Tag Archives: gift card

Challenging Tradition: Alternative Payment Solutions

For as long as consumers have shopped, merchants have provided payment solutions. Whether it was through a barter system when money got tight or during the advent of the credit card, both buyers and sellers have gravitated to the most economical and efficient payment methods at hand. That is why this season of payment solutions is so fascinating. The trends are definitely shifting, and consumers are choosing with their wallets, literally in this case. Merchants are also seeCaptureking solutions that protect their bottom lines.

Intevacon offers a unique payment solution focused exclusively on the oil marketer—we created this system for the marketer, and our business model is built for his/her benefit. As a card processor, Intevacon provides all levels of card processing data—transaction details, quantities, taxes, product codes, etc.—without having to involve the middlemen.

Think of the traditional credit card processor. When you think of this credit card processor, you also have to think of all of the other players involved—the banks (both the cardholder and the merchant bank), the issuer of the card, the acquirer, etc. Credit card fees continue to increase as each player takes a piece of the pie. With margins for fuel counted in pennies, this cut is noticeable to a marketer. Not only does the marketer sacrifice his/her margin to processing fees, but he/she also loses the relationship to the cardholder.

We have seen traditional banks fall out of vogue more and more in time. An article in CSP News titled “Blowing Up the Bank” starts with the line “The banking system today is going to be totally blown up in the next 10 years.”1 Alternative banking and payment solutions are the way of the future. Another article corroborating this claim quotes the research firm, Packaged Facts, saying that approximately 40% of adults 18 years or older are unbanked.2 With this trend, we will continue seeing a shift away from traditional banking to “non-bank” funding accounts and reloadable prepaid cards.

Several non-traditional players have emerged, amongst them: Google, Paypal, and Amazon. We are excited for this new landscape of payment solutions, as it challenges the status quo and gives both consumers and merchants new options. When considering how you will choose to conduct business, consider your partners carefully. An article recently published in Forbes about the future of mobile payments stated, “Whoever ends up with controlling interests in this new digital ecosystem will reap billions in transaction fees, collect massive amounts of consumer data […].”3

Intevacon’s focus is to provide card processing services to our marketers so that you will be able to grow and protect your margins. Your success is our success. With Intevacon, you will always be in the center of your relationship with your customer. We are transparent and generous with our pricing model, and we offer the best customer service in the industry. Give us a call if you want to learn more about adopting a proprietary fleet card program through Intevacon. Now is the time to take back control of the transactions you are working so hard to achieve.

Contact us at 678-739-4450 or moreinfo@intevacon.com to get more information. http://www.Intevacon.com

 

  1. “Blowing Up the Bank.” CSP. April 2014. Web. April 2014. http://www.cspnet.com/industry-news-analysis/technology/articles/blowing-bank
  2. “General Merchandise: Prepaid & Financial Services 2014.” CSP. April 2014. Web. April 2014. http://www.cspnet.com/print/csp-magazine/article/general-merchandise-prepaid-financial-services-2014?page=0%2C0&utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily%20News%2004-28-2014%20%281%29&utm_content=&spMailingID=45724913&spUserID=MjU0MDQ1OTk0MjkS1&spJobID=423296958&spReportId=NDIzMjk2OTU4S0
  3. “Can PayPal Beat Apple, Google, Amazon And Icahn In The Wallet Wars?” Forbes. March 2014. Web. March 2014.http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenbertoni/2014/02/12/can-paypal-beat-apple-google-amazon-and-icahn-in-the-wallet-wars/

Building Relationships and Profiting from Repeat Business

Intevacon is all about relationships —we value the relationships that we form with our marketers, and we do everything that we can to facilitate relationships between you and your customers. The Intevacon model puts the marketer directly in the center of the card processing relationship, and this is by design. It turns out that this is also a profirepeattable approach.

A joint study by Manta and BIA/Kelsey found that 61% of small business owners report that half of their annual revenue comes from repeat customers. It also notes that repeat customers spend 67% more than a new customer. Watching this trend, small business owners are starting to invest more resources into developing relationships with their existing customer base.

Are you growing a base of repeat customers? An article by MediaPost notes that many small business owners do not utilize technology to their advantage when it comes to building loyalty and repeat business.

We know that c-stores account for 34.3% of all retail outlets as of December 2013, according to NACS. A recent NPD study found that the average consumer visits a c-store six times in a 30-day period, but that number has decreased by 1.3% in the fourth quarter of 2013. An article in Convenience Store Decisions quotes an NPD convenience store industry analyst saying, “It will remain a challenging and competitive environment in 2014 and retailers will continue to fight for dollars. C-stores can hold on to their base with the right product mix, selection, and quality, all of which are growing reasons why consumers choose the stores they do.”

