Canada-based prepaid card processor Carta Worldwide and Payment Card Solutions (UK) Ltd. launched the Bread4Scrap prepaid corporate card program designed for the U.K. scrap metal industry. Using PCS' MasterCard Worldwide-branded BreadCard, the system allows scrap metal dealers to pay customers electronically.
The initiative follows in the wake of the decision by the border security and law enforcement arm of the U.K. government, the Home Office, to ban cash payments for scrap metal. In the U.K., a black market has arisen around stolen scrap metal, which reportedly costs the U.K. economy 220 million a year pounds sterling (over $370 million).
The Home Office said in January 2012 that transactions for scrap metal were often completed without sellers having to show proof of identification, or proof that sellers legitimately owned the metal being sold. The U.K agency also noted that cash payments result in poor record keeping by the metal recycling industry, which can lead to tax evasion.
Plastyc Inc., dba Banking Up, considers mobile remote deposit capture (mRDC) technology to be one product that can grow prepaid card usage and revenues. "We consider mRDC as a new motivator to replace checking accounts with more affordable prepaid accounts or to get banked if they don't currently have a checking account," said Banking Up Chief Executive Officer Patrice Peyret. "Its availability will be a driver in the acquisition of new customers."
The alternative financial services company believes mRDC, also called photo check deposit, makes prepaid a better option for consumers without checking accounts. Underbanked individuals who would typically go to check cashing stores to cash paychecks can now have checks remotely deposited to prepaid accounts via smartphones.
On May 31, 2013, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported its settlement with a California bank and a Texas prepaid card marketer over alleged unfair and deceptive practices over the use of the automated clearing house system to deliver federal benefit payments to prepaid debit cards. First California Bank in Westlake Village, Calif., and Achieve Financial Services LLP in Austin, Texas, agreed to pay approximately $1.1 million to over 64,000 cardholders and to pay civil money penalties of $600,000 and $110,000, respectively.
The FDIC said the companies misrepresented to consumers the features of the FCB-issued, Achieve-managed, MasterCard Worldwide-branded AchieveCard. "A number of the representations and omissions on Achieve's website were deceptive, such as advertising free online bill pay, promoting certain features and services of the AchieveCard that were not available to cardholders, and charging fees that were not clearly disclosed," the FDIC said.
Big data provider ARM Insight Inc. introduced the Prepaid Compliance Report Builder. The company said Report Builder enhances the compliance capabilities of issuing bank and program managers by providing transaction-level compliance reporting across the prepaid regulatory landscape.
Check guarantee and prepaid mRDC provider Chexar Networks Inc. changed its name to Ingo Money Inc. In May, Chexar rebranded its funds guarantee network, the Spyke Network, as Ingo – The Good Funds Network.
Prepaid card distributor InComm launched Cashtie, an application protocol interface that enables e-commerce and bill payment software providers to integrate cash payment options into existing applications. Cashtie users can therefore leverage InComm's global retail network, totaling nearly 400,000 points of retail distribution, the company said.
The Center for Financial Services Innovation said that mobile wallet provider Movencorp Inc. agreed to follow the Compass Principles, CFSI's guidelines for the development and delivery of high-quality financial products and services. The principles – embrace inclusion, build trust, promote success and create opportunity – are designed to improve the financial capability of the financial underserved. Moven Corp. plans to help underbanked individuals increase savings by at least 5 percent.
Gift card distributor Blackhawk Network and U.K.-based mobile payment technology firm Monitise PLC signed an agreement to make mobile gift card purchasing available to consumers through certain banks and financial institutions in the United States.
Silicon Valley, Calif.-based prepaid card processor i2c Inc. said it has completed integrations with 12 sponsor banks, enabling its clients to launch new card-based, virtual and mobile payment programs in 17 countries. Eight of the new banks support programs outside of the United States, highlighting the global demand for emerging financial services such as prepaid products, mobile wallets and mobile remittance services, i2c said.
Media reports surfaced indicating Green Dot Corp. acquired the general-purpose, reloadable prepaid card portfolio of GE Capital Bank, which issues the Wal-Mart MoneyCard managed by Green Dot. The companies will reportedly close the deal in the second half of 2013. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Prepaid long-distance calling card provider Pure Minutes named Sergio Parra as Director of Marketing and New Business. Parra was formerly Vice President at DollarPhone Enterprises Inc. Additionally, Pure Minutes hired Fred Leon as its newest Senior Account Executive. Leon last managed prepaid phone card distributor accounts for Vivaro Corp.
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