Following a successful entry into the Nigerian market with contactless mobile payments, Bangalore based iKaaz is now ready to offer its popular NFC and bluetooth powered cloud based payments platform to consumers in Kenya. Announcing a strategic alliance with Family Bank, one of Kenya’s leading banks, iKaaz along with its local partner EDGE financial systems will bring the revolutionary Tap & Pay solution to Family Bank’s customers. Family Bank customers can now expect to move faster through checkout at retail stores as well as be able to use the same payment tags to pay at transportation check points.
IKaaz has embarked on the African market with the launch of its innovative tap and pay offering. Consumers can now make NFC payments thanks to iKaaz’s NFC powered mobile payments platform running on the cloud. iKaaz provides a comprehensive suite of end-to-end mobile payments solutions that include a feature rich mobile wallet, an innovative – yet cost effective mPOS (mobile Point of Sale) and a robust payments platform that allows banks, operators and financial institutions to extend mobile payments to their customers in a fast, secure and cost effective manner. Consumers use NFC tags that are linked to the mobile wallet similar to a debit card that is linked to bank accounts; while merchants on the other hand, will use iKaaz NFC mPOS to complete transactions all of which are processed by iKaaz’s robust payments platform.
iKaaz mobile payment solutions launched its “Tap & Pay” reader to enable cashless transactions based on NFC technology. iKaaz is making mobile payments faster and has broken this crucial cost barrier and has released a cost effective NFC reader for merchants. iKaaz’s proprietary NFC Reader can be plugged into to any mobile phone to convert it into a mobile POS (point of sale) device and is priced at less than US$ 20 (INR 1000). In order to engage the consumer ecosystem, iKaaz offers consumers an NFC Sticker priced at less than US$2 (INR 75) that convert any mobile phone into an NFC-enabled phone.
iKaaz mobile payments solution provider launched its iKaaz mobile payment platform for enterprises. The iKaaz Consumer Wallet for Enterprises allows enterprises including banks, operators, and merchants to offer mobile wallets convenience to their customers for quick and easy payments. Meanwhile, the iKaaz M-POS solution allows merchants to replace expensive POS equipment with just a mobile phone that settles payments electronically. With the iKaaz Tap & Pay solution, that leverages NFC technology, merchants can receive payments from customers with just a tap of a phone at the checkout terminal.
The Alliance Data Systems loyalty and marketing Epsilon subsidiary has
signed an expansion agreement with Chico’s to provide data overlay
services. With this, Chico will rely on the Epsilon “Targeting” data
division. Epsilon will now also include data from its proprietary data
cooperative to overlay multi-brand transactional data over Chico’s
consumer database records. This will allow Chico’s to see a more
complete picture of the buying activity of their customers across all
purchase channels including catalog, online, and retail, and within
specific merchandise categories to improve Chico’s contact strategy and
ability to micro-target customers based on preferences and buying
Visa has teamed with Chase to launch a consumer pilot that delivers SMS
text for merchant offers directly to mobile devices of Phoenix area
Chase cardholders. Visa is delivering merchant offers
to mobile devices via short message service. The trial takes
advantage of the widespread adoption of “texting” as an everyday
activity by younger consumers aged 18 to 34, who are the primary group
selected for the program. The offers â from merchant discounts to
specials â are tailored to match the personal interests selected by
Chase cardholders and will be redeemable at the POS or the web site of
more than 50 participating merchants.
Online payment solution provider ChargeSmart has opened
its headquarters in downtown San Francisco.
ChargeSmart enables individuals with Internet access to pay their mortgage loans, auto
loans and leases, education loans and utility bills using a major credit
submit payments directly to ChargeSmart and indicate the amount they
wish to pay and the recipient. The ChargeSmart system accepts, processes
and remits payments electronically, ensuring every step from the
customer to the payee is accounted for and traceable. Additionally, the
companyâs easy-to-use interface enables customers to gain reward points
or miles from their card issuer.
