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

Heartland Board Authorizes $75 Million Share Repurchase Program

Heartland Payment announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a new $75 million share repurchase program. Repurchases will be made in accordance with applicable securities laws in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions. The new authorization is a result of the completion of an existing program, which went into effect effective on November 6, 2012, under which the company repurchased 1,667,983 shares of its common stock at an average price of $29.98 per share.

Mobile POS, NCR Silver Simplifies Accounting

NCR Corporation announced NCR Silver iPad POS system for small business has been integrated with Retail Intel, a cloud-based service that automatically pulls sales data directly from the NCR Silver platform to QuickBooks®. By eliminating the need for time-consuming daily journal entries, the integration will save businesses countless hours on manual tasks and significantly improve operational efficiency and accuracy. It helps Shift Management and Cash Reconciliation, Time Clock management and offers Multiple Tax Options.

Better ATM Services Announces Senior Leadership Changes

Better ATM Services announced changes to its leadership team to accelerate the company’s plan for profitable growth. Howard Green will assume the role of Acting President and Chief Executive Officer. He will be leading Better ATM Services’ next phase of growth with a particular focus on go-to-market strategies, creating new product commercialization opportunities and expanding leadership resources. In addition, technology industry standouts Mark Olson and Dan Perez are joining Better ATM Services’ Board of Directors. Current President and CEO Todd Nuttall will assume the role of EVP, Enabling Technologies.

Interac Debit Fraud

Thanks to chip technology and fraud detection, debit card fraud losses in Canada reached a record low last year, declining 23% year-on-year (Y/Y) and sinking 79% (Y/Y) after peaking in 2006. Interac reported debit card losses climbed from $94.6 million in 2006 to a record high of $142.3 million in 2009 and then reversed course in 2010, declining to 2013’s record low of $29.5 million.

U.S. Bank Exec Selected for Distinguished Payments Professional Award

Pamela Joseph, vice chair at U.S. Bancorp and head of the company’s payment services division, was recently honored by the Electronic Transaction Association with the 2014 Distinguished Payments Professional Award. Joseph is recognized not only for her business acumen but as a thought leader on the role financial institution play in the evolving payments industry. In addition to her daily business activity, Joseph leads the Women Leaders in Action (WLA), a women’s resource group uniting women across U.S. Bank Payment Services with a mission to provide support for community-based programs. The Distinguished Payments Professional award is intended to recognize an industry leader, acknowledged trend-setter, role model, and positive contributor to the efficacy and overall image of the industry.

Visa / MasterCard Q1 US GDV

General purpose payment card activity on the world’s two largest networks rose 7.6% year-on-year (Y/Y), but down 1.8% quarter-to-quarter (Q/Q) in the first quarter of this year (Q1/2014). The Gross Dollar Volume (GDV) reported by Visa (VS) and MasterCard (MC) for Q1/2014 came in at slightly over $1 trillion, compared to $1028 billion in the prior quarter and $933 billion in the year ago quarter.

MasterCard Partners telco KDDI for Prepaid Cards

MasterCard partnered KDDI mobile operator to launch “au WALLET” prepaid card program for 34 million au-brand mobile network subscribers beginning May 21. The au WALLET card will enable KDDI’s “au” mobile network subscribers to enjoy safer, easier, and more rewarding payment options at any merchant that accepts MasterCard payment cards, either offline or online, in more than 210 countries. In particular, cardholders will be able to shop with ease, assured that their expenditure will remain within the pre-loaded amounts. The au WALLET card will be easily obtainable without any credit evaluation and can be reloaded at au shops or online. Cardholders will receive au WALLET Points for every purchase made with the card, redeemed when paying au phone bills or making other shopping payments.

Boku Signs Global Mobile Payments Partnership with Deutsche Telekom Group

Boku carrier billing-based mobile payments signed an agreement with Deutsche Telekom Group mobile network operators. This expands on a previous agreement between the two in Germany, Deutsche Telekom’s primary market, to cover the MNO’s entire user base in Europe of over 140 million subscribers across 14 different markets. The agreement establishes Boku as a strategic partner powering Deutsche Telekom’s payments offerings, provides the company with an advanced mobile payments API, and gives customers the ability to pay for digital goods and services simply using their existing mobile phone account. Merchants offering carrier billing-based mobile payments will generate incremental revenue from consumers who find mobile the easiest way to pay, and attract new consumers who previously were unable or unlikely to pay via other payment options, such as credit and debit cards.

USA Technologies Recognized by Frost & Sullivan

USA Technologies wireless, cashless payment and M2M telemetry solutions has been awarded the Frost & Sullivan 2014 North American Customer Value Leadership Award in Financial Services and Retail M2M Communications. Based on Frost & Sullivan’s Best Practice Research findings, each year Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has demonstrated excellence in implementing strategies that proactively create value for its customers with a focus on improving the return on the investment that customers make in its services or products. The award recognizes USA Technologies’ inordinate focus on enhancing the value that its customers receive, beyond simply good customer service, leading to improved customer retention and, ultimately, customer base expansion.

Cardlytics to Speak at Big Data Week Atlanta

Cardlytics Card-Linked Marketing will be speaking at Big Data Week Atlanta. Marketing Research is facing both a challenge and an opportunity as Big Data technologies have entered the field, bringing new approaches to gaining customer insights and understanding consumer behavior. This informative roundtable discussion ” which brings together thought leaders and industry experts from technology companies, research firms, and academia ” will discuss trends, challenges, and opportunities in the research field. Big Data Week global platforms brings together a global community of data scientists, data technologies, data visionaries, and data businesses spanning six major commercial, financial, social, and technological sectors.

BPC Banking Technologies Announces New Partnership

BPC Banking Open System payment solutions for the global financial industry signed a new agreement with HP. BPC has been selected by HP as one of its strategic high performance payments solution worldwide and under the terms of the agreement, BPC’s SmartVista payments solution will be offered by HP on an outsourced basis to its customers worldwide. SmartVista is a scalable, secure and integrated suite of sophisticated applications covering every aspect of electronic payments processing. Using a visionary design to deliver unrivalled flexibility SmartVista also provides high performance authorization switching and routing, full ATM and POS management, comprehensive card management, advanced fraud prevention, loyalty program definition and management, card personalization and production. SmartVista also provides flexible billing and merchant management, integrated internet and mobile banking.

JCB Dreamcard

The only payment card brand based in Japan is bringing a new middle market credit card to Vietnam. The new JCB Dreamcard is geared towards moderate income customers of Ho Chi Minh City-based Vietnam Techcombank. The co-branded credit card is being offered to customers with an average monthly income from 4 million VND (Vietnamese Dong) or US$188. Techcombank Dreamcard cardholders will receive a credit limit of up to 2 months salary with this card. The minimum repayment amount starts from 10% of outstanding balance.