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.

M&T Bank Executive Changes

M&T Bank Corporation announced today that Vice Chairman Michael P. Pinto, 57, has resigned from M&T’s board of directors due to a serious medical condition. However, Mr. Pinto will continue as Vice Chairman of M&T Bank, M&T’s primary banking subsidiary, on a part-time basis in an advisory role. In addition to this change President Mark J. Czarnecki has also been named Chief Operating Officer, effective immediately. Furthermore, M&T announced that Chief Financial Officer Rene F. Jones and Executive Vice President Kevin J. Pearson have been named Vice Chairmen of M&T Bank, and with expanded roles, will now report to Mr. Wilmers as well.

Gemalto Launces Next Gen M2M at CES

Gemalto today announced at CES, the addition of next generation Oracle Java™ ME Embedded version 8 solutions based on Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI) chipsets to its Cinterion® portfolio of cellular modules and devices. With support for Java and for the SensorLogic cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) platform, the new products enable Gemalto to launch next generation embedded solutions and services that simplify Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technology and speed up application development to expand the growing Internet of Things (IoT). The new products(1) will target applications from medical devices, automobiles and smart meters to shipping containers, home appliances and alarm systems. Gemalto’s new Java enabled products join an existing portfolio of QTI-based modules that span the full range of cellular technologies, from CDMA to LTE.

Infinea BluePad mPay Solution Launced

Infinite Peripherals, Inc. (IPC) today introduced the Infinea BluePad, a mobile payment solution that includes PIN entry, a contact chip smart card reader and a magnetic stripe reader with Bluetooth connectivity. Compatible with iOS and Android (OS 2.1 or higher), the Infinea BluePad can operate either as a stand-alone mobile device or as a companion to IPC’s mobile peripheral devices, including the Linea Pro® and Infinea Tab,® which work with Apple®’s iPod touch®, iPhone® and iPad®. The Infinea BluePad features a tactile keypad with 10 numeric and six functional keys, as well as smart card and magnetic stripe readers with three-track hi-coercivity bi-directional reading capabilities. One of the key differentiators that makes the Infinea BluePad product line versatile yet affordable is that IPC does not require a transaction or fee-based contract in order to acquire the device.

Consumer Debt

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] The latest figures from the Federal Reserve show consumer revolving debt is now rising more than than 6% year-on-year, for the first time since the “Great Recession.” The latest monthly figures indicate total consumer credit card grew 6.1% in October, compared to -0.3% in September and 1.4% in August. However, RAM…

Starbucks Expands Starbucks Cards in New Market

Starbucks Coffee Company introduced Starbucks Gift Cards at select locations in China for purchase in three unique design themes, including Thank You, Kind Regards and Happy Lunar New Year. Since the Starbucks Card launched 12 years ago, $16 billion has been loaded on more than 450 million cards in 27 countries worldwide (as of Sept. 30, 2013). Timed to the launch of the Starbucks Gift Card in China, Starbucks is also offering a Lunar New Year Gift Card in participating Starbucks stores in the U.S. The Card celebrates the joyfulness and self-reliance of the horse, this year’s honored animal of the Lunar New Year.

Allied Wallet Now Visa Certified Acquirer

Allied Wallet online payment card processing, multi-currency merchant services, and state-of-the-art payment processing, is now a Visa Europe Principal Member. This allows Allied Wallet to continue providing the finest online credit card processing solution available, as well as getting a voice at the table where decisions on the future of payments are made. Merchants signing up with Allied Wallet will find that the low discount rates, PCI Level 1 security, and Allied Wallet’s proprietary Fraud Scrub will offer them the best payment processing solution for their global businesses. Allied Wallet has also seen success by truly assisting customers in starting their businesses. Allied Wallet has maintained their “#MyBigIdea” campaign, in which entrepreneurs can reach out to Allied Wallet for advice on how to turn their big ideas into profitable businesses.

Comdata Acquires eFueling Technologies

Comdata Inc. has acquired eFueling Technologies, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Woodfin Oil Company. This acquisition allows Comdata to expand its product offerings in the unattended fueling market by combining eFueling’s and Comdata’s product knowledge and industry experience. Comdata and eFueling partnered to develop a robust, web-based site controller system marketed as SmartSight. Launched in 2013, this system provides fuel merchants with real-time insight into transaction data and activity at unattended fueling sites.

Moneris Deploys VeriFone VX 520

VeriFone announced Moneris Solutions debit and credit card processor deployed its “VeriFone VX 520” countertop POS. The VX 520 is PCI PTS 3.X compliant and features one of the industry’s fastest processors that can quickly handle payment encryption, decryption and processing”enabling merchants to improve security and reduce transaction times. Its integrated contactless capability and all-in-one design allows merchants to accept alternative payments, such as EMV (chip and PIN) cards and mobile wallets, as well as traditional mag-stripe cards through a single device. Merchants can also use the VX 520 to support value-added applications, such as loyalty or gift card acceptance.

US Bank Bill Pay Giving Program Hits Milestone

U.S. Bank Bill Pay Giving has generated $450,000 in contributions to four nonprofit organizations since it began in 2011, nearly $166,000 in 2013 alone. Nearly 340,000 customers have made a charitable contribution through the Bill Pay Giving Program. The program was designed to introduce customers to the online bill payment process by having them make their first “payment” a $1 contribution to charities supporting disaster relief, environmental protection, education and arts, and hunger and poverty relief. U.S. Bank matches customers’ payments up to $50,000 annually.

GlobalPlatfor Publishes Best Practice Guidelines

GlobalPlatform has published the first Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) Protection Profile (PP)*. The document defines the level of security required in a TEE hosted in a mobile device to support the delivery of a range of value added services including premium content and mobile wallets, as well as enterprises and governments supporting bring your own device (BYOD) initiatives. GlobalPlatform members have published the market’s first PP for TEE products; a secure area that resides in the main processor of a mobile device and ensures that sensitive data is stored, processed and protected in a secure environment. The document identifies the security needs of the TEE to support different market requirements by combining the standard security methodology outlined by Common Criteria, with the best practice specifications as defined by GlobalPlatform in relation to TEE architecture and interfaces**.

CheckAlt, iParse and CU Wireless Ink mDeposit Clients

FAA Federal Credit Union, University of Nebraska Federal Credit Union and Valley Credit Union have selected industry partners CheckAlt, iParse and CU Wireless as their mobile deposit solution provider. CheckAlt, iParse, and CU Wireless are very excited to add three more credit unions to their network of clients as they continue to expand their partnership into 2014. The mobile deposit solution created by the three innovative financial services companies integrates seamlessly into FAA’s, University of Nebraska’s and Valley’s existing mobile applications to allow the credit unions’ members to make mobile check deposits quickly and easily.