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MasterCard Enters the Mobile Payment Arena

March 6th, 2013 at 2:24 pm

MasterCard has just announced a new digital wallet service that it hopes will take the lead. The service, called MasterPass, evolved out of MasterCard’s PayPass system, which allowed cardholders to pay by tapping their card, phone, or key tag on the point of sale terminal rather than swiping a card. MasterPass pushes the idea a little further in hopes of creating a more universal service – one that can be used with multiple payment types and in various locations. Customers can connect various forms of payment to their MasterPass account, including all of their credit and debit cards as well as mobile wallets created by individual banks and merchants. Once […]

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No End in Sight for High Credit Card Fees

February 5th, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Credit card fees have always been troublesome for retailers, but a recent settlement between card issuers and merchants means those fees are about to become a bigger problem. The settlement is the result of a massive anti-trust case brought by retailers against financial firms such as Visa and MasterCard. The card issuers were accused of unlawfully fixing “swipe fees” – the fees the merchants are charged every time a customer pays using a credit card. Merchants had hoped to see lower swipe fees, but the settlement only requires an eight-month reduction in those fees. The settlement also allows retailers to pass those fees on to customers by adding a credit […]

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Cashless Red Kettles: Cashless Payment for the Salvation Army

December 19th, 2012 at 8:29 am

This time of year, Salvation Army bell-ringers are a familiar sight (and sound!) outside of stores and on street corners. One sight that might not be quite so common is the “cashless red kettle” – a variation on the traditional Red Kettle stand that also includes a credit card reader. As our society has become increasingly cashless, the Salvation Army saw a drop in donations. The organization has adjusted by offering alternative options like the cashless kettles, which were first introduced in 2008. Other high-tech options include donating via text (similar to the fundraisers the Red Cross conducts for disaster relief), and the option to set up an “online kettle.” […]

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Biometric Cashless Payment for Schools

October 30th, 2012 at 4:31 pm

We’ve frequently discussed the advantages of incorporating functions like cashless payment and access control into items like ID badges and wristbands that are already being carried – now, some schools are making it even easier for students to remember their payment for lunches by allowing the students to pay by simply swiping a finger. These biometric cashless payment systems connect the students’ fingerprints to prepaid accounts. The increased transaction speed helps lines move quickly, so the students have more time to enjoy their lunches. Parents don’t have to worry about their children losing cash or spending it on other things, and in some cases they can even monitor purchases online […]

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VITAband Wristbands: Cashless Payment That Saves Lives, Too!

October 16th, 2012 at 2:48 pm

In July, we wrote about the RFID wristbands used at many music festivals to handle cashless payment as well as access control (plus other functionality). Now a Philadelphia startup has developed a wristband that combines cashless payment with a different function: their VITAband wristbands carry medical information in addition to Visa prepaid debit chips. VITAbands are even offered in the form of wristwatches, adding an extra layer of functionality. Designed with joggers in mind, the VITAbands are intended as a hassle-free way for runners to stay safe. Carrying wallets and cell phones can be difficult if not impossible in workout attire, but not carrying those items could mean trouble in […]

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Cashless Payment for Girl Scout Cookies

October 2nd, 2012 at 1:06 pm

By now we’re all used to paying with credit cards at major stores and restaurants, and many of us have had the opportunity to use cashless payment at slightly more unusual locations such as vending machines and parking meters. Even so, when members of the local Girl Scout troop ring your doorbell to sell Tagalongs and Thin Mints, you probably don’t expect to be asked if you’d like to pay via credit card. But thousands of Girl Scout troops are starting to do exactly that. The Girl Scouts joined the many organizations that are already reaping the benefits of cashless payment when they started accepting credit cards via mobile payment […]

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Get There Faster: How Technology is Speeding Transportation

September 18th, 2012 at 2:48 pm

We all spend a lot of time in transit, and the time it takes to get where you need to be can be frustrating. Luckily, new ways to speed things up are always emerging. We recently discussed how cashless parking meters can increase convenience and save time, and anyone who does a lot of traveling knows that cashless solutions for paying tolls (such as E-Z Pass) can be a huge time-saver. But what if you’re not traveling by car? Many other forms of transportation are finding ways that technology such as NFC and mobile wallets can make it easier to buy transit tickets and even use those tickets completely electronically. […]

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Making Fast Food Faster

September 4th, 2012 at 9:40 am

By now you’ve likely heard about the controversy surrounding Chipotle and their rounding policies – in an effort to save time, the burrito chain has stopped dealing in pennies at many locations. Initially, totals were rounded to the nearest nickel, regardless of whether that meant rounding up or down. However, this policy was not publicized, so customers began to notice that their receipts weren’t quite adding up with no explanation for the discrepancy. In the wake of the scandal, Chipotle has revised their policies; they’ll now be rounding down to the nearest nickel but never rounding up. In addition, receipts now include a line that clearly indicates the amount deducted […]

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Mobile Shopping: More Than Just Cashless Payment

August 21st, 2012 at 4:10 pm

In our last post, we mentioned that adding functionality to mobile devices to enhance the way we shop seems like the perfect way to encourage merchants and consumers alike to buy into the idea of… Read More >>

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Fortune Magazine Proclaims “The Death of Cash”

August 7th, 2012 at 3:28 pm

If anyone still doubts that we’re in the midst of a cashless revolution, perhaps the Fortune magazine headline heralding “The Death of Cash” will help convince you. Fortune’s last issue featured a cover story on the rise of mobile payment options… Read More >>

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