Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Healthcare Reform, How will it affect the Prepaid industry for those involved with healthcare credit cards and debit cards?

This topic discussion recently came up on our Prepaid Professionals LinkedIn Group and it's one that should be on the mind of prepaid issuers in the healthcare industry. Where do we go from here?

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Zygna to start providing virtual prepaid cards

According to Virtual Worlds News, Zynga is teaming up with InComm and will be providing virtual prepaid cards for their suite of online games. Prepaid cards are already available at retail locations including 7-11, Best Buy, Target and others. Zynga produces virtual games including Farmville, Mafia Wars and YoVille. Read the full article here.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Lessons from a Master Thief... only at Prepaid Expo Europe

New Keynote Speaker Announcement for Prepaid Expo Europe

Hamish Taylor: A “Master Thief” Provides Insights into How to Ensure Long-Term Growth in the Prepaid Industry
Former CEO of Sainsbury Bank and Eurostar shares how to apply innovative strategies to reap the benefits of a burgeoning sector

Prepaid programs in Europe are at risk of not achieving their true potential. Executives anxious to jump on the Prepaid and gift card bandwagon might not be doing the proper due diligence to ensure that what they’re offering is what their customers actually want. Hamish Taylor has sat at the helm of Sainsbury Bank and Eurostar and led branding at British Airways... and his biggest successes with these legendary brands came as a result of applying revolutionary strategies from outside the given industry. His record of innovation by transferring ideas between sectors has garnered him the dubious title of “master thief”—but it is these very tactics from established industries that need to be applied to the relatively new Prepaid space in order to ensure success.

Prepaid Expo Europe is honoured to have Hamish share his amazing and entertaining anecdotes about turning businesses around by going “beyond the data” and listening to the customer. Hamish will offer specific actions that you can apply to your prepaid program to ensure that your strategy is a growth strategy, ensuring long-term market dominance.

View the Prepaid Expo Europe Homepage

View the most up-to-date Prepaid Expo Europe agenda

Register Before 16 April for € 200 off the standard rate, use code XX2003BLOG1

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

MasterCard and Visa expected to see major profit increases

With the use of prepaid cards growing 22% a year over the next three years, Visa and MasterCard are both expected to grow their profitability. Much of this is accredited to the wide use of the cards. It is believed that by 2012, $526 billion will be loaded on to prepaid cards. Read the full article here.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Paragon Dynamix launches credit score enhancement for prepaid cards

As we reported yesterday, a few prepaid card companies are working to help users enhance their credit rating. Paragon Dynamix is one of those companies. In a press release, the company says that the new platform, allows any prepaid debit card with a bill pay feature to be able to report payments to the three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax.

“Through a special relationship, we have taken a very complicated (and previously unattainable) process and made it into a simple, once-a-month task for prepaid debit card program managers”, said Paragon’s President Phillip Huston.

The fully functional data-reporting platform is a turnkey solution for prepaid debit program operators. “In designing the product, we knew it had to be easy to implement, be automated to report monthly, and that it had to actually impact an individual’s three-bureau credit score...up or down,” said Huston.

Learn more by downloading the press release: Paragon Dynamix launches credit score enhancement for prepaid cards

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Monday, March 22, 2010

It’s Coming: a True Credit Builder for Prepaid Debit Cards

GetDebit reports that several prepaid debit card issuers and processors have committed to a new feature that will take recurring monthly payments made on their billpay platform, and report them to the three major bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian.

The recurring monthly payments (anything with a regular monthly billing cycle, such as rent, car insurance, cell phone bill, utility payments, etc.) are reported as trade lines on each of the three bureaus.

Learn more: It’s Coming: a True Credit Builder for Prepaid Debit Cards

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Conference Roundup: IIR USA’s Prepaid Expo

by Julie Kurd
Director on CMB's Financial Services, Healthcare, and Insurance Practice

1,700 of us converged in Vegas at IIR's Prepaid Conference in February to talk about this new frontier business, "pre-paid"(think about it as your money (you know, debit) available to you anytime, anywhere).

We used to think of prepaid simply as a prepaid debit card but now the prepaid world is converging with the mobile applications world and a magical thing is the near future you may not need your wallet anymore, because your phone is holding everything, including your money. Some of the smartest frontiersmen and women from the Fortune 500 spoke, presented, mingled and shared thoughts about the world of tomorrow.

When one thinks of the staggering estimate of 70,000,000 people who are ‘unbanked' or ‘under banked,' that is, living paycheck to paycheck, overdrawing their bank accounts to steep fees (if they still have an account), sometimes using pawn shops, payday loans and other financial instruments that come with steep fees, the prepaid world is asking: Why couldn't life be better for these people? Why couldn't the money just arrive on a card in their wallet on payday? Or better yet, why couldn't the money just zip over to their mobile phone?

And if they're transferring money to loved ones in foreign countries, why couldn't you send it via your phone and get a reply message back when the recipient actually receives the money (and what amount they actually received)? Why couldn't governments save millions of dollars by using pre-paid to reduce administrative burdens of check administration?

