North America

Cease & Desist: Ill. Gets Tough with Square and ‘Unlicensed Money Transmitters’ (March 2013)

The Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation recently released five cease and desist orders from January 2013 against six entities for unlicensed activities under the state’s Transmitters of Money Act. These six entities offer a variety of services in Illinois, including domestic and international money transfer, bill payment services and prepaid cards.  One of […]

Fed’s Interchange and Routing FAQs Throw Prepaid in a Tizzy (March 2013)

The Federal Reserve Board (Fed) quietly released changes to its FAQs on Reg. II’s restrictions on debit card interchange fees and routing. Five new FAQs were added and one existing FAQ was revised. Changes in two areas directly affect prepaid cards: the exemption for “general use prepaid cards” and the requirement for adding a second […]

Paybefore Honors Innovation in Orlando (March 2013)

March 2013   Expanding the Boundaries of PrepaidLeft to right: Lisa Breitengross and Kevin Boglarsky, Discover On March 4, Paybefore celebrated 72 programs in 23 categories, naming for the first time Best-in-Category honorees at the 7th Annual Paybefore Awards Ceremony, which capped off the first day of Prepaid Expo USA in Orlando, Fla. This year—for […]

Boosting Gift Card Sales in the U.S. and Abroad (March 2013)

March 2013   By Bill Grabarek and Loraine DeBonis      Though much of the payments buzz at last week’s Prepaid Expo USA in Orlando, Fla., revolved around mobile and GPR products, closed-loop cards—whether it’s B2B or consumer gift cards—shouldn’t be ignored, according to several panelists who shared methods of maximizing sales, as well as challenges and […]

People on the Move: Ray Iglesias, Ubiquity Global Services (March 2013)

March 2013 Ubiquity Global Services recently announced that Ray Iglesias has joined the New York City-based business process outsourcing organization as CEO. Iglesias has a recognized track record in growing a number of successful companies. Most recently he helped manage the integration of payments technology company TxVia into Google. Prior to Google, Iglesias served as […]

People on the Move: Kevin Spector and Christian Krejcik, payvia Inc. (March 2013)

March 2013 payvia Inc., a Los Angeles-based mobile payments provider, has appointed Kevin Spector  senior vice president, global payments, and Christian Krejcik director of strategic sales. Spector previously served as CEO of Mobile First, an international mobile payments network acquired by payvia, and he has more than 18 years of digital media, finance and international […]

People on the Move: Sam Altman, Green Dot Corp. (March 2013)

March 2013 Prepaid issuer and program manager Green Dot Corp. recently announced the appointment of Sam Altman, Green Dot executive vice president of mobile products and strategy, to its board of directors. Green Dot’s board of directors is now comprised of eight members, and Altman will serve as a Class I director. He also is […]

LSE/TMX to collaborate on fixed income venture

The London Stock Exchange’s FTSE Group and Canadian exchange TMX have signed an agreement to combine their fixed income index business in a new joint venture, resurrecting at least part of the cooperation originally planned under the two exchanges’ failed merger back in June 2011.

Blog: New Credit Card Surcharges Could Impact Prepaid Market (February 2013)

Blog: New Credit Card Surcharges Could Impact Prepaid Market February 2013   By Lori Breitzke, E&S Consulting LLC A proposed settlement agreement in the In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation—filed in 2005 on behalf of approximately 7 million merchants alleging, among other claims, that MasterCard and Visa had separately colluded […]

Debit Network Routing Debate for EMV Transactions under Durbin Simmers (February 2013)

February 2013 By Kate Fitzgerald, Emerging Payments Editor With less than three years to go before U.S. EMV liability-shift deadlines begin to take effect, payment industry participants beginning to make their plans are facing their first obstacle, as the U.S. debit networks wrestle with options for choosing a technology approach for routing chip-based debit transactions under […]

FCB’s Exit from Issuing Leaves Program Managers Seeking New Partners (February 2013)

