MasterCard and Brighter Planet Launch Eco-Footprint Tracker

MasterCard and Brighter Planet introduced a joint program to make carbon emissions analysis easier for the businesses worldwide that use MasterCard corporate cards, in response to the nearly 80% of companies expressing an interest in green travel initiatives. The MasterCard “Carbon Emissions Reporting” feature represents the first time that automatic reporting and analysis of estimated travel-related carbon emissions data will be available to corporate cardholders based on their card transactions. The “Carbon Emissions Reporting” program provides access to new data that is increasingly valued by companies as they strive to benchmark sustainability goals and initiatives, confront sustainability standards on their supply chains, and address the environmental concerns of stakeholders. Brighter Planet provides business intelligence for a sustainable future and was recently named 2010’s “Best Small Business” by Discovery Channel’s Treehugger.

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First Data Launches eGift Social Sweepstakes

First Data electronic commerce and payment processing is giving away its series of eGifts through a promotion on its eGift Social application until June 12, each week. With this, First Data will give away ten, Dairy Queen $10 eGifts and two, $50 eGifts to Sephora, Kmart, F.Y.E or Joe’s Crab Shack for them and a friend. In addition, one lucky winner will receive the $200 Sears eGift grand prize. Entrants must be 18 years of age or older and have “liked” the eGift Social Facebook page. To enter, visit the eGift Social Facebook page anytime during the sweepstakes and follow the on-screen instructions on the “Win Win Sweeps” tab. Limit one entry per person/Facebook account. A list of winners will be available on the eGift Social Facebook page.

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BERNANKE CONCERNED OVER SMALL BANK DEBIT INTERCHANGE EXEMPTION

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] “In response to a direct question from Senator Tester today, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke reiterated before the Senate Banking Committee his concerns about the effectiveness of the small bank exemption embodied in the debit interchange rule. Bernanke said that he ‘can’t say with certainty’ that the exemption will work, that there…

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NRF Says No Need to Delay Swipe Fee Reform

Regulations that would reduce swipe fees by about 70 percent are scheduled to take effect July 21, but the banking industry is pushing for passage of a bill sponsored by Senator Jon Tester, D-Mont., that would delay reform by two years and require a study. Tester introduced the bill even though Congress held seven hearings and ordered two Government Accountability Office reports before enacting last year’s law. Bernanke has pushed back against calls for delay, indicating the Fed would not have final regulations in place by its original April 21 goal because of the large volume of comments received on both sides of the issue, but would make the rules final in time to be implemented in July as scheduled. According to the National Retail Federation, merchants are making a wide variety of plans to pass the savings along to customers who use debit cards, ranging from discounted prices to benefits and increased services such as free delivery at an appliance store, but would be unable to do so if reform is delayed.

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Certified Payments Professional Program Earns Major Support

The Electronic Transactions Association (ETA) announced that six leading payments companies have agreed to take part in and support the Certified Payments Professional program launched by ETA in February. Representatives of MasterCard Worldwide, Visa Inc., First Data Corporation, National Processing Company/Fifth-Third Processing, COCARD Marketing Group and Merchant Warehouse appeared on stage with ETA CEO Carla Balakgie during ETA´s Annual Meeting & Expo to announce their commitment to the certification program. The Certified Payments Professional Program is the payments industry´s first professional certification program. It is focused on the knowledge and skills required for those involved in the sales and distribution of electronic payments-related products and services to merchants and businesses.

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MasterCard, Yapta Offer Airfare Price Assurance Program

MasterCard Worldwide and Yapta.com, which tracks airfares, announced a new airfare price assurance program for MasterCard U.S. consumer and small-business cardholders who book flights directly with eligible airlines. MasterCard PriceAssure tracks flight itineraries and offers customer service to help secure airline credit for savings on future travel, if the same itinerary they’ve purchased with their enrolled MasterCard card later becomes available from that airline at a lower price, minus any airline change fees. MasterCard PriceAssure aims to help people save money when booking air travel at a time when most consumers are feeling frustrated and overwhelmed during their search for low-cost flights. A recent MasterCard survey found that of those who have looked for airfare: 70 percent feel it takes them a lot of time to find low cost flights; 77 percent worry about timing their flight purchases to get the lowest fare; and 79 percent say they will go to great lengths to save money on flights.

