Heartland Payment Systems has delivered more than $262,000,000 in signature debit savings to its merchant customers throughout the United States. Restaurant merchants received more than $75,000,000, lodging merchants received nearly $10,000,000, retail merchants received almost $30,000,000 and petroleum/c-store merchants received more than $55,000,000. The Durbin Amendment, part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, caps debit card interchange rates for issuing banks with more than $10 billion in assets at 21 cents per transaction, plus one cent for issuers with an effective fraud prevention system, and 0.05% of the volume of transaction.
Visa expanded its “SavingsEdge” program for automatic discounts on qualifying small business expenses, which now includes more than 1,600 financial institutions and 39 participating merchants and is now available to 24 million eligible small business account holders in the U.S. Participation in the program is free for Visa small business account holders. Visa “SavingsEdge” automatically processes discounts on small businesses’ qualifying purchases in the form of a statement credit, and provides program performance reporting for merchants. The program provides financial institutions and participating merchants an opportunity to create stronger relationships with their customers.
Staples, Orbitz, USA TODAY, La Quinta Inns & Suites and Box.net are the latest companies to have joined the Visa “SavingsEdge” small business savings program. With recent Visa Business research having indicated 52% of small business owners listed cash flow as a primary concern, the Visa “SavingsEdge” helps small businesses save money by providing automatic discounts on qualifying purchases made with an eligible, enrolled Visa Business payment card. Small business cardholders that participate in the program currently have access to savings with merchants at over 14,000 physical retail locations, in addition to discounts at 50,000 hotels through Orbitz. With these agreements, Visa “SavingsEdge” offers users 5% off purchases of $100 or more at Staples and Staples.com; 5% off rooms booked on Orbitz.com; 10% off USA TODAY subscriptions; 5% off completed stays at La Quinta Inns & Suites; and 15% off Box.net Cloud Content Management Solution.
Non-tradition financial service provider AccountNow has teamed with MetaBank to introduce ” iAdvance Line of Credit” and “Money 411” with no upfront fees for new accounts with direct deposit. “iAdvance”, available with the AccountNow Vantage Prepaid MasterCard from MetaBank, provides a line of credit that can be accessed 24/7 via a customer’s prepaid card. Available to cardholders with direct deposit, iAdvance is a more convenient and less costly alternative to other options, with no rollovers, no multiple outstanding loans and lower fees than other high-cost, nonbank credit alternatives. Money 411 is the first comprehensive information network designed specifically for those who do not use, or have been unable to get, a traditional bank account.
One of the largest operators of limited-service hotels has launched a VISA card offering five points for every dollar spent on the card during each stay and one point for each dollar spent elsewhere. The new “La Quinta VISA Rewards Card” from Chase also offers new cardholders 6,000 “La Quinta Returns” bonus points with their first purchase, enough points for a free night’s stay at many La Quinta hotels. There is no accumulation limit or expiration for the accrued points earned with the card. Points can be redeemed for free nights and other rewards, including airline miles/credits and stays at LXR Luxury Resorts & Hotels. There are more than 600 hotels in 45 states and Canada under La Quinta Inn and La Quinta Inn & Suites brands.
CA-based prepaid card marketer AccountNow has secured the Center for Financial Services Innovation’s new Catalyst Fund as the final investor in the companies third round of venture funding and named David J. Petrini, formerly EVP and CFO of Capital One’s GreenPoint Mortgage Funding as its new CFO. On June 26, AccountNow announced $12.75 million in new funding and the addition of two new board members. Trident Capital, a new investor, led the round, and all current investors participated. These investors include INVESCO Private Capital, Oak Hill Venture Partners, VSP Capital, Grayhawk Venture Partners and Mr. Coltrell. Christopher P. (Woody) Marshall, Managing Director of Trident Capital and Stephen B. Galasso, Strategic Advisor at Trident Capital, were AccountNow’s new board members. The Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) created the CFSI Catalyst Fund to invest in financial services companies and solutions focused exclusively on underbanked consumers. The fund is a private equity limited partnership and was announced on July 24. The Center for Financial Services Innovation, a non-profit affiliate of ShoreBank Corporation, facilitates financial services industry efforts to serve underbanked consumers.
Card marketer AccountNow has closed on $12.75 million in a third round of venture funding and added two new board members.Trident Capital led the round and all current investors and board investors participated. Investors include INVESCO Private Capital, Oak Hill Investment, VSP Capital, Grayhawk Venture Partners, Granite Hill Capital Ventures and CEO Tim Coltrell. Stephen B. Galasso, Strategic Advisor, and Christopher P. (Woody) Marshall, Managing Director, both from Trident Capital have joined AccountNow’s board, while all other board members will continue to serve. AccountNow is a provider of financial solutions for the 40 million US consumers who do not have established credit or traditional banking relationships. Trident Capital is a leading venture capital and private equity firm with over $1.6 billion of capital under management. The firm has invested in over 120 companies since its founding.
CA-based AccountNow was honored as a finalist in the category of Best Unbanked and Underserved Program as part of the Prepaid Card Awards at the 2007 Prepaid Card Expo. AccountNow’s VISA-and MasterCard-branded prepaid cards provide millions of consumers who do not have traditional banking or checking accounts additional choices for making purchases and paying bills with the convenience and safety of FDIC deposit insurance, electronic payments, financial education and an innovative tool to help building a new credit history. The cards are issued by MetaBank and Palm Desert National Bank. Prepaid Media provides a host of business-to-business media and information services to the rapidly growing network branded prepaid and stored value card industry. AccountNow is a leading provider of financial solutions for the 40 million US consumers who do not have established credit or traditional banking relationships.
The World Monuments Fund and American Express Company announced that seven endangered historic sites will receive funding through the new “American Express Partners in Preservation program.” The sites will receive a total of $700,000. The program was launched in June of this year. Over the past 10 years, American Express has contributed more than $10 million to help preserve 119 historic sites in 59 countries placed on the Watch list.
Dallas-based La Quinta has launched a gift card program. Gift cards are available for purchase in $25 or $50 denominations exclusively online at LQ.com or Baymontinns.com. The cards never expire and have no service or administration fee. Gift cards pre-ordered now will be shipped free via Fedex 2nd Day Delivery on December 20th to ensure arrival in time for the holidays. Cardholders can make a reservation online and then present the gift card at the front desk during check-in. La Quinta Corporation is one of the largest owner/operators of limited-service hotels in the United States.
Dallas-based La Quinta Corporation has launched a combined enhanced guest loyalty program, “Returns”, allowing guests of the La Quinta family of hotels the opportunity to earn points that can be redeemed for airline miles/credits, free night certificates and gift certificates. La Quinta Corporation is the owner/operator of more than 590 limited-service hotels.
VA-based Trilegiant Loyalty Solutions and Destination Rewards have teamed to offer hotel reward cards and a travel & entertainment card. The “Destination Rewards” hotel reward card provides instant savings at thousands of participating locations nationwide. Via the Web, customers will be directly connected in real-time to thousands of hotel partners offering instant savings from 15-40% off of the lowest unrestricted hotel rates available. “Rewards cash” is applied towards these published prices offered directly from hotels, resorts or other participating suppliers. The new travel & entertainment card rewards customers with savings on a variety of products, from cruise packages and vacation condominium rentals to DVD movies, Samsonite luggage and computer software.