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On Jan. 21, 2009, Card Activation Technologies Inc. filed lawsuits against four national retailers and one national restaurant chain. The lawsuits were filed in the U.S. Federal District Court in Chicago against Casual Male Retail Group Inc., BeBe Stores Inc., Whole Food Markets Inc., Barneys of New York Inc. and Panda Restaurant Group.
CAT seeks royalties from the companies on the activation and processing of debit-styled cards, which include gift cards. Additionally, CAT wants an injunction to halt further issuance of gift cards by the companies until they obtain licenses from the Chicago-based processor.
J.P. Morgan, the treasury arm of JPMorgan Chase & Co., helped the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services deliver early food stamp benefits via prepaid cards to Kentuckians recovering from the state's recent ice storm.
According to J.P. Morgan, the CHFS' Department for Community Based Services usually issues electronic monthly food benefits through J.P. Morgan's electronic benefits transfer cards on a staggered schedule during the first 10 days of each month.
But the storm, which hit Kentucky on Jan. 27, 2009, and pummeled the state for several days, forced emergency actions. Within an hour of receiving a formal request from Kentucky, J.P. Morgan said it authorized the distribution of nearly $58 million in food stamp benefits.
J.P. Morgan reported that nearly 252,000 Kentucky food stamp recipients who typically receive benefits between the third and the tenth of every month were given early access to benefits on Feb. 2.
By launching the M-Cube M-Payments Platform, M-Cube claims to have introduced the first mobile banking application utilizing prepaid cards in the U.K. The application is available to Ryanair prepaid cardholders.
According to M-Cube, the Ryanair program was launched in November 2008 and has become the largest mass market, multibrand prepaid program in the U.K., which includes Ireland. M-Cube touts its new service as an m-payment breakthrough for the prepaid card industry in the U.K.
A Jan. 8, 2009, ruling by the Arizona Superior Court said that subpoenas issued by the Arizona attorney general for consumer transaction data from The Western Union Co. were "unreasonably broad and unenforceable," said Western Union.
Reportedly, Western Union has provided transaction data to Arizona's attorney general in response to subpoenas. But in 2006, said attorney general issued subpoenas requesting consumer data from the global money transfer providers concerning transactions that were neither initiated nor paid in Arizona. Western Union believed the subpoenas were overbroad and exceeded the authority granted under Arizona law. When Western Union and the Arizona attorney general were unable to resolve their differences through negotiation, Western Union sought review by the Arizona courts.
Continental Prison Systems Inc., the holding company of EZ Card & Kiosk LLC, reported it has received the Pinnacle Award in Colorado for the innovative kiosks and EZ Exit card technology CPS supplies the penal system for its inmate release process.
CPS said a Colorado jail facility entered the Lodi, Calif.-based company and its cashless products and services technology for the award.
Prepaid processor Metavante Technologies Inc. rolled out the WealthCare Manager, a personal health record system that collects consumers' health histories and financially-related health care information. Metavante said WealthCare Manager allows consumers and health care providers to access the information online or though other interfaces, such as mobile phones and desktop computers. As part of the emergence of the consumer-directed health care model, Metavante believes WealthCare Manager will accelerate the exchange of information and funds between patients, payers, providers and financial institutions.
Paysafecard.com, a Vienna, Austria-based company that manages the paysafecard for online shopping, changed its name to Prepaid Services Co. Ltd.
According to the company, the renaming coincides with its plan to expand its client base in the U.K. and Continental Europe. Prepaid Services reported that 15 million transactions were carried out via the paysafe-card in 2008.
Gift card, customer loyalty and stored-value card processor Smart Transaction Systems selected Hypercom Corp.'s Mobile Network to extend the reach of STS' gift and loyalty card programs in the United States and abroad.
Hypercom said STS will deploy Hypercom's service in combination with handheld wireless POS terminals to allow mobile merchants, sports events and outdoor venues to accept gift cards or customer loyalty cards anywhere cellular phone service is available.
Accor Services and the European arm of MasterCard Worldwide established a strategic alliance that resulted in the formation of a new company, PrePay Solutions.
The new entity is designed to combine the prepaid and electronic payments expertise of both organizations for business players looking to exploit the fast-growing multibillion euro European prepaid market.
PrePay Solutions will market prepaid card solutions to corporations and financial institutions to reduce costs and enhance efficiency.
Loyalty card marketer Alliance Data Systems Corp. reached a multi-year renewal agreement with Shell Canada Products. The deal allows Shell Canada to continue its Canadian sponsorship of Alliance Data's Canadian Air Miles Reward Program. Alliance Data reports that the partnership with Shell has existed since 1993, and the loyalty and reward program is now used by approximately two-thirds of Canadian households. Shell Canada Products operates more than 1,500 gas stations in Canada.
Instant card issuer Dynamic Card Solutions and Postilion, a division of S1 Corp., will jointly offer financial institutions (FIs) in Europe, the Middle East and Africa a fully integrated solution for card management, instant issuance and PIN selection by connecting DCS' patented CardWizard technology with Postilion's self-service banking solutions.
Western Union re-signed agreements with The Greater Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co. Inc. (A&P) and India Post.The renewal with A&P is a five-year agreement that reportedly extends Western Union's money transfer, money order and bill payment services throughout the majority of the supermarket chain's store locations.
The renewal with India Post, India's postal system, is also a multi-year agreement that Western Union said will expand the global money transfer company's coverage in the Asia Pacific Region.
Western Union signed an agreement to acquire the money transfer business of international payments specialist Fexco. Western Union said the transaction, expected to be finalized in the first half of 2009, is part of its strategy to be closer to its consumer base and position its brand for continued growth.
Western Union will now manage more than 10,000 consumer-facing locations in seven European countries and provide direct training, marketing and operations support.
On the heels of several resignations by top executives at Card Activation Technologies, Michael DeLaGarza was named President and Director of Card Activation Technologies. According to the bylaws of the corporation, DeLaGarza also becomes Chief Executive Officer. DeLaGarza has over 20 years of experience as an executive in the health care field.
Stored-value card processor TransCard named Jerry Uffner as the company's new President. Uffner had been TransCard's Chief Marketing Officer.
Uffner was Senior Vice President of Sales for nFinanSe Inc. He also served as Vice President of Financial Services for InComm and held previous sales management positions at First Data Corp., Comdata Corp. and RBS WorldPay Inc., formerly RBS Lynk.
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