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Breaking News articles for October 2007

Want fries with that MRI? Health care's looming retail environment

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

In an age of spiraling health care costs, including out-of-control hospital expenses and insurance premiums, a recent Celent LLC webinar predicted the health care sector will, by necessity, become more like a retail environment. As Red Gillen, Senior Analyst for Celent's Banking Group, explained, "There have been double digit increases in health care costs, and premiums have been skyrocketing, which has really led to the creation of the consumer directed health care movement [CDH] as a way to reduce costs.

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Want fries with that MRI? Health care's looming retail environment

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

In an age of spiraling health care costs, including out-of-control hospital expenses and insurance premiums, a recent Celent LLC webinar predicted the health care sector will, by necessity, become more like a retail environment. As Red Gillen, Senior Analyst for Celent's Banking Group, explained, "There have been double digit increases in health care costs, and premiums have been skyrocketing, which has really led to the creation of the consumer directed health care movement [CDH] as a way to reduce costs.

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Web-based tools to help merchants tackle PCI compliance

Friday, October 19, 2007

To educate merchants on the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) and enhance their ability to safeguard consumer data, MasterCard Worldwide and RBS Lynk, in partnership with Trustwave, have rolled out Web-based tools tailored to merchants' needs. MasterCard's offering is called the PCI Merchant Education Program. The program is eight interactive, online sessions focused on different aspects of the PCI compliance requirements originally developed by the card Associations, including MasterCard and Visa Inc.

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Ontario nixes 'use it or lose it' gift cards

Thursday, October 18, 2007

On Oct. 1, 2007, Ontario became the first Canadian province to outlaw expiration dates on gift cards. The law was passed in May but was not initiated until this month. Now, a gift card purchased at an Ontario store does not include an arbitrary date by which time the card must be used. U.S. residents living in certain areas of the country may say, "What took you so long?" According to the Consumers Union, a nonprofit publisher of consumer reports, many states already have laws that forbid expiration dates on most types of gift cards, including California, Connecticut, Florida, Maine and Rhode Island.

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Prepaid Visa RushCard user wins jackpot

Thursday, October 18, 2007

On Sept. 24, 2007, UniRush Financial Services LLC reported that Cynthia Williams, a cardholder of the BabyPhat Prepaid RushCard, won over $14,000 in a tax refund sweepstakes sponsored by Visa U.S.A. Earlier this year, Williams elected to have her federal tax refund deposited directly to her RushCard, which automatically entered her into the sweepstakes and gave her the opportunity to win 10 times the amount of her refund, or up to $25,000.

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Governator terminates data protection bill

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Citing overlap with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) and other concerns, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a California consumer data protection bill on Oct. 13, 2007. If it had become state law, AB 779 would have made merchants follow data security standards, provide easily accessed information about breaches to affected consumers and compel merchants to pay consumers reimbursement costs for credit or debit card replacement.

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NetBank bubble bursts over mortgage loans

Monday, October 15, 2007

NetBank is now but a memory, a mere postscript to the "Internet bubble." However, NetBank's demise was due to mortgage lending practices, not the Internet. The failure itself shouldn't matter much to the acquiring community. But the implication is that mortgage loans and equity lines, considered by many to be the largest funding source for small businesses in recent years, may be in jeopardy.

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Feds propose rules on Internet gambling

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Federal Reserve Board and the U.S. Treasury Department have proposed rules implementing the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which was signed into law last year, and initial industry responses suggested implementation would be a nonevent for acquirers and their partners. "My read is that the entire payments industry will not have many issues with the way the regulators interpreted the law," said Rob Drozdowski, the Electronic Transactions Association Senior Director, Research and Information. "They may not like the law, but the regs seem to be about as good as one could hope for."

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WSAA expects large crowd at annual conference

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Western States Acquirers Association The Western States Acquirers Association, a not-for-profit, nonmembership organization dedicated to keeping payments professionals educated and informed on the constantly changing industry, is bringing its conference to Southern California. The fourth annual conference will be held Oct. 17 to 18, 2007, at the Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim Resort in Anaheim, Calif. The hotel is across the street from Disneyland and offers enjoyment for family members of attendees.

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Is the PCI DSS pie in the sky? The NRF's Hogan wants to know

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

In a letter to the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council delivered Oct. 4, 2007, the National Retail Federation cited continued data security breaches despite the implementation of the PCI Data Security Standard (DSS) and the burden PCI compliance puts on merchants. NRF Chief Information Officer David Hogan addressed the letter to Bob Russo, the PCI council's General Manager, and claimed that the PCI DSS has largely failed in its ultimate goal – to protect sensitive customer information from theft and fraudulent use. He argued that merchants should be required to store minimal customer data, if any.

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Merchants give Congress their take on interchange

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

On Oct. 1, 2007, the Merchant Payments Coalition, a group of merchant trade associations, delivered to Congress a detailed report on interchange. It was in response to questions posed by Rep. Ric Keller, R-Fla., at a hearing on July 19, 2007. At that hearing, MPC Chairman Mallory Duncan claimed that the manner in which Visa U.S.A. and MasterCard Worldwide establish interchange rates and rules is in violation of U.S. antitrust laws.

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Conference to ponder future of smart cards

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Smart Card Alliance, a not-for-profit, multi-industry association mainly invested to promote education of the appropriate uses of smart card technology, is gearing up for its annual conference. This year, the theme is Smart Cards: The Future of Digital Transactions. The event will be held Oct. 9 to 11, 2007, at the Marriott Long Wharf in Boston. The conference will offer presentations and panel discussions highlighting smart card advances in market adoption, innovation and future market trends around the world.

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