More than 2.5 million South African Social Security Agency MasterCard debit cards have been issued to social grant recipients as part of the social grants disbursements tender which was awarded to Cash Paymaster Services (“CPS”) of Net1 UEPS Technologies. SASSA controls and manages the disbursements of 15 million social benefits to 9.2 million beneficiaries, who receive one or more of seven different social security grants on a monthly basis including: The State Old Age Pension, War Veteran Grant, Disability Grant, Child Support Grant, Foster Child Grant, Grant-in-aid and Care Dependency Grant. The biometric functionality of the payment cards identify social grant recipients using unique identifiers such as fingerprints and other personal information, which means that the payment cards cannot be used by any person other than the approved beneficiary to collect his/her grant.
Retail management solution provider Tomax has rolled out the “Retail.net solution” at Pamida. Pamida, a regional retailer operating more
than 200 stores in 17 states in the Midwest United States.
Pamida uses Retail.net “Merchandise Management”, “Store Operations” and
“Customer Management” to centralize applications and data, which
facilitate real-time transaction management and information collection. The Tomax Retail.net suite helps
retailers integrate people and processes and providing timely, relevant,
actionable information to improve retail results. The Tomax customer base
includes over 100 branded retailers including Air Terminal Gifts, The
Andersons, ALCO Stores, Coach House Gifts, EZ Lube, Kelly-Moore Paints,
Pamida, Party City, Raley’s Supermarkets, ShopRite, Snyders Drug Stores,
Sportsman’s Warehouse, Trader Joe’s, Travel Traders, Winn Dixie, and 24
Metropolitan National Bank (New York)
and its wholly-owned subsidiary CashZone are pleased to announce the
launch of the CashZone Prepaid Visa Card “Check2Card” Program in three
PriceRite stores located in Connecticut and Rhode Island. CashZone
Check2Card is a program that allows CashZone members to
convert paychecks and most government-issued checks into
instantly available funds on a CashZone Prepaid Visa Card fee-free.
CashZone Check2Card lets unbanked and under-banked
consumers avoid the hassle of getting, carrying, and paying with cash,
while potentially saving hundreds of dollars a year in check cashing
fees. CashZone is a retail financial services company, serving over
110,000 members annually. In addition to the three PriceRite locations,
CashZone operates 13 full-service financial centers in New York City.
CashZone is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Metropolitan National Bank (New
York), a nationally-chartered FDIC member institution with assets of
over $550 million and four full-service banking centers in New York City.
MasterCard’s “PayPass” continues to exert leadership and momentum in the global contactless payment arena. Over the past twelve months the number of “PayPass” cards and devices has soared by 60%, rising to 16 million at mid-year. This month in the U.S., Harvard University Employees CU became the first credit union to offer “PayPass”; PETCO Animal Supplies announced it will accept “PayPass” in all of its 900 stores; MO-based Central Bancompany became the first community bank holding company to issue “PayPass” cards; and Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Einstein Brother’s Bagels and Noah’s Bagels, announced that they will begin accepting contactless payments at their over 400 locations. Last month, MasterCard and VeriFone announced that New York City taxis will begin accepting “PayPass,” with more than 5,000 NYC taxis anticipated to accept PayPass by December and MasterCard and USA Technologies announced the installation of a record number of cashless payment terminals, up to 7,500 into Coca-Cola vending machines in several markets nationwide. Internationally, “PayPass” trials and roll-outs are currently underway in 18 countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the U.K.
J.P. Morgan Chase reported this morning that second quarter credit card profits declined 13% year-on-year to $759 million, compared to $765 million in the prior quarter and $875 million in the year-ago quarter. End-of-period managed loans of $148 billion increased by $8.7 billion, or 6%, from the prior year and increased by $1.4 billion, or 1%, from the prior quarter. Net interest income of $3.0 billion was flat compared with the prior year. Net interest income was negatively affected by the discontinuation of certain billing practices (including the elimination of certain over-limit fees and the two-cycle billing method for calculating finance charges); higher charge-offs, which resulted in increased revenue reversals; and increased cost of funds on growth in introductory and transactor balances. These decreases in net interest income were offset by increased average loans and higher fees. Charge volume of $88.0 billion increased by $3.6 billion, or 4%, from the prior year. Net accounts opened during the quarter were 3.7 million. Merchant processing volume of $179.7 billion increased by $13.4 billion, or 8%, and total transactions of 4.8 billion increased by 335 million, or 7%, from the prior year. During the quarter Chase launched the “ShopRite Rite-Rewards MasterCard,” “ShopRite Private Label Credit Card” and “PriceRite Private Label Credit Card” with Wakefern Food. Chase also renewed several partner relationships including Southwest Airlines and the United States Postal Service Employee Affinity Card Program. For complete details on Chase’s second quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
JPM CHASE HISTORICAL ($billions)
2Q/06 3Q/06 4Q/06 1Q/07 2Q/07
EOP Outstandings: $139.3 143.8 152.8 146.6 148.0
Charge Volume: $ 84.4 87.5 93.4 81.3 88.0
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
