally accessed servers belonging to dozens of large banks. To prove it, the hacker released data relating to Visa and MasterCard credit cards. The data leaked includes full names, addresses, debit or credit card type, phone numbers and email addresses. Reckz0r claims this is only a portion of the data stolen, and the full amount is “about 50GB or bigger” taken from “over 79 large banks” that he has been targeting over the last three months. Global Payments, an international credit card processing company, confirmed in March that hackers stole credit card numbers belonging to as many as 1.5 million MasterCard and Visa customers. It is unclear if the data leaked by Reckz0r was involved with the earlier breach, however.
This week, two of the major players in the credit card industry, Visa and MasterCard launched their online digital wallet services. Known as V.me (Visa’s) and PayPass Wallet Services (MasterCard), both are very similar initiatives which see the companies clamoring to become the credit card of choice for digital transactions, the way they fight today to be the credit card for all the other transactions taking place out there in the real world.
And, to be clear, a “digital” wallet isn’t necessarily the same as a “mobile wallet,” although a digital wallet service could also be housed in a mobile app interface, as both MasterCard and Visa plan on offering in the near future.
While neither of these companies are the types of early stage startups TechCrunch typically favors, their moves will have an impact on a number of companies already operating in this space, like PayPal and Square, as well as those that aim to disrupt the payments industry like Dwolla. Below are the details of what was announced and how the two services compare.
Visa’s digital payments service, V.me, wants to make it easier for consumers to shop online, whether via web, mobile or tablet. The service is effectively a digital wallet, which stores not only your Visa card information, but also your MasterCard, American Express and Discover cards. When you’re on a supported merchant’s website, instead of entering in your payment information and shipping preferences manually (as is par for the course today), you only have to enter in your V.me email and password. The merchant still receives your payment through Visa’s network, but your 16-digit card number is not displayed on the site, which adds another layer of security to the transaction.
In the future, Visa plans to introduce a mobile payments element to the service as well by leveraging NFC, QR codes and “other technology,” which would allow you to tap your phone to a secure reader at the point-of-sale in order to pay for your purchase, scan a QR code or perform some other type of interaction. Support for offers based on your activity and interests will be rolled out later on, too, the company says.
This week, Visa took a major step in making the V.me service a reality. The company announced its beta launch, with its first online merchants, PacSun.com and Buy.com, adding support for the program on its site. The V.me acceptance mark is now visible on the login and checkout pages of both sites.
Visa says it’s currently focused on scaling V.me within the U.S. market, but a global rollout is on its roadmap. Over the coming months (Visa won’t provide exact dates), V.me will launch on a number of other e-commerce sites.
MasterCard PayPass Wallet Services
MasterCard, too, has its own take on digital wallets, and unveiled its new PayPass Wallet service this week. The PayPass Wallet is an extension to MasterCard’s already fairly well-known PayPass brand, which offers tap-and-go, NFC-enabled payments that work via PayPass-enabled (NFC) phones, cards, key fobs, or mobile tags at over 441,000 locations worldwide. The same credentials stored in the digital wallet for online payments (PayPass Wallet) can also be accessed for tap-and-go purchases on an NFC-enabled phone through a mobile app.
Like V.me, MasterCard’s PayPass Wallet is an open solution, and allows consumers to add their Visa, American Express and Discover cards, whether credit, debit or prepaid. It also keeps your shipping info on file, for faster online checkouts. And, like V.me, PayPass Wallet is making a splash with some big-name launch partners. In this case: American Airlines and Barnes & Noble. Both merchants will incorporate the PayPass Online checkout button on their websites, and American Airlines will go a step further and integrate PayPass Wallet into its own mobile application.
Other merchants committed to the solution include Jagex, JB Hi-Fi, MLB Advanced Media (MLB.com), Newegg, Runningshoes.com, TigerDirect.com and Wine Enthusiast Companies.
