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Why Fraudsters Have Shifted to ‘Shimming’ Attacks

Why Fraudsters Have Shifted to ‘Shimming’ Attacks
By Tracy Kitten

As U.S. merchants shore up physical point-of-sale security by upgrading their terminals to accept EMV chip cards, attackers are turning their aim toward unattended self-service terminals, such as ATMs and self-service gas pumps.

While the EMV fraud liability shift date for U.S. merchants was Oct. 1, Visa’s and MasterCard’s liability shift date for self-serve gas pumps is not until Oct. 1, 2017. For ATMs, the liability shift is Oct. 1, 2016, for MasterCard and Oct. 1, 2017, for Visa.

Those EMV liability shift dates for the U.S. market are having a global impact on fraud.

In October, the European ATM Security Team reported that global card-skimming losses, which accounted for 131 million euros (U.S. $149 million) of the 156 million euros (U.S. $177.5 million) of ATM-related fraud losses reported for the first half of 2015, increased 18 percent during the first six months of 2015 when compared to the same period in 2014 (see Why ATM Fraud Will Continue to Grow).

And Jeremy King, international director of the PCI Security Standards Council, a featured presenter at Information Security Media Group’s London Fraud Summit on Oct. 27, says the PCI Council is warning European banks and merchants to brace for upticks in e-commerce, POS, ATM and pay-at-the-pump fraud.

EMV is deployed in most European markets, King points out. But without tokenization and end-to-end encryption, fraudsters can still intercept relevant card data during any EMV transaction – and that’s precisely what an emerging type of attack known as “shimming” is doing.

Card Shimming

ATM manufacturer NCR Corp. has just issued a security alert about what it called “significant” increases this year in the reported number of ATM skimming attacks. The increase has been attributed to a number of factors, including new techniques that circumvent anti-skimming technology and EMV.

One of those techniques, “shimming,” first raised alarms over the summer, after EMV-compliant ATMs in Mexico had been compromised.

A shimmer is a device that’s placed inside the ATM’s or self-service pump’s card reader to intercept communications between the chip card and the chip reader. Information that can be intercepted includes the personal account number and expiration date.

In its alert, NCR points out that shimming attacks remain alive and well; but they’re only successful if issuing banks fail to appropriately authorize card transactions.

“The attack is exploited by copying the captured chip data onto a magnetic-strip,” NCR notes. “But correct implementation of EMV will detect this during authorization, thus preventing the attack.”

NCR says card shimming, unlike typical card skimming, does not try to capture mag-stripe data. What’s more, the data intercepted from a chip card cannot be reused to create a counterfeit mag-stripe card, “because chip data and mag-stripe data have different [card verification values],” NCR adds. “The only way for this attack to be successful is if an issuer neglects to check the CVV when authorizing a transaction. All issuers MUST make these basic checks to prevent this category of fraud. Card shimming is not a vulnerability with a chip card, nor with an ATM, and therefore it is not necessary to add protection mechanisms against this form of attack to the ATM.”

Shimming losses can be prevented with proper transaction authorization, and traditional skimming attacks can be thwarted by simply having bank branch and retail staff regularly inspect ATMs and self-serve gas pumps.

Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance and director of the EMV Migration Forum, says shimming attacks have been well documented. Most banks, by now, should be well aware of how to detect a cloned card created with data compromised by a shimmer, he says.

“I believe there is ample information shared about such attacks among financial institutions and credit unions,” Vanderhoof says. “The existence of lax security measures to prevent known vulnerabilities is going to be part of the learning curve that all card issuers, ATM operators and merchants have to deal with among the mirage of different threats that are out there. This not a reflection on the security of EMV, but, rather, a case of poor execution of security.”

So, fair warning: We may see attacks against self-service devices on the rise. But fraud losses can be controlled if we continue sharing information about the attack trends we see and applying the lessons learned from other markets.

