Payments Processing in the News

Stay up-to-date on the latest industry news and advances in abolishing unfair credit and debit card processing practices.

12/27/2011 Debit Cards Will See Some Growth Clipped by Regulation

Debit cards will remain popular with consumers, but the Durbin Amendment will take as much as three percentage points off its annual growth rate over the next five years, according to a new analysis from First Annapolis Consulting Inc.

12/15/2011 Retail Payments Risk Forum conference explores the role of government

In light of the many legislative and regulatory changes affecting the payments industry that are already underway, how and when does government intervene in today's highly dynamic marketplace?

12/09/2011 The Cardboard Beginnings of the Credit Card

In "Looking Backward," Edward Bellamy’s 1888 novel about a socialist utopia more than a century hence, citizens are issued “credit cards” entitling them to shares of the national wealth.

11/28/2011 Merchants Take Swipe at the New Debit Fees

Merchants have been eagerly awaiting the promised savings from a new law that slashed their fees for accepting debit-card payments, but many are finding the early results disappointing.

11/14/2011 Visa Steps Up Merchant Perks to Fight Debit Attrition

Visa Inc. next year plans to ramp up a series of incentives for merchants and acquirers, as the world's largest payments network braces for new regulations that are expected to cost it some debit transactions.

11/07/2011 MasterCard Estimates Settlement of Big Interchange Cases Could Cost It $500 Million

With trial 10 months away, a 6-year-old group of merchant lawsuits challenging the interchange practices of Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc., and a number of banks on antitrust grounds may be lurching toward settlement.

10/28/2011 Merchants Get More Than $10 Million Thanks To Durbin

A grand total of $11,720,068 in signature debit interchange reductions have been deposited into merchant bank accounts by Heartland Payment Systems, one of the nation’s largest payments processors. Of these Durbin Dollars, restaurant merchants received $4,042,859 and lodging merchants received $513,852.

10/17/2011 Partisans Quickly Take Sides Over Plan To Repeal the Durbin Amendment

The unceasing controversy over the Durbin Amendment and its debit card interchange price controls continued recently when two members of Congress declared they would introduce legislation to repeal the measure.

10/03/2011 Top-Down Solutions Are Questioned at Fraud-Control Conference

Payments executives seem to find it much easier to say what they don’t want than to agree on solutions that might improve the security of card-not-present transactions, if the opinions exchanged this week at a Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago conference are indicative of general industry thinking.

09/23/2011 Retailers Should Brace for More Fraud After a Lull in Losses, Study Says

The good news: merchants’ total losses from fraudulent transactions are down. The bad news: losses are likely to rise. More bad news: fraudsters are taking a liking to alternative and mobile payments.

09/15/2011 Visa Hikes Prepaid Interchange But Chops Some Debit Rates

Visa Inc.’s interchange schedule set to take effect Oct. 1, the day new federal debit card interchange price controls also become effective, cuts a few rates for non-regulated debit issuers but clearly encourages issuers to pump out more prepaid cards.

09/06/2011 Consumers May Not See Much Durbin Benefit from Card-Not-Present Merchants

With the final Federal Reserve interchange caps for debit cards set to go into effect Oct. 1, one of the biggest questions still hanging over the payments industry is just how many merchants will pass their savings on to customers.

08/27/2011 New Debit Card Usage Fees Raise Questions About Their Stickiness

Banks are likely to continue testing debit card usage fees in the wake of the Federal Reserve's new price controls on debit interchange, though such fees are generating heated debate about whether they make good business sense.

08/16/2011 Visa Pushes EMV in U.S.

Visa has announced plans to support a U.S. move toward EMV, also known as the Europay, MasterCard, Visa chip standard.

08/02/2011 Making Hay from Debit Price Controls with "Durbin Dollars"

Mostly reviled in the financial industry, the Durbin Amendment with its debit card interchange regulations nonetheless is providing new raw marketing material for some merchant acquirers.

07/22/2011 Reloadable Prepaid Not As Durbin-Proof As Originally Thought

Reloadable general-purpose prepaid cards, once thought to be largely exempt from the debit card interchange restrictions of the Durbin Amendment, will be covered by that law in more cases now that the Federal Reserve has issued its final rule interpreting the amendment.

07/12/2011 As Fed Debit Rule Sinks in, Merchant Class Action Grinds Toward Trial

Now that the Federal Reserve’s new debit card interchange regulations are finally out in the open, the profile of yet another payment card interchange and rules controversy is slowly rising.

07/01/2011 Fed's Final Durbin Rule Chops Interchange by More Than 40%, Extends Compliance Deadline

The Federal Reserve issued a long-awaited, final debit card regulation that caps interchange at 21 cents plus 0.05% of the transaction.

06/21/2011 DoJ Should Have Pushed Harder on Steering Settlements, Some Merchants Say

The U.S. Department of Justice filed court documents recently that move toward completion its challenge of Visa and MasterCard network rules limiting merchants’ ability to steer customer payments toward their preferred forms.

06/09/2011 An Amendment To Delay the Durbin Amendment Comes Up Short

Defenders of the debit card interchange status quo saw their last, best hope to delay draconian Federal Reserve regulations from taking effect go down to defeat recently.

06/01/2011 Debit May Have Dethroned It, But King Cash Retains Its Allure

Cash: the merchant’s friend or foe? Two of the nation’s largest merchants recently expressed surprisingly favorable views about the ancient payment method.

05/23/2011 Sen. Durbin May Take On eCommerce Sites

Possible Federal legislation that would allow states to mandate sales tax collection by Internet retailers.

05/11/2011 Banks, Retailers In Lobbying Race Over Debit Fees

The financial regulation overhaul passed last year created a new agency to protect consumers and promised sweeping changes for everything from Wall Street investment firms to Main Street banks.

04/29/2011 Despite Exemption, Small Issuers Expect Significant Decline in Interchange Revenue After Implementation of Durbin Amendment Provisions

The 2011 Debit Issuer Study, commissioned by PULSE, finds that small debit card issuers, including community banks and credit unions, on average expect a 73 percent decrease in debit interchange revenue as a result of pending interchange fee rules.

04/15/2011 With Its New Pricing Schedule, MasterCard Stands Pat on Debit Interchange

MasterCard Inc.’s new interchange schedule is out, and it contains no changes in consumer debit card rates or the transaction volume thresholds that many rates require. Normally, no change means no news, but in the highly charged world of interchange, anything the payment card networks do or don’t do is noteworthy.

04/01/2011 Buried by Letters, the Fed Delays Issuing Its Debit Card Rules

Overwhelmed by the volume of comments it received, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said in letters to Congress the Fed would miss Congress’s April 21 deadline to have issued final debit card interchange and network regulations.

03/29/2011 Letters to the Editor: Congress Is Right in Regulating Debit Card Swipe Fees

Arguments for and against the regulation of debit card swipe fees.

03/17/2011 Bills Would Delay Swipe Fee Rules

Lawmakers from both parties embarked on an uphill battle to delay a controversial law that would reduce the fees banks receive from merchants each time a debit card is swiped, following weeks of fervent lobbying by the financial industry.

03/08/2011 Merchants Move To Counter Growing Opposition to Debit Regulation

With opposition to looming debit card interchange regulations growing, merchant groups that would benefit from regulation by way of lower payment card acceptance costs are making a case to prevent the Federal Reserve Board’s planned rules from being delayed or scuttled.

02/28/2011 Durbin Comments to the Fed Show a Sharp Divide

Samples from the approximately 2,700 comments that have rolled in over the past two months show the issuer-merchant divide over interchange is as sharp as ever, though some recent commentators give new insights about the potential effects of Dodd-Frank on their businesses.

02/15/2011 Chargebacks Create Business Headaches

Chargebacks are reverse credit-card transactions that can happen when a consumer disputes a charge, if the card is lost or stolen or if there's a processing error. Business owners are ultimately responsible for the amount charged back to the company.

