Wright Express - huge industry giant in Fleet Card services used for vehicle repair and fuel is now getting into the massive industry of prepaid credit cards, specifically in how they are used in payroll.
Whats this? How does a credit card have anything to do with payroll? Well it's pretty cool really - there are a LOT of 'unbanked' employees (people who have a job but no bank account) and they are forced to using check cashing services every two weeks and now have an alternative. Employers can eliminate the costly expense of processing checks and instead setup a direct deposit of sorts to a prepaid credit card. There are services such as 'rapid! PayCard' that just so happen to have been purchased by the industry giants Wright Express.
Here is a fake news story that to me sounds like a well written press-release, but either way its interesting information!
It was recently announced that Apple will be adding a contactless payment option known as NFC to their new iPhone 5 and next-generation iPad coming out this year. In a recent article from payment industry expert Karen Webster, she discusses how business owners shouldn't be scrambling to get contactless payment acceptance when it's already been a dead format for years and even with the recent announcement only 3% of the mobile community even uses Apple's shiny iDevices. I love my iPhone and think the idea of payment with it is "neat" - but this still doesn't mean thats enough reason to get businesses of all sizes like car washes and laundromats to spend collectively billions of dollars on new hardware and software just to cater to this crowd.
Simply having iPhones and iPads that have the capacity to transact at a point-of-sale [through contactless payment just like chip cards] doesn't mean that they can or will – or will want to. Merchants have to install new equipment, and consumers have to be trained to use it, which all takes time. Will Apple's announcement cause merchants to think more seriously about upgrading their terminals sooner? Maybe for some, but the penetration of iPhones and iPads is very, very small. Just because you and the people you hang out with have them doesn't mean that most people do. Just to throw a little data at this, Less than 3 percent of the U.S.’s 276 million wireless subscribers use iPhones, according to Rob Havasy, a business analyst at the Boston-based Center for Connected Health .
... There are millions of contactless cards in circulation today that no one uses, because there's no inherent benefit in tapping versus swiping. The potential for NFC is having a really smart computer chip interacting with my really smart phone and a really smart merchant point-of-sale device that provides a better experience for me before, during and after my shopping experience. No one talks about that. Until a value proposition that wraps value around NFC is really brought to market, not only will consumers lack enthusiasm, other more nimble, IP-enabled solutions will have an opportunity to leapfrog that technology.
We get asked a lot whether our outdoor card reader technology will work in the cold.
Answer: Yes. Not only will our readers work in the cold, our employees do too!
We had a record setting snowfall this weekend here in the twin cities of Minnesota.
I'll admit that I'm pretty blown away with the number of operators that have put down their construction hat for the year and instead of building new car washes and laundromats, they are improving and updating the ones that they've already have.
There are a lot of new businesses embracing new technologies from chemical distribution systems like those made by Hydraflex Inc. and new LED lighting systems to reduce energy consumption, retrofitting VFD drives, moving to high-efficiency washers and dryers, and last but not least-- spending money on marketing systems like WashCard and recognizing the power (or inevitability, you choose) of adding credit card acceptance as a primary way to pay at each machine.
I'm curious to see if this trend continues into 2011 - I have high hopes that we've only scratched the surface.