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Breaking News articles for June 2016

Aussies crack down on card surcharges

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The debate over credit card pricing took a new twist in May 2016 when the Australian government instituted a ban on “excessive” merchant surcharging. The new “surcharging standard states that consumers paying with Visa Inc., MasterCard Worldwide and American Express Co. credit and debit cards, as well as locally branded cards, cannot be surcharged “in excess of a merchant’s cost of acceptance for that card system.”

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Disputes rekindled by Financial CHOICE Act

Monday, June 27, 2016

Controversy surrounding a new piece of legislation that would repeal and replace the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act has escalated tensions between merchant and payments industry advocates. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, introduced the legislation, dubbed the Financial CHOICE (Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs) Act, in June 2016. If passed, the bill would usher in a post-Dodd-Frank era marked by entrepreneurial spirit and sweeping democratic reforms, according to some payments analysts. Retailers, on the other hand, were swift to condemn the proposed legislation.

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Home Depot joins chip-and-PIN protest

Friday, June 24, 2016

Atlanta-based Home Depot Inc. filed a lawsuit against Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide Jun. 15, 2016, to challenge chip-and-signature verification, a practice that has largely defined the rollout of smart card technology in the United States. Home Depot is suing the payment card brands for the right to require PIN with every chip card, affirming the practice as a more secure payment method commonly used in 80 other countries that have implemented EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) technology, including the United Kingdom, France and Australia. The lawsuit claims that Visa and MasterCard have engaged in interchange “price-fixing” and have made PIN entry optional in order to route PIN-less debit card transactions to higher-priced credit card networks.

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Barcode technology gets digital makeover

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Forty-two years after the first barcode was scanned at the POS, GS1 updated its barcode technology standard in an effort to make barcodes more ubiquitous and secure. More than 1 million companies are members of GS1, a global body focused on product traceability throughout the supply chain. Its evolving global standard helps organizations reduce business risk, improve efficiencies and comply with varying regulatory environments, GS1 stated. The new standard for barcode scanning is based on laser and infrared beaming technology that facilitates barcode scanning at the POS.

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Study warns consumer debt may reach $1 trillion

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Could omnichannel shopping be turning consumers into omnivorous spenders? A new study by CardHub published Jun. 8, 2016, highlights rising debt levels in the United States and questions the sustainability of current spending habits. U.S. consumers repaid $26.8 billion in debt in the first quarter of 2016, the "smallest first-quarter pay-down since 2008 and nearly 25 percent below the post-recession average," the report stated, adding that the pay-down eliminated only 38 percent of the $71 billion in debt accumulated in 2015. The study compared 2016 and 2007 behavior patterns, finding similarities in pay-down percentages and charge-offs during both periods.

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MCX pulls plug on CurrentC

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Four years after it was founded by a consortium of mega retailers, Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), revealed that on June 28, 2016, it would end the beta test for its CurrentC quick-response code-based mobile app. CurrentC was conceived as an independent mobile payment system that would be independent of the traditional card rails.

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CFPB to processors: Don't turn blind eye to fraudsters

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently sent a message to payment processors: keep bad actors from clearing fraudulent transactions through the banking system. On Mon., June 6, 2016, the bureau filed a lawsuit against Intercept Corp., based in Fargo, N.D., accusing the company of enabling clients to withdraw millions of dollars from consumer bank accounts for fraudulent transactions. The lawsuit, which also names two top executives of the firm, alleges Intercept ignored blatant warning signs of potential fraud or lawbreaking by its clients. The complaint seeks monetary and injunctive relief, as well as monetary penalties.

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Data breaches, EMV advance new fraud trends

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Fraud is a multibillion-dollar drain on card payment systems that seemingly defies containment. Growth in online and mobile access, coupled with the ramping up of EMV security, now has U.S. card issuers bracing for an onslaught of fraud, especially new account fraud. This is according to a report just released by LexisNexis Risk Solutions titled Issuers Confront Application Fraud and Account Takeover in a Post-EMV U.S.

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Retailers challenge PCI, seek federal intervention

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Card company fraud-fighting initiatives continue to come under attack. The National Retail Federation launched the latest salvo June 2, 2016, when it disclosed it had asked the Federal Trade Commission to use its investigative powers to determine if the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) violates federal anti-trust laws. This comes just a month after retailing giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. filed a lawsuit in New York challenging Visa Inc.'s policy of requiring signatures for payments made using debit cards that contain Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV)-compliant chips.

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CFPB seeks public comment on 'payday' loan guidance

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found in 2014 that the number of payday lenders exceeded McDonalds restaurant locations in the United States ‒ 15,766 to 14,350, respectively. Thus, it released a set of proposed guidelines June 1, 2016, for this growing lending segment. The initiative is open for public commentary until Sept. 14, 2016. Addressing "payday, vehicle title and certain high-cost installment loans," the 1,334-page proposal provides guidance for lenders that it claims have unfairly exploited millions of U.S. citizens, the CFPB noted. "Covered loans are typically used by consumers who are living paycheck to paycheck, have little to no access to other credit products, and seek funds to meet recurring or one-time expenses," the bureau's report stated.

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PayPal releases mobile app upgrade for Apple, Android only

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Global payment platform provider PayPal Inc. disclosed that it will require iOS and Android users who employ its mobile app to upgrade to version 6.0 between June 3 and June 30, 2016; in addition, the PayPal app will no longer be supported on Amazon Fire, Blackberry and Windows platforms. Customers using these devices can access PayPal through their smartphone browsers, and Blackberry users can continue to use the BBM app to send peer-to-peer payments via PayPal, the company stated.

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