Payment Systems

Arnall Golden Gregory LLP’s Payment Systems Practice works with card issuers, payment processors, acquiring banks, independent sales organizations (“ISOs”), and sales agents to navigate the complex and dynamic legal challenges unique to the payment systems industry. Drawing on the years of experience the firm’s litigation, bankruptcy, corporate, privacy, and consumer regulatory teams have developed within the payments space, AGG combines its understanding of the architecture of the payment-systems ecosystem and knowledge of emerging legal risks to deliver effective, efficient representation to the firm’s clients—with impressive results.

Representative engagements include:

Acquisitions and Contract Negotiations

  • Advising clients regarding service contracts, sponsorship agreements, and processing agreements with domestic and international partners, financial institutions, and merchants
  • Advising payment processors and ISOs in connection with acquisitions and asset purchase agreements

Government Investigations and Litigation

  • Representing clients in, and advising clients regarding the risks associated with, FTC and CFPB enforcement actions and investigations (broadly referred to as “Operation Choke Point”)
  • Guiding payment processors in compliance with civil investigative demands and government subpoenas
  • Successfully representing payment processors in disputes with the United States Government, state attorneys general, and bankruptcy trustees
  • Successfully defending claims brought by the FTC against payment card processors and ISOs related to the ownership and proper disposition of chargeback reserve funds
  • Advising clients regarding risks associated with foreign government investigations

Merchant and Consumer Litigation

  • Successfully defending and prosecuting the rights of payment processors in litigation with current and former merchants, including, e.g., in disputes involving early termination of merchant agreements, unreimbursed chargebacks, and alleged misdirection of merchant funds
  • Successfully representing a payment processor and its acquiring bank in litigation challenging the validity of card-issuer liability assessment following an extensive data breach
  • Successfully securing dismissal of multi-million dollar claims against payment processor by referral partner, including claims for breach of contract, conversion, unjust enrichment, negligence, and aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty
  • Successfully representing card issuers in disputes with cardholders under the FCRA, EFTA, the TCPA, and TILA

Government Relations and Regulatory Compliance

  • Assisting clients with the implementation of innovative platforms and practices under patchwork of federal and state regulations and card association rules
  • Providing compliance advice regarding a range of payments issues, including CFPB counseling, permissibility of surcharging, and participation in EBT programs
  • Assisting clients within the payments industry with government relations and regulatory counseling, including FCRA compliance and data breach response
  • Advising clients, and interacting with state regulators, regarding patchwork of money transmitter laws and regulations
  • Assisting clients with respect to FinCEN requirements and domestic and international AML compliance

Bankruptcy Representation

  • National representation of payment processors in merchant bankruptcy cases, including prosecution of pre-petition and administrative claims, addressing setoff and recoupment issues, safeguarding pre-petition reserves and working to minimize chargeback exposure, defending alleged automatic stay violations, and defending avoidance actions by bankruptcy trustees
  • National representation of card issuer in the defense of preference and fraudulent transfer claims, under both the Bankruptcy Code and state statutes, brought by bankruptcy trustees, creditors’ committees, and court-appointed receivers