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July 31, 2013 by Madeline Aufseeser

The legacy of the Durbin amendment continues: A U.S. District Court has now ruled against the Federal Reserve Bank in a lawsuit brought to the court by merchant groups. The ruling claims that the Fed disregarded the intent of the amendment by inappropriately inflating debit card transaction fees above the average cost of the fees. While there is no doubt that this ruling will be appealed and continue to play out in the courts, the consequences of this decision will be significant. If the ruling stands, the implications for the checking debit card and prepaid debit card markets could devastate the economics of these businesses.

Possible implications include:

July 16, 2013 by Nancy Atkinson

Last week, Aite Group published my new report, Deploying Emerging Technology to Improve Remittance-Details Processing, on middle-market companies' receivables processing challenges. The research shows that only 18% of middle-market companies (US$10 million to US$500 million in revenue) use lockbox solutions, while 67% of large corporations (greater than US$500 million in revenue) do so, indicating that middle-market companies have not embraced available technology to automate and speed receivables posting.

July 8, 2013 by Madeline Aufseeser

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman put payroll cards in the spotlight last week when he launched an investigation on card fees. The investigation, prompted by a New York Times article, failed to properly represent the benefits of payroll cards over paper checks, creating a misperception that "in the overwhelming majority of cases, using the card involves a fee" paid by the employee/consumer.

July 2, 2013 by Stephen Wall

Falcon Private Bank, the Zurich-based entity formed in 2009 following the acquisition of AIG Private Bank by a business attached to the government of Abu Dhabi, has struck a deal to buy the Central and Eastern Europe private banking business of fellow Swiss private banking entity Hyposwiss Private Bank Zurich. The deal, agreed to with Hyposwiss’s parent, St. Galler Kantonalbank, is Falcon’s second in the last year and provides further evidence that the Swiss private banking and wealth management sector is ripe for deal-making. Falcon, which bought the London-based Clariden Leu business from Credit Suisse in October 2012,  fits the profile of a cash-rich buyer, today something of a rare but in-demand commodity.