Coin-to-card kiosk operator Coinstar Inc. and PayPal Inc. embarked on an initiative that allows PayPal users to deposit and withdraw money from Coinstar kiosks, as well as send money to other PayPal account holders. The service, currently available in Texas, Northern California and Ohio, allows users to deposit both coins and paper currency into PayPal accounts via the kiosks. When PayPal users withdraw funds, the kiosks dispense vouchers that customers then take up to registers for redemption.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) reminded financial service providers that they are required to begin filing "mandated" Bank Secrecy Act reports electronically by April 1, 2013. FinCEN said mandated reports include suspicious activity reports, currency transaction reports, registration of money services business forms and designation of exempt person reports. The agency warned that providers will be considered noncompliant if they continue to file reports in a paper format after the April deadline.
The Federal Trade Commission charged 29 organizations with allegedly spamming mobile phone users with hundreds of millions of text messages that attempted to steer them to websites that falsely promised "free" gift cards in exchange for the disclosure of personal information, including credit card and health information. The messages reportedly promised consumers free gifts or prizes, including gift cards worth $1,000 that could be used at national retailers such as Best Buy Co. Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Brands Inc.
Teen card provider BillMyParents Inc. said it changed its name to The SpendSmart Payments Company Inc. to take advantage of market opportunities beyond the teen prepaid card segment.
Littleton, Colo.-based prepaid card manufacturer CPI Card Group expanded the capabilities at its Petersfield facility in the United Kingdom. The move is designed to address the growing worldwide demand for secure prepaid card packaging.
Global consultancy Frost & Sullivan said the micropayments market is poised to grow rapidly in Europe. In Opportunities in the Micropayments Market, the consultancy noted that growth in micropayments will be driven by prepaid, contactless and mobile payment solutions. Contactless payment card systems in Europe are expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 28.7 percent through 2017.
European online voucher provider paysafecard group said its transaction volume grew by 22 percent in 2012, compared with the previous year. Via its paysafecard product, 55 million payment transactions were processed in 2012, a reported increase of 10 million transactions from 2011.
Gift card exchange operator Plastic Jungle Inc. is enabling Best Buy customers to exchange unused gift cards for Best Buy Reward Zone points. Customers can exchange 100 different branded gift cards for the points at www.plasticjungle.com/exchange/bestbuy .
Prepaid program manager TransCard LLC spotlighted its new Traveler Prepaid Card. The travel card, available through financial institutions, offers real-time balance alerts, transaction histories and card-to-card money transfers. In other news, TransCard rolled out cardgistics, which allows online banking users to imprint personal photos on prepaid cards.
Acquirer Vantiv Inc. introduced new functionality for its prepaid processing platform and expanded its sales channels for small to mid-sized businesses. "We continue to advance the capabilities of our prepaid programs to meet the evolving needs of our customers," said Bill Weingart, Chief Product Officer at Vantiv.
Vancouver, British Columbia-based prepaid card program manager VendTek Systems Inc. renewed its agreement with service station chain Canadian Tire Petroleum. Under the agreement, Vendtek will provide the company with its e-Fresh payment software, which reportedly eliminates the need for physical cards and vouchers.
Prepaid card provider AccountNow Inc. upgraded its customer care platform through a deal with interactive voice response (IVR) system provider Volt Information Sciences Inc. With the company's VoltDelta IVR system, AccountNow expects to more quickly and effectively engage with customers.
Integrated payroll and tax filing services firm CompuPay, A BenefitMall Company, teamed with Skylight Financial Inc., a payroll card provider and NetSpend Holdings Inc. affiliate, to offer the Skylight PayOptions Program to CompuPay customers.
Prepaid technology provider Prepaid Resources LLC agreed to incorporate IDology Inc.'s advanced identity verification and pre-screening solutions into Prepaid Resources' FraudGuard suite of fraud security services.
Toronto-based prepaid card processor SelectCore Inc. joined with Home Capital Group Inc. subsidiary Home Trust to offer corporate and public sector prepaid card and payment solutions. The Canadian prepaid market is expected to grow to an estimated $19.2 billion in the next five years.
Hotel chain operator Vantage Hospitality Group Inc. tapped Heartland Payment Systems Inc. as a preferred provider of payroll solutions and payments processing services. Heartland said its payment services are compatible with major property management systems, such as AutoClerk, RoomKey and Check-Inn.
Pasadena, Calif.-based Green Dot Corp. named Sam Altman, Executive Vice President of Mobile Products and Strategy at Green Dot, to its Board of Directors. Altman will serve as a Class I director.
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