Platform Enables Immigrants To Easily Pay Bills Of Family Living Back Home

California-based PayDivvy has already provided tools for friends to easily split the cost of bills. NowBlueKite aims to help expatriates send money back to their family to ensure they can keep on top of their regular outgoings.

While many people travel abroad in order to make money to support their family back home, they may not have control over how their loved ones manage their finances. Through BlueKite’s free web service, immigrants can organize the utility bills of those overseas, see what needs owing and pay in real-time. Accounts are added using the company name and meter or service number. The service acts as an alternative to the sending of checks and cash remittances to overseas companies and avoids leaving family members without easy access to banks to deal with their utilities.

BlueKite offers expatriates greater transparency over what’s going on with their relatives’ finances, while companies have to deal with fewer unpaid accounts. How else can cross-border money transfers be made more user friendly?

Website: www.bluekite.com
Contact: www.bluekite.com/contact

Spotted by: Murray Orange

Source: http://www.springwise.com/financial_services/platform-enables-immigrants-easily-pay-bills-family-living-home/

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Alto Global Processing – Starbucks: We’ll be Passbook-ready before October

By  of CNET

Starbucks says it will be integrated with Apple’s Passbook by the end of the month.

The company announced the news on Twitter this morning, providing no further information about features or carryover for current Starbucks card holders.

A Starbucks spokesperson told CNET that an update to the company’s iPhone app will let current Starbucks Card owners add their account to
Passbook.

Passbook, which went out as part of iOS 6 earlier this week, is a new application from Apple designed to store membership cards, tickets, coupons, and boarding passes — a bit like a digital wallet. As an added feature, Passbook does a few things paper and plastic can’t, like alert you to changes, and pop up to be readily accessed based on your location.

Starbucks already announced that it would be integrating with Passbook, though did not provide a timetable. Nonetheless Apple has promoted the company as one of the initial partners, along with Fandango, Target, and Major League Baseball, the last of which CNET gave a spin this week at a MLB game.

The relationship between Apple and Starbucks dates back to 2007 with a deal that had Apple offering a special Starbucks section of its iTunes Music Store, with Starbucks-curated music picks that would appear when iPhone or iPod Touch users were on the store’s Wi-Fi network. Starbucks has since gone on to offer the Pick of the Week program, as well as developed a first-party application that lets users pay for drinks with their iOS device.

Source: http://www.cnet.com/news/starbucks-well-be-passbook-ready-before-october/

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Alto Global Processing: CNP Fraud Spikes as Ability to Catch or Prevent Card-Present Fraud Improves By Tom Goldsmith

It’s become much more difficult to produce counterfeit credit and debit cards, thanks to improved card design and better protection of card data that could be used to make fakes.And with the arrival over the next few years of EMV technology, it will be even more difficult to create counterfeit cards.

That hasn’t deterred the criminals engaged in organized card fraud, however. According to the analytics firm FICO, as card-present fraud has declined, there has been a real spike in card-not-present (CNP) fraud, essentially via the internet and by telephone.

“Continued improvements in fraud controls have succeeded in keeping the fraud genie in the bottle; but fraud fraudsters continue to evolve their attempts to circumvent our efforts, adapting to consumer behavior and simply following the money,” said Doug Clare, vice president of Product Management at FICO. “More online shopping has created a shift towards more online fraud, which is proving to be a popular, relatively safe and anonymous means for fraudsters to exploit any weakness in fraud systems. Consumers and issuers should remain diligent when using cards for point of sale and ATM transactions.”

Source:  http://www.electran.org/DailyScoop/?p=2138

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Alto Global Processing: Doxo Delivers Single-Click Mobile Bill Payment

Doxo announced the launch of a new single-click mobile bill payment capability, and added a new smart phone app, doxo Mobile for Android, to its existing iPhone mobile app.

“The doxo mission is to massively simplify the experience of interacting with providers and paying bills. The new capabilities of our mobile app make bill paying simpler than ever. So simple, in fact, that doxo users are paying their bills an average of 10 days sooner than they would through traditional mail,” said Steve Shivers CEO of doxo. “doxo Mobile takes the hassle out of bill payment, and provides an innovative, free service for businesses to offer to their customers, without having to develop their own app.”

