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

Visa V.me Deploys Across Western Europe

V.me by Visa pan-European digital wallet service is now live in the UK, France, Spain and Poland. The UK’s Nationwide Building Society is joined by leading issuers BPCE and LCL in France, with ING Bank Slaski now in pilot in Poland and multiple pilots also underway in Spain. Other major issuers will launch soon in all four markets, marking a major milestone for the service as it enters the first stage of its pan-European launch. V.me by Visa is designed to increase consumer confidence in online shopping and reduce the proportion of sales that are abandoned during the checkout process. In the UK any cardholder can sign up to participate in the launch. In other markets the service is currently being offered to a select group of consumers, with wider availability to follow in the coming months. The V.me by Visa pilot program for Ireland will take place in early 2014.

Bank of China Deploys NCR ATM Software App

NCR Corporation announced that it has been awarded professional service contracts from Bank of China to develop new automated teller machine (“ATM”) applications running on the bank’s multivendor software platform, NCR APTRA Edge, to support the bank’s initiative in implementing paperless ATM transaction flow and its Financial Integrated Circuit Card (“IC”) 5.0 project. The Bank of China’s ATM network went live with the NCR APTRA Edge platform last year and most applications on its ATM network have completed the initial phase migration process to be compliant with EMV1 (PBOC 2.02) standards. As part of the project, NCR will provide software application development, system analysis, support services and related training programs. The ATM paperless transaction flow project aims to reduce operating costs and improve ATM service availability. The traditional ATM transaction journal printing in paper will be replaced by paperless, electronically generated transaction journals.

Netcall Cloud Payments PCI DSS Level 1-Certified

Netcall customer engagement software achieved accreditation as a PCI DSS Level 1 accredited Service Provider for its cloud based payments solution. This payment service has been successfully deployed at one of the UK’s major mobile operators and is now generally available to customers via our cloud platform. Netcall’s premise based platform has also achieved PA-DSS accreditation for its payment application. This means that customers can select an accredited payment solution from Netcall, whether they are seeking deployment on premise or via the cloud, and in both instances be assured that the solution meets the highest levels of accreditation. In addition to providing the comfort of secure payments , both solutions helps customers reduce the need for lengthy and costly audits as well as upgrades to their own internal infrastructure and procedures.

Hang Seng Bank Extends mNFC Offering

Hang Seng has now teamed up with Hong Kong’s major telecommunications companies to offer more customers the convenience of using its high-tech contactless payment channel. The Service will be available to SmarTone customers from the first quarter of 2014. Participating customers can use designated NFC- enabled mobile phones to make payments through MasterCard PayPass terminals at over 3,000 merchant outlets in Hong Kong. To activate the Service, customers can visit any SmarTone shop to obtain an NFC SIM card at no charge. After downloading the ‘Hang Seng Mobile Payment App’ from the Google Play Store to an NFC – enabled smartphone, they can then download their Hang Seng Mobile Credit Cards and use the phone to make payments. The entire payment process is encrypted to help ensure a high level of security. Customers can also opt to enter a password each time they make a payment and check their 20 most recent transaction records on their phone. Should any participating customer lose their mobile phone, they can call Hang Seng or their telecommunications service provider to immediately suspend the Service.

Servebase Appoints New COO

Servebase has appointed Mike Day, as Chief Operating Officer and Hiten Patel as Head of Finance, bringing with him over 30 years’ experience in delivering technology services in many sectors including Telecoms and Financial Services. Specialising in the delivery of excellent service and business operations success in Pan-European and US operations in mission critical/ high availability environments. Hiten, an experienced finance professional brings a particular expertise in leading financial strategies to facilitate the company’s growth plans. Hiten’s role is to look at systems and processes throughout the organization with a view to unifying the business. Hiten is a qualified Chartered Accountant with over 20 years’ experience in senior financial roles having previously held finance directorships roles is some of the fastest growing technology businesses in the UK.

