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

USA Technologies Announces Upgrades to Its Service Platform

USA Technologies announced broad-based enhancements to its “one-stop” service, ePort Connect. The enhancements further position USAT customers for the emerging trends in mobile payment, consumer engagement programs such as loyalty and rewards and expanded use of operational data as self-serve retail businesses continue to develop a valued network of connected, cashless payment consumer touchpoints in the years ahead. Enhancements include new features added to USAT’s recently launched prepaid and loyalty program, “MORE.”; added capability of the ePort Connect platform to accept mobile payment with mobile-based rewards; and Micro-market and other cashless payment applications that expand USAT’s ePort Connect service to a broader audience. The “MORE.” loyalty and prepaid program launched in August, has been improved for customer campaign management and now includes recurring campaigns, replenish bonus; and bonus cash rewards.

Retailers Disappointed in Credit Card Swipe Fee Settlement

The National Retail Federation issued the following statement in response to U.S. District Court Judge John Gleeson’s approval of a controversial antitrust lawsuit over credit card swipe fees:

“We are very disappointed that this deeply flawed settlement has been approved. It is not supported by the retail industry and would do nothing to reduce swipe fees or keep them from rising in the future. The settlement permanently ties the hands of thousands of businesses who wanted nothing to do with this misguided case, and a decision to approve it violates established law and common sense. We are reviewing the ruling and will take whatever steps are necessary to protect the rights of merchants and safeguard the pocketbooks of their customers.”

Credit Card Cash Advance Uptick

While most U.S. consumers do not access the cash advance feature of a Visa or MasterCard credit card due to its inherently high cost, there has been a slight uptick in the third quarter of this year. Bank credit card cash advances only represent 4.9% of MasterCard’s U.S. gross dollar volume and 4.1% of Visa’s U.S. gross dollar volume. The average cash advance on a Visa bank credit card is consistently around $75, while MasterCard credit cash advances hover at $100.

RBS Fined for Regard to U.S. Sanctions

Federal Reserve Board on Wednesday issued a consent order to cease and desist and a civil money penalty assessment of $50 million against the Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (RBS Group) and the Royal Bank of Scotland plc (RBS plc). The order and penalty address unsafe and unsound practices related to insufficient oversight by RBS Group and RBS plc of its U.S. dollar clearing practices and economic sanctions compliance programs. These practices involved transactions that included funds transmissions with entities and individuals subject to U.S. sanctions regulations regarding Burma, Cuba, and Iran. Under the cease and desist order, RBS Group and RBS plc must improve their programs for compliance with U.S. economic sanctions.

MasterCard and Commonwealth Accelerate mPayments Adoption

MasterCard will enable Commonwealth Bank of Australia MasterCard cardholders to securely load and store payment account credentials on select flagship NFC-enabled Samsung devices, enabling fast and secure contactless payments. Commonwealth Bank of Australia is the first bank globally to collaborate with MasterCard and Samsung to offer this service to its customers, using Mobile MasterCard® PayPass™ within its CommBank app on the embedded secure element of the Samsung Galaxy S4. Commonwealth Bank customers can now easily add contactless payment functionality to their Samsung Galaxy S4, allowing for contactless payments at the more than 1.6 million MasterCard PayPass contactless merchant locations around the globe. This includes major retailers, convenience stores, grocery stores, pharmacies and taxis – quick payment environments where speed and convenience matter most.

M-hance Announces Latest Reconciliation Client

Vale Europe reduced the time and cost involved in the completion of its bank reconciliation by implementing an integrated financial management solution from m-hance. This system, m-hance Bank Management, has enabled Vale Europe Ltd to achieve greater compliance and has halved the time it takes to complete its bank reconciliation process through automating a range of manual-based procedures. After reviewing the market, Vale selected m-hance’s integrated Bank Management solution to gain a faster, more accurate and efficient means of reconciling transactions by automating manual administrative processes. The solution’s rule-based matching functionality automatically reconciles transactions within Vale’s m-hance finance system to an imported bank statement to eliminate duplication of effort and reduce errors.

Swish mPOS Granted Institution License

Swish Payments mPOS provider was granted a Financial Institution license by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). This allows Swish to operate as a licensed financial institution under the European Commission Payment Services Directive. This marks a major milestone towards Swish’s global expansion by enabling delivery of services within the European market. Swish brought the first low-cost EMV chip-and-signature solutions for mobile payment card acceptance to the Asia Pacific region. Now the company is poised to introduce compelling EMV chip-and-PIN solutions for mobile payment card acceptance in the United Kingdom and Canada in the coming months.

Global Payout and CCS Prepay Partner on Prepaid Debit

Global Payout and CCS Prepay UK announce a joint venture agreement to pool their U.S. and International Prepaid Debit card products and resources together to broaden each company’s ability to meet client groups’ card production needs as well as enhance customer services. In mid-November 2013, the parties had signed a product sharing agreement on an EMV Visa International Prepaid Debit Card developed with a partner bank in Europe. By the end of this month, the companies expect to complete joint venture agreements on three more EMV Visa and MasterCard cards, including a globally deployable GPR (General Purpose Reloadable) Card for the retail scene.

SPOTPAY FEATURED IN NYC STORE

This holiday season, WIRED, a Condé Nast brand, is bringing a unique retail experience to New York City. The annual WIRED Store features SpotPay(TM) in addition to the hottest electronics, rare objects d’ art, apparel and accessories, musical instruments, kitchen gadgets, adventure gear, and much more. Located in the heart of the Meatpacking District, at 353 West 14th Street, the Store will run from December 4th through December 22nd, on Tuesday-Sunday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

LogRhythm Announces Latest PCI Compliance Client

LogRhythm announced Noodles & Company deployed its Security Intelligence Platform to meet PCI-DSS compliance requirements, which require very close monitoring and control over credit card information and auditing to prove that such data is protected. LogRhythm’s Security Intelligence Platform stands apart from first-generation log management and SIEM solutions by fully integrating log management, SIEM, file integrity monitoring, host forensics and network forensics with advanced analytics. The solution enables organizations to harness the wealth of security-related information embedded within everyday systems, applications and network log data.

TSYS Releases Importance of 3D Secure with EMV

TSYS released its white paper titled “EMV is Not Enough: Considerations for Implementing 3D Secure.” The paper considers the impending U.S. migration to Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) chip to combat fraud, but concludes that there are additional steps issuers must consider to mitigate fraud risk. This report concludes that there are clear lessons to be learned in the U.S. from the UK’s introduction of EMV ” and the resulting rise in card-not-present fraud. The paper discusses how the increase in card-not-present fraud coupled with the growth of e-commerce should lead issuers to consider deploying a risk-based authentication on the 3D Secure protocol. 3D Secure, the paper indicates, is a robust and effective method for providing information to issuers and online merchants to combat fraud while simultaneously providing a smooth and interruption-free shopping experience to cardholders.