Monday, June 30, 2008

NetSpend and Skylight Merge

In recent news, NetSpend and Skylight Financial, Inc will merge to create one of the largest companies dedicated to providing financial services to the under banked. NetSpeed Corp has issued more than 14 million prepaid cards. Skylight Financial works with corporate payroll and is also a government benefits card provider.

CEO of NetSpend Daniel R. Henry had this to say about the merger:

The combination of NetSpend and Skylight greatly expands the breadth of products and services we can offer to the millions of unbanked and underbanked consumers in this country. The unique capabilities of the merged companies will allow our corporate customers to manage their gift card, payroll card, and general purpose prepaid card programs in one cohesive product suite.

Kevin Lee, CEO of Skylight Financial said:

We are thrilled to join forces with NetSpend. NetSpend's retail presence and extensive servicing capabilities combined with Skylight's corporate payroll platform and direct-to-consumer sales expertise will provide an unmatched depth of service offerings for consumers and corporations alike.

Share this article with your social network, just click below to share now!

Friday, June 27, 2008

CEO Forgoes Salary for Company

In an announcement today from Prepaid Card Holding, Inc, we find out that CEO Bruce Berman will forgo all monthly compensation for the remainder of 2008. Instead of receiving $24,791 a month, his annual income this year will be a $1. He’s going to give the money to marketing efforts.

He said this of the recent news:

We developed our prepaid card expansion plan in 2007. Now in 2008, the demand for the Company’s prepaid product is much greater than we expected. Increased demand means increased marketing and fulfillment costs. So I decided I would rather see $25,000 a month stay in the company and go towards marketing and fulfillment efforts. Often today’s CEOs have to renegotiate contracts with others because situations evolve and change. I have repeatedly told my shareholders that I am focused on shareholder value. Now I am further demonstrating my practice of protecting shareholder value by renegotiating my own contract to the Company’s benefit.

Share this article with your social network, just click below to share now!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

FNDS3000’s Integration with Bankserv Allows for More Access to ATMs

This latest article in Banking Business Review reports that FNDS3000, a financial services company that supplies prepaid cards and debit cards, has finalized its integration with Bankserv thus allowing for more access to different ATMs across South Africa.

A bank identification number for FNDS3000 has been loaded to all South African Banks so that nearly all FNDS3000 cards can be used at all ATMs.. Victoria Vaksman, Executive VP of FNDS3000 mentions

"This integration and intensive testing with six different banks allows us now to offer to our customers prepaid cards which can be used at any ATM in the country. This is a very important milestone which allows our company to become an important player in the South African financial sector market"

South African cardholders can now look forward to having instant easy access to cash.

Share this article with your social network, just click below to share now!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Texans with Prepaid Phone Cards May Be Facing Fees

The Dallas Morning News recently reported that consumer groups are protesting the new collection fee that will be placed on prepaid cell phone cards. In the state of Texas, everyone with a local exchange number is charged 50¢ (as detailed by the State Government) for each access line. These charges lead to over $7.9 million in 911 fees from May 11 to June 10 this year alone for cell phone users.

The controversy comes from how prepaid phone cards will be handled. It’s not clear how many companies are charging the 50¢, but it is believed that over 2 million Texans use the prepaid cards.

Texas Consumer Association president Sandy Haverleh believes that prepaid card companies will solve this problem by just adding a 50¢ to every card, and :

"Fifty cents is just too much out of a $5 card or a $10 card," she said. "I don't think the Legislature intended to have that high a rate."

Share this article with your social network, just click below to share now!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

US Department of Employment Services Pay Summer Youth Workers with Visa Payroll Cards

According to this post on the ePaymentnews Network, the Washington D.C. Department of Employment Services will begin paying their summer youth participants with JP Morgan-issued Visa debit cards.

This is being done as an alternative payment method to payroll checks. It will also reduce costs associated with printing paper checks. There are over 19,000 youth participants in the 2008 Passport-to-Work-Summer Youth Program. Participants will have immediate access to their money on pay day, have a unique personal identification number, and they will be able to use the cards anywhere Visa is accepted.

Share this article with your social network, just click below to share now!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Tsys and PartnersFirst Come to an Agreement for a Credit Card Processing Deal

The ePaymentnews Network reports that Tsys will partner up with the US-based Torrey Pines Bank division PartnersFirst Affinity Services for consumer credit card portfolio processing. PartnersFirst will use Tsys’s instant application, letter production, and online credit card services just to name a few.

Tsys recently gave two great workshops (“Creating Successful Prepaid Programs for a Diverse Audience in Europe” and “Managing the Demand For Prepaid Products in Latin America”) at the Prepaid Card Expo Event this March. Tsys seems to be on the move, make sure to check back regularly for other updates within the prepaid card industry.

Share this article with your social network, just click below to share now!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Simon Gift Cards Excel with Customers

Having sold over 34 million cards to date, the Simon Property Group Giftcard program succeeds at what it does. Since it is sold in 230 locations around the Untied States and can be used almost anywhere, the customers enjoy its convenience, affordability and versatility. It is recognized this week in Manage Smarter for that customer excellence. Simon Gift Cards also won the Best Retail Gift Card program this year at the 2008 Prepaid Card Expo.