Source: http://www.paymentsnews.com/2012/05/doxo-delivers-single-click-mobile-bill-payment.html

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Alto Global Processing: PayPal Announces Next Wave of Partners for In-Store Checkout

PayPal has announced the next 15 national retail partners that will be testing PayPal In-Store Checkout.

“In every market we’ve entered PayPal has changed the game. We did it for online payments in 1998, creating a business from nothing and building it to one with more than $118 billion in total payment volume last year. We were the first major player to enter the mobile space in 2006 and we plan to exceed $7 billion in mobile payment volume this year. And we’re on track to change the game again in offline payments.”

In related go-to-market news, PayPal also announced POS partnerships with terminal providers VeriFone (press release, website details) and Equinox (press release) as well as mid-market POS software providers Leapset, ShopKeep (video), Vend (video), and Erply (video).

Source: http://www.paymentsnews.com/2012/05/paypal-announces-next-wave-of-partners-for-in-store-checkout.html

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Alto Global Processing: U.S. Bank and Plastic Jungle Partner on Credit Card Rewards

U.S. Bank announced that it has partnered with Plastic Jungleto enable FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature cardholders to easily and safely exchange select merchants’ gift cards for highly valued FlexPoints, reward points that can be redeemed for travel, merchandise and more.

“We’re continually seeking innovative ways for our FlexPerks cardholders to earn FlexPoints and offering a simple, safe and quick exchange of unredeemed gift cards for valuable FlexPoints is certainly an inventive approach,” said Cliff Cook, chief marketing officer for U.S. Bank Retail Payment Solutions. “With the holidays over and spring break time here, the gift card exchange is timely for cardholders looking to accumulate some extra FlexPoints for travel.”

Source: http://www.paymentsnews.com/2012/03/us-bank-and-plastic-jungle-partner-on-credit-card-rewards.html

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Alto Global Processing: Coming this May – Glenbrook’s Advanced “Payments 2012” Workshop

Are you ready for an update on the fast-changing payments industry landscape? If so, plan to join us for an in-depth look at the most important trends and players shaping the payments industry in 2012 – an Advanced Payments 2012 Workshop being held on May 15 in Santa Clara, CA. This workshop is specially designed as an update for alumni of our Glenbrook Payments Boot Camp. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Two business models that matter
  • Three trends that are changing the industry
  • Five players that are defining payments innovation
  • Ten newcomers you should be watching

Visit our Payments 2012 website for more information and links to online registration, or contact Glenbrook partner Carol Coye Benson with any questions.

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Alto Global Processing – The Social Credit Card: AmEx Syncs With Twitter To Turn #Hashtags Into Savings

Special thanks to Fast Company and the writer Austin Carr for allowing us to share this story

Today, American Express unveiled a new program with Twitter to let cardmembers sync accounts with the social network, and earn savings from big brands such as Whole Foods, Best Buy, and Zappos–just by retweeting certain hashtags.

With the partnership, AmEx helps fortify its role as the credit card for the social media generation–and, apparently, following through on the whole Social Currency idea beyond offering membership points rewards. In addition to its partnership with Twitter, the company, which boasts more than 90 million cardholders worldwide, has already rolled out a national program with Foursquare for check-in deals and Facebook for rewards through Likes. AmEx aims to be the connective tissue between merchants and consumers on social media that will provide a mix of offers, data, and branding to its members.

As with Foursquare, the process of syncing your AmEx account to your Twitter account is a quick, one-time process. Once linked, U.S. cardholders have the opportunity to earn rewards by tweeting special offers from hashtags. “Tweet #AmExWholeFoods, get $20 back 1x on next $75 in-store purchase,” Whole Foods might tweet. Once the consumer tweets the #AmExWholeFoods hashtag, the offer is automatically loaded into that member’s account, ready to be redeemed effortlessly the next time he or she shops at Whole Foods.

“Twitter is already being used as a platform to connect buyers and sellers, but no one has really nailed it in terms of proving that Twitter conversations can drive directly to commerce, or that tweets can really be linked to transactions,” says Dave Wolf, VP of global business and market development at AmEx. “That’s what we’re really excited about doing.”