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Visa Chip Card Growth Makes the United States the Largest Chip Market

Visa Chip Card Growth Makes the United States the Largest Chip Market

By Ellen Richey

Four years after we embarked on a plan to introduce more secure chip technology, more people are using a Visa chip card in the United States than in any other country in the world. More than 141 million Visa chip cards are now in circulation, according to the latest data. That eclipses the roughly 129 million Visa chip cards in Brazil and 124 million cards in the United Kingdom.

What is even more remarkable is how quickly the U.S. reached this milestone. Only a year ago, we had fewer than 20 million Visa chip cards. But we’ve have seen steady adoption, month after month, since that time.

Retailers are also taking note. From nationwide retailers like Target to local candy stores and book stores, chip-enabled devices are in use at about 301,000 merchant locations, representing a 547 percent year-over-year increase. We are strongly encouraged by the number of small businesses that are using the new chip readers – in fact, small businesses accounted for about 50 percent of chip payment volume last month.

These signs point to the progress that the industry has made ahead of October 1, when the new liability system takes effect. They also affirm the commitment that the industry has made to security.

Since August 2011, Visa has led the industry in promoting the adoption of chip technology and supporting our financial institution and merchant partners as they deploy chip cards and chip-enabled readers. The goal is to better protect everyone from counterfeit fraud, which represents more than two-thirds of the fraud committed in stores today. That’s because chip cards create a one-time use code, or “cryptogram,” that’s different for every transaction – making it virtually impossible for thieves to use stolen account numbers to produce counterfeit cards. And this in turn makes merchants less attractive targets for hackers and consumers are even more secure.

We expect to see many more merchants and card issuers migrate to chip technology in the months ahead, but we don’t expect everyone to make the change right away. In fact, the roadmap was designed with flexibility in mind, allowing everyone to make the transition on a timetable that meets their needs. Some merchants, for example, will be ready later this fall; while others plan to incorporate the change in their normal replacement cycles further down the road. Canada – where chip technology is now the norm – took a few years after the liability shift date to reach their adoption goals.

In other words, the October 1 date is not the end but the beginning of a process that will ultimately lead to near-universal adoption of chip technology. With the milestones we’ve hit today, we’re well positioned for strong adoption over the next two to three years. It will take time, but we’re well on the way to the next level of payment security for consumers, businesses, and financial institutions. Check your wallets for a chip card today – and look for #chipready merchants in your area where you can use it!

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A Happy Holiday Season Expected for Retailers

A Happy Holiday Season Expected for Retailers

eMarketer

“Retail sales in November and December 2015 are expected to show a healthy increase over what was experienced during the same period in 2014. This expectation is driven primarily by the fact that gas station sales, which make up roughly 12% of overall retail sales, dropped rather dramatically in late 2014. Increases in real income from wages, further decreases in unemployment and an increased willingness to spend in traditional retail categories that missed out on the windfall in gas prices earlier on in the year should also drive growth,” said eMarketer analyst Monica Peart.

While US retail ecommerce holiday season sales growth will dip slightly this year to 13.9%, vs. 14.4% in 2014, the segment will play an increasingly important role this season. eMarketer estimates that ecommerce will hit 9.0% of total retail sales this season, or $79.40 billion, up from 8.3% share last year.

Mobile will play a part in ecommerce growth this holiday season. eMarketer expects US retail mcommerce sales to rise 32.2% in full-year 2015—more than double the 14.2% increase forecast for retail ecommerce sales as a whole. The biggest growth will come in smartphone retail mcommerce sales as consumers become more comfortable buying on their phones—which, on average, have larger screens than those released just a few years ago. We estimate that by the end of 2016, 25.0% of all retail ecommerce sales in the US will take place via mobile devices.

“As US consumers become more comfortable with conducting a litany of activities with their smartphones, fewer people are putting down the phone to make a purchase using another device. Consumers are opting to complete their transaction with the same device they began the shopping journey with, and that is increasingly with a smartphone,” said Peart.

This holiday season will be the first real test of a new wave of social commerce. Over the past year, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube have all introduced “buy” or “shop now” buttons that significantly ease the process of purchasing from these sites, especially on mobile devices.