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WCS Lending Named Preferred Lender for Fontainebleau of PerksCard

WCS Lending, a nationally-licensed mortgage bank, is now the preferred lender for all Fontainebleau employees through their participation in the PerksCard Network. With emphasis on client service, innovative products, competitive pricing and proprietary technology WCS Lending is positioned as a leader in the mortgage industry. WCS Lending offers a complete line of loan products, including but not limited to: purchase or refinance; conforming, jumbo and super jumbo loans; FHA/VA/USDA loans; fixed/adjustable rate mortgages and reverse mortgages. PerksCard is an employee sponsored savings program in which merchants are able to offer discounts to employers, organizations and associations on a national level.

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NACHA Designates April Direct Deposit Month

NACHA has designated the month of May to highlight the many benefits and resources available to individuals and companies of using Direct Deposit as a means of streamlining processes and saving money. NACHA offers the website www.electronicpayments.org as a resource for all things Direct Deposit and Direct Payment including: What it is, how it works, the benefits; implementation and marketing tools and resources; calculation tools to estimate how much you can save by switching your organization’s payroll from paper checks to Direct Deposit; how to communicate the benefits of Direct Deposit and Direct Payment; and how to increase employee benefits by adding split deposit to your payroll program.

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PAYDIVVY LAUNCHES SOCIAL BILL PAYMENT SOLUTION

PayDivvy social bill pay solution released its free online bill pay and group payment offering. The Web-based service eliminates the fragmentation that exists in bill pay today by allowing users to view and pay bills from a single place. PayDivvy is the only service that automatically divides bills among roommates, friends and family and then pays those bills automatically. It allows you to view and organize e-bills online; pay more than 5,000 service providers with bank account or credit card; has on-time payment guarantee; and adds new social payment features and allows users to pay or collect money from a friend.

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gValidate Network Launches Free Check Verification and Validation

Recent Federal Trade Commission activity is undeniable evidence for increased concern of the public in connection with unauthorized check creation and fraud conducted by organized scammers and con artists. Consumers and merchants are defenselessly exposed to harm from unauthorized, unverified checks: “sitting ducks” to con artists. Use of unverified checks can now be replaced by a safer alternative. iProlog Corporation, specializing in innovative digital security solutions, is pleased to announce availability of gValidate.com, a free service for consumers and businesses. gValidate.com provides a network that protects its members from financial harm before it happens by providing a free centralized resource to validate financial accounts, verify payments by check and notify account holders pre-emptively of check activity associated with their accounts. If implemented broadly throughout commerce, the gValidate Network™ can eliminate the vast majority of losses associated with unauthorized or underfunded check payments in the US and wherever else checks are in use. Membership is FREE. Users on the gValidate network have access to unique safeguards which protect financial accounts and verify payments by check.

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Presidio Bank Unveils New Brand Identity Bank

Presidio Bank celebrated its successful five-year track record by unveiling a new corporate identity at its annual meeting of shareholders with the new branding and tagline, “The business bank that works.” Rolled out throughout Presidio Bank’s offices in San Francisco, San Rafael, Walnut Creek and Palo Alto, and in a business-to-business advertising campaign, the new identity comes on the heels of Presidio Bank’s fifth consecutive quarter of profitability, a growing asset base, an expanded board of directors, entry into the Peninsula market, and major investments in technology. Total assets as of March 31, 2011 increased to $294.5 million, up $37.4 million from the same period a year ago, while deposits topped $250.4 million, up $40 million from March 2010.

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Discover to Acquire Mortgage Origination Business from Tree.com

Discover Financial has reached a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all of the operating and related assets of Home Loan Center, a subsidiary of Tree.com for approximately $55.9 million, adding a residential mortgage component to Discover’s direct-to-consumer banking business. Discover intends to originate eligible consumer mortgages to sell in secondary markets on a servicing-released basis. The company anticipates that the acquisition will have a nominal impact on its 2012 earnings. Home Loan Center, which operates as LendingTree Loans, originates and processes consumer mortgage loans nationwide. Discover’s array of banking products include credit cards, personal loans, private student loans, certificates of deposit, savings accounts and Roth individual retirement accounts.

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