Blackhawk Network’s “GiftCardMall.com” was chosen as the Best in Category winner in the Best Web Sales Channel category at the Paybefore Awards on February 22. Presented annually by Prepaid Media, Paybefore Awards, now in their fourth year, are the most prestigious recognition of excellence in the worldwide prepaid and stored value card industry. The “GiftCardMall.com” online shop for gift cards offers consumers convenient access to hundreds of cards to choose from. The gift cards are available in standard and occasion-themed designs and many can be customized with personal photos and images. The cards can be used online or in store. The “GiftCardMall.com” reaches more than 165 million people each week through an exclusive network of leading grocery, mass, convenience, drug, and specialty stores.Details
Blackboard has made available its “Blackboard Transact,” offering a unique contactless campus ecosystem seeking to make the student experience significantly more convenient and secure.
Developed specifically for higher education institutions in the United States, the fully integrated technology platform transforms the way students navigate life on and off campus.
Already used by hundreds of institutions to support campus commerce and security, Blackboard Transact is the first platform to fully support the industry leading, standards based Near Field Communication (NFC) contactless technology. And while there are more than 400 million cards and mobile phones worldwide that carry Sony’s FeliCa contactless technology, Blackboard’s platform is the first to bring FeliCa to U.S. colleges and universities to enable a faster, safer, more convenient system that integrates better with many technologies already on campus.
After a successful pilot,
prepaid card provider NetSpend products are now available at all 271
TX-based H-E-B stores.
The NetSpend prepaid debit card and Fee-Free Reload Pack
are now available in the checkout lane. NetSpend
is currently the exclusive provider of prepaid products in H-E-B’s
Business Centers. The availability of the NetSpend prepaid debit card
and Fee-Free Reload
Pack at the checkout lane gift card mall is a significant convenience
for the customer who can now purchase the products in a single
transaction rather than make a separate trip to the Business Center.
Additional conveniences of the Fee-Free Reload Pack include the ability
to load money onto a card that is not physically present at the
transactionâa viable alternative to providing cash or sending a money
order or wire transferâfor no additional purchase price. The price for
the prepaid debit card is $6.95 and customers are able to load any
amount of money from $10 to $500 at the checkout lane; higher load
amounts can be handled in the Business Center. The expanded
availability of the NetSpend prepaid debit card and
Fee-Free Reload Pack at H-E-B is expected to significantly increase card
sales and reload volume in the stores through increased foot traffic and
Identity protection service LifeLock has entered into a strategic partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau.
As a 2010 Census partner, LifeLock is also committed to notifying consumers about the
potential identity theft risks associated with the Census, due to scam
artists posing as Census takers and collecting private information.
This month, the U.S. Census Bureau will send out a short questionnaire
to every household in the U.S. and Puerto Rico in an effort to collect
important demographical data. Residents are required to respond to the
10 questions. From April to July, those who havenât completed their 2010
Census form will receive a visit to their home address from a Census
taker. Identity thieves may take advantage of the Census law and begin
targeting unsuspecting victims in an attempt to steal personally
identifiable information. Census scams can range from fraudulent emails
to attempts to impersonate Census takers. Many consumers donât think
twice about sharing personal information with a Census taker, which is
why the scams can be very effective. There are distinct differences between a real Census taker and an
identity thief posing as a Census taker. U.S. Census takers will have
identification (government badges and picture ID) and a confidentiality
notice. But it is possible for a thief to fabricate these identification
tools, so itâs important to know what Census takers will not do:
They will not ask for your Social Security number or financial
information, e.g., bank or credit card accounts,they will not ask you for money or say that you owe money, they will not harass or intimidate you.
and they will not contact you by email â only by phone, by mail or in person.
American Express and Take Part have relaunched their “Members Project”
online initiative, providing those with a passion for philanthropy and
interest in giving back an opportunity to take small steps to make a big
difference. In conjunction with Participant Media, encouraging citizen
engagement and social action, “Members Project” encourages everyone to
get involved. Whether it’s volunteering for a local organization, making
a donation or voting for a charity to receive additional funding from
American Express, Members Project will provide the tools and resources
to support the diverse causes people care about most and help empower
everyone to be successful at making a difference.
TakePart.com/MembersProject, allows people to explore today’s issues and
decide for themselves where and how they’d like to take action. AmEx
Cardmembers have the option to choose from over a million charities and
show their support by making a donation. Members Project makes it easy
for people to search for a cause to help and provides the option to make
a one-time donation using an American Express Card, donate Membership
Rewards points, or set up recurring donations to spread giving
throughout the year.