Because Facebook and Pinterest are the social networks responsible for the most referrals to retailer websites, according to Q2 2015 figures from Merkle | RKG, retailers and others are the most interested in their buy button offerings. Both of the social networks store credit card information and let people purchase a particular item in a few clicks within the platform. Neither platform takes a cut from the purchase. They’re adding these buttons to make on-site conversions easier and more trackable, which will in turn make their advertising more valuable to retailers.

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Good Sign for Labor Market as Jobless Claims Sink to 281,000

Good Sign for Labor Market as Jobless Claims Sink to 281,000

By: Jeffry Bartash

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The number of people who applied for U.S. unemployment benefits fell sharply in the seven days ended July 11, erasing a spike in the prior week tied to retoolings at auto plants and other seasonal quirks typical in midsummer.

Initial jobless claims in the period running from July 5 to July 11 declined by 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 281,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. New claims have been under the key 300,000 level since late February, the longest run in 15 years.

“The trend in claims continues to point to labor market improvement,” said economist Derek Lindsey of BNP Paribas.

Put another way, the labor market continues to heal. The U.S. economy is still adding a solid 200,000-plus jobs a month, job openings are at a record high and layoffs are extremely low.

Initial claims had surged in early July, but the increase mostly stemmed from temporary shutdowns at auto and textile plans to retool for the latest designs and fashions. For example, claims in Michigan, a big auto-producing state, jumped in the first week of July and then subsided in the following week.

In several other states, certain educational employees such as bus drivers and cafeteria workers can also file claims when they are temporarily laid off.

These summertime changes in employment make it hard for government economists to adjust the report for seasonally variations in July, one of the most volatile months for jobless claims. Companies don’t always shut down plants in the same week each year or lay off the same number of workers.

Yet despite the unusually low level of claims, the U.S. labor market still hasn’t fully recovered from the devastation caused by the Great Recession. As Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen acknowledged on Wednesday, the nation’s official 5.3% unemployment overstates the health of the labor market.

Nearly 17 million Americans are still out of work or can only find a part-time job. The Fed has been keeping interest rates low to try to goose the economy and help those people find work.

The average of new claims over the past month, meanwhile, rose by 3,250 to 282,500, the government said. The four-week average smooths out sharp fluctuations in the more volatile weekly report and is seen as a more accurate predictor of labor-market trends.

Continuing jobless claims declined by 112,000 to 2.2 million in the week ended July 4. These claims reflect people already receiving unemployment checks.

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Economy adds 223,000 jobs in June; unemployment rate drops to 5.3 percent

Economy adds 223,000 jobs in June; unemployment rate drops to 5.3 percent
By: Chico Harlan

The nation added a solid 223,000 jobs in June, according to government data released Thursday morning, but flat wages coupled with a decline in the size of the nation’s workforce suggest an economy that is still well short of a full recovery.

The unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent, the lowest mark in seven years.

The latest jobs data from the Department of Labor comes amid a spike in global economic volatility, the result of high-wire negotiations between a near-bankrupt Greece and its European creditors. Though the United States faces only modest risk from the chaos across the Atlantic, its own economy is fighting through a soft spot after an encouraging period of growth in 2014.

Markets opened slightly up Thursday morning but had flattened before noon.

[Greek finance chief vows to resign if voters back European bailout demands]

For the United States, the labor market — despite more than a year of rapid hiring — still hasn’t reached the virtuous level where workers are pulled in from the sidelines, employers must increasingly compete for hires and wages rise as a result. In months like June — when the number on the sidelines swells — the path toward tighter employment and better paychecks only gets trickier.

“The economy is sending us mixed messages,” said Bill Spriggs, a chief economist at the AFL-CIO.

Some economists and experts cautioned that the labor force participation numbers from June could be muddled by complex calculations that the government uses to smooth out seasonal fluctuations. Normally in June the workforce swells with college graduates and summer workers; the Department of Labor tries to model the underlying trends, but that modeling is harder in months with such churn.

