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Breaking News articles for March 2015

Fed report shows gains in mobile banking and payments

Monday, March 30, 2015

Mobile banking adoption in the United States is on a tear. Survey results just released by the Federal Reserve Board reveal that 39 percent of adults with mobile phones had used those devices for banking activities as of December 2014. That's up from 33 percent in December 2013, according to Consumers and Mobile Financial Services 2015.

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Target data breach price tag $252 million and counting

Friday, March 27, 2015

Remediation and legal challenges continue at Target Corp., in the costly aftermath of a December 2013 data security breach that compromised 40 million customers’ credit and debit cardholder data, as well as an estimated 70 million consumer email and mailing addresses. Target, in a recent statement, estimated costs of the breach to exceed $252 million in fines and legal fees, with no clear end in sight. The newest addition to a litany of filings was announced March 26, 2015, with preliminary approval of a $10 million dollar settlement in a class action suit filed by Target customers with awards of up to $10,000 per person.

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CFPB takes on consumer lenders, card market

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants to get a better fix on the market for credit cards. On March 17, 2015, the federal consumer watchdog agency issued a request for public comments on how the credit card market is functioning and the impact of credit card regulations on both consumers and card issuers. The request came on the heels of a report to Congress in which the CFPB blasted banks and other service providers for hamstringing consumers when it comes to seeking relief for disputed transactions.

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Verizon study details need for improved PCI security

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Verizon 2015 PCI Compliance Report is Verizon Communications' fourth and most extensive study of global trends in payment card security. Highlights include a review of Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards (DSS) baseline requirements and a first-time focus on sustainable security practices. The 84-page study explores why four out of five companies fall out of compliance after passing their PCI audits. Additionally, two thirds of the companies studied used incomplete or inadequate test scripts for their in-scope security systems.

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Congressional Payments Technology Caucus a positive for payments

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Congressional Payments Technology Caucus (CPTC), formed March 19, 2015, will expand oversight into payment technologies, data security and alternative payment schemes that exist outside the traditional banking footprint. Committee members include House Representatives Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, David Scott, D-Ga., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz. The representatives share an interest in consumer protection and concurrently serve on the House Financial Services Committee. Jason Oxman, Chief Executive Officer at the Washington, D.C.-based Electronic Transactions Association hailed the newly formed caucus as an important new development for the payments industry and U.S. economy.

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New initiative seeks common ground for advancing mobile wallets

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Can financial institutions and merchants work together on an open, common platform for bank- and retailer-branded mobile wallets with "frictionless activation and redemption of loyalty and offers"? Mobile payment consultant Richard Crone is betting they can, and he's launching the Merchant Financial Institution Council to help bring it to fruition. Crone described the initiative as an alternative to Apple Pay and noted that mobile wallets are an important customer touch point, especially with the millennial generation. "If you simply cede this market to Apple, Google [or other nonbanks], you will lose that touch point forever," Crone said in announcing the MFIC in early March 2015 at the BAI Payments Connect conference.

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Marketplace Fairness Act to even score online, offline

Friday, March 13, 2015

Numerous small and midsize merchants applauded when The Marketplace Fairness Act was reintroduced to the Senate on March 10, 2015. The proposed legislation would reform sales tax laws that predate the Internet with uniform sales tax collection for both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retailers. The bill achieved a majority Senate vote in 2013, and foundered in the House due to concerns about enforcement, implementation and perception of the bill as a tax increase.

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Who's to blame for Apple Pay fraud?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Apple Inc. has been slammed by a rash of fraudulent card payments at its retail outlets. The culprits are identity thieves who have been loading fraudulent card numbers into Apple Pay wallets and making high-value purchases (like iPads) that are easy to convert to cash. Much of the information being used was compromised during recent high-profile data breaches. Cherian Abraham, a mobile commerce expert at Experian Information Services Inc.'s Global Consulting Practice, writes a blog called Drop Labs. She revealed in a post in February 2015 that identity thieves are buying the latest model of iPhones, loading stolen credit and debit card numbers onto Apple Pay wallets, and then using the wallets to purchase iPads and other high-ticket items.

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Visa Checkout used by 3 billion, plans worldwide expansion

Friday, March 13, 2015

Visa Checkout, a Visa Inc. payment scheme designed for speed and security, was introduced in July 2014 and has gained a steady following in the United States, Canada and Australia as consumers select the one-touch payment method on computers, tablets and mobile phones, according to Visa. The company reported that over 3 billion consumers have used Visa Checkout thus far; of those, 40 percent were new users, and 75 percent were active and repeat users.

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Lack of EMV readiness continues, EMVCo steps up

Friday, March 13, 2015

As EMVCo prepares for a June 2015 EMV User Meeting in Seattle, results from an independent survey indicate small to midsize merchants will not be EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa)-ready in time for the October 15 liability shift. The meeting is slated to address advances in technology and EMVCo’s expanding role in the payments ecosystem. EMVCo, owned by American Express Co., Discover Financial Services, JCB International Credit Card Co. Ltd., MasterCard Worldwide, China UnionPay and Visa Inc., is a technical body focused on managing the evolving global EMV specifications and related testing processes.

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Mobile World Congress 2015 extols innovation, inclusion

Friday, March 6, 2015

More than 93,000 attendees and 2,000 exhibitors from 200 countries gathered in Barcelona, Spain, March 2 through 5 for Mobile World Congress 2015. Event host Groupe Speciale Mobile stated this held an attendance record for this coalition of mobile operators established in 1982 and focused on Europe's expanding mobile ecosystem.

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PayPal, Paydiant to build retailer-centric mPOS

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

PayPal Inc., the payments division of San Jose, Calif.-based eBay Inc., revealed on March 2, 2015, that it is acquiring app developer Paydiant Inc. Established in 2010 and based in Auburndale, Mass., Paydiant is best known for developing CurrentC, a mobile wallet used by retail consortium Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX). PayPal will pay a reported $280 million for the deal, which is expected to close in late March or early April.

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