by Ty Hardison

7 million retailers to share $7.25 billion proposed settlement

An estimated 7 million retailers will be affected by a proposed settlement in the Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation case.

According to Reuters, it has been announced that Visa and MasterCard along with their card issuing banks have agreed to settle the Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation case with U.S. retailers for $7.25 billion. If approved by the judge, it would be the largest antitrust settlement in U.S. history.

According to reports, the settlement will include provision to allow stores to surcharge customers extra in an attempt to steer customers toward less expensive payments (although certain states laws prohibit the practice), will pay stores $6 billion and will lower interchange fees by the equivalent of … more

PCI guidance for accepting payments using a smartphone

Our PCI Compliance and Security partner ControlScan plans to integrate the SAQ P2PE-HW into our merchant portal by the end of the quarter, as it’s expected that P2PE certified solutions will be listed on the PCI SSC website later this year. We will alert our merchants as soon as the SAQ P2PE-HW is available.

The PCI SSC Releases its P2PE SAQIn May the PCI Security Standards Council (SSC) published a fact sheet to offer guidance for merchants evaluating technology to accept payments using a smartphone or iPad/tablet. The fact sheet explains how a point-to-point encryption (P2PE) solution can be leveraged to secure mobile payments.

As a next step in its P2PE program, the SSC has released a P2PE Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ). The new, reduced SAQ (SAQ P2PE-HW) is similar to SAQ … more

Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation

Visa Inc and MasterCard Inc are moving closer to a settlement in a seven-year old case named In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation. Most analyst are predicting a settlement and possibly by the end of July. One of the possible settlement outcomes could be a reduction in interchange fees which is expected to have a negative impact on bank stocks. If your holding bank shares of major card issuers, be warned. If you are a small merchant, we will keep you posted here about what it means to you and anything you will need to do. more

Notes from Visa's Q2 2012 Earnings Call

Visa posted positive double digit gains and says it will “live forever with less share than we once had” due to government regulations.

Visa reported “very vibrant transaction growth rates in U.S. (consumer) credit” and also noted that their commercial credit card side is growing at a good clip. As expected, debit volume declined as banks deemphasized debit and removed rewards programs associated with debit cards that once played an important role in driving volume.

Visa also said “the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division issued a civil investigative demand requesting additional information about PIN-authenticated Visa Debit and elements of our new debit strategies, including the fixed acquirer fee.” Visa says it is confident their actions … more

New April 2012 Interchange and Card Industry Fee Changes

April 2012 Interchange and Card Industry Fee Changes As you know, Vantage provides the most transparent, direct pass-through of the payment industry’s universally established Interchange, Assessment and Access fee schedules.

This April, a whole new set of card fees are being introduced. Vantage reports on and tracks these industry fee changes as they occur on our web site and this resource is often use by reporters and market analyst as well as merchants, businesses and banks. We also post about the payments industry and card Interchange on our blog. In July 2011 we first alerted merchants to the Visa announcement to charge a new location fee.

Vantage passed through all the Fed regulated debit rates to our clients. We posted a Vantage Study Revealing the Results of Fed Regulated Debit in October. And while Vantage clients took … more

Global Payments Reports “Unauthorized Access”

Global Payments identifies and self-reports unauthorized access into a small portion of its processing system limited to track 2 card data only (no track 1 card data, no names, no social security numbers and no bank account information was compromised).

Global Payments reports incident does not involve our merchants or their relationships with their customers. Global Payments continues to provide uninterrupted processing services.

ATLANTA March 30, 2012 – Global Payments Inc. (NYSE: GPN), a leader in payment processing services, announced it identified and self-reported unauthorized access into a portion of its processing system. In early March 2012, the company determined card data may have been accessed. It immediately engaged external experts in information technology … more

Don’t Let Your Bank Hide Fees

PayView Like his previous article discussing the merchant services industry, Michael Conticelli has done it again with a must read insightful report in the Ft. Myers Small Business Examiner titled “New trend in merchant statements hides rates and fees”.

Michael specifically calls out SunTrust for purposely redesigning their merchant statements to eliminate all rate and fee detail, leaving merchants no clue as to how charges are calculated. SunTrust made the decision to keep merchants in the dark about their “surcharge fees, bill backs, annual fees, PCI fees, etc.” because when merchants “don’t actually see the rates and fees month after month” they can’t ask questions.

Michael warns “Merchants need to be vigilant in monitoring their merchant … more

Vantage Launches New Merchant Services Portal

Vantage Card Services Vantage Card Services [+] is a new merchant services portal for our valued clients to track and redeem their Vantage Points Rewards, explore PayView reporting and trends and access Support Center resources.

Vantage is home to world-class payment solutions and features the best value package of price, terms, service, solutions and incentives available in the payments industry. This new merchant service [+] portal complements our Interchange [+] merchant rate pricing with PayView reporting.

PayView is a monthly reporting tool that has been developed to provide even greater transparency into your card payment acceptance. Use PayView to explore stats and trends, chart your sales, manage your Interchange qualifications and track your effective "real rate" calculations over time. We welcome … more

April 2012 Interchange Modifications Impact B2B and Small Ticket


Update 3/3/2011: MasterCard is creating new small ticket Interchange charge types as discussed below but NOT introducing new rates. MasterCard is implementing these new buckets for small ticket likely so they can track the volume separately from other regulated debit transactions. We expect that companies like USA Tech will continue to opt out of accepting MasterCard debit until they lower the small ticket debit Interchange rate.

Vantage Card Services specializes in providing card payment processing services at direct and transparent Interchange pricing to merchants and businesses of all sizes.

For our B2B and B2G clients, is a resource focused on the payment acceptance policies, strategies and best practices to lower cost, increase productivity and enhance security. An … more

MasterCard changes registration policy on limiting acceptance by card type

Effective immediately, registration is no longer required for merchants that accept MasterCard who choose to accept Debit MasterCard Cards only, Other Cards only, or both Debit MasterCard Cards and Other Cards. At this time, Visa still requires registration of merchants who wish to limit acceptance to debit or credit only. more