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Breaking News articles for July 2012

Green Dot stock tumbles amid earnings reforecast

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

After Green Dot Corp. warned analysts and investors in its July 26, 2012, conference call about potential threats to its business model, the general purpose reloadable (GPR) prepaid card provider's stock plummeted 60 percent the following day. Green Dot stock, which had been trading in the mid $20-per-share range since March 2012, took a precipitous tumble on July 27 and ended the trading day at under $10 per share.

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Major retailers reject proposed interchange settlement

Monday, July 30, 2012

Some of the biggest retailers and retail associations in the country are rejecting their own attorneys' proposed settlement of a class action antitrust lawsuit brought against card companies Visa Inc., MasterCard Worldwide and a number of card issuing banks. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Brands Inc., the National Association of Convenience Stores and the National Grocers Association are all publicly repudiating the $7.25 billion settlement proposal submitted by attorneys representing their class to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York on July 13, 2012.

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Google Shopping to take on Amazon?

Friday, July 27, 2012

In late May 2012, Google Inc. reported on its corporate blog it was revamping Google Product Search into an online marketplace. By fall 2012, Google expects the service, rechristened Google Shopping, will feature merchants' Product Listing Ads embedded directly into search results. Industry participants are split on whether Google Shopping is a step forward or a step back for online commerce. On the May 31 Google blog post, Google Shopping Vice President of Product Management Sameer Samat said the new initiative would improve online shopping by streamlining the process. Instead of having to click several times on entries in Google's search engine to find products and services, shoppers will be able to research purchases, compare products, features and prices, and then connect directly with merchants to make purchases, according to Samat.

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$25,000 up for grabs in CFSI app challenge

Friday, July 27, 2012

The MyMoneyAppUp Challenge got underway June 27, 2012, and almost 600 individuals have taken up the challenge so far, according to The Center for Financial Services Innovation. The challenge, a partnership between the CFSI, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Doorways to Dreams (D2D) Fund, is a contest designed to discover next-generation mobile applications for the financially underserved in the United States.

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Renewing the Safe Web Act

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bipartisan legislation calling for renewal of the Undertaking Spam, Spyware, and Fraud Enforcement with Enforcers beyond Borders Act of 2006 (known as the U.S. Safe Web Act) was introduced in Congress July 17, 2012. The act, which enhances the Federal Trade Commission's ability to fight e-commerce fraud, is scheduled to expire in 2013 if it is not renewed. Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif., Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, as well as the committee's ranking member, Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., co-sponsored H.R. 6131 to renew the U.S. Safe Web Act.

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Associations to CFPB: Be careful with prepaid

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

In response to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's request for industry input on how the agency should go about regulating the prepaid card industry, the National Association of Federal Credit Unions and the Electronic Transactions Association counseled caution.

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New leader for Global Payments' international business

Monday, July 23, 2012

Leading payment processor Global Payments Inc. reported July 16, 2012, that Joseph Hyde, President of Global Payments' international operations, is leaving the Atlanta-based company. Hyde will join "a privately-held financial services firm unrelated to the payments industry as Chief Financial Officer," Global Payments said. Morgan "Mac" Schuessler, Global Payments Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, will succeed Hyde on Aug. 1.

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Legal actions in the payments sphere

Monday, July 23, 2012

While the long, drawn-out lawsuit known collectively as the "Wal-Mart case" apparently settled, other payments-related legal matters are in the news. A district court ruled against WikiLeaks' payment processor Valitor; Square Inc. accused mobile payment competitor mPowa of website image copying; and U.S. Bank settled lawsuits over an alleged debit card overdraft scheme.

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U.S. Treasury pushes for Direct Express adoption

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The U.S. Department of the Treasury said 95 percent of individuals who receive monthly Social Security payments via MasterCard Worldwide-branded Direct Express prepaid cards are satisfied with the service. Additionally, 93 percent of cardholders would recommend the card to others, according to the KRC Research survey commissioned by MasterCard on behalf of the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Financial Management Service.

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LevelUp offers interchange-free mobile solution

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Boston-based mobile payment company LevelUp Inc. is challenging the traditional interchange fee model by no longer charging its merchants transaction fees. LevelUp said with its new Interchange Zero program, revenue will instead come from fees retailers pay to use LevelUp's platform for customer acquisition and loyalty campaigns.

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Veto of EBT reforms riles Mass. lawmakers

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

On July 8, 2012, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick approved the state's budget for 2013, but rejected supposed reforms to its electronic benefit transfer (EBT) program that would have restricted state government benefit recipients from using state-issued EBT prepaid cards to purchase such items as guns, cigarettes, lottery tickets and alcohol.

