To prepare for the silver anniversary edition of The Green Sheet, we scoured our archives for facts and figures to evoke the payments industry's evolution. Listed by publication date, here is a sampling of industry milestones over the last 25 years.
Transactions on general purpose cards total 3.64 billion, most done on imprinters (knucklebusters).
32.8 percent of the U.S. public carry bankcards.
Senate bill HR 1197, which would have capped all credit card interest rates at 8 percentage points over the yield for one-year treasury securities, is defeated.
MasterCard International wants San Francisco bank management consulting firm Edgar Dunn & Co. to convert 78 million credit cards in the United States from mag stripe to smart card microchip encoding.
The Automated Clearing House begins testing check truncation. It will be a pilot program.
The Green Sheet writes, "While there are many things that ISOs do today for various elements of the payments industry, there is only one thing that ISOs uniquely bring to the process, and that is they can sell! ISOs need a national association which respects selling, focuses on this most valuable element of any business process, and is an advocate of the ISOs."
First Financial Management Corp., owners of Nebanco and TeleCheck (the biggest check guarantee company at the time), plan to merge with First Data Corp., which recently purchased Card Establishment Services Inc., the CitiCorp Bankcard spinoff. The combined organization will control 53.8 percent of all bankcard acceptance in the United States.
ISOs begin to sell Web services.
The Bankcard Services Association changes its name to the Electronic Transactions Association, signaling it has expanded its mission to include the entire payments industry, not just banks.
The National Retail Federation joins Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Sears, Roebuck and Co., and The Limited Inc. in a multibillion dollar antitrust suit against Visa and MasterCard.
The Green Sheet announces its first ISO seminar to debut in January 1998.
The Green Sheet unveils its third annual check study.
The ETA launches its Web site.
Microsoft Corp. and First Data Corp. partner to introduce electronic bill presentment and payment (online bill payment).
E-Sign legislation is approved; e-signatures are given the same legal status as signatures on paper contracts.
Credit card truncation law in California to take effect Jan. 1, 2002.
First Data plans to acquire TASQ Technology Inc.
"On Feb. 15, 2002, PayPal debuted on Nasdaq, becoming the first Internet stock offering of the year, as well as the first successful stock offering in many months from a profitless Internet company," The Green Sheet writes.
The Australian government prepares to limit interchange rates imposed by Visa and MasterCard.
PanIP LLC sues 11 businesses, alleging the companies infringed on PanIP's online payment processing patents.
The National Association of Payment Professionals to hold first conference.
First Data Corp. agrees to purchase Concord EFS Inc. for roughly $7 billion.
Organizers of the first Midwest Acquirers Association convention hope to get 150 attendees to come to Chicago. The final tally is 396.
Intuit Inc., makers of QuickBooks accounting software, agrees to acquire Innovative Merchant Solutions to enable Intuit to tap into the merchant account services market.
The Check Clearing in the 21st Century Act (Check 21) is set to go into effect in fall 2004.
NOVA to acquire the portfolio of Union Bank of California.
McDonald's gets into contactless with MasterCard's PayPass.
Visa Cardholder Information Security Program rules are established.
Discover Network buys the Pulse network for $311 million.
United Bank Card introduces free terminals.
Merchant cash advance heats up.
First Data and JPMorgan Chase & Co. merge their acquiring organizations to form Chase Paymentech LP.
MasterCard pushes its initial public offering to the second quarter of 2006.
PIN debit theft skyrockets.
MasterCard International changes its name to MasterCard Worldwide.
Visa U.S.A. plans to disclose its operating regulations to both merchants and U.S. Senators, effective Sept. 1, 2006, but with certain conditions.
Heartland Payment Systems Inc. establishes the Merchant Bill of Rights.
Plans are disclosed for Visa International, Visa U.S.A. and Visa Canada to merge and become Visa Inc. Visa Europe to become a licensee of Visa Inc.
Discover Financial Services LLC to spin free of parent company Morgan Stanley and go public in the third quarter of 2007.
A computer intrusion at level 1 retailer TJX Co. Inc. is disclosed and may have far-reaching consequences.
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. to purchase First Data for $29 billion.
New Arkansas law to cap early termination fees at $50, or one month's minimum charge, assessed on Arkansas merchants for early termination of contracts with nonbank processing companies.
A U.S. District Court rules against the AdvanceMe Inc. patent infringement lawsuit, opening up the merchant-funding floodgates for cash advance.
Visa goes public, representing the biggest IPO in U.S. history.
Discover agrees to purchase Diners Club International Ltd. from Citigroup Inc. for $165 million.
The U.S. Court of Appeals rejects an appeal filed by AdvanceMe.
The joint venture between First Data Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co known as Chase Paymentech to be broken up by the end of 2008.
Visa caps interchange rates for debit and prepaid fuel transactions in an effort to help lower costs for oil companies and service stations, which can pass savings on to consumers.
The American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008 is signed into law; it requires acquirers to turn over merchant credit and debit card transactions to the Internal Revenue Service starting in 2010.
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