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ECS is available for discussions with Developers in need of an integrated payments solution

 

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA – March 16, 2017 – ECS, a leading provider of integrated payment solutions to software developers will be attending the Indoor Environment and Energy Expo in Nashville, TN on March 21st – 22nd . ECS’s Director of Integrated Payments, Chris Yurko, will be available for discussion on March 21st – 22nd on the complexities faced by developers when integrating a payment solution.

This event offers an excellent opportunity to see demonstrations of ECS’s integrated payments solution suite and spend time with ECS’s executive and subject matter expert. The IE3 event will bring software developers together to share best practices and experiences with integrating payment solutions.

“Software developers are working to include the ability to accept payments in a safe PCI compliant way,” said Chris Yurko, Director of Integrated Payments. “ECS has been working closely with our clients to safely and efficiently set up integrated payments in their software systems.” Yurko added.

ECS’s robust solutions provide credit card terminal or API integration for your web developer, a cloud-based POS system. Available for 24/7 to support, ECS will assign a dedicated account executive be available around the clock to make sure needs are met. ECS is a proud member of NACHA, PHCC and a provider of custom ACH solutions and web solutions. If you are a developer, you may be interested in our E-commerce, or API for unique iOS and Android platforms. Other services offered are cross-currency transactions, gift and loyalty programs and so much more.

 

About ECS
ECS delivers comprehensive merchant processing and integrated payment software solutions to merchants and developers looking to accept payments in all forms. Headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, the company brings world-class technology to companies serving the merchant and developer population. For more information, visit http://ecspayments.com/ or call 888.327.2860.

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November 24, 2015

The annual holiday-spending frenzy is about to kick off, and if a consumer survey released on Monday is any indication, it will feature a lot more debit card and cash usage and a lot less mobile payment than you might have expected.

Some 39% of consumers intend to use cashmost often this holiday season, while 31% indicated debit card, according to a survey of 1,000 consumers conducted earlier this month by New York City-based Bankrate Inc. Throw in a modest 3% designating check, and fully 73% plan to use a cash-based payment method between now and Christmas. Just 22% said they’d use a credit card most often (1% said “other” and 3% didn’t know).

That result could throw cold water on many merchants’ sales projections for the season, since a heavy reliance on cash and debit cards would crimp the open-to-buy potential offered by credit. Certainly, the numbers stunned the folks at Bankrate. “That was the headline surprise for us,” analyst Mike Cetera tells Digital Transactions News.

Of course, it’s possible people fudged their intentions somewhat, fearing that expressing a preference for credit might have made them seem imprudent. “There’s this possible disconnect,” Cetera says, between what people say they’ll do and what they actually do. “It remains to be seen what the reality is,” he adds.

That’s borne out by historical reality. Looking at fourth-quarter data for Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. since 2010, credit card transactions have grown about 9% per year on average, compared with 6% for debit. Granted, throughout this period, the volume of debit transactions in the holiday quarter was about double that of credit. Also, early in that four-year period, Visa lost significant debit volume because of routing rules prescribed by the Durbin Amendment—though MasterCard gained debit traffic for the same reason.

The preference for debit is strongest—and weakest for credit—among those aged 18-29, according to the Bankrate survey. Here, 48% say they’ll use a debit card most often for holiday shopping, compared with just 14% preferring a credit card. By comparison, the next oldest age group, those 30-49, is nearly equal in its card preferences, with 28% citing debit cards and 24% credit cards.

Bankrate also asked about point-of-sale mobile payments, and here the sentiment was notably tepid. Among the 70% of surveyed consumers who have Internet access on their phones, 84% said they have no plans to use a mobile wallet in stores. Some 14% said they do. The rest didn’t know, didn’t have a wallet on their phone, or didn’t plan to do holiday shopping.

The most often cited reasons for not planning to use mobile payments were fears about security (36%) and a feeling other methods are more convenient (31%). The unease about security comes despite widespread availability of tokenization for card credentials and biometric authentication. “It demonstrates there’s an education gap,” says Cetera. “There’s also fear of the unknown. If you’ve never made a mobile payment, what happens to your data at the point of sale is a valid concern.”

Education may overcome the security concern, but the convenience factor, Cetera warns, is a longer-term problem for mobile wallets. “It’s just as easy for me to take my credit card out as to take my phone out,” he notes. So mobile-payments services need to offer substantial consumer incentives to induce usage, at least in the early going, he says.

Still, the convenience gap may narrow as EMV chip cards proliferate and consumers discover how much dipping their cards in an EMV reader stretches out transaction times. “I’ve been frustrated with how EMV payment works,” Cetera says.


Source:  John Stewart, Digitial Transactions

For more information go to:  

http://digitaltransactions.net/news/story/Holiday-Spending-May-Feature-More-Debit-And-Cash_-Mobile-Payments_-Not-So-Much

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November 24, 2015 

Overview

Square Inc., a payments processing company led by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, went public yesterday. Despite the company’s weak financials dominating headline coverage over the past few days, technology-focused firms such as Square continue to grow in market share within the Credit Card Processing and Money Transferring industry. Despite traditional major players such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express expanding their revenue at over an annualized 7.0% over the past five years, their market share in the $55.5-billion industry has stagnated since 2011. In particular, companies like PayPal and Square have been able to leverage trends in e-commerce and mobile device proliferation to expand into new markets and outperform the industry as a whole.

