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

TD Becomes Primary Issuer of Aeroplan Visa

TD Bank Group, Aimia Inc.and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce today completed the previously announced transaction under which TD acquired approximately 50% of the existing Aeroplan credit card portfolio from CIBC. The portion of CIBC’s Aeroplan credit card portfolio acquired by TD primarily includes accounts held by customers who do not have an existing retail banking relationship with CIBC. Also as previously announced, TD will become the primary issuer of Aeroplan Visa credit cards on January 1, 2014.

US Debit Card Growth

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] While Visa is the “King” of U.S. debit cards with a 71% share in the third quarter, MasterCard is slowly making in-roads after missing the mark in 1999. In the third quarter Visa posted $402 billion in U.S. debit card gross dollar volume( GDV), compared to MasterCard’s $164 billion. Visa’s U.S.…

PIN Data Also Stolen From Target

Target confirmed this afternoon that some of the data stolen involved PIN data. This data is encrypted and isn’t expected to compromise cardholder accounts, however its not welcoming news to the millions that shop and used their REDcard. Target is currently working with investigators to understand how the breach happened and fully understand what information, encrypted or not, was compromised. Continue to check with CardFlash for the latest as more information becomes available.

RateSupermarket.ca Offers Insight on how Consumers Can Avoid Holiday Debt

Holiday gift lists are often behind overspending – but a RateSupermarket.ca poll finds food and travel expenses account for between $500 – $1,000 in additional costs for a quarter of Canadians. The personal finance comparison site introduces the Holiday Rewards Challenge, an interactive tool to help consumers identify their top holiday spending stresses – and whether their credit card is best suited to their shopping habits. For less debt burden in 2014, cash in rewards where it counts, seek credit cards that offer low balance transfer options provide interest breaks for a limited time and buy gifts with cash.

DNA Opens EMV Toolbox to Providers

The critical mission to develop a common solution for EMV in the U.S. received a significant boost last week as the Debit Network Alliance was founded. In a much-needed move, 10 of the country’s 18 PIN-debit networks came together to provide a structure for the governance, deployment and implementation of the EMV debit standard. This is a first step to the crucial collaboration that can propel EMV forward quickly, efficiently and in a way that protects the interests of all the parties that keep our complex payments system humming. To truly realize the value EMV can bring the U.S. payments system, all networks must participate in the development of a communal ” and compliant ” standard. Without it, three “must-haves” ” merchant routing choice, issuer portability and healthy industry competition ” are at risk. DNA aims to make each of the EMV tools in the payments toolbox accessible to everyone.

SmartAction’s Artificial Intelligence IVR Solution PCI Certified

Smart Action Company has been awarded PCI DSS certification from the independent Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) firm, Tevora Business Solutions. The certification comes after a lengthy audit of every aspect of the technology and operations of SmartAction. The certification process verified that the company meets all Payment Card Industry security requirements (PCI DSS 2.0) as a service provider. SmartAction first earned PCI certification in 2011. The artificial intelligence based system handles many types of voice self-service including: order processing, customer service, scheduling, and billing-related calls in natural speech at a fraction of the cost of live agents – all within the industry-recognized security guidelines established by PCI.

Q2 Deploys Virtual Banking Platform

Q2 secured virtual banking and Urban Partnership Bank deployed upbAnywhere for online and mobile banking. Using the Q2platform, Urban Partnership Bank account holders can now securely access their bank accounts and manage money whenever and wherever they want using a computer, tablet or mobile phone. Q2’s technology offers Urban Partnership Bank convenient, round-the-clock banking for the underserved and under-banked populations of Chicago and Detroit. Q2 helped Urban Partnership Bank implement Anytime, Anywhere Access, mBanking and Better Record Keeping.

MoneyGram Announces Latest Agreement Renewal

MoneyGram renewed an agreement with Albertsons LLC to offer services at more than 600 locations across the U.S. The renewed agreement with Albertsons LLC includes provisions for a system upgrade which will allow customers to interact face-to-face with customer care agents while completing their MGI transactions. The agreement also includes provisions for fresh signage that will direct customers to the service desk for all MoneyGram support.

Brazil CPI

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Brazil’s economy is projected to increase by 2.3% in 2013 and 2.0% next year. However, the Consumer Price Index is headed downward (good news for consumers), by 20 basis points in the fourth quarter, according to RAM Research. Hosting the World Cup for the first time since 1950, Brazil is gearing…

CashStar Announces Latest Gift Card Program Client

CashStar launched its eGift card program with Hacienda Colorado, giving consumers the option to personalize and send digital gift cards online and via mobile devices from the restaurant known for its signature Mountain Mex cuisine. The restaurant selected the CashStar platform because of its best-in-class platform and ease of implementing promotions to drive purchases and incremental revenue. The CashStar platform enables consumers to easily select the design and denomination for each eGift card, include a personal message, and determine delivery date and time all through Hacienda Colorado’s website. In addition to CashStar’s high-quality Web-based gifting experience, the platform also provides a specifically designed user interface for mobile devices.

MoneyGram Hits 200-Country Milestone

MoneyGram reached a company milestone and is now offering services in 200 countries and territories worldwide. The achievement follows new agreements with agents in Equatorial Guinea and Myanmar. The move to include MoneyGram services in Equatorial Guinea and Myanmar strategically targets previously underserved customers, and aims to bring customers closer through money transfers that can be made to and from locations across the globe.