CardX, a technology solutions provider specializing in credit card surcharging, scored a legal victory on Feb. 25 in the U.S. District Court, making Kansas the 47th state to officially recognize the CardX surcharging model. Jonathan Razi, chief executive officer at CardX, called the resolution of CardX LLC v. Derek Schmidt a defining moment for the payments industry. "Surcharging is becoming even more prominent as payments continue to move online," Razi stated. "And, with upcoming interchange increases in April, this is timely relief for the many companies that will be looking to reduce their costs of payment acceptance."
Payments technology firm NMI reported it acquired USAePay for an undisclosed sum, creating a new merchant acquiring powerhouse. Based on 2020 tallies, the newly combined company handled in excess of 1.5 billion payment transactions valued at over $100 billion, NMI stated. "Our combination reinforces our position as the main independent player of scale delivering flexible white-labeled solutions agnostic of acquirer or merchant account provider," said Vijay Sondhi, NMI's CEO. NMI has a strong presence in ecommerce and other card-not-present environments; USAePay's strength has been with card-present merchants.
The Electronic Transactions Association launched ETA CONNECTS, a digital conference series featuring multiple perspectives from across the payments value chain. Billed as a must-attend event for executives looking to stay ahead of the curve, the series opened with "Future of Payments, Reshaping the Payments Landscape Through Continued Innovation."
In opening remarks, Jodie Kelley, CEO at the ETA, noted that COVID-19 changed the commerce ecosystem. "We've all heard the statistics: the number of users of mobile payments increasing by 32 percent to almost 87 million, the growth of ecommerce doubling and that same trend anticipated from mobile wallet usage," she said.
Visa and Mastercard are planning major adjustments to interchange rates come April 1, and Senator Richard Durbin, D-Ill., whose name is practically synonymous with federal regulation of debit card interchange, is crying foul. Any planned increases in interchange rates could foil the economic recovery, Sen. Durbin said.
The brouhaha comes on the heels of news that financial software company Intuit is taking Visa and Mastercard to court, alleging that interchange pricing models used by the two card companies amount to unlawful price fixing, with rates set without regard to costs. In a lawsuit filed in Federal District Court for the Northern District of California, Intuit said it has paid "billions of dollars" in interchange fees over the past 17 years. The Intuit challenge appears to be the first such action taken against the card brands by an ISO or a payment facilitator.
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