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Payment Systems

The payments industry continues to undergo dynamic changes, ranging from regulatory reform to technological innovation that are reshaping the way payments are sent, received, and processed. At the same time, many processes, requirements and other features of the industry remain relatively unchanged, relying on legacy payment networks that have been in place for decades.

The DWT payments team addresses these changes and continuities every day, leveraging our collective decades of industry experience and our presence on both coasts and in China. From assisting with credit card, payment system and loyalty program transactions to counseling on cutting-edge emerging payments issues to providing advice related to compliance with and enforcement of ever-evolving financial services regulation, we have extensive experience assisting clients in virtually all facets of the retail financial services world.

In order to keep our clients up to date on major regulatory and technological developments in the payments industry as well to facilitate access to relevant resources, we have developed paymentlawadvisor. The site may be subscribed to at no cost.

Below, we describe our capabilities in greater depth; for additional information, please click through to a particular area of interest.

Cards, payment systems and loyalty programs
We have represented major issuers—including several of the top issuers in the United States—as well as various retailers, as lead outside counsel in hundreds of card-related transactions of wide-ranging complexity. As a result of the volume, variety, size, sophistication and strategic nature of these transactions, we have a level of relevant experience that will add value for our clients in any card-related transaction. Our team has approximately a dozen attorneys who focus a substantial portion of their practices on credit card, payment systems, and loyalty program transactions. Our services include co-brand private-label program agreements; portfolio purchases and sales; processing transactions; network transactions and related matters; and loyalty program transactions.

Retail financial services legislation and regulation
The passage of the Dodd-Frank Act has unleashed many changes on the landscape of financial services regulation. Now more than ever, financial institutions and others engaged in providing financial products or services need experienced counsel to navigate the resulting legislative and regulatory tangle and communicate with the federal and state decision makers on critical issues of interpretation, rulemaking, supervision, and enforcement. Our retail financial services team includes lawyers who have deep experience working with the relevant agencies and the key legislation and rules under which they operate. We provide advice on compliance with federal and state consumer protection and credit laws; assist with comments or informal intervention to rulemakings; approach regulators for informal guidance on interpretations of relevant statutes and regulations; and provide advice on potential trends or likely avenues for rulemaking, supervisory, or enforcement action in financial services.

Emerging payments
We assist clients with issues involving virtually any emerging payment technology or system, including payment cards; biometrics; emerging network technologies; prepaid stored value cards; near field communication (NFC); general spend reloadable cards; online person-to-person (P2P) payments; electronic cash; account-to-account (A2A) payments; Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP); mobile card acceptance; Internet, mobile, and contactless payments; next-generation credit and rewards cards featuring microcomputers; and more.

Financial institutions: compliance and enforcement
The recent (and expected future) changes in financial services regulation–together with regulators’ increased emphasis on enforcement–are giving new prominence to the compliance function at financial institutions, as well as putting that function under new pressures. Lawyers in our retail financial services practice have long experience assisting clients in developing and administering compliance programs with respect to various state compliance and enforcement issues.

Card-related enterprise risk and bankruptcy
We have been advising issuers of payment cards in connection with workouts and bankruptcies involving their key card partners since the early 1990s. Our long experience in drafting and negotiating co-brand and private-label card program agreements, representing creditors in bankruptcy proceedings, and at the intersection of card programs and bankruptcies, makes us uniquely qualified to help issuers proactively draft protective language into their agreements and custom tailor strategies to mitigate credit and bankruptcy risks associated with financially distressed card partners.

Technology services for financial institutions
Our financial-institutions technology team has extensive experience assisting clients with the development and implementation of proprietary software and other technology, as well as with the procurement of technology infrastructure and capabilities and the structuring, documentation and negotiation of a wide variety of technology-related agreements. We regularly handle agreements for in-bound licensing, hardware and software acquisition, custom systems development, telecommunications services, technology services (including software as a service (SaaS) and cloud computing) and outsourcing. We work often with industry leaders in social networking, digital media, Internet and mobile technology transactions, and we are well versed in the emerging privacy and security implications of these transactions, as well as their other regulatory dimensions.

blog for Legal commentary and resources for the payment industry
watch video on James Mann and the world of payment systems on Vimeo