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.

Bluefin Launches New mPOS System

Bluefin Payment cloud-based integrated payment solutions for independent software vendors (ISVs) introduced their “QuickSwipe” mPOS system. QuickSwipe is a turn-key payment application for single and multi-user mobile processing on iOS devices. Bluefin also offers the QuickSwipe SDK for integrated payments with an ISV’s existing mobile application. This lets merchants can build catalogs of items and inventory, assign administrators and users, enable tips and taxes, easily issue refunds, and provide detailed, GPS-driven receipts. The application supports credit/debit, ACH and cash journaling. Merchants have the flexibility to extend their brand to the application with the addition of their logo, colors, and business information.

Western Union Payment Available at SunTrust

Western Union and SunTrust Bank launched Western Union global money transfer and bill payment services at more than 1,500 bank Agent locations in the southeastern U.S. SunTrust clients and the general public can now pay bills or load prepaid cards via Western Union services, or send money to more than 495,000 Western Union Agent locations in 200 countries and territories from all SunTrust bank locations. Western Union services are offered in the U.S. through a strategically combined Agent network of nearly 46,000 banks, national retail and grocery chains, and independent locations. The company also offers its customers online and mobile phone access points in certain countries for money transfer services.

Consumer Delinquencies Hit Lows

Consumer delinquencies declined significantly in last year’s third quarter as the economy improved and consumers better managed their finances, according to results from the American Bankers Association’s Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin. The composite ratio, which tracks delinquencies in eight closed-end installment loan categories, fell 13 basis points to 1.63 percent of all accounts in the third quarter, a record low that’s well under the 15-year average of 2.35 percent. The ABA report defines a delinquency as a late payment that is 30 days or more overdue.

First Bankcard Expands Free FICO Scores

Starting this week, First Bankcard is expanding a credit card program announced in November in partnership with FICO, giving cardholders with First Bankcard-issued credit cards free access to their FICO® Scores, along with information on the key factors affecting their credit scores and the actions they can take to ensure good financial management habits. Credit card customers having “First National Bank of Omaha” branded credit cards were the first to receive their free FICO® Scores. The program is now being extended to customers of First Bankcard’s co-branded credit card partners who have credit cards issued by First Bankcard


[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] The Discover Spending Monitor remained unchanged at 89.0 in December, reflecting a consumer confidence level at its highest level since July. Spending intentions, however, declined as there was a significant increase in those who believe economic conditions are improving heading into 2014. The number of consumers who believe the economy is…

Sionic Mobile Add Board Member

Sionic Mobile, an mCommerce company providing mobile gifting, payments and rewards, named William “Bill” Lamar, Jr., to its board of directors. Lamar brings more than 32 years of executive expertise in the quick service restaurant (QSR), package goods and transportation industries to the Sionic Mobile board. Prior to McDonald’s USA, Lamar was vice president of Burrell Advertising, brand manager at the Quaker Oats Company, and also managed the Hawaii business for United Airlines. Additionally, Lamar was named one of the most powerful African Americans in corporate America by Black Enterprise magazine, and is a sought-after speaker and industry panelist.

EVO Finalize Purchase of eService

PKO Bank Polski and EVO Payments International successfully completed EVO’s acquisition of a 66 percent interest in eService, PKO’s existing merchant acquiring business. In addition, the parties also entered into a 20 year strategic alliance under which the parties will continue to develop eService as a leading merchant acquirer in the region. The strategic alliance entered into between PKO Bank Polski and EVO will allow further development of eService’s business in Poland, as well as support the expansion of eService’s business into foreign markets, in particular Central and Eastern Europe.

Mobile Wallet SEQR Signs Agreement with Visita

Seamless has signed a frame agreement with Swedish hospitality industry- and employers’ organization Visita regarding the mobile payment solution SEQR. The agreement means that approximately 6400 hotels, restaurants, amusements parks, camp sites, hostels and ski-and spa resorts in Sweden can benefit from significant savings in transaction costs. Offering SEQR as a payment method is very easy. The technology is integrated with the cash register system and requires no hardware installation. The only thing members of Visita need to do is apply a sticker with a QR-code at the cash register. Compared to other mobile payment solutions, SEQR offers a number of value-added features for users such as digital receipts and coupons and connection to loyalty programs within the app.

INSIDE Secure Element IP Solution

INSIDE Secure introduced a new approach to embedding a robust security platform in mobile devices to fortify and protect them against system integrity attacks. The first of its kind, the power-optimized INSIDE Secure VaultIP solution provides a set of certification-ready hardware IP modules that chip makers can use to quickly and cost effectively embed hardware secure elements in their mobile designs, either stand-alone or for use in an ARM TrustZone® architecture. With VaultIP security, mobile devices are better able to protect data in banking, payment and ticketing applications, secure identity and communications in enterprise, health care and government applications, and support content protection and DRM systems in media and entertainment applications, among other use

Jack Henry Offers American Express FX Service

Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. announced that it will provide its financial institution clients with the ability to send and receive international payments via American Express’ FX International Payments service. The DirectLine International™ solution from Jack Henry & Associates now includes access to FX International Payments’ competitive foreign exchange (FX) rates and fees, dedicated customer service, and straight through processing of payments. With the expansion of global trade among businesses of all sizes, financial institutions are facing increased pressure to offer efficient and reliable cross-border payment services. In response, Jack Henry & Associates elected to collaborate with American Express and provide its financial institution clients with access to this automated global payments service.

Japan CLI Projection

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Japan’s economy is picking up real steam. The OECD Composite Leading Indicator (CLI) has moved from 0.7% in January to 1.9% at mid-year and now hitting 2.6% at year-end. RAM Research projects the CLI will hit 2.8% at year-end. The world’s third biggest economy has been dogged by deflation for almost…

FuturePay Integrates With 30,000 Online Retailers

FuturePay is now integrated with Drupal Commerce, a leading open source eCommerce platform. The FuturePay module is available for free and provides shoppers with a new payment method that is secure and convenient. Instead of entering multiple fields and credit card information, FuturePay shoppers can check out in one step, putting purchases on their FuturePay Tab with just their username and password.