Press

Press Archive

Articles and Press Releases from 2006-2010

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   Patrice Peyret's Huffington Post editorial "Why you should care about hidden interchange fees in 2011."
Read the article here

  Media Bistro Names UPside Visa a "Top 5 Online Payment Services for Small Businesses and Freelancers"
See the article here.

  Freelancers and small businesses finally can accept bank transfers from clients.

Plastyc and eBillme partner to enable clients to pay the self-employed using online banking

Freelancers can accept payment directly from clients' online banking accounts using Plastyc's new integration of eBillme's secure online payment solution. By integrating eBillme with its prepaid accounts, Plastyc addresses the growing ranks of people going into business for themselves as caregivers, painters, designers, gardeners, musicians, tutors and more. The integration makes it easier for freelancers' clients to pay directly from their online bill payment system, without cash or paper checks and without signing up for new payment services.

"Banks typically do not offer person-to-person transfers between different banks without charging hefty fees or requiring payers to come to the branch in person for security” said Patrice Peyret, CEO of Plastyc. “And what about people who don't have traditional checking accounts? They often spend too much effort collecting cash or too much money getting checks cashed.” "Banks typically do not offer person-to-person transfers between different banks without charging hefty fees or requiring payers to come to the branch in person for security” said Patrice Peyret, CEO of Plastyc. “And what about people who don't have traditional checking accounts? They often spend too much effort collecting cash or too much money getting checks cashed.”

The Plastyc integration with eBillme works even for freelancers who are among the 60 million US adults who don’t use or have checking accounts. All that's required from freelancers is a social security number and an Internet connection or a web-enabled cell phone. Freelancers can send electronic invoices. They receive payment deposited directly into their prepaid account. Then they can use their Plastyc UPside Visa card to pay their own bills online, shop anywhere Visa is accepted, get cash from an ATM or cash-back from the grocery store, top off cell phone minutes, even issue paper checks.

"The invoice I sent is simple enough that the people I babysit for got it right away", said Laura Isaacman, a 24-year-old freelance customer support rep and babysitter in Brooklyn, New York.

This new method stands out in convenience and cost from other micro-business payment systems coming to market. Uniquely, it requires no bank account, no smartphone, no specialized hardware and no software download. Additionally, remote clients also can take the eBillme number to the nearest of more than 75,000 Walk-in locations to pay with cash.

"It makes it easy for your clients to pay using their existing method. And anything that makes payment easier for clients is good for freelancers," says Samer Forzley, VP of Marketing of eBillme. “Consumers can now pay for services they receive from the safety and convenience of their online bank accounts”

Here's how it works:

  1. Freelancers sign in to their existing Plastyc UPside Visa or iBankUP prepaid account or sign up using their social security number (no credit check needed).
  2. They select "eBillme" to email clients an invoice checkout page.
  3. Clients receive an electronic bill and eBillme account number upon completion of the checkout page. Then, they pay that bill from their online banking service. (eBillme is recognized as a registered biller by over 17,000 banks and credit unions across the US.)
  4. The payment gets credited automatically to the freelancer's UPside Visa or iBankUP prepaid card account.

For a more detailed overview click here

About eBillme:
eBillme™ is the most secure way to pay online and the only online payment solution that extends the convenience of online banking to the merchant’s checkout process. The service enhances security for online shoppers, and enables merchants to increase sales while reducing transaction costs. No financial data is exposed and the payment transaction is securely transferred from the customer’s bank to the retailer’s bank. Consumers can shop online, by catalog or through call centers, and pay for their purchases at their bank, credit union, or bill pay portal using the security and convenience of online banking or by paying the bill at over 75,000 walk-in locations. For more information, please visit www.eBillme.com, eBillme’s Online Debt-Free Shopping Mall or the eBillme blog

BillFloat Partners with Plastyc to Help Prepaid Card Holders Pay Bills Affordably

BillFloat and Plastyc today announced a partnership that extends BillFloat's small-dollar loan for bill payment solution to Plastyc's prepaid account holders. The collaboration between the two financial services innovators is significant for consumers who do not have traditional bank accounts. The companies made the announcement at the Finovate conference where they showcased their solutions to financial services industry analysts, executives, thought leaders, and media.

The partnership has led to a solution that is simple to use, compliant, and secure. Consumers who need more time to pay a bill can check off the BillFloat option from within their Plastyc UPside Visa Card or iBankUP online prepaid accounts. Prior prepaid account activity establishes their trustworthiness. BillFloat pays their bill, and the consumer pays back the loan, plus low interest and transaction fee, from their prepaid account within 30 days.

"Up to 60 million people don't have access to a traditional bank account. Plastyc's prepaid services are a great way for them to use BillFloat to pay bills right away, even if cash is short," said Ryan Gilbert, BillFloat CEO.

"BillFloat offers a more affordable alternative to rip-off payday lenders or excessive bank fees. It's a valuable service to offer iBankUP and UPside customers," said Patrice Peyret, Plastyc CEO.

