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

Allied Wallet Officially a MasterCard Principal Member

Allied Wallet online credit card processing, multi-currency merchant services, state-of-the-art payment processing, digital eWallet solutions, software development, and a PCI Level 1 payment gateway, has recently been deemed a Principal Member of MasterCard. Now an official member of MasterCard as an acquirer, Allied Wallet has been given its own MasterCard BIN, Bank Identification Number and can now assign MIDs, Merchant Identification Numbers, to merchants at even lower discount rates. Merchant and customer transactions will all be monitored and protected under Allied Wallet’s in-house, PCI Level 1 Security.

Tsys Secures EMV Certification

Tsys successfully achieved Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) payment processing certification. This certification signifies that all TSYS processing platforms have achieved the card brands’ mandated requirement that acquirer processors be able to process EMV chip-based contact, contactless and mobile transactions. TSYS passed extensive test parameters on its payment processing platforms for each card brand. EMV provides another layer of protection against the use of counterfeit, lost, or stolen payment cards and also against skimming. Issuers, merchants, and consumers as well as acquirers/processors all benefit from EMV.

Virtual Piggy Partners Claires.com

Virtual Piggy integrated its youth-friendly payment system with Claire’s Stores, Inc. ecommerce website at www.claires.com. With over 1,500 stores in approximately 90% of all major U.S. shopping malls and in 35 countries outside of the U.S. Claire’s is a world-leading retailer of jewelry and accessories for young women, teens, tweens and girls. Virtual Piggy promotes financial management while empowering youth under 18 to make purchasing, saving and other money management decisions for themselves, within the boundaries setup by parents.

Accenture Introduces Accelerated R&D Services

Accenture launched its Accelerated R&D Services, a business service focused on delivering streamlined and integrated research and development (R&D) functions that will help pharmaceutical companies bring new medications to patients using a more collaborative and efficient approach. Accenture is investing more than $200 million to deliver this fully-integrated, technology-enabled global business service that will drive more efficient and effective development of pharmaceutical products for clients. Accelerated R&D Services will leverage capabilities of the cloud, mobility and analytics to deliver integrated functions across clinical development, regulatory submissions, pharmacovigilance and market launch predicated on delivering better patient outcomes. Accelerated R&D Services helps life sciences companies bring drugs to market faster, at less cost and with reduced execution risks using a pay-for-performance business model for business process outsourcing.

Square Available in Apple and Best Buy stores

Square announced the public availability of Square Stand, Square’s beautiful hardware that helps brick and mortar businesses turn an iPad into a complete point of sale. Square Stand”and third party accessories, like a cash drawer, receipt printer, and barcode scanner”is now available online via squareup.com/stand, with purchases shipping this week to customers who placed pre-orders. Starting today, customers will also now be able to purchase Square Stand in Apple retail stores and Best Buy stores across the U.S. With local businesses increasingly tearing out their old point of sale systems to run Square Register, the free point of sale application, Square Stand gives merchants a beautiful, secure, and reliable way to manage and grow their business, all for $299.

Alliance Data Inks Private Label Credit Card Program Agreement

Zale Corporation has signed a new, multi-year private label credit card program agreement with Alliance Data Systems Corporation. Through its Comenity Capital Bank (“CCB”) subsidiary, Alliance will provide private label credit cards to customers of Zale in the United States. Following the completion of program implementation during the first half of fiscal 2014, Zale will begin to receive benefit from Alliance Data’s extensive marketing, analytical and technical services. For each of Zale’s U.S. brands, Alliance Data will provide proven marketing and database capabilities, sophisticated analytics and a suite of omnichannel marketing tools designed to generate sales and extend brand affinity. Alliance Data will also provide a portfolio of innovative tablet and mobile marketing solutions for fine jewelry that are designed to optimize cardholder acquisition and retention. In addition, Zale will receive a commencement payment in July 2013 from CCB.

