An Incentive Research Foundation study shows the effectiveness of noncash reward and recognition programs in substantially increasing businesses' bottom lines. According to Sales Performance Management 2012: How Best In Class Optimize the Front Line and Grow the Bottom Line, companies that implement reward programs, such as those tied to prepaid cards, can realize an average revenue increase of 9.6 percent, while companies that don't have reward programs see only 3 percent growth.
Competition in the prepaid card industry is forcing down fees on prepaid cards, according to Consumer Reports. The analysis of 16 different general purpose reloadable (GPR) prepaid cards showed that seven of the card programs did not charge activation fees, including cards managed by NetSpend Holdings Inc. and the Western Union Co. However, the report faulted businesses for not always offering fee disclosures upfront.
According to clean technology market consultancy Pike Research, the adoption of smart meter technology will accelerate the growth of the market for prepaid electricity metering in the United States and globally. "Hardware, software and service vendors are seeing increasing opportunities, as utilities worldwide are preparing to launch new prepaid programs or expand their existing prepaid services to a larger customer base," the consultancy said.
The American PrePaid Phonecall Association opened an office in Washington and launched a website at www.apppa.us. The APPPA is a newly formed association dedicated to the promotion of quality prepaid calling card products.
Google Inc.'s mobile wallet venture Google Wallet captured two 2012 Paybefore Awards: one for the Best Virtual, Digital or Mobile Prepaid Application and the other for Most Innovative Prepaid Program.
NetSpend unveiled the Control Prepaid MasterCard aimed at Black Entertainment Television viewers. NetSpend cited a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. survey that said nearly 22 percent of African-American households are unbanked.
Mobile money transfer specialist Obopay Inc. launched Obopay Disbursements, which enables companies to disburse funds from corporate accounts directly into payee bank accounts, onto electronic checks, or via open-loop, network-branded prepaid cards.
Des Moines, Iowa-based payment solution aggregator The Members Group signed four credit unions, two from Texas and two from Iowa. The credit unions will have access to TMG's suite of ATIRA products.
Enid, Okla.-based Central National Bank, in collaboration with program manager Catalina Card Services Inc., issued the Carver Cash Access Prepaid Visa card for Carver Federal Savings Bank customers in New York City.
Berwyn, Penn.-based mobile prepaid top-up provider Prepay Nation allied with Lagos, Nigeria-based mobile telecommunication company Globacom Ltd. to allow individuals living in the United States, Canada and Europe to transfer mobile airtime minutes to recipients in Nigeria.
Google purchased prepaid card processor TxVia Inc. In an April 2, 2012, blog post, Osama Bedier, Vice President of Wallet and Payments at Google, said the acquisition will "complement our payments capabilities and accelerate innovation towards our full Google Wallet vision."
U.K.-based prepaid card provider MH Pillars Ltd. said it acquired online payment processor AlertPay Inc. to enable MH Pillars to enter the online payments industry. AlertPay reportedly was the first processor to offer money transfers to citizens in Bangladesh.
International multicurrency prepaid card provider Universal Vision Group Inc. merged with Zagreb, Croatia-based online gateway operator Webteh d.o.o. The merger will reportedly add hundreds of international clients to UVG's portfolio.
Hector Alvarez and Amit Patel were named Vice President of Education and Marketing and Vice President of Business Development, respectively, at prepaid card program manager Trycera Financial Inc.
Green Dot Corp. hired Ralph Calvano as Senior Vice President, Processing, to lead Green Dot's effort to bring prepaid card processing functionality in-house.
Maritime payroll card provider Brightwell Payments Inc. expanded its business development team with the additions of Helen Child as European Business Development Consultant and Michael Ross as Senior Vice President of Business Development.
Margaret Mackenzie joined Plastic Jungle as the gift card exchange operator's Head of Acquiring Channels. She will be responsible for working with channel partners to facilitate exchanges between different forms of currency, such as gift card funds to loyalty points.
Money transfer provider m-Via appointed Alfred Pepping IV to the position of Managing Director and General Manager, Mexico. He will be responsible for generating sales in Mexico and Central America.
Phone card processor SelectCore Ltd. appointed Kevin Taylor to its board of directors. Taylor is a veteran of the wireless telecommunication industry.
As PrepaYd Inc. expands its prepaid card solution set to include wireless and mobile payments, it hired Jonathan Wilson as its Controller, Vice President of Finance and In-House Counsel.
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