Services payment – Les Couleurs De Luce Tue, 21 Jun 2022 22:23:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Services payment – Les Couleurs De Luce 32 32 New York State Releases Stable Payments Regulatory Guidance Tue, 21 Jun 2022 22:23:31 +0000

On June 8, 2022, the New York State Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”) issued regulatory guidance applicable only to U.S. dollar-backed payment stablecoins issued by NYDFS-regulated entities. The guidance comes a day after Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (DN.Y.) and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) released a bill calling for sweeping changes to federal regulation of the cryptocurrency industry. (see our quick analysis here) and less than a week after the New York Legislature passed two bills aimed at regulating crypto. Focusing on three criteria – redeemability, reserves, and attestation – the NYDFS Stablecoin Guidelines aim to ensure that issuers of payment stablecoins remain solvent so that holders of these payment stablecoins can exercise their right of redemption. in right time. These guidelines do not address the trading price of a stablecoin and do not require the issuer to take active steps to secure the price of the asset in the markets.


NYDFS seeks to protect consumers by ensuring that holders of a payout stablecoin are able to redeem it “in a timely manner at par for the US dollar. According to the guidelines, “timely” means no more than 2 full business days after a holder exercises their right, but NYDFS reserves the discretion to extend the time when “timely redemption would likely jeopardize support of Reserve assets or the orderly liquidation of Reserve assets”.[.]“Issuers are required to obtain prior NYDFS approval of their buyback policies before onboarding holders. A recurring theme in redemption standards is disclosure – NYDFS requires disclosure of all net charges, the meaning of “redemption,” and the timeliness required to complete the redemption.

Reserve and Certificate

According to the guidelines, stablecoins must be backed by a reserve of US treasuries, such as treasury bills with a maturity of no more than three months, notes and/or bonds. Such reserves are, however, subject to NYDFS-approved “overcollateralization requirements” and must be held by US federally or state-chartered depository institutions or NYDFS-approved asset custodians. In addition, the stable payment issuer’s reserve accounts are subject to monthly certification by an independent public accountant (“CPA”). The CPA attestation must validate that all NYDFS reserve requirements were met and that the value of the reserve covered the amount of stablecoin units in circulation. The value of reserve assets is assessed daily. Issuers must make available to the public all monthly attestation reports performed by a CPA.

While these standards are comprehensive, NYDFS noted that it will also consider other standards and requirements when approving a stablecoin payout. NYDFS may impose requirements regarding cybersecurity, network design, and assess issuer compliance with bank secrecy/anti-money laundering law.

In sum, NYDFS will review all of the risks and management controls in deciding whether or not to grant approval to new stablecoin issuers. Currently, Paxos Trust Company’s USDP and BUSD, Gemini Trust Company’s GUSD, and Trust Company’s ZUSD are all approved under the guideline.

Copyright 2022 K&L GatesNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 172

The PAPSS payment system will eliminate intermediaries Mon, 20 Jun 2022 02:31:26 +0000

Nana Dwemoh Benneh, CEO of Universal Merchant Bank (UMB), expressed his optimism that the Pan African Payments and Settlement System (PAPSS) will boost trade on the African continent.

Indeed, the PAPSS, a centralized payment and settlement system that allowed commercial transactions in local currencies, would make transactions between companies instantaneous and direct, and eliminate intermediaries who contribute to financial losses.

Participating African central banks would act as clearing agents, while Afreximbank would be the principal clearing agent and provider of settlement guarantees and overdraft facilities.

This will remove the need to convert currencies through intermediaries.

Nana Benneh said the move will boost business activities on the continent through the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The AfCFTA is a strategic trade pact created between African Union (AU) countries to provide a single continental market for goods and services with free movement of business people and investment.

Nana Benneh expressed her optimism that PAPPS will boost intra-African trade during a panel discussion at a recent public forum hosted in 2022 by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS) on the theme: “African Continental Free Trade Area: Challenges and Prospects”.

He said, “It is common knowledge that Africa has some of the highest remittance and settlement fees. It is estimated that we lose at least $5 billion a year in transfer fees alone. What PAPSS offers is the ability to bypass these fees, cut out middlemen, and peer-to-peer trading.

“So customers can go to a Ghanaian bank to trade with their peers in Kenya, and that transfer from a Ghanaian bank to a Kenyan bank will be done directly in Cedi in shilling, added Nana Benneh.

