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NF Edition #512 - 7/01/16
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Highlights this week...

As the holiday weekend approaches, The Strawhecker Group would like to wish our readers a very Happy 4th of July with their family and friends! 

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Visa and MasterCard's $7.25 Billion Settlement Rejected By Judge 
Fortune | 6.30.16

A federal appeals court on Thursday threw out a $7.25 billion antitrust settlement among Visa Inc,MasterCard Inc and millions of retailers over credit card fees. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said some of the retailers were inadequately represented in the litigation, which began in 2005. It also decertified the case as a class action. A Visa spokeswoman said the company is reviewing the decision. MasterCard had no immediate comment.

Related:

Why Visa Says Walmart Is Acting in 'Bad Faith'
Fortune | 6.29.16

A few weeks after Walmart sued Visa over whether to let customers authorize a debit card transaction with a signature, the payment company shot back at the retailer in a court filing, accusing it of “bad faith” and saying Walmart had surreptitiously set up its payment terminals in stores to only take PINs. Visa said in a counterclaim filed Wednesday in New York State court in Manhattan that Walmart had violated the terms of their contract, which it said required the retailer to give customers the choice of using a signature to validate debit-card transactions.

Supreme Court Agrees to Review ATM Fee Antitrust Lawsuit
Reuters | 6.28.16

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear appeals by Visa Inc, Mastercard Inc and several U.S. banks seeking to throw out lawsuits claiming they conspired to inflate the prices of ATM access fees in violation of antitrust law. The high court will hear the companies' bid to overturn an August 2015 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that revived three related class action lawsuits.

Final is a Plaster on the Gaping Would That is U.S. Credit Card Security
TechCrunch | 6.29.16

Credit card fraud is an embarrassingly big problem for the banking industry, with an increasing number of companies launching products to patch the problems. The most recent example is Final, which today announced it is shipping its first consumer credit product with a radically new approach: disposable credit card numbers and card numbers locked to a single merchant. 

After Deciding “To Capitulate” to Visa, Kroger Sues the Network Over EMV Transaction Routing
Digital Transactions | 6.28.16

The Kroger Co. on Monday sued Visa Inc. over the network’s alleged efforts to force the nation’s leading grocery-store chain to route EMV chip debit card transactions over Visa’s network by having customers sign for purchases rather than enter PINs. Kroger, the largest retailer after Wal-Mart Stores Inc., according to the National Retail Federation, is alleging that Visa tried to prevent it from exercising the debit card transaction-routing rights afforded by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act’s Durbin Amendmen

Most Big U.S. Banks Pass Fed's Stress Test, Boosting Shareholder Payouts
Reuters | 6.30.16

Nearly all of the largest U.S. banks are on steady enough footing to increase payouts to shareholders, the U.S. Federal Reserve said on Wednesday, with just two subsidiaries of foreign banks failing its annual stress test. The results show that big U.S. banks have not only built up significant capital since the 2007-2009 financial crisis but that management teams have largely proven the merit of their internal disaster planning to the Fed.

Big Banks Improve, Regionals Stuck in Neutral: 2016 Reputation Survey
American Banker | 6.27.16

"We've seen some improvements broadly around financial services, but there's still a hangover effect from the Great Recession," said Stephen Hahn-Griffiths, a vice president at the Reputation Institute. "I think it's still a work in progress in many ways." To put things in perspective, banking is still below other industries the Reputation Institute tracks, including health care and energy. But it has seen a consistent rise in reputation since 2011 and its increase of 1.5 points this year is slightly better than the average increase of one point across all industries.

A PayPal Takeover by MasterCard Would 'Destroy Value,' Bernstein Says
Bloomberg | 6.29.16

It's extremely unlikely that MasterCard Inc. would buy out PayPal Holdings Inc., Bernstein analyst Lisa Ellis wrote in an e-mail Tuesday amid speculation that a deal may be on the table. Bringing the competitors together wouldn't make strategic sense since the two business models are so different, she said. "Combining them would destroy value," Ellis wrote. PayPal would have to wave goodbye to its relationships with Visa Inc. and American Express Co., which make up about 30 percent of volume.

