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November 12, 2012

Preliminary Approval in U.S. Merchant Litigation

Generic credit cards 140x60pxJudge John Gleeson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York has granted preliminary approval in the U.S. merchant litigation. Reuters has a nice write up of the hearing:

During a packed hearing on Friday, lawyers for dozens of objectors -- including Target Corp and Home Depot Inc -- told the judge that the settlement offered meaningless relief for merchants saddled with an estimated $30 billion in annual swipe fees. They also argued that releases shielding Visa and Mastercard from new litigation over the same claims would violate their legal rights and give the two companies protection from for any future anti-competitive behavior.

The National Retail Federation said that is will continue to oppose the settlement and look at other legal options.

In other legal news, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to AmEx's bid to force merchants to arbitrate antitrust claims over it fees.

Discover Financial Services Announces Next Steps for EMV Deployment

Discover logo 140px Discover has announced the next milestone in its global EMV deployment: a comprehensive strategy and roadmap that includes Discover Network, Diners Club International, PULSE and Discover Card.

“Our timeline to support chip-based credit and debit transactions, in addition to our Fraud Liability Shift policy, are critical milestones to helping make EMV a reality in the U.S.,” said Diane Offereins, President of Payment Services at Discover. “As with the Discover mandate announced earlier this year, our approach to EMV enables participants to select verification methods and transaction types that meet their organization’s needs.”

Western Union Partners with ChinaPay on Direct RMB Payments for Tuition

WesternUnion logo 140pxWestern Union announced its plans to expand its partnership with ChinaPay, the online and mobile payments subsidiary of UnionPay, to offer an integrated, co-branded platform that will allow universities to give incoming Chinese students the ability to make foreign tuition payments in their home country and currency.

“More students go abroad from China than any other country in the world,” said Kerry Agiasotis, Chief Commercial Officer, Western Union Business Solutions. “Over 1 million Chinese students studied abroad in 2011 and China is clearly an important market for universities globally. I am delighted that our partnership with ChinaPay will allow us to create a platform that will make it easy for them to accept local RMB payments in a timely and efficient manner.”

First Data Releases October 2012 SpendTrend

First data logo 140x60pxFirst Data has released its First Data SpendTrend analysis for the full month of October 2012 compared to October 2011.

Dollar volume growth of 6.7% in October was healthy as shoppers became less pessimistic about the economy. Improved consumer sentiment and a pullback in savings continued to support spend. Meanwhile, transaction growth slipped to 5.9% in October compared to 6.3% in September. Average ticket growth was 0.8% in October, a reversal from September’s -0.5% growth. Several retail categories experienced improved average tickets from September due to a slight rise in prices. However, a sharp increase in average ticket growth at retailers indicates that consumers have also shown an increased tendency to spend more.

SpendTrend tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations.

Federal Reserve Reports Consumer Credit for September 2012

Fed The US Federal Reserve has reported its latest G.19 Consumer Credit statistics - finding that "consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.0% in the third quarter. Revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 1.5%, while nonrevolving credit increased 6.5%. In September, consumer credit increased at an annual rate of 5.0%."

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