Wednesday, March 30, 2011

NRF Welcomes Bernanke Promise to Complete Swipe Fee Reform Regulations by Summer

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Retail Federation welcomed today’s commitment by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that the agency will complete final swipe fee reform regulations in time for retailers to begin offering customers discounts and other benefits this summer as scheduled.
“The banking industry and some in Congress want to delay swipe fee reform for as long as two years, but Chairman Bernanke has made it clear that the Fed doesn’t need a delay in implementation”
“Retailers want to begin passing on swipe fee savings to their customers as soon as possible, and today’s announcement means those plans will be able to move forward as planned despite the anti-consumer efforts of some in Congress,” NRF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mallory Duncan said. “The Fed has received thousands of comments on this proposal and it is appropriate for that input to be carefully and thoroughly reviewed. If they take a few extra weeks, we understand.”
“The banking industry and some in Congress want to delay swipe fee reform for as long as two years, but Chairman Bernanke has made it clear that the Fed doesn’t need a delay in implementation,” Duncan said. “Congress held seven hearings and ordered two GAO studies of swipe fees before enacting this law last year. Congress has made its decision and should allow the Fed to complete its work. Delay beyond this summer’s deadline would amount to a $1 billion-a-month bailout for big banks.”
Bernanke said today that the high volume of comments received by the Fed and the issues they have raised mean the agency will slip beyond an April 21 deadline to complete final regulations. But he acknowledged that swipe fee reform legislation enacted last year will take effect on July 21 even without regulations and said “we are committed to completing the rulemaking for that provision in advance of that date.”
Regulations proposed by the Fed in December would lower debit card swipe fees from their current level of 1 to 2 percent of each transaction to a flat fee of no more than 12 cents per transaction for large banks that adhere to fees set by the card companies. Banks that set their own rates would be free to charge any fee they believe the market would bear provide that they do so independently. The move would reduce the current $20 billion a year in debit swipe fees by about 70 percent, or $1.2 billion a month. Financial institutions with less than $10 billion in assets are exempt.
Merchants are making a wide variety of plans to pass the savings along to customers who use debit cards, ranging from discounted prices to benefits and increased services such as free delivery at an appliance store, but would be unable to do so if reform is delayed. Some of the moves, such as hiring more sales associates to help customers, could result in significant job creation.
Legislation introduced earlier this month by House Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee Chairwoman Shelley Moore Capito, D-W.Va., would delay implementation of swipe fee reform by a year and require a study of the issue. A similar bill introduced by Senator Jon Tester, D-Mont., calls for a two-year delay.
As the world's largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, NRF's global membership includes retailers of all sizes, formats and channels of distribution as well as chain restaurants and industry partners from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad. In the United States, NRF represents the breadth and diversity of an industry with more than 1.6 million American companies that employ nearly 25 million workers and generated 2009 sales of $2.4 trillion.


National Retail Federation
J. Craig Shearman, 202-626-8134

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Senator Tester Wants Vote to Delay Debit Fee Cap for Two Years

Tester Pushes for Vote This Week to Delay Debit Fee Cap Rules
U.S. Senator Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat, is pushing for a chamber vote as soon as this week on a bill that would delay the start of a U.S. cap on debit-card transaction fees. The bill would put off by two years Federal Reserve rulemaking to cap debit-card interchange, or “swipe” fees, charged to merchants on each transaction. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said today that the central bank wouldn’t meet an April 21 deadline to come up with a final rule. The cap, mandated by the Dodd-Frank law that overhauled the financial industry last year, must be in place by July 21. Tester is trying to attach his bill as an amendment to legislation concerning small-business investment.  <>

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Fed Will Miss April Debit Fee Rule Deadline

According to Dave Clarke at Reuters, debit regulation rules won't happen by April deadline...

* Bernanke says Fed will miss April rule issue deadline
* Says Fed hopes to have rule done by July 21
* Merchants groups encouraged by July commitment
* Banks urge delay (Adds industry consultant reaction) 
WASHINGTON, March 29 (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve will not meet an April 21 deadline for issuing a final rule cracking down on the fees banks charge merchants when a debit card is used, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said in a letter to U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday. The reduction in fees is required under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.
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MasterCard Exec: Debit Fee Regulation Equates with "Creeping Socialism"

