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

TSYS Transforms Cardholder Experience

TSYS enhanced its online, self-servicing solution, Credit Care, to provide consumer cardholders an improved user experience and issuing banks greater administrative control. The new responsive and user-friendly design empowers TSYS clients and their customers with greater accessibility to account information. Credit Care now features a flexible user interface providing account holders easy and secure access to their accounts from any mobile device, regardless of size. Other enhancements include convenient single sign-on access from host bank websites, which saves cardholders time and eliminates the need for multiple passwords. New product features also include additional account payment options and an administrative console providing issuing banks the ability to manage the account holder experience for their unique brand and business.

ACI Worldwide Presents Executive Payments Summit

ACI Worldwide will be hosting “The Disruption Opportunity: A Game-Changing Perspective on Payments,” an executive payments summit in New York and London on March 12. ACI’s senior payments leaders and other esteemed industry experts will headline this executive summit that explores the opportunity for banks, retailers, billers and processors to leverage payments disruption to get ahead in the marketplace. The summit kicks off with a NASDAQ bell ringing ceremony, followed by a senior-level executive panel that will discuss payments perspectives. Phil Heasley, president and CEO, ACI Worldwide, will present the Disruption Opportunity, and Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief, Forbes Magazine and chairman, Forbes Media, will present Payments Transformation and the Global Economy.

American Express Support Startups, Research on Financial Inclusion

American Express, at SXSW Interactive Festival, announced several new technology initiatives to promote financial inclusion in the U.S. These include a new program from American Express Ventures to fund startups working toward financial inclusion, the establishment of a Financial Innovation Lab, and sponsorship of a documentary. The documentary will spotlight how technology and new thinking can begin to address the issues facing nearly 70 million Americans1 poorly served or excluded from the mainstream financial system. American Express showcased the trailer for Spent: Looking for Change earlier today at an intimate event at SXSW. The film, set to premiere this summer, follows a handful of hopeful Americans as they navigate their way through an antiquated financial system that can inhibit, rather than help, people’s ability to access, move and manage money as well as save for the future. The film will illustrate the seriousness of this growing problem, but also explore the many solutions emerging through technology, innovation and education.

BlueSnap upgrades its BuyNow e-commerce checkout page

BlueSnap upgraded its BuyNow hosted checkout pages enabling merchants to present a flexible, full-featured, PCI-compliant checkout page to shoppers in 180 countries without development expense or the need to commit company resources to meet PCI security standards. The new release features eye path-optimized page design, easy customization, A/B testing, mobile device support, and other enhancements to help merchants close more online sales.Online retailers that use BlueSnap’s hosted checkout pages have full access to all platform functions, including award-winning subscription management, coupon generation, catalog management and full support for both physical and digital goods as well as dynamic localization across 60 currencies, 29 languages and 110 payment methods.

First Data Names CEO Chairman

First Data payment technology announced its Board of Directors has named Frank Bisignano chairman in addition to his role as CEO. Bisignano was named chief executive officer for First Data on April 29, 2013. Since then, he has moved to rapidly reposition the company from a traditional processing business to a product and technology solutions provider to merchants and financial institutions. Under Bisignano’s leadership, initiatives to focus on clients, increase operating efficiencies and bring innovation to the fast-paced payments industry have launched successfully. Bisignano also introduced an equity ownership plan that put stock in the hands of nearly all of First Data employees. In addition, under his leadership, the company unveiled the Clover™ Station, a transformational point-of-sale solution for small and medium sized businesses.

First Data Shows Weather Slows Consumer Spending

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] First Data released its January SpendTrend analysis, compared to January 2013, tracking same-store POS data by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks from nearly four million U.S. merchant locations serviced by First Data. Dollar volume growth of 2.5% slowed from December’s 3.4% growth as severe winter…

Icici Bank launches pre-paid transit and shopping card

ICICI Bank launched its combo prepaid card in association with the Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC). The card was launched and co-branded by UPSRTC, offering dual benefits of a travel card as well as a shopping card on a single card. This first-of-its-kind pre-paid card offers users the convenience of not having to pay cash for buying tickets for every trip undertaken on a UPSRTC bus or buying paper passes for monthly or quarterly season tickets. In addition to this, customers can use this same card to shop online as well as at stores. This features Ease of travel on UPSRTC buses, wider acceptability at all VISA POS retail shops, malls and websites for cash-less shopping, no requirement of minimum balance on the shopping card, no need to open a bank account to avail shopping card benefits and secured use.

Switch Commerce Moves Headquarters

Switch Commerce LLC, a leading provider of ATM processing and Payments processing services, is pleased to announce our growth and move to a new company headquarters at 6565 N. MacArthur Boulevard in Irving, Texas. This move to a larger technology based headquarters reflects the company’s commitment to their customers and plans for new products under development in both ATM Processing and Payments Processing.

Barnes Intl Smart Card Increase

Barnes International, a global smart card test tool leader, today reported an increase in activity to US companies involved in the manufacture, personalization and issuance of EMV and non-EMV payment cards in the last 12 months. By selecting Barnes’ test solutions and EMV training, these organizations can assure the quality of their cards; speed up EMV product development and payment scheme certification; and reduce card issuance costs.

Ripple Launches Developer Portal for Payment Protocol

Ripple Labs launched this week the Ripple Developer Portal to make it easier and more efficient for third party developers to build on the Ripple protocol. Ripple Labs also announced that Mathijs Koenraadt claimed the first Ripple developer bounty for his Magento extension and its ability to read the Ripple public ledger to create an invoice. Ripple Labs created Ripple, an open-source, distributed payment protocol that powers a new global value web. The Ripple Developer Portal initially features the new REST API, and will expand over time to include a number of tools and resources designed to empower developers building on the Ripple open source code.

Klarna Completes SOFORT Acquisition

Klarna today announces the completion of the SOFORT acquisition as all conditions precedent for the closing have been fulfilled. The two companies will together form Klarna Group and become Europe’s leading alternative online payments provider. Klarna Group’s services are used by over 25 million consumers and 45 000 online retailers across 14 European countries. Klarna Group has processed over 140 million transactions. Klarna Group can offer online merchants the payment alternatives most preferred by European consumers.

Payelp Introduces ePrime Global

Payelp Global is introducing a new revolutionary new payment and business platform called ePrime Global,™ which will dramatically help the speed and security of payment transactions within the Payelp system. The platform has been in beta, but the company is transitioning into the new platform now for all future transactions. Payelp is more than just a payment service provider (currently offering over 300 global payment gateways worldwide to merchants), as the company helps online retailers and businesses earn revenue in other regions around the world through global partners and local regional offices.