by Ty Hardison

Despite setbacks, NFC chip future is not dead

The iPhone 5 featured payment options, but no NFC chip, despite rumors to the contrary. One of the major mobile payment story lines from 2012 was the iPhone 5 and what it didn't have - a near field communication (NFC) chip. The rumor mill was rampant with speculation that the hardware would incorporate an NFC chip when it was officially unveiled. Unfortunately for fans of the innovative feature, the September 12 press event came and Apple introduced PassBook - a payment application - and no NFC adoption.This was the final blow in what was a rough few months for the technology. The Google Wallet, which used the NFC, failed to gain much traction with consumers while alternative payment options like LevelUp and QR codes and cloud-based solutions through PayPal and Square gained momentum.A recent article from Barron's examined the mobile payment industries and, more specifically, … more

MasterCard helps push EMV standard in U.S. market

MasterCard is helping to push EMV adoption in the U.S. The payment industry in the United States has been much slower to adopt recent technologies than the rest of the world. A perfect example of this is the deployment of the EMV standard. In many markets like Europe and Canada, EMV and near field communication (NFC) chips have been deployed in a number of payment, ATM and credit/debit card solutions, however, the U.S. has been a slow adopter.Some experts have pointed to the rise of smartphones and the fact that the technology was not included in the iPhone 5 as reasons why it will not take off stateside. Others believe a rollout is inevitable.The debate may be changing if a recent announcement from MasterCard goes the company's way. According to a press release, the company is making some of its proprietary technology solutions available to … more

Mobile providers look to incorporate EMV

Mobile payments are on the verge of adopting EMV technology. The use of mobile devices as a POS terminal is a growing trend in the retail and small business world. For some time, Apple's retail stores have been using iPods and a specially designed application to act as mobile cash registers. Other major outlets like JC Penney and Urban Outfitters have announced and started to implement plans to fully switch to this kind of solution also.Many small and midsized businesses have also adopted some form of mobile payment solution. Whether its the Square system - a tiny plug in for a smartphone that allows the user to process credit and debit card payments - or a Verifone terminal. However, as with any payment solution, security remains a problem.Ensuring PCI compliance and avoiding card fraud from skimming are concerns for businesses in any market. … more

2013 to be the year of mobile payments

According to a report, 2013 will be the year of mobile payments. The way that merchants can accept payments seems to be growing at an exponential rate. Cash and credit has been joined by mobile applications, EMV systems and near field communications (NFC) technology. While the solutions are by no means brand new, according to one expert they have reached the tipping point or infiltrating the mainstream. In a recent guest column for Computer Business Review, Pat Carroll, the CEO of ValidSoft - a mobile payment fraud prevention company - gave his outlook on what the payments industry can expect in the next year. According to Carroll, as consumers become more comfortable with mobile devices, the shift toward mobile payment options is going to be quicker than many experts are predicting. "2013 is going to be the year of mobile payments more generally, … more

Mobile payment market to reach 90 billion annually in 2017

The mobile payment market is gearing up for an interesting 2013. In New York City last week, Retail's Big Show 2013 - the National Retail Federation (NRF) convention and EXPO - was held, which features many innovations on display that could play a part in future payment features. One of the major areas of conversation on the showroom floor was the impact of mobile payments.According to recent Forrester Research forecasts, the U.S. mobile payment industry will reach $90 billion in 2017. That is a increase of 48 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from the $12.8 billion that was spend in 2012.Denee Carrington - the main author of the report - recapped the survey in a recent Forbes article. She laid out some of the trends that will play a major role in the growth of mobile payments in the next four years."Mobile proximity payments are currently the … more

Visa MasterCard Change Surcharging Rules

As part of the Merchant Class Action Litigation Settlement, Visa and MasterCard will make changes to their merchant acceptance practices.

Visa and MasterCard will change their rules effective January 27, 2013 pertaining to the surcharging of credit transactions at the point of sale. Please review the detailed communications on surcharging in their entirety at and

In summary, and subject to any limitations identified on the above websites or in the upcoming rules changes, U.S. merchants may surcharge Visa and MasterCard credit card transactions (not debit or pre-paid card transactions) at the brand level or the product level, but not both, with the following conditions: (1) surcharges cannot exceed certain levels (generally the … more

Visa, MasterCard Settlement Order Appeal Rejected

Upon preliminary approval of the largest antitrust settlement ever at $7.25 Billion, the end is nearing for the Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation battle now in its seventh year. But some large retailers oppose the deal claiming they are being forced to forfeit their rights to sue over the card companies’ practices in the future. Filing their concerns in a federal appeals court to challenge the preliminary approval, a decision allowing plaintiffs to begin signing up more than 7 million eligible merchants, the court decided to defer the matter until after final judgment in the case had been issued, a decision expect late in 2013. more

Swipe-Fee Settlement Wins Preliminary Approval

As expected, the federal judge has now granted preliminary approval of a $7.25 billion class-action settlement in the Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation case saying opponent’s arguments were not persuasive enough to derail the deal.

Calling opponent’s concerns voiced so far "overstated", the U.S. District Court Judge did note the bar for preliminary approval is significantly lower than for final approval, a decision not expected until next year.

Under the settlement, millions of merchants would receive payments totaling $6.05 billion. Those merchants on direct Interchange pass through pricing will also see a temporarily reduced swipe fee by an amount equal to $1.2 billion. And merchants in states that don’t prohibit by law will be … more

Hurricane Sandy reminds small businesses importance of disaster preparedness planning

With Hurricane Sandy bearing down across the east coast, small businesses are reminded of the importance of disaster preparedness planning. And direct deposit paycards are an important part of any such plan.

Both local and non-local emergencies can make receiving pay on payday difficult if not impossible for workers who aren't on direct deposit. When natural disasters occur in a hub city from which paychecks are mailed or air traffic is grounded, employees can not receive paper pay checks in a timely manner.

Yet according to a recent NACHA study, small businesses account for nearly 50 percent paper checks written in the U.S., not including government checks. Research suggest that many of the paper checks written in the US are small B2B payments but 12 percent are for small business … more

IRS Merchant Services Tax Reporting Mandate

According to the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, beginning on January 1, 2012, Acquirers in the electronic payments industry were required to report credit card payments to the IRS.

In addition, Acquirers are also responsible for performing backup withholding on any merchants whose information (name and tax ID) does not match IRS records.

All merchants are encouraged to confirm that their merchant services provider has the most current, up to date and accurate TIN information on file. Merchants should consider submitting a copy of their W-9 form or a copy of the SS-4 form as part of the application process or upon any changes to their businesses legal structure that shows exactly how the merchant’s name is filed with the IRS therefore substantially reducing the … more