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Breaking News articles for October 2008

Payment trends for 2009

Friday, October 31, 2008

TowerGroup Inc. held a webinar on Oct. 30, 2008, titled "Top trends in Payments 2009: The Year Ahead." The presentation was given by Ted Iacobuzio, Managing Director of Payments at TowerGroup, who said the payments industry, like every other segment of financial services, has taken a beating with the ongoing credit crisis.

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Goliath beaten with gavel

Thursday, October 30, 2008

On Oct. 27, 2008, four years after Discover Financial Services filed antitrust lawsuits against Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide, settlement agreements were finally reached. Discover sued both card giants for nearly $6 billion, alleging that both companies harmed Discover's business by forcing banks to choose between issuing MasterCard and Visa cards or Discover-branded cards. Discover filed its damages suit in October 2004 in New York, following the conclusion of the U.S. Department of Justice's ruling earlier in the year that determined Visa and MasterCard had violated antitrust and anti-competition laws. Under terms of the settlement, Discover is expected to receive up to $2.75 billion; $1.89 billion from Visa and $862.5 million from MasterCard.

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Red Flag mayday

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Federal Trade Commission is suspending enforcement of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA) Red Flag Identity Theft Rules until May 1, 2009, to give creditors and financial institutions additional time to find out if they come under FTC jurisdiction and, if so, to develop and implement the appropriate identity theft prevention programs. Under Red Flag rules, financial institutions with covered accounts – an account used mostly for personal, family or household purposes or accounts for which there is a foreseeable risk of identity theft – must have identity theft prevention programs to identify, detect and respond to activities that could indicate identity theft.

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Rainy day ISOs

Monday, October 27, 2008

Unless payment professionals have been living under a rock for the past few months, all ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs) are well aware of the economic downturn. So, in this period of belt tightening and cost consciousness, Henry Helgeson, President and co-Chief Executive Officer of Boston-based Merchant Warehouse, offers advice to ISOs and the feet on the street.

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Panini gives back

Friday, October 24, 2008

Check processor Panini North America recently sponsored a charity event in Dayton, Ohio, to raise money for the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation. It was the third year the company sponsored the fundraising event, which included a silent auction, employee donations and a five kilometer walk. Panini raised thousands of dollars in its ongoing efforts to give back to the community. "We decided three years ago that we wanted to share our success with the community we're headquartered in, so we had our employees vote as to which organization they wanted to support," said Jessica Back, Panini's Marketing and Communication Manager.

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Calling card company oversight ratchets up

Thursday, October 23, 2008

On Sept. 16, 2008, the U.S. House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection of the Committee on Energy and Commerce unanimously approved the Prepaid Calling Card Consumer Protection Act of 2008 designed to manage the conduct of prepaid calling card service distributors. If passed into law, the act would give the Federal Trade Commission jurisdiction over card carriers reportedly engaged in deceptive practices that defraud consumers. It would also require accurate and reasonable disclosure of the terms and conditions of prepaid telephone calling cards and services.

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Red Flag's bottom line

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Nov. 1, 2008, is the deadline to comply with the Identity Theft Red Flag Rule of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA). The rule's guidelines contain examination procedures for credit grantors to help prevent identity theft and fraud by recognizing antifraud deficiencies within their organizations.

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Gift card hijacker gets 10 years

Friday, October 17, 2008

Timothy Truong, 43, pled guilty in November 2007 to grand theft, admitting he had cloned gift cards to hijack retail store gift card accounts. On Oct. 15, 2008, Truong was sentenced in a Sacramento, Calif., federal court to a maximum of 10 years.

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Gift card hijacker gets 10 years

Friday, October 17, 2008

Timothy Truong, 43, pled guilty in November 2007 to grand theft, admitting he had cloned gift cards to hijack retail store gift card accounts. On Oct. 15, 2008, Truong was sentenced in a Sacramento, Calif., federal court to a maximum of 10 years.

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The Green Sheet turns 25

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Green Sheet celebrates its 25th anniversary this month. Said like that, you wonder where the time went. It all began in October 1983 when payments industry pioneer Paul H. Green founded The Green Sheet as a four-page monthly newsletter produced by a staff of two. It was reproduced on a copy machine and distributed to American Marketing Corp. (Amcor) sales reps as a resource and tool to support them at their jobs.

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Regulation under the radar

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Two proposed amendments from the Financial Accounting Standards Board to the rules governing the requirements by which banks secure loan assets could, if passed into law, adversely affect credit card profitability and reportedly cost financial institutions up to $60 billion a year. Dennis Moroney, Tower Group's Research Director, Bank Cards Division, said these amendments could adversely affect acquirers, processors and ISOs who depend on credit card transaction revenue for a majority of their profits.

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European interchange battle escalates

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

MasterCard Europe introduced a new interchange fee structure for its MasterCard credit and Maestro Intra-European Economic Area debit cards to merchant acquirers on Oct. 1, 2008. But EuroCommerce, the governing body representing the retail, wholesale and international trade sectors in Europe, said MasterCard raised its interchange fees as much as 160 percent, which, according to EC, violates a December 2007 agreement to eliminate interchange at the POS.

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Bill Me Later welcomes eBay – will you?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

EBay Inc., parent company of online debit payment giant PayPal Inc., reached an agreement to acquire credit-based online payment provider Bill Me Later Inc. for $945 million. The reported goal of the acquisition is to help eBay increase revenue and expand its footprint into the brick-and-mortar world. But does this acquisition mean increased competition with ISOs and merchant level salespeople for merchants?

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Duel in the Big Apple

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

When its $2.1 billion deal to purchase Wachovia Corp. was stalled by a counteroffer from Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc. cried foul – to the tune of a $60 billion "bad-faith" breach of contract suit against Wachovia and Wells Fargo. The suit was filed Oct. 6, 2008, with the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan. Citigroup and Wells Fargo both seek a controlling stake in Wachovia, the country's fourth-largest bank.

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WSAA wows in paradise

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

It wasn't the 106 degree heat or the thought of encountering roadrunners that drew throngs of payments industry professionals to Scottsdale, Arizona, Sept. 24 and 25, 2008. The impetus was the Western States Acquirers Association's fifth annual conference, dubbed "ISOs in paradise," and held at the Doubletree Paradise Valley Resort. More than 500 people made it through the registration line where they were rewarded with beach towels and sun visors, along with more typical booty tucked into WSAA tote bags. Much to the delight of conference organizers, there were more regular attendees than vendors.

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Dawn of a new PCI day

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council (SSC), managing body for the PCI Data Security Standard (DSS), PIN Entry Device (PED) Security Requirements and the Payment Application (PA) DSS, just released version 1.2 of the PCI DSS. Version 1.1 of the standard will sunset on Dec. 31, 2008. "The PCI Data Security Standard version 1.2 is effective immediately," said Bob Russo, PCI SSC General Manager. "As of Oct. 1, 2008, the guidelines laid out in this new document accessible on the council's website apply to all merchants accepting payment cards, from the larger level 1 merchants, down to level 4 merchants.

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