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.

Square Announces Analytics Tool

Square added Square Analytics to its complete Register service to provide sellers actionable data to increase sales and better serve their customers. Square Analytics integrates the full suite of Square Register products including Pickup, Invoices, and Appointments, making it the most robust point of sale service. Square Analytics features an analytics homepage to show seller’s business is performing in real time, including which items are the most popular, and how their business is performing compared to others in their industry. It also shows sales trends hourly, daily, and monthly so sellers can consider later hours or stocking up on inventory to avoid missed sales. Sellers can see new vs. returning customers as well as customer frequency, recency, and average customer spend.

Westpac NZ Deploys IBM Cloud

IBM announced Westpac New Zealand has selected IBM’s private cloud technology to support its goal to be New Zealand’s leading digitalbank. The new five year agreement is part of an extensive services and technology contract which includes Westpac migrating some of itsbusiness critical IT systems into IBM’s state-of-the-art Auckland datacentre, enabling enhanced customer service. The agreement supports Westpac as it embarks on a significant transformation from a traditional bank to one that uses cloud computing enabling it to address key market trends such as social and mobile adoption to influence the way consumers prefer to bank today. Westpac is also one of IBM’s long-term strategic outsourcing clients.By adopting IBM private cloud capabilities to develop and test tools within a dedicated environment, Westpac will be able to deploy new online and mobile banking services faster and across multiple devices and platforms in response to customer demand. As customers’ digital footprints expand and the bank’s security demands change, IBM is helping Westpac respond with enhanced online security features, such as the ability to manage identity and access through a single user ID.

Wallaby Financial Announces Credit Card Database

Wallaby Financial credit card optimization solutions made available its CardBase and The Card Guide. CardBase leverages Wallaby’s industry-leading independent database of more than 2,000 U.S. credit cards to help consumers make informed choices. Covering more than 450 banks and hundreds of distinct rewards programs, CardBase is the most comprehensive credit card database in the US. Separate web pages containing information on each of these cards will be available to consumers at The Card Guide offers consumers a similarly unique set of resources to make better use of credit cards. The guide provides practical and fast-paced advice on topic areas like credit scores, making sensible choices when finding and using credit cards, types of card programs, loyalty and reward programs.

LCH.Clearnet Appoints SwapClear Head

Clearnet announced that Marcus Robinson has been appointed Head of SwapClear Australia to lead LCH.Clearnet’s next phase of expansion. Building on SwapClear’s existing presence in the region, he will work with local market participants to further enhance offering in line with their needs. A member of SwapClear’s Global Management Team, Marcus was previously based in LCH.Clearnet’s London office as Director of SwapClear Business Change. He joined the company in 2009 as Senior Manager OTC Clearing, Risk and Operations. Prior to joining LCH.Clearnet, he worked for JP Morgan in its investment banking and asset management divisions and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney in the Financial Markets division. Marcus holds Australian citizenship.SwapClear currently clears over 90% of all cleared Australian dollar IRDs and over 40% of the entire Australian dollar IRD market.

VeriFone Partners Airtel Africa on mMoney

VeriFone Mobile Money and Airtel Africa reached an agreement to offer VeriFone Mobile Money’s merchant enablement applications for mobile Tap n Pay across their 17 operating companies in Africa. VeriFone Mobile Money’s Tap n Pay applications are a smart, secure and fast way for customers to pay, buy, bank, bill and remit money with their mobile phone at the point of sale. VeriFone Mobile Money has signed a group master agreement for the delivery of its merchant enablement solutions to Airtel Africa part of the Bharti Airtel Group of companies with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa.

VeriFone expands taxi services to Istanbul and Mexico

VeriFone announced plans to expand its taxi and media services to Istanbul and throughout Mexico’s Mayan Riviera.VeriFone stands to provide more than 20,000 additional taxis with secure, in-taxi and mobile payments, mobile hailing and booking, and interactive multimedia content during passenger rides.Istanbul’s 18,000 licensed taxis will use VeriFone’s full suite of taxi payment services, including Way2ride”VeriFone’s award-winning mobile taxi app”and VeriFone’s driver-facing tablets and passenger facing payment terminals that can engage consumers with relevant content through VeriFone’s multimedia network”the VeriFone Digital Network (VNET). VeriFone expects the two-year deployment of the solutions to begin in late 2015.

Paytoo Expands mWallet Bill Pay

Paytoo Mobile Wallet enhances its bill payment functionality on a nationwide coverage to the under or unbanked customers. This new bill payment feature provides fast, secured and convenient online bill payment solutions, giving access to an easier way to pay their bills and will be able to manage their entire bill payment process online, from anywhere and at anytime.The bill payment function with over 10,000 local and national billers is now available with the PAYTOO Mobile Wallet™ and offers anyone the possibility to pay a bill from his or her cell phone. The PAYTOO system is now fully completed offering services from direct deposit to bill payment, and in between, a full range of services to include top ups, virtual cards, gift cards, prepaid cards and more.

Amex Deploys Payment Tech at US Open

American Express is harnessing the latest technology to get tennis fans on-site and around the world involved in the action on the courts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center during the 2014 US Open Tennis Championships.
American Express is continuing to introduce more ways to enhance fans’ passion for the sport and their experience at the Championship throughout the two weeks of play. The US Open American Express Fan Experience features 20,000 square feet of interactive programming at the US Open with “MyOpen Pass” RFID-enabled wristband. This lets fans’ experience and send a personalized email that recaps the activities in which they participated within the Fan Experience and can be easily shared across their social media channels. These include a Professional Swing Analysis, a Rally Cam capturing tennis shots and candid poses, and the Pro Cam at American Express® Card Member Club.

LendProtect Partners Engaged on Installment Lending

LendProtect and Engaged partnered on short-term and installment lending for the underbanked consumer. LendProtect is the leading provider of real-time underbanked consumer data and risk scoring solutions and Engaged CRM is a secure loan sourcing platform built specifically for the financial sector. LendProtect has offered specialised credit risk data in the UK longer than any other company in the industry. The company provides real-time data regarding loan performance, payments, consumer stability and employment, which is not available from the mainstream credit reporting agencies. The data is analysed in order to provide instant lending decisions using a proprietary comprehensive scoring platform. LendProtect also provides instant, secure access to a prospect’s electronic banking statement which is instrumental in providing a more accurate affordability assessment. Consumers also benefit by receiving access to additional borrowing options.