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November 08, 2013

CardCash.com Raises $6 MM in Funding From Guggenheim Partners

CardCash.com, a web-based secondary gift card exchange, has announced that it has secured $6 million in growth financing from Guggenheim Partners. CardCash said it will use the funding to continue to enhance its popular exchange on which consumers can buy, sell, and trade the estimated $30 billion of unused gift cards.

We are excited to form this strategic partnership with Guggenheim Partners as this will help us realize our strategy and vision,” said Elliot Bohm, CEO and co-founder of CardCash.

“With Guggenheim’s investment, we can expand our brand and service to consumers across America.”

Doug Atkin, who heads Guggenheim’s venture and growth investing business, added, “CardCash fits perfectly into our strategy of investing in innovative financial exchanges. The Company has a proven track record and a first-rate management team. We look forward to our partnership and also to helping them continue to build out their exciting business.”

Annual gift card sales exceed $100 billion annually in the United States. As that number continues to grow, nearly 10% of those cards go unspent every year. To help access that locked-up capital, CardCash provides a simple and secure online exchange that allows consumers to convert these unused cards into cash.

Headline News from PaymentsNews.com - November 8, 2013

On the web:

On the wires:

Updates from Glenbrook:

  • Looking for consulting help from Glenbrook? Let us know your needs here - and we'll get right back to you!
  • Join Glenbrook's Carol Coye Benson and Scott Loftesness for our Glenbrook Payments Boot Camp on December 10-11th in Palo Alto, California!
  • Glenbrook's Jacqueline Chilton will be speaking social media and payments at the W.net Northern California LINC Networking event being held November 14 at Google.
  • Join our mailing list for updates about Glenbrook events. Follow us on Twitter: @paymentsnews and @paymentsviews

Note: Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners. Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated. Find something interesting to share? Tell us about it: gotnews@paymentsnews.com!

November 07, 2013

Federal Reserve Reports 2-1/4 Percent Decline in Revolving Credit

FederalReserve 130pxThe Federal Reserve has published its latest G.19 Consumer Credit report - finding that onsumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5-1/4 percent during the third quarter. Revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 2-1/4 percent, while nonrevolving credit increased at an annual rate of 8 percent. In September, consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5-1/2 percent.

MasterCard Partners with Rogers for Mobile Payments in Canada

MasterCard logo 140pxMasterCard has announced a strategic agreement with Rogers Communications to support mobile payment innovation - including the Rogers Prepaid MasterCard available inside the newly launched Rogers suretap wallet operating on MasterCard’s payment network. The Rogers suretap wallet allows customers to simply tap their phone to pay at retailers accepting contactless card payments.

MasterCard has laid the groundwork for mobile payments in Canada thanks to our market-leading contactless payment footprint. This is another step forward in driving mobile payment adoption,” said Betty DeVita, President, MasterCard Canada.

“As a technology company, enabling mobile payments is a priority as we know consumers are using their smartphones as commerce devices. Paying securely from a smartphone puts time back in the hands of consumers, and adds value to a seamless checkout experience for both shoppers and retailers.”

Contactless cards and mobile payments use Near Field Communication (NFC). A chip embedded inside a card or smartphone wirelessly transmits a signal to the payment kiosk at checkout. When tapped, the transaction is processed. By ensuring merchants across Canada can accept Tap & Go payments from cards, MasterCard is readying those same merchants for mobile payments.

Headline News from PaymentsNews.com - November 7, 2013

On the web:

