Thursday, July 17, 2014
On Friday, July 18, the Electronic Transactions Association will submit the first round of signatures gathered in a petition advising Congress to curtail the federal law enforcement initiative Operation Choke Point. The initiative holds payments companies responsible for merchant fraud. Members of the payments industry are encouraged to sign the ETA petition by visiting www.change.org/petitions/u-s-house-of-representatives-tell-congress-operation-choke-point-is-choking-off-legitimate-commerce .
In early 2013, the Department of Justice launched what became known as Operation Choke Point, representing an expansive investigation of banks and payment processors, with the objective of combating fraud by choking out fraudulent merchants' access to payment systems.
"Although well intentioned, the federal agencies supporting Operation Choke Point are aiming in the wrong direction," said Jason Oxman, Chief Executive Officer of the ETA. "By targeting payments companies instead of fraudulent merchants, the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force is ignoring the payments industry's massive efforts to identity and eliminate fraud."
This week four congressional hearings were held to discuss concerns over Operation Choke Point, the last one July 17. The ETA testified in the July 17 hearing before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform. This will be detailed further in an upcoming article in The Green Sheet.
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