The Green Sheet Online Edition
March 09, 2009 • Issue 09:03:01
Prepaid in brief
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AmEx offers prepaid cards to cancel accounts
To move certain cardholders off their books, American Express Co. is offering $300 loaded onto prepaid cards. AmEx reported that targeted customers who pay off their balances by April 1, 2009, can receive $300 each, at which time their accounts with AmEx will be closed. AmEx said its move is in response to rising credit card delinquencies, which could push charge-off rates up.
ViVOtech achieves patent
Silicon Valley-based ViVOtech Inc. was awarded a near field communication (NFC) technology-related patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The patent covers methods, systems and products for over-the-air provisioning of credit, debit, prepaid, loyalty and other cards into mobile phone devices through wireless networks or the Internet.
Capcom achieves Unity
Capcom Entertainment Inc., a developer and publisher of video games, launched the Capcom Unity Visa prepaid card. Capcom reportedly becomes the first video game company in North America to offer a cobranded Visa Inc. rewards card program specifically for gamers. "The Capcom Unity Visa is a truly unique program, a first in the video game industry," said Mark Beaumont, Chief Operating Officer of Capcom and head of its consumer software publishing in the Americas and Europe. "Not only are we connecting our consumers with their favorite brands in an innovative way, but we're also giving them an expansive rewards program that will let them participate in the Capcom community at a greater level."
Fifth Third lands EFT contracts in Hawaii
Two Hawaii-based credit unions recently signed contracts with Fifth Third Processing Solutions' electronic fund transfer services, including gateway access, ATM driving and debit card processing. Honea Federal Credit Union, based in Fort Shafter, and Ewa Federal Credit Union of Ewa Beach are the first two contracts for Fifth Third in Hawaii.
Resort adds Maverick
Maverick Network Solutions Inc. reported it is now taking its products and services to the time share and hospitality industries. According to Peter J. Quadagno, President and COO at MNS, Bluegreen Resorts will launch MNS' Visa-branded, nonreloadable prepaid card for potential timeshare buyers.
Quadagno said the card will help as an incentive for potential buyers and create brand loyalty with owners. It will also serve as a vehicle for employee perks and reward programs.
Monitise awarded windfall for African m-payments
Monitise Plc received $1.5 million from the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund to help fund the launch of its mobile banking and payment service in East Africa. Initially, Monitise East Africa will offer services in Uganda; it may then expand into neighboring countries. The service will enable payment and money transfer services by both banks and mobile networks. The goal is to give East Africans the ability to use their mobile phones to save money, make payments, transfer funds, and deposit and withdraw cash.
Neovia's Net+ card to be showcased
Financial technology newswire Finextra picked Neovia Financial Plc for its Innovation Showcase. Finextra will highlight Neovia's Net+ prepaid card as an innovative product. The Net+ card, a prepaid MasterCard Worldwide-branded card available as both a virtual and physical card, uses the Neteller e-wallet to load and withdraw funds.
At the Card Awards held in London Feb. 5, 2009, The Newcastle Building Society, won for Best Prepaid Card Marketing Campaign of the Year and Best Cross-Selling Program of the Year with its White Eagle Prepaid Card Migrant Program, which targets migrant workers.
PayPal wins top accolade
At the Feb. 5, 2009, Card Awards in London, PayPal's Top Up (reloadable) card won in the Best New Prepaid Card category. The award was made to PayPal and Royal Bank of Scotland, the issuer of the PayPal Top Up Card.
TransCard offers online tool
Stored-value card processor TransCard launched an online Personal Financial Management tool to its cardholders. This offering is accessed via a tab function on the TransCard cardholder Web site. Craig Fuller, Chief Executive Officer at TransCard, said the tool will "revolutionize the prepaid card space by providing a real-time, integrated and automatic administrative platform through which cardholders can manage their finances more effectively."
