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.

Planet Payment Allows UnionPay Merchant Acceptance

Planet Payment multi-currency payment processor can now allow eCommerce merchants to accept UnionPay cards. UnionPay is one of the largest card brands in the world, with over 3.5 billion cards issued worldwide. Since the majority of Chinese consumers carry UnionPay cards, in order to effectively sell to the widest possible pool of Chinese consumers, merchants need the ability to accept UnionPay cards on their websites. Planet Payment allows merchants to participate in UPOP — UnionPay’s program to authenticate and process UnionPay cards online and more effectively tap into what is projected to be the world’s largest eCommerce market by 2015. Planet Payment integrated the UPOP into iPay, the Company’s payment gateway, providing merchants with the option of creating a customized payment experience using Planet Payment’s API or leveraging iPay’s Hosted Payment Page for an easy-to-implement solution.

VeriFone Announces Executive Appointments

VeriFone Systems appointed Jennifer Miles president, VeriFone Americas; Bulent Ozayaz to president, VeriFone Southern Europe, Russia, Middle East and Northern Africa; Johan Tjärnberg to president, VeriFone Europe and Southern Africa; and Eliezer Yanay to chief operations officer. Miles joined VeriFone in 2001 and led the significant growth of the company’s North American business, including Retail, Global Security and Vertical Solutions, over the past 10 years. Ozayaz joined VeriFone in 2006 and has served as general manager of the company’s North American Wireless Solutions and VeriFone Media businesses. Tjärnberg joined VeriFone in 2012 through the acquisition of Point International and has served as Point’s CEO since 2010. In his seven years with Point, its payments-as-a-service offering saw significant growth and expansion into multiple European jurisdictions. Yanay joined VeriFone in 2006 and has led the company’s global R&D, supply chain and product management initiatives since 2011. In his previous role at VeriFone, Yanay was responsible for all operations and manufacturing in Israel, as well as business development, sales and marketing in Continental Europe, Southeastern Europe and Asia.

SelectCore to Issue PrePaid MasterCards at Fashion Week

SelectCore prepaid payment solutions announced it will issue prepaid MasterCard cards for the World MasterCard Fashion Week to be held in Toronto March 18th thru 22nd. SelectCore will be issuing personalized prepaid MasterCard Cards onsite to VIPs and visitors at this year”s event. Using Datacard Group”s instant issuance printers and SelectCore”s proprietary, real-time card load and activation platform, original cards designs featuring event-related photography will be personalized onsite and provided to attendees seeking to capture the Fasion Week experience in a unique way. World MasterCard Fashion Week is an ever evolving platform that seamlessly connects designers with buyers, press and consumers.

Mobeam, Samsung Deploy Barcode Reader

Highlighted during the Samsung Unpacked event in New York City this evening, mobeam proudly announces that the new Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone will be the world’s first mobile device to integrate its light based communications (LBC) technology so it can beam traditional 1-D barcodes. With embedded mobeam technology, the Galaxy S4 will be able to engage in mobile commerce at millions of locations worldwide without requiring retailers to make changes to their existing POS systems or technologies. Mobeam’s patented technology solves the key problem that has limited the progress of mobile commerce: the vast majority of existing POS systems are unable to communicate with smartphones. Mobeam converts barcodes, coupons, loyalty cards and gift cards into a beam of light that can be read by every one of the estimated 165 million laser scanners in use today by retailers worldwide. With mobeam’s technology, the Galaxy S4 can beam traditional 1-D barcode data to any laser scanner with no new equipment, such as optical scanners or backend systems, required by the retailer.

BBVA Grows JCB Merchant Acquiring

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) is starting JCB merchant acquiring operations based on a license agreement with JCB International (JCBI) global payment brand. BBVA will start facilitating JCB acceptance at BBVA-acquired merchants throughout Spain to serve its merchants better by offering them the opportunity to capture JCB card sales along with other global payment brands as well as helping merchants give customers the opportunity to pay with their preferred card. BBVA merchant acceptance will significantly increase JCB brand coverage, which will continue to efforts on improving card acceptance.

EMT Pilots NFC tags, Prospecting mWallets

EMT is launching NFC service, implementing small sticker-like tags that contain a small microchip. All customers need is to download the “EMT NFC Starter” app from Google Play. The prices for NFC-enabled phones start from €99. Currently, there are 22 different NFC-phones available at EMT. The number of NFC-enabled phones in the EMT network is approximately 20,000. EMT, in cooperation with leading Estonian banks, will also launch a NFC mobile payments project to test mobile wallet solutions and possibilities.

globalVCard to Launch Changes at Innovation Project 2013

CSI Enterprises a leader in innovative financial solutions for enterprises and businesses, is set to release some important updates to its globalVCard paysystems accounts payable solution. The globaVCard paysystems will look to further cement their position on the top, with vast improvements to their web-based application. Featured prominently will be impressive changes to card and payment management. Clients will now be able to view and manage all the details of their payments from one screen. Payments will be managed in real-time, with the ability to change all attributes quickly and easily. The updated version will also include robust changes to the dashboard and communication capabilities.

Visa & Planet Payment Ink Processing Agreement

Visa opened the Myanmar market to ATM and POS acceptance through their licensing agreements with Co-operative Bank, Kanbawza Bank, and Myanmar Overseas Bank. Now Visa and Planet Payment are working on opportunities to target the deployment of the managed service to additional developing markets in support of traditional ATM and POS acceptance as well as developing support for mobile point of sale (mPOS). As more and more merchants look to capitalize on the value of accepting electronic payments, Visa stands ready to help its client banks support growing the financial network, expand on its financial inclusion goals, and partner to develop their payments systems.

Swift Announces New Service Center

SWIFT financial messaging opened its new Corporate Services Centre in Malaysia for its growth strategy in Asia Pacific. The SWIFT Kuala Lumpur Corporate Services Centre offers a wide range of services such as IT development, qualification testing, support, business operations, accounting and finance analysis and transactional functions. It works closely with functional teams in the U.S. and Europe centres to serve SWIFT’s offices around the world. SWIFT has been in Asia Pacific for over 30 years, starting in Hong Kong and Singapore. Three regional offices have been opened in Asia since 2005, bringing the total to eight commercial and support offices.

Western Union Facilitates Government Payments

Western Union global payment services now plans to help facilitate the “last mile” and bridge the gap between government payments that need to be disbursed and the people who receive them. Initially, the Western Union service will enable parents with school-age children, university students and senior citizens to access government and emergency payments at more than 600 Western Union Agent locations across Haiti. Future plans may include offering a wider array of pay-out options including: bank accounts, mobile phones or prepaid cards.