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.

Visa Partners i2c on Prepaid Cards

Visa has announced a strategic alliance with global prepaid processor i2c, committing to the growing prepaid market in Asia-Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East & Africa (APCEMEA). As part of the alliance, Visa and i2c will support the demand for prepaid cards in the region with a focus on a wide-range of product offerings, such as Government Disbursement and Virtual prepaid. The global growth in the prepaid market is forecasted to rise by 44 percent in the next five years, between 2013 and 2018. i2c’s best-in-class, flexible prepaid processing platform will allow Visa prepaid issuers and partners to develop and manage the full suite of prepaid products throughout the region. i2c, a global prepaid processor that supports programs in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Asia, and Africa, is committed to expanding in the APCEMEA region to provide Visa issuers and partners with robust, end-to-end prepaid processing solutions

ATF Bank Launches Very Nice Contactless EMV Gemalto Partnership

Gemalto has been chosen by ATF Bank to supply its contactless EMV card. Utilizing Gemalto’s ability to design its Optelio range of banking cards with a transparent card body, this new range will provide ATF Bank with a highly differentiated customer offer in the fast-growing market for contactless payments in Kazakhstan. Gemalto’s reinforced footprint in the region helps its customers benefit from the surging mobile payment trend, and create a homogeneous in-store payment experience across devices.

Gemalto and IBM Partner on eBanking Security Platform

Gemalto partnered IBM for its enhanced Ezio eBanking security platform. Featuring cutting-edge levels of security and versatility, the Ezio eBanking Server platform has been further updated with the ability to support a wider range of end-user solutions. The platform has been tested and confirmed to work with more than 30 authentication devices from 20 different vendors, ranging from physical tokens to mobile applications. It is made available worldwide, directly from Gemalto and also through IBM Security Services. The Ezio eBanking Server is the first to be compliant with both the leading proprietary technologies and the industry’s most popular open standards – supporting all types of two-factor authentication tokens, including OTP, PKI, OATH and software solutions. The Ezio eBanking Server stands at the heart of Gemalto’s constantly evolving suite of eBanking solutions, including mobile applications, display cards, USB tokens, card readers, and software development kits. To date, Gemalto has designed, produced and delivered over 70 million Ezio devices to bank customers across the world.

New Class of Secure Microcontrollers

INSIDE Secure and Intrinsic-ID announced they are bringing to market a new class of secure microcontrollers for smart cards and other applications that apply Hardware Intrinsic Security™ (HIS) to provide the highest levels of security for cloud-based transactions. Hardware Intrinsic Security technology uses the unique attributes of a device to extract high quality security keys, which in turn make the process very secure. By combining INSIDE’s proven secure microcontroller designs with patented HIS technology from Intrinsic-ID, the companies will use the unique physical characteristics of each chip to protect cryptographic keys, and thus make the devices extremely hard to clone or reverse engineer.

Payday Lender Fined By CFPB

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took its first enforcement action against a payday lender by ordering Cash America International, Inc. to refund consumers for robo-signing court documents in debt collection lawsuits. The CFPB also found that Cash America – one of the largest short-term, small-dollar lenders in the country – violated the Military Lending Act by illegally overcharging servicemembers and their families. Cash America will pay up to $14 million in refunds to consumers and it will pay a $5 million fine for these violations and for destroying records in advance of the Bureau’s examination.

Popmoney Awarded

Fiserv, Inc. announced that its Popmoney(R) person-to-person (P2P) payments service has taken top honors at both the Mobile Money Global Awards and the Mobile Excellence Awards. Both awards recognized the potential of Popmoney to transform personal payment habits as consumers move away from paper-based cash and check payments toward electronic payments initiated via email or text, as well as the service’s powerful delivery model via a network of 2,000 U.S. banks and credit unions and

Allpay Card Services Selects Datacard Group Card Personalization

Datacard Group announced allpay Card Services, an established and fast-growing independent card bureau and manufacturer based in the U.K., has selected the Datacard® MX Series Platform for its next-generation card personalization and delivery solutions – optimizing its client services offerings with highly personalized cards and carriers. Utilizing the Datacard® MX6100™ card issuance system with the Artista® VHD retransfer color printing module, allpay Card Services will be issuing bank and prepaid cards with personalized and unique card designs; as well as the MXD™ card delivery system for full-color card carriers that can be printed on-demand. This eliminates the need for predesigned card and carrier stock and ultimately reduces inventory costs.

NRF Holiday Spending

Positive retail sales numbers in the month of October point to a good holiday sales season ahead. According to the National Retail Federation October retail sales, excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, increased 2.5 percent seasonally adjusted over September, and 4.2 percent unadjusted from 2012. In October, NRF released its holiday sales forecast, which indicated a 3.9 percent increase in sales over 2012. NRF believes that holiday sales will reach $602.1 billion this year.

State of Credit Report

As the nation emerges from the recession, which groups of Americans are faring the best when it comes to credit and debt and who is faring the worst? Experian’s Fourth Annual State of Credit study shows that Millennials are facing the biggest challenges when it comes to credit and how they are managing their debt. With the lowest number of bankcards (1.57) of all of the generations and a low total debt of $2,682 on those cards compared with other generations, one would assume that they are managing their debt wisely, but with high utilization1 as compared to their individual credit card limits, average debt2 of $23,332 and high incidences of late payments, it seems this generation is not entering this phase of life with positive credit behavior, which attributes to their low average credit score of 628.

Clear2Pay Acquirer Test Suite validated by OSCar Consortium

Clear2Pay’s “OSCar Acquirer Test Suite” has been validated in application of the certification process defined by the Open Standard for Cards (OSCar) Consortium. The certification process was executed by PayCert on behalf of the OSCar Consortium. OSCar is the international initiative that aims to facilitate and speed up the implementation of the SEPA Cards Standards in the point-of-sale terminal-to-acquirer domain, based on SEPA FAST and EPAS. More specifically, the consortium’s main objectives are to ensure that point-of-sale devices and acquirer systems work together seamlessly. Clear2Pay’s Oscar Acquirer Test Solution enables acquiring banks in the SEPA zone to verify whether their implementations are conform to the functional SEPA standards.

Consumers Mount Up Debt as Unemployment Improves

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] With the total outstanding revolving US consumer credit up 5.25% in September from last year to an adjusted $846B from 842.5B, and total nonfarm payroll employment up 148,000 in September, revolving credit outstanding is down by 8.8%. With total credit flow up 9.3% from the year ago figures, outstanding consumer credit…