The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) launched the "MSB Registration Web site" – web pages within FinCEN's website designed to educate about the compliance responsibilities of money services businesses (MSBs) and facilitate registration of MSBs.
FinCEN reported over 1,000 businesses had registered as MSBs since early December 2011. FinCEN said the website contained data on 39,713 registered MSBs as of Jan. 27, 2012. For more information, go to www.fincen.gov/financial_institutions/msb/msbstateselector.html.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a final rule designed to increase consumer protections on international money transfers. The rule will require money transfer providers to disclose exchange rates and fees so that senders of money transfers will know precisely how much money is being sent, the CFPB said.
The new federal agency estimated U.S. residents transfer tens of billions of dollars to recipients in foreign countries every year; undisclosed fees and exchange rates can accompany such transactions.
Several affiliated calling card companies agreed to pay $2.32 million as part of a settlement of charges brought by the Federal Trade Commission. The regulatory body alleged that the companies engaged in deceptive advertising and marketing practices pertaining to calling cards targeted at immigrant communities. The FTC said the companies' prepaid phone cards delivered an average of only 45 percent of calling minutes advertised.
Digital gifting company CashStar Inc. reported revenue growth of over 400 percent in 2011, as well as a doubling of its retail brand partners. CashStar co-founder and Chief Executive Officer David Stone attributed the company's growth to the retail industry's "massive shift to digital gifting."
Entertainer and activist George Lopez signed a multiyear marketing agreement with Mango Financial Inc. to promote its suite of payment and savings products designed for the financially underserved. Mango plans on collaborating with Lopez on ways to foster financial education and new product initiatives.
Prior to the awards ceremony to be held March 2012 at Prepaid Expo USA in Las Vegas, three prepaid card providers celebrated their Paybefore Award wins. Mobile commerce platform provider Mocapay Inc. won in the Best Virtual, Digital or Mobile Prepaid Application category. Online banker Plastyc Inc. won in the Best Consumer Value in Prepaid category for its UPside Visa prepaid card. And gift card processor Ceridian Stored Value Solutions took home the prize in the Breakout Company of the Year category.
UniRush LLC, provider of the Visa Inc.-branded general purpose reloadable RushCard, said it will eliminate fees for bill pay enrollment, individual bill pay transactions, plan changes and replacement cards. Additionally, the fee for card-to-card funds transfers between RushCards will be reduced from $2.95 to 99 cents, the company noted.
Freescale Semiconductor Inc. paired with near field communication (NFC) technology provider Inside Secure to develop a secure, NFC-based prepaid electricity metering system. Freescale executive Bruno Baylac said, "The global need for prepaid metering solutions and robust security is rapidly increasing, especially in emerging markets."
An agreement between prepaid card program manager (PM) and reseller Global Payout Inc. and Ontario, Canada-based online money transfer provider SolidTrust Pay Ltd. will result in the SolidTrust Pay General Spend Debit card. The deal requires Global Payout to assign the Tyburn Group Inc. as PM for the new GPR card program, which will be marketed to SolidTrust Pay account holders.
Green Dot Corp. is working with the AARP Foundation and MasterCard Worldwide on a prepaid card tailored to older Americans. Beginning March 1, 2013, the AARP Foundation Prepaid MasterCard will be available for the direct deposit of paychecks and federal benefit payments, Green Dot said.
New Delhi, India-based stored value card provider QwikCilver Solutions joined Global Prepaid Exchange's Voices of Prepaid India program. QwikCilver said the new initiative will help the company offer an employee rewards program to corporations in India. Voices of Prepaid India is designed to promote prepaid card programs in India.
Convenience store (c-store) chain 7-Eleven Inc. agreed to distribute the GPR cards of NetSpend Holdings Inc. in over 5,000 of its c-stores nationwide. The agreement follows the October 2011 deal to expand NetSpend's reload network via 7-Eleven stores.
New Zealand's Commerce Commission reported it received an application from epay New Zealand Ltd. to acquire Ezi-Pay Ltd. Both the New Zealand branch of Euronet Worldwide Inc.'s prepaid card division epay and Auckland, New Zealand-based Ezi-Pay process calling card, game card and gift card payments.
Green Dot paid $2.5 million in cash for certain processing and hardware assets of Las Vegas-based eCommLink Inc. Green Dot said the purchase helps the Monrovia, Calif.-based GPR card provider further integrate its processing capabilities in-house and reduce its reliance on third-party processors.
BillMyParents Inc., the teen payment solutions brand of Socialwise Inc., named Joe Proto to the company's board of directors. Proto is Chairman and CEO of electronic billing company Transactis Inc. and founder of remittance processor RemitCo.
TrialPay Inc. co-founder and CEO Alex Rampell was appointed to CashStar's board of directors to support CashStar's growth initiatives. Rampell brings more than 15 years of payment experience to CashStar.
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