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Posted: May 3, 2016
Comments: 0
Author: Lou Grilli
It was back in 1999 that many articles were written predicting that the United States would run out of phone numbers, driven by the then fresh surge of cell phones, fax machines, and virtual numbers.  The solution at the time was area code splits and overlays, but neither was very popular. And, it wasn’t that we were really running out of individual numbers.  After all, 10 digits yields some 10 billion unique combinations.
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Posted: Apr 27, 2016
Comments: 2
Author: Lou Grilli

A common counter argument to the move toward mobile payments is that credit cards are not broken, and that swiping or inserting a credit card works perfectly fine. And those people would be right. Credit cards are not going away anytime soon.  However, subtly and surely, the plastic cards we most closely associate with payments are disappearing. Heck, there is much written about that currency will be a thing of the past in the not so distant future.  Yes, we do carry less cash than we used to, but there still are times we need to have some “real” money in hand.

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Posted: Apr 15, 2016
Comments: 0
Author: Lou Grilli
Summary: Any issuer of credit must submit their current credit card (consumer) agreements to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) via email to CardAgreements@consumerfinance.gov no later than May 2. This requirement was in effect in the past, and was suspended, but has now been reinstated. This is a quarterly submission and the next due dates are August 1 and October 31. The August 1 deadline applies to agreements offered to new customers on June 30, while the October 31 deadline applies to agreements offered to new customers on September 30.
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Posted: Apr 7, 2016
Comments: 0
Author: Lou Grilli

As more POS terminals are being upgraded to EMV chip-ready, and more credit unions are getting chip cards in the hands of their members, questions regarding fallback transactions are being generated. 

 What is a fallback transaction?

Simply stated, a fallback transaction occurs when a chip card is presented to a chip enabled terminal ("chip-on-chip"), but the transaction is conducted as a swipe, usually due to the terminal unable to read the chip on the card. This could be due to a defective or scratched chip, a terminal or network incorrectly configured or with a chip reader that is defective (all legitimate reasons for fallback), or a chip intentionally damaged so it cannot be read, on a counterfeit card encoded with magnetic data stolen from a chip card. 

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Posted: Mar 29, 2016
Comments: 0
Author: Lou Grilli

Loyalty programs are undergoing changes on all fronts. American Express announced a new mobile app that will allow membership rewards to be used at the POS, presumably at a devalued exchange rate. Starbucks changed their long-standing rewards program by issuing “stars” based on dollar spend, rather than the number of transactions, causing some consternation among Frappuccino and Oprah Chai aficionados. The way credit and debit card issuers who offer loyalty programs view rewards is also coming under scrutiny.

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