Year-over-year growth in payment card usage has provided revenue streams to merchants, service providers and cybercriminals, according to new analysis by the Nilson Report, Arkose Labs and Bluefin. Analysts expect these trends to continue into the new year. Issue 1187 of the Nilson Report, published December 2020, reported $42.274 trillion in global credit, debit and prepaid card activity in 2019, a 4.2 percent increase over the previous year. Global losses during 2019 involving payment card issuers, acquirers and merchants rose to $28.65 billion, a 2.9 percent increase compared to the same period in 2018.
A new COVID-19 relief bill will deliver financial help to ISOs, MLSs and their merchants. Key elements of the $900 billion relief package, which passed as part of government funding bill in the waning days of 2020, include $284 billion in funding for a new round of potentially forgivable loans to help small businesses keep employees on their payrolls. Additionally, the legislation authorized up to $600 in cash rebates to single taxpayers earning under $87,000; under $174,000 for married couples. Eligible small business that missed the first round of PPP loans will be able to apply for PPP loans under the same rules that applied last year.
A federal judge in Washington, D.C., gave payment processing giant PayPal a win in its efforts to deep six rules established by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for prepaid cards and digital wallets. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon ruled on Dec. 30, 2020, that the CFPB's rulemaking authority under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act does not grant it authority to dictate how prepaid card and digital wallet providers disclose fees, nor can it restrict when consumers link credit card accounts to digital wallets. And he invalidated those provisions of the Prepaid Rule.
As CEOs from numerous industries respond to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on Capitol Hill, payments and security leaders noted that security breaches are not limited to the digital world. In a Jan. 11, 2020, interview with The Green Sheet, Jodie Kelley, CEO of the Electronic Transactions Association, said ETA staff members were "shocked and deeply saddened" by the attempt to overturn the election by force. "This revolt against our democratic process, attack on the Capitol, and endangerment of elected officials is counter to everything we stand for as a nation. ... ETA looks forward to working closely with the Biden administration and the 117th Congress to address the critical issues of our day including the ongoing pandemic, economic uncertainty and record unemployment."
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