U.S. Senate bill S1419, drafted by Senators Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., would require prepaid cards that hold funds in excess of $10,000 be declared when cardholders enter or exit the United States. Travelers need to declare cash totaling over $10,000 when entering or leaving the United States, but the policy does not include prepaid cards, which makes them a prime tool for money laundering, the senators said.
At the first Gift Card & Prepaid Seminar Southern Africa held June 28, 2011, in Johannesburg, South Africa, gift card processor Ceridian Stored Value Solutions (SVS) called South Africa an "economic powerhouse" ripe for prepaid card market growth. Approximately 40 percent of the country's population are unbanked, according to Steve Bradbery, SVS Customer Service Director. "Prepaid cards have been the fastest growing form of payment in Southern Africa for six consecutive years," he said.
Middle East payroll card processor Mint Technology Corp. is reportedly growing at a rapid rate. A research bulletin issued by the research division of Ubika Corp. said the largest nonbank prepaid card provider in the Middle East has over 400,000 prepaid cards in circulation in the United Arab Emirates. It was only in April 2011 that Ubika Research said Mint had over 200,000 prepaid cards in circulation in the region.
U.K.-based prepaid card technology provider Contis Group Ltd. has earmarked 2 million British pounds for prepaid card initiatives in the U.K. and India. The latest infusion brings to a total prepaid investment of 7 million British pounds in the last three years, the company said.
Prepaid card distributor and social network services provider edō Interactive secured $20 million in Series B financing to fuel the growth of Prewards, edō's flagship digital deals and incentives platform.
E-gift card company Giftango Corp. is making available the Marriott Individual Incentives Stay Certificates to its distribution partners. The addition offers Giftango's 20 distribution partners another loyalty product to be delivered to email and mobile devices.
Via its operations in Japan, Atlanta-based prepaid card distributor InComm introduced gift cards to Toys"R"Us stores in the island nation. InComm implemented its patented POS activation technology in the toy stores and is now offering digital download cards for Apple Inc. iTunes and Nintendo Co. Ltd. games.
MoneyGram International reported the addition of three new agents to its network in South America: Bancolombia in Colombia, Banco de Credito in Peru and Banco Vision in Paraguay. The additions expand MoneyGram's network by 1,103 new agent locations and expand MoneyGram's foothold in South America to 11,305 locations.
In its second quarter 2011 financial report, The Western Union Co. said it had 1.1 million prepaid cards in circulation, with retail distribution of the cards available at approximately 12,000 U.S. locations.
Mumbia, India-based e-commerce company Avenues signed an agreement with India-based payment provider Oxigen to offer OxiCash cardholders the ability to purchase and pay for products and services from merchants that use the CCAvenue.com payment gateway.
Citigroup Inc., through its Global Transaction Services unit, said the South Africa branch of Citibank N.A. signed an agreement with South Africa-based financial services provider Moneystar that allows Moneystar to disburse microloans via Citi's Visa Prepaid Card program, managed by Citi Prepaid Services.
Stored-value solutions provider Global Payout Inc. and prepaid card program manager Tyburn Group Inc. will develop an international e-wallet payment solution that will enable multinational companies to pay its members or employees in foreign countries through a web-based portal.
Telecommunication company T-Mobile USA Inc. marked an agreement with 7-Eleven Inc. for the availability of a T-Mobile prepaid smart phone by launching the program Aug. 1, 2011, in 7-Eleven convenience stores.
U.S. Bancorp's lead financial institution U.S. Bank and online penny auction provider SkoreIt!, owned and operated by Vesuvius Technologies LLC, will launch the SkoreIt! U.S. Bank Visa Gift Card for SkoreIt website members.
Prepaid card software company VendTek Systems Inc. inked a deal with e-commerce service provider UseMyServices Inc. to distribute 3V Visa prepaid vouchers and Ukash vouchers at www.usemycard.com. 3V Visa prepaid vouchers are issued by Peoples Trust Co., a community bank in Vermont.
Private equity firm Advent International Corp. entered exclusive negotiations with Oberthur Group to purchase the Card Systems and Identity divisions of prepaid card manufacturer Oberthur Technologies. The former division specializes in security based on smart card technology; the latter manufactures such devices as passports, identity cards, driver's licenses and health care cards.
Teen payment solutions company BillMyParents promoted Evan Jones to Vice President of Marketing. Jones, with more than 15 years of marketing experience, will direct the next phase in BillMyParents' multimillion dollar marketing campaign.
Coinstar Inc. hired Maria D. Stipp as its Chief Customer Officer. With over 20 years of experience in sales and senior management, Stipp will help grow Coinstar's automated retail businesses.
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