Reloadable Prepaid Cards May Spur Growth

A new survey of households with less than $50,000 in annual income has found that 45% agree that a reloadable prepaid card would be extremely or very useful. The figure rises significantly among cash-based consumers: 74% of those who pay their bills using money orders; 73% of those without a checking account; 63% of those who use cash to pay a bill or ask friends to write checks; and 63% of those who are paid in cash or use a check cashing store. The study by The Network Branded Prepaid Card Association also determined that overall awareness of reloadable prepaid cards, based on consumers who have used or heard of the card, is strong among all consumers (74%) and among cash-based consumers (73%). Although cash-based consumers, are more likely to have used a reloadable prepaid card (25%) compared to 14% of all respondents , as a group they are less likely to have heard of the card (48% compared to 60% of all respondents).

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Atkinson Signs VeriFone Separation Deal

VeriFone reported Friday that it has entered into a separation agreement with former executive William Atkinson. The agreement covers a broad range of protections for VeriFone and Atkinson, including mutual release agreements to not compete or solicit, and confidentiality. Last month, VeriFone announced it terminated the employment of Atkinson, EVP, effective immediately. VF says information discovered by management shows that Atkinson had been soliciting VeriFone employees to join a competitor. The Company said it is not aware of any successful solicitations of current employees, nor is the company aware of any facts suggesting that Atkinson will be successful in joining a competitor. (CF Library 7/19/07)

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Punitive APRs Impact Blacks and Latinos

A new survey has found that 33% of credit cardholders are paying interest rates in excess of 20%. Also, 7% of white cardholders, 15% of African American and 13% of Latinos cardholders pay interest rates higher than 20%. The research by Demos also reveals that cardholders with balances and household incomes below $25,000 are more than twice as likely as households earning $50,000, and over five times more likely than households earning $100,000, to pay interest rates higher than 20%. Credit card holders in the bottom two income quintiles with credit balances are more than twice as likely to pay penalty rates as those in the top two income quintiles. African American and Latino credit card holders with balances are more likely than whites and borrowers of other rates to pay interest rates higher than 20%.

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Cumberland Farms Offers Coinstar E-Payments

Coinstar and c-store retailer Cumberland Farms announced that Coinstar E-Payment Services’ full range of â˜pay as you go’ products will be available to consumers at approximately 600 Cumberland Farms stores. The product line includes national and regional prepaid wireless programs, prepaid MasterCard and VISA stored value debit cards, leading gift cards and more and is expected to be available in Cumberland Farms stores in 11 states in the northeast and Florida beginning in mid-August. Coinstar is a provider of self-service coin counting, electronic payment solutions, entertainment services and self-service DVD rental.

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SCA Acquires Western Auto Card Portfolio

VA-based Advance Auto Parts has selected Shoppers Charge Accounts to administer the private label credit card program for its 35 Western Auto/Advance Auto Parts stores. The new Western Auto credit card will offer such special features as ’90-days, same-as-cash’ and ‘6 months, same-as-cash’ extended payment terms. In connection with the agreement, SCA also acquired all receivables for the stores’ existing private label credit card portfolio from FirstBank of Puerto Rico. Advance Auto Parts is a retailer of automotive parts, batteries, accessories and maintenance items with 3,150 stores. Shoppers Charge Accounts private label credit card companies are a division of TD Banknorth, N.A. The company launches and administers new credit card portfolios for brick-and-mortar, internet and catalog merchants, and acquires retailers’ existing credit card portfolios.

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PaySpot Selects Transaction Network Services

Transaction Network Services has been selected by prepaid electronic payments processor PaySpot to provide a managed solution for both dial-up and IP connectivity. Under the agreement, PaySpot’s customers will use TNS’ FusionPoint and FusionPoint Express solution which provides a secure path between the merchant and the host processor. PaySpot offers an array of prepaid products, including prepaid wireless, prepaid long distance, prepaid gift cards, prepaid debit cards, bill payment, money transfer, merchant processing, check guarantee, age verification and prepaid handsets. Transaction Network Services is an international communications company that enables payments, money and voices to move around the world.

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Simplefy Offers FDC POS Value Exchange

Simplefy has entered into an agreement with First Data to begin offering the “First Data POS Value Exchange” solution that replaces a cash register and traditional point-of-sale terminal with a computer-based system. POS Value Exchange leverages three companies’ core competencies: 1) First Data’s payment processing power for virtually all forms of payment, from credit and debit to gift cards and checks; 2) Microsoft Dynamics(TM) – Point of Sale 2.0 software from Microsoft designed to manage inventory, track sales and improve customer management; and 3) a rugged, retail-specific point of sale hardware solution from HP. Specialty retailers will find that the system’s touch-screen display and ability to accept virtually all forms of payment will improve customer service and speed up transaction time. Retailers also will be able to track purchase behaviors and identify buying trends to improve inventory management and save valuable time. Simplefy is global provider of Point of Sale solutions. First Data Corp. is a leading provider of electronic commerce and payment solutions for businesses worldwide.

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SPC MOSAIK MASTERCARD

Student Price Card and BMO Bank of Montreal have teamed to
launch a new student credit card. The new “BMO SPC Mosaik MasterCard” offers “AIR MILES” reward miles or “CashBack” features. The card also offers exclusive discounts and savings on clothes, food, entertainment, travel and other services at more than 250 merchants in 10,000 locations across Canada. Since its launch in 1992, “Student Price Card” has developed a following of more than 500,000 members between the ages of 14 and 24. Under the new program the SPC annual fee of $8.50 is waived and there is no need to renew the conventional SPC card every year.
To promote the launch of the new “BMO SPC Mosaik MasterCard,” BMO will
enter into a drawing each cardholder who uses the new card between Aug. 1 and Nov. 30 for a chance to win a $7,000 shopping spree at Bluenotes, Aldo and Athlete’s World.

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The my Shopko rewards VISA is Launched

Shopko, a $2.2 billion retailer of goods and services headquartered in Green Bay, with stores located in 13 states throughout the Midwest, Mountain and Pacific Northwest regions, has launched the “My Shopko extra savings Rewards Card” and the co-branded “my Shopko rewards VISA.” The new VISA card offers a $10 coupon for every 1,000 points earned. Three points for each dollar spent at Shopko, two points for family lifestyle purchases like dining, movies or entertainment and one point for each dollar spent on other outside purchases. The “My extra savings” offers Shopko customers special savings on a combination of advertised items and in-store specials.

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FDC & BBVA BANCOMER

First Data International has signed a processing agreement with BBVA
Bancomer and will support the company’s retail business division. First
Data’s Latin American network is extensive and serves clients in
Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Miami, Panama, Puerto Rico and
Uruguay. The card processor also has operations in Europe, the Middle East,
Africa, Canada, Australia and Asia-Pacific, nearly 7,900 employees, and
serves over 5 million merchant locations through its 1,900 card issuers.
BBVA Bancomer offers financial products through 1,756 branch offices and
4,876 ATMs to its 14 million customers.

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KUDRA.RU & ZAO CARD

Kudra.ru travel agency and ZAO Citibank have launched a rewards credit
card. The card features a credit line of up to 300,000 RUB, a program that
provides one point for every 100 RUB spent (with unlimited lifespan), and
discounts on travel arranged through the Kudra.ru agency. Experts say
this card is very innovative in the travel and banking industries and can
be applied for with Citibank or Kuda.ru. Kuda.ru Travel Agency is
comprised of over 116 travel agencies and has over 200,000 customers
a year. Citi has 200 million customer accounts and does business in more
than 100 countries.

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