FINANCE

U.S. court upholds Fed’s cap on swipe fees; NRF ‘disappointed’

BY Marianne Wilson

Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia on Friday overturned a lower court’s decision in July that favored the merchants and was a setback for banks. The National Retail Federation expressed disappointment with the decision, which will keep the Federal Reserve’s cap on debit card swipe fees at 21 cents rather than reducing it to a lower level.

“NRF is disappointed and remains confident that the Federal Reserve erred when it set the swipe fee cap far higher than intended by Congress,” said NRF senior VP and general counsel Mallory Duncan. “The Fed ignored congressional intent and worked to shield debit card companies and big banks.”

Under the Durbin Amendment provisions of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection and Wall Street Reform Act, the Federal Reserve was required to adopt regulations that would result in debit card swipe fees that were “reasonable” and “proportional” to the actual cost of processing a transaction. The Fed calculated the actual average cost at 4 cents per transaction and initially proposed a cap no higher than 12 cents, but eventually settled on 21 cents after heavy lobbying from the financial services industry.

While far improved from the average of 45 cents before the cap was set, NRF thought the figure was higher than what was sought by Congress and filed an appeal in U.S. District Court in 2011 along with other retail groups. In 2013, Judge Richard Leon ruled in NRF’s favor and ordered the Fed to recalculate the cap at a lower level, but the Fed appealed. On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals overturned Leon’s ruling.


The Fed, which had appealed the lower court ruling, said Friday that it was pleased with the appeals court decision.

The banking industry welcomed the ruling.

"Reasonable minds have prevailed," Richard Hunt, president of the Consumer Bankers Association, said in a statement.

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P.Ashton says:
Mar-22-2014 03:12 pm

There is a cap on surcharges,
There is a cap on surcharges, according to Forbes, which is the amount of the swipe fee plus the “average network fees,” meaning other associated costs with doing business with credit card companies. It doesn’t exactly mean paying with credit cards will require installment loan to pay for the credit card fees; likely it will just be a few dollars at most.

P.Ashton says:
Mar-22-2014 03:12 pm

There is a cap on surcharges, according to Forbes, which is the amount of the swipe fee plus the “average network fees,” meaning other associated costs with doing business with credit card companies. It doesn’t exactly mean paying with credit cards will require installment loan to pay for the credit card fees; likely it will just be a few dollars at most.

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News

Simon Property launches new business to invest in retail tech innovation

BY Marianne Wilson

Indianapolis — Simon Property Group is launching a new business, Simon Venture Group, that will invest in retail innovation, focusing on technology opportunities that enhance the shopping experience.

"We believe we have only scratched the surface on applying technology to the retail environment in innovative, interesting ways," said Mikael Thygesen, chief marketing officer of Simon Property Group.

The new venture will be led by J. Skyler Fernandes, who will be responsible for identifying, evaluating, and making investments. Fernandes was previously a partner at Centripetal Capital Partners, a multi-stage venture capital fund, where he concentrated on consumer Internet, retail, and high-tech with commercial applications. He is also the founder of One Match Ventures, a seed fund focused on consumer Internet and high-tech companies.
Simon Property currently owns or has an interest in more than 325 retail real estate properties in North America, Asia and Europe comprising approximately 243 million sq. f.

Plans call for Simon Venture Group to invest in early-stage to high-growth technology companies, making seed to series C+ investments and focusing on both direct and indirect strategic investment opportunities.

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SUPPLY CHAIN

Canada Post and Thinkwrap collaborate on shipping data for Oracle Commerce

BY Dan Berthiaume

Ottawa, Canada – E-commerce solution provider Canada Post and and e-commerce integrator Thinkwrap Commerce have launched new collaboration designed to simplify and accelerate incorporation of Canada Post’s shipping data into Oracle Commerce. By making it easier for retailers to incorporate Canada Post’s data with Oracle Commerce, the collaboration between Thinkwrap and Canada Post is designed to help retailers strengthen their e-commerce customer experience by providing shoppers with choice and convenience.

Customer-centric features include increased options for shipping times, delivery locations and easy returns, as well as improved tracking. At the center of the collaboration is a pre-built and reusable accelerator, a plug-in type software developed by Thinkwrap for Oracle Commerce. The accelerator makes real-time incorporation with Canada Post’s shipping data easier, without the need for additional customization. A more simplified process will enable and encourage more Canadian retailers to incorporate shipping data into their online stores.

"This new collaboration will allow Canada’s biggest retailers to better meet their customers’ online shopping expectations by providing them with the kind of options they want. Improving the end-to-end online shopping experience is key to making e-commerce in Canada stronger, and more competitive," said Rene Desmarais, senior VP, parcels, Canada Post.

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