Conference Board Economic Index Improving

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Running counter to multiple negative economic indications this month, the Conference Board Leading Economic Index just released figures up 0.3% for May to 95.8 (2004 = 100). Indicating a strengthening consumer outlook on the US economy- despite racking credit card debt and mounting card charge-offs, this follows the general trend over…

AmEx OPEN and Facebook Launch Small Business Contest

American Express OPEN launched its second-annual “Big Break for Small Business” (www.facebook.com/OPEN), a national contest designed to transform the way small businesses connect and engage with customers online. This year, American Express OPEN is giving every small business that enters educational and brand-building tools, as well as $50 in Facebook advertising credits. American Express Cardmembers and merchants who enter will receive $100 in Facebook advertising credits. The five winning small businesses will receive house calls from American Express OPEN and Facebook branding experts, who will provide in-depth marketing and strategy sessions as well as $25,000 in cash to put the strategies into action. The winners will learn how to use Facebook to build their brands and better market their products and services to their existing customer base and reach new customer segments. Each winner will get practical and personal training on best practices using Facebook Pages, Ads and Social Plugins, and will receive consultation on their current use of Facebook.

Citi Launches CitiBusiness ThankYou Card

Citi is expanding its ThankYou Rewards program with the introduction of its CitiBusiness “ThankYou” small business card. The Card enables business owners to earn unlimited points for purchases they make, with accelerated earn on popular business categories like restaurants and hotels and no annual fee. Citi also recognizes each year of cardmembership with an annual anniversary bonus. In addition, business owners can earn ThankYou Points across their Citi relationship – including personal and small business credit card and banking accounts – and combine points into one ThankYou account to redeem for thousands of rewards. New members are rewarded with 15,000 bonus ThankYou Points after spending $3,000 within the first three months of cardmembership. They will also automatically earn three ThankYou points for every dollar in purchases on a wide range of categories each quarter. It gives business owners points-earning power across their Citi banking relationship.
Members can earn three ThankYou Points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases in rotating business categories; For all other purchases, base earn rate of one ThankYou Point for every $1 spent; receive an anniversary ThankYou Points bonus each membership year; earn bonus points for managing your account online (100 points for registering for Account Online or for enrolling in Paperless Statements); and combine ThankYou Points across all Citibank relationships with no limit to the ThankYou Points you can earn, and points don’t expire.

USA Technologies Shows Cashless Sales Up 84% Y/Y

USA Technologies released new data collected from its 2012 Knowledge Base Study that highlights the business-building benefits of cashless payment adoption realized by USA Technologies’ ePort Connect vending customers. Most notably, the study revealed an impressive 84% increase in average annualized cashless sales in terminals that had adopted the cashless option for longer than one year compared to terminals using the cashless option for less than a year. USAT evaluated data over a two and one-half month period from approximately 57,000 ePort Connect® cashless vending terminals across 39 different channels or industry sectors and customer types. From the 57,000 connections studied, USAT compared a subset of 27,000 terminals where ePort Connect service had been live for greater than one year (the “Mature Subset”) to 30,000 terminals that were in early adoption stage or had been live for less than one year with a cashless option (the “New Installations” subset).

NCR Accelerates Growth Through Strategic Acquisitions

NCR Corporation announced a series of strategic acquisitions in the fast growing hospitality industry that will enable NCR to increase and strengthen its overall presence in Brazil. NCR acquired POS Integrated Solutions, a reseller of the NCR Aloha solution for restaurants and Wyse Sistemas de Informática Ltda., a market-leading provider of software solutions, including the Colibri suite of hospitality software. Radiant Distribution Solutions (RDS), a NCR Hospitality hardware distribution partner was also acquired. Terms of the deals were not disclosed. The combination of acquisitions with NCR’s existing hospitality business will enable NCR to increase distribution, add to the strength of its portfolio, open new market segments and deliver solutions that enable hospitality businesses to better manage sales transactions and drive productivity gains.

Citi Members to Use Points for Tickets to Live Nation Concerts

Citi is giving customers another way to get tickets to see their favorite music live through its Citi ThankYou Rewards. Members can redeem their “ThankYou Points” directly to purchase tickets to sought-after performances on LiveNation.com. Through Citi’s relationship with Live Nation and the Citi® Private Pass® program (www.citiprivatepass.com), customers already can enjoy exclusive ticket presales, preferred tickets, VIP experiences and access. Now, Citi ThankYou Rewards members (www.thankyou.com) can use their points to buy tickets to concerts at Live Nation venues.

Fiserv to Drive E-Bill Adoption

Fiserv announced the launch of E-bill Introduction, a new feature within the widely used CheckFree® RXP® payment suite. E-bill Introduction offers consumers an opportunity to receive electronic bills (e-bills) via their online banking service for an introductory period during which they also continue to receive paper bills in the mail. Pilots of the feature conducted with five financial institutions delivered solid results, with consumers enrolled in the pilot activating three times more e-bills than consumers who were not enrolled. E-Bill Introduction utilizes a 90-day introductory period to enable consumers who already pay their bills electronically to experience receiving e-bills at their financial institution firsthand. During this 90-day period the consumer receives an e-bill via online banking and a traditional paper bill in the mail. Following the trial period consumers can opt to continue receiving e-bills and turn off their paper bill, or the e-bill will be discontinued and the consumer will continue to receive a paper bill.

Wright Express, PaySpan Launch Virtual Payments Solution

Wright Express Corporation value-based business payment processing and information management solutions forged agreements with PaySpan healthcare payments and reimbursements processors, to bring its single-use virtual payments solutions to the healthcare industry. With more than 25 years of payments expertise, PaySpan, Inc. is a trusted source of innovative healthcare reimbursement solutions that Empower the Healthcare Economy™. PaySpan provides financial networking and reimbursement solutions for more than 100 healthcare payers, 335,000 providers and 4,000 financial institutions. PaySpan’s customers represent an elite array of industry leading Commercial and Government health payers representing many diverse benefit types for more than 50 million members. For more information, visit www.PaySpan.com.

NCR Showcases Customer Service, Loyalty & Back Office Efficiency

NCR Corporation is showcasing the importance of its technology for customer loyalty and service at the Unified Grocers 90th Annual Expo June 20 and 21 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, Calif. NCR’s grocery software suite, including NCR Advanced Checkout Solution (ACS) for independent retailers, NCR Advanced Back Office (ABO) and NCR Advanced Marketing Solution (AMS) will take center stage at NCR’s booths, 257 and 258, at the expo.

Text2Pay Launches mPayments for Online Dating

Mobile payments provider Text2Pay announced that participating dating websites will now be able to use the Text2Pay mobile payment platform to sell virtual gifts and dating goods to their users – easily and securely. The iDate conference will be held on June 20-22, 2012 at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. The conference also coincides with the Social Media Conference, also taking place in Beverly Hills on the same days. Those that register to one event are able to attend both.

Chase Sapphire Partners Pandora, Offers Personalized Music

Chase Card Services forged a partnership with Pandora radio service to bring summer-themed music to listeners from June 20 to September 4. In addition to 14 new summer-themed genre stations, listeners can experience the “Sapphire Summer Sounds” radio station, which brings the Chase Sapphire brand to life in an easily accessible playlist. During the launch of the partnership on June 20, Pandora listeners will enjoy a full day of limited interruptions and more music with only one advertisement per hour on the Pandora web platform, courtesy of Chase Sapphire.