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.

Unemployment Stable, Low

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Payroll employment was up 113,000 units in January for a subsequent little change in the unemployment rate, which still sits at an impressive 6.6%. This was led by employment in construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, and mining fields. The number of unemployed persons sits at 10.2 million showed little change since October…

MasterCard Launches MasterPass In-App Payments

MasterCard announced MasterPass™ in-app payments, enabling consumers to make secure purchases within a mobile app. MasterPass in-app payments eliminate the need to store payment card credentials across numerous mobile apps, providing consumers with a fast and simple payment experience. Forbes Digital Commerce, Fat Zebra, MLB Advanced Media, NoQ, Starbucks Australia and Shaw Theatres Singapore are among the first app providers that will power their in-app purchasing capabilities with MasterPass.

Commerce Bank Offers New Alumni Visa

University of North Texas (UNT) alumni have a new way to show their school pride. Commerce Bank is offering a Visa ® credit card with rewards to members of the University of North Texas Alumni Association (UNTAA). The card offers reward points with unlimited earnings, as well as no annual fee. Cardholders are able to redeem points for cash back statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, or travel. Additional features and benefits include $100,000 travel insurance, emergency card replacement and cash advance, 24/7 customer service, Visa Zero Liability coverage, e-statements, and optional auto pay.

MasterCard Acquires C-SAM

At Mobile World Congress, MasterCard announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire C-SAM, Inc. (“C-SAM”) a leading provider of mobile wallet and on-device software and services. In acquiring C-SAM, MasterCard will speed the development and deployment of mobile wallets and payment solutions globally, including the rollout of its MasterPass™ digital service. Today’s announcement builds upon a global strategic partnership developed between the two companies in December 2012, as well as a minority investment by MasterCard.

Broadcom NFC for Affordable Smartphones

Broadcom Corporation introduced the next-generation of near field communication (NFC) controllers designed to deliver simplified connectivity and drive adoption in mass market smartphones and wearables. The new family enables mobile device manufacturers to reduce antenna size by 50 percent and lower overall cost by 35 percent. Broadcom’s BCM20795 NFC family provides original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) with highly integrated, low-power solutions that can be easily incorporated into a wide range of smartphones and tablets. The new controllers reduce power consumption more than 60 percent, use 30 percent fewer components and a 35 percent smaller board area than previous generations. The devices are also compatible with Broadcom’s Wireless Internet Connectivity for Embedded Devices (WICED™) platform.

ROAM mPOS Platform with EMV Chip & PIN

ROAM has expanded its mPOS solutions to include chip & PIN acceptance with the RP750x mobile card reader . This new cloud-based solution is fully compatible with ROAM’s mobile commerce platform, making ROAM the leading mPOS solution provider supporting new mPOS players with all mobile card acceptance types: magnetic stripe, NFC, chip & sign and chip & PIN. Combining state-of-the-art mobile payments technology from mPOS innovator ROAM with the global EMV expertise of Ingenico, the RP750x is the most flexible and secure chip & PIN device on the market.

CardLock Awarded Patent

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will formally issue U.S. Patent No. 8,660,955 to PSCU on February 25, 2014 for PSCU’s CardLockTM fraud prevention innovation, which was introduced to the CUSO’s Member-Owner credit unions in 2009. The patent documents categorize the fraud prevention service, CardLock, as a “method and apparatus for consumer-driven protection for payment card transactions.” The CardLock solution works in conjunction with PSCU’s fraud detection and prevention platform and enables cardholders to easily block and unblock authorizations on cards they register with the service. Cardholders can manage the authorization status of their cards through any of three channels – phone, web and mobile.

Cardholder Pricing – Effectiveness Results

While many card issuers are offering special cardholder price discounting – no fees, low interest and balance transfers to raid competitors – while raising the value prop none of these are new initiatives. Given the lowering of outstanding card loans which many have suffered during the recession, nearly $200 Billion total drop off before coming back up, we are surprised only that these and other value strategies weren’t implemented far more aggressively to reboot the card/payments business over the past five or six years.


Global processing powerhouse First Data had a busy year with nine contract extensions, a new German contract, and expanded nine partnerships. FDC also introduced three new products: Clover Station, VisionPLUS Flex, and Go Daddy Payment Solutions, plus upgraded a number of existing products. FDC also acquired Perka and took 100% ownership of JV. The Company also had three CEO’s during 2013 and received two major awards. Annual revenues also increased slightly in 2013, after two level years.