Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 28, 2012 02:02 PM
Isis may be the ancient Egyptian goddess of nature and magic, but she would surely have her lid flipped if she were given a digital wallet that only needs to be tapped in order to pay for something.
Such is the power of Isis, the name of the mobile commerce joint venture launched by a trio of U.S. mobile operators — AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless — to bring financial services brands' credit, prepaid, and banking customers to mobile. The venture this week signed Chase, Capital One and Barclaycard US, expanding on charter credit card members Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.
It's a "testament to the vision and commitment of Chase, Capital One and Barclaycard to make mobile commerce a real and positive experience for their customers," stated Michael Abbott, CEO of Isis. "Mobile commerce is more than a new way to pay; it's about extending the relationships consumers enjoy with their banks and merchants into a powerful and convenient new form factor."
Sprint, the fourth major player in the U.S. mobile-phone industry, has instead partnered with Google on its Google Wallet, which PC Mag notes has some kinks to work out. PayPal is also promoting its digital wallet to retailers and other businesses.Continue reading...
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Posted by Shirley Brady on February 20, 2012 03:29 PM
As if there were any doubt that mobile wallets are the future, Barclays just launched what it's calling Europe's first person-to-person service for sending and receiving money using mobile phone numbers, and saw 20,000 Brits sign up in the first two days. The bank's free mobile app, powered by Pingit, is free to download and use, and promises secure transfer of funds in seconds, which will show up immediately on customers' bank statements.
The Barclays Pingit mobile payment system is available to any UK resident with a UK registered mobile number, users must be 18 or older and need an Android phone, BlackBerry or iPhone smartphone with with web access. Barclays current account customers can send up to £300 a day to family, friends and small businesses. Non-Barclays customers with a current account can receive payments, and "soon they'll be able to send money too," according to the bank.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 12, 2012 07:45 PM
MetLife debuts the musical TV commercial above — featuring Charlie Brown's piano-loving buddy Schroeder and a lovestruck Lucy — during tonight's CBS broadcast of the Grammy awards. It's a continuation of its Super Bowl debut last weekend, with a spot titled "Everyone" that featured the Peanuts gang and 56 other cartoon characters and a new tagline ("I can do this") for the brand. Find out more on the campaign below.Continue reading...
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Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 11, 2012 05:07 PM
Sir Richard Branson is indeed taking over the world. And now he may be taking over your money.
The billionaire Brit and founder of all things Virgin on earth — including Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Records, Virgin Mobile — and beyond, with Virgin Galactic aiming to talk regular folks into space — is this week pushing Virgin Money, the Virgin-branded bank that's taking over Northern Rock's 75 branches in the U.K. and 21,000 staff members for £747million ($948.3 million), according to the Mirror.
After the Northern Rock acquisition was announced, Virgin moved to add an annual £60 ($78) fee on every account, but then changed course and decided to offer it as an option, the Mail reports. As a sweetener, the bank will likely “offer perks such as discounts on Virgin flights or gym memberships,” the paper notes.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 21, 2011 03:01 PM
Sometimes Americans are overseas somewhere and pull out the old credit card to cover the latest expense only to find that something isn’t working quite right. Chase and British Airways are teaming up to offer a new card to help combat such things and spread a little airline advertising at the same time.
Already widely used in countries including Canada, the co-branded card is “embedded with a ‘smart’ chip technology that reduces fraud and is widely used outside the United States,” the Washington Post notes.
Just as America is the only developed nation that steadfastly refuses to use the metric system, it also is the only one of the bunch to still use magnetic-strip credit cards. (We are an ornery bunch.) The rest of the world has switched to chip-based cards, which don’t involve sliding the strip in order to complete a transaction. Instead, the cards are inserted into slots and a PIN is used to finalize the matter.
The new Chase/British Airways card will have the chip and the magnetic strip. “Card terminals overseas also have a slot where magnetic strip cards can be swiped, (but) cashiers in less-traveled areas are sometimes confused by how to process such transactions,” the Post adds.
“What used to be a trickle a few years ago has become a frequent point of irritation,” stated Naney Pandit, general manager of Chase’s card services, in a press release.
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 18, 2011 04:11 PM
A little bit Kickstarter and Pepsi Refresh Project but with a layer of ‘savvy mentors’ and backing by Britain's Barclays Bank (with media help by Channel 4), The Stake is a competition with a £100,000 reward for ideas that get the most support from the public. It's open to youths living in the U.K. (age 16-21) who have a fantastic idea and a smart plan for how to spend that £100,000.
The ideas could be "anything, from the heart warming to the hilarious, whether it’s a streetwear start-up, a new school skate ramp or a major charitable donation." Applicants can apply at TheStake.co.uk or on Facebook, where users can pitch or back their ideas. What makes it fun and engaging: by completing challenges along the way, they can increase the number of voting stakes out of a possible total of six.
According to Channel 4's press release, the peer-to-peer game with the big jackpot "aims to show the UK's young people that business and social enterprise can be creative, fun, challenging and that good ideas and passion can be rewarded."Continue reading...
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Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 16, 2011 11:03 AM
Their timing simply could not be better. BankSimple, the banking 3.0 startup we covered in April, has changed its name to Simple and opened its virtual doors (at Simple.com, naturally) to the public. Not really a bank at all, Simple partners with banks and financial institutions to offer money management services online.
Simple is capitalizing on the growing frustration with big banks and the name change, “is a better representation of what we aspire to. It releases us from the constraints of an industry in desperate need of innovation,” writes Joshua Reich, Simple co-founder and CEO, in a blog post.
The public beta follows a September sneak peak on their blog which stated: "The product isn’t finished. It will never be finished. We’re constantly improving. But we’ve now reached the point where we’ve learned as much as possible from testing internally and in a few weeks we’ll be shipping cards to our first real customers."
Simple offers no fees for ATM withdrawals, no monthly management fees, no overdraft fees, no minimum balance, live customer support and dedicated account interfaces for mobile and web platforms. The goal is no less than to overhaul traditional front-end banking as banks are under increasing public scrutiny for their part in the global financial crisis.Continue reading...
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Posted by Dale Buss on November 10, 2011 04:13 PM
Walmart has been trying to return to its roots as purveyor of a huge variety of goods, merchandised in a charmingly busy way, at the reliably lowest prices. Now the world's largest retailer may benefit from applying the same sort of approach to one of its newest areas of endeavor: financial services.
This may cause some cognitive dissonance for the Occupy Wall Street crowd, which surely is populated with many Walmart haters as well as Wall Street haters. But it turns out that Walmart is coming to the rescue of ordinary Americans with low-fee check-cashing services that undercut the huge debit-card and other fees being layered on by banks -- much to the chagrin of the protesters and many other Americans.
Long ago, Walmart tried to obtain a federal charter for a bank, but withdrew in the face of opposition by the banking industry and lawmakers. So instead, its Money Centers have resorted to putting together a menu of a la carte services to appeal to the vast numbers of "unbanked" and "unhappily banked" Americans.Continue reading...