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

Eaze introduces “Nod To Pay” service

Paying with “Nod To Pay” is truly frictionless. A Google Glass user activates the service with the command “OK Glass, make a payment”. Glass then scans the QR code of any Bitcoin enabled Point Of Sales (POS) application. The transaction details appear on the display of Glass. The user then only needs to nod twice to confirm the payment, making it a truly handsfree payment solution. To keep it safe, a “Nod To Pay” spending limit can easily be set, just like anyone would do with a normal wallet holding offline cash. Any transaction amount above that limit will require an additional security (PIN) code to confirm the payment.

MasterCard Partnership Speeds NFC Development

At Mobile World Congress last week MasterCard announced a collaboration between Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica Deutschland, Vodafone and TREVICA (a MasterCard owned company) to create a new mobile platform and accelerate the development of mobile payments in Germany. The three mobile operators represent 80% of mobile customers in Germany, which means that banks and financial institutions can hugely accelerate their ability to provide mass- market mobile payment services to consumers. Instead of connecting to individual mobile operators, issuing banks can now connect to TREVICA and have access to a number of mobile operators with one single integration to the TREVICA platform.

oti sells Intercard System Electronics

On Track Innovations Ltd. (oti) has sold its wholly owned German subsidiary, Intercard System Electronics GmbH, to a private party. Intercard manufactures electronic assemblies and devices, including oti’s NFC readers and other non-oti related products. The sale of Intercard includes an upfront payment of EUR 700,000 to oti and then future debt payments of certain amounts, as well as preferred pricing for Intercard services for the ongoing manufacturing of oti readers.

VerifyValid Turns iPhones into Checkbooks

In an effort to revamp the payments process for today’s businesses and consumers, VerifyValid, an innovator in providing electronic check payments for businesses, consumers, financial institutions and their customers, has launched its Mobile Checkbook app in the Apple App Store. The app provides consumers and businesses alike with a simple-to-use mobile payment channel that avoids card interchange fees and provides the security and convenience of checks. The Mobile Checkbook expands the VerifyValid portfolio, especially for small businesses and consumers, by making the checkbook the most portable form of payment available.

CARD FEE INCOME AS A % OF TOTAL INCOME REMAINS FLAT

In their series of weekly year-end card industry trend reports R.K. Hammer now discusses how fee income continues to perform in terms of top line revenue contribution. For decades, interest income on prime/super prime cards had always contributed the largest portion of the card industry’s revenue streams; just the exact opposite for subprime cards, though, where fees have always been the higher piece of total income. As reported earlier, the line between interest income and fee income for prime/super prime accounts has been narrowing substantially in recent years; with lower revenue in many cases coming from interest and an increasingly higher portion derived from fees. That trend continued again in 2013.

FCA Unveils New Rules on Consumer Credit

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has confirmed the final rules that will govern the consumer credit market which will result in changes for how payday lenders and debt management companies treat their customers. The FCA will take a tough approach to consumer credit with stronger powers to clamp down on poor practice than the previous Office of Fair Trading regime. Our supervision of firms will be hands on and we will closely monitor how providers treat their customers, in particular those operating in higher risk sectors such as credit cards, debt management and payday. We will respond quickly to any issues that are identified and there will be swift penalties for any firm or individual found not to be putting consumers’ interests first, including possible enforcement action and consumer redress. The biggest changes come for payday lenders and debt management companies, which include limiting the number of loan roll-overs to two; restricting (to two) the number of times a firm can seek repayment using a continuous payment authority (CPA); a requirement to provide information to customers on how to get free debt advice; and requiring debt management firms to pass on more money to creditors from day one of a debt management plan, and to protect client money.

paysafecard Announces Latest Client

Skrill digital payments announced customers can now use paysafecard to top up their Skrill Digital Wallets. This integration, which follows Skrill Group’s acquisition of paysafecard in early 2013, enables Skrill Digital Wallet users to add funds to their wallets quickly, easily, and safely, without the use of a credit card or bank account, adding a new option for loading money to the Skrill Digital Wallet. Users can purchase paysafecard in person at more than 450,000 sales outlets around the world. After purchasing paysafecard, customers can instantly top up the credit in their Skrill Digital Wallet using their “my paysafecard” account. Customers can load up to €300/£250, and after verification make top ups of up to €1,000/£850 a day and up to €3,000/£2,500 within a 30-day period. Customers can use them with any merchant that accepts Skrill payments, or to transfer money to other Skrill Digital Wallet holders.

Piran Consulting Appoints Director, Cards and Payments

Piran Consulting has appointed industry leader Matt Simester as Director of Cards and Payments. Established to help businesses place mobile technology at the heart of their strategy, has strengthened its Cards and Payments’ division to provide clients with specialist support in their payments’ strategy. Matt will work with clients to drive performance from existing products and prepare their businesses to embrace mobile and digital payment technology, working alongside Piran’s digital authentication experts to enhance services in the rapidly evolving payments ecosystem. Matt will oversee include: payments’ strategy, partnership development, benchmarking and performance improvement, proposition and product development, business insight and research, mobile payments, value management and loyalty, merchant acquiring and acceptance, as well as programme design and management.

UnionPay and CCB Super ATM

UnionPay International and China Construction Bank (CCB) jointly announce the commissioning of the first overseas ATM of CCB in Melbourne and the co-building of UnionPay “Super ATM”, which represents new measures taken by UnionPay International to assist Chinese-funded banks to expand their foreign business, and improve UnionPay card overseas service through UnionPay International’s global network.

First Data and Sterling Natl Bank Extension

First Data Corporation, the global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, and Sterling National Bank, the principal subsidiary of Sterling Bancorp (NYSE: STL), announced the companies signed a long-term extension for merchant services and solutions. With this new relationship, First Data will continue to distribute payment processing services and tools including innovative point-of-sale (POS) solutions such as Clover Station™, a reliable, easy-to-use, cloud-based business management solution for merchants.

Dash mPayment Raises $1.2 million Seed Round

Dash mpayments platform that allows patrons to check-in, view, split, and pay their tab from the Pay with Dash smartphone app has raised $1.2 million in a Seed-2 round. Dash also released a iOS 7 update for the Pay with Dash app that incorporates location-aware BLE to automatically check-in patrons as they walk into a venue. Additionally, a stored credit system allows both Pay with Dash users and venues to pay with and offer credit that can be used towards any Dash tab. Pay With Dash launched last November in New York City with a mission to overhaul the traditional restaurant payment process to streamline a solution that allowed groups of friends to pay for restaurant bills and bar tabs seamlessly via their smartphones. With Pay With Dash, users can check in at any point while they’re at the venue to see their bill in real time as they place their orders. Pay With Dash effectively removes the need to ask for the bill at the end of the night and also eliminating the hassle of splitting the bill.

MasterCard is Official Card of the Bahamas

MasterCard announced that, as part of the company’s commitment to enhance the experience of cardholders visiting the country is support of the local tourism industry, the company has partnered with the Ministry of Tourism to become the official card of The Bahamas. The announcement was made during an exclusive cocktail event for participating merchants, tourism industry influencers and media at John Watling’s Distillery at Buena Vista Estate, in Nassau, Bahamas.