 Article courtesy of Reuters

By Sarah N. Lynch
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Opponents of a U.S. government crackdown on debit card processing fees called for delaying its implementation on Tuesday, with one top MasterCard executive equating the proposal with "creeping socialism." At a lively round-table event sponsored by, representatives of credit card companies and small banks duked it out with retail and consumer advocates who support pending rules that would greatly limit how much money banks can charge merchants for debit card transactions.  <<read more>>

Microsoft Incorporating NFC in Windows Phone 7

Now Microsoft wants NFC-enabled smartphones

Posted on Mar 29th 2011 by Starr Keshet - TG Daily
Microsoft, which only recently figured out how to do cut and paste with WP7, is apparently planning to equip its next-gen smartphones with NFC (near field communication) technology. The embedded feature would allow users to pay for items in participating stores simply by bumping or waving a Windows Phone 7 device against a compatible cash register.  According to Bloomberg, the NFC-enabled smartphones are all part of Redmond's cunning plan to "narrow" Android's wide, wide lead in the lucrative smartphone market. 

Indeed, Microsoft is only projected to claim a paltry 5.5% of the mobile OS market in 2011, compared to Android's whopping 39.5%, Apple's impressive 15.9% and BlackBerry's respectable 14.9%.

As expected, Redmond's NFC efforts will be bolstered by its recent deal (read payoff) with Nokia, which has confirmed that Symbian-based NFC smartphones will be standard by the end of 2011.

Although NFC-enabled WP7 devices could arrive as early as this year, Microsoft will likely continue to play catch up with Apple and Google, as both industry heavyweights are reportedly planning to debut NFC smartphones in the very near future.  <>

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American Express Plans Live Audio Webcast of the First Quarter 2011 Earnings Conference Call and of the Annual Meeting of Shareholders

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--American Express Company (NYSE: AXP) plans to host a live audio webcast of its investor conference call at 5:00 pm (EDT) on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 to discuss first quarter 2011 financial results. The company's financial results are scheduled to be announced shortly after the market closes on that day.

The Company also plans to host a live audio webcast of its annual meeting of shareholders on Monday, May 2, 2011 at 9:00 am (EDT). The meeting will be held in the Auditorium at the Company’s headquarters located in lower Manhattan.
Live audio of both the investor conference call and the annual meeting of shareholders will be accessible to the general public at Earnings presentation materials and other earnings-related disclosures will be posted on the website prior to the conference call. Audio replays for both events will be available on the website following each event.

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NFC Mobile Weekly News March 30th

  1. Microsoft to Join Mobile Payment Race

    Mobiledia - Martin Gould - 1 hour ago
    It will use near-field communication, or NFC, technology to enable making payments by bringing the phone close to a special reader at the register. ...

  2. Microsoft Reportedly Planning Mobile Payments for Windows Phone 7

    Mobile Marketing Watch - 1 hour ago
    The first devices sporting mobile-payment technology could debut as early as this year, ... As it now stands, Microsoft controls 14 patents referencing NFC...

    Google to Launch Retail NFC Payment Processing Application 

    Vertical Systems Reseller (blog) - ‎12 hours ago‎
    Similar pilots have been rolled out where NFC chips are embedded into a credit card and payment is debited as customers walk through turnstiles or flash them in front of a register.

    WP7 To Get NFC Payments? 

    everythingWM - Tim Barribeau - ‎5 hours ago‎
    NFC (near field communications, if you want to get fancy) is a technology that's gaining a lot of momentum right now, and in its simplest application will allow you to pay for things just by waving your phone at them.
    Near Field Communication Online News Today

    The NFC-Based Mobile Wallet Isn't Science Fiction... Yet 

    Banktech (blog) - Matt Gunn - ‎2 hours ago‎
    At its Innovation Gallery Walk last night, one of the things Intuit was demonstrating was a mobile NFC payment between two Nexus S devices.

    Microsoft To Add NFC to Windows Phone 7, Says Report 

    PCWorld - Ian Paul - ‎5 hours ago‎
    Microsoft is jumping on the one-swipe mobile payment bandwagon by introducing Near Field Communications (NFC) technology to Windows Phone 7, according to online rumors.

    Gemalto launches NFC software - world sees hardware 

    Register - Bill Ray - ‎9 hours ago‎
    Gemalto's new software platform can handle NFC payments on the SIM and is approved for MasterCard's PayPass - but that's less than half the NFC story no matter what you read elsewhere.

    Enabling payments on legacy hardware 

    Contactless News - ‎3 hours ago‎
    While the lack of near field communication handsets may be hampering widescale deployments of the payment technology, there are some companies carving a niche in supplying solutions that enableNFC payments on existing handsets.