BillFloat helps consumers avoid overdraft and late fees without resorting to expensive payday lenders. Plastyc's prepaid accounts help consumers access BillFloat 's service even if they don't have a traditional bank account. The BillFloat service fee is comprised of a bill payment fee and interest of 3% per month on the loan, with applicable convenience fees. Introductory rates as low as $4.95 are currently being offered.

About BillFloat, Inc.
BillFloat was founded in 2009 by a team of experienced financial serves entrepreneurs with investment and technology backing from First Round Capital (www.firstround.com), PayPal (www.paypal.com) and Venrock (www.venrock.com) and angel investors. Consumers use BillFloat to pay bills and avoid late fees, overdraft charges, service termination and high cost payday loans. Billers including utility providers, cable companies and insurers accelerate their cash flow through BillFloat's easy to implement and secure system. The service is available on billers' websites and through financial services partners including prepaid and debit issuers, payroll services, walk-in payment centers and billfloat.com. BillFloat is based in San Francisco, California.

- Huffington Post: "The beginning of the end for abusive payday loans?"

By developing a direct integration with the BillFloat bill extension service at a fraction of the cost of what payday lenders would charge, Plastyc provides its customers a safety net against the predatory practices of the payday lending industry in case of a cash crunch. Read more the full article here.

- Forbes writes about Plastyc as a Data Driven company

Lee Gomes writes about how Plastyc keeps tabs on the Underbanked
Read the full article on Forbes' website.

- DataArt explains the technology behind Plastyc's mobile banking service

NEW YORK, Sept.  08, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- DataArt, a high-end software development company with headquarters in New York and R & D centers in Eastern Europe, has completed development of a new mobile banking and payments platform for Plastyc, Inc. DataArt's expertise in the mobile technologies industry was critical for building the kind of dynamic user experiences and functionality Plastyc required.
Read the full article on CNBC's website.

- Plastyc's Patrice Peyret to showcase mobile banking for the unbanked at FinovateFall 2010

New York, NY (PRWeb) Plastyc, Inc. CEO Patrice Peyret will take the stage at FinovateFall 2010 to demonstrate advancements in mobile banking for people without easy access to traditional banking accounts.

In a his demo, scheduled for , Mr. Peyret will show new capabilities from Plastyc recently featured in TheStreet.com and American Banker as well as new features that have not yet been shown. They include the following banking capabilities from any browser-enabled cell phone:

  • Writing checks
  • Adding minutes to one's own or a family-member's cell phone
  • Locating the nearest GreenDot MoneyPak retailer to add cash to prepaid account
  • Sending money to friends

Plastyc provides the power of a bank account in a cell phone, even for people without a bank account. Any customer using a cell phone with a built-in browser (most cell phones today) may sign up for a Plastyc iBankUP or UPside Visa prepaid account to manage their money online. Customers also can sign up and manage from any Internet-connected computer with no hidden fees, regardless of their credit history.

"In the excitement of developing the latest technologies, we sometimes forget that for the 100 million underbanked people in the U.S., innovation isn't a luxury, it's a necessity," said Patrice Peyret. "Finovate is the perfect forum for sharing ideas to meet the needs of the unbanked with fair, affordable new services."

At Finovate Fall 2010 in New York, Mr. Peyret will join executives from a total of 56 companies selected to showcase the latest and greatest in financial and banking technology innovations.

"In the competition to demonstrate at Finovate, Plastyc stood out for its rapid pace of financial technology innovation targeted for the underbanked. We're excited to showcase Plastyc as one of the handpicked group of companies creating the future," said Eric Mattson, CEO.

About Finovate
FinovateFall is a demo-based conference for innovative startups and established companies in the fields of banking and financial technology. Held in the financial capital of the world, New York City, the event offers an insight-packed glimpse of the future of money via a fast-paced, intimate and unique format. Due to popular demand, this year’s fall event has been expanded to two days to showcase even more fintech innovations. FinovateFall is organized by Online Financial Innovations. For more information on the event, or to view previous demos, please visit www.finovate.com/fall2010.

- TheStreet.com writes about Plastyc making Debit Cards a Small Biz Reality

White-hot, prepaid debit card giant Green Dot (GDOT) raked in a cool $164 million from rabid investors when its stock went public earlier this summer. Now a flock of third-party startups, looking for the same investor love, are finding traction in financial services that were once strictly for the under-banked -- usually kids and those with low credit scores. These firms are morphing prepaid debit cards into a new generation of innovative financial instruments. And, I'm surprised to say, they're slowly finding real play for small businesses.

One of the most interesting of this new generation of smart prepaid debit card companies is tiny, New York-based Plastyc.

Read on here

- American Banker cites Plastyc as the market reference in its article "A Surprise Mobile Banking Clientele: the Underbanked"

American Banker | August 24, 2010
By Daniel Wolfe

Mobile banking is gaining more popularity with the underbanked than it is with conventional bank customers.

