AccountNow Merges With Ready Financial Group

The AccountNow Board of Directors has approved a merger with Ready Financial Group, which will continue to operate using both brand names. Acting CEO will be he who is currently of AccountNow while CEO of Ready will become CMO. Ready shareholders will convert to AccountNow shareholders and elect a representative to serve on the AccountNow Board of Directors. AccountNow has grown its reloadable consumer prepaid debit card business, to more than $2 billion dollars in annual transaction volume, by offering features and benefits traditionally reserved for customers with banking relationships. Reloadable prepaid debit cards were created for the estimated 40 million unbanked and underbanked U.S. consumers.

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CFSI Announces Compass Principles to Facilitate Underbanked

The Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) President & CEO Jennifer Tescher introduced an audience of more than 600 financial services professionals to CFSI’s “Compass Principles” initiative. These offer guidelines for the U.S. financial services industry, affirm standards of excellence in the design and delivery of the basic tools that people use to manage their daily financial lives, like checking and savings accounts, prepaid cards, and small-dollar loans. They include SAFETY; INCLUSION to promote Accessibility and Convenience; FINANCIAL CAPABILITY to Design for Consumer Success; and PATHWAYS to allow upward mobility. Throughout the feedback phase, CFSI is actively soliciting the input and feedback of providers, consumer advocates, and experts to ensure that the Compass Principles are as robust, comprehensive, and effective as possible.

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Freescale Semiconductor Announces Exercise of Over-Allotment Option

Freescale Semiconductor Holdings I announced that the representatives of the underwriters for the Company’s initial public offering exercised their over–allotment option in part for 5,567,000 common shares, at a price per share of $18. The closing of the over-allotment option is expected to occur on June 14, 2011. Freescale expects to use the $96 million in net proceeds to redeem $87 million principal amount of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.’s 10.125% Senior Secured Notes due 2018 and to pay related interest and premiums. The foregoing does not constitute a notice of redemption for or an obligation to issue a notice of redemption for the outstanding notes.

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Safeway to Implement Coinstar Coin-Counting Kiosks

Coinstar and Safeway supermarkets will install approximately 1,400 Coinstar kiosks at Safeway locations across North America. Coinstar allows consumers to turn their loose change into into cash, apply their coin value to store purchases or donate to a non-profit organization. In the future, Coinstar and Safeway plan to offer consumers a no-fee option when consumers choose a gift card or eCertificate from a variety of national retailers.

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Safaricom CEO Keynotes Underbanked Forum

The Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) began its 6th Annual Underbanked Financial Services Forum with Michael Joseph, former CEO of Safaricom, delivering the “Innovation Abroad: An International Mobile Payment Success Story” keynote address. Joseph also examines mobile strategies he thinks will ultimately be the most successful in the U.S. marketplace and worldwide. CFSI’s “Underbanked Solutions Exchange,” sponsored by Meta Payment Systems and New Market Partners, focuses on external forces at play in the financial services marketplace and contemplate the meaning of “quality” financial services. It is a collaborative group of mid-size banks and credit unions engaged in action-oriented discussions to share thoughts, ideas, questions, and experiences with other institutions all with the ultimate goal of profitably and responsibly serving the underbanked.

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Panini and Bluepoint to Host Teller Capture Webinar

Panini global payments processing and Bluepoint Solutions Check 21, item processing, and enterprise content management are set to host their webinar June 16. The “WebEx” meeting will also present the new, all-inclusive teller capture solution offered by the companies specifically for credit unions, available in partnership with CUNA. Panini and Bluepoint Solutions announced their partnership to bring a comprehensive teller capture solution to credit unions. The all-inclusive teller capture solution, featuring Panini´s market-leading Vision X check scanner and Bluepoint´s popular ImagePoint Teller includes software, hardware and support for a cost effective and consolidated price.

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Amex & VisitBritain Debut Tourism micro-site

VisitBritain tourism agency and American Express have forged a joint venture whereby they will market British tourism to the millions of American Express cardmembers around the world. This partnership forms part of VisitBritain’s overall effort to boost visitor numbers to the country by 4 million with focused deals and offers as part of a GBP100million, four-year marketing program to generate GBP2 billion more visitor spending. Encouraging this is the “UK Inspiration” online portal from AmEx providing exclusive offers and insider knowledge on UK’s fashion, food, entertainment and travel bloggers. The new website also aims to provide travelers from the US, France, the Middle East, China and Australia dining, shopping, travel and entertainment offers.

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Collis test tools Now AmEx- Approved

Collis has developed its Test Tool (Collis BTT) for EMV POS Terminal Certifications to process American Express. All card images and test cases required for the American Express EMV Test Plan are included within “Collis BTT,” which allows acquirers and vendors to validate the American Express payment brand testing of their EMV POS terminals. Brand testing is a core component in the overall certification process designed to facilitate problem free acceptance of cards from payment card networks such as American Express. Also, with “Collis BTT,” interoperability issues can be detected before terminals are even deployed.

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Love2reward Launches New Employee Benefits

Flexebens is a unique gift card platform which gives staff 7% discount every time they shop. The Flexebens card can be used in 23 leading retailers including River Island, Debenhams, New Look, Comet, Boots, Superdrug and Iceland, with new retailers joining the program every month. Employees can save money onto their Flexebens card through the ‘Salary Exchange’ scheme, which allows employees to choose how much money they wish to be taken from their salary each month, or through ‘Voluntary Benefit,’ which allows employees to benefit from the same 7% discount, but the onus is on the staff member to make payments online via their own credit or debit card, which means no payroll involvement.

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Flint to expand debit card and remittance operations

Flint Telecom Group voice, data and wireless services through partner channels, is planning to expand its debit card and mobile remittance operations to Europe and the Middle East by enhancing the company’s existing resources in Ireland. By growing existing operations in Ireland, Flint Telecom aims to provide prepaid debit cards and mobile remittance technology and services to European and Middle Eastern mobile operators, banks and other program sponsors.

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Barista Lavazza Offers Visa Cardholders Cashback

Barista Lavazza and Visa have launched “Cash at PoS” cash withdrawal facility at the retail POS. This will enable all Visa Debit cardholders to pay for their coffee in addition to withdraw upto Rs. 1000 cash daily at over 170 Barista Lavazza outlets located across the country. There will be no charges levied on cardholders for the cash withdrawal transaction, whom are not obliged to make a purchase to get cash.

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