Several banks are on board too, including Banesto, Bank of Montreal, Commonwealth Bank, Citibank, EURO6000, Fifth Third Bank, Grupo Banco Popular, Grupo BBVA, ICBA, Intesa Sanpaolo, Metro Bank, National Bank of Canada, PSCU, RBS Citizens Financial Group, SEB Kort AB Sweden, Sovereign Bank, Swedbank Sweden and Westpac.
The solution will be offered as a white label, meaning banks, merchants and other partners can use the PayPass Wallet platform within their own digital wallets. This option will go live by Q3 2012, initially in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Australia.
Finally, like V.me, MasterCard’s PayPass Wallet will roll out to point-of-sale and as a mobile application in the future, but MasterCard isn’t providing exact timeframes on when those solutions will arrive. The mobile app, though, is not necessarily being targeted at consumers, but at the banking partners.
“This initiative provides issuers with a turnkey solution to quickly launch a wallet with their own branding using our reference wallet or the freedom to connect their own wallet into our PayPass network,” explains Ed Olebe, Senior Vice President and Group Head, Emerging Payments, MasterCard. “PayPass Wallet Services will accept all credit, debit and prepaid MasterCard, American Express, Discover and Visa cards as long as the merchant or financial institution accepts those cards,” he says.
Those with an NFC phone can continue to tap-and-go as they do now, but soon, both NFC and non-NFC users will be able to take advantage of the other benefits of the PayPass platform, including at-a-glance account information which you can peek at prior to making a purchase, spending controls, real-time alerts, and, of course, coupons and targeted offers.
The above solutions from the top two credit card companies are notable because of their news this past week, but they’re far from being the only competitors in the space. Outside of startups like Square and PayPal, mentioned above, Google is dabbling with its own mobile wallet/mobile checkout play called Google Wallet and the U.S. mobile carriers are ramping up a mobile payments initiative called Isis. (Worldwide, other carriers have their own programs, too).
However, in terms of credit card companies, American Express is another important player in the space. With its previously announced Serve platform, it’s not only competing head-to-head in the online payments space, it’s also working to enable other features like peer-to-peer payments, for example.
With so many similarities between the services and some confusion on branding, the problem will soon become one of too much choice. Should you go with V.me or MasterCard’s PayPass (or a PayPass Wallet rebranded by your bank, perhaps?), Serve or PayPal? Wait, PayPal works at point-of-sale too? Does Google Wallet work on my phone? What’s Isis?
Although the names of the credit card companies are already familiar, the programs themselves are not. All the players will need to work to deliver clear messages to consumers about what they can and cannot do.
Following a massive security breach, Visa has dropped Global Payments from its registry of providers that meet data security standards, The Associated Press reported on Monday. Global Payments CEO Paul Garcia said that the company will continue to process Visa transactions, however being dropped from the registry “could give our partners some pause that they’re doing business with someone who experienced a breach.” Garcia fully expects his company to be reinstated once it has been issued a new report of compliance, although he declined to specify when that might happen. The CEO maintains that the situation is “absolutely contained” and is being fully investigated. Global Payments confirmed on Sunday that hackers stole credit card numbers belonging to as many as 1.5 million MasterCard and Visa customers, however cardholder names, addresses and Social Security numbers were not compromised. The company plans to set up a website to assist consumers who might have been affected by the breach.
Hackers stole credit card numbers belonging to as many as 1.5 million MasterCard and Visa customers, Global Payments, Inc. confirmed on Sunday. The international credit card processor was blocked by Visa after it reported the possibility of a major security breach on Friday. The company did not indicate how the hackers gained access to its system or who might be responsible for the attack. ”Based on the forensic analysis to date, network monitoring and additional security measures, the company believes that this incident is contained,” the firm told The Wall Street Journal while noting that cardholder names, addresses and Social Security numbers were not compromised. The company did say that the credit card numbers were downloaded during the attack rather than just being accessed, however, indicating that the perpetrators may intend to use the information to create counterfeit credit cards. Affected Visa and MasterCard customers have not yet been notified that their account information was stolen.
