While marketing reloadable prepaid cards to consumers is one strategy, banks may find selling businesses on prepaid cards to be a more effective approach. That is the finding of Getting Down to Business: How Financial Institutions Can Attract and Retain Business Clients with Reloadable Cards, a white paper written by Konrad Christensen, The Members Group Retail Payments Product Manager.
According to Christensen, businesses make inviting targets for prepaid cards because they are "linked to hundreds of customers, employees, partner firms and suppliers – each representing a group of prospective reloadable card users. … Rather than expend the resources it would take to market to these prospects as individuals, FIs can reach out to them more efficiently through business clients."
Nonprofit consumer watchdog Consumers Union released a report that claims most prepaid cards charge higher fees than what consumers can expect to pay for basic checking accounts offered by the top five U.S. banks. In Adding It All Up: How Prepaid Card Fees Compare to Checking Account Fees, Consumers Union said that, while some banks are beginning to charge new fees, basic checking accounts still compare favorably to prepaid cards in costs to consumers.
An online contest is underway to select a city where a new Grameen America bank branch will be located. Visitors to www.tocatchadollar.com can vote for Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles or Washington as the new location for the global microlender to the financially underserved. The contest runs through April 2011.
Mocapay won for best business-to-consumer or business-to-employee prepaid card at the Paybefore Awards at the 2011 Prepaid Expo USA held in Orlando, Fla. The award recognizes Mocapay's implementation at Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises' restaurant Wow Bao.
The Network Branded Prepaid Card Association will hold its inaugural NBPCA Annual Congress, called The Power of Prepaid, June 3 through 5, 2012, at the Gaylord National Hotel and Conference Center in Washington. The congress is a forum for prepaid industry professionals and customers, as well as government representatives.
Optimal Payments PLC (formerly Neovia Financial PLC) said it inked five new merchant contracts for its Neteller eWallet. The merchants are Atlas FX, FX Central Clearing, Pan-Index, Regent Markets and Trading Point.
Additionally, Optimal's Neteller Net+ prepaid card won three awards at the 2011 Prepaid365 contest. The card won in the following categories: Best Prepaid Card Overall, Best Gaming Prepaid Card and Best Prepaid Card Innovation.
At the 2011 Prepaid365 Prepaid Card Awards, program manager Prepaid Financial Services won Best International Prepaid Card for the PCS Prepaid MasterCard and garnered recognition for its Camden C-OOL Prepaid Card in the youth category.
Utiba Pte. affiliate Utiba Americas! won the request for proposal process for a mobile wallet implementation via the Central Bank of Ecuador. There are reportedly more mobile phones in circulation in Ecuador than there are people; most Ecuadorans do not have access to bank accounts, Uitiba Americas! said.
Ceridian Stored Value Solutions teamed with Spain's supermarket chain Eroski to create a new gift card program for consumers. The gift cards will reportedly be available in Eroski's 120 "hypermarkets" (department/grocery stores), with plans to extend the program to the company's 1,000 supermarkets.
Prepaid card processor SelectCore Ltd. signed a three-year processing agreement with an international mobile phone top-up provider. SelectCore said its PrepaidONE platform facilitates real-time mobile top-up remittances across Latin America.
Quepasa Corp.'s Quepasa.com, the online social network and game platform for the Latino community, inked a deal with Tutudo Inc. to make Tutudo's e-wallet payment solution available on Quepasa games, such as SnapMeUp, Satisfashion and Xfire Arcade.
REDtone Asia Inc., through its subsidiary Shanghai Hongsheng Net Telecommunications Company Ltd. (REDtone China), entered the Shanghai prepaid card market by purchasing Shanghai QianYue Information Technology Co. Ltd.'s prepaid card distributor Shanghai QianYue Business Administration Co. Ltd. (QBA).
MasterCard Worldwide tapped Ron Hynes for the position of Group Executive, Global Prepaid Solutions. Hynes will be responsible for leading the development of global prepaid programs and creating a competitive advantage for MasterCard and its customers.
SparkBase, an ISO-focused, white-label prepaid program provider, hired Doug Pierce as Chief Technology Officer. SparkBase seeks to leverage Pierce's experience in POS integration and loyalty systems to ensure the company's leadership in the market.
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