The UMB CEO said the Bank recognizes this payment and settlement platform as “the next growth variable in African banking,” adding that the Bank is working on innovations in this regard.

Dr. Ernest Addison, Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), pointed out that the passage of the Payment Systems and Services Act 2019 (Act 987) and other interventions paved the way for the non-banking sector , including fintech companies, to work in the payment ecosystem.

This led to phenomenal growth in the payment system in Ghana and demanded that this growth be extended to all African countries to facilitate intra-continental trade.

He noted that: “A strong and well-regulated African financial infrastructure could deepen the benefits of intra-regional trade, eliminate the use of a third currency for settlement, improve business liquidity management and reduce transaction costs. “.

Beyond improving the speed and reducing the cost of transactions, integrated African payment and settlement systems would support the AfCFTA by mitigating the risks associated with intra-African commercial payments and facilitating the efficient operation of African financial markets,” he added.

The Governor noted that the PAPSS would be that strategic infrastructure to ensure transparent transactions, as it would also facilitate remittances, offer securities settlement, and provide opportunities for point-of-sale and ATM transactions.

Russian bill prohibiting use of digital assets when payment passes first reading Sat, 18 Jun 2022 01:12:58 +0000

The State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, passed a bill in first reading to ban the use of digital assets to make payments.

However, RBC, a Russian local media, reports that lawmakers introduced a caveat to the provisions of the bill. The prohibition can be lifted in the presence of the cases provided for by federal laws. If passed, the law will enter into force ten days after its publication.

The bill was introduced earlier this month by Anatoly Aksakov, head of the State Duma Committee on the Financial Market. It proposes to directly prohibit the use of digital financial assets (DFA) and utility digital rights (UTR) as a means of payment for the transfer of goods and services in Russia.

In addition, the bill places platforms that issue digital assets under the control of the national payment system and requires them to refuse transactions when it is possible to use digital assets as monetary substitutes.

According to Aksakov, the bill is necessary to close the loopholes left by the country’s current digital currency regulations and consolidate the ruble’s position as the only accepted legal tender.

The intricacies of the bill have so far been the subject of debate among Russian legal experts. As reported by RBC, a team of lawyers discussing the bill pointed out that the bill contains multiple contradictions and gray areas.

An expert, Roman Yankovsky, points out that the term “money substitutes” has not been defined by any existing Russian law. Similarly, Russian law considers digital assets as property, which renders the law prohibiting their use as currency moot.

Russia moves forward with other digital currency regulatory laws

Several other laws targeting digital assets are progressing through the Russian legislative system. The draft law “On Digital Currency” will establish the regulatory framework for the entire digital asset market, while the draft law “On Mining in the Russian Federation” will regulate block reward miners.

In late May, an amendment to the Block Reward Mining Bill was submitted to remove a proposed one-year tax amnesty for block reward miners. Previously, the Russian Federal Tax Service launched a bid to include digital assets in the tax code.

The pace of digital currency regulation has been slow due to the international sanctions the country is facing due to its invasion of Ukraine.

Watch the BSV Global Blockchain Convention Dubai 2022 Day 1 here:

Watch the BSV Global Blockchain Convention Dubai 2022 Day 2 here:

Watch the BSV Global Blockchain Convention Dubai 2022 Day 3 here:

New to Bitcoin? Discover CoinGeek bitcoin for beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn about bitcoin – as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto – and blockchain.

Electronic Merchant Systems offers payment processing for pizza restaurants Wed, 15 Jun 2022 23:02:13 +0000

Cleveland, Ohio-

Electronic Merchant Systems, a national payment processor, published an article about pizza restaurant payment processing solutions and why their products are great for small, local pizza restaurants looking for a simple and reliable system to accept payments from their customers. clients. Local and independent pizzerias are still present in the United States of America, as customers still appreciate fresh, high-quality ingredients from local farmers’ markets, distributors and vendors. However, for these pizzerias to thrive, they need a seamless ordering experience, which means they need to streamline their payment processing systems. Electronic Merchant Systems (EMS) works closely with small businesses to ensure long-term payment solutions that encourage fast transactions and customer loyalty. From robust point-of-sale systems to mobile payment acceptance, EMS helps small business owners accept payments through a variety of methods, including chip, swipe and contactless payments. With their reliable and easy-to-use solutions, they help small businesses like local pizzerias grow by improving their customer experience and easing the load on store employees.

