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Breaking News articles for September 2018

Visa to support DCC in 2019

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Visa Inc. disclosed Sept. 27, 2018, that it plans to enable dynamic currency conversions (DCC) on international ATM transactions around the world. The card brand said the capability will become effective April 13, 2019, with the release of the revised Visa Rule Book. “Visa is updating the rules and expanding Visa/Plus ATM network services to help issuers cost-effectively increase their ATM footprint while providing added convenience to cardholders with additional banking transactions and services,” the company stated. “Expanding Visa/Plus ATM network services also helps acquirers/ATM operators leverage investments in modernized ATMs and realize incremental revenue by providing additional banking services to customers.”

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Stripe advances into POS, financing

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Payments analysts are discussing Stripe's recent moves into countertop terminals and alternative financing, which some say are consistent with the company's core values and strategy. In a Sept. 18, 2018, interview with TechCrunch journalist Jason Del Ray, Stripe co-founder and CEO John Collison said the terminal is designed to unify the online and in-store customer experience. Collison pointed out Stripe's POS solution will use pre-certified card readers manufactured by BBPOS and Verifone and has a targeted launch date of early 2019. Warby Parker and Glossier have already optioned the product, he noted; additional merchants can participate in beta testing.

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NACHA takes steps advancing same-day ACH

Monday, September 24, 2018

The push for faster payments appears poised to gain momentum, as evidenced by news that NACHA – the Electronic Payments Association is expanding its same-day ACH (automated clearing house) program with a new later deadline, higher transaction limits and faster availability options. Same-day ACH slashes the time it takes to clear and settle ACH payments – from a few days to a few hours. NACHA began ushering in same-day ACH applications with a series of rule changes that began taking effect in 2016. The last of these – allowing for same-day settlement of ACH debits – took effect last fall. ACH debits are commonly used to collect consumer bill payments.

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Volatility, competition roil cryptocurrency world

Friday, September 21, 2018

Competing cryptocurrency schemes have drawn mixed reviews from early adopters and payments analysts, many of whom are betting against current industry leader Bitcoin. Most experts believe cryptocurrencies in general are in a nascent stage, subject to volatility due to rampant speculation in the space. "Turbulence is a regular, and sometimes welcome, feature of the crypto sector," said Ian McLoed, co-owner of Thomas Crown Art, an art-tech agency. While Ethereum has lost 85 percent of its value in 2018, McLoed believes it will rebound by the end of the year and eventually outpace rival Bitcoin. "I think we can expect Bitcoin to lose 50 per cent of its cryptocurrency market share to Ethereum, its nearest rival, within five years," he stated.

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Cash discounting gains momentum, backlash

Thursday, September 20, 2018

The rising popularity of cash discounting programs is sparking lively debates among legal and payments analysts, most recently with reports that First Data Corp. has deleted a cash discount app from its Clover app marketplace. James Shepherd, CEO at CCSalesPro and cohost of The Green Sheet's podcast series, first broke the story in a Sept. 19, 2018, blog post titled "News Alert: First Data Drops Cash Discounting Apps." These developments have been confirmed by a First Data memorandum and participating First Data ISOs. In a memo to sales channel partners, First Data acknowledged that some of its cash discount apps were noncompliant. "To protect you and your business from fines, we are removing apps that add surcharges to card transactions," First Data wrote.

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Mastercard, Visa offer new terms to settle interchange lawsuit, NRF balks

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Visa and Mastercard are one step closer to ending a years-long legal battle over merchant interchange. The two card brands have agreed to pay $6.2 billion to settle portions of a class action lawsuit originally filed by millions of retailers in 2005. But retailers may not buy into it. The National Retail Federation is complaining the proposed new settlement agreement doesn’t go far enough; it wants to see reforms in how interchange is set.

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WSAA 2018 charts payments' new horizons

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Western States Acquirers Association held its 15th annual conference Sept. 12 to 13, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch. Themed "Driving to New Horizons," the event highlighted trends and emerging technologies in the ever-changing payments industry. WSAA representatives said this year's conference drew 936 attendees and more than 100 exhibitors, exceeding previous attendance records. In opening comments, WSAA president Pat Ford called the acquiring channel the heart and soul of payments, playing a critical role in the industry's evolution, digital transformation and emerging technology ecosystem. Reaffirming WSAA's core principles of networking, education, collaboration and "mixing in fun," Ford said WSAA collaborates with other regional shows and at the national level through its close ties with the Electronic Transactions Association.

