FINANCE

Report: Prepaid debit card fees vary widely

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – While a majority of the most popular prepaid debit cards charge monthly fees, specific fee structures vary widely. According to a study of 30 of the most widely held prepaid debit cards conducted by Bankrate.com, 83% of the prepaid cards surveyed charge monthly fees, but 33% will waive them, typically based upon the amount loaded onto the card.

Altogether, half of the cards either have no monthly fee or will waive it (down from 67% last year). In addition, more than half (53%) have an activation fee ranging from $2.95 to $9.95, depending on where the card is purchased. Ten percent do not charge an activation fee if the card is purchased online or via the phone.

Other findings include:

• Of the cards that are affiliated with an ATM network, 64% do not charge for in-network withdrawals. The range is $1 to $2.50 among those that do.

• Predictably, all 30 cards assess a fee (ranging from $1.95 to $3) for going outside the ATM network.

• Checking the card balance at an ATM will typically cost you; 77% of the cards charge a fee between $0.45 and $3.

• Ten percent do not charge for balance inquiries at any ATMs, while 7% only charge at out-of-network ATMs.

• Only 17% charge a fee for PIN-based transactions (ranging from $0.95 to $2), although an additional 7% don’t permit PIN transactions.

• Only 7% charge a fee ($1) for signature-based transactions.

• Fifty-three percent charge for receiving account statements by mail, with fees ranging from $1 to $5.95.

• Thirty-seven percent don’t charge to receive paper statements in the mail, while 10% don’t even offer mailed statements.

• Only 10% of cards offer paper statements at ATMs, and all charge either $1 or $2.50.

• Twenty-seven percent charge for customer service calls, up from 17% last year.

• More than three in four (77%) do not charge for declined transactions under any circumstances, while 10% charge either $1 or $2 for transactions declined at an ATM.

• The remaining 13% charge between $0.40 and $1.50 for all declined transactions.

• Inactivity fees are only charged by 17% of the cards that Bankrate.com surveyed (down from 29% last year).

• Among those that charge, the monthly inactivity fees range from $1.95 to $5.95.

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SUPPLY CHAIN

Casey’s streamlines DC throughput to support growth

BY Dan Berthiaume

Ankeny, Iowa — Casey’s General Stores has selected Softeon’s warehouse managements ystem (WMS), as well as its load planning, yard management, and labor management applications, to improve efficiency and accuracy of its DC operations and drive additional throughput from existing DCs to enable them to support addition of new retail stores in the same physical footprint.

“The Softeon WMS solution will streamline the entire supply chain from receipt of product at the distribution center through delivery to the stores,” said Bill Walljasper, senior VP and CFO, Casey’s. “Increasing visibility into real-time inventory will allow us to better plan picking of store orders from a range of food, beverages, tobacco products, health and beauty aids, automotive products, and other nonfood items. In addition, the solution will automate processes to improve truck load planning for weekly store replenishments that are currently in excess of 350 stores on an average of 47 routes per day.”

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OPERATIONS

1-800-Flowers teams with Deliv for same-day delivery

BY Dan Berthiaume

Carle Place, N.Y. — Deliv has been chosen as a same-day delivery vendor for 1-800-Flowers.com, its affiliated gourmet food brands, and its network of BloomNet florists across the U.S. commencing with a pilot in the San Francisco Bay area. Using Deliv, 1-800-Flowers.com will enhance its same-day delivery service in several ways, including the use of Deliv’s proprietary technology for an upgraded delivery experience.

Deliv works directly with its retailers and partners to add the Deliv "same-day delivery" option into their checkout process, whether it’s online, mobile or in retail stores. The direct relationship between the retailer and shopper is maintained, with no need to redirect retailer’s customers to a third party to transact and arrange same-day delivery.

Deliv drivers receive delivery tasks via GPS-enabled smartphones. Each delivery may be rated by customers so the platform is able to prioritize the allocation of jobs to those with the highest ratings. Managing a community of these on-demand drivers across the country, the Deliv platform incorporates smart routing and full transparency including the ability for shoppers to watch their delivery on a map in real-time from pick-up to their desired destination.

"With flowers and gourmet food gifts, it’s about delivering smiles to our customers,” said Chris McCann, president of 1-800-Flowers.com. “We are excited to enhance our same-day delivery services with a fast, reliable, game-changing delivery service and Deliv is a clear option for supplementing the quality and flexibility that our customers and florists have come to expect.”

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