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.

SASSA MasterCard Debit Card Promotes Financial Inclusion

Following the 10 million South Africa Social Security Agency (SASSA) MasterCard Debit card milestone announcement, an independent consumer survey has attributed this program as being one of the largest contributors to increasing financial inclusion in South Africa. According to FinScope South Africa 2013, South Africa’s banked population has grown 8% since 2012, with 75% (27.4 million) of the adult population now banked. The survey says the roll out of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) MasterCard Debit cards contributed 1.9 million people to the banked population in 2013. The SASSA Debit MasterCard card can be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted. Recipients can also withdraw cash at any ATM, which does however attract transaction charges. The South African Government challenged the financial sector to achieve financial inclusion of 70% in the country by 2013, with a target of 90% set for 2030.

Deezer Partners Boku on Operator Billing

Boku direct operator billing mobile payments partnered Deezer global music service with more than 10 million monthly users around the world to bring a new and easier way to subscribe to Deezer’s music streaming service. This partnership appeals to subscribers on all mobile operators in Germany. With this partnership, Deezer offers music fans in Germany the ability to subscribe to Deezer’s Premium and Premium+ offer using their mobile phone. Subscribers will then be charged on a recurring monthly basis directly on their mobile phone bill.

MasterCard Joins Smart Cities Council

Smart Cities coalition to advance smart city development and innovation partnered MasterCard for a turning point in the development of innovative digital transaction processing platforms for city government, businesses and citizens. MasterCard will work with the Council’s advisors and members to provide cities with better, safer and more secure payment methods. Technology has been the single largest change agent in the ongoing transformation of the finance function. Electronic payment processing has increased convenience, security and transparency, and has contributed to reduce administrative costs. MasterCard will also contribute to the Smart Cities Council Readiness Guide to improve the livability, workability and sustainability of the world’s cities. The Readiness Guide is a collaborative and comprehensive resource that provides a step-by-step roadmap, vendor-neutral technology recommendations, evaluations and case studies for smart city development.

NFC and SIG Form Relationship

The NFC Forum and the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding that will enable the two organizations to work more closely together, via a formal liaison relationship. The NFC Forum and the Bluetooth SIG have collaborated previously, most recently in the creation of a developers’ guide entitled “Bluetooth Secure Simple Pairing Using NFC,” which was jointly published as an Application Document available to the public. Under the new agreement, the two organizations will work together to update and maintain the Application Document to accommodate Bluetooth Smart products using the Low Energy feature of the Bluetooth specification.

Equinox Payments Partners Infinite to Offer miOS Payment

Equinox partnered with Infinite Peripherals mPOS devices to offer a mobile payment solution that is compatible with Apple iOS by integrating IPC’s Linea Pro™ for the iPod touch® or iPhone®, or the Infinea Tab® for the iPad®. Empowering Apple handheld devices with a barcode scanner and a magnetic stripe reader, both the Linea Pro and Infinea Tab work with custom software to create a mobile system for POS, as well as inventory management, asset tracking, ID verification and lead tracking. To date, IPC has deployed more than 300,000 of its mobile POS devices nationwide. IPC will be able to offer its customers remote key injection capabilities on its POS-related devices, utilizing the Equinox Remote Key Injection (RKI) platform and thereby maximizing convenience, efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

ElectraCard Platform Announces Latest Payment Suite Upgrade

ElectraCard Services (ECS) announced Acleda Bank upgraded to its electra iTx series payment suite. ECS played a very crucial role and provided ACLEDA Bank Plc. with a flexible and scalable platform that empowered them to expand and differentiate their offerings. The Bank anticipates their customer acquisition to double over the next five years, adding to their existing one million account holders. With the new payments processing system – electra iTx series, ACLEDA Bank Plc. will be able to rapidly expand its ATM network, start UPI, MasterCard and JCB issuance and acquiring along with existing VISA connectivity, and adding new delivery channels, BNAs and kiosks. The electra iTx series platform is a next generation PA-DSS certified secure transaction platform, built from the ground-up on open standards and industry best-practices to support a service oriented architecture (SOA) that is fast becoming the technology backbone of today’s leading organizations.

