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Visa urges secure payments

BY Dan Berthiaume

Foster City, Calif. – Global credit and debit card issuer Visa Inc. has publicly called for adoption of secure payment technology in response to recent high-profile retailer data breaches. In a short statement contained within a financial release, Visa CEO Charlie Scharf said Visa wants to move U.S. retailers toward chip cards that use the Europass, Matercard, Visa (EMV) standard, and away from the more commonly used magnetic stripe cards.

"The recent series of data compromises are terribly unfortunate for everyone involved,” said Scharf. “However, the established and well understood rules that govern traditional networks coupled with the cooperation between merchants, financial institutions, and the networks have minimized the level of the monetary losses. But these incidents remind us of the need for all of us to continue to work together to secure payments from criminals. Visa is committed to ensuring our network operates at the highest level of security available and will continue to move the industry towards the adoption of new safeguards including EMV chip and tokenization. We also will work with all participants to look beyond these technologies.”

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Report: Jos. A. Bank investors support Men’s Wearhouse buyout talks

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hampstead, Md. – Five major investors in Jos. A. Bank — who combined own 17% of the menswear retailer — have told the company’s board they support dialogue with rival menswear retailer Men’s Wearhouse about its proposed $1.6 billion buyout offer, Bloomberg reports. Jos. A. Bank rejected the offer, which is good until March 28, on Jan. 15, and Men’s Wearhouse has publicly called for Jos. A. Bank to reconsider and said it may raise the offer.

The five investors are identified by Bloomberg as P. Schoenfeld Asset Management LP, Beacon Light Capital LLC, Franklin Resources Inc., Pentwater Capital Management LP and Praesidium Investment Management Co.

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Study: Wal-Mart supercenters benefit California communities

BY Dan Berthiaume

Sacramento, Calif. – Wal-Mart supercenters in California benefit communities by supporting additional job creation, small business growth and more robust sales tax revenues. According to a new economic impact report conducted by economist Lon Hatamiya of the Hatamiya Group, on average, California communities with Wal-Mart supercenters fared far better on taxable retail sales than those communities without Wal-Mart supercenters.

In addition, total taxable retail sales in California communities with Wal-Mart supercenters increased by an average of 20.3% after the opening of those stores, and total taxable retail sales in California communities without Wal-Mart supercenters decreased by an average of 11.7% during the same time period.

On average, California communities with Wal-Mart supercenters experienced even stronger gains in the number of retail business permits issued than those communities without supercenters. Total retail business permits in California communities with Wal-Mart supercenters increased by an average of 48.5% after the opening of those stores. Total retail business permits in California communities without Wal-Mart supercenters also increased, but only by an average of 20.3% the same time period.

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