Free Gasoline Promotions I Like: Save 15 cents with AMEX Bluebird Prepaid Card #AMEX

Bluebird, the prepaid card from American Express, is giving you 15 cents off every gallon of gas through September 8, 2014 at Walmart and Murphy’s gas stations.  (It’s 5 cents in Florida and 3 cents in Minnesota and Oklahoma).

Learn more:

BlueBird Gas Rollback


What happens when your brand name becomes synonymous with terrorism?

Promotional Cards and the CARD Act

Thought you might be interested in reading an article on the subject of Loyalty, Award, and Promotional Gift Cards from the Philly Fed that I found interesting.



It reads in part, “Loyalty, award, and promotional gift cards are typically not funded by the consumer but by the entity sponsoring the card program. To qualify for the exclusion, the card must meet three requirements. It must 1) be issued on a prepaid basis primarily for personal, family, or household purposes to a consumer in connection with a loyalty, award, or promotional program; 2) be redeemable at one or more merchants for goods or services, or it can be used at an automated teller machine; and 3) make certain disclosures. To facilitate compliance, comment 20(a)(4)-1 provides seven illustrative (but not exhaustive) examples.

While loyalty, award, or promotional gift cards are not subject to the Credit CARD Act’s substantive restrictions on fees and expiration dates, certain disclosure requirements still apply. In particular, the front of the card must disclose the expiration date and state that it is issued for loyalty, award, or promotional purposes.

Printing ‘Reward’ or ‘Promotional’ on the front of the card satisfies this requirement. Issuers must also disclose a toll-free number anywhere on the card and (if applicable) a website address that a consumer can use to obtain fee information. Finally, any fees and the conditions under which they may be imposed must be disclosed on or with the card, code, or device.”



Your Credit Score makes you a more attractive prospective spouse

A recent Experian Consumer Services survey focusing on the most important attributes in a prospective spouse found that married adults value financial responsibility more than physical attractiveness.



Approximately half (49 percent) of married adult respondents stated that credit scores were important to them when selecting a spouse, and 95 percent of respondents rated financial responsibility as important in a spouse.

The survey also found that 73 percent of women and 60 percent of men believe having a spouse who is open about personal finances and credit makes him or her more attractive.

Read more:

How to use LinkedIn to win new business

Here are some proven ways to use LinkedIn as a tool to identify difficult to locate prospects that fall below the radar.

My sales team used it as one tool to successfully prospect for corporate cards.

  1. The primary benefit of LinkedIn is prospecting and networking. But… you’ve got to work it.
  2. Join groups where your prospects flock – not necessarily always the same where you or your peers flock.
  3. Search the group’s member list for prospects.
  4. My team copy/pasted prospects into a separate database (Salesforce) for follow-up – and used Hoover’s and D&B for additional insight to zero in on contact/prospect info
  5. “Premium” members can send “InMail” messages to prospects – something that responded better than ordinary emails.
  6. Invite high-value group members to visit you at trade shows, events, exclusive activities, et al.
  7. What is your “elevator speech”… we requested a brief telephone call to introduce how we can save fleet owners money on fuel expenses with exclusive discounts (a compelling offer when you own ½ the gas stations in town).
  8. Quit groups when it stops being productive – find/join new groups to find new prospects
  9. 3. Contribute original thought leadership to the conversation – but don’t over-contribute or recycle someone else’s content (unless it is Xerox content) or share trivial news.
  10. Always ask for referrals from every LinkedIn contact you talk to.
  11. Most important: A-B-C (always be closing)

Finally, I love an app called “CardMunch” – now owned by LinkedIn – the CardMunch app lets you take a picture of a business card and their team in India literally transcribes “by hand” it into an outlook-compatible file in less than an hour – virtually perfectly every time.

I would collect business cards at trade shows, scan them into CardMunch, then send a “thank you for visiting” email note later that afternoon.

Then, back at the office, download the file for future follow-up or invite to connect on LinkedIn. It is a cool way to manage all those business cards you collect at events.

WEX to Acquire Evolution1, Payment Solutions firm in Healthcare Industry

WEX says the acquisition advances its strategy to provide solutions to high-growth industries with complex payment systems.

WEX Inc. (NYSE: WEX), a leading provider of corporate payment solutions, and Evolution1, a leader in cloud-based technology and payment solutions in the healthcare industry, announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for WEX to acquire Evolution1 for $532.5 million in cash.

