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Fuze In The News
Push a Button, Swipe a Card
Fuze Network’s reCHARGE solution enables bill payments, cash deposits and prepaid loads with ease.
Read Article (page 24)
Jun 5, 2013, 4:00pm
Today, Core Innovation Capital named PayPerks as the winner of the 3rd Annual Core Innovators Mega Challenge and the most promising new idea serving the Emerging Middle Class. PayPerks was chosen from among ten finalists by a live vote of hundreds of underbanked experts and fellow innovators at the 8th Annual Underbanked Financial Services Forum.
PayPerks is a financial capability and rewards platform designed to drive behaviors that are positive for underbanked consumers and profitable for the financial institutions that serve them. As the 2013 Mega Challenge winner, PayPerks will receive $10,000 cash, plus a complimentary consulting session with the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) Advisory Services team.
“The record number of applicants and finalists this year is representative of the growing importance of the Emerging Middle Class,” said Arjan Schütte, managing partner at Core. “We are excited to award PayPerks as the winner of this year’s Core Mega Challenge and a great example of the innovative new technologies and services that are disrupting this marketplace and driving meaningful change for consumers.”
The 80 million underbanked Americans that earn more than one trillion dollars in annual income make up the Emerging Middle Class and represent a tremendous opportunity for financial technology entrepreneurs. Core Innovation Capital is committed to identifying, supporting, and investing in the most disruptive companies serving this space.
The expanded 2013 Mega Challenge was featured as the kick-off event for the Forum presented by CFSI and SourceMedia. Finalists presented live show-and-tell demos of their products with a live vote by the Forum’s audience of hundreds of financial services industry executives, investors, academic researchers, nonprofit providers, and government leaders. All finalists were also featured in the Forum’s Innovators Row, a showcase of the best new ideas for the underbanked.
The three runners-up in the 3rd Annual Core Innovators Mega Challenge, included:
- Mitek (San Diego, CA) showed a new solution for the underbanked that uses the camera on a mobile device to facilitate payments.
- LendUp (San Francisco, CA) loans are a better alternative to payday loans because they are designed to help customers build credit, not keep them trapped in debt.
- Fuze Network (Salt Lake City, UT) is the first platform for moving funds quickly and easily to any bank-issued cards for credit card payments, prepaid card loads, and bank deposits with debit cards.
Additional finalists in the competition included iSend, Nexxo Everyday Financial Services, TrustEgg, Inc., Enova International, SaveUp, Inc., and Yattos.
The Underbanked Financial Services Forum continues today through June 7 in Miami with presentations by leading finance, technology, and underbanked experts. For more information about the Forum, visithttp://www.americanbanker.com/conferences/cfsi/ and join the conversation at #FreshIdeas13.
To learn more about the Mega Challenge, visit http://www.corevc.com.
About Core Innovation Capital:
Core Innovation Capital is a leading investor in financial technologies serving the Emerging Middle Class, the 80 million Americans that generate over $1 trillion in annual income and spend more than $78 billion in fees and interest on financial services. Core partners with proven entrepreneurs and invests in disruptive financial technologies that measurably improve the lives of the Emerging Middle Class. The Core Impact Alignment investment thesis leverages social impact to create above-market financial return. For more information about Core Innovation Capital, visit www.corevc.com or follow @coreemc.
T he National Retail Federation expects nationwide gift card sales to top more than $28.79 billion in sales in 2013, with $8 billion of the sales originating through the already thriving mobile and virtual gift card channels. With the proliferation of smart phones, the wallet-placeholder status of plastic gift cards is being replaced. Through virtual gift cards, consumers can send and spend gifts from their cell phones via an app, email, text or even social media – revolutionizing the way consumers send gifts and spend money.
