The City of Buffalo launched this past weekend its “No Questions Asked” gun buyback program offering prepaid bank cards in return. Buffalo’s program is modeled after several other city’s successful gun buyback efforts, particularly the City of Chicago that in two different one-day gun buybacks retrieved over 4,200 guns. Pre-paid bank credit cards will be provided, no questions asked, in the following denominations: $10.00 – Non-working or antique guns (including BB guns and pellet guns); $50.00 – Rifles/Shotguns; $75.00 – Handguns and $100.00 – Assault Weapons (e.g., Uzi’s, AK-47s). Last year the Buffalo Police Department took 1,000 illegal guns off the streets of Buffalo and this new program will work to support that activity. The project is being financed by $30,000 in asset forfeiture funds that have been acquired by the city through the seizure of monies from illegal drug and other criminal activities in Buffalo, as well as a $10,000 contribution from the Erie County Medical Center.Details
A new report has found that only about one-tenth of its survey respondents have used a mobile device such as a cell phone, PDA/Palm Pilot/BlackBerry/ organizer (PDA/organizer), or MP3 for conducting financial activities online. Three-quarters of the 1,000 respondents said they own one of these devices, but have not used it for online financial activities. The research by Atlanta-based Synergistics also found that slightly more than one-quarter of cell phone users say this is their primary method of performing banking transactions, while more than one-third say it is a secondary method and close to four in ten use it only in an emergency. Among those who have performed financial activities using a PDA or organizer, more than one-third say this is their primary method of performing banking transactions. More than four in ten of the PDA/organizer users say it is a secondary method, and close to one-fifth only use it for banking in an emergency.Details
JCB Cards has announced that “Good Times Start Here” will be the company’s new brand slogan, as part of its new global branding strategy. The new JCB logo, announced in February, will also start appearing at selected JCB acceptance merchant locations worldwide. JCB cards are issued in 20 countries and territories and are supported by a network of millions of merchants in 190 countries and territories. The company has over 350 partners and 59 million cardholders.Details
Houston-based Cardtronics has inked a deal to acquire the U.S. ATM operations of 7-Eleven for about $135 million in cash. The acquisition will add more than 5,500 high volume ATMs to the company’s portfolio, expanding the size of Cardtronics’ network to over 30,000 machines. Under terms of the agreement Cardtronics will have a ten year exclusive right to operate all ATMs and advanced function financial self-service kiosks in 7-Eleven locations throughout the U.S., including any new 7-Eleven stores. Of the over 5,500 machines in the 7-Eleven U.S. ATM network, approximately 2,000 are “Financial Services Kiosk” or “Vcom” terminals. In addition, the 2,000 “Vcom” machines will soon start accepting image deposits for participating financial institutions. Cardtronics expects the deal to close by the end of June.Details
As of December 2006, Atos Origin, via Atos Worldline, aquired Banksys
and Bank Card Company (BCC) to create a leader in European payment
issuing and acquiring. This development will also allow for enhanced
customer service efficiency and performance. Banksys provides
security and guarantee of electronic payments in Belgium and operates a
of services, including “CardStop”, through an acceptance network of more
100,000 merchants. BCC affiliates merchants to accept VISA, MasterCard,
Maestro, V PAY and VISA Electron and is continually diversifying its
network of 55,000. Atos Origin is an international information
technology services company with annual revenues of EUR 5.4 billion and
employs over 50,000 people in 40 countries.