February 2013   By Adam Perrotta, Assistant Editor Dozens of prepaid program managers are scrambling to find a new bank issuer with First California Bank (FCB) exiting the issuing business ahead of its acquisition by PacWest Bancorp.                                    In November, PacWest agreed to pay $231 million for FCB’s parent company, Westlake Village, Calif.-based First California Financial […]

Viewpoint: A Tale of Two Gen Ys that Desire Prepaid Cards (February 2013)

By Aleia Van Dyke, Javelin Strategy & Research The slow economic recovery from the Great Recession has forced young Americans to confront a dismal financial reality marked by unprecedented student loan debt and soaring unemployment. But the financial industry cannot afford to ignore Gen Y, the generation of consumers born from 1979 to 1999. By […]

Prepaid Financial Services’ Narrow Focus Becomes a Global View (February 2013)

February 2013   By Bill Grabarek, Senior Editor  What started in late 2008 as a reseller operation, consisting of two people in an office offering payroll and corporate cards to small and midsize firms, London-based Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) has evolved into a program manager, e-money issuer, acquirer and provider of turnkey, white-label solutions. PFS […]

National Bank of Canada embraces Orc algos

The National Bank of Canada is to use algorithmic trading tools and market access from Nordic technology company Orc, through its subsidiary National Bank Financial.

People on the Move: Marc E. Rothman and Jay Parsons, VeriFone Systems Inc. (February 2013)

February 2013 VeriFone Systems Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based payment solutions provider, has appointed Marc E. Rothman to executive vice president and chief financial officer, and Jay Parsons to senior vice president, digital media and taxi operations. Rothman joined Motorola Inc. through the acquisition of General Instrument in 2000, and eventually rose to become worldwide […]

People on the Move: Tony Hodge, TSYS (February 2013)

February 2013 TSYS has promoted Tony Hodge to executive vice president of application systems for its North America segment. A 30-year TSYS veteran, Hodge has held numerous IT leadership positions, and currently is responsible for more than 1,000 IT professionals. During his tenure at TSYS, he has received numerous leadership awards, including the James H. […]

People on the Move: Robert Seward, North American Bancard (February 2013)

February 2013 North American Bancard, a Troy, Mich.-based provider of the PayAnywhere mobile POS payment solution, announced that Robert Seward has joined the company as vice president of product management. He oversees the company’s product strategy, planning, management and the delivery technology solutions to merchant customers. Seward joins NAB after leading ACI Worldwide’s merchant retail […]

People on the Move: Dana Vento, (February 2013)

February 2013, a subsidiary of Pittsburgh-based Wolfe LLC, has hired Dana Vento, aka “Pittsburgh Frugal Mom” and founder of, as social media manager. She will be part of a growing team responsible for broadening the company’s social media platform. Vento spent the last several years creating a successful consumer education blog, focusing on […]

People on the Move: Jon Leibowitz, Federal Trade Commission (February 2013)

February 2013 Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz stepped down Feb. 15, 2013, to pursue work in the private sector. He has served as chairman since March 2009, and as a commissioner since September 2004. While the FTC regulates anticompetitive, deceptive and unfair practices in general, Leibowitz’s tenure has been recognized for aggressive consumer and […]

People on the Move: Steve Antonakes, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (February 2013)

February 2013 The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently announced that Steve Antonakes will serve as acting deputy director while the agency searches for a replacement for Raj Date. As Antonakes assumes this temporary role, he will maintain responsibility for his current duties as associate director for supervision, enforcement and fair lending, which he began […]

Activ expands Canadian coverage ahead of “naked access” ban

Market data and technology company Activ Financial has expanded its risk gateway tool to cover all Canadian exchanges, ahead of new rules that will require market participants in Canada to have pre-trade risk controls in place across all asset classes from next month.

