Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tips on How to Beat the Flunctuating Pound with Prepaid Cards

The pound which has plummeted against all major currencies this past year has added extra costs incurred by UK business travelers. According to this article on TimesOnline, the best way to cope with this dilemma is by loading prepaid debit cards with dollars or euros when the exchange rate is favorable. Some of the better known prepaid cards that are supplied by the exchange companies are Caxton FX and FairFX.

Mark Bodega, marketing director of HiFX offers this advice before shopping for a prepaid card,“It is worth shopping around before deciding on a prepaid card. Some levy a fee every time you spend, either a percentage of the amount or a flat fee per transaction. If you make a high number of small purchases, go for a percentage fee; for fewer but higher-value purchases go for a set fee.”

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

Friday, March 27, 2009

Prepaid Cards More than What you Bargained For?

Washington Independent recently published an article that although mentioning that reloadable prepaid cards among the "unbanked" have grown tremendously the past two years according to market research from the Mercator Advisory Group, there are several downsides to using prepaid cards.

The article states that even though prepaid cards don't charge overdraft fees, they still remain expensive to use. Many card issuers can charge up to $10 a month on maintenance fees, not to mention fees for reloading the card and customer service fees. Prepaid cards at times can also incur cancellation fees, depending on the issuer.

So, are prepaid cards expensive in your opinion? What are your thoughts?

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

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Coinstar E-payment services recognized

According to Fox Business, convince store chains have voted Coinstar E-Payment Services as top prepaid performer.

Mike Skinner, general manager, Coinstar E-Payment Services, had this to say about the award:
"We are honored to be acknowledged as a leading prepaid provider by our customers. This recognition not only points to Coinstar's leadership in the Pay As You Go industry, but to the dedication of our retail partners to make the prepaid category successful."

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

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Nokia takes stake in mobile payments firm Obopay

Reuters is reporting that cell phone giant Nokia has taken a minority stake in Obopay, a mobile money transfer company. The size of the investment was not disclosed; however the report indicated that the funding will be used to help Obopay expand its product offerings and global presence.

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

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

First Bank of Delaware Offers New Credit Lending Product

The Paypers reports that the First Bank of Delaware has made available to its customers the Simply Credit Lending product. This card offers its consumers a credit line which can be accessed through their existing prepaid cards, and it allows them to borrow money for short-term obligations or emergencies.

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

Monday, March 23, 2009

Prepaid cards gaining in popularity

In an article at CreditCards.com, they address that many consumers are switching from credit cards to prepaid debit cards for budgeting purposes. Growth is expected as well, as the article predicts that $7.1 billion will be loaded onto prepaid cards in 2009.

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

Friday, March 20, 2009

Please give us your feedback on the 2009 Prepaid Expo USA

Good afternoon,
We're putting together the 2010 Prepaid Expo USA, and would like your opinions, insights and suggestions. Please take three minutes to fill out this survey, whether you attended the 2009 Expo or not.


Keith Kirkpatrick
Conference Director, Prepaid Expo USA

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

Home Safe Card: A Prepaid Way to Get Home Safe

Darla Nagel reports on, Home Safe Card, which is a new prepaid taxi card that aims to curb drunk driving by offering individuals a safe way to get home after a night out. According to Nagel's report, the CEO of Home Safe Card is marketing the card to colleges at first because he sees a need for a safe way to travel home. The card is accepted by any taxi or company that accepts Discover. For more information on the Home Safe Card, visit the original article here.

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

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Prepaid Cash Cards are on the Rise while Credit Cards Decline

The NY Times recently wrote a piece discussing the rising popularity of prepaid cash cards. In the article James Flanigan highlights how the cards, which have the MasterCard, Visa, or Discover logos, have become more like “portable checking accounts” where consumers can load up on deposits made at retail outlets instead of banks.

He also mentions that companies like Green Dot Corporation, NetSpend, and nFinanSe Inc. are highly involved in the distribution and management of the accounts, handling customer service and providing computer servers and software. The number of “unbanked” and “underbanked” is growing at record pace throughout this economic crisis, and so it is no wonder where there is a sudden decline in credit cards. Do you think that this trend will continue for quite some time?

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

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Macy's prepaid card offers alternative

ReadyCREDIT has teamed up with Macy's to provide a prepaid solution to their shoppers with poor credit. At some of their stores, they have kiosks that dispense prepaid MasterCard ReadyCards, that offer all of the perks as the Macy's credit card. They have been available since 2005. They are open-loop, so they can be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted. These kiosks are now being tested at Best Buy. Read the full story here.

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

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Prepaid March LinkedIn Roundup

Here's the February edition of the newsletter we regularly send out to our Prepaid Professionals LinkedIn group members. Remember to join our Prepaid Professionals LinkedIn Group if you haven't so already in order to receive these communications on a monthly basis. Enjoy!

Read the Newsletter

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

Monday, March 16, 2009

Impressions of Prepaid Expo USA 2009

We'd like to once again thank all the attendees, sponsors, speakers, partners, and exhibitors that helped make the 2009 Prepaid Expo USA a huge success! Browsing the web I came across several impressions and perspectives of the event from various speaker blogs and news articles. Take a couple of minutes to read them below.


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

Friday, March 13, 2009

Acorn Prepaid Mastercard introduced by Lloyds TSB

Lloyd's TSB launched the Acorn prepaid MasterCard so that employers in the UK could pay their unbanked employees with the same turn around time as the banked employees.

Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance has introduced the Acorn prepaid card to enable agencies to pay their temporary unbanked staff in the same way as banked staff. Employees receive instant access to their wages and gain the added flexibility of a card that can be used to pay in both real and virtual environments where MasterCard is accepted and withdraw cash from ATMs, according to CredEcard.

For the complete story, read here.

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

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thank You to Everyone For Making the 2009 Prepaid Expo USA a Success!

Each year the team strives very hard to create a great experience for all of the attendees at the conference. We seek out remarkable and timely speakers, intent on bringing you presentations on the issues and challenges the Prepaid industry is dealing with. This year we especially focused on creating a broader community of Prepaid professionals who would not only benefit from the experience at the conference, but be able to continue and share perspectives and ideas throughout the year.

We feel that the 2009 Prepaid Expo has achieved this, and we hope those of you who attended, or followed us here on the blog, through our event site, our LinkedIn group or on twitter, will continue the discussions and idea-sharing that was fundamental to the overall experience of the conference.

Finally, our Conference Director, Keith Kirkpatrick, took a few moments during the closing hours of the conference to share his final thoughts:

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

Track Session: Analyzing the Benefits and Challenges of Utilizing a Platform-As-A-Service Model in Prepaid

Anil D. Aggarwal, Chairman and CEO, Txvia

Anil begins the presentation by discussing how companies like eBay, Google, Facebook, and Amazon conduct fundamental business practices. Txvia has utilized these same principles and practices to prepaid card processing.

