Evolve Money Adds Debit Cards

Evolve Money™, the first online and mobile app that makes it easy for people to track and quickly pay more than 10,000 bills using cash, now offers people more choices of how to pay with the addition of debit and prepaid cards. Launched this summer by PreCash, Evolve Money is gaining traction as a fast, affordable and secure way to pay bills from one place and is an alternative to bank bill payment services. Evolve Money is available as a free Android mobile app from Google Play, and other smartphone, tablet and computer users can use Evolve Money by visiting www.evolvemoney.com.

Square redesigns Register POS

Square launched a new design for Square Registe POS solution. The design’s refined aesthetic introduces a smoother, more intuitive experience for both merchants and their customers, and optimizes for efficiency, simple customization and ease-of-use. It also provides a consistent experience across Android and iOS 7, and with Square web dashboard, Square’s back office solution. For many businesses, speed and efficiency at the counter is critical. Square Register’s new navigation is intuitive and ergonomic for a faster workflow that keeps the line moving. Design details improve the interaction between buyer and seller; for example, the timing of how Register screens change is designed to correspond with how customers naturally order during a lunch rush.

PlayPhone Announces Vivo Partnership

PlayPhone mobile social gaming partnered Vivo to expand its social game store and global gaming network to its customers. This partnership is the latest in a rapidly expanding list of key carrier partners including Verizon, Claro Brazil, SingTel and Sprint, to adopt PlayPhone’s turnkey social gaming platform. With the addition of Vivo, PlayPhone now reaches over 870 million mobile customers. PlayPhone Games enables Vivo customers to discover, download and play a wide variety of the latest popular games with friends from around the world in a single app. It’s the first aggregated mobile games store for Vivo customers that offers secure direct carrier billing, and it provides gamers with a unique, deeply social set of gaming features. PlayPhone Games is personalized to each player’s gaming habits, their friend network and the games their friends are playing, exposing players to very targeted content and making it easy for players to instantly connect with friends to play and share favorite games together.

Consumers Unleashed

The U.S. Personal Consumption Expenditures Index has fallen to 2.8% in the third quarter of 2013 from 5.1% in the third quarter of 2006. Consumers are still sitting on their wallets and not sure sure what retailers are up to, as aggressive holiday sales are very early and very sluggish. January may be the bright spot for retailers, but “Baby Boomers” are watching closely and will close in during the first quarter.

adMarketplace Taps Microsoft and AOL Veterans

adMarketplace search advertising technology named Lou Severine as its Chief Revenue Officer and James Domenick as Vice President of Ad Operations. Severine and Domenick bring extensive industry experience to adMarketplace’s rapidly expanding sales and operations teams. Severine joins adMarketplace after serving as Chief Revenue Officer for Adknowledge, where he managed revenue, business development, and marketing efforts. Severine also served as Senior Vice President of Global Sales for AOL/ADTECH, where he was responsible for domestic and international sales for numerous AOL Networks platforms. Domenick comes to adMarketplace from Microsoft, where he served as Chief of Staff for Global Accounts & Agencies. He joined Microsoft in 2007 and managed a range of cross-group initiatives for Microsoft’s Global Creative Solutions team. Prior to Microsoft, Domenick served as Director of Product Solutions for Experian CheetahMail.

TigerDirect.com Integrates V.me by Visa

Technology retail giant TigerDirect.com announced it has begun accepting V.me by Visa to help simplify online payments at its Internet Retailer Top-25 ranked TigerDirect.com e-commerce site, as well as its mobile and tablet web sites at M.tigerdirect.com and T.tigerdirect.com. V.me is a simple, secure way for people to pay online, letting consumers checkout by simply entering a username and password. Once enrolled, consumers can more easily manage online shopping payments anywhere that accepts V.me. The marketing and technology integration between TigerDirect.com and Visa is one of many strides TigerDirect.com has taken to minimize payment friction, giving customers one more reason to complete their purchases with TigerDirect.com. Because customers can complete their purchases in fewer steps and without ever leaving the TigerDirect.com web or mobile site, V.me helps reduce the likelihood of cart abandonment. V.me by Visa digital wallet lets consumers checkout securely using any major credit or debit card, without re-entering card number and shipping preferences.

