In its ongoing effort to be an educational resource to merchant level salespeople, the National Association of Payment Professionals hosted its third teleforum with attorney Paul Rianda, of Irvine, Calif.
The teleforum, held on Aug. 29, 2007, allowed NAOPP members to participate in a free seminar about important legal developments that may have serious repercussions throughout the payments industry.
Rianda covered much ground in less than 45 minutes.
He addressed the increased government scrutiny the industry is experiencing. And he provided an overview of termination fees, which are generating the most attention and triggering enforcement activity.
Rianda covered chilling Federal Trade Commission actions, specifically, the 2002 Certified Merchant Services Ltd. and the 2007 Merchant Processing Inc. cases.
See "Keep the FTC off your back," by David H. Press, The Green Sheet, June 7, 2007, issue 07:06:01 for background on these cases.
In addition, Rianda detailed the potential industry-wide ramifications of recent Arkansas legislation, which limits fees for merchants who cancel credit card servicing agreements. Fourteen other states are considering similar legislation action.
For more information, see "New Arkansas law caps early termination fees," The Green Sheet, June 7, 2007, issue 07:06:01.
He also examined the July 2007 House Judiciary Antitrust Task Force hearings. He listed both the pro and con arguments presented regarding interchange fees. For further details, see "Congress grills warring parties on interchange, The Green Sheet, Aug., 13, 2007, issue 07:08:01.
Speculating on possible outcomes of government scrutiny, Rianda walked through the 2002 Australian action that set benchmarks for interchange pricing. He enumerated some troubling after-effects, which essentially wiped out the fledgling ISO/MLS industry there.
Rianda did not delve into legal issues pertaining to free terminal programs, a topic mentioned in announcements about the event. He noted that he was unable to find information about the subject beyond what has appeared in The Green Sheet and on GS Online's MLS Forum.
Paul Rianda offers special rates for legal advice to NAOPP members. To find out more about NAOPP, its member benefits and future educational offerings visit www.naopp.com.
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