Take away the seasonal adjustments, and the labor force grew by about 550,000, less than half of what is normally seen in June. On the White House Web site, Betsey Stevenson, a member of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, noted that households were polled earlier than usual this June, and some might have been asked about their employment situation before they began new jobs.

U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez said Thursday in a phone interview that he suspected June’s numbers were an “aberration, as opposed to a more troubling trend.” Still, Perez said that the labor market has a “significant amount of slack.”

“We’re not at full employment by any stretch,” he said. “The best way to lift wages is to have tighter labor markets. We’ve had the strongest two-year job growth since the Clinton administration. The challenge for us is, we’re digging out of a much deeper hole.”

Last month wages didn’t budge and the labor force shrank by more than 400,000 workers, more than offsetting a major increase in May. The labor force participation rate — the share of people holding down jobs or seeking them — fell to 62.6 percent, the lowest point since 1977. Though some of that decline is tied to the retirement of baby boomers, prime-age individuals — between 25 and 54 years old — are also increasingly dropping out of the workforce. The prime age participation rate now stands at 80.8 percent, compared with 83.1 percent seven years ago.

Meanwhile, job growth for April and May was revised downward by a combined 60,000 positions. With the year half over, the nation is on pace to add 2.5 million jobs this year, as opposed to 3.1 million in 2014.

The headline number was roughly on par with expectations of economists.

“This jobs report is not a dud, and it’s not a sparkler,” said Mark Hamrick, an economic analyst for Bankrate.com, a personal finance Web site. “It’s somewhat in between. And it’s consistent with the two-steps-forward, one-step-back trend over the last year years. At first glance it seems terrific that the unemployment rate fell, but you look deeper and it is less than satisfying.”

Still, the nation is in better shape than it was at the start of the year, when the economy shrank 0.2 percent in the first quarter. Since then a series of indicators — retail sales, home construction and construction growth — have somewhat brightened the outlook for the year. The federal government will announce GDP growth for the period between April and June later this month.

[What these workers want to tell the Federal Reserve]

The Federal Reserve, in debating the timing of an interest rate increase after 6½ years of easy borrowing, could be influenced by ripples from Greece’s descent into financial turmoil. Though most analysts say that contagion is unlikely to spread globally, even a downturn in Europe could trim U.S. exports and growth.

If the U.S. economy shows signs of stability, the Federal Reserve could call for an interest rate hike later this year. That would increase the cost of borrowing for consumers and companies and mark a vital test for whether the world’s largest economy is ready to stand on more normal footing. But some economists said Thursday that the latest soft wage and labor force participation numbers could push back the Fed’s timetable.

In a speech in May, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen called wage growth during the recovery “generally disappointing” and said the pace “suggests that the labor market has not fully healed.”

Wage growth in June was totally flat. The average worker made $24.95 per hour, same as in May. For the year, wages have increased 2 percent, roughly in line with the average during the course of the recovery.

In June, job growth was strong both in the health care sector and the professional and business services industry. The mining sector shed another 4,000 jobs; since December, in tandem with an oil price slump, employment in mining has declined by 71,000 positions.

U.S. jobs data is normally released on the first Friday of the month, but markets will be closed this Friday because of Independence Day.

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Retailers adopt proven strategies to curb POS breaches

Retailers adopt proven strategies to curb POS breaches
By Dan Alaimo

Security breaches at the point-of-sale don’t just impact business operations and customer loyalty, they strike an expensive and damaging blow to a retailer’s bottom line.

As a result, POS security has taken top priority for many retail executives, Chris Ciabarra, co-founder and chief technology officer of Revel Systems, told FierceRetailIT. Best practices such as those involved in point-to-point encryption, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards and the new EMV chip cards combine for a robust defense against cyber attacks.

Legacy POS systems can be especially vulnerable to breaches since POS security measures often lag behind other technologies. A December 2014 survey of 84 retail CIOs by Forrester Research and the National Retail Federation found that data security and POS upgrades were among the highest-priority technology projects for 2015.

