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Breaking News articles for December 2009

Heartland settles some, loses one

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

On Dec. 21, 2009, Heartland Payment Systems Inc. agreed to settle the consumer cardholder class-action lawsuits that emanated from the District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The suits involve claims arising from the data breach of the Princeton, N.J.-based processor's payment system reported by Heartland in January 2009. In accordance with settlement terms, Heartland will pay between $1 million and $2.4 million to class-action participants who submit valid claims for losses as a result of the breach. According to the court, this settlement resolves all actions and proceedings that were asserted, or could have been asserted, against Heartland in relation to the breach.

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Bidding adieu to 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What a year. If you're like the staff of The Green Sheet, 2009 flew by faster than a merchant level salesperson late for a sales call. We at The Green Sheet would like to say thank you to all payment professionals who, year after year, choose our magazines and Web sites for news and information about the industry, and who contributed articles and posted on the GS Online Forums. We are also grateful to the many organizations that advertise with us. To everyone, we look forward to your continued business, readership and participation in 2010. Happy holidays from all of us at The Green Sheet.

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U.K. checkless by 2018?

Monday, December 21, 2009

It's been 400 years since the first businessman issued a signed document that eventually became known as a check, and policymakers and bankers in the United Kingdom have decided enough is enough. Following nearly 20 years of declining check usage among businesses and consumers in the U.K., the Payments Council's board, which sets strategies and directives for U.K. payment systems, has set a sunset date for check clearing: Oct. 31, 2018. The decision applies across the U.K. and Northern Ireland.

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Diners Club: New brand, new voice

Monday, December 21, 2009

In December 2009, Diners Club International introduced a new global branding campaign that includes a refreshed logo, redesigned card art and Web site, and new print and broadcast advertisements. This is the company's first major rebranding effort in more than six years. It symbolizes the continued fulfillment of the Diners Club promise: to empower card members through access to superior services and exclusive privileges.

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Tweaking interchange down under

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Reserve Bank of Australia is loosening the reins on certain interchange limitations. In a meeting in late November 2009, the RBA changed its regulatory stance so a new, homegrown electronic funds transfer (EFT)/POS network – EFTPOS Payments Australia Limited (EPAL) – can compete with Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide. RBA raised the new network's limit on interchange from between 4 and 5 cents to 12 cents per transaction. As is the case in the United States, financial institutions in Australia often issue debit cards to holders of demand deposit accounts (checking accounts). The cards, which require PIN authorization, can be used to access funds either at ATMs or at the POS.

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Square solution for mobile payments

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Jack Dorsey, founder of the social network and micro-blog platform Twitter, launched a new company called Square Inc. on Dec. 1, 2009. The new company developed a payment device for use with Apple Inc. iPhones. It contains a reader no bigger than a universal serial bus memory stick that plugs into a mobile phone's headphone jack. According to Square's three-page Web site, users don't need to sign contracts and don't pay monthly fees. The site also claims there are no hidden costs.

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Mobile payments at a crossroads

Friday, December 11, 2009

An October 2009 report from The Nielson Co. found that the number of consumers using mobile devices to shop on the Internet increased 34 percent between July 2008 and July 2009, from 42.5 million to 56.9 million. Additionally, year-over-year growth among the 13 to 17 and 65-and-over age groups accounted for the greatest growth of phone users accessing the Web – 45 percent and 67 percent respectively. Industry experts predict these numbers will continue to grow as phone carriers debut wireless network upgrades in 2010 that will increase bandwidth and speed. And with such growth, retailers are paying much closer attention to m-commerce and the potential for mobile payment applications.

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Radiant, Computer World in the lawsuit soup

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Seven Louisiana restaurants filed a joint lawsuit against POS systems manufacturer Radiant Systems Inc. and POS systems distributor Computer World, alleging their negligence led to data breaches that compromised hundreds of consumer card numbers. The lawsuit, filed in the 15th Judicial District Court of Lafayette, La., asserts that the Aloha POS payment systems – manufactured by Radiant Systems, sold by Computer World and used by all seven plaintiffs when their respective outlets were breached – were inadequately fortified against intrusion and noncompliant with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) when said systems were invaded by hackers

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Unbanked + underbanked Americans top 60 million

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. recently released the much awaited results of the first nationwide attempt to get a handle on America's unbanked population, and the news was even more astounding than I had expected. Conducted as a supplement to the U.S. Census Bureau's January population count, the survey reveals that 25.6 percent of U.S. households remain, for the most part, outside the banking system, and these tend to be low-income and/or minority households.

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ETAU now in session

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Electronic Transactions Association's ETA University is offering four new online courses that, together, comprise the ETAU Online Payment Essentials. The course modules were developed by a professional education designer using the ETA's Learning Management System (LMS). According to Rori Forensic, the ETA's Director of Education and Professional Development, the LMS is a technology platform that enables participants to start and stop the courses as needed; it also tracks their progress, delivers tests and issues certificates to those who successfully complete courses.

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