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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray stated in an email to employees on Nov. 15, 2017, his intention to resign by the end of the month. His term was set to expire in July 2018. Since he took the helm, Cordray's sweeping authority and the CFPB's constitutionality had been called into question in some sectors and supported in others. Cordray picked his Chief of Staff, Leandra English, to be Deputy Director; however, President Trump picked Mick Mulvaney as Acting Director shortly thereafter. Mulvany is heading the agency while a dispute over its leadership works its way through the court system.
The Federal Reserve's vision of real-time payment systems accessible to U.S. consumers and businesses alike is inching closer to reality. On Nov. 13, 2017, the first real-time payment was processed through RTP, a new payment system developed by The Clearing House. The exchange was between BNY Mellon and U.S. Bank. At least four other large U.S. banks – Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, PNC Bank and SunTrust Bank – are expected to start moving payments through RTP any day, TCH said.
ThreatMetrix warned retailers and consumers to be vigilant this holiday season. The company’s Q3 2017 Cybercrime Report, published Nov. 15, 2017, recorded 171 million attacks against ecommerce sites in the third quarter of 2017, a 32 percent increase from the first quarter of the year, the company stated. Security analysts contributing to the study also detected increasingly sophisticated attack vectors, such as wide-scale, automated bot attacks against consumers and business owners.
The 2017 Money20/20 conference, held Oct. 22 to 25 in Las Vegas, attracted more than 11,000 attendees from 85 countries. The annual event is a vehicle to generate ideas, make connections, seize business opportunities, strengthen partnerships and discover the latest disruptions on their way to revolutionizing the future of money. With numerous, enticing innovations on display, no single offering jumped out as this year's show-stealer.
Just before Black Friday opened the holiday season Nov. 24, 2017, the surge of in-store and online shopping was expected to benefit Main Street, not just big-box retailers, according to retail analysts. A new study published Nov. 14, by Womply, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider, found 2016 Black Friday sales surpassed Small Business Saturday and December 23 among small business owners.
Womply's data scientists found Black Friday was the top sales day for local retailers in every state except Maine, where Small Business Saturday took top honors. Analysis was based on average daily revenue from 65,000 U.S. businesses for November and December 2016 and January 2017.
The jointly released Electronic Transactions Association-The Strawhecker Group 2017 Holiday Spending Report Card, which tracks same store year-over-year sales from over 3.5 million card accepting U.S. merchants, projected growth in holiday spending will be driven by strength in the Northeast region and increased spending nationally at hotels, restaurants, shoe stores and building material stores.
"Low unemployment, coupled with consumer confidence near a 17-year high, is bolstering an already healthy economy," said Jared Drieling, Director of Business Intelligence of The Strawhecker Group. "Coming into this holiday season, shoppers have seen an increase in personal income – especially disposable income – which is helping build off of a 2016 holiday season that was one of the best in years."
Visa Inc. is planning to step up its game as the official payment partner for the upcoming XXIII Winter Olympic Games and 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. Affiliated with the Olympics since 1986 and FIFA since 2007, the global payments brand will unveil innovative cash-free fan experiences at both sporting events.
"We are looking forward to transforming the payment experience for everyone who attends the upcoming Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang," said Iain Jamieson, Visa’s Korea Country Manager. "At Visa, we have been working tirelessly to ensure all of the Olympic venues are equipped with the very latest payment capabilities to provide the best experience possible for all those on-site."
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