iCareCard changing the way people exchange money
A revolutionary prepaid debit card is giving people a way to exchange money — and get some in return — all without the hidden credit card fees.
Banks and direct marketing companies are taking note of the iCareCard, a Visa-branded reloadable debit card that can be used anywhere in the world. But rather than just giving people another option for spending money, the iCareCard actually puts money back into the community by donating to the user’s favorite charity.
“Our philosophy is manage, save, give,” said Larry Kane, CEO of iCare Card. “We want to use the iCareCard as a way to save people money and also generate money for their chosen causes.”
Kane started the card after working to solve check fraud for the banking business. The best way to avoid fraud is to eliminate checks. But most credit cards and pre-paid debit cards come with fees, minimums and other regulations, posing challenges for users.
The iCare Card's closed-loop system is catching attention from companies that want to avoid costly credit card fees when accepting money. The system works particularly well for direct marketing companies that exchange money back and forth with their sales reps, Kane said.
How it works: The card pays users a 3 cent per gallon rebate on gas purchased anywhere in the U.S. Users also get 5 cents cash back on any spending of $10 or more, and they can direct another 2 cents to any charity or nonprofit of their choice. iCareCard also offers a unique referral program, where consumers can earn as much as $25 per month for each referral that they make.
“All this comes from our revenue, not the card holder,” Kane said. “We provide our card holders with an opportunity to manage money, save money and provide support to their nonprofits. We want to be pushing back as much as possible and help everybody out a bit.”
- Daily and weekly spending limits can be set by the cardholder. (This option is popular with parents teaching kids about budgeting.)
- Small cost to get the card and no monthly fees.
- The card comes with a checking account and routing number at a bank so third parties can add money to the account through direct deposits.
- The iCareDirect network enables members to pay each other without using their card, avoiding expensive credit card transaction fees.
- Funds are available the same day.
- The iCareDirect network users can pay each other via smartphone without credit card fees.
- Merchants who sign up can provide rebates to customers who use the iCareCard. The rebate is divided between the customer and his/her charity of choice.
- Merchants are also added to a searchable national directory, helping them advertise and adding an SEO link to their business.
- The card also comes with a referral plan that can pay users up to $25 per month for each user they referred.
“The card has so many features that it appeals to a broad range of users, from parents to their kids to business owners,” Kane said.
“It’s changing the way people and businesses exchange money with each other and might just be the biggest thing to happen to commerce since the first debit card,” said Quinten Hofer, a local business owner.
About the iCare Card
The iCareCard is the world’s first reloadable debit card that gives money back to both the user and his/her favorite nonprofit group. The Visa-branded card is accepted worldwide and is also helping business owners avoid costly credit card fees. Learn more about how the card is changing the way people exchange money at:https://rcard.icarecard.org/enroll.aspx?code=101094A.
Six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda
New Deloitte research reveals that tax leaders are under increasing pressure to add strategic value as companies accelerate business model transformation, from undergoing digital transformations to rethinking their supply chains or investing in green initiatives.
According to Phil Mills, Deloitte Global Tax & Legal Leader, to “truly deliver value to the business, the tax function needs to rethink its resourcing model and transform its technology infrastructure to create capacity and control costs”.
And the good news, according to Mills, is that tax and business leaders have more options at their disposal to achieve this.
Reflecting the insights of global tax and finance executives at global companies, Deloitte’s Tax Operations in Focus study reveals the six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda.
Trend 1: Businesses seek more strategic counsel from tax
Companies are being pushed to develop new digital products and distribution channels and accelerate sustainable transformation and this is taking them into uncharted tax territory. Tax leaders say their teams must have the resources and skills to give deeper advisory support on digital business models (65%), supply chain restructuring (49%) and sustainability (48%) over the next two years. This means redrawing the boundaries of what tax professionals focus on, and accelerating adoption of advanced technologies and lower-cost resourcing models to meet compliance requirements and free up time.
According to Joanne Walker, Group Tax Director, BT Group PLC, "There’s still a heavy compliance load today, but the vision for the future would be that much of that falls away, and tax people become subject matter experts who help program the machine, ensure quality control, and redirect their time to advisory activity.”
Trend 2: Tipping point for resourcing models
Business partnering demands in the tax department are on the rise, but 93% of tax leaders say their department’s budget is remaining flat or falling. To ensure that the tax function can redefine itself as a strategic function at the pace that is required, leaders are choosing to move increasing amounts of compliance and reporting to a combination of shared service centers, finance departments, and outsourcing providers that have invested in best-in-class technology.
Trend 3: Digital tax administration is moving faster than expected
in addition to the rising focus of the corporate tax department partnering with their business counterparts, transformative changes to the way companies share tax information with revenue authorities is also creating an imperative to modernize operations at a faster pace. Nine in 10 (92%) respondents say that shifting revenue authority demands on digital tax administration will have a moderate or high impact on tax operations and resources over the next five years—and several heads of tax said the trend is moving faster than expected.
"It’s really stepped up in the last couple of years," says Anna Elphick, VP Tax, Unilever. "Tax authorities don't just want a faster turnaround for compliance but access into a company’s systems. It's not unreasonable to think that in a much shorter time than we expect, compliance will be about companies reviewing a return that's been drafted by the tax authorities."
Trend 4: Data simplification and lower-cost resourcing are top priorities
Tax leaders said that simplifying data management (53%) and moving to lower-cost resourcing models (51%) must be prioritized if tax is to become more proactive at delivering strategic insights to the business. Many tax teams are ensuring that they have a seat at the table as ERP systems are overhauled, which is paying dividends: 56% of those that have introduced NextGen ERP systems are now highly effective at supporting the business with scenario-modeling insights. Only 35% of those with moderate to low use of NextGen ERP systems said the same.
At Stryker, “we automated the source P&L process for transfer pricing which took a huge burden off of the divisions," says David Furgason, Vice President Tax. "Then we created a transfer price database to deposit and retrieve data so we have limited impact on the divisions. We are moving to a single ERP platform which will help us make take the next step with robotics.”
Trend 5: Skillsets are shifting
Embedding a new data infrastructure and redesigning processes are critical for the future tax vision. Tax leaders are aligned — data skills (45%) and technology process experience (43%) are ‘must have’ skills in a tax department of the future, but more traditional tax specialist knowledge also remains key (40%). The trick to success will be in tax leaders facilitating the way these professionals, with their different backgrounds, can work together collectively to unlock lasting value.
Take Infineon Technologies, which formed a VAT technology and governance group "that has the right knowledge about how to change the system to ensure it generates the right reports", according to Matthias Schubert, Global Head of Tax. "Involving them early was key as we took a greenfield approach, so we could think about what the optimal processes would look like and how more intelligent systems could make an impact
Trend 6: 2020 brought productivity improvements
Improved productivity (50%) and accelerating shifts to remote working (48%) were cited as the biggest operational benefits to emerge from COVID-19-driven disruption. But, as 78% of leaders now plan to embed either hybrid or fully remote models in the tax function long term, 34% say maintaining productivity benefits is a top concern. And, as leaders think about building their talent pipeline and strengthening advisory skill sets, 47% say they must prioritize new approaches to talent recognition and career development over the next two years, while 36% say new processes for involving tax in business strategy decisions must be established.