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Breaking News articles for July 2015

Appeals court gives green light to CFPB challengers

Friday, July 31, 2015

Score one for opponents of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. A U.S. Appeals Court in Washington, D.C., recently overturned a lower-court ruling that asserted a Texas bank lacked legal standing to challenge the constitutionality of the federal consumer watchdog agency's governance. "Although this is a decision that is narrow in scope, it now allows the plaintiffs to litigate a significant issue that has been disputed since the creation of the CFPB – namely, whether the CFPB must be governed by a commission or board rather than one sole director," said Joe Lynyak, a partner in the international law firm Dorsey and Whitney.

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First Data opens new chapter

Thursday, July 30, 2015

It's a busy time at First Data Corp. The global payment processor and technology provider filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on July 20, 2015, paving the way to an initial public offering of its common stock. Nine days later came the second quarter earnings statement with comprehensive reportage from each of its global business units. The company reported quarterly income of $1.8 billion, a 1 percent increase over the same period in 2014. First Data Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frank Bisignano expressed confidence in the company's "solid constant currency revenue growth."

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MasterCard, NYPAY explore fintech APIs

Monday, July 27, 2015

MasterCard Worldwide and NYPAY co-hosted a summer evening celebration of financial technologies on July 22, 2015, in New York City. Sixty-five attendees enjoyed a casual dinner, networking and panel discussion held at MasterCard's Technology Hub and titled APIs in Fintech: What They Do and Why They Matter. The technology hub, which opened in October 2014 in New York's tech-friendly Flatiron District, leverages what MasterCard Chief Executive Officer Ajay Banga described as a "pre-eminent technology and product talent pool."

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PayPal gets wings, makes mobile play

Friday, July 24, 2015

Upon spinning off from parent company eBay Inc., PayPal Inc. declared it wants to be a dominant player in the mobile payments space. "Mobile technology is transforming payments, making it easier, safer and more affordable for people to move and manage their money than ever before," said PayPal President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Schulman in a July 20, 2015, statement. "As an independent company, we see tremendous opportunity for PayPal to expand our role as a champion for consumers and partner to merchants, and to help shape the industry as money becomes digital at an increasingly rapid pace."

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Bitcoin exchanges gain traction, dodge VAT

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The European Union's Court of Justice Advocate exempted bitcoin trading from Europe's value-added tax (VAT). The Luxembourg-based tribunal heard arguments from Estonia, Germany and Sweden before reaching the July 16, 2015, decision. These parties and the European Banking Authority had petitioned the court for guidance on taxing digital currencies. In the absence of an English trial transcript, analysts used Google translation tools to review the ruling. They concluded that European authorities could find no legal precedent for taxing digital exchange conversions between digital money and fiat currencies. The ruling stipulates that digital currency products are created outside of the traditional banking system and therefore not subject to the same rules as fiat currencies.

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CFPB urges faster, safer consumer payments

Friday, July 17, 2015

Faster payments are fine so long as consumers don't become short changed by the process. That's the latest pronouncement from of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has just published a set of principles it wants to see new systems built around. "Companies developing new financial technologies should be building systems from the outset with consumer protections in mind," CFPB Director Richard Cordray said upon publication of the guidelines. "It is a lot easier to build something right from the start than it is to retrofit it." He added that the agency "will continue our work to help ensure that financial services marketplaces are safe and transparent for consumers."

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PCI SSC revamps P2PE, device standards

Thursday, July 16, 2015

After thorough review and input from payments industry stakeholders, the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) recently released a comprehensive update to its encryption standard as documented in PCI Point-to-Point Encryption Solution Requirements and Testing Procedures Version 2.0. The updated standard provides greater flexibility to solutions providers and to entities that offer components that can be integrated into P2PE-validated solutions. The PCI SSC categorizes elements within the latest standard by P2PE solutions, software applications, component providers and solution providers.

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Last call to upgrade Windows Server 2003

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Security analysts and information technology leaders are warning the business community to migrate servers before Microsoft Corp. ends its support of the Windows Server 2003 platform. After July 14, 2015, Microsoft will no longer issue security patches for the platform, leaving businesses without convenient, timely remedies for security vulnerabilities. "Vendor-supported operating systems and devices are a crucial part of any environment that aims to maintain a high level of security and compliance," said Steve Robb, Senior Vice President at ControlScan Inc., an Atlanta-based provider of data security and compliance solutions for small and midsized businesses.

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Digging deeper into KYC

Thursday, July 9, 2015

KYC is more than just an acronym for "know your customer"; it has become a guiding principle of financial services. And with the proliferation of e-commerce, it has become increasingly important to get a handle on who your customers' customers are. Not doing so could land an ISO or acquirer in hot water. That's because the Internet has become a haven for money launderers, according to a new report from ControlScan Inc. Online laundering, also known as undisclosed transaction aggregation, refers to payment activity that emanates from unknown websites and gets processed through known clients.

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U.S. acquirers, merchants forge ahead with EMV

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

As the Oct. 1, 2015, liability shift deadline draws near, U.S. payments industry stakeholders are pulling all the stops to drive mass adoption of Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) payment methods in the merchant community. Despite broad chip card issuance and overall merchant receptivity, recent studies by Forrester Research Inc. and The Strawhecker Group conclude that upgrading the U.S. POS infrastructure to more secure, intelligent EMV technologies may take another four to five years of collaborative effort. Forrester's April 2015 revealed that emerging payments schemes ‒ for example, digital wallets and mobile payments that use near-field communications (NFC) ‒ are expected to complicate the EMV rollout and take market share from plastic EMV signature and chip-and-PIN cards in the United States. "Forrester predicts that plastic EMV won't achieve broad adoption in the U.S. until 2020," the report stated.

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Retail gift cards gain

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Good news on the prepaid card front: retailer gift cards, after losing ground in 2013, rebounded in 2014. The total of dollars loaded onto retail gift cards grew 9 percent last year, according to a new report from Mercator Advisory Group . "Closed-loop gift cards continue to be popular for retailers and their customers," said Ben Jackson, Director of Prepaid at Mercator Advisory Group, and author of the report, Retail Gift Card Trends in the United States: 2014 in Review. "Despite downward pressure in 2013, the market rebounded last year, and customers showed their affinity for closed loop prepaid cards."

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Square could be on hook for millions in chargebacks

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

On June 26, 2015, Creative Creations Omaha owner Patricia Urbanovsky turned herself into local law enforcement after being charged with three felony counts of theft in connection with the sale of worthless travel vouchers. Investigators revealed that three former employees accrued $141,000 in personal credit card charges on behalf of Urbanovsky after she exceeded her own credit card limits to run the voucher scheme.

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