01/31/2011 House Panel Sets Hearing on Debit Card Fees.

For weeks, lobbyists for banks both large and small have been pounding the hallways of the Capitol to complain about a plan to limit the debit card transaction fees banks can charge retailers.

01/20/2011 Online Fraud Rate Drops, But 'Cleaner' Fraud Poses a Bigger Threat

Good news for online merchants: For the second year in a row, fraud losses expressed as a percentage of revenue went down last year. They came to 0.9%, down about $600 million from 1.2% in 2009, according to the latest research from CyberSource Corp., a unit of Visa Inc. that provides transaction-gateway and fraud-management services to Internet merchants.

01/13/2011 Visa Commits to a Two-Tier Debit Card Interchange Structure

In an apparent effort to calm its smaller debit card issuers, Visa Inc. says it will develop a two-tier interchange schedule, one with regulated rates arising from the Dodd-Frank financial-reform law and the other with unregulated rates applicable to banks and credit unions with fewer than $10 billion in assets.

01/03/2011 Sharp Comments Flow into Fed in Wake of Interchange Proposals

The comments are flowing in to the Federal Reserve Board in the wake of the board’s controversial proposals to set a 12-cent cap on debit card interchange, ban exclusive network agreements on debit cards, and give merchants more freedom to direct the routing of debit transactions.

12/21/2010 Fed Proposes Rules to Cut Debit Card Fees

The Federal Reserve, fulfilling a Congressional order to examine whether merchants were being charged excessive fees to process debit card transactions, has proposed new rules that analysts said could cut those fees as much as 90 percent.

12/08/2010 Separating Dodd-Frank’s Winners from Its Losers

The turbulent regulatory and legal atmosphere enveloping the U.S. payment card industry is blowing the industry into camps of winners, losers, and those in between.

11/30/2010 New Gift Card Rules Expected to Make Holiday Season Merrier for Businesses

As the first holiday shopping season since the enactment of new rules governing gift cards approaches, businesses have an opportunity to maximize their gift card programs.

11/23/2010 Visa Suggests an Interchange Plan to the Fed; Merchants Blast It

Visa Inc. and a prominent law firm serving financial-industry clients want the Federal Reserve Board to regulate debit card interchange by setting an "average effective interchange rate" and then letting the payment card networks set their own rates as long as the average interchange rate on transactions subject to regulation meets the Fed’s benchmark.

11/11/2010 Visa Classifies Corporate Franchisors As Third-Party Agents

Recently, Visa officially brought corporate franchisors into the world of Level 1 merchant service providers by requiring them to register as Third-Party Agents, with all that that implies.

10/28/2010 Cyber Security Strategies for the Small Business Market

It's no secret that cyber-intrusions and attacks - whether by viruses, malware, spyware, or other IT security breaches - are on the rise in corporate America. High-profile hacks on military computers and corporate domains like Google have illustrated that new cyber security challenges are emerging as fast as experts can combat them.

10/14/2010 PCI Compliance Should Be a LifeStyle

Merchants are most likely to remain compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards and avoid data breaches if they adopt security as a “lifestyle,” according to a recent study.

10/04/2010 Visa, MasterCard Reach Settlement in Antitrust Case; Amex to Challenge Lawsuit

The U.S. Department of Justice has announced that it filed a civil antitrust lawsuit challenging rules that American Express, MasterCard and Visa have in place that "prevent merchants from offering consumers discounts, rewards and information about card costs, ultimately resulting in consumers paying more for their purchases.

09/24/2010 Visa Opens Doors for Mass Transit Riders in New York and Los Angeles

Visa Inc. announced recently that commuters in New York and Los Angeles can use the world's most popular way to pay - Visa - for bus, subway and train fares. In New York, Visa is allowing riders to pay using Visa payWave-enabled cards and mobile phones, while commuters in Los Angeles can use a special Visa prepaid card to ride the LA metro system.

09/09/2010 Consumers Divided on Interchange Issues

As advocates of the payments industry and retailers battle over proposed changes to interchange, neither side will find it easy to rally consumer support, according to a syndicated market research report.

08/27/2010 Visa May Lose Chunk of Debit Transaction Fees

Smaller debit card swipe fees and other changes in the recent federal financial reform bill may prove to be a blessing for merchants and consumers, but a curse for Visa, the San Francisco-based company that has dominated the plastic payment industry since its inception.

08/18/2010 Two Years in Coming, an IRS Reporting Rule Takes Effect

Merchant acquirers recently got a long-anticipated reporting rule. Beginning with the 2011 tax year, acquirers must report how much their merchants generate in annual charge volume.

07/30/2010 The Dodd-Frank Interchange Haircut Could Exceed $10 Billion

Visa and MasterCard debit card issuers stand to lose up to $10.7 billion in interchange income a year in a worst-case scenario under new federal interchange controls that will take effect next year.

07/23/2010 As the Ink Dries on Dodd-Frank, Merchants Gird for Interchange Battle

As President Obama signs the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act of 2010 into law recently, at least one major merchant interest group has already fired the opening shot in what promises to be an all-out battle over the fees banks earn on debit card transactions.

07/16/2010 NRF And Visa, Often at Odds, Come Together on Storage Rules

Not always the best of friends, the National Retail Federation and Visa Inc. saw fit on Wednesday to jointly announce that Visa had clarified its card-number storage rules to affirm that merchants may present a truncated or disguised number on a transaction receipt for dispute resolution in place of a full card number.

07/08/2010 Risky Software Still in Place as a Visa Deadline Passes

Although many U.S. merchants and processors have met Visa Inc.’s July 1 deadline for replacing unapproved point-of-sale software applications with ones that meet requirements of the Payment Application data-security standard, or PA-DSS, many non-compliant card-processing applications remain in the marketplace, Visa says.

07/01/2010 Council Grants an Extra Year to Implement New PCI Versions

Merchants, processors, and others in the card industry will have more time to review and implement new versions of the Payment Card Industry data-security standard under a new schedule announced recently by the PCI Security Standards Council.

06/03/2010 Potential Effects of Durbin Amendment Roil the Debit Card Industry

With the political debate about proposed federal regulation of debit card interchange and card-acceptance terms raging on, analyses of the so-called Durbin Amendment’s effects are emerging.

05/19/2010 Questions Arise in the Wake of Durbin's Winning Amendment

Payments-industry partisans of all stripes got onto their soap boxes to praise or denounce U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin’s successful amendment that could pave the way for regulation of debit card interchange and acceptance terms.

05/11/2010 The Senate Attaches Interchange Regs to Financial Reform Bill

The battle over interchange regulation continues to heat up, with the introduction of amendments to financial regulatory reform legislation pending in the U.S. Senate that would target the controversial fees charged to merchants.

05/04/2010 Congress Breaks Its Silence on Interchange with a New Hearing

After months of inactivity on interchange regulation, the U.S. House of Representatives judiciary committee recently held a hearing on one bill advocated by national merchant groups. And while the committee took no action, one merchant group views the hearing as a hopeful sign that legislation will be passed.

04/21/2010 Our $48 Billion Credit Card Bill

These days, it’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t use credit and debit cards regularly — they’re convenient and compact and often come with small cash-back incentives. But what almost no one realizes is that those benefits are far outweighed by an implicit transaction fee, set by credit card companies and their issuing banks, that costs consumers more than $48 billion a year.

04/13/2010 Naming A New Chief, MasterCard Signals It Is Open To Changes

MasterCard named a onetime star at Citigroup as its next chief executive on Monday, a widely expected move that could nonetheless shake up the giant payment company. The appointment of the executive, Ajay Banga, is to take effect on July 1, the company said. MasterCard hired Mr. Banga as president and chief operating officer last August and signaled early that he would succeed Robert W. Selander, who has held the top job since 1997.

04/01/2010 Stores Endure New Card Rules Despite Hurt Profits

Top retailers have sounded the alarm about the U.S. government's recently enacted credit card reforms, warning investors the new rules will hit their bottom lines to the tune of millions of dollars just as consumer spending is beginning to bounce back.

