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RILA responds to swipe reform legislation

BY CSA STAFF

Arlington, Va. — In response to legislation introduced on Tuesday by Montana senator Jon Tester to reopen critical reforms of the debit payments market, the Retail Industry Leaders Association issued the following statement:

“Despite the American people’s repeated disapproval of bank bailouts, the Tester bill is just that, this time at the expense of retailers and their consumers,” said Katherine Lugar, executive VP for public affairs, RILA.

“The bipartisan swipe fee reforms signed into law last year will bring fairness and competition to the broken debit market and will save consumers billions by ending decades of price-fixing by Visa and MasterCard,” added Lugar. “We urge Senators and Members of Congress to stand up for merchants and consumers and leave swipe fee reform alone.”

The bipartisan reforms signed into law a year ago are scheduled to go into effect July 21.

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Two die at Costco warehouse in Japan

BY CSA STAFF

Tamasakai, Japan — Costco Wholesale said Tuesday that two people died when a parking garage collapsed at its warehouse in Tamasakai during the earthquake, according to a report by the Seattle Times.

The store sustained significant damage and will remain closed for several months for inspections and repairs, said Costco.

The people who died were not Costco employees, who have all been accounted for and are safe, according to the report. The retailer’s other eight warehouses and a quick-turnaround distribution facility in Japan have been inspected and reopened.

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Study: 40% of consumers have negative loyalty program experience

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — A report released Tuesday by payment system provider ACI Worldwide found that many retail loyalty programs leave consumers feeling underappreciated and many consumers are enrolled in a program they don’t completely understand.

Although three out of four Americans are members of at least one retail loyalty card program, 85% of those surveyed said that they haven’t heard a single word from a loyalty program since the day they signed up. Likewise, 81% say they don’t even know the benefits of the program or how/when they will receive rewards.

The majority of American consumers (62%) join retail loyalty programs so they can get discounts on the things they buy most, according to the survey, yet only 36% received a reward or promotion that made them come back to the store again, and 27% of consumers complain they have received a reward or promotion for something they would never buy.

More than two in five (44%) said they have had a negative experience from a loyalty program.

“Loyalty programs have long been a logical way to leverage consumer satisfaction, but retailers are missing the mark when it comes to reaching out to consumers with information and offers that are relevant to them,” said Rob Seward, senior industry marketing manager at ACI Worldwide. “The end result is that memberships are becoming meaningless.”

The survey was conducted by Wakefield Research and interviewed 1,053 Americans aged 18 and older.

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