Impact

Prior to the entrance of technology-focused firms, the industry was commonly classified as a mature industry. Operators earned steady revenues as they celebrated their market position as the cornerstone of American credit card transaction processing for both consumers and businesses. However, the rise of e-commerce and increased access to the internet has forged a path for new entrants. In the five years to 2015, IBISWorld estimates that e-commerce sales and the number of mobile internet connections will increase at an annualized 10.4% and 22.9%, respectively. These trends reflect the shift towards web and mobile based commerce as consumers increasingly utilize the internet to make purchases and conduct business activities. As a result, tech-based solutions have paired the rise of e-commerce and mobile app usage to carve out new markets in what appears to be a new frontier in a very profitable and very competitive industry.

At the forefront of this shift are companies like PayPal, which are latching on to these trends to further develop market share. So far, it’s worked. Since 2010, PayPal has established themselves as the premier e-commerce company to conduct transactions through. Along the way, PayPal has expanded into different web and mobile based markets such as retail payments and peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions. As their presence in these markets has grown, so has their market share. Since 2010, PayPal has increased their stake in the industry from 4.4% in 2010 to an expected 8.3% in 2015. Additionally, Square Inc. has integrated these trends into their core business line, payment processing, by attracting mom-and-pop shops with a free Point-Of-Sale (POS) system, business analytics and fluid user experience to gobble up the low-end of the market, which IBISWorld considers significant. According to the US Census, 62.0% of US business establishments  have one to four employees. Further, with the inclusion of sole-proprietorship owned establishments, that figure rises to 92.0% of US businesses. These figures serve as a proxy when analyzing the potential size of the lower-end of the market and remain critical in understanding the potential effect Square can have on the industry. In addition, both PayPal and Square have established themselves as premier P2P money transferring services through their mobile apps, a space in which they dominate. In point, the idea and implementation of tech-based solutions such as these are quickly allowing new entrants to gain a footing in new markets within the industry, which could disrupt the dominating market presence of traditional players in the future.

Outlook

As tech-based companies become more dominate in their respective markets, they will be in a strong position to leverage their market position, technology and user base down the road to compete for larger or more profitable corners of the industry. However, traditional firms still remain poised to dominate market share within the industry and revel in high operating profits, which are on average pegged at 50.0% of revenue. Margins remain high as a result of their already established infrastructure and enormous debit and credit card transaction volumes, of which, a significant portion can be attributed to the rise of e-commerce. However, it is still in the best interest of these traditional players to take action, which they have. Visa, MasterCard and AMEX have all taken steps to integrate their business into other transaction payment processing platforms such as Google Wallet and Apple Pay, as a way to establish presence in new markets within the industry.

Source: Evan Hoffman, November 20, 2015, IBIS World, Media Center. 

For More information go to: http://media.ibisworld.com/2015/11/20/square-ipo-spotlights-changing-payment-processing-landscape/?utm_source=feedburner&

 

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November 25, 2014

By Digital Transactions News Staff

Electronic-commerce spending from work and home desktop computers from Nov 1-23 hit $17.5 billion, up 11% from $15.8 billion in the same period a year earlier, Internet metrics firm comScore Inc. reported Tuesday.

Most e-commerce spending is charged to credit and debit payment cards, so the early results for the 2014 holiday season bode well for merchant acquirers and payment processors looking for higher transaction volumes. Reston, Va.-based comScore’s estimates exclude auctions and large corporate purchases.

The company predicts desktop e-commerce volumes for the full 2014 holiday season will exceed 2013’s by 14%. Gian Fulgoni, comScore chairman emeritus, says the season can hit that goal despite the early results being 3 percentage points short.

“It is important to note that this gap should be essentially made up with the extra shopping day between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year compared to last year,” Fulgoni said in a news release. “In addition, given the recent strength on certain individual spending days it is likely we’ll see our first ever billion-dollar spending day occur prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, before the heaviest part of the season even kicks off.”

Last week, comScore predicted that total retail consumer online spending would grow 16% this holiday season to $61 billion from last year’s $52.8 billion. That includes the estimated 14% increase in desktop e-commerce to $53.2 billion, and $7.87 billion in mobile commerce, up 25%.

 

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Three years after the Durbin Amendment took effect, the law’s painful impact on the cost of selling soda, candy, newspapers, and other small-ticket items remains an issue. And things may stay that way unless the newly elected Congress acts after taking office at the turn of the year, observers say.

The problem is that Durbin, which capped debit card interchange for issuers with $10 billion or more in assets, did not foresee that the price ceiling could actually result in higher costs for low-value merchandise. This perverse effect actually happened with the interchange limits enacted by the Federal Reserve, which was charged with implementing the amendment.