03/23/2010 Interchange And The Proposed Financial Services Legislation

Interchange regulation of the kind being advocated by national merchant groups just isn’t getting much traction on Capitol Hill.

03/11/2010 What's Ahead For PCI?

In the last several years, awareness of issues around payment card security and PCI standards has grown exponentially. As more businesses implement Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) as a necessary layer in protecting their customers' account data, this increased vigilance will help result in fewer breaches, not to mention losses for businesses, financial institutions and cardholders.

03/03/2010 Merchants' Credit Card Fees Becoming Political Issue

Consumers recently got some financial relief when Congress passed a bill making it illegal for credit card companies to raise interest rates arbitrarily on monthly balances. And now, some politicians think retailers should get a break, too.

02/19/2010 PCI Council Changes Its Audio Recording Policy, Again

The PCI Council, in an attempt to show that it can be flexible and truly is listening to industry feedback, is now on the third version of its controversial policy on audio recordings since the beginning of the year.

02/10/2010 Visa Extends No Signature Required to Additional Merchant Categories

Visa has announced plans to offer its No Signature Required program to the majority of merchant categories in the United States beginning July 2010. According to Visa, "under the new expanded program, for domestic transactions $25 and less, retailers can accept U.S.-issued Visa cards for purchases without requiring a cardholder signature; this program has the potential to increase speed at the point of sale and enhance customer satisfaction."

01/29/2010 On the Back Burner in Congress, Interchange Heats up in California

Proposed regulation of interchange is stalled in Congress, but California lawmakers are investigating the controversial revenue generator for credit and debit card issuers that merchants ultimately pay. It's not clear yet, however, whether the informational hearing held this week by the California Assembly's Banking and Finance Committee ultimately will result in a law.

01/21/2010 Major Card Networks Waive Fees On Haitian Relief Donations

American Express, MasterCard and Visa have all announced responses to the devastating earthquake in Haiti - including waiving interchange fees for a period for specific US-based charities that are providing support to Haitian relief.

01/04/2010 Cybercrooks Stalk Small Businesses That Bank Online

A rising swarm of cyber-robberies targeting small firms, local governments, school districts, churches and non-profits has prompted an extraordinary warning. The American Bankers Association and the FBI are advising small and midsize businesses that conduct financial transactions over the Internet to dedicate a separate PC used exclusively for online banking.

12/23/2009 Debit Card Fraud On The Rise

ATM and debit card fraud is expected to grow 10 percent or more this year, even though credit card fraud may get most of the publicity.

12/08/2009 Convenience Stores Prepare New Anti-Interchange Petition Drive

Retailers fighting what they say are high payment-card acceptance costs are not letting the heated debates about health care or President Obama's planned troop surge in Afghanistan push interchange off the political stage.

11/24/2009 GAO: Proposals To Cut Credit Card Merchant Fees Hard To Implement

Proposals to cut certain fees credit card issuers charge merchants would be challenging to implement, the Government Accountability Office said in a report recently. The charges, known as interchange or swipe fees, have been the subject of growing controversy in recent years. Retailers must pay issuers the fees--set by credit card networks such as Visa and MasterCard--every time a customer uses credit to make a purchase.

11/24/2009 Credit Card Companies' Fees Hurt Businesses

U.S. credit card companies are raking in big bucks from charging interchange fees while consumers and businesses continue to struggle amid a weakened national economy, a government report said recently.

11/20/2009 Reducing Interchange Would 'Pose Challenges,' The GAO Says

If merchants on the one side and bank card issuers and payment card networks on the other were looking for endorsements of their opposing positions about interchange, they didn't get them Thursday when the Government Accountability Office issued a long-awaited report about the controversial fee.

11/10/2009 U.S. Retailers Face $191 Billion In Fraud Losses Each Year

U.S. merchants are incurring $191 billion in fraud losses each year, according to a new report released today by LexisNexis® Risk Solutions.

11/04/2009 Return of an Interchange Firebrand

Lloyd Constantine, who maneuvered the card industry into paying the largest antitrust class-action settlement in history, has resurfaced six years later with a book about the case and some surprising criticism about other lawsuits that he sees as riding his coattails.

10/26/2009 How To Cut Credit Card Fees

The cost of accepting credit cards is a sore point for merchants. Business owners have long grumbled about the cost of taking credit cards, and for the first time, Congress is considering regulating how the fees are set.

10/15/2009 Visa Pushes Back PIN Pad Fine Threat To 2012

After some serious retail pushback - particularly in the gas station sector - Visa has relented and agreed to back off an earlier deadline PIN pad compliance deadline for July 1, 2010, some 7-and-a-half months away. The new policy isn't threatening fines until Aug. 1, 2012.

10/12/2009 House Interchange Bill Brings Out the Venom On Both Sides

The interchange partisans went at it again recently in Congress. The battleground this time was a House Financial Services Committee hearing on the bill from U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., that would require more interchange disclosures and demolish most of the bank card networks' rules that prevent merchants from discriminating against card-paying customers.

10/01/2009 MasterCard Cries Foul As 7-Eleven Readies Interchange Petitions

7-Eleven Inc. misled consumers who signed a petition asking Congress to regulate card interchange, MasterCard Inc. charged one day before officials with the convenience-store chain were expected to deliver nearly 1.7 million signed petitions to Capitol Hill.

09/25/2009 Consumers Respond To 7-Eleven's Interchange Fees Petitions

7-Eleven has announced that its franchisees and store operators have collected more than 1.6 million signatures in the "Stop Unfair Credit Card Fees" petition drive. 7-Eleven says it believes this marks the largest number of signatures collected for a public policy issue on record.

09/14/2009 New York Restaurant Loses Its Appetite For Cash

In the latest encroachment of credit and debit cards onto the greenback's turf, the high-end New York City restaurant said goodbye to dollars and cents this week. The message to diners: Tip in cash if you wish, but otherwise, your money is no good here.

09/02/2009 Visa Follows MasterCard in Prepaying Its "Wal-Mart" Obligations

As an attorney for the merchant plaintiffs predicted earlier this summer, Visa Inc. disclosed Monday that it plans to prepay the remaining $800 million of its settlement obligations with merchants under the so-called Wal-Mart debit card class action for a discounted $682 million.

08/27/2009 PCI Talk Is Cheap: Even Small Merchants Can Afford It

It's very difficult to get small businesses interested in PCI compliance at all (judging from low attendance at the webinars and events aimed at that market). Recent research attempts to understand why that is, and if anything can be done to raise awareness and motivate security improvements.

08/21/2009 MasterCard Vs. Visa: Dueling Compliance Philosophies

MasterCard is taking what can only be called a "get tough" policy, issuing larger fines and, most significantly, forcing both Level 1 and Level 2 merchants to use assessors rather than take on the task of self-assessment. But still, merchants, banks, processors and service providers aren't happy with MasterCard.

08/14/2009 PCI Awareness Is up Among Small Merchants, But So Is PCI Confusion

Despite widespread efforts to educate small merchants about the Payment Card Industry data-security standards (PCI DSS), a large majority still don?t understand fully the complex requirements, according to a study released today by the National Retail Federation, ControlScan and the PCI Knowledge Base.

08/06/2009 MasterCard Becomes The First Card Brand To Publish PCI Fines

MasterCard has become the first card brand to publish its PCI fines and related requirements, a move that could be the latest signal that MasterCard wants to step out of the PCI shadow of its larger rival, Visa. The dollars themselves do not reflect a radical change, although they do include some healthy increases.

07/28/2009 Credit Card Fees Wallop Merchants

Shopping for new shoes or groceries for tonight's dinner? What about a birthday gift for a friend? It's easy - just pull out the plastic. But what shoppers might not realize is that every time they swipe that credit or debit card, the merchant is actually incurring a fee.

