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Mastercard, Syniverse partner on mobile payment services for travelers

BY Dan Berthiaume

Purchase, N.Y. – MasterCard and Syniverse are partnering to deliver a number of mobile and payment services for consumers to use when traveling abroad. The two companies are currently in pilot-phase for an opt-in service that will enable card transactions for users only when they have their mobile device switched on in a specific geolocation abroad.

This service aims to reduce consumers’ frustrations associated with having their payment cards used without their knowledge or having their own transactions unnecessarily declined when trying to make purchases in another country. Financial institutions will also have an additional tool that will help them make more effective decisions when approving or declining a transaction on behalf of their customers.

In addition, mobile users could also have a choice of prepaid data packages that they can purchase directly from their phones when they arrive in their destination country. In the future, brands could implement targeted offers, which will be made more relevant by knowing the location of a mobile device, for example in close proximity to a retail store.

“This collaboration of two global technology leaders opens up a whole new range of possibilities for end users, ensuring a seamless payment and mobile experience,” said Hany Fam, president, global strategic alliances, MasterCard. “By leveraging the speed and intelligence of our global network and combining it with geolocation solutions, we are enabling your MasterCard to uniquely work where you and your phone are, anywhere in the world.”

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Stein Mart embarks on largest store expansion since 2007

BY CSA STAFF

Stein Mart plans to open 10 new stores this year as part of its largest store expansion since 2007.

Locations in the Miami, Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas areas are set to open this spring, bringing the company’s total nationwide store count to more than 270.

“We understand that increasing our number of stores is an important part of our sales growth strategy, so this is significant news for us,” said Jay Stein, CEO of Stein Mart. “We are fortunate to have a talented management team that identifies key locations in targeted growth areas, so we are always prepared to act when a prime location becomes available."

The announcement of this expansion follows the company’s fiscal 2013 same-store sales growth of 3.7%.

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Amazon expands coins program for Android devices and tablets

BY CSA STAFF

Amazon customers in the U.S., U.K. and Germany can now buy, spend and earn Amazon Coins on their Android phones and tablets. Previously available for use exclusively on Kindle Fire tablets, Amazon Coins can now be used to buy the latest apps, purchase extra lives within Candy Crush or unlock Red’s amazing Super Roaster in Angry Birds GO directly from their Android devices.

Customers who download the latest version of the Amazon Appstore will see their existing Coins balances appear automatically. Existing Android customers can upgrade to the latest version of the Amazon Appstore on their mobile device via www.amazon.com/updateappstore and new customers can download the Amazon Appstore on their mobile device via www.amazon.com/getappstore.

“Since the launch of Amazon Coins, we’ve been amazed by the number of customers using Coins, as well as how many Coins they’re spending on apps and games,” said Mike George, VP, Amazon Appstore and Games. “Because customers can earn Coins when they buy apps in Amazon’s Appstore, and because they can buy Coins themselves at up to a 10% discount, customers love the extra value they get when shopping in our Appstore.”

Amazon Appstore developers will continue to earn their standard 70% revenue share when customers make purchases using Amazon Coins.

“Expanding Amazon Coins across Android devices is the latest offering in an array of services that make Amazon the most complete end-to-end ecosystem for developers building, monetizing and marketing their apps and games,” the company stated in a release.

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