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Breaking News articles for March 2017

Supreme Court likens surcharging to free speech

Friday, March 31, 2017

Five New York retailers who took their credit card surcharge battle to the U.S. Supreme Court have been sent back to New York's lower courts. Plaintiffs in Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman 15-1391 won the right to surcharge in 2013, lost on appeal in 2015, and escalated their grievances to the Supreme Court on the basis that anti-surcharge laws violate their First Amendment right to free speech and due process under the U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Court's opinion, issued March 29, 2017, validated the plaintiffs' assertion that regulating retail prices is tantamount to regulating speech.

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SecurityMetrics offers 2017 PCI-compliance guide

Thursday, March 30, 2017

SecurityMetrics recently released the 2017 Security Metrics Guide to PCI DSS Compliance. The guide is offered free of charge and was created to help merchants, ISOs, merchant level salespeople and other merchant service providers become fully compliant with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS).

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Visa, Viewpost target SMB payments

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Viewpost IP Holdings LLC disclosed in March 2017 that it partnered with Visa Inc. to provide Visa virtual commercial card products to its small and midsize business (SMB) clients. The electronic payment products use a one-time Visa virtual account number to enhance security and provide additional remittance detail for accounting and compliance purposes, the companies stated.

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Wells Fargo debuts card-free ATMs

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Wells Fargo Bank N.A. became the first major U.S. bank to upgrade its entire fleet of 13,000 ATMs to card-free ATMs. Starting March 27, the bank's mobile customers nationwide can access their accounts using a one-time access code, instead of a card, to authenticate at an ATM. According to Wells Fargo, mobile banking has become its fastest growing channel, reaching a milestone of 20 million active customers in March.

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The Mobile Buzz: Mobile wallet apps boost store visits

Monday, March 27, 2017

At the recent Shoptalk conference held in Las Vegas, mobile wallet provider CardFree released research that shows a direct link between retail mobile wallet apps and frequency of store visits by consumers. Analyzing transactions processed on CardFree's mobile commerce merchant platform, data indicated that visit frequency jumped from monthly to weekly after customers downloaded and used retail mobile apps.

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SEAA 2017 energizes base

Friday, March 24, 2017

Approximately 650 attendees joined 100 exhibitors at Le Meridien Hotel in Charlotte, N.C., March 19 to 22, 2017, for the 17th annual Southeast Acquirers Association's conference. The growing mid-Atlantic city, home to NASCAR and nicknamed the "International Gateway to the South," provided a fitting backdrop for the not-for-profit regional association's eclectic mix of keynote addresses, educational sessions and networking events. Established in 2000, the SEAA has provided education, training and networking to the industry's feet on the street, as well as other key players in the acquiring community.

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How does PCI compliance impact merchant retention?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Managed security service provider ControlScan, in partnership with Merchant Acquirers' Committee, released findings from the 2017 Acquirer PCI and Security Survey. Completed by 133 ISOs, acquirers, processors and payment facilitators, the survey's results support an ongoing effort to understand and share Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance program practices among payments industry stakeholders. This is a priority for ControlScan, which prides itself on taking a proactive approach to protecting businesses from cyber threats while helping ensure their compliance with security and privacy standards.

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Distributed ledger technologies gain support

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

During the 2017 DC Blockchain Summit, held March 15 to 16, the Chamber of Digital Commerce celebrated the launch of the Blockchain Intellectual Property Council (BIPC). The new council's purpose is "to promote innovation in blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (DLT) by addressing intellectual property issues." The council will help balance the protection of proprietary information with the openness necessary for innovation, the chamber added.

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Acculynk to boost First Data's ecommerce portfolio

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

With an eye for strengthening its suite of ecommerce solutions, First Data Corp. disclosed on March 16, 2017, that it intends to acquire Acculynk Inc. Integrating Acculynk's multifactor security and dynamic routing options into First Data's global payment platform will enable merchants to securely direct debit card transactions to least-cost debit networks, the companies stated. Frank Bisignano, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at First Data, said that Acculynk's innovative technologies will enhance First Data's ecommerce offerings and capabilities for its global customer base, enabling merchants to make in-store and online transactions "simple, seamless and secure for their customers."

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Opposed to fintech charter, NYDFS digs in

Monday, March 20, 2017

Reinforcing prior statements in opposition to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's proposal to establish a new limited-purpose national bank charter for financial technology (fintech) enterprises, the New York State Department of Financial Services, in a March, 15, 2017 press release, voiced strong opposition to the plan, calling fintech an "amorphous category." In a Jan 13, 2017, comment letter to U.S. Comptroller Thomas J. Curry, New York State Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo stated the OCC's proposal would bypass state consumer protection laws and create "regulatory arbitrage."