Anil mentions that there is a 3rd leg to the payments stool.

Prepaid industry has a wide spectrum of products
- Consumers now want more personalized products
- Vertical market applications
- Marketing, sales, and distribution channels
- Different geographic markets

Some of the principles adopted by companies like Facebook and eBay which can also be adopted for prepaid processing:
- The market is not only defined by the masses but now also by market of niches
- Teams and 3rd parties need to collaborate to help manage complexity and co-create value
- Think in terms of being a “platform” and not a “product”

Anil then passes the presentation on to Anne, also from Txvia, where she goes over sample models and sample IDE Development screens from their core offerings.

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

Panel Discussion: Identifying Prepaid Opportunities and Challenges in C-Stores and Fuel Retail: A Special Session with CSP Information Group

Kay Segal, Vice President, CSP Information Group

Scott Burslem, Other Income Manager, Travelcenters of America
David Taylor, Category Director, Exxon Mobil Corporation
Mike Triantafellou, President & CEO, Handee Marts, Inc.
Mike Skinner, General Manager, Coinstar E-Payment Services
Frank Squilla, Senior Vice President of Sales, Incomm

Here are a couple of questions and answers from the panel discussion.

Q: What products have you seen do best in retail?
A: We have seen increased adoption of reloadable cards that have been particularly popular with unbanked consumer. Such consumers have used it as a great vehicle for cash back, purchasing groceries, and gas purchases. Consumers are increasingly looking for cards that they can pick up and use anywhere, not just one store. The result is that Visa and MasterCard branded cards have done extremely well.

Q: What are some different product offerings and integration that have been growing in the prepaid industry?
A: Music and online-gaming (Xbox, PS3, Wii) have shown a tremendous spike in the use of prepaid. The result has been a definite move into these industries as they offer the opportunity for an underserved market who regularly purchases incrementally within these environments.

Q: When you test a product, what is the lead time that you traditionally need to setup a skew?
A: Depending on the size of the company it can take anyway from 2 weeks to 2 months time frame.

Q: What are some of the pieces of the puzzle that make success when you bring out products to market?
A: The importance of coordinating technology resources cannot be understated. It has become essential to have the necessary lead time with technology teams to properly prepare every aspect of the launch.

Here is a short clip of the panel discussion:

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

Keynote Address: Demonstrating the Business Case for Corporate Citizenship

Alpesh Chokshi, President, Global Prepaid, American Express Company

Here are a few points from his presentation.

Alpesh discusses how now is the perfect time to invest in innovation initiatives with prepaid. As a result Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is now more important than ever because of economic conditions. It is an opportunity to demonstrate to customers an offering of safety, security, and control.

Alpesh then discussed various examples from American Express and their use of CSR. He described the “Make Mine A $ Million Business” that has offered small business owners the tools such as marketing, back-office support, and strategies to help grow their business. In time one in four participants were able to bring their business to reach one million dollars in revenue . In another example American Express, as the largest travel agency in the world, has worked with several partners across the world to invest in and help preserve tourist attractions that are often neglected and in disrepair.

Going even further, Alpesh made two major announcements on behalf of American Express
1. That American Express would begin converting their cards to recyclable materials from standard plastic
2. The launch of "Gift Cards 101" – A program to support the entire prepaid industry to help educate consumers on all aspects of using prepaid cards

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

Analyzing the Future Opportunities to Spur Profitable Growth in Prepaid

Gary L. Palmer, Chairman-Elect, NBCPA and EVP, Fidelity National Information Services

Brian Triplett, Global Head of Prepaid, Visa
Laura Kelly, Senior VP, Global Prepaid & Debit Product Solutions, MasterCard Worldwide
Steve Streit, Founder & CEO, Green Dot Corporation
Anil Aggarwal, Chairman and CEO, Txvia
Stefan Happ, VP & GM, North American Prepaid Cards, American Express
Todd Brockman, President, Galileo Payments
Grant Rogers, Senior VP, Meta Payment Systems
Farhan Ahmad, General Manager Prepaid & Director of Emerging Payments, Discover Networks

Here are some of the questions and answers from the panel discussion.

Q: How is the financial crisis affecting opportunities in the prepaid industry?
A: The payment business is alive and well even though we are going through an economic downturn. This is a huge time for prepaid to shine because consumers are looking for safety, budgeting, and more control of their use. Mobile has become an increasingly important utility to get people to use their prepaid cards more often.

Q: In what ways do you see growth being fueled in prepaid?
A: MasterCard is working on more reload networks across the globe. From an innovation perspective, MasterCard is working on combining different offerings from issuers to help bring about innovative products. Visa is working with their partnerships to help companies penetrate these new opportunities, to drive preference for branded products, and to help with performance drivers for business. American Express is dedicating their focus on execution making sure that everyone in the chain is working collaboratively to issue the best end product to consumers. Galileo believes that reporting and analytics for clients is a key driver that will be able to fuel prepaid in the future. Galileo also announced that this week they launched Galileo Analytics. This new offering will provide product managers the ability to develop actual business intelligence, not only with reporting on the transactional data but also information on cardholders in order to begin to move into portfolio management. Anil, CEO and Chairman of Txvia, believes that there are still opportunities in processing that has not yet been addressed yet. Some of these niche issues and markets are missed sometimes, but they are very important and we need to focus on profitable deployments.

Here’s some footage from the panel discussion:

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

Keynote Address: How Globalization has Re-Shaped the Investment Landscape: An Economic Outlook for 2009

Keynote Address: How Globalization has Re-Shaped the Investment Landscape: An Economic Outlook for 2009
Mark W. Yusko, President & Chief Investment Officer, Morgan Creek Capital Management, LLC

Yesterday, the session began with opening remarks from Keith Kirkpatrick, conference director for the Prepaid Expo, followed by additional remarks from Marilyn Bochicchio, President of Paybefore. Mark was introduced by Marilyn followed by warm applause from attendees.

Mark began his keynote presentation by discussing how global stocks are down in some cases as much as 99%, but even aware of this investors continue to choose to keep investing in US markets. He points out that while the economy is down, this is the best opportunity to invest but the issue is where to invest.

He points out that the current crisis has people hoarding cash rather than spending or investing. The result is that last year has been the 2nd worst year for the markets. Mark quotes, Mark Faber who said, “A surplus of cash leads to a shortage of sense.” Which is exactly what happened in Japan’s case during the mid to late '90s.

Mark then begins to relate the changing reality of the world economy that positions BRIC countries such as China, India, Russia and Brazil as ascendant, quickly expanding market economies. China in particular will outpace even the US over the next 20 years.

