Payment Systems

The payments industry is rapidly evolving as a result of increased reliance on non-cash forms of payment and technological change. At the same time, the regulatory framework under which the industry operates was designed for a different time and for different market participants. As a result, companies in the payment industry are routinely facing cutting edge legal issues spanning a number of legal disciplines. Ulmer & Berne assists clients navigate the complex legal and regulatory obstacles to accomplish their business objectives and strengthen their businesses. Our payments industry experience is augmented by a sophisticated financial services regulatory practice, allowing us to provide advice with perspective on larger trends in the financial services and payments industry.

Our Approach

Our first step is to understand our client’s business and business goals. From there, our interdisciplinary team crafts creative solutions to meet our client’s legal and business needs with the goal of adding value. We have consistently helped our payment systems clients create new sources of revenue and assets, increase shareholder value, and create long-term competitive advantages.


Our payments industry professionals provide advice across the full spectrum of payments industry issues:

  • Capital markets
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Structuring investments and joint ventures
  • Financial regulatory counsel
  • Intellectual property and technology
  • Data security and PCI compliance
  • Litigation and dispute resolution
  • Trade secrets and non-competition agreements
  • E-Commerce
  • Cloud platforms
  • Employment advice
  • Sponsorship agreements
  • Referral agreements

Mergers and Acquisitions

Ulmer & Berne has significant experience advising financial institutions and other companies participating in the payment systems industry. We have advised clients on numerous mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and investments involving all aspects of the payments industry, including payment processing, pre-paid and gift cards, betting and gaming, E-Commerce transactions, and PCI compliance.

Sponsorship and Referral Agreements

Our payment systems attorneys regularly advise clients on structuring sponsorship and referral agreements. We have advised clients in connection with such agreements in the context of asset purchase agreements, as well as in joint ventures, revenue sharing arrangements and master services agreements. We help clients navigate the regulatory, data security and privacy, and operational issues that are critical to successfully completing these deals.

Intellectual Property and Technology

Our payment system attorneys have experience in patent prosecution, copyright, and trademark registration. We also have advised clients on intellectual property and technology licensing, including software and hardware licenses. Ulmer & Berne attorneys routinely develop international patent portfolios in order to serve the business objectives of our payment systems clients. We also actively participate in ongoing internal patent audits and invention data mining efforts to increase the strength and add value to the patent portfolios of our payment systems clients.

Financial Regulatory Counsel

Our financial regulatory attorneys have experience representing a wide variety of financial service companies from payments industry players to large financial institutions. Our experience advising financial service providers—from compliance issues to transactional implications to litigation strategy—positions our lawyers to effectively guide our payments industry clients in establishing and maintaining effective enterprise risk management programs and policies, all with the goal of minimizing litigation and regulatory risk.

Data Security and PCI Compliance

Protecting sensitive information is a critical component of processing payment transactions. Ulmer & Berne attorneys have advised clients about compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards and related data security issues in the context of vendor management, mergers and acquisitions, internal compliance, and security breaches.


Ulmer & Berne’s litigators serve a diverse range of clients in the financial services industry, including debit and credit card processing companies, bank and credit card lenders, and many retailers. These attorneys have successfully defended clients in a variety of litigation including putative class actions and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau investigations, various NACHA (Electronic Payments Association) disputes, Federal Trade Commission investigations, as well as, individual and class action claims under the Truth in Lending Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, and Electronic Funds Transfer Act.

Representative Experience