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Posted: Nov 5, 2018
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Over 13M Americans (5.35%) have finished holiday shopping! Now for the good news – the other 95% of shoppers still have not completed!  However, another 18% anticipated being finished by November 1st.  Black Friday is no longer the perceived start to holiday shopping. If issuers are waiting until closer to Black Friday to begin promotions to entice cardholders to use their card products, they will be getting out of the gate late.  A full three weeks late.

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Posted: Nov 1, 2018
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Why Embracing Lifelong Learning Is The Best Gift You Can Give To Your Professional Self

[Editor’s Note: This article was previously published on CUInsight, and has been modified.]

During my recent presentation at Trellance’s Payments Academy, I spoke about the importance of embracing thought leadership in building a personal brand. I challenged the attendees to ask themselves, “What do I want to be known for?” This sparked a conversation among the presenters and attendees about what makes someone an expert. The consensus was that years of experience in your field is just one of the main ingredients in claiming expertise. The other essential component is the expert’s ability to remain relevant and knowledgeable on his/her area(s) of expertise in this ever-changing landscape.

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Posted: Oct 3, 2018
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Author: Lou Grilli

The stakes are high - $90 billion in fees paid collectively by merchants each year, according to Bloomberg. The proposed class action settlement amount is record-breaking - $6.2 billion, the most significant dollar amount ever, to be paid to 12 million merchants who do not opt-out of the settlement.

What does this mean for the future of interchange fees? It’s still murky, at best.

A lawsuit that was being argued since 2005 was finally settled on September 18, 2018, some 13 years later. The class action was initially filed by the National Retail Federation, the Retail Industry Leaders Association, and the National Association of Convenience Stores, collectively representing about 12 million merchants in the U.S. It named Visa, Mastercard, and several large issuers, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. as Defendants. The suit accuses the defendants of conspiring to fix interchange fees that businesses pay to process credit and debit cards. A previous settlement had been reached in 2012 but was thrown out by the courts. This time around, the settlement, which still needs to be approved by the courts, leaves open several unanswered issues.

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Posted: Sep 12, 2018
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Author: Lou Grilli

Debit Push Payments Will Revolutionize Getting Paid, Instantly

[Editor’s Note: This article was previously published in the Payments Journal, and has been modified]

Using a debit card to pay a merchant, in a store or online, is standardized and intuitive. But getting paid is neither. Receiving and depositing a check, getting the money “Venmo’d” to you, by ACH (including direct deposits), and of course, cash, are all options. These options require the payee to wait - until they receive the check, wait until the ACH clears or wait until the Venmo payment can be pushed to a bank account. There is an alternative: debit push payments. The “rails” that debit transactions use to make a purchase from a merchant can be used in the reverse direction, that is, the same rails can be used to push a payment to the debit cardholder’s account, pretty much instantly. Visa calls the capability “Visa Direct” and Mastercard calls it “Mastercard Send”. Both work the same; to allow funds to be pushed by a financial institution or a business to a cardholder knowing only the debit card number; no more having to provide the credit union’s routing number and checking or saving account number.

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Posted: Aug 28, 2018
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[Editor’s Note: Content from this article was previously published on CUToday, and has been modified]

For as long as payments have been around, there has been constant opportunities to invest in card programs to remain relevant by increasing member engagement and attracting new members. Given the continuous rise in the costs of running a successful card program, it is essential to make the time to complete an in-depth review periodically to ensure a smooth running and profitable program.

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