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

Mobiliti from Fiserv “Best in Class” mBanking Provider

Fiserv announced that its Mobiliti mobile banking platform received four “Best in Class” distinctions in a recent CEB TowerGroup global mobile technology analysis. Mobiliti from Fiserv was named “Best in Class” in each of the four categories evaluated: Customer Experience, Interface Development, Integration and Management and Enterprise Support. The CEB TowerGroup technology analysis aims to provide a customer-driven, transparent and unbiased review designed to drive informed business decisions. Its product rankings highlight best-in-class attributes and show a comparative perspective of leading products. This report assessed more than a dozen mobile banking offerings across worldwide markets. When evaluating Mobiliti, the CEB TowerGroup report cited the structured approach to product roadmap development employed by Fiserv to ensure continued delivery of innovative product features.

Kuboo.com Partners with Oink Payments

KUBOO Inc announced that it has partnered with Virtual Piggy, Inc. (http://www.virtualpiggy.com/) , provider of safe youth payments technology, Oink. The parties have agreed to joint marketing efforts that will reach millions of kids and teens. Oink (http://www.oink.com/) is the only COPPA compliant payment technology designed to allow retailers and game publishers to reach under 21 consumers in a safe, legal and effective manner.

Discover Financial Services Joins FIDO Alliance

Discover and the FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance announced that Discover has joined the Alliance and been appointed to the Board of Directors. FIDO members commit to share technology and collaborate to deliver open specifications for universal strong authentication that enables FIDO-compliant authentication methods to be interoperable, more secure and private, and easier to use. Open FIDO specifications will support a full range of authentication technologies, including biometrics such as fingerprint and iris scanners, voice and facial recognition, as well as existing solutions and communications standards, such as Trusted Platform Modules (TPM), USB Security Tokens, embedded Secure Elements (eSE), Smart Cards, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and Near Field Communication (NFC).

LIBOR Increasing?

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] The U.S. prime rate will continue to hover at 3.25% but the LIBOR is slowly heading higher, a little screwy given the overall economic situation. RAM Research predicts the LIBOR will head up to 0.35%, a ten basis points jump from the third quarter, and the lowest since the second quarter…

HomeSend Mobile Money Account

MasterCard, eServGlobal and BICS today announced the formation of HomeSend, a joint venture (JV) which will enable consumers to send money to and from mobile money accounts, payment cards, bank accounts or cash outlets – regardless of their location or that of the recipient. The HomeSend JV will leverage the current HomeSend platform, a remittance hub based on eServGlobal technology and developed as part of a strategic partnership between eServGlobal and BICS. The HomeSend platform was first to market in offering international mobile remittances.

QFFS Uses NCR Power mSoftware Solution

NCR Corporation announced Queensland Frozen Food Services (QFFS) has deployed its “Power Mobile” B2B) customer relationship management software solution. This allows QFFS customers and sales representatives to place orders easily and quickly using their tablets and smartphones. NCR Power Mobile helps QFFS deliver an intuitive and attractive solution with improved visibility through every stage of the ordering process. This includes real-time status updates on product data, events, promotions, new item lines and the ability to track order status from point of entry through delivery and payment. Power Mobile’s value to QFFS is enhanced further by being tightly integrated with the targeted functionality of the NCR Power Enterprise suite, an integrated portfolio of enterprise and supply chain management software solutions. NCR Power Mobile is an innovative solution for distributors and their customers that delivers a superior customer experience through both tablets and smartphones running iOS, Android or Windows 8*.

Juan Valdez Café Stores Add NCR Technology

NCR Corporation announced Juan Valdez Café stores are replacing their PC-based POS terminals with an NCR solution to enhance customer service and experiences chain wide. Initially, NCR is installing POS technology in all of Juan Valdez’s Colombian stores with an eye toward creating a standard platform as the company expands with new locations and franchises in Aruba, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Middle East, Asia and the United States. The NCR POS solution includes a guest-facing screen so Juan Valdez Café Stores can create and easily communicate new marketing initiatives, such as offering special drinks, replacing their previous use of paper-based advertising. The terminals also feature biometric scanners so employees can quickly access functions and improve service and security.

First Data Announces $500mm of Senior Subordinated Notes

First Data intends to offer $500 million aggregate principal amount of its 11.75% senior subordinated notes due 2021 (the “Notes”), subject to market conditions, of which the proceeds will be used, together with cash on hand, to redeem a portion of its outstanding 11.25% senior subordinated notes due 2016 and to pay related fees and expenses. The Notes are expected to be treated as a single series with, and will have the same terms as those of, $750.0 million aggregate principal amount of the existing 11.75% senior subordinated notes due 2021 previously issued by First Data on May 30, 2013 and $1.0 billion aggregate principal amount of the existing 11.75% senior subordinated notes due 2021 previously issued by First Data on November 19, 2013 (collectively, the “existing 11.75% notes”).

Spindle and iPayMobil Forge Payment Partnership

Spindle mobile commerce signed strategic agreements with iPayMobil m-payment ecommerce solutions, allowing the partnership to provide a convenient, efficient and secure way to offer micro-lending services to merchants as part of Spindle’s existing payments product suite. Merchants will be able to offer Spindle’s free, downloadable mobile wallet app to their customers to facilitate credit approvals for time payments at competitive rates. iPayMobil will license seven of its ecommerce patents to Spindle to augment its product and service offering to merchants. The iPayMobil micro-lending service deployed through Spindle’s commerce platform is targeted for release in the first quarter of 2014, and will be offered to MeNetwork’s 400,000 mobile application consumers.

Starbucks Anticipates Busiest Starbucks Card-Buying Day

Starbucks is projecting record purchases and activations of Starbucks Cards on Thursday, December 19. Last year, more than 2 million Starbucks Cards were purchased in the U.S. and Canada on the Thursday before Christmas – representing nearly 1,500 cards purchased per minute in the U.S. and Canada. According to the National Retail Federation, eight in ten shoppers will purchase a gift card this holiday season. Since the Starbucks Card launched 12 years ago, $16 billion has been loaded on 450 million cards in 27 countries worldwide. Of that $16 billion, $4 billion was loaded onto Starbucks Cards worldwide in the past year. Starbucks offers many ways to give the gift of coffee. Starbucks Cards can be purchased in a variety of designs or holiday imagery.