Visa Acknowledges EMV Rollout Pain
Bank Info Security | 6.30.16

So why is Visa temporarily reducing the fraud chargeback burden on non-EMV-compliant U.S. merchants? Mark Nelsen, Visa's senior vice president, says it boils down to this: The card brand wants to give retailers a break while it takes steps to streamline the cumbersome certification of new POS devices.

50 Years On: How Credit Cards Changed Our Relationship With Money
BBC | 6.27.16

Fifty years ago this week Barclaycard issued the first credit cards in the UK. Half a century on, consumers are used to a range of convenient ways to pay, but back in 1966 there was a feeling of change when people tried to brandish their exciting new plastic cards. "When it arrived I didn't really know what it was," admits Liz Hodgkinson, who was a fresh-faced 22-year-old just out of university.

Brexit Leaves Europe’s Fintech Firms in the Lurch
The Wall Street Journal | 6.27.16

A key issue is the future of the London-based European Banking Authority’s Payment Services Directive, or PSD2. That initiative sets policies for how fintech firms and software developers can build applications that access data from bank accounts.“The U.K. will no longer be required to implement or follow any EU payments legislation, which could clearly impact the payments environment,” wrote analysts at The Strawhecker Group, a payments research firm.

Related:

Brexit Jobs Threat At Credit Card Giant Visa
Sky News | 6.28.16

Hundreds of British-based jobs at the credit card giant Visa could be forced to relocate to the Continent in the wake of last week's EU referendum. Sky News has learnt that an agreement in the recent £17.5bn takeover of Visa's European operations by its American sister company included a stipulation that data from Visa card transactions should not leave Europe.

Here’s How Citigroup Is Embracing the ‘Fintech’ Revolution
Fortune | 6.29.16

What he needed was a SWAT team. The week after being put in charge of Citigroup’s consumer banking business last year, Stephen Bird went to Silicon Valley to meet with venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and other tech luminaries in hopes of gaining insight on how to counter the challenge from “fintech”—the rapidly proliferating class of technology startups bent on disrupting every facet of the traditional financial services business. Together they represent perhaps the No. 1 threat facing large banks today.

Square Chases American Shoppers With Portland Marketing Blitz
Bloomberg | 6.27.16

Square Inc. has persuaded millions of dog walkers, food trucks and other small merchants to use its payments hardware, a square white credit-card reader that plugs into a merchant’s smartphone or tablet. But the company has struggled to get significant numbers of bigger retailers to use its technology, which is weighing on the stock. So the San Francisco company just wrapped up a two-month marketing blitz in Portland, Oregon.

Apple Pay’s Tough Twenty Months
PYMNTS | 6.27.16

The number of people who’ve tried the service once has tripled since launch. But, that has less to do with massive waves of enthusiasm for the service and more to do with it simply being made more broadly available and people having had more time to try, so it makes sense that more people are giving it a whirl. But adoption has also plateaued over the last two quarters, which is a bit concerning.

Pinterest Bets on Shopping Bag Feature to Corner Social Media Commerce
Mobile Commerce Daily | 6.30.16

With the buy button struggling on social media, Pinterest is exploring a different way of capturing the buying opportunity on mobile with a new shopping bag that spans multiple platforms. Pinterest knows it has a huge opportunity to target consumers with options to purchase, as users are often on its platform to look for products and ideas. 

Senators Press for Answers After Prepaid Debit Cards Fail
The New York Times | 6.28.16

As regulators prepare to strengthen rules for prepaid cards, lawmakers are pressing Walmart, MasterCard and Green Dot to explain what went wrong last month when shoppers using Walmart prepaid debit cards were unable to get access to their accounts. For several days in May, some users of the Walmart MoneyCard were not able to view their account balances or activate new cards. Customers also reported that their cards had been declined for purchases. The cards use MasterCard’s network and are issued by Green Dot, one of the largest prepaid card providers in the United States.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas Hit with POS Breach
SC Mag | 6.28.16

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas Monday reported a data breach after point-of-sale (POS) malware was found on the resort's systems. The Rock and Roll themed casino launched an investigation after receiving reports of fraudulent activity associated with payment cards used at the venue, according to the Notice of Data Breach submitted to the California Attorney General.

