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The Green Sheet Online Edition

November 11, 2019 • Issue 19:11:01

News Briefs

Consumers smitten with prepaid, small businesses can benefit

Data just released by Mercator Advisory Group reveals that half of U.S. consumers are buying retailer gift cards. What's more, sales of all types of prepaid cards – reloadable general purpose prepaid cards, prepaid transit cards and mobile phone cards have grown by more than 100 percent since 2013. Separately, results of a study by Fiserv suggests small businesses benefit from consumer gift card purchases. Seventy-four percent of respondents said they regularly buy gift cards from small businesses, particularly casual dining restaurants, coffee shops and specialty stores.

Payments giants bolt from Libra

Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, eBay and Stripe all have withdrawn from the Libra Association, an independent body set up by Facebook to oversee Libra, a scalable cryptocurrency. The exits come amid regulatory and legislative warnings, and leave the fledgling crypto scheme without any U.S. payments processing companies in the mix. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, and another member of that panel, Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, sent letters in early October to the CEOs of Mastercard, Visa and Stripe urging them to proceed with caution in their work with Libra.

IRS issues new guidance on taxation of cryptocurrencies

The Internal Revenue Service issued new guidance on Oct. 9, 2019, regarding the taxation of virtual currencies, commonly called "cryptocurrencies." This is part of a wider effort to assist taxpayers and to enforce the tax laws in a rapidly changing area, the IRS stated. The guidance expand on the agency's first set of guidelines on virtual currencies, Notice 2041-21, issued in 2014. "The new guidance maintains that virtual currencies are 'property' for tax purposes and does not address other types of crypto assets," said Nicholas Mowbray, an attorney at BakerHostetler.

ATMs go high tech, high touch at NAC 2019

The National ATM Council's seventh annual convention was a study in contrasts between original ATMs and their next-generation cohorts. Highlights included the unveiling of a new mobile-biometric ATM standard, educational panels and keynote addresses, all designed to help independent ATM distributors adapt to evolving market trends. In opening remarks, George Sarantopoulos, NAC chair and CEO at Access One Solutions Inc., said "Our conference sessions will challenge you to think about the space our industry needs to occupy 10, 20, 50 years out."

Hackers compromise Billtrust brand

B2B financial services provider Billtrust reported a ransomware attack on Oct. 17, 2019. Brian Krebs, analyst and principal at Krebs on Security, interviewed Billtrust CEO Steven Pinado and published highlights from their conversation in a blog post that same day. Noting that Billtrust is assessing damages with the help of law enforcement and a third-party security firm, Krebs stated the ransomware attack was initially disclosed by Wittichen Supply, a Billtrust customer. end of article

Following are excerpts from news stories recently posted under Breaking Industry News on our home page. For links to these and other full news stories, please visit www.greensheet.com/breakingnews.php?flag=previous_breaking_news.

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