The Western Union Company unveiled its “Money Transfer Receive Card.” Boasting added convenience for receiving Western Union Money Transfer transactions, the cards will be made available at Agent locations this summer for use anywhere Debit MasterCard is accepted worldwide. Funds on the card are protected by the MasterCard zero-liability policy, an added convenience for consumers who may not wish to carry cash. The “Money Transfer Receive Card” can be upgraded to allow the cardholder to add funds to the card and receive additional money transfers on the card in the future and gives retailers who cannot support Western Union’s traditional full-service options new access to Western Union’s network. Users no longer have to complete forms and can manage the card account both online and over the phone.
HP launched its flexible, secure, self-service and cost-effective payment delivery solution for prefunded cards. HP Prepaid Card Services provides more simplicity with a single view of the portfolio to drive efficiency in customer service and standardizing back-office operations across products. It also focuses on new market opportunities, allowing banks to provide card-based payment services, regardless of a consumer’s credit eligibility; new revenue streams with unique market opportunities that exist within corporations, retailers, healthcare organizations, transportation agencies, universities and government entities; and fraud protection that reduces client exposure to losses by applying advanced fraud monitoring tools on the transactions. HP Prepaid Card Services also supports EMV Chip and Pin requirements.
The Western Union Company has introduced its enhanced walk-in payments service, offering formless payment for speed and convenience for same-day, next-day and second-day payment options. Throughout its U.S. network of 4,000 biller payment receivers, consumers will enjoy “one stop” convenience for mortgage, auto loan, credit card, utility, insurance, telecommunications and more. This is meant to complement Western Union’s web-based and text payment options, supporting its commitment to being an industry innovation leader in comprehensive payments solutions for consumers. Western Union has also eliminated the need for consumers to enter non-intuitive biller codes to make their payments for additional ease.
DebitFacts.org online educational resource focused exclusively on debit, kicks off the âAre You Debit Smart?â video contest, inviting US consumers from now until July 4 to share success stories related to using a debit card as a preferred form of payment. Contestants could win up to $5,000 on a prepaid Discover Card and a money-management session with a financial counselor. Designed to promote the many benefits of using debit, the contest encourages consumers to highlight why they use their debit card, what they buy with debit, when they use it and much more. Entries will be judged by a panel of experts from the financial and creative fields, for which a second-place prize of $2,500 and third-place prize of $1,000 will be awarded via prepaid Discover Cards. Each of the top three prize winners will also receive personal consultation time with Judy Lawrence, financial counselor and coach, author of âThe Budget Kitâ and founder of www.moneytracker.com. Additional details can be found at http://www.debitfacts.org/are-you-debit-smart/.
Layaway is re-emerging
in popularity with more than 73% of consumers stating that they
believe using layaway more often is a smart financial solution that can
help them better manage their spending. The current economic climate has stimulated consumer interest in
layaway, but today’s shoppers have realized layaway is more than a
recession-inspired tool, with 55.5% of consumers surveyed confirmed
they are interested in learning more about layaway as a year-round
financial planning tool. Consumers are looking for
smarter tools in money-management with 82.2% agreeing
that they would rather forgo the instant gratification of financing
their purchases in favor of using layaway. Retailer Kmart reported that its layaway program has experienced
double-digit growth since 2008 and the layaway program at Kmart
and at its sister company Sears has resulted in more than three million
new customer relationships in 2008 and 2009.
Financial alerts have the potential to enable convenient, safe and
profit-generating interaction between financial institutions and their
customers, but changes must first be made. Seven flaws that slow the
adoption of alerts, according to a new report from Javelin Strategy &
Research, have numerous hurdles to overcome. The report, “Financial Alerts
in 2010: Addressing Seven Critical Flaws is Essential to Building Alerts
That Attract, Enrich and Keep More Customer Relationships,” demonstrates
the alerts are difficult to set-up and tailor due to delays in alert-notification
delivery; a lack of actionable response capabilities; an absence of
integration with other financial institution services; a lack of alerts
that address the most significant fraud risks to consumers and small
businesses and inadequate education and marketing for alert availability
and usage. In response, Javelin suggests defaulting customers
into alerts; recommending alert starter bundles to new and existing
customers, enabling customers to set or tailor alerts on the fly and
experimenting with predictive analytics.
MasterCard Europe has announced its 3Q/09 operating results for the
Europe region with gross dollar volume having increased 0.2%; purchase
volume having grew 1.6%; purchase transactions increased
5.2%, and cash transactions decreased 2.7% since the year ago period.
