Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Scary Peek Into Square’s New Privacy Policy

Payment Facilitator has an eye-opening run-down of the changes Square has recently made in its privacy policy for both merchants and their customers. “'These updates provide additional clarity and transparency, making our terms easier to read and understand. We encourage you to review the sections that apply to you, depending on how you engage with Square,' Square said in a Tuesday e-mail blast to customers.

"One document, for example, deals only with those who have applied for a Square account (overwhelmingly merchants) as opposed to consumers. Sometimes, though, a consumer is a direct Square customer but is not acting as a merchant (such as person-to-person transactions transferring money from consumers to consumers, and sometimes a consumer temporarily acts as a merchant (for perhaps a garage sale).

"That raises the prospect that this could prove more complicated because it will require people to read more documents."

Click HERE for the full Payment Facilitator article, and its likely consequences.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Retailers to FTC: PCI DSS part of an 'anticompetitive scheme'

In the ongoing saga that is the National Retail Federation vs. the major credit card networks, NRF has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council for possible antitrust violations.

PCI SSC is the standards-setting body established in 2006 by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and JCB and governed by representatives of those networks. Banks and merchants must implement security standards developed by the council or face banishment from network participation.

NRF's request comes as the FTC is conducting an inquiry into how third-party companies perform assessments of PCI compliance by retailers and other businesses that accept credit cards.

In a letter to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, NRF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mallory Duncan wrote:

The following is from ATM Marketplace:

It is … our understanding that the FTC may be considering PCI DSS as indicia of industry best practices and/or reasonable data security standards.

We urge the FTC not to rely on PCI DSS for any purpose, particularly not as an example of industry best practices nor as a benchmark in determining what may constitute reasonable data security standards in the payment system or any other sector.
An accompanying white paper warned that the motivations behind PCI "conflict with the interests of businesses and consumers who use the payment card system":

PCI effectively stifles competition and innovation by consuming funds otherwise available for data security, and for adoption and implementation of new — possibly more secure — payment technologies.

The card networks, in other words, unfairly leverage their brands and proprietary technology through webs of closely-controlled interdependent bodies and compliance regimes. PCI is very much a part of this overall anticompetitive scheme. The FTC should be very wary of the nature of PCI and the effects of its standards and processes. Ultimately, PCI is a mechanism through which the payment card networks that control it unfairly leverage their market power.

NRF asked that the FTC investigate the council's practices in general and particularly their impact on competition. The FTC should also reject government use of PCI standards as any benchmark for data security, and instead work with "legitimate U.S. standard setting bodies" such as the American National Standards Institute, NRF said.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Cloud Vs. On-Premise Sales Tax Solutions

Download the White Paper from Avalara HERE.

50 States. 50 Sales Tax Rules. 100% Frustrating.

You can download a White Paper from Website magazine HERE.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Congress gives final OK to banning local Internet taxes

According to The Journal,  "State and local governments would be permanently barred from taxing access to the Internet under a bipartisan compromise that Congress is a step away from sending to President Barack Obama.


"The Senate was expected to vote Thursday to approve the language, part of a wide-ranging measure that would also revamp trade laws.
"The Internet tax provision had broad support, with few senators eager to oppose the bill and open the door to taxing online access during an election year. Nonetheless, some were resisting the legislation because of trade provisions and a long-running dispute over a separate proposal on taxing online sales to consumers.
"Since 1998, in the Internet's early days, Congress has passed a series of bills temporarily prohibiting state and local governments from imposing the types of monthly levies for online access that are common for telephone service. Such legislation has been inspired by a popular sentiment that the Internet should be free — along with Republican opposition to most tax proposals.
"Until now, states that had already imposed Internet access taxes have been allowed to continue. Under the bill the Senate was considering, those states would have to phase out their taxes by the summer of 2020.
"Seven states — Hawaii, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin — have been collecting a combined $563 million yearly from Internet access, according to information gathered by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.
"The House approved the compromise Internet and trade bill in December, with the backing of nearly all Republicans but just 24 Democrats. Despite two requests, White House press aides did not provide an administration position on the measure.
"The legislation — especially its trade provisions — has pitted the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups supporting the bill against opponents including the AFL-CIO and other labor organizations.
"Supporters say the measure would strengthen U.S. trading by improving protections for American intellectual property like copyrights and trademarks and upgrading trade law enforcement at the country's borders.
"They also cite provisions reinforcing the government's ability to head off China and other countries from manipulating their currency to make their exports more affordable, cracking down on imported products made with child labor and accelerating investigations into companies accused of evading the payment of duties."
For more details, see http://tiny.cc/4p7g9x

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

PCI 3.0 Starts Jan. 1, 2016

Here's a good infographic that summarizes the text from the PCI Security Standards Council.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

MNP Retail partners with NetDespatch

UK- and US-based multichannel systems vendor MNP Retail has formed a partnership with NetDespatch to enable MNP customers to streamline workflow by integrating with Royal Mail and other carriers; print the correct shipping labels, customs documentation and manifests, as well as automatically send electronic pre-advice data to the carrier.

Headquartered in Salisbury, UK and with offices in Delaware US, MNP’s expertise in Order Management Systems (OMS), Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) and product procurement platforms helps online and bricks and mortar organisations deliver their brand experience, grow top line sales and improve bottom line margin through system automation.

A particular challenge for MNP was the time, complication and cost associated with integrating with various carriers individually. Through its partnership with NetDespatch, MNP has been able to boost the delivery options available to its customers, by offering integration with Royal Mail alongside other leading UK parcel carriers and Click and Collect networks.

MNP Retail customer Crew Clothing is a primary beneficiary of the MNP and NetDespatch partnership. Crew Clothing began trading in the UK in 1992 in coastal towns and developed a strong following of mail-order customers on the back of its in-store success. The company has grown significantly since then and now operates 78 stores with a thriving online presence, as well as successful mCommerce and call centre sales channels in the UK and EU.

Cora McDonnell, Projects Manager at Crew Clothing said, “Using NetDespatch has significantly benefited our business. Before the integration our warehouse staff were really frustrated with the amount of effort that was needed to ship parcels. Labels were constantly out of alignment and we had a number of issues scanning the barcodes. As soon as we went to NetDespatch all of these problems were ironed out and now we don’t have any issues when utilizing the Royal Mail service.”

Crew Clothing has an omni-channel driven growth strategy for 2016. Central to these omni-channel operations is the MNP OMS which manages the direct inventory, CRM, customer services, direct fulfilment and together with NetDespatch will help to deliver the ultimate customer experience. The end-to-end solution is designed to seamlessly enable top line growth, improve margins and deliver a great customer experience.

Cora McDonnell, Crew Clothing continued, “It was actually Royal Mail who recommended NetDespatch to us. It was their preference that we used NetDespatch and we would definitely recommend it to others.”
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