Source: Online Resources
Online Resources Corporation (Nasdaq:ORCC), a leading provider of Web-based financial services, announced today the release of CardHQSM, an online gift card store that enables consumers to purchase retail gift cards through their secure online banking and bill payment applications. Available in time for the holiday season, the new service also provides Online Resources’ client financial institutions access to the $40 billion gift card market.
The first available service of its kind, Card HQ synthesizes two primary consumer payment platforms, the checking and card account, to create a virtual transaction account for the purchase and re-loading of stored value gift cards, which are provided in either physical or virtual form. Financial institutions receive fee income for the distribution and funding of gift card purchases, thereby monetizing their web channel.
Consumers simply log on to their financial institutions' online banking web site and select a gift card from one of the nation's leading retailers. Participating retailers include JCPenney, Marriott Hotels, SpaWish, and major coffee, electronics, restaurant and clothing retailers. Consumers enter shipping and personalization instructions, then the order is processed and the purchase amount is debited in real-time, without risk, from their checking account via Online Resources' proprietary payments gateway. Other than paying for shipping fees, consumers get the Card HQ service free and the gift cards carry no expiration date.
"It was a natural next step to offer CardHQ to our customers, who are accustomed to looking to us for a majority of their online payments, and as their guardian of personal financial information," said Sherry Sitton, executive vice president of First Command Bank. "Beyond the potential fee income, we believe this secure, convenient service will enable us to deepen our relationships with our customers. CardHQ is ideal for our many active duty military customers, who are located all over the world and therefore particularly value the immediacy of online transactions."
"Our integration expertise across three major payment constituencies -- banking service providers, card issuers and billing merchants - enables us to deliver to our clients this new payment capability," stated Matthew P. Lawlor, Online Resources' chairman and CEO. "In addition to gift cards, Card HQ can potentially support providers of other prepaid and stored value card applications, such as virtual wallets, telephone and payroll cards. We are in a unique position where we marry the payment and distribution capabilities of both financial and commercial clients."