For the underbanked, who use the service with prepaid cards, the attraction of mobile banking lies in its price, ease-of-access and portability, compared to other means of going online.

Red Gillen, a senior banking analyst at the Boston market research firm Celent, said that, for prepaid users, "I can see that mobile would be very, very important … a lot of the people do not have online access" through a computer, but "it's fair to say that the underbanked or unbanked have mobile phones."

Gwenn Bezard, a research director at Aite Group LLC in Boston, said the underbanked have more frequent need to gain access to their balances while on the go because, "when you have a prepaid debit card, there is no easy way to know the balance."

At one such prepaid card company, Plastyc Inc., Chief Executive Patrice Peyret said that, even without knowing conventional bank customers' rate of use of mobile services, his sense is that his prepaid customers' use is higher. "When we checked where people were logging in from, we noticed that quite a fair number of them were actually using their phone."

This is supported by data from Javelin Strategy and Research in Pleasanton, Calif., which found that 22.4% of underbanked consumers had used a mobile banking service in the previous 30 days, compared to 14.1% of people with a checking account who used mobile banking in the same time frame.

Plastyc, other prepaid card companies and banks do not appear content, however, to simply offer basic mobile banking services, preferring instead to explore newer and more sophisticated mobile banking features.

Plastyc said it began rolling out a modern mobile account-access system only after it noticed that about 30% of its users were gaining access to their accounts from Internet-connected mobile phones within a given month.

In an update this month, Plastyc began offering some services to which even banking customers lack access, such as a browser-based tool for locating sellers of Green Dot Corp.'s MoneyPak products. Using this tool, which is based on technology Green Dot provides to its partners, Plastyc customers can add funds to their cards by purchasing a MoneyPak from a store and linking it to their Plastyc card account.

Peyret said that many customers probably know where to buy MoneyPaks to top up their cards but that the locator tool might be useful in emergency situations — the equivalent for the underbanked of the automated teller machine locator that many bank customers use. Plastyc also offers access to Visa Inc.'s browser-based ATM locator for mobile phone users who want to retrieve cash from their cards.

Peyret said the MoneyPak locator could also be used to let people make cash gifts by buying a MoneyPak and funding a remote card, such as a prepaid card belonging to a student. With its new services, "we've tried to do something that focuses on people who may not have any other banking service … and try to give them full access to their money," Peyret said.

Today, Plastyc's customers cannot apply MoneyPaks to an existing prepaid card account directly from a phone's browser, but Peyret said that feature is planned for a later release once Green Dot enables it.

Green Dot did not make an executive available for this story. Green Dot offers mobile account access through text messaging and said this month it plans to improve its mobile experience by developing a dedicated application. For example, it may offer a remote deposit capture feature to let users fund its prepaid cards by snapping photos of checks with a mobile phone's built-in camera.

Some analysts question whether prepaid's users really want a flashier mobile experience.

James Van Dyke, Javelin's principal and founder, said that rather than play catch-up with the flashier mobile account access features banks are starting to offer, Plastyc could serve as an example for banks that may overlook the need for a simpler mobile system.

"In mobile … you need to think about people who are less affluent, who skipped the online channel altogether," he said.

Before they start thinking about sophisticated features like mobile remote deposit capture, "you just need to do a great job with just the basics," he said.

And Jim Jones, the CEO of the San Ramon, Calif., prepaid provider AccountNow Inc., said that, though mobile account access is bigger among the underbanked, a subset of conventional banking customers may exhibit the same preferences.

"As you get to a younger, college-educated group of checking account customers, I think you will find them to be heavier mobile users," Jones said.

AccountNow still plans to upgrade its features, however; the company anticipates a larger number of underbanked people will get access to smart phones, he said.

- The Huffington Post publishes Patrice Peyret's article about the choice between credit and debit payment instruments for college students

New York, NY, August 23 -- As college students head back to campus, a financial question of the moment for students and parents is whether to set up credit or debit accounts to back up the plastic in your wallets?
Read the full article here.

- Plastyc launches full-featured mobile banking service

Plastyc, Inc. launched today a new service enabling anyone with a browser-enabled cell phone to manage money on the go -- including writing checks, sending money to friends and locating the nearest retail location to add cash to their cards -- using Plastyc's iBankUP and UPside prepaid Visa services.

While viewing balances and receiving alerts by cell phone is becoming common, people who rely the most on their cell phones and the least on personal computers have not had complete mobile access to their money until now.
Plastyc provides the power of a bank account in a simple phone, even for people without a bank account. To use the new service, any customer using a cell phone with a built-in browser (most cell phones today) may sign up for an iBankUP and UPside Visa prepaid account to manage their money online without a personal computer.
Plastyc’s mobile services are all free. They include:

  • View your balance, your latest transactions and display your prior statements
  • See your balance of cash back loyalty points
  • Access your account and routing information for payroll direct deposit sign-up
  • Issue paper checks
  • Send or receive person-to-person payments
  • Add airtime minutes to your phone or to other phones
  • Find the nearest location to buy a MoneyPakTM to add cash to the card
  • Suspend a lost or misplaced card
  • And more.

