BofA Plays Defense Over Debit Card Fees
10/06/11 Fox Business
Officials from Bank of America (BAC) have launched a massive lobbying effort to defuse a public relations firestorm over its decision to raise fees on customers’ use of their debit cards, the FOX Business Network has learned. The nation’s biggest bank is now reaching out to members of Congress as well as officials in the new Consumer Protection Bureau to better explain the reason why it chose to institutes a $5 monthly fee on some debit card users
Durbin's Letter to Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan
On September 29 it was reported that Bank of America would begin charging its customers a $5 monthly fee for the use of a debit card. In other words, your bank has decided to impose a significant new fee on loyal customers who simply want to access their own deposited money through a card that your bank gave them and encouraged them to rely on. I challenge you to provide specific and credible data that justifies imposing this monthly card fee.
Heartland Payment Systems Releases First Actual Durbin Impact Statistics
10/05/11 Heartland Payment Systems
Just days after the implementation of the Durbin Amendment swipe fee reform on October 1, Heartland Payment Systems, one of the nation’s largest payments processors, has released the first real-world data about the legislation’s actual effects on business owners across the United States. From the first to the third of October, Heartland passed along $1,779,568 in debit interchange reductions to its merchants across the U.S. Restaurant merchants received $671,652 of this reduction. The company estimates its average merchant will save more than $1,000 in the first year.
Merchant Warehouse Issues Interchange Best Practices
When the Federal Reserve's new regulations on interchange fees take effect this month, limiting how much issuing banks can charge merchants for accepting debit card transactions, small businesses will be affected through a number of variables. Merchant Warehouse(R), a leading innovator in credit card processing and merchant account services, today announced some of their best practices that merchants can implement that will help them recognize these savings as this regulation takes effect.
Obama and Durbin Should Back Off the Banks
Senator Durbin's statement on the Senate floor that Bank of America's customers should "vote with your feet, get the heck out of that bank," is a reckless statement for someone in his position. It's one thing to introduce or support legislation designed to protect consumers from confusing and expensive fees, but quite another to single out one company that is charging a fully disclosed fee to provide a service. Maybe the Senator's problem is with capitalism itself.
A Debit-Card Fee Lesson: Sometimes, Cash is King
10/04/11 The Washington Post
For most people, spending an extra $60 a year wouldn’t bankrupt them. Heck, a family of five can drop that much money to see a bad 3-D movie and not really complain. So why all the fuss about Bank of America’s announcement that it would start charging some customers $5 a month — $60 a year — for debit-card purchases? Yes, it’s true that when debit cards were introduced, financial institutions heavily promoted them as a free way to quickly make purchases and access your money.
Planning Boosts Portfolio Value, Experts Say
Entrepreneurs often start ISOs with the goal of someday selling their merchant portfolio for a large sum and retiring to live the good life. With that in mind, a panel of experts here at the recent WSAA 8th Annual Conference described ways to establish and maintain a portfolio’s value. healthy merchant-services portfolio requires a solid equity base to survive difficult times, said Harold Montgomery, chairman and CEO of Dallas-based Calpian Inc. And building a portfolio takes longer now than in the recent past because of the poor economy.
Yet Another New IRS Tax-Reporting Revision Adds to Acquirers’ Burdens
10/05/11 Digital Transactions
Merchant acquirers already struggling to comply with a new federal mandate to report merchants’ electronic-payment transactions to the Internal Revenue Service are being blindsided once again by the IRS. The agency recently issued yet another version of the new 1099-K reporting form that includes a new box for each merchant’s IRS category code, a move that requires acquirers to rebuild computer programs used for data gathering.
TransFirst® Acquires US Merchant Services
TransFirst®, a leading provider of transaction processing services and payment enabling technologies, has purchased RST Ventures, Inc. dba US Merchant Services (USMS), a provider of electronic payment processing services headquartered in Cypress, California. As an independent sales organization, USMS has operated under a sales partnership agreement with TransFirst since 2004, offering TransFirst's products and services to its own payment processing customers.