From 1 July until 30 September, European cardholders made more than 1.7
billion purchase transactions with their MasterCard-branded cards, 197
million MasterCard cards had been issued by MasterCard customer
financial institutions across Europe (up 1.9 % since 3Q/08) and were
accepted for payment at 8.7 million locations in the region and 29.4
million locations worldwide. Achievements include Mastercard’s extended
partnership with the Royal Bank of Scotland, Citi, Egg (with the “Money
World MasterCard and Tesco Bank. MasterCard’s prepaid business continues
to gain ground in the Italian payments market with the the “Social Card
with Poste Italiane” and MasterCard’s pioneering work in the ‘lean card’
segment, with prepaid cards that work as an alternative to a current
account. Maestro acceptance reached an important milestone in Belgium
this summer with the debut of e-commerce acceptance in the country
through the support of KBC, CBC and Centea banks.
Javelin has released the results of a survey that focuses on the
opportunities for banks and credit unions to expand and refine personal
finance management tools.
The survey of more than 2,000 consumers in August underscores that banks
and credit unions are
in an ideal position to use online banking to provide a financial portal
that can help customers see all their accounts in one place in real
time, track and analyze their spending, and achieve their financial
goals.Javelin asked what methods do consumers typically use to manage
today; what methods would they prefer to use, what benefits and features
do they value most when it comes to
picking a money-management system,; who is winning the battle for
consumers: banks or PFM websites amd what is the return on investment
for PFM tools?
Financial institutions and online-banking vendors
generally have been slow to keep pace with their non-bank rivals,
forcing customers to look elsewhere for PFM tools â potentially
squandering their significant trust advantage with consumers.
Taking on new financial responsibilities means different things to
female high school seniors than it does to their male counterparts,
according to a recent Capital One Financial survey of 500 graduates
throughout the U.S. As a matter of fact, 65.4% of male students regard
themselves as “highly knowledgeable” in personal finance, compared to
only 49.2% of female survey participants. This confidence correlates
with findings demonstrating 45% of male survey participants have taken a
financial education class, whereas 61% of female students have not. Overall,
33.8% of both male and female are unsure or unprepared to manage their
own banking and personal finances, 80% have had a bank account for 1-2
years, 73% of which balance their checkbooks at least once each month.
Additional findings show 85% of those surveyed periodically set money
aside savings, 50.6% implement a budget, 70% reported their parents
provide advice on money management and 27% said that their parents are
primary financial resource.
The results of market research
firm Encuesta and microlender ACCION USA “Americanos Poll” indicates
that 53% percent of Hispanics are unbanked or underbanked and rely on
less sophisticated methods for everyday transactions
such as check-cashing. Other results reveal that 15% turn to credit
cards for cash advances and that only 36% are “very” familiar with
how to build or manage credit, compared to 46% of non-Hispanics.
Familiarity with various financial products and services among
low-to-moderate income individuals is limited. Fewer than half indicate
awareness of educational savings accounts, 39% of credit/debt counseling
services, and 43% aware of common loan products such as equity credit lines.
VISA has enlisted the input of New England’s financial treasurers and controllers to address the issue of financial illiteracy among teenagers distributing free copies of “Financial Football”, an interactive, NFL-themed, money management video game. Massachusetts State Treasurer Tim Cahill, Rhode Island State Treasurer Frank Caprio, New Hampshire State Treasurer Catherine Provencher, Vermont State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding, Connecticut State Assistant Treasurer Meredith Miller, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Education Dan Iannicola and the Jump$tart Coalition are participating in a region-wide rollout of an effort to improve the money management skills of New England high school students.
A Capital One Canada survey has found that since the end of tax season,
39% of those polled want to forget about finances until tax-time next year
and 41% would rather clean out their basement or garage than think about
finances. Only 29% said they would review their credit cards to make sure
they are getting the best rates and fees. Albertans, however, are more
to take a hard look at credit options at 32% while Quebecers are least
at 20%. Experts say, however, that spring is a good time for people to
evaluate finances and take control of their situation. Only 16% of
are attracted to offers with promotional awards and only 2% are interested
in offers with a time-limited introductory rate. Also, 26% buy in bulk, 17%
look for free samples and meals at work or other functions, 4% of Canadians
say they “mooch” off friends and family and 69% use and stick to a budget.