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Breaking News articles for November 2011

Fed approves Green Dot bank purchase

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Green Dot Corp. reported that the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System approved the general-purpose, reloadable (GPR) prepaid card company's application to acquire Bonneville Bancorp of Provo, Utah, and thereby become a bank holding company under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956. The Utah Department of Financial Institutions also approved the Bonneville acquisition, Green Dot said.

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The Green Sheet closing temporarily to move offices

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Green Sheet Inc. will be closed from noon PST on Wed., Nov. 30, 2011, to 8:30 a.m. PST on Mon., Dec. 5, to allow time for the company to relocate. After 12 years in Rohnert Park, Calif., creating the leading payments industry news and education vehicle dedicated to ISO and merchant level sales success, the company is moving its headquarters north to an exquisite new campus in Santa Rosa, Calif.

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Square evolves but will it prevail?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A year ago, many payments industry professionals dismissed Square Inc. as a startup with a clever little card reader that attached to mobile devices. One year later, the Square card reader is now so common that even the Salvation Army is using the device to accept red kettle donations for the 2011 holiday season. Square, started by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, reported over 800,000 Square dongles in the marketplace – many of them businesses accepting credit cards for the first time. The company is reportedly processing about $11 million a day. Its card reader is now sold in Apple Inc. stores, as well as at big-box retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. And Square has attracted high-profile investors, including Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group of companies.

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SEPA moving forward incrementally

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Europe is close to adopting a single security standard for payment devices, according to Peter Puttick, VeriFone Inc. Senior Security Manager. Puttick affirmed this at a Vendercom meeting in London on Nov. 2, 2011. His comments were good news for the many people working to create a Single European Payments Area (SEPA), a 10-year-old payments integration initiative of the European Payments Council, a group founded by the European Central Bank and the European Commission to develop a SEPA. In 2006, the European Parliament issued the Payment Service Directive – an attempt to negate national borders when it comes to credit transfers, direct debit and credit cards.

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CFPB urged to enact prepaid card protections

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Consumer advocacy groups, including Consumers Union and the National Consumer Law Center, penned a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau requesting the newly formed agency mandate cardholder protections on prepaid cards that are enjoyed by debit card users. The letter stated that many unbanked and underbanked consumers rely on prepaid cards as bank account substitutes; they use the cards to manage funds and often have their paychecks directly deposited onto the cards. "However, consumers still do not have guaranteed consumer protections against the loss of these important funds due to fraud, theft, or mistake," the letter said.

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Feds agree the PCI DSS works

Friday, November 18, 2011

In a recent post on the Atlanta Federal Reserve website, Jennifer Windh, AFR Retail Payments Risk Forum Payments Risk Analyst, said the Verizon 2011 Payment Card Industry Compliance Report supports the conclusion that compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) "is effective at preventing breaches." She additionally said the report validates the observation that "the most compliant organizations are the least likely to be breached."

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Visa enters international mobile prepaid space

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Visa Inc. introduced a prepaid mobile account focused on the financially underserved in developing countries. Visa's first partner for this new enterprise is MTN Group, a telecommunication provider in Africa and the Middle East, that intends to offer the mobile prepaid "wallet" to mobile phone users in Nigeria and Uganda.

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First Data releases October SpendTrend

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

First Data Corp. issued its October 2011 SpendTrend analysis tracking monthly consumer credit, signature debit, PIN debit and EBT card use in the United States. The study showed transactions for the month grew to the highest level in eight months, a trend that could extend into the holiday season.

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nFinanSe sues InComm

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

As reported in Bloomberg Businessweek, general purpose reloadable (GPR) prepaid card provider nFinanSe Inc. sued prepaid card distributor InComm for allegedly blocking retailers from having access to nFinance's GPR cards. The Nov. 14, 2011, report stated that Tampa, Fla.-based nFinanSe believes Atlanta-based InComm is blocking access to force a price fixing agreement on nFinanSe.

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Global payments predicted to reach $945 billion by 2015

Monday, November 14, 2011

Surveys of more than 50,000 consumers in 50 countries that collectively account for more than 80 percent of the world's mobile subscribers indicate mobile payment transactions will amount to $945 billion by 2015 – a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 98 percent. The IE Market Research Third Quarter 2011 Global & Regional Mobile Payments Market Forecast was released in September 2011 and was supplemented in November 2011 with closer looks at regional markets. The regional reports include data on mobile payments in New Zealand, Canada, Taiwan, Denmark, Austria, the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Eastern Europe, among others.

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SCA concludes conference, names 2012 board

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The 10th Annual Smart Card Alliance Government Conference took place in November 2011 in Washington, D.C. The event brought together an array of government employees, policymakers, analysts and technologists to discuss government smart card programs. In discussing the role of the conference, Smart Card Alliance Executive Director Randy Vanderhoof said, "Fully trusted identities – whether government identities, online identities, health care identities or personal identities – are the end goal as the U.S. government creates initiatives to keep access to online electronic data authenticated and secure. Our government conference is the only event offering a comprehensive update from the experts that lead these initiatives."

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FinCEN issues prepaid access rule FAQs

Thursday, November 10, 2011

In response to prepaid card providers seeking clarification on the new anti-money laundering provisions imposed on the industry, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in regard to the Prepaid Access Final Rule, which was issued in July 2011.

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Ilinois AG sues two calling card companies

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed lawsuits against two companies accused of deceptive marketing practices concerning prepaid calling cards targeted at Chicago area immigrant communities. One lawsuit claims a Chicago-based company provides up to 50 percent fewer international call minutes than advertised on its cards, while the other suit alleges a Carlsbad, Calif.-headquartered operation sells cards that include extensive and hidden fees.

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Summary judgments sought in 'Wal-Mart case' sequel

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Merchants, two major card brands and issuing banks are back in court eight years after the largest antitrust settlement in U.S. history in which Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide agreed to pay $3.4 billion to settle merchant claims the card companies conspired to raise interchange fees.

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Earnings reports reveal strong payments industry

Friday, November 4, 2011

Reports released by major card brands and payment processors show continued growth in earnings and transaction volume. Card companies Visa Inc., MasterCard Worldwide and Discover Financial Services, as well as alternative payment provider PayPal Inc., reported robust increases over 2010 in their latest quarterly reports. Payment processing companies Heartland Payment Systems Inc., First Data Corp. and Total System Services Inc. (TSYS) also reported healthy growth and increased confidence in the long-term strength of its business.

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Triton ATMs to dispense prepaid cards

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Recognizing the revenue potential inherent in the expanding prepaid card industry, ATM manufacturer Triton said it will begin to sell prepaid cards via its ATMs. Triton partnered with Better ATM Services Inc. to integrate ATM prepaid card functionality with existing and new Triton ATM models.

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Card companies join card security association

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Visa Inc., MasterCard Worldwide and PayPal have all accepted invitations to join the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition, according to Robert Caldwell, G2 Web Services LLC founder and Managing Partner. Caldwell first mentioned the major card companies are joining the IACC in a speech he gave at the Electronic Transactions Association's October 2011 Strategic Leadership Forum in Chicago.

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St. Louis Fed compares GPR card consumer protections

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

An ever increasing number of mainstream consumers are turning to prepaid cards to avoid the fees charged on traditional bank accounts, according to The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. In Cards, Cards and More Cards: The Evolution to Prepaid Cards, an article that appears in the Fall 2011 edition of its semiannual newsletter, Inside the Vault, the St. Louis Fed said the cards are not just for the estimated 60 million unbanked consumers in the United States because of additional advantages of the cards.

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