He points out that our economy has become increasingly like a 'banana republic, “writing checks that our body can’t cash.” With this flux in the global economy he clearly makes the case that now more than ever, is the best opportunity to invest markets outside of the US, particularly emerging, developing nations.

Here’s a clip from Mark W. Yusko’s keynote speech:

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

Raffle Winners

We like to thank all of our exhibitors and sponsors who helped us to make the 2009 Prepaid Expo USA a remarkable success. Many of them held contests and raffles this year. Here are a list of the winners:

NBPCA - Prize: Netbook Computer - Winner: Leana Hersch from Oberthur

Papier Studio - Prize: $100 Visa Card - Winner: Helen Child

First Bank of Delaware - Prize: TV - Winner: Ashvin Lad from Discover
- Prize: Nintendo Wii - Winner: Carol VanCleef from Patton Buggs

Oberthur - Prize: $50 Gift Card - Winner: Juan Gerardo Pina Prieto from Sivale
- Prize: $50 Gift Card - Winner: Eddie Sawyers from SCL
- Prize: $50 Gift Card - Winner: Judy Karlin Rubin from Discover

Metavante - Prize: Callaway Putter - Winner: Dave Willmott from Cash Pass Network

Vehicle Admin Services - Prize: iPod Touch - Winner: Christina Schleifer from The Capital Corporation

FIS - Prize: Nintendo Wii - Winner: Alina Gonzalez from Belize Bank

Prepaid Resources - Prize: 2.5g of Gold - Winner: Philip Cormier from ACE C/C

MasterCard - Prize: Choice of Flip Mino HD Video Camera or iPod Touch
Winners: Bill San Giacomo from Instant Tax Service
Jenny Bustos from Springbok
Steve Turzol from Bancorp

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

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Track Presentation: Assessing the Public Sector Opportunities for Prepaid


Jason Tiede, Director of Public Sector Prepaid, Citi Prepaid Services
Hemant Baijal, Vice President, Public Sector Prepaid, MasterCard Worldwide

This track presentation began with Hemant discussing the reasons why prepaid has grown citing that the industry has provided the right solutions to key stakeholders. For government agencies, prepaid has created efficiencies, lowered direct costs, minimized fraud, and simplified payment of benefits. For cardholders, prepaid has given them convenient and quick access to their funds, it is less costly than cashing checks, it provides more control over the use of their funds, and it improves financial access for the under-banked.

Hemant mentioned that prepaid is helping the public sector by
  • Providing solutions that are relevant globally
  • Displacing costly methods of benefits disbursements
  • Delivering innovative, electronic payments solutions
  • Improving access to mainstream financial products
Jason Tiede of Citi Prepaid Services stated that the 5 keys to success for prepaid are
  1. Identify a niche
  2. Pursue market driven solutions
  3. Ensure quality infrastructure
  4. Understand the culture
  5. Be quick to market position as market leader
Here's a small portion of the presentation:

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

Track Presentation: Incorporating New Features and Functionality onto Prepaid Platforms


Tim Sloane, Director, Debit Advisory Service, Mercator Advisory Group


Scott Johnson, VP of Account Management, Galileo Processing

Scott, Galit, Executive VP, Meta Payment

Tim Coltrell, CEO, Account Now

Chris Britt, Chief Product Officer, Green Dot Corporation

Tim Sloane began with a brief introduction of each of the panelists and their general perspectives on the topic. He then opened up the discussion to questions to the panelists:

Q: What are some key issues to address when launching new functionality in card programs?

A: Products must first address consumer needs. A company must invest heavily in research, surveys and other forms of market research are vital in understanding what the consumer truly wants. Another thing is to make sure that there is great value to the consumer. There should also be a reward system set up in which customers are rewarded for consistently using the product.

Q: How do you determine the costs of different features of customer service while rolling out new features?

A: It’s important to balance speed and functionality. Ultimately, you must really understand the value proposition.

Q: When introducing a modest change, is there a standard process being followed to make sure that all the ends are tied together?

A: Need strong project management discipline to carefully deliver and roll out all related processes that come along with new features.

Q: There is an argument out there that many prepaid platforms have become a “me too” industry, are there true opportunities for innovation in the industry?

A: Financial services in general are easy to copy products from other people but it really comes down to execution. It is a continuous process to improve the product and add new functionality to it. It takes a level of technical experience to implement this.

Q: Another complexity is managing the inventory of cards, do you find that a challenge?

A: Make sure you have a great processing partner to ensure that your customers are receiving mailings of their cards.

Q: What is the best new feature that will be launched in the UK within the next 12 months?

A: A new feature to look out for in the upcoming months is SMS texts and alerts stating balances for consumers.

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

Keynote Address: Tearing Down Silos to Drive Success in Prepaid


Carol Kinsey Gorman, Ph.D., Author, Coach and Consultant, Kinsey Consulting Services

Carol began her keynote address with a story about her husband and the collaboration she encountered from the hospital team when he was at the hospital for a couple of weeks. Just like her example, she mentions that the secret to a successful business is a highly collaborative culture. No matter the industry, eliminating silos in the business model is crucial to the successful growth of an organization. Silos have been around since the early 1920’s, and so it has been branded into the minds of executives for a very long time.

Carol gave an example of how IT departments generally have a tough time communicating what they do to executives. Most successful organizations bring the business managers of different divisions and business units and given them an opportunity to understand the IT team's capabilities and offerings in order to communicate it back to their respective business units. By bringing in these managers, companies now have opened up communication between their business units and IT team.

Carol then highlighted the detriment of hoarding knowledge within organizations. The “hoarding instinct” comes into play now especially because of our economic situation. People want to store information and knowledge within themselves and not share it across different business teams. She highlights that very successful organizations often actively pursue spreading such knowledge across the organization and improve understanding and communication. Businesses must be open to change because it is what will keep then competitive during these tough times.

Silos not only cause duplication of efforts, lack of innovation, and lack of communication, but it directly results in the loss of efficiencies and dollars tied to the bottom line. Here's a brief excerpt from Carol's presentation:

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

Keynote Address: Capitalizing on Growth Opportunities in Prepaid


Elizabeth Buse, Global Head of Product, VISA, Inc.

Elizabeth Buse started her keynote address after some opening remarks from the conference chairperson, Marilyn Bochicchio. She went right into personal consumption expenditures and how much of it is related to prepaid opportunities. There isn’t a consistent report to assess how much of it is prepaid opportunity, but VISA has taken a bottom-up approach into trying to understand the prepaid opportunity.

Merchants ,financial institutions, government more now than ever, want to jump into prepaid opportunities and manage risks. This means that the market needs choice control efficiency. The industry has to enable certain control options for consumers. Streamlining costs becomes increasingly important as retailers want to attract new customers but don’t want their spend to increase dramatically.

