Bancomer Transfer Services signed an agreement with Wal-Mart de Mexico y Centroamerica that will enable BTS customers to collect remittances directly at the stores of one of Mexico’s largest retailers. Tje BTS’s money transfer system will now be available through Wal-Mart’s 1,100 stores in the country. Remittances constitute a major bond between Mexico and the U.S.: In April 2014, remittances to Mexico grew 2.1 percent year-over-year, according to Mexico’s Central Bank. Wal-Mart de Mexico y Centroamerica, a subsidiary of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., said that the deal makes the retailer even more of a convenient destination for its customers.
Jack Henry & Associates (JKHY) technology solutions and payment processing services introduced prepaid cards. TransCard will provide operational support and customizable marketing materials for the solution.The company’s Jack Henry Banking, ProfitStars, and Symitar®divisions will sell the solution that enables financial institutions to offer payroll cards, reloadable prepaid cards, and gift cards that generate additional revenue from commercial and retail customers, while attracting new customers from the underbanked and unbanked market segments.
Advanced Content Services announced its “ServeNation” charitable prepaid reloadable debit concept is set to embark on the prepaid payroll market. ServeNation has recently submitted materials to major Issuer, Processor and Network Providers for review and discussion and is confident that materials will be reviewed favorably toward expedited product launch. This is in response to research showing Americans will load $69 billion onto branded prepaid cards in 2010, up 27% from 2009 levels. Also, consumers and businesses will load as much as $186 billion onto prepaid cards by 2014.
RFID forecasts indicate the value of the overall market for electronic toll collection and e-ID/ID documents as well as “modernizing” applications such as contactless payment and ticketing will pass the $6 billion mark next year. Thanks to initial growth seen in 2009, ABI research indicates CAGRs of between 21.7% and 28.8% for the five primary applications from 2010-2014. Case in point is the Wal-Mart multi-billion unit passive UHF RFID apparel tag and 15,000+ handheld reader RFP order and its expected US rollout, which some observers believe has sparked renewed interest in RFID for item-level tracking.
Tampa-based nFinanSe, an issuer of reloadable Discover prepaid cards,
has taken on Walmart’s reloadable Visa prepaid cards. The Company announced it will cut the price of its card from $5.95 to $3.00, effective July 1st. Walmart announced in February it was dropping the
fees for its reloadable “Walmart MoneyCard” to $3.00. nFinanSe says it
will continue to offer its reloadable cards through major retailers with
a $2.95 monthly maintenance fee and $2.95 reload fee, plus free customer
service and direct deposit. Walmart’s reloadable Visa program charges a
$3.00 charge for reloads and a $3.00 monthly fee. However, if customers
reload with direct deposit or after cashing their paychecks at Walmart,
there is no reload fee. If Walmart customers load at least $1,000 per
month, the $3.00 monthly fee is waived. nFinanSe’s “Discover Reloadable
Prepaid Cards” are currently available at approximately 10,000 retail
stores nationwide including Dollar General, Winn-Dixie and Mapco Express
Convenience Stores. The “Walmart MoneyCard” is issued by GE Money Bank
and can also be recharged at tens of thousands of Green Dot retailer
locations. Analysts predict a doubling of the reloadable prepaid
marketplace from $7 billion currently to $14 billion in 2011, driven by
greater penetration of the unbanked/underbanked population. (CF Library
Prepaid debit card provider NetSpend has hired Frank Cotroneo as its new COO and is responsible for NetSpend’s operations, finance and accounting, and business information; Anh Vasquez as EVP responsible for NetSpend’s online channel and Tom Cregan as executive vice president and general manager, responsible for NetSpend’s check cashing, payday loan, and general retail channels. Before joining NetSpend, Cotroneo was founder and principal of Core Business Consulting, LLC, providing strategy, finance and business re-engineering consulting services . Vazquez comes to NetSpend with extensive experience in the online space, working for Intel and Netscape, and as a senior executive, most recently senior vice president, on the core team that built Wal-Mart’s billion dollar online business. Cregan joins NetSpend from PaySpot, Inc., a subsidiary of Euronet Worldwide, where he served as president. Prior to his role with PaySpot, Cregan was chief executive officer of e-pay Australia and New Zealand, a company that Cregan set up and sold to Euronet Worldwide in 2003.
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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)
Today is projected to be the heaviest online spending day on record with sales expected to top $700 million. Top retailers have plugged into the action by running special promotions such as Wal-Mart’s “Cyber Week” and Macy’s “web-busters.” comScore says e-commerce spending on “Thanksgiving Day” rose 29% to $272 million and “Black Friday” increased 22% to $531 million. The digital measurement service predicts “Cyber Monday” e-shopping this year will jump 16% from $608 million in 2006. comScore says more than $9.3 billion has been spent online during the season-to-date, 17% gain over last year. Meanwhile, Macy’s “web-busters” promotion is today offering free shipping on orders of $75 or more. The retailer is also featuring one-day-only “web-busters” plus nearly 80 other handpicked specials in all merchandise categories. Walmart today kicks-off “Cyber Monday” with five days of online specials offering significant savings. The giant retailer has nearly tripled the number of online specials this year since last year and is introducing a “daily featured item” each day this week. According to Forrester Research, online payments are predicted to top $33 billion this season, a 21% increase over the holidays in 2006. According to a Shop.org survey, conducted this weekend by BIGresearch, 72.0 million consumers plan to shop online from home or at work tomorrow, up from 60.7 million in 2006 and 59.0 million in 2005.
Thanksgiving Day $210MM $272MM
Black Friday $430MM $531MM
Cyber Monday $608MM $701MM
Wal-Mart is rolling into financial services with the opening of 1,000 “MoneyCenters” in a quarter of its stores by the end of 2008. The first product out of the chute is a reloadable prepaid VISA card. The new Wal-Mart “MoneyCard” is being launched nationally with GE Money and Green Dot. The new card will be rolled-out to 1,300 Wal-Mart stores by the end of June and to another 1,300 stores by the end of July. The card offers online access to track activity, plus daily balance alerts via a cell phone or email. The card will sell for about $9 and has loading fees and monthly maintenance fees. Wal-Mart says it plans to offer low-cost check cashing, money orders, bill payment and money transfers via the new “MoneyCenters.” The retail giant says it wants to assist customers who are outside mainstream banking. Wal-Mart currently conducts more than two million money services transactions each week. With 225 currently, Wal-Mart “MoneyCenters” will double to 450 by the end of this year and then more than double again to 1,000 by the end of 2008. The Wal-Mart “MoneyCard” program was lauded for being the “Best Unbanked and Underserved Program” at the annual “Prepaid Expo Awards Ceremony” earlier this year.
Wal-Mart has withdrawn its application to charter an industrial loan company. The application was made in July 2005 to reduce debit and credit card transactions costs and was the source of a number of concerns that the retailer would be launching branch banking operations. Wal-Mart indicated it would continue seek other ways to offer savings to its customers.
Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club this morning announced a new system to enable customers to pay for FSA eligible health care merchandise with their FSA debit card. The “Inventory Information Approval System” automatically identifies FSA eligible merchandise during the checkout process. Once all items have been scanned, a total is displayed for the entire transaction showing both FSA and non-FSA merchandise. The customer can then use an FSA card for payment of FSA eligible merchandise and then pay for the non-FSA merchandise with another form of payment.