The benefit of the service is as much about the deal for the consumer as it is the data for the merchant. “We can go to Whole Foods or any merchant we work with and give them information and analytics,” says AmEx vice chairman Ed Gilligan. “How many people used the offer? What was the size of the shopping cart when they checked out? Did that customer come a week later or a month later?”

In other words, AmEx has finally developed a way to demonstrate a tweet’s ROI–and not just in terms of commerce. The deals will also have a benefit on Twitter, leading to “more trending topics, more followers, and more conversations,” says Leslie Berland, SVP of digital partnerships and development at AmEx. “Are our followers growing? Are people talking about our business? Are people engaging with our content?”

It’s a social strategy AmEx has used to take the friction out of the point of sale, and turn something as simple as a hashtag into a potential future transaction. It’s also a social strategy we should expect AmEx to continue to pursue beyond Facebook, Foursquare, and Twitter.

“We want to go where our cardmembers are,” Berland says. “So when you talk about Instagram, if they presented an opportunity where it evolved into something that would be a natural fit for this, we would definitely look at it. We are looking at platforms that both have scale, and that we’re able to put our technology in in a very authentic way. But yes, we can do this with a variety of different partners, and we, candidly, have many partners beating down our doors to do exactly that.”

Source: http://www.fastcompany.com/1823041/social-credit-card-amex-syncs-twitter-turn-hashtags-savings

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Alto Global Processing – How Consumers Pay: Adoption and Use of Payments

The Boston Fed has published a Working Paper entitled “How Consumers Pay: Adoption and Use of Payments“.

For the first time, we estimate the number of payment methods adopted by consumers conditional on having access to a bank account, as the unbanked consumers’ payment choices are much more limited than those of consumers with bank accounts. This paper follows the analysis in Schuh and Stavins (2010), but with improved data, allowing us to estimate a better model of payment behavior. As in the previous study, cost is found to significantly affect payment use, indicating that the recent increase in the cost of debit cards issued by some banks may lead to a reduction in U.S. consumers’ reliance on debit cards for transactions.

To see the full publication please visit : How Consumers Pay: Adoption and Use of Payments

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Alto Global Processing: American Express Moves Ahead of MasterCard; U.S. Credit Card Purchase Volume Marks First Double-Digit Growth Since 2007

Story by the Nilson Report

CARPENTERIA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–There were several important developments in the fortunes of U.S. credit card companies in 2011, according to the annual special report on General Purpose Credit Cards, published in the most recent issue of The Nilson Report, a respected trade newsletter on the payments industry.

“This is the first time since MasterCard was known as MasterCharge back in the 1960s, that American Express has experienced more purchase volume”

American Express overtook MasterCard to gain second place among credit card brands in the U.S., based on spending at merchants. “This is the first time since MasterCard was known as MasterCharge back in the 1960s, that American Express has experienced more purchase volume,” said David Robertson, publisher of The Nilson Report. While purchase volume increased for all four card brands (Visa, Amex, MasterCard, and Discover), American Express credit cards had an increase of 13.4% to $540 billion dollars, vs. an increase 6.1% to $508 billion for MasterCard credit cards.

For the first time since 2007, combined American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa consumer and commercial credit, debit and prepaid cards generated a double-digit increase in spending at merchants. The combined cards generated $3.595 trillion in purchase volume in 2011, up 10.4% from 2010.

Credit card outstandings, the unpaid balances owned by all Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover general purpose credit card accounts totaled $713.27 billion in 2011, up $1.99 billion or 0.3%. This was the first increase since 2008.

About The Nilson Report

The Nilson Report is a highly respected source of global news and analysis of the credit, debit and prepaid card industry. The subscription newsletter provides in-depth rankings and statistics on the current status of the industry, as well as company, personnel and product updates. David Robertson, Publisher of The Nilson Report, is a recognized expert in the field, and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. Over 18,000 readers in 90 countries worldwide value The Nilson Report to track industry trends and market information.

Source: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20120222006974/en/American-Express-Moves-MasterCard-U.S.-Credit-Card

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