Trivnet enters international mobile remittance
Mobile payment company Trivnet's cross-network and cross-border mobile money transfer service is now commercially available. The solution consists of Trivnet's Mobile Wallet, and its Electronic Distribution and Business Management modules.
"During the last months we have seen a major increase in the interest of leading mobile network operators, in both developed and emerging markets, to offer mobile money transfer services," said Amit Mattatia, President and CEO of Trivnet. In addition to traditional mobile money services, interest is growing in person-to-person transfers, bill payment and mobile banking to both banked and unbanked individuals, Trivnet reported.
Virgin Money adds angle to prepaid
Virgin Money added a monthly payment option in conjunction with its Virgin Prepaid MasterCard. Virgin Money said consumers will be able to choose from either the pay-as-you-go or the new pay-monthly option.
Atmel tag teams with TazTag
Atmel Corp. and TazTag will collaborate for all-in-one contactless solutions that store and protect sensitive cardholder data. Eric Fouchard, CEO of TazTag, said the partnership will help TazTag secure data on its TazCard using Atmel's security module. The TazCard is a multipurpose NFC device in a slim, credit card format. TazTag calls the TazCard a "personal safe" that allows a wide range of security applications such as access control, ticketing, couponing and payment.
InsurCard provides Hawaiian disaster relief card
InsurCard and First Insurance of Hawaii agreed to offer an instant-issue prepaid card program for disaster relief in Hawaii. In the event of a hurricane or other major disaster, First Insurance policyholders may be eligible to receive funds on the InsurCard Visa Prepaid Card - issued by The Bancorp Bank - to cover immediate expenses.
NetSpend buddies with grocery chain
NetSpend Corp. reported it has entered an agreement to roll out a general purpose reloadable (GPR) prepaid card in all 520 Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. locations in the Southeast. Jacksonville, Fla.-based Winn-Dixie will distribute the GPR cards developed, marketed and processed by NetSpend as an agent of card issuer Inter National Bank. NetSpend said it launched its GPR cards in 54 Winn-Dixie stores in November 2008 and will expand the offering to the remaining Winn-Dixie stores during the first half of 2009.
Virtual/RedFin to power portal
Virtual Payment Solutions, a subsidiary of Secured Financial Network Inc., inked a deal with Blackstone Merchant Services Inc. to provide the engine for Blackstone's payment portal. VPS' Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard-compliant payment gateway is called RedFin Network.
"The integration of our online portal powered by the RedFin Network will allow distributors and merchants the ability to process their online payments in a secure environment," said Janet Sancho, Senior Vice President at Blackstone. "It will allow us to offer other value-added services to our merchants at bundled service pricing."
Vesta, Mobiun - an apt team
Vesta Corp. and Mobiun will jointly develop a mobile application that allows prepaid customers to top up accounts via mobile handheld devices. The top-up application will reportedly allow full customization of the user interface on more than 700 different handsets.
PayByCash signs Ukash
India's Ukash has reportedly signed a deal with PlaySpan Inc. subsidiary PayByCash to allow hundreds of online merchants to offer a cash payment alternative for online purchases. U.S.-based PayByCash now includes Ukash in its portfolio of more than 70 alternative payment methods worldwide. Ukash reported a 140 percent increase in sales in 2008. Its prepaid cards are available via mobile devices in the U.K and now online in many other parts of Europe and South Africa.
Online gifter buys another
Wolfe.com LLC, the parent company of GiftCards.com, purchased Swapagift.com. The acquisition is expected to enable GiftCards.com to sell discounted merchant gift cards to its customers and allows Swapagift.com to focus on card redemption services.
Industry stalwart rejoins i2c
Processor i2c Inc. welcomed Ed Kelley back as its Vice President, Business Development. In that position from 2006 to 2008, Kelley is said to have played a key role in expanding i2c's client base and growing the company's revenue over 200 percent. Kelley has more than 20 years of business development and sales experience. Before rejoining i2c, Kelley was President of Front Stream Prepaid.
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