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First Data Corp.'s CardConnect acquisition, disclosed May 29, 2017, is the latest in a series of payments industry mergers. Payments analysts expect CardConnect's 67,000 merchants and technology suite to complement First Data's processing solutions while adding $26 billion to the company's $2.2 trillion annual processing volumes. Both companies unanimously approved First Data's $750 million cash offer for CardConnect's outstanding shares. Upon completion, First Data will repay CardConnect's debt and receive $15 per share for the company's untendered common stock. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017.
Investigation of a payment card security incident first reported on April 25, 2017, revealed POS malware was used at certain Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. and affiliated Pizzeria Locale restaurants from March 24, 2017 to April 18, 2017. The malware apparently searched for track data from magnetic stripe cards being routed through POS devices. Chipotle reportedly declined to implement EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) chip-enabled transaction capabilities in 2015, citing delays in the authentication process caused by issues specific to EMV implementation in fast-food service environments.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been closely scrutinized since its inception as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. Advocates say the government agency protects consumers from unfair lending and predatory credit practices. Opponents claim the agency is too powerful and autonomous. Both sides had their day in court May 24, 2017, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reopened PHH v. CFPB, a legal action challenging the CFPB's constitutionality and powers.
PHH Corp. and concerned parties sued the CFPB in April 2016. Plaintiffs alleged the bureau belonged to a group of government agencies that "constitute a headless fourth branch of government." PHH Corp. was also contesting a $109 million penalty imposed by the CFPB for deceptive practices.
On May 22, 2017, Universal Secure Registry LLC filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware alleging that Apple Inc., Visa Inc. and its subsidiary Visa U.S.A. Inc. infringed seminal patents for electronic payments and identity authentication integral in developing their mobile payment platforms. USR holds 13 of the more than 30 U.S. patents authored by USR founder and Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Weiss, inventor of SecurID token and former CEO of Security Dynamics Technologies Inc., now RSA Security LLC.
DocuSign Inc. warned of a phishing campaign with malicious code that began circulating May 16, 2017. Company representatives recommend deleting and not opening suspicious emails that contain non-PDF attachments, suspicious URLs and spelling errors. Preliminary reports from forensic investigators indicated no names, physical addresses, passwords or sensitive data were stolen. The company asked users to forward suspicious emails to email@example.com.
Android Pay users on Chrome mobile web will soon be able to pay at millions of online merchants that accept PayPal using their PayPal account and a fingerprint ‒ no username or password required. Google Vice President of Payments Products Pali Bhat stated, "Mobile checkout remains one of the biggest sources of friction in the commerce experience, and we're excited to collaborate with PayPal on enabling streamlined checkout experiences for all Android Pay and PayPal users."
First Data Corp. placed first in the overall rankings on Military Times' Best for Vets: Employers 2017 list, which recognized 84 companies nationwide. Companies were evaluated based on military service member recruitment policies, company culture and reservist accommodations. Military Times provides news related to the military and defense targeted to current and former military personnel. "Our hiring efforts have placed veterans and military spouses at every level of the company, and we work tirelessly to support veteran-owned businesses through innovative tools to help these business owners thrive long after returning home from service," said First Data Chairman and CEO Frank Bisignano.
Troy, Mich.-based North American Bancard Holdings LLC disclosed on May 17, 2017, it will acquire Woodland Hills, Calif.-based Total Merchant Services Inc. Payment analysts expect the merger to improve capabilities, geographic footprint and ranking for North American Bancard, which will become North America's seventh largest acquirer, with estimated annual processing volumes of $50 billion. Marc Gardner, founder, President and CEO at North American Bancard, noted that TMS has a history of providing premier business solutions and consistent focus on ease, affordability and excellent service.
The recent WannaCry ransomware attack affected hospitals and organizations in more than 150 countries. It was not just data held hostage, but factory workers were unable to work and critically ill patients were unable to receive treatment. A group known as the Shadow Brokers exploited vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows PCs, which it claims to have stolen from U.S. intelligence agencies. It also informed victims it would only accept bitcoin payments.
More than 200 exhibitors and 4,000 attendees from across the globe gathered May 10 to 12, 2017, for Transact 17 at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino's conference center in Las Vegas. The annual convention and expo, hosted by the Electronic Transactions Association, included keynote speakers and panelists from leading technology and retail companies. A curated menu of events facilitated networking, company and product launches, deal-making, education and infotainment.
Robert O. Carr, who built Heartland Payment Systems Inc. from a $2 million startup to a $4.3 billion enterprise that he sold last year to Global Payments Inc., launched a new startup, Beyond. Beyond is an employee-owned company that offers payment processing, POS systems, lending, payroll and integrated human resources services, as well as services tailored to specific verticals. Carr said he wasn't keen on leaving the industry last year, but as CEO of Heartland, he had an obligation to do right by shareholders, and the offer Global made was a good deal for shareholders.
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