A new Javelin Strategy & Research report, Engaging the Underbanked and Unbanked, finds that 68 percent of underbanked consumers in the United States have mobile phones. That statistic means the underbanked are "prime candidates for mobile financial services from financial institutions, major card networks and wireless carriers," according to the San Francisco-headquartered consultancy.
As part of Heartland Payment Systems Inc.'s first quarter 2010 report, Chairman and Chief Executive Robert O. Carr pointed out the processor's prepaid card solutions as integral to its growth. Heartland's payroll, Campus OneCard and gift marketing programs are "all achieving continued success opening new markets where we will seek to further grow the Heartland franchise," Carr added.
American Express Co. rolled out the PASS card, a reloadable prepaid teen card designed to provide parents a way to manage the spending of their teenaged children. AmEx said the card will be sold and marketed exclusively to adults.
BillMyParents, the online teen payment solutions division of Socialwise Inc., integrated the ThreatMetrix Fraud Network to control fraud. In advance of a national marketing campaign, BillMyParents said it realized it needed to be proactive in protecting its customers against fraud.
FiCentive Inc., the prepaid card subsidiary of Payment Data Systems Inc., reported that it now offers a print-on-demand (POD) solution for its corporate clients. FiCentive said its first large-scale customer for POD is a North Carolina-based home improvement chain with which the processor recently signed an exclusive reseller agreement.
Online bill pay company iPay Technologies LLC reported that the number of subscribers to its online bill payment service grew 52 percent in 2009. The company said it plans to further its growth with the launch of a self-directed online marketing resource portal for its financial institutions, which number over 3,600.
Capitalizing on its partnership with Austria-headquartered Volksbank, MoneyGram International opened 28 money transfer locations in Croatia. The move follows MoneyGram's advances into Germany and Serbia. MoneyGram said Germany is home to over 200,000 Croatians, many of them migrant workers who send funds to family back in Croatia.
National Gift Card Corp. stated it had become an authorized reseller of American Express Prepaid Cards created for the loyalty, incentive and reward industry. Under the agreement, National Gift Card is able to offer corporate customers competitive, below face value pricing on volume orders, the gift card distributor said.
PerksCard Network, an Augeo Affinity Marketing company, reported the launch of 15 new programs and the distribution of over 200,000 PerksCards in the first quarter of 2010. PerksCard markets itself as a lifestyle discount program for "employees, members of participating organizations and local-area merchants."
SelectCore Ltd., a prepaid telecom and financial solutions provider, said its 2009 revenues increased by 21 percent over 2008, from $69.7 million to over $84 million. The report marks SelectCore's sixth consecutive quarter of positive financial results, the company said.
AlertPay inked a deal with New Parking Inc. to offer "one of the first cell phone-based parking validation solutions available in North America," AletPay said. The partnership is designed to give drivers more parking payment options, including mobile payments.
Cardlytics and Vesdia Corp. signed an agreement to provide banks with a merchant-funded rewards program and retailers with additional marketing platforms. The companies expect the partnership to enable banks to increase rewards program awareness and participation, as well as give merchants another way to target consumers through loyalty programs.
Coinstar Inc., in collaboration with Amazon.com, now offers Amazon gift cards through its coin counting kiosks. Consumers can exchange coins at Coinstar Centers for the prepaid cards. Coinstar estimates the average American household has $90 in loose change.
Check processor and prepaid card provider Global eTelecom Inc.(GETI) and PayLeap teamed to enhance payment processing options for e-commerce merchants by integrating GETI solutions into the PayLeap payment gateway.
Global mobile payment company RegaloCard.com entered into distribution partnerships with "leading prepaid distribution companies in the U.S.," RegaloCard said. The company added that its network of prepaid card distributors will bring RegaloCard's products – including micro money transfers – to over 100,000 retail POSs nationwide.
Shaka Mobile, the first prepaid mobile service for African immigrants in the Unites States, partnered with MFunds Global Payment Solutions for mobile money transfers. Diaspora African customers living in the United States will receive a primary card and can order family cards for friends and relatives living in Africa, Shaka Mobile said.
Total Systems Services Inc. teamed with Serverside Group to launch TSYS Card Shop, a digital card fulfillment and marketing solution that combines on-demand manufacturing processes with card management and customization capabilities.
Urban Trust Bank partnered with Dr. DeForest B. Soaries Jr., Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, N.J., to expand the dfree financial literacy program with a Visa-branded prepaid card.
Also, Urban Trust allied with Insight Card Services to launch the Insight prepaid MasterCard. The Insight Card is designed to encourage consumers to use the card as their primary financial tool, Urban Trust said.
Prepaid card distributor InComm acquired GroupCard, a developer of social gifting applications on Facebook. By leveraging the GroupCard social gifting platform, InComm hopes to extend its leadership in online gift card and social payments services.
Ingenico completed the acquisition of mobile payment provider Payzone France from a Luxembourg investment company. The move is evidence that the Ingenico is moving beyond POS terminal manufacturer into value-added services, said Philippe Lazare, CEO Ingenico.
NetSpend Corp. appointed George W. Gresham to the position of Chief Financial Officer. Gresham, former CFO at Global Cash Access Inc., will have responsibility for NetSpend's treasury, accounting and finance departments.
MoneyGram hired Nigel Lee as Executive Vice President of the company's EMEAAP region (Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific). The former President of First Data Asia Pacific will have responsibility for growing MoneyGram in the EMEAAP region, which accounts for 30 percent of MoneyGram's total revenue, the company said.
MoneyGram also appointed J. Lucas Wimer as Executive Vice President of Operations and Technology. Wimer, with over 20 years of experience in business consulting, technology and process improvements, will oversee MoneyGram's service delivery, call centers and information technology development.
Reiner Vanooteghem joined Consorteum Holdings Inc. as Vice President of Sales. He will be responsible for driving new and existing initiatives, as well as managing the teams within Consorteum's joint ventures. Vanooteghem is a payment veteran with experience in card manufacturing and personalization for prepaid cards in addition to traditional payment processing, Consorteum said.
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