28

December

2016: An action-packed year for payments

As the saying goes, you can’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been. With that in mind, we’ve prepared an overview of key trends and happenings in the merchant acquiring space during 2016.

M&A activity

Visa Inc.’s notice in early December that it was buying ecommerce payment authentication firm CardinalCommerce was the latest in a string of mergers and acquisitions that are reshaping the competitive playing field. Visa officials said CardinalCommerce, as a subsidiary of Visa, will accelerate the industry’s move to greater reliance on digital commerce. The

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21

December

NAC case against Visa, Mastercard going forward

The National ATM Council Inc. and 13 independent ATM operators will get their day in court with Visa Inc., Mastercard and assorted card-issuing banks. The U.S. Supreme Court’s Nov. 17, 2016, reversal of the defendants’ appeal will enable the class action lawsuit to be tried in Washington, D.C.’s Federal District Court.

NAC and ATM operators seek injunctive relief and illumination of rules related to debit card network pricing. Plaintiffs are challenging current pricing mechanisms that Visa, Mastercard and affiliated issuing banks use for setting ATM access fees, claiming the schemes are

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14

December

New payment products: Go big or fail fast

The payments industry has produced a long line of products, some more successful than others. In the past, product failures mostly fell into two camps: those that rushed to market and promptly exploded, and those that lingered in the lab, only to be tweaked, debugged and eventually abandoned.

In today’s mature payments ecosystem, the fast and sloppy crowd has gained an advantage over slow-moving blunderers for two reasons. First, the industry has moved away from heavy, proprietary systems into mobile, virtual and cloud-based technologies. Second, payments are now interactive, requiring delivery

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07

December

ATM industry shifts EMV into high gear

Aglobal shipping crisis and other challenges have impeded ATM industry efforts to upgrade its U.S. fleet in accordance with mandated EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) guidelines. The industry’s attempts to delay EMV liability shift deadlines due to supply chain issues have been unsuccessful: October 2016 deadlines for Pulse and Shazam networks (Oct. 1) and Mastercard (Oct. 21) are now in effect. The Visa Inc. liability shift is set for Oct. 1, 2017.

In contrast to previous compliance initiatives, the EMV mandates could have severe consequences for noncompliance that go beyond penalties

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30

November

U.S. Supreme Court to rule on credit card surcharging

The contentious battle over credit card surcharges has escalated to the U.S. Supreme Court, giving hope to retailers in 10 states that currently ban the practice of adding a fee to credit card transactions. A court challenge brought by five retailers in Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman 15-1391 made its way through New York courts, initially winning in September 2013, only to be overturned on appeal two years later by New York’s 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The retail petitioners allege surcharge laws violate their First Amendment rights to free

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23

November

Fed, FDIC, OCC toughen up on FI cybersecurity

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Federal Reserve and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency co-authored a new set of guidelines designed to protect critical banking infrastructure. Escalating cyberattacks combined with increasing dependence on connected technologies have raised threat levels across the banking sector, the agencies stated.

Their recommendations, published Oct. 19, 2016, are detailed in Enhanced Cyber Risk Management Standards, an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) that addresses cyber risk, internal dependency and external dependency management, as well as incident response, cyber resilience and situational awareness.

The ANPR recommends a

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16

November

Blazing tech trails for commerce

Just five years ago, the interconnectivity we now take for granted in everyday commerce was not fully realized, and the requisite technologies were often cumbersome to integrate. Now, numerous fintech startups, encouraged by recent successes in the tech community in advancing commerce, continue to step forward, hoping to attract investors, partners and even buyers. Clearly, developer entrepreneurialism is booming.

Wary of the financial perils associated with the dot-com collapse at the turn of the 21st century, companies today are more calculating about committing resources to upstart fintechs.

“Technology comes and goes, so

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09

November

Retailers pin hopes on early holiday shoppers

As peak retail season approaches, retail analysts are predicting healthy sales figures based on improved consumer confidence and early shopping trends. Synchrony Financial’s Annual Holiday Shopping Study, published Oct. 27, 2016, found more than half of survey respondents have begun their holiday shopping. The study, conducted by RTi Research recently surveyed 1,600 U.S. shoppers and combined their responses with historical data, macroeconomic factors and trends.

The report found many consumers spend the entire year planning for the holidays. Bart Schaller, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Synchrony Financial noted

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14

September

Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA DSS)

Established to help software vendors and others develop secure payment applications that do not store prohibited data and to ensure their compliance with the PCI DSS. Payment applications that are sold, distributed or licensed to third parties are subject to PA DSS requirements.

In-house payment applications developed by merchants or service providers that are not sold to a third party are not subject to PA DSS requirements but must still be secured in accordance with the PCI DSS.

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07

September

CVS Pay joins mobile payment roster

The recent implosion of the automated clearing house-based CurrentC app produced a series of aftershocks in the app market; former members of Merchant Customer Exchange, which were backing CurrentC, went their separate ways, introducing various mobile commerce schemes designed to reduce costs and improve efficiencies.

CVS Pay, the latest entrant, launched Aug. 9, 2016, by Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS Health, is in Version 2.7.6 of the official CVS Pharmacy App and is available in the Google Play and Apple App stores. Early pilots took place in New York,

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