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Breaking News articles for December 2007

California chomps on gift card leftovers

Friday, December 28, 2007

On Jan. 1, 2008, California Senate Bill 250 goes into effect. The bill requires merchants to reimburse consumers for the unused remainder of gift cards with a balance of $10 or less.

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Five days until it's adios to old PEDs

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Got any old-style VISA-approved PIN entry devices (PEDs) in your inventory? Better install them by Dec. 31. If they're humming away at your merchants' POSs before the clock strikes midnight, the PEDs will have no sunset provision and will continue to be covered under card Association liability clauses.

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EC interchange ruling: Merchants applaud, MC digs in

Friday, December 21, 2007

It's a coup, of sorts, for merchants and their allies in the battle against the big-name card brands' pricing strategies. In a ruling handed down this month, the European Commission said certain interchange rates for MasterCard- and Maestro-branded credit and debit card payments violate EC rules, which are roughly equivalent to fair competition laws in the United States. The rates in question apply only to consumer cards, not corporate or business cards. They affect virtually all cross-border transactions and certain domestic transactions using MasterCard and Maestro cards, according to a Dec. 18 EC announcement.

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Acquiring today, a shapshot

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sales is the core of acquiring. So, it shouldn't be surprising to learn that 73% of leading ISOs and acquirers intend to boost their investments in sales. It might surprise some folks, however, that in a market where new products continually emerge, an equally large number of organizations (73%) have no plans to increase product investments. Fewer than two in 10, for example, consider mobile payments support an important factor in acquiring new merchant accounts; 82% see mobile payments as neutral or not at all important in account acquisition.

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FTC bites YMA

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Federal Trade Commission, in conjunction with seven state attorneys general, filed suit against a Lake Mary, Fla.-based check and automated clearing house processor, claiming it violated federal and state laws by debiting, or attempting to debit, consumers' bank accounts with the help of fraudulent telemarketing and e-commerce merchants. The processor, Your Money Access LLC, dba Netchex Corp., along with its affiliates in Florida and Pennsylvania, allegedly processed over $200 million in debits and attempted debits between June 23, 2004, and March 31, 2006.

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W.net spreads the mentoring net

Friday, December 14, 2007

The W.net Mentoring Program, a means by which women in the payments industry can learn from each other's experience and expertise, is now accepting applications from women who want to be mentors and protégés for 2008. Mentors can benefit by heightening their leadership skills, gaining exposure to alternative business strategies, and taking pride in advising a potential up-and-coming industry leader. Protégés can receive the opportunity to network and learn from high achievers in the industry.

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The Fed says card payments rule

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The numbers are in folks, and we have a winner: Electronic payments, especially debit cards, are Americans' preferred payments According to a just-released report – 2007 Federal Reserve Payments Study – more than two-thirds of all noncash payments in the United States last year were made electronically. The Fed's much-awaited payments study found that in 2006 Americans made 19 billion more electronic payments than they did in 2003, when the Fed last surveyed Americans' payments habits.

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Fifth Third banks on gift card kiosks

Friday, December 7, 2007

Fifth Third Bancorp has jumped on the gift card bandwagon, rolling out gift card kiosks to all its branch locations in its eleven-state footprint. After an October trial of the Gift Card Center in pilot markets proved successful, the Cincinnati-based financial institution rushed the kiosks into its 1,200 branches in November to take advantage of the holiday shopping season. But the kiosks reportedly will remain in place year-round, the product offerings changing to suit customer preferences.

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It sings, it instructs, it's a gift card

Friday, December 7, 2007

The next time you purchase a prepaid gift card, it might be loaded with more than just money. Retailers are starting to recognize the potential of gift cards as promotional vehicles and ways to enhance customer satisfaction and retention with freebies this holiday season.

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Fifth Third banks on gift card kiosks

Friday, December 7, 2007

Fifth Third Bancorp has jumped on the gift card bandwagon, rolling out gift card kiosks to all its branch locations in its eleven-state footprint. After an October trial of the Gift Card Center in pilot markets proved successful, the Cincinnati-based financial institution rushed the kiosks into its 1,200 branches in November to take advantage of the holiday shopping season. But the kiosks reportedly will remain in place year-round, the product offerings changing to suit customer preferences.

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Heartland files suit, claims processing scheme

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

In a suit filed in the United States District Court of New Jersey, card processor Heartland Payment Systems alleges MICROS Systems Inc., a leading POS system provider for the restaurant industry, conspired with Chase Paymentech Solutions LLC-owned Merchant Link LLC to effectively deny outside processors free enterprise access to restaurant processing business and artificially inflate payment processing fees for restaurateurs.

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