A new credit card form factor has been introduced in Canada that offers contactless, cash back and global acceptance. The new “Curve MasterCard” is the brainchild of Canadian Tire Financial Services and Giesecke & Devrient. Targeted at young professionals, MasterCard has launched a special video contest to jump start the new card. Cardholders must submit a video by November 13th demonstrating how they ‘stand out from the crowd’. The grand prize from MasterCard features a star-studded trip for two to an awards show in Los Angeles. The no annual fee card offers “MasterCard PayPass” technology. Canadian Tire Financial Services Limited manages approximately 5.0 million Canadian Tire branded credit cards on behalf of Canadian Tire Bank.
A new credit card form factor has been introduced in Canada that offers contactless, cash back and global acceptance. The new “Curve MasterCard” is the brainchild of Canadian Tire Financial Services and
Giesecke & Devrient. Targeted at young professionals, MasterCard has launched a special video contest to jump start the new card. Cardholders
must submit a video by November 13th demonstrating how they ‘stand out from the crowd’. The grand prize from MasterCard features a star-studded trip for two to an awards show in Los Angeles. The no annual fee card offers “MasterCard PayPass” technology. Canadian Tire Financial Services Limited manages approximately 5.0 million Canadian Tire branded credit cards on behalf of Canadian Tire Bank.
The battle to lower U.S. credit card interchange fees is being showcased next week by the nation’s largest convenience store chain, ironically built on excessive margins and mostly cash sales. 7-Eleven, which has become a “Poster Boy” for retailer associations and their battle with the payment networks, says it has collected more than 1.6 million signatures in its “Stop Unfair Credit Card Fees” petition drive.
According to other reports more than half of the signatures were generated from minors. The signature drive ran from June 22nd through August 10th at store counters coast-to-coast. 7-Eleven is bringing eight store operators to Washington, D.C. that represent the various U.S. divisions where stores are located so they can present nearly 15,000 petition booklets to their Congressional representative. They will also participate in a press conference on September 30th at the U.S. Capitol.
Visa recently released a survey that revealed that by a 2-to-1 margin, consumers say retailers should pay the cost of accepting credit and debit cards. About 78% of consumers believe the value and benefits retailers receive from accepting credit and debit cards outweigh the costs of accepting them. Visa says retailers and their well-funded trade associations have filed lawsuits and are aggressively lobbying Congress to allow them to shift their business costs to consumers by allowing merchants to charge checkout fees whenever consumers use credit or debit cards. At the same time, national convenience store chains have launched misleading, in-store petition campaigns to cover for their checkout fee efforts.
TX-based VALID Systems has begun taking orders on its “AIO350,” adding
to its product line of check cashing services. Designed to meet the
needs of the convenience store and retail sectors with ease of use, the
“AIO350” combines a check scanner with the “VeriFone VX570” terminal and
has the smallest footprint in VALIDâs entire product line. Options
include VALIDâs guarantee or non-guarantee risk management programs,
Check 21 or non-Check 21, cash drawer, ATM and card load payout options.
VALID Systems offers automated check cashing and verification solutions
for banks, financial services companies and retailers. The Companyâs
internet-based decisioning and identification system is deployed across
its product line for PC-based application, all-in-one terminals, and
TX-based automated check verification provider VALID has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Chexar.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office issued the “710 Patent”,
entitled “Monitoring Transactions by a Non-Account Holder,” to
VALID on May 5, 2009. VALID has asked the Court to
permanently stop any further alleged infringement by Chexar and to
award to VALID its monetary damages, attorneys fees, and costs. VALID
also has asked for enhanced damages based on Chexar’s alleged willful
infringement of the ‘710 Patent.
AirTran Airways is now offering customers Acculynk’s alternative
payment system “PaySecure.”
PaySecure offers consumers a simple checkout experience while providing
merchants lower fees, reduced fraud and charge-backs, and incremental
volume from security conscious consumers, those who prefer PIN debit and
those with PIN-only debit cards. Consumers who use PaySecure for their
debit card purchase simply enter
their PIN on PaySecureâs graphical PIN-pad, and the transaction is
processed as PIN debit, leveraging AirTranâs existing infrastructure and
processing relationship with Elavon, a leading global provider of
payment processing solutions and the first processor in the industry to
While 56% of Canadian small business owners are feeling the effects of
the current economic climate, 55% are accelerating innovation efforts,
investing in improving product designs and new offerings to capitalize
on opportunities. Rather than passively waiting-out the recession, 61%
have earmarked a portion of company revenues for innovation and 48% have
made it a high priority. These findings, made available through the “Small
Business Monitor” studies conducted by American Express, also show 90%
of the small businesses surveyed expect these investments will make them
more profitable; 87% expect to attract new customers; and 87% feel the
investments will improve their product offering. Among the small
businesses, 66% are financing the investments by reinvesting revenue,
20% are using
credit cards, charge cards or bank loans, and 32% are implementing
personal reserves while 82% feel government should be doing more to
promote small business growth.
