Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 8, 2012 11:16 AM
A whole lot of cash changes hands in the Walmarts of the world every day. About 85 percent of the company’s daily transactions are done in cash.
After all, many of the discount retailer’s customers don’t necessarily have credit or checking accounts. That’s something that has led Wal-Mart's corporate execs to try and figure out ways to help serve that market’s financial needs, even if it means creating a whole new system of payment.
That's why Walmart is teaming up with American Express to roll out a prepaid financial-services product called Bluebird that "will allow for deposits by smartphone and mobile bill paying, with no minimum balance or monthly, annual or overdraft fees." The tagline — "Loaded with features, not fees" — emphasizes the fact that this is a move to help consumers who are struggling to pay their monthly bills, let alone go shopping.Continue reading...
truth in advertising
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 25, 2012 01:02 PM
Most North Americans will know the Capital One campaign that always ends with the tagline, "what's in your wallet?" Now we know what's not in Capital One's wallet: $210 million, the amount of a government-imposed settlement for pressuring and deceiving card holders into buying products they could not use and did not want.
It’s the first case enacted since the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created by the Dodd-Frank bill passed by Congress two years ago to protect taxpayers and strengthen the financial industry against a repeat of the 2008 crisis which cost the United States 10 million jobs and $17 trillion in household wealth.Continue reading...
follow the money
Posted by Shirley Brady on June 15, 2012 05:02 PM
Germany's Sparkasse Chemnitz bank has launched a Karl Marx credit card, following an online contest that pitted the socialist philosopher against nine other options, including "a palace, a castle and a racetrack," NPR reports. Reuters has more.
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 15, 2012 04:04 PM
In its latest social spending salvo, American Express has launched a mobile offer engine, a “spend graph” for U.S. cardmembers that recommends and ranks local merchant offers real-time based on spending history and location.
“We developed our mobile offer engine with three key points of differentiation in mind: relevance, convenience and value,” stated Josh Silverman, president of the U.S. Consumer Services Group at American Express.
Piloted via the "My Offers" feature on the American Express iPhone app, local offer recommendations will be concentrated in Los Angeles and New York City with an overlay of nationwide merchants such as Baskin-Robbins and Dunkin' Donuts.
“My Offers” leverages the Smart Offer technology that powers the company's card sync programs with Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare connecting merchants and Cardmembers.
"In an increasingly crowded marketplace, where consumers are bombarded with daily deals, we saw an opportunity to help our Cardmembers save time as well as money by curating meaningful offers for them," added Silverman.
Users can download or update the iPhone app to see "Offers Available for You," along with a dashboard that shows offers added to their card, expiration dates, and savings delivered via a statement credit within three to five days. The brand has also enhanced its Go Social entry tool for SMB’s.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 2, 2012 03:04 PM
In a bid to pull ahead of Groupon and other daily deals sites, LivingSocial is expanding its brand.
According to a report by Reuters, LivingSocial will launch its first credit card in the next few months, with no annual fee, offered with Chase and Visa to all U.S. subscribers in an effort to draw repeat customers for its merchant partners.
"Small and medium-sized local businesses will never be able to have their own credit card or loyalty program. We will be able to bring them the benefits of that," the company's CFO, John Bax, told Reuters.
Merchants will be offered short-term funding similar to other co-branded credit card and loyalty programs including deferred interest payments and rewards for spending. With ten purchases monthly, cardholders earn ten ‘Deal Bucks’ credits extensible to all LivingSocial daily deals and special offers such as discounted travel packages.
The move is designed to increase its utility to its subscribers — and counter critics who accuse the daily deal industry of advertising big ticket discounts and not cultivating loyalty or enough repeat business.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 28, 2012 02:02 PM
Isis may be the ancient Egyptian goddess of nature and magic, but she would surely have her lid flipped if she were given a digital wallet that only needs to be tapped in order to pay for something.
Such is the power of Isis, the name of the mobile commerce joint venture launched by a trio of U.S. mobile operators — AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless — to bring financial services brands' credit, prepaid, and banking customers to mobile. The venture this week signed Chase, Capital One and Barclaycard US, expanding on charter credit card members Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.
It's a "testament to the vision and commitment of Chase, Capital One and Barclaycard to make mobile commerce a real and positive experience for their customers," stated Michael Abbott, CEO of Isis. "Mobile commerce is more than a new way to pay; it's about extending the relationships consumers enjoy with their banks and merchants into a powerful and convenient new form factor."
Sprint, the fourth major player in the U.S. mobile-phone industry, has instead partnered with Google on its Google Wallet, which PC Mag notes has some kinks to work out. PayPal is also promoting its digital wallet to retailers and other businesses.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 21, 2011 03:01 PM
Sometimes Americans are overseas somewhere and pull out the old credit card to cover the latest expense only to find that something isn’t working quite right. Chase and British Airways are teaming up to offer a new card to help combat such things and spread a little airline advertising at the same time.
Already widely used in countries including Canada, the co-branded card is “embedded with a ‘smart’ chip technology that reduces fraud and is widely used outside the United States,” the Washington Post notes.
Just as America is the only developed nation that steadfastly refuses to use the metric system, it also is the only one of the bunch to still use magnetic-strip credit cards. (We are an ornery bunch.) The rest of the world has switched to chip-based cards, which don’t involve sliding the strip in order to complete a transaction. Instead, the cards are inserted into slots and a PIN is used to finalize the matter.
The new Chase/British Airways card will have the chip and the magnetic strip. “Card terminals overseas also have a slot where magnetic strip cards can be swiped, (but) cashiers in less-traveled areas are sometimes confused by how to process such transactions,” the Post adds.
“What used to be a trickle a few years ago has become a frequent point of irritation,” stated Naney Pandit, general manager of Chase’s card services, in a press release.
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 18, 2011 11:00 AM
As part of MasterCard Worldwide’s iconic "Priceless" campaign, the brand has created a New York-based promotional event for its Priceless Cities in-market branding campaign.
Given that it's summer in the Big Apple, Priceless New York centers around — what else? — the New York Yankees, creating a game for baseball fans to play by hiding Yankee’s seats throughout the city in partnership with Facebook Places.
Find the chairs and check-in via Facebook Places to be eligible to win special prizes, including meet-and-greets with Yankee greats, a “safari sleepover” at the Bronx Zoo, “V.I.P. treatment” at Marcus Samuelsson's red-hot Red Rooster restaurant in Harlem, and access to a new section of Yankee Stadium known as Batter’s Eye View – which includes a MasterCard Batter’s Eye Cafe.Continue reading...