  • Bitcoin: A Primer - Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago - "Bitcoin is a digital currency that was launched in 2009, and it has attracted much attention recently. This article reviews the mechanics of the currency and offers some thoughts on its characteristics."
  • Bitcoin isn’t so broken after all - Freedom to Tinker (Ed Felten) - "In short, a coalition of ES-miners cannot form and will not survive."
  • Square Exploring 2014 IPO With Banks - WSJ Digits - "Technology entrepreneur Jack Dorsey is trying to pull off two high-profile initial public offerings in the span of one year."
  • Minting Cash: how Square designed a product with no design at all - The Verge - "One of Dorsey’s most critical directives during the process was that users shouldn’t have to come up with new usernames and passwords, because in real life, you don’t need a password to hand some money to a friend."
  • Does anyone care about Square? - Financial Services Club Blog - "We will soon live in a world without payments. As retailers integrate more of the financial transaction into their trade processes, the more we live in a world where payments become increasingly irrelevant."
  • Is Bitcoin Broken? - Bitcoin Foundation - "...I believe the paper’s assertion of a fundamental flaw is based on some over-simplified assumptions about how the bitcoin mining market works."
  • The Bitcoin Bubble - TechCrunch - "Bitcoin can have ‘value’ based not on any sort of government backing or the like, but it can provide short-term utility to all holders if it has use."
  • Bitcoin Climbs to Record on Wider Acceptance, China Trade - "If James Bond, Sergey Brin and Paul Volcker all got together and designed their ideal currency, it might look a lot like Bitcoin..."
  • Jumio unveils faster and smarter Netswipe 2.0, cements its standing as the most secure mobile payment verification option - PandoDaily - "Today Jumio announced version 2.0 of its Netswipe platform, making payment card scanning significantly faster and adding the ability to read not only credit card numbers and expiration date, but also, for the first time, the cardholder’s name."
  • BTCJam: P2P Lending via Bitcoin - NetBanker - "Case in point: BTCJam , a global P2P lending outfit with founders in Brazil and San Francisco, that lends in Bitcoins."

On the wires:

Updates from Glenbrook:

  • Looking for consulting help from Glenbrook? Let us know your needs here - and we'll get right back to you!
  • Join Glenbrook's Carol Coye Benson and Scott Loftesness for our Glenbrook Payments Boot Camp on December 10-11th in Palo Alto, California!
  • Glenbrook's Jacqueline Chilton will be speaking social media and payments at the W.net Northern California LINC Networking event being held November 14 at Google.
  • Join our mailing list for updates about Glenbrook events. Follow us on Twitter: @paymentsnews and @paymentsviews

Note: Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners. Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated. Find something interesting to share? Tell us about it: gotnews@paymentsnews.com!

November 06, 2013

US Bank Introduces Contour Prepaid Card

USBank logo 140pxU.S. Bank has announced the U.S. Bank Contour Card - saying that the new card "gives customers the convenience of a debit card, the control of a bank account and the freedom of cash."

We continue working to give customers innovative options to manage their finances,” said Kevin Morrison, senior vice president for U.S. Bank Retail Payment Solutions. “The Contour Card is our latest example. It’s a great tool to manage expenses by giving you the power to budget your money across multiple prepaid cards under the same account. Customers can use Contour as their primary payment card, but it is also a good fit for anyone who wants a new way to manage money.”

“Contour gives you control over your spending in so many ways,” said Whitney Bright, market leader for consumer prepaid at U.S. Bank. “From tracking your spending to transferring money between accounts, Contour gives customers the ability to manage it all from one location through their personal My Contour Dashboard.”

Cardholders can open up to five additional card accounts that can be linked to their primary account. Cardholders can use Contour anywhere Visa Debit cards are accepted, get free cash withdrawals at any U.S. Bank or MoneyPass ATMs, and direct deposit paychecks to their accounts at no additional charge.

Headline News from PaymentsNews.com - November 6, 2013

On the web:

On the wires:

Updates from Glenbrook:

  • Looking for consulting help from Glenbrook? Let us know your needs here - and we'll get right back to you!
  • Join Glenbrook's Carol Coye Benson and Scott Loftesness for our Glenbrook Payments Boot Camp on December 10-11th in Palo Alto, California!
  • Glenbrook's Jacqueline Chilton will be speaking social media and payments at the W.net Northern California LINC Networking event being held November 14 at Google.
  • Join our mailing list for updates about Glenbrook events. Follow us on Twitter: @paymentsnews and @paymentsviews

Note: Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners. Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated. Find something interesting to share? Tell us about it: gotnews@paymentsnews.com!

November 05, 2013

American Express Partners with ShopRunner for Free 2-day Shipping

Amex logo 140pxAmerican Express has announced the launch of a new free 2-day shipping benefit from ShopRunner, available to eligible U.S. Consumer and Small Business Credit and Charge Card Members. ShopRunner offers free 2-day shipping, currently valued at $79 a year, at more than 80+ popular online retail partners, including Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor, Brooks Brothers, Toys"R"Us, PetSmart, drugstore.com, and GNC, among others.