Customers can even use mobile access to add cash to a new card account before the card has been received in the mail, and to activate the card when it has been received.

“Our customers use their cell phones for just about everything”, said Patrice Peyret, CEO of Plastyc Inc. “So we want to provide them with the best mobile banking experience there is, even if they don't have a smart-phone or a traditional checking account."

Plastyc’s mobile platform detects the features and screen resolution of any cell phone and immediately adapts its display to deliver the best possible user experience. Security features enable customers to remotely disable certain capabilities such as adding minutes to a mobile phone, paying another cardholder, or writing a check.
To get started with Plastyc's mobile banking service, go to ibankup.mobi or upsidecard.mobi

- On the Huffington Post: How about Financial Services that help, not exploit, the broke?

The Huffington Post publishes Patrice Peyret's article about the Underbanked can be helped with innovative products rather than exploited by the industry of "vulture financing"
Read the full article here.

- Plastyc offers new way to pay for prepaid phones minutes

Prepaid cell phone customers -- the fastest growing group of wireless subscribers in the U.S. -- now can use the UPside Visa and iBankUP prepaid card accounts from Plastyc to add airtime minutes to their phones.

Customers no longer have to buy airtime refill packs and scratch cards at stores or sign up on sites that sell airtime. Instead, they can add minutes to their own phones or their family’s and friend’s phones in the U.S. or overseas right from within their prepaid card account. There are no fees or added costs compared to refill packs, scratch cards or online refills offered by carriers on their own sites.

No other prepaid card (or debit or credit card for that matter) offers a prepaid airtime refill service, and no mobile refill service comes close to Plastyc in demographic coverage.

Plastyc’s airtime refill option works immediately with prepaid cell phones on AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Boost Mobile networks.

In addition, UPside Visa and iBankUP customers can use their prepaid accounts to add minutes to family and friends’ phones in 30 countries totally more than 4 Billion people, in particular Mexico, China, Philippines, India, Vietnam, Cuba, the Dominican Republic . Plastyc will be adding support for additional wireless providers this summer, both in the US and overseas. The service is powered by TransferToTM,an airtime transfer network connecting mobile operators worldwide.

Plastyc’s marriage of prepaid phones and prepaid cards joins the two fastest growing segments in their respective industries. In the final quarter of 2009, new U.S. prepaid wireless customers outnumbered new contract customers for the first time ever — 65 percent of the 4.2 million new customers came from the prepaid market, according to research from the New Millennium Research Council (NMRC). Meanwhile, network-branded prepaid cards are the fastest growing card product, according to the Network Branded Prepaid Card Association.

While the iPhone dominates mobile news, its high cost and binding contracts place it out of reach for most people,” said Patrice Peyret, CEO of Plastyc. “The quieter revolution is the rapid growth of prepaid phones, including full featured 3G handsets with MP-3 music, camera, and full qwerty keyboard, like the Samsung Rant offered by Boost Mobile, which allow you to pay as you go and don’t lock you in into contracts. And now with Plastyc’s airtime refill, adding prepaid cell phone minutes is easier than ever.

Here’s how the airtime refill option works. UPside Visa and iBankUP customers can:

  1. Log into their online accounts and select the “refill a cell phone option”
  2. Select the US carrier or the country outside the US and enter the phone number
  3. Select the amount to refill, and, optionally enter a personal message if the refill is for a friend’s or family’s phone (the message is delivered by SMS)
  4. Verify and submit.

The process completes in a few seconds and the resulting transaction appears in the statement as an airtime purchase.

In addition to providing customer convenience, Plastyc’s new airtime refill service helps wireless providers sell more airtime while distributing fewer refill cards. It also helps providers sell airtime online without the fraud risk of sites that sell airtime using credit card transactions.

Until June 30, Plastyc is offering a 5% discount on airtime added to U.S. phones.

About TransferToTM
TransferToTM operates a global mobile airtime network enabling small-value transfers from mobile phones, open loop prepaid cards, POS, and ATMs. With this network, consumers with family overseas can recharge the mobile of their friends and relatives back home. It is a fast, reliable, and convenient solution for international mobile top-up.

- Businesses use new Plastyc API to provide direct access to prepaid card services

New York, NY, May 5, 2010 --Companies can now enroll people into prepaid cards from their website or phone systems using the Plastyc, Inc. web services application programming interface (API). Available immediately, the API enables companies to sign up users for UPside Visa prepaid cards, and then let users check their balances, share money card to card or suspend lost cards from within the companies’ own websites. The API also allows companies to push payments directly to users’ UPside Visa cards.

The API helps solve a problem that many businesses face: offering alternative payment options to customers who don’t have, or don’t want to use, credit cards or checking accounts. By signing up customers on the spot for the UPside Visa, businesses provide a secure, low-fee, universally-accepted payment option and help increase their own sales.

