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Breaking News articles for June 2008

AmEx to get doozie of a settlement

Monday, June 30, 2008

American Express Co. reached an agreement with MasterCard Worldwide (formerly MasterCard Inc.) on June 25, 2008, to drop its lawsuit seeking monetary damages from lost business opportunities, after alleging that MasterCard illegally blocked AmEx from the bank-issued card business in the United States. Under terms of the agreement, MasterCard will pay AmEx up to $1.8 billion.

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Visa brings relief to the pump

Monday, June 30, 2008

Beginning July 18, 2008, Visa Inc. will implement a cap on interchange rates for Visa debit and prepaid fuel transactions in an effort to help lower costs for oil companies and service stations, so they can pass the savings on to consumers at the pump. Systemwide implementation for restructured Visa credit card interchange fees on gas purchases takes effect October 2008. "While Visa cannot lower the price of crude oil, there are things we can do to help make the process of buying gas easier for our cardholders," said Bill Sheedy, Global Head of Corporate Strategy and Business Development for Visa. "As oil prices rise, we are accelerating our ongoing efforts to address the issues in the fuel segment."

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Trillions predicted for self-service kiosks

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A new research study conducted by IHL Group projects that $607 billion will pass through self-service kiosks in North America in 2008; transactions will surpass $1.7 trillion by 2012. According to IHL Group, the global research and advisory firm specializing in the retail and hospitality sectors, this more than threefold increase will take place due to the slowing economy and the increased comfort level consumers have for using self-checkout systems, in lieu of checkout lines manned by customer service representatives.

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Heartland crowned best in sales

Monday, June 23, 2008

Heartland Payment Systems Inc. might need a bigger trophy case. On June 12, 2008, the Sixth Annual American Business Awards honored Heartland with the 2008 Best Sales Organization in America. The Princeton, N.J.-based processor was selected from more than 2,600 entries of businesses in various industries. "This award is an honor because it not only recognizes Heartland, but also a part of the company that is a particular point of pride for us – our sales organization," said Bob Carr, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Heartland.

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Take gift cards off autopilot

Friday, June 20, 2008

In a June 16, 2008, webinar, Tim Sloane, Director of the Debit and Prepaid Service at Mercator Advisory Group, stressed that most merchants are not leveraging the full potential of prepaid gift cards to drive revenue and enhance customer stickiness. "I suggest that in most of the merchants I'm dealing with, that I have as clients, the prepaid program tends to be pretty much on autopilot," Sloane said. "They've got the program implemented. They've got a B2B component for that program as well. They understand how much they can grow the program year over year, and they set new, aggressive targets for that. "But not a lot look at new ways to enhance it, and I think that's what we need to challenge."

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CAA the toast of Canada

Thursday, June 19, 2008

After years of attending industry conferences and tradeshows in the United States, Attorney Adam Atlas, who specializes in the payments sphere and is a contributing writer for The Green Sheet, convened the Canadian Acquirer Association's inaugural Founding Cocktail June 12, 2008. "It dawned on me that Canadians could benefit from their own event, think of themselves as their own region," Atlas said.

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Chase gives merchants a heads up

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

On June 3, 2008, President Bush signed HR 4008, the Credit and Debit Card Receipt Clarification Act of 2007, into Public Law No. 110-241. The act clarifies provisions of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) and specifies that any action filed thus far under FACTA for alleged willful noncompliance regarding bankcard expiration dates be eliminated. Subsequently, Chase Paymentech Solutions LLC contacted all of its merchants to assist them in verifying compliance with FACTA mandates. This step followed multiple prior communications sent by the company to its merchants regarding receipt truncation and expiration date masking requirements.

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Companion bill targets interchange fees

Monday, June 16, 2008

On June 5, 2008, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said, "There is no competition or negotiation involved in the setting of interchange fees." That same day, he introduced to the U.S. Senate a companion bill to the Credit Card Fair Fee Act of 2008. Durbin's bill, which uses the same name as the act, is nearly identical to the House version introduced earlier this year by Reps. John Conyers, D-Mich., and Chris Cannon, R-Utah.

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MasterCard IPO soaring

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The results are in. At the company's annual stockholders meeting on June 3, 2008, MasterCard Worldwide President and Chief Executive Officer Robert W. Selander boasted a stock increase of 661 percent since MasterCard's initial public offering (IPO) in May 2006. Class A common stock shares of the Purchase, N.Y.-based company soared from $39 to $297.10 as of June 9, 2008, with a 52-week high of $320.30. Selander noted that the fundamentals of the company's business are strong. "There continues to be great opportunity for growth in the payments industry as consumers and businesses are increasingly embracing the ease, speed and security of electronic payments. As the payments revolution continues, MasterCard is committed to offering solutions that drive greater choice and convenience for all of our constituents."

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FTC disconnects alleged phone card scam

Monday, June 9, 2008

On June 2, 2008, a U.S. District Court ruled unanimously in agreement with the Federal Trade Commission's contention that several U.S.-based prepaid phone card developers and suppliers engaged in deceptive advertising and promotional activities that potentially ripped off consumers to the tune of millions of dollars. In consequence, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Florida ordered a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction against the companies to halt their alleged fraudulent marketing campaigns.

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FTC disconnects alleged phone card scam

Monday, June 9, 2008

On June 2, 2008, a U.S. District Court ruled unanimously in agreement with the Federal Trade Commission's contention that several U.S.-based prepaid phone card developers and suppliers engaged in deceptive advertising and promotional activities that potentially ripped off consumers to the tune of millions of dollars. In consequence, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Florida ordered a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction against the companies to halt their alleged fraudulent marketing campaigns.

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Prepaid Expo coming to Caesars

Monday, June 9, 2008

Prepaid Logo The Prepaid Press Expo 2008, an inaugural event slated for August 19 to 21, 2008, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, is gearing up to make a tremendous first impression with ISOs and merchant level salespeople. The conference portion of tppEXPO'08 is comprised of three tracks with 28 participating speakers who are experts from all sectors of the prepaid industry. The Prepaid Press will sponsor the Expo, and The Pelorus Group will manage the three separate conference sessions, one track per day, for calling cards; wireless; and gift, debit and prepaid cards. The Green Sheet Inc. has signed on as a media sponsor.

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Prepaid Expo coming to Caesars

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Prepaid Logo The Prepaid Press Expo 2008, an inaugural event slated for August 19 to 21, 2008, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, is gearing up to make a tremendous first impression with ISOs and merchant level salespeople. The conference portion of tppEXPO'08 is comprised of three tracks with 28 participating speakers who are experts from all sectors of the prepaid industry. The Prepaid Press will sponsor the Expo, and The Pelorus Group will manage the three separate conference sessions, one track per day, for calling cards; wireless; and gift, debit and prepaid cards. The Green Sheet Inc. has signed on as a media sponsor.

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Phoenix rising from MPI ashes

Monday, June 2, 2008

On May 5, 2008, Oregon Federal District Court Judge Anna J. Brown issued a $26,480,041 judgment against Merchant Processing Inc., its owner Aaron Lee Rian, two other firms Rian controls, Vequity Financial Group Inc. and Direct Processing Inc., and Karely McCarthy (also known as Karly Speelman). Included in that settlement is a permanent restraining order against defendants Rian and McCarthy, his fiancée; it prohibits them from ever working again in the bankcard business.

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