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.

KFC Deploys Airtag for Mobile Ordering and Payment

AIRTAG Mobile Shopping Solutions partnered KFC UK & Ireland to launch its mobile and web app for ordering and payments called “KFC Fast Track.” KFC is using AIRTAG’s Airshop Solution, which is an all in one package platform that enables proximity retailers to launch self-branded interactive mobile and web apps for advanced ordering and payments. Starting immediately, KFC will be piloting Airshop in ten restaurants across the UK which is a center for international trial and rollout of technology based solutions. The app is available for iPhone users and the web app is soon to be available for all connected devices. It features geolocation to easily locate the nearest KFC, mobile & web ordering and payment capabilities, a mobile check-in feature for in-store order recall and a customer account so users can store ordering history, favorite products and payment details for one click payments.

SIA Integrates Sinsys

The Shareholders’ Meetings of SIA and of SiNSYS have approved the transnational merger through incorporation of Belgian subsidiary SiNSYS into SIA, thereby completing the process of integration of the two companies, aimed at further consolidating the Group’s international coverage and achieving greater operational efficiency with consequent economic advantages. The operation, effective from the beginning of 2013, does not entail any modification to the composition of the Board of Directors of SIA and provides for the cancellation without exchange of all the shares representing the entire corporate stock of SiNSYS, since SIA already possessed 100% of the stock following the acquisition from Atos Worldline of 49% in July 2012. The activities of SiNSYS, specializing in the management of payment transactions with international debit and credit cards with over 1 billion operations annually, around 30 million cards and 700,000 merchants in 12 European countries, will therefore be continued by SIA.

Fime Upgrades MasterCard PayPass Test Tools

FIME testing and consultancy services for acquirers integrated the MasterCard Terminal Integration Process (M-TIP) questionnaire to its SAVVI test tool to validate that payment terminals are compliant to the MasterCard PayPass Specification v.3.0.1. The latest requirements from MasterCard support advancements in mobile payments, including features such as personal identification number (PIN) entry via a mobile device to authorise a transaction. All European acquirers must ensure that from 1 July 2013, M-TIP projects for point-of-sale (POS) terminals and automated teller machines (ATMs) comply to the latest MasterCard PayPass Specification v.3.0.1. Furthermore, from 1 January 2014, acquirers can no longer equip new merchants with PayPass v.2 terminals, as every deployment must be based on this latest specification. Ensuring compliance to the new MasterCard PayPass Specification will promote consistent and secure adoption of contactless and mobile payment transactions across Europe.

iZettle Upgrades Social Payment Apps

iZettle social payments company offers its customers have everything needed to take credit, debit, and cash transactions wherever they operate their business. iZettle users who need a cash drawer or an alternative to email receipts, the company’s Chip & Signature and new Chip & PIN card readers for iPhones and iPads can now wirelessly connect to Star Micronics’ range of MFi certified desktop and mobile printers. iZettle has also updated its free sales overview tools with easy-to-read graphs, sortable by year, month or week. The new metric boxes display revenue, top selling products, transactions, average payment volume and returning customers.

OpenCoin Acquires simplehoney

Simple Honey has been acquired by OpenCoin. Building the “Ripple” protocol for a new virtual currency and distributed open source payment network, OpenCoin will be composed of the simplehoney consumer engagement team to focus on usability. The simplehoney team has successfully launched targeted vertical applications for the travel and shopping categories. At OpenCoin, they will help build a new open source, distributed payments network and virtual currency called Ripples.

Square 1 Bank Launches Square 1 Asset Management

Square 1 Bank banking partner launched its Square 1 Asset Management. A subsidiary of Square 1 Bank, the firm is a cash management solution designed exclusively for corporations and their institutional investors. Focused on adding value through a client-centered process of understanding risk tolerance and investment objectives and providing individualized investment advice, Square 1 Asset Management offers clients customized solutions tailored to meet their unique corporate cash management needs.

iKaaz Deploys NFC ‘Tap & Pay’ Reader for mPOS

iKaaz mobile payment solutions launched its “Tap & Pay” reader to enable cashless transactions based on NFC technology. iKaaz is making mobile payments faster and has broken this crucial cost barrier and has released a cost effective NFC reader for merchants. iKaaz’s proprietary NFC Reader can be plugged into to any mobile phone to convert it into a mobile POS (point of sale) device and is priced at less than US$ 20 (INR 1000). In order to engage the consumer ecosystem, iKaaz offers consumers an NFC Sticker priced at less than US$2 (INR 75) that convert any mobile phone into an NFC-enabled phone.