Share this article with your social network, just click below to share now!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bank Freedom Launches a Spanish Website for its Bank Freedom Prepaid MasterCard Program

Business Wire reports that Bank Freedom has now launched a Spanish- new card enrollment website. Bank Freedom has always had bilingual customer service agents and bilingual sites for its users to access their online accounts, but now its offering a website where customers can better understand the benefits of the product they are ordering.

Bank Freedom will roll out a marketing campaign focused heavily on Spanish radio stations across the United States. Bruce Berman, CEO of Bank Freedom mentions:

“There is a great need for our product and until now we have not been able to directly reach the Spanish-speaking community in the United States. Our prepaid cards provide a much needed service with nominal costs. With a Bank Freedom Prepaid MasterCard card, a consumer can eliminate their reliance on check cashing services and money orders, and they are safer than cash and accepted worldwide.”

Share this article with your social network, just click below to share now!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

MasterCard Decides to Drop Cross-Border Interchange Fees, Visa Does Not

This latest post on the ePaymentnews Network discusses that Visa Europe does not plan to drop interchange fees on cross-border credit and debit transactions despite MasterCard’s decision to do so across Europe. In 2007 the European Commission established that the interchange fees charged by MasterCard broke EC Treaty regulations.

Visa’s interchange fee of 0.7 percent was found to be justified, and so Visa was exempt from the EU competition law. Interchange fees set by credit card associations are the biggest charge of the various fees that banks deduct from merchant’s credit card sales.

Share this article with your social network, just click below to share now!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Open-Loop Prepaid In Retail: Expanding Consumer Payment Options

In case you weren’t able to join us yesterday, we’d like share with you the webinar we hosted called, “Open-Loop Prepaid In Retail: Expanding Consumer Payment Options.” Tim Sloane, Director, Mercator Advisory Group, joined us for this excellent presentation, to discuss open-loop prepaid products in the retail environment. He addressed the growing convergence between open and closed loop prepaid products, implications for retailers and issuers, strategies for effective and efficient distribution and marketing, and outlook for profitability of these new card types

You can watch it anytime on demand here:

We hope you enjoy the presentation, and will keep you up to date on any forthcoming Prepaid Card Expo web seminars!

Share this article with your social network, just click below to share now!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Tuxedo and Ethoca to Reduce Prepaid Card Fraud

According to this news release on PR Web, Tuxedo Money Plus, a provider of prepaid cards, has partnered with Ethoca, which is a leader in collaborative fraud management, to help reduce risks.

Mark Simon, CEO of Tuxedo Money Solutions mentions:

"Fighting fraud on our own is expensive, and can cost us lost customers and profits. By working together with the wide range of online businesses partnered with Ethoca to stop fraud and reverse its growth, Tuxedo will sustain rapid growth without spending exorbitant amounts of our own time and money combating customer-not-present fraud."

The need for security in prepaid card transactions will skyrocket as the demand for prepaid cards grows in the European market. The Tuxedo MasterCard Prepaid card already offers secure online purchasing, a safe way to make payments, and access to 1.3 million ATMs.

Share this article with your social network, just click below to share now!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Bonnaroo and Facecard Partner to Help Charities

This recent post on notes how Facecard Prepaid MasterCard has teamed up with Bonnaroo, which is a annual four day music and arts festival, to raise money for various charities.

Facecard agreed to donate up to $10,000 for everyone who sings up for a Facecard from the Bonnaroo community. There will be a Facecard booth set up at Bonnaroo where people can learn more about this program and giveaways. In addition to this, the first 10,000 people who sign up for the Facecard will get $5 added to their cards so that they can purchase Bonnaroo merchandise both at the event and online.

Share this article with your social network, just click below to share now!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Booming Gift Card Business

The gift card business is expected to reach $100 billion in sales this year; companies are trying to find new and exciting ways to expand their businesses with the options of gift cards. The new theme is multi-branding according to this article at Manage Smarter.

"People don't want to carry around five different gift cards they received as spot rewards in their wallets. They want one card that can be used in a variety of ways, even at a variety of merchants. For example, they could have a Starbucks/Apple card or a gas card attached to a McDonald's card. Right now, our company is piloting a couple of merchants to offer a card that can be redeemed at any of their stores."

The article gives credit to Starbucks for beginning the creative segment in gift cards. According to the article, the 2004 gift card with doubled as a Visa and an in store transaction card got the creative juices flowing. Another significant trend is that many gift cards are coming with loyalty plans, or points systems to earn rewards.

While some people believe that multi-branding gift cards save space in the wallet, as well as provide incentive to shop in many stores, there are still some skeptics. Timothy Rossi explains why:

“Many may think they are a 'cure-all' for recognition and incentive rewards. We have to be careful with the concept," he cautions. "If 'multipurpose' gift cards can be used to purchase everyday sundries such as milk, eggs or gas, then the intrinsic value of the recognition experience is lost."

Share this article with your social network, just click below to share now!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

InComm Launch of Poni Cards Help Break International Barriers

InComm, a provider of prepaid transaction processing has partnered with American Cash Exchange to release the Poni Card, which is a money remittance card used from US to Mexico.

