Data Breaches Undermine Payments Industry Image
4/11/12 ISO & Agent
News of the Global Payments Inc. data breach rippled across mainstream Web sites in recent weeks, reawakening consumer and industry concerns about the risk to millions when criminals expose sensitive data. “It’s clear the fraud problem is not going away, and major breaches are not slowing up like we were sort of hoping,” says Mike Urban, director of financial crimes solutions at Fiserv Inc. He was referring to a lull in major data breaches during portions of 2010 and 2011.
Ashton Kutcher on Dwolla: "I Want to Build a Killer (Bleeping) Company in Iowa"
4/11/12 Des Monies Register
Ashton Kutcher, one of the most highly paid actors in Hollywood, wants to cut up his credit cards. “The entire financial system is broke, and it’s proving that every day,” he said in an interview with The Des Moines Register on Tuesday. The system leads to credit card debt, fraud, identity theft and massive fees for moving money, he explained. “Companies that are doing that are just extracting value from people’s pockets,” he said. “Fixing that makes me passionate.”
A Look Into Card Brand Network Enhancements
4/10/12 Litle Blog
If you’ve been in the business of accepting credit and debit cards for some time now, you are likely aware that the card brands regularly implement fee changes on a bi-annual basis. Your processor should communicate these changes as they happen so you are well prepared when they go into effect. With the next set of fee changes set to happen this week I wanted to share some insight and background on the card brand network enhancements.
Consumer Bureau Declines to Resist Upfront Credit Card Fees
4/12/12 The New York Times
In one of the first tests of its willingness to show its muscle, the new agency created to protect consumers declined on Thursday to put up a fight. The agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, introduced a proposal that would make it easier for credit card issuers to charge fees before borrowers’ accounts were officially open. The bureau, which began overseeing many consumer financial products last year, said it was issuing the proposed rule in response to a federal court decision that challenged how the Credit Card Act was being applied.
Apple, PayPal Enjoy Unchartered Mobile Payment Legal Issues
As Apple tries to position itself as the ultimate payment processor, the competition is heating up for which entity, and which technology, will be responsible for ensuring that retailers get paid. Although these choices may ultimately prove useful for both consumers and retailers, they present new privacy challenges to all participants. As a result, Apple, PayPal and a host of other payment processors may find the need to hire new teams of lawyers to help them comply with the inevitable subpoenas and discovery requests that will befall them.
A Look at Why Consumers Are Using Prepaid Debit Cards
It’s clear that prepaid debit cards — cards that you load with cash, spend down and then reload — are hot. In 2009, consumers loaded roughly $29 billion on such cards, which are especially popular with young adults and those considered underbanked — meaning they have little access to mainstream financial institutions like banks. But by next year, that amount is expected to reach $202 billion, according to an estimate cited in a report from an arm of the Pew Charitable Trusts. Even the budgeting guru Suze Orman is marketing a prepaid card.
How Credit Can Beat Prepaid Cards: Instant Gratification
Why has there been continuing explosive growth in prepaid cards, primarily marketed by nonbanks and most profitably to people who are already bank customers? Explanations abound. Do bank customers prefer prepaid to debit cards because a debit card could generate $240 in overdraft fees in just one day? No. Reg. E now allows those fees only for people who opted into them. Even without overdraft fees, can bank customers save money by choosing prepaid? Not likely.
Fed Reports 'Modest to Moderate' Economic Growth in March
4/12/12 Washington Post
The Federal Reserve said the economy maintained its expansion in all 12 of its regions as manufacturing, hiring and retail sales showed signs of strength in the face of higher fuel prices. “The economy continued to expand at a modest to moderate pace from mid-February through late March,” the Fed said Wednesday in its “beige book” business survey, published two weeks before the Federal Open Market Committee meets. “Hiring was steady or showed a modest increase across many districts.”
Intuit Acquires Mobile Payments Company AisleBuyer, Will Integrate Into GoPayment, POS Solutions
AisleBuyer, makers of a virtual shopping assistant app that lets in-store customers bypass checkout lines by paying directly on their mobile phone, has been acquired by Intuit. The Boston-based startup will be joining Intuit’s payments team, where their technology will be used to transition Intuit’s existing point-of-sale solutions as well as Intuit’s Square competitor GoPayment to the cloud. The solution will also be opened up to Intuit’s own developers as well as third-party developers.
Is Your Bank To Blame for Pain at the Pump?
4/12/12 US News
It's not just the increasing cost of crude oil that's pushing up prices at the pump. Card companies such as MasterCard and Visa also have a hand in skyrocketing fuel costs, a new report claims. How does paying with plastic impact gas prices? It's all in the "swipe fees" retailers have to pay credit card companies to process debit and credit transactions. As gas prices have climbed to meteoric highs in 2012, so have the fees merchants have to pay to accept credit and debit cards.