Noodles & Company Provides Notice of Data Security Incident
Nasdaq | 6.28.16

Noodles & Company announced that a recent data security incident may have compromised the security of payment information of some guests who used debit or credit cards at certain Noodles & Company locations between January 31, 2016 and June 2, 2016. Credit and debit cards used at the affected locations are no longer at risk from the malware involved in this incident.

Is Bitcoin Money? Florida Judge to Decide
BTN | 6.28.16

Whether bitcoin is actual currency is at the forefront of a first-of-its-kind money-laundering case in Florida to be decided Friday. In February 2014, Michel Espinoza was arrested in a Miami Beach motel for agreeing to sell $30,000 worth of bitcoin to an undercover police officer he had met on an exchange site called LocalBitcoins.com. Prosecutors charged that Espinoza violated Florida statutes on money laundering and for operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.

Bangladesh Bank Ends FireEye Investigation Into Heist
Bank Info Security | 6.28.16

The central bank of Bangladesh has opted to not extend a contract with the incident response team that it hired to investigate the theft of $81 million in February. Meanwhile, an unnamed bank in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev reportedly suffered a $10 million heist after attackers transferred funds via fraudulent SWIFT messages, as was the case in the Bangladesh heist.

First-Quarter G.D.P. Revised Up to 1.1%, but Still Shows Slowdown
The New York Times | 6.28.16

Economic growth in the United States slowed in the first quarter but not as sharply as previously estimated, with gains in exports and software investment partly offsetting weak consumer spending. Gross domestic product increased at a 1.1 percent annual rate, rather than the 0.8 percent pace reported last month, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday, in its final estimate.

E-Commerce Sales in the US Made up Just 8% of Total Retail Sales in Q1 2016
LTP | 6.28.16

Sometimes, amid the potpourri of skyrocketing absolute numbers on e-commerce, we forget to look at the bigger picture and ask a question: what part of total retail sales does e-commerce actually make? With all the hype and development of solutions around online shopping and payments, the US Census Bureau recently shed some light on the state of the industry and estimated e-commerce sales in the US to make up 7.8% of total retail sales in the country in Q1 2016. Not such an eye-popping number, isn’t it?

MasterCard Commits to the Inclusion of 40 Million Micro and Small Merchants
MasterCard | 6.27.16

MasterCard set a goal to connect 40 million micro and small merchants to its electronic payments network within five years. This expands on the company’s Universal Financial Access 2020 commitment made last year. To date, financial inclusion has been predominantly centered on providing the underserved and the unbanked with tools and transaction accounts. This remains a critical need with two billion unbanked people, the majority of whom are women, forced to operate in a cash economy. In order for financial inclusion efforts to truly have an impact, there needs to be an equal focus on both access and usage. 

Wells Fargo to Offer Real-Time P2P Payments to 17 Million Mobile Customers
Business Wire | 6.27.16

Wells Fargo & Company announced that it will soon make real-time person-to-person (P2P) transactions available to its more than 17 million mobile customers in the United States. Beginning August 1, Wells Fargo’s service will allow its customers to send funds in real-time at no cost to any customer of a bank that participates in the real-time service, which operates on Early Warning’s clearXchange™ network. Wells Fargo customers can already receive real-time payments at no cost from customers at any bank participating in the network.

Global Payments Confirmed as 'Project Spinoza,' Will Invest $220M in Atlanta and Relocate HQ to Buckhead
Atlanta Business Chronicle | 6.30.16

The Fortune 1000 payment processor eyeing Atlanta for a corporate headquarters is Global Payments, economic development officials told members of Atlanta's City Council Finance Executive Committee on Wednesday afternoon. Global Payments is also expanding at its current headquarters, with plans to add more than 125 jobs. The company will invest $16 million as it builds out 150,000 square feet of office space at its current headquarters at Glenlake Parkway, according to a filing with the city.

