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

Bluefin Payment Systems Announces SVP, Business Development

Bluefin Payment Systems announced the addition of Julie Counterman as Senior Vice President, Business Development and Sales to manage Integrated Software Vendor (ISV), E-Commerce, Inside Sales and Relationship Management teams. Ranked as the 6th fastest growing private company in the U.S. by Inc. Magazine in 2012, Bluefin is a leading payment processor in the U.S. and Canada, integrating their PayConexTM payment gateway with ISV, SaaS and enterprise management platforms, while serving major E-Commerce merchants directly. Most recently, Julie served as the Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Accelerated Payment Technologies (APT) where she was instrumental in increasing net revenues and EBITDA growth; Accelerated was acquired by Global Payments Inc. in October 2012. She was also the SVP of Sales and Marketing at Recordant, VP of Sales and Marketing for Harland Financial Solutions, Chief Marketing Officer at InterCept, Inc. (acquired by Pay By Touch) and Vice President of Marketing at Spectrum (acquired by Metavante).

ACI Worldwide Survey Shows EMV Adoption to mCommerce

ACI Worldwide payment system released the results of a new survey of banks, retailers and payment processors that sheds new light on industry trends related to EMV, mobile payments and banking, fraud and innovation. With this, ACI found that those intimately involved in banking and payments believe that EMV is poised to drive the adoption of mobile technology with 49% indicating the U.S. migration to EMV will result in consumers turning away from card-based transaction in lieu of mobile payments. Moreover, 32% noted that rolling out hardware updates (like POS terminals, ATMs, etc.) would present the largest issue; 26% believed the biggest challenge would be educating and training business constituents along with driving consumer awareness and adoption; and 24% said they were most concerned about meeting compliance and liability shift deadlines. When asked what trend would have the biggest impact on the banking and retail, 19% disclosed it would be the adoption of mobile banking; 12% believed more banks will offer online/mobile bill pay services; and 11% believed that industry and regulatory mandates will slow mobile rollout.

Seattle Small Business Owners More Positive Than Nationwide

Seattle area small business owners believe that the Seattle economy is stronger than the national economy, according to the 2013 Chase-Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Pulse of the Small Business Survey. With this, 83% of Seattle area small business owners feel that their local economy is stronger than the national economy compared to 55 percent nationwide while 56% of Seattle area small business owners believe the national economy is getting better, compared to 34% nationwide. Additionally, 34% expect their businesses’ revenue to increase by more than 10 percent while 52% reported an increase in revenue over the past 12 months, compared to 44 percent nationwide, fueling Seattle area small business owners’ positive economic outlook. The survey results were released today by Chase at a Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce event. Also, 42% of Seattle area small business owners believe that their local economy has had a positive impact on the growth of their business, which is 22 percentage points higher than those nationwide. Over the past year, Seattle area small business owners have increased contracts and their customer base (34 percent), expanded products and services offered (33 percent) and hired more employees (22 percent) – all signs of a strong local economy.

MasterCard and Western Union Partner on Small Biz Payments Service

MasterCard and the Western Union Company announced a dedicated international payments service that will increase the flexibility with which small and medium-sized businesses can conduct cross-border trade. The new direct foreign-exchange capability will be provided by Western Union Business Solutions and available to all companies that use the MasterCard Business Network, an online resource that helps streamline business operations and enhance productivity for small and mid-sized businesses. Customers will have access to a dedicated online foreign payments portal at www.mastercardbusinessnetwork.com, which will feature the ability to send international payments in over 135 currencies directly from their bank account to a foreign recipient’s bank account from a computer, tablet or mobile phone; Real-time quotes and transparent and competitive foreign-exchange pricing; Dedicated customer service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

AJB Certifies WEX Fleet Card

AJB Software Design, Inc., a leader in integrated payment solutions, announced that they are the first to be certified for WEX’s Fleet Card Management program for Canada. AJB’s FIPay Payment software has been certified for use with WEX’s new cross-border, and Canadian fleet payment solution, enabling merchants to accept the WEX cobranded fleet management card and streamline their cross-border operations, and allowing business owners to ease administrative burdens and drive down the cost of operating and managing their commercial vehicle fleets. WEX’s card program helps businesses better control the cost of vehicle expenses through easy to use tools that allow them to set limits on fuel, service and merchandise for enforcement of company purchase policies.

