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Breaking News articles for June 2013

Trade association news update

Friday, June 28, 2013

Staffed largely with volunteers dedicated to fostering professionalism and creating opportunities within the payments industry, the trade associations dedicated to our sphere are always up to something interesting and never disappoint. Following is just a sampling of the latest projects in progress right now:

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Green Dot vindicated by court dismissal

Thursday, June 27, 2013

General purpose reloadable prepaid card pioneer Green Dot Corp. reported that a class-action lawsuit against the company was thrown out of court on June 19, 2013. Two lawsuits were originally filed by the Law Offices of Howard G. Smithlaw and Glancy, Binkow & Goldberg LLP on behalf of Green Dot investors in the wake of the financial reforecast Green Dot made in July 2012 that resulted in a 60 percent drop in Green Dot stock.

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FTC seeks to outlaw certain payment schemes

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Federal Trade Commission singled out ISOs in its recent proposal to ban four payment methods employed by telemarketers. Of the four schemes under question, two of them – remotely created checks (RCCs) and payment orders – are facilitated with the help of payment service providers. In its late May 2013 notice of proposed rulemaking (RFP), the FTC said payment processors "play an indispensable role" in telemarketing schemes focused on secretly dipping into consumers' bank accounts via these two methods. The FTC said merchants who obtain consumers bank routing and account numbers can print out RCCs with the help of third-party payment providers. Those RCCs can then be used to debit consumers' accounts.

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Magic sued over prepaid card

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

NBA Basketball Hall of Famer and entrepreneur Earvin "Magic" Johnson is reportedly involved in a lawsuit concerning his supposed violation of contractual obligations for a prepaid debit card that bore his name. A June 20, 2013, report in The New York Post said Florida-based prepaid card provider Celebrity Cards International sued Johnson in Florida District court, claiming the former basketball player broke an agreement to market and sell the Magic Cash Card.

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Small merchants falling behind on mobile

Monday, June 24, 2013

Data security and compliance solutions specialist ControlScan and TransFirst, a provider of payment processing services, released Small Merchants and Mobile Payments: 2013 Survey of Technology Awareness and Adoption on June 13, 2013. The report contains results of the companies' survey of Level 4 merchants – those who process fewer than 20,000 e-commerce or 1 million physical card transactions annually. The survey's aim was to get a feel for merchant awareness and readiness to adopt mobile payment technologies.

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Dial downloads under five minutes?

Monday, June 24, 2013

In the first week of July 2013, wireless POS device specialist Apriva LLC is set to release an application that reportedly reduces download times for dial-up POS terminals to under five minutes. With a majority of small merchants still employing dial terminals, and with updates to those terminals taking on average 40 minutes to download, the Apriva POS Universal Application promises to reduce merchants' headaches, which by default lessens the burdens on merchant service providers.

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RGCA report: Gift cards remain strong

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Oklahoma City, Okla.-based Retail Gift Card Association released a consumer gift card attitudes survey that reported consumer confidence in gift cards continues unabated. The survey of over 1,000 consumers said that 71.3 percent of respondents feel very satisfied when they receive gift cards and 91.4 percent said they plan to give one to three retail gift cards as gifts in the next three months.

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Patent or no patent, Apple's iWallet intentions still unknown

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Recent developments from Apple Inc. signal advances in its digital wallet initiatives. On June 6, 2013, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office released the contents of an Apple patent application for a "method and system for managing credits via a mobile device." This adds to a trove of such filings by Apple for its iWallet technology over the past three years. In the latest filing, Apple seeks to patent a communications network that will, among other things, maintain and issue "credits, vouchers or coupons representative of monetary value to users of mobile devices" for the purchase of goods and services using wireless or near field communication (NFC) at POS terminals.

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CTA lowers Ventra card fees

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Chicago Transit Authority apparently listened to criticism of its upcoming MasterCard Worldwide-branded, general-purpose reloadable (GPR), contactless-enabled transit card and eliminated fees on the card. In a study of the changes to the card, banking product comparison site Nerdwallet.com found that the CTA had eliminated withdrawal and live customer service fees.

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A boon for CPP hopefuls

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Western States Acquirers Association has something new in store for those who attend its 10th annual conference Oct. 8 and 9, 2013, at the San Francisco Airport Hyatt Regency hotel in Burlingame, Calif. The organization just launched a scholarship program to benefit 10 individuals who want to sit for the Electronic Transactions Association's Certified Payments Professional (CPP) exam.

