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Mastercard, Visa to Cut Transaction Fees in Europe

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  • Mastercard, Visa to Cut Transaction Fees in Europe

Mastercard and Visa plan to cut transaction fees on purchase made in the Euro-area with foreign issued debit and credit cards, the payment companies hope the move will put an end to their long-standing antitrust battles with Brussels.

Retailers in the region will experience 40 percent reduction in transaction fees on purchases made in the European Economic Area using Mastercard, Maestro, Visa, Visa Electron and V-Pay credit and debit cards issued in the countries outside the EEA.

According to the agreement released on Monday by the companies, the fee on in-store purchases will drop to 0.2 percent of the transaction value for debit cards and 0.3 percent for credit cards.

While online purchases will attract a maximum of 1.15 percent of the transaction value for debit cards and 1.50 percent for credit cards.

European competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, said the binding promises would “reduce the costs borne by retailers” and, along with earlier decisions, “lower prices for European retailers to do business, ultimately to the benefit of all consumers”.

The new transaction fees on foreign-issued cards will come into effect on October 19 and apply for five years.

The commission could fine the companies up to 10 percent of their global turnover if they fail to meet their commitments.

Visa said it “played a central role negotiating a resolution that achieves the best outcome for all parties”.

Mastercard said it saw “the closure of this antitrust chapter as an important milestone for the company”.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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UK Imposed €132.7 Million of GDPR Fines, more than Germany and Italy Combined

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UK Imposed €132.7 Million of GDPR Fines, more than Germany and Italy Combined

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) continues causing hefty fines and penalties for businesses and organizations across European countries even two years after coming into force.

According to data presented by Buy Shares, the United Kingdom tops the list of the most expensive data breach penalties with €132.7 million in total value of GDPR fines, more than German and Italy combined.

Cumulative Value of GDPR Fines Hit €344 Million, a €119 Million Increase in 2020

The primary reason for such a high cumulative value of GDPR fines in the United Kingdom is the data breach penalty imposed by the UK’s data protection authority, ICO, to Marriott International. In November 2018, the American multinational company was fined with €110.4 million after reporting a cyber incident that exposed nearly 340 million guest records.

Last week, the ICO fined British Airways €22 million for failing to protect the personal and financial details of more than 400,000 of its customers, the second-largest GDPR fine in the United Kingdom. The penalty is considerably smaller than the €204.6 million that the ICO initially said it intended to issue back in 2019 after the Magecart group used card skimming to collect the personal and payment information of British Airways` customers.

Far below the United Kingdom, Germany ranked as the second-leading country in Europe with €61.6 million in the cumulative value of GDPR fines, revealed the GDPR Enforcement Tracker data. On October 1st, 2020, H&M Hennes & Mauritz Online Shop was fined with €35.2 million for the insufficient legal basis for data processing, the severest GDPR penalty in the country.

Italian data protection authority (Garante) imposed €57.3 million worth of GDPR fines so far, ranking in third place among European countries. On January 15th, 2020, telecommunications operator TIM was fined €27.8 million for unlawful data processing, non-compliant aggressive marketing strategy, and invalid collection of consents, the steepest penalty in Italy.

France ranked fourth among the European countries with €51.3 million worth of GDPR fines. Austria, Sweden, and Spain follow, with, €18 million, €7million, and €3.9 million, respectively.

Statistics indicate the cumulative value of GDPR fines and penalties hit over €344 million in October, with almost €119 million worth of new fines imposed in 2020.

Top Five GDPR Penalties Account for 70% of Cumulative Fine Value

Behind Marriott’s €110.4 million worth GDPR fine, Google holds second place on the list of the highest data breach penalties. The US tech giant was fined €50 million by France’s data protection regulator, CNIL, for not providing enough information to users about its data consent policies and control in using their data.

H&M Hennes & Mauritz Online Shop ranked third on this list with €35.2 million worth GDPR fine. Italian telecommunications operator TIM and British Airways round the top five list with €27.8 million and €22 million, respectively.

Statistics show the five biggest data breach penalties cost more than €245 million, or 70% of cumulative GDPR fine value.

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Japan Accounts for 22% Mobile Game Revenue Share Globally from Q1 to Q3 2020

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Japan Mobile Game Revenue Accounts for 22% of Global Revenue in the First Three Quarters

According to the research data analyzed and published by Safe Betting, Japan accounted for 22% of worldwide mobile game revenue during the first nine months of 2020. Between 2014 and 2018, it was the top country globally in terms of mobile game revenue. However, in 2019, the US took over and is still in the lead in 2020.

Based on a report from Statista, revenue from mobile games in Japan is projected to reach $6.85 billion in 2020. While revenue is expected to grow at 4.9% year-over-year (YoY), the number of gamers is set to rise by 5.9% to 34.4 million.

Japanese Publishers Make Up 25% of the Top 20 Revenue Generating Game Publishers Worldwide

During the first nine months of 2020, two of the top 10 publishers worldwide in terms of revenue generation came from Japan. These were Bandai Namco, generating $1.5 billion, and Square Enix with 1.2 billion.

Other Japanese giants were featured among the top 20 grossing mobile game publishers included Sony, Konami and Mixi. They accounted for 25% of the top 20 grossers globally. Japanese publishers were particularly popular at home. In fact, eight of the top 10 revenue generating games from January 1, 2016 to September 30, 2020 came from these publishers.

From Q1 to Q3 2020, the US was the leading country globally in terms of mobile game revenue. It accounted for a 28% share. China was third behind Japan with an 18% market share while South Korea was fourth with 6%.

In terms of international performance, China is taking the limelight with titles like PUBG Mobile. According to Sensor Tower, PUBG Mobile was the top grossing title globally raking in $1.3 billion in H1 2020. The US is, however, expected to maintain its lead up to the end of the year. According to Statista, mobile game revenue in the US is projected to reach $10.73 billion in 2020.

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Again, IBM Revenue Plunges for Third Consecutive Quarter

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IBM Revenue Declined for a Third Straight Quarter in the Third Second Quarter

IBM revenue plunged for a third-straight quarter in the period ended September 30, 2020, according to the latest financial results of the company.

The company’s revenue declined by 2.6 percent year-on-year to $17.6 billion in the quarter, while revenue from IBM Global Business Service declined by 5 percent to $4 billion with Global Technology Services unit recording a 4 percent decline in revenue to $6.5 billion.

Again, the Systems segment that includes mainframe hardware and software experienced a 15 percent decline in revenue to $1.3 billion. The company’s global financing revenue plunged by 20 percent to $273 million.

However, revenue from Cloud and Cognitive Software segment that includes Red Hat rose by 7 percent to $5.6 billion.

The strong performance of our cloud business, led by Red Hat, underscores the growing client adoption of our open hybrid cloud platform,” IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said in a statement. “Separating the managed infrastructure services business creates a market-leading standalone company and further sharpens our focus on IBM’s open hybrid cloud platform and AI capabilities. This will accelerate our growth strategy and better position IBM to seize the $1 trillion hybrid cloud opportunity.

The decline in earnings was in line with the company’s pre-announcement that COVID-19 would impact its overall performance this year.

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