According to this article on News Blaze, individuals in the US using Poni Cards will be able to transfer money internationally to Mexico. The recipient will use a similar card to withdraw pesos from over 26,000 ATM machines in Mexico. No fees will be assessed to both the purchaser and the recipient.

Brooks Smith, president and CEO of InComm delivers this message:

“By delivering this cutting edge remittance technology, InComm's retailer customers will be able to provide the Hispanic community with access, at 145,000 retail locations, to the most convenient remittance option in the world. InComm is committed to providing our customers with the best pre-paid products available in the marketplace today, and we are very excited to offer American Cash Exchange's Poni Card. Today's announcement reflects our dedication to augment our product offerings for our retailers."

Share this article with your social network, just click below to share now!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Netspend and QC Financial Partner to Offer Prepaid Debit Cards

The SunHerald reports that Netspend, a premier prepaid solution provider has teamed up with QC Financial to for a prepaid debit card program. QC Fiancial has over 23 years in the consumer finance industry, but will reloadable prepaid debit cards will be available at 596 QC branches across the United States, roughly 90% of all QC locations.

QC Financial President Darrin Andersen mentions:

"We chose to work with NetSpend because of their expertise with prepaid products and their leadership in the marketplace. NetSpend has proven itself to be a preferred partner for payday loan companies and we look forward to extending these cards to our customers."

These prepaid debit cards will of issued by MetaBank, which is a federally-chartered savings bank headquartered in Storm Lake, Iowa.

Share this article with your social network, just click below to share now!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Visa and Springbok Announces Latest Prepaid Card Agreement

As reported by Business Wire Visa has partnered up with Springbok Services to offer a Visa-branded prepaid card program. Springbok currently offers prepaid cards for rewards, incentives, promotions among corporate employees and customers. Taylor Ohlsen, CEO of Springbok mentions:

“Adding Visa to our product portfolio extends the features and benefits we are able to pass along to our clients, and underscores our reputation as a highly trusted vendor. We value our relationship with Visa and each of our clients, and expect this addition to our service offering to be mutually beneficial for everyone.”

Springbok now can offer clients access to benefits that only Visa provides through Visa-sponsored discounts and promotions.

Share this article with your social network, just click below to share now!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Brasil Telecom Teams up with Gemalto to Launch USIM cards for the 3G Network

According to this article on ePaymentsnews Network, Gemalto is the first company that will supply Brasil Telecom USIM cards for their 3G network.

USIM cards provide much needed security, which is important in mobile broadband connection. This system will enable users to perform transactions more safely. USIM software applications are loaded in SIM cards, which are designed especially for electronic transactions.

Share this article with your social network, just click below to share now!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

A Prepaid Card for your Health and Wellness Expenses

According to this article at Manage Smarter, Highmark, Inc, has created a prepaid card for employers to give to their employees in order to help out with medical expenses. The new Health Care gift card is available for purchase by employers, and they can give it to their employees to promote good health. The card can be used for anything from co-pays to health club membership fees. The card is a Visa, so it can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, and can be replaced if it is lost or stolen.
(Photo Courtesy of LA Splash)

Share this article with your social network, just click below to share now!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Launch of Cart-Jump Prepaid Visa

The ePaymentnews Network reports that Orange teams has teamed up with French bank BNP Paribas to launch the Cart-Jump co-branded Visa prepaid card for young adults aged 12-17.

This card is intended to help parents take control and manage their children’s funds by adding funds through the Cart Jump website. Cart Jump offers rewards points which can be redeemed for discounts on the Zap Zone service. An online game is also offered to Cart Jump website users.

Cart Jump will also release a similar prepaid card targeted to adults in the near future.

Share this article with your social network, just click below to share now!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Gift Cards becoming preferred Gifts

An article at Manage Smarter has shed new light on the new view of gift cards as presents rather than a replacement for a gift. In the survey, 8,000 people stated they preferred branded gift cards from family and friends as presents. Cards displaying American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa logos brought high levels of emotional value to the receivers. Conclusions of this study show that now, gift cards are no longer seen as a utility gift.

Also according to the study:

-- 90% of the participants liked the ability to choose their perfect gift when receiving a gift card

-- 50% of participants preferred to receive gift cards over cash

Share this article with your social network, just click below to share now!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Bank Freedom sees Success with Prepaid MasterCard

In a recent article at AllPayNews, they shed light on the overwhelming success Bank Freedom saw with their launch of the Bank Freedom MasterCard. Expecting to deliver 10,000 to 20,000 in the card’s April release, they actually shipped 44,000 cards. The company has extensive knowledge in direct marketing, and used this to promote the card through radio, print, and internet marketing campaigns. It paid off.

The Vice President of Customer Service, Ryan Guenthart, had this to say about the card:

“Customers have told us they are switching to Bank Freedom for a variety of reasons. However, the majority of them are stating that our fee structure saves them money. Bank Freedom customers are American consumers who are in need of a low-cost alternative to check cashing centers, money orders and paying with cash, so every penny counts to them.”

Share this article with your social network, just click below to share now!