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Consumers, issuers really like debit

Friday, September 14, 2018

Debit card issuers are reporting on-gong strong fundamentals as consumers’ nearly 10-year love affair with debit cards continues. According to the 2018 Debit Issuer Study, just released by PULSE, the debit card network owned by Discover, issuers saw year-over-year debit transaction growth increase by more than 5 percent last year. The survey of issuers, conducted by the independent consulting firm Oliver Wymann, also revealed increases in debit card penetration, activation and usage rates in 2017 vis-à-vis 2016.

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AmEx under scrutiny for alleged foreign exchange scam

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

American Express Co. stock fell $1.61 per share on Sept. 6, 2018, following reports of an FBI investigation of the company's foreign exchange business unit. Unconfirmed rumors of a bait and switch scheme were first reported July 30, 2018, by the Wall Street Journal. In "American Express Gave Small Businesses One Rate, Then Secretly Raised It," WSJ journalist AnnaMaria Andriotis alleged the company's foreign-exchange unit was recruiting small business clients with offers of low currency-conversion rates, then "quietly raising prices." Andriotis suggested the practice may have been going on since 2004, presumably as a ploy to boost revenue and employee commissions.

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Mobile banking startup snags fintech bank charter

Monday, September 10, 2018

A federal bank regulatory agency is opening its charter approval process to financial technology firms, and a mobile banking startup appears to be the first to garner approval. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Treasury Department agency that oversees national banks, announced in late July that would begin accepting applications for "special purpose" charters from fintech firms. Just over a month later, on September 4, Varo Money Inc. announced it had received a preliminary okay for an OCC charter, putting Varo Bank N.A. on track to become the first all-mobile national bank in the country. Colin Walsh, co-founder and CEO of Varo Money, said it is a historic moment that "marks the start of a new era in banking."

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Toshiba, Ingenico to launch co-branded retail solution

Friday, September 7, 2018

Ingenico Group participated in a joint presentation with Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions at Toshiba's annual partner conference, held Sept. 5 to 7, 2018, at Bellagio Las Vegas. "Empowering the art of business" was the theme of Toshiba LEAD 2018, which showcased innovative trends in consumer behavior and commerce technology from new entrants and leading global brands. During the conference, Toshiba and Ingenico disclosed near-term plans to launch a co-branded retail solution, following a lengthy discovery process. Steve Markham, senior vice president of strategy and portfolio at Toshiba Global Commerce, said Toshiba will improve the checkout experience by leveraging Ingenico's Telium TETRA platform, fixed and mobile solutions, estate management tools, security methods, and support services.

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Road to security paved with self-regulation, ETA says

Thursday, September 6, 2018

The Electronic Transactions Association's Self-Regulation Program (ETA SRP), launched Sept. 4, 2018, is the ETA's latest bid to formalize best practices across diverse service providers. The global trade association said it designed the initiative to improve security and reduce risk by officially recognizing companies that adhere to industry best practices. Jason Oxman, CEO of the ETA, has long avowed that payments industry stakeholders are principled technology providers that go above and beyond minimal compliance standards. While merchant acquirers and third-party service providers use advanced technologies to protect consumer data and critical financial infrastructures, their contributions deserve additional recognition, he stated.

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GitHub upload may have caused epic hotel breach

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Security analysts are reacting to Huazhu Group’s security breach involving 13 prominent Chinese hotel brands. Huazhu represents more than 3,000 hotel brands in multiple cities across China, according to Reuters’ Shanghai bureau. On Aug. 29, 2018, the news agency reported the Hanting Hotel, Crystal Orange Hotel, VUE, CitiGO and Grand Mercure Hotels, among others, may have been affected, compromising a trove of check-in records and related consumer data.

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Mobile payments shifting to software-based biometrics

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The biggest shift in mobile payments security over the next five years will be toward software-based biometrics, according to Juniper Research. A new report from the U.K.-based research and analytics firm predicts smartphone users relying on biometric security will balloon by 250 percent between now and 2023, when the total will exceed 1.5 billion users worldwide.

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