“Security has been ignored in the POS space for far too long,” Ciabarra said. “With last year’s hacks at major retailers, including Target and Home Depot, security is top of mind for both retailers and consumers. Millions of cardholders have had their credit card data stolen by hackers who prey on vulnerable checkout systems. This has both serious and expensive repercussions for retailers who face the cost of investigating such breaches and often paying exorbitant fines, not to mention the damage to retailers’ reputation among consumers.”

Retailers can protect their customers and their business with POS technology that prevents cybercriminals from reaching their system’s data. “My advice is to choose point-to-point encryption hardware that’s compliant with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards and to implement multiple safeguards,” he said.

These include: not storing credit card information in the front end of your POS system; not storing credit card information in the cloud; making sure that credit card information goes directly from the card swipe into the payment processor; tokenizing credit card information that must be stored; and using POS security features that help identify theft.

“Look for solutions that mitigate risk by tracking the sales personnel who log in to process transactions via video and passwords,” Ciabarra said.

Among Revel’s customers, PCI Compliance and EMV are hot issues, “and I can’t stress point-to-point encryption enough,” Ciabarra said. PCI/P2PE compliance ensures that business and customer data is safe and secure and that credit card information is safely and securely transmitted from the POS system to the financial processors.

Another advantage to the P2PE device is that each one is built with a tamper-proof chip that protects its internal data when a hacker takes the device apart.

“While some experts blame the past year’s retail hacks on POS weak spots, I emphasize that the standards are in place to protect you. Unfortunately, many merchants, to this day, dance around PCI standards or oblige them using the lowest possible denominator. This puts profits and customers at risk. With these best practices in place from the onset, retailers can count on their business to be secure well into the long run,” Ciabarra said.

The biggest new development in POS security is the Europay, MasterCard and Visa chip card. The EMV standard is accelerating globally with 70 percent of terminals outside the U.S. compliant, but it has been slow to catch on here.

“The EMV standard reduces fraud through chip-enabled cards and chip-enabled terminals, which are far less vulnerable to hacks than the traditional magnetic strip cards,” Ciabarra said. “The chip-enabled standard is significantly more secure, and retailers who don’t adopt this standard are putting themselves and their shoppers at risk.”

EMV also shifts the liability to merchants and issuers for fraudulent transactions.

In addition to getting ready for EMV and adopting point-to-point encryption hardware, Ciabarra said retailers need to adopt as many payments options as they can while maintaining stringent security standards. “Retailers have to balance being flexible to customers’ payment preferences, while protecting their data. It’s a juggling act of providing excellent customer service and top-level security. With the rise of numerous payment options, from Bitcoin to Apple Pay, 2015 is the year when retailers will become more flexible to consumer preferences and more secure. Retailers need to choose a POS system that balances customer experience with security.”

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U.S. annual e-retail sales surpass $300 billion for the first time