Electronic Merchant Systems helps local businesses such as independent pizza restaurants realize their full potential by providing payment processing solutions that cover their unique needs as small businesses serving a localized customer base. From the best point of sale systems to fully customizable gift cards, EMS offers solutions to cover the payment processing needs of pizzerias and other restaurants. A very efficient POS system that Electronic Merchant Systems recommends to many of its pizza shop customers is their MaxxPay Mini, which offers fast payment acceptance from all major credit cards in all forms, including options EMV chip, swipe and contactless, so customers can use whichever form of payment they prefer, whether they’re buying a pizza at their favorite pizzeria or at a pizzeria they’ve never tried previously. The MaxxPay Mini makes it easy to add all pizza and side dish options, pricing and inventory into the system so it can handle everything else about taking pizza orders and processing orders. payments. The easy-to-use interface with an LED touch screen makes taking orders and paying quick and convenient. Pizza shops using MaxxPay Mini will also have access to Electronic Merchant System’s cloud-based back-office reporting systems wherever they can access the Internet.

EMS pizzeria credit card processing is just one of the many services they offer pizzerias and other businesses. Electronic Merchant Systems can also provide restaurants with personalized gift cards and loyalty programs for their businesses. Gift cards are attractive to customers and can benefit businesses through brand awareness, greater customer loyalty, higher order volume, and increased profits and cash flow. An in-house creative team can help pizzerias develop custom designs for each store’s gift cards that represent the brand and look great. Loyalty programs are another essential tool for encouraging customer loyalty, allowing restaurants to engage, retain and grow their customer base by rewarding them for coming back again and again. With their skills, experience and variety of offerings to meet the needs of any pizzeria, Electronic Merchant Systems can provide reliable payment processing solutions and ease the busy schedule of pizzeria owners, who already have long days with endless to-do lists that don’t require the burden of payment systems that crash or only accept limited payment options.

Security has always been a top priority for Electronic Merchant Systems, which has been a PCI Level 1 certified vendor for over ten years. Their dedicated team of customer service specialists are available around the clock to help pizzerias with challenges and answer any questions they may have about their payment processing systems. They are dedicated to meeting all of the merchant services needs of their pizza restaurant customers, including: providing the best payment processing tools and opportunities, improving cash flow, gift and loyalty programs, providing the best card rates credit and streamline your business operations.


For more information about Electronic Merchant Systems, contact the company here:

Electronic merchant systems
(800) 726-2117
[email protected]250 W Huron Road #400
Cleveland, Ohio 44113

PaySprint launches payment processing service Mon, 13 Jun 2022 22:01:45 +0000

Canadian payments company PaySprint announced in a Monday, June 13 press release the launch of what it called a “100% subscription-based” global money transfer and payment processing service.

The service shares the company name. The company said the new platform will save users money on transaction fees and wallet-to-wallet services work in both formal and informal economies.

Users are offered two versions of the company’s services through its website or smartphone apps.

The free version allows fee-free money transfers and payments for merchants who have registered with the company. The option of $30 per month or $300 per year – the company’s website does not specify whether the reference is to US or Canadian currency – also allows otherwise free payments to merchants around the world who are not not registered with the company.

“Small business owners, freelancers, consultants and many professionals are also finding the PaySprint for Merchant account to be a more affordable method of accepting payments from customers, the company said in its announcement.

PaySprint noted that it also offers merchants a range of other services.

One offering, called eStore, helps merchants drive traffic to physical or online stores.

A service called eFX allows traders to access foreign currencies. Another service, PaySprint eConnect, allows businesses to target customers based on their physical location. And a service called eCase provides merchants with working capital.

In its online marketing materials, PaySprint advertises itself as “the fastest, most affordable way to send and receive money. Pay your bills and get paid anytime!”

The company touts its services, in addition to retailers and consumers, contractors, utilities, and rental property owners.



About: PYMNTS’ survey of 2,094 consumers for The Tailored Shopping Experience report, a collaboration with Elastic Path, shows where merchants are succeeding and where they need to up their game to deliver a personalized shopping experience.

Apple’s App Store allows more payment options for Dutch dating app developers Sun, 12 Jun 2022 04:55:04 +0000 Apple Inc on Friday explained how developers of dating apps offered in the Netherlands can bypass Apple’s built-in payment systems, a step closely watched by the iPhone maker amid global antitrust concerns over its control over the Internet. mobile application industry.

