On Jan. 7, 2010, the New Jersey Senate unanimously approved a resolution to require issuers of prepaid debit cards to fully and legibly disclose all fees associated with the cards. SB 3069, introduced in December 2009, calls for New Jersey's Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs to adopt rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of the bill. As a primary market for prepaid cards, unbanked consumers may benefit from the new requirements if the bill is enacted into law.
Meanwhile, many New Jersey residents without either bank accounts or prepaid payroll cards reportedly pay 2 percent of their wages to check cashing locations in order to cash paychecks. A new proposal by New Jersey's Department of Banking and Insurance would raise check cashing fees to 2.21 percent on standard checks. Benefit checks for some government programs would not be subject to the new fee.
The department cited increased operational costs to check cashing operations due to the USA Patriot Act of 2001 requirements and Bank Security Act of 1970 anti-money laundering regulations, as well as the decrease in business due to electronic payment options (such as direct deposit, payroll and government benefit cards) as major factors in drafting the proposal.
Prepaid Card Holdings Inc. settled its lawsuit against its former Chief Operations Officer, Robert Christiansen, on Dec. 22, 2009. PCH received 21,250,000 shares of its common stock back from the defendant as part of the settlement.
The company intended to cancel the stock upon receipt and reduce the outstanding shares of the company. The suit, which accused Christiansen of fiduciary abuse, specifically fraud and concealment, breach of fiduciary duty and conversion, was filed by the company on Sept. 10, 2009, as reported in The Green Sheet, issue 09:10:01, Oct. 12, 2009, Prepaid in brief.
1World Card, the prepaid card division of One World Ventures Inc., opened in Hong Kong its first money remittance network for money transfers to The Philippine market - the first market to receive funds over the network.
Accor Services USA recently released its MasterCard Worldwide-branded transit card. With the Commuter Check Card Prepaid MasterCard, commuters pay for transit and parking. Accor provides the cards as either anonymous or personalized.
Santa Monica-Calif.-based ATMCash launched a new money transfer service that gives customers the ability to send money to recipients in over 150 countries. Recipients can withdraw the funds from 1,500,000 ATMs worldwide.
Webcasts of workshops and keynote addresses held during the October 2009 ATM, Debit & Prepaid Forum are now available online for purchase. The webcasts include audio, session slides and the interactive question and answer periods.
New auction Web site Biddees sells major retailer prepaid cards at a discount. A portion of the purchase price is automatically donated to charity.
Cash and Transact, a virtual mobile wallet service from Foothill Ranch, Calif.-based electronic prepaid provider Emida Corp., is reportedly experiencing increased demand in Latin America and the Middle East. With Cash and Transact, consumers load funds onto virtual wallets that reside on mobile handsets in order to pay bills, top-up phones or make person-to-person payments.
The U.S. Department of Energy gave its Recognition Award and contract renewal to iCARD Gift Card LLC. "The award capped off a very successful year for our company," said iCARD's founder Jeff Ehney.
St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Kobie Marketing, a loyalty marketing and technology agency, launched its Gift Card Gallery. The new online mall offers rewards-based gift cards to major retailers. Kobie said the program integrates easily into existing platforms; Kobie provides the card fulfillment and customer support functions.
Money transfer specialist RegaloCard signed Farmacias Economicas, a national pharmacy chain in El Salvador, to the RegaloCard Mobile Payments Network. RegaloCard considers pharmacy services an ideal product for the company since U.S. immigrants buy medicine and other pharmaceutical products when family members suffer emergencies in their home countries. RegaloCard also welcomed quick service restaurant chain Burger King Corp. to its mobile payments network in El Salvador.
Through its partnership with MasterCard, integrated retailer rebate processor The Ohana Companies LLC said it now provides its merchant partners and their customers the option to receive rebates on MasterCard-branded prepaid cards.
U.S. Bank N.A., an issuer of Visa Inc. prepaid cards, won an Oscard for its ReliaCard Visa.
The annual Oscard awards program is organized by Publi-News, a French publisher specializing in banking publications, and Altenor, an international consulting firm specializing in the payments industry.
XA Worldwide Inc. released it PaGo Kiosk and PaGoPass prepaid debit cards in Colombia. The kiosks utilize a state-of-the-art digital content delivery system that serves up advertisements based on location and the demographics of pedestrian traffic, said Jason Donald, CEO for XA.
BlueStar Inc. reported it has added a self-service solution by partnering with Meridian Kiosks LLC. The new kiosk has the capability to provide gift registries, gift cards, patient check-ins, ticketing, food ordering, bill payment and inventory extension.
Prepaid card distributor InComm partnered with Medagate Corp. to develop a payment gateway that brings together InComm's POS card activation network with Medagate's card issuing platform. Incomm said the new gateway will allow consumers to use cards, such as government benefit cards, at more retailers.
One World Ventures signed a letter of intent and paid a deposit to processor eCommLink Inc. to develop and distribute corporate prepaid solutions and remittance programs.
Vancouver, British Columbia-based VendTek Systems Inc. appointed Ian McKinnon to its Board of Directors, subject to TSX Venture Exchange approval. McKinnon has 30 years of industry experience and offers consulting services to technology companies on management and leadership topics.
Nonbank ATM operator Cardtronics Inc. named Steven A. Rathgaber as CEO. Formerly President and COO of NYCE Payments Network LLC, Rathberger brings 32 years of payments experience to his new position.
Thomas Venable was appointed Senior Vice President of Sales at Incentium LLC (formerly VIPGift). "Tom's extensive sales management experience will be critical to helping us reach new markets and customers," said Richard Char, Incentium's President and CEO.
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