U.S. Bank, the main bank of U.S. Bancorp, launched VITAband, which combines near field communication (NFC) contactless payment technology with emergency contact and medical information in the form of a wristband. The MasterCard Worldwide PayPass technology-enabled device allows for "Tap & Go" payments at the POS and includes universal health record technology for the storage and retrieval of medical information.
On Aug. 8, 2011, Illinois enacted HB 1560, which immediately takes effect. HB 1560 lowers the unclaimed property abandonment period from five years to one. Unclaimed wages, payroll and salary in any form – such as prepaid payroll cards – that are held or owed by a bank, financial institution or business association, are considered abandoned and reportable to the state after one year.
In the July 29 conference call to discuss Green Dot Corp.'s second quarter 2011 financial results, Chief Executive Officer Steve Streit provided an update on the Monrovia, Calif.-based prepaid card company's progress in becoming a bank holding company through the purchase of Bonneville Bancorp of Provo, Utah.
"Our legal team has been working nearly around the clock over the past few weeks in an effort to wrap up the final details needed to provide our regulators with all the final documentation needed to formally consider our application," Streit said. Green Dot's reported acquisition price for Bonneville Bancorp is approximately $15.6 million.
BillMyParents, the teen payment solutions brand of Socialwise Inc., contracted with Procter & Gamble Co.-owned marketing firm Tremor for a three-month, integrated, multiplatform marketing program targeted to over 600,000 mothers who are members of Vocalpoint, Tremor's mom-centered online community.
Over 120,000 students now use BlackboardPay student ID and prepaid cards to spend financial aid, according to higher learning software provider Blackboard Inc. BlackboardPay offers surcharge-free withdrawals on the Allpoint ATM network and helps schools reduce overhead expenses associated with paper check handling. The service was introduced in the fall of 2010 in collaboration with First Data Corp. and Discover Financial Services.
Blackhawk Network, the prepaid card arm of Safeway Inc., said its European division was named a Distinguished Honoree in the Financial Services Company of the Year category of the 2011 International Business Awards, also known as the Stevie Awards. Winners will be recognized Oct. 11, 2011, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. expanded its card cashing services to include payroll and government benefit cards. The retail giant said it charges a $3 transaction fee to cash a prepaid card holding value of up to $1,000; it cashes checks worth up to $5,000 for a $6 fee.
NetSpend Holdings Inc. and technology company Prepaid Resources Inc. collaborated for BenefitsExpress, an automated, private-labeled and value-added direct deposit enrollment management application aimed at the estimated 60 million underbanked consumers in the United States. NetSpend is providing the platform and Prepaid Resources is contributing the software that powers the service.
A processing agreement with Mexico City microlender Mi Adelanto Corp. will allow San Diego-based prepaid card processor Global Payout Inc. to launch a MasterCard Worldwide-branded prepaid card denominated in Mexican pesos, as well as provide money transfer services to Mexico from U.S.-issued prepaid cards. Global Payout is also beta testing an e-wallet payment platform.
Marketing firm Young America Corp. inked a deal with Citi Prepaid Services to distribute product samples to consumers via prepaid cards. The patent-pending sampling process enables businesses to send customers prepaid cards that can be redeemed for free, full-size product samples at retail locations and grocery stores, rather than receive trial-size versions of products.
SparkBase, a provider of white-label reward program and gift card processing to ISOs, hired Ted Frank as its Chief Operating Officer. The appointment reflects the company's strategic decision to increase the time and resources devoted to support the rapid growth of the SparkBase processing platform and Paycloud mobile wallet application. Frank joins SparkBase from JumpStart Inc., where he was a venture partner working with emerging technology companies.
Debra Janssen joined MasterCard as Managing Director of MasterCard's Access Prepaid Worldwide, a subsidiary of the card brand. Janssen was Executive Vice President of EFT Processing Services for Fidelity Information Services Inc. before joining MasterCard in 2009.
Digital gifting and incentives company CashStar Inc. added three professionals to its business-to-business marketing team. Brian Rigney, CashStar's Vice President, Business Development and Strategy, has also become Vice President and General Manager, Business Solutions.
Lisa Dorn, hired as Director, Retail Development, brings 12 years of experience in the incentive and prepaid card industry. And Alex Rogow, Director of B2B Business Development, comes to CashStar with nearly 20 years of experience in sales, marketing and technology.
Robert J. Sheehy, former CEO of UnitedHealthcare Services Inc., joined the board of directors of Evolution1, the health care card program manager. Evolution1 was created out of the July 2011 merger of Evolution Benefits Inc. and Lighthouse1 LLC.
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