PayAnywhere Enhances mPOS App for Android

PayAnywhere mPOS solutions made available its PayAnywhere 2.0 solution for Android and its “PayAnywhere Inside” online merchant portal. The app works with the free PayAnywhere mobile credit card reader, which plugs into the audio jack of a supported Android device, giving merchants a safe and simple way to accept credit and debit card payments directly from their Android phone or tablet. With the lowest rates in the industry – just 2.69% per swiped transaction, regardless of card type (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express), and next day funding for merchants’ transactions, PayAnywhere is the payment industry’s preeminent business-grade, “pay-as-you-go” mPOS solution. Advancements to the improved solution include a simple sign on, a more dynamic user interface, cross-platform syncing and upgraded reporting.

Fonetic Announces Dodd-Frank Biometrics Compliance Solution

Fonetic integrated voice biometrics capabilities into its Dodd-Frank Trading Record Keeping Compliance Solution, offering the first solution provider to utilize voice biometrics to enhance bank compliance with Dodd-Frank Title VII mandates. Fonetic’s solution captures, indexes, analyzes and extracts relevant unstructured data from all voice, email and chat interactions to create a fully-searchable database of all communications pertaining to a bank’s traders and trades. By adding biometric voice analysis, Fonetic empowers banks to verify a caller’s identity, track their interactions, and authenticate transactions based on their unique voiceprint. With even the smallest voice sample, Fonetic can scan millions of calls and cross-match voiceprints with other known criteria – such as call content – to identify the caller. Once identified, the caller’s voice becomes searchable data that banks can use to facilitate regulatory inquiries or quickly identify inappropriate trading behaviors.

iPayment Posts Flat 3Q/13 Processing Volume

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] iPayment posted a total 3Q/13 transaction processing volume of $5.6 billion, flat from the year ago period, and 87.1 million in transaction, up 0.5% from the year ago figure. Total revenues decreased by 0.5% to $167.8 million for the third quarter of 2013 from the year ago figure of $168.6 million,…

Byblos Bank Deploys Gemalto Bio-Sourced EMV Payment Card

Gemalto and Byblos Bank joined forces to launch the Middle East’s first bio-sourced EMV payment cards in Lebanon. Working with Gemalto’s local partner Unilux Cards, Byblos Bank plans to migrate 80% of its entire banking card portfolio to Gemalto’s Clarista bio-sourced payment cards within the next three years. The new cards will be replacing the conventional plastic card body with renewable materials that are easily recyclable and compostable. The bank has already started offering the Clarista bio-sourced cards as a standard to all new cardholders, and will be steadily switching the existing Byblos Bank debit, credit and prepaid cards to the bio-sourced alternative, as they become due for renewal. Holders of the new bio-sourced cards will be automatically enrolled in the Bank’s existing Card Loyalty Program, which offers a wide range of rewards such as travel points or miles.

Payleven Announces Loyalty Solution

Payleven launched its extensive loyalty program, giving merchants turn one-time clients into regular customers whilst establishing strong ties with them. Based on a digital version of the well-known loyalty bonus stamp cards and integrated into the payleven app, it enables small and medium-sized businesses to create individual loyalty programms and corresponding campaigns. In addition, they gain an insight into consumer spending and are given the opportunity to interact with their customers. The payleven loyalty program offers enormous additional value on top of using Chip & PIN as a payment solution, and paves the way for the future of mPOS. It is available as of now as an open beta-test and is available for payleven customers in Germany and United Kingdom without an additional charge.

FireHost Announces PCI DSS Compliance Solution

FireHost made available its ‘Payment Island’ service to help customers keep sensitive data secure and is specifically designed to enable payment-focused businesses to meet PCI DSS. The FireHost Payment Island helps ensure compliance with the latest PCI DSS requirements. The Payment Island is updated regularly to ensure alignment with updates to the PCI DSS standard, and will help companies handling payment card data achieve compliance with PCI DSS 3.0, which was introduced on the 7th of November 2013. The FireHost Payment Island is an effective way for organisations to reduce their scope of PCI DSS compliance, better secure their customer data, and meet their audit requirements by reducing the risk profile associated with cardholder data. Already available in the US, FireHost’s Payment Island enabled ecommerce, retail, payments and other financial customers to process nearly £15 million of transactions in the last year.