The Clearing House Whitepaper Examines US payments system

The Clearing House (TCH) issued a working paper entitled U.S. Payment System: Recommendations for Safe Evolution and Future Improvements that offers recommendations on how best to evolve the existing payments system. The working paper focuses on the need to ensure the safety, soundness and sustainable economics of the U.S. payment system and to continue to deliver superior payment services to consumers and businesses. The working paper is part of TCH’s ongoing discussions regarding the future of the U.S. payment system and serves as its response the Federal Reserve Banks’ Payments System Improvement – Public Consultation Paper published in September. The paper also sets forth TCH’s own recommendations regarding optimal payment system evolution and outcomes.

Western Union and Moat Housing Association pilot pre-paid card

Western Union is piloting a prepaid card that enables tenants of Moat Housing Association to receive their housing benefit and automatically pay the Registered Social Landlord (RSL). The trial is part of a scheme to evaluate the role of prepaid cards in supporting automatic rent payments, which would meet many of the challenges RSLs face when implementing Universal Credit. Western Union is currently providing tenants with MasterCard prepaid cards. The cards allow RSLs to automatically draw money from the tenant’s card, preventing rent arrears and giving both tenants and the housing association a record that the rent has been paid. The cards have no credit facilities, so the tenants cannot spend more than the value on the card, once the rent has been paid to the landlord, the cards can be used to pay for goods and services wherever MasterCard is accepted.

PCI Gaming Opening New Casino-Resort

PCI Gaming unveiled a major awareness campaign targeting Atlanta to support the opening of this new resort. The multi-channel effort includes unique and innovative interactive promotions and marketing elements aimed at building awareness in the Atlanta market for what will become the city’s closest casino. The focus of this campaign is to support awareness for the December 17 opening of Wind Creek Wetumpka, PCI Gaming’s newest and largest property. The $250 million casino-hotel is a two-hour drive from downtown Atlanta, just outside Montgomery, Alabama, and is the city’s closest casino. Wind Creek Wetumpka offers 2,520 gaming machines on an 85,000 square-foot casino floor. That’s about the size of two football fields. It is surrounded by 5 restaurants including a luxury steakhouse, Fire, whose sister restaurant at the Wind Creek Atmore earned AAA’s coveted four-diamond award, the only restaurant in Alabama with that distinction.

US PCE Index

The U.S. Personal Consumption Expenditures Index has fallen to 2.8% in the third quarter of 2013 from 5.1% in the third quarter of 2006. Consumers are still sitting on their wallets and not sure sure what retailers are up to, as aggressive holiday sales are very early and very sluggish. January may be the bright spot for retailers, but “Baby Boomers” are watching closely and will close in during the first quarter.

Retail Holiday Spending

First Data Corporation released its First Data SpendTrend® analysis for Thanksgiving/Black Friday 2013 compared to Thanksgiving/Black Friday 2012. SpendTrend tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations. Black Friday lost some of its luster as retailers opened their doors earlier this year in order to vie for a piece of the holiday spending pie, especially with this year’s shorter-than-usual window between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Year-over-year retail dollar volume growth during Thanksgiving and Black Friday was strong at 9.0%, and a significant increase compared to last year’s growth of 5.6%. Most of the 9.0% retail spending growth was driven by shopping on Thanksgiving as opposed to Black Friday; with 3.4% growth on Black Friday.

PayAnywhere Now Accepts PayPal Payments

PayAnywhere announced they have teamed with Discover Financial Services, a direct banking and payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services, to offer PayAnywhere merchants the ability to accept PayPal at the point of sale. This means that PayAnywhere merchants will be able to accept PayPal and will be able to tap into PayPal’s rapidly growing customer base that has swelled to more than 55 million active customers in the U.S., more and more of whom are using the PayPal payment card.