In Opening Salvo over Credit Card Fees, C-Store Group Decries Card Costs at Pump
4/10/12 Digital Transactions
A major merchant trade group on Monday fired an opening shot in what is likely to be a long, hard battle over credit card acceptance costs. The NACS, an association for convenience-store operators, released a report claiming that card discount fees in general—and especially credit card fees--are partly responsible for the high price of gasoline. One critic of the report, however, says card interchange has nothing to do with rising pump prices, which, he says, are driven instead by supply and demand.
Yahoo's PayPal Hires Portend Heated Battle in Payments
Yahoo is on the cusp of reinventing itself, potentially as an important payments provider that could rival not only PayPal, but Visa (V) and MasterCard (MA). According to reports, this week Scott Thompson, Yahoo's chief executive and the former president of PayPal, hired Sam Shrauger, PayPal's vice president of global product and experience, to head up Yahoo's commerce division. "Yahoo has always had or been viewed as a traditional e-commerce player, and I think [Thompson] is trying to think beyond this; he wants to extend to offline solutions as well, which means mobile."
First Data Releases March 2012 SpendTrend®
4/10/12 First Data
First Data Corporation, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, today released its First Data SpendTrend® analysis for the full month of March 2012 compared to March 2011. SpendTrend tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations. Year-over-year dollar volume growth was 8.7% in March, compared to February’s 8.9% growth. Mild temperatures and early Easter holiday spending drove retail foot traffic despite higher gasoline prices.
JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo report 1Q Earnings
4/13/12 USA Today
Two of the nation's largest banks reported quarterly earnings Friday that exceeded Wall Street's expectations, a development that should help financial markets extend the gains of the past two days. JPMorgan Chase, which holds the most assets of any bank in the U.S., said Friday that it issued more mortgage loans in the first three months of the year and turned a bigger profit than Wall Street expected. Profit at Wells Fargo 13% in the first three months of the year.
Heartland Suit Dismissed
4/09/12 Bank Info Security
A lingering lawsuit against Heartland Payment Systems and two acquiring banks, KeyBank and Heartland Bank, appears to have been put to rest. On March 14, a federal judge in Houston dismissed, for a second time, a suit filed by a group of financial institutions against Heartland and its acquirers for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and negligence, based on the banks' "alleged failure to monitor Heartland's computer-system security." The suit was one of several filed against Heartland in 2009 after a data breach.
Starbucks Apps Account for 42M Mobile Payments
A novel new way to pay by iPhone or Android at Starbucks locations is proving too convenient for caffeine-crazed customers to pass up. Starbucks has processed more than 42 million mobile payments since the U.S. launch of its mobile pay program less than 15 months ago, the coffee company shared exclusively with VentureBeat. “You’re going to see us as a company that will push the envelope around mobile pay,” chief digital officer Adam Brotman told VentureBeat. “We want to innovate in that area before others catch up.”
NCR Rivals PayPal As Square's Scariest Competitor
4/09/12 Fast Company
Chances are you've never heard of NCR. But if you've used an ATM, a self-checkout lane at the grocery story, or a ticket kiosk at the airport, then you've likely used products created by the 128-year-old company. Now NCR, which did $5.4 billion in revenue last year, is jumping into Square territory. In June, the company is slated to launch a new product, called NCR Silver, which will enable merchants to accept payments via iPad or iPhone, just like solutions from Square, Intuit, Revel Systems, and PayPal.
PE Systems Offers Patented Interchange Fee Analytical Tools
4/11/12 The GreenSheet
PE Systems has been granted patent number 8,078,531 from the U.S. Patent Office for the analytical process that audits and determines reductions to card-issuer interchange fees. This latest patent augments three previous patents granted to PE Systems in September 2011 and one granted in October 2009. This patent enables PE Systems to more effectively build on its unique business proposition in assisting merchants in managing and reducing their payment processing costs.
TSYS Extends Payments Agreement With First Hawaiian Bank
TSYS announced today that it has signed a long-term agreement with First Hawaiian Bank to renew its acquirer processing relationship. Consistently ranked in the top tier of all U.S. banks in terms of safety and profitability, First Hawaiian Bank is Hawaii’s largest and oldest bank with nearly $16 billion in total assets, offering customers service, solutions and security for nearly 153 years. “This extension agreement confirms our pledge to support First Hawaiian Bank’s longevity and continued growth by providing reliable processing services for their customers,” said Mark Pyke.
Nokia Launches Its First Windows-Based NFC Phone
4/11/12 Seeking Alpha
Orange and Nokia have now officially announced the 610. The details are noted as below. The pair say that the device has been certified for contactless payments both with MasterCard PayPass technology, and with Visa's mobile application for payments at the point of sale, Visa payWave, which means it will work when activated and used with merchants that have linked up with this technology.
Japanese Biometric ATM Reads Your Palm, Tells Future
A palm reading cash machine might not tell you your fortune, but it will, at least, dispense some of it. Ogaki Kyoritsu Bank in Japan has revealed that it will introduce the nation's first ATM that lets you withdraw money just by scanning your palm. This isn't the first ATM to use extra human verification, but it claims it's the first that functions without the need for your cash card.