by Ty Hardison

CVS, Visa, MasterCard reach settlement over interchange fees

CVS was among a number of large merchants who determined the 2012 antitrust settlement did not go far enough. When Visa and MasterCard agreed to pay more than $7 billion to merchants claiming the financial institutions conspired to set interchange fees, several large merchants were notably absent from the proceedings. Now CVS, the leader of the so-called "CVS Plaintiffs" who opted out of the deal, has reached its own settlement with the card companies.According to Law360, a U.S. District Judge signed an order on March 29 effectively ending the pharmacy's suit, stating that CVS had "fully settled all of its claims" against Visa and MasterCard. The stipulation did not, however, disclose the terms of the deal, reports Law360."CVS was among those who decided the terms did not go far enough."This marks the most recent settlement in a case that has been more than four … more

Visa, MasterCard innovate for faster chip payments

Chip card transactions may be getting much faster. Visa and MasterCard have unveiled new technologies that will speed up chip card transactions at the point of sale. Hopefully, this could remove what has become a major sticking point for consumers who would rather leave the slower cards in their wallet.Quick Chip Visa's new technology, announced April 19, will cut wait times to just two seconds or less, the company says. That's considerably faster than the 10-15 seconds many spend waiting after inserting their current chip cards into the terminal. The technology, which Visa calls Quick Chip, is available to all payment processors, banks and merchants free-of-charge, and requires only a software update to support, according to the company. Plus, Visa says the new system will allow shoppers to dip their cards while their items are … more

Discover CEO: PIN offers 'higher level of security' than signature for EMV

Discover CEO David Nelms joins those who believe PINs are more effective than signatures for securing card payments. Nearly seven months since the EMV liability deadline pushed U.S. merchants to finally adopt EMV payments, the debate still rages about the best way for consumers to authenticate those transactions. Shoppers are currently asked to validate their chip-card payments with a signature, but many in the payments world have argued that the U.S. should embrace the chip-and-PIN method, which is used more frequently around the world.Now, another voice joins that chorus. David Nelms, chairman and CEO of Discover Financial Services, says PIN validation is the most sensible option for the future of U.S. credit card payments, according to reports from Payments Source.The reason the U.S. opted for signature validation over PIN is up for debate. Some claim they didn't want to confuse … more

Using mobile commerce tools to drive in-store purchasing

Proactively providing information to consumers using their phones when shopping can help drive engagement. When today's consumers have questions, they're never more than a few taps away from an answer. That simple fact has changed the way they resolve debates, search for recipes and shop, no matter where they might be. It's no surprise, then, to see customers standing in front of the shelves at your store with their phones in hand, reading reviews or watching videos of a product in use - even shopping in a brick-and-mortar store has become, to an extent, an online experience.  In fact, research from a 2013 Google study suggests that as many as 84 percent of mobile shoppers use their phones to help make decisions in a physical store. In the three years that have followed, one can only imagine those numbers have continued to climb along with the reliance on and … more

Merchants sue card companies over EMV liability shift

A group of retailers believe the October 1 EMV liability shift was implemented illegally.

Just over five months after merchants were required to start accepting EMV cards or the liability of fraudulent charges, retailers have filed an antitrust lawsuit against the nation's largest credit card companies and banks, claiming the liability shift was instituted illegally.

The lawsuit, initially reported by The Recorder, alleges that the financial institutions conspired to transfer the liability for fraudulent transactions from themselves to retailers, merely using the transition to EMV cards as a mask. What's more, the complaint states that the process to get chip-enabled systems has been marred by technical issues that made it difficult for many merchants to achieve EMV certification by the October 1 deadline.

"Merchants were not consulted about the change, were not … more

Behavior-based biometrics: the future of payment authentication?

As a piece of unchanging data, fingerprints are not as secure as behavioral metrics.

Last year, 30 percent of all e-commerce transactions were executed from a mobile device, according to Internet Retailer. As mobile shopping continues to represent a large slice of online sales, card companies are sprinting to develop technology to better protect this new type of card-not-present transaction from fraud. While physical biometric authentication, such as fingerprint or facial scanning, has emerged as the most popular verification method in recent months, some contest the depth of its security.

More secure than a heartbeat According to Robert Capps, vice president of business development at NuData Security, using a single form of biometric data is no more secure than simply adding a second password. As he explains in an article published in Mobile Payments Today, this … more

Google's Hands Free payment app lets consumers pay with just their voice

With Hands Free, consumers can keep their wallets, and their phones, in their pockets.

In 2015, the payment technology world set its sights on eliminating the physical wallet from the point-of-sale. Apple Pay, eventually joined by Android Pay and Samsung Pay, together tried to replace the wallet and the swipe of a card with the tap of a smartphone. New innovations in wearable technology hinted at a future in which connected accessories and clothing would eliminate the need for even taking your smartphone out of your pocket or purse.

Now Google is testing a new "Hands Free" app that allows users to pay using nothing but their voice, leaving the hardware (almost) completely out of the equation. 

The app still relies on the payers' smartphone for its low-power Bluetooth, WiFi and location services, which help it detect and connect to participating stores. But, … more

Real-time payments coming to US

TCH's real-time payment network could be operational by the end of this year.

For years, America's payments infrastructure has been like an audio cassette - it may be reliable, but it lacks the modern features it needs to stay relevant. Now, adding something as revolutionary as the track-skip to our dated cassette tape, The Clearing House (TCH) is bringing real-time payments to the U.S. 

A new national network  The new payments network will eventually connect every bank account in the country, giving consumers, businesses and governments alike the ability to make and process payments instantaneously, eliminating delays of what can sometimes be several days between when a payment is requested and when the funds appear in the recipients account. 

After months of reports that TCH was developing such a network alongside UK-based … more

Venmo now supports merchant payments

Venmo now allows users to pay merchants with just a tap.

For the first time, consumers now have the option to pay merchants, not just their friends, using PayPal's digital payment app Venmo. Launched on January 27, the feature is currently limited to use within two third-party apps, food delivery service Munchery and events ticket vendor Gametime. But, with services expected to expand soon, these early adopters can offer us a glimpse into how Venmo could change the landscape for in-app payments.

From a consumer standpoint, here's how the service works: iPhone or Android users who have Venmo installed on their phones will see a Venmo button among the checkout options in compatible apps. Then, with just a tap, they will be able to use whatever payment information they have stored in the app to fund their purchase. For PayPal, this marks a … more

Mobile POS systems must be built for security

Security may not be as visible as customer experience, but it is far more important to your business.

Mobile payment systems can open up a litany of new avenues for your business, empowering field reps to take payments in the field, giving retailers new opportunities to engage with customers in your store or simply (but importantly!) reducing the cost of doing business.

With more and more businesses realizing the benefit of abandoning their traditional point-of-safe systems, there are now hundreds of options to choose from when selecting a mobile solution for your business. They likely all vary in the way they integrate, how much they cost and the customer experience they provide. However important these factors may be to the way the system performs in your business environment on a daily basis, there is one far less visible feature that is even more crucial: security.

When your … more