On March 15, 2012, the New Jersey Assembly passed a bill that would reverse a controversial state law that governs abandoned property, such as balances on unused gift cards. Among the provisions of New Jersey State Assembly bill A1871 is the removal of certain types of stored-value (gift) cards from the list of instruments covered under New Jersey's abandoned property provisions. The bill was approved on a 48 to 27 vote, with four legislators abstaining.
The Center for Financial Services Innovation released the template of a fee disclosure box that could be used to standardize the way prepaid card companies inform consumers of the fees associated with card programs. Green Dot Corp., Plastyc Inc. and Ready Credit Corp. have agreed to work to develop the model, the CFSI said.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) released the Registration of Money Services Business (RMSB) form on March 14. The new form, called FinCEN Report 107, replaces FinCEN Form 107, which the agency now calls the "legacy RMSB." The new RMSB form is used by businesses subject to federal anti-money laundering (AML) regulations to register with FinCEN as MSBs.
American Express Co. said it will extend the reach of its low fee general purpose reloadable (GPR) card, the American Express Prepaid Card, into over 1,100 Office Depot Inc. stores. AmEx is targeting small businesses and families with the Office Depot initiative.
Prepaid card manufacturer and marketer Arroweye Solutions Inc. signed agreements to provide card manufacturing, personalization and fulfillment services for Convenient Cards Inc., Rapid Financial Group Inc. and Plastyc.
Atlanta-based program manager Brightwell Payments Inc. expanded its relationship with cruise line operator The Apollo Group to distribute the OceanPay payroll program to two more of its ships. When the implementations are completed in 2012, nine total Apollo ships will be outfitted with the solution, representing about 4,000 crewmembers having wages loaded onto OceanPay payroll cards, Brightwell said.
CashStar Inc. made several moves to accelerate its growth. First, the digital gifting company expanded its operations and services to the United Kingdom. Second, CashStar launched its Web Gifting 2 platform, which boasts a new user interface for both senders and recipients of virtual gift cards. Finally, CashStar added The Home Depot U.S.A. Inc., Staples Inc., CVS/pharmacy and Landry's Inc. to its stable of retailers that utilize its e-gifting platform.
In advance of the March 31 deadline for prepaid card businesses to comply with FinCEN's updated AML regulations, prepaid card processor Ceridian Stored Value Solutions (SVS) began an automated AML compliance service for its clients.
Cloud-based contact automation solutions provider Contact Solutions LLC reported it now services over 17 million prepaid cardholders. High customer satisfaction ratings for its automated service translate into millions of dollars saved by program managers in reduced customer service expenses, the company said.
Based on its proprietary SpendTrend Solutions database, First Data Corp. concluded average gift card dollar volume growth on a year-over-year basis increased 10 percent during the last six months of 2011. Additionally, economic pressures caused a jump in prepaid fuel rewards programs, which resulted in retailers gaining a greater share of consumer spending, First Data said.
Direct seller Amway Corp. tapped CitiGroup Inc.'s Citi Prepaid Services to manage the Amway Prepaid Visa Card in the United States and the Amway Prepaid MasterCard Card in Canada. The cards will be used by Amway to make bonus payments to Amway independent business owners.
The payment division of The Bancorp Inc. subsidiary The Bancorp Bank began issuing NetSpend Holdings Inc.'s GPR cards distributed via 7-Eleven Inc. stores, as well as co-branded GPR cards with HEB Grocery Co. LP (H-E-B Grocery Stores) and PayPal Inc.
Prepaid card processor PreCash Inc. furthered its walk-in payment networks by signing an agreement with ACH Payment Solutions Inc. and its subsidiary Prepaid Energy Solutions. The deal allows PreCash users to pay utility bills in nearly 10,000 of its walk-in retail locations nationwide, according to the processor.
U.S. Bank, the lead bank of U.S. Bancorp, joined with gift card exchange operator Plastic Jungle Inc. to enable FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature credit cardholders to exchange closed-loop gift cards for FlexPoints. The reward points can be used to fund travel, merchandise and other types of purchases.
To increase the size of its fuel and food card portfolios in Mexico, FleetCor Technologies Inc. signed an agreement to acquire the assets of Tebca and Servitebca, subsidiaries of Miami-based processor NovoPayment Inc.
Program manager Trycera Financial Inc. bought a business center to serve as the operations center for its Video Email service, which facilitates video messages of up to 20 minutes embedded in e-mails.
To support its expansion into Europe, CashStar hired Arun Glendinning to serve as Director of Business Development in the U.K. Glendinning was formerly a general manager at U.K. home improvement retailer B&Q.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury named Melissa Koide, former Vice President of Policy at CFSI, to the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary responsible for financial access, financial education and consumer protection matters.
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