07/15/2009 Roping Consumers into Fee Tug-of-War

A sustained tide of consumer anger about all types of bank fees is adding momentum to the long-running merchant campaign against interchange.

07/07/2009 MasterCard Puts Wal-Mart Case In The Rear-View Mirror

MasterCard Inc. plans to pay off its remaining $400 million settlement obligation to retailers over debit card acceptance early for a discounted $335 million, according to a filing the card network made on Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

06/25/2009 MasterCard Gets PCI Tough With Level 2 Retailers?

MasterCard has changed its PCI rules and is now insisting that all Level 2 merchants have on-site assessments.

06/16/2009 Two More Congressional Bills Aim At Interchange Regulation

U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin?s introduction of a Senate companion to U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr.?s Credit Card Fair Fee Act of 2009, along with a little-noticed bill introduced last month in the House, bring to three the number of interchange bills pending in the Democrat-controlled Congress.

06/09/2009 Congress Reintroduces An Interchange Bill

The Credit Card Fair Fee Act, a bill that would inject government into the interchange-setting process, has been resurrected after dying in committee last year. But this time there are more players around the table seemingly less inclined to sympathize with the defenders of the current bank card interchange system.

06/03/2009 Visa Sees Credit Card Industry Restructuring

Visa, the world's largest payment network, said recently that U.S. legislation curbing certain practices by credit card companies would force the industry to restructure as revenue expectations shrink.

05/29/2009 Small Business Economic Confidence Drops Sharply In May

After reaching its highest level in 14 months, the economic confidence among small business owners fell in May as owners reported cash flow concerns and expect to cut back on business development spending, according to the latest Discover Small Business Watch.

05/21/2009 Congress Will Study Interchange And Eyes Rules For Gift Cards

The U.S. House of Representatives on May 20 overwhelmingly passed a sweeping credit card reform bill that leaves out retailer-backed regulation of interchange. The bill, which the Senate sent to the House Tuesday, includes a Congressional interchange study and could open the door to controls on gift cards.

05/15/2009 Passions Are Far From Cooling In Debate Over Card Interchange

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. paid discount fees totaling more than $1 billion to take credit and debit cards in the 12 months ended Jan. 31. Acceptances costs now exceed health-care premiums at The Home Depot.

05/08/2009 Total U.S. Visa Debit Volume Surpasses Credit For First Time

Visa recently announced that spending on Visa debit cards in the U.S. had surpassed Visa credit card volume for the first time in the company's history.

04/30/2009 Discover Finds Small Business Economic Confidence Surges

Economic confidence among small business owners rose to its highest level in 14 months in April as more of them see the broader economy and the conditions for their own businesses improving, according to the latest Discover Small Business Watch.

04/23/2009 The Pros And Cons Of Small Business Credit Cards

If you're a small business owner, you've probably received numerous offers and applications for a small business credit card. You probably wonder whether you should consider getting one or how they differ from other forms of credit.

04/14/2009 Retailers Bullish On E-commerce Technology

72% of companies in a recent survey said the economic downturn had not led to a change in their e-business technology investment plans, and more than half of business-to-consumer companies said they planned to increase their budgets for e-business technology, Forrester Research Inc. says.

04/01/2009 Maintaining a Safe Environment For Payment Cards

The Payment Cards Center of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and the Electronic Funds Transfer Association jointly hosted a conference, "Maintaining a Safe Environment for Payment Cards: Examining Evolving Threats Posed by Fraud." The conference included panels representing each of four key constituencies: issuers, consumers, merchants/acquirers and networks, speaking on the nature of payment card fraud in the 21st century landscape.

03/17/2009 To Cut Fraud Losses, Don't Wait For Chargebacks

Online merchants shouldn?t wait for chargebacks to indicate a problem with fraudulent orders. Instead, they should pay attention to other indicators, such as the volume of canceled orders, to anticipate whether a wave of chargebacks is about to hit.

03/03/2009 Some Interchange Rates Up, Some Down

Lower interchange rates in some cases for online retailers and travel-and-entertainment merchants that accept Visa credit cards and a new MasterCard authorization fee that's 3.7 times higher than the one it will replace are set to take effect in April when the bank card networks adjust pricing schedules.

02/24/2009 Economic Confidence Remains Flat Among Small Business Owners

Economic confidence among the nation's 22 million small business owners remained flat in February, gaining only a half-point over the previous month in the latest Discover Small Business Watch. The monthly index rose to 71.9 in February from 71.4 in January.

02/19/2009 Visa Gift Cards Turned Into Phony Credit Cards

The crooks are using Visa gift cards to create their own credit card by adding stolen numbers, a name, and an expiration date. When they're swiped nothing happens, but then the clerk is asked to type in the credit card numbers.

02/13/2009 Afraid Of Fraud - 30% Of U.S. E-Retailers Block Some International Orders

International e-commerce can be risky for U.S. and Canadian merchants, says a new report from payment processor CyberSource Corp. During 2008, 30% of merchants that accept international orders online and that CyberSource surveyed stopped taking orders from one or more countries because of high levels of fraud.

01/30/2009 The Recession Is Sending Rates Of Friendly Fraud Up, Processors Say

With the recession throwing more and more people out of work by the day, payments processors are reporting that their merchants are experiencing sharp increases in e-commerce chargebacks stemming from so-called friendly fraud. This is the fraud that results when a consumer repudiates a transaction as unauthorized in hopes of escaping liability for payment.

01/21/2009 Discover Announces PCI Data Security Merchant Levels

Discover Financial Services has announced it is rolling out an enhancement to its Discover Information Security and Compliance (DISC) program that the company says "will streamline the validation and reporting process, making it easier for merchants that process transactions on the Discover Network to communicate their compliance with the PCI Data Security Standard (DSS)."

01/20/2009 MasterCard Background Paper On Interchange Available

Interchange, the most controversial part of credit and debit card pricing, is the subject of a background paper MasterCard Inc. recently posted on its Web site.

01/14/2009 MasterCard White Paper On Open Payment Systems, Interchange

MasterCard Worldwide has announced it has published a new white paper titled "Benefits of Open Payment Systems and the Role of Interchange" that the company says "dispels misperceptions about payment systems and explains the tremendous economic value that electronic payments bring to the economy as a whole and their role in advancing commerce."

12/30/2008 Economic Confidence Improves Among Small Business Owners

After falling to its lowest measurement ever in November, economic confidence among small business owners rose slightly in December. The Discover Small Business Watch rose to 72.8 in December, up 5.3 points from November.

12/17/2008 New Jersey Groups Say They Were Cheated By Credit Card Processor

New Jersey authorities have launched a probe into a Seattle area online credit card processing company accused of absconding with more than $1 million paid to register children for sports leagues and after-school programs across the nation.

12/10/2008 Visa Posts Its Canadian Interchange Rates On The Web

In another sign of sweeping changes in the Canadian payment card market, Visa Inc.'s Visa Canada unit last week published interchange rates on its web site for the first time. The posting comes at a time when merchants are complaining about higher rewards-card acceptance costs and expressing fears that possible Visa- and MasterCard-branded debit cards could undermine Canada?s low-cost Interac PIN-based debit card network.

12/01/2008 How To Subdue Credit Card Fees

Too many small-business owners aren't aware of their credit card processing fees, and they're paying too much because rate increases are opaque and confusing. (Please refer to the second section of this article titled "How To Subdue Credit Card Fees").

11/17/2008 Free Credit Card Fraud Prevention Training

To assist in the fight against fraud, MasterCard is offering a free, online credit card fraud prevention training you can take at your own pace. The program will familiarize you with the security features of MasterCard and help you identify fraudulent cards and what actions to take if you suspect fraud.

11/12/2008 Free Webinar - Understanding PCI DSS Version 1.2

The PCI Security Standards Council, the standards body providing management of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard has announced it will be offering a complimentary webinar, "Understanding PCI DSS Version 1.2,? to be held on Tuesday Nov. 25, 2008 at 11:30 a.m. EST and at 7:30 p.m. EST. The session will be repeated on Wednesday Dec. 17, 2008 at 10:30 a.m. EST and 8:30 p.m. EST.

