Saturday, May 5, 2007

World of Warcraft Visa Card Introduced by Blizzard

Blizzard has gotten into an agreement with the First National Bank of Omaha for a special World of Warcraft Visa Card. It will offer World of Warcraft gamers free play time for their consumption with the card.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

HSBC’s New Rewards Program

Tempo Payments Inc.’s alliance with HSBC Retail Services appears to be bearing fruit. HSBC’s new OptiPay loyalty-rewards PIN-payment program, announced earlier this week, will be the first outside card program to run on Tempo’s network. Positioned as a low-cost alternative to the major payment card networks, San Mateo, Calif.-based Tempo Payments has struggled to add issuers as it signed on acceptance locations. It formed an alliance in May 2006 with Prospect Heights, Ill.-based HSBC—which issues private-label cards for about 65 retailer clients—to accelerate growth in both card-issuing and card-accepting merchants. Tempo Payments has about 200,000 acceptance locations, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., pharmacy chain CVS Corp., and bookseller Barnes & Noble Inc.

Tempo Payments’ business model is based on retailers issuing PIN-debit cards, accepting similar cards from other members of the network, and paying a small processing fee and interchange generally less than the cost of PIN debit on national electronic funds transfers networks and the bank card networks. Transactions are cleared through the automated clearing house. The OptiCard—created through an alliance with Concept Shopping Inc., a Lisle, Ill.-based marketing firm—issues personal rewards to cardholders based on each shopper’s personal purchase history. Customers can swipe their cards at a kiosk in the store to get rewards for additional in-store purchases or go to the retailer’s Web site and get their rewards before even going to the store, an HSBC spokeswoman says.