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Breaking News articles for June 2009

BofA, First Data give birth to BAMS

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bank of America Corp. and First Data Corp. formed a new payment solutions company, Banc of America Merchant Services LLC. First Data will contribute about 140,000 merchant relationships and BofA will bring approximately 240,000 such relationships to BAMS. The new entity expects to process more than 1 billion transactions per month. At the end of 2008, First Data parted ways with JPMorgan Chase & Co. The two companies had jointly provided payment solutions as Chase Paymentech Solutions LLC for 12 years. First Data stated at the time that the split signaled a new phase of product development and expansion.

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TJX settlement reached

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

On June 25, TJX Companies Inc. announced it had reached a multi-part settlement with 41 Attorneys General representing multiple states, over the criminal acquisition of cardholder data in its system in 2005 and 2006. In January 2007 TJX reported the breach of its computer system, which compromised millions of credit and debit card numbers. TJX has held the settlement amount in reserve since 2007. "Under this settlement, TJX and the Attorneys General have agreed to take leadership roles in exploring new technologies and approaches to solving the systemic problems in the U.S. payment card industry that continue to plague businesses and institutions and that make consumers in the United States worldwide targets for increasing cyber crime," said Jeffrey Naylor, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer for TJX.

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Bob Carr takes the encryption lead at IAPP

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bob Carr, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Heartland Payment Systems Inc., gave the keynote speech to the Data Breach section of the International Association of Privacy Professionals conference, which took place in Santa Clara, Calif., June 17, 2009. If you are in the ISO business, you will want to understand the implications of what Carr had to say. The IAPP (www.privacyassociation.org) is the leading forum for information privacy and is the recognized authority in this space worldwide. In nine years, it has gone from zero to 6,200 members and has developed the Certified Information Privacy Professional certification.

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nFinanSe lowers already 'lowest' activation fee

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

To attract more consumers to its product in a down economy, stored-value and prepaid card solution provider nFinanSe Inc. lowered the activation fee on its general purpose reloadable (GPR) prepaid card. Effective July 1, 2009, the $5.95 fee on its Discover Financial Services-branded card will be reduced to $3.00, matching the fee that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. recently implemented on its prepaid card.

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Go-to guys for payments

Monday, June 22, 2009

Just about everyone could use a go-to guy – someone to "go to" when you need help on a specific project. Lawyers and information technology professionals often fit the definition of go-to "guys," who in the truest sense can be persons of either sex.

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Pulse touts positive debit trends

Monday, June 15, 2009

The fourth and latest installment of the Debit Issuer Study shows an increase in overall debit transaction growth, as well as an increase in PIN debit transactions and a decrease in fraud loss rates. The 2009 study was commissioned by Discover Financial Services' Pulse network and conducted by Oliver Wyman Group. The research revealed overall debit transaction growth of 8 percent in the second half of 2008. The greatest increase was seen in PIN debit: 15 percent, as opposed to 4 percent for signature debit. Issuers participating in the survey projected 7 percent growth in both PIN and signature debit in 2009.

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Respect sought for MLSs

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Steven Vanderford, founder of American Merchant Services and a 15-year payments industry veteran, is concerned about the survival of the merchant level salesperson (MLS). According to Vanderford, MLSs, specifically 1099 agents, are never mentioned, described or articulated as a viable entity in the contracts that Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide sign with ISOs.

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Interchange in federal sights – again

Monday, June 8, 2009

Retailers may have lost the battle over interchange when they failed to convince the U.S. Congress to add strong language about interchange to the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (Credit CARD act), which was signed into law in May. But they haven't given up the fight. The Credit Card Fair Trade Act, HR 2695, was introduced June 4, 2009, by Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich, who is Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. The proposed bill would create a special exemption from federal anti-trust law so retailers could negotiate "access" to electronic payment systems en masse.

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Will Merrick's lawsuit affect PCI auditors?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Merrick Bank Corp. filed suit on May 12, 2008, against Savvis Inc. (formerly Savvis Communications Corp.) alleging negligence and negligent misrepresentation in 2004, when Savvis certified Merrick's processor, CardSystems Solutions Inc., compliant with the Card Information Security Program (CISP), then the prevailing payments industry data security standard. CardSystems was subsequently breached. CISP was instituted by Visa U.S.A. (now Visa Inc.) and was a precursor to today's Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS).

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Open-loop gift card issuers given reprieve

Monday, June 1, 2009

Players in the prepaid industry can breathe a sigh of relief. An amendment to the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (The Credit CARD Act) that would have severely reduced, if not entirely eliminated, the availability of open-loop, network-branded prepaid gift cards to consumers was modified by the U.S. Senate before President Obama signed the bill into law. According to Brad Fauss, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for prepaid program manager and processor Springbok Services Inc., the unmodified version of the bill's amendment – called the Fair Gift Card Act of 2009 – would have prohibited issuers from imposing dormancy or service fees on both closed-loop, private-label gift cards and open-loop, network-branded cards.

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