This trend continues not only domestically but across the globe in countries like Brazil, Philippines, South Africa, India, where opportunities for the prepaid industry for the under banked is immense.

In an economic downturn, companies must invest heavily in innovation now. Innovation in the prepaid market is vital to its survival. Elizabeth mentions that Visa’s press release today of their adoption of MoneyGram Link is an excellent example of innovation that prepaid companies should be mimicking. Being able to deliver consistently and keeping our promise to our consumers should be the driving factor for innovation within prepaid.

Take a look at some video footage we captured from Elizabeth's keynote address below:

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

The 2009 Paybefore Awards Ceremony

Marilyn Bochicchio, CEO of Paybefore, starts off the 2009 Paybefore Awards Ceremony by thanking the judges that have reviewed all nominations.

Here are the categories for the awards ceremony and the best in category award winners.

· Best Consumer-Funded Prepaid Card – Walmart MoneyCard

· Best Business/ Corporate- Funded Card – TeacherDollars and U.S Express Dual Purpose Corporate Card

· Best B2C Corporate-Funded Prepaid Card - Verizon Wireless Rebate Program

· Best Government Funded Prepaid Card of Program - g2g Youth Opportunity Card

· Best Third-Part Card Retailer – Variable Load Program

· Most Innovative Prepaid Product, Service or Card - ItzCash Octroi Automation

· Best Non-US Based Prepaid Card or Program - paysafecard

· Best Prepaid Marketing or Awareness-Building Program - NBPCA

· Best Prepaid Materials Design – Anne Geddes Card Designs

Now the winner for the highest recognition in the industry

Industry Achievement

Matt Gillin, CEO & Founder – Citi Prepaid Services

Steve Streit, CEO & Founder – Green Dot Corporation

Brad Hanson, President – Meta Payment Systems

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

Track Presentation: Gift Card Retailer Alliance – Breaking New Ground to Advance the Closed-Loop Gift Card Industry

During Tuesday morning's track sessions, we sat in the Gift Card Retailer Alliance – Breaking New Ground to Advance the Closed-Loop Gift Card Industry


Carman Wenkoff, President, Value Pay Services LLC (Subway Card Programs)

Tom Boucher, Senior Program Manager, Gift Cards, Best Buy

Attendees welcomed Carman from Value Pay Services when introduced. Carman begins with an overview of the association’s goals and initiatives. Here is the code of principles for the association.

- Adoption of more consumer friendly policies, programs, and best practices

- No expiration or dormancy fees

- Collaborate together to address external issues

- Working respectfully with other members of the association

Carman then passed the presentation over to Tom from Best Buy where he further discussed some of the information and benefits of the association. Some of the benefits include access to reports shared within the association, listing on the RGCA website, access to special vendor rates and programs, and opportunities to participate in all projects organized by the RGCA. In order to request membership to the association each applicant must review the code of principles and then apply at the RGCA website.

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

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

MoneyGram and Visa Inc. Expand Access to Prepaid Services for Consumers Nationwide

Deal extends Visa’s prepaid reload network to 40,000 MoneyGram locations, bringing greater convenience to financially underserved consumers

MINNEAPOLIS and SAN FRANCISCO (March 10, 2009) — MoneyGram International (NYSE: MGI), a leading provider of global payment services, and Visa Inc., (NYSE: V) today announced plans to introduce Visa ReadyLink – Visa’s prepaid load network – in MoneyGram’s 40,000 agent locations across the United States, providing financially underserved consumers with more convenient options to add funds to their Visa reloadable prepaid cards.

By becoming a Visa ReadyLink participant, MoneyGram enables consumers with any Visa ReadyLink-enabled prepaid card to add funds – in real-time – anywhere MoneyGram Money Transfer and ExpressPayment are offered. MoneyGram joins more than 8,000 participating Visa ReadyLink locations, further extending the convenience and security of reload services to Visa prepaid cardholders in more convenient, everyday shopping locations.

According to Visa estimates, more than 80 million consumers in the United States are “financially underserved”, without access to a banking relationship or access to a payment card. These consumers receive approximately $1 trillion in annual income, pay more than $1 billion in check cashing fees a year, and rely heavily on cash for everyday transactions.

“By making Visa ReadyLink available in MoneyGram’s locations, we’re able to offer greater access and convenience to Visa prepaid cardholders seeking a better alternative to a cash-and-carry lifestyle,” said Elizabeth Buse, global head of products, Visa Inc. “Prepaid is a key priority for Visa and a vital part of our long-term growth strategy. That's why we continue to invest in building upon what we believe is the industry's most flexible and robust prepaid product suite and infrastructure.”

“Our relationship with Visa strengthens our ability to provide consumers with even more convenient options to manage their finances, which is especially critical in the current economic environment,” said Greg Waltz, vice president and general manager of payment products at MoneyGram. "MoneyGram is proud to participate in Visa ReadyLink, and we look forward to providing Visa ReadyLink cardholders with more convenient locations to add funds to their cards."

About Visa Inc.
Visa Inc. operates the world's largest retail electronic payments network providing processing services and payment product platforms. This includes consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments, which are offered under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and PLUS brands. Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world, and Visa/PLUS is one of the world's largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in more than 170 countries. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com.

About MoneyGram
MoneyGram International offers more choices, more control and more power for people separated by distance or with limited bank relationships to meet their financial needs. A leading global payment services company, MoneyGram International helps consumers to pay bills quickly and safely send money around the world in as little as 10 minutes. Its global network is comprised of 176,000 agent locations in 190 countries and territories. MoneyGram’s convenient and reliable network includes retailers, international post offices and financial institutions. Now, MoneyGram offers its most loyal customers MoneyGram Rewards for cash discounts on eligible money transfers from the U.S. – visit www.mymoneygram.com to register today. To learn more about money transfer or bill payment at an agent location or online, please visit www.moneygram.com.

Media Contacts:

Lynda Michielutti
MoneyGram International

Jennifer Doidge
Visa Inc.

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

Network Branded Prepaid Card Association Releases Educational White Paper on the Application of State Abandoned Property Laws to Prepaid Cards

Contact: Jennifer Tramontana
Director of Communications

March 9, 2009 (Montvale, NJ) – The Network Branded Prepaid Card Association
(NBPCA), a non-profit trade organization that works to enhance the environment for
the success of network branded prepaid cards, today released a White Paper entitled
Abandoned Property Laws and Network Branded Prepaid Cards: Questions and
Concerns Raised When Trying to Fit Cards into the Existing Abandoned Property
Legal Framework.

