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Breaking News articles for April 2015

FTC action against Nomi a warning to retailers on privacy

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against Nomi Technologies Inc. on April 23, 2015, sending a clear message to retailers on the need to align privacy policies with business practices. The complaint alleges the data analytics firm misrepresented its consumer opt-out policy and that retail clients using its service did not notify store visitors they were being tracked or offer consumers the opportunity to opt out of in-store surveillance.

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NACHA finds ACH payments grew 5 percent in 2014

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

U.S. consumers and businesses made nearly 23 billion payments in 2014 through the automated clearing house (ACH) payment system, NACHA revealed. In a report delivered at its annual convention, NACHA – the Electronic Payments Association, said ACH volume was up almost 5 percent (or 1 billion transactions) over 2013. Just over $40 trillion was transferred over the ACH last year, an increase of about 3 percent compared with 2013, NACHA said. The ACH is an electronic payment system that operates in a batch mode and can accommodate both credit and debit transactions. NACHA is a private sector group, made up of banks and corporations, that is responsible for managing ACH development and rules processes.

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Conflicting decisions on surcharging emerge in state courts

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Recent federal court rulings have placed a cloud over state laws regulating credit card surcharging. In March 2015, a federal district court in California ruled that a California law prohibiting retailers from surcharging credit card payments was an unconstitutional restriction of merchant freedom of speech. That followed a February decision handed down by a federal district court in Texas rejecting similar arguments presented by a group of merchants in The Lone Star State, and two other states have weighed in as well.

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White House gets tough on cyber crime

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The United States raised the price of cyber crime on April 1, 2015, the effective date for a new set of penalties for cyber criminals. President Barack Obama declared a “national emergency” when he issued an executive order granting additional powers to U.S. government agencies to “respond appropriately, proportionally, and effectively to malicious cyber-enabled activities.”

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Prepaid cards trump checks for payroll

Monday, April 20, 2015

A new report from Aite Group LLC indicates payroll cards are gaining broad acceptance as demand for reloadable prepaid debit card grows. But another recent report, from Mercator Advisory Group, warns that a regulatory proposal pending at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau could turn the tables on this trend. The CFPB proposal aims to increase consumer protections on all types of open-loop prepaid card programs, including payroll cards. But experts warn it may achieve the opposite.

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Gravity Payments resets minimum wage

Friday, April 17, 2015

As demonstrators staged “tax day protests” across the United States demanding higher pay, Gravity Payments dramatically increased its staff’s salaries, making headlines around the world. The ISO's Chief Executive Officer, Dan Price, revealed April 14, 2015, in a televised meeting that the company would pay a minimum salary of $70,000 to all employees. The plan, effective immediately, allots incremental raises over a three year period. “Starting today, everybody in the company that makes under $50,000 a year is automatically going to make the greater of $50,000 a year or $5,000 more than you’re making today," Price said.

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New EMV migration aid, preference for chip and PIN

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

As the chip card fraud liability shift deadline looms, support for the U.S. EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) migration has grown, and merchant debates on how to become EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) compliant have brought to the fore the need to demystify EMV implementation and best practices. One such effort, released April 1, 2015, is the EMV Minimum Requirements Matrix. The spreadsheet, produced by the EMV Migration Forum, has separate sections for U.S. issuers, merchants, acquirers, processors and vendors. Designed to be used as a starting point and baseline, the document illustrates how payments industry stakeholders contribute to EMV adoption and their respective roles in day-to-day procedures.

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Singtel, Trustwave merger to focus on global digital security

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. and its subsidiary companies (Singtel), with main operations in Singapore and Australia, stated on April 7, 2015, it intends to acquire Trustwave Holdings Inc., a Chicago-based information security company. The deal, worth an estimated $810 million and expected to close in three to six months, is the latest in a series of technology acquisitions by the telcom conglomerate, which has over 500 million subscribers in 25 countries and provides a range of fixed, mobile, data, internet, television and information and communications technology services. Payments analysts view the move as consistent with the company's far-reaching security and digital technology strategies.

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CFPB sues ISOs, acquirer over client scams

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants ISOs and acquirers to be more circumspect about their clients. To that end, the federal consumer watchdog agency revealed on April 8, 2015, it is taking down a bogus debt-collection operation. It also named four merchant services companies as co-defendants in a civil suit it filed in a federal court in Georgia. This appears to be the first time the CFPB has come down directly on payment processing companies. And it doesn’t bode well, according to industry attorney Adam Atlas. “This case poses challenging questions for all processors and ISOs as well,” he said.

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Researchers find 86 percent fraud in chargebacks

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Global Risk Technologies, a chargeback remediation company based in Dublin, Ireland, with a subsidiary in Clearwater, Fla., published a white paper examining "friendly fraud," a growing challenge for e-commerce merchants in both the United States and Europe. The company's findings show that approximately 86 percent of chargebacks are fraudulent, and many consumers bypass merchants to directly file complaints with card issuing banks. According to a recent study by Visa Inc., this type of fraud is growing at approximately 41 percent per year, costing merchants and card brands billions of dollars in lost revenue.

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Visa simplifies airline purchases

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

As part of an ongoing effort to simplify rules and work more closely with acquirers and their customers, Visa Inc. recently disclosed a new standard for identifying airline-related purchases. Airline acceptance of credit and debit cards has been on a steep upward trajectory for several years now as individual carriers introduce more fees, said Ramon Martin, Global Head of Merchant Solutions at Visa. Sales of these "ancillary services" (like additional luggage, seat upgrades and in-flight meals), in fact, are up 400 percent, he added. Based on current estimates, Visa said ancillary purchases presently account for about 50 percent of all airline transactions.

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Transact 15 highlights global trends in payments

Friday, April 3, 2015

A record number of payment professionals attended Transact 15, the Electronic Transactions Association's 25th anniversary conference held March 31 to April 2, 2015, in San Francisco. The ETA reported that more than 200 exhibitors, 4,000 attendees, and numerous startup companies filled Moscone Center's 45,000 square foot exhibit hall. When introducing keynote addresses by executives from Visa Inc., Ant Financial America, and First Data Corp., ETA Chief Executive Officer Jason Oxman said that, in 2007, Steve Jobs had used the same stage to unveil the iPhone, "the fastest selling gadget in the history of technology." He predicted new connected devices from smartphones to watches to wearables will co-exist with traditional payment card products, noting that checks, invented by ancient Phoenicians, are still widely circulated today.

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