The Intevacon fleet card and prepaid card are valuable tools to help you maintain repeat visits from your customers, both with consumer and commercial accounts. The proprietary fleet card and prepaid card can be accepted at all of your sites and allows your customers to receive level 3 card processing data. To help manage your accounts, you can give your cardholders access to the system to see their own data and run reports. The Intevacon system is intuitively designed and it gives you all of the controls that your customers want to manage their fleet accounts. With the time saved by using our system, you will have time to turn more new customer business into repeat customer business. Protect your margins by saving yourself from swipe fees, and increase repeat business by providing a fleet or prepaid card.

Prepaid trends more and more attractive to consumers

Intevacon inCapturetroduced the Prepaid card in the fall of 2013, and we have since established a growing base of customers selling the Prepaid card at their stores. A few of our customers even sell the Prepaid card as both a gift card and as a reloadable prepaid card, with different perks and payment requirements associated with each. There are many recent articles that have been published discussing consumer trends toward the prepaid card. We thought we would highlight a few so you can start thinking of ways to market your prepaid card.

1. An article published last month by Oil Express called “Trends: Debit card use hits new low” describes how trends are declining away from the use of debit cards and increasing in the use of Prepaid cards, especially among young adults. Bank fees and the federal debit card reform activities contribute largely to the dissatisfaction. You can find a discussion of the trends away from banking institutions in a blog here. With this continued increase in the acceptance of prepaid cards and consumer trends away from banking institutions, the timing could not be better to introduce the Intevacon Prepaid Card.

2.   An article by ATM Marketplace called “More Americans using cash to avoid data theft” noted that the recent data breaches have motivated consumers to use cash more often. Calling it the “revival in payment with cash,” the following statistics were provided:

40 percent of those aware of any data breaches said they’d started using cash for more of their purchases when shopping;

43 percent of those aged 18–34 said they’re using more cash; and

45 percent of those aged 35–44 said they’re using more cash.

The Intevacon prepaid card allows the perks of using cash while also offering the convenience of a card. Card holders can use their card at the pump and then reload it at the register. This allows you, the marketer, to increase cash flow and eliminate swipe fees.

3. In line with targeting specific age groups, a recent article by Convenience Store News titled “Millennials & C-stores: The Perfect Fit?” notes that about 75% of Millennials (those born after 1980) shop at convenience stores at least once a week, up from the 68% of total respondents. The number one reason cited by Millennials to shop at convenience stores is to buy beverages, followed secondly by the need to buy gas. Millennials also fulfill their impulses with purchases such as prepared food and health and beauty products. Read our earlier blog here about how Millennials are quickly adopting prepaid cards as a preferred method of payment. Millennials appear to be the ideal candidates to target with a prepaid card.

Let us know if you would like to find out more about our prepaid card or speak to one of our successful prepaid marketers.

Margins for Growth with Intevacon

iStock_000009737415SmallIntevacon continues to grow each month in the number of customers who use our system and enjoy the benefits of a proprietary fleet card and prepaid card.  It looks like the industry in general is growing as well.  A Nielson study was published recently stating that the U.S. convenience store count increased by 1.4% in 2013, adding 2,062 stores.1,2  Probably even more striking, the convenience store industry has doubled in size over the last three decades. 1,2    This is not totally surprising considering that consumers increasingly view convenience stores as more than just an opportunity to purchase fuel.  Convenience stores satisfy the demands of on-the-go consumers with their ever-expanding product lines, from fresh foods to a myriad of beverages.  In total, convenience stores comprise 34.3% of all retail outlets according to Neilson. 1,2    Of these convenience stores, 62.8% of them are managed by single-store operators. 1,2

More good news for the convenience store industry—a study from Sageworks indicates that 2013 was a strong year for fuel profits at privately held gas stations, with net profits rising almost 3% on average.3  While this is a great trend, the study also noted that privately held gas station owners experienced very little profit from each gallon of gas because the margins tend to be so thin after factoring in the original wholesale cost, taxes, and swipe fees. 3   As a contrast, convenience store retailers have a lower net profit margin on average than most retailers, with the average privately held company across all industries averaging more than 8% net profit margin. 3   This low net profit margin experienced by marketers is yet another reason why Intevacon is excited to be growing.  We are able to offer an innovative and dependable system to our marketers without the high transaction fees that are typically associated with standard credit cards.  We succeed when our marketers succeed, and that is why we have created a pricing structure that allows for higher margins and keeps the marketer in control of his/her customers.

The convenience store industry comprises an invaluable place in our society.  Intevacon is proud to offer alternative payment solutions to our marketers, both in the form of fleet cards and prepaid cards.  We enjoy growing relationships throughout the industry, and we aim to support our customers through all of their successes with a system that is both flexible and innovative to their needs.