There are tangible benefits to virtual gift cards over traditional ones, most notably the ability to avert monthly and dormancy fees. Stores now send friendly email reminders to gift-card holders to notify them of card balances and usage. Additionally, the intimate quality of the customer experience a virtual gift card provides creates a more compelling brand environment for the recipient, enabling a unique, multimedia opportunity to redeem the card’s value. Open- or closed-loop virtual gift cards are continuing to proliferate in marketplaces ranging from restaurants, department stores, eBay Inc. and just about anywhere else, thanks to prepaid virtual gift cards branded, for example, by Visa Inc.
E-gifting of virtual gift cards has opened up doors for merchants by leveraging data analytics to target marketing programs based on consumers’ buying trends and habits. Retail chains and stores are developing and deploying loyalty programs tailored to support customers as they shop online. The ability to provide consumers personalized, rapid customer service will attract new customers and cause repeat customers to continue visiting the business.
The future of gift cards is now
Electronic gift-giving companies have penetrated the consumer landscape by inventing apps that allow users to quickly send and receive virtual gifts. Throughout 2013, the industry will continue to see the emergence of business-to-business companies taking advantage of the growing virtual gift card trend. Payment processing companies capable of sending money from the giver’s bank account to the recipient’s are popping up to meet the demands of virtual-gift giving consumers. Location-based virtual gifting allows consumers to send any kind of gift, at any location, without going through a merchant. Gift-giving apps process givers’ requests by using a payment processing platform to quickly and conveniently transfer funds from one account to another.
The simplicity of sending a friend a beer at a local pub through a location-based app paves the way for a sense of community, and a gift that will actually be consumed. According to TowerGroup, virtual gift cards are forecasted to reach $11 billion in sales by 2014, with no sign of the annual revenue depreciating. Companies with payment processing technologies that allow for quick, simple fund transfers are fueling this trend’s ascendancy. They are the driving force of funds and management behind e-gifting platforms – and will procure the most benefits, continuing the trend for years to come.
Originally Published by The Green Sheet here
The location-based process of the electronic gift exchange powered by Giftly allows consumers to send any gift, for any amount, to any recipient. How has Fuze Network delivered and ensured the timely transfer of funds for Giftly’s 25,000 gifts made in Q4 2012 and Q1 2013? Click here and find out.
There are more than 1 billion bank-issued cards in the United States – more than 500 million debit, 600 million credit, 50 million reloadable prepaid, 100 million private label, including store, gas and retail – and yet there are more than 37 million Americans that are classified as “unbanked” and do not possess a traditional checking account. These consumers are technically not unbanked because they possess, on average, three to four bank-issued card accounts. They have a bank account, just not a traditional savings or checking account.The question remains is how are these consumers paying bills on plastic if they don’t maintain a traditional checking account?
“Unbanked” consumers are restricted to paying bills by waiting in lines to fill out code-specific forms in cash payment centers found in retail stores, or by waiting for their payment to arrive via mail through purchasing a money order or certified check. Traditional checking account customers spend minimal time visiting their financial institution or logging online to handle their financial needs. There are no forms, no codes and no calls to process their desired payments, plus their visit might even end with a lollipop.
How can financial institutions, retail stores and card issuers offer quick and convenient financial services for the “unbanked” and “underbanked” consumers to match those of the banked?
According to NerdWallet, as of November 2012 the average U.S. household hovered around $7,117 in credit card debt. And surprisingly, more than 40 million credit card bills were paid with cash last year. The typical “unbanked” consumer must get creative to turn that cash into a viable solution to pay bills or load money onto their multiple forms of plastic.
Transforming an ordinary point-of-sale (POS) terminal into a payment center would help revolutionize the way the “unbanked” or cash-preferred pay their credit card bills. Credit cards, and especially retail store-issued credit cards, must have accessible and cost-effective methods for consumers to make cash payments. Increasing the locations of payment acceptance for plastic will increase card utilization, customer loyalty and foot traffic – a win for the consumer, retailer and card issuer – and also differentiate the retail store from its competitor by offering such an opportunity.