The StopStickingItToUs Coalition, representing over 250,000 Canadian
merchant businesses, is commending the Standing Senate Committee on
Banking, Trade and Commerce for its report recommending fundamental
changes to Canadian card issuers and processor operations, namely the
fees and rates charged to merchants and consumers. Recommendations for
credit processing include the appointment of an “oversight board” within
with a mandate to make recommendations; to establish a code of conduct
for payments systems participants and setting fees; to prohibit any
“honour all cards” rules; and to permit surcharging and/or discounting
by merchants. Meanwhile, recommendations for debit card processing
include the calculation of switch and interchange fees on a flat fee;
an interchange fee of zero for 3 years; no percentage fees; to prohibit
priority routing; and to promote the efficiency and competitiveness of
payment systems across the country.
Under a new partnership, hospitals, doctors, laboratories and other related healthcare billers can offer a PINless bill payment method
via the “STAR Network.” Online Resources and First Data have teamed to offer lower cost Web and phone-based ATM/debit card payments from healthcare organizations. The U.S. healthcare payment system processes $1.9 trillion a year, according to McKinsey & Company. Payment processing costs consume about 15% or more of each dollar spent. The “STAR Network” has about two million ATM and retail locations across the country. Online Resources provides its financial institution and biller clients online bill payment and processing services through its network of over 6,000 electronic biller endpoints.
American Express has expanded its “Business Savings Program”
exponentially in a push to offer “Business Gold Rewards Card” and
“Business Platinum Card” members discounts and savings on business
expenses. With benefits embedded within the member’s card, the “Business
Savings Program” eliminates any need for coupons for discounts on
purchases with any program partners, which currently include; ClubLink
Canada; 411.ca; Food & Wine; HP; MDG; Monster.ca; OneConnect Services
Inc; Toronto Board of Trade and Travel + Leisure; Delta Hotels; and
Hertz. On top of the partnership discounts, cardmembers continue to earn
Membership Rewards points on purchases while American Express currently
employs 3,700 Canadians. Specific of available discounts are listed as
American Express Canada has partnered with InRoomMD to provide its
Canadian cardholders the “Travel Healthcare Concierge” service to make
navigating the health care system a breeze in case of illness or injury
while traveling in the U.S. The “Travel Healthcare Concierge” offers
eligible American Express card members/family an alternative to
expensive ER visits with prompt InRoomMD treatment in their U.S. hotel
room at any hour of the day. Additionally, automatic access for
physician telephone consultations, express emergency care triage,
replacement eyeglass/contact lenses, medication, prescriptions, dental
and chiropractic care, medical specialist referral and durable medical
equipment rental is given to AmEx Canada “Platinum Card”, “Business
Platinum Card” and the “Centurion Card” members. American Express in
Canada operates as Amex Bank of Canada and Amex Canada Inc and employs
3,700 Canadians while InRoomMD’s “Travel Healthcare Concierge” program
made available through a partnership of insurance companies, credit
cards and affinity groups.
Check cashing service Advance America has implemented TX-based VALID
Systems “TLR100” check verification solution.
Advance America designed the Check-To-Card program to deliver speed,
safety for consumers wanting a better alternative than traditional check
cashing services. The prepaid card, issued by MetaBank and serviced by
NetSpend, is accepted anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.
Cardholder benefits include access to more than one million ATMs as well
as a free cash-back feature at thousands of financial institutions.
Additional benefits of the prepaid card include Zero Liability
protection1, online bill payment and account access, no overdraft
charges and access to the NetSpend National Savings Program that
currently offers a promotional 5.00 percent APY. Accounts in the
NetSpend National Savings program are held by Inter National Bank,
member FDIC in McAllen, Texas. VALID Systems is a provider of automated
check cashing and verification solutions.