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Live from the Prepaid Expo - Government Update Panel Discussion

"The Commonwealth of Virginia has started using prepaid cards to help get money into the hands of the people of who needed them. One reason was cost savings, savings of up to .60 cents an item, a typical direct expense on payment mechanisms." Gift cards can help single parent families, the unemployed, the homeless and needy. The panel discussion was today @ the Prepaid Expo in Orlando. Visit
Live from the Prepaid Expo - Government Update to read the overview and learn about the challenges, the benefits to cardholders, how prepaid cards improve peoples' lives, and more.

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What's Happening @ The Prepaid Expo? We'll Blog on it all Week.

A look at mobile migration, fraud, closed- and open-loop convergence, and the technological crossroads impeding progress By Marc Dresner,
IIR USA You’ve arrived just in time for an in-flight podcast. Fasten your seatbelts! With less than a weekend standing between us and
Prepaid Expo 2011, I would like to offer some fodder for the numerous networking conversations you’re about to have.
My guarantee to you: Not only will episode four – a two-part podcast interview for IIR’s “Progress in Prepaid” series – lend a spark to many a smart, caffeinated exchange, BUT as an added bonus, you air travelers can forgo that inane in-flight movie and stimulate your brains, instead!
Episode four of “Progress in Prepaid” features a two-part interview with Jonathan Treiber, CEO of RevTrax.
Highlights: • The line between association-branded prepaid and closed-loop cards is blurring, with open-loop products increasingly resembling closed-loop • Non-swipe technologies are actually less expensive than conventional terminals and boast broader usage options for merchants, but who’s going to pay for this overhaul? Associations and banks can’t foot the bill indefinitely. When will merchants ante up? The answer rests with adoption, but is it the chicken or the egg? Visit the Prepaid for more:
http://prepaidexpo.blogspot.com/2011/03/progress-in-prepaid-series-asks-to.html
www.giftcardpartners.com

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QR Codes and Mobile Gift Cards

QR (or Quick Response) codes are those little squares appearing more and more frequently on consumer products all over the country, they allow smartphone users to collect data about the product they appear on, but they also have a potential connection to gift cards. One application of QR codes on Dole Salad kits sold at certain Price Chopper locations, encouraged loyal customers who received a post card (with the QR code) to scan it for a chance to win a $500 Price Chopper gift card. The potential in the growing mobile gift card market to also tie the growing use of consumer product QR codes creates yet another innovative way mobile gift card technology is finding its consumers in their natural habitat. Where would you like to see potential to connect QR codes to mobile gift cards? Leave us a comment! And for more info on the Dole Salad promotion see this
article.

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Interesting Mobile Info

45 Percent of active mobile phone uses have indicated that they would be interested in using their mobile phones to utilize the value of gift cards, as well as pay for goods and services.  This statistic is especially interesting because in the same survey 73 percent of respondents also indicated they had significant concerns regarding privacy and identity theft in using mobile technology.  This shows that mobile technology is going to become more and more important to the gift card industry, and the benefits are clearly outweighing the risks, even with the technology being so new.  For more information on the growing mobile market for gift cards check out this Iewy News
article

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GiftCard Partners Forges New Growth with Healthy Incentives GiftCard Partners creates paths for employers and institutions to lower healthcare costs

Wellesley, MA – February 22, 2012 –Today GiftCard Partners (GCP) announced its highest rate of growth in their company history. Although GCP made several advancements in their loyalty and fundraising channels and several of their employee incentives categories; they largely attribute their employee and revenue growth to their recognition as a leader in health and wellness program incentives. GCP’s CVS/pharmacy, CVS Select®, SUBWAY®, and Nutrisystem® gift cards, combined with their research and editorials on corporate and institutional health and wellness, yielded unprecedented sales results in 2011 and the start of 2012. GCP understood early on, the role that health and wellness programs would play in the current political landscape, in America’s corporations, small to medium sized businesses, and healthcare institutions like Medicaid and Medicare. “The constant rise of healthcare costs, health benefits costs to companies, increasing employee benefits contributions, combined with recent healthcare reforms, have catapulted health and wellness programs to a top priority for 2012,” says Deborah Merkin, GCP’s CEO. “We are pleased to see a rise in interest amongst HR professionals and the publications they count on. They are seeking our research, editorials and blogs on how our customers and constituents are setting up and benefiting from their health and wellness programs.” This month, Voluntary Benefits Magazine published “Start a Health and Wellness Program in 2012 - 5 Compelling Reasons Why to Start Now”, an editorial that highlights GCP’s innovation in the health and wellness arena and addresses employers’ chief concerns, like: what to expect from their program, how to overcome participation obstacles, how to measure results, and key concepts on “what most employers don’t get right”. “We are very proud of our advancements in the health and wellness incentives marketplace and we continue to forge new paths, like with Medicare and Medicaid programs, to incentivize patients to maintain routine well-visits, reach wellness milestones, and live an overall healthier lifestyle,” says Merkin, “and we look forward to our customers creating a healthier 2012 and beyond.”

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