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Congress urged not to stifle mobile innovation

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Electronic Transactions Association issued a statement June 29, 2012, urging Congress to be cautious when considering mobile payments regulation. The statement was released in conjunction with the House Financial Services Committee's Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit hearing on “The Future of Money: Where Do Mobile Payments Fit in the Current Regulatory Structure?” Jason Oxman, ETA Chief Executive Officer, said "We urge Congress to take care to avoid regulation that could stifle the innovation that gave birth to mobile commerce and will drive its future growth."

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FTC puts brakes on another calling card outfit

Thursday, July 12, 2012

In what has seemingly become a common occurrence, the Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit to halt the apparently deceptive advertising practices of another calling card provider. The FTC alleged that New York-based DR Phone Communications Inc. misrepresented the fees and the number of minutes on its calling cards. The FTC said the company agreed to temporarily stop its advertising claims, pending a trial in which the agency will seek to permanently halt the company's practices and return its "ill-gotten gains."

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New Zeus malware puts payments at risk

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

ThreatMetrix Labs, an independent firm researching online security, confirmed in a June 2012 report that a new peer-to-peer variation of the infamous Zeus malware alters websites in a manner that enables it to steal confidential information without being detected – even by professionals. Trustwave SpiderLabs drew the same conclusion in a separate study of the malware.

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New academy an ISO merchant magnet

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ongoing pressure exerted by our technology-driven economy is forcing merchants to rethink how they approach business and connect with customers. At the same time, an increasingly commoditized market has forced ISOs to become more entrepreneurial just to attract and retain merchants. With the launch of the Maximum Profits Academy for ISOs, the academy's founders believe conquering such challenges is one step closer for both merchants and ISOs. The academy is the brainchild of 18-year payments industry veteran Will Harovas, National Business Advisor for GKIC. Its training program is based upon marketing strategies that reportedly have generated millions of dollars in revenues for GKIC clients over the past 30 years.

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Campus cards come under scrutiny

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

In June 2012, two Democratic legislators urged three federal agency leaders to look into the business practices of prepaid campus card programs. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Rep. George Miller, D- Calif., penned letters to the heads of the U.S. Department of Education and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, expressing concern that students are being "nickel-and-dimed" via fees on prepaid campus cards.

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Google makes Wallet changes

Monday, July 9, 2012

Google Inc. disclosed pricing and application programming interface (API) updates to its Wallet at the Google application developers' conference, Google I/O 2012, held June 27 to 29, 2012, in San Francisco. Pali Bhat, Product Manager, Google Wallet, introduced a new transaction fee pricing tier. He said developers told Google the 5 percent transaction fee the company has been charging is fine for micro transactions but is not as competitive with higher value purchases.

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Dodd-Frank faces congressional scrutiny

Friday, July 6, 2012

July 2012 marks the second anniversary of the signing of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, also known as the Dodd-Frank Act after the authors of the 2,300-page legislation, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn. To mark the occasion, the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., scheduled a number of hearings to examine the effects of this legislation on the economy, jobs, housing and credit. When he announced the hearings, Bachus said President Barack Obama has not delivered on the promise that the law would provide certainty to businesses and consumers.

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Your go-to payment publication lauded for excellence

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Green Sheet won a Grand Award and a Feature Writing award in the APEX 2012 Awards for Publication Excellence. Only 100 Grand Awards are handed out in 11 categories each year. This was the fifth Grand Award given to the payments industry's oldest publication; in past years, it won Grand Awards in the Overall Publication, Website and Feature Writing categories.

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Prepaid card usage outpacing bankcards

Thursday, July 5, 2012

During a panel discussion at the Network Branded Prepaid Card Association's First Annual Congress held June 2012 in Washington, D.C., Federal Reserve Senior Economist Geoffrey Gerdes said Americans spent more than $80 billion using general purpose reloadable prepaid debit cards in 2011.

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Open fare transit payments a no-go for 2012 Olympics

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The goal of the London mass transit authority to have the city's bus system equipped with an "open" fare payment system by the start of the 2012 London Olympic Games will not be met. The reason for the delay is reportedly due to concerns that the near field communication- (NFC) based system would not be fast enough to handle mobile fare payments at peak travel times.

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AmEx joins EMV push

Monday, July 2, 2012

On June 29, 2012, American Express Co. released its road map for Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) chip-based POS environments throughout the United States. Thus, AmEx, the third-ranked card brand in the United States, joined the two leading brands, Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide, in pushing merchants to implement the EMV global standard for authenticating credit and debit card transactions. EMV cards are accepted throughout most of the world and are deemed to be more secure than mag stripe card payments, which predominate in the United States.

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