11/04/2008 MasterCard Worldwide Enhances PCI Merchant Education Program

MasterCard Worldwide has announced the availability of two new seminars designed to help merchants protect payment card data and reduce the likelihood of reputational risk and fraud.

10/29/2008 New Credit Card Fee Hurts Small Merchants

Consumers pay fees and higher prices to cover losses. But some fees punish the wrong people unnecessarily, and a San Antonio area antiques store provides an example. The store owner is like many others who accept MasterCard and Visa credit cards as payment for store sales. Here is her situation when faced with a new fee from her processor.

10/27/2008 MasterCard's Keys To Survival

The credit card underdog is taking on rival Visa with smart technology, memorable marketing, and global ambition. But what happens when consumers put their cards away?

10/16/2008 Discover Settles Lawsuit Against Visa, MasterCard

Discover Financial Services, the fourth-biggest U.S. credit-card company, settled an antitrust suit in which it sought $18 billion from larger rivals Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. for blocking banks from issuing its cards.

10/10/2008 More Big Merchants Comply, But PCI Likely Still Foreign To Small Fry

New data from Visa Inc. show more of the largest merchants now meet the Payment Card Industry data-security standard, or PCI. But the level of validated PCI compliance among small merchants?the overwhelming majority of businesses that accept credit and debit cards?likely remains much lower.

10/03/2008 Updated PCI-DSS Version 1.2 Released

The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) has announced the general availability of version 1.2 of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). According to the Council, "this latest version is the culmination of two years of feedback and suggestions from its industry stakeholders and is designed to clarify and ease implementation of the foremost standard for cardholder account security.

09/26/2008 When Credit Card Data Is Breached, Who's On The Hook?

Finding out who's responsible for the costs of a data breach can be a very complicated and legally challenging project.

09/23/2008 Visa Enables Issuance of Unembossed Cards

Visa has announced that it will begin supporting the issuance of "unembossed" cards in the U.S. for Visa consumer debit, business debit and consumer credit cards. Unembossed payment cards feature printed personalized information, such as the account number and cardholder name, rather than embossed with raised lettering.

09/22/2008 Is It Fair To Deduct Card Processing Fees From Restaurant Waiter Tips?

That's what a lot of diners ask when they find out restaurant owners deduct credit-card processing fees from charged tips. Some restaurant owners say it's only fair that they deduct credit-card fees.

09/16/2008 Fair Fee Act Could Help Small Retailers

If passed, the Credit Card Fair Fee Act of 2008 (HR.5546), introduced by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), could affect both online and bricks-and-mortar retailers that accept credit or debit card payments.

09/10/2008 California Data Breach Bill Awaits Governor's Decision

If signed into law, the new bill prohibits retailers from storing "sensitive authentication data subsequent to authorization, even if that data is encrypted and any payment-related data that is not needed for business, legal, or regulatory purposes."

09/04/2008 E-Commerce Faces A Rapidly Rising Threat From Fraudsters' Malware

Evidence is mounting that criminal attacks on e-commerce via keyloggers and other code that detects user credentials are growing rapidly. The number of URLs used to disseminate such malware soared to a record 6,500 in March.

08/28/2008 Data Breaches Have Surpassed Level For All Of '07, Report Finds

More data breaches have been reported so far this year than in all of 2007, according to a report released recently by a nonprofit group that works to prevent fraud.

08/26/2008 Small Businesses Owners Feel Better About Overall Economic Conditions

Small business owners' economic confidence rose for the second straight month in August, climbing away from a 22-month low in June as their concerns about the state of the overall economy improved. The Discover(R) Small Business Watch (SM) reached 86.9 in August, up 2.3 points from July and more than 15 points higher than June.

08/20/2008 PCI Security Standards Council To Host Webinar On Security Standards

The PCI Security Standards Council announces it is offering a complimentary and educational webinar, "A Perfect Fit - Understanding the Interrelationship of the PCI Standards," to be held on Thursday September 4, 2008 at 9:00 a.m. EDT and a second session the same day at 7:30 p.m. EDT.

08/13/2008 Some Stores Quiet Over Card Breach

When federal prosecutors recently disclosed that computer hackers swiped more than 40 million credit card numbers from nine retailers in the biggest such heist ever, it was the first time that many shoppers had heard about it.

08/06/2008 Retail Credit/Debit Card Hacking Ring Arrested

The US Department of Justice has announced that "eleven perpetrators allegedly involved in the hacking of nine major U.S. retailers and the theft and sale of more than 40 million credit and debit card numbers have been charged with numerous crimes.

08/05/2008 FTC, DoJ Are Leery Of Bills That Would Regulate Interchange Rates

Banks and the payment card networks, which oppose the Credit Card Fair Fee Act of 2008 in the House of Representatives and its Senate companion, recently got some ammunition for their cause when both the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission came out against the interchange proposal.

07/28/2008 Small Business Economic Confidence Rebounds After Record-Low

The Discover(R) Small Business Watch(SM) jumped in July to 84.6, up 12.8 points from 71.8 in June. After sinking to its lowest level in June, economic confidence among small business owners rebounded in July, as the number of those who said they are experiencing cash flow issues decreased significantly and general economic confidence began trending upward.

07/21/2008 What You Risk By Using Debit Card At The Pump

QUESTION: When I use my debit card to buy gas at the pump, I've noticed that a hold gets put on funds in my account for a few days -- sometimes for more than what I purchased. What gives? Is there any way to avoid this?

07/09/2008 MasterCard Expands PCI Merchant Education Program

MasterCard Worldwide has announced the availability of three new seminars designed to help merchants protect payment card data and reduce the likelihood of reputational risk and the incidence of fraud.

07/03/2008 How To Deal With Credit Card Mumbo Jumbo

Owning a small business often means having to wear many different hats - marketer, accountant, building manager, and Web tech whiz, to name a few. But when it comes to figuring out what's behind credit card companies' charges for handling your customers' transactions - known as interchange fees - that can be one hat too many.

07/02/2008 A Visa Rule Change, Prompted By DoJ, Could Foster PINless Debit

Pressed by the U.S. Department of Justice, Visa Inc. has changed its operating rules to allow PINless debit card transactions for small-ticket purchases, just as it waives the signature requirement for low-value purchases on its signature-based Visa check card.

06/27/2008 PCI Deadline Approaches For Internet Application Security

On June 30, the PCI Security Standards Council, the independent body that administers the Payment Card Industry data-security standard, will make mandatory protection measures in its rules about Internet-facing software applications that the Council currently classifies as best practices.

06/27/2008 Visa To Reduce Interchange Rates For Fuel Transactions

Visa has announced that it is implementing processing and rate changes that will result in benefits for American consumers and fuel merchants frustrated by rising prices at the pump.

06/25/2008 American Express Settles Antitrust Claims Agains Mastercard

American Express announced today that it has reached an agreement with MasterCard Inc. to drop a lawsuit alleging that MasterCard had illegally blocked American Express from the bank-issued card business. Under the terms of the agreement, MasterCard will pay American Express up to $1.8 billion.

06/18/2008 Five Steps Online Merchants Can Take to Batten Down Their Sites

Here are five useful steps Web merchants can take to better secure their web sites.

06/13/2008 A Look at Data Breaches - And How to Prevent Them

Verizon Business has announced a comprehensive report on data breaches concluding that "nearly nine in 10 corporate data breaches could have been prevented had reasonable security measures been in place." The study also provides key recommendations to help businesses protect themselves and urges them to be proactive.

06/10/2008 Discover Seeks Damages Against Visa And MasterCard

Discover Financial Services is seeking more than $6 billion in damages in its 4-year-old case against Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc., according to documents unsealed Monday in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York.