SWIFT's Global Payments Innovation Initiative Will Transform Cross-Border Payments
SWIFT | 6.28.16

SWIFT announces today that 73 banks worldwide have now joined its global payments innovation initiative, designed to improve the cross-border payments experience. Recent banks to join the initiative include, Alfa-Bank, Axis Bank, Banco de Crédito del Peru, Banco do Brasil, Bangkok Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Banque Européenne d’investissement, CaixaBank, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Credit Agricole, CTBC Bank, E.Sun Commercial Bank, Fifth Third Bank, ICICI Bank, Itaù Unibanco, Mashreq Bank, Promsvyazbank, Rabobank, Svenska Handelsbanken, Swedbank, TMB Bank and U.S. Bank.

First Data and Silicon Valley Bank Expand Strategic Partnership
First Data | 6.29.16

As technology companies mature from startups through growth-stage to global corporations, they need strong partners that can support their growth and understand their rapidly evolving business needs. First Data, a global leader in commerce enabling technology and solutions, has entered into a strategic agreement with Silicon Valley Bank, the bank of the world’s most innovative companies and their investors. First Data, which powers 28% of global eCommerce, will work with SVB to facilitate payment acceptance for the bank’s clients throughout their lifecycle.

Moneris Expands Services to Bring Currency Conversion Solution to Canadian Businesses
Morningstar | 6.29.16

Moneris Solutions Corporation ("Moneris"), one of North America's leading credit and debit card processors, introduced Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) to its offerings for Canadian businesses. Now when an international customer uses their foreign Visa or MasterCard in a terminal, they'll immediately see the cost of the purchase in their own currency and have the option to pay for it in that currency or in Canadian dollars.

From Tickets to Tastings: American Express Introduces The Anniversary Collection to Celebrate 25 Years of the Membership Rewards Program
American Express | 6.30.16

To celebrate 25 years of the Membership Rewards program, American Express debuted the Anniversary Collection, a curated collection of premium entertainment, sports and dining experiences, all available with Membership Rewards points. The collection opens up once-in-a-lifetime experiences for Card Members, with rewards ranging from a private dinner alongside Michelangelo’s David at the Galleria Dell’Accademia to sought-after and sold-out tickets to see marquee artists, bands and theatre performances, including Hamilton (on Broadway).

TSYS Named to The Civic 50 in 2016
TSYS | 6.28.16

TSYS announced its recognition as one of America’s most community-minded companies in The Civic 50, an initiative that identifies and recognizes companies for their commitment to improving the quality of life in the communities where they do business. The survey was conducted by Points of Light, the nation’s definitive experts on civic engagement.

Wirecard Buys Citi Prepaid Card Services to Enter U.S.
Reuters | 6.29.16

German banking software company Wirecard AG has taken its first step to enter the North American market by agreeing to buy Citi Prepaid Card Services for undisclosed terms, the two companies said on Wednesday. Wirecard estimated that the acquired firm would add more than $20 million to its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in the 2017 fiscal year. It will be taking on all the Citi unit's 120 employees.

Pivotal Payments Becomes Interac Association Direct Connector, Strengthening its Canadian Payments Infrastructure
Yahoo! Finance | 6.29.16

Pivotal Payments, a leading provider of technology-driven global payment processing solutions, announced it has achieved certification as Direct Connector to the Interac Association Inter-Member Network. With full debit authorization and settlement services, Pivotal's Interac Association membership allows it to become a single source provider for end-to-end debit card payment solutions to its partners and merchants across Canada.

French Supermarket Retailer Aldi Chooses Verifone for Payment Devices and Mobile Wallet Acceptance
Verifone | 6.29.16

Verifone announced that it will provide Aldi France with 3,200 payment devices designed to accept all cashless payments including contactless and mobile wallets. Aldi France operates 900 retail locations and is a unit of Group Aldi, a leader in the global retail grocery market. With 87 percent of mobile phone purchases being smartphones in 2015, data shows more and more French consumers have mobile wallet and contactless technologies in their hands to speed up purchasing and experience shopping convenience.

North American Bancard Adds Tip Adjust Feature to Limit EMV Chargebacks in the Restaurant and Service Industries
PR Web | 6.27.16

One of the biggest drawbacks of EMV for the restaurant and service industry has been the inability for customers to leave a tip prior to the completion of the sale. In an effort to alleviate this frustration for both its merchants and their customers, payment processor North American Bancard Holdings, LLC (NAB), has added a new feature, called tip adjust, to select EMV-ready Ingenico and VeriFone POS terminals. This new feature addresses one of the biggest limitations of EMV for the restaurant and service industry – the inability for customers to leave a tip separately from the total purchase price.