Alaric Appoints Middle East Business Head

Alaric fraud prevention and payments solutions is responding to significant market interest in the Middle East, hiring Tausif Ahmed to drive the company forward. He joins Alaric from Logica, where he was the Regional Sales Manager based out of Dubai, and prior to that he was the Regional Territory Manager for Middle East, Levant and Pakistan for ACI Worldwide in Bahrain. They want to replace them with a modern, flexible payments architecture which will help to differentiate their products and services, as well as growing their presence in the region. I am very excited to be able to introduce them to Alaric’s product suite,” said Ahmed, who is Director Middle East at Alaric.

Isbank Implements Diasoft Payments Software

Diasoft financial software solutions and IBM completed the first stage of the joint complex implementation in İŞBANK. The bank needed to implement a modern software complex based on a reliable hardware platform and selected Diasoft’s software complex for its component-based Diasoft FA# back office and a flexible high performance FLEXTERA Front Office. Namely, İŞBANK chose IBM “PureFlex” fully integrated system with unified management of computing, networking, memory and virtualization resources. The experts from Diasoft’s Competency center together with IBM’s specialists deployed an integrated hardware and software platform PureFlex, after which they proceeded to configuring Diasoft FA# and FLEXTERA applications. Simultaneously, the companies arranged a comprehensive training program for the bank’s users aimed to enhance their system administration skills. The acquired knowledge will allow the bank’s staff to support the system on their own in the future.

SBI Inks Deployment Agreement for 600 NCR ATMs

State Bank of India (SBI) has chosen NCR to deploy 600 NCR “SelfServ 32” Intelligent Cash Deposit ATMs. While check and cash withdrawals make up more than 60% of transactions performed at the teller counter, the NCR SelfServ intelligent deposit ATMs allows SBI to reduce long queues at its branch and will give its customers the flexibility to execute everyday cash deposit transactions beyond banking hours. Migrating high volume deposit transactions from the branch to the ATM reduces cost significantly for banks. A single cash withdrawal or deposit transaction at the branch can be reduced by up to 75 percent. A normal withdrawal typically costs a bank between Rs. 40 to Rs. 45 per transaction, while the same transaction may cost about Rs. 10 to Rs. 15 at the ATM.

Experian Acquires Canadian-Based Software Provider

Experian global information services acquired Decisioning Solutions market-driven Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider. To broaden the capabilities and strengthen the global reach of Experian’s originations and customer acquisition software products, this acquisition is to become part of Experian’s Decision Analytics business. The acquisition also extends Experian’s global lead in credit information and analytics by packaging Decisioning Solutions’ powerful and proven multitenant, multilingual software with Experian’s consumer and commercial data, analytical expertise, and identity proofing and authentication technologies, all from a robust and flexible SaaS model. The offering will enable small, medium and large organizations to make secure, on-demand, analytics-based customer decisions so they can achieve and sustain significant growth.

Premier Community CU installs Diebold Share ATMs

Diebold and CO-OP Financial Services are launching the credit union shared branching model in the self-service channel. With this, Diebold is installing its “Opteva” ATMs, featuring CO-OP NextGen ATM shared branching solution at Premier Community FCU. The solution enables members of participating CO-OP Shared Branching credit unions access to other credit union accounts or sub-accounts such as a CD or an IRA using Premier Community’s ATMs. Standard ATMs can normally only access accounts linked to an ATM/debit card limiting most transactions to checking and savings accounts. The ATMs further enhance convenience with Diebold’s deposit automation technology. The shared branch ATMs feature deposit automation technology, which allows members – and members of participating CO-OP Shared Branching credit unions – to complete envelope-free cash and check deposits. The ATMs automatically process deposited notes and checks, along with many other transactions, allowing Premier Community members more flexibility at a self-service device.