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

EMEA Region Credit Card Charge Offs

Credit card charge-offs in the Europe, Middle-East, Asia region (EMEA) have declined sharply over the past year, falling 47 basis points and expected to drop another six basis points in the fourth quarter. After peaking in the first quarter at 2.60%, EMEA credit card charge-offs declined to 1.71% in the third quarter of 2013. Citibank reports EMEA credit card charge-offs declined from 2.42% in the third quarter of last year to 1.89% in the third quarter of this year. The drop-off in EMEA credit card charge-offs mirrors the trend in the U.S. market. Citibank’s U.S. credit card charge-offs dropped 61 basis over the past year to 3.54%. According to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, U.S. credit card charge-offs declined for four consecutive quarters to 3.23% in the third quarter of 2013. RAM Research projects EMEA charge-offs will fall to 1.65% in the fourth quarter.

NCR Announces Latest POS Innovation

NCR announced its fully integrated POS solution and an all-imaging bi-optic scanner. Both solutions are designed to provide retailers with innovative technology that helps provide competitive differentiation by enabling exceptional in-store shopping experiences. NCR is the leader in consumer transaction technologies including retail self-checkout technology and POS terminals with more than a million touchpoints in service. NCR POS solutions handle more than 125,000 transactions per minute. The new imagers and POS solutions are designed to improve operations and fit within the existing footprint of previous NCR devices.The NCR “RealScan” Imager reads 1D, 2D and Mobile bar codes fast and efficiently, provides high-performance imaging with the largest scan zone in its class and enables the ability to improve store security, provide real-time scanner feedback to managers, simplify cashier training and stream live images and videos.The “RealPOS XR7″ features a stylish all-in-one design with versatility, ruggedness and data security, either a 15″ or an 18.5” multi-touch display and is powered by the 4th generation Intel Core processor.

American Express Discount Rate

The average discount rate for merchants accepting American Express cards hit a new low in the second and third quarters of 2013. Over the past seven years the worldwide average discount rate has declined from 2.57% to 2.52%. American Express says there are many factors that will likely result in more erosion. The mix of spending by location and industry, volume-related pricing discounts, strategic investments, and certain pricing initiatives are major factors in the erosion. Despite the decrease in the average discount rate, discount revenue increased 5% in the third quarter as billed business volume rose 7%. American Express notes faster growth in Global Network Services’ billings than overall American Express billings had an impact on discount revenues too. The average discount rate reflects pricing at merchants accepting general purpose American Express cards. It represents the percentage of billed business (both proprietary and Global Network Services) retained by the American Express from merchants it acquires, prior to payments to third parties unrelated to merchant acceptance.

Visa Launches Heritage-Based Corporate Platform

Visa launched “Everywhere you want to be” multi-stakeholder communications platform designed to deliver universal access to Visa’s secure digital payments. In the 21st century, “everywhere” transcends card usage at physical locations. It’s about realizing potential and achieving dreams. “Everywhere” now is relevant for a farmer in Rwanda paying school fees on his mobile phone, a jewelry designer in California selling to a global online customer base or a government official in Brazil rebuilding a village using a Visa prepaid card. With a new tagline, as well as a refreshed brand logo, Visa is introducing a new visual identity for one of the most recognized and powerful brands in the world. Visa’s first new spot under the “Everywhere you want to be” tagline is entitled “Flying,” and features U.S. Olympic women’s ski jumping hopeful and Team Visa athlete, Sarah Hendrickson.

First Data Announces Latest SpendTrend Analysis

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] First Data released its “SpendTrend” analysis for Dec. 3, 2013, through Dec. 30, 2013, compared to Dec. 4, 2012, through Dec. 31, 2012, tracking same-store POS data by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks from nearly four million client U.S. merchants. Dollar volume growth of 6.1%…

Neiman Marcus Reports Breach

As the credit card industry is still digesting the Target breach, what it means for customers, and how much it will cost, it looks like there was another victim over the holidays. Neiman Marcus confirmed over the weekend that it appears some of their credit card information from customers was breached and then used fraudulently . There is no official release of specific data compromised or how many people it may have affected.

MoneyGram Partners Postal Savings Bank of China

MoneyGram signed an agreement with Postal Savings Bank of China to provide money transfer services in over 3,700 locations. With the addition of PSBC to MoneyGram’s agent network, and the rollout of MoneyGram’s money transfer services to mainland locations, services are now available at over 20,000 locations in China. PSBC was part of China Post until its spin off in March 2007 as a separate entity. It is owned by China Post Group and has a strong network in the rural areas. PSBC offers a broad range of financial services including micro financing to rural and urban customers, Small and Medium Enterprise, in-branch service, Internet banking, telephone banking and mobile banking.

WEX to Provide Virtual Credit Solution

WEX corporate payment solutions signed an agreement with Conference Care to offer the WEX Virtual Credit Solution. Conference Care has over 18 years of experience in providing a highly personalised global solution as specialist venue finders and delivers complex Live Event Management. The company has award winning service levels and a reputation for being a superior expert in its field. Having previously paid suppliers by cheque, Conference Care will now have improved reconciliation and increased automation of processes through the WEX Virtual Credit Solution. It allows businesses to Set precise controls for payment authorisation; Streamline and automate payment reconciliation; Earn revenue share on processed payment; and Utilise a straightforward, cost-effective system which can be seamlessly integrated into existing systems.

Ingenico Launch iWE280 POS

Ingenico and PAVO Inc., collaborated to develop the iWE280, a new generation of mobile cash register with electronic fund transfer capability (EFT-POS) as a consequence of a market organization required by the Turkish State. The iWE280 is designed to process a wide range of payments types; customers can use contactless cards such as NFC cards, bank and public transport cards, but also smartcards and cards with magnetic stripes.

Glory Global Streamlines Retail Cash Processes

Glory Global Solutions will attend the National Retail Federation’s Retail Big Show 2014 to be held at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York, January 13 – 14, 2014. The Glory booth will display a variety of cash management solutions including its award winning CASHINFINITY® Smart Cash Management solutions, the RBG-300 intelligent cash recycler and Quick Change self service coin deposit solution. Together they provide retailers with a wide assortment of productive, efficient and secure cash management systems designed to streamline cash processes. CASHINFINITY®, Glory’s Retail Solution offers iSMART Cash Management solutions that consist of total secure closed cash management, centralized control of cash inventory and optimization of all cash processes throughout a store. Working in conjunction with the retailer’s POS system, CASHINFINITY’s flexible design and innovation easily meets the needs of any store size, business segments and investment plan.

Meritus Chargeback Solutions to Save Merchants Time, Money

Meritus’s Chargeback Management System (CBMS) is an integrated solution that provides the merchant with the information needed to help investigate and more effectively dispute chargebacks. Chargeback Management System is a secure add-on solution that is available through Meritus’ proprietary platform, Payment XP. This intuitive solution continually tracks and updates pending transactions, keeping you up to date and informed throughout the entire chargeback process. All new and existing chargeback cases are instantaneously available, so you can easily understand and prioritize your work. With Chargeback Management System merchants win 30% more of their disputes, resulting in a significant increase in revenue. Additionally, merchants who use CBMS substantially reduce their time spent on chargebacks, spending 40% less time per chargeback.