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Canada nears agreement on lower credit card fees

Joe Oliver, the Canadian Finance Minister, is said to be pressing credit card companies and banks to accept lower credit card fees paid by retailers, which the government claims are among the highest in the world, according to two people familiar with the talks. The government, which flagged the issue in its 2014 budget, wants  MasterCard and Visa to voluntarily curb fees by about… Continue reading >>

Retailers welcome ruling on card fees

UK retailers have today welcomed an historic court ruling to end card fees retailers pay banks to process card payments (known as interchange fees). Today’s judgement by the European Court of Justice comprehensively and decisively supports retailers’ decade-long campaign for a reduction in card fees, which cost, the retailers argue, “UK businesses £1 billion a year, which would otherwise be… Continue reading >>

US Federal Reserve moves towards faster payments

Federal Reserve banks in the US are moving ahead with plans to implement a faster payments system in order to improve the country’s payment infrastructure. The Federal Reserve banks are planning to publish a roadmap in the coming months, having released a consultation paper in September 2013 soliciting comments on gaps and opportunities in the payment system. By the close… Continue reading >>

Bitcoin could be considered legal tender in Australia

Australia’s tax commissioner has indicated that the bitcoin digital currency could be considered legal tender in the country. Several countries around the world are struggling over whether to classify bitcoin as a currency or as a commodity. Speaking at an event last week, the Australian tax commissioner, Chris Jordan, stated there was a push by some proponents to have bitcoin… Continue reading >>

UK urges Russian expulsion from Swift

The UK government is to urge European Union nations to expel Russian banks from the Swift financial messaging network, amid rising tensions over the crisis in Ukraine. UK prime minister David Cameron is to table a motion on Russian access to Swift at a meeting of EU leaders in Brussels. According to media reports, the UK will urge EU leaders… Continue reading >>

MasterCard and Visa targeted in Target lawsuit

The Target data breach, which compromised the data of 40 million cardholders continues to have ramifications across the industry. Following a class-action lawsuit against Target for the data breach, MasterCard and Visa are now targets of a separate class-action lawsuit related to the breach. In an order dated August 13, the US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation detailed claims that the… Continue reading >>

Boston Fed provides update on mobile payments

The Mobile Payments Industry Workgroup of the Boston Federal Reserve has released the outcome of its May 2014 meeting on the state of the industry in the US and has found relatively little change in terms of consumer protection and regulation. According to Susan Pandy, director of payment strategies at the Boston Fed: “The discussions revealed that the focus of… Continue reading >>

ECB identifies payment systems for oversight

The European Central Bank (ECB) has named four key payment systems – Target2, Euro1, Step2-T and Core(Fr) – as “systemically important”, and as a result they will be subject to new regulations covering large-value and retail payment systems in the euro area operated by both central banks and private entities. The ECB says the aim is to promote the “smooth… Continue reading >>

eBay’s Braintree could accept bitcoin

Online auction site eBay is planning to integrate bitcoin into its Braintree payments service. The move comes after executives from eBay’s online payments unit PayPal held meetings with digital currency specialists, including Coinbase, about enabling bitcoin transactions through Braintree. The integration of bitcoin with Braintree would provide a major boost in usage and trust of the digital currency, which has… Continue reading >>

Retail malware: PCI-DSS is part of the problem

When the Payments Card Industry Data Security Program (PCI-DSS) was first introduced in 2004, the move was in response to a series of breaches that demonstrated how exposed credit and debit card information could be at retailers, large and small, that hadn’t properly considered cyber security. The standard, which has been widely criticised as a prescriptive and expensive tick-box exercise,… Continue reading >>