Blaze Mobile and Tetherball Team for M-Rewards

Blaze Mobile and mobile marketing application service Tetherball are offering the ability to redeem mobile rewards and coupons and pay for their purchase using their mobile phone. Loyalty members can receive offers from Tetherball on their mobile phone from retailers like Dairy Queen and others. To redeem the offer, the consumer simply holds their cell phone, with the “Blaze Sticker” on the back of the phone, near the POS device at the check out stand. Once the offer is validated in real-time, the consumer holds their cell phone near the POS device once again to pay for their purchase. Tetherball serves national retailers and ad agencies in the QSR and entertainment industries and has delivered over 150% growth in new revenue and higher customer retention and loyalty for these clients. The “Blaze Mobile Wallet” enables fast and easy “contact-less” purchases as well as fund transfer, banking, and personal finance management. It can manage bank accounts at more than 8,000 supported financial institutions, view electronic receipts, and quickly and easily create expense reports.

OCT LEI

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for The United Kingdom
declined 0.1% while The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index (CEI)
decreased 0.3% in October. With the 0.1% decline, the Conference Board
LEI for Spain now stands at 109.4 (2004=100), which increased 0.3% in
September and increased 1.9% in August. Meanwhile, the CEI results for
the month were preceded by a 0.1% decrease in September, 0.2% decrease
in August and now stands at 100.3 (2004=100). LEI results for the month
were attributed to positive gains in only 3 of the 6 components that
make up the Conference Board LEI for Spain, including order books
survey, the capital equipment component of industrial production and the
inverted long-term government bond yield while negative contributors
included job placings, the Spanish equity price index and the Spanish
contribution to Euro M2.

Company Holiday Gift Cards Become More Popular

Of companies giving bonuses this year, 49% will give cash, spending a
median of $250 per employee. Thirty-nine percent will give gift cards,
with a median value of $35 per employee and 22% will give food. The
Hewitt Associates survey found that most U.S. employees hoping to get a
holiday bonus to supplement the small pay raises they saw this year may
be disappointed. While the current economy has accelerated the decrease,
Hewitt’s research shows a steady trend away from these bonuses toward
the adoption of more formal pay for performance programs to reward and
thank employees. Replacing holiday bonuses are variable pay programs,
which have increasingly emerged as the primary pay for performance
vehicle for employers and make up a greater portion of an employee’s
overall compensation package.

Dunkin’ Donuts Approves Access to Money

ATM operator Access to Money has been selected by Dunkin’ Donuts to
offer ATM machines for the network of franchisees. The ATM program will
be available to franchisees in New York and may expand to additional
markets in 2010. Access to Money is one of the largest providers and
non-bank
operators of ATMs in the United States with more than 12,000 terminals
under contract, its customers range from national specialty stores,
retailers and credit unions to individual convenience stores, and are
located throughout all 50 states. Access to Money also provides student
loan outsourcing services to university credit unions throughout the
United States.

3V VIRTUAL VISA

VendTek Systems, Peoples Card Services and Visa Canada have introduced
the “3V Virtual Visa,” Canada’s first prepaid virtual Visa program,
following an agreement with 3V Transaction Services online payments
company. Allowing customers to shop online or by phone using a prepaid
disposable 16-digit Visa number, used online just like a standard credit
card, the 3V voucher program will be introduced to the Canadian market
in December, available through participating Now Prepay serviced retail
outlets in denominations ranging from $20 to $500. Peoples will act as
the Visa issuer and VendTek will be responsible for marketing and
distribution of the 3V product. All parties are expecting to spend up to
$300,000 in marketing costs in the first year.

Procrastinating Consumers are Time-Strapped

The 66% of all consumers yet to finish their holiday shopping, 21% of whom will be shopping for gifts the week leading into Christmas and 4% of whom are actually planning to gift shop as late as Christmas Eve, aren’t necessarily lazy. Only 18% of these procrastinating consumers are actually time-strapped, however, with 31% holding out for the best deals; 19% still saving money for holiday gifts; 11% are waiting to use their last paycheck; 10% are waiting for post-holiday sales to buy presents for those on their lists this year; and 5% are holding out for an end-of-year bonus. This, according to the latest American Express “Spending & Saving Tracker” gaging what consumers plan to spend on and what motivates them to spend or save, also shows 32% expect to spend more while 33% expect to spend the same in the next 30 days when compared to the previous 30 days, 22% of whom attribute this to decreases in prices; 21% to making trade-offs with other expenses; and 20% to having finally saved enough money to afford items.

