PROTIVA SMART GUARDIAN

Gemalto digital security has introduced its “Protiva Smart Guardian”
personal security USB device. The smart card enabled device offers
digital data integrity and data loss prevention for enterprises and
specifically targets nomad workforces. Combining endpoint control and
secure data storage for protecting sensitive information, “Protiva Smart
Guardian” guarantees an unsurpassed level of security, since the
encrypted data never leaves the device, while attempts to tamper with
the device will cause the token to zero-out its contents. “Smart
Guardian” provides two-factor authentication based on the USB token
combined with their passphrase to ensures only authorized users have
access to encrypted data and require no user training.

Details

National Retail Federation Goes Nuclear

The National Retail Federation went nuclear asserting that credit card companies are in an “arms race” to increase the $48 billion in swipe fees paid by merchants and their customers each year. Ignoring the fact that the card payment networks have created the greatest payment systems network in history, beyond anything the U.S. has in a payment infrastructure, the NRF says it now wants credit card acceptance on the cheap and has used 7-Eleven as a poster child. The NRF says there is an arms race to create cards with higher fees and more bells and whistles, but market checks that would normally exist to curb this escalation in fees are diminished because the card companies know that every merchant is required to take these expensive new cards or lose their ability to accept any cards. The Welch-Shuster bill would allow the most expensive cards to be refused, and while the NRF expects that few merchants would actually refuse cards if this were passed, it would make the card companies think before they reflexively introduce cards with higher fees.

Details

OVERALL SPENDING

American Express is launching a major brand advertising campaign, exploring a new perspective to ‘Realize The Potential’. Inviting consumers to reassess perspective of the brand and the role that American Express plays in supporting and enhancing people’s lives, ‘Realize the Potential’ refers both to the potential that people have to enjoy rich and rewarding lives and considers potential in providing a range of services to enhance lifestyles. Through a completely animated 45 second TV spot seen in Mexico, the UK, Australia and Canada, the new campaign is based on simple illustrations against a dramatic black background and bold, colorful graphics. A significant portion of the multi-million dollar budget is dedicated to Digital and will focus on building American Express’ brand presence across entertainment, travel and lifestyle sites.

Details

MetroPCS Comm to Deploy Firethorn M-Banking

Qualcomm’s Firethorn Holdings has entered into an agreement with
Dallas-based MetroPCS Communications through Firethorn’s “Mobile
Banking” application.
Consumers will be able to view their bank and credit card balances and
history, make transfers between their accounts, and pay their bills
securely from their mobile phones using a single PIN. They can also
check rewards information and review targeted, timely offers from their
financial institutions as part of the application’s evolving mobile
commerce capabilities. MetroPCS Communications is a provider of unlimited
wireless communications service for a flat-rate with no signed contract.
Currently and has access to licenses covering a population of
approximately 145 million people in the largest metropolitan areas in
the United States. As of June 30, 2009, MetroPCS had
approximately 6.3 million subscribers.

Details

1WORLD CARD

One World Ventures prepaid cards and Sponsor Bank have agreed to issue
the prepaid “1World Card” in the United States, for which the
partnership has applied for BIN and is awaiting regulatory approval. In
the interim, One World Ventures will work on terms and conditions for
using an outside processor and submission to Visa for marketing and logo
approval. This will provide consumers without bank accounts a
re-loadable debit card allowing them to avoid high costs of check
cashing and money order fees. The card will interface with our
international partners providing low cost remittance for our customers.
One World Ventures holding company with management resourced in Asia and
the United States that invests in technologies, communities and systems
facilitating trade, finance, communication and travel.

Details

Brand Neue Lands an Former AmEx Executive

Product innovator Brand Neue has appointed John Rodenburg, previously with Time, to its Board of Advisors.
Rodenburg is a senior media executive with broad
experience in magazine, digital, and experiential marketing of
businesses. He worked as a senior executive with Time
Inc. From 2005 through 2009, with American Express Publishing as Vice
President, Publisher of Travel & Leisure Golf, with P&L responsibility
for $12 million in advertising sales and marketing revenue. Rodenburg
managed an extensive sales and marketing division and built an extensive,
multi-media, multi-dimensional marketing, membership rewards and brand
development program. From 2002 through 2005, Rodenburg worked with Sports Illustrated and SI.com
as Associate Publisher, Director of Sales & Sales Development. At SI,
John had P&L responsibility for $252 million in advertising sales and
managed a large sales and sales development department, and created
multi-media platform solutions including In-book, SI.com, Events and
Cable TV. He delivered targeted advertising solutions that leveraged
advertising sponsorships including Olympics, NBA, MLB, NCAA, NFL and
others. From 2000 through 2002, Rodenburg was Associate Publisher, Director
of Marketing for SI and SI.com, and from 1995 through 2000, he was the
Northwest Advertising Director, with P&L responsibility for $20 million
in advertising and marketing revenue.