Apple has long enforced the use of its in-app payment system, which charges commissions of up to 30%, which some developers like Tinder owner Match Group Inc have called too high. Last year, the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) ruled that Apple’s rules violated Dutch competition laws in the dating app market and forced Apple to allow these developers to use third-party payment processors.

Investors are watching developments in the Dutch antitrust case for the impact it could have on revenue from Apple’s App Store, the largest component of its $68.4 billion services business.

Under the rules, Apple said dating app developers will still have to pay it commissions for sales made outside of its built-in payment system, though it gives them a slight discount. Apple previously said that developers who pay its 30% commission rate owe it 27% commission.

The best of Express Premium
“Hoping for more direct taxes than expected for this fiscal year;  watch her cry...Prime
Married and without prejudicePrime
The picture of Rajiv Gandhi getting hit - the story in a framePrime

But some developers are already paying Apple a 15% lower commission rate when they meet certain criteria such as retaining subscribed customers for more than a year.

Apple’s previous rules were unclear whether these developers would also receive a discount when using third-party payment services. Apple said Friday that those developers would pay a 12% commission when using external payment systems.

Apple also said Friday that Dutch authorities have imposed changes to the appearance of apps when using third-party payments.

Apple’s system will show users a warning that the user should contact the developer in case of payment issues, such as requesting a refund. Apple initially included a button that would let users opt out of the third-party payment option after receiving the warning, but the iPhone maker said on Friday that Dutch authorities had rejected that button.

“We don’t believe any of these changes are in the best interests of our users’ privacy or data security,” Apple said in a press release. “As we have said before, we disagree with the initial ACM order and are appealing it.”

Stanchion Payment Solutions Announces Agreement with Israeli Bank Fri, 10 Jun 2022 15:55:51 +0000 Stanchion Payment Solutions has successfully completed the HSM migration for one of Israel’s three largest banks. The bank migrated from ARX Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) to Futurex HSMs.

HSMs power the bank’s secure payment environments, such as managing the exchange of cryptographic keys for the bank’s ATM and kiosk networks. In addition to the main HSM replacement, the bank has invested in remote touch devices that enable secure remote management of hardware, reducing the number of visits needed to secure in-person data center locations.

ARX ​​had a successful market share in Israel of HSMs and had announced that it was ending support and maintenance for its product line as it exited the HSM market. This latest success represents the third live deployment and risk-free migration of ARX HSMs to the trusted platform Futurex, in the Israeli market.

The bank went through a rigorous bidding process and selected the expertise of Stanchion and market leader Futurex HSM to manage the next generation of data encryption for its operations. Key factors in the decision were the platform’s rich user interface, relevant customer base, and trust in Stanchion to ensure a seamless migration.

Stanchion Payment Solutions Ltd, a global payment solutions provider, offers world-class skills, solutions and services to institutions. Stanchion led the tender and delivery process to augment and support the bank’s internal team to assist in the migration to the modern and advanced payment security platform based on encryption technology Futurex. Stanchion brings extensive experience in payment and HSM environments and has used this experience to help the bank achieve a smooth migration.

Stanchion’s partner, Futurex, is a leading global provider of cryptographic technology and solutions for payment processing, card and mobile issuance, and advanced fintech solutions. The company offers an advanced and state-of-the-art portfolio of HSM solutions that comply with all PCI and FIPS security standards.

“In today’s critical 24/7/365 payment environment, a strong hardware-based cryptographic infrastructure remains a critical need for Israeli banks. Even more so with the rapid growth of mobile-initiated payments, e-wallets and future contactless payments and open banking alternative payment methods,” said Norman Frankel, Regional Managing Director UK/Europe and Israel at Stanchion Payments. “With a local entity registered in Tel Aviv, we are well positioned to assist banks and payment providers with the complete management of their HSM and public key encryption infrastructure, with experience from numerous Futurex and customer deployments in worldwide.”

Roland Allen, Managing Director EMEA at Futurex, added: “This third successful migration to Israel is part of our continued investment in this market. Futurex can help banks in Israel replace legacy HSMs from ARX and other vendors with innovative new technology, or virtualize payment infrastructure while maintaining PCI and FIPS security compliance. Another strong feature of the Futurex product line, with its sets of international APIs and commands, is the ability to work in mixed environments as well. We see this as a growing approach to risk mitigation.

Netsafe paid secret exit payment to adviser accused of domestic assault Wed, 08 Jun 2022 18:36:05 +0000


The victims’ lawyer calls for an independent investigation, as details of another payout – to a former police inspector accused of violence.

