mastercard

Visa, MasterCard Close to Antitrust Settlement

Visa (V) and MasterCard (MA) are close to settling an antitrust case with the Justice Department over credit-card acceptance rules, The Wall Street Journal reported. The settlement could allow merchants to steer customers towards cheaper forms of payment, a setback for a credit card industry that is already gearing up for new regulation, The Wall Street Journal said without naming its sources.

Credit Card Debt Plunges 13.4% in Second Quarter

Credit card debt fell sharply in the second quarter as more consumers paid down debts. Average credit card debt fell 13.4% to $4,951 in the second quarter, the lowest since 2002, analysis company TransUnion said in a statement. The state with the highest average credit card debt was Alaska, with $7,148. The lowest was in Iowa, with $3,792.

AT&T and Verizon to Take on MasterCard and Visa

AT&T and Verizon Wireless are planning a big move into wireless electronic payments, a sector currently dominated by PayPal, Visa, MasterCard and American Express. The plan comes as mobile carriers look for more ways to make money in the U.S. as subscription growth slows.

Weekly Preview: What to Watch for in Earnings

After the crunch of quarterly reports over the past two weeks, things will be fairly quiet on the earnings front Monday, with Loews and Vulcan Materials the key names reporting. But the crush resumes Tuesday, with reports from Coach, MasterCard, Molson Coors, Pfizer and Parker Hannifin.

Goodbye Credit Cards, Hello Smartphones

The smartphone revolution is about to upend another business: credit card processing. With Google's new Android app that allows you to literally pay by phone, and Square's new hardware that turns any iPhone into a transaction processor, your plastic could become obsolete.

Banks May Have 12 Years to Implement Volcker Rule

Banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. may have as long as 12 years to cut their stakes in private-equity units and hedge funds under the new financial reform bill, Bloomberg News reported. The time-frame in the bill, combined with provisions that would allow banks to apply for extensions, make it unclear exactly how quickly banks would have to reduce their investments. Estimates cited by Bloomberg News range from seven years to 12 years.

Congress Steps Up the Battle Over Card 'Swipe Fees'

An increasingly heated debate about so-called swipe fees, the estimated $48 billion that merchants pay to banks and credit card companies for the use of those ubiquitous debit card terminals, is taking place in Congress as it considers a package of reforms that could limit how much merchants can be charged for debit card transactions.

Credit-Card Stocks Slide Over Swipe Fee Regulation

Small-business owners celebrate the Senate approval of an amendment that could curb the swipe fees they pay for each credit-card and debit-card sale. But credit-card companies' shares fall as investors fear the legislation will cut into profits.

Senate Votes for New Debit Card Rules

Striking at a lucrative bank business, the Senate on Thursday voted to force credit card companies to reduce fees for debit card transactions and permit merchants to offer customer discounts based on their payment method.

Your Credit Card Is Watching, and May Not Like Where You Shop

Your credit card issuer already knows whether you have a pet, watch porn or garden in your spare time. But what they are most interested in are changes in your spending patterns. Start shopping at the dollar store instead of Williams-Sonoma and they may just take that as a sign of financial hardship -- a fear that could cause them to cap the credit limit on the account or close it altogether.

Stocks in the News: Alcoa, Palm, UBS

The following is a round-up of news likely to affect stock prices today:

Alcoa Inc. (AA) is the first of the Dow Industrial's 30 companies to report...

Costly Cash: The Feds Won't Protect You From Payday Loans

In the wake of the mortgage loan mess and financial crisis, Congress was hot to regulate this business. But the federal-level effort has lost steam, partly because lawmakers seem to have come around to the industry's point of view rather than the consumer's.

MasterCard Misses, Even With Higher Volume

MasterCard racked up higher transaction volumes in the fourth quarter due to increased consumer spending, but it still disappointed Wall Street. It reported that net income grew 23% to $294 million, or $2.24 a share, while revenue increased 6% to $1.3 billion.