Sam’s Club has finalized a multi-year agreement with GE Capital Retail Bank to extend their existing relationship to provide Sam’s Club-branded credit cards to club members in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. As part of the extension, GE Capital’s Retail Finance business will continue to manage and service the credit card programs for Sam’s Club Savings, Business and Plus members. Under the agreement, the Sam’s Club co-branded credit card programs will be converted to MasterCard later this year, providing members with a broader card acceptance network, as well as more robust features and benefits.
Payroll employment was up 192,000 units in March for a subsequent .01% change in the unemployment rate from February, which hasn’t moved from 6.7%. This was led by employment in business services, in health care and in mining and logging. The number of unemployed persons sits at 10.5 million with little change since the previous month figure of 10.5 million. Meanwhile, those jobless for 27 weeks or more was at 3.7 million, down slightly from the February figure of 3.8 million. These individuals accounted for 35.8% of the unemployed, a figure which has declined 837,000 over the prior year.
First Data appointed Michael Manos chief technology officer to oversee global technology infrastructure. Manos joins First Data from AOL Inc., where he served as AOL’s chief technology officer and was responsible for global technology and development platforms for all AOL subscription businesses, the industry, technology and media sites, AOL mail and messaging, and global mobile engineering efforts. Prior to joining AOL, he was a vice president at Nokia where he was responsible for the global operations, consolidation and restructuring of service operations for commercial-facing products and services. Before that, he was senior vice president for technical services at Digital Realty Trust where he oversaw the design, engineering, construction, and long-term operation for the company’s data center operations. He has also held leadership positions of increasing responsibility at Microsoft, Walt Disney and Nuclio Corporation.
USA Technologies cashless payment and M2M telemetry solutions for small-ticket, self-serve retailing industries, tannounced a new, exclusive agreement with The Pepi Companies that USAT believes exemplifies the future of integrated cashless payment, telemetry and consumer engagement services. The agreement, designed to span all aspects of Pepi’s business”from vending to micro-market, from mobile payment to cafeteria/food service point of sale”leverages Pepi’s existing cashless-enabled vending network and USAT’s new Integrated Payment Services. Integrated Payment Services, an evolution of USAT’s market-leading ePort Connect® service, was introduced to the vending industry yesterday. Pepsi was USAT’s first customer to initiate a complete conversion to cashless payment and telemetry on its vending machines, a project completed at the end of 2012. Pepi will expand its relationship with USAT by leveraging USAT products, services and add-on integration capabilities across all of Pepi’s other business segments.
Pepi’s integrated service solution will include traditional vending, using USAT’s turnkey ePort® and ePort Connect cashless payment and telemetry products and services. Pepi will also have the ability to integrate other third-party devices certified on USAT’s ePort Connect network. For Pepi’s micro-markets as well as their dining service point of sale, Pepi’s technology partner used QuickConnect to integrate with USAT, for streamlined payment services. In addition, for Pepi’s office coffee services and direct store deliveries, Pepi will use USAT’s ePort Mobile™ solution to integrate payments with other business segments. Finally, USAT’s loyalty and prepaid program, MORE., will be accessible by participating consumers using any of these payment acceptance options for an enhanced consumer experience and loyalty factor”one program for all aspects.
1stPay iPad POS announced the 1stPayPOS cloud-based iPad POS system provides big data analytics for small-to-medium sized businesses (SMB). The intuitive 1stPayPOS® cloud-based point-of-sale system is easy to install and significantly reduces training time for employees. Replacing the obsolete electronic cash register with 1stPayPOS® will speed the checkout process with barcode scanners, improve your store’s image and provide analytics to better manage your business. 1stPayPOS® has no servers to maintain and no limit to the number of stations like a PC-based system. 1stPayPOS® has proprietary End-To-End Encryption technologies to offer you peace of mind that your customers’ credit card data is secure. The card data is encrypted at the time of swipe, which is superior technology to that used by the big box retailers currently in the news.
Ciphrex has launched Bitcoin Vault™ – a leading-edge, secure software wallet for Bitcoin transactions and account management. The beta release is offered for free and can be downloaded from Ciphrex website at ciphrex.com. Bitcoin Vault™ is the first bitcoin wallet supporting shared multisignature account management using deterministic keychains. That’s welcome news for the Bitcoin community. Last December, at the Bitcoin convention in Las Vegas, attention was drawn to the fact that no one had yet offered any practical multisignature tools.
Wallaby announced the launch of its Google Chrome web browser extension that expands Wallaby’s market leadership position in credit card optimization solutions. The Wallaby Chrome Extension is included in the roll out of Wallaby Version 3.0 for iPhone – the most significant update to the popular and award-winning mobile app since its launch in 2012. Through the extension, Wallaby users easily identify which of their credit cards they should use for online purchases at a wide selection of merchants including Amazon, eBay, Staples, and Best Buy.
American Express OPEN, the small business division of the financial services company, and Intuit, announced the launch of ReceiptMatch with QuickBooks. This mobile and desktop integration is designed to help small businesses seamlessly sync Business Card expenses with QuickBooks, helping to alleviate end-of-the-month pileups of expense receipts. ReceiptMatch, the mobile app and web-based service that launched last year, helps small business owners reconcile receipts with their American Express Business Card online account on-the-go. The new feature will close the gap between the time when the Business Card is swiped for a purchase and the expense is entered into QuickBooks. This will mark the first time a Business Card will be integrated directly into QuickBooks. Moreover, as businesses rely on their Business Cards to make large ticket purchases, the integration will help make for a faster and easier accounting process.
First Data and MasterCard announced an agreement in which First Data’s STAR® Network will participate in MasterCard’s common U.S. Debit EMV solution. This agreement provides a cost-effective solution and accelerates the ability for EMV functionality to be implemented across the U.S. EMV/ chip cards better protect account information from fraud because they have dynamic data, rather than the static data stored in the magnetic stripe. By working together, MasterCard and First Data will deliver enhanced choices in how debit card issuers identify and apply multiple network relationships to ensure Regulation II compliance in a cost-effective way. Merchants and acquirers will continue to route transactions as they prefer, without costly host systems reprograming.
The ATM Industry Association (ATMIA) announced the creation of a new U.S. Underbanked Forum, to help foster development and deployment of ATM solutions addressing the needs of the unbanked and underbanked. Although explosive growth in the use of mobile devices for payments and banking services has dramatically improved consumer accessibility, there is still a need for more options that are not tied to traditional bank accounts.
Fiserv announced Texas Bay Area Credit Union (TBACU) has selected an integrated suite of payment solutions including debit processing, full-service credit processing, the Accel™ debit payments network, UChoose Rewards® and Risk OfficeSM, to help improve its operational efficiency, consolidate vendors and enhance the financial experience for members. In addition, TBACU also selected DNAweb™ for commercial online banking from Fiserv. Fiserv will help grow and enhance the performance of its credit and debit card portfolios. Also, the ability for TBACU to integrate its card portfolio into its existing DNA™ account processing platform was key in the selection of Fiserv. TBACU has used the DNA account processing platform since 2006.
Jeremy C. Stein submitted his resignation Thursday as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, effective May 28, 2014. Stein, who has been a member of the Board since May 30, 2012, submitted his letter of resignation to President Obama and plans to return to his teaching position in Harvard University’s department of economics.