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Breaking News articles for January 2016

NRF celebrates mobile, EMV milestones

Friday, January 29, 2016

The National Retail Federation's Annual Convention and Expo, held Jan. 17 to 20 at New York City's Jacob Javits Convention Center, launched a new year in retail. NRF President Matthew R. Shay described the event as an opportunity to reflect on the past year, meet with partners, gather new ideas and plan for the future.

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TransFirst finds new home: TSYS

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Leading acquirer Total System Services Inc. (TSYS) revealed its intention to acquire TransFirst Holdings LLC for $2.35 billion. If approved, the transaction would make TSYS the eighth-largest merchant acquirer in the United States, with nearly 600,000 merchant locations generating $90 billion a year in bankcard payments, according to an analysis by First Annapolis Consulting.

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Blackhawk, an omnichannel force in prepaid

Monday, January 25, 2016

Global prepaid network Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc. opened 2016 with two strategic acquisitions for a total purchase price of approximately $120 million. Given the success of physical gift card distribution since Blackhawk's introduction of the gift card mall more than a decade ago, the company is now expanding its reach in the digital and rewards arenas. Blackhawk stated the acquisition of GiftCards.com LLC, a website that offers digital and physical gift card solutions to consumers, and OmniCard LLC, a firm that specializes in prepaid incentive and reward solutions for business clients, is consistent with the company's growth strategy around its digital product expansion and is expected to increase Blackhawk's net income in fiscal year 2016.

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Visa says Level 4 merchants must use PCI-accredited QIRs

Friday, January 22, 2016

Visa Inc. is ratcheting up the focus on POS data security. Beginning in January 2017, small (Level 4) merchants may use only integrators and resellers for POS application and device implementation and installation that have been certified by the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC), Visa stated. Acquirers must convey the new requirement to their small business clients by no later than March 31, 2016, Visa said in a bulletin released in December 2015. The new Qualified Integrators and Resellers (QIR) certification is a three-year, renewable credential awarded by the PCI SSC. It's an assurance that these third-party service providers can meet the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) and related security standards managed by the council. A list of certified QIRs can be found on Visa's web site.

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NEAA delivers again in Boston

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel set the scene for the Northeast Acquirers Association's annual gathering from Jan.13 to 15, 2016. And Boston's newly developed Seaport district was a fitting backdrop for payments' longest-running regional show, which continues to evolve in response to the ever-changing payments industry. Approximately 90 exhibitors and 575 attendees used the NEAA's mobile app and Twitter hashtag #NEAA16 throughout the event. In its 31st annual conference, the organization furthered its mission to educate and empower merchant acquiring professionals. Established in 1985, the nonprofit, non-membership regional association works diligently to offer vibrant, relevant programs that provide both educational fare and networking opportunities.

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New DOT standards reach airport kiosks

Friday, January 15, 2016

Several new U.S. Department of Transportation regulations are set to take effect in 2016. In compliance with the ADA Standards for Accessible Design, one new requirement stipulates that airports must have audio-equipped technology installed in at least 25 percent of airport kiosks. The new rule additionally complies with the Air Carrier Access Act enacted by Congress in 1986, which prohibits air carriers from discriminating against individuals with disabilities.

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U.S. adds six Russian banks to OFAC banned list

Monday, January 11, 2016

Add six banks based in Russia to the growing list of bad actors the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated as off limits for U.S. companies and individuals. The government's action forced Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide to disconnect the designated banks from the international card networks, according to published reports. The six banks in question are Genbank, Krayinvestbank, Upper Volga Bank, Sevastopol Marine Bank, Inresbank, and Mosoblbank. The Treasury Department described the OFAC designation as stemming from economic sanctions imposed in 2015 on Russia following its annexation of Crimea from the Ukraine.

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FTC takes on big data

Friday, January 8, 2016

A 50-page report released Jan. 6, 2016, by the Federal Trade Commission challenges business owners and consumers to evaluate the benefits and risks of data analytics. Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion? poses tough questions about how data is collected and analyzed and where it is stored at the end of its useful life. The report stated that big data's lifecycle typically spans four stages: collection, compilation and consolidation, analysis, and use.

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MasterPass joins Wal-Mart payment mix

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. disclosed Jan. 4, 2016, that it plans to add MasterPass to all its e-commerce websites this year. Launched in 2013 by MasterCard Worldwide, the MasterPass e-commerce platform is designed to enhance and simplify digital payment transactions. Approximately 250,000 retail locations and 24 countries use the free service, which is easy to implement and use, MasterCard stated. "We have enjoyed a longstanding business relationship with Walmart and are pleased to expand this into the online and mobile channels through MasterPass," said Michael Cyr, Group Executive, U.S. Market Development at MasterCard. "With MasterPass, consumers can go online, place their order and pay with just a click."

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