06/04/2008 Indiana Bank's Debit Card Breach Underscores Issuer Vulnerability

Indiana-based 1st Source Bank is reissuing its entire portfolio of debit cards after a hacker or hackers broke into a bank server containing debit card data.

05/30/2008 California Gas Stations Hit By Debit Card Scam

About 80 people who bought gas with their debit cards at an Arco station in San Jose had a total of $45,000 drained from their bank accounts by thieves suspected of pulling the same scam at the company's stations elsewhere in California.

05/19/2008 PCI Compliance - Are You Missing The Boat?

Major credit card companies had a good idea when they decided to pursue a standard for cardholder data protection. Data breaches were on the rise and credit card information was being targeted. So why were so many merchants standing on the dock after the PCI boat has sailed?

05/19/2008 Retailers Assail Credit Card Fees In House Hearing

Retailers accused Visa and MasterCard during a recent congressional hearing of levying excessive fees, while the card company executives countered that retailer-supported legislation would simply push more of the cost onto consumers.

05/16/2008 Credit Card Processor Agrees To $26 Million FTC Settlement

The marketers of a debit and credit card processing services operation have agreed to judgments of more than $26 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they deceived small businesses throughout the country.

05/15/2008 Merchant's Request For SSN Can Put Shopper In Tough Bind

When can a merchant ask for additional information on credit card transactions? When can a business ask for your Social Security number?

05/14/2008 As Hearing Nears, Another Interchange Bill Is In The Works

Payment card interchange will be in Congress' spotlight again when the House Judiciary Committee holds a hearing about the controversial Credit Card Fair Fee Act of 2008, a bill that would put price controls on card-acceptance costs.

05/14/2008 Breaches Make A Mockery Of PCI Security Standards

Dave & Buster's, a popular eatery and arcade, is the latest U.S. firm to be hit by hackers bent on stealing credit card data. This breach, much like one a few months ago at the East Coast grocery chain Hannaford, was the result of strategically placed malware that recorded credit card data in transit. These breaches illustrate the need for more stringent payment card security standards.

05/07/2008 ABC News Segment On Counterfeit Cards

Thieves are copying the information stored on magnetic strips onto counterfeit cards. This ABC News segment shows how it's done and what you need to do to avoid becoming a victim.

04/28/2008 Hannaford Spending Millions To Prevent Future Data Theft

Paying breach bill may not buy Hannaford full data protection. The grocer is spending millions of dollars on new IT security tools. But they might not have prevented the theft of payment data from its systems.

04/08/2008 Discover Triples Its Acceptance Network With Diners Club Acquisition

Discover Financial Services LLC becomes a global payments player with its pending deal to buy Diners Club International from Citigroup Inc.'s Citibank N.A. for $165 million in cash.

04/02/2008 Data Breaches More Than Doubled In 2008 First Quarter

Data breaches disclosed by Hannaford Bros Supermarket Chain, GE Money, and Georgetown University are just some of the 167 breaches reported during the first quarter of 2008, according to the non-profit Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC). This is more than double the first quarter in 2007 (76 breaches).

04/01/2008 Malware At Hannaford Raises More Questions About Data Security

Fraudsters planted so-called malware, or malicious software, on servers at about 300 supermarkets in or affiliated with the Hannaford Bros. Inc. supermarket chain and with it were able to steal credit and debit card data. The thefts happened even though Hannaford at the time was compliant with the Payment Card Industry data-security standard, or PCI.

03/28/2008 TJX Agrees To Settle FTC Security Breach Charges

The Federal Trade Commission has announced that TJX has agreed to settle charges that it engaged in practices that, taken together, failed to provide reasonable and appropriate security for sensitive consumer information.

03/18/2008 Grocery Chain Breach Casts More Doubt on Data Security

News of the first big data breach of 2008 broke recently when grocery chain Hannaford Bros. Co. acknowledged a data intrusion into its computer network that resulted in the theft of a reported 4.2 million customer credit and debit card numbers.

03/14/2008 MasterCard "Welcomes" Dismissal Of Antitrust Suit

MasterCard International said it welcomed a U.S. appeals court's dismissal of an antitrust lawsuit by a group of merchants claiming that the company, Visa USA and three banks had conspired to set fees charged to businesses for credit card sales.

03/06/2008 Onlilne Retailers Finding More Effective Tools For Fighting Fraud

Risk-scoring models, or fraud screens, designed to block specific types of fraud experienced by individual retailers were cited most often as the most effective risk management tools in a study by CyberSource Corp.

02/26/2008 Visa Looks For Record IPO In Defiance Of Wall Street Headwinds

Facing financial markets that have been roiled by troubled subprime mortgages and a weakening economy, Visa Inc. on Monday said it is seeking to raise $15 billion to $17 billion in its upcoming initial public offering of common stock - an amount that even on the low end would be a record IPO.

02/22/2008 Vermont Interchange Bill A Cry For Help

A bill introduced into the Vermont House of Representatives in January 2008, H.600, would force hard copy disclosure to Vermont merchants of the interchange fees set by Visa Inc., MasterCard Worldwide and other credit card companies.

02/19/2008 Restaurants Adopting Pay At The Table Technology

Consumers trained for years by self-payment systems at grocery stores and gas stations soon will get a chance to use these skills at more restaurants.

02/14/2008 Credit Cards May Shortchange Wait Staff

Should the restaurant wait staff have to pay its share of the processing fee when the tip is put on a credit card bill? Some restaurants have been reducing tips by assessing the fee for years, but the practice is attracting new interest as processing fees rise and profit margins tighten.

02/06/2008 PCI Security Standards Council Updates Self Assessment Questionnaire

The PCI Security Standards Council has announced that its updated Self Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) for merchants and service providers is now available.

02/04/2008 Restaurant Chain Stops Plan To Take Fees From Tips

The parent company of Outback Steakhouse and its sibling restaurants has rescinded a policy of requiring its wait staff to cover credit-card processing fees for tips included on their customers' bills.

02/04/2008 Father And Son Sentenced In Credit Card Scam

A father and son were sentenced earlier this week for defrauding about 1,200 customers out of roughly $125,000. The two operated NorCal CSI, a Sacramento-area company that acted as an independent sales agent for a credit card processing company.

02/01/2008 Look Who's Making Coin Off The Credit Crisis

When credit gets tight, the vampires come out. Now feasting on small businesses is a cadre of "merchant cash advance" (MCA) shops. These lenders of last resort give small businesses cash today in return for a percentage of their future credit card sales.

01/31/2008 Survey Lists Riskiest Citys For E-Commerce

Miami is now viewed as the riskiest city for e-commerce in the U.S., according to a new survey by online payment security services vendor CyberSource Corp. Miami bumped New York from the top spot this year in the annual survey.

01/23/2008 Visa Reports Mid-Sized Merchants Are Making PCI Progress

Merchants accounting for two-thirds of Visa Inc.'s U.S. transaction volume have validated compliance with the Payment Card Industry data-security standard, or PCI, Visa reported. PCI is the card networks' controversial joint set of rules for protecting cardholder and transaction data.

01/18/2008 Data Lost On 650,000 Credit Card Holders

Personal information on about 650,000 customers of J.C. Penney and up to 100 other retailers could be compromised after a computer tape went missing. GE Money, which handles credit card operations for Penney and many other retailers, said Thursday night that the missing information includes Social Security numbers for about 150,000 people.

01/10/2008 Sears Online Policies Draw Criticism

Two online policies have landed U.S. retailer Sears in hot water with privacy advocates.

01/03/2008 Card Issuers Line Up For TJX Settlements

The retailer TJX is close to reaching agreement with U.S card issuers which suffered financial losses as a result of the security breach in its computer systems.

12/13/2007 Minimum Credit Card Purchases Not Allowed

Major credit card companies Visa and MasterCard say setting minimum purchase amounts is not permitted by their rules and regulations.