SignaPay, Priority Payment extend partnership agreement
The Green Sheet | 6.28.16

John Martillo, CEO of SignaPay LTD, and Tom Priore, Chairman of Priority Payment Systems, LLC (Priority), are pleased to announce the extension of their agreement for a term of 3 years. The agreement includes expanded functionality, integrated products and enhanced technology solutions that will enhance and grow the relationships with their Independent Sales Offices (ISO) and merchants. Together SignaPay and Priority service thousands of ISOs and merchants and share a commitment to deliver service, technology and products demanded in the payments industry today.

UnionPay HCE Mobile QuickPass Debuts Overseas in South Korea
PR Newswire | 6.27.16

UnionPay International and KT Corporation together with its subsidiary BCcard jointly announced to launch UnionPay HCE mobile QuickPass in South Korea, which will enable the local UnionPay cardholders to pay by tapping their mobile phones. South Korea becomes the first overseas market to have launched mobile QuickPass. Ge Huayong, Chairman of China UnionPay, Hwang Chang-Gyu, CEO of KT Corporation, and Suh Joon-Hee, CEO of BCcard attended the launching ceremony.

PayAnywhere’s 3-in-1 Credit Card Reader Debuts at Best Buy
PR Web | 6.28.16

PayAnywhere, the mobile point of sale solution from North American Bancard Holdings, LLC, has announced that its PayAnywhere Credit Card Readers are now available nationwide at Best Buy. Best Buy will carry both versions of the PayAnywhere readers – the traditional PayAnywhere Credit Card Reader, which reads magnetic stripe payment cards, and the new PayAnywhere 3-in-1 Credit Card Reader, an all-in-one solution that accepts magnetic stripe and EMV chip cards, as well as NFC contactless payments including Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay. The 3-in-1 reader will be the first of its kind offered in retail stores.

NCR Silver Fuels Transactions on Land and Sea
EON | 6.27.16

Guests on Major Marine Tours’ wildlife cruises now have an easy way to pay for onboard snacks and drinks thanks to NCR Silver, the tablet point-of-sale (POS) system from NCR Small Business. Each day, employees of the Alaska-based company use NCR Silver to efficiently process hundreds of concession sales during its glacier and wildlife tours.

Clearent Announces Hosted Payments for eCommerce
Clearent | 6.28.16

Clearent, one of the fastest-growing payment processing companies in the U.S., announced the release of its Hosted Payment buttons and forms. With eCommerce sales totaling $341.7 billion in 2015(1) and growing by 36.2% annually(2), now more than ever, online retailers are looking for innovative, secure digital payment methods. Hosted payments provide an innovative way to securely accept digital payments virtually anywhere.

Global Healthcare Exchange Announces Acquisition of Hap-X
GHX | 6.29.16

Global Healthcare Exchange (GHX), a leader in cloud-based healthcare supply chain management solutions, today announced that it has acquired Omaha, Neb.-based H-Card, LLC (Hap-X), a leader in automated payment management solutions. The acquisition, GHX’s second in 19 months, expands the company’s financial products portfolio to deliver even greater payment choice and value. Hap-X will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary.

QikServe Launches Integration Solution for Mobile Ordering and Payment
PR Newswire | 6.28.16

QikServe, the mobile order and payment specialist, today launched QikServe 5, designed to facilitate easy integration of mobile ordering and payment technology in the hospitality sector. QikServe's patented 'Waiter in Your Pocket' technology lets guests order and pay for their food and drinks directly from their smartphones.

ExaDigms New EMV Application Is Certified on First Data Nashville and First Data Omaha Platforms
KOAM | 6.27.16

ExaDigm, Inc., a leader in Point-Of-Sale (POS) terminal solutions, announced the certification of its innovative EMV application on two industry leading platforms: First Data Nashville and First Data Omaha. ExaDigm’s new application is certified for retail and restaurant use.

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