Banco do Brasil, i2c Kick off Partnership with Student GPR Card (February 2013)

February 2013   By Adam Perrotta, Assistant Editor Recent months have seen the release of a spate of payment products targeted for use by Brazilians, whose country is rapidly emerging as a hotbed of financial services development. More than half of the country’s population of more than 200 million is underbanked, according to a MasterCard […]

MCX Reveals Plans for Barcode-/Cloud-Based Approach (February 2013)

February 2013   By Kate Fitzgerald, Emerging Payments Editor The retailer-led mobile payment venture Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) has disclosed little about the shape of its developing payment platform since it formed six months ago, but the few details emerging so far are fueling fresh waves of industry buzz. At a panel during the National […]

People on the Move: Robert W. Matschullat, Visa Board of Directors (February 2013)

February 2013 Visa Inc. recently announced that the company’s board of directors has elected Robert W. Matschullat as Visa’s nonexecutive, independent chair. The appointment is effective April 1, following the retirement of executive chair Joseph W. Saunders. Matschullat has been a Visa director since October 2007. He has served as chairman and interim CEO of […]

People on the Move: Kevin Taylor, Keith McKenzie and Ryan Deslippe, SelectCore Ltd. (February 2013)

February 2013 SelectCore Ltd., a Toronto-based prepaid solutions provider, recently announced a strategic restructuring of its executive management team to better position the company to fully capitalize on new contracts and significant growth opportunities that are expected to develop in the near term. Kevin Taylor, director of the corporation, assumes the role of CEO. Keith […]

People on the Move: Ed Labry, First Data (February 2013)

February 2013 First Data Corp., an Atlanta-based payments processor, announced that its board of directors has named Ed Labry interim CEO while it conducts a selection process. In early January, the company announced that Jon Judge planned to retire as CEO for health reasons and would serve until a transition was effected. Labry has spent […]

People on the Move: Andy Nicholas, Citi (February 2013)

February 2013 Citi recently appointed Andy Nicholas head of commercial and prepaid card sales and account management EMEA to lead an experienced team charged with ensuring success and client satisfaction. Nicholas, who is based in the U.K., has been with Citi for 20 years, and has been responsible for commercial card sales and account management […]

People on the Move: Jerry Garcia and Mike McCarthy, Cardtronics Inc. (February 2013)

February 2013 Retail ATM network Cardtronics Inc. has announced that Jerry Garcia is transitioning from his role as chief information officer to the newly created position of chief information security officer. Garcia, who spent the last 10 years designing and developing the information technology systems Cardtronics uses to run its business, now will focus exclusively […]

InComm, Giftango Deal Gives Both an Edge, Observers Say (January 2013)

January 2013   By Adam Perrotta, Assistant Editor     Putting together a deal in the gift card business during the thick of the holiday shopping season is no easy  feat—just ask Giftango Corp. CEO David Nelsen, who spent the final weeks of 2012 negotiating the sale of his company to Atlanta-based prepaid distribution and technology […]

Coinstar’s Alula Kiosks Add Physical Touch to Gift Card Exchange Market (January 2013)

January 2013   By Kate Fitzgerald, Emerging Payments Editor Coinstar Inc. is grabbing attention in the secondary gift card market with Alula, a kiosk service it’s piloting that enables consumers to immediately convert unused gift cards into cash at supermarkets. The service adds a fresh twist to the process of selling unused gift cards to […]

People on the Move: Jonathan J. Judge, First Data (January 2013)

Jan. 14, 2013 First Data Corp.’s CEO Jonathan J. Judge plans to step down from the company for health reasons, the company said. First Data will conduct a search for a new CEO and Judge will maintain his positions as CEO and board member until a replacement is found, but no later than March 31, […]

Consumer Attitudes on Mobile Banking Impact Mobile Commerce (January 2013)

January 2013   By Bill Grabarek, Senior Editor Financial institutions must combat persistent consumer indifference toward mobile banking in the United States if they want to see consumers move toward mobile commerce, according to a recent report by Javelin Strategy & Research. The research, which outlines financial services trends in 2013 as well as how […]

Viewpoint: Time to Prepare for Your CFPB Exam (January 2013)

January 2013   By Jeremy T. Rosenblum and Stefanie H. Jackman, Ballard Spahr LLP The sky is not falling—at least yet. The ability of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to supervise smaller banks (less than $10 billion in assets) and other companies providing prepaid cards to consumers is currently limited. For participants in the […]

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.

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 […]