Thursday, May 28, 2009

Prepaid Cards Offers the Best Deal in Foreign Currency

This latest post on discusses how many Britons are failing to realize that they will save more money purchasing foreign currency if they use prepaid credit cards, according to FairFx. Stephen Heath, FairFx's CEO, mentions "Will 2009 be the year that travellers wake up to the savings they can make by using a prepaid card for all their holiday spending?" Do you think we will see more and more Britons use prepaid cards for their foreign currency purchases?

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

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Could banks increase customers by improving prepaid services?

According to Digital Transactions, they addressed the fact that banks could bring in more customers if they improved their prepaid card services.

According to the article, "They found that customers on average cashed 28% of their checks over the preceding three months at banks, 53% at check-cashing outlets, and 19% at other locations such as retail stores. Some 53% of the respondents had a checking account at the time of the survey, 21% didn’t but had one in the past, and only 26% never had a checking account. Those with checking accounts cashed 34% of their checks at banks."

Read the full article here.

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

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

SmartCard creates environmental line of prepaid debit cards

According to the San Antonio Business Journal, the “Go Green, friends of the environment” version of SmartCard’s VelocityMoney Prepaid Debit Card...The Go Green version of the card will allow a portion of the proceeds of the sale of the debit card to go toward environmental causes."

With the emphasis on "green," will SmartCard see a healthy profit by appealing to a different sector of prepaid card users? We'd like to hear your thoughts.

SmartCard creates environmental line of prepaid debit cards

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

Thursday, May 21, 2009

FNDS Sold Atlantic Merchant Service

FDNS 3000 has sold Atlas Merchant Services due to the settlement with the former owner of Atlas LLC.

John Hancock, Chief Executive Officer, stated:
"Management's strategic review concluded that the Atlas subsidiary was unlikely to provide significant financial contributions or synergies, and that both companies would fare better under separate ownership."

They will turn their focus to the prepaid card industry. Read the full article here.

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

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

MoneyGram and AccountNow to launch Visa-branded prepaid card

Banking Business Review reports that, MoneyGram International, a provider of payment services, and AccountNow, a provider of financial solutions, have signed an agreement to launch the new MoneyGram AccountNow Prepaid Visa card, which will be available at select MoneyGram agent locations starting in June 2009

The MoneyGram AccountNow Prepaid Visa card will participate in the Visa ReadyLink, Interlink and Plus networks. No credit or bank account is necessary for card holders to load cash at any MoneyGram agent location, and consumers can use the card everywhere Visa debit is accepted, said MoneyGram International.

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

Monday, May 18, 2009

First Prepaid Cards in Japan

According to Global Atlanta, TSYS will begin to provide Japan with its first prepaid cards in July. Travel Bank Inc will provide these cards.

TSYS International President Gaylon Jowers Jr. stated this about the new cards, “Prepaid cards are a trusted alternative to travelers’ checks in many countries, and the number of issuers that are interested in prepaid cards is increasing worldwide."

Read the full article here.

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

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tips to Avoid Unemployment Prepaid Card Fees

I came across this interesting post on that details several steps an individual should take to reduce unemployment prepaid card fees. With more than 6 million unemployment insurance recipients in the U.S., I thought that this was important information for our readers. Here are the steps detailed by LaRita Heet:

1. Just because it looks like a debit card ... doesn't mean it is a debit card, even though the terms "debit card" and "prepaid card" are sometimes used interchangeably, according to Jennifer Tramontana, director of communications for NBPCA. "Unemployment benefits cards are prepaid cards that are issued by a bank. They look just like a debit card or credit card, but they are a network branded prepaid card," she says. Prepaid card accounts differ from a debit cards in that debit card funds are typically withdrawn against money in your checking account. Prepaid cards are preloaded with a set amount of cash and generally have numerous fees and restrictions.

