Archives / 2009 / December
  • Debit cards highly valued

    According to a new survey commissioned by Visa Inc., U.S. consumers whose primary payment method is their debit card would rather give up coffee, their MP3 player, their mobile phone, email, visiting social network sites for one week than they would their debit card.

    Employers issuing Visa payroll debit cards to under-banked workers not only benefit by moving all employees to direct deposit but are also providing a cash management tool highly valued by employees.  Consumers are focused on controlling spending and understand that cash purchases can be difficult to track.  The Visa survey reveals that consumers believe debit cards can help them monitor spending more closely and stay within budget.   Plus employees enjoy convenient access to their funds by using their … more

  • CPAs play a key role in helping small businesses implement payment best practices

    Poor management of accounts receivables is the enemy of cash flow. For small businesses today, 30-day terms all too often extend to 60, 90 and 120 days before payment is made.

    CPAs can help their small business clients better manage cash flow by proactively talking about their payment policies and procedures. Now is the time to help your clients set a 2010 goal of implementing payment acceptance best practices. Why?  Because by implementing sound accounts receivable policies with the objective of lowering working capital, businesses will achieve an operational advantage over their competitors.

    Business is, ultimately, about getting paid.  Businesses need to have enough working capital to fund their operations while they wait to get paid.  If a company can improve its … more

  • Salvation Army deploys card acceptance

    The Salvation Army is accepting credit and debit cards for contributions this holiday season in more regions nationwide. News articles from around the country have reported on the card terminals at the traditionally all cash "Red Kettles" which collect donations to support programs such as food for the homeless and toys for needy children.

    The Salvation Army is smart to provider donors with the convenience of more payment options including Visa, MasterCard and American Express card transactions. Realizing that many people don't carry cash, the Salvation Army kettles are adjusting to the changing payment choices consumers are making.

    The Salvation Army has deployed card acceptance to:

    Increase overall red kettle donations

    Eliminate "not carrying any cash" as an excuse for not giving … more

  • U.S. Merchants receive $1.1 Billion Final Payment Early

    The law firm Constantine Cannon LLP announced today that approximately $1.1 billion in payments will be mailed to approximately 634,000 merchants across the United States, the final large-scale disbursement in the landmark Visa Check/MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation settlement. 

    In re Visa Check/MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation is still the largest antitrust settlement in U.S. history.  The settlement with Visa and MasterCard was negotiated in 2003 and this final payment, likely the largest single payment to businesses in class action history, represents an accelerate payment schedule that was not set to end until 2012. 

    In addition to the monetary compensation to merchants, Visa and MasterCard agreed to eliminate their “Honor All Cards” policies, which … more

  • Unbanked Americans need Plastic

    The number of “unbanked” Americans rose 1.3 million nationally last year, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.   Of the unbanked Americans in 2008, more than 31 percent said they closed bank accounts because of overdraft fees, service charges or high minimum balance rules.  Yet they are substituting other more costly, less regulated services like payday loans, check-cashing services and pawn shops for their financial needs. 

    While few banks are reaching out to under-banked communities, employers can pick up the slack by moving employees to direct deposit using a Visa debit payroll card.  And employers can help control costs by negotiating group discounts for their unbanked employees. 

    Payroll cards … more

  • Retailers likely to see lower Interchange costs this holiday season

    Retailers are likely to see lower Interchange processing expenses this holiday season due to fewer consumers using credit cards and rewards cards.  According to a WSJ article, Fewer Shoppers Using Credit Cards for Gifts, there has been a drop in the number of shoppers paying with credit cards.   Higher interest rates, lower spending limits, canceled accounts, maxed out cards and watered-down rewards programs are all cited as reasons for the decline.

    In general consumer spending has shifted from credit to debit during the recession. In the third quarter of 2009, credit transactions for Visa and MasterCard reached $313 billion, an 11.58% decline over the same quarter in 2008, according to TowerGroup. Debit transaction volume for Visa and MasterCard was $303 billion, a 5.21% … more

  • Internet gambling regulations implemented

    The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System have issued regulations implementing the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act requiring U.S. financial institutions and certain “participants in designated payment systems” to establish and implement policies and procedures reasonably designed to identify and block or otherwise prevent or prohibit unlawful internet gambling transactions covered by this Act. Compliance by these participants is required immediately. more

  • New gift card rules proposed

    The Federal Reserve Board announced proposed rules that would restrict fees and expiration dates on store branded and network-branded gift cards intended to protect consumers.   The proposed rules would prohibit dormancy, inactivity, and service fees on gift cards unless: (1) there has been at least one year of inactivity on the certificate or card; (2) no more than one such fee is charged per month; and (3) the consumer is given clear and conspicuous disclosures about the fees. Expiration dates for funds underlying gift cards must be at least five years after the date of issuance, or five years after the date when funds were last loaded. more

by Ty Hardison

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