HOLIDAY PARTY SPEND
Item %
Clothing 44%
Nails 24%
Hair 31%
Source: AmEx

Fiserv Names UChoose Rewards Winners

Fiserv has awarded ten winners of the “YOU WIN Sweepstakes” a total of one million “UChoose Rewards” points, a retail value of $10,000.
“UChoose” is a turn-key debit and credit card rewards and loyalty program for financial
institution clients. “UChoose Rewards” was recognized this year by Cards
International for being the “Best Innovation in a Loyalty Program” and been named one of the “Top 10 Technologies of 2009” by Bank
Technology News, and Chessie Federal Credit Union, an UChoose Rewards
client, was selected for Best Practice recognition by Credit Union
Journal for debit card use and card rewards. Part of the Fiserv core competency in Customer and Channel Management,
UChoose Rewards allows banks and credit unions to compete with the well-
established reward programs of the nation’s largest banks. UChoose
Rewards from Fiserv lets financial institutions select a merchant-funded
or issuer-funded program -or a blend of the two – to meet their specific
profitability objectives. UChoose Rewards allows financial institutions
to leverage hundreds of name brand merchants along with local businesses
to build a customized program of offerings. To maximize the rewards
experience, financial institutions can allow customers to combine points
earned for all their bank or credit union accounts. To redeem the points,
winners can choose from among millions of products, travel, adventure
experiences, event tickets, gift cards and in some cases, cash back.

BankCard USA Introduces Guarantee Program

Merchant service provider BankCard USA has launched a “5 Point Service
Guarantee Program” for its customers. The newly launched 5 Point Service
Guarantee Program states:
New customers are never sent refurbished equipment or outdated POS
software—BankCard USA ensures that all hardware and software is the
newest and most updated available, reducing potential malfunctions and
resulting in faster transactions for the merchant; whether merchants
need new
POS equipment for a grand opening, convention, or a merchant needs to
make a quick switchover, BankCard USA will take care of customer needs.
Equipment
can be delivered within 24 hours and with no contracts; customer
requests must and will be handled on the first call.
BankCard USA knows that merchants are far too busy to worry about
following up with their merchant servicer. BankCard USA’s goal is to
make sure
all problems no matter how big are solved within 24 hours. BankCard USA
specializes in credit card processing for new or existing businesses.
They offer payment solutions for all types of businesses, including
internet, retail store-front, mail-order, phone-order, trade shows,
professionals, service industry and home-based businesses.

Winn-Dixie Launches a fuelperks! Promo

Grocery chain Winn-Dixie is tripling rewards for its fuelperks! loyalty
program in Jacksonville and Panama City for gift card purchases. Winn-Dixie is adding an additional 10 cents-per-gallon savings
on gas for every $50 customers spend on select gift cards.
The fuelperks! Rewards program provides Winn-Dixie customers in the
Jacksonville and Panama City markets the everyday opportunity to save 5
cents per gallon of gas for every $50 they spend using their CRC. This
special gift card promotion, which adds the additional savings, applies
to more than 60 gift card brands ranging from iTunes and Chili’s to
Lowe’s Home Improvement and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida
Healthcare cards.

Amazon.com Offers Gift Card Mall

Third-party gift card provider Blackhawk Network
announced its “Gift Card Mall” is now available on Amazon.com.
Gift cards for over 50 retailers — including popular brands such as
Applebee’s, Justice Brands, Regal Entertainment Group Theatres, Sephora,
Subway Restaurants and The Home Depot — are currently available on
Amazon.com/giftcardmall. Gift Card Mall will offer free standard shipping
throughout the month of December for gift cards purchased on Amazon.com.
CA-based Blackhawk Network develops unique products in easy-to-use
formats and delivers them to consumers through an exclusive retail
network of leading grocery, mass, convenience, drug and specialty
retailers. The network reaches more than 165 million consumers each
week. Blackhawk Network is a subsidiary of Safeway Inc.