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McDonald’s accepts Softcard mobile payments in U.S.

BY Dan Berthiaume

Oak Brook, Ill.McDonald’s is collaborating with mobile commerce provider Softcard. Customers will now be able to tap and pay both in-restaurant and in the drive-thru lane at all U.S. McDonald’s locations, marking the largest deployment of NFC-based mobile commerce in drive-thru.

Softcard is a free app that combines payments, offers and loyalty. McDonald’s customers can download and use Softcard today on more than 80 mobile devices across AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. Through its use of the contactless EMV global standard and SmartTap mobile commerce technology, Softcard enables payments, offers and loyalty redemption through a simple tap.

“We are pleased to announce this national launch after a successful pilot program that began in 2013. Our work with Softcard further reinforces McDonald’s commitment to customer service and convenience,” said Anja Carroll, VP of media and consumer connection for McDonald’s USA. “By collaborating with top brands in the mobile payments and commerce space, we’re able to deliver a more meaningful experience to our customers that includes greater speed, ease and value.”

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Report: Wal-Mart apologizes for online ‘fat girl’ costumes

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bentonville, Ark. –- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has reportedly apologized for offering Halloween outfits labeled as “fat girl” costumes on its e-commerce site. According to Bloomberg, Wal-Mart issued the apology after receiving social media criticism from offended consumers.

In particular, Wal-Mart drew criticism on Twitter and even issued individual apologies to tweets complaining about the costumes. Wal-Mart has removed the offending page, and its URL now redirects consumers to a page of “women’s plus-sized Halloween costumes.” A Wal-Mart spokesperson said the company is working to permanently remove the title from its site.

This is the second major online product mishap from a major retailer in recent weeks. Earlier in October, both Sears and Amazon.com had to issue public apologies for allowing men’s rings emblazoned with the Nazi swastika symbol to be listed for sale on their third-party marketplace sites. Both retailers removed the rings from the sites.

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Midnight madness at 99 Cents

BY CSA STAFF

Consider it a Black Friday dress rehearsal as 99 Cents Only Stores invites all sorts of lunacy into stores with extended hours and a discount promotion in advance of Halloween.

The retailer is offering a $5 discount on purchases of $25 or more as part of its Halloween Midnight Madness promotion involving numerous stores in Southern California. The promotion period runs from 10 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30 until midnight. The premise behind the promotion is that customers can use the extra time to secure amazing last minute Halloween deals, according to the company.

The promotion is only in effect at the company’s Southern California locations which account for roughly half of the company overall store base of 361 units.

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