The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed a rule that sets up procedures for how the federal agency would go about informing a nonbank that it is under scrutiny for potential consumer abuses. "This proposal allows us to reach nonbanks that we would not otherwise supervise, while providing industry with a streamlined process that is fair and efficient," said Richard Cordray, Director of the CFPB.
The CFPB noted that the procedures would include how to notify a nonbank that it is being considered for supervision and provide the nonbank with a "reasonable opportunity" to respond to the notice. The proposal would also create a mechanism for nonbanks to file petitions to terminate the CFPB's supervision of them. The nonbanks would be able to file these petitions two years after the CFPB instituted oversight of them. The proposed rule is available online at www.consumerfinance.gov/notice-and-comment/.
In commemoration of a milestone in the royal monarchy and the coming Summer Olympic Games, London's mass transit authority, the Transport for London (TfL), issued commemorative prepaid Oyster transit cards. The 60-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II was celebrated with a limited edition Oyster card that features an official portrait of the Queen. The TfL followed with another Oyster card celebrating the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games that begin in late July. Images on the cards include Olympic sporting events and the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, which honored the Queen with a flotilla of 1,000 boats down the River Thames.
A survey of over 1,500 bank and credit union customers in the United States concluded that general purpose reloadable (GPR) prepaid cards are emerging as "lifestyle" financial tools. Market Rates Insight Inc.'s survey entitled Integrated Study on Service Fees said 47 percent of survey respondents are likely to use GPR cards if they are offered by financial institutions – an indication that GPR cards are entering the financial mainstream, even among consumers who have bank accounts and use debit cards.
BB&T Corp. launched the BB&T LEAP Account, a virtual prepaid transaction account designed for teenagers and their parents. BB&T, which operates approximately 1,800 financial centers and 2,400 ATMs in 12 states and Washington, D.C., offers Visa Inc.-branded companion cards to the accounts.
The Center for Financial Services Innovation released The Compass Guide to Prepaid, a white paper designed to provide financial service providers with guidelines to help them improve prepaid card programs. The guide is divided into two main components: best practices and examples of how to apply best practices.
India clothing store chain Globus Fashions joined the Global Prepaid Exchange-led Voices of Prepaid India. The VOPI initiative, which comprises companies along the prepaid card value chain, is tasked with spurring the development of India's prepaid card market.
NovoPayment Inc., a prepaid card service provider for Latin America, said it launched the first GPR card in Peru. The Latodo MasterCard is focused on the South American country's unbanked population, which is estimated at 70 percent of Peruvians – approximately 10 million people.
RAK Bank, a retail bank in the United Arab Emirates, reported it won the Best Marketing Campaign of the Year award at the Middle East Prepaid Awards 2012 for its MasterCard Bling campaign. The award was presented at a gala dinner at the Westin Hotel in Dubai, UAE, in March 2012.
Rev Worldwide, a financial services firm for financially underserved markets, launched RevCOIN – a prepaid card account and dongle tandem for unbanked merchants. The service allows merchants without bank accounts to accept mobile payments.
Payroll services firm Sentric Inc. implemented First Data Corp.'s payroll program to reduce the number of paper paychecks and statements distributed each year to the employees of Sentric clients, which number in excess of 200,000 workers. The employees can have pay deposited on First Data's BRIO Paycard and can use First Data's Money Network Checks service to write physical checks from funds in BRIO prepaid accounts.
Prepaid card program manager Trycera Financial Inc. finalized an agreement to provide financial services to Residence for Patriots Foundation, a Las Vegas-based nonprofit that provides housing and restructures mortgages for U.S. military veterans. "[W]e want to provide these heroes the tools needed to obtain financial freedom," said Ray Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer at Trycera.
Catalina Card Services Inc., a prepaid program manager and Catalina Payment Systems Inc. subsidiary, teamed with PNB Remittance Centers Inc., a money transfer specialist for Filipino communities in the United States, to unveil the PNB Prepaid Visa Card. Card benefits include free cash loads at PNBRCI locations and the ability to earn free PNBRCI money transfers to the Philippines.
Check guarantee company Chexar Networks Inc. and social data application developer Demyst.Data reported they are in beta test mode for a credit scoring model for the U.S. unbanked. The model combines Chexar's transaction data with DemystData's online, social and mobile data to generate credit scores.
CorFire, the mobile commerce division of SK C&C USA, integrated edō Interactive's prepaid card-linked offers platform with CorFire's mobile wallet and suite of mobile marketing services. The combined solution is designed to deliver real-time, targeted rewards and offers to customers via the mobile channel.
Mobile gift card provider Giftango Corp. collaborated with shopping app developer shopkick Inc. to offer customers in-store rewards via e-gift cards. By walking into stores and interacting with products on mobile phones, shoppers are delivered retailer-specific virtual cards.
Redwood City, Calif.-based processor i2c Inc. and program manager KargoCard (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. joined forces to pursue merchants in China with prepaid, mobile payment and loyalty solutions. To support i2c's growing presence in the Asia-Pacific region, the processor is building a data center in Shanghai.
Marketing Innovators, an incentive and rewards provider, chose CashStar Inc. for digital gift cards. The partnership allows Marketing Innovators' business clients to reward employees with e-gift cards from over 250 retail brands, including Best Buy Inc., Chili's Grill & Bar and The Home Depot U.S.A. Inc.
British Columbia, Canada-based prepaid card network operator VendTek Systems Inc. inked a deal with Austria-based paysafecard group to offer Canadians paysafecard's voucher service for online payments. The vouchers are available at VendTek's network of nearly 15,000 outlets in Canada.
The Western Union Co. and its agent in Central America, AirPak, rolled out a MasterCard Worldwide-branded remittance card in El Salvador. Western Union cited estimates from The World Bank that Salvadoran citizens received $3.6 billion in remittances in 2010 and that only 47 percent of Salvadoran adults have bank accounts.
Chexar signed a letter of intent to acquire Nashville, Tenn.-based mobile remote deposit capture provider Clear Payments Inc. Chexar recently partnered with CPI for a mobile RDC solution for prepaid cardholders. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of June 2012.
Veronika Hofer became Chief Operations Officer at paysafecard group. Formerly a consultant at Accenture GmbH in Vienna, Austria, Hofer will manage paysafecard's customer service teams for online shops and distributors.
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