NetSpend Reload Reduces Fee at MoneyGram Locations

NetSpend prepaid debit cards and related alternative financial services to underbanked consumers in the United States announced that reloads made through all 40,000 MoneyGram locations are now only $3.95. The new lower fee means that NetSpend cardholders pay $3.95 or less at all non-financial retail reload partners across the country—including grocery stores, convenience stores and gas stations. Cardholders can find the nearest reload center by accessing their account center at NetSpend.com or by texting their ZIP code to 22622. To the 60 million underbanked consumers in the United States, NetSpend Corporation offers prepaid, FDIC-insured products.

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OTI CONTACTLESS

On Track Innovations subsidiary, ASEC, introduced in cooperation with epay Polska a new service of loading GSM prepaid cellular phone cards on ASEC’s Ticket Vending Machines. ASEC will receive a transaction fee from the loading value of the cellular phone cards. This allows passengers to load their GSM cellular phone cards at one of ASEC’s TVMs. ASEC’s TVMs support multiple forms of payment including cash and coins, magnetic stripe cards, contact or contactless payment cards. The TVMs are located in Warsaw metro stations, railway stations and major bus and tramway stops. epay is a Division of Euronet Worldwide, a global processor and distributor of electronic payment solutions.

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Interpro Taps Paragon for ATM Configuration Development

Interpro Technology (INTERPRO) ATM/EFT processing solutions for the financial and network services industry, has licensed ConfigBuilder from Paragon Application Systems to facilitate their ATM configuration development. INTERPRO required the ability to see the ATM states and screen flow as they developed configuration files. As financial institutions add features to their ATMs like envelope-free deposits and text-to-speech voice guidance for the visually impaired, the ATM configurations require modifications to support the enhanced functionality. ConfigBuilder makes adding features like voice guidance a much easier process.

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RBC MASTERCARD

Leading up to the 2010 RBC Canadian Open at St. George’s Golf & Country Club in Toronto, ON, RBC is inviting the public to come and experience the “WestJet RBC Mastercard Putting Challenge.” Offering 2 contestants a chance to win $250,000 for themselves and $250,000 for charity, the “Putting Challenge” gives participants several opportunities to qualify either by entering the online contest at www.rbc.com/westjetputt or at unique putting greens located in downtown Toronto and onsite at the RBC Canadian Open. A total of eight participants will earn a spot in the semi-finals taking place at Spectator Village at the RBC Canadian Open in Toronto on July 24. Participation is free.

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Card Debt Down Along with Credit Scores in 1H/10

Credit card debt amongst consumers with a credit card decreased 1% during the first half 2010. Consumers in Hawaii and New Hampshire showed the biggest decrease in credit card debt since the beginning of the year with debt decreasing by 8%. This, according to the Credit Karma “U.S. Credit Score Climate Report,” also showed the current credit card debt is $9,042 and $8,505 respectively. In June, the average consumer with an open account had $7,833 in credit card debt; $174,637 in home mortgage loans; $50,840 in home equity; $15,096 in auto loans;
and $28,161 in student loans. Nationally, credit scores dropped for the first time in 2010, with the average consumer credit score of 668 in June, down one point since January.

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S1

Waitrose supermarkets has gone live with the S1 Retail Payments solution as part of a major POS and payments infrastructure project to enhance payments capabilities across its 227 UK supermarkets. S1 will be providing its levels of system availability, scalability, and reliability for its end-to-end multichannel retail payments solution. The S1 software solution consists of a central transaction switch and back-office system, plus an intelligent in-store payments component which was installed on the supermarket’s approximately 4,000 tills. It was S1 was selected to realise the benefits offered by this new approach and unlock greater efficiency and innovation across payments processing.

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SICAP ATMS

Sicap Mobile-Money ATM solutions, powered by Wincor Nixdorf, were highlighted by the US magazine Bank Technology News’ 9th annual edition of “The Innovators”. Chosen among fierce competition in the retail banking and financial services industry, Wincor Nixdorf, Sicap’s technology partner, won out thanks to its innovation linking cell phones and ATMs for global remittances. The Sicap Mobile-Money ATM solutions comprise of Cash Top-Up, Cash Remittance and Self-Service Kiosk –, which enable operators to offer their end users convenient, quick and flexible access to credit reloads, cash transfers and account enquiries, anytime, anywhere.

