- The Federal Trade Commission has started a preliminary inquiry into whether Visa Inc., Mastercard Inc., and large debit card issuers are blocking merchants from routing transactions over PIN-debit networks, the Bloomberg Law news service reported, citing anonymous sources. FTC investigators reportedly have contacted merchants and their trade groups, Bloomberg Law said. Spokespersons for the Retail Industry Leaders Association and the Merchant Advisory Group confirmed to Digital Transactions News that their groups have spoken with the FTC, but provided no details. Visa modified its EMV debit card routing policies following an FTC probe in 2016.
- Spreedly Inc., a provider of software for payment security and transaction routing, said it received a $75 million investment from private-equity firm Spectrum Equity Management L.P. Spreedly will use the funding for product development and global expansion.
- Early Warning Services LLC said it and Everfi, an education-technology company, are teaming up to offer free financial-education classes to more than 1,000 high schools.
- Blackhawk Network Canada, a unit of Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc., said The Keg Steakhouse + Bar will use Blackhawk for its online digital gift card program.
- Square Inc. and the National Christmas Tree Association released a Christmas tree calculator to help consumers select optimal days to buy a tree.
Toast Inc., a software, point-of-sale hardware, and payments provider for restaurants, has raised $400 million …