PayPal Adds PrePaid GiftCard Support

A recent PayPal usability study shows only 1 person out of every 4 was able to register their billing address and complete an online purchase successfully. Subsequently, PayPal is launching its patent-pending method to allow the usage of prepaid gift cards so that you can seamlessly apply them to the purchase of products and services anywhere PayPal is accepted. As long as the merchants a user is shopping with accept PayPal, they now have buying power on top of their existing debit, credit cards or banks.

U.S. Prime Credit Card Chargeoffs Drop 7th Consecutive Month

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Prime charge-offs are anticipated to decline for the seventh straight month to the lowest observation in the near 23-year history of the index. The previous record low for charge-offs was 3.10% set in March of 2006, but are anticipated to end 2013 in the 3.0%-3.3% range. Fitch’s preliminary Prime Monthly Payment…

MoneyGram mTransfer Expands in International Market

MoneyGram signed agreements with MTS mobile phone retailer to offer money transfer services in MTS stores throughout the country. This lets customers transfer funds to friends and family at any of MoneyGram’s more than 334,000 worldwide locations. Customers can easily and conveniently complete transactions in MTS retail offices without having to visit bank branches. The signing is the result of collaboration between MoneyGram and the RNKO “Payment Center,” a settlement non-banking credit organization. MoneyGram and RNKO have worked together since 2008 to develop relationships with Russian Federation financial institutions.

Johnny Rockets Expands with NCR POS

NCR announced Johnny Rockets, the international restaurant chain, known for all-American food and fun, will open its first two restaurants in Brazil with the support of NCR Aloha software running on NCR POS technology. Johnny Rockets selected the NCR POS solution because it is optimized for fast-paced food service operations. Additionally, Johnny Rockets is using NCR Hospitality technology such as NCR Aloha Insight and NCR Back Office for greater business insight and real-time decision making. The restaurant chain will also benefit from NCR Aloha Configuration Center’s above-store capabilities, allowing them to improve operational efficiency at the store-level.

Mobey Calls on Banks to Meet MPOS Market Demand

Mobey Forum released its whitepaper, ‘The MPOS Strategy: Shifting the Balance of Power’, which examines the changing market dynamics brought about by disruptive MPOS providers and offers a strategic evaluation framework designed to help banks maintain their position and take advantage of the rapidly evolving MPOS market. The paper examines how MPOS disrupts the established four-party model (cardholder, merchant, acquirer, issuer) and identifies the potential winners and losers in the marketplace. Pushing beyond the traditional MPOS ‘dongle plus smartphone’ concept, the paper addresses issues surrounding interchange models, payment service provider models, networked commerce and the merchant-customer relationship. The paper then investigates how banks and financial institutions are currently reacting to the influx and utilisation of MPOS solutions, before proposing a structure through which banks and other stakeholders can weigh their strategic options, protect their interests and move to take advantage of the wave of change occurring in this complex environment.

PAI Announces Latest ATM-Branding Client

Payment Alliance International (PAI) retail ATM solutions signed an agreement to brand ATMs located in select Rite Aid stores in the greater Louisville, Ky. area. PAI will own and operate the ATMs which will be outfitted with River City Bank branding. River City Bank customers will have surcharge free ATM access to cash at select Louisville Rite Aid store locations beginning late December 2013. PAI operates one of the largest ATM networks in the United States, with ATMs at more than 60,000 retail locations across the country. The Company provides ATM services for approximately 1,500 Rite Aid locations nationwide. With the addition of Rite Aid ATM placements, River City Bank is able to expand their hometown footprint without significant expense.

Cardlytics Named a Top Provider of Card Loyalty Tech

Cardlytics Card-Linked Marketing announced that its Transaction-Driven Marketing solution received a Best-in-Class distinction in a CEB TowerGroup report after an evaluation of card loyalty technology vendors. The CEB TowerGroup analyst cited Cardlytics’ flexible interface, abundant security and control options, and robust operational metrics as key reasons for naming the provider a Best-in-Class offering in all four categories, including Customer Interface, Management & Operations, Security & Control and Enterprise Support. Through quantitative and qualitative analysis, CEB TowerGroup’s report provides a customer-driven, transparent and unbiased review of technology, designed to drive informed business decisions.