Archives / 2009 / April
  • When will next generation payment technology arrive?

    While the payments industry is trying to improve security measures around the existing mag-stripe technology, its inevitable that an entirely new technology will be needed.  Right now the focus is on updating from one outdated mag-stripe terminal to a new, better, more secure, mag-stripe terminal.  However, as discussed in Smart Card Talk, there is almost unanimous agreement that the security model for payments in the U.S. is broken.

    The main fundamental weakness of the industry: we have no way to prove identity between the consumer and the merchant.   Fraud rates in the U.S. are on the rise and the situation is only getting worse.  Law enforcement cannot keep up with growing and more sophisticated cross-jurisdiction investigations or prosecute offshore criminal … more

  • Visa Beats Forecasts

    Visa posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings Wednesday as the credit card network increased prices and cut expenses. The company also benefited as consumers used debit cards more.  Net income rose 70 percent, to $536 million, or 71 cents a share, for the second quarter ended March 31, compared with $314 million, or 39 cents a share, for the period a year earlier.  On an adjusted basis, quarterly net income rose 38 percent, to $553 million, or 73 cents a share. Analysts had expected earnings of 64 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.  Net operating revenue rose 13 percent, to $1.6 billion, while total processed transactions — which represent transactions processed by VisaNet — increased 6 … more

  • Interchange & Access Fee changes

    While minor adjustments have been made to the Interchange fees that issuing banks earn; the real story this spring are changes to fees earned by MasterCard and Visa. Beginning in April 2009, MasterCard will increase its Acquirer Access Fee for processing by 270% by raising this per transaction fee from $0.005 to $0.0185. In July 2009, Visa will follow suit by increasing its Acquiring Processing Fee 290% from $0.005 to $0.0195.

    The MasterCard Acquirer Access Fee and the Visa Acquiring Processing Fee are set and paid to these publicly traded card companies. Merchants should be aware of these changes.  Merchants with small tickets will experience a greater impact from these changes.

    Since 2005, Vantage has monitored, recorded and reported on Interchange changes impacting merchants.& … more

  • Industry Watch: Terminal Retirements

    Vantage would like to take this opportunity to remind merchants of pertinent upcoming PCI DSS mandates and impacts:

    Effective July 1, 2010, acquirers must ensure their merchants use only compliant applications.

    This Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) compliance mandate is just around the corner and impacts the entire payment industry.  As a result, terminal equipment vendors are discontinuing production of hardware and replacement parts.  Payment applications previously supported are being fully retired. 

    Some merchants using late model terminals will need to upgrade within the next 14 months.  We highly recommend that merchants avoid purchasing used or refurbished terminals.  Also, please be aware of a rise in proprietary terminals … more

  • PCI DSS Resource: Prioritized Approach

    The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) has released a new resource for achieving PCI DSS Compliance.  This new resource is referred to as the Prioritized Approach and it is intended to provide best practices that will help merchants identify and reduce risk to sensitive data.

    The tool groups together the requirements of PCI DSS v1.2 into six key milestones for merchants to consider in achieving their PCI DSS compliance. It also offers guidance on how to focus PCI DSS implementation efforts in a way that expedites the security of cardholder data. 

    Additional benefits of the Prioritized Approach are:

    An increased awareness of cardholder data security

    Assistance for businesses to identify highest risk targets

    The creation of a common … more

  • Proactive Accounting

    Payment card processing expenses directly affect the bottom line profits of businesses.  Proactive accounting professionals can help their clients by introducing them to educational resources.  In fact a recent survey by Ajilon Finance polled over 500 finance and accounting professionals and found Accountants are spending more time on cost-cutting initiatives and on risk-assessment initiatives, as well as providing general financial advice to their clients. 

    For many companies, accepting credit cards is essential.  Because of this, businesses and merchants can benefit greatly by having a resource to learn more about the specific cost of opening and operating a merchant credit card processing account.  Making this decision without the proper knowledge and research … more

by Ty Hardison

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