Prepaid cards are innovative and beneficial products that have undergone significant
growth in recent years. While the legal framework for these products has also
undergone change and development, state abandoned property laws have not kept

“The majority of prepaid cardholders use all the funds on their cards shortly after
obtaining the card,” said Judith Rinearson, NBPCA Government Relations Working
Group Chair and White Paper lead author. “Nevertheless, there are unused funds
remaining on some cards, and many states’ abandoned property laws are unclear or
inconsistent in how they apply to today’s prepaid card products. This White Paper
provides an educational roadmap for prepaid card businesses to help them
understand their legal responsibilities, but especially the challenges in attempting to
apply abandoned property laws - most of which did not anticipate prepaid card
products or, at least, the variety of products now available-in today’s environment.
We hope it will encourage a dialogue about the consequences for consumers and
businesses related to the legal uncertainly of today’s abandoned property laws.”
“This White Paper represents collaboration broadly spanning the prepaid card
industry. The NBPCA exists to help improve the overall business environment for
network branded prepaid cards and that means a collective effort to help members
succeed in their individual pursuits,“ said Anil D. Aggarwal, NBPCA Founder and
Chairman of the Board.

NBPCA Abandoned Property Laws White Paper Summary

This White Paper recounts the history of state abandoned property laws and
discusses how today’s laws may impact gift cards and other prepaid card products. It
then explains why the current laws do not adequately address the prepaid card
market and explores the various difficulties that card issuers face in complying with
such laws. Finally, the White Paper describes how the legal uncertainty creates
compliance risks as well as potential negative consequences for consumers and

This White Paper outlines the following points:

  • The background and history of abandoned property law
  • Current state of escheat law
  • Challenges applying abandoned property laws to prepaid cards:
  • Current laws do not contemplate prepaid cards
  • Current laws do not distinguish between network branded prepaid cash accessible cards, network branded cards usable for goods/services, and closed loop, retailer issued cards
  • Difficulty in deciding which state and how much to pay
  • Difficulty in knowing when property is truly abandoned
  • Anticompetitive consequences of abandoned property laws
  • Special issues raised by reward and incentive cards
  • Problems raised by the Third Priority Rule and “deemed address” provisions
  • Penalties and risks of non-compliance
The entire paper can be found on the NBPCA website at www.nbpca.com

About the NBPCA
The Network Branded Prepaid Card Association (NBPCA) is a nonprofit, inter-industry trade association that supports the growth and success of network branded prepaid cards and represents the common interests of the many players in this new and rapidly growing payment category. The NBPCA’s members include financial institutions, card organizations, processors, program managers, marketing and incentive companies, card distributors and law firms. The NBPCA’s Working Groups drive the activities of the Association for its more than 35 members. For additional information, visit www.NBPCA.com.

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

Keynote Speech: Putting Service Above Self to Create Magic in the Lives of Millions

Yesterday Hall of Fame Shortstop and Humanitarian Award Winner Ozzie Smith’s provided the opening keynote speech at the Prepaid Expo. Attendees arrived with anticipation for his presentation. Keith Kirkpatrick, the conference director for the Prepaid Expo delivered the introductory reception to the keynote presentation.

Ozzie Smith entered to thunderous applause as many take to their feet to welcome a living baseball legend. He began by telling us a bit about the emotinal impact and power of being nominated and inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He pointed out the difficulty of being able to express the sheer force of being told of his nomination, and went on to describe the remarkable journey he undertook over 20 years to achieve such an achievement. He described his childhood experiences, of how unlike many kids who had people to play catch with, he had no one, but despite this challenge it didn’t stop his dream of becoming a Major League baseball player. Ozzie also recalled and credits his success to those who helped motivate and pushed him throughout his career; including his mother, his highschool coach, his college coach, and so many others.

Courage in times of adversity, as he pointed out, is what keeps people getting back up when they are knocked down, to keep pushing forward when all else seems impossible. He gives through a litanty of examples of renowned individuals who during the early career were often told no including Jim Hensen, the creator of the Muppets, who pitched his idea for the show to network producers and executives for 20 years before given the opportunity. Ozzie humbly mentioned that he did not have the best athletic ability but had the courage to persevere and the heart to believe his “glove” allowed him the chance to give back to the supporters and fans who were always with him.

After a great presentation Ozzie took many questions from the attendees. Questions ranged from what is your greatest achievement to a variety of baseball questions such as his thoughts on the Chicago Cub's chances of winning this year.

Here are just a few minutes of that remarkable opening keynote:

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

CoreCard Software Managing Director, J. Leland Strange, to Moderate Prepaid Card Expo 2009 Panel:

Cost Cutting Via Prepaid Cards Panel Discussion to Include Executives from MasterCard Worldwide, First Data and Skylight Financial

Orlando, FL - March 3, 2009-- CoreCard Software (http://www.corecard.com), a leading provider of prepaid and credit card processing licensed software, announced that Managing Director, J. Leland Strange, will act as moderator for the “Cost Cutting via Prepaid Cards” panel at the Prepaid Card Expo 2009 in Orlando, FL. The panel will be held on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 11:35 am.

Strange intends on engaging “Cost Cutting via Prepaid Cards” panelists in discussions on how prepaid cards play a role in the unbanked population of America, trends in electronic payroll administration, paperless payroll offerings and available options, benefits to companies offering prepaid cards and key metrics from case studies. Panelist will include Elisa Corridore, Vice President of Global Product Development, MasterCard Worldwide (http://www.mastercard.com/) ; Kevin Lee, CEO, Skylight Financial (http://www.skylight.net/) ; and Rich Jackman, Senior Vice President, First Data (http://www.blogger.com/www.FirstData.com).

“In today’s economy, employers are increasingly seeking to reduce expenses,” said Strange. “Prepaid processors and program managers have seen great benefits from paperless pay and reduction in administrative cost and I look forward to discussing trends and advantages with the panel.”

About CoreCard Software, Inc.

CoreCard (http://www.corecard.com/) licenses transaction processing and account management software and is a custom processor. Combining unparalleled industry experience with end-to-end software capabilities across the payment industry, CoreCard's products provide next-generation software solutions from merchant acquiring (CoreACQUIRE™), card issuance and account management (CoreISSUE™), disputes management (CoreDISPUTE™) and collections management (CoreCOLLECT™). Corecard's solutions provide easy to use parameter-driven controls, real-time transaction processing, built-in fault-tolerance, and a fully scalable architecture. CoreCard's software provides the market's most feature-rich platform for processing and managing prepaid/stored-value cards, fleet cards, credit cards, debit cards, commercial cards, and private-label cards. Headquartered in Norcross, GA, CoreCard is a subsidiary of Intelligent Systems Corporation [NYSE Alternext US: INS]. For more information, call 770-564-8000 or visit http://www.corecard.com/.

About Prepaid Card Expo 2009

Founded in 2006, the Prepaid Card Expo has quickly established itself as the world’s largest gathering of prepaid, stored value and emerging payments professionals. Prepaid Card Expo offers unparalleled opportunities to learn, buy and sell and interact with over 2,500 of industry professionals and counterparts across a variety of vertical market segments. The 2009 Prepaid Card Expo will be held in Orlando, FL from March 9 to March 11.

