A battle has begun over unclaimed property in New Jersey, with the unused balances on prepaid cards front and center in the controversy. A state assembly bill signed into law in June 2010 targeted for state coffers the breakage on gift cards and other financial instruments. But a federal judge temporarily blocked implementation of the law on the grounds that it may be unconstitutional.
The law, if implemented, would have reportedly netted the state government $80 million in unused gift card, calling card and money order funds. On Nov. 22, 2010, the New Jersey Assembly passed a bill that "exempts gift cards or gift certificates usable solely for telephone services from the escheatment processes imposed by the budget signed into law," said a post on the New Jersey Assembly Democrats' Facebook page.
Gift card issuer iCARD Systems recently renewed its partnership with Prevail Health Solutions LLC to offer incentive cards to wounded veterans of the U.S. armed forces as a way to help prevent Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Through Prevail Health Solutions' Vets Prevail program, iCARD Systems offers vets $25 and $50 Visa Inc.-branded gift cards as incentives to complete online training courses that provide education on the signs of PTSD, which results from post-deployment combat stress.
On-demand payment processor BillingTree Inc. reported it plans to offer prepaid stored-value accounts under its Pre-fund brand as an alternative to upfront payments and to allow for service extensions to less creditworthy prospective customers at reduced risk of default.
First Data Corp. reported that Sears Holding Corp.'s Sears and Kmart have become the first national mass merchant retailers to launch Facebook gifting programs using First Data's eGift Social solution, which allows Facebook users to send, receive and redeem the retailers' virtual gift cards.
Online gift card exchange Plastic Jungle Inc. closed on $10 million in Series C financing. The company expects to transact more than $10 million in gift card value in 2010.
Talbott Roche, the newly appointed President of Safeway Inc.'s prepaid card subsidiary Blackhawk Network, was named a finalist in the Best Executive – Service Businesses – with up to 2,500 Employees category in the seventh annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business.
Advanced Content Services Inc. reported that its prepaid card subsidiary ServeNation Inc. will enter the prepaid payroll market, with a focus on corporate payroll solutions.
Prepaid card processor TransCard LLC said it waived the implementation fee for program managers and ISOs that switch to TransCard for processing prepaid card payments.
The Keane Organization, a compliance and risk management specialist for unclaimed property reporting, made a pact with Card Compliant LLC for automated solutions that maximize gift and stored-value card revenues for businesses and minimize the risk of noncompliance with unclaimed property laws.
Orascom Telecom Holding SAE, the parent company of Pakistan telecom Mobilink, inked a deal with mobile money transfer company Obopay to establish a short message service-based text-to-donate relief effort to provide funds to the flood ravaged region.
Wireless operator Voilá, the Haiti-based subsidiary of Seattle-based Trilogy International Partners LLC, signed an agreement with Haiti bank Unibank SA to launch a mobile money service in the island nation. The commercial name of the venture is T-Cash.
International telecommunication technology company Flint Telecom Group Inc. acquired Ingedigit International Inc., an ISO that specializes in prepaid card programs, and its processing affiliate, Gotham Ingedigit Financial Processing Corp., which will be renamed Power2Process Inc.
Steve Booth joined on-demand biller Vindicia Inc. as a Regional Vice President of Sales.
Jasmine Raja was named Chief Executive Officer at Mike the Pike's Venture's ServeNation Inc., a company that facilitates fundraising using prepaid cards.
Blackhawk Network promoted Talbott Roche to President and Dan Dmochowski to President of International.
Garfield Smith, Vice President, Marketing, Americas Region, for Oberthur Technologies Inc., was appointed to The Smart Card Alliance executive committee as Secretary.
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