As part of its Seventh Annual Prepaid Card Forecast, Mercator Advisory Group predicts the total dollars loaded onto prepaid cards will reach $672 billion by 2013, more than doubling the $330.03 billion load volume in 2009. The reasons for this surge are increased government activity in the prepaid sector and growing consumer adoption of prepaid cards, according to Mercator.
A September 2010 report from Aite Group entitled Prepaid Debit and Payroll Cards: Winning in the Void said the "prepaid debit and payroll card industry is destined for unprecedented growth, filling a void at the bottom of the consumer financial services market."
Additionally, the American Payroll Association conducted its annual employee survey, Getting Paid in America, and concluded 68 percent of employees are "OK" with electronic payroll. Ninety-six percent of respondents were paid by direct deposit or paycards, the APA found; only 4 percent still received their pay by paper check.
The Center for Financial Services Innovation is seeking presentation proposals for its 6th Annual Underbanked Financial Services Forum to be held in New Orleans on June 8 to 10, 2011. As CFSI builds its agenda and forum sessions, it is looking for proposals focused on financial services for underbanked and unbanked consumers. The deadline to file a presentation abstract is Nov. 5, 2010.
Digital gifting and incentives company CashStar Inc. added new functionality to its digital gifting platform. The additions are a virtual gift card optimized for smart phone-based, in-store redemption and a social networking component to the egift card that allows cardholders to send digital gifts to friends on social networking site Facebook.
FiCentive Inc., the prepaid card subsidiary of Payment Data Systems Inc., released a new service that utilizes its existing electronic bill pay network to allow prepaid cardholders to load funds to prepaid cards directly from bank accounts.
Itz Cash Card Ltd., the prepaid card subsidiary of India's Essel Group, said it received approval from the Reserve Bank of India to issue a mobile wallet service. According to Itz Cash, the initiative is expected to increase the company's processing volume by 100 percent.
Application developer JunoWallet introduced a "social gifting" app for the South Bend Regional Airport in Indiana that allows social networkers to accumulate JunoPoints to be used for the purchase of goods and services, or $100 mobile gift cards at the airport.
Global money transfer firm MoneyGram International made a $30 million prepayment on its tranche B term loan under the senior secured credit facility, which brings the total of debt payments it has made since January 2009 to $277 million. MoneyGram said that amount represents a 28 percent decrease in the company's total outstanding debt.
Tampa, Fla.-based prepaid card provider nFinanSe Inc. launched its $3 reloadable prepaid debit cards at Stripes LLC convenience stores throughout the Southwestern United States. The cards are Visa Inc. and Discover Financial Services branded.
Prepaid mobile payment company RegaloCard reported it surpassed the number of Western Union in-country agent locations in El Salvador, the country where RegaloCard began operations. Gregory Keough, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of RegaloCard, said the company's locations do not overlap with traditional money transfer providers.
Money transfer specialist The Western Union Co. reported it received license approvals from the Brazilian Central Bank and President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to operate a commercial bank and foreign exchange brokerage firm in Brazil.
In collaboration with international development agencies like the GSMA Development Fund, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Women's World Banking, mobile payment platform provider WISeKey SA said its platform is available to financial institutions, mobile operators, and e-commerce and catalog retailers to provide customers with a mobile payment option for unbanked and underbanked individuals.
Predictive analytics system provider Angoss Software Corp. partnered with The Futura Loyalty Group Inc. for customer loyalty and rewards solutions. The offering is designed to help Canadian retailers launch, manage and measure the effectiveness of customer and prospect reward/marketing programs, Futura said.
Rewards marketer Cardlytics teamed with prepaid card company AccountNow Inc. to provide merchants opportunities to market to AccountNow cardholders and present offers based upon cardholders' spending habits.
In addition, Cardlytics partnered with FSV Payment Systems Inc. to add its first prepaid debit card portfolio to its customer base. FSV, which operates prepaid card programs in the retail, hospitality, health care, restaurant, payroll, government and other sectors, will now be able to provide Cardlytics' loyalty and rewards platform to its customers.
Parago Inc. extended its relationship with office supply chain Staples Inc. for five more years, with Staples naming Parago its primary incentives partner. Through Staples Easy Rebates, Parago has been providing reward programs that drive behavior and promote brand loyalty with consumers for a decade, Parago said.
Consumer payment network operator Payzone UK entered a three-year deal with public transportation agency Arriva PLC for a prepaid transit ticketing solution that will add more flexibility for transit riders in the way they pay for public transportation.
Datacard Group purchased Dynamic Card Solutions, an instant issuance software provider. The acquisition, which includes DCS' CardWizard software, expands Datacard's portfolio of end-to-end instant issuance solutions for banks, credit unions and retailers, according to the company.
Flint Telecom Group Inc. signed a letter of intent to acquire an unnamed U.S.-based international prepaid debit card company. This acquisition will allow Flint Telecom to supply unbanked U.S. residents with alternative financial tools, the company said.
Flint Telecom also said it intends to purchase a U.S.-based international remittance company to allow the telecommunications company to access the international market for mobile money transfers.
As part of the corporate restructuring of international prepaid card processor FNDS3000 Corp., Chairman Raymond Goldsmith was appointed to the additional posts of President and CEO, the company said.
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