Shipping costs can really add up and are a major consideration for online shoppers. In fact, according to a recent survey from comScore, 55% of online shoppers abandon their shopping carts because of high shipping costs,” said Josh Silverman, President, American Express U.S. Consumer Services.

“With free 2-day shipping and free return shipping at 80+ online retailers through ShopRunner, our Card Members can enjoy a stress-free online shopping experience at many of their favorite places to shop.”

Starting today, American Express Card Members can enroll an eligible Card at www.shoprunner.com/americanexpress and enjoy ShopRunner’s free 2-day shipping on all eligible items at participating stores.

MasterCard Launches New Center for Inclusive Growth

MasterCard logo 140pxMasterCard has announced the MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth to conduct and support academic research and provide strategic philanthropic investments that further sustainable and equitable economic growth and financial inclusion around the world. More than a billion people live in extreme poverty, and 2.5 billion adults lack access to formal financial services. While progress is being made, inclusive growth can be the difference, especially for emerging markets, between a volatile economy and one that’s sustainable and sensible in its growth over time.

“MasterCard is launching the Center to provide a focus on delivering the research and philanthropic investments necessary to advance inclusive growth,” said Walt Macnee, Vice Chairman of MasterCard.

“With more people from more countries participating in the global economy than even before, MasterCard believes that inclusive growth is key for economic and social progress.”

“Today, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to define the future more evenly and more equitably, and in a way that’s more sustainable and prosperous,” said Macnee. “We look forward to continuing a dialogue with all interested stakeholders through the MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth.”

The Center will work with government agencies, academic institutions, non-profits, foundations and private corporations to create and curate relevant knowledge assets and convene a global knowledge network. As a first step, the Center has created an Academic Advisory Council comprised of thought leaders and innovative thinkers on economic growth and financial inclusion from around the world. Serving as Senior Fellows, they provide strategic counsel and inform the Center’s annual research agenda. The Center’s Senior Fellows include: Fan Gang, Robert Lawrence, Guntram Wolff, Martyn Davies, Ricardo Hausmann, and Suman Bery.

The Center will also focus MasterCard’s strategic philanthropic investments on programs and initiatives that advance financial inclusion through entrepreneurship and economic development. Investments will include a particular focus on empowering women and youth who comprise a large share of those currently excluded from formal financial services.

Headline News from PaymentsNews.com - November 5, 2013

On the web:

On the wires:

Updates from Glenbrook:

  • Looking for consulting help from Glenbrook? Let us know your needs here - and we'll get right back to you!
  • Join Glenbrook's Carol Coye Benson and Scott Loftesness for our Glenbrook Payments Boot Camp on December 10-11th in Palo Alto, California!
  • Glenbrook's Elizabeth McQuerry will be speaking on New Payments Regulation in Brazil at the International Money Transmitter Conference in Miami, Nov 4-7, 2013.
  • Glenbrook's Jacqueline Chilton will be speaking social media and payments at the W.net Northern California LINC Networking event being held November 14 at Google.
  • Join our mailing list for updates about Glenbrook events. Follow us on Twitter: @paymentsnews and @paymentsviews

Note: Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners. Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated. Find something interesting to share? Tell us about it: gotnews@paymentsnews.com!

November 04, 2013

Headline News from PaymentsNews.com - November 4, 2013

On the web:

On the wires:

Updates from Glenbrook:

  • Looking for consulting help from Glenbrook? Let us know your needs here - and we'll get right back to you!
  • Join Glenbrook's Carol Coye Benson and Scott Loftesness for our Glenbrook Payments Boot Camp on December 10-11th in Palo Alto, California!
  • Glenbrook's Elizabeth McQuerry will be speaking on New Payments Regulation in Brazil at the International Money Transmitter Conference in Miami, Nov 4-7, 2013.
  • Glenbrook's Jacqueline Chilton will be speaking social media and payments at the W.net Northern California LINC Networking event being held November 14 at Google.
  • Join our mailing list for updates about Glenbrook events. Follow us on Twitter: @paymentsnews and @paymentsviews

Note: Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners. Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated. Find something interesting to share? Tell us about it: gotnews@paymentsnews.com!

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