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Cardtek Group launches Cardtek USA

BY Dan Berthiaume

Chicago – Cardtek Group, a provider of software for financial transactions and EMV migration, is launching Cardtek USA. The company’s North American headquarters, based in Chicago, will facilitate the U.S. adoption of Europay-MasterCard-Visa (EMV) technology in an effort to help prevent credit card fraud and data breaches.

Since 2010, Cardtek Group has been providing issuers and acquirer banks with payment product options in North America. Now, Cardtek has established domestic operations to help expedite the transition to EMV chip technology in the U.S.

“The American consumer is the most vulnerable consumer in the world for credit card fraud – Americans deserve an upgrade,” said Gokhan Inonu, president of Cardtek USA.

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eBay ‘Click & Collect” gathers U.K. momentum

BY CSA STAFF

Following a successful test last fall, eBay and U.K. retailer Argos have expanded a click and collect program which addresses a key deficiency of many online-only retailers’ fulfillment strategy.

Argos is a U.K retailer with about 650 stores and in September 2013 it began a program with 50 eBay sellers that allowed for the pick up of purchases in 150 Argos’ stores. The program worked well enough that the companies have embarked on a dramatic expansion. By the end of 2014, around 65,000 eBay sellers will offer products available for collection at all Argos stores and by 2015 the number of sellers is expected to grow to 80,000.

According to a statement from the companies, the service is being expanded after, “the trial service proved successful operationally and incredibly popular with customers. A clear majority of those who have used the service and other click and collect services rate eBay’s Click & Collect at Argos as one of the best available.”

“Retail has changed and shoppers are in the driving seat like never before. They want to shop anytime, anywhere, on any device and British shoppers love to click and collect,” said eBay U.K. vp Tanya Lawler. “It’s a service being rapidly adopted by larger retailers and this partnership with Argos now gives tens of thousands of sellers the chance to capitalize on Click & Collect, even if they have no high street presence of their own.”

The way the system works for buyers is simple. They choose ‘Click and Collect at Argos’ as the delivery option in their eBay checkout and select their most convenient Argos store. Buyers receive a message when their item is ready for collection and then they pick up their purchase from a dedicated collection point in Argos stores.

David Robinson, COO of Argos said the recent agreement is about figuring out how to scale the partnership with eBay.

“Fulfilment is the next retail battleground and Argos’ unique model is well placed to leverage this,” Robinson said.

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Amazing Women identified by specialty retailer

BY CSA STAFF

A lot of retailers hold contests, but few discover winners as worthy of recognition as the difference-makers who participated in specialty retailer Christopher & Banks inaugural Amazing Women contest.

The operator of 543 stores recently named the winners of its Amazing Women contest that was launched in April in conjunction with Mother’s Day. More than 1,700 nominations were received in the contest that sought to celebrate the women who raise, cheer on, care for and support future generations.

No one fit that bill better than grand prize recipient Michelle Johnson of Springfield, Mo. She was nominated by her friend Lynn Boone for her role as a foster parent to more than 300 children over the years.

"Michelle takes in the children no one else can handle, and she makes a difference in their lives," Boone said. "She has always done without, so children will have what they need – and more. She never buys anything for herself, and I would love to see her get something for a change."

"When we told Michelle she not only had been nominated, but that she had won, she was shocked to find people consider what she does inspiring," said LuAnn Via, Christopher & Banks president and CEO. "Women like Michelle – and so many others – believe the remarkable and inspirational things they do are ordinary. We know that every day, women do amazing things and that is exactly why we wanted to hear women’s stories and celebrate the difference they make in our lives and our communities."

As the grand prize winner, Johnson will receive a $500 Christopher & Banks/CJ Banks gift card, a $500 donation to a charity and a trip the retailer’s Minnesota headquarters. While there, she will go on a personalized shopping experience at the Christopher & Banks/CJ Banks flagship store at the Mall of America, receive a spa experience and professional photo shoot. She has also been invited to serve as a Christopher & Banks/CJ Banks Amazing Women Brand Ambassador.

Others women recognized in the contest included runners up Andrea Lea Berdine of Hollister, Mo., and Ellen Adcock of Greenville, Ill. First runner up Berdine was nominated by her friend Tabby Meadows for dedicating herself to serving the homeless and others in need.

Berdine was first inspired to help the homeless when she witnessed a homeless man turned away from a thrift store when he couldn’t afford a coat on a cold and rainy day. After helping him, she started Selfless Blessings, a nonprofit thrift store where everything is free. Second runner up Ellen Adcock was nominated by her husband Daniel Adcock for her devotion to their two autistic sons and her dedication to autism advocacy. Adcock played a major role in creating an adult day program for adults with autism who had no place to go, where they could learn how to keep up on daily living and socializing skills.

The retailer is looking to take the Amazing Women recognition program to a new level with additional contests focused on professions such as teachers and nurses.

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