Aug. 30, 2010
Newman’s Own Foundation, the charitable organization founded by iconic actor Paul Newman that donates the proceeds of sales of its salad dressing and other specialty foods, provided a second grant for 2010 to a Hartford, Conn. program that gives prepaid cards to deserving teachers for classroom needs not met by the school district (Paybefore Aug. 12, 2010). TeacherDollars, a prepaid card program administered by Avon, Conn.-based Evolution Benefits, said the Newman’s Own Foundation donated an additional $25,000 this year, effectively doubling its grant to the award-winning program (Paybefore April 2009). “Hartford Public Schools last month recorded their third straight and most successful year of increases on state standardized tests, exceeding all expectations,” said Hartford Public Schools Superintendent Steven J. Adamowski. “We are grateful to the TeacherDollars program and contributors, such as Newman’s Own Foundation, for recognizing and stepping up to reward that effort–especially in a time of deep budget cuts. The value of TeacherDollars cannot be overstated.” This is the second consecutive year that Newman’s Own has made a grant to the TeacherDollars program.
Aug. 30, 2010
MasterCard Worldwide today announced an agreement with Borderlinx, a Brussels-based specialist in cross-border e-commerce shopping, that will provide MasterCard cardholders around the world improved access to the global e-commerce marketplace. The Purchase, N.Y.-based card network said the agreement will enable “an enhanced online commerce experience that allows shoppers from many markets around the world to make purchases, initially at U.S. and U.K. retail Websites, using their MasterCard-branded cards.” The Borderlinx platform facilitates international e-commerce by establishing a local address for foreign shoppers, applying tax, duty and delivery charges, and integrating with shipping services, according to a press release. “We know that today’s consumer is interested in shopping online internationally, but is often discouraged by limitations,” said Geoff Iddison, group executive, e-commerce and mobile, MasterCard Worldwide. “By partnering with Borderlinx we take our role at the heart of commerce to the next level by facilitating better access to the global online marketplace for consumers.”
Aug. 30, 2010
Intercash, an Isle of Man-based ISO, announced it has partnered with Playtech online casinos to offer a network branded prepaid card to pay for play and to collect any winnings. Playtech, a London-based technology provider to the online gaming industry, said it has integrated the Intercash prepaid MasterCard card into its software, enabling nearly 20 of its online casino and poker room operators to accept the card from players with no special set up. “We’re very proud to be launching our new MasterCard card program on the Playtech software through Fastengine, one of Playtech’s largest groups of sites,” said Intercash CEO Patrick Seguev. “The venture between our companies marks a significant step into what is becoming an industry standard, with many online gaming software providers and operators integrating our safe, efficient, and smart payment solutions as a standard part of their software package.” The Intercash prepaid MasterCard card is issued by Luxembourg financial institution Banque Invik.
Aug. 27, 2010
Stored value card issuers operating in New Jersey now have an additional 30-day temporary exemption from a new escheat law passed earlier this summer. New Jersey State Treasurer, Andrew P. Sidamon-Eristoff, has extended the effective date for issuers and sellers of stored value cards to collect purchaser data to Oct. 1, 2010, “pending further review of current processes, technologies and reporting practices and the subsequent development of specific industry guidance.” The provision is one of several changes to the state’s unclaimed property statute. Other changes require all stored value cards to escheat in two years and prohibit any service fees. The extension, however, only applies to the requirement to collect the purchaser’s name and address or ZIP code. The practical issues of implementing such a law in a short time is of great concern to the industry, according to Elish A. Meyers, attorney of special counsel for Douthit Frets Rouse Gentile & Rhodes, LLC, a firm that represents stored value card issuers and trade associations. “The good news is that the Treasurer is now looking for industry guidance on this,” Meyers tells Paybefore. “They don’t want issuers pulling their gift cards out of New Jersey.” Still, she notes, “the escheat due date hasn’t changed despite the extension on registration.” The law is retroactive and unspent funds from stored value cards with a last contact date of June 30, 2008, and prior to 2003 are due to escheat to the state by Nov. 1. “Our firm is in the process of working with the administration to get clarity on the law, among other things, and we’re continuing to pull together data to present to them, so they see how difficult, if not impossible, compliance is with many aspects of this law. We believe the organized support of the industry to date has made all of the difference in the world.”
August 27, 2010
Spanish-language media company Univision Communications Inc. has teamed with MoneyGram to enable its prepaid card holders to reload at approximately 35,000 MoneyGram agent locations nationwide. Univision announced its prepaid card initiative last year (Paybefore November 2009), and the card officially launched in July. MoneyGram is offering Univision MasterCard Prepaid Card users the first load at no cost. Following the first free load, subsequent reloads using MoneyGram will be $3.95, according to today’s announcement. “This alliance has the potential to reach more than 20 million underbanked Hispanics living in the U.S. today and equip them with a convenient and affordable alternative to cash,” said Greg Waltz, vice president and general manager of payment products at MoneyGram. “With Univision’s strong brand loyalty and MoneyGram’s large number of reload locations across the country, such as Albertsons LLC and CVS/pharmacy, the alliance will provide Univision consumers with a convenient option for reloading.” MoneyGram offers reloading for hundreds of prepaid card programs in thousands of retail locations including many grocery, pharmacy and convenience store chains. Consumers also can reload their Univision prepaid cards through the Green Dot Network and Western Union.