Friday, March 9, 2012
Today, CreditDonkey.com, a credit card comparison website published A College Student's Guide to Credit Cards, an infographic packed with statistics, advice and tips on how to avoid crippling debt and build a solid credit history.
College students are using and abusing credit cards more than ever, reports an updated study by the University of Arizona and National Endowment for Financial Education, with students surveyed in 2011 expressing more disinterest in money and credit management than they did in a 2009 survey. The only bright spot is that students are more willing to learn about money management.
“50 percent of college students have four or more credit cards,” said Charles Tran, founder of credit card comparison and education site CreditDonkey.com. “That’s more than any responsible person needs. Many students use cards to either live beyond their means or pay for tuition and other education expenses. But when bills aren’t paid in full every month, the cost of education becomes even higher than it already is.”
Tran noted that the average graduating senior holds credit card debt of $4,100 – a 70 percent increase from 2004. The UA/NEFE study also found that the average freshmen’s debt had nearly tripled since 2004 – from $373 to $939.
To keep their heads above water, Tran recommended that students:
“If you don’t feel comfortable using credit right now, look into alternatives such as prepaid cards (which you fund with set amounts) or debit cards,” added Tran. “But keep in mind that debit and prepaid cards carry their own risks, such as minimum balance requirements and (often) less fraud protection.” They’re not perfect alternatives to credit cards.
Visit CreditDonkey.com to view the full infographic on Student’s Guide to Credit Cards.
March 09, 2012 09:00 AM Eastern Time
Card Spending Growth Takes a Leap in February with an Extra Day*
ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--First Data Corporation, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, today released its First Data SpendTrend® analysis for the full month of February 2012 compared to February 2011. SpendTrend tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations.
“Warm weather and improving economic conditions contributed to better February sales for most merchant categories”
February’s overall year-over-year dollar volume growth was 8.9%, a healthy increase from January’s growth of 7.0%. Overall dollar volume growth continued its positive upward trend in February. Improving economic conditions provided consumers with more confidence and income to spend.
After posting negative year-over-year growth for the prior two months, average tickets returned to positive territory in February with growth of 0.9%. PIN debit posted record highs and took the lead over all other payment types in February.
“Warm weather and improving economic conditions contributed to better February sales for most merchant categories,” said Silvio Tavares, SVP and division manager of First Data Global Information and Analytics Solutions, which publishes SpendTrend.
Feb. Dollar Volume Growth
Note: All transactions are same-store growth.
For more information on First Data SpendTrend, visit www.firstdata.com/infoanalytics or call SpendTrend Customer Care at 800-430-0169. A supplementary podcast including further analysis of the SpendTrend February 2012 report is available here.
To participate in the SpendTrend conversation, please follow First Data at http://twitter.com/FirstData and join us athttp://on.fb.me/spendtrend.
*February growth figures have been normalized to account for the extra day in February 2012.
March 09, 2012 09:00 AM Eastern Time
March 9 – 13, 2012, Austin, TX
AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Gemalto, the world leader in digital security with North American headquarters in Austin, TX, is participating in South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) to engage with digital doers, partners and other industry leaders on all things mobile, identity, and electronic transactions. Gemalto looks to share big ideas centered around digital security and cutting-edge technologies in the emerging industry eco-systems that are transforming the mobile and payment industries.
Gemalto is hosting the IdeaNEXT Lounge at SXSWi, where innovation merges with security and forward movement. The lounge is open to all registered show attendees, and is located on the sixth floor of the Hilton.
On Saturday, March 10, 2012, Gemalto will sponsor The Future of Big Data session track with expert speakers from Gemalto, Isis – the new mobile payment joint venture of AT&T Wireless, T-Mobile and Verizon, CNET, the ACLU, Rackspace and many others. All sessions (details below) will be held in salon FG inside the Hilton.
Specific Dates, Times and Locations
- Hilton Austin Downtown, room 602
- Open Hours:
- Friday, March 9: 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m
- Saturday, March 10: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
- Sunday, March 11: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
- Monday, March 12: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
- Tuesday, March 13: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
The Future of Big Data – Saturday, March 10: 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Salon FG, Hilton
- 9:30 a.m. – Can Privacy Firm Up Your Bottom Line?
- #sxsw #Bootcamp
- 11:00 a.m. – NoSQL Databases: Breaking the Relational Headlock
- #sxsw #nosql
- 12:30 p.m. – Mobile Payment Takes Lesson from Credit Industry
- #sxsw #payment101
- 3:30 p.m. – Securing the Cloud: What’s Your Cloud Entry Point?
- #sxsw #vmware
- 5:00 p.m. – The Dark Side of Social Networks: Malware & Fraud
- #sxsw #snwsec
For More Information
March 09, 2012 08:30 AM Eastern Time
Loopt is a pioneer in mobile user interface design, real-time location-based mobile rewards marketing, and geo-location application technology
MONROVIA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Green Dot Corporation (NYSE: GDOT), a provider of widely distributed, low-cost banking and payment solutions to a broad base of U.S. consumers, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Loopt, Inc., of Mountain View, California. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2012 and is subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.