  1. “Convenience Store Count Tops 149,000.”  NACS. January 2014. Web. January 2014. http://www.nacsonline.com/News/Daily/Pages/ND0123132.aspx#.Uuqzt_uYV6s
  2. “Convenience Store Industry Adds More Than 2,000 Stores.” CSP.net. January 2014. Web. January 2014. http://www.cspnet.com/industry-news-analysis/corporate-news/articles/convenience-store-industry-adds-more-2000-stores
  3. “Fewer Expenses, Bigger Margins in 2013.” CSP.net. January 2014. Web. January 2014. http://www.cspnet.com/fuels-news-prices-analysis/fuels-analysis/articles/fewer-expenses-bigger-margins-2013

Contact us at 678-739-4450 or moreinfo@intevacon.com to get more information.  http://www.Intevacon.com

Recent NACS Article: “Gift Card Spending Surging”

An articlshutterstock_2943045e published today by NACS confirms what we have been hearing all year: Gift card spending has reached an all-time high.1  Now is the perfect time for marketers to introduce the Intevacon Prepaid Card.  Data continue to support consumer’s preference toward this product, both for personal use, as well as for gift-giving.    

The National Retail Federation conducted a survey indicating that 8 in 10 shoppers will purchase a gift card this holiday season, spending an average of $163.16 each2.  The most valuable piece of information for marketers is that 12% of shoppers will purchase gas station cards, up 11% from last year3.  You can find the article here, or review the highlights below.

  • Gift cards top the holiday wish list for the 7th year in a row, with 6 in 10 gift repie-chartcipients saying that they prefer to receive gift cards.3
  • The average amount that will be spent on each gift card is estimated to be $45.16, with individuals 65 and older spending an average of $175.96 and individuals 35-44 spending an average of $171.15.3 
  • Gift card choices will fall into the following categories: Department Store (40.3%), Restaurant (34.2%), Coffee Shop (19%), and Gas Station (12%).3

 

 

1.          “Gift Card Spending Surging.”  NACS. November 2013. Web. November 2013. http://www.nacsonline.com/News/Daily/Pages/ND1114133.aspx

2.         “Gift Cards.” National Retail Federation Retail Insight Center.  November 2013.  Web.  November 2013.  http://research.nrffoundation.com/Default.aspx?pg=9007#.UoT0BHEo6M8

3.         “Gift Card Spending Reaches All-Time High, According to NRF Survey.” National Retail Federation.  November 2013.  Web.  November 2013.  http://www.nrf.com/modules.php?name=News&op=viewlive&sp_id=1694

*Data from National Retail Federation Survey

Marketing the Prepaid Card

Consumers are choosing prepaid cards as a method of payment in growing numbers. With such a broad market, the Intevacon Prepaid Card offers functionalities that appeal to all of your target consumers. 

Use the Intevacon Prepaid Card to:

  • Grow your customer footprint
  • Increase spending and cash purchases
  • Establish a relationship of loyalty with your customers

Consumer advantages of using the Intevacon Prepaid Card include:

  • Allows the user to pay at the pump instead of pre-paying for fuel with cash.
  • The Prepaid Card can also be used inside at the register.
  • Discounts can be offered by the marketer for cash purchases using the POS roll-back feature.
  • Purchase restrictions are available to specify how the prepaid card can be used.
  • A required PIN number allows for enhanced security.  Recovery of a lost card can be achieved with the provided reference number.
  • Card is reloadable for repeated use.
  • No fees are subjected to Prepaid card users.

Below is a list of target consumers and applications for the Prepaid Card.  This list can help you determine how you want to market to your customer base.7K0A0426

  • Millennials are attracted to the freedom from institutions that is permitted with the prepaid card.
  • Unbanked, debanked, and underbanked individuals are applicable, regardless of credit.
  • Employers reward their employees with Prepaid bonuses and incentives.
  • Businesses provide give-away promotions to customers and prospects.
  • Businesses use the prepaid card as a fleet card alternative.
  • Non-profits give Prepaid cards to individuals in need and can impose restrictions on purchased products.
  • Philanthropists give Prepaid cards to their philanthropy of choice like a women’s shelter or the local church.
  • Regular Consumers will enjoy the benefits of cents per gallon off of their purchase.
  • Regular Consumers use prepaid cards as a budget resource for staying out of debt.
  • Gift Givers give the Prepaid card as a gift for fuel or retail purchases for events like holidays, birthdays, thank yous, graduation.
  • Parents buy prepaid cards for teenage or college age kids.

Do you have a marketing technique that you would like to share?  We’d love to hear from you!