The world’s two largest credit card processors have notified U.S. banks of a potential security breach that may affect more than 10 million cardholders, Reuters reported on Friday. MasterCard and Visa have said that the issue was the result of a third-party vendor and not their own internal systems. MasterCard said it has taken the proper steps by alerting law enforcement officials and hiring an independent data-security organization to review the possible breach. “MasterCard is concerned whenever there is any possibility that cardholders could be inconvenienced and we continue to both monitor this event and take steps to safeguard account information,” the company said in a statement. “If cardholders have any concerns about their individual accounts, they should contact their issuing financial institution.” Visa made sure to emphasize that its customers are not responsible for any potential fraudulent charges.
Visa on Monday announced a “one-stop” mobile payment solution that looks to compete directly with Google Wallet and the carrier-backed ISIS payment system. After a consumer purchases a “Visa-certified” NFC-equipped smartphone, he or she can contact the company and activate the handset for mobile payments. The device will be securely linked with a user’s bank account and can then be used to make mobile payments anywhere Visa’s payWave system is accepted. “In the same way we have enabled the secure provisioning of payment cards for decades, we are now using mobile technology to securely provision mobile payment accounts over the air,” Visa’s Head of Mobile Products Bill Gajda said. “Financial institutions, mobile network operators, and even transit operators now have a simple, secure process to activate payment applications at scale and make mobile payments part of everyday life for consumers around the world.” The company announced that Intel Atom-powered smartphones and tablets will be the first Visa-certified devices to allow mobile subscribers to securely make NFC purchases. Read on for the company’s press release.
New Visa Service Provides Secure “Over the Air” Provisioning of Mobile Payment Accounts
Global service transforms smartphones into Visa payment devices. “One-stop” solution enables financial institutions to wirelessly link Visa accounts with NFC-enabled devices
Mobile World Congress 2012
BARCELONA, Spain–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) today announced a new service that provides financial institutions and mobile network operators with a one-stop solution to securely download payment account information to smartphones enabled with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. The new service was developed in collaboration with Oberthur Technologies, a leading Trusted Service Management (TSM) company whose software and platforms are used to manage the provisioning and activation of payment accounts on cards and mobile devices.
The new offering by Visa brings together the necessary parties in the mobile payments ecosystem and lays the foundation for financial services providers and mobile network operators to securely and efficiently link Visa payment accounts to smartphones, while also offering a solution to manage those accounts post activation.
“In the same way we have enabled the secure provisioning of payment cards for decades, we are now using mobile technology to securely provision mobile payment accounts over the air,” said Bill Gajda, Head of Mobile Products, Visa Inc. “Financial institutions, mobile network operators, and even transit operators now have a simple, secure process to activate payment applications at scale and make mobile payments part of everyday life for consumers around the world.”
Working with Oberthur Technologies gives Visa access to technology that delivers Visa payWave, Visa’s contactless payment technology, and other payment applications “over the air” to a consumer’s NFC-equipped smartphone, along with the secure credentials needed to authenticate the consumer.
“The combination of Oberthur Technologies advanced technology with Visa’s global secure network will deliver a powerful tool for financial institutions and mobile network operators to move quickly into the growing market for mobile payments,” said Arnaud de La Chapelle, General Manager, Convergence & Solutions, Oberthur Technologies. “We’re extremely pleased to extend our relationship with Visa in this innovative area.”
The new solution addresses a crucial need for Visa account issuers, mobile operators, and others who want to enable mobile payments at scale. The next stage of the product, an interconnectivity “hub”, will enable frictionless “many-to-many” interactions avoiding the need for parties to form bilateral commercial and technical relationships, even for entities using other TSM solutions.