2. Read the instructions. You should never skip the fine print, but this is particularly true of your unemployment prepaid card literature. "When consumers take a few minutes to read the welcome kit that comes with the card, they can virtually eliminate all surcharges and can immediately take advantage of the numerous benefits that come with these cards, including immediate availability of funds, fraud and loss prevention and cost-savings," says Trusko.

3. Follow the rules. Most UI card issuers allow a set number of free ATM withdrawals per pay period (usually one or two). Plan ahead to withdraw enough money to last so you don't get stuck with withdrawal fees later in the week.

4. Take advantage of free services. Some states, including Maryland and Kansas, and their issuing banks offer free online account management and free phone transfers. However, don't assume anything is free -- check the literature to be certain.

5. Look before you leap. Consider choosing the "direct deposit" unemployment payment option over the UI prepaid card -- and have your money immediately deposited into your regular bank account, where available.

6. Withdraw the money and deposit it into your bank account. Depositing unemployment funds into your regular account means avoiding unnecessary fees and having to keep track of your finances, says Kelly Phillips. "The only disadvantage to this is that U.S. Bank is not my bank, so in order to avoid the fee, I have to go there first, and then go take the cash to my bank -- and the reason that we do that is because you don't get a statement," she says. Because most UI accounts, including those at U.S. Bank, do not offer account statements or free online banking, budgeting can become a nightmare.

7. Stick to what you know. Phillips adds that some UI recipients do not have their own personal bank accounts and are accustomed to using cash for everything. "If you just normally lead a cash life, then continue to do it that way, especially if you're not used to having a prepaid card," she says.

8. Set up an automatic transfer. "I would suggest setting up an auto-transfer so that any time money lands on the card, it is automatically transferred to a banking account of your choice. Then, in essence, it's just like direct deposit," says Lisa K.

Take a look at the full post here.

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

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Spotlight Returns to Jet Cards

Many corporations still looking to use private jets have revisited the idea of Jet Cards. These prepaid payment cards, allow for a minimum of $100,000 of flight time for executives to fly to meetings. By utilizing this service, companies can see exactly how much money they are going to spend on corporate travel whilst having the luxury of instant flights to their preferred destination. The New York Times reports, Prepaid jet membership cards first appeared in the United States in 1999, pioneered by Sentient Flight Group. The cards have since spread to Europe, but remain something of a novelty in Asia.

For the article mentioned in its entirety, please click here.

Spotlight Returns to Jet Cards

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

Monday, May 11, 2009

Expiration Date Rule Change for NJ Gift Cards

According to this article on, NJ consumers might soon have more protection for their gift cards. Their is a bill that has been approved by The Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee which will ban gift cards and gift certificates from expiring within 24 months of being purchased. The bill will also limit deductions and fees for user inactivity. The bill makes exceptions for certain bank cards that disclose their expiration date and inactivity fees.

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

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Can Obama Force Credit Card Industry Change or Should You Burn Your Cards?

Ran across this interesting article by William Reed, contributing writer for the Washington Informer. Reed said that the stakes (for credit cards and prepaid) couldn’t be higher and the purveyors of plastic don’t intend to be forced into financial submission. The industry annually collects an estimated $3 trillion in annual credit and debit card transactions, plus billions more in late fees and other charges. America is a nation propped up on credit card debt.

According to Reed's article,

In 2001, 59 percent of African American families had credit cards, compared to 82 percent of White families. Although African American households have lower rates of credit card ownership, African American cardholders are more likely than Whites to have credit card debt. Credit card debt has caused African American families to use critical financial resources to pay mounting monthly interest payments instead of saving or acquiring assets.

Unfortunately, most of the debt African Americans have accumulated is used for items that depreciate in value, such as cars, furniture, electronics, and appliances. This is an indication that Blacks use credit inappropriately - to stretch their incomes. Historic redlining by traditional banks has left high-interest credit cards as one of the few easily accessible sources of loans for minorities.The high levels of un-banked and under-banked Blacks have spawn affinity and co-branded prepaid cards marketed primarily to them. One example is record industry mogul Russell Simmons’ Visa RushCard.

