by Ty Hardison

Department of Justice Final Judgment on Rule Changes

In October 2010, both MasterCard and Visa entered into a proposed consent decree and final judgment with the Department of Justice that required both payment card networks to modify their policies and procedures regarding the merchant’s ability to recommend any preferred card brand or card type in United States. The consent decree and final judgment requires that both card schemes direct their acquirers to provide US and US Territory merchants with notice of the final judgment and a description of the their rules changes and the POS practices that merchants are expressly permitted to engage in pursuant to the terms of the judgment. The description of the rules changes can be found at the following links:


Visa http:// … more

Debit Interchange Regulation Fallout

ABC News reports that Wells Fargo to Test $3 Debit Card Fee. Major banks have already begun to change qualifications on free checking accounts and end debit rewards programs.

An it appears that the anticipated result of these actions will be to steer consumers away from debit and toward reward credit and charge card products that carry more expensive merchant Interchange rates.

"An Associated Press-GfK poll last month found that about two-thirds of consumers use debit cards more frequently than credit cards. When asked how they would react if they were charged a $3 monthly fee for their debit card, 61 percent said they'd find another way to pay. If the fee was $5 a month, two-thirds said they'd do the same. If the fee was $7, the figure rose to 81 percent."

Our concern for small … more

Lower Invoice Processing Costs Through Automated Workflows

PayStream Advisors survey shows Increasing Adoption of Automated Workflows in Invoice Processing

Automating the invoice approval process is the next logical next step for companies that are already reaping the benefits of front-end electronic invoice systems. Organizations that have experienced successes through employing digital imaging are seeing visible improvements and are actively moving towards further AP automation.

Research conducted by PayStream Advisors confirms these trends and notes that automation to date has been operations driven, with quicker approval of invoices being the main cited benefit. Companies in the survey also experienced lower processing costs and increased productivity.

Automated workflow solutions in the accounts payable (AP) arena are maturing as the … more

A Wake Up Call for Small Business Security Concerns

PCI Compliance Small business owners are a new favorite target for hackers hoping to take advantage of weak security in small business environments. This excerpt from a recent article in the Wall Street Journal article Hackers Shift Attacks to Small Firms sums up the new reality:

“In the time it takes to break into a major company like Citigroup Inc., a hacker could steal data from dozens of small businesses and not get detected, says Bryce Case Jr., a former hacker who broke into several government and corporate websites a decade ago and now runs an online message board for hackers called Digital Gangster. Now that small companies use computers, "the juice has become worth the squeeze," he says. "Even a pizza place has addresses, names and credit-card information."

Whether you store card holder … more

Visa and MasterCard plan changes due to new debit Interchange regulations

In June, the Fed announced final debit Interchange rules. Now we are starting to learn more about how Visa and MasterCard will approach the transaction routing provisions that ban exclusive affiliations between card networks and issuers of debit cards.

Under these new rules, debit card issuers must add at least one unaffiliated network to each debit card. For example, Visa has exclusive arrangements with issuers to use both its signature debit and PIN debit networks. Now debit card issuers will need to add an alternative network to Visa.

In response, Visa says they will implement a new Network Participation fee that will be based on a merchant's size and number of locations while at the same time lowering the variable rate charged per transaction. This Visa strategy is intended to … more

Visa to charge new location fee

Visa introduces a new pricing model, but provides only limited details. As reported in the International Business Times, Visa will be implementing a new fee called a “Network Participation Fee” that will apparently be a fixed site fee billed according to number of merchant locations accepting any U.S. Visa debit, credit, or prepaid card.

While Interchange fees are scheduled to move lower in October, this new Visa fee (like other Visa fees charged to acquirers) will be pass through to merchants in one form or another. Given this fact, the idea is that the more Visa transactions a merchant accepts, the lower this new fixed location fee becomes on a per transaction basis.

Now that the final Fed rules give merchants control over the routing of transactions, Visa hopes that this … more

Resilient checks fail to become extinct

The UK has reversed its Vote to Abolish Check Clearing. In a testament to the power of the payment properties of checks, the UK Payments Council has decided to keep checks and cancel its 2018 target end date. Instead the UK Payments Council has decided to focus on payment innovations, reassuring customers that the check is staying.

The biggest innovation coming soon to the paper check is the digital check. Keeping all the benefits of its paper form except the piece of paper, we expect the digital check will usher in big changes in the payments industry. more

Merchant rates for debit acceptance to fall in October

Debit Savings The countdown to lower debit Interchange is on with only 11 short weeks remaining. The most important thing merchants can do now is switch to an Interchange plus pricing plan. Take a look at your current merchant statement. If you have a “qualified” rate or “non-qualified” transaction fees its time to act. No matter the size of your business or the industry you are in, it's easy to start processing on an Interchange pass through pricing plan by visiting

October Debit Interchange Savings

Here we take a look at the current Visa and MasterCard charges for the processing of debit cards for retail, restaurant and ecommerce merchant categories to project possible savings for a range of transaction sizes from $10 to $75.

For example a merchant … more

Fed announces final debit Interchange rules

Breaking Interchange NewsAt the Federal Reserve meeting today the final debit card rules where announced and the debit Interchange cap has been raised to 21 cents plus 5 basis points per transaction (not to exceed a sum of these two components). The initial proposal in December called for capping debit Interchange fees to 12 cents per transaction. After taking eleven thousand public comments, the Fed has adjusted this cap to include a “fraud prevention adjustment” in order to compensate for the costs that banks and financial institutions incur to maintain security against fraud.

The rule was slated to take effect on July 21, yet with less than one month to put in place all the mandated provisions, more time is required to implement these changes. For example, it will take … more

Joining Forces: and Vantage Partner to offer Integrated Level 3 Merchant Services

Today businesses are finding that accepting card payments is a growing necessity and often a preferred method for collecting accounts receivables. So when, who helps small and mid-sized businesses efficiently manage their day-to-day bill payment and invoicing processes, looked to integrate credit and debit card acceptance they conducted extensive research.

"What we found was that in addition to popular consumer oriented products like debit cards and rewards cards, today’s buyers are using several types of commercial card products including business, corporate, fleet, purchasing and GSA purchasing cards”, says Henrique Ceribelli, product manager at "We built our integrated merchant services solution so our clients could accept both consumer and commercial … more