The transaction is expected to be accretive to adjusted net income in the first 12 months after close, excluding acquisition costs, and to close in the third quarter of this year.

“The acquisition of Evolution1 advances WEX’s long-term strategy to extend our scalable business model into high-growth, high-value markets with complex payment systems,” said Melissa Smith, WEX’s president and chief executive officer. “As a leading provider of technology-based solutions that simplify healthcare payments, Evolution1 will enable WEX to address multiple aspects of the healthcare payment system, expanding our addressable market while building on our growth in the fleet and travel space.

Similar to WEX, Evolution1 has established strong partner loyalty through its innovative technologies, and together we will enhance our position in an attractive vertical that will serve as the cornerstone of WEX’s Healthcare solutions strategy.”

Jeff Young, chairman and chief executive officer of Evolution1, said, “WEX is a great fit for Evolution1 both culturally and operationally, enabling the business to enhance its leadership position in the consumer-directed healthcare payments space. WEX is well established as a premier payment solutions provider, and we will now have the ability to leverage its expertise in payment processing, account servicing and transaction processing to meet our customers’ increasing healthcare management needs.”

Significant Healthcare Market Opportunity
The payment system within the healthcare industry consists of three primary parties – consumers, providers and payers, with employers and exchanges as intermediaries – that all have different payment relationships and responsibilities according to an intricate set of business rules.

To date, WEX has focused on virtual product solutions for payer to provider payments, which accounts for almost $1 trillion dollars of annual spend industry wide. This will continue to be an area of further opportunity for the company.

WEX also sees an opportunity to address other aspects of the healthcare system, consumer to provider payments, as more spend is shifting toward consumer controlled. Through the acquisition of Evolution1, WEX will build on its existing B2B business model, providing payment services to intermediaries such as exchanges and third party administrators (TPA) that have direct contact with consumers.
Evolution1 currently has an addressable market of more than $1 billion in revenue with a meaningful and growing market share position. This market opportunity is expected to double by 2019.

Evolution1 – A Leading Provider
Evolution1 is a leading provider of cloud-based technology and payment solutions that help simplify the healthcare experience for millions of employers and consumers. In 2013, Evolution1 processed over 65 million transactions and $5 billion in payment volume.

To date, it serves 90,000 employers and 10 million consumers in the U.S. and Canada. The company’s powerful, all-in-one, multi-tenant technology platform, card products, and mobile offering supports a full range of healthcare account types.

This includes consumer-directed payments for Health Savings Accounts (HSA), Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA), Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Associations (VEBA), and defined contribution and wellness programs.

Evolution1 has approximately 500 partners using and distributing solutions, among health plans, TPAs, financial institutions, payroll companies and software providers.

Headquartered in Fargo, ND, Evolution1 has more than 300 employees including an experienced senior management team that brings deep software, payments and healthcare expertise.

Transaction Details
WEX Inc. and Evolution1 have entered into a definitive agreement through which WEX will acquire Evolution1 for $532.5 million, which will be funded through cash on hand and WEX’s existing credit facility.

This transaction is expected to generate approximately $42 million in present value of tax benefits to WEX and is expected to be accretive to adjusted net income in the first 12 months after close, excluding acquisition costs. The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

BofA Merrill Lynch acted as financial advisor to WEX while WilmerHale provided legal counsel. Deutsche Bank acted as financial advisor to Evolution1 while Weil Gotshal & Manges provided legal counsel.

Source: WEX Inc.

Chick-Fil-A Testing Mobile Payments

Customers at twenty Chick-fil-A locations are testing a mobile payment system similar to Starbucks’ QR code payment system.

Customers download the Chik-fil-A Mobile Ordering app and registers their payment card account to load funds.  Customers tap the “pay” button on the app which then displays a QR code to be scanned at the register.

The system is in pilot at 20 Chick-fil-A locations in Winston-Salem, High Point and Greensboro and is expected to roll-out nationwide after the pilot.

Momentum and achieving marketing success #marketing

I discussed the need to think about momentum in today’s marketing round-table to get our sales numbers up.

Which begs the question, what is momentum? In classical mechanics, momentum is the product of the mass and velocity of an object. For example, a heavy truck moving quickly has a large momentum—it takes a large or prolonged force to get the truck up to this speed, and it takes a large or prolonged force to bring it to a stop afterwards. If the truck were lighter, or moving more slowly, then it would have less momentum.

Marketing is like that big heavy truck…. We need a combination of mass media and high reach frequency (velocity) to achieve the sales momentum we need to attain success.