While there are many alternative payment systems, most have high fees and few work online or offline as reliably as the UPside Visa prepaid card.

The API helps solve another problem: making repeated payments to customers or contributors. Examples include making payments to loyalty program customers, contract employees, to affiliate partners or sales people.

“Many businesses are faced with customers or members who can’t pay them easily or can’t receive payments from them when needed. The Plastyc API, together with the UPside Visa prepaid card, help businesses solve that problem in a way that is both seamless to their site’s users and respectful of their wallets,” said Patrice Peyret, CEO of Plastyc.

Plastyc delivered the API in response to demand from businesses across industries including tax preparation services, financial education, game sites, direct sales organizations and even a taxicab payment service.

In a multi-state trial, cab drivers in D.C., Illinois and Louisiana are receiving their portion of riders’ credit card payments directly in their UPside Visa accounts. The drivers signed up for the card via Dialie taxicab payment system that uses the Plastyc API. Credit card payments go directly to the cab company which pushes the drivers’ portion directly to their cards. The drivers can check their balances by swiping their UPside Visa card in the cab’s card reader or by calling Dialie’s phone bank.

With the deployment of credit card terminals in taxis nationwide, cab drivers who were used to receiving cash from their customers can now receive their money directly onto an UPside Visa card. This alleviates their fears of losing convenience or speed when taking riders who pay by credit card rather than cash.

- iBankUP Offers Consumers New Services and Savings In Response to Credit Card Act

Determined to offer consumers a break, Plastyc, Inc. is adding services and further lowering costs for iBankUP, the new game in online banking. The latest iBankUP services and savings counteract the consumer-unfriendly tactics of credit card companies that are jacking up fees in response to federal rules taking effect Feb. 22, 2010.

Available immediately, iBankUP users can get loved ones a companion UPside prepaid card using the same account but with separate card numbers and statements. Companion cards are rare in the world of prepaid cards. And while joint credit cards are common, they often use one card number and lump purchases onto one statement. iBankUP makes joint budgeting easier by labeling separately the transactions of the primary account holder and the companion card holder.

The iBankUP companion card is timely for college students and others affected by the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009. Under a provision of the act effective as of Feb. 22, people under 21 will no longer be able to get a credit card without an adult co-signer or proof of ability to pay off the debt. Both conditions have downsides, including adding credit risk to the primary account holder and potentially tying up cash. The new iBankUp companion card makes it easy for families to share a card at no risk to credit scores or available cash.

Also available immediately, iBankUp users can avoid ATM fees by getting up to $60 of cash back at no cost when they do their grocery shopping at stores accepting PIN debit payments. This fee-free offer is in contrast with credit card companies’ widely reported practices of adding on new fees that aren’t restricted by regulations.

”We're looking forward to embracing everyone upset with their bank as well as the young customers that credit card companies have lost the right to serve,” said Plastyc CEO Patrice Peyret.

iBankUP is aimed at people who hate wasting money and who need the convenience of receiving direct deposits, making cash deposits and withdrawals or writing checks without the debt or fees of credit cards or checking accounts. iBankUP and the UPside Visa prepaid card allow users to pay at millions of shops around the world without transaction fees. Tens of thousands of iBankUp and Upside Visa customer have saved more than $16.2M in fees that they would have paid for comparable checking account services.

"I really enjoy using the service. I have my paychecks direct deposited, and I don’t have to worry about money being taken out for different fees and charges. It's given me a lot more peace of mind," said iBankUP account holder Melissa W., of Whitacker, PA.

- On the Huffington Post: Feb. 22 Marks A Brand New Day for Banking

The Huffington Post publishes Patrice Peyret's article about how Feb 22, 2010 is the beginning date for a new era in consumer banking
Read the full article here.

- Plastyc Sponsors New Radio Show for College Students

New York, NY, January, 29, 2010 – New York City got a chance to celebrate the launch of Like Us Entertainment and enjoy exclusive audio trailers of the new college radio soap opera, The Like Us Show, sponsored by iBankUP, at Stir Lounge, on Thursday, January 28, 2010

Guests who attended the event enjoyed listening to previews of the first season of The Like Us Show, special LIVE performances by Interscope Records Atlanta-based artist D-Chase and by singer Lance Drummonds, dancing to music by the house DJ, and meeting the creator and cast of Like Us Entertainment. The event was exclusively sponsored by Plastyc's iBankUP money management service, which is particularly well suited for college students. Guests also received complimentary gift bags that included samples from Popchips, IAAVS, Tastee Cosmetics, Big Girl Cosmetics, Urban Suite Entertainment, and more.

Targeting young adults, Like Us Entertainment has created a radio soap opera dealing with current issues college students face. The Like Us radio show, which airs February 1, 2010 at college radio stations nationwide, addresses topics such as Abusive relationships, Eating disorders, Finances, Peer pressure, Substance abuse, and more. The episodic radio drama revolves around three college girls, attending the fictional ‘historical black university’ Atlanta University, whose social and personal lives drastically change after an unthinkable tragedy. This is the first coming of age radio drama featuring an all African-American cast.

