Much like today, the major card brands were involved in litigation in October 2002: they took legal action against the Reserve Bank of Australia for imposing credit card interchange regulation. In the United States, the Federal Reserve ramped up its influential payments research arm. And the ongoing efforts to eliminate cash manifested when web-enabled washing machines and dryers hit college campuses.
When the Reserve Bank of Australia unveiled an August 2012 rules change designed to reduce credit card interchange fees by 40 percent and increase competition, the major card brands took legal action asserting that the Reserve Bank "overstepped its authority" and was "not meeting its obligations through the Payment Systems (Regulation) Act."
A 2002 Federal Reserve Payments Study revealed Americans wrote about 42.5 billion checks in 2000, down from a peak of 49.5 billion written in 1995. At the same time, Visa U.S.A. (now Visa Inc.) reported during the first six months of 2002, the number of Visa Check card transactions exceeded Visa credit card transactions, 3.04 billion versus 2.96 billion.
IBM Corp. and USA Technologies Inc. teamed on eSuds, a web-based venture that connected to 9,000 washing machines and dryers on Midwestern college and university campuses. The Internet-enabled machines allowed students to pay using their credit cards, student ID card accounts or mobile phones.
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