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

Oberthur Technologies Introduces the Gift Card Industry’s Most Tamper-Resistant Packaging at Prepaid Card Expo

CHANTILLY, Virginia -- Oberthur Technologies, one of the largest providers of manufacturing, personalization services and retail-based packaging for network branded prepaid cards, will introduce Smart Seal; new, secure packaging that will deter packaging fraud, at this year’s Prepaid Card Expo, March 9-11 in Orlando, FL. (Booth number 523.)

Oberthur, with a long history in payment cards and fulfillment, has developed Smart Seal as part of its new Smart Line of gift card packaging. Smart Seal’s patent-pending, heat and pressure process creates a seamless, tamper-resistant barrier around the gift card package. With Smart Seal, the only way to access the gift card is to tear or cut the package― making it easily detected that the product had been tampered.

A recent Packaged Facts report stated that nearly 3 billion dollars was put onto network branded gifts cards in 2007- growing the market by 121% over 2006. “We’ve leveraged our innovation in packaging to protect issuers, retailers and prepaid card users in this rapidly growing market,” says Martin Ferenczi, Oberthur Technologies’ CEO for the Americas region.

According to a Business Week article, investigation or refunding the stolen gift cards is not as costly as the “consumers’ perception of the risk,” of the card tampering.

“Our goal is to understand each link in the chain of how our products are used so we can further enhance our value to clients,” says Ferenczi, adding, “with Smart Seal consumers can confidently purchase a packaged gift card.”

Smart Seal joins other innovative Oberthur Technologies’ gift packaging products- including Smart Pouch and Smart Fold. To see Smart Seal, as well as other Oberthur innovations, visit booth #523.

About Oberthur Technologies
With sales of EUR 733.4 million in 2007, Oberthur Technologies is one of the world leaders in the field of secure technologies. Innovation and high quality services ensure Oberthur’s strong positioning in its main target markets:
  • Smart cards: One of the world’s leading providers of security and identification based on smart card technology and associated services, such as personalization, for the mobile, payment, identity, digital TV and transport markets.

  • Secure printing: The world’s third largest private security printer, specializing in the production and management of high security products such as banknotes, passports, and other identity documents, checks and secured documents in more than fifty countries.

  • Cash protection: World leader in the emerging market of equipments for smart cash transportation and ATM protection.

Close to its customers, Oberthur benefits from an industrial and commercial presence across all five continents.

More information about Oberthur is available at http://www.oberthur.com/.

U.S. Press Contact:

Leana Benson Hersch
310 868 1318

Tracy Williams
310 479 7055

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

Understanding the Mobile Payments Opportunity

Jenny Gehr, Vice President Payment Solutions Group, Metavante Corporation
Lisa Stanton, CEO, Montise America

Here are some of the key takeaways from the presentation.

Mobile solutions for the youth market are a great way to attract new services. Teens and youth change their phones at times 2-3 times a year, and most own smartphones like the iPod or the Blackberry. Smartphones together with prepaid cards can give consumers:

- Constant Alerts on balances
- Helps prevent fraud
- Improves customer service
- Initiates self-service

Younger generations are diverse in terms of cashing checks, a challenge in prepaid is getting them into a more traditional role. Customer acquisition is extremely expensive. You don’t have to wait for consumers to call the call center, you can start using SMS alerts to offer value propositions. Offering coupons is a great way to get customers to make repetitive transactions.

There was also time for a couple of questions in the Q&A session, so here's one that stood out from th rest.

How do you know if you consumers have to pay for the message they are receiving?

Have a disclaimer that says, “We do not charge for SMS texts but your carrier and rate plans might charge for SMS”

Finally here is an interview with Jenny Gehr as she discusses some highlights from the panel discussion as well as a portion of the panel discussion:

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

Managing the Technical Requirements for Incorporating Mobile Payments into Your Business

Leader: T. Jack Williams, CEO, Ecommlink

Here are a few takeaways from his presentation.

What the future of prepaid mobile has in store for us:
- Financial services in the prepaid market
- Inter-brand settlement

Take a look at processors, is it long term?
- Make sure they are integrated with the systems you want to use
- API Library that can support the transactions you want

Lastly, make sure that everyone you deal with has, “Experience, experience, experience, you don’t want to be a test case for someone”

There was time at the end for one Q & A question and here it is.

Q: How do you empower handset to merchant handsets?
The merchant community will not see any value to it so you have to offer financial incentives. We must figure out a way to float downstream with merchant agenda.

Finally, here's a small portion recorded from this presentation:

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

Card Brand Perspectives: Roadmap for the Future of Prepaid

Yesterday we had the opportunity to sit in during the Card Brand Perspectives Workshop. Here are the speakers in the discussion.

Paul Tomasofsky, President, Two Sparrows Consulting, and Acting COO, NBPCA
Carrie Vriheas, Head of Global Category Infrastructure, Visa
Neil Dugan, VP, Global Prepaid Product, Mastercard Worldwide
Ed Boyle, VP, Business Development, NA Prepaid Cards, American Express
John Badovinac, Prepaid, Discover Network

Here are some of question discussed during the presentation.

Q: What are some of the challenges in the industry that are going to affect the growth trends?
A: One of the challenges is around education at the consumer level. We must make sure that the values of prepaid is clearly understood so that people can use it for everyday spending and how the product functions can reach them. We are starting to see a lot of higher loads going into cards because of layoffs. General purpose reloaded products. Some major brands are down 54%, electronics brand 20% in December. The closed loop segment is larger than the open loop segment. I wouldn’t say the best days are being us there is still a lot of growth in merchandising.

Q: What’s happening with Visa and MasterCard reload networks domestically?
A: MasterCard reload network has about 50,000 allocations across the US and is always looking to expand. Internationally speaking, we are planning to expand in Latin America and Europe as well. Reloading is an important aspect.
From a Visa standpoint, we are working with a variety of partners to expand in the US, and planning to expand in Australia and other locations. An important function of reload is to be able to able to load funds and use them in real-time.

Q: Concerning channels of loading, are any of you looking at alternative ways to load cards?
A: Discover is looking at what are the existing networks of reload and how well is it working. We are comfortable with payroll networks and other government partners. We are exploring other options as we speak.

Q: What are the key expenses in prepaid cards?
A: Thankfully prepaid is a lot simpler and cheaper than credit. There are transactions fees and interchange fees. On the expense side you have production, card-building, and customer service.

Q: How do you convince someone who is not tech savvy to get a prepaid card?
A: A good example is social security. Social security funds can be loaded into a prepaid card and they do not have to worry about the check getting stolen and having someone cash it somewhere.

