BofA Plans to Charge $5 Monthly Fee to Debit-Card Users
9/29/11 The Wall Street Journal
The nation's beleaguered banking industry, which has been raising fees and doing away with free services, has a new target: debit-card users. Bank of America Corp. is laying plans to charge millions of customers a $5 monthly fee to use their debit cards, and other big banks are expected to follow suit. The industry says it needs the fees to recoup revenue it will lose because of new government regulations taking effect Saturday that cap what they can charge merchants for debit-card transactions. It intends to begin collecting the fees nationwide early next year.
Durbin Slams Bailed-Out Bank of America Over New Debit Card Fee
9/30/11 Fox News
A top senator slammed Bank of America after the company, one of the largest recipients of U.S. taxpayer bailouts, announced it would charge customers a new $5 monthly fee for using their debit cards -- even if just to buy a $2 coffee. "It's overt, unfair and I hope their customers have the final say," Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said. "Banks that try to make up their excess profits off the backs of their customers will finally learn how a competitive market works."
Did Congress Kill the Debit card?
9/30/11 The Atlantic
The only thing surprising about this news is that Congress was so blind to reality that they expected anything different. Did they really believe that banks would just shrug when their revenues declined by billions of dollars? Since they can't get as much money from customers indirectly through debit interchange fees paid by retailers any longer, they're going the direct route and charging customers for using debit.
Potential Effects of an Increase in Debit Card Fees
9/27/11 Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Recently announced changes to debit card interchange fees could lead to an increase in the cost of debit cards to consumers. This brief analyzes the potential effects of an increase in debit card fees or in bank account fees by using the results of the 2008 and 2009 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice (SCPC).
NRF Says Swipe Fee Cut Will Save Merchants and Consumers Billions
“Retailers across the nation are developing a wide range of innovative ways to pass these savings along to their customers with lower prices and better value,” NRF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mallory Duncan said. “Change won’t come overnight, but consumers will definitely benefit. Reducing these fees will put billions of dollars back into the Main Street economy, helping American families stretch their paychecks and ultimately preserving and creating local jobs."
U.S. Consumer Spending Rises, but Incomes Fall
9/30/11 The New York Times
Consumer spending in the United States rose 0.2 percent in August, but incomes fell for the first time in nearly two years, according to a government report on Friday. The Commerce Department said consumer spending tightened after rising 0.7 percent in July. Adjusted for inflation, real consumer spending was unchanged after rising 0.4 percent in July. The increase was in line with economists’ expectations.
Cash Card Touted as ATM Alternative
Plastic cards loaded with cash are becoming more common, and now a payday loan company is offering to unload that cash for a $3 fee. It's a pilot program by EZ Money Financial Services. So far, a single machine has been installed at its office at 4654 Dodge St. as an alternative to using ATMs or bank offices, said Brad Hill, EZ Money area manager. The flexibility and efficiency of prepaid cards is making them more common, said Kurt Strawhecker, managing partner of the Strawhecker Group
79% Fail Their Initial Payment Card Security Audit
9/29/11 Search Security
Many businesses struggle to maintain PCI DSS compliance, suggesting that meeting the standard is a goal rather than an ongoing initiative, according to a new report from Verizon Business. Compliance among Level 1 and Level 2 organizations remained consistent with Verizon’s 2010 PCI compliance report. Only 21% of organizations were fully compliant during an initial assessment.
Why Merchants Struggle with PCI
9/30/11 Bank Info Security
When it comes to ensuring payment card security, are merchants simply ignoring best practices such as layered security, as prescribed by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard? Not so, says Bob Russo, general manager of the PCI Security Standards Council, responding to a critical new study from Verizon, which this week released an update to its Payment Card Industry Compliance Report.
A NACHA Proposal, out for Comment, Calls for Networkwide Same-Day ACH
9/28/11 Digital Transactions
The automated clearing house network took a crucial step toward faster transaction movement last Friday when NACHA, the network’s governing body, distributed a request for comment on a proposal for same-day settlement. NACHA sent the 22-page document, which sets out a proposed system called Expedited Processing and Settlement (EPS), by e-mail to both financial institutions and non-banks that process ACH payments or otherwise have a stake in the network.
PaySimple Closes $16 Million Funding Round
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.
ISO&Agent Weekly: Startup Hardships Bring ISOs Rewards, Speaker Says
9/28/11 ISO & Agent
Owning a merchant-services ISO can bring financial and personal independence. But starting one requires hard work, long hours and a significant amount of cash. Those criteria for becoming an entrepreneur in the acquiring business were a featured theme of a Sept. 21 presentation by consultant Mark Dunn here at the WSAA's Eighth Annual Conference. Getting started typically takes between $100,000 and $250,000, although some aspirants have launched successful ISOs for as little as $75,000.
Will 2012 Be the Year of Mobile Payments? No
The problem that the mobile industry faces isn't consumers, the executives said, but merchants, who have been slow to accept mobile payments. And the answer isn't necessarily NFC and associated payment schemes like Google Wallet, they said. "We think 2012 will be a transitional year for mobile payments," said Brad Greene, a senior business leader at Visa, who said that it will be next year before there is widespread consumer adoption. Merchant adoption, however, is still years away.
Mobile Payments Are Going to Explode This Holiday Season, PayPal Says
PayPal is predicting that mobile payments is going to boom come time for the holiday shopping spree. In a survey conducted by PayPal and research firm Ipsos, half of mobile payments users plan on making a purchase with their device when the holiday shopping season starts after Thanksgiving. PayPal believes that most mobile purchases will be made from home. Hence, they are calling the trend "couch commerce."