Like Us Entertainment, a production company specializing in TV, film, and radio, was founded by CEO Shirley Vernae Williams in an effort to fill a void in the African-American and ethnic entertainment industry. She wanted to offer a solution to the lack of minorities in programming and management. Targeting young adults, Like Us Entertainment has teamed up with Kristen V. Carter, former writer of MTV's "America's Next Best Dance Crew" and BET's "The Black Carpet", to present "Like Us". Like Us Entertainment is working to accomplish its main mission of addressing the cultural and social issues affecting today’s youth, and maximizing African-American presence in images, roles, and entertainment.

Contact:
Jordanna Stephen
646-642-3647
jordanna@touchofpinkpr.com

- On the Huffington Post: Not yet 21? No more credit cards from you on February 22

The Huffington Post publishes Patrice Peyret's article about how the Credit CARD Act of 2009 which takes effect on Feb 22, 2010, will be an excellent occasion for students to consider better options for managing their money.
Read the full article here.

- On the Huffington Post: How to Save $11 Billion on Checking Account Fees in 2010

The Huffington Post publishes Patrice Peyret's article about how much money could be saved every year by Anerican consumers by using an online service like iBankUP instead of regular checking accounts.
Read the full article here.

- On the Huffington Post: Unhappy with your Bank? Blame Silicon Valley

The Huffington Post publishes Patrice Peyret's article about the lack of innovation and of venture funding in Financial Services.
Read the full article here.

- Plastyc Inc. Offers Virtual Checkbook Service in Partnership with Integration Inc.

On-demand paper checks can now be ordered online for rent, car lease, and other payments by UPside Visa prepaid card holders and users of the iBankUP portal. No more looking for the checkbook, buying envelopes or licking stamps.

New York, NY October 28, 2009 -- Plastyc, a provider of payment services for the web-savvy 18-29-year-olds, has partnered with Integration Inc. to let its customers write and send paper checks without the hassle of a checkbook, envelopes and stamps.

"While the upcoming generation is very comfortable with everything online and electronic, landlords, insurances, and other businesses would still rather receive a check than accept a card or cash", says Patrice Peyret, CEO of Plastyc. "By simply logging in the dashboard of the UPside Card or the iBankUP online banking service, anyone above the age of 18 can fill in an online form to request that a paper check be sent on their behalf to a recipient of their choice, either the next day or at future date at their option. This is like having a 'virtual checkbook': no need to keep an actual checkbook, find envelopes or buy stamps."

ntegration Inc's check writing service powers this virtual checkbook. Checks are mailed out on the requested date to the intended recipient, in a secure envelope showing the name of the sender in the "return-to" label. Integration, Inc. can also print a few words intended for the recipient of the check on the memo line of the check, as well as a more complete memo on the check stub.

The process we have setup with iBankUP's virtual checkbook allows their customers to be able to write a check whenever a check is required. In many cases like paying rent or making a car payment, a check is more suitable. Our services have made this process seamless to the iBankUP's customer and UPside cardholder", says Ken Perry, Vice President of Integration, Inc. "The process is very unique, like nothing else on the web".

About Integration Inc.
Integration Inc., established in 1992, is a privately held U.S. corporation focused on providing outsourcing solutions for our clients. The Check Writing Services provided by Integration, Inc. allows any company to outsource their check writing requirements to a company that can provide this service at a fraction of cost.


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- DataArt Completes Development of Online Prepaid Card Portal iBankUp.com for Plastyc, Inc.

Developer Helps Payment Services Provider Integrate Creative Banking
and Financial Management Options

NEW YORK, October 14, 2009 – DataArt, a high-end software development company with headquarters in New York and R&D centers in Eastern Europe, today announced completion of front-end systems and back-end integration development for Plastyc’s iBankUp, a new financial online tool for 18-29-year-olds. This is the latest culmination of working with DataArt to bring innovative financial products to market quickly.

By implementing an AJAX-based GUI and sophisticated back-end protocols for billing and payment fulfillment, DataArt enabled numerous advanced features for iBankUp, including real-time transaction tracking via a single account, on-demand paper check issuance, loyalty rewards, automatic payouts of referral commissions to service ambassadors, mobile access and facebook integration.

“Our mission is to provide better banking at lower costs using technology and lean operations, which DataArt has been critical in supporting,” said Justin Surman, Plastyc CTO. “They’ve helped us stay efficient and build creative services for Generation-Y customers that expect high-performance, constant innovation and reasonable prices.”

Plastyc began working with DataArt in 2006 to develop the UPside Visa® card and UPsidecard.com portal. With iBankUp, Plastyc is moving past traditional prepaid card providers, offering integrated financial management tools.

“Plastyc’s market is so competitive, it’s critical to stay ahead using technologies that deliver innovative products and keep costs down,” said Eugene Goland, DataArt president. “Working with Plastyc allows DataArt developers design and deliver creative, diverse IT architectures. We look forward to expanding this great relationship.”

