Many payment professionals weren't yet born when the first general-purpose credit card was introduced in 1966. For those folks, it's probably difficult to imagine a world without credit and debit cards, ATMs, and all the magnificent innovations in electronic payments and banking that continue to transform our lives.
Through it all, the two dominant card brands, Visa and Mastercard may have changed names and structures periodically (MasterCard just rebranded to Mastercard, for example), but they have stayed on top of the game. It's hard to imagine a future in which they are not setting parameters for electronic payments. But could they get bumped off the throne? This issue's lead article takes a look at the card brands' evolution and the actions they are taking right now to remain highly competitive in a disruptive market.
Unfortunately, there's a down side to electronic payments: fraudulent transactions and identity theft are far easier for criminals to pull off than they used to be. The proliferation of fraud throughout the payments system is one topic addressed by one of our contributing writers. Other issues industry experts explored are contract management in the digital age, the need for ISOs to provide agents better resources and training, one possible reason why new product introductions aren't met with enthusiasm in the field, and a look at how and why payment professionals should be courting independent software vendors.
We're pleased to present herein another round of questions answered by members of our advisory board. The topic is mobile payments: what's available, what shows promise, potential winners and how some of our industry's finest are incorporating the mobile channel into their businesses. You'll also find coverage of the demise of the $5.7 billion settlement between Visa and Mastercard and millions of retailers; new resources the PCI Security Standards Council launched for small business owners, a new digital wallet that will soon to be widely deployed in Denmark; and a lawsuit brought against Mastercard by a group of British consumers for alleged violations of the UK's Consumer Rights Act. In addition, we've included research on shopping cart abandonment along with engaging profiles, new product stories, and briefs on company and industry milestones, appointments, acquisitions, partnerships, and more.
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