12/12/2007 Visa Warns Merchants Of PIN-Entry-Device Fraud

Visa USA is warning merchants about the security risk from older point-of-sale PIN-entry-devices (POS PEDs) that predate Visa PED requirements implemented in 2004. Criminals remove these devices in less than a minute and replace them with modified devices designed to skim card account numbers and PINs, it says.

12/05/2007 How TJX Became A Lesson In Proper Security

With TJX facing anywhere from $500 million to nearly $1 billion in expenses, not to mention a black eye with the public over how their credit card data is secured, this experience should serve as a lesson to other retail outlets on securing their networks.

11/28/2007 Heartland Sues MICROS, Merchant Link And Chase Paymentech

Heartland Payment Systems has announced it has "filed an antitrust action against MICROS Systems, Inc.; Merchant Link, LLC; and Chase Paymentech, owner of Merchant Link. The suit, filed in United States District Court in New Jersey, alleges the three companies have caused increased processing prices for table-service restaurants through an anti-competitive tying arrangement which violates the Sherman Antitrust Act and New Jersey's unfair competition laws."

11/27/2007 60-Minutes Report - Hi-Tech Heist

Do you think twice when typing in your credit card number online, but have no problem handing over your plastic card at a store? Well actually, you may have it backward. Your personal information may be more secure in cyberspace than at the mall down the road.

11/27/2007 Extra Fees For Paying With Credit?

Charging customers extra for using a credit card may not be breaking the law, but it is breaking policies between businesses and the credit card companies.

11/14/2007 Visa Gave TJX Until 2009 To Get PCI Compliant

Credit card company Visa knew in late 2005 of the extensive security problems at TJX, but decided to give the retailer permission to remain non-compliant through Dec. 31, 2008, according to documents filed in federal court on Nov. 8.

11/14/2007 Red Mesa Grill Diners Hit By Fraud

More than 40 Red Mesa Grill customers recently discovered fraudulent charges on their cards after using them to pay for meals at the restaurant.

11/09/2007 Bill Offers Relief To Merchants Besieged by Suits Over Receipts

Some merchants, while complying with the truncation provision that took full effect nearly a year ago, have been hit with lawsuits for printing expiration dates, according to a Congressman who is trying to get merchants off the legal hook.

10/29/2007 Visa Fines TJX Credit Card Processor

Visa has doled out some $880,000 in fines to a Cincinnati-based acquiring bank that retail chain TJX contracted with to process most of its credit card transactions. Fifth Third Bank was not following proper security guidelines related to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), according to court filings from a group of banking associations suing TJX over the breach.

10/19/2007 MasterCard Worldwide Launches PCI Merchant Education Program

MasterCard Worldwide has announced a new PCI Merchant Education Program - calling it "an initiative offered to acquiring bank customers that provides practical assistance in educating merchants and encouraging broader adoption of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)."

10/11/2007 Making Sure Your Stores Guard The Data

Credit-card companies regularly warn consumers about how to protect themselves from fraud when using plastic: scour statements for unauthorized purchases, shred paperwork that includes account numbers and don't leave bills or cards on the kitchen counter when people are in your home.

10/09/2007 Retailers Challenge the Networks’ Card-Data Storage Requirements

A leading retailer trade group recently called for the payment card networks to stop forcing merchants to store credit card numbers, in effect challenging banks and the networks to take more responsibility for preventing data thefts.

09/26/2007 TJX Settlement Leaves the Bigger Card-Security Issues Unsettled

Off-price retailer TJX Cos. Inc. late Friday announced it had settled the consumer class-action lawsuits it faced in the wake of a security breach that compromised nearly 46 million payment card records in its computers, but big-picture issues facing card networks, processors, and merchants about the best ways to enhance card security and who should be responsible for it are far from settled.

09/26/2007 Seeking Ways To Cut Fees On Credit Cards

With more Americans than ever using plastic to pay not only for high-price items but also everyday purchases like groceries, small businesses in particular complain that their profits are squeezed by card-related fees

09/19/2007 Recent Survey Indicates 42% Of Consumers Ditch Online Transactions After A Glitch

The proportion of consumers who report having had a problem completing an online transaction has remained little changed over the past three years at around 90%, while the fraction that abandon transactions when they have a problem stands at a lofty 42%.

09/19/2007 Your Identity On The Loose

According to a San Francisco Chronicle editorial, the California Retailers Association has urged Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to veto AB779, arguing that it's burdensome on businesses and not necessary to protect privacy.

09/14/2007 New Biller Categories, More Vendors Spur PINless Debit Growth

Transactions consumers make online with PIN-debit cards?but without entering their PINs?will soar 40% this year, to an estimated 92 million payments, driven by rising biller adoption, an expansion of eligible biller categories, and increasing availability of the payment option among vendors that handle payments for billers, according to a new research report.

09/14/2007 The Dark Secrets Of Debit

Quietly but surely, a revolution is under way in how we pay for everything from a cup of coffee to our monthly electric bill. Continuing a climb that started a decade ago, debit cards are now preferred over credit cards by those American consumers who use plastic for their in-store purchases.

09/07/2007 Credit Card Data Stolen From Bank Customers

A South Carolina bank has notified several hundred credit card customers that their personal information containing, including addresses and account numbers, apparently was stolen and sold to direct-marketing organizations.

08/28/2007 Merchant Guide To Contactless Payments Implementation

New resources for merchants wanting to know more about accepting contactless payments. A new white paper titled "Accepting Contactless Payments: A Merchant Guide" and a presentation titled "Contactless Payment Deployment: Merchant Implementation Guide" are available free of charge online.

08/28/2007 The Protection Of Sensitive Customer Information

A recent survey of 400 consumers' views on brand equity as it relates to data breaches found that 87 percent lost respect for businesses that lost sensitive customer information.

08/16/2007 Visa Sets Interchange Penalty Under PCI: A One-Tier Downgrade

Acquirers will be penalized one interchange tier for large merchants that qualify for volume-based tiered rates and fail to show compliance with the Payment Card Industry data-security standard (PCI) by Sept. 30, Visa USA says.

08/08/2007 How Vending Payments Could Benefit From Federal Reserve Rule Change

The nascent market for electronic transactions in self-service machines should get a sizable boost from a Federal Reserve rule change that went into effect Aug. 6. The rule change could also foster the development of contactless transactions at these machines, laying the groundwork for payments via mobile phone for a wide array of small-value items.

08/07/2007 Small Business Cash Advances Come With High Rates

Cash-strapped small-business owners are increasingly queuing up for small business cash advances. While criticized by some as predatory and usurious, this financing method is expanding, capitalizing on the growing hunger of small merchants for cash and the reluctance of traditional banks to serve it up.

07/30/2007 Credit Where It's Due

The cost of processing cards isn't always what you consider when you contract for what you believe are low "rates." It's a confusing situation as processors and brokers (middlemen) lure you with low introductory fees and then tack on hidden charges, holding you hostage for a service that is mission-critical to your business. Here are some tips to help you determine if your processor and/or broker are increasing their profits at your expense. These tricks are damaging your bottom line.

07/26/2007 Visa Starts To Put Small Merchants Under Its PCI Microscope

More large merchants now meet the dictates of the Payment Card Industry data-security standard, or PCI, according to new numbers from Visa U.S.A. At the same time, Visa, the biggest payment-card network, is turning its security attention to small merchants, the source of the majority of data breaches.

07/19/2007 A House Antitrust Panel Becomes The Latest Interchange Battlefield

The Capitol Hill spotlight shone again on payment card acceptance costs recently when a U.S. House of Representatives antitrust panel held a hearing to investigate interchange.

07/06/2007 Serious Rules Cover What Goes On A Restaurant Receipt

The rules that determine what personal details may appear on the receipt are found in the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA). According to the Federal Trade Commission, which oversees the act's enforcement, this law says that electronically printed credit and debit card receipts must shorten -- or truncate -- the account information.

07/06/2007 Visa Gets More Personal With Data

Visa plans to roll out new, highly customized incentive and reward programs based on more detailed consumer information, including data on purchases, buying habits, and retailer loyalty.

