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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Manilow fundraising up-Tempo with affinity debit

A new program from Tempo Payments Inc. is providing money to a charity founded by musician and crooner Barry Manilow by way of affinity debit payments. The program consists of a partnership between Tempo and the Manilow Fund for Health and Hope, a nonprofit organization that promotes "education, health and care" on a number of fronts.

All of the proceeds from the charity's partnership with Tempo will go to the Manilow Music Project, which funds public school music programs across the United States.

Consumers who register for the program at card-program.com/manilow/home receive a MasterCard Worldwide-branded debit card in the mail featuring an autograph print and picture of the iconic American singer/songwriter on the front. The cards, which connect to consumers' existing checking accounts and function as ATM cards as well, direct a portion of the interchange money from every swipe transaction to Manilow's organization.

"You'd use it just like you would your traditional debit card, but behind the scenes you wouldn't have to change your bank account, it just pulls money from your existing checking account," said Mike Grossman, Tempo's Chief Executive Officer.

"The motivation for a consumer to get one of the Manilow cards is every time they use the card there's money that's contributed to the Manilow fund. And, of course, the Manilow fund benefits because it builds a stronger relationship with its fan base, and the cards enable the program to be supported."

Grossman said essentially any consumer with an existing checking account can register for the program, but that it would be primarily marketed to the existing fan base of Manilow and his organization.

"They've got a very large base of registered members and will be marketing the card to those members," Grossman said. "Anybody can come to the Web site and apply, but in general that's how people will find out about it."

Track purchasing, track contributions

Grossman added that the Web portal used to register for the program can also be used to track purchasing information on the card, enabling participants to see how many swipes they've contributed to the Manilow cause, among other things. He said the exact amount of every transaction going to the Manilow Fund would remain undisclosed.

California-based Tempo is a provider of affinity debit cards. These are essentially decoupled debit cards that are co-branded by a partnering provider (including commercial stores, schools and nonprofits) the way credit cards often are. Other nonprofits that have partnered with Tempo for affinity debit card programs include the Breast Cancer Fund, Greenpeace, In Defense of Animals, Surfrider Foundation and World Emergency Relief.

"Debit cards are increasingly the preferred payment choice of consumers," Grossman said. "Tempo's affinity debit platform makes it simple, easy and fun for Manilow Fund for Health and Hope supporters to put their debit card purchasing power behind the Manilow Music Project." end of article

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