Though Simmons wasn’t in the White House meeting on credit cards, his company is a symptom of the problem. He claims to be solving problems for under-banked communities, which often lack access top a bank account, but complaints are mounting about the fee structure of his prepaid Visa RushCard. To utilize Simmons’ RushCard and “live the American Dream” requires an activation fee of $19.95, a daily convenience fee of $1 (capped at $10 a month) and a $1.95 ATM cash withdrawal fee.

Read Can Obama Force Credit Card Industry Change or Should You Burn Your Cards?

We'd like to hear your thoughts.

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

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ten Promotional Uses for Plastic Cards

Prepaid cards are a great way for brands and companies to market their name. Plastek Cards recently released a list of ten ways that companies could use plastic cards to further promote themselves and their brands.

  • Business cards. While many people use the traditional business card printed on card stock, nothing about their card really stands out except any colors or images. Make business cards stand out by printing it in high quality plastic that is both durable and strong.
  • Membership Cards. If companies require a membership, consider having plastic membership cards instead of paper cards. Membership cards can be printed on plastic that be punched when members come into the business or purchase items in the store.
  • Gift Cards. For the holidays, can create customized gift cards on durable plastic. Plastic cards can be printed on one side with business information - logo, location, etc. - and the other side can include strips to write who it's to, who it's from, and how much the gift card is worth.
  • Loyalty Cards. To reward frequent purchasers, consider giving them a loyalty card that gives them a certain percentage discount every time they buy from the company or business. Consider having a "Share Your Loyalty Day" and have them bring in friends for discounts on certain days.
  • Key Access Cards. If certain business has doors that require keys for in/out access, consider switching to a key card access. Company logos can be printed on one side, and the magnetic stripe for in/out access can be printed on the other.
  • Prepaid Phone Cards. Use prepaid phone cards as a way to promote your business and provide long distance service to customers or prospects. A prepaid phone card with company logos and information doubles as a gift and a marketing tool.
  • Fundraising Cards. Fundraising cards are perfect for organizations that need fundraising results. These cards entitle the holder to discounts and provides the donating company with increased business. Use these to grow awareness for many kind of companies and business.
  • Key Cards. Any plastic card can be made into a key card that attaches to a key ring for easy access and visibility. Membership and loyalty cards can be made into key cards, or advertise business or website by printing info on a key card.
  • Luggage Tags. Personalized luggage tags can help identify bags from the rest and can help promote business'. Companies can provide employees with personalized luggage tags so that they're promoting their business while traveling.
  • Calendar Cards. Print a calendar on one side of a plastic card and print their business information on the other. People will be inclined to keep the card for the convenience of having the calendar and will be reminded of their services every time.

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

Monday, May 4, 2009

Latin Prepaid Cards: Silver Lining?

Anabel Pérez, CEO of NovoPayment, recently wrote an article on Latin Prepaid Cards in the Latin Business Chronicle. Here is an excerpt on her thoughts with regard to prepaid cards offering a silver lining for the global economy.

Prepaid card programs today use the existing payment infrastructure to extend basic – and in some cases, advanced – financial/transactional tools to the base of our population without requiring an underlying bank account. By 2015, the potential number of unbanked Latin Americans with the means and access to take advantage of prepaid general-purpose cards could surpass the 300-million mark, which would represent an estimated purchasing power of more than $200 billion per year. By providing unbanked consumers with new financial options through branded prepaid cards, these enormous sums of cash will be moved from under mattresses into banks’ coffers, reducing acquisition costs and bolstering critical sectors of the economy -- and filling key gaps in economic data.

Do you think that Latin prepaid cards will "fill in the gaps" needed to ignite the global economy? We'd like to here your thoughts.

Be sure to read Anabel Pérez's original article, Latin Prepaid Cards: Silver Lining?

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