Hewlett Packard has rolled out the “Retail Store Assistant”, an experimental kiosk designed to enhance the consumer shopping experience and improve efficiency for retailers. The Retail Store Assistant includes an in-store kiosk, which customers can access with a loyalty card or by typing in their phone number, that is linked to a retailer’s IT system, which contains inventory, sales and customer purchase information. By better connecting consumer and store data, the system works to the advantage of both customers and retailers. The personalization provided by the Retail Store Assistant makes for a better shopping experience and is key to closing what retailers call the “intention-action gap.” In addition to providing instant inventory tracking, the system also benefits retailers by providing real-time reports and analysis of marketing and sales campaigns, enabling store managers and marketing directors to modify their activities whenever they like. It also provides sales assistance to customers without the need for staff, and it can be used for in-store employee training.Details
The Swedish Motorcycle Club(SMC) has collaborated with Nordea
Bank to launch a customizable credit card. Using Serverside customizable
technology, the cardholder can use any image they choose for a fee of
295 SEK per year and an additional 100 SEK each time they choose to
change the design. Card customization benefits card issuers by increasing
customer loyalty, acquisition rates and increased spending.
Serverside’s flagship product, “/AllAboutMe/”, is a web-based
application that allows cardholders to design their unique payment
card online. The corporation also has alliance with both DataCard and
Accretive Commerce has formed a strategic alliance with CyberSource to offer CyberSource’s payment management services to Accretive Commerce’s clients. Accretive customers will now be able to accept online credit card, debit card, eCheck, PayPal, and Bill Me Later transactions and have the ability to accept orders originating from 190 countries, verify addresses, calculate sales tax, and check orders for compliance with export regulations. Accretive Commerce’s clients will also have the opportunity to utilize CyberSource’s risk management services that includes fully-managed services to advanced decision systems that automate order screening, helping to increase sales conversion and reduce the risk of fraud. Merchants will also be able to protect their brand by using CyberSource’s token-based secure storage service, which helps keep sensitive payment data out of merchants’ daily business operations. CyberSource is a provider of electronic payment and risk management solutions. Accretive Commerce is a business process outsourcer of ecommerce, customer care, and fulfillment & logistics solutions and services.Details
Guangdong Mobile, a subsidiary of China Mobile, has selected Shanghai
Axalto IC Card Technology (SAIT), a subsidiary of Gemalto, to deploy its
“3G” ready, SIM service delivery platform. “3G” enables high-speed data and
multimedia services through the platform, which can support operators with
expanding data services. Also, the platform allows Guangdong Mobile to
communicate with its subscribers and the management of SIM-based
information. China Mobile has a registered capital of 51.8 billion RMB
assets of over 400 billion RMB yuan. Gemalto has annual revenues of EUR1.7
billion, operations in about 100 countries and over 10,000 employees.
TSB Bank has announced the celebration of its 20 consecutive years
of growth. The bank’s tax-paid profit for 1/3-07 reflects an 11.3% increase
and funds on deposit increased by nearly 10% since the same period in 06.
Also, the institution’s home lending total stands at $1.93 billion while
“Capital Adequacy Ratio” stands at 16.08 percent, more than doubling the
Through a new promotion, “Get Smart MBF Cards LCD TV
Promotion”, MBF Cards is hoping to drive annual revenue by 35%.
In doing so, MBF is targeting 80,000 new customers, in addition to
its current 550,000, with the promotion. The campaign will last 4
months and is a collaboration with Samsung Malaysia Electronics to
offer LCD TV sets to card holders whom transfer at least RM7,500 from
other cards and maintain a balance of RM7,000 for at least 39 months.
Also, cardholders who charge at least RM50 three times a month can win
a set in a drawing. In addition, any card holder can buy the TV set with a RM1,200 discount and interest-free installment payments.
Credit card outstandings declined during April by GBP 300 million. However, the GBP 54.0 billion figure remains well below the December 2005 peak of GBP 59.0 billion. Year-on-year credit card outstandings (not seasonally adjusted) are running about 5% lower than one-year ago. According to the The Bank of England, the increase in total net consumer credit in April of GBP 500 million was lower than the increase in March. Net other loans and advances rose by GBP 400 million. Overall, the annual growth rate of consumer credit continued to fall, by 0.3 percentage points to 5.4%, and the three-month annualized growth rate also fell by 0.3 percentage points to 4.1%.Details