Many of the leaders in the prepaid industry attended and spoke at the conference. Some of the highlights:

  • Brian Triplett, VISA talked about the broad opportunity to have better public/private relationships and partnerships. He got us all thinking about how we can better partner with government entities in a way to drive better value to the constituent base. He interviewed former President Bill Clinton as well. Together, they explored the central concept of infrastructure and ‘the old way of doing business' being a key constraint as well as how prepaid can transform the administrative burden for the healthcare industry, government payments (unemployment, social security, Medicare, jury duty, employees etc.).
  • Alpesh Choksi, AmEx President Prepaid spoke about how he expects prepaid to transform the lives of people all over the world. He says that the economic crisis has helped with articulating financial security, safety and control which is exactly what prepaid provides. People are now connected to their money in new, non-traditional networks. New devices are being born every day and two-way devices such as phones now allow people to service differently... direct to consumer tailored marketing campaigns based on location etc. are really not at all far-fetched or constrained by budgets or tools anymore.
  • Laura Kelly, SVP of Global Prepaid and Healthcare for MasterCard talked about prepaid as being ‘smarter, bigger, better.' These are not small splashes...Her "Smarter" stood for the innovation as evidenced by the Easy Link prepaid card in Singapore which is both a transit card AND a shopping card. Her "Bigger" is a walloping large payroll program launched by WalMart that saved 258,000 pounds of paper and gas for associates to drive to the store for their paycheck. Finally, her "Better" stood for better for the consumer. She used the example of social security prepaid cards that are now being used by nearly 900,000 people in this country to provide a more secure way of getting money directly to the people who need it without fear of checks disappearing from mailboxes.
  • Farhan Ahmad, GM of Emerging Business at Discover talked about the need to get new innovative products to market in less than 6 months. No small feat for a large company. He and his team are considering mobile payments as an emerging solution that can fundamentally affect the infrastructure for the USA with "better, safer, more convenient access to people's money where/when they need it."
Original Post from CMB Blog:

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Prepaid Expo team mourns passing of Sir Brian Pitman

The Prepaid Expo Europe team was saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Sir Brian Pitman. We were truly honoured to add Sir Brian, legendary banker and inspiring businessman, to our upcoming program.

Our condolences and our prayers go out to his family and friends.

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Prepaid Expo USA 2010 Wrap-Up

If you haven't yet checked out our live footage we've captured from the Prepaid Expo USA 2010 event in Las Vegas make sure to see it on the Prepaid Expo website. You'll find a Flickr slideshow as well as some YouTube clips we've uploaded. Don't forget to upload some pictures if you attended the conference!

Also, here's a look back at the Live blog posts from the event.

Clinton Praises Prepaid at Expo

Panel Discussion: Card ’09/Regulation E

First Data to resell DimpleDough solution

Panel Discussion: Managing the Media Landscape

State of the Market: Prepaid Around the World

Developing an International EBT Business: Winning Strategies for Multi-Country Prepaid Benefits

The Value of Data Analysis & Segmentation for Prepaid Healthcare Portfolio

Keynote Address: Robert L. Johnson, Chairman, The RLJ Companies

Government Prepaid Programs Case Study: Direct Express Debit MasterCard

State of the Market: Unbanked & Underserved

Market Focus Session - Implementing Prepaid Payroll in the Transportation Industry: Yellow Cab Co-Op

Panel Discussion: State of the Market Open Loop Programs

The Bancorp Bank Teams Up with UniRush to Issue the Prepaid Visa® RushCard

The 2010 Paybefore Awards Ceremony

Panel Discussion: A Vision of Prepaid Presentation

Green Dot Opening Opening and Keynote Address - How ING Direct Succeeded By Being A Rebel With a Cause: Driving Success Through Innovation

Opportunities for Closed Loop Gift Card Growth

Prepaid Expo USA 2010 Kickoff!

Welcome to the Prepaid Expo USA 2010 Conference!

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Monday, March 1, 2010

The world’s largest conference company announces the launch of the Performance Marketing Expo to be held this September in Miami Beach

IIR (The Institute for International Research), the company responsible for industry leading brands such as FUSE, Front end of Innovation, The Market Research Event, GAIM, and PREPAID Card Expo, is launching a brand-new affiliate marketing/performance marketing event.

The Performance Marketing Expo, will take place September 27th-29th in South Beach at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Consistent with other IIR conferences, The Performance Marketing Expo features best-in-class educational sessions, industry insider top level speakers, super-affiliates with proven earning power, the premier online merchants and retailers, affiliate networks, and hundreds of affiliates eager to network and grow their business (and their earning potential).

What makes this event stand out from all the rest? It will include facilitated business networking and quality content brought to life by the best storytellers, representing merchants, affiliates and networks.

Stephanie Nelson, Coupon Mom
Todd Martini, Alex's Coupons
eCoupons * MarketAmerica * TrialPay * Parent Media
The program is currently being finalized. For More Information about getting involved, please email or visit our contact page if you have specific questions.

Join The Performance Marketing LinkedIn Group

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