AIR NEW ZEALAND STAFF CARDS

Following the revelation that the New Zealand airline staff receives 4x as
much in wages as their Chinese counterparts, Air New Zealand has proposed
the deployment of credit cards to the underpaid to mend the salary gap.
With this card, the airline is intent on easing meal allowance
restrictions when traveling, an issue focal to the Chinese workers’
complaints. Moreover, Air NZ said a review of the crew’s salary would be
given “top priority” and meals are entirely comped when the employees
patronize the Dragon Boat restaurant or Crowne Plaza Hotel in Auckland.

Details

FTC Takes on CTA Calling Card Distributor

The FTC has brought charges against CTA calling card distributor, alleging the organization misrepresents the calling card minutes available on its card products. In doing so, the FTC accuses the organization of failing to disclose that consumers’ cards will be charged whether or not calls go through and charges hidden fees. Advertising in small retail outlets such as gas stations, grocery stores and newstands, CTA discloses calling minutes and the convenience of “no connection fees.” However, after having tested the calling cards themselves, associates of the FTC have produced concrete evidence that the minutes advertised do not match the minutes available on any of the 46 cards tested, some falling short by as much as 19 minutes. As a result, The Commission vote to file the complaint was 5-0 and was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Details

SHANDONG ATMS

During the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition, to be held in Shandong,
China, local bank ATMs are set to validate the foreign debit and cash
cards of the many tourists expected in the area for the event. In doing
so, local businesses have been advised and many have installed special POS
machines to accept RMB and foreign currency cards for the achievement of
an 80% acceptance rate. Moreover, 591 foreign currency exchange points
will be established, 553 of which are at bank branches designated for
foreign exchange. Athletes, officials and tourists are expected to arrive
with origins from over 70 different countries.

Details

Allsup Launches a Direct Express Initiative

Social Security disability insurance provider Allsup seeks to educate SSDI recipients and explore the advantages of a debit card versus a bank account. The debit card program, called “Direct Express,” is run by the U.S. Treasury Department through Comerica Bank with the intent to encourage Social Security recipients who do not have a bank account to elect to have their benefits loaded electronically onto a debit card. The “Direct Express” program will be introduced this spring in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas before being phased in across the nation during the summer. Social Security recipients participating in the Direct Express program are allowed one free ATM cash withdrawal per month from a designated ATM. They are assessed a 90-cent fee for each additional ATM withdrawal. Cardholders may be charged an additional ‘surcharge fee’ by ATM owners outside of the Comerica Bank network, which issues the debit cards. Additionally, program participants have access to online bill payment for a fee of 50 cents per online bill payment and can receive a paper statement for a 75-cent monthly fee.

Details

USAT ePort Connect Stored Value is Launched

USA Technologies also announced the launch of the “ePort Connect Stored Value, Loyalty and Certification Programs.” The comprehensive “ePort Connect” service wirelessly enables self service terminals and vending machines to accept cashless payments, handles all elements of the transaction processing, and allows customers to monitor and manage their terminals online. The unique “e-Port Connect” package supports USA Technologies’ ePort cashless transaction product line, including the Company’s web-based terminal reporting system, “USALive.” With “e-Port Connect” self-service terminals can accept all major credit cards from magnetic stripe and contactless, to NFC which allows consumers to make purchases with their cellular phones.

Details

NCR REALPOS

Fortoak terminal paper supplier has signed agreements with the NCR
Corporation to distribute its 2-sided “RealPOS” printers and custom
designed paper. These products are capable of reducing paper consumption
by over 40% and increase efficiency with less-frequent paper roll
replacement. Moreover, the paper, “NCR 2ST”, allows retailers to customize
coupons and promotions at the point of sale and is a product of
sustainable managed sources which include wood plantations, regulated
forests, recycled saw mill waste and arboreal debris. Fortoak manufactures
and distributes its receipt printer rolls for over 150,000 organizations
with its staff of nearly 100 while the NCR Corporation provides
self-service solutions in various sectors across more than 100 countries.

Details

Hypercom Hires Two Executives

Hypercom has hired Ronald R. Rhodes, previously with Palm, to VP, Global Supply Chain Management and Tim Jones, previously with IXIA to VP, Global Human Resources. Rhodes was SVP of Global Operations for Palm, where he established and directed worldwide supply chain management, including product cost reduction, inventory management and quality organization. This succeeded his role as SVP of Manufacturing & Supply Chain Operations at PSC where he identified, developed and directed key operational initiatives and implemented processes and procedures across all supply chain functions. Jones served for three years as Global Vice President of Human Resources at IXIA where he created, implemented HR metrics, policies, compensation structures and performance management processes. He was also instrumental in increasing the company’s workforce at two offshore entities in Bucharest, Romania and Calcutta, India.

Details

ADS Signs a Hot Topic Card Deal

Alliance Data Systems has signed a long-term agreement with specialty retailer Hot Topic to provide private label credit card services for its Torrid branded stores. Under terms of the agreement, Alliance Data will provide private label credit card services including account acquisition and activation; receivables funding; card authorization; private label credit card issuance; statement generation; remittance processing; customer service functions; and marketing services for Torrid and compliment and enhance Torrid’s existing “divastyle” customer rewards program with 1 million Torrid customers currently enrolled. Hot Topic is a specialty retailer of young men and women’s apparel, accessories, music and gifts with 690 stores and 2007 net sales of $728 million.

Details

PAY IN YOUR CURRENCY

Global Payments and Planet Payment have teamed to provide HSBC Bank
merchants with the “Pay in Your Currency” currency service. This will
provide consumers with immediate payment transaction currency conversion
affording the user the knowledge of the transaction cost in his/her own
funds. These features are projected to be available to users before the
Beijing Olympic Games, which are expected to attract millions of people
from around the world who utilize hundreds of different currencies. Global
Payments provides electronic transaction processing services for payment
cards, verification and recovery to many organizations while Planet
Payment enables processors, acquiring banks and their merchants to accept
transactions in multiple currencies.

Details

SMARTCARD MARKETING & DWC

SmartCard Marketing Systems has signed supply and fulfillment agreements
with Direct World Convenience Card Inc. of Alberta, allowing its expansion
into the Canadian marketplace. Additionally, these agreements will improve
the supply of prepaid and re-loadable cards to both merchants and
consumers for various uses, given the recent increasing demand and need
for
specialized applications across Canada. With this, SmartCard Marketing
Systems can now promote brand awareness through its Velocitymoney.com and
Velocitymerchant.com websites in the fresh territory.

Details

Fargo Financial Card Printing Technology Expands

HID Global announced its participation in 15 pilot programs utilizing its Fargo HDP instant issuance financial card printing technology with banks and credit unions. More than 100 branches are using the HDP printing technology, producing debit cards instantly for banking customers. The largest of the programs is TD Banknorth, a banking and financial services company headquartered in Portland, Maine, who is piloting Dynamic Card Solutions’ “CardWizard FCP 20/20,” an OEM version of HDP technology in dozens of branches. TD Banknorth is offering customers a flat-panel, or non-embossed, VISA debit card and an individual PIN when they open a personal or business checking account. The cards can be used immediately at ATMs and retailers. TD Banknorth plans to roll out the program to all 600 branches in 2008. Other pilots include a major U.S. bank with 2,000 branches across the country.

Details