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Breaking News articles for January 2015

FTC preps for IoT opportunities, threats

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Internet of Things (IoT) is expanding, according to a Federal Trade Commission report released Jan. 27, 2015. The agency sees IoT as "devices or sensors – other than computers, smartphones, or tablets – that connect, store or transmit information with or between each other via the Internet." This poses a unique dilemma for security analysts. On one hand, these devices are a boon to consumers. On the other hand, they create millions of new points of entry for potential hackers.

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MasterCard leads way for U.S. card acceptance in Cuba

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

If you're planning a trip to Cuba any time soon you may want to take along your MasterCard, because U.S.-issued American Express, Discover and Visa cards can't be used on the island nation. That's the situation for now, at least. MasterCard Worldwide is the first card brand to lift a decades-old ban on using U.S.-issued credit and debit cards for transactions with Cuban sellers, effective March 1, 2015. The move, heralded on the company's website Jan. 23, follows word out of Washington, D.C., last month that the federal government was relaxing restrictions on Americans traveling to Cuba or doing business with Cuban firms and individuals.

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Girl Scouts stage Digital Cookie 'bake-off'

Monday, January 26, 2015

The January 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas marked the unveiling of Digital Cookie, a new way for consumers to order Girl Scout cookies – and a striking example of how mobile retail and payment technologies are gaining momentum among the public and becoming integral to U.S. commerce. CES conference attendees were the first to sample the interactive digital platform demonstrated by Girl Scouts from Oregon, Southwest Washington, and Southern Nevada councils. All 112 Girl Scout councils expect to participate in the national rollout, designed to drive revenue and boost Girl Scout brand awareness.

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NRF show celebrates innovation, spots trends

Friday, January 23, 2015

An estimated 33,000 attendees convened at New York's Jacob Javitz Center for The National Retail Federation's 104th Annual Convention and Expo, held Jan. 11 through 14, 2015. In his opening comments, NRF President and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Shay said, "We believe this is the greatest industry in the world, and we're proud to help you tell that story." Payment professionals contributed to the story by demonstrating their products and services and networking in the exhibit hall, evidencing that, while retailers may complain vociferously about the high cost of interchange, they are nevertheless collaborating with the payments industry in innovative ways.

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High court rebuffs merchant challenge to debit interchange rules

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Efforts by the nation's retailers to force down debit card interchange was dealt another blow this week when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a 2014 appellate court ruling that let stand rate caps set by the Federal Reserve Board under the Durbin Amendment to the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. Undeterred, retailers have vowed to continue pressing for mandated lower interchange. Banks, for their part, have countered that enough is enough.

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EMVCo to improve standard for e- and m-commerce

Thursday, January 15, 2015

EMVCo LLC revealed plans on Jan. 8, 2015, to leverage 3D Secure (3DS) to help stem a rising tide of e-commerce fraud while enhancing global interoperability and security. 3DS, a technology developed by Visa Inc. and subsequently licensed by MasterCard Worldwide, is designed to protect card-not-present (CNP) transactions by incorporating an additional layer of security into the online checkout process.

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New payments player teams with Dallas Cowboys

Friday, January 9, 2015

In the first week of 2015 and second round of NFL playoffs, Frisco, Texas-based Blue Star Payment Solutions heralded a Texas-sized value proposition that blends Bank of America Merchant Services with Dallas Cowboys fan incentives. At a time when all stakeholders on the payments value chain are being called upon to differentiate themselves in creative ways, Blue Star may have devised a winning strategy. Texas area merchants will have a home team advantage during Blue Star's initial national launch. The new ISO's extended family of merchants enjoy automatic membership in the Dallas Cowboys United Fan Club, earning access to limited edition Cowboys merchandise, Cowboys-themed events, and ongoing eligibility in drawings to view Cowboys games, practices and training camp – at no extra cost to merchants, the company stated.

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Tracking potential predators in Chick-Fil-A's data coop

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Atlanta-based Chick-Fil-A Inc., a quick-service restaurant chain specializing in chicken, began an investigation on Dec. 19, 2014, into a security breach alleged to have occurred at several of its restaurants. The privately held, family owned company has more than 1,850 locations in 41 states and over $5 billion in annual sales. The company said its management is cooperating with law enforcement and information technology (IT) security analysts, and it will share details on affected locations and the specific nature of the attacks as they become available. At this time, "it would be premature to comment further given the pending investigation," the company stated.

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Google the latest billion-dollar settlement denier to sue MasterCard, Visa

Monday, January 5, 2015

Google's lawsuit against MasterCard Worldwide and Visa Inc. filed Dec. 23, 2014, in an East Texas court is the most recent addition to ongoing disputes between retailers and payment card brands. Recent hostilities can be traced to a class action suit filed in 2005 by a group of large and small merchants seeking restitution from card brands for what they deemed to be exorbitant interchange processing fees. The case dragged on for years leading up to a 2012 ruling by U.S. District Judge John Gleeson that awarded $7.2 billion to the plaintiffs for excessive processing fees incurred from January 2004 through Nov. 28, 2012.

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