Qualified residents to begin receiving Hawaii Restaurant Card

… Development and Tourism (DBEDT), Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, Hawaii Restaurant Association and the Hawaii Agricultural Foundation.

The Hawaii Restaurant Card (HRC) will begin arriving in mailboxes of qualified residents this week, beginning Friday.

The HRC Program, funded via $75 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, provides residents who filed an initial claim for Unemployment Insurance benefits beginning March 1 or thereafter and continue to meet additional CARES Act fund eligibility requirements with a preloaded, prepaid debit Mastercard with $500 for use at restaurants, eating establishments, bakeries and food caterers throughout Hawaii.

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Qualified individuals will automatically receive the card and have through Dec. 15 to expend the funds. There is no sign up required. The use of the Hawaii Restaurant Card will not impact SNAP and Medicaid benefits or eligibility.

The HRC Program is a public-private partnership between the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, Hawaii Restaurant Association and the Hawaii Agricultural Foundation. The state says the program will result in far reaching economic benefits beyond restaurants, including the restaurant industry supply chain, farmers, ranchers, fisherman, produce suppliers, supply companies and more.

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The card can be used statewide at restaurants, eateries, bakeries and food caterers that accept Debit Mastercard. The card can only be used for food and nonalcoholic beverage purchases and it will not be accepted at grocery or convenience stores or for grab-and-go prepared meals.

For more information, visit www.hawaiirestaurantcard.com.

Payments Gripes Soar During the Pandemic, According to CFPB Data

Complaints about credit and prepaid card products are up 29% over the same period last year, and gripes about money-transfer, virtualcurrency, and …

Complaints about general-purpose credit cards and prepaid cards, along with government-benefit cards and other card products, totaled 11,504 over the 127-day period from March 13 through July 17, according to LendEDU’s report, released Tuesday. For the same period last year, the total was 8,931. The biggest issues were related to transactions shown on statements (up 38%) and fees and interest (28%).

With government benefit cards, the biggest gripe related to just getting one, with complaints totaling 567 compared to just 30 a year earlier. Much of this likely had to do with problems surrounding the distribution of CARES Act stimulus funds, some of which was distributed on debit cards that were printed with the wrong names or that consumers mistakenly threw away, the report says.

In the money-transfer category, complaints about opening, closing, or managing an account, frauds and scams, and transaction problems dominate the list of issues under the mobile-wallet category, which registered 1,228 complaints, up 122%. Problems with domestic money transfer were up 58%; for international transfers, 40%.

“As reported, the coronavirus pandemic has brought with it a number of phishing scams related to money transfers, in addition to fraudulent texts and calls from scammers impersonating banks trying to collect on debts,” the report says.

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    JPMorgan Chase partners with fintech start-up Marqeta to launch ‘virtual’ credit cards

    Marqeta provides that same technology to DoorDash and Instacart, whose gig-economy workers use these “virtual” cards in the delivery process.

    JPMorgan Chase is ditching plastic for some of its credit cards.

    The Wall Street giant’s commercial cards team is partnering with Bay Area start-up Marqeta to launch digital-only credit cards. The new function will allow JPMorgan corporate cards to work in mobile wallets such as Apple Pay or Samsung Pay immediately — without having to wait for a physical version in the mail.

    “This is another way of getting virtual company cards into the hands of those who need them very quickly,” John Skinner, head of commercial cards at JPMorgan, told CNBC in a phone interview. “We know there’s a need for this product — what Covid has taught us is that there’s more use cases for this than we imagined.”

    This type of immediate, “virtual” card has historically been used for gig-economy, or contract workers who may need to pay expenses but wouldn’t qualify for a corporate card. The digital version can also put certain spending parameters and per Diem totals, as well as restrictions on where an employee can spend.

    But as many Americans work from home during the pandemic, Skinner said it might also help those who don’t have access to their offices, or primary address where a corporate card might normally arrive. Plus, the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital payments and contactless payments, upping the appeal for digital cards.

    Skinner said the feature will be available in early 2021, and only for commercial cards. He did not say if the bank has plans to expand to its Chase, consumer side.

    Marqeta provides the same technology for DoorDash and Instacart, which issue virtual cards to delivery workers to pay for groceries or takeout orders in person. Square also uses Marqeta for a virtual and physical debit card launched through Square Cash, and for a plastic business debit card it unveiled in January 2019.

    JPMorgan has a history of partnering with, and buying up fintech companies. It acquired Silicon Valley-based start-up WePay in December 2017. In this case, Marqeta chief revenue officer Omri Dahan said it would have taken years for the Wall Street giant to build a similar product in-house.

    “These big financial institutions are tied to the legacy systems that they’ve built on top of for years, it’s hard for them to access modern technology,” Dahan told CNBC. “We are able to give them access to that, without a massive lift on their part.”

    Marqeta makes money in a similar way to incumbents Mastercard and Visa — by taking a percentage cut of every transaction from customers, and some software fees. The company would not comment on the financial details of the JPMorgan agreement.

    Marqeta recently raised $150 million from an undisclosed investor in May, doubling its valuation to $4.3 billion in just a few months. Other high-profile backers include Goldman Sachs, Visa Ventures, and PayPal alumni Max Levchin, according to PitchBook. The card company is reportedly seeking to hire investment bankers to advise on an IPO, Reuters reported earlier in July. A spokesperson for Marqeta declined to comment on plans to go public.

