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.

Discover Inks New Debit Program

Old Second National Bank has teamed with Discover to create the Old Second Debit Card powered by Discover® Debit. Old Second customers will receive the new card in 2014, following a pilot program with bank employees. Discover Debit is managed by PULSE, a leading debit/ATM network, and a subsidiary of Discover Financial Services. Old Second, a PULSE network participant for more than 10 years, has approximately 50,000 debit cardholders. The bank provides full-service banking from Chicago-area branches in Cook, Kane, Kendall, DeKalb, DuPage, LaSalle and Will counties in Illinois. By joining with Discover, Old Second will provide its customers with signature debit cards that provide convenient access to manage and spend their funds, along with security features that give them peace of mind.

U.S. Bank Adds Square Payment Option

U.S. Bank has added Square to its digital wallet options available to customers via their iOS and Android smartphones. Customers can link their U.S. Bank credit, debit, or prepaid account to the Square application to make purchases from their smartphone. Square wallet can be used at merchant locations that sell with Square. Customers can discover nearby businesses using Square wallet, and pay at the point of sale with their mobile device by simply saying their name. Square’s technology automatically manages the transaction from the customer’s U.S. Bank payment account to the merchant. Transactions are completed without the cashier ever having the customer’s account number and other sensitive data.

US Conference Board Continues Marginal Growth

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. was up 0.1% in June to 95.3 (2004 = 100), following a 0.1 % increase in May, and a 0.1 percent decline in April. The LEI six-month growth rate remains steady, suggesting that conditions in the economy remain resilient. Widespread gains in…

ZTE Launches Smartphone, Data Cards in New Market

ZTE Corporation telecommunications equipment, network solutions and mobile devices, launched a new range of smartphones and data cards in India to provide consumers in the country with a choice of high-performance devices to enhance their mobile experience. ZTE is offering six new smartphones, including the Quad-Core ZTE Grand X, featuring a brilliant 5-inch high-definition screen, in India, partnering with Calyx Telecommunications to make the devices widely available to consumers across the country. In addition, ZTE is introducing four new data cards together with partner Digilife to meet the needs of India consumers for high-speed data access. ZTE, one of the world’s Top 5 mobile handset and smartphone manufacturers, provides consumers around the world a wide choice of innovative and feature-rich devices, ranging from entry level to high-end smartphones, delighting users with thoughtful and intuitive design features that improve their mobile experience.

NAB Selects NCR Predictive Services for ATM Uptime

NCR announced the National Australia Bank (NAB) will deploy NCR Predictive Services, a unique monitoring solution that predicts ATM hardware failures before they occur in order to maximize ATM uptime and provide a better customer experience. The technology increases ATM uptime by warning of the imminent failure of individual components, enabling repairs or replacements to be made before they put the machine out of service. NAB’s sister bank, Bank of New Zealand, was the world’s first bank to deploy the solution and has enjoyed significant improvements in the performance of its ATM network, including greater availability and lower operational costs. NCR Predictive Services provides detailed error information so that engineers with the right skillsets are dispatched with the right parts, increasing the proportion of faults that are fixed first time. At BNZ, NCR’s predictive technology raised ATM availability to 99 percent.

Chase Sapphire Preferred and Bravo Host “Top Chef Masters”

Chase Sapphire Preferred travel rewards card and Bravo Media co-hosted the “Top Chef Masters” Season 5 Premiere Tasting Event, July 16, in New York City. “Top Chef Masters” host Curtis Stone, new head critic Gail Simmons and eleven critically-acclaimed chefs, featured in the upcoming season, which begins July 24, mingled with attendees and offered for the first time ever dishes straight from the show. Building on the excitement of the event, Chase Sapphire Preferred announced a $25,000 donation to City Harvest, the world’s first food rescue organization, which is dedicated to helping feed more than one million hungry New Yorkers each year. Several chefs from the new season of “Top Chef Masters,” including Franklin Becker, Richard Sandoval and Sang Yoon, among others, recreated dishes featured in Episode One. Chef Jennifer Jasinski prepared orange and ginger caramelized skirt steak with a roasted mushroom fregola salad, while Chef David Burke surprised guests with “angry” “shrimp atop smoky white bean hummus.

Xoom Launches Mobile Remittance App

Xoom Corporation announced its free Xoom Money Transfer App is now available in Spanish for Android and iOS devices. Xoom launched its free App in English on June 18, providing a fast and simple method for on-the-go Xoom customers to send money to loved ones. Xoom is the first pure-play remittance provider to offer a Spanish-language App for Android and iOS phones. The Xoom App is unique in its simplicity, allowing Xoom customers to complete a quick send money transfer to their recipient with a “one tap and one swipe” manner. This slide-to-send technique allows Xoom customers to send a money transfer to an existing recipient in just seconds.

Fiserv Announces Latest DNA Bank Client

Fiserv financial services technology solutions announced First National Community Bank (FNCB) selected its “DNA” account processing platform from Open Solutions, now part of Fiserv. It was chosen based on its real-time, open architecture and seamless channel integration as factors that will help the bank increase efficiency and provide faster, more complete customer service. DNA from Fiserv is the first open, relationship-centered core banking platform built for global collaboration. The platform provides 24/7 real-time processing and is supported by an extendable relational data model designed around the person, not the transaction, so that FNCB staff can securely view complete profiles of their retail and commercial customers. A single database design easily integrates with customer facing channels to streamline operations, saving time for staff and customers.

MasterCard Announces Newest Sponsorship Ambassador

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] MasterCard announces its newest ambassador, Sir Nick Faldo, golf legend and winner of six major championships — three Open Championships and three Masters — and more than 40 tournament victories. The newly minted relationship will add to the company’s roster of seven world-class golf ambassadors including Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell, Camilo…

UK POS Launches Window Display Contest

UK POS is encouraging retailers to send in a snap of their summer display to be in with the chance of winning £250 worth of vouchers. The competition is open to all independent retailers across the UK and Ireland who think their efforts could capture the attention of the nation. Independent Retailer Month is a global campaign, encouraging the public to take advantage of local stores, and highlighting the important roll independent retailers play in their communities. They also contribute to the local economy and the retail sector as a whole. Independent retailers can enter the competition using Twitter by sending the photo directly to the UK POS account (@ukposgroup). Only one entry will be counted per retailer, but multiple photos of the same window display can be sent – the more the merrier. Winners will be selected by Jason Leslie, managing director of UK POS and Debra Jamieson.

Quotall integrates DataCash payments tech

DataCash payment processing, a MasterCard Company, and Quotall, an innovative online insurance systems provider have announced a partnership which will see DataCash’s advanced payments technology integrated into Quotall’s transactional insurance platform optimised for brokers to trade online. The e-commerce market in the UK is predicted to grow by 110% in this decade, reaching £123bn by 2020 and, in addition, Google is reporting a 40% year-on-year growth in business insurance search volumes.

Allied Payment & Malauzai Ink mPayment Client

Allied Payment Network online bill payment services to the financial industry and Malauzai Software mobile banking SmartApps for community financial institutions, announced that Midwest-based 3Rivers Federal Credit Union ($750 million) is the first credit union in the country to launch its Picture Pay mobile bill payment solution. 3Rivers has implemented the stand-alone Picture Pay solution developed by Allied and Malauzai Software and will offer Picture Pay as a separate mobile application in addition to its existing mobile banking app, enabling 3Rivers’ members to easily and securely pay any bill by taking a picture of the bill with their mobile device. Through Picture Pay, once a member takes a picture of a bill with their smartphone, they simply enter the amount and payment date and the bill is paid.