MoneyGram is again hosting its annual Ultimate Cricket Fan contest, where one winner will receive an all-expense-paid trip to the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy cricket tournament held in the United Kingdom. As part of its sponsorship of the International Cricket Council (ICC), MoneyGram, a leading global money transfer company, is encouraging fans to submit a photo and a brief explanation on why they are the Ultimate Cricket Fan and should be selected to serve as MoneyGram’s blogger at the Champions Trophy semifinals and final. With this, Cricket fanatics have until April 17 to upload a photo in their favorite cricket gear on MoneyGram’s cricket Facebook page, along with a 150-word explanation defining how they are the Ultimate Cricket Fan. Ten finalists will be chosen to create a short video depicting their love and passion for the sport to upload on the company’s cricket Facebook page.
Huntington Bank and Michigan State University Athletics launched the Spartans branded debit card, providing fans who sign up for a Huntington Bank checking account debit card to show their loyalty. The Spartans debit card bears Michigan State University’s Spartan helmet graphic and the Michigan State University athletics wordmark. The debit card can be linked to any of Huntington’s consumer checking accounts including the popular Asterisk-Free Checking®, a checking account without a monthly checking maintenance fee that offers 24-Hour Grace® to help customers avoid overdraft fees. The Spartans debit card launches as Huntington expands into the Lansing area via partnership with Meijer, creating eight in-store branches serving greater Lansing by the end of 2013.
American Express and TakePart announced
that National Trust for Historic Preservation, Rails-to-Trails
Conservancy, International Rescue Committee, DonorsChoose.org, ASPCA and
Operation Smile are the winners of the first voting cycle in Members
Project, an innovative online initiative that provides everyone with an
opportunity to take small steps to make a big difference. American Express will provide the six winning
charitable organizations with a total of $1.2 million in funding that
will positively impact millions of lives around the world, in the areas
of arts& culture, community development, environment& wildlife,
education and health& wellness. Everyone, whether a Cardmember or not, has the
opportunity to vote for the charity that they think deserves funding
from American Express. Through Members Project at TakePart.com/MembersProject, people can
explore todayâs issues and decide for themselves where and how theyâd
like to take action. Everyone who is at least 18 is invited to register
online and vote to help decide which charities will receive funding from
American Express, or volunteer their time to a worthy cause and get
rewarded through Membership RewardsÂ® Bonus Points certificates. Participants are
encouraged to rally their networks and recruit support for their
favorite charity using an assortment of Members Project sharing tools,
as well as Facebook and Twitter.The second Members Project voting cycle is now
open for participants to select their favorite charity vying to share $1
million in funding.
SMS communication provider Clickatell has released its first “Mobile State of the Union” analysis. The report evaluates the state of mobile banking capabilities and target markets.
According to the report, banks must consider their entire customer base when rolling out critical mobile services; and more specifically what happens to those who cannot be reached on a smart phone?
Four billion of us, however, can access SMS in seconds, from any phone.
In other regions of the world, SMS is being used for critical banking functions and other mobile services such as airtime top ups, bill payments, real-time payments, lottery, remittances, point of sale payments, and more. The US is concentrating heavily on the smart phone market, which has yet to reach critical mass adoption, which equates to future revenue. Most enterprises and financial institutions are clearly looking to increase the all-important bottom line today. Regardless, we believe US-centric companies will continue to focus on iPhone and other smart devices.
Given the state of the Canadian economy, a mere 22% of Canadian
consumers are saving more than they did before, discloses RBC bank with
the findings of its “Account Habits” poll. Additional findings of the
poll show 43% are maintaining current spending habits, 20% are spending
more, 83% are concerned with a lack of savings, 86% would like to save
more while 49% have a rainy day account set up for an emergency, 55% of
whom have only enough to cover one-month’s expenses while 24% can cover
3 months. Moreover, 65% depend on lines of credit/credit cards as a
fall-back, 34% spend their entire paycheck on living expenses with
nothing left over while 33% put their entire salary into savings. The
RBC online poll was conducted by Ipsos Reid between March 13 and March
18, 2008 of 2,020 adult
Canadian bank account holders.
VISA USA has partnered with personal finance expert Jean Chatzky to promote financial literacy nationwide. Chatzky will help develop new financial education curriculum and interactive resources geared toward teachers, students, women and parents. She will also participate in a number of Practical Money Skills for Life and What’s My Score outreach activities. She will also moderate the Financial Literacy and Education Summit being co-sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and VISA on May 1. This Summit will bring together educators, policymakers, non-profits and private sector leaders to address key issues, such as mandating financial education in schools, and sharing best practices. Jean Chatzky is a regular contributor to “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and to Oprah.com, financial editor for NBC’s “Today Show,” a contributing editor for Money and Travel & Leisure magazines and a columnist for The New York Daily News.
A new survey has found that 41% of teens consider themselves knowledgeable about how to budget money, 34% know how to pay bills, 26% know how credit card interest and fees work, 24% know whether a check cashing service is good to use and 14% know how income taxes work or what a 401(k) plan. More than half believe that “it is easier to buy things with a credit card than cash” and, given the choice, 29% would actually prefer using a credit card, a 61% increase in this stated preference over last year. The research by Charles Schwab also found that American teens confidently predict a future in which, based on the career that interests them most, they will be earning an average annual salary of $145,500 (boys expect $173,000 vs. girls, $114,200). The reality: Only five percent of the U.S. population currently earns a six-figure income, and the average national wage stands at approximately $40,000.
The “Futuretrust MasterCard” has partnered with H&R Block to offer a bonus contribution to the cardholder’s “529” college savings plan. Futuretrust(R) is a MasterCard(R)-linked college savings program that enables families and friends to get a “jump” on saving for college. Futuretrust has no membership fee. Rebates are automatically contributed to a tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan of the member’s choice. Mothers Work, Inc. is the world’s largest designer and retailer of maternity apparel, using its custom TrendTrack(TM) merchandise analysis and planning system as well as its quick response replenishment process to “give the customer what she wants, when she wants it.” H&R Block Inc. is a leading provider of tax, financial, mortgage, accounting and business consulting services and products.