Credit card payments must be seamlessly integrated into the average, on-the-go American lifestyle. A quick, premeditated trip to the drug store can offer a consumer more than just their drug store needs. A POS that is capable of accepting and processing cash as a credit card payment will allow anyone with a plastic card – banked or unbanked – to add cash to their card account quickly and conveniently. The added benefit of not having to increase inventory and additional costly infrastructure, will increase store revenue and repeat customer visits.
Mobile, online and retail banking are changing the ways consumers purchase and conduct financial transactions; shouldn’t all parties have the opportunity to benefit from this new era of banking?
Dave Wilkes is founder and CEO of Salt Lake City, Utah-based Fuze Network, a payments technology company that has “fuzed” together existing payment networks enabling cardholders to send money to any card. He can be reached at email@example.com or at 888.389.3832.
Originally published by PaymentsJournal here.
Fuze Press Releases
Fuze Network Presenting at 2013 NACHA Payments Conference
What: More than 35 million consumers choose not to establish a checking or savings account with financial institutions. Even more consumers – upwards of 50 million – use prepaid cards to manage their finances. While these consumers do not engage in traditional banking activities, many rely on the convenience and protection of credit cards and prepaid cards. One hindrance to self-banked consumers using plastic has been the expensive, time-consuming challenge of paying bills without a checking account or reloading prepaid cards. With the developments of innovative payments via terminal technology, transferring cash to any card can be as simple as swiping at the terminal and handing over a payment.
Who: Dave Wilkes, founder and CEO of Fuze Network, a payments technology company with the nation’s first platform that enables the movement of funds to any bank-issued card through an open Application Programming Interface (API), can provide expert commentary on: – How self-banked consumers use both credit and prepaid cards as a safety net against overspending; – The hurdles consumers face when paying or reloading cards with cash and how these barriers reduce the usage of card services; – The benefits of setting up terminal and point-of-sale (POS)-based load services for financial institutions, card providers and retailers; and – How consumers can use cards to receive funds from any electronic transfer without a checking account.
When: Wilkes is available to provide insight immediately by phone, or at the 2013 Payments Conference hosted by NACHA in San Diego, Calif., Monday, April 22 from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. PDT.
Contact: To speak with Wilkes, or for more information, contact: Joanna Braeckel at 678.781.7211 or David Jones at 678.781.7238
- Credit card payments made by noon CT on due date will post without penalty, or payments company will reimburse customers -
SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 8th, 2013 – Fuze Network, a payments technology company, is now guaranteeing that its consumers making credit card payments by noon Central time on or before the due date will not be charged a late fee. If they are, company executive Dave Wilkes says Fuze Network will reimburse the consumer.
“Hectic schedules, forgetfulness and simple day-to-day activities sometimes interfere with making a bill payment in advance,” said Wilkes. “Consumers should feel confident that no matter what happens during the billing cycle, if they can make a payment using the Fuze reCHARGE™ Network by noon Central time, their payment will post without penalty.”
According to a report conducted by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act has curtailed credit card late fees paid by consumers; from $901 million in January 2012, to $427 million in November 2012. However, consumers still find themselves paying $25 for a first late fee violation, and $35 for a second violation within the next six months, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), who holds regulatory responsibility for administering the CARD Act.
“In our analysis of consumer complaints from the CFPB and feedback we’ve gathered from social media, fees are a huge pain point for credit card customers,” said Steven J. Ramirez, CEO of customer experience firm, Beyond the Arc, Inc. ”Customers view late fees as a particular nuisance and are an obstacle in building customer loyalty from the card issuer.”
“Alternative methods to pay a credit card bill take at least two or more days to reach their issuer, and end up costing the consumer an exorbitant fee because they need a quick posting,” said Wilkes. “The Fuze guarantee ensures the customer that their payment – on any credit card type from any card issuer – will post quickly and without penalty.”
Fuze Network’s nominal convenience fee of $3 to process a payment enables cardholders to pay their credit card, deposit cash or load debit cards by swiping their card and paying the cashier. The Fuze reCHARGE Network is available nationwide at thousands of retail locations including Pay-O-Matic, Fidelity Express, the Community Financial Service Centers (CFSC) and ACE Cash Express.
