- The Federal Reserve issued a paper outlining “refreshed strategies and nine new tactics” for improving the U.S. payment system; the paper is a follow-up to the Fed’s strategic vision for payments issued in January 2015 and comes in the wake of the July report from the Fed’s Faster Payments Task Force.
- The Federal Trade Commission has banned a Utah-based company from the payment processing business under terms of a settlement. G2 Consulting LLC and its owner, Chad Gettel, provided telemarketing schemes with services that allowed them to get consumers’ money for what the FTC said were “worthless money-making opportunities purportedly involving grants and websites linked to Amazon.com.” The FTC alleged that the defendants created straw companies to hide the telemarketers’ identities and practices to circumvent processing standards. These were telemarketers that were otherwise not eligible to open a merchant account, according to the FTC. Under the settlement, G2 Consulting and Gettel, who is in prison on related mail-fraud charges, are banned from acting as a payment processors, an independent sales organization, or a sales agent for payment-processing services.
- Merchant processor Payment Data Systems Inc. has closed on its acquisition of Singular Payments LLC. The deal will bring more than 1,200 mostly health-care-related merchants, along with more than $500 million in annual processing volume and more than $10 million in annual revenue, to Payment Data Systems. The deal involved a $1.5 million cash consideration and Payment Data Systems common stock valued at $3.5 million.
- Prepaid processor i2c Inc. has launched a so-called multifunction card that allows airline customers to load funds and earn and track frequent-flyer miles.
- Following a trial this summer with employees, U.S. Bank is allowing customers with Amazon accounts to check balances, make payments to their credit cards, and perform other tasks by speaking commands to an Alexa device, such as the Amazon Echo.
- The Apollo terminal from device maker Equinox Payments has been class-A certified by Total System Services Inc. (TSYS). Equinox says this makes the device the only class-A certified countertop EMV device connected to TSYS that is intended for the lodging industry.
- Processor 3DeltaSystems launched Secure PayLink, a system that allows merchants to collect payment by sending an email to customers that contains a link to a Web page where the customers can enter card details.
- With Bitcoin having surged in value this year beyond $4,000 per coin, The Knox Group of Companies, a property developer based in the Isle of Man, said it will accept the digital currency in payment for apartments in a residential and commercial development it is planning in Dubai. A one-bedroom unit will sell for 54 Bitcoins, or $250,000, for example.
- The Electronic Funds Transfer Association, a lobbying and educational group for the electronic-payments industry, announced it will work with the Association for Financial Technology to share information and potentially collaborate on issues.
Cross-border payments firm PPRO announced its acquisition of Allpago, a payment and gateway provider in …