How It Works
For consumers the service will include support for Visa and non-Visa payment, loyalty or mass transit applications on their smartphone. Because of the flexible and global nature of the technology, consumers could, for example, use their mobile phone to download the appropriate mass transit application to pay for a subway ride in a distant city. A typical consumer experience to provision a smartphone for payments may include the following steps:
- The consumer purchases an NFC-equipped mobile phone that has passed Visa’s compliance testing, from their choice of operator
- The consumer contacts the financial institution that issued their Visa account, or responds to an offer from a service provider or operator, asking to activate mobile payments with their smartphone
- Visa’s mobile provisioning solution links the appropriate parties and begins the process of provisioning the mobile phone for payment:
- Authenticates the account holder by requesting the user enter a passcode
- Facilitate the exchange of secure “keys” among the various parties that unlock the NFC-enabled chip on the smartphone
- Initiates the secure download of payment account information to the smartphone
Intel, with its new Intel® Atom™-based smartphones and tablets, has agreed to use Visa’s global provisioning service to enable mobile subscribers to securely download payment account information to NFC-enabled devices.
Intel on Monday detailed a number new products and partnerships during the company’s Mobile World Congress press event. “We are very pleased to add new, important customers and capabilities to our phone offerings today. We remain focused on delivering exciting new features and outstanding performance to smartphone customers around the world.” said Intel CEO Paul Otellini. UK service provider Orange will launch an Atom-powered smartphone based on the Z2460 reference design. The device will feature a sleek body that will enable “rich entertainment experiences [to] Orange services, including Orange TV, Daily Motion, Deezer, Orange Wednesdays and Orange Gestures.” The handset is scheduled for a late summer launch and will be available in the United Kingdom and France. Read on for more.
Intel has partnered with Lava International to offer smartphones in India. Like Orange’s device, the XOLO X900 is based on Intel’s reference design and will be the first Atom-powered smartphone to reach the Indian market. The device will be available in the second quarter and will support major Indian cellular networks. In an agreement similar to the previously announced partnership with Motorola, Intel also announced a multi-year partnership for smartphones and tablets with ZTE. The Chinese manufacturer’s first Intel-powered device is scheduled to debut in the second half of 2012.
In addition to Intel’s Atom Z2460 “Medfield” processor, the company announced the Atom Z2580 CPU that will feature an advanced multi-mode LTE/3G/2G solution and will double the performance of the Z2640. To address the growing low-end market, Intel revealed plans for the Atom Z2000 processor as well. The company will begin testing both chipsets in the second half of 2012, with consumer products carrying the Z2580 and Z2000 expected to launch in first half of 2013.
Lastly, Intel has entered into a multi-year alliance with Visa to “develop mobile commerce solutions tailored to consumers in developed and developing countries.” Intel’s smartphone reference design has been named the first handset to be certified for Visa payWave mobile payment system.
Intel Expands Smartphone Portfolio: New Customers, Products, Software and Services
Announces Smartphone Device Engagements with Orange*, Lava*, ZTE* and Visa*
Discloses Range of New Smartphone SoCs and Communications Products
MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS, Barcelona, Spain, Feb. 27, 2012 – Intel Corporation President and CEO Paul Otellini today detailed a number of announcements and plans aimed at expanding the company’s smartphone product portfolio and customer ecosystem, including strategic new engagements with Orange*, Lava International Ltd.*, ZTE*, and Visa*.
“We are very pleased to add new, important customers and capabilities to our phone offerings today. We remain focused on delivering exciting new features and outstanding performance to smartphone customers around the world.” said Otellini.
Otellini made the announcements during an Intel news conference at Mobile World Congress. He also highlighted the company’s plans to expand its smartphone SoC and communications product roadmaps for the performance and value smartphone market segments.
New Smartphone Customer Engagements
Building on strategic engagements with Motorola Mobility Inc.* and Lenovo*, Intel detailed new device relationships with Orange, Lava International Ltd. and ZTE.
Yves Maitre, Orange senior vice president of Mobile Multimedia and Devices, joined Otellini to discuss a new Orange smartphone based on the Intel® Atom™ processor Z2460 reference design. Housed in a sleek body, the design enables rich entertainment experiences and Orange services, including Orange TV, Daily Motion, Deezer, Orange Wednesdays and Orange Gestures. The Orange smartphone will be available in the United Kingdom and France later this summer.