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FTC sues processor, addresses DCTC, mobile security

Friday, June 14, 2013

The payments industry has been in the sights of the Federal Trade Commission on two fronts recently: for the processing of payments for alleged illegal activities and the potential restriction of innovation in the mobile payments realm. On June 4, 2013, the FTC filed an amendment to a complaint filed Jan. 10, 2013, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida Tampa Division against Clearwater, Fla.-based credit card debt relief firm Innovative Wealth Builders Inc. and its three owners.

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PCI SSC releases PTS POI 4.0

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The PCI Ssecurity Standards Council (PCI SSC) recently released version 4.0 of the PCI PIN Transaction Security (PTS) Point of Interaction (POI) requirements. The council stated, "These requirements, along with the Hardware Security Module (HSM) requirements, provide standards for device manufacturers to ensure merchants and others have secure devices for accepting and processing payment cards."

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Green Dot takes stock

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Media reports surfaced that Green Dot Corp. acquired the general-purpose, reloadable prepaid card portfolio of GE Capital Bank, which issues the Wal-Mart MoneyCard managed by Green Dot. The companies will reportedly close the deal in the second half of 2013. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. In a June 12, 2013, investor presentation, Green Dot noted that significant pressures have come to bear on its business model.

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Companies settle over AchieveCard violations

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

On May 31, 2013, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported its settlement with a California bank and a Texas prepaid card marketer over alleged unfair and deceptive practices in the use of the automated clearing house system to deliver federal benefit payments to prepaid debit cards. First California Bank in Westlake Village, Calif., and Achieve Financial Services LLP in Austin, Texas, agreed to pay approximately $1.1 million to over 64,000 cardholders and to pay civil money penalties of $600,000 and $110,000, respectively.

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Enticing merchants with YouTube contest

Monday, June 10, 2013

Merchants nationwide have a chance to win big by putting their creative talents to work on YouTube. In the Harbortouch Business Upgrade contest, which runs from May 22 to Aug. 15, 2013, merchants are tasked with telling the world how they would use the prize offered to make positive changes in their businesses. The merchant who submits the winning video will receive $10,000, an Elite POS system and a one-year waiver on Harbortouch service and support fees. "At Harbortouch, we serve small and midsize businesses all over the country," stated Jared Isaacman, Chief Executive Officer at Harbortouch. "We know how hard it is to succeed in this economy, and we hope that this contest will make a difference for one lucky merchant."

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Pango mobile parking app catching on in Scranton

Friday, June 7, 2013

Drivers in Scranton, Pa., will no longer have to search for change to feed that city's parking meters. On May 28, 2013, Pango Mobile Parking rolled out a citywide service that allows drivers to pay for parking using their mobile devices or computers. According to Dani Shavit, Chief Executive Officer of Pango Shyyny USA, which is the Pango licensee in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington, D.C., nearly 500 users had signed up for the service less than a week after the launch.

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Card combats fraud in UK scrap metal industry

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Canada-based prepaid card processor Carta Worldwide and Payment Card Solutions (UK) Ltd. launched the Bread4Scrap prepaid corporate card program designed specifically for the U.K. scrap metal industry. Using PCS's MasterCard Worldwide-branded BreadCard, the system allows scrap metal dealers to pay customers electronically.

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BlueSnap empowers Game of Thrones Ascent

Thursday, June 6, 2013

With research firms expecting the global market for social gaming to reach $4 billion or more by 2015, and the United States projected to lead that market with well over $1 billion in sales, tapping into the "freemium" side of this market represents a virtual goldmine for game developers and payment service providers. The term freemium refers to a combination of free and paid premium services for virtual goods, advanced features, or functionality generally delivered digitally.

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Banking Up touts mRDC-prepaid symbiosis

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Plastyc Inc., dba Banking Up, considers mobile remote deposit capture (mRDC) technology to be one product that can grow prepaid card usage and revenues. "We consider mRDC as a new motivator to replace checking accounts with more affordable prepaid accounts or to get banked if they don't currently have a checking account," said Banking Up Chief Executive Officer Patrice Peyret. "Its availability will be a driver in the acquisition of new customers."

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PCI SSC accepting SIG proposals for 2014

Monday, June 3, 2013

The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) is seeking proposals for the formation of new security-related special interest groups (SIGs) in 2014. The SIGs, which are composed of industry professionals and focused on specific topics that deal with data security, help the PCI SSC provide up-to-date information to its membership about current data security challenges and best practices. "The real value in special interest groups is that they are driven by the community at large," said PCI SSC General Manager Bob Russo.

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