The website of Rep. Dan Maffei, D-N.Y., reported that a bill designed to extend the deadline for compliance with the gift card provisions of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives on June 24, 2010. The ECO-Gift Card Act, which passed 357-0, would extend the deadline from Aug. 22, 2010, to Jan. 31, 2011.
Mercator Advisory Group LLC's report, Understanding Prepaid Regulations: A Framework for Asking the Right Questions, said federal and state government initiatives threaten the progression of the growing prepaid card industry. According to Mercator, the industry is being confronted with issues involving patent law, the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, money laundering, retail bankruptcy, state payroll laws, brand network rules and other regulatory and legal issues. Mercator suggests the industry consider regulating itself to avoid intrusive regulation.
According to a June 2, 2010, filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, prepaid card processor Green Dot Corp. issued 2,208,552 shares of its Class A common stock to discount retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which represents "less than 1 percent of the combined voting power of our outstanding Class A and Class B common stock," Green Dot said in the filing. Green Dot added that the share purchase was granted to the retail giant in connection with the May 2010 contract extension between the processor, Wal-Mart and GE Money Bank (the bank issuer for Wal-Mart's general purpose reloadable prepaid MoneyCard).
Alternative financial services company ACE Cash Express Inc. presented a $106,280 donation to the Dallas chapter of the American Red Cross in support of the ongoing relief efforts in the earthquake-ravaged island nation of Haiti. ACE raised the money by asking its customers to make donations during a 17-day campaign in retail stores across the United States.
Oregon-based prepaid technology company ARM Insight Inc. (formerly ARM Loyalty LLC) introduced the Cardpower loyalty platform. Cardpower offers an integrated rewards, promotion and reporting platform that provides program managers with a "holistic view" of their cardholder portfolios, the company said.
Barclaycard Commercial, part of Barclays Global Retail Banking division, launched the Barclaycard prepaid card to provide its clients with an efficient tool for controlling costs and how funds are distributed. With the card program, businesses can reduce their dependency on the costly process of cutting and distributing paper checks and help streamline reconciliation processes, said the financial services division.
Cardmobili SA, a provider of mobile loyalty and member services, expanded into North America with the Cardmobili application that allows consumers to access loyalty and membership cards through mobile phones.
GiftCards.com LLC, a provider of gift, corporate incentive and rewards cards, launched WRL.com (Wolfe Rewards & Loyalty). The company said WRL.com will focus on corporate reward and incentive programs as GiftCards.com continues to serve the consumer market.
Through MasterCard Worldwide's new initiative, MasterCard Partners in Prepaid, the card brand hopes to drive growth in prepaid globally. The initiative is designed to help MasterCard's community of prepaid partners share global best practices and innovative ideas online.
Nonprofit prepaid card trade organization Network Branded Prepaid Card Association said it is now entering its fifth membership year. "The NBPCA has grown into a respected guiding force in the prepaid card landscape, promoting an effective climate for network-branded prepaid cards that encourages competition, access and a positive consumer experience," said Kirsten Trusko, NBPCA President and Executive Director.
Prepaid telecom provider SelectCore Ltd. said it was rated one of Canada's fastest growing companies by Profit 100 magazine. The magazine ranked it 155, with a growth rate of 279 percent in 2009, the company said.
Payment gateway provider Shift4 Corp. waived the startup fees for merchants who sign up for It's Your Card and Dollars on the Net gift card services. Dave Oder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Shift4, said the move is a way for the company to give back to its merchants and help them increase revenue with gift cards. The offer is good through December 2010.
MoneyGram partnered with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi for international money transfer services via mobile phones. Nigel Lee, MoneyGram's Executive Vice President for Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific, said the move makes MoneyGram the first company to offer mobile money transfers in the United Arab Emirates.
Mobile payment company RegaloCard partnered with SelectCore for the distribution of the RegaloCard in Canada. RegaloCard's self-described micro-money transfer program allows consumers to send money transfers of as little as $10 via mobile phones. The expansion into Canada is RegaloCard's first foray outside the United States. SelectCore serves over 5,000 Canadian retailers, such as convenience stores and supermarket chains.
Western Union and Austria-based energy conglomerate OMV Aktiengesellschaft made a pact to provide Western Union's money transfer service at over 1,800 OMV gas stations in Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
North American Bancard LLC acquired Point & Pay LLC from Vesta Corp. Point and Pay processes payments for government agencies in 48 states. NAB said the acquisition enables the ISO to expand its footprint to include "countless" domestic government and public sector businesses.
With NAB's purchase of Point and Pay, Kevin Connell was named President of NAB's new subsidiary. Formerly Senior Vice President of Sales/Marketing for Official Payments Corp., Connell will oversee all aspects of the day-to-day operations of Point and Pay, NAB said.
MediaNet Group Technologies Inc., the parent company of loyalty card provider BSP Rewards Inc., hired Michael Hansen as CEO of BSP Rewards. Hansen was President and CEO of MediaNet Group Technologies.
Jon Palmer, CEO of FSV Payment Systems Inc., was elected the NBPCA's new Chairman of the Board at the association's annual meeting held June 8, 2010. The NBPCA said Palmer has over 35 years of experience in the electronic payments and financial services industries.
Western Union appointed David G. Yates Executive Vice President, Alternative Channels. Yates comes from First Data Corp. where he most recently served as Executive Vice President and President of First Data's International Division. Yates will be responsible for leading Western Union's online, mobile and business-to-business payments.
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