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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: 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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Posted: Aug 22, 2018
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[Editor's Note: This article was previously published in CUInsight, and has been modified.]

Depending on the part of the country you are located, back to school shopping is beginning and will continue through September. Gleefully, and somewhat melancholy, Fall 2018 marks the first year since 1993 that I will not be buying back to school supplies, as my three children have now completed K-12 and college. No more shopping for back to school supplies or education needs and wants. 

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Posted: Jul 10, 2018
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A Survival Guide

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

Credit unions face an aging membership base. At the recently held immersion18, Trellance’s annual conference, a survival guide was presented for credit unions to prepare for and counter this trend.

The average age of a credit union member is 47. This means that most members are past their prime borrowing years. Income from interest is the biggest line item on almost every credit union’s income statement, therefore if members are moving from borrowing age to saving age, the average Return on Member (ROM) will start to decline. That’s not to say that savers aren’t valuable members, a credit union needs both.

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Posted: Jul 5, 2018
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Author: Lou Grilli

Two years ago, ThePaymentsReview published an article asking the question “Will contactless payment cards catch on in the United States?” So far, they have not. But if it is up to the major card brands, that will change very soon. 

Most Americans are not familiar with contactless cards, which allow the cardholder to “tap-to-pay”, just like tapping a phone to pay. These cards are also called dual-interface cards, since they can still be used like traditional cards, but also have an antenna that can communicate with a point-of-sale terminal without being inserted or swiped; tapping to pay is the second interface.

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