In their ongoing assault on interchange, mega retailers brought the term "swipe fee" into the American lexicon and succeeded in getting the Durbin Amendment tacked onto the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, legislation devised to curb excesses that led to the Great Recession and prevent future reckless behavior in the financial sector. It was not the aim of Dodd-Frank to transfer wealth from financial institutions to major retailers, but data indicates that is what occurred after debit card interchange was capped. Researchers have found that instead of passing on their savings to consumers as they had promised, most retailers merely pocketed the savings.
"Interchange" isn't as catchy a term as "swipe fee," and as it has grown in complexity, it has become more difficult to understand and explain, especially to those outside of the industry. Given interchange's central role in payments, however, it is imperative to gain clarity on it. This issue's lead article is the first in a two-part series that covers interchange basics and explores how it has influenced the payments ecosystem, global markets, and acquirer and merchant relationships.
Adding clarity to other issues of importance to payment professionals, industry experts who contributed to this issue have discussed trends emerging in a time of rapid change, shared insights on how to recruit experienced agents, identified legal issues related to cybersecurity, offered honest feedback on a major industry tradeshow, pointed out the importance of securing FAFSA data, and called for more vigilance in safeguarding the payments system.
News briefs share highlights from recent breaking news stories, including settlement of a surcharging lawsuit brought against Visa and Mastercard in Canada, the appeal of bitcoin to cannabis merchants during a time of uncertainty on the federal front, a potential overhaul of Dodd-Frank and gutting of the CFPB, global cybersecurity trends, new malware targeting Internet of Things routers, international cooperation to apprehend 73 cyber-criminals, and Flywire's addition of PayPal to its payment options.
Also inside you can read about a disturbing new tactic used in account takeover fraud; view new product and company profiles; and catch the latest notices of business expansions, new funding, data breaches, individual and company honors, product launches, industry research, partnerships, acquisitions, executive appointments and more.
We will welcome your thoughts on interchange. How did you first learn about it, and how do you talk about it to your merchant customers now? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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