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.

Globe Telecom Mobile Commerce

Globe Telecom recently introduced an innovative solution earmarked to boost retail activity and set new standards of mobile commerce and retail payments among small and medium business (SMB) owners, providing customers operating start-up and small scale-stores, bazaars as well as retail outlets across the Philippines an alternative channel for payment transactions using a smartphone or a tablet. Globe Charge, a flagship product of Globe myBusiness, the business segment of Globe Telecom catering to SMBs and their communication needs, integrates a smartphone and an innovative mobile card reader into a convenient mobile point-of-sale (POS) payment device, eliminating the need for traditional and more expensive card terminals.

Techcombank JCB Dreamcard Launched

Techcombank and JCB International Co., Ltd. (JCBI) have officially announced the launch of Techcombank JCB Dreamcard.Product launching ceremony was held on the same day with the participation of more than 2,000 people. Techcombank JCB Dreamcard is designed with suitable benefits for customers with average monthly income from 4 million VND. Techcombank JCB Dreamcard allows cardmembers to withdraw cash at all Techcombank ATMs nationwide, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and to make purchase at over 24 million JCB merchants worldwide including Vietnam.

China UnionPay Volume

China UnionPay (CUP) transaction volume continues to explode racking up a stunning 48% increase in 2013, following a solid gain of 37% in 2012. Last year, CUP’s bankcard interbank transaction volume hit 32.3 trillion yuan (US$ 5.18 trillion). The five-year CAGR is 32.3%, according to CardData. During 2013, the number of CUP merchants rose 58% to more than 11 million. The number of POS terminals connected to the CUP network soared 49% surpassing the 10 million milestone.

Moneygram Partners Facebook Platform

MoneyGram is teaming up with PicomoPay to allow its consumers in the U.S. to send money transfers via PicomoPay’s Facebook application to more than 336,000 MoneyGram agent locations in more than 200 countries. The social media service will be available to consumers in May. PicomoPay is a social and mobile payments platform integrated within Facebook. Its primary business is to allow consumers to conduct person-to-person payments funded by their PicomoPay Digital Wallet, and to buy and send virtual gift cards on Facebook.

Fiserv Enhances US Bank’s P2P

Fiserv, Inc. today announced that U.S. Bank has enhanced its existing person-to-person (P2P) payment service with an Instant Payment option, as well as the ability to request money and send personalized digital greeting cards along with payments. These new features are available via U.S. Bank online and mobile banking, giving U.S. Bank customers more ways to send, request or receive money using another person’s name and account number, email address or mobile phone number. U.S. Bank is the first large bank in the country to offer real-time P2P payments online and through mobile devices using the Popmoney(R) Instant Payments feature.

U.S. ROA 2013

Discover and American Express retain the overwhelming lead for return on assets (ROA) among the nation’s top credit card portfolios, according to CardData. During the first quarter, the American Express ROA rose more than 10 basis points to 6.83%. The ROA for Chase, Citibank and Capital One hovered in the 4% to 5% range last year. For 2013, Discover posted a 6.8% ROA and American Express a 6.7% ROA. Discover will be releasing its first quarter report next week. Capital One’s U.S. ROA for 2013 was 4.4%. The Chase U.S. ROA was 4.3%. Citibank’s U.S. ROA was 3.9%.

Govt Help Recover Misdirected Payments

Banks and building societies have put in place standard central processes and defined maximum timescales to help customers recover money. When a customer notifies their bank or building society that they have made an electronic payment to the wrong account, action will commence on the customer’s behalf within a maximum of two working days. If a bank is unable to reclaim funds immediately – for instance if the recipient disputes its return – the customer will be notified of the outcome of their bank’s investigation in a maximum of twenty working days from the point of enquiry and in many cases much sooner. If funds cannot be recovered through the standard central process customers will be given clear and accurate information on the options they have available to them – such as court action against the recipient. Banks and building societies will ensure the design of online, mobile and telephone payment channels reduce the risk of a customer making a mistake. This might involve: customers being asked to input account details twice; extra warnings about using the correct account details; or prompting customers to check payment details that have not been used for some time so that they can be updated or deleted as necessary.

Yoyo mPayments Announces Latest App Client

Imperial College London has become the UK’s first university to allow people to pay for goods on campus without cash and receive rewards – just by using an app on their mobile phones, eliminating the need to carry cash and loyalty stamp cards. Yoyo, a London-based mobile payment and loyalty app, is accepted across the university’s entire South Kensington campus, following a partnership with Imperial College London and nationwide EPoS company, pointOne. The app serves over 20,000 students and staff within 32 retail outlets and counting, including cafes, bars and shops. Announcing a partnership with Yoyo, pointOne EPoS is a nationwide EPoS company that develops its own solutions and offers support and installation services.

Ukash Partners ProfPay eCommerce

ProfPay has deployed Ukash online cash payment provider to help Ghanaians and Nigerians play online games, pay and shop on the web. The new agreement offers access to easy, international, online payments from Ukash, without the need for traditional banking information – a key step for Africans keen to embrace the online world. ProfPay operates a multi-method payment gateway and an Online Mall, designed to remove the barriers African consumers face when transacting online – whether it’s playing games or shopping or paying for services. Figures suggest that the ecommerce market in Africa will grow to $75 billion by 2025, making it 10% of all retail sales*. However, today Africans encounter huge issues participating in the online world due to concerns about security and a lack of bank accounts and postal addresses.

Union First Market Bankshares Name Change

Union First Market Bankshares Corporation announced that it has officially changed its name to Union Bankshares Corporation. The name change does not affect Union First Market Bank or StellarOne Bank and does not affect any of the other non-bank affiliates of the company. In May 2014, StellarOne Bank will merge into Union First Market Bank. The combined bank will continue to operate under the name Union First Market Bank until the second half of the year.

Checkprint Lands Five Year Client Contract

Checkprint secure paper and payment solutions was awarded a five-year contract extension by Nationwide Group to provide branch cheques and credit books. Having delivered almost 2.3 million checks, Checkprint checks can be issued to customers who do not have a chequebook facility as part of their account, for instance a savings account. Nationwide will continue to use Checkprint’s Customer Auto Replenishment Service (CARS), which automatically manages stock levels to ensure branches do not run out of cheques.

Thuraya Partners With Western Union

Thuraya Telecommunications Company and The Western Union Company announced their agreement to offer top-up services for Thuraya prepaid SIMs for voice and data services using the Western Union® Quick PaySM service. The service is available at participating Western Union agent locations in the majority of the 200+ countries and territories in which the company provides services. This new and convenient method of payment enables Thuraya customers to recharge their pre-paid SIMS with no extra fee.