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

Unemployment Continues Slow Decline

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Total nonfarm payroll employment was up 165,000 in April as the unemployment conversely dropped .10% to 7.5%. Having declined 0.4 percentage points since January, the unemployment rate is a reflection of the 11.7 million still unemployed, a 673,000 drop since January. Of this, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for…

Checkpoint Systems Scales up RFID Project

Checkpoint Systems is scaling up its Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) project with leading apparel retailer C&A from five to 25 stores. As part of the C&A project in Germany, Checkpoint is providing RF/RFID antennas, point of sale RFID solution, software and consulting services. This will ensure that the merchandise is available on C&A store shelves in the right color, size and fit so consumers can always find the item they want when they are ready to buy. Implementing RFID in store means that retailers are more effectively and efficiently able to manage inventory and enhance loss prevention efforts. C&A selected Checkpoint for the RFID project to analyze processes and procedures for store deliveries, replenishment and inventories. C&A already implemented source tagging with Checkpoint for RF EAS several years ago, as a stepping stone for a potential RFID deployment.

Barclays Deploys NCR ATMs

Barclays, which has operated in Ghana for more than 95 years, has installed 29 NCR SelfServ 34 ATMs featuring intelligent deposit, allowing Barclays customers to deposit cash without an envelope and get immediate, on-screen validation of their deposit. The new ATMs will feature in-person bill payment and remittance software, so customers can pay a bill or send money to friends and family through the speed and security of the ATM and the Barclays brand. Through NCR’s remittance software, Barclay’s customers can send money to another person’s account in real time, using cash deposited at the ATM. For financial institutions, this software allows them to provide a value-added, fee-based service to typically underserved customers.

Discover Partners Network International, Expands Network

Discover Financial Services and Network International payment solutions provider announced a strategic alliance that will allow Mercury Network Card acceptance on Discover, Diners Club International and PULSE networks for international purchases and cash access outside of U.A.E. These agreements focus initially on enabling Mercury Cards on the DFS networks, which include Discover Network, Diners Club International, PULSE and other partner networks, to provide acceptance in more than 185 countries and territories. Network International formally launched the Mercury Network scheme on April 22, 2013, with the introduction of a pre-paid card in the U.A.E. which will allow companies to remunerate employees who do not have access to traditional banking services. The agreement with Discover will allow Network International to support credit and debit cards on a global basis.

RushCard Targets Increased Transparency

UniRush, program manager for the Prepaid Visa RushCard pioneered by Russell Simmons in 2003,announced new Fee Disclosures designed to make it easy for customers to understand the cost of using their RushCard, going above and beyond current industry standards.RushCard introduced a fee-free ATM network – for existing cardholders and new customers – in order to help cardholders keep the cost-to-use down. RushCard’s new, best-in-class Fee Disclosures will appear online at www.rushcard.com and in all Terms & Conditions mailings. Designed to go beyond current industry and regulatory standards, the disclosures (see: https://www.rushcard.com/howitworks/ScheduleOfFees.pdf) contain easy to understand fee descriptions, as well as clear explanations of when each fee is incurred. RushCard offers 3 different fee plan options: RushUnlimited, Pay-As-You-Go, and Monthly. The fees for each plan appear side-by-side, making it simple for prospective customers to compare plans. In addition, an easy-to-use Plan Calculator is available to help customers make the right selection.

Fiserv Reports Posts 1Q/13 Revenue Up 6%

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Fiserv posted 1Q/13 revenue of $1.15 billion, compared with $1.10 billion in the first quarter of 2012. Adjusted revenue was $1.08 billion in the first quarter compared with $1.02 billion in 2012, an increase of 6 percent. The company acquired Open Solutions account processing technology for financial institutions and reported its…

Ink from Chase Refines Jot Mobile App

Ink from Chase announced a new receipt capture capability exclusively for JotSM, a free mobile application and online tool designed to meet the needs of small business owners who are often on the go. Jot saves small business owners time in the back office by enabling them to easily track, categorize and organize business expenses – including actual receipts – in real-time from their iPhone® and Android™ mobile devices. Jot sends small business owners a push alert within seconds of making a purchase with their Ink card. Customers can immediately tag these purchases to custom categories on a mobile device or online. With the receipt capture feature, customers simply take a photo of a receipt with their mobile device camera and attach it to purchases made with an Ink card. Customers can then sort transactions, download and print receipts online and create and download reports containing purchases and receipts into accounting software, including QuickBooks® and Excel®.

AIRTAG Facilitates Magento E-Commerce mWallets

AIRTAG Mobile Shopping Solutions announced AIRSHOP advanced ordering & payment solution has been fully integrated with Magento; the eBay owned open source e-commerce platform used by more than 150,000 retailers. This integration enables retailers currently using Magento for their e-commerce sites to easily transition to mobile commerce and offer consumers a multi-channel experience that includes mobile, web, and tablet applications. Forrester Research predicts that by 2017, half of all mobile internet users will be mobile retail buyers, meaning that retailers must start to develop a mobilized and multi-channel strategy. This offers a full retailer wallet for advanced ordering and payments with both in-store and delivery pick-up options and multiple payment scheme support, including PayPal, 1 Click, and Credit Card with integrated targeted marketing through mobile loyalty, geolocated couponing, geofencing, push notifications, location based marketing and product recommendations.

First Data Names New Vice Chairman

First Data electronic commerce and payment processing announced that Executive VP, Ed Labry, has been named its Vice Chairman. Now the senior-most advisor to the chief executive officer, Labry will lead the company’s engagement with its premier customers and driving new enterprise client engagement. Labry was previously president of First Data North America, a market that grew to contribute more than 85 percent of the company’s consolidated revenue under his leadership from 2010 through 2012. First Data’s U.S. operations deliver products and services to financial institutions and bank alliance partners, merchants and commercial customers, providing virtually all services in the payment continuum, from payment card issuing to acquiring transactions at the point of sale for processing and settlement. Previously Labry served as president of the company’s Retail and Alliance Services division.

AnywhereCommerce Partners Paytoo and Mobilepaid

AnywhereCommerce global payments technology entered into a strategic alliance with PayToo and Mobilepaid to deliver a multifaceted mobile payment acceptance solution that can support a variety of payment presentation technologies. Available for download on all common smartphones and tablets, the new app relies on AnywhereCommerce’s patented audio-jack technology to transform any smartphone or tablet into a highly secure mPOS terminal. Through this technology, merchants can accept payments made through traditional magnetic stripe, EMV chip, and NFC platforms. AnywhereCommerce, PayToo, and Mobilepaid targets the over 25 million small retailers and more than three billion unbanked consumers worldwide.

MoneyGram Posts Revenue Up 7% Y/Y

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] MoneyGram payment services posted 1Q/13 total revenue of $340.5 million, up 7% on both a reported and constant currency basis. Meanwhile, money transfer revenue increased 10% from the year ago figure thanks to transfer transaction volume up 11%. This was subsequent to a 13% growth in U.S. outbound sends, namely to…

Barclays Bank Deploys NCR Software Services

Barclays Bank of Ghana is giving 24-hour access to extensive financial services delivered at the ATM through its software. Having installed 29 NCR SelfServ 34 ATMs featuring intelligent deposit, allowing Barclays customers to deposit cash without an envelope and get immediate, on-screen validation of their deposit. The new ATMs will feature in-person bill payment and remittance software, so customers can pay a bill or send money to friends and family through the speed and security of the ATM and the Barclays brand. Through NCR’s remittance software, Barclay’s customers can send money to another person’s account in real time, using cash deposited at the ATM.