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

Standard Chartered Partners Advanced mPAY, Expands Market

Standard Chartered Bank Thailand has announced a partnership with Advanced mPAY Co.Ltd. to expand its Straight2Bank Wallet platform to corporate clients and to enable the Bank’s corporate clients to effortlessly collect payments, fees or contributions from mPay wallet users or via mPAYSTATIONs through a real-time connectivity. Straight2Bank Wallet will significantly lower operating costs and risks associated with managing cash, shorten the debt collection period and ultimately help to boost efficiency in working capital management for Standard Chartered’s corporate clients. A payments feature, which will allow the Bank’s corporate clients to directly make electronic payments to individuals’ mobile wallets, is slated to be integrated in the near future.

PayByPhone Secures Campus Parking

PayByPhone has been selected by Florida International University (FIU) to provide a cashless parking service at FIU’s campus parking lots. The same convenient mobile payment option that has been available on the streets of Miami and has proven to be a success for the users will be rolled out to FIU’s 4,500 parking spaces in the coming weeks. The PayByPhone smartphone app and dial-in service offer drivers a convenient alternative to paying with cash at a parking meter and includes the option to receive a text message reminder before their parking expires, enabling them to extend their parking time from wherever they are.

Payment Alliance International Inks ATM Branding Deal

Payment Alliance International (PAI) , a leader in retail ATM solutions, and OnPoint Community Credit Union announced they have entered into an agreement to brand ATMs at all 72 Rite Aid pharmacies in the state of Oregon. PAI will own and operate the ATMs which will be outfitted with OnPoint Community Credit Union’s branding. OnPoint members will benefit from surcharge-free access to cash at Oregon Rite Aid pharmacies beginning July 2014.

Higher One Adds Currency to Payments Service

Higher One financial services and data analytics to more than 1,900 colleges and universities nationally, announces the addition of the Chinese yuan to its international payments service, which is powered by Higher One’s partnership with Western Union Business Solutions. The yuan follows the recent additions of Korean won, added earlier this year and the Indian rupee, added last year. According to Open Doors® 2013 “Fast Facts,” students using the yuan, the won and the rupee represent more than 50% of international students in the U.S. “a constituency Higher One now serves through its international payments services. Higher One and Western Union Business Solutions are providing a streamlined solution to more international students than ever and at an exchange rate that is more competitive than what traditional banks offer.

RewardsNOW To Provide Loyalty and Merchant Funded Rewards Program

RewardsNOW loyalty programs for financial institutions announced Data Center (DCI) has partnered to provide loyalty and merchant funded rewards program services to its financial institution clients. DCI provides core processing software and related technologies for hundreds of community banks nationwide. RewardsNOW will provide DCI’s community bank clients with a fully comprehensive, enterprise-wide loyalty program consisting of a customized program website and access to RewardsNOW’s merchant funded rewards platform, including its local merchant funded shopping program, Shop Main Street; a merchant discount coupon program; and an integrated mobile application.

Fintech Innovation Lab Showcases Six Startups

Fintech Innovation LabLeading-edge mobility, data analytics and credit risk solutions were among the six technology innovations demonstrated for top financial services, venture capital and technology executives at the fourth annual FinTech Innovation Lab Demo Day in New York. The Lab is a 12-week mentoring program created by Accenture (ACN) and the Partnership Fund for New York City and supported by more than a dozen of the world’s leading financial institutions to promote financial services technology (“fintech”) innovation and high tech job growth in New York City. This year’s entrepreneurs were chosen by chief technology officers from 15 participating financial institutions. The companies included Enigma, Kasisto, LMRKTS, pymetrics, RevolutionCredit and Standard Treasury. The group has spent the last 12 weeks receiving high level mentoring, product and business development advice and exposure to senior financial industry, technology and venture capital executives. The 18 previous alumni companies have raised a total of more than $76 million in financing after participating in the program since 2010.

SEQR Expansion

Seamless teams with The PCMS Group to expand in the US and UK. PCMS is a key point of sales provider for top tier retailers in the US and the UK. The Seamless mobile payment solution SEQR has since the launch in Sweden in 2012, been exported to three international markets: Romania, Finland and Belgium. Through the SEQR app, the user simply scans or taps a QR-code/NFC at check-out and approves the purchase by entering a PIN code. Seamless handles more than 3.1 billion transactions annually through 525,000 active sales outlets in 30 countries.

Network Q1 Profits

Visa Inc. (VS), the dominant payment card network, delivers the goods (a/k/a profits) over any other payment card network, but MasterCard (MC) continues to deliver solid results as well. During the first quarter of this year (Q1/14), net income (after tax) among the world’s two top payment card networks rose 21.2% to $2468 million, according to CardData. VS Q1/14 net income rose 25.8% to $1598 million, compared to $1407 million in the prior quarter and $1270 million in the year-ago quarter.

Higher One Adds Chinese Currency

Higher One announces the addition of the Chinese yuan to its international payments service, which is powered by Higher One’s partnership with Western Union Business Solutions. The yuan follows the recent additions of Korean won, added earlier this year and the Indian rupee, added last year. According to Open Doors® 2013 “Fast Facts,” students using the yuan, the won and the rupee represent more than 50% of international students in the U.S. “a constituency Higher One now serves through its international payments services.

Hua Xia Bank selects NCR APTRA

NCR Corporation today announced that it has signed a software professional service agreement with Hua Xia Bank to transform its banking services with NCR’s latest multi-vendor software application, NCR APTRA Activate. The software will run on the bank’s entire fleet of multi-vendor ATMs, self-service kiosks for card issuance and account enquiry kiosks nationwide. NCR will provide implementation maintenance for the new platform, which is expected to begin this fall.