C-Sam Adds to Leadership Team

C-SAM secure mobile transactions technology offering a range of mobile-based applications for financial as well as non-financial services announced Kurt Weiss and Conrad Sheehan have joined the company as managing director of global financial institutions and vice president and general manager of strategic initiatives, respectively. Weiss will work closely with financial institutions and networks deploying C-SAM’s mobile transaction platform that enables NFC, QR, cloud and remote payments, as well as location-based services. Sheehan will be responsible for global strategy and the implementation of key international projects for C-SAM. Weiss previously worked at Citigroup as the Director of Digital Networks & Mobile for the Fortune 20 Bank’s Citi Enterprise Payments group where he was responsible for the commercialization of digital network payment ecosystems leveraging Citigroup’s core payments infrastructure on a global basis. Sheehan founded mPayy Inc., an electronic payment company focused on NFC-stored value payments for transit authorities and private sector companies (the company was later licensed to NTT DATA where he then led North America payments solutions).

First Data Analysis Shows 7.1% Dollar Volume Growth

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] First Data payment processing released its SpendTrend analysis for June, compared to June 2012. Tracking same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations, SpendTrend found year-over-year dollar volume growth was 7.1% in June, compared to May’s 6.0% growth. Despite falling…

Payleven Partners, Expands Chip & PIN Card Reader

Payleven mobile card payments has expanded its offering and will offer the Chip & PIN card reader to all Austrian retailers and merchants. The payleven solution is targeted towards small and medium sized enterprises, who want a way to accept card payments. It is easy, economical, mobile and most importantly, secure. With payleven, not only merchants, but also private individuals can accept card payments. Once the card reader has been purchased, merchants will only be charged 2.75% per transaction. There is no need for a stationary internet connection which makes the device truly mobile. Furthermore, because the customer is required to enter their PIN, the payment is secure. The transmission process is similar to the one on a traditional POS- terminal.

Visa To Further Expands V.Me eWallet

Visa announced plans to launch its V.me digital wallet service, making it easier for consumers to shop online. This will offer consumers a simple and secure way to pay online by entering a single username and password, eliminating the hassle of entering personal details across multiple merchant websites. It will allow consumers to securely store their existing Visa and other payment cards; store and use multiple shipping addresses; set transaction alerts for Visa cards based on spending thresholds and other criteria; and, over time, opt-in to additional features.

Diebold Inks Argenta as Latest Client

Diebold is now supporting Argenta’s entire self-service network of more than 200 “Opteva” ATMs. Argenta’s specifications included the renewal of embedded software on its ATMs, the transition of the bank’s systems to support an Internet Protocol-based (IP) network and monitoring support for the entire network. One of the most important requirements was to ensure the OLTB (On Line To the Bank) protocol exchange between terminals and servers, which is specific to Belgium and allows real time updates of transactions. Diebold’s Belgian management center will provide Argenta with outsourced network monitoring. This service includes maintaining up-to-date anti-virus software on Argenta’s terminals using ATM Endpoint Protection by Symantec™ and confirming all programs have the latest security patches using Diebold’s software deployment service.

Discover Cardmembers Earn 5% Cashback on Gas

Discover is making it easier for cardmembers to earn extra rewards at the pump. Now through Sept. 30, 2013, Discover cardmembers can sign up to earn 5% Cashback Bonus on up to $1,500 in purchases at gas stations. Cardmembers can earn 5% Cashback Bonus by simply signing up for 5% online at discover.com, or by calling 1-800-DISCOVER (347-2683). After making $1,500 in gas station purchases, Discover cardmembers still automatically earn their standard Cashback Bonus on all other purchases. Additionally, as the 2013-2014 school year quickly approaches, Discover cardmembers also can enjoy extra savings on back-to-school purchases made through ShopDiscover, the exclusive online shopping portal featuring more than 200 top retailers. From July 18 to Sept. 4, 2013, Discover is leveraging its relationships with nearly 40 merchant partners to increase Cashback Bonus savings to help families save more on items such as clothing, shoes and school supplies.