Payments


Gift Card Exchange Gets Physical with Coinstar’s Alula Kiosks (Jan. 8, 2013)

Jan. 8, 2013 Coinstar Inc. is introducing a new dimension to the secondary gift card market with Alula, a kiosk service it’s piloting in some supermarkets that enables consumers to immediately convert unused gift cards into cash. The service cuts out steps and speeds up the process of selling unused gift cards through various online […]

Leading with remittances – a new retail banking segment

The remit of the World Bank and the Gates Foundation is to focus on flows of money to developing economies, so much of the publicity is about those and as a result, much of what we understand about remittances is about those markets. And they are not to be underestimated.

Chinese NFC Takes another Step Forward with ZTE, China UnionPay Pact (Jan. 7, 2013)

Jan. 7, 2013 Telecom network and equipment provider ZTE Corp. has been selected by Shanghai-based card network China UnionPay (CUP) to provide mobile payment services to CUP cardholders. As part of the deal, ZTE—the world’s fifth-largest maker of telecom equipment—plans to develop an NFC-based mobile phone. The firms also said they would explore the development […]

Report: Despite Smartphone Penetration, Mobile Banking Lags (Jan. 7, 2013)

Jan. 7, 2013 Financial institutions and mobile wallet vendors will encourage consumers to use mobile payments over the next few years through hybrid solutions intended to bridge the gap between the physical, online and mobile channels, according to a recent report by Javelin Strategy & Research that outlines financial services trends in 2013, as well […]

Heartland Nabs Payroll Firm (Jan. 7, 2013)

Jan. 7, 2013 Payment processor Heartland Payment Systems has acquired Ovation Payroll, a Rochester, N.Y.-based payroll services firm. In addition to bolstering Heartland’s payroll business, the acquisition brings Ovation’s affinity partner network under Heartland’s umbrella, providing Heartland with “high quality sales leads that can be leveraged throughout the Heartland sales force,” the company said. With […]

Gift Card Weekend Site Draws 1 Million-Plus Consumer Visitors (Jan. 7, 2013)

Jan. 7, 2013 Publicity and news stories touting Gift Card Weekend on Jan. 4-6 drove more than 1 million unique visitors to its Website, suggesting a dramatic uptick in consumer interest in the second annual event, according to Kansas City, Mo.-based Gift Card Impressions, which created the concept. The event’s success has prompted Gift Card […]

Starbucks Sells Square Card Readers to Boost Small Business (Jan. 4, 2013)

Jan. 4, 2013 Customers now can purchase a Square mobile payment card reader along with their venti Caffè lattes and blueberry scones at all of Starbucks’ 7,000 company-operated stores in the United States. Square enables anyone with an iPhone, iPad or Android device to accept credit and debit cards with its card reader that plugs […]

Tagit, Smartlink Offer Smartphone-Based Banking in Vietnam (Jan. 4, 2013)

Jan. 4, 2013 In a bid to capitalize on the rapid growth of smartphone use in Vietnam, Singapore-based mobile banking provider Tagit is partnering with mobile switch operator Smartlink to launch a new platform that will enable Vietnamese banks to launch cost-effective smartphone-based financial services, the companies said. By partnering with Smartlink, Tagit gains access […]

mPowa Eyes Global Expansion (Jan. 4, 2013)

Jan. 4, 2013 Mobile payment provider mPowa is starting the new year in expansion mode, as the U.K.-based company unveils plans to enter new markets, including new cities in the U.S. and India. mPowa, which offers merchants a card reader that plugs into a mobile device for payment card acceptance, is competing with Square—the market […]

NYC Startup Banks on Virtual ‘Kurrenci’ (Jan. 4, 2013)

Jan. 4, 2013 New York City-based startup Kurrenci has developed a virtual currency it says will help online retailers earn and retain customers by using a unique discounting method. Kurrenci’s platform is based on the company’s eponymous virtual currency, which can be purchased or earned online by users, and then exchanged for goods at participating online […]

Companies to Watch: Cardfree (January 2013)

San Francisco-based startup Cardfree is taking a merchant-centric approach to mobile wallets, leveraging a leadership team that has worked on mobile programs for some big-name retailers.

Justin Bieber to Promote New BillMyParents Prepaid Card (Jan. 2, 2013)

Jan. 2, 2013 Bieber Fever is spreading beyond music and fragrances to prepaid cards. Pop star Justin Bieber soon will be promoting a MasterCard-branded prepaid card offered by BillMyParents Inc. The San Diego-based provider of payment solutions targeted to teens, young adults and their parents, announced late last year that Bieber will act as “brand […]

FIs Continue Daily Deals Push as Chase Nabs Startup for $35 Million (Jan. 2, 2013)

Jan. 2, 2013 JP Morgan Chase & Co. will pay $35 million to acquire San Francisco-based daily deals startup Bloomspot Inc. in a bid to bolster the local merchant discounts the bank can offer its Chase credit card customers. Bloomspot, which competes with daily Web deals titan Groupon Inc. as well as other city-specific deals […]

M-Payments in 2013 to Bring More New Startups, Intensified Competition (January 2013)

M-Payments in 2013 to Bring More New Startups, Intensified Competition January 2013    By Kate Fitzgerald, Emerging Payments Editor The pace of mobile payments entrepreneurial development is likely to remain brisk this year, with venture capital flowing into the sector and likely to drive a number of new concepts from new POS approaches to mobile […]

The Hottest Payments Topics of 2012 (January 2013)

January 2013   By Bill Grabarek, Senior Editor If anyone thought last year couldn’t compare with the events of 2011, they quickly were proved wrong as 2012 turned out to be every bit as transformational. In the U.S. market, we saw a fledgling federal watchdog agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), go from crawling […]

MasterCard signs 10 PSPs for PayPass Online

Ten UK payment service providers have committed to MasterCard’s PayPass Online by MasterCard, part of PayPass Wallet Services, allowing them to accept electronic payments across multiple channels.