While the Fed’s cap cut debit interchange roughly in half, its ceiling for regulated issuers, 21 cents plus a small allowance for fraud losses, is dramatically higher than the small-ticket rates merchants would otherwise pay. On a $1 candy-bar sale, for example, a regulated Visa card transaction costs 21 cents in interchange, but the same transaction on an unregulated card costs just 6 cents.

Not until about the $12 price level does the cap begin to result in lower interchange cost, assuming the Visa rate for small-ticket goods. Debit cards from regulated issuers account for about two-thirds of all U.S. debit cards in circulation.


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Over the past several years, during his conference calls with analysts to review Discover Financial Services’ quarterly earnings, chief executive David W. Nelms occasionally took swipes at Visa Inc.’s efforts to maintain its dominant debit card market share in the wake of the Durbin Amendment, which severely undercut Visa’s Interlink PIN-debit network. For example, in response to an analyst’s question in December 2012 about why transaction growth at the Discover-owned Pulse PIN-debit network had slowed down slightly, Nelms, without mentioning Visa by name, referred to the “Goliath in the industry” and its alleged “hijack-transaction actions.”

On Tuesday, Discover, through Pulse, took its gripes against Visa to U.S. District Court in Houston. In a 93-page civil complaint, Pulse accused Visa of being a “long-time monopolist” in the debit market and of instituting programs since Congress passed the Durbin Amendment as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act to force more debit transactions to come Visa’s way, to the detriment of Pulse and other PIN-debit networks. The 10-count complaint alleges antitrust violations of the federal Sherman Act and of Texas law. Houston-based Pulse wants the court to put a freeze on Visa’s Fixed Acquirer Network Fee (FANF) price structure and its PIN-Authenticated Visa Debit (PAVD) program.

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Federal Judge Richard Leon's decision to overturn a U.S. Federal Reserve rule on debit card interchange fees charged by banks represents a victory for retailers, and will likely force the Fed to reduce such fees. Leon ruled that the Fed did not do an adequate job of ensuring that the fees accurately reflected the actual cost of debit card transaction processing, as stipulated by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial law. He says the Fed settled on higher fees than originally proposed by factoring in bank costs that were clearly disallowed by Congress. Several leading small-ticket item merchants had pressed the judge to reject the Fed rule, arguing that debit costs for small transactions had skyrocketed since it was enacted. However, Leon's decision was criticized by the financial sector, which notes that debit fee caps have not spurred retailers to lower their prices. Meanwhile, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) praised the ruling, and said it "will lead to lower interchange rates for billions of debit card transactions each year." Debit fees will not be immediately affected by the ruling, as it provisionally delays enforcement of the decision. Leon has scheduled an Aug. 14 court date to discuss the next course of action, and suggests that he would give the Fed "months, not years" to remedy the regulations.

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Yesterday, The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a decision striking down the Federal Reserve’s price caps on debit interchange fees. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled that the Federal Reserve did not appropriately fulfill Congress's intent of the Durbin Amendment, a provision of the Dodd-Frank legislation. Fees will not be lowered, however, until the Fed adopts new standards. In the decision, Leon said it should take “months, not years” to develop new rules.

Judge Leon said that the Federal Reserve had not properly interpreted the 2010 financial overhaul law, which directed it to revamp the way banks charge merchants for accepting debit cards. “The board has clearly disregarded Congress’s statutory intent by inappropriately inflating all debit card transaction fees by billions of dollars and failing to provide merchants with multiple unaffiliated networks for each debit card transaction,” Leon said in his ruling.

The court’s ruling was made in response to a lawsuit brought against the Fed by an array of retailers. The court on Wednesday delayed putting the order into effect. It has scheduled a hearing for Aug. 14 to decide on how to proceed. 

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Beginning January 27, 2013, merchants in the United States and U.S. Territories will be permitted to impose a surcharge on consumers when they use a credit card. Historically Visa has not permitted retailer surcharging, but allowing surcharging was a key provision required by merchants to settle long-standing litigation brought by a class of retailers in 2005.

For more information please visit:

http://usa.visa.com/personal/using_visa/checkout_fees/index.html.

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David Lott, retail payments risk expert at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, examines the lead up to, reaction against, and eventual fallout of the cap on debit card interchange fees imposed by the Durbin Amendment. Lott notes the Durbin Amendment was in some ways a reaction to an escalating arms race between card issuers and retailers over debit interchange fees. Issuers incentivized cardholders to use the more lucrative signature debit or credit options through generous rewards programs, while retailers attempted to enact surcharges or make PIN debit the default option at checkout. After the passage of the Durbin Amendment, issuers said they planned to discontinue debit rewards programs and major banks mulled imposing monthly or annual debit card fees, while others said they would stop offering free checking. A year after Regulation II of the Durbin Amendment went into effect in October 2011, some of these predictions have come to pass. Bankrate data for 2011 showed a 30 percent decline in debit rewards programs, while its September 2012 Checking Survey showed that free checking was continuing to shrink. However, new debit fees did not materialize. Retailers say the interchange cap has helped them lower or hold prices steady, but such claims are difficult to verify, leading most experts to conclude that mid-to-large retailers, who have been able to keep or drive their interchange fees down, were the only ones to truly benefit from the Durbin Amendment.

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