The Electronic Funds Transfer Association (EFTA), which works to advance electronic payments and commerce through responsible federal government relations and member education, released its second white paper on, “User Authentication,” which details the benefits and challenges of utilizing user authentication as a component of an overall security strategy. According to the Department of Commerce, U.S.…
The non-profit trade association dedicated to the advancement of electronic payments and electronic commerce has added EyeLock, a marketer of iris-based identity authentication solutions, to the Board of EFTA members.
A Missouri online payday loan company has been shuttered by The Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The firm allegedly bilked consumers out of tens of millions of dollars by trapping them into loans they never authorized and then using the supposed “loans” as a pretext to take money from their bank accounts.
The Electronic Funds Transfer Association in conjunction with the ATM Industry Association, has announced the release of a commissioned research report into the digital currency Bitcoin. The intensive report, written by Value Partners Management Consulting, authors of the industry’s bi-annual Global ATM Benchmarking studies, is called “Bitcoin: Virtual Currency with Real Opportunities”. ATMIA and EFTA are keen to develop industry positions on the current and future significance of Bitcoin. It presents a history and comprehensive international analysis of Bitcoin. Bitcoin digital currency allows people to send and receive payments within an entirely decentralized peer-to-peer network.
The Electronic Funds Transfer Association has launched “EMV Update,” a source of timely, objective information on the migration of EMV technology to the American electronic payments industry, the group announced. EMV is a security standard designed to increase protection against the theft of payment card identification data. Theft of this data could permit unauthorized access to a cardholder’s funds. Currently the U.S. is the only member of the G20 nations where banks that issue credit or debit cards do not use the EMV standard. Large card brands like Visa, American Express and MasterCard have set target dates, some of which have already passed, for the adoption of the standard by different industry segments.
The Electronic Funds Transfer Association has launched “EMV Update,” a source of timely, objective information on the migration of EMV technology to the American electronic payments industry. Currently the U.S. is the only member of the G20 nations where banks that issue credit or debit cards do not use the EMV standard. Large card brands like Visa, American Express and MasterCard have set target dates, some of which have already passed, for the adoption of the standard by different industry segments.
Inc. Magazine has announced that Bluefin Payment Systems achieved the #6 position overall on its annual 500/5000 list of the fastest-growing, private companies in the United States. Bluefin Payment Systems provides a highly secure payment gateway for electronic payments, including debit/credit card processing, ACH, and more. Placements on the list are based on the percentage of revenue growth from 2008 to 2011 for private US-based companies with minimum revenue of $100,000 in 2008 and $2 million in 2010. Bluefin Payment Systems achieved the #6 spot on Inc.’s list by generating 2011 revenue of $55.6 million and experiencing an 11,675.7% growth rate from 2008 to 2011.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“Bureau”) published, in the Federal Register, a final rule setting forth an entirely new regulatory scheme for companies that provide remittance transfers, including banks. Remittance transfers are electronic transfers of money from U.S. consumers to recipients in foreign countries. Among other things, the Bureau’s final rule requires that specific disclosures be given to each “sender” of a remittance transfer showing how much money will be received by the recipient of the transfer in local currency; letting senders dispute errors for up to 180 days following a remittance transfer; and allows senders to cancel remittance transfer transactions within 30 minutes.
Section 1075 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which amends the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA), directs the Board to report annually on the prevalence of use of general-use prepaid cards in federal, state, and local government-administered payment programs and the interchange transaction fees and cardholder fees charged with respect to the use of such general-use prepaid cards.  The act requires the Board to begin submitting these annual reports 12 months after the date of enactment. General-use prepaid card programs are used as a method for disbursing funds to individuals and allowing government agencies to make payment in the administration of government benefit, assistance, and other miscellaneous programs. In most instances, general-use prepaid cards replace the issuance of checks or vouchers when funds are not or cannot be disbursed directly to beneficiary accounts at financial institutions. Depository institutions provided cardholder fee information for 70 programs, for which the average 2010 cardholder fee was $9.69 per card, or 0.3 percent of the total amount disbursed to cards. The average automated teller machine (ATM) cash withdrawal fee was 47 cents, or 0.3 percent of the amount withdrawn. The average ATM cash withdrawal fee charged to cardholders, however, was about 20 percent less than the amount paid by card issuers to the ATM operators for these transactions.
The Electronic Funds Transfer Association is endorsing federal legislation seeking to delay the July implementation of Federal Reserve rules limiting how much banks can charge merchants for debit card services. Opposing requirements the Federal Reserve develop rules and standards for regulating debit card fees by April 21, the EFTA supports bi-partisan legislation (S. 575/H.R. 1081) sponsored by Sen. John Tester (D-MT) and Rep. Shelley Capito (R-WV). The EFTA demonstrated complying with the Durbin amendment could not begin until the Federal Reserve issues “clear and concise” rules and standards. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has already notified Congress that the Fed is sorting through 11,000 comment letters on the rule and will not make the April 21 deadline.
The Electronic Funds Transfer Association launched its website to provide public information on the Federal Reserve’s proposed new regulations governing debit card interchange fees, mandated by the Durbin Interchange Amendment and part of The 2010 Consumer Protection Act.
Available at www.durbininterchangeamendment.org, the informational site provides news, opinions and analysis issues surrounding the changes from the law. Among these is the Fed’s effort to cap debit card interchange fees, for which the site provides access to a library of information a blog and commentary. The Electronic Funds Transfer Association holds its mission is to inform and educate the public on issues of importance to the electronic payments industry and to objectively promote the adoption of electronic payments and commerce. Some claim this debit interchange revenue for regulated card issuers will decline by 73%, from an average of $0.44 per transaction to $0.12 per transaction by July 21, according to the latest Oliver Wyman report “The US debit Market and the Durbin Amendment: Worse than the worst case scenario.”
Boston Consulting Group, for one, is projecting the new card regulations could cost U.S. card issuers up to $25 billion a year, 29% of the revenue that U.S. issuers, mostly retail banks, collect from retail card transactions. After having grown between 2000-2009 at an average annual rate of 18% to become the most commonly used non-cash method of payment, debit card transactions totaled 37.9 billion in the US in 2009 alone to account for 35% of total non-cash retail payments.
(CardFlash Library, 2010/12/23)
James Hanisch has been appointed the chairman for the Electronic Funds Transfer Association trade group for debit, credit, ATMs, online and electronic payments and processing organizations. Currently an executive VP with CO-OP Financial Services electronic payment and ATM network serving credit unions, Hanisch will serve in the EFTA role for a 2 year term. Bringing with him extensive experience in credit, debit, online banking and payments processing, James’ background allows for soundly navigating the legislative and regulatory challenges currently in the electronic payments industry. The EFTA shapes the legislative and regulatory issues surrounding electronic payments and has always been most relevant during times of legislative and regulatory change.