by Ty Hardison

Supreme Court denies merchants' petition for lower debit card processing fees

The Supreme Court opted to dismiss a merchant petition calling for the court to reconsider the debit card swipe fees set by the Fed.

In 2011, the Federal Reserve was accused of ignoring the Durbin Amendment to the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act when it established a debit card swiping fee of 21 cents per transaction, a cap that they claimed was allowed by the amendment's ambiguous language. On the other side of that debate, merchants argued that that cap was far beyond what was originally intended by Dodd-Frank, with a U.S. district court ruling in their favor in the summer of 2013. But as we shared with you last year, that ruling was then overturned by an appellate court, stating the legislation, albeit "poorly drafted," still entitled the Fed to the merchant interchange fees it had set for debit card swipes

That setback prompted merchants to file a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing the high court to take up its … more

Global mobile payments to surpass $130 billion by 2020

NFC-based mobile payments are growing in popularity.

Technologies such as Apple Pay are driving increased adoption of NFC-based mobile payments, and the industry is expected to grow significantly over the course of the next few years. According to a report from Strategy Analytics, the NFC mobile payment market will exceed $130 billion by 2020. 

This is encouraging news for an industry that took longer than initially expected to get off the ground. For years, there was talk that Apple's iPhone would contain the NFC technology needed to facilitate mobile payments at retail stores and restaurants, but it was only this year when the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus came out that the technology was finally included in the popular line of smartphones. Now that NFC is becoming more mainstream, it's expected to only grow exponentially over … more

Google sues MasterCard, Visa for allegedly high merchant interchange fees

Visa and MasterCard are being sued by Google for charging excessively high merchant interchange rates.

Google has slammed MasterCard and Visa with a new federal lawsuit, accusing the credit card companies of excessively high and "supracompetitive" merchant interchange fees.

The complaint alleges that from January 1, 2004, to November 28, 2012, Google was forced to pay a merchant interchange rate considerably higher than "what a competitive market would allow" whenever it accepted payments from MasterCard or Visa cardholders. The tech giant accuses the credit card providers of violating Section 1 of the Sherman Act with its merchant service rates.

A class action lawsuit had previously been filed against both MasterCard and Visa over debit and credit card merchant fees. That case ended with a settlement of $7.25 billion that was then divided up among the plaintiffs who were forced to pay … more

January marks the start of PCI version 3.0

Companies that rely on credit card merchant services must be compliant with a new set of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards in 2015.

Companies that rely on credit card merchant services must be compliant with a new set of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards in 2015. Effective this month, version 3.0 will replace the previous set of standards, in an effort to enhance security and protect personal data for consumers. 

PCI updates its standards every three years, as advances in technology and new vulnerabilities emerge, to make the industry more airtight to breaches. Experts say that while becoming compliant with new PCI directives might cause headaches in the short term, it will benefit companies and their customers in the long run. 

"It's also a response to events that have taken place since the last DSS version, like the numerous security breaches and mass credit card data thefts that … more

How will merchants balance acceptance and costs in 2015?

Processing mobile payments may be more important than keeping fees to a minimum.

As merchants look ahead to a new year, now is the time to project how their role will evolve in 2015 and beyond. Technology will continue to advance well into the new year, which will provide merchants with opportunities to process payments in new and innovative ways. Of course, not every merchant is on board with new payment methods that utilize different tools like mobile phones and tablets, but increased adoption is going to be a major story in 2015. In fact, one publication has gone as far as saying this will be the most pressing issue in the merchant community next year, and it may result in other needs taking a back seat.

There is nothing more frustrating as a consumer than getting to the front of the checkout line only to realize they do not accept your preferred method of … more

Tablet POS solutions to play a big role in payments industry in 2015

The cloud is changing tablet POS technology.

As the year winds down, payment systems professionals have begun looking at what 2015 will bring for the industry. The consensus is that technological advancements will push what were innovative niche systems to the mainstream. Tablet POS systems are one of these technologies, and given the advancements in hardware and software required to make these tools work, more companies will find it easier to adopt them into their payments infrastructure in the new year. spoke about the ways payments technologies will emerge in the coming year with a number of industry professionals who believe tablet POS systems will not only become mainstream, but that organizations will increasingly use modern technologies like the cloud to facilitate tablet POS … more

Top five factors impacting a merchant's effective real rate to accept card payments

A number of factors can influence your effective real rate.

Understanding your effective real rate is the key to identifying the most cost-effective payment services provider. Your effective real rate measures the total cost of all processing fees and can be calculated by dividing the total merchant charges and fees over a given amount of time by the total bank card sales volume over that same amount of time. The only way to ensure you have the best effective real rate is to understand what factors into determining this rate.

Here are the top five factors impacting real rate:

Your industry: Merchants have different real rates depending on their industry. For example, retail, hospitality, education, the restaurant industry and B2B sales all have different real rates. 

Card types accepted: There are a growing number of card types in the … more

When implementing a payment processing system, training is of the utmost importance

Make sure your employees are trained on all new payment processing systems.

The payment technology industry is evolving rapidly, so it's understandable that some consumers are unsure as to what solutions are out there in the market and how they work. Those that accept these payments, whether they are restaurants or retailers, should have no such excuse. Unfortunately, some organizations have not followed necessary steps during the adoption process, which has resulted in confused employees and frustrated customers.

Apple Pay has been live for almost two months, but not all reported participants have done their part to make the transition from traditional methods to Apple Pay seamless. When Tim Cook first unveiled Apple Pay at an iPhone event in September, McDonalds was listed as an early adopter of the technology, but the popular fast food restaurant never told … more

Tablet POS systems can be an important tool on Small Business Saturday

The holiday shopping season officially kicks off this weekend with Black Friday. Consumers around the country will be lined up at their favorite big-box retailers to get the best door buster deals. On the following Monday — in many cases, at the stroke of midnight — shoppers will go to their computers to find the best online deals for Cyber Monday. Sandwiched in between arguably the two biggest shopping days of the year is Small Business Saturday, which encourages holiday shoppers to buy from small, local merchants.

This blog recently touched upon the importance of the day. Not only are small businesses vital to the communities which they serve, those who buy from small businesses are often doing so from friends, family and neighbors, rather than large corporations, … more

Can merchants do enough to protect customers this holiday season?

We're a year removed from the Target breach that rocked the retail industry over the 2013 holiday shopping season, and as this year's busiest time approaches, it's important for merchants to ensure they don't allow a repeat of that PR disaster. However, some industry experts suggest they aren't doing enough to mitigate the risk of a breach.

An article in USA Today suggests merchants are just as vulnerable this year as they were last year, even though a number of measures have been taken to improve overall payment security. The implementation of EMV technology was a major initiative this year, and earlier this fall Bank of America rolled out its security chip program. However, many stores have not implemented the technology needed to process these payments, according to the news source.

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