Q: What education programs for consumers can we expect from card processors and merchants?
A: We are looking at helping people spend smarter and save for a better future. We have a spend analyzer to help manage spending. Working on the prepaid side, we will bring similar tools so that when a consumer spends at a gas station they understand the usage. We have looked at marketing and how we reach out to consumers and we are trying to make the program simpler and increasing communication and more frequent communication on a regular basis to remind people of the features of prepaid.

Q: How do we work with partners and processors to find cheaper ways to personalize prepaid cards?
A:I think we need to keep driving cheaper ways to personalize our prepaid cards. There are several types of processors for example DOD that I think we need to start moving towards.

Q: Where do you think the industry will be in 10 years?
A: I think that there is going to be more focus for convergence to perform better.

Finally, we had the opportunity to speak with John Badovinac, of Discover Networks as he tells about some highlights from the panel discussion as well as a small portion recorded of the discussion:

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

Monday, March 9, 2009

Meta Payment Systems® and NetSpend® Announce iAdvanceSM Partnership

CONTACT: Nicole Pullman 605.212.0209 or npullman@metapay.com
Brad Russell 512.743.4507 or brussell@netspend.com

Meta Payment Systems® and NetSpend®
Announce iAdvanceSM Partnership
Simple, Sensible Credit.SM Alternative Continues Expansion

Orlando, Fla. — March 9, 2009 — Meta Payment Systems, one of the nation’s leading issuers of network branded prepaid cards, and NetSpend Corporation, one of the leading providers of reloadable prepaid debit cards and prepaid debit card services, are partnering to offer the iAdvanceSM Line of Credit to NetSpend cardholders. Award-winning and patent-pending iAdvance provides consumers with the opportunity to establish short-term, small-dollar lines of credit and have the money immediately available on their NetSpendprepaid card.

“NetSpend cardholders deserve to have options when unexpected expenses arise. iAdvance gives our customers a simple and convenient product allowing them maximum flexibility in managing their finances,” said Dan Henry, CEO of NetSpend. “And unlike other options, iAdvance reports repayment histories to the three major credit bureaus, which means our customers have a powerful tool to improve their credit history.”

The enrollment process takes less than two minutes, and no credit check is required. Once enrolled, advances to cardholders are completed in seconds with funds immediately available to the borrower on their NetSpend prepaid card.

“We are very pleased that NetSpend has decided to offer iAdvance to its customers,” said Trent Sorbe, Senior Vice President of Credit with Meta Payment Systems. “We’ve seen how iAdvance is filling the need to bring sensible credit to customers. Partnering with a market leader like NetSpend demonstrates the value proposition iAdvance brings to prepaid card programs.”

About Meta®
Meta Payment Systems® based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is the world’s leading issuer of prepaid, credit and debit payment solutions as well as the largest sponsor of ATMs in the United States. Meta Payment Systems, a division of MetaBank,™ delivers innovative financial products that are changing the way people use, borrow and manage money. Meta Payment Systems brings money to LIFE. Meta Financial Group, Inc.® (NASDAQ Global Market®: CASH) is the
holding company for federally-chartered savings bank MetaBank. For more information, visit www.metapay.com.

About NetSpend Corporation
NetSpend Corporation is one of the premier providers of innovative, accessible prepaid debit cards which empower consumers with the convenience, security and freedom to be self-banked. NetSpend achieves its mission by serving its customers anytime and anywhere, being trustworthy, reliable, and delivering innovative high value products and features. NetSpend’s proprietary processing platform allows it to support prepaid card programs end-to-end from
customer acquisition and card fulfillment to customer service and risk management. The NetSpend® Prepaid Card Network includes leading consumer brands and companies serving the un-banked and under-banked markets, and its strategic relationships include card issuers, EFT networks and payment card associations. For more information, visit www.netspend.com.

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

Prepaid Expo USA Kickoff

We're kicking off this beautiful Monday here in Orlando with the Carlson Marketing sponsored golf tournament. What better way for attendees to socialize and network with their peers then teeing off on this beautiful golf course. Take a moment to look over some of the snapshots from the golf course as everyone gets ready for some great golf, as well as photos from the event so far. Check back as we will be updating you with the winners of the tournament later!

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

Welcome to the 2009 Prepaid Expo USA

We are here live from the 2009 Prepaid Expo USA, make final preparations for the opening of this year's conference. We’re excited as we get ready to kick off this year’s conference. As avid readers of this blog, you have an opportunity to share in some of the great presentations and information from the conference. This year to help you stay informed of everything that is happening here at Prepaid Expo, as it is taking place, we have several tools to help you, including live blog posts, twitter updates, photos from Flickr, daily emails, and discussions in our LinkedIn group that we will continue to post throughout the event.

We plan to be live-blogging throughout the conference, so be sure and subscribe to our RSS feed to continuously receive updates direct from the conference. Everything is set to begin tomorrow afternoon, but we've been through the space to capture all the work and effort going on to put this tremendous conference together. Here's a look:

We also spent a few moments with Conference Director, Keith Kirkpatrick to tell us a bit about everything in store for the conference:

Finally, if you haven't had a chance, you can read up on some of the industry topics and speakers at the conference:

NBPCA White Paper: State Escheat Laws Need to Evolve for Prepaid

2009 Paybefore Awards Best-in-Category, Industry Achievement Winners Announced Tomorrow

Speaker Profile: Mark W. Yusko

Speaker Profile: Carol Kinsey Goman

Speaker Profile: Ozzie Smith

There is so much more we have in store for everyone, so be sure to follow along here on our blog and our new twitter feed. We'll be updating throughout the conference, as often as possible. So be sure and check back often.

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

Sunday, March 8, 2009

NBPCA White Paper: State Escheat Laws Need to Evolve for Prepaid

The Network Branded Prepaid Card Association is releasing a white paper during the Prepaid Card Expo. The paper, developed by leading attorneys working in the prepaid field, describes current abandoned property laws as they relate to prepaid cards. Abandoned Property Laws and Network Branded Prepaid Cards: Questions and Concerns Raised When Trying to Fit Cards into the Existing Abandoned Property Legal Framework explores the history of escheat law and how changes over time and variations from state to state can present significant challenges for prepaid businesses. The paper does not take a position on the application of escheat laws to funds underlying prepaid cards, but suggests that states should explore how to bring their positions into line with current payment products. “Difficulties arise when regulators try to apply existing abandoned properties laws to new products or services. If escheat must apply to prepaid cards, then certainly state legislatures should develop new state laws that specifically address prepaid products in the marketplace—giving special attention to those cards that are essential to consumers’ day-to-day lives—rather trying to shoehorn new prepaid products under existing laws,” the white paper says. The NBPCA’s workshop, “The Prepaid Card Industry’s Take on State Abandoned Property Laws,” will feature attorneys and compliance officers sharing their expertise on abandoned property issues. The white paper is available on www.nbpca.com and Paybefore.com.

