The Green Sheet Online Edition
March 22, 2010 • Issue 10:03:02
Prepaid in brief
Expo scholarship winners revealed
The Center for Financial Services Innovation offered scholarships to representatives of nonprofit agencies serving unbanked and underbanked constituents to attend the 2010 Prepaid Expo USA held in Las Vegas. From a pool of over 60 applicants, CFSI chose Erika Eurkus, Accion USA Inc.; Hassan Nicholas, Community Financial Resource Center; Julie Farwell, Community Action of Nebraska; Adam Perry, Capital Area Asset Builders; and Rita Eygabroad, Creating Assets, Savings, and Hope/Empire Justice Center.
The scholarships were sponsored by the Network Branded Prepaid Card Association and Netspend Corp.
Green Dot to spot up for IPO
Prepaid card distributor Green Dot Corp. filed paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering in which it would sell up to $150 million in stock.
In an apparently related matter, the Monrovia, Calif.-headquartered company also applied through the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco to become a bank holding company by acquiring Bonneville Bancorp of Provo, Utah. The acquisition reportedly will allow Green Dot to issue its own prepaid cards.
Blackhawk expands digital content category
Blackhawk Network, the prepaid card distributor and Safeway Corp. subsidiary, enlarged its digital content category, which includes cards for online gaming and music downloads, to over 10,000 gift card mall locations nationwide.
CardSmith advances into retirement communities
Prepaid program manager CardSmith implemented its card program management service at two retirement communities in North Carolina and one in Virginia. Residents at the United Church Homes and Services-managed facilities are issued personalized prepaid cards that can be used at POS stations across the facilities. Residents have 24/7 access to accounts through a dedicated cardholder account center and Web site.
CashStar presents virtual gift platform
Gift card company CashStar Inc. unveiled eCorporate Incentives, a business-to-business (B2B) digital gifting solution. The platform allows companies to bulk order personalized virtual gift cards from retailers; the cards can be immediately sent to recipients via e-mail.
Fiserv enhances prepaid card capabilities
Information management and e-commerce technology firm Fiserv Inc. increased its prepaid card production and packaging facilities and capabilities. The expansion includes a twice as big production space, more packaging options, building on its fulfillment capabilities and adding a broader a range of card materials for clients to choose from.
MoneyGram settles, expands, gives back
Money transfer specialist MoneyGram International agreed to settle federal securities class and stockholder derivative actions that were pending in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota. The company said the claims arose out of losses from Moneygram investments.
Additionally, MoneyGram expanded its money transfer services in Vietnam by signing Sacombank, thereby adding the Vietnamese bank's 253 locations to its agent network. Also, MoneyGram awarded a $10,000 grant to Children of Vietnam, a U.S.-based not-for-profit business.
Third-party processing via TxVia
TxVia Inc., a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) payment processor, now provides a platform that allows third parties to process payments. The PaaS service affords a wide range of payment companies the opportunity to enter the prepaid card processing market and offer integrated, highly differentiated processing to their customers, TxVia said.
Employers benefit from health care suite
Prepaid health care card provider WiredBenefits Inc. launched the Employer Benefit Suite to enable businesses to offer health reimbursement account cards to employees. The solution set provides tax-advantaged health care funds via Visa Inc.-branded, reloadable prepaid cards.
Adility, InComm to empower small retailers
Adility LLC, an online gift card platform provider for small businesses, teamed with InComm to give neighborhood merchants access to InComm's distribution network of over 150,000 retail locations. Using Adility's proprietary platform, businesses can sell their gift cards to consumers who shop locally.
RushCard gets new issuer
The Bancorp Bank Payment Solutions Group, a division of The Bancorp Bank and subsidiary of The Bancorp Inc., partnered with UniRush LLC to issue the Prepaid Visa RushCard.
CashStar, NGC to incentivize with virtual cards
CashStar partnered with National Gift Card Corp. to deliver virtual gift cards to NGC's corporate customers. NGC, which markets and distributes closed-loop retailer gift cards to corporate clients, will use CashStar's eCorporate Incentives platform for B2B gifting.
Data mining to boost card company insights
Ceridian Stored Value Solutions, a division of Ceridian Corp., adopted the database solution of analytics specialist for reporting on payment card transactions. Ceridian SVS said the ParAccel Analytic Database will give the prepaid card company "faster and richer information about consumer behavior."
First Data expands services with TIO
First Data Corp. integrated the bill payment processing services of TIO Networks Corp. into First Data's Money Network payroll distribution service.
With TIO, Money Network prepaid cardholders will be able to pay bills online, by phone and at certain self-service kiosks, thereby reducing the time and cost of paying bills, First Data said.
MasterCard, APA band for education
As part of the Money Matters National Education Day, MasterCard and the American Payroll Association will educate youth about the benefits of prepaid payroll cards. In September 2010, payroll professionals from the APA will hold classes at high schools and youth groups nationwide.
Peanut Labs gets fresh mix
Social media payment processor Peanut Labs Media partnered with three online gaming companies - game publishers IGG Inc. and Donnerwood Media's Meez, and Zeevex, the open virtual currency platform of Zeev Exchange Inc. The companies will use the Peanut Labs Media Monetization Platform to customize how social media and social gaming users purchase virtual goods and currencies.
New deal struck for MyPlash card
Plastic Cash International LLC and MasterCard announced a brand-exclusive partnership to offer MyPlash open-loop prepaid gift cards and reloadable prepaid gift cards starting in the summer of 2010. The MyPlash card is targeted at teens - a consumer market MasterCard is aggressively pursuing, said Laura Kelly, Senior Vice President, Global Prepaid & Healthcare Solutions at MasterCard.
Money Swap to market Sync2 services
Sync2 Networks signed a multiyear deal with Hong Kong-based Money Swap Holdings to market Sync2's financial tools, including Currency Swap, a peer-to-peer currency trading platform, and a closed-loop, MasterCard-branded prepaid card program. In return, Sync2 will market Money Swap's bar code transaction system under the brand name CashSync.
Self-service solution moves into TMHS
The Methodist Hospital System implemented NCR Corp.'s self-service online, mobile and kiosk solutions in its patient facilities. Four of NCR's solutions - Patient Portal, MediKiosk, Wayfinding and Payment Manager - will be available to patients in TMHS's four hospitals and one physician practice.
Payoneer moves into research payments
The Theresa & Eugene M. Lang Center for Research & Education of New York Hospital Queens tapped Payoneer Inc. to facilitate its move from paper checks to plastic to pay research participants who partake in clinical trials. Participants now receive their payments on MasterCard Worldwide-branded Payoneer Patient Stipend cards.
MoneyGram purchases Blue Dolphin
MoneyGram added Blue Dolphin Financial Services as part of the money transfer specialist's strategy to grow its retail network in regions with strong remittance potential. Blue Dolphin services the Belgium and the Netherlands markets with money transfers to Eurasian, Middle Eastern and African countries.
Rapid Link closes on Mr. Prepaid
As part of its corporate restructuring, telecommunications services company Rapid Link Inc. acquired Mr. Prepaid Inc., a former subsidiary of Blackbird Corp. Mr. Prepaid is a prepaid telecommunication and transaction-based POS activation solution provider.
Venker named Kobie Director
Loyalty marketing and technology agency Kobie Marketing hired Patrick Venker as the company's new Director of Strategic Services. Venker will oversee Kobie's Strategic Services Division and provide leadership to marketing and campaign management.
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