BluePay, a Leading Chicago Credit Card Processor, Announces Acquisition of Primax Merchant Portfolio
TSG was due diligence advisor for Bluepay on this investment
BluePay, a leader in credit card processing services, recently announced its acquisition of payment services provider Primax. Primax provides credit card and debit card services to over 100 community financial institutions, in addition to payment solutions for more than 5,000 businesses. The acquisition allows Primax financial institutions and merchants to take advantage of BluePay's wide range of secure processing solutions and dedicated support teams.
A Recession in Our Minds?
Americans certainly seem unhappy about the prospects for the economy. Consumer sentiment remains near its lowest levels since 2009. And those daily indicators of investor confidence — the markets — have painted a very pessimistic picture; the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, seen as a broad indicator of the market, is down 8 percent for the year. But economic data based on what people are actually doing tells a slightly different story.
U.S. Adds 103,000 Jobs; Rate Holds Steady at 9.1%
10/07/11 The New York Times
As an increasing number of economists warn of a possible dip back into recession, the Labor Department said Friday that American employers added 103,000 jobs in September, staving off the bleakest forecasts for now. The unemployment rate for September was unchanged from August, 9.1 percent. September’s number of new jobs was well more than analysts had expected.
Phone Maker HTC Breaks Its Own Security. These Are The Guys Who Will Help Bring Us Mobile Payments?
Even as retailers and customers ramp up for mobile commerce, some smartphone makers still don’t have a mindset that’s ready for handling payments. On Tuesday (Oct. 4), handset vendor HTC admitted that an application built into some of its Android phones could leak sensitive user information—such as GPS data, E-mail account information and potentially even payment-card numbers—to malware that could get the data without a password or any special permissions.
Coming Soon To A Store Near You: Tagtile, A Square-Like Mobile Loyalty Service
10/05/11 Tech Crunch
Tagtile is a new company, which is using the Square model involving free hardware to address the issues surrounding customer loyalty, management and rewards for brick-and-mortar merchants. Like mobile payments service Square, which uses a free hardware dongle that attaches to a mobile phone, Tagtile also provides its merchants with a free hardware device – in this case, a white cube for customers to tap with their phone at checkout.
PayPal On Barriers To Google Wallet: Mass Adoption Of NFC Is Years Away
10/04/11 The Telegraph
In an interview with technology website, TechCrunch, Anuj Nayar, Paypal’s director of communications, said: “There simply aren’t that many NFC enabled phones out there and we don’t see NFC as something that will happen very quickly.” The company has alleged that trade secrets have been taken over from Paypal to Google which helped build the ‘Wallet’. This is the first time a Paypal employee has spoken out about NFC technology since the lawsuit.
PayPal Eases Entry to Mobile Payments with Pop-Up Store in Manhattan
Pop-up shops have become powerful marketing tools in the last few years to showcase particular products and brands by a variety of retailers and businesses ranging from Target to Pop Tarts. Why not take that concept and apply it to a payments platform itself? PayPal is doing just that with a pop-up store of its own in New York City. The Manhattan shop will invite merchants to come check out real-time, point-of-sale demos and a hands-on look at the technology in place.
Apple Forgoes NFC M-Payment Integration With New iOS 5
10/05/11 Daily Finance
The wait is finally over: Apple officially unveiled its newest iPhone during a media event Tuesday. Dubbed the iPhone 4S -- not the iPhone 5, as most anticipated -- the smartphone heralds the arrival of the new iOS 5 operating system update, which brings with it more than 200 new features including the iCloud content sync service, Siri voice-activated controls. No less notable is what iOS 5 doesn't include: Near Field Communications-enabled mobile payments integration.
Jobs' Apple Planted Many Seeds in the Banking World
Steve Jobs spent his career more focused on personal computing than on personal banking, but under him Apple Computer still left a lasting mark on the world of finance. Jobs, who died Wednesday, famously popularized the consumer smartphone with the 2007 introduction of the original iPhone. Although Apple’s app store did not launch for another year, developers soon began designing their own unofficial software for the handset, which set the pace for banks to follow.
Citibank to Charge Customers $20 Monthly Fee
After news broke last week that Bank of America would be charging debit card holders a $5 monthly fee for transactions, Citibank made it clear that it had no intention of following suit. Now, days later, it has been revealed that Citibank plans to start charging certain customers as much as $20 every month for not keeping up with the minimum balance requirement on accounts.