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CFPB offers more time for prepaid compliance

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is considering an extension of the effective date for new consumer protection rules covering prepaid debit card accounts. The controversial rules – which some in Congress have threatened to roll back legislatively – are set to take effect Oct. 1, 2017. But in a request for comment issued on March 9, the CFPB offered to extend the deadline for compliance to April 1, 2018. The CFPB said in a statement the proposed deadline extension was prompted by pleas from prepaid card companies that were having problems making necessary changes to systems, processes and forms in time for the new rules.

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SEC charges former iPayment execs, ex-CEO under fire

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

On March 10, 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission charged two former iPayment Inc. executives with masterminding an accounting scheme to embezzle millions of dollars from the firm. In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California filed criminal charges against the two men involved. "As alleged in our complaint, these executives manipulated iPayment's internal accounting systems, lied to the external auditor and caused approximately $11.6 million in losses to the company," said Sanjay Wadhwa, Senior Associate Director of the SEC's New York Regional Office.

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Betting on ATMs, PAI sells acquiring arm to Clearent

Monday, March 13, 2017

Payment Alliance International shed its merchant card portfolio in an effort to focus more on its ATM business. Clearent LLC purchased the business from PAI in the first of what could be a string of portfolio acquisitions. The deal with PAI adds $4.2 billion in processing volume and 17,000 merchants to Clearent's acquiring card business, as well as operations centers in West Palm Beach, Fla., and Louisville, Ky. Included are telesales staff, feet on the street and strategic association partnerships. Clearent now boasts 300 employees, 45,000 merchants and $14 billion in annual processing volume.

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Petro retailers 'low-hanging fruit' in Verifone intrusion

Friday, March 10, 2017

Global technology giant Verifone Systems Inc. confirmed reports of an illegal entry into its corporate intranet. The intrusion, detected in January 2017, may have affected about 24 gas station convenience stores, the company stated. Security analyst Brian Krebs disclosed the incident March 7, 2017, in a blog post on KrebsonSecurity.com. The story was immediately picked up by other news outlets, including Fortune, Reuters and Business Insider. Krebs believes a phishing email may have precipitated the attack. When the company's IT department detected the intrusion in January, it limited end-user capabilities on desktops and laptops and directed employees to change their company passwords. Verifone employees were also permanently banned from downloading and installing software, Krebs noted.

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ACI, Jack Henry to advance real-time payments

Thursday, March 9, 2017

ACI Worldwide, a global provider of real-time electronic payment and banking solutions, and Jack Henry & Associates Inc. are partnering for real-time payments. Jack Henry will use ACI's UP Immediate Payments to connect its more than 10,000 financial institution clients and their customers to real-time payment networks ‒ including The Clearing House Real-time Payments System and Zelle networks ‒ to accelerate real-time payments in the United States, the companies stated in a press release.

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FinCEN claims California bank violated BSA

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

On Feb. 27, 2017, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) assessed a $7 million civil money penalty against Merchants Bank of California N.A., citing "willful violations" of several provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). Simultaneously, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency added a $1 million CMP to be credited toward bank payment of FinCEN's penalty.

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Experts see surge in corporate phishing

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Criminals are adept at spoofing financial institutions, mortgage lenders and Internet service providers, according to a study published March 3, 2017, by the Federal Trade Commission's Office of Technology Research and Investigation (OTech). Thus, the FTC advised business owners to implement advanced authentication technologies to protect against phishing attacks. Employees who click on fraudulent emails can expose individual identities and entire IT networks to malicious attacks, experts warn.

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2017 ETA Star Awards nominations now open

Monday, March 6, 2017

Do you know someone who has made a major contribution to the payments industry in the last year? How about a company doing something revolutionary? The Electronic Transactions Association is now welcoming nominations for the 2017 ETA Star Awards. The awards recognize "individuals and companies that have made a significant difference in the payments industry through innovation, business practices or contributions to the association," the ETA stated.

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Mastercard, Oracle expand cross-channel initiative

Friday, March 3, 2017

Mastercard disclosed in late February 2017 that it will continue a joint initiative with Oracle, following a successful UK pilot in 2016. The companies expect their combined, multilayered technologies will help merchants improve payments security and customer reach, representatives stated.

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Mastercard finds surging interest in digital wallets

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

According to the 2017 Mastercard Digital Payments Study, digital wallets gained ground in smartphones and laptops worldwide, and topped 75 percent of conversations tracked for the study. Researchers also found increased consumer interest in new technologies devised to make shopping faster, easier and more secure, Mastercard stated, adding that virtual reality generated significant positive sentiment among respondents.

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