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Breaking News articles for June 2014

Data breach forces P.F. Chang's back to 'knucklebusters'

Friday, June 27, 2014

In the wake of the recently uncovered data compromise at Chinese restaurant chain P.F. Chang's China Bistro Inc., the business reverted to 1970's-style manual card imprinters, also known as "knucklebusters," to process card payments. Beyond the novelty of a 21st century business resorting to 40-year-old technology that involves running bankcards through clunky machines to make impressions on carbon slips, the breach underscores once again the security weaknesses of current POS systems that may not lessen fraud – even when Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) chip card technology is implemented.

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The Green Sheet changes hands: COO & General Manager Kate Gillespie assumes ownership of industry-leading venue

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Payments industry pioneer Paul H. Green has announced a change of ownership at The Green Sheet, the definitive source for information and inspiration in the merchant services arena. Effective July 1, 2014, Kate Gillespie, the company’s Chief Operating Officer and General Manager, will assume ownership and the titles of President and Chief Executive Officer of The Green Sheet Inc. Green is largely regarded as the man who launched the first independent sales organization for credit card acquiring, when he started the company Unlimited Merchant Services Association (UMSA) in 1979, which eventually became American Marketing Corp. (AMCOR).

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Clover 'apps' up

Monday, June 23, 2014

Eighteen months ago, First Data Corp. acquired POS startup Clover Network Inc., betting merchants would buy into a POS system that offered them a direct pipeline to a merchant-specific app marketplace. The gamble appears to be paying off, as First Data ISOs push Clover Station and merchants engage with the Clover App Market to download apps that address their specific needs.

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CFPB to explore mobile solutions for the unbanked

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

With the explosion in smartphone and tablet usage, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launched an inquiry into the mobile banking and payments space to determine how mobile services are impacting the financial lives of the unbanked and underbanked populations.

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Merchants need to eliminate the FUD

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A recent CardinalCommerce survey said 82 percent of e-commerce merchants who currently do not employ a consumer authentication solution are afraid that such solutions will scare off online shoppers. But with more and more fraud expected to migrate online in the coming years, the payments industry needs to do a better job of informing merchants why authentication in the card-not-present realm is crucial to data security. The report, Use of Consumer Authentication in eCommerce: Annual Survey, 2014, conducted jointly with The Fraud Practice LLC, surveyed card issuers, payment gateway operators, acquirers, other merchant service providers and merchants themselves. While a majority of payment service companies employ some type of 3D Secure online authentication, and most large merchants do likewise, the rest of the merchant population, especially in North America, apparently do not.

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The Green Sheet continues winning tradition

Monday, June 16, 2014

For the thirteenth consecutive year, The Green Sheet magazine was honored by Communications Concepts Inc. This year the publication received two APEX 2014 Awards for Publication Excellence, both in the Magazine, Journal & Tabloid Writing category. Of the nearly 2,100 entries submitted, 832 received awards of excellence making this year's competition "exceptionally intense," according to Communications Concepts.

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IRN settles with FTC over telemarketing scam

Friday, June 13, 2014

For its role in processing payments for a telemarketer that engaged in a credit card interest rate reduction scam, Independent Resources Network Corp., doing business as IRN Payment Systems, agreed to a $3.48 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC said Westbury, New York-based IRN knowingly facilitated the scam of Clearwater, Fla.-based telemarketer Innovative Wealth Builders Inc., which defrauded consumers of almost $10 million. According to the FTC, IWB cold-called consumers with the offer of reducing their credit card rates and saving them thousands of dollars. After obtaining credit card numbers, IWB then charged customers fees for the bogus service. Consumers never received the services offered, and IWB charged them fees ranging from $500 to $2,000, the FTC said.

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Apple changes app rules to include virtual currencies

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Apple Inc. added a new rule to its App Store Review guidelines allowing for mobile wallets that facilitate virtual currency transactions, including bitcoin payments. It is seen as a positive development for the bitcoin marketplace because Apple had previously banned payment-related bitcoin apps from its iTunes App Store. While virtual currencies are not yet regulated in the United States either federally or at the state level (although virtual currencies have been addressed from federal law enforcement and taxation perspectives), Apple's move to include virtual currency apps seems like an admission of bitcoin's viability as an alternative currency when bitcoin payment facilitators operate in accordance with regulations.

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Feds place choke hold on banks, processors

Friday, June 6, 2014

Members of the U.S. Congress and the business community are livid over a controversial federal program that aims to "choke out" access to the banking system by businesses deemed high risk or otherwise objectionable, albeit legal. The hit list includes gun shops, coin dealers, check cashing establishments and payday lenders. Despite the uproar, the U.S. Department of Justice doesn't seem inclined to back down. The program, launched in April 2013 and known as Operation Choke Point, resulted in over 50 subpoenas being issued to banks and payment processors in just nine months, according to a report released on May 29, 2014, by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

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Square ditches mobile wallet, offers cash advances

Thursday, June 5, 2014

In the case of Square Inc., the evolution of a payments startup is on full display. Rumors that the small business-focused innovator was seeking a buyer in the tech industry to stem its flow of red ink has given way to the elimination of its general-use mobile wallet and a refocus on a food and drink preordering app, followed by news that it is now offering merchant cash advances (MCAs). It was only April 2014 when news surfaced that Square had apparently engaged in talks with tech giants Google Inc. and Apple Inc. to buy the San Francisco startup. While the reports were based on anonymous sources and Square publicly denied the claims, Square's reported inability to generate a profit gives rise to the notion that selling the business would be a way out of its revenue deficit.

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