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The 10 Biggest News Items in Payments in 2014
With nearly 15 years as a credit card processor, Instabill copywriters cannot recall a more festive, eventful, disappointing, opportunistic and interesting year in payments. Rather than do a traditional top 10 list commemorating 2014, we broke it down into three categories:
- The Disappointing: There are three things that irked us this year.
- The Festive: Forgive us for going on about our own laurels, but it was a big year for us. We chose the top four accomplishments at Instabill this year.
- The Opportunistic: These three items will carry over into 2015 and need your attention.
The DisappointingWe ranked these three items as the most infamous in 2014:
(Insert Retailer Here) Hit With Data BreachTarget, Michael’s, Home Depot, PF Chang’s, Bebe, Staples. We could go on, but you get the point. Data breaches, so elaborate and organized, are no longer a case of ‘if,’ but more of ‘when’ – that is, if the proper precautions are not taken. Retailers large and small need to invest in ways to ward off hackers.
The US Government Doesn’t Like Your BusinessThe topic of many tradeshows in 2014 was Operation Chokepoint, the initiative by US Department of Justice and FDIC to prevent banking to industries it deems unsavory. Opponents of Operation Chokepoint call it an unconstitutional witch hunt while the feds contend they are extinguishing businesses rife with fraud.
No Marijuana Banking OptionsWith legalization of marijuana, medically and recreationally, in 23 states and the District of Columbia, credit card processing for marijuana merchants has backtracked to near extinction. Instabill was proud to announce a cashless ATM solution at the end of October, but it is since on hiatus as banks remain lukewarm due to the federal government stance against marijuana.
Honorable MentionAs long as we’re talking disappointments, it is hard not to mention online gambling in New Jersey, which netted about 10 percent of the revenue initially expected.
The FestiveHere are four reasons 2014 will be remembered as one of the more prosperous years at Instabill:
Instabill Receives an ‘A’ From CardPaymentOptions.comAt Instabill, we take pride in delivering the best merchant services we can. We believe we are one of the best in the business. It is nice to know others agree with us.
More Business TypesInstabill started out in the high risk space, namely in the online gambling, adult and dating industries. Currently we offer merchant accounts in more than 60 high and low risk industries, many of which we added in 2014. Can’t find credit card processing for your industry? Chat with us at 1-800-318-2713.
Our Partnership With PayretoBy partnering with the good folks at PAYRETO, our many merchants and reselling partners have access to more banking options – mainly in Europe and Asia – and easier integration with a number of secure payment gateways.
Instabill Offers Bitcoin Merchant AccountsInstabill Founder and CEO Jason Field was thrilled to be a featured speaker at the 2014 Crypto Valley Summit in September, where he announced Instabill had banking solutions for Bitcoin companies. The response was overwhelming. As Bitcoin value fluctuates – it hovered around $315 by end of business Monday – we at Instabill believe it is here to stay.
The OpportunisticEnough self-pity. We feel these three subjects in 2014 will evoke action and intrigue in 2015.
Is This THE Year of Bitcoin?We chose the subject of Bitcoin more appropriate for our opportunistic category. Bitcoin’s fluctuation is well documented – but the digital currency is still in its infancy. At Instabill, we believe it has a world of potential. Stay tuned in 2015.
What Are You Doing to Counter Fraud?With credit card data breaches running rampant, it is no longer enough just to be PCI compliant. Merchants, particularly in e-commerce, need to invest in some type of defense – 3D Secure Processing, MaxMind or tokenization – to protect their transactions. When Canada converted to EMV chip credit cards roughly 10 years ago, card not present fraud rose dramatically. As the US migrates to EMV cards, the same is expected.
What Does the New European Interchange Mean?Simply put, by the middle of 2015, credit card transactions will be less expensive for merchants, capped at 0.3 percent per transaction across the 28 countries that make up the European Union. Merchants will undoubtedly benefit and hopefully pass along the savings to the consumers.
And Keep an Eye on These:We're also watching over the subjects of merchant opportunities in Cuba (too early to tell) and mobile payment usage (thanks ApplePay), both expected to make ripples in 2015.
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