Details

CITI MOBILE EN ESPANOL

Citibank has launched its “Citi Mobile en Espanol,” targeting
Spanish-speaking m-banking customers. The service lets customers manage
their accounts, pay bills and locate Citibank branches from their cell
phones. This is in response to research showing hispanics are among the
most active mobile Web users in the United States and nearly 50% of
English-speaking Hispanic consumers reported accessing the Internet via
a handheld device in 2009, of which 29% reported going online “on a
typical day” through a mobile device. This mirrors the functionality of
the English-language Citi Mobile for Smartphones, using the same URL
from any mobile device, including BlackBerry smartphones, Palm devices
and iPhones, to pay bills and set up recurring payments, make transfers
between Citi accounts and to locate Citi branches and ATMs.

Details

PayPal Hooks-Up with Green Dot’s MoneyPak

Alternative payment provider PayPal can now be loaded onto Green Dot’s MoneyPak.
MoneyPak can be purchased with cash at a retail store, then the money
can be loaded directly into a PayPal account and used to shop online
anywhere PayPal is accepted, including eBay. MoneyPak is available at
more than 40,000 stores nationwide, such as Walmart, CVS/pharmacy,
Kmart, Rite Aid and Walgreens. In addition to funding a PayPal account, MoneyPak enables people to
reload prepaid cards, make cash payments, pay bills and fund other
accounts. MoneyPak is powered by Green Dot’s industry-leading cash
acceptance network, and costs $4.95 or less. Green Dot is the leading provider of prepaid financial services in the
United States, and owns and operates the Green Dot Network, which is the
largest cash loading and reloading network in the United States.

Details

Thanks to Sears/Kmart eLayaway is on Fire

Fl-based online payment solution firm eLayaway has signed on Sears and
Kmart.
eLayaway offers its registered merchants with an opportunity to affordably
provide layaway to their customers as a means of expanding market share
while reducing the administrative requirements of traditional layaway.
Consumers appreciate those merchants that offer payment alternatives
designed to help them better plan and afford their purchases. Customers
are charged a small, flat
transaction fee as low as 1.9% and receives their merchandise
once all payments are made in full.

Details

AmEx OPEN Facilitates CCR for Female Biz Owners

The nation’s largest bipartisan women’s business
group Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP)and American Express OPEN have helped more than 20,000
women business owners to do business with the federal government by registering
their businesses on the Central Contractor Registration (CCR).
As part of the “Give Me 5 program”, American Express OPEN and WIPP
launched www.giveme5.com, a portal for business owners who are getting
started in federal contracting. The site features a rigorous online
training program including podcasts and webinars, a downloadable version
of OPEN BOOK: Government Contracting, a co-authored step-by-step guide
about contracts, links to OPEN Insights, a series of in-depth guides and
worksheets and many other resources to help small business owners get
their business “contract-ready” to do business with the federal government.
“Give Me 5” derives its name from The Equity in Contracting for Women Act
(2000), which stipulates that federal contracting officers award 5% of
all contracts to women-owned businesses. With women presently receiving
3.4% of federal contract dollars in 20081, Give Me 5 aims to increase
the representation of women-owned businesses that win government
contracts and stimulus funds.

Details

Bernankes’ Assertions Drive Consumer Confidence

A monthly consumer tracking poll reveals consumer confidence gained ground in October for the fourth time in the wake of the Federal Reserve’s Chairman assertion three weeks ago that the recession is over. But, the high unemployment numbers and weak consumer spending do not a recovery make. The “RBC CASH” (Consumer Attitudes and Spending by Household) Index for October stands at 51.8, an 11.8 point increase from September’s reading. The RBC “Investment Index” increased sharply this month, climbing 21.1 points to 58.0, the highest mark for the index this year. The RBC “Current Conditions Index” also reached a twelve-month high in October as it climbed to 50.3, up 17.1 points from the September reading of 33.2. The RBC “Jobs Index” rose by 5.8 points in October to 59.3, well below the 78.8 level observed at this time one year ago. The RBC “Expectations Index” jumped to 54.2, up 12.7 points from September’s level of 41.5.

RBC CASH INDEX
Oct 08: 37.0
Nov 08: 34.7
Dec 08: 15.3
Jan 09: 13.3
Feb 09: 1.6
Mar 09: 8.2
Apr 09: 38.3
May 09: 43.0
Jun 09: 34.3
Jul 09: 22.4
Aug 09: 37.5
Sep 09: 40.0
Oct 09: 51.8
Source: RBC CASH

Details