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Breaking News articles for November 2015

SF City Attorney declares AmEx pricing illegal

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A spate of litigious activities against payment card pricing models underscores deepening hostilities among regulatory agencies, retailers and payment card brands. In 2014, the United States Department of Justice and 17 state attorneys general successfully challenged American Express Co.'s pricing and acceptance policies. The lawsuit accused AmEx of setting prices too high and prohibiting enrolled merchants from encouraging AmEx cardholders to use other, less expensive forms of payment at the POS. A judge in the Eastern District Court of New York ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in February 2015, following a seven-week trial. Plaintiffs included Arizona, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Vermont. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder praised the decision, setting the stage for further state-level actions against the company's alleged illegal fee structure.

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Square after the IPO

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

On Nov. 19, 2015, Square Inc. debuted on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "SQ," trading at $11.20 per share before closing the day at $13.07 and raising about $243 million. Square initially set its IPO price at $11 to $13, but institutional investors bargained for $9 per share as the valuation of the company slipped from $6 billion in recent months to $2.9 billion before the opening bell. Square joined the ranks of recent "unicorn" IPOs, defined as technology-based companies valued at $1 billion or more by public or private market investors.

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NFC Forum urges EMV, NFC upgrades

Friday, November 20, 2015

Studies conducted in the wake of the Oct. 1, 2015, Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) liability shift indicate U.S. retailers have been slow to adopt chip card technology, particularly in the small to midsize business sector. The NFC Forum published a white paper Nov. 17, 2015, geared for merchants and aimed at educating them on the benefits associated with EMV card acceptance, which was mandated by the major card brands. U.S. Retailers: Why You're Not as Ready as You Think for Today's Retail Payments Migration, co-authored by Matthew Bright and Frank Tekampe, makes a case for upgrading to both EMV and near field communication (NFC) technologies.

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LG says move over Apple, Samsung, Google

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Korea-based smartphone manufacturer LG Electronics Inc. is entering the crowded mobile payments arena. The company broke the news in a Nov. 18, 2015, update to its Facebook page. The solution, dubbed LG Pay, is expected to launch in December. LG will join a field populated by established competitors Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay through an alliance with Korean card brands Shinhan Card Co. Ltd. and KB Kookmin Card Co. Ltd.

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Open Mobile Summit taps innovative minds

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Leaders from the mobile ecosystem met in San Francisco for the Open Mobile Summit on Nov. 9 and 10, 2015. More than 90 product and marketing experts shared insights on the challenges and opportunities of moving to a mobile-first world and how the full potential of mobile apps could be unleashed through advanced machine learning. In opening comments, Altimeter Group Principal Analyst Brian Solis described the mobile-only customer experience as a series of micro moments, where each must be useful in order for customers to take the next step.

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Restaurants adjust to EMV tipping

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

As Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) adoption gains momentum in the United States, some merchant level salespeople (MLSs) have encountered difficulties while helping retail and hospitality businesses to accept tips and gratuities while using EMV-compatible solutions. However, many payments analysts see little variation between adding tips to mag stripe transactions and the chip-and-signature transactions that are being phased in to U.S. merchant locations.

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Analysts predict healthy holiday spend

Friday, November 13, 2015

Positive economic indicators and general consumer optimism have created a festive mood among retailers and payment professionals in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season. Retailers have launched early, omnichannel Black Friday promotions. Bellwether reports from the National Retail Federation and First Data Corp. indicate consumer spending in 2015 may be nearing prerecession levels.

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RDC summit explores next-gen banking, technologies

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Executives from financial institutions, technology companies and regulatory agencies convened in Orlando, Fla., for RDC Summit 2015, the eighth annual conference of RemoteDepositCapture.com. The three-day event held Nov. 4 to 6, 2015, at the Omni Resort explored banking industry trends, emerging technologies and the evolving regulatory landscape. In his opening remarks at the general session, RemoteDepositCapture.com founder and Chief Executive Officer John Leekley described remote deposit capture (RDC) technology as an international technology platform that can handle payments and related data. "RDC is a payments platform, not a check payment type," he said. "It's a middleware, delivery channel and technology service that can be applied to different markets and use cases."

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Amazon bows out of card processing

Monday, November 9, 2015

Amazon Inc. has deep-sixed plans to compete head-to-head with merchant acquirers. In a recent email to users of its Amazon Register service, the online giant said it is no longer accepting new customers. Existing customers can continue accepting payments using the devices until Feb. 1, 2016. The online retailing giant also is shuttering ad programs that link shoppers to other online sellers, according to several published reports. Amazon Register is a card-reading dongle that attaches to smartphones. Users paid $10 for the dongle and downloaded the supporting app for free. The market for dongle card readers is crowded. About two dozen other companies have offerings similar to Amazon Register.

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Merchants go to court over hidden fees

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Two Tennessee-based merchants are taking Mercury Payment Systems and Global Payments Direct Inc. to court in Georgia, accusing the two merchant acquiring companies of adding hidden charges to their monthly billing statements. Archer's Barbeque, which runs restaurants in Knoxville, Tenn., and WokChow Development, which runs an Asian restaurant in Knoxville, filed suit against the companies in Fulton County (Georgia) Superior Court in October. Both are former customers of the two firms.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Las Vegas hosts global, regional payments events

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Two payments industry conferences were held in Las Vegas during the last week of October 2015. Money20/20 was billed as the largest convention in payments history; the Western States Acquirers Association was a well-attended regional gathering. Despite obvious differences in size, both shows delivered well-organized, incisive content. Payments analysts who attended both venues noted similarities in presentations and topics of interest such as Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) migration, mobile payments, security and omnichannel commerce.

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Blockchain Alliance connected in D.C.

Monday, November 2, 2015

A new public-private forum known as the Blockchain Alliance is at work in Washington, D.C., to help combat criminal activity involving bitcoin and blockchain technology. Founded as an initiative of Coin Center and the Chamber of Digital Commerce, and with the support of law enforcement agencies and members of the digital currency industry, the nonprofit organization will act as liaison between the cryptocurrency community and federal law enforcement agencies. For those who are unfamiliar with digital currencies, a blockchain is a distributed database that maintains a continuously growing list of data records (blocks) that are hardened against tampering and revision. The bitcoin blockchain is a constantly growing, public ledger of all executed bitcoin transactions. Blocks are added in a linear, chronological order. Other cryptocurrencies use blockchains, and the financial industry is exploring additional uses for the technology.

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