    American Express takes first step towards NFC digital wallet 

    Near Field Communications World - Christopher Brown - ‎Mar 29, 2011‎
    American Express has made its first move towards NFC payments with the launch of a mobile digital wallet. Serve, the brand Amex gave to the alternative payment provider...

    NFC in 2011: Wells Fargo Tests Mobile Payments in San Francisco 

    ReadWriteWeb - Sarah Perez - ‎3 hours ago‎
    You can follow this series by clicking the tag (or bookmarking the tag) "NFC 2011." This post assumes you are familiar with the term NFC as well as the technology's use in mobile payments. If you're just starting to learn about NFC, you should begin ...

    With Square In Its Sights, Intuit Readies A Tablet App For GoPayment 

    TechCrunch - ‎15 hours ago‎
    Mobile payments are finally taking off right now. But it is not mobile wallets for consumers with NFC-chipped mobile phones leading the way.

    Apple iPhone 5 Release Date Rumors - NFC Payment Feature Included? - ‎Mar 23, 2011‎
    Perhaps if more BlackBerry and Android devices have NFC, it would prompt retailers to upgrade their point-of-sale systems. What do you think of the concept of NFC payment features allowing you to pay for goods and services when you're out and about?

    Google Gets Closer to NFC Payment, But Has Yet to Reveal Other Players 

    American Banker - Sean Sposito - ‎Mar 24, 2011‎
    Samsung Electronics Ltd. in December announced a smartphone, the Nexus S, that runs Google's Android software and has a built-in NFC chip. However, the chip in the Nexus S is read-only, whereas payments typically require two-way signals.

    Google to launch NFC payment systems 

    Fortune - Seth Weintraub - ‎Mar 15, 2011‎
    According to a Bloomberg report today, Google (GOOG) will be testing its Near Field Communications (NFCpayment systems in the next four months, in the New York and San Fransisco areas.

    Inside Secure CEO Sees Mobile Payment Boom - Eric Jackson - ‎6 hours ago‎
    The entire NFC space has been hot as Google(GOOG) has announced support for contactlesspayments through its Android mobile operating system and as there has been much speculation about whether Apple(AAPL) will enter the space.

    Vivotech plans 2012 stock market launch 

    Near Field Communications World - Christopher Brown - ‎Mar 29, 2011‎
    "Mobile commerce will be bigger and grow faster than e-commerce did," Mullagh says. "This market will be absolutely huge.

    RIM And Carriers Gear For NFC Payment Information Battle 

    Hot Hardware - Ray Willington - ‎Mar 21, 2011‎
    Is RIM gearing up with a fight with carriers regarding mobile payments? That's the latest on the street, and based on the facts, we too agree that a battle is in store.

    YESpay-Wallet Launched – Payment Gateways To Drive Penetration 

    Retail Solutions Online (press release) - ‎Mar 29, 2011‎
    YESpay-Wallet supports roll out of retail couponing, loyalty and location-based mobile advertising and marketing services, many of which will use NFC in the future. Standard Visa/MasterCard Paymentapplications are also supported via the wallet.

    The Mobile Lowdown 03-29-11: RIM; Best Buy WiMax; NFC 

    MocoNews - ‎Mar 29, 2011‎
    —MasterCard: Amid lots of reports that Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is teaming up with MasterCard (and others) for an NFC service—nothing confirmed as yet by any company, though—comes a bona fide announcement of an actual step by the payment giant, ...

    RIM Battling with Operators Over NFC Payments - ‎Mar 18, 2011‎
    Mobile Burn: RIM said to arguing with wireless carriers over the implementation of BlackBerry NFC payment systems. "RIM would like to build NFC capabilities directly into its BlackBerry phones and tablets, which would give them control over the ...

    NFC in 2011: A "Potentially Earth-Shaking Development" for Intuit 

    ReadWriteWeb - Sarah Perez - ‎Mar 29, 2011‎
    As you're exploring these resources, check out this helpful resource from our sponsors: Cultivating a Developer Ecosystem: Understanding Their Needs Intuit built a NFC-enabled version of its GoPayment mobile payment processing system over two years ago ...

    Report: Apple halts plans to add NFC payments to iPhone 5 

    Fiercemobilecontent - Jason Ankeny - ‎Mar 14, 2011‎
    Isis plans to introduce NFC payment services in key geographic markets within the next 18 months, partnering with Discover Financial Services to build the necessary mobile payment structure; Discover Financial Services' payment network is accepted at ...

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