HTC, LG, Motorola, RIM, Samsung and Sony Ericsson to Add ISIS NFC Tech in Future Phones
Stacking the lineup against Google Wallet, manufacturers HTC, LG, Motorola, RIM, Samsung and Sony Ericsson have been drafted by team Isis, agreeing to implement its NFC technology standard into future phone offerings. By garnering multi-manufacturer support, the joint AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon venture is pulling a power move against Mountain View's offering -- currently only functional on Sprint's Nexus S 4G (although that's almost certainly bound to change).
Visa to Launch Two Mobile Payment Services in October
9/28/11 Mobile News
Visa Europe is launching two new mobile services in October, a person-to-person payments service that can be integrated into banks’ own apps and a system that alerts consumers when their card is used on Visa’s payment network. Visa Mobile Person-to-Person payments, developed in partnership with mobile money firm Monetise, allows a bank customer to use an app from their bank to send money to an address book contact, a mobile number, or a Visa account.
Consumers Fear Mobile Payments Security Flaws — Fiserv
9/27/11 American Banker
"The whole growth of the payment system is built on [consumer adoption]," Rahul Gupta, president of card services for Fiserv Inc., told attendees during a panel discussion at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's one-day payments symposium. "We see a big trust issue, and that is leading to adoption barriers," he said, adding that consumer adoption will determine the success of mobile payments.
How Payment Professionals Should Think About Facebook Credits
The news is full of Facebook again. The digital money community, just like every other community, must spend time working out what the rise of Facebook means to them. "If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world, so it figures that the social networking giant is trying to develop its own currency" - Facebook Credits. It isn't a country, of course, and we shouldn't get too carried away with that kind of thinking.
SmartMetric Says Biometrics to Replace PIN for Bankcards
SmartMetric, Inc. President & CEO of SmartMetric, Inc. C. Hendrick, said that the company's advanced integration of a fingerprint scanner inside a SmartCard provides the company with a technological platform that when combined with the credit card industry standard EMV application allows for the next generation of Banking and Credit Cards to be Biometric Fingerprint activated Cards. Thereby introducing a higher level of security then what is available to date on Credit and ATM Cards.
Post Dodd-Frank, Preemption Fight Still Favoring Bankers
9/29/11 Bank Investment Consultant
The Treasury Department and state regulators have insisted the enactment of Dodd-Frank effectively forces national banks to comply with more state consumer protection laws. So far, however, courts are not supporting such claims. A federal judge in Iowa ruled last week that the Dodd-Frank Act did not materially change the standard for federal preemption. It was the second such decision this year, following a ruling by a Florida appellate court in May.
First Data Debuts Two New Research Analyses from its Custom Analytics Unit
9/27/11 First Data
First Data Corporation, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, today introduced two new research analyses in its growing series from First Data Advisors, the custom analytics and consulting unit of First Data Global Information and Analytics Solutions. Advisors’ “2011 Midyear Gift Card” update and an analysis of the new IRS reporting requirements entitled, “Mastering Form 1099-K,” are now available to merchants, financial institutions and other businesses interested in deep and actionable interpretation as well as advice on these topics.
Visa Spent $1.44 Million Lobbying in 2nd Quarter
Visa Inc. spent $1.44 million in the second quarter to lobby the federal government on regulation of the fees charged to process debit transactions and other issues, according to a disclosure report.That's a 6 percent drop from the $1.53 million that the payment processing company spent in the year-ago period, and down 20 percent from the $1.84 million it spent in the first quarter of this year.
Discover Faces FDIC Action on Protection Sales
9/29/11 Yahoo! Finance
Discover Financial Services is facing an enforcement action by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. over the way it sells payment protection and identity theft protection. The Riverwoods, Ill.-based credit card company said in a regulatory filing Thursday that the investigation started several months ago and it is cooperating. Discover said the agency notified its banking division that it plans to take action.
Moneris Solutions Brings Cloud-Based Point-Of-Sale Solution to Independent Retailers
Moneris Solutions, Canada's largest credit and debit card processor, announced the launch of its expanded Morris(R) retail point-of-sale (POS) solution, offering Register, Pro, and Enterprise modules to help retailers manage their business more efficiently. The modules range from an entry-level cash register replacement to an advanced POS solution with advanced feature set designed to meet the needs of larger retail businesses.
Burroughs and FTNI Kick Off New Partnership
Burroughs Payment Systems announced today that Financial Transmissions Network Inc. (FTNI) has certified its SmartSource Adaptive scanner with FTNI’s ETran receivables platform. ETran streamlines the receivable management process and minimizes hardware setup, maintenance and support costs associated with check, ACH, credit card, cash and web-payment processing.
PCI Strategy: Avoiding The "Anything but SAQ D" Dilemma
In the real world, many retailers and franchisors (and franchisees) try to qualify to use SAQ C. I call this the “anything but SAQ D” approach. In my experience, the biggest challenge of SAQ C is isolating the application server(s) from the rest of the merchant environment. I know merchants who have devoted a lot of effort and changed their network so they can qualify for SAQ C. A recent clarification by the PCI Council, however, limits the ability of many retailers and franchisors to use this SAQ.
TSG Study Shows Decline in Net Revenue & Volume Growth Among Retained Accounts; Results Mixed Among Large & Small Merchants
TSG’s MPPS is Compiled of 30 Months of Data from Seven Portfolios With 400,000 Merchants
TSG Metrics, the research and analytics division of The Strawhecker Group (TSG), a leading management consulting company focused on the payments industry, today completed its 2nd Edition of its Merchant Portfolio Performance Study (MPPS). The MPPS has been prepared using merchant level data from seven different merchant acquirers representing both Bank and ISO participants, a variety of business models, and sales and marketing strategies. This highly exclusive and unparalleled 71 page study is proprietary to TSG and MPPS participants only.