Archives / 2014 / January
  • Examining the benefits of payroll cards

    There are countless ways for individuals to be paid for their work. While it may seem like a straightforward process, there are several options at the disposal of both businesses and employees. One of the more interesting ways is the use of payroll cards.

    A recent article from the Huffington Post touts the benefits of payroll cards, especially for workers who may be in financial need. While it could seem like every employee has a bank account for direct deposit, that is not always the case, meaning a different system is needed.

    "Most workers with established credit and banking services receive their wages via direct deposit, so that their wages are credited to their bank account," the article reads. "For workers without bank accounts, however, this is not an option. … more

  • Interchange cap debated in Washington

    The 21-cent debit-interchange cap that was put into effect in 2011 is being debated in Washington.

    The anti-trust settlement and ensuing quagmire of legal action involving MasterCard, Visa and several major retailers has garnered headlines when it comes to payment swipe fee regulations, but there is another interesting debate brewing.

    A recent article from PYMNTS recapped the current conversation about the 21-cent debit-interchange cap that was put into effect in 2011. Last summer, a federal judge overturned the ruling decision, stating that the amount was too high.

    On January 17, parties on both sides of the debate laid out their feelings in front of a three-judge panel in Washington D.C. The appeals court is still mulling the information.

    "Nearly four years after the law was passed, debit-swipe fees are still far higher than they should be, and banks are raking in … more

  • MasterCard releases new standards for payroll card systems

    MasterCard has released new standards for direct deposit paycards.

    If you are a business owner who used direct deposit paycards as a way to pay employees, there is big news shaking up the industry for you to be aware of. 

    According to a report by the ABA Banking Journal, MasterCard has released new standards to help employees take full advantage of the benefits of payroll card programs. These will require anyone offering this option to provide greater transparency on fees and educational resources. On top of that, there must be a free way for users to check their balance.

    "Payroll cards serve as one way to bring the traditionally underserved into the financial mainstream," Ron Hynes, group executive, Global Prepaid Solutions, MasterCard, told the news source. "These standards will help ensure that employees not only understand the … more

  • Looking back at mobile POS systems on the iPhone's seventh anniversary

    The original iPhone, unveiled seven years ago, has revolutionize a number of industries.

    On January 9, 2007, late Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage for the Macworld keynote address and said "we're going to make some history together today." Ninety minutes later, he reached the point where it was time to unveil three new products — a wide screen music player, a mobile phone and an internet communication device. Then he added that all of these devices were in fact just one, and it was called the iPhone.

    Jobs introduced the smartphone with the device by saying "every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything." Today, the impact of the iPhone and the mobile device marketplace that was kick-started by its inception has spread further than anyone imaged that day seven years ago this month.

    ​For real results of the iPhone's … more

  • American Express added to anti-trust settlement appeal

    Appeals are being filed against a recent anti-trust settlement.

    The multi-billion dollar settlement that was reached last month between Visa/MasterCard and a number of U.S. merchants to end years of litigation is already in the appeal process. 

    According to an article from Business Insider, American Express has filed in federal court in Brooklyn, New York to join several trade associations including Wal-Mart, Amazon, 7-Eleven and Barnes and Noble that have already filed an appeal of the decision.

    This all stems from the decision on December 13 by U.S. District Judge John Gleeson. He approved a $5.7 billion settlement that ends eight years of litigation from a lawsuit against credit companies Visa and MasterCard. The allegations are that the card companies were charging unlawful excessive swipe and processing fees.

    Despite … more

  • New lawsuit filed against Visa, MasterCard

    A new lawsuit has been filed against Visa and MasterCard.

    The financial troubles for Visa and MasterCard when it comes to merchant credit card swipe fees continues to take some interesting twists and turns. Over the last month, things have picked up. The original suit, filed eight years ago, was settled and approved by a federal judge, some plaintiffs are appealing and now a brand new, but similar, lawsuit has been filed.

    According to a report from Law 360, nearly 30-big-name retailers have banded together to file a joint lawsuit against MasterCard and Visa claiming the card companies colluded with banks to fix credit card swipe fees. The complaint includes talk of a conspiracy that "has unreasonably restricted competition" that allowed card companies to "artificially inflate interchange fees from each plaintiff."

