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National Payment Network, Inc.; Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public Comment

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  National Payment Network

National Payment Network, Inc.; Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public Comment

Donald S. Clark
Federal Trade Commission
April 1, 2015


[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 62 (Wednesday, April 1, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 17430-17432]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-07406]


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FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

[File No. 132 3285]


National Payment Network, Inc.; Proposed Consent Order To Aid 
Public Comment

AGENCY: Federal Trade Commission.

ACTION: Proposed Consent Agreement.

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SUMMARY: The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged 
violations of federal law prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or 
practices. The attached Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes both 
the allegations in the draft complaint and the terms of the consent 
order--embodied in the consent agreement--that would settle these 
allegations.

[[Page 17431]]


DATES: Comments must be received on or before April 27, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Interested parties may file a comment at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/natpaynetconsent online or on paper, by 
following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write ``National Payment 
Network, Inc.--Consent Agreement; File No. 132 3285'' on your comment 
and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/natpaynetconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. 
If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write ``National Payment 
Network, Inc.--Consent Agreement; File No. 132 3285'' on your comment 
and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: 
Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania 
Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver 
your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office 
of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, 
Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20024.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Daniel Dwyer, Bureau of Consumer 
Protection, (202) 326-2957, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 
20580.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to section 6(f) of the Federal 
Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 2.34, 16 CFR 2.34, 
notice is hereby given that the above-captioned consent agreement 
containing consent order to cease and desist, having been filed with 
and accepted, subject to final approval, by the Commission, has been 
placed on the public record for a period of thirty (30) days. The 
following Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes the terms of the 
consent agreement, and the allegations in the complaint. An electronic 
copy of the full text of the consent agreement package can be obtained 
from the FTC Home Page (for March 26, 2015), on the World Wide Web at: 
http://www.ftc.gov/os/actions.shtm.
    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to 
consider your comment, we must receive it on or before April 27, 2015. 
Write ``National Payment Network, Inc.--Consent Agreement; File No. 132 
3285'' on your comment. Your comment--including your name and your 
state--will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, 
including, to the extent practicable, on the public Commission Web 
site, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of 
discretion, the Commission tries to remove individuals' home contact 
information from comments before placing them on the Commission Web 
site.
    Because your comment will be made public, you are solely 
responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any 
sensitive personal information, like anyone's Social Security number, 
date of birth, driver's license number or other state identification 
number or foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial 
account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely 
responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any 
sensitive health information, like medical records or other 
individually identifiable health information. In addition, do not 
include any ``[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information 
which . . . is privileged or confidential,'' as discussed in section 
6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 
4.10(a)(2). In particular, do not include competitively sensitive 
information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, 
patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names.
    If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential 
treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for 
confidential treatment, and you have to follow the procedure explained 
in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).\1\ Your comment will be kept 
confidential only if the FTC General Counsel, in his or her sole 
discretion, grants your request in accordance with the law and the 
public interest.
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    \1\ In particular, the written request for confidential 
treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and 
legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions 
of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 
4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).
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    Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to 
heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit 
your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your 
online comment, you must file it at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/natpaynetconsent by following the instructions on the web-based 
form. If this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov/#!home, you 
also may file a comment through that Web site.
    If you file your comment on paper, write ``National Payment 
Network, Inc.--Consent Agreement; File No. 132 3285'' on your comment 
and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: 
Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania 
Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver 
your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office 
of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, 
Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20024. If possible, submit your 
paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service.
    Visit the Commission Web site at http://www.ftc.gov to read this 
Notice and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws 
that the Commission administers permit the collection of public 
comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The 
Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that 
it receives on or before April 27, 2015. You can find more information, 
including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, in the 
Commission's privacy policy, at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm.

Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public Comment

    The Federal Trade Commission (``FTC'') has accepted, subject to 
final approval, an agreement containing a consent order from National 
Payment Network, Inc., also known as NPN, Inc. The proposed consent 
order has been placed on the public record for thirty (30) days for 
receipt of comments by interested persons. Comments received during 
this period will become part of the public record. After thirty (30) 
days, the FTC will again review the agreement and the comments 
received, and will decide whether it should withdraw from the agreement 
and take appropriate action or make final the agreement's proposed 
order.
    The respondent is a company that offers an auto payment program to 
consumers financing a motor vehicle. The matter involves its 
advertising of the auto payment program to consumers. According to the 
FTC complaint, respondent has represented that consumers who enroll in 
its biweekly payment program in order to pay off their auto-financing 
contract will save money, often including a specific amount of savings 
in interest. Respondent failed to disclose, however, that it charged 
fees that in many cases offset any savings under the program, and also 
failed to disclose the total amount of these fees. These facts would be 
material to consumers in their decision to enroll in respondent's 
biweekly payment program. The complaint alleges therefore that 
respondent's failure to disclose the

[[Page 17432]]

above-mentioned facts is a deceptive practice in violation of section 5 
of the FTC Act.
    The proposed order is designed to prevent respondent from engaging 
in similar deceptive practices in the future. Section I prohibits 
respondent from representing that a payment program or add-on product 
or service will save consumers money, including interest, unless the 
amount of savings is greater than the total amount of fees associated 
with the product or service or any qualifying information is clearly 
and conspicuously disclosed. Section I also prohibits respondent from 
representing that a payment program or add-on product or service will 
save any consumer a specific amount of money, including interest, 
unless the specified amount is the amount of savings after deducting 
any fees or any qualifying information relating to savings is clearly 
and conspicuously disclosed.
    Section II of the proposed order prohibits respondent from making 
misrepresentations related to any payment programs, including regarding 
the existence, amount, timing, or manner of any fees, the program's 
benefits, performance, or efficacy, or the ability of any payment 
program to affect consumer credit.
    Section III of the proposed order prohibits respondent from making 
misrepresentations related to any add-on products or services, 
including regarding the total costs of the add-on and the benefits, 
performance, or efficacy of the add-on, any restrictions or conditions 
associated with the add-on, the nature or terms of any refund, 
cancellation, or exchange of an add-on and that any add-on product can 
improve, repair or otherwise affect a consumer's credit.
    Section IV requires respondent to substantiate any representations 
about the benefits, performance or efficacy of any add-on product or 
service or any payment program.
    Section V prohibits respondent from collecting cancellation fees 
from consumers who have finished paying off their financing contract 
through NPN's Plan.
    Section VI of the proposed order requires respondent to pay 
consumers two million four hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars 
($2,475,000.00) in monetary relief. The proposed order permits 
respondent to pay the monetary relief amount by: (1) Refunding 
customers a total of $1,526,000.00 within thirty days of service of the 
order; (2) waiving an additional $949,000.00 in fees for current 
customers. If respondent is unable to provide refunds or fee waivers in 
the stated amount, it must remit the balance to the Commission.
    Section VII of the proposed order requires respondent to keep 
copies of relevant advertisements and materials substantiating claims 
made in the advertisements. Section VIII requires that respondent 
provide copies of the order to certain of its personnel. Section IX 
requires notification of the Commission regarding changes in corporate 
structure that might affect compliance obligations under the order. 
Section X requires the respondent to file compliance reports with the 
Commission. Finally, section XI is a provision ``sunsetting'' the order 
after twenty (20) years, with certain exceptions.
    The purpose of this analysis is to aid public comment on the 
proposed order. It is not intended to constitute an official 
interpretation of the complaint or proposed order, or to modify in any 
way the proposed order's terms.

    By direction of the Commission.
Donald S. Clark,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2015-07406 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6750-01-P



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