by Ty Hardison

Senate bill introduced to Delay Debit Interchange Regulation

Senate bill 575 calls for a two-year delay to Fed's debit Interchange regulation. A similar bill is expected to be introduced in the House. Senator Jon Tester (D) who introduced the legislation believes they have the votes necessary.

Read more at more

Banks consider $50 cap on debit card purchases

With the pending government price controls on debit Interchange fees, as predicted, banks will find ways to steer customer payment choice to higher priced cards. One method under consideration is to limit debit card purchases to a $50 max. In addition, banks may begin charging monthly or transaction fees to use debit cards.

Read Rules could change how you use debit cards for more information. more

VeriFone calls Square's Credit Card Reader Unsafe and Reckless (Video)

VeriFone has published an An Open Letter to the Industry and Consumers bringing to the forefront the issue of mobile credit card processing security. 

At issue is the ability for criminals to use unencrypted card readers to steal full mag-stripe data which can then be use to make fraudulent purchases.   Fraudulent card use is a problem for all merchants (and in particular card not present e-commerce merchants) who shoulder the losses. 

Square has made headlines shipping hundreds of thousands of free dongles (square card readers that plug into the iPhone jack for swiping cards).  In its announcement, VeriFone demonstrates how promulgating cheap readers enables criminals while making the point that the payments industry needs to take card data security seriously.& … more

5 Small Business Concerns with Debit Interchange Regulation

Vantage has been following the merchant Interchange rate debate and commenting along the way here on the Vantage ViewPoint blog. And that viewpoint is from the perspective of the challenges our clients, small business owners and entrepreneurs face. We take our role as a merchant advocate seriously. We believe it is important that the merchant community at least consider points of view that don’t seem to make the headlines in the over all debate.

First some background. As a merchant services provider, Vantage collects only a very small fraction of the fees merchants pay to perform services ranging from marketing, sales, underwriting, risk management, customer service, terminal services, 24x7 help desk, transaction authorization and settlement, funding, statement reporting, PCI … more Helps Small Business with Interchange Pricing

Merchant Rates, a service of Vantage Card Services, was originally launched in December of 2000. For over 10 years now, has been providing instant merchant Interchange rate quotes!’s latest release is faster and more secure than ever. The user experience has been enhanced with updated content, new solutions, better organized Interchange rates by industry and the ability to easily generate and compare multiple proposals. is an award-winning small business site featuring:

On Demand Quote and Proposal in under a minute

Customized for your business

Results Delivered Real-Time

Industry specific Interchange Rate & Fee Schedule

Ready to Sign Application

Read complete Month-to-Month Terms

No Hidden Fees

Monitor your … more

Will Interchange Regulation Push 884 Troubled Banks Over the Edge?

Will government Interchange regulation push 884 banks on the brink of failure over the edge?

According to a post, the number of banks on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s "Problem List" totaled 884. If these institutions are already hurting, will any survive the Feds plan to cap debit Interchange fees?

The Independent Community Bankers of America speculates that the exemption for small banks (<$10 billion) to the Fed Interchange price cap will fail to protect these institutions for the following reasons:

As the largest debit issuers, mega banks will influence networks to limit support of dual pricing schemes that make their cards less attractive to merchants.

Merchants will discriminate against any high-cost cards customers present.

Debit card … more

How will Google Compete in Payments?

In a recent post Google Takes a Bite of the Apple a comparison is made between the payment system subscription pricing model of Apple iTunes at a 30% fee and Google’s announcement of its One Pass at a 10% fee on the Android platform. The difference in the fee structure is attributed to the built in user base - Apple has 160 million existing iTunes users ready to go on its platform which the start up Google platform can not offer.

Facebook also charges a 30% fee for using Facebook Credits (with 500+ million users). So in this alternative payment space it appears that 30% is the top end regardless of number of users. Of course to buy Facebook Credits people would use PayPal. Wouldn’t it be better to simply use PayPal and skip Facebook Credits? Users would skip a currency … more

California merchants beware of ZIP code ruling

In California a ZIP code is personal identification information

In the case, Pineda v. Williams-Sonoma Stores, Inc., the California Supreme Court recently ruled that a ZIP code constitutes ‘personal identification information' as that phrase is used in California Civil Code section 1747.08 and that requesting and recording a cardholder's ZIP code is prohibited if it is requested as part of a credit card transaction.

The California Civil Code Section 1747.08 does indicate exceptions which would allow the ZIP code to be requested, including:

When the credit card is being used as a deposit to secure payment in the event of default, loss, damage, or other similar occurrence;

Cash advance transactions;

When the person, firm, partnership, association or corporation accepting the … more

A Guide to PCI Data Security and Compliance Requirements

PCI Data Security and Compliance Requirements

What is PCI?Specifically, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) prohibits the storage of the full contents of any magnetic-stripe, CVV2 or PIN data. Storage of this type of data is in violation of (PCI DSS) and the card company operating regulations. It also provides security requirements for transmitting card data.

PCI is a data protection standard and it provides a lot of detail on how that protection should be implemented. This means that PCI is not only good for protecting payment card data, but also protecting your business and any personally identifiable information you may have about your customers and employees.

The Financial Risks of a Breach are Real. As the rules & regulations now stand, once your … more

Will debit card fee limits be delayed?

Stories like Congress May Slow ‘Swipe’ Cap Amid Regulator Concerns and Debit card fee limits hit a snag reported on yesterday's hearings where Congress and financial regulators discussed delaying or revising debit card price cap rules as suggested by The Federal Reserve to comply with the Durbin amendment before they are set to take effect in April.

As I see it, this is really a showdown between mega-banks and mega-retailers. Small community banks and credit unions, small merchants in communities serviced by these community banks and credit unions and consumers should be most concerned about the hastily added Durbin amendment to the massive financial regulatory bill. We’ve raised concerns about the impact of the unintended consequences for both our merchant clients and … more