ETA Searches for New CEO
It is with sincere regret and deep appreciation that I announce the resignation of Carla Balakgie as the Chief Executive Officer of the Electronic Transactions Association. Carla departs ETA to become CEO of the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA), a move that provides her with new opportunities to further her career objectives and professional growth.
First Data and Associated Bank Sign Multi-Year Renewal
10/04/11 First Data
First Data Corporation, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, and Associated Bank announced today the companies have signed a long-term merchant services renewal agreement. Through the agreement, First Data will continue to provide merchant processing services to the bank’s business clients nationwide, from large national merchants to local business owners.
MasterCard Announces Subway Restaurants to Accept Contactless Payments
MasterCard Worldwide announced that sandwich franchise, Subway will accept will accept MasterCard PayPass contactless payments at more than 7,000 locations in the U.S. by the end of the Q1 12. Consumers will now have a quick convenient option to purchase their meal by simply tapping a MasterCard PayPass-enabled card or device at the register.
Payment Industry Leader Hypercom USA Changes Name to Equinox Payments, LLC.
10/03/11 Equinox Payments
Hypercom USA, a leading payment terminal manufacturer and secure software developer, today announced it has formally changed its corporate name to Equinox Payments, LLC. In addition to selling new Equinox terminals, software and services, the company will continue to support Hypercom-branded products in the U.S. “The name Equinox embodies our strategic vision for the company: industry leading hardware complemented with industry-leading software.”
JP Morgan Chase to Host EMV-Themed October Event in New York City for W.net
The Northeast Chapter of W.net (Women’s Network in Electronic Transactions) presents EMV specialist Deborah Baxley, on Thursday, October 27 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at JP Morgan Chase, 227 Park Ave., 17th Floor, New York, New York. Admission is $25 for W.net members and $45 for non-members. For security reasons, pre-registration is required. Registration will be open through Tuesday, October 25.
CDS Global Announces Acquisition of PayDQ
10/03/11 CDS Global
CDS Global is excited to announce the acquisition of PayDQ, a leading provider of electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) services. This strategic acquisition is a true testament of CDS Global’s commitment to serving as a technology-driven partner for our clients. Many immediate benefits will be provided to all of CDS Global’s strategic partners, as our expanded product suite will deliver electronic billing and payment services to complement our existing paper-based solutions.
PaySimple Closes $16 Million Funding Round
TSG was due diligence advisor for Susquehanna Growth Equity on this investment
PaySimple, the leading provider of accounts receivable automation solutions for small businesses, today announced that it has closed a $16M financing led by Susquehanna Growth Equity, LLC (SGE). The PaySimple solution is unique in that it enables businesses to accept payments, automate their billing and manage their customers all with one integrated solution.
Cyberspace Trust: Proving You're Not a Dog
10/04/11 Portals and Rails
A very real discomfort underlies the classic joke: "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog." How can you prove your own identity and confirm the identity of others during virtual interactions? Every time you reach out to a friend on Gchat, post on a classmate's Facebook wall, or send money to a colleague via PayPal, you are relying on a key assumption: that the person you're reaching out to behind that Gmail address, Facebook profile, or PayPal screen name is who they say they are.
What Can Steve Jobs Still Teach Us?
10/06/11 Fast Company
Let's consider the greatest decision he ever made. It didn't happen in a garage in Cupertino, California, sweating with Steve Wozniak as they dreamed up a computer for the common man. Or in a conference room, as managers told him that no one would ever pay $400 for a portable music player. Or in another conference room, as new managers told him no one would ever pay $400 for a cell phone. Rather it was in an almost forgotten annex on the Apple campus.
OfficeMax on Board with Google Wallet
OfficeMax has deployed new payment terminals in more than 100 stores in support of Google’s mobile contactless payments service, Google Wallet. Google Wallet users can now pay for their office supplies with a single tap of their NFC-enabled phone, as well as redeem coupons and earn points with OfficeMax’s MaxPerks Rewards loyalty program
UBS: A Lesson For Banks
10/04/11 Bank Info Security
UBS's loss of $2 billion related to unauthorized trades should be a lesson to all banking institutions. The industry needs to promote and embrace a culture of compliance, from the top down, says risk management expert Frances McLeod. "You're always going to be at risk in any institution for having somebody who's going to have inside information that will allow them to circumvent the system."