U.S. annual e-retail sales surpass $300 billion for the first time

By Allison Enright

Web sales totaled $304.91 billion in 2014, up 15.4% from 2013, according to Commerce Department estimates released today. Q4 sales of $95.98 billion accounted for 31.4% of full-year web sales.
2014 was another banner year for U.S. e-retailers. Web sales blew past the $300 billion threshold for the first time, closing the year at $304.91 billion, on an unadjusted basis, according to estimates released Tuesday by the U.S. Commerce Department. Web sales were up 15.4% from $264.28 billion in 2013.
On an adjusted basis, full-year web sales were $303.94 billion.
This is the fifth year in a row that web sales growth has been close to or above 15%.
E-retailers generated 31.4% of full-year sales in the fourth quarter. Unadjusted Q4 sales were $95.98 billion, up 14.7% year over year from $83.71 billion.
On an annual basis, e-commerce, accounted for approximately 6.5% of total unadjusted retail sales excluding foodservice—mainly restaurant and bar sales—up from 5.8% in 2013, according to the Commerce Department When further excluding sales of autos and fuel, which don’t commonly occur online, Internet Retailer calculates e-commerce accounted for 8.3% of total unadjusted retail sales during 2014, up from 7.4% in 2013.
During the fourth quarter, e-commerce accounted for 7.7% of total retail sales excluding foodservice, up from 7.0% a year earlier, according to the Commerce Department’s unadjusted figures. When further excluding sales of autos and fuel, Internet Retailer calculates e-commerce accounted for 9.6% of total unadjusted retail sales during Q4.
Adjusted for seasonal variations, holiday and trading-day differences, the Commerce Department estimates Q4 web sales reached $79.57 billion, up 14.6% from $69.43 billion a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, e-commerce accounted for 6.7% of total Q4 retail service excluding foodservice, up from 6.1% in Q4 2013.
Total unadjusted retail sales excluding foodservice grew 3.8% in 2014, closing the year at $4.70 trillion.
Separately, the National Retail Federation trade group released its economic forecast for total retail sales and online sales growth for 2015. It projects retail sales, excluding automobile, fuel and foodservice sales, will increase 4.1% this year. It expects the non-store sales category, which is made up primarily of web sales, to grow between 7% and 10%.

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Will the U.S. be ready with secure chip cards and payment terminals?

Will the U.S. be ready with secure chip cards and payment terminals?

By Matt Hamblen

Only about half of the 12 million merchant payment terminals in the U.S. will be converted to accept more secure smart credit and debit cards and NFC-ready smartphones by the end of 2015, according to financial officials working to support the conversion.
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There’s wide disagreement over whether that 50% adoption rate is happening quickly enough, given the high rate of fraud with older magnetic stripe credit cards still widely used in the U.S.

Matt Barr, MasterCard senior vice president of U.S. emerging payments, recently said in an interview that the current rate of smart card adoption in the U.S. is “impressive” with “very exciting momentum.”

But Jordan McKee, an analyst at 451 Research, said Tuesday that the U.S. is behind the rest of the world in using smart cards and will continue to lag for years.

“Everybody is so behind now [in converting to smart card payments] and it’s bad,” McKee said. “It’s definitely a far-reaching issue, and it’s not just the fault of merchants, but also point-of-sale” terminal suppliers and others.

Last October, the Payments Security Task Force, a group of companies involved in electronic payments, used forecasts from the largest banks that projected at least 47% of U.S. merchant terminals would be enabled for chip technology in cards and smartphones by the end of 2015.

In the past year, U.S. banks have issued more of these secure smart cards, often called chip cards, to their card users in an attempt to meet an Oct. 1 deadline set by card processing companies, such as MasterCard, Visa and American Express, for payment terminals to accept smart card payments. Beyond that date, any merchant accepting a less secure method, including traditional magnetic stripe cards, will face financial liability in the event of fraud. Card users will not be liable.

Card processors use a standard called EMV, which stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, to provide interoperation of chip cards with point-of-sale terminals for authentication of credit and debit card transactions.

A smart card with EMV uses an integrated chip to bolster security by creating a one-time unique code for each purchase, called a token, to protect against counterfeit and lost and stolen card fraud. Fraud with magnetic credit cards is still growing in the U.S., and accounts for about half of the world’s credit card fraud. The major breach of Target payment systems in December 2013 served as a wake-up call for many merchants and banks that accept the magnetic stripe cards.

To make a payment, shoppers usually “dip” a chip card into a payment terminal and complete a purchase by signing their names or entering a PIN. Phones like the iPhone 6, which supports Apple Pay, include an NFC chip that can communicate by a touch with many EMV-ready terminals.

There’s no agreed-upon estimate of the number of payment terminals installed in the U.S. that support both chip cards and NFC-ready phones. However, terminal maker Verifone has said more than 70% of terminals it sells in the U.S. support both NFC phones and chip cards.
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Whether many merchants will turn on the ability to accept NFC smartphone payments remains to be seen. A consortium of large retailers, including WalMart and Best Buy, called Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) will unveil a competing payment system called CurrentC by mid-year that relies on QR codes to make payments. Many of those merchants will turn off NFC payment capability in their terminals, McKee said.