    The businesses behind … more

  • Examining the current state of EMV adoption in the U.S.

    EMV payment technology will experience accelerated adoption in the future.

    With the deadlines for EMV adoption inching closer, the question of when it will accelerate continues to linger. Already prevalent in Europe and Canada, the use of chip card technology is slowly starting to spread in the U.S. but still has a long way to go before it is the standard in the industry.

    A recent article from Bank Info Security examined the current state of EMV adoption in the U.S. The piece features an interview with Randy Vanderhoof, the executive director of the Smart Card Alliance.

    "The EMV market for the U.S. is a complicated market because there are a lot of moving parts that need to work together," Vanderhoof says. "One of the things that we found right away is that there are technical issues, as well as questions about how the market is going to get educated about … more

  • Why businesses should ditch the cash register for a tablet

    Businesses should ditch cash registers for tablet POS systems.

    For small businesses to stay competitive in the current landscape, they are relying on the use of the latest technology. Not only are solutions like the cloud and mobile devices leveling the playing field, they're also helping companies offer more advanced solutions to their customers. A recent article from Reuters examined several different technologies that can help small businesses grow as they move into the future. There options include systems like the cloud, loyalty programs, backend productivity and marketing systems. The article also called for small retailers to ditch their expensive cash registers and instead invest in a tablet POS system.

    "Tablets and smartphones with free or premium apps can now replace full-blown POS systems, letting small … more

  • USPS deploys mobile commerce solutions

    The USPS has deployed mobile commerce options.

    The impact of mobile technology on the retail industry is easy to see. Aside from consumers using smartphones to make purchases and compare pricing, merchants have put them in the hands of associates to help them answer customer questions and allow them pay from any location in the store.

    However, mobile commerce goes far beyond brick-and-mortar stores. According to a recent article from the Postal News, the United States Postal Service is rolling out a new program that will put mobile point-of-sale systems in the hands of delivery drivers and sales associates. Known as mPOS, the hardware consists of an iPod Touch and a small mobile printing device that can do receipts and postage. This allowed the organization to scan and accept prepaid packages, scan pickups as delivered, sell … more

  • Merchants should gift themselves mobile POS systems

    Every merchant is in the middle of feeling the holiday rush that has only intensified over the last few weeks. With just a few shopping days left in the holiday season, lines are out the door, as consumers need to make last minute purchases. This added pressure to make sales can cause stress for shoppers and associates alike.

    A recent article from Retail Information Systems News makes the case for mobile commerce point of sales machines, which could be the perfect gift for businesses to give themselves when it comes time to improve sales.

    "A mobile POS system benefits both the retailer and the consumer by creating an approachable workforce that offers improved customer experience, while simultaneously streamlining behind-the-scenes processes," the article reads. "However, … more

  • Retail payment makes list of top job skills in 2013

    Traditional cash registers are starting to be seen as outdated.

    When you consider what could have been the top skills in demand for the corporate world over the last year, there is good chance that the payment industry would not be on it. However, with the way that technology in this sector is evolving, it would seem that it should be in the conversation.

    Well, not only should it be talked about, but a recent study from LinkedIn found that it is near the top of the list. The enterprise social media website recently conducted a study to try and discover what was popular in 2013. This was handled by examining the history and changes made by over 259 million members, as well as what recruitment firms are searching for.

    The result was a top 25 list of in-demand skills from the last year. Unsurprisingly, IT and social media make up the top of the … more

  • What does 2014 have in store for the payments industry

    What will 2014 have in store for the payments industry.

    There have been several innovations over the last few years in the retail industry that are geared toward pushing the cash register to a new level. This trend is just getting started.

    A recent article from Business News Daily examined the retail landscape, calling 2013 a "monumental year" in the industry. This declaration is made with the backing of technology solutions that have taken hold and altered the POS process. These include services like mobile commerce and online shopping.

    One of the more interesting changes that will gain steam in 2014 is mobile wallet adoption by consumers. According to the article, in November 2013, there were 100 million users in China that relied on the Alipay Wallet - a mobile payment application. Consumers that use the app are able to purchase … more

by Ty Hardison

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