The service, called iDebit, has been at least 18 months in the making and is expected to be the first major initiative in North America to allow the use of PIN debit cards as a payment option in e-commerce. The banks behind iDebit-- Bank of Montreal, CIBC, Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, and TD Canada Trust—control nearly all PIN debit card accounts in Canada.
Ken Kavanagh, debit and prepaid card executive for Bank of America, says rewards are an important step in boosting the use of debit cards. "A lot of people using credit cards are using them to get rewards," he says. "They're not revolving credit, they're just paying off their balance and getting reward points. With our debit reward program, we can convert those customers."
Separately, BitPass has announced that it has raised $11.75 million in Series B financing from Worldview Technology Partners, Steamboat Ventures (the venture capital arm of the The Walt Disney Company), RRE Ventures and others. James Robinson III, former Chairman and CEO of the American Express Company and a General Partner at RRE Ventures, will join BitPass' Board of Directors along with Peter Goettner, Venture Partner, Worldview, and John R. Ball, Managing Director, Steamboat.