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.

ElectraCard Services Inks G-able Partnership

ElectraCard Services (ECS) payment solutions and services partnered G-able to promote and distribute ECS’ electraiTx suite of payment products. G-ABLE systems integration and professional services firm serving both private and public sector enterprises has built knowledge and expertise to provide solutions for the banking and financial industry. ECS’ “electraiTx” suite provides payment processing capabilities to acquirers and issuers of credit, debit and prepaid card programs including banks, retailers, exchange houses, remittance agents, in-country processors and telcos.

Discover Forges International Alliance with Interswitch

Discover Financial Services (DFS) and Interswitch payment processing and Verve card network promoter forged their strategic alliance. This will allow Discover and Diners Club International (DCI) card acceptance at Interswitch-enabled ATM and POS terminals. This also allows Verve cardholders to have access to Discover, Diners Club International and PULSE networks for international purchases and cash access internationally. The partnership will focus first on enabling about 20 million Verve cards on the PULSE global ATM network, followed by acceptance opportunities for Discover and Diners Club cards and then the acceptance of Verve cards across the Discover global network. The Discover global network, which includes Diners Club, PULSE and other partner networks, provides acceptance in more than 185 countries and territories.

Digital River to Partake in E-Commerce Payments and Risk Conference

Digital River will be sponsoring, speaking and exhibiting at the 2013 Annual E-Commerce Payments and Risk Conference, Mar. 25-28 in Las Vegas. Digital River World Payments experts will talk about how to manage e-payments in Brazil. The first session titled, “Ok, You Are in Brazil, Now How Do You Optimize?” will precede “Exploring BRIC.” The 2013 Annual E-Commerce Payments and Risk Conference is hosted by the Merchant Risk Council (MRC), a globally focused trade association that aims to make online and mobile payments efficient and safe. Badran is a member of the Merchant Risk Council’s Americas Advisory Board.

Inside Secure Introduces Duel-Interface NFC Tag

Inside Secure launched its NFC tag for interactions between smartphones and medical, communications, entertainment and other electronic devices. The INSIDE dual-interface NFC Forum Type 4 Tag also provides a unique one-wire interface that allows the tag to provide a low-cost wireless communications bridge between two devices, opening the door to an array of exciting new NFC applications. Now a single tap of an NFC phone to a Bluetooth wireless headset containing one of these tags can initiate the pairing operation. The tag detects the NFC field on the contactless interface and sends a pulse over the one-wire interface to the controller inside the headset to start the pairing process.

Target Closes Credit Card Sale to TD Bank

Target sold its entire consumer credit card portfolio to TD Bank Group for $5.7 billion, part of a seven-year program agreement under which TD will also underwrite, fund and own future Target Credit Card and Target Visa receivables. With the agreement, TD will control risk management policies and oversee regulatory compliance and Target will continue to perform account servicing functions. Target will maintain the current deep integration between its financial services operations and its retail operations. The agreement does not have any impact on Target’s 5% REDcard Rewards program and will have minimal impact on Target’s current cardholders.

Consumers Spending Fastest Since October

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Americans spent at the fastest pace in five months in February, with retail spending up 1.1% from January. Excluding higher gas prices, this figure is closer to 0.6%, despite the higher Social Security taxes, taking effect this year. With consumer spending driving about 70% of economic activity, with core retail sales…

Datacard Group to Partake in CARTES Asia

Datacard Group secure ID and card personalization is set to partake in CARTES Asia, “Secure Connexions Event” March 27th-28th in Hong Kong, where it will showcase its platform of integrated products and solutions. Visitors will have the opportunity to see demonstrations of its newly-enhanced high volume modular card personalization system. Also Rusty Carpenter, regional VP, mobile commerce, will be speaking on “Financial Instant Issuance Strategy with Mobile Solutions,” part of the ‘eCommerce, mCommerce, just Commerce track’ and will provide an illustration and overview of the component of Datacard Mobile Solutions that are scalable for banks to launch NFC mobile payments.

Panini Announces Upgrades to its API Platform

Panini global payments technology updated its Panini Vision API with new image management capabilities on all Panini scanners, better Panini Vision X performance and asset management and performance monitoring via Panini Avantor. The universal installer includes Windows 8 certified drivers, tested to ensure OS compatibility with all Panini products. The new API increases the throughput of Panini Vision X scanners, allowing up to 125 documents per minute, to effectively reduce overall transaction processing time. Enhanced support for an optional UV-capable front image sensor in the Vision X is also included in the release, adding additional fraud protection capability by capturing images using ultraviolet light. The scanner management software platform provides comprehensive capabilities in the areas of professional asset management, device performance optimization, and payment device security.

Elan Services Focus on Minimize Fraud Losses

Elan Financial Services EFT processing launched its Transaction Authorization Block (TAB) tool that allows financial institutions to block ATM or POS transactions in real-time, using a combination of criteria used in the Elan authorization process. The service, “eTranBlock,” lessens fraud losses by allowing financial institutions to manage their own conditions for denying a transaction. The authorization blocking rules are designed to increase protection against potential payment fraud situations, such as when the theft of debit card data results in fraudulent transactions from a specific location (whether it be a neighboring state or a foreign country) or at a specific type of merchant.

TSYS Announces mCommerce White Paper

TSYS announced the publication of a white paper entitled “Lessons Learned from Business Travel Study: Best Practices for Getting Ahead of the Mobile Wave.” Based on the findings of The Connected Business Traveler Study, an innovative survey of business travelers conducted jointly by TSYS, Mercator Advisory Group and Commercial Payments International (CPI), the report combines the survey’s findings with analysis of how the evolution of mobile banking and payments for consumers signals an opportunity for greater mobile solutions and innovations geared toward commercial card customers. One conclusion from the paper is that mobile connectivity and communications can be leveraged to digitize the paperless shift that will benefit businesses and corporate credit card-carrying employees, just as they have by consumer cardholders.