US federal proposals released tighten regulation of the prepaid card market may spur a consolidation of small, high-fee prepaid issuers who may be less transparent or uncompetitive, while boosting low-cost, more transparent providers, according to Fitch Ratings. The new consumer-friendly rules should further bolster growth in prepaid card usage by enabling consumers to more easily make informed decisions on card fees and features. Among the many prepaid issuers in the US, fee structures can vary widely and standardized disclosures may push consumers toward lower cost, greater feature providers. We do not believe the new rules pose a serious threat to major card issuing banks, given underlying prepaid customer demographics and actions taken by banks to offer their own prepaid cards. Prepaid card account consumers are gaining new protections that move the cards nearer to having the same disclosure and reporting protections that credit card users enjoy. The total fees paid for prepaid credit products would not be allowed to exceed 25% of the credit limit. In an effort led by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, the protections would be promulgated under US Electronic Fund Transfer Act and The Truth in Lending Act of 2009.
Boston-based StreetSmart has unveiled the world’s smartest wallet which includes a built-in Bluetooth LE locator, USB sync cable and a backup battery station for charging on the go.
Paying bills in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic from the U.S. has been made much easier with the launch of Xoom Bill Pay.
CardWeb.com’s CardExecs database of payments industry mover and shakers today features Ralph Bianco, EVP and General Manager of JetPay Card Services.
Acculynk is acquiring the intellectual property (IP) of PayPlum, LLC, the first enterprise-class distributed PCI Compliance software solution focused exclusively on reducing the risk, costs and burden of safeguarding the acceptance and transport of sensitive payment card data within the online and mobile channels. Acculynk and PayPlum will form a strategic partnership whereby PayPlum will be a reseller of the enhanced solution to new and existing customers. The deal is expected to close shortly.Acculynk is acquiring PayPlum’s entire IP portfolio that includes a unique, patent pending messaging protocol technology to safely and securely accept and transport sensitive cardholder data and leverage tokenization and PCI scope reduction strategies.
First Hawaiian Bank introduced a new approach to personalized service through NCR Interactive Services. The advanced software from NCR Corporation (NCR), the global leader in consumer transaction technologies, will allow FHB customers to conduct typical teller transactions on an advanced financial services kiosk with a sleek, modern design and touchscreen interface. By centralizing tellers, FHB will be able to expand teller service hours an additional 15 hours per week, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. [Monday to Friday].FHB is one of the first financial institutions in the U.S. to deploy NCR Interactive Teller software on its NCR SelfServ™ 91 hardware platform. With the technology, a live teller takes remote control of an ATM-like device while engaging the customer over two-way video, providing a personalized experience. The solution provides live teller services for clients who want the human touch, and also offers more services than can be conducted on an ATM or other self-service devices.
CardWeb.com’s CardPixes database of more than 7,000 images today features the Ritz Carlton Rewards Visa Signature. The card is issued by JPM Chase.
Forty percent of Americans plan to use credit cards for most of their gift purchases, and among those, 87% will use different credit cards depending on preferred rewards offers, up from 76% in 2013.
One of Russia’s largest private listed banks is financing Net Element’s TOT Money. Bank Otkritie Financial will provide the company with a factoring facility up to US$4.2 million.
CardWeb.com’s CardWatch database of more than 57,000 marketing items today features the Capital One Venture – “Jennifer Garner Seats” TV ad.
Nearly one out of five consumers say that last year’s holiday shopping put them in debt. About half took more than six months to pay the debt off and 35% maxed out one or more credit cards.
CardWeb.com’s CardPixes database of more than 7,000 images today features the Diners Club/Carte Blanche MasterCard. the card issued by BMO Harris Bank.