Intel also announced plans to enter the high-growth market for smartphones in India through an alliance with Lava International Ltd., one of the fastest-growing Indian mobile handset companies.Vishal Sehgal, Lava co-founder and board director, announced the launch of XOLO Smartphone by Lava. The XOLO X900 is based on Intel’s smartphone reference design and will be the first Intel technology-based smartphone in the India market. The device will be available from top retail outlets early in the second quarter of 2012 and will support major Indian cellular networks.
Similar to its previously announced partnership with Motorola Mobility, Intel also announced a multi-year mobile device collaboration across smartphones and tablets with global handset maker ZTE. Mr. He Shiyou, executive vice president and head of the Terminal Division of ZTE, discussed how his company’s alliance with Intel will enable ZTE to move faster and create unique and differentiated products for wireless operators. He also announced that ZTE’s first Intel-powered mobile device is scheduled to debut in the second half of 2012.
Expanding Smartphone SoC and Communications Roadmaps
Building on its ecosystem engagements, Intel announced plans for three new smartphone SoC products that expand the company’s portfolio from the performance-to-value market segments.
Extending the leading performance and energy efficiency of the Intel™ Atom® processor Z2460, formerly codenamed “Medfield,” Intel announced that the platform will now support speeds up to 2GHz.
Intel also announced the Atom™ Z2580 processor that doubles the performance of the Atom processor Z2460, and features an advanced multimode LTE/3G/2G solution. Intel will sample the Z2580 in the second half of the year with customer products scheduled in the first half of 2013.
Addressing the growing handset opportunity in emerging markets where consumers look for more value at lower prices, Intel disclosed plans for the Intel® Atom™ processor Z2000.
The Z2000 is aimed squarely at the value smartphone market segment, which industry sources predict could reach up to 500 million units by 20151.The platform includes a 1.0 GHz Atom CPU offering great graphics and video performance, and the ability to access the Web and play Google Android* games. It also supports the Intel® XMM 6265 3G HSPA+ modem with Dual-SIM 2G/3G, offering flexibility on data/voice calling plans to save on costs. Intel will sample the Z2000 in mid-2012 with customer products scheduled by early 2013.
Building on these 32nm announcements, Otellini discussed how the Atom™ processor will outpace Moore’s Law and announced that Intel will ship 22nm SoCs for carrier certification next year, and is already in development on 14nm SoC technology.
In 2011, Intel shipped in more than 400 million cellular platforms. Building on this market segment position, Intel announced the XMM 7160, an advanced multimode LTE/3G/2G platform with support for 100Mbps downlink and 50Mbps uplink, and support for HSPA+ 42Mbps. Intel will sample the product in the second quarter with customer designs scheduled to launch by the end of 2012.
Intel also announced that it is sampling the XMM 6360 platform, a new slim modem 3G HSPA+ solution supporting 42Mbps downlink and 11.5Mbps uplink for small form factors.
Building Better Experiences on Intel Architecture
Intel’s strategy is to create and enable engaging, consistent, aware and secure user experiences across a range of mobile devices.
An emerging trend is the use of mobile devices to enable secure online and retail commerce. Otellini welcomed John Partridge, President, Visa Inc., who announced a strategic multi-year alliance to develop mobile commerce solutions tailored to consumers in developed and developing countries.
The effort includes collaboration across a range of Visa mobile services and Intel® Atom™-based smartphones and tablets to deliver compelling and secure user services. As a first step, Partridge announced that Intel’s smartphone reference design is now certified for Visa payWave* mobile financial transactions. This means that customer products based on Intel’s smartphone reference design will have time-to-market support of Visa mobile services.
Building on its collaboration with Google, Intel continues to work closely with ISVs to help ensure the majority of Android apps run on Intel Atom processor-based devices. Otellini discussed how Intel has all the right tools and expertise to support the robust mobile application developer ecosystem.