About DataArt:
DataArt is a high-end software outsourcing company with industry-specific expertise in financial technology, online travel, telecom and media sectors. The company specializes in enterprise application development, system integration and business automation tools. In 2006-2009, DataArt has been named one of the world's top emerging outsourcing providers by BusinessWeek, Global Services 100 and by International Association of Outsourcing Professionals. Headquartered in New York City, DataArt runs four R&D centers in Russia and the Ukraine, and maintains offices in London, UK.

Media Contact:
Nate Hubbell
media@dataart.com
+1-617-960-9857

- From VentureBeat: Plastyc’s new iBankUP gives young people more control over their credit

Camille Rickets writes about how iBankUP is departing from traditional banking services with less fees and more transparency.
"So far, iBankUp appears to be a break away from banking as we know it..." Read more

- Gen Y gain access to fair and transparent online banking
with Plastyc’s new iBankUP money management service

New York, NY – October 13, 2009 - GenY consumers can save money and keep their credit history clean by using iBankUp, a new online banking service from Plastyc, Inc. The service, launched today, gives younger, Web-savvy people constant financial oversight and control with no risk of incurring credit card debt or overdraft fees.

“The recent overdraft fee curbs by Chase and Bank of America don’t go far enough. Whether you are in school or in the workforce, you deserve efficient, affordable services for handling your finances without getting hit by onerous fees,” said Patrice Peyret, CEO of Plastyc. “iBankUP, a pioneer in its category, satisfies your need to be informed and in control. And unlike conventional bank accounts, iBankUP doesn’t require a high minimum balance or charge interest or overdraft fees.”

iBankUp: Better Banking, Lower Cost

While services from traditional banks can surprise consumers with hidden fees and tricky fine-print, iBankUP offers a better and cheaper Internet-based money management experience to help guide its users to financial independence. iBankUP is an online account linked to a prepaid debit card and an online checkbook, that provides users with a single balance -- including all transactions in real time -- with no pending deposits or payments that can trigger penalties.

iBankUP provides a straightforward alternative to debit cards, credit cards and checking accounts. Some of its more innovative features include the following:

  • Sign up at www.iBankUP.com in minutes with a valid social security number, regardless of credit record
  • See an up-to-the-minute balance that accounts for all purchase transactions in real time and for checks when you write them, not when they clear
  • Use any computer, cell phone or personal Facebook account to make sure you can pay for your purchase
  • Pay anyone who prefers paper checks with an online checkbook
  • Receive direct deposits from employers, transfers from family and friends
  • Load cash onto the card at more than 60,000 retailers nationwide

Just as people manage their social network by computer or mobile phone, they can control their personal finances with an iBankUp online account that traditional banks can’t match.

“While banks have been hiking rates and overdraft fees, and limiting consumer credit ahead of the regulatory CARD Act rolling out in 2010, iBankUP delivers a fresh, non-legacy approach. We combine the ubiquity, simplicity and speed of the Internet with the convenience of a prepaid card that can be used anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted,” Peyret said. Companies operating online services, membership-based communities or educational programs, can easily mash-up the iBankUP portal inside their own offering to promote a better way to manage money to their own customers.


You will find the original Business Wire article here.

- Upside Visa Cardholders Now Enjoy First Service To Present Shopping Discounts And Rewards Within Search Results of Google, Yahoo! and Bing

Billeo’s Offer Assistant Presents Discounts From More Than 360 Retailers Including Target, Best Buy, Nike, and Leading Card Loyalty Programs from Visa, American Express and UPside Prepaid

Billeo, Inc., the provider of the leading personal finance application that helps consumers pay bills and shop online, today announced the launch of the Offer Assistant , a patent-pending, free service that for the first time, delivers real time shopping discounts and rewards directly to the consumer within their unsponsored search engine results. Billeo also announced a partnership with UPside Visa Prepaid Card that offers consumers redeemable points for purchases made with their card.

By working with financial institutions such as Visa and American Express, Billeo is able to provide merchant offers from over 300 retailers including Target, Best Buy, Nike and discounts and rewards affiliated with any financial institution’s loyalty program and present those offers when a shopper is searching to purchase online. According to ComScore, 70% of all online purchases start with a search, so the Offer Assistant™ allows consumers to search and purchase naturally online without having to remember to go back to a bank or merchant’s web site, or check email for discounts and rewards.

“Today, people spend a lot of time searching for great shopping deals online,” said Murali Subbarao, Founder & CEO of Billeo, Inc. “Offer Malls set up by banks, card-issuers, and associations require the consumer to shop directly at their site. And coupon codes found in one-off e-mail newsletters sent by banks and card issuers can get lost in email clutter. Billeo’s Offer Assistant is the first application that brings discounts and rewards to you when you actually need them --when you’re searching for something to buy online, or when you are at the checkout page. This gives financial institutions, card issuers and online retailers the ability to react to the consumer actions in real-time, influencing both the purchase and the payment mechanism used. It’s the first sense and respond service of its kind.”