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GLOBALCOLLECT

Nymgo has inked a service agreement with GlobalCollect to allow customers to process online credit and debit card payments. This facilitates the Nymgo “pay-as-they-go” option to make calls to landlines and mobile phones. A further expansion of the partnership will include alternative payment methods for multiple currencies. GlobalCollect’s full service offer also encompasses consolidated reporting for all payments as well as automated fraud screening to minimize the number of fraudulent transactions. UK-based Nymgo has been providing VoIP customers with low rates since 2008.

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New Group Executive to Oversee MasterCard Global Debit

Carlos Menendez is joining MasterCard Worldwide as Group Executive, Global Debit, effective September 1. Responsible for innovation, commercialization and development of go-to-market strategies for the portfolio of MasterCard debit products around the world, including Debit MasterCard, Maestro and Cirrus brands, Carlos brings with him over 14 years experience. He has held a number of positions at Citigroup, most recently as COO for Western Europe, overseeing a range of consumer banking products across four European countries. Menendez holds a BA from Harvard University, an MA in International Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from The Wharton School.

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75% of Consumers Accrued No Debt in 1H/10

Over the past 6 months, 75% of Americans have not increased debt while 38% say their debt has actually decreased. Positive long and short-term consumer spending intentions show 26% say summer weather encourages more spontaneous spending, even though 46% have been focused on paying down debt compared to the only 29% focused on saving this year. However, 57% of consumers with debt have implemented a plan to reduce or stabilize their debt. This, according to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, also shows 52% of affluents; 46% of young professionals and 38% of the general population decreased their debt over the last six months. Among those encouraged to spend more spontaneously, 43% are young professionals; 26% are among the general population and 25% are affluents, 63% of which spend on summer outings, 53% on more dinners out and 44% on summer shopping. Moreover, 64% expect to spend more (16%) or the same (49%) over the next six months compared to the past six months. Those who expect to spend less (34%) in the next six months compared to the past six say they will do so primarily to save money (50%), maintain a budget (44%), and reduce debt (33%) rather than as a result of reduced income (29%) or anxiety about a potential job loss (8%).

NEEDS V WANTS
Groceries 83% V Dining out 59%
Grooming 47% V Entertainment 59%
Clothing 35% V Electronics 49%
Home 35% V Travel 42%
Tuition 27% V Accessories 41%%
SOURCE: American Express

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MoneyGram Appoints Executive VP & CFO

MoneyGram International has named James E. Shields executive VO and CFO effective July 13. Bringing with him more than 10 years experience in executive leadership, James was most recently senior VP finance and treasurer for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Previously, he was vice president and treasurer of Celanese Corporation, a $6 billion chemical company with worldwide operations. Prior to that, Shields was vice president and chief financial officer for consumer markets at Qwest Communications International, where he was part of the new senior management team that restructured the company’s balance sheets and restored company’s financial, accounting and operational integrity.

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HID & INSIDE Launch Secure mNFC Application

HID Global ID security and INSIDE Contactless open-standard contactless chip technologies have inked agreements to introduce the “iCLASS” access control and ID credentials for NFC mobile phones. Delivered on the HID Global “Trusted Identity Platform” system, the “iCLASS” virtual credentials for NFC mobile phones allows for the substitution of numerous plastic cards for a variety of commercial and consumer identity applications. This pertains to physical access control, secure PC log on, time and attendance monitoring, equipment and material checkout, authorized access to office equipment and manufacturing machinery, private label retail payments, prepaid transit passes, and customer loyalty and membership programs. INSIDE is in the process of updating its microread NFC controller to implement the command set and protocol that will allow it to communicate with HID iCLASS readers, and iCLASS support will be a feature of all the company’s future NFC products.

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