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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Ups, downs, ins and outs of vertical market tradeshows


Industry Update

Facebook payments on back burner

Faster fleet fueling

Discover streamlines compliance

Mobile payments coming of age

Processors gobble up mobile


Jerry Sellers

Sunshine state shines on payments

ACH pros recognized nationally

Selling Prepaid

Companies vault into prepaid 2009

Companies vault into prepaid 2009

Prepaid in brief

nFinanSe ups ante with low-cost cards

A revolution in consumer health

Snapshot of the European prepaid market


Change, the economy's enduring fuel

Patti Murphy
The Takoma Group


Street SmartsSM:
Return to the hunt

Jason Felts
Advanced Merchant Services Inc.

Your merchant is calling

Dale S. Laszig
DSL Direct LLC

Wireless, fit for furniture

Tim McWeeney
ExaDigm Inc.

Bankrupt banks and credit card acquiring

Adam Atlas
Attorney at Law

What's in a name?

Nancy Drexler
SignaPay Ltd.

2009: Challenges and opportunities

Lane Gordon

Company Profile

Processing Solutions

Card Group

New Products

Countertop terminals, magnifique

ICT 220 and ICT 250

Future proof that POS

Product: Vx510 Ethernet terminal
Company: VeriFone


Catch and release office tension



Resource Guide


A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

January 21, 2009  •  Issue 09:01:02

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nFinanSe ups ante with low-cost cards

Stored value and prepaid card solution provider nFinanSe Inc. kicked off 2009 with the launch of a low-cost, reloadable prepaid card at a discount retailer and a supermarket chain. The program covers a broad swath of the United States.

The Discover Financial Services-branded card has been rolled out to Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. supermarkets in five southern and southeast states and to Dollar General Corp. stores in 35 states - over 9,000 locations in total. According to nFinanSe, the card is designed to be an affordable payment alternative for unbanked individuals who have no access to credit cards or for consumers with credit who are struggling with finances.

"Considering the current economic climate, with record home foreclosures, tight credit and high banking fees, unfortunately this unbanked demographic will be increasing," said Clare Morgan, Vice President at Tampa, Fla.-based nFinanSe. "We know that our reloadable cards will save unbanked and financially struggling consumers money and improve their quality of life."

According to Morgan, the nFinanSe Discover cards enable consumers to make purchases online or at brick-and-mortar stores, use ATMs, pay bills and transfer money. It is a better solution than "trying to live out of the cash that they are carrying around in their pockets," she said. "It's like having a walking bank account."

Shaving off dollars from fees

NFinanSe touts its new card as having the lowest fees in the payments industry. The company said its competitors may charge consumers as much as $14.95 to purchase an open loop, network-branded prepaid card at the POS; $4.95 in monthly account maintenance fees; another $4.95 to reload cards; and $2 for customer service calls.

In comparison, nFinanSe said its card costs $5.95 to activate, with a monthly maintenance fee of $2.95, a reload fee of $2.95, and free customer service calls. NFinanSe is able to reduce costs for consumers due to many factors.

"Because we developed our product a little later than our competitors, we have affected a 'Southwest Airlines' model," Morgan said in reference to the discount airline. "We developed our product for the mass market, the 73 million unbanked and underbanked. We developed everything ourselves. We built it to be simple but consistent and elegant. And we didn't have the legacy development costs of our competitors." Additionally, cardholders can receive e-mails or text messages on their cell phones with transaction and balance information after every card use. The company estimates its new card may save consumers over $500 million a year in fees.

The new age of frugality

The Wall Street Journal reported that, after years of rising U.S. household debt levels, the Federal Reserve noted that the average amount of household debt declined in the third quarter of 2008. Economists expect that rate to continue to decline by 3 percent to 5 percent in 2009.

As consumers tighten their financial belts and save more of their income, nFinanSe believes prepaid cards will be the beneficiary of this new frugality. Consumers will rely less on credit cards and more on debit and prepaid cards as budgeting tools.

"In a country accustomed to plastic and other forms of electronic payments, reloadable cards are the key for Americans to continue buying goods and services in stores and online," said Jerry R. Welch, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at nFinanSe. "Our reloadable card empowers consumers to get the most for their money in the worst economic slump in modern times."

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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