    Swipe (SXP) Making it Easy to Transact in the World of Cryptocurrency with Swipe Saffron and …

    Sydney Ifergan, the crypto expert tweeted: “Swipe (SXP) is hailed as the company which brings cryptocurrency to commerce and standard banking.

    Per Swipe.io, Swipe has SXP as its native digital currency. SXP is widely used in the Swipe ecosystem of products and also for the operations and security of the network.

    The users will be able to use SXP for staking by bonding SXP on Ethereum blockchain for securing the payment network and to use it for the Swipe Visa Card lock-ups and for higher tier cards, and to further redeem it for the discounts made on the platform. It is further used to convert it to fiat and also to use it on the Swipe Visa Card and also to stake SXP to operate a commercial node for the issuing of swipe.

    About 80% of the Swipe processing fees, which are generated in the network and are set to be burnt and only 20% will remain in the oracle contract.

    The SXP utility features are transaction fees, network fees, payments, staking and discounts. The markets for SXP are Binance, BitTrex, Bithumb, Kucoin, and FTX.

    Sydney Ifergan, the crypto expert tweeted: “Swipe (SXP) is hailed as the company which brings cryptocurrency to commerce and standard banking. Their vision is a client-focused business which believes in excellent customer service.”

    Swipe focuses on excellent customer service and therefore client service is in excellent hands. They ensure that their clients are well-cared for, thus making it easy for them to transaction in the world of cryptocurrencies.

    Swipe (SXP) Visa Card

    There are lot of perks to owning a Swipe Visa Card or already upgrading the existing one. Investors can choose the preferred Swipe Visa Card.

    The Swipe Saffron provides 1% Cash back on all purchases, there is a dual-interface NFC/EMV card, ATM cash Access, No SXP stake required, and $1000 referral rewards.

    Swipe Slate provides 4% cash back on all purchases, dual-interface NFC/EMV card, ATM cash Access, 30,000 SXP stake required for 6 months, $3,000 Referral Rewards, and No foreign transaction fees.

    It is now possible to order Swipe orders for free. At the moment it is now available in UK and EU countries.

    Crypto Currency cards will become an everyday norm very soon. Several countries are already confused about whether to legalize or not to legalize crypto; however, the cryptocurrency ecosystem is soon progressing to the next level of crypto cards. Before governments can understand and approve of crypto people will be transacting already with crypto for their everyday things.

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    Mastercard Expands Digital Currency Program, Ropes in Wirex

    Last month, blockchain payments provider Bitpay launched a prepaid debit card named BitPay Card, provided via Mastercard, which permits U.S. …

    Mastercard Inc. MA has provided Wirex, a borderless payments platform, with the membership of its Mastercard’s Accelerate program.

    With Mastercard principal membership, Wirex will be able to issue Mastercard-backed bitcoin debit cards to consumers, which can be spent worldwide wherever Mastercard is accepted.

    Since crypto currencies — often viewed as an obscure element — are still not accepted at most places for day-to-day transactions and the value of the same fluctuates hugely, Mastercard enables conversion of crypto into fiat currency by getting an exchange rate from Wirecard.

    Consumers will also be able to buy, hold and exchange multiple currencies, such as fiat and crypto. Mastercard will instantly convert their cryptocurrencies into traditional fiat currency, which can then be used for making transactions via Mastarcard’s network.

    This move reflects Mastercard’s expansion of its crypto currency card program, which has now been relaxed to allow other emerging crypto firms to emerge as principal members within a few weeks.

    With Mastercard’s Accelerate program, members will be able to utilize its propriety technology, insights and cyber security services to engage new customers and explore the untapped markets.

    The company intends to provide crypto firms and fintechs assistance at every stage of growth and transformation from market entry to global expansion. This also vouches for Mastercard’s efforts to accelerate its reach in the crypto currency market, which is visibly attaining maturity.

    Management stated that the level of consumer interest and investments in digital currencies are growing with research showing that up to 20% of some countries’ population is holding cryptocurrencies, and an increasing number of merchants, digital players and financial institutions are studying crypto payments.

    The support of a leading company like Mastercard highlights the adoption of crypto currency, making it available for easy consumer and business usage through safe and secure experiences.

    On the flip side, Mastercard is vigilant enough and not randomly offering the membership to anonymous companies. In order to be crypto card partners, companies will have to fulfill a number of credentials. For instance, they will be required to provide strong consumer protection, deliver a level playing field for all stakeholders and also operate in complete compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

    Mastercard is engaging actively in the crypto currency space. Last month, blockchain payments provider Bitpay launched a prepaid debit card named BitPay Card, provided via Mastercard, which permits U.S. users to spend bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies in stores accepting Mastercard debit cards, globally.

    A couple of months ago, another company Visa Inc. V approved Swiss DeFi startup Eidoo to issue a new Visa-backed crypto card called Eidoo card in the EU and the UK.

    Mastercard has rallied 21.43% year to date compared with its industry’s growth of 19.53%.

    The stock carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), currently. Some better-ranked stocks in the same space are Envestnet Inc. ENV and Cardtronics PLC CATM. While Envestnet sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) presently, Cardtronics holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

    Earnings of both Cardtronics and Envestnet surpassed estimates in each of the last four quarters, the average being 18.46% and 9.04%, respectively.

    More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone!

    It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 27 billion devices in just 3 years, creating a $1.7 trillion market.

    Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 6 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don’t buy now, you may kick yourself in 2021.

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