With Billeo’s Offer Assistant, consumers searching for an item online are presented with icons indicating that a discount or several discounts are available for that item. This now gives the consumer the ability to evaluate and choose discounts and rewards from banks, financial institutions and online merchants in one place within the main, unsponsored search results of the three most popular search engines: Google.com, Yahoo.com or Bing.com. Furthermore, if a coupon code or a specific payment card has to be used on the checkout page, the Offer Assistant will remember to prompt the user during checkout, and assist in filling the coupon code. The Offer Assistant is the only service that presents discounts and rewards that are already available to a consumer through their various loyalty affiliations and presents them at the most relevant and natural moment—in the search and shopping process.

“At a time when consumers need to stretch their dollars further, it is important to make it easier for them to benefit from compelling merchant offers without requiring them to remember the Internet addresses of offer portals,” said Patrice Peyret, Founder & CEO of Plastyc which manages the UPside Visa Prepaid Card program. “Our cardholders look for products by initiating a search with one of the mainstream Internet search engines, and just follow the links to the results. With Billeo’s Offer Assistant, now our cardholders will be able to take advantage of the rich offers that we make available from over 200 mainstream online merchants.”

The Offer Assistant joins Billeo’s multi-faceted Assistant Suite that helps consumers with every aspect of the online transaction process. Billeo’s Password Assistant automatically logs the consumer in to a merchant site with their saved ID and password, and with Billeo’s Shopping Assistant, the consumer’s shipping, billing and payment details are automatically filled in during the purchase process. Billeo’s Splendid Search allows consumers to search for the electronic receipt of their online purchase by name, date, purchase price, etc. With Billeo, payments are directed to billing company and shopping websites, payments are instantaneous, and electronic receipts are automatically captured, saved and filed. Billeo’s award-winning solution for managing and tracking bill payments and online purchases recently received the Editor’s Choice award and a Four Star rating from PC Magazine. Billeo also won the 2009 CODiE Award for “Best eCommerce Solution” from the Software & Information Industry Association. Billeo is available at no charge at www.billeo.com.

Billeo service is featured at over 40 of the top U.S.-based financial institutions, including: Visa, Discover, US Bank, Wells Fargo, and NetSpend.

About Billeo, Inc.

Billeo gives consumers a fast, easy and intelligent way to exercise choice and control over their online purchases and payments. Billeo functions as the catalyst to make online purchases and bill paying as easy and financially rewarding as possible. Billeo was founded by experts from the EBPP, card issuer, banking, ecommerce and technology industries. Over 40 banks, 6 of the top ten card issuers and over 9,000 companies across 26 categories are part of the trusted Billeo network. For more information about Billeo visit www.billeo.com.

About the Finovate Conference

The Finovate conference is the first demo-based conference for the financial, banking and lending technology industries. Held annually in New York City, the conference offers a chance to explore the future of finance in a fast-paced and intimate environment. Finovate is organized by Online Financial Innovations. For more information please visit www.Finovate.com

- Plastyc and NBA star Amar'e Stoudemire partner to promote positive spending to youth

ATLANTA, GA – May 20, 2009
Plastyc Inc. and Amar’e Stoudemire have entered into an agreement encouraging basketball fans to manage their money responsibly and in unique style, with an UPside Visa® Prepaid Card featuring Stoudemire’s towering profile and his “Each 1 Teach 1” foundation.

Announced during the 2009 Economic Empowerment Summit hosted by The Economic Empowerment Initiative, the card will be available June 4th , 2009 through online enrollment at www.TheAmareCard.com.

Consistent with Amar’e Stoudemire’s relentless efforts to encourage his younger followers to stay on the right track, the cards will also be available to high-school students above the age of 13, strictly under the control of their parents.

“Sport is a great catalyst of family values”, says Patrice Peyret, CEO of Plastyc. “Amar’e is committed to utilizing his celebrity to promote solid life principles, and we are delighted that he has chosen to work with us to help improve financial literacy. Prepaid cards are safer than cash, don’t generate debt, and the teenager version allows parents to supervise how and where their teenagers spend money. With this partnership, we want to facilitate dialogue between parents and their children regarding financial responsibility that will prepare them for a lifetime of sound economic independence.”

About Amar'e Stoudemire

In one of the most successful jumps from high school to the NBA, Amar’e Stoudemire captured the '03 NBA Rookie of the Year award at just 20 years old and is one of the NBA's best players. Amar’e is a three-time NBA All Star, made the 2007 NBA First Team and won a Gold Medal with the US National Team in the summer of 2007. Standing at 6-10, Amar'e strives to positively influence youth, through his Each 1 Teach 1 Foundation, providing philanthropic support to at-risk minority youth and families.

For media and press inquiries patrice.peyret@plastyc.com - phone: 1-646-485-5267