The travel and tourism industries have been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, and things are likely to get worse before they get better. One trend to watch for is an anticipated spike in chargebacks as concerned Americans put vacation plans on hold only to learn they can't get refunds or will incur substantial cancellation fees. "Imagine you've been saving for a dream vacation, you book the ticket and then are forced to cancel [because of concerns about coronavirus], only to discover the operator has no refund policy," said Monica Eaton-Cardone, chief operating officer at Chargebacks911. "It's a very unfortunate situation that could well result in a chargeback claim. There's legitimate pain on both sides. But consumers shouldn't leverage the dispute resolution process to try to get money they don't deserve."
The National ATM Council Inc. released guidance to assist U.S. independent and retail ATM stakeholders during the coronavirus outbreak. NAC Executive Director Bruce Renard thanked ATM manufacturers Hyosung, Genmega and Triton for offering assistance and staying open throughout the crisis. "NAC is proud of the thousands of ATM entrepreneurs across America who are risking their own health and safety by continuing to make cash widely available across America as we face this national health emergency together," Renard said. "Our hats are off to these brave and dedicated men and women who continue supplying the cash that makes America's economic engine run daily."
Payments industry leaders are adding value and context to the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, an $8.3 billion dollar package signed into law in early March. Recognizing that small and midsize merchants need more than just cash to weather current economic uncertainty, commerce leaders are offering unprecedented levels of resources, support and leadership to U.S. communities and businesses. Michael Nardy, founder and CEO of Electronic Payments, stated that his company will waive certain fees and charges to help merchants obtain emergency funding during the global pandemic. Describing merchants as the lifeblood of his business, Nardy emphasized the need for service providers to support business owners during this difficult time.
Square Inc. is one step closer to becoming a full-scale financial services provider. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. gave conditional approval for Square to open an industrial loan company in Utah. The FDIC's order authorizes Square Financial Services to secure federal deposit insurance and provides a federal supervisory structure for operations. The Utah Department of Financial Services also has agreed to issue a charter for Square. Square said it hopes to open in the state next year.
A memo from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security supports leading ATM manufacturers' decisions to remain open and help local communities during the COVID-19 crisis. The DHS memo included ATM workers as part of the country's essential critical infrastructure workforce in financial services, granting exclusive rights to workers who maintain services and machines to continue their public work, even when state governments have ordered U.S. workers to stay at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The massive stimulus package could deliver welcome relief to ISOs, MLSs and their small business clients. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which garnered near unanimous support in both the House and the Senate, was signed into law on Fri. March 27, 2020. The legislation, the largest stimulus package ever enacted by the U.S. government, will inject about $2 trillion into the economy by, among other things, extending unemployment benefits to contract workers and offering hundreds of billions of dollars in low-cost loans and grants to small businesses.
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