VISA announced that BP has joined the list of merchants nationwide to upgrade point-of-sale infrastructure and accept VISA products with the contactless feature. Already, consumers can take advantage of the no-swipe technology at 1,100 BP branded sites and BP plans to roll-out this technology to 10,500 of its retail locations nationwide. In total, approximately 31,000 merchant locations in the U.S. accept contactless payments. Last month Taco Bell, ShopRite, Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy Stores and Clearview Cinemas signed deals to accept “VISA payWave” contactless cards. Also in March, SunTrust Banks became the first issuer in the U.S. to incorporate VISA’s contactless payment technology across its entire consumer credit card portfolio. (CF Library 3/5/07; 3/21/07)
Wakefern Food, which operates ShopRite and PriceRite stores, and Chase, launched the new “ShopRite Rite-Rewards MasterCard,” “ShopRite Private Label Credit Card” and “PriceRite Private Label Credit Card,” all enabled with “blink”. “The ShopRite Rite-Rewards MasterCard” and the “ShopRite Private Label Credit Card” include all the benefits of the “ShopRite PricePlus” membership built directly into the card. All cards will have cardmembers’ PricePlus membership numbers printed on the back of their cards, which ensures that cardmembers receive special savings every time they shop with the card. ShopRite Rite-Rewards MasterCard cardmembers will earn three points per dollar spent on all ShopRite branded goods; two points per dollar spent on all other products purchased at ShopRite; and one point per dollar spent everywhere else. To use Chase cards with “blink”, cardmembers simply hold their cards near a point-of-sale terminal at checkout, instead of swiping their card or handing it to a store employee. Wakefern Food Corporation is a retailer-owned cooperative with stores located throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Delaware.
Taco Bell, ShopRite, Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy Stores and Clearview Cinemas have signed deals to accept “VISA Contactless” cards. “VISA Contactless” technology enables customers to make purchases by simply holding the cards near a secure reader at checkout instead of swiping them and eliminates the signature requirement for most payments under $25. Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy Stores accepts Visa Contactless at its 276 stores in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. Clearview Cinemas has installed VISA Contactless readers in all of its 52 theater locations in the New York metropolitan area. Grocery retailer ShopRite has started accepting VISA Contactless payments at more than 4,000 POS locations in the Northeast and the Taco Bell restaurant chain will test Visa Contactless cards initially at 100 restaurants in the fourth quarter of 2007.
Grocery chain Shoprite is now accepting “ExpressPay” from American Express at over 200 of its locations in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware, making it the largest deployment of ExpressPay in the supermarket category to date. “ExpressPay” is a contactless payment option that consists of a secure computer chip powered by radio frequency technology. Most purchases under $25 will not require the customer to sign the receipt. In addition, ShopRite will continue to accept traditional magnetic-stripe payment cards. American Express was the first issuer to launch contactless cards nationally with the rollout of “Blue” from American Express with the ExpressPay feature in June 2005. ShopRite supermarkets are members of Wakefern Food Corporation, a retailer-owned cooperative.
ShopRite supermarkets have begun accepting MasterCard “PayPass” at over 200 ShopRite locations, the largest deployment of PayPass in the supermarket category to date. All participating ShopRite locations are fully equipped and ready to accept MasterCard PayPass in-store. The implementation of this technology provides a new level of convenience to millions of ShopRite customers. Purchases under $25 will not require the customer to sign the receipt. In addition, ShopRite will continue to accept traditional magnetic-stripe payment cards. ShopRite supermarkets are members of Wakefern Food Corporation, a retailer-owned cooperative with stores located throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Delaware, serving than 4 million customers each week.
Blackhawk Network surveys says more than 80% of recipients would prefer to do their own shopping with a gift card from a favorite store. Consumer Reports cited in a recent survey that gift cards are second behind clothes as the most-desired holiday gift. Industry analysts expect gift card sales to reach $80 billion in 2006 with holiday purchases accounting for approximately 60 percent of those sales. Blackhawk Network’s Gift Card Mall carries gift cards from more than 100 different brands to appeal to shoppers of varying demographics according to Llach. Blackhawk Network, a subsidiary of Safeway Inc., is a prepaid and payments network, a market leader in card-based financial solutions and the largest provider of third-party prepaid cards.
Atlanta-based S1 Corporation announced that Wakefern Food Corporation has installed its “Postilion” software to provide POS payment authorization and transaction switching for over 200 ShopRite stores in five states. Postilion eSocket POS is a Microsoft Windows environment that is used for stand-in authorization capability as well as to provide the POS terminal interface without the need to modify existing POS software, providing Wakefern with a highly scalable and open architecture that permits easy implementation of new products to be delivered at the POS. Wakefern Food Corporation is the merchandising and distribution arm of ShopRite supermarkets and the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States, generating over $9 billion in retail sales. S1 Corporation (incorporating Mosaic Software) provides software solutions for financial services.