Anti-bullying agency Netsafe has paid nearly $20,000 in a release settlement to a senior executive accused of assaulting and strangling a family member.

Lui “Lou” Alofa, a former police inspector, had earned a law degree after leaving the force and was appointed in-house legal counsel at Netsafe in late 2019, in hopes he would obtain a legal practice certificate.

But in early 2020 he revealed to managing director Martin Cocker that he faced two criminal charges. Netsafe negotiated his departure, with a payment.

Alofa did not initially request the removal of the name. But Netsafe asked that the settlement be kept confidential, as it fears news of the charges could negatively affect relationships with other agencies and non-governmental organizations responding to family and domestic violence.

However, he had to disclose the alleged assault to Women’s Refuge, as he was negotiating a memorandum of understanding with the organization. Women’s Refuge withdrew from the planned signing. “There was just no way to go on,” Refuge chief executive Ang Jury told Newsroom.

“I didn’t want to leave. But an agreement has been reached and I want to respect it.
– Lou Alofa

Alofa is due to appear again in Auckland District Court next week, June 15, charged with one count of obstructing a person’s breathing and one count of assaulting a person in a relationship family. He pleaded not guilty to both counts and is now awaiting trial by judge alone.

Yesterday, Alofa said he should have been treated as innocent until proven guilty, and he backed that up at the time.

“The problem I have is this confidentiality agreement,” he told Newsroom.

“Despite being accused of committing a crime and all that sort of nonsense…I feel a certain moral obligation to stick to the intent of the deal. I didn’t want to leave. But an agreement was reached and I want to respect that.”

Netsafe’s new chief executive Brent Carey last night refused to answer questions about whether to use a non-disclosure agreement and confidential payment to protect Netsafe’s reputation by hiding allegations of abuse by a member of staff.

“We are unable to comment on the existence or substance of individual employee issues, including employee relations regarding current or past employees, he said.

“Domestic violence is an epidemic in Aotearoa and we have an agency here that is funded to help victims, making secret deals with public money with those who have been accused of bullying.”
– Ruth Money, Victims Advocate

It also would not disclose the organization’s staff turnover and the proportion of women who had left the organization. He did not answer whether he considers the repeated use of nondisclosure agreements in labor disputes and settlements to be good practice.

Netsafe receives funding of $4 million per year from the Department of Justice and the Department of Education, to conduct public education campaigns about bullying and other cyber threats, and to resolve complaints about harmful digital communications.

News of this employment settlement is just the latest in a series for blind officials.

► Last month, the small organization was forced to apologize after the Justice Department learned from a newsroom report that the cash-strapped agency had shut down its policy and research unit – Netsafe had not told officials that it was laying off staff whose work was essential to fulfilling its publicly funded contracts.

► The newsroom also revealed staff complaints of harassment within the agency, against Martin Cocker and another manager, his wife Angela Boundy. The investigation of Cocker was halted when he resigned without notice; Boundy went on leave for five months after the investigation ruled against her. It is understood that she has now left the organization.

► Another dispute – an Industrial Relations Authority case taken by former Netsafe education worker Pauline Spence alleging issues with her working conditions – has just been settled out of court. There were only two weeks left before going to a public hearing at the end of June.

► And in March, the Human Rights Review Tribunal ordered Netsafe to pay $100,000 in compensation to three women whose privacy it violated. The agency provided a stalker convicted of violence with information about them that enabled him to continue harassing them in civil court. The court found that Netsafe’s actions caused the women humiliation, loss of dignity and injury to their feelings.

Victims’ lawyer Ruth Money, who is linked to the women in the court case, said she was ‘deeply concerned’ that Netsafe’s management and board had tried to cover up the allegations of domestic violence and that they have gotten away with it so far.

“Domestic violence is an epidemic in Aotearoa and we have an agency here that is funded to help victims, making secret deals with public money with those who have been accused of bullying,” she said. .

“How can they expect to be taken seriously as an anti-bullying agency when they make secret deals on the back of serious abuse allegations like these?”

Money, who was a member of the government’s criminal justice advisory group, said there had been too many cases where Netsafe had allowed bullies. She called for an independent investigation into the agency. “They do more harm than good.”

Responsibility for investigating damage online should be given to the police, who are better equipped, she said. “The victims of Aotearoa deserve infinitely better care and services.”