While Wal-Mart posted a 5.6% gain in retail sales for December and Macy’s was up 1.1% and Saks 0.8%, other retailers posted dismal results. Nordstrom reported a 3.8% decline and Limited Brands was down 8.0% in December sales, compared to one-year ago. Chico’s was off 13.7% while Ann Taylor declined 13.1% and Gottschalks dropped 13.8% in December. The National Retail Federation projected $474.5 billion in holiday retail sales, a 4% increase over 2006. Holiday sales in 2006 rose 5%. Over the last ten years, the average percentage increase in sales for the holiday season is 4.8%. Most of the retailers reporting today expect to post lower fourth quarter earnings than expected. Yesterday, the British Retail Consortium reported that retail sales rose 30 basis points in December compared with a year ago. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers same-store sales for December are expected to be up about 1%, indicating total sales for the holiday season rose only 2.25% in the U.S. (CF Library 9/21/07)
A federal district court has ordered a group of Canadians to pay nearly $10 million in consumer redress for a fraudulent credit card advance-fee telemarketing scheme. According to the FTC, Centurion Financial Benefits used outbound telemarketing to contact consumers in the U.S., falsely offering MasterCard and VISA to people who agreed to have their bank accounts debited for an advance fee of $249. The defendants typically claimed that the credit cards would have a $2,000 credit limit, zero percent interest, and no annual fees, and often targeted their offers at consumers with poor credit histories. Consumers who provided their bank account information did not receive a major credit card, but instead were sent an application for either a stored value card or cash card.
A federal district court in Illinois has entered final orders against Centurion Financial Benefits based in Canada for allegedly defrauding U.S. consumers out of more than $9 million through the sale of phony advance-fee credit cards. The three people involved were hit with strong injunctive relief. The FTC charged the group in 2005 with falsely offering major credit cards to people who agreed to have the defendants electronically debit their bank accounts for an advance fee of $249. The defendants typically claimed that the credit cards would have a $2,000 credit limit, zero percent interest, and no annual fees, and often targeted their offers at consumers with poor credit histories. Consumers who provided their bank account information did not receive a major credit card, but instead were sent an application for either a stored value card or cash card that had no line of credit associated with it and could be used only if the consumer first loaded funds onto the card.
The FTC has filed federal lawsuits against Centurion Financial Benefits and Pacific Liberty Benefits, both Canadian firms, for cross-border fraud schemes involving credit cards. In the first complaint against Centurion, the Commission alleges the defendants placed unsolicited outbound telemarketing calls to U.S. consumers, falsely offering them pre-approved MasterCard and Visa credit cards for an advance fee of $249. The second complaint against Pacific Liberty Benefits, alleges the defendants engaged in the same type of fraud, with the company’s telemarketers promising credit cards, as well as an array of “complimentary” gifts, for $319. The FTC alleges that in neither case did consumers actually receive the credit cards or other goods that they were promised and that U.S. consumers lost millions of dollars. The Commission contends the defendants’ conduct violated Section 5 of the FTC Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), as amended.
An alternative payment system for teen and kid shoppers got a big lift yesterday. San Francisco-based iCanBuy.com, an online money management site for teens and kids, announced this morning the launch of on-site payment in conjunction with Pacific Sunwear’s web site. This is the first time that a teen- and kid-specific payment system will be completely integrated into a retailer’s e-commerce site. Effective today, teens and kids can go straight to the Pacific Sunwear website, fill a shopping cart and then check out using their iCanBuy account. They simply click on iCanBuy when presented with payment options and enter their ID and password in a secure pop-up box. iCanBuy.com enables young people to shop at top Internet retailers, establish a payment option, build a ‘WishList’ of gift items, bank and donate online, all with a parental approval system. iCanBuy has over 40 retail, financial, charity and community partners including eToys; AlloyOnline; Outpost.com; Whutever.com by Fingerhut; and Security First Network Bank.