Receiving Wide Coverage…
Eternal Feud: It's the banking sector's version of the Hatfields and the McCoys: the merchants and the card companies are at it again. And this time, there's a tech twist.
Home Depot has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Visa and MasterCard, charging that retailers pay too much on transactions from debit and credit cards and that the card issuers are in cahoots to prevent the use of chip-based cards that require a PIN number.
"While chip-and-PIN authentication is proven to be more secure, it is less profitable for Visa, MasterCard, and their member banks and it provides a greater threat to their market dominance," the home improvement chain said in a lawsuit filed this week.
If the gripes about swipe fees sound familiar, it's because Home Depot opted out of an earlier agreement in a price-fixing case that addressed many of the same issues. Visa and MasterCard settled with a number of retailers in the 2012 case for $7.25 billion.
Elsewhere, Visa will launch a new Canadian advertising campaign expressing its disappointment that Wal-Mart stores in the country have threatened to stop accepting Visa cards as soon as next month. The fight is – once more – over transaction fees.
Wall Street Journal
Pinschmidt, Out: Treasury's deputy assistant secretary of the Financial Stability Oversight Council is leaving the regulatory body this summer. Patrick Pinschmidt, who also serves as the council's executive director, has not announced his next move. He will be replaced by Jonah Crane, a Treasury advisor and former staffer to Sen. Chuck Schumer.
Ahead of the Curve: The Bank of Canada is developing a digital version of its currency to be used on a blockchain. The R3 consortium is involved. (Speaking of crypto Canuck cash, whatever happened to Royal Canadian Mint's MintChip project? Ah, it got privatized.)
Trans-Atlantic Tremors: Fox Business provides a quick roundup of how the biggest U.S. banks are responding to an upcoming vote in Britain over whether the country should leave the European Union.
Pennywise: PNC and TD Bank have discontinued the use of coin-counting machines after the popular service they use, Penny Arcade, was found to shortchange customers, BankRate.com reports. Relive the rise and fall of these once-fashionable branch fixtures here.