Netsafe’s legal fees, investigations and settlements contributed to a financial explosion. Although the agency’s financial reports are sparse, its chief executive told staff that he expects to suffer “a significant financial loss” this year.

The series of employment, management and financial problems within Netsafe quickly became public knowledge, despite its repeated refusal to release information to the government and its stubborn disregard of the Official Information Act.

(Carey reportedly told staff last month that he would not respond to an OIA request from the newsroom until media interest subsided. This request for information was filed on 4 April, Netsafe was legally obliged to communicate its decision by May 5; last night it said: “We have provided you with our decision on our request and we are assembling the requested material which we have indicated will be provided to you and will be returned to you as soon as reasonably possible.”)

In part, the constant emergence of embarrassing information seems to be a reflection of staff frustration with management issues. But the ministry briefings show officials’ disappointment at not being briefed on the issues by Netsafe management, and instead having to read about them in the media.

At the Department for Education, Head of Infrastructure and Digital Scott Evans said the department was not aware of Lui Alofa’s exit package.

“The issue you are bringing to us is an employment issue between the board and the staff member,” he said. “We wouldn’t expect any contractor to share details about this, and there’s no indication that they have.”

It also comes at an uncomfortable time for education officials. They had requested additional budget funding for schools’ online safety services, which was labeled as going to Netsafe.

Last month, the office of Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed that the budget included additional funding of $1 million to Netsafe to help kura and schools with online safety, digital citizenship and well-being. -be in their school communities.

Netsafe management informed staff of the funding increase the day before the government announced in the budget – but it now appears their celebrations were premature. The ministry is not committing to awarding the $1 million contract to Netsafe.

“The department has received additional funds in the budget and is exploring options,” Evans said. “At this stage, we have not engaged any parties to undertake any additional work.”

Where to go for help or more information

Women’s Refuge: the free national helpline operates 24/7 – 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843

Shine National Freephone Helpline 9am-11pm daily – 0508 744 633

It’s not OK: Infoline 0800 456 450

Shakti: Provision of specialized cultural services for African, Asian and Middle Eastern women and their children. 24/7 Crisis Line 0800 742 584

Ministry of Justice:

National Anti-Violence Network:

White Ribbon: Aiming to eliminate men’s violence against women

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Netsafe was legally obligated to release the information by May 4. In fact, he was legally obligated to communicate his decision by May 5.

Lyon opens up to Worldline payment Mon, 06 Jun 2022 23:42:45 +0000

The payment service provider Worldline is launching its contactless Open Payment solution on the Lyon public transport network for the transport agency Sytral Mobilités.

The largest of the six projects where Worldline is deploying the product in France, the company has worked with Caisse d’Epargne Rhône-Alpes to offer validation and control equipment, a central system and a fully secure payment chain certified by the CB, Visa and Mastercard. diets.

The TCL Bankcard service is based on the Worldline Open Payment WL Tap 2 Use solution and more than 4,000 Yoval validators on more than 100 bus lines, 7 tram lines, 4 metro lines and 2 funiculars, as well as the parking service Lyon Region relay.

Users don’t need to register or download an app – they just tap to complete their journey.

The system consolidates them throughout the day to calculate the best fare, made up either of single tickets or of a maximum daily amount capped beyond three journeys.

A user portal allows travelers to obtain proof of expense reports.

Jean Chaussade, Sytral’s deputy director of facilities and heritage, praised the partners: “Thanks to their concerted efforts, occasional travelers to the Lyon metropolitan area and visitors now have a new, particularly simple means of accessing its public transport network.

Aurélien Barbier-Accary, Director of Worldline MTS France, said: “Open Payment has been a great success wherever it has launched and we have seen up to 45% in ticket unit revenue at one of our customers.

From buying a house to building savings, the student loan payment break has changed the lives of these Minnesotans Sat, 04 Jun 2022 21:16:18 +0000

In more than two years since student loan repayments were halted, Ben Dufault has saved enough money to buy his first home.

Yasin Mohamud has paid off other debts and saved up to move to his dream city.

Melissa Finnegan continued to pay, bringing down her student loan balance by $10,000.

The ongoing pause in federal student loan payments that began in March 2020 has changed the lives of some Minnesotans for the better. This gives them room in their budget to make big purchases, speed up student loan repayments, and catch up on other debt. More relief could be on the way as President Joe Biden considers an executive order to forgive $10,000 in student loan debt per borrower, despite opposition from Republicans and some economists.

