HSBC Finance is gearing-up to pilot in Indianapolis the new “CVS ExtraCare Plus” loyalty rewards payment card that will also offer payment at more than 200,000 Tempo Payment Network merchant locations in the USA . The CVS ExtraCareÂ® Plus card will provide CVS/pharmacy customers with a convenient and secure multipurpose rewards and payment solution that links the cardholder’s existing checking account to their existing ExtraCare account. The new CVS ExtraCare Plus card is the first card product offered under HSBC’s OptiPaysm loyalty rewards PIN-payment program. Through the Tempo Payment Network, HSBC’s OptiPaysm program offers retailers reduced checkout costs without having to make any point-of-sale changes; and offers consumers a greater choice of merchant-branded, affinity-based, PIN-secured payment options. HSBC card and retail services issues merchant-branded payment cards for premier retailers and manufacturers, and is among the largest issuers of credit cards in the United States. Tempo operates the Tempo Payment Network, a PIN-based bank-independent payment network.
CVS/pharmacy has introduced “Extra Bucks Now” that delivers immediate payout of Extra Bucks tied to special offers on customers’ receipts. “Extra Bucks” are like free “CVS money” that customers can use to purchase almost any non-prescription item at CVS/pharmacy. There are two ways consumers can earn Extra Bucks: through special Extra Bucks offers and quarterly spending. CVS/pharmacy also expanded the “personal shopping” capabilities of its rewards program to make product recommendations and offer special coupons tailored to fit each shopper’s individual interests through personalized email, direct mail, and register receipts. CVS’ ExtraCare program is now in its sixth year and is the largest consumer rewards program, with more than 50 million cardholders. CVS/pharmacy is the retail division of CVS/Caremark Corporation and is America’s largest retail pharmacy with approximately 6,200 retail locations.
The National Federation of SubPostmasters has joined with RBS and NatWest to install free-to-use cash machines in the UK’s poorest
communities. The Federation is approaching subpostmasters in deprived
areas to see if they would agree to have a free-to-use RBS or NatWest
machine installed. The RBS Group, which includes NatWest, has initially
earmarked 100 cash machines for sub post offices out of 300 planned in
total. The RBS Group is already the largest provider of free-to-use cash
machines in the UK, with a network of more than 6,500.
The CVS drugstore chain has shut-down Internet access to customers purchase data after a security hole was uncovered by a consumer group. The “CVS ExtraCare” loyalty card provided easy access to the database by requiring the card number, the customer’s zip code and the first three letters of the customer’s last name. The purchase information was then sent via email to the customer. The service was launched six-months ago. The data security flaw was exposed earlier this week by Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering, or CASPIAN. CVS has issued 50 million cards in the program. CVS has 5,400 stores in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The Company says it plans to add an extra layer of security such as passwords before restarting the program.
Citibank has joined with several other top U.S. companies in a new college savings program officially announced yesterday by MA-based Upromise Inc. Citibank will contribute 1% of purchases made on certain enrolled Citi credit cards for a $24.95 annual fee. Other companies, including AT&T, Coca-Cola, CVS/pharmacy, ExxonMobil, General Motors, McDonald’s, Toys”R”Us, AOL, Borders, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, ERA, Countrywide Home Loans, Staples, and Starwood Hotels will also contribute a percentage of a customer’s spending to an Upromise college savings account. Anyone who enrolls in Upromise, via its Web site, will have a portion of his or her spending with contributing companies deposited in their Upromise college savings account. Families can multiply Upromise college contributions by building their own savings network of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends, all directing their contributions to a child’s account. The Upromise service also offers the option of investing the contributions in a “529” college savings plan managed by Salomon Smith Barney or Fidelity Investments. Citibank is offering the program on its ‘Citibank Gold’, ‘Platinum Select’; ‘Driver’s Edge’; ‘Dividend’; ‘Premier’; ‘Citimiles’; ‘Sony Card’; ‘Citibank Visa Signature’; ‘Jack Nicklaus Cards’; and ‘Click Citi Platinum Select. Cardholders may earn up to $300 per year for their Upromise savings accounts. The Citibank Upromise annual fee is required for each enrolled Citibank card.