When the Oct. 1 liability shift deadline comes around, McKee said that terminals supporting EMV chip cards “will be far from ubiquitous.” Some large retailers will be ready, he said, but not small and medium-sized stores. It will take until 2017 or beyond to see terminal penetration rates of 90%, he estimated.

The EMV-Connection Web site says there are 12 million point-of-sale terminals in the U.S. and 1.2 billion payment cards. As of December 2013, only 20 million chip cards had been issued to U.S. consumers, according to the site.

McKee said one reason that adoption of chip cards has not moved faster in the U.S. is that merchants expected the card processors to extend the Oct. 1 deadline. But then, in late 2013, the Target breach “started a frenzy of activity” toward chip card adoption, he said.

MasterCard’s Barr, a native Australian, said chip cards are so prevalent in his country that one of every two transactions is done using a chip card. In all, 80 countries have migrated payment systems to the EMV standard. “The U.S. is not in the avant garde and is one of the last major geographies to convert,” Barr said. However, he added, “We’re seeing good retail brand pickup,” including Chevron and Disney.

Both Barr and McKee said that MCX could blunt the use of smartphones with NFC for more secure payments, at least for a while, by setting up the CurrentC payment system.

McKee said MCX claims to represent more than 100 retailers in 110,000 locations with control over a third of U.S. consumer weekly spending. “It’s unfortunate the way MCX is going about it, since the last thing you want is to create confusion for customers at the point of sale,” McKee said. “Customers should have the option to use the payment system they want.”

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Holiday online spending to rise 16% to $61 billion

Holiday online spending to rise 16% to $61 billion
By Marianne Wilson

RESTON, Va. — Total online retail spending for the November–December period will reach $61.0 billion, a 16% gain versus year ago, according to comScore’s 2014 holiday forecast. Spending using desktop computers for that period is expected to reach $53.2 billion, up 14% year-over-year, which is 4 percentage points higher than last season’s 10-percent growth rate.

Mobile commerce is predicted to account for $7.9 billion of retail spending, representing 13% of total digital commerce and growing at an annual rate of 25% vs. last season.

“The 2014 online holiday shopping season is shaping up to be a bright one with more than $61 billion in spending expected, representing a year-over-year growth rate of 16 percent across desktop, smartphones and tablets,” said Gian Fulgoni, executive chairman emeritus of comScore. “Although some lasting effects of the great recession still provide some overhang on the economy, many of the latest indicators point toward signs of optimism for consumer spending during the holidays. Negative economic sentiment is at a five-year low, the stock market is near all-time highs, and inflation has been kept in check.”

comScore today also released its estimates of third quarter 2014 U.S. desktop e-commerce sales. Desktop spending rose 13% year-over-year to $53.9 billion, marking the twentieth consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and sixteenth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth. It also represented a rebound of 3 percentage points from the 10-percent growth rate in Q2 2014.

Mobile-commerce spending on smartphones and tablets in the third quarter added $6.7 billion for the quarter, up 17% vs. year ago, for a digital commerce spending total of $60.6 billion in the quarter.

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Data One’s 2014 Holiday Promo!!!

With the Holidays right around the corner, Data One International is in the giving mood! Our 2014 Holiday Promo will run between November 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014.

This promo is applicable to both Low Risk and High Risk Business Types.

To qualify, a deal must be Approved and Installed between November 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014. Everyone is eligible for 1 prize only. If you qualify for multiple items, you will be able to choose which of those items you want. Prizes will be sent out in January 2015 after the promo ends.

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10 Deals – WIN A PS4 or XBOX ONE
15 Deals – WIN A MAC BOOK AIR (128GB)
25 Deals – WIN A SONY 55′ 4K ULTRA HD TV

All applications can be submitted to sales@dataoneintl.com. You can also contact us at 1-800-308-2814 opt 5 to learn more about this exciting promotional offer!

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