Payza Launches New Remittance Service in Bangladesh (Dec. 20, 2012)

Dec. 20, 2012 A new money transfer service from online payment platform Payza will enable Bangladeshis living in the U.S. to quickly and easily send money to relatives and friends back home. With its new SimplySendBD service, Payza aims to capture a piece of the $14 billion annual Bangladeshi remittance market—and establish a successful template […]

BMO Seals Deal with Monitise to Enhance Mobile Banking, Payments Services (Dec. 20, 2012)

December 20, 2012 Canada’s mobile payments offerings continue to multiply. BMO Bank of Montreal is poised to boost its mobile banking and payments offerings through a strategic alliance with London-based Monitise plc to develop a range of new smartphone applications, mobile Web offerings and text-notification services for online and mobile banking. The deal builds on […]

SumUp Mobile POS Device Available in 10 European Markets (Dec. 20, 2012)

Dec. 20, 2012 In a highly competitive European market, SumUp, a London-based provider of mobile POS card readers, has expanded its reach to 10 markets with recent product launches in Belgium, France and Portugal. SumUp enables merchants to accept debit and credit card payments using their smartphones and tablets as a POS device. SumUp is capable […]

NY opening for Consult Hyperion

Electronic transaction specialist Consult Hyperion has opened a New York office. Lanny Byers and Howard Hall will serve as co-managing directors, reporting to chief executive Neil McEvoy.

Letter from the Editor: Happy Holidays from Paybefore (December 2012)

December 2012   It’s been an exciting year for prepaid and emerging payments. We’ve seen intriguing, unexpected partnerships (Starbucks and Square, PayPal and Discover), a steady stream of new mobile entrants attracting investors and, in the past few months, prepaid card launches in the Middle East, Russia and Africa. We expect 2013 to bring even […]

Russian Bank Looks to Grow via Prepaid Cards (Dec. 18, 2012)

Dec. 18, 2012 In a bid to serve a growing market demand and increase its customer base, Russia’s Svyaznoy Bank will issue its first large-scale prepaid card, the bank announced this week. The card will be available in versions branded by MasterCard and Visa, with Gemalto providing deployment and other card services. Svyaznoy already is […]

VeriFone Inks NFC, Mobile Marketing Deal in China (Dec. 18, 2012)

Dec. 18, 2012 On the heels of announcing it would cease marketing its mobile POS system directly to merchants, electronic payments service provider VeriFone Systems Inc. has signed a deal to provide NFC payments and mobile marketing in the city of Shen Yang, China. Under the new partnership with China Mobile and Bank of China, […]

FDIC Report: Mobile Payments Could Threaten Banks’ Security, Market Share (Dec. 18, 2012)

Dec. 18, 2012 Mobile payments could present serious security and competitive threats to financial institutions and other established payments industry players, according to a new FDIC report. In the latest edition of its semi-annual publication “Supervisory Insights,” a team of senior FDIC researchers explained that if consumers adopt mobile payments widely, nonbank players with little […]

People on the Move: Joseph Dwyer, Virtual Piggy Inc. (December 2012)

December 2012 Virtual Piggy Inc., a Hermosa Beach, Calif.-based provider of e-commerce solutions enabling children to manage and spend money within a parent-controlled environment, has appointed Joseph Dwyer chief financial officer. He has more than 20 years of experience at the executive level for public and private companies, including OpenLink Financial, Energy Solutions International, Capstone […]

VeriFone Exits Direct-to-Merchant Mobile POS in ‘Maturing’ Niche (Dec. 17, 2012)

Dec. 17, 2012 VeriFone Systems Inc.’s decision to withdraw from marketing its mobile POS device directly to merchants is the first sign of retrenchment and likely consolidation in what has been a fast-growing niche. The San Jose-based company last week said from now on it will sell its Sail smartphone attachment for mobile card payments […]

MasterCard Launches Prepaid Travel Card in Middle East (Dec. 17, 2012)

Dec. 17, 2012 MasterCard Worldwide is targeting upscale consumers based in the Middle East who travel frequently to different global regions with its new MasterCard Platinum Prepaid Travel Card launched this week in Bahrain. The card, issued by Al Baraka Islamic Bank and Nonoo Exchange Company, both based in Bahrain, enables customers to load up […]

InComm, Dollar General to Offer Xbox Points, Memberships at POS (Dec. 17, 2012)

Dec. 17, 2012 Prepaid distribution and technology provider InComm has inked a deal with Dollar General to enable the retailer’s customers to more easily purchase points and memberships for Xbox LIVE in stores via InComm’s recently launched Digital Delivery Application (DDA). The new system eliminates the need for customers to purchase and redeem physical prepaid […]

CPI Designs Gift Cards for Portuguese Supermarket (Dec. 17, 2012)

Dec. 17, 2012 Colorado-based card producer CPI Card Group was selected by Portuguese retail firm Sonae to design and manufacture gift cards available at Sonae’s Continente supermarket locations throughout the country. The cards will be sold at special free-standing displays rather than at points of sale—one of the first gift card lines in Portugal to […]