Net Element Allows Access to Music1’s Video and Music Library

Net Element International electronic commerce and mobile payment processing through its subsidiary Music1 has made available access to Music1’s video and music library via leading song download services including Spotify and Google Music. Music1.ru, powered by Net Element’s proprietary Digital Music Discovery Engine, creates a personalized experience for the discovery of Russian concerts and music videos. Created through collaboration between Net Element and Mr. Igor Krutoy’s record company, “ARS Records”, the online and mobile monetization platform will expand Music1.ru’s current library of more than 2,000 hours of music videos and concert footage including both popular Russian and international titles. The Music1.ru endeavor is expected to become the leading Russian-based destination and monetization platform for Russian-originated digital music content management companies and content producers that are actively seeking distribution beyond Russia.

Ixaris Launches Prepaid Corporate Cloud Programs

Ixaris global electronic payments, launches Ixaris Payments Server, a cloud-based platform that enables banks to quickly and cost-effectively develop their own corporate prepaid programmes. The comprehensive, out-of-the-box package allows banks to take a share of what is arguably the most lucrative segment of the prepaid card market, and to do so with minimal capital expenditure. Corporate prepaid presents an enormous revenue opportunity for banks. Greater convenience and flexibility have contributed to the adoption of prepaid cards to address all sorts of business challenges across many different verticals. Key features include Ready-built apps, quick Time-to-market, Minimal capital expenditure and Configurability.

Fiserv Announces Latest Credit Union Client

Fiserv announced that Navigant Credit Union selected its DNA account processing platform from Open Solutions, now part of Fiserv, to better serve its 62,000 members. DNA from Fiserv is the first open, relationship-centered core banking platform built for global collaboration, offering a 24/7 continuous, real-time platform that employs a relational data model designed around the person, not the transaction, so Navigant staff can securely view complete profiles of their retail and commercial customers by person, product or account. Navigant can easily enhance DNA with solutions from Fiserv, third-party partners and applications developed by other DNA clients. The credit union will have access to the DNAcreator™ development toolkit, which allows the credit union’s technical staff to create and sell custom core extensions called DNAapps™ to other financial institutions via the DNAappstore™ — the first online marketplace for core innovation and collaboration through shared custom applications.

Western Union Partners AntiCounterfeiting Coalition Against eFraud

The Western Union Company and the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC) announced an alliance to help identify and prevent the sale of counterfeit goods through the IACC Payment Processor Portal Program. A collaborative effort between the IACC and the payment industry, the Payment Processor Portal provides a system for intellectual property rights-holders, such as manufacturers of luxury goods, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and consumer products, to report the sale of illegal counterfeit goods. Once the IACC verifies a merchant claim, a third-party monitoring agent alerts affected payment processors, like Western Union, enabling them to take necessary actions. This service will assist Western Union in identifying rogue merchants who sell counterfeit materials and who encourage buyers to send payments using Western Union Money Transfer® services.

Dunkin’ Donuts Implements NCR Digital Signage

NCR announced Dunkin’ Donuts deployed its high-definition “Vitalcast” digital signage solution at locations across the United States. Dunkin’ Donuts will leverage the state-of-the-art digital signage solution to bring its popular food and beverages to life with visually compelling animations and messaging similar to the brand’s iconic advertising. The NCR Vitalcast digital signage has been installed in approximately 400 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants with more than 2,000 restaurants anticipated to transition from static menu boards to digital signage by year-end. This will provide Dunkin Donuts restaurants the opportunity to showcase a wider variety of food and beverages with high resolution product shots and video to enhance the overall guest experience. The digital signage solution will also make it easier and cost effective to update information in real-time, feature new and limited time products, and display nutritional information.

Three-Year High in Owners’ Take on Business Conditions

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] More small business owners say business conditions are currently good or excellent than at any point in years, according to the latest Citibank “Small Business Pulse.” Indicating 48% of small business owners rate conditions as good or excellent, up from 43% in May 2012 and twice the rate three years ago…