In the early morning of Aug. 18, 2012, Philadelphia Police Officer Moses Walker Jr., was shot and killed in an attempted robbery just after he clocked out from work. The Deliverance Evangelistic Church in North Philadelphia, the church the 40-year-old Walker attended, held a gun buyback event where Philly residents each received a $100 ShopRite gift card for turning in firearms.
Dot Newton, Executive Director of the Deliverance Community Development Corp., said it was powerful for parishioners to hold the gun buyback program in the very church Walker used to prepare for Sunday service after his shift at work ended. "We were getting guns out of the community where he was killed," she said.
Newton noted that 417 firearms, including shotguns, rifles and Glocks, were turned in at the June 29, 2013, event. She added that some of the guns were still loaded.
To address the rising theft risk associated with prepaid cards, Hofheim, Germany-based packaging specialist Deufol SA launched new "tamper alert" packaging. Deufol said the packaging alerts both the consumer and the retailer if a package containing a prepaid card has been opened or tampered with, yet it allows the card to be displayed in a visually attractive way.
The tamper alert mechanism is a label that, when removed, cannot be reapplied. "With it removed from the card, the pack itself now displays a prominent message alerting all who see it that it should not be sold," Deufol said.
Reuters reported that mobile payments provider Square Inc. terminated its mobile gift card program less than a year after it was introduced. Square did not issue a statement about the cancellation of the program, but a Square spokesman told the media outlet that the gift cards "were a fun way to send gifts from local businesses to anyone over the holiday season."
Square launched the service in December 2012, with Square Wallet on mobile phones being the focal point from which to send and receive virtual gift cards. At the time, the San Francisco-based company said that, historically, gift card programs are complicated, cumbersome and expensive for businesses to implement.
Coin-to-card kiosk operator Coinstar Inc. changed its name to Outerwall Inc. The Bellevue, Wash.-based firm said the name change reflects the evolution of the company from a single coin-counting kiosk business into an "umbrella corporate brand" with multiple automated retail business units.
Green Dot Corp. unveiled GoBank, a mobile app that allows users to sign up for prepaid accounts via smartphones. GoBank has been in beta test since January 2013, the company said.
The Saint Louis Post-Dispatch named InteliSpend Prepaid Solutions LLC a top workplace in the region. InteliSpend, owned by Maritz Holdings Inc. and headquartered in Fenton, Mo., issues and resells prepaid card products for American Express Co. and Discover Financial Services, as well as serves as a program manager for Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide.
London-based Prepaid Financial Services unveiled the Pocket to Pocket by PFS App. The mobile app can be used by PFS customers to check balances, review transaction histories, make person-to-person money transfers and locate nearby ATMs.
The Portland Business Journal tapped instant-issue payroll card provider TFG Card Solutions Inc. The company, based in Beaverton, Ore., reported earnings of $3.31 million in 2012, up by 137.77 percent from 2011.
MasterCard, First Data Corp.'s Money Network, Cubic Corp.'s Cubic Transportation Systems and the Chicago Transit Authority are gearing up to launch the Ventra Card for the Chicago mass transit system in summer 2013. The prepaid card will feature two accounts – a closed-loop account for transit payments on trains and buses and an optional general-purpose reloadable account for everyday purchases. Trains and buses in Chicago reportedly provided over 545.6 million rides in 2012.
New York-based international payroll card manager Payoneer Inc. extended its presence in Latin America by teaming with three online freelance providers: Adtriboo, Nubelo and Workana. Payoneer said these marketplaces connect Latin American content and blog writers, web and graphic designers, app developers, computer programmers, translators and others, to companies around the world.
Outerwall (formerly Coinstar) entered into a definitive agreement to acquire ecoATM for $350 million in cash. San Diego-based ecoATM is said to be the first company to create an automated self-serve kiosk system to purchase used mobile phones, tablet computers and MP3 players for cash.
Card processor Total System Services Inc. (TSYS) finalized its $1.4 billion acquisition of NetSpend Holdings Inc., the second largest prepaid card company in the United States. NetSpend became TSYS' fourth subsidiary, with NetSpend's Chief Executive Officer Dan Henry tapped to continue in that position. Both TSYS and NetSpend executives characterized the acquisition as transformational.
Payoneer hired Oded Zehavi and Howard Gibbs as Chief Revenue Officer and Managing Director of Payoneer EU, respectively. Zehavi, formerly of PayPal Inc., is responsible for leading Payoneer’s sales, marketing and product activities globally. Gibbs comes from bank holding company MBNA Corp. and will head Payoneer's European subsidiary, which recently secured its money transmitter license in Europe.
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