Monday , January 27, 2020

Gift Card Spending Doubles and other Digital Transactions News briefs from 1/8/20

  • Consumers spent 7% more on gift cards during the 2019 holiday shopping season than in the same period in 2018, doubling the 3.4% gain seen in 2018 over 2017, according to data from prepaid program manager Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc., which did not release absolute spending numbers.
  • The U.S. Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service (FS) awarded a five-year contract to incumbent Comerica Bank as financial agent for the Direct Express program. Direct Express provides 4.5 million Americans, the majority of whom do not have a bank account, with a prepaid card to receive monthly Social Security or veterans benefit payments. FS said it “determined that Comerica Bank will continue to provide the best overall value to the American public, existing and new cardholders, and the federal government in terms of reliable access to benefit payments, service, and cost.”
  • Sipree Inc., a provider of fast payouts of rebates, refunds, and other payments to consumers from businesses, rebranded itself as Digital Pay. The company says it provides more than 250 payout options, including digital debit cards, PayPal, Amazon, direct debit to bank, and retailer options.
  • Veeva Systems Inc., a provider of cloud software to the life-sciences industry, launched Veeva Vault Payments, an application that controls payments and reimbursements to clinical research sites.
  • Mastercard Inc. announced it is working to integrate a brand-identifying “sonic melody” it introduced last year into songs from musical artists, starting with Swedish singer Nadine Randle and a single entitled “Merry Go Round.”
  • Telecommunications provider Sprint and payments provider Wirecard AG announced they will integrate Wirecard technology into Sprint’s Curiosity Internet of Things platform to create what the companies are calling the “Internet of Payments,” which will embed payments capability in IoT installations for enterprise clients.
  • Bluefin Payment Systems LLC said software developer Retail inMotion will use Bluefin’s point-to-point encryption service.
  • Ingenico Group released its iCON case that can pair an Ingenico mobile-payment device with iOS or Android devices. Users can attach their preferred smart phone to the case and an Ingenico device, creating a smart and portable POS terminal.

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