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

CardLinx CEO to Present at Goldman Sachs Technology Conference

The CardLinx Association will share insights on this rapidly growing sector at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference. Silvio Tavares, CardLinx President and founding CEO, along with the following CardLinx board members, will participate in a panel presentation titled “The Convergence of Advertising and Payments.” The presentation will take place on Wednesday, February 12th at 9:00 am. Card-linked offers stand at the unique intersection of the payments, social media, advertising, and retail industries. As the “offers” space has become more popular, consumers have often found it cumbersome to take advantage of the variety and amount of offers available.

American Express 2013

Gross dollar volume for U.S. American Express cards rose 8% in 2013 to $637.0 billion, compared to full-year 2012. The average U.S. basic cardholder annual spend increased from $16,425 in 2012 to $17,211 last year or a 5% increase. AmEx ended the year with a 30+ day delinquency rate of 1.6% for U.S. cardholders, down 20 basis points from one year ago. The U.S. charge-off rate declined 30 basis points from Q4/2012 to 1.5%.

Conference Economic Index Hits Fever Pitch

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. was up 0.1% in December to 99.4 after a 1.0% increase in November and a 0.1% increase in October. This improvement is a clear reflection of gradually strengthening economic conditions through early 2014. Consumer expectations for business conditions and residential construction continue…

Penalty Fees Drop Again

Penalty fees paid by consumers last year took another dip. After rising predictably year/year for most of the last decade, 2010 saw the first penalty fee decline, down from $23.9B to $22.5B, with 2011 showing a further drop to $19.4B, 2012 dropping again to $17.8 B, and in 2013 falling to $12.0 B, according to the R.K. Hammer Card Penalty Fee Index, the lowest level since Hammer began tracking such fee trends. This is the fourth in their weekly series of seven year-end card trend papers, each one covering a different financial, marketing or operational card metric.

CoinFlash Demo New Bitcoin ATM

This weekend, the Coinflash team will be attending the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami Beach, Florida, giving attendees a sneak preview of the new Coinflash Bitcoin ATM. Coinflash is a San Francisco-based startup that plans on deploying 1000 ATMs worldwide by 2015. Team members will be conducting live demonstrations of the advanced functionality of the machine, which is based on the OpenWallet kiosk platform. The Coinflash ATM enables Coinbase and Ripple users to buy and sell bitcoins for cash, and even pay bills, transfer funds, and purchase gift cards with cash or digital currency.

Credit Card Reward Participation Declines

Mercator Advisory Group reveals that credit card reward participation in the United States declined from 76% in 2012 to 68% in 2013. Reward participation appears to be age dependent as 81% of seniors, 68% of 35-64 year olds, but only 57% of young adults participate in credit card reward programs, marking significant declines in participation among each age group during the past year. Credit 2013: Consumers Eye Cobranded Rewards, the latest report from Mercator Advisory Group’s Primary Data Service, shows that some consumers who are offered retailer or other corporate-branded reward programs (e.g., airline branded) that compete with bank-issued reward programs, consider these rewards better than bank-issued rewards. Cobranded reward programs are luring consumers who may not have otherwise applied for a bank-issued credit cards.

HBC Partners with Pounce

HBC is partnering with Pounce, a consumer-facing mobile app to integrate traditional media with m-commerce, providing customers the opportunity to purchase merchandise displayed in print media using tablets and smartphones. Pounce is the only Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor approved mobile app that allows customers to instantly buy products seen in print by simply scanning an image.

Cashwrap Mobile Wallet Case Uses NFC

Incipio announced today the launch of the Cashwrap Mobile Wallet Case. The Cashwrap Case is available online for $69.99 starting January 24, and in AT&T company owned retail locations across the country starting on January 31. Using the Incipio Cashwrap Case, consumers with an iPhone 4, 4S, 5, and 5S can utilize the Isis Mobile Wallet to pay and save at stores with just a tap of their smartphone. The Isis Mobile Wallet holds participating payment and loyalty cards, as well as offers. The Incipio Cashwrap Mobile Wallet Case is the only Near Field Communication (NFC) mobile solution for iPhone 5/5s.

First eChecking Payment Processing App

Hybrid POS Inc. in alliance with Paysoft International, Inc. have teamed up and have designed the First eChecking Payment Processing App for today’s businesses on the Road. Now businesses Nationwide can use their iPhone or Android device to process a collection transaction, using eCheck21 technology. This payment method allows your business to see the deposit same day in your account.

MasterCard and IDB Sign Agreement

MasterCard and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) have recently signed a keystone agreement, as announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to work together in an effort to improve economic inclusion, transparency and financial formalization through the expansion of electronic payments in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The five-year public-private partnership is intended to enhance access to information and promote the transition to electronic payment services in the region, which can help reduce transaction costs and increase the efficiency of financial disbursements. Replacing cash-based systems for electronic ones also can potentially reduce leakages, increasing the likelihood that payments and benefits end up in the hands of intended beneficiaries and recipients, helping to improve the lives of the underserved.

Online Spending with Visa Fuels Solid Growth

UK consumers’ preference for electronic payments continued to increase in 2013 as Visa Europe announces that spending with UK Visa credit, debit, commercial and prepaid cards increased by 9.2% to £445bn. This is according to Visa Europe’s annual results for the year to 30th September 2013. Spending by UK cardholders with Visa debit increased by 9.3% on the previous year. Debit payments account for over 80% of Visa Europe’s business in the UK. More than £1 in every £3 spent in the UK is now spent using Visa. Growth was also strong in other core areas of the Visa Europe business, with spending on commercial cards increasing by 18.1% and on prepaid cards by 42.8%.

Credit Card Spending Limits Highest Since 2008

Experian® today announced an analysis of bankcard trends from the Q3 2013 that showed a 29 percent year-over-year increase in bankcard origination volumes (limits), equating to a $16 billion increase in new bankcard limits issued. The Q3 2013 bankcard origination volume of $73 billion was higher than the conclusion of the 2008 recession, as origination volume in Q4 2008 was $70 billion.