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December 20, 2013

Headline News from PaymentsNews.com - December 20, 2013

Webinar: Managing Cardholder Data Security Risks in an Evolving Payments Landscape - Be sure to join Glenbrook's Bryan Derman, BakerHoestetler's Craig Hoffman and Mandiant's Marshall Heilman for this webinar on January 15 from 2-3:30 PM Eastern time. Registration is now open.

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Note: Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners. Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated. Do you have news to share? Tell us here: gotnews@paymentsnews.com!

December 19, 2013

American Express Agrees to Settle US Merchant Class Action Litigations

Amex logo 140pxAmerican Express has announced that it has agreed to settle two antitrust class action lawsuits filed by U.S. merchants that challenged the company’s card acceptance agreements. The company says that "the settlement agreement will address certain merchant concerns, while helping to ensure that American Express Card Members are treated fairly at the point of sale. It will also limit the Company’s exposure to future legal claims."

Tim Heine, Managing Counsel of American Express, said:

We believe the terms of the settlement continue to balance the interests of Card Members and merchants.

“While the modification of our contract provisions gives merchants some additional flexibility, many merchants continue to believe, as we do, that surcharging is fundamentally anti-consumer. Few merchants have taken advantage of earlier opportunities to surcharge out of concern that it could risk alienating customers, and drive them to patronize competitors who do not surcharge.

"Merchants choose to accept American Express because we help them reach millions of customers who value the convenience, rewards, and world class service that our payment products provide. Unlike Visa and MasterCard, we do not have market power. We operate a competitive, dynamic business with a unique business model. Resolving these lawsuits will allow us to stay focused on helping merchants build their business and strengthen their customer relationships.”

The first lawsuit, In re American Express Anti-Steering Rules Antitrust Litigation, challenges the Non-Discrimination Provisions in the company’s merchant contracts. The second lawsuit, In re Marcus Corporation, challenges American Express’ Honor All Cards Provisions.

The changes to the Non-Discrimination and Honor All Cards Provisions will take effect after the resolution of any appeals to the final approval of the settlement, unless voluntarily implemented by American Express at an earlier date.

If the settlement terms are approved by the Court, all merchants who accept American Express cards in the United States will be bound by the changes to American Express’ Non-Discrimination and Honor All Cards Provisions and by the agreement not to make any future claims relating to these contract provisions for a period of at least 10 years after the changes are implemented.

Federal Reserve Releases New 2013 Payments Study of U.S. Payment Trends

FedThe Federal Reserve has published the 2013 Federal Reserve Payments Study that examines noncash payment trends in the United States. The 2013 Study has been expanded to include new information related to various payment initiation methods and unauthorized payments. To provide perspective on consumer and business payment trends over the past decade, the results are compared to previous payment studies conducted in 2004, 2007, and 2010.

The 2013 study shows that card payments--credit and debit--now account for more than two-thirds of all noncash payments, while the number of checks paid continued to decline. Other highlights include:

  • The total number of noncash payments, excluding wire transfers, was 122.8 billion, a growth rate of 4.4 percent annually from 2009 to 2012. The rate of growth was down slightly from the previous 10 year (2003-2012) growth rate of 4.7 percent. The total value of noncash payments grew from $72.2 trillion in 2009 to just under $79 trillion in 2012.
  • The number of credit card payments, which had shown a decline in the 2010 Study, grew at an annual rate of 7.6 percent from 2009 to 2012. Debit card payments grew at a rate of 7.7 percent over that same period.
  • Automated Clearing House (ACH) growth slowed to 5.1 percent annually from 2009 to 2012, down from the average annual growth of 10.9 percent over the previous 10 years. From 2009 to 2012, the number of ACH payments as a percentage of total payments increased less than 1 percent while the value of ACH as a percentage of total noncash payments rose almost 10 percentage points, from 51.5 percent to 61.3 percent.
  • The number of checks paid continues to decline, falling to 18.3 billion, less than half the number a decade earlier (37.3 billion). Checks are increasingly being deposited as images, with 17 percent being deposited as an image at the bank of first deposit versus 13 percent as reported in the 2010 Study.
  • The 2013 Study estimates that there were 31.1 million unauthorized payment transactions in 2012, with a value of $6.1 billion.
The study was made possible by broad-based industry support and information sharing.

Target Confirms Unauthorized Access to Payment Card Data in U.S. Stores

Target logo 70pxTarget has confirmed that there was "unauthorized access to payment card data that may have impacted certain guests making credit and debit card purchases in its U.S. stores. Target is working closely with law enforcement and financial institutions, and has identified and resolved the issue."

“Target’s first priority is preserving the trust of our guests and we have moved swiftly to address this issue, so guests can shop with confidence. We regret any inconvenience this may cause,” said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Target. “We take this matter very seriously and are working with law enforcement to bring those responsible to justice.”

Approximately 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been impacted between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, 2013. Target has determined that the information involved in this incident included customer name, credit or debit card number, and the card’s expiration date and CVV (the three-digit security code). Target says it alerted authorities and financial institutions immediately after it was made aware of the unauthorized access, and is putting all appropriate resources behind these efforts.

