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

Paysafecard Announces New Market Presence

Paysafecard group prepaid payment is set to embark on the Australian market, allowing companies and consumers access to a secure prepaid payment method for the Internet. By teaming up with epay and Touch Networks, paysafecard starts with a distribution network of over 12,000 outlets in Australia. Over the coming weeks, further co-operations with sales and distribution partners will follow.

Square Takes Out Stops on Merchant Limits

Square has eliminated holds and deposit limits on manually entered transactions in the U.S. Funds from both swiped and non-swiped payments will be deposited in merchants’ bank accounts within 1-2 business days, a crucial advantage for local sellers who typically don’t take payments in person, such as caterers and contractors. The move is an important step to further remove barriers to growth for local businesses, and makes Square an industry leader in eliminating deposit limits and related holds for customers. Removing deposit limits and related holds is the latest step by Square to upend financial norms and make running and growing a business easier than ever for merchants.

AmEx Tops at Hack The High Street Challenge

Hack The High Street was hosted by Birdback, a card-linking and retail technology startup, in partnership with Vendorcom and was sponsored by American Express. Each retailer highlighted some of the latest innovations taking place within their verticals and some challenges they are facing as retailers with high street presence. These included topics around the importance of sustainability, improving customer experience in-store, improving click and collect and the retail experience as a whole. Following the keynotes 15 teams were formed, which worked tirelessly through the weekend to build their products from the ground up and present before a panel of judges. The team from American Express was awarded first place for its interactive advertising product that would work based on facial recognition and adjusted its content and message depending on the viewers’ physical distant from the advertisement.

CO-OP Financial Services to Kickoff mCard Controls

CO-OP Financial Services (www.co-opfs.org), a credit union service organization, plans to introduce mobile card controls and alerts capabilities that allow members to set card controls based on their preferences, such as transaction type, merchant, location and payment thresholds. Members of credit unions will also be able to perform specific self-service functions, including balance inquiries and fund transfers. Card control and alert technology protects the cardholder as well as the credit union when a card is used in a way that’s inconsistent with the user-identified parameters. Controls can be set by the cardholder so that specific types of transactions are immediately denied and the cardholder is alerted about any potentially fraudulent use. Soon, credit unions will be able to offer their members new ways to more fully manage card use and security.

Virtual Piggy Partners Payelp Payment Platform

Virtual Piggy partnered with Payelp Global e-commerce and business development platform, currently used by companies such as Valve, Riot Games, Skype, Apple iTunes, and PayPal. Their payment service processes over 446,000 transactions per minute and is available in over 74 countries on 300 different payment gateways. Virtual Piggy will integrate directly into the Payelp framework. Virtual Piggy is the only COPPA-compliant payment technology designed to allow retailers and game publishers to reach under 18 consumers in a safe, legal and effective manner. The award-winning technology serves as a family wallet that is available online or via mobile, and is 100% free to use. Virtual Piggy promotes financial management while empowering youth under 18 to make purchasing, saving and other money management decisions for themselves, within a parental controlled environment.

NCR Announces Silver 3.0 POS

NCR released its NCR Silver POS for iPad, offering support for multiple locations to scale to meet the needs of retail shops, cafes, bakeries, restaurants or any small business that is expanding. With easy-to-use tools and reports, owners can manage items across all their sites, see a consolidated view of site sales data, and still easily navigate to individual locations for site-level details. Small business owners get more control with the ability to set user roles like Cashier or Manager and to assign permissions so they can grant or limit access to functions such as price override, discounts, returns, voids and tip adjustments. NCR Small Business has introduced Silver Sidewalk a customer community portal where NCR Silver customers can interact with each other, explore product features, search the knowledge base, find helpful tips and get assistance from the Customer Care team.

Isis Launches Latest mWallet

Isis’ latest Mobile Wallet is now available to consumers for download in the Google Play app store and at thousands of AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless retail stores nationwide. The Isis Mobile Wallet allows customers to pay at contactless payment terminals, and to save money through special offers and loyalty cards at participating merchants – all from their Isis Ready® smartphone. The Isis Mobile Wallet allows consumers to shop and pay using their mobile phone, by securely storing virtual versions of a customer’s participating credit or prepaid cards, as well as coupons and merchant loyalty cards. To use the Isis Mobile Wallet, customers simply select a payment card and tap their smartphone on the point-of-sale terminal. The redesigned Isis Mobile Wallet features a simplified user interface with a clean, white background and easy-to-navigate toolbars. Isis Mobile Wallet users can get 20 percent back every time they tap to pay using their American Express Serve Account for up to $200 in statement credits.

Western Union CFO Steps Down

Western Union announced Scott T. Scheirman, Executive VP and CFO, will be leaving the company on February 28, 2014. He is to serve as a senior advisor to the Company while a search is conducted with internal and external candidates. Raj K. Agrawal, Executive VP and President of Western Union Business Solutions, will serve as Interim CFO. Agrawal has served as an Executive Vice President of the Company since November 2011, and President, Western Union Business Solutions since August 2011. Mr. Agrawal served as General Manager, Western Union Business Solutions, since November 2010, and as Senior Vice President of Finance, from August 2010 to November 2010.

SumAll Deploys MasterCard eCommerce Analytics

SumAll partnered Simplify Commerce by MasterCard, allowing its merchant clients to accept e-commerce and mobile commerce payments in a matter of minutes. SumAll’s data visualization service is unique in the world of SaaS (Software as a Service) and now serves more than 100,000 companies from small and medium-sized businesses to Fortune 500 companies. At its heart, SumAll connects data to provide real-time correlations as to what is driving revenue and marketing efforts. The service lets operators leverage their data to make better business decisions, improve sales, increase customer service and maximize their profitability. Adding Simplify Commerce™ by MasterCard to SumAll’s services offers a new dimension to the company’s powerful range of online and offline data partners that, when analyzed together, allow SumAll users to gain unparalleled marketing and business insights.

AnywhereCommerce Intros mPayment Solution

AnywhereCommerce is set to launch its mpayment acceptance device, Nomad 2.0, at CARTES 2014 in Paris. The newly designed EMVCo L1, L2 certified, PCI 3.1 approved and Visa Ready device works with mobile phones and tablets to enable mobile point of sale (mPOS) acceptance of Chip-and-PIN and magnetic stripe card payments. Nomad 2.0 is designed to flexibly support multiple card-present payment method options, including debit, credit, gift and loyalty card transactions through both magnetic stripe technology and EMV Chip-and-PIN functionalities. The device employs patented encryption technology, and provides the option to connect to a mobile device through secure Bluetooth or a USB port. Nomad 2.0 is compatible with Android, iOS, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8 operating systems.

YESpay Partners PMC on mPayment Solution

YESpay and retail technology specialist PMC announced a strategic partnership aimed at delivering mobile solutions to retailers that require secure, PCI-compliant payments. With YESpay mobile payments solution built-in, PMC will ship its recently announced Store Enabler mobile solution. The YESpay SaaS P2PE encrypted mobile payment service reduces the retailers’ PCI liability which in a mobile environment is even more critical to ensure safety of consumers’ card data. The advanced YESpay mobile API, built into the Store Enabler platform, gives retailers the choice of devices for use in mobile sales environment and allows extension into the full suite of the YESpay’s Omni-channel Payments Platform.