Thursday, 10 May 2012

Canadian Competition Tribunal Hearings Begin in Visa/MasterCard Price Maintenance Case

On May 8, 2012, hearings began before the Competition Tribunal (Tribunal) in the Visa/MasterCard price maintenance case. The case, filed by the Competition Bureau in late 2010, is the first civil price maintenance case to be heard by the Tribunal following amendments to the Competition Act in 2009 that included the repeal of former criminal price maintenance offences.

Some of the restraints being challenged by the Bureau in this case include restrictions on merchants promoting or encouraging the use of credit cards with lower fees, discouraging the use (or refusing to accept) cards with higher fees and requirements to accept all Visa/MasterCard credit cards.

The Commissioner is seeking an order prohibiting Visa and MasterCard from enforcing agreements preventing merchants from encouraging the use of lower-cost payment methods, including rules preventing retailers from discouraging the use of higher-cost credit cards or refusing to accept certain Visa/MasterCard cards.

Trub Launches A New, Ultra Fast Generation of CombOS Dual Interface

Trub introduces the new CombOS DI (Dual Interface) for contactless and contact-based EMV compliant smart card solutions. The second generation is based on the new specifications from MasterCard and Visa and offers an increased transaction speed, new functionalities such as 'data storage' and improved security. CombOS is the portfolio of chip operating systems developed by Trub for EMV compliant smart card solutions combining payment and access.

With the new generation of CombOS DI customers will benefit from increased security thanks to the use of the new Infineon SLE78 chip with Integrity Guard. The new CombOS DI will be available starting from September 2012.

Mobile Financial Services Community Celebrates 10 Years of Banking the Unbanked

The mobile financial services community yesterday celebrated 10 years of banking the unbanked. The world's first mobile financial service in a developing economy went live ten years ago in Africa. Launched by Celpay in Zambia in 2002, and powered by Fundamo, a Visa company, the pioneering service ushered in a movement that has revolutionised the way financial services reach unbanked and underbanked people in developing economies.

"The launch of the Celpay service ten years ago was the beginning of a community that has had a profound social, economic and technological impact in Africa and beyond," said Hannes van Rensburg, CEO, Fundamo. "Implementations such as the one we started in Zambia have ignited the imagination of our community and the wider world. As we look to the future, we are certain that mobile will continue to play a critical role as a driver of financial inclusion worldwide".

The Zambian deployment was a great success with Celpay Zambia processing funds equal to 10% of the Zambian GDP between 2005 and 2010. Today, Celpay Zambia partners with 15 banks. In 2004 Celpay expanded into the Democratic Republic of Congo and has subsequently expanded into Zimbabwe and Uganda. Since its initial launch, Celpay International has processed in excess of US$2 billion in mobile payments.

Samsung and Visa Showcase mPayments at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games

Samsung Electronics and Visa announced that Samsung GALAXY S III, the latest in smartphone innovation, will be Samsung's Olympic Games Phone during the London 2012 Games.

A limited edition showcase device enabled with Visa's mobile payment application, Visa payWave, will be available for Samsung and Visa sponsored athletes and trialists, making it possible to buy merchandise with a wave of the device at thousands of retail locations throughout London.

"Mobile payment services enabled by NFC technology are gaining momentum around the world. The Samsung GALAXY S III has been created with our human needs and capabilities in mind and is the ideal device to showcase the ease and convenience of Visa's mobile payment application at the London 2012 Olympic Games," said DJ Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of Sales and Marketing team of Samsung's Mobile Communications Business.

By the time of the Olympic Games there will be more than 140,000 contactless terminals around the U.K. From the moment visitors land at Heathrow they will be immersed in a contactless payment experience with everything from taxis, to retail outlets, to the Olympic Park itself.

YESpay First to launch Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) for Integrated POS!

YESpay's EMBOSS managed EMV chip & PIN payment service is first to launch Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) as a standard part of its EasyV-Retail payment client software that integrates into any PC-based Point-Of-Sale (POS) retail system. The EasyV-Retail payment client is now integrated with both DCC and Tax Free Shopping functionality that brings a win-win situation for retailers as well as their overseas shoppers!

DCC is an effective way to help differentiate any high-end retail business in a crowded marketplace, increasing the ability to attract and retain international travellers by providing them with a closer home purchasing experience. It is ideal for high-value item retailers who operate in areas with significant flow of international travellers throughout the year or seasonally.

Rohit Patni, EVP Sales & Marketing at YESpay International adds, "DCC is a very interesting proposition for overseas shoppers as well as for merchants. Merchants are able to earn up to 1% extra margin on their foreign-card transactions, and at the same time, foreign shoppers can obtain their tax-free refund receipts automatically at the POS".

Visa and Obopay Collaborate for Near Real-time Electronic Disbursements to Visa Prepaid Cards

Visa Inc. and Obopay announce a collaboration to enable near real-time payment solutions for disbursing electronic funds to a prepaid card. As a result of the agreement, Obopay will offer its partners the ability to disburse funds from their corporate account directly onto a Visa prepaid card which they can provide to a payee and can be particularly valuable in situations in which recipients have an immediate need for funds.

Obopay Disbursements companies can disburse funds using digital payments in place of issuing physical cheques or cash, allowing for more timely disbursement of funds, dramatically reducing the employer's costs and increasing security, convenience, and recipient satisfaction. With the addition of Visa prepaid cards, recipients don't have to wait for and then cash a check or handle large amounts of cash. The solution also enables funds to be disbursed via the PIN debit and ATM networks to which Obopay is connected, as well as via ACH.

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