Processing solution provider VersaPay Corporation has signed a three-year, exclusive partnership agreement with the Business Improvements Areas of British Columbia (BIABC), a not-for-profit organization that promotes business improvements in British Columbia on behalf of its merchant membership base. VersaPay will provide all BIABC members preferred rates when implementing any VersaPay on-site or online payment processing solution. As a not-for-profit organization, BIABC provides networking opportunities, works on outreach, lobbies the government, assists with renewal efforts, hosts an annual spring conference, publishes electronic newsletters and promotes members. VersaPay provides enhanced financial technology solutions such as VersaEFT – the Company’s proprietary Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment solution – which enables merchants and consumers to easily transact with one another.Details
CashStar digital gifting and incentives company has made available the VIP Parts CashStar-powered digital gift card. With this, customers looking to buy gift cards at VIPAuto.com will have the convenience of purchasing personalized digital gift cards that can be sent via-email and redeemed for any product or service at all VIP Parts, Tires & Service locations. ME-based VIP Parts, Tires & Service privately-held automotive parts and accessories chain has 56 locations throughout Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. CashStar-powered digital cards are now the only gift card offering available on VIPAuto.com. Consumers can then select the card denomination and set the day and time the gift should be delivered via email â either instantly or at a later date. CashStar digital gift cards have no shipping or redemption fees, or expiration dates.
The “Your Designated Driver on Me” nationwide program provides the means to take away any excuse for driving drunk by providing funds for cab fare in advance or by immediately sending the funds by mobile phone when needed. In doing so, the Obopay “Family Prepaid MasterCard” service, reloadable phone payment technology welcome at millions of places that accept Debit MasterCard, is now available in all 50 states. There are opportunities for collaborating with employers, community organizations, non-profit organizations, Colleges, Universities, as well as Federal, State, and local government agencies to reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries caused by impaired or drunk driving.Details
Value added communication distributor ScanSource has partnered with VoIP
application software provider Broadsoft to distribute BroadSoftâs
“BroadWorks” solutions. ScanSource Communications reseller and service
provider partners now
have access to BroadSoft PacketSmart, a set of SaaS-based quality of
service (QoS) assessment and monitoring capabilities, which enables them
to rapidly and cost-effectively deploy superior quality VoIP and video
communication services to their customers. ScanSource Communications
also introduced a new program for a select
group of its service provider customers to purchase “BroadWorks VoIP”
communications application server licenses. “The BroadWorks VoIP”
communications application server provides a comprehensive portfolio of
business and consumer communications applications and value-added
applications from a common network platform. The program enables these
service providers to purchase “BroadWorks” licenses in a “just in time”
fashion as they sign up new customers. It also enables the service
provider customers to purchase the “BroadWorks” licenses bundled with
Polycom IP Phones, further enhancing the ability for ScanSource
Communications service providers to deliver the types of communication
options being demanded today by both the business and consumer markets.
In the face of severe winter weather, consumers in major US metropolitan
areas, the First Data “SprendTrend” Index for the full month of February
showed same-store dollar volume was up 8.4% (7.4% excluding gasoline
stations). Meanwhile, tickets were up 1.4% for the first year-over-year
increase since July 2008 and same-store dollar volume growth for retail
merchants overall increased to 8.0% in February, up from 5.4% in
January, for the highest monthly growth rate in more than two years.
First Data electronic commerce and payment processing “SpendTrend”
analysis 2010 tracks same-store consumer spending via credit, signature
debit, PIN debit and EBT cards at U.S. merchant locations. It also
showed same-store transaction growth for February 2010 slowed to 6.9%
over February 2009, down from Januaryâs rate of 7.9%, due to the
aforementioned severe weather. EBT transaction growth slowed to 11.8% in
Card Based Transactions CHANGE JAN V FEB
Credit& Signature Debit +5.4% +5.6%
PIN Debit +11.8% +9.0%
EBT +20.6% +11.8%
Total Transactions +7.9% +6.9%
Note: All transactions are same store growth.
WestJet has joined with RBC and MasterCard to launch their new travel
reward credit card program. RBC’s first MasterCard product offering in
Canada includes two new cards: the WestJet RBC World MasterCard and the
WestJet RBC MasterCard. With each, cardholders earn WestJet dollars on
everyday purchases. The WestJet Credit Card Program offered in partnership with RBC and
MasterCard, and the WestJet Frequent Guest Program will offer guests the
opportunity to earn and accumulate WestJet dollars. Every WestJet dollar
can be used as cash toward the purchase of any flight on any date to any
destination – including seat sales. WestJet dollars can also be used
towards WestJet Vacations packages (up to 500 WestJet dollars per
person). There are no points, redemption grids, advance booking,
blackouts or seat restrictions – just dollars off flights and vacation
Transaction Network Services has
renewed its agreement with MasterCard to provide payment server software
for MasterCardâs ecommerce platform, the MasterCard Internet Gateway
Service (MiGS). MiGS provides an outsourced payment gateway service for MasterCardâs
bank acquirers and merchant customers. TNS supports MiGS with payment software for a range of online payments
services commonly used in Card-Not-Present transactions. TNS technology
enables processing of multi-regional card transactions and supports a
secure, reliable and efficient payments environment. It is used worldwide by more
than 70 bank acquirers and over 17,000 merchants.
This renewed agreement cements the relationship between the TNS Payments
Division and MasterCard which began in 2007.