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.

Clutch Powers Customer Loyalty Programs for Amazon Merchants

Clutch announced a new loyalty solution for Amazon Webstore merchants letting them use the Clutch Customer Success (CS) platform to issue customer loyalty program rewards and enable rewards redemption during checkout. The Clutch CS platform is a suite of modular solutions for loyalty, rewards, consumer analytics, gift, social and promotional engagement, and mobility capabilities that drives customer insight, segmentation, recognition and engagement. The platform increases customer retention as well as the value of existing customers through effective, relevant marketing programs to optimize desired customer response and brand goals. Merchants can work with Clutch to configure its loyalty program on the Clutch CS platform and integrate it with their Amazon Webstore account.

Allied Wallet Honored as Payment Solution Provider of the Year

Allied Wallet was awarded as Customized Payment Solutions Provider of the Year in the United States by Acquisition International for the innovative, state-of-the-art payment solution they provide for small to enterprise-level businesses online. Acquisition International identifies and honors the most respected companies in the world, recognizing and rewarding outstanding success, innovation, and ethics across business communities. They accept votes and conduct in-house research to award the most deserving companies. They’ve won several awards including the Merchant Payments Ecosystem Award in Berlin, Germany and several awards for their workplace culture.

Synchrony Announces Investment in LoopPay

Synchrony Financial announced its strategic investment in LoopPay mobile payments platform. LoopPay recently introduced the LoopPay ChargeCase, which allows consumers to pay with their iPhone 5 or 5s at regular credit card swipe readers, while extending the phone’s battery charge by up to 60%. It is the second product launched by LoopPay in four months, with several more products planned for market entry this year. LoopPay technology enables existing point-of-sale infrastructure to accept contactless payments through mobile devices at the vast majority of retail merchants. Synchrony Financial views LoopPay as an opportunity to close this gap for its retail partners and their customers while offering an enhanced consumer experience and additional security features.

XRomb Gets Credit Card Patent

XRomb Inc. announced today that the US Patent Office has issued them a patent that covers the most user-friendly way of loading credit card information into mobile commerce applications including the rapidly expanding market of mobile wallets. The patent for invention number 8,763,896 is a system and method patent for loading a transaction card and processing repayment on a mobile device.

London Tops MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index

London tops the list as the destination of choice for international travelers for the third time in four years, according to the annual MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index. Rounding out the top five cities are Bangkok, Paris, Singapore and Dubai, which are benefiting from a surge in international travel fueled by an expanding middle class, innovations in luxury travel and rising need for business travel. The index also indicates this surge will continue, even with more technology and collaboration tools available to businesses. MasterCard’s Priceless Cities program provides exclusive access to more of life’s passions. At the same time, there are core benefits, insurances and features that help provide greater convenience along the way.

USA Technologies Announces Latest ePort Connect Client

USA Technologies announced its loyalty and prepaid program, MORE., is now integrated with AirVend’s interactive touchscreen point-of-sale device. The combined solution is designed to provide customers of AirVend added convenience, choice and new revenue opportunities. MORE. lets users of ePort Connect offer their consumers rewards and discount offers for products purchased at their cashless-enabled locations, thus building loyalty, repeat business and a greater understanding of their consumers’ purchasing preferences. MORE. is offered as an extension to USAT’s comprehensive ePort Connect® service, a one-stop cashless payment service that now supports more than 6,650 customers.

Visa AP Q1

Visa’s (VS) Asia Pacific (AP) region Purchase Dollar Volume (PDV) rose year-on-year (Y/Y) by 15.0% on a local currency basis in the first quarter (Q1/14) to US$328 billion. Based on PDV, the VS AP region is the fastest growing region, outside the US. The average purchase ticket in the VS AP region declined 2.8% Y/Y. One-year ago it stood at US$94.67, compared to US$92.19 in Q4/13 and US$91.98 in Q1/14, according to CardData. VS has an estimated 725 million cards-in-force (CIF) currently in the AP region, compared to 682 million in Q1/13.

Financial Markets Authority Licenses P2P Lending

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) issued its first peer-to-peer lending service licence. Harmoney is the first provider of this new financial service, under the provisions of the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013. Licensing peer-to-peer lending services forms part of FMA’s brief to facilitate new capital-raising opportunities in New Zealand. It is also part of the Government’s business growth agenda. Peer-to-peer lending involves an intermediary, the peer-to-peer lending service, bringing borrowers and lenders together, and charging a fee for the service. Lenders and borrowers can find out more information on FMA’s website. Under the regulations, borrowers are limited to raising no more than $2 million in any 12-month period through peer-to-peer lending services. This limit applies to both business and consumer borrowers – although individual service providers may impose lower limits on the amount that may be borrowed. The regulations don’t impose any limits on the am amount lenders can lend, although some service providers may impose limits.

Aconite Facilitates mPayment Solution

Aconite EMV transaction processing has interfaced its Smart EMV Manager technolog to the Visa Mobile Gateway to enable remote management of the EMV application at the heart of the Tap n Pay service – the first mobile phone application for contactless payments. Introduced in partnership with Visa Europe and First Data, First Data Hellas selected Aconite’s Smart EMV Manager, which includes an EMV Scripting engine, to enable remote over-the-air management of the settings within the Visa mobile payWave EMV application installed in a custom SIM. The Aconite solution has been deployed alongside the First Data host system and linked into the Visa Mobile Gateway in order to provide this remote management capability.Aconite’s flexible and configurable scripting capability makes it an obvious choice for issuers and processors who need to ensure that their systems are capable of quickly changing to meet new and future scripting requirements.

ICICI Bank Canada Launches mBanking Option

ICICI Bank Canada announced the launch of ICICI Bank Mobile Banking, offering customers a secure and convenient way to bank on the go. With ICICI Bank Mobile Banking, customers can view their account summary, pay bills or transfer money between accounts, check current rates and charges, locate ICICI Bank Canada and THE EXCHANGE® Network ABMs and find ICICI Bank Canada branch locations and hours. The ICICI Bank Mobile Banking app is available as a free download on iPhone and Android devices.

New ATMs for Botswana

Barclays Bank of Botswana has partnered with Bytes Managed Solutions, the exclusive distributor of NCR technology solutions in southern Africa, for the installation of intelligent cash deposit ATMs. Last month, the bank launched a new generation of ATMs that provide customers with convenient ways of banking outside the banking halls. The ATMs are specifically designed for high transaction usage. They accept cash deposits with real time credit capability, recycle the deposited cash, dispense cash, do cheque deposits, and offer a broad range of other services, such as bill payment, funds transfer, mobile phone top-up and mini-statements.