For more daily coverage of the prepaid and stored value card industry, visit Paybefore.com. To learn about subscriptions, visit Paybefore’s booth #727.

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

2009 Paybefore Awards Best-in-Category, Industry Achievement Winners Announced Tomorrow

The 2009 Paybefore Awards Ceremony, Tuesday at 9:35 a.m., will honor the 32 best prepaid and stored value programs in the world. The highlight of the ceremony will be the announcement of 11 Best-in-Category winners as well as the three executives who will take home Industry Achievement Awards.

Now in its third year, the Paybefore Awards received almost double the number of entries in this year’s competition compared to last year, and nearly 20 percent of the nominations represented programs outside of the United States.

“The quality of the nominated products, services and programs was exceptional, creating quite a challenge for the judges who carefully evaluated each entry on its merits and in context of all the nominations,” said Marilyn Bochicchio, Paybefore CEO.

2009 Paybefore Awards Winners include:


• The Jackson Hewitt iPower Prepaid Visa Card
• Stored Value Card
• Wal-Mart Money Card

• Bonus Kontor Forum Prepaid
• The Gift That Takes the Gold: “Amazing Moments”
• Starbucks Card


• TeacherDollars
• U.S. Xpress Dual Purpose Corporate Card
• WageWorks Visa Healthcare Card


• PowerPump Gas Rewards
• Verizon Wireless Rebate Program


• Esteem Pass
• SVC PlayDeck Program


• g2g Youth Opportunity Card
• Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians
• TV Converter Box Coupon Program


• Ace Cash Express
• Shoppers Drug Mart
• Variable Load Program


• American Express Handhelds
• ItzCash Octroi Automation
• The iPower Line of Credit from Meta Payment Systems and Jackson Hewitt


• 2008 Earth Month Gift Card
• Anne Geddes Card Designs
• The Gift That Takes the Gold: “Amazing Moments”


• Carrier/Bryant Canadian Dealer Sales Incentive
• paysafecard
• Poste Italiane Social Card


• Green Dot Corporation
• H&R Block for “Money Suit” Commercial
• Network Branded Prepaid Card Association

For more daily coverage of the prepaid and stored value card industry, visit Paybefore.com. To learn about subscriptions, visit Paybefore’s booth #727.

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

CFSI Research: Industry Optimistic, Awareness Needed

Nearly 70 percent of polled industry executives believe that growth in the general purpose reloadable (GPR) card market will increase or stay the same in 2009 compared to 2008, according to research released today by the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI).

In its latest installment of GPR-related research, CFSI turned its attention from consumers to industry executives to examine attitudes and trends.

“Our most exciting finding, perhaps, was that this industry is optimistic,” according to the report. “Even in the face of the current economic environment, prepaid card industry participants are bullish about the future.”

The research was culled from an Internet poll, conducted by CFSI in partnership with Paybefore, and in-depth follow-up interviews by CFSI with 18 industry leaders across the prepaid value chain. Although the online survey was conducted in November and December—when the economic picture was slightly better—the executive interviews were conducted between December and February, and the optimism was still intact.

“What we heard in the interviews was consistent with what we learned in the survey,” Rachel Schneider, special projects director for CFSI, tells Paybefore. “Essentially people are saying, whether by choice or necessity, there is going to be less consumer access to credit, and prepaid will be an attractive option. In addition, the industry is still so new, there’s room for growth even in a negative economic environment.”

Less surprising, perhaps, is respondents’ No. 1 ranked challenge—building consumer awareness. Almost 33 percent of respondents cited consumer awareness as the biggest challenge for the industry, followed by business-model economics at nearly 27 percent. The executives interviewed concur with this sentiment, according to CFSI. “Almost universally, they argue that consumers do not yet have sufficient general awareness of what GPR cards offer or how they work.”

To best address the awareness issue, 65 percent of survey respondents thought better customer education for existing cardholders is key. Increased marketing was the second most popular answer at 61 percent.

Today at 1:15 p.m., during the “Understanding the Underbanked Consumer Experience with Prepaid Cards” session, CFSI Director Jennifer Tescher will present these findings as well as CFSI’s consumer segmentation study and its latest work interviewing underbanked consumers.

For more daily coverage of the prepaid and stored value card industry, visit Paybefore.com. To learn about subscriptions, visit Paybefore’s booth #727.

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

Friday, March 6, 2009

Fraudulent Use of Prepaid Debit Cards

This latest article on KOLOTV.com discusses how two H&R Block customers discovered that they were victims of fraud when they found out that their 2008 taxes had been filed and that the refund had been issued on a prepaid debit card without their knowledge.

Valerie Guerrero that worked as a tax preparer for H&R Block used the prepaid debit card to make several purchases in Sparks. Some of the charges she faces are burglary, fraudulent use of a credit card, possessing a credit card without the owners consent and receiving property as a result of unlawfully using a credit card.

What are some steps that prepaid industry is taking in order to stop fraudulent use of cards?

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

Thursday, March 5, 2009

New SVP at SunTrust

SunTrust has named Robert Blair the senior vice president of commercial card services in the Treasury and Payment Solutions division. He'll be responsible for directing all aspects of the regional bank's corporate, purchasing and prepaid card programs. For more, read the article here.

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

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Will Sowell of GE Money Joins Green Dot Corporation as COO

According to this latest article from PRNewswire, Will Sowell of GE Money has joined Green Dot Corporation as their newest Chief Operating Officer. Before joining Green Dot, Will served as VP of Prepaid Products at GE Money.

The CEO of Green Dot, Steve Streit mentions, “Will is a great leader in the classic Green Dot sense. No nonsense, honest, action-oriented, success- driven and always deeply respectful and appreciative of our customer. Will's knowledge of Green Dot, banking services, the prepaid market and our customer base will make him immediately impactful on our continued success.”

It will be interesting to see where Mr. Sowell will lead Green Dot in the future.

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

Monday, March 2, 2009

Airnetz Aviation's new prepaid card option

In Mumbai, Airnetz Aviation now has the option of prepaid cards for the Robinson 44, 3 seater helicopter. This will allow customers to buy 25 hours of flying time.

Omkar Mestry, Chief of Charter services, Airnetz Aviation Pvt. Ltd, had this to say about the prepaid card:

"With the global financial crisis greatly affecting spending capacity of the corporate, the businesses still have to get services like riding a helicopter for aerial tours or instant factory visits at a much cheaper price. With Airnetz prepaid card on Robinson 44 helicopter, SMEs can afford the pricing. The pre-paid card offers 25 hours of helicopter ownership at just 2% of the cost required to purchase the aircraft."

Read more about the prepaid card here.

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