More information is available at Target’s corporate website. Targets customers who suspect any unauthorized activity should contact Target at: 866-852-8680.

Headline News from PaymentsNews.com - December 19, 2013

Webinar: Managing Cardholder Data Security Risks in an Evolving Payments Landscape - Be sure to join Glenbrook's Bryan Derman, BakerHoestetler's Craig Hoffman and Mandiant's Marshall Heilman for this webinar on January 15 from 2-3:30 PM Eastern time. Registration is now open.

On the Web:

On the Wires:

Updates from Glenbrook:

Note: Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners. Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated. Do you have news to share? Tell us here: gotnews@paymentsnews.com!

December 18, 2013

Webinar: Managing Cardholder Data Security Risks in an Evolving Payments Landscape

BryanDermanJoin Glenbrook's Bryan Derman for a free webinar being held on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 from 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. EST on the topic of "Managing Cardholder Data Security Risks in an Evolving Payments Landscape". Other panelists include Craig A. Hoffman from BakerHostetler and Marshall Heilman from Mandiant.

Craig, Bryan, and Marshall will provide a look back on significant payment card security events that occurred in 2013 and the security, risk mitigation, and customer relations lessons that can be learned from them.

They will also discuss what the continuing and emerging threats may be in 2014 and how to integrate security into your payment systems as you evaluate and implement emerging payment technologies.

Online registration for the webinar is now available.

Counterfeit Card Fraud Declines in Australian Following Chip Rollout

The Australian Payments Clearing Association has published new industry card fraud results for the year ending June 30, 2013. During the period, the rate of fraud on all Australian-issued payment cards dropped from 47.4c to 46.1c in every $1,000 transacted.

Counterfeit and skimming fraud on Australian-issued payment cards dropped by 29% to $37.8 million over the 12 month period. This total consists of $24.3 million occurring in Australia - a 4% increase - primarily due to skimming at ATMs, and $13.5 million occurring overseas - a drop of 55%.

CFPB Calls on Financial Institutions to Publicly Disclose Campus Financial Agreements

publicly disclose agreements with colleges and universitiesCfpb logo 140x60pxIn an announcement yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) called on financial institutions to "to market debit, prepaid, and other products to students. Currently, institutions only make these disclosures about college credit cards."
Students and their families should know if their school, whether well-intentioned or not, is being compensated to encourage students to use a specific account or card product,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “When financial institutions secretly give kickbacks to schools, they are engaging in risky practices.”
CFPB noted that a lack of transparency in the student loan and credit card markets led Congress to enact reforms to help the public better understand the marketing partnerships between colleges and lenders.

Headline News from PaymentsNews.com - December 18, 2013

Webinar: Managing Cardholder Data Security Risks in an Evolving Payments Landscape - Be sure to join Glenbrook's Bryan Derman, BakerHoestetler's Craig Hoffman and Mandiant's Marshall Heilman for this webinar on January 15 from 2-3:30 PM Eastern time. Registration is now open.

On the Web:

On the Wires:

Updates from Glenbrook:

Note: Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners. Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated. Do you have news to share? Tell us here: gotnews@paymentsnews.com!

December 17, 2013

Headline News from PaymentsNews.com - December 17, 2013

In addition to tracking the daily news of the payments world here on PaymentsNews.com, we can also provide you and your organization with monthly and quarterly market scans - contact me to learn more about this unique service customized to your special needs.

On the Web:

On the Wires:

Updates from Glenbrook:

Note: Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners. Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated. Do you have news to share? Tell us here: gotnews@paymentsnews.com!

December 16, 2013

Perkins Coie Launches The Virtual Currency Report

Perkins Coie has announced the launch of The Virtual Currency Report, a new blog focused on the law and regulation of Bitcoin and other digital currencies. This new blog provides news and analysis on legal developments relating to Bitcoin and other decentralized digital currencies, math-based currencies and decentralized ledgers.

The Virtual Currency Report team, led by Dax Hansen, consists of attorneys with diverse backgrounds who form Perkins Coie’s Decentralized Virtual Currencies industry practice group. Team members include attorneys: Eric Barber, Jean-Jacques (J) Cabou, Joseph Cutler, Jacob Farber, Judy Jennison, Hillary Levun, Keith Miller, and Lowell Ness.

Perkins Coie’s Decentralized Virtual Currencies industry practice provides regulatory investigations and compliance counseling, litigation support, consumer protection counseling, and business transaction assistance, regarding a range of Bitcoin and digital currency systems, services and products. The firm’s clients include virtual currency exchanges, payment processors, investors and industry associations. Firm attorneys counsel virtual currency clients with respect to various regulatory issues, including compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act, state money transmitter laws and securities and commodities laws and regulations.

Headline News from PaymentsNews.com - December 16, 2013

In addition to tracking the daily news of the payments world here on PaymentsNews.com, we can also provide you and your organization with monthly and quarterly market scans - contact me to learn more about this unique service customized to your special needs.

On Twitter:

On the Web:

On the Wires:

Updates from Glenbrook:

Note: Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners. Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated. Do you have news to share? Tell us here: gotnews@paymentsnews.com!

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