Robert McKinley, Senior Analyst/Editor Robert McKinley is an analyst of the payments industry on a daily basis for 32 years covering payment cards and payment systems from both the business side and the consumer side. McKinley is the retired founder and chief executive of RAM Research, CardWeb and CardTrak. In his prior position, McKinley has participated in more than 10,000 documented news media interviews, testified as an expert witness in two separate $billion+ U.S. anti-trust trials, testified before the U.S. Congress, assisted the GAO with paymentsIMG_2006 (1).jpeg reports, chaired numerous business conferences and provided C-Suite opinion to a multitude of Fortune 500 companies. In retirement, he has continued developing and funding digital media assets as well as contributing payments related analysis/content to a broad list of online publishers, including CardFlash, CardTrak and CardData. McKinley is also a national certified mentor with the non-profit SCORE organization with a focus on assisting Fintech startups.

Visa Tokens

Visa Token Service has been launched. The new service replaces sensitive payment account information found on plastic cards with a digital account number or “token”. Because “tokens” do not carry a consumer’s payment account details, such as the 16-digit account number, they can be safely stored by online merchants or on mobile devices to facilitate e-commerce and mobile payments.

Tigo Wekesa

Millicom international telecommunications and media company announced its Tigo operation in Tanzania has launched the world’s first mobile money service which offers users the opportunity to automatically earn a return on their balance direct to their wallet without the need for a separate registration. The service in Tanzania is called Tigo Wekeza (“Tigo Invests”), and will allow over 3.5 million Tigo Pesa users to benefit from quarterly payments based on the balance held in their account. Tigo Pesa users in Tanzania will also have the option to nominate a non-profit beneficiary, in line with their personal cultural belief.

Kiwi P2P Lending

Peer to peer lender Harmoney launched its online lending marketplace with $100m lending capital, bringing the world’s fastest growing form of lending to the Kiwi public. Peer to peer lending is an established form of investment, currently growing at more than 200% per annum, and has been described as “banking without the banks[1].” It is an increasingly popular form of crowd funding that is changing the way that people borrow and invest. In the United Kingdom, the UK Government is the largest funder of P2P loans. Harmoney’s fully compliant online platform automates the process of investing and borrowing. The system is fast, easy to use and offers a marketplace in which to transact with Bank Grade Security. A lower cost structure means that savings can be passed on to borrowers and investors.

WorldRemit & Zantel EzyPesa

WorldRemit online money transfer service customers can now send remittances to Zantel EzyPesa accounts. The addition of EzyPesa means that WorldRemit now offers transfers to two of Tanzania’s four Mobile Money services. Customers can also send money to friends and family using Tigo Pesa. Tanzania is one of nine countries in the world where Mobile Money accounts outnumber bank accounts. WorldRemit already sends 25x more transfers to Mobile Money in Tanzania than to banks, even before the launch of EzyPeza.

Serious eWallet Progress

Online money transfer company Optimal Payments Plc said it expects to beat its forecast for the full-year after robust sales at its high-margin Neteller e-wallet business drove first-half pretax profit up 78 percent. The company’s shares rose as much as 7.8 percent to 510 pence in early trade on the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday. Pretax profit jumped to $27.5 million for the six months ended June 30, from $15.5 million a year ago.