“More than 70 percent of our customers are repeat users of Fuze’s services for their credit card payments,” said Robin Miles, CEO of Pay-O-Matic, the largest financial services chain in New York. “Partnering with Fuze has allowed us to significantly reduce the fee on expedited credit card payments, provide our associates with a faster processing system and offer an affordable credit card payment option for our customers.”
Card issuers will see incentives from the no late fee guarantee in the form of on-time payments and assurance from their customers; building customer loyalty and repeat card usage.
“The ability to make cash payments on a credit card bill isn’t as simple as consumers would like it to be,” said Wilkes. “Our service helps build the relationship between consumer and card issuer – making bill payments a convenient and cost-effective occurrence.”
About Fuze Network
Salt Lake City-based Fuze Network is the nation’s first method to easily send money to any card. The company’s reCHARGE service “fuzes” together existing payments networks to enable users to pay bills, deposit cash or reload prepaid cards by simply swiping the card and paying the cashier. Fuze Network is the easiest, most cost-effective method of increasing retail traffic and building payment transaction volumes. For more information, visit www.fuzenetwork.com.
SALT LAKE CITY, Dec 17, 2012 – Fuze Network has developed the technology that enables consumers to make cash payments on virtually any card at any participating retail location, processed more than 3.5 million transactions in 2012.
Since its inception in 2010, the Fuze reCHARGE Network has provided consumers with a simple way to send funds to credit cards as payments, to debit cards as deposits and to prepaid cards as loads.
The Fuze reCHARGE Network routes transactions to more than 14,000 financial institutions and card issuers, and is directly promoted to cardholders by many of those, including Citi Bank, First Premier Bank and Merrick Bank. The reCHARGE Network expands the number of retail locations in which a consumer can make a load or payment on a card; increasing card usage.
“We processed more than $250 million in total volume this year, providing retailers, financial institutions and card issuers who partner with us a competitive advantage,” said Dave Wilkes, founder and CEO of Fuze Network. “More than 60 percent of our transaction volume comes from repeat cardholders using the service, which builds customer loyalty and repeat usage at participating retailers.”
There are currently 150,000 integrated retail endpoints with access to the Fuze reCHARGE Network, including Pay-O-Matic, ACE Cash Express, Fidelity Express, the Community Financial Service Centers (CFSC), and the Community Choice Financial Inc. (CCFI).
Since the open platform Application Programming Interface (API) can be accessed by any point-of-sale (POS) terminal, Fuze’s reCHARGE Network requires no additional hardware from retailers. It simplifies and accelerates the transaction process by eliminating manual entry at the point of payment: no forms and no codes. The consumer simply swipes a card and presents their payment, discarding the possibility of error.
“For the card issuer, the Fuze Network technology removes the process of filling out forms and entering mis-keyed account numbers and incorrect codes,” said Wilkes. “All other payment types require manual entry, but Fuze Network routes the transaction perfectly through the system with one swipe.”
The benefits for retailers and card issuers have established Fuze Network as an efficient payments platform to ease day-to-day operations of alternative financial services stores. The card issuer is provided with a low-cost, error proof method for card processing. The ability to move a payment procedure into the check-out lane significantly reduces the retailer’s time serving one individual customer, providing them the opportunity to participate in more transactions.
“Fuze Network is gaining traction heading into 2013,” said Wilkes. “We are currently focused on cash payments, however Fuze Network will soon be able to offer an extensive amount of services.
About Fuze Network
Salt Lake City-based Fuze Network is the nation’s emerging method to send money to any card. The company’s reCHARGE Network fuses together existing payments channels to enable users to pay bills, deposit cash or reload prepaid cards by simply swiping the card and paying the cashier. Fuze Network is the easiest, most cost-effective method of increasing retail traffic and building card transaction volume for consumers. For more information, visit www.fuzenetwork.com.