06/29/2007 Gas Stations Ripe For ID Theft?

Using a credit card at a gas station could pose more of a risk for data theft than shopping online, as point-of-sale terminals have emerged as a weak link in the security chain, according to a Gartner Inc. analyst.

06/29/2007 Out Of Gas - The Cost Of Selling Gas Via Credit Cards

Credit card companies and banks get an average of 1.75 percent on every gallon of gas sold, and credit card processing fees now rank as the second-biggest expense for gas stations operators, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores.

06/28/2007 Relief from Credit Card Costs

It's no secret that the cost of accepting credit cards is reaching dire new heights. According to the most recent National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) State of the Industry (SOI) report, retailers were burned for an estimated $6.6 billion dollars in credit card processing fees?an increase of over $1 billion from the prior year.

06/25/2007 Visa Credit Card Network Begins Effort To Go Public

Visa, the biggest credit card network in the U.S., took its first official step Friday toward becoming a public company, outlining to federal regulators how it proposes to restructure and combine its global operations.

06/25/2007 Mom-and-Pop Gift Cards - Alternative To Gift Certificates

From Christmas stockings to bar mitzvah bashes, plastic gift cards from big chain stores have become an accepted part of American gift-giving over the past decade. Now, local retailers are getting into the act, offering gift cards instead of old-fashioned gift certificates.

06/24/2007 Merchants Pay Attention To Rising Credit Card Fees

Downtown Indianapolis restaurateur Regina Mehallick admits figuring out how much credit-card fees affect her bottom line doesn't occupy a big slice of her busy day ... But, perhaps it should.

06/12/2007 MasterCard Wins Court Ruling Against Visa

A federal judge issued an injunction striking down a Visa fee aimed at discouraging issuers of Visa-branded debit cards from switching to MasterCard.

06/08/2007 TJX Faces New Suits Over Data Breach

TJX Cos. faces federal lawsuits in five additional states over a data theft that exposed at least 45 million credit and debit cards to potential fraud.

06/01/2007 Missouri Attorney General Sues Company That Scammed Small Businesses

Missouri's Attorney General has filed a lawsuit seeking restitution and penalties against a Kansas City company that repeatedly violated Missouri consumer protection laws in the sale of credit card processing equipment to small businesses.

06/01/2007 Credit Card Interchange Fees Spark Disputes Among Small Business Merchants

Credit and debit card payments have risen sharply in recent years and now make up a large percentage of sales at small businesses. Although it's clearly a convenience, many small businesses nationwide worry about the mounting "interchange" fees they pay on card transactions and their effect on prices.

05/29/2007 Recent Case Against Merchant Processing Company May Not Be Only One

A recent case filed by the Federal Trade Commission against an independent sales organization in Beaverton, Ore., may not be the last such action the federal regulator will bring. In April, the agency sued Merchant Processing Inc. in federal court, alleging the ISO duped merchants by promising to buy out existing terminal contracts and handle transactions at lower rates.

05/22/2007 Merchants, Pay Attention To Rising Credit Card Fees

Merchants need to take time to look at their statements. Although it can be confusing, learning about the fees and shopping around for rates could save you money. Know what you're paying.

05/17/2007 Is A Corporation Scamming Small Businesses?

A credit card processing machine was supposed to save merchants money but it's already cost them thousands of dollars. A New York corporation has filed suits against hundreds of mom and pop businesses. But then, in a dramatic twist, the small businesses claimed they were the victims, that they were ripped off.

05/08/2007 How Credit-Card Data Went Out Wireless Door

The biggest known theft of credit-card numbers in history began two summers ago outside a Marshalls discount clothing store near St. Paul, Minn. Investigators now believe, hackers pointed a telescope-shaped antenna toward the store and used a laptop computer to gather information about customers.

04/27/2007 Father, Son Plead Guilty To Defrauding Businesses

A father and son from the Sacramento CA area, have pleaded guilty in federal court to one felony count each arising out of a scheme to defraud about 1,200 customers out of over $200,000.

04/23/2007 FTC Takes Aim At Merchant Processing Company

The Federal District Court in Oregon has frozen the assets of Beaverton-based Merchant Processing, Inc. (MPI), its owner, and affiliated companies. The court ordered a temporary halt to claims the Federal Trade Commission alleges are deceptive, and appointed a receiver to temporarily take control of the business. The FTC alleges that the defendants used deceptive tactics to sell credit and debit card processing services to thousands of small businesses across the county.

04/17/2007 The State Of The States On Interchange Fees

Nine states have introduced a total of 15 bills concerning the hidden credit card interchange fees that cost U.S. consumers $36 billion last year.

04/14/2007 Visa Hikes Overall Interchange 0.6%, Effective April 14

In a terse announcement released on April 12, Visa USA said its overall effective interchange rate for the coming year will be 1.77%, up 0.6% from the 2006 systemwide rate.

04/03/2007 TJX Security Breach - Wakeup Call To Retailers

Experts say TJX either failed to encrypt or truncate credit card numbers or did not secure encryption keys. The exposure of 45.7 million credit and debit card numbers in the TJX data theft should serve as a wakeup call to retailers who risk losing money and credibility when they fail to protect sensitive customer data, say officials at the PCI Security Standards Council.

03/28/2007 Menusoft Announces American Express Certification

Menusoft Systems Corporation, developers of Digital Dining software, recently announced certification by American Express over direct IP. This allows their POS application to save merchants significant amounts on their transaction fees.

03/23/2007 Fraud Rings Up A Large Ticket

When a hacker infiltrated the credit card processing system for one of his Atlanta Bread Co. restaurants in the fall, it set off a "nightmare" for Bob Riekhof accompanied by a bill of about $25,000 and counting, the franchisee said.

03/21/2007 Study Finds :Pervasive And Increasing" Fraud in Payments

A survey released this week by a major trade association for corporate treasury officials raises an alarm about fraud in check and electronic payments...

03/06/2007 Merchant Wins On Interchange Would Help And Hurt Prepaid Cards

With efforts by merchants to force down interchange rates picking up steam, the rapidly expanding prepaid card market will confront two very different outcomes should those efforts ultimately succeed, according to an expert on interchange.

02/20/2007 Saving On Credit Card Processing Fees

Of all the demands of running a business, shopping for a competitive credit card processor might seem trivial. Yet a healthy dose of due diligence can go a long way.

01/05/2007 MasterCard & Visa Debit Cards - New Labeling Requirement

As part of the "Visa Check/MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation" settlement (frequently referred to as the Wal-Mart suit), Visa and MasterCard were required to reissue more than 250 million ATM/debit cards with the word "Debit" on the face so that merchants could clearly distinguish them from credit cards. This requirement went into effect on January 1, 2007. More information is available at the following link.

12/12/2006 Visa USA Pledges $20 Million in Incentives to Protect Cardholder Data

Visa USA has announced it will offer $20 million in financial incentives and create new sanctions in an effort to further merchant compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

12/06/2006 Boost Your Sales by Accepting Credit Cards

Accepting credit cards is becoming a must for entrepreneurs and small businesses in today's business environment. There are numerous social, demographic, and technological factors combining to make plastic the payment form of choice for increasing numbers of people.

10/11/2006 Five Leading Payment Brands Unite to Strengthen Global Data Security

WAKEFIELD, Mass. Sept. 7, 2006 - American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB, MasterCard Worldwide and Visa International today jointly announced the formation of an independent council designed to manage the ongoing evolution of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard, which focuses on improving payment account security throughout the transaction process. The founding of the PCI Security Standards Council, LLC, marks a significant milestone in the payment industry's efforts to secure payment account data in a globally consistent manner. Ultimately this means that more than a billion global payment card users will benefit from a higher level of security protection against data theft and fraud.

10/02/2006 MasterCard Announces Interchange Initiatives.

MasterCard Announces Interchange Initiatives Aimed at Maximizing the Value of MasterCard card acceptance