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

oti Extends MediSmart Implementation Thanks to 200,000 SMART Card Order

oti PetroSmart received a follow-on order from Smart Applications International Ltd. (SMART) for 200,000 MediSmart cards. The MediSmart solution is an information management and claims submission system that incorporates contactless smart card and biometric technologies. oti’s MediSmart cards validate the identity of a patient by using fingerprint biometric technology, which cuts down on fraud and impersonation. MediSmart benefits medical administrators, hospitals, clinics, medical service providers and patients by offering fast and secure access to medical information, transaction generation, claims and expense management, and reporting tools. SMART continues building its presence in the African healthcare sector. MediSmart has recently been enhanced to support electronic switching of claims, improving the efficiency of claims delivery and the quality of data delivered to customers.

Ingenico Announces Broadband Tower tie-up

Ingenico announced a partner agreement with Lyudia subsidiary of Broadband Tower. Within the framework of this agreement, Broadband Tower Corporation, through its new payment division, will benefit from latest generation of payment solutions to offer to the demanding Japanese market. Ingenico and Lyudia Inc. will provide the full range of services, from software development, to certification, logistics, maintenance and support. Ingenico will bring to the Japanese market its strong leadership experience in retail industry with a secure and powerful range of payment solutions.

PAI Announces ATM Branding Deal

Payment Alliance International retail ATM solutions announced signed an agreement to brand 22 ATMs located at Rite Aid stores in Kern County, Calif. PAI will own and operate the ATMs, which will be outfitted with Kern Schools’ branding. Kern Schools’ members will have surcharge-free access to cash at these new ATM locations. PAI operates one of the largest ATM networks in the United States, with equipment at more than 60,000 retail locations across the country. As part of the network, the company provides ATM services for approximately 1,500 Rite Aid locations nationwide.

Allus Global BPO Now PCI Certified

Allus achieved PCI-DSS certification as part of its efforts to focus on minimizing the risk of fraud and ensures that adequate controls of all elements that can process, store or transmit credit card information are in place. Trustwave, a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) in Colombia authorized by the PCI Council, conducted the certification process. This work began in July and for 7 months the necessary adjustments were made to comply with all the controls required by the PCI standard.

Secure Electrans Hybrid Payment Device EMV Accredited

Secure Electrans announced the latest certification of the unique and revolutionary HomePay Chip&PIN device that combines small retailer mobile payment acceptance and secure online Chip&PIN payments. This latest development of the Secure Electrans HomePay 130 range employs a state of the art “Dynamic Kernel” that is able to switch transparently between taking and making payments. The device that enables the user, for example a taxi driver or plumber, to buy goods online securely with Chip&PIN and then take the device with them to their work or use on the move to accept payments. The certification, undertaken by the leading financial industry security evaluation body UL, confirmed that this latest Secure Electrans HomePay™ device meets the rigorous specification of EMVCo.

MANGOPAY Accepts Seven New Currencies

MANGOPAY crowdfunding platforms and collaborative economy players is strengthening its offering with new functionalities and accepting seven further currencies (British pound, American dollar, Swiss franc, Polish zloty, Norwegian, Swedish and Danish krone) in addition to the euro. The Australian and Canadian dollar will also soon also be accepted. In-app payment using card “tokenisation” which allows merchants to receive payments without users leaving their platform. Meanwhile, test accounts for merchants and the option to go live directly via mangopay.com. MANGOPAY helps clients accept third-party payments, create and manage e-wallets (white label), split funds and collect fees in a simple, secure and transparent way.

MasterCard Teams Points International on Reward Options

MasterCard enhanced cardholders options to redeem, exchange and trade their rewards points. Delivered through a relationship between MasterCard and Points International, the new options are based on the popularity of travel and experiences and expected to drive engagement and value to rewards programs offered by issuing banks participating in the MasterCard Rewards Platform. Following the initial integration, it is anticipated that program functionality will be available later this year.

Mercury Payment Hires CTO

Mercury Payment service appointed Andrew Patterson Chief Technology Officer. Here he will be responsible for software engineering, technology infrastructure, business intelligence, quality assurance, and architecture for the organization. With over a decade of technology and management experience, Patterson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his role as CTO at Mercury. Patterson most recently served as the vice president of payments software and emerging products for Moneris Solutions where he led a number of key technology initiatives, including the design and development of many of their products and processing systems. He was also the director of software development at the same company. He holds a B.S. from Dalhousie University and an MBA from Queen’s University.

THE LINE ITEM SOME CARD ISSUERS (STILL) DON’T GET RIGHT

Every year we analyze this metric, and some issuers respond that they do invest in R&D (Research and Technical Development); it’s just plugged into other larger areas of the P/L, like “G&A,” or “Operating Expense.” Yet, if it is so important to the long term survival of any organization, why is it “buried,” or “plugged;” why not exposed to the light of day? A buried expense cannot be a function truly (or well) managed.

VISA ASIA-PACIFIC 2013

Payment cards in the Asia-Pacific (AP) region continue to be a red-hot market for Visa as gross dollar volume (GDV) is the highest Visa region outside the U.S., excluding Visa Europe (not part of Visa, Inc.). South Korea also continues its love affair with Visa cards, with the distinction of the highest household debt rate in the world, quickly approaching the $1 trillion milestone. Bank of Korea data show the consumer debt service ratio in South Korea is more than 150% of disposable income.

MasterCard Shows Europeans Concerned About Interchange Fee Caps

According to a recent Mastercard poll in 13 European countries, 2 in 3 consumers believe that proposals to cap interchange fees would make it worse for them to use their bank cards and 8 in 10 people do not expect retailers to pass on any cost savings through lower prices. The survey looked at consumer views on European Commission proposals to set caps on interchange fees (retailers contribution to the electronic payments systems) and introduce a series of measures that would impact the use of payment cards. It also showed 65% of consumers fear inflexible caps on interchange fees would leave them worse off in terms of using cards while 82% believe retailers would not pass on any cost savings from a reduction in their contribution to the costs of the electronic payments system.