The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rampage on credit card “add-on” products continues with Citi being forced to pony up more than $700 million for sins related to credit card add-on products and services.
CardWeb.com’s CardExecs database of payments industry movers and shakers today features Fábio Lenza, Vice-President of Individuals at Caixa Econômica Federal.
Tom Shaw has been appointed Senior VP, Operations and Administration with Certified Payment Processing (CPP). Here he will oversee such strategic areas as training, human resources and the telemarketing center, to which he brings more than 25 years’ experience. Prior to this, Shaw served as VP, Human Resources for Noble Royalties, Vice President, Human Resources and Administration at Crescent Real Estate Equities, and Senior VP, Human Resources at The Associates. He holds a BBA in Management and concentration in Human Resources from the University of Texas in Austin.
Global Payout is launching payroll debit cards to U.S. companies seeking to significantly reduce costs and improve efficiencies in payroll processing to its employees. The company will conduct an outbound telemarketing campaign beginning September 6, 2011 that will include contacting over 12,000 civilian U.S. companies in construction, hospitality, waste management, janitorial and employment agencies. The payroll debit card will enable employees without bank accounts to access cash immediately on payday without the expense and time of cashing checks. Employees will be given a free payroll debit card that can access cash at ATMs nationwide and purchase products and services at merchants or online stores. There will be no monthly service fee, customer service or point of sale fees and the first ATM withdrawal is free for each pay period.
The former president of Your Money Acces payment processing has agreed to settle a civil case brought by the FTC and the consumer affairs agencies of Illinois, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, and Vermont on allegations the company’s client merchants made unauthorized debits from consumers’ bank accounts and violated the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rules. Under the settlement agreement, the former presidentvoluntarily agreed not to participate in certain dimensions of payment processing and to not knowingly aid anyone who is violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule. He also made a $15,000 payment to the FTC.
The Association of Settlement Companies (TASC) continued its education campaign last week, having explained to the FTC consumers seeking debt management are more successful when using credible debt settlement companies over credit counseling services. Credit counseling and bankruptcy, however, would be the only remaining options for consumers struggling with unsecured debt if the FTC were to pass proposed amendments to the Telemarketing Sales Rule, which include a ban of advance fees that could effectively eliminate the industry. Other divisions show debt settlement programs are typically 36 months or fewer while credit counseling are around 60 months; the total cost of a debt settlement program is usually far less than the cost of a debt management program available through a credit counseling company; and debt settlement programs are customized depending on a consumerâs circumstances while credit counseling payment plans are dictated by the creditors.
The FTC has filed a complaint in federal court against
Low Pay, Inc.d/b/a as LPC Inc., lowpaycard.com, and mylpcard.com; LP
Capital Holdings, Inc.; Century Luxury, Inc.; the
Mardan Afrasiabi Living Trust; Mardan M. Afrasiabi; and Ramin Rahimi.
alleging that their catalog credit card operation deceptively marketed
The defendants are charged with violating the FTC Act and the FTCâs
Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) by falsely representing that the card
could be used to
fully finance purchases; that it would provide access to a no-fee, low
guaranteed cash advance benefit; and that consumers could improve their
credit ratings by using the card. They also failed to disclose that they
debit from consumersâ bank accounts the advance fees, a non-refundable
and 30% of a productâs price plus shipping costs. In addition, the
defendants falsely claimed that they would refund the $120 activation
consumers who returned the card and catalog in timely fashion. The
allegedly violated the TSR by charging an advance fee for a guaranteed
MoneyGram has agreed to pay $18 million in consumer redress to settle
FTC charges its money transfer system was used by fraudulent
telemarketers to scam millions from consumers between 2004 and 2008. The
FTC concluded MoneyGram agents knowingly helped fraudulent telemarketers
who tricked U.S. consumers into wiring more than $84 million within the
U.S. and to Canada. These consumers were tricked by being told they were
falsely hired for a secret shopper program, they had won a lottery or
were guaranteed loans. In some cases the FTC alleges MoneyGram agents in
Canada actually participated in these schemes. Moreover, 131 of its more
than 1,200 agents accounted for more than 95% of the fraud complaints it
received in 2008 regarding money transfers to Canada. At least 65 of
MoneyGramâs Canadian agents have been charged by Canadian or U.S. law
enforcers with, or are currently being investigated for, colluding in
fraud schemes that used the MoneyGram system.
Marketing veteran Bryan Kipp is launching CMO Retail Solutions, LLC,
for retail clients by offering interim CMO solutions and services.
One partnership is with RevTrax, Inc., which is a media and technology
platform that utilizes intelligent coupon and promotional technology to
drive in-store traffic. RevTrax has been able to provide clients with
strategic and innovative digital marketing partners and solutions to
drive and measure offline sales, ranging from SEM, SEO, display,
affiliate, email, coupons and loyalty. Another successful program he
introduced at S&K Menswear was a âGives Backâ
cause-marketing program, where guests could enroll their favorite
church, charity or school, and each time they make a purchase online or
offline, the charity earns a 5% cash donation.
TN-based prepaid card solution provider VIPGift has launched the
“CAST”customer acquisition resource.
VIPGift CAST allows sales and marketing executives to improve ROI by
offering tailored incentives to specific audiences instead of
offering a broad rebate to all customers. The tool can issue a wide
variety of incentives, including Visa cards, merchant gift cards,
merchandise or certificates that allow a choice of all three.
Historically, CAST has been used mainly for acquiring new customers
through inbound and outbound telemarketing calls, but it is also
effective in facilitating a variety of face-to-face sales transactions,
including sales efforts in bank branches, auto dealerships, wireless
retail stores and timeshare companies. VIPGift is a provider of
consumer incentive programs and prepaid card solutions to the Fortune
The FTC sent out refund checks last week to consumers who
allegedly had been defrauded by Integrity Financial Enterprises over a catalog credit card. The checks average more than $200, which covered more than 85% of their losses. However, the checks must be cashed within 60 days. In 2008, the FTC sued Integrity Financial Enterprises, a/k/a Infinite Financial and National Benefits Exchange, alleging that they promised consumers a “credit card” that could be used like a Visa or MasterCard for an up-front fee of $200 to $300, but which actually could be used only to buy products from the defendantsâ Web site or catalog.
Integrity was sued following the nationwide “Operation Tele-PHONEY” law enforcement sweep in May 2008. A monetary judgment of more than $2.4 million was imposed on Integrity.
A U.S. district court judge has imposed a telemarketing ban on a
Canadian operation targeting U.S. consumers with a permanent injunction
that puts the defendants out of business and bars them from
misrepresenting affiliation with consumers’ credit card companies.
Promising false claims of reducing credit card interest rates, the
defendants are also restricted from making claims of having the
resources to reduce consumers’ credit card interest rates and have been
ordered to pay more than $7.8 million. These motions are in response to
FTC allegations the telemarketing operation defrauded about 12,000
consumers out of more than $7.8 million between 2005 and 2007 through
false claims of credit card debt reduction of at least $2,500,
specifically with individual charges $675 plus $20 shipping for
promotional materials. In fact, alleges the FTC, operators of the scam
did little more than orchestrate three-way telephone calls with
consumers and their credit card companies to request lower rates, which
were typically were denied.