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. www.robert-mckinley.com

Virtual Affairs Announces Facebook Money Transfers

Virtual Affairs software has developed functionality that enables customers to transfer money to someone’s Facebook account or mobile number, without having to know the bank account number. The Dutch online bank Knab has planned to launch Knab Social, and new functionality in their app, in September.Virtual Affairs has launched software to make social payments possible. This way they bring back the social aspect of a financial transaction. Knab is the first bank that is going to use Virtual Affairs’ software.The functionality Knab is using to provide social payments is part of Virtual Affairs’ product BankingRight. A product that enables banks to offer innovative banking solutions to their customers.

Sipay Plus registers as Visa Merchant Agent

Sipay Plus has obtained the official registration of Visa Europe as Visa Merchant Agent, which means a significant step in the company strategy to provide added value and the highest security in payment services. Being part of the VISA Merchant Agent list means a continuous evaluation process from VISA Europe and Sipay Plus, to always offer the maximum level of security protection even developing the latest and most innovative payment technologies. The registration has been obtained during August 2014 after complying with all the necessary requirements, as well as the joint, coordinated and continuous work between Sipay and VISA Europe. For this, besides of providing the systems scan evidences, which must be positive, it is indispensable to comply with the PCI DSS normative, certification which Sipay Plus obtained in 2014 in its last version 3.0 level 1, which is nowadays the most demanding security normative in payment worldwide.

Emerging Markets Payments Announces New Location

Emerging Markets Payments announced the official opening of its new office in the UAE. This will strengthen EMP’s presence in the UAE as well as supporting its expansion across the entire Arab Gulf Area. EMP operates across all links in the electronic payments chain and currently serves 130 banks and 30,000 retailers across 49 countries in MEA. In addition to serving as EMP’s processing hub for the region, the Dubai operation will also house the company’s International Disaster Recovery (IDR) site. The IDR site is a state-of-the-art facility which will ensure that EMP’s customers will enjoy the highest levels of service availability.

Contis Group Launches Visa Prepaid Debit Travel Card

The Contis Group launches Seasons’ Visa prepaid debit travel card, digital account and mobile app to make taking and spending money abroad much easier. Holiday money loaded onto the Seasons online account is held in sterling and the currency is converted as each transaction is made, using highly competitive FX rates. Seasons challenges the travel money market status quo, removing the need to convert pounds before travelling abroad and providing customers with a cost effective and innovative mobile product that is both simple and intuitive. Seasons makes the planning and monitoring of holiday funds easy. Holidaymakers can manage their money on the move via the Seasons mobile app and online account, tracking their transactions and total spend in real time and in pounds.

MasterCard Announces Latest Branded eID card

MasterCard launched the eID pilot program. In the pilot phase, the Nigerian Identity Management Commission (NIMC) will issue MasterCard-branded identity cards with electronic payments functionality to 13 million Nigerians. This initiative is the largest rollout of a biometric-based verification card with an electronic payment solution in the country and the broadest financial inclusion program in Africa. The eID card forms a key component of the Nigerian Identity Management System, deployed by NIMC as part of its mandate to create, maintain and operate the country’s first central National Identity Database and provide proof of identity to Nigerians 16 years and older. The eID card will provide millions of Nigerians with the security, convenience and reliability of electronic payments. NIMC is working with several government agencies to integrate and harmonize all identity databases including the Driver’s License, Voter Registration, Health Insurance, Tax, SIM and the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) into a single, shared services platform.

BPC SmartVista Announces Latest Client

BPC Banking Technologies announced Saigon Hanoi Bank (SHB) acquired HabuBank to now operates a network of 250 branches, 250 ATMs and over 500 POS-terminals. The migration of HabuBank’s payment channels and cards to SmartVista was subsequently completed in only three months entirely by SHB staff. The Bank has subsequently launched a number of new initiatives powered by SmartVista, including more POS services as part of SHB’s merchant program.

MasterCard Names Group head, GM

MasterCard announced that Deborah Heng has been appointed group head and general manager of Singapore to lead all aspects of MasterCard’s business expansion efforts in Singapore, working with banks, non-financial institutions and key merchants to drive business results. In her 14 years with MasterCard, Ms. Heng has overseen diverse strategic business deals, delivering against aggressive revenue targets and managing investment budgets across varied geographies – first in Finance for the Asia Pacific region, followed by the Europe region, after which she moved to roles in Customer Relationship Management and Business Development based in Singapore. Prior to this appointment, her most recent role was Division Finance Officer for MasterCard, South East Asia and South Asia. Heng holds a Bachelor of Accountancy degree from the National University of Singapore and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Nottingham, UK.

Ingenico and First Data launch mPOS tech

Ingenico Roam Mobile Solutions partnered First Data to launch its mPOS solution. Leveraging ROAM’s mobile solution and Ingenico’s global EMV expertise, First Data India has launched its own fully branded chip and PIN mPOS solution. This new mPOS offering enables merchants in India to accept payments on the go, while incorporating the unmatched flexibility, best-in-breed security, and user friendliness of ROAM’s RP750x cloud-based chip and PIN mPOS card reader. ROAM’s white label solution allows mPOS players to reduce time to market with their own custom-branded payment solutions.