At press time for this issue, President Trump has just declared a national emergency at the U.S. southern border. Pundits are predicting legal challenges will tie up this declaration in court for some time. Meanwhile, the economy is still strong. Indeed, we're in the midst of the longest economic expansion in U.S. history. But will it remain so? This issue's lead article discusses the recent partial federal government shutdown, providing examples of specific businesses and sectors affected, as well as a discussion of short-term and potential long-term effects of the disruption to our economy and government services.
The shutdown shows that major disputes among lawmakers can affect the payments sphere. So can other actions that garner less attention. One covered in Breaking Industry News is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's decision to drop plans to change its name while also planning to loosen some protections against predatory lending practices. This is highlighted in News Briefs herein, along with other news such as the renewal of Visa's partnership with the NFL through the 2025 season, which portends well for contactless payments at sports stadiums and elsewhere; the National ATM Council's 50th anniversary celebration, with events scheduled throughout the year; real-time rewards gain of recognition and steam; and alarming, rampant data abuse detailed in the 2018 End-if-Year Data Breach Report from CyberScout.
The contributing writers featured in this magazine offer insights, guidance and updates on compelling issues, including the $5.56 to $6.26 billion settlement between merchant plaintiffs and Visa, Mastercard and key banks ‒ the largest class action settlement in history; a rash of fraud-related incidents experienced in online games such as account takeovers, friendly fraud, card testing and true fraud; what the MLS's toolbox should contain to foster success in today's payments world; what MCA companies can do about merchants who default and drop out of sight; the challenges of hiring, training and supporting a sales team; and how can you improve your odds of success as an MLS by keeping an eye on the long game.
If you want to scope out potential new partners and product offerings, you'll enjoy the product and company profiles herein, along with mentions of recent awards, milestones, partnerships, acquisitions, research and appointments in the payments community. We hope you find much that informs and motivates you within these pages. Let us know how we're doing at firstname.lastname@example.org. And remember to send your press releases to email@example.com.
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