Nearly 800,000 people in Minnesota have student loan debt, according to the nonprofit Student Borrower Protection Center. Some of those Minnesotans have told the Star Tribune how their lives have changed since the payment break began.

A new house

Dufault thought he and his boyfriend wouldn’t be able to afford a house for several years. The 30-year-old, who works in the admissions office at the University of Augsburg, and his partner, who is a state employee, have both completed higher education and have a combined debt of around 120 000 dollars.

During the student loan break, they each put the $200-300 a month they had paid for their debt into savings for a down payment on the house. In March 2021, the couple purchased their first home together, in North Minneapolis.

“We could hardly have afforded this house without the break,” Dufault said. “It was the down payment cost that was always the problem.”

They expect their budget to tighten when student loan repayments resume. Biden’s supposed $10,000 debt forgiveness proposal wouldn’t hurt their balance much. But Dufault said he and his boyfriend are eligible for the federal Civil Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which would forgive any remaining debt after making monthly payments for 10 years.

A big decision

Leah Vogel has saved nearly $18,000 while not paying off her student loans — almost enough for a down payment on a house, but also enough to clear her remaining debt.

It’s a decision Vogel, 30, doesn’t take lightly. By erasing her student debt, she would no longer have to worry about interest accumulating each month. But Vogel, who rents a small apartment in Minneapolis, said the depletion of her savings will also put her “back to square one” on buying a home.

If Biden forgives $10,000 in student debt per borrower, Vogel said she could eventually afford to both buy a house and pay off her debt balance.

“It really totally changes the equation,” said Vogel, who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2014 with an art degree and works as a project manager at a local financial services firm. “It’s been a constant back and forth over the last six months to a year about what I should do with this.”

Pursue his passion

For as long as he can remember, Mohamud has wanted to live in New York. But the more than $40,000 he owes for his undergraduate studies had previously prevented him from moving there.

With student loan repayments frozen, the 34-year-old Edina resident has been building up his savings and paying off his car and other debts. Mohamud, who emigrated from Somalia to Minnesota with his family as a child, said he can now look forward to life in the largest city in the United States.

A legal writer at Thomson Reuters who freelances for other media in his spare time, Mohamud hopes to move to New York soon and write for major city publications.

“I always wanted to work for magazines,” Mohamud said. “My dream is GQ.”

Long-awaited progress

Finnegan never stopped paying his student loan monthly. With interest rates stuck at 0%, she said she’s made nearly $10,000 in progress over the past two years, bringing her remaining student debt balance down to around $27,000.

The 40-year-old St. Paul resident graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2011 with a master’s degree in public policy and about $48,000 in debt. She was making regular payments before the break, but it took her nine years to reduce her principal balance to $37,000 due to accrued interest.

“It was like the amount of debt never moved or just moved very, very slowly,” said Finnegan, government relations specialist for Ramsey County. “Finally, I can see the amount of debt going down.”

Finnegan hopes Biden will consider wiping out all student loan debt. She said she and her husband would rather spend the money on childcare for their three children, which costs them around $2,600 a month.

“Our American Dream”

Oballa Oballa said he was able to realize his “American dream” thanks to the suspension of federal payments.

Born in Ethiopia and raised in a refugee camp in Kenya, Oballa used the money he saved over the past two years to build a house for his family in Austin, Minn. He, his fiancé and two children, aged 5 months and almost 2 years, moved into the new house last month.

Oballa, a 29-year-old supervisor at Hormel Foods who is seeking re-election to the Austin City Council, was also able to pay off a private student loan during this time.

“My family and I were relieved to have this break,” said Oballa, a 2021 College of St. Scholastica graduate with a bachelor’s degree in social work and who has about $25,000 in student loan debt. “Now we have our American dream that we built from the ground up [up].”

Saving for law school

Anisa Omar graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato several months after student loan repayments were frozen and hasn’t had to make a single payment on her $21,000 debt balance.

Omar, a 23-year-old behavioral specialist from Hopkins Elementary School, said the break helped her pay her bills and save for law school. She will be attending the University of St. Thomas this fall and her loan repayments are expected to be deferred until she completes law school there.

Still, Omar said she was discouraged by her growing debt balance while in law school. She hopes Biden will consider canceling more than $10,000 in student debt.

“I would go for the cancellation of all student debt,” Omar said. “We should want the best for all individuals.”