“We believe that mobile phones have the potential to change the way people interact with their bank, control their money and pay for goods and services”
The acquisition of Loopt will provide Green Dot with a number of key strategic benefits that are expected to a) improve customer acquisition and retention of its current prepaid debit card products, b) drive the adoption of new banking and payment products targeted to new segments of consumers, and c) provide the opportunity for Green Dot to become a leader in mobile wallets, rewards and payment solutions at retailers nationwide. Furthermore, Loopt holds several patents that are applicable to mobile marketing in the context of location-based messaging delivered real-time to a mobile handset. Green Dot believes that these patents will be important strategic assets as it pursues its mobile business opportunities.
"We believe that mobile phones have the potential to change the way people interact with their bank, control their money and pay for goods and services,” said Steve Streit, Chairman and CEO of Green Dot. "Loopt has innovative mobile technology, market leading mobile programming capabilities and compelling intellectual property. Meanwhile, Green Dot has a large customer base, a robust enterprise-level financial services infrastructure and retail point-of-sale financial transaction capabilities deployed at major retailers nationwide. When Loopt’s assets are layered into Green Dot’s platform, we believe that a significant opportunity emerges for Green Dot to become a large-scale player in mobile technology solutions at the retail point of sale."
Loopt co-founder and CEO Sam Altman stated, “It’s been exhilarating to see mobile become such a critical part of our collective daily lives. As this technology truly reaches the masses, I believe we're going to see the banking and payments industry fundamentally reshaped in a way that’s better for everyone. My team and I look forward to being part of this transformation and are eager to bring cutting edge mobile banking and payment solutions to Green Dot's retail partners and Green Dot's millions of current and future customers."
Upon closing of the transaction, Loopt’s current headquarters in Mountain View, California will become the new Silicon Valley hub for Green Dot’s mobile technology and product development team.
Green Dot will pay total consideration of $43.4 million in cash for the company, which includes approximately $9.8 million to be set aside as a retention pool for key Loopt employees. Green Dot expects this transaction will result in approximately $14 million of incremental operating expenses during the remainder of this year which will reduce the Company’s previously guided 2012 full year adjusted EBITDA accordingly. This amount includes the above mentioned retention payments, ongoing salaries and benefits for retained Loopt employees, wind-down expenses of current Loopt services and other expenses associated with the costs of integrating Loopt’s technology into Green Dot’s operating infrastructure.
Green Dot will provide further details about this acquisition, including information on Green Dot’s mobile strategy, during its Q1 earnings call on April 26, 2012.
MasterCard Names Steve Grigg as President, Access Prepaid Worldwide and Cathy McCaul as Group Executive, MasterCard Integrated Processing Solutions™ (IPS)
March 08, 2012 11:01 AM Eastern Time
PURCHASE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MasterCard (NYSE:MA) today announced that Steve Grigg has been appointed president of MasterCard’s Access Prepaid Worldwide subsidiary and Cathy McCaul has been named group executive of MasterCard Integrated Processing Solutions (IPS).
“Access Prepaid Worldwide and IPS represent key drivers of long-term growth in our business. These appointments underscore our continued growth and commitment in these important areas.”
Grigg has been named President of Access Prepaid Worldwide after serving as chief information officer at Travelex. MasterCard acquired the Travelex prepaid card program management business in 2011, renaming it Access Prepaid Worldwide. Before joining Travelex in 2008, Grigg was chief operating officer of Vocalink. This newly created position will take effect in May 2012 and will report to Timothy Murphy, chief product officer, Core Products, MasterCard Worldwide. Grigg will be based in the United Kingdom.
McCaul has been appointed group executive responsible for leading MasterCard’s IPS business. The role will share dual lines of reporting to Gary Flood, president, Global Products & Solutions, MasterCard Worldwide and Rob Reeg, president, MasterCard Technologies. McCaul joined MasterCard Worldwide in March 2008 and led the global Cardholder Solutions business. In July 2010, she was named group executive, Global Products & Solutions, U.S. Markets. Prior to MasterCard, McCaul held various leadership roles within the financial services and technology sectors.
Commenting on the announcement, Timothy Murphy, chief product officer, Core Products, MasterCard Worldwide said, “Access Prepaid Worldwide and IPS represent key drivers of long-term growth in our business. These appointments underscore our continued growth and commitment in these important areas.”
“Steve brings tremendous experience, knowledge of the business and strong customer relationships, which will enable an accelerated growth agenda for Access Prepaid Worldwide across our key markets,” continued Murphy.
“As a seasoned and highly respected executive at MasterCard, Cathy is the ideal candidate to take the helm of IPS. Supported by a strong team with deep expertise in processing solutions, Cathy will lead our efforts to grow and execute on our business objectives and strategic vision,” concluded Murphy.
Access Prepaid is a wholly-owned subsidiary focused on the management and delivery of consumer and corporate prepaid travel cards to business partners around the world, including financial institutions, retailers, travel agents and foreign exchange bureaus. Access Prepaid Worldwide is allowing MasterCard to shape the future of prepaid by playing a greater role in the value chain to support issuers and partners, especially outside of the United States and in the attractive cross-border payments space where there is great opportunity to displace cash and traveler’s checks.
MasterCard IPS is a leading-edge debit and prepaid processing platform that offers a complete processing solution to create differentiated products and services and quickly expand payments portfolios across business channels efficiently and with minimal infrastructure investment. The platform provides a complete range of processing services for signature and PIN debit, as well as ATM and global prepaid.