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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Oct. 5, 2017, disclosed tough new rules for short-term, small-dollar lenders, like payday loan and auto title loan companies. Key provisions of the rules, which have been five years in the making, require small-dollar lenders to assess the ability of applicants to repay before making loans, as well as limit the ability of lenders to collect on these loans by debiting the bank accounts of borrowers. The new rules, spelled out in a 1,700 page document, are set to become effective beginning June 2019. But the rulemaking could get shelved or revised. "The final rule likely faces a potential vote to repeal it in Congress," attorneys with the law firm Kilpatrick, Townsend & Stockton LLP noted in a recent blog post. They also pointed out that CFPB Director Richard Cordray's term at the helm of the CFPB is set to expire in 2018, and any presidentially appointed replacement would have the authority to weaken or scuttle the rules.
More than 500 attendees and 50 exhibitors gathered at Bally's Las Vegas Oct. 10 to 12, 2017, for NAC2017, the fifth annual convention and expo of the National ATM Council Inc. The not-for-profit association, formed in 2011 and based in Jacksonville, Fla., represents independent ATM owners, deployers and vendors, many of whom traveled great distances to attend the popular event.
In opening remarks, NAC Executive Director Bruce Renard welcomed new and returning attendees, encouraging them to visit with vendors, share ideas and participate in interactive workshops. "NAC is the voice of America's independent ATM providers and suppliers working to solve our industry's most pressing issues," he stated.
NAC is urging Visa to enable dynamic currency conversion (DCC) at U.S. ATMs. The not-for-profit association unveiled a petition Oct. 12, 2017, at NAC2017, its fifth annual convention and expo, held Oct. 10 to12, at Bally's Las Vegas. NAC Executive Director Bruce Renard said he is hopeful the petition will escalate the issue and convince Visa to add DCC capability to ATMs in the United States. "NAC members are questioning why Visa is not supporting DCC at U.S. ATMs, when Mastercard has enabled this feature for years," Renard stated. "This industrywide petition is broadly supported by global providers."
iPayment Inc. launched a multichannel initiative Oct. 11, 2017, designed to help small and midsize businesses (SMBs) leverage Small Business Saturday. Created by American Express Co. in 2010, the one-day event has steadily grown year-over-year, increasing consumer spend in local communities across America. The 2016 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey estimated 112 million consumers participated in the one-day event. Retail analysts expect small merchants to outperform last year's numbers Nov. 25th, when the event will take place in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., iPayment representatives stated.
PayPal Inc. is launching a mobile assault on the retail POS. The online payment giant recently reported that consumers can now use their Venmo accounts to initiate mobile payments at millions of merchant locations where PayPal payments are accepted. PayPal stated that over 2 million merchants now accept PayPal payments at their checkouts, including big-box merchants like Home Depot and Foot Locker, and over 7 million people use Venmo, a mobile person-to-person (P2P) payment app especially popular with millennials. In a statement posted on Oct. 17, 2017, PayPal Chief Operating Officer Bill Ready said consumers can now use their mobile devices to initiate Venmo payments "almost everywhere PayPal is accepted."
Reports of a second security breach at Hyatt Hotels and orchestrated attacks against Wi-Fi networks highlight the need for enhanced protections, security analysts stated. Security consultant and author Brian Krebs of KrebsonSecurity, reported Oct. 17, 2017, that hackers infiltrated Hyatt's payment systems between March 18, 2017 and July 2, 2017. An earlier breach in 2015 had compromised 250 Hyatt properties in 50 countries, including five U.S. locations, he noted.
"Organized crime groups (most notably the Carbanak gang) have been targeting customer service and reservations specialists at various hospitality chains with tailored social engineering attacks that involve well-aged fake companies and custom malware," Krebs stated.
The Keller Rohrback law firm revealed in a September 2017 blog post that it is investigating "telemarketing-loyalty texts from Square Inc." The firm has several practice areas, including consumer and data privacy protection, financial products and services, and class action and consumer litigation.
Keller Rohrback determined that if retailers using Square send promotional text messages to customers who have not given them their cell phone numbers, this may be in violation of state and/or federal law. Such messages often welcome consumers to loyalty programs they did not join.
It's been a busy time at Mastercard. A flurry of news has come out of the Purchase, N.Y.-based payments giant. Specifically, Mastercard heralded the following: release of a blockchain application programming interface for business-to-business transactions; certification of The Clearing House as a provider of Mastercard-branded tokenization services; and the elimination of signature requirements for POS transactions beginning in 2018.
Merchants can implement security without sacrificing the customer experience, according to a new study commissioned by Vasco Data Security Inc. and conducted by Information Security Media Group. The 2017 Faces of Fraud Survey, published Oct. 19, 2017, identifies top forms of fraud, as well as fraud detection and mobility in financial services.
The survey, conducted online, was geared for information security and financial services professionals. Primary areas of inquiry included the top forms of fraud afflicting financial organizations, biggest gaps in organizations' efforts to detect and prevent fraud, and how to counter the surge in mobile exploits while also preserving a frictionless customer experience.
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