Grocery retailer Tesco has selected Wachovia as its ATM provider for its Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market when the company’s first stores debut in the U.S. The companies are a natural fit in environmental stewardship. Wachovia recently announced a “green” financial center design in accordance with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification standards. The company will begin opening its green financial centers in Southern California later this year, and by the end of 2008 all new Wachovia branches will be built using LEED standards. Tesco is the UK’s largest retailer and one of the world’s leading international retailers, operating over 2,800 stores across 12 countries. Wachovia Corporation is one of the nation’s largest diversified financial services companies, with assets of $719.9 billion and market capitalization of $97.5 billion at June 30, 2007.
First Data and CA-based mobile platform provider mFoundry have teamed up to work together to deliver mobile banking and payment services to mobile subscribers. mFoundry’s “Spotlight Financial Platform” is intended to provide the technology necessary to bring a wide array of financial services to U.S. and international markets. In the relationship, First Data plans to offer the full “Spotlight mBanking” solution to the financial institution community. As a component of this relationship, First Data’s STAR Network and mFoundry expect to offer mobile banking opportunities to more than 5,400 financial institutions, giving STAR member organizations the ability to offer those capabilities to their customers in an easy, cost-effective way.
alphyra prepayments and Value Retail have introduced a prepaid gift
card based on the Nomad processing platform. The prepaid card is
accepted wherever MasterCard is and implements the CORTEX
processing platform and do not incur any further administrative
charges. The card will be introduced at UK’s Bicester Village, Kildare
Village in Ireland, Maasmechelen Village in Belgium, Villages in Spain,
Italy and Germany by 2008. alphyra has operations in 23 European
countries, processes over 400 million transactions per year, and operates
on payzone, a branded network of 150,000 retail points.
Fiserv’s Personix and Dallas-based PAYjr are delivering edge-to-edge photo design options to financial institutions for teen prepaid cards. The customization allows the user to have a one-of-a-kind card that is unique to his or her lifestyle by allowing a personal digital photo printed on the card. This is a key feature of the new “PAYjr Visa Buxx Card”, which are now available through a partnership with BankFirst. The “PAYjr Visa Buxx Card” combines PAYjr’s intuitive user interface and chore/allowance tracking capabilities with the sophisticated, widespread infrastructure of Visa Buxx. Adding the Personix edge-to-edge photo capability enables teens to design their own prepaid cards using their digital photos, while software from Serverside Group provides upload and editing capabilities. PAYjr provides smart, practical and easy-to-use online tools that help parents teach their children about money management and budgeting. Personix provides high-volume laser printing, mailing, electronic document delivery solutions and plastic card manufacturing, personalization and mailing services to more than 9,000 U.S. and international clients.
Dallas-based PAYjr has launched the industry’s first prepaid card for teens, allowing them to upload pictures for the design of their card. The “PAYjr VISA Buxx Card” is issued by SD-based BankFirst. The program is available to parents and teenagers via PAYjr’s website and through PAYjr’s bank and credit union partners. PAYjr leverages technology from Serverside Graphics to enable teens to upload, enlarge, rotate, move and flip their chosen photos inside the new card template. PAYjr has also launched a card design competition, encouraging teenagers to show off their design skills in competition for a chance to win an Apple Macbook and the opportunity to earn royalties from their card designs.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has launched “HelpWithMyBank.gov”, a new Web site dedicated to providing answers and assistance to national bank customers. “HelpWithMyBank.gov” provides answers to common questions based on thousands of calls made to the OCC Customer Assistance Group each year. The site presents information in straightforward easy-to-use terms in a simple question-and-answer format. Topics include credit cards, interest rates, check cashing, late payments, mortgages, and many others. The site also provides guidance on how to determine if a bank is a national bank or operating subsidiary and who to contact if the bank is not. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency was created by Congress to charter national banks, to oversee a nationwide system of banking institutions.
Boston-based RatePoint and Chicago-based AmbironTrustWave have teamed to enable merchants to access the consumer feedback and security solutions offered by both companies. AmbironTrustWave customers will be able to sign-up for the “RatePoint Consumer Approval Program,” a consumer driven program that provides businesses with an affordable, interactive quality assurance certification and customer feedback platform. Excluding SSL services, RatePoint clients will be able to further enhance their customers’ confidence by accessing AmbironTrustWave’s full suite of compliance management solutions. AmbironTrustWave’s “TrustKeeper” product suite offers merchants access to the tools necessary to comply with the “PCI DSS” including the “Self Assessment Questionnaire” and vulnerability scanning.
VeriFone announced an agreement to be the preferred vendor of integrated payment solutions to the largest licensed leasing association in New York City, the Committee for Taxi Safety with 3,000 member taxis. VeriFone also announced that more than 5,000 New York City taxis are signed or committed to comprehensive multi-year agreements for in-taxi acceptance of credit cards. Last month, systems implemented by VeriFone’s US-based taxi business, VeriFone Transportation Systems, were the first authorized by the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission for the city’s more than 13,000 taxis. Beginning October 1st, upon their next scheduled inspection all New York taxis are mandated to have technology-based customer service improvements that will include credit/debit card acceptance and an interactive electronic passenger map and information screen. VeriFone Transportation Systems services over 8,000 of the taxi meters in the city cab fleet.
99Bill Corporation has formed an alliance with China Merchant Bank
for the promotion of online payment and banking services in China. China
Merchant Bank(CMB) will also extend the 99Bill online payment service
to its customers. In turn, due to the increased competitiveness and
of online service, this development will secure CMB high-end customers.
Only 20% of China’s Internet users use online banking services more than 3
times a week, in comparison to a global percentage of 32%, and 5% use the
service everyday, in comparison to 14% globally. China Banking Regulatory
Commission shows that China’s banks signed 75 million online banking
customers by the end of 2006 from 54 million in 2005. For 2007, the online
banking transactions volume is projected to exceed 118 trillion RMB with
banking users to increase to 117 million.
AdStar has launched “EdgCapture R4,” the company’s latest credit card processing platform for newspapers, and also announced two major product enhancements that will reduce merchant transaction fees related to American Express cards and large ticket purchases.
Juniper Research has conducted research suggesting that, by 2011,
mobile payments will have conducted 22 billion dollars in transactions
and will have attracted 204 million users. The commercialization of
NFC devices, secure applications, the support of credit card
organizations and financial institution funding are all contributing
to expansion of the industry. Research conducted by Juniper includes
interviewing experts in the industry, conducting case studies, and
analysis from representatives of the mobile payment industry.
Blackhawk Network has signed an exclusive agreement with MLB Advanced Media LP, the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball, to launch the first-ever MLB.com gift card. The MLB team branded gift cards may be redeemed for tickets online and offline, merchandise online and at team retail stores and concessions at ballparks. The Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants and Seattle Mariners were among the first teams to launch their gift cards. In addition, ten other teams currently participate, including the Atlanta Braves, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays and Washington Nationals. Blackhawk Network, a subsidiary of Safeway Inc., is a prepaid and payments network and the largest provider of third-party prepaid cards.