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

TSYS Inks Full-Service Processing Agreement

TSYS signed a long-term payments agreement with MLS Direct Network for undisclosed terms. Through its Merchant Services segment, TSYS will provide full-service payment processing services, in addition to chargeback processing, technical support, and risk management services. In 2012, MLS Direct processed $3.6 billion in credit card processing through its provider networks.

SmartStream Envisions Single Back Office Solution

SmartStream Technologies launched their latest reconciliations solution developed in response to continued customer demand to cut operational costs and duplication of feeds – with the long term view of having a single platform for back office operations. This allows for better control over each entity and the ability to confidently report to all business lines. The new SmartStream offering avoids the need for multiple systems, multiple licences and the training of employees on different systems. Regulations arising from Dodd-Frank and EMIR, place new demands for regular and in some cases, daily reconciliations of these complex instruments. SmartStream’s customers can now roll-out an industry standard model for OTC Derivatives in the fastest time available today.

VeriFone Securities Being Investigated

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Glancy Binkow & Goldberg announces is investigating claims on behalf of purchasers of the securities of VeriFone Systems for violations to the federal securities laws. Concerning allegations statements issued by VeriFone were false and misleading in regards to its operations and financial performance, the investigation is related to allegations Verifone failed…

Visa Launches Ready Partner Program

Visa launched a new partner program designed to accelerate the introduction of innovative payment solutions globally and further drive the global migration from cash to electronic payments. The Visa Ready Partner Program paves the way for mobile device manufacturers, technology partners, mobile network operators, and others, to easily navigate the complexities of the payments ecosystem, and to gain access to Visa IP, licenses and best practices. The Program is designed to provide innovators a path to ensure that devices, software and solutions used to initiate or accept Visa payments are compatible with Visa’s requirements, which may vary by country. It also provides a framework for the collaboration with Visa, as well as guidance and best practices to access the power of the Visa network. Mobile point-of-sale acceptance (mPOS) providers, mobile NFC-enabled device manufacturers, and chip and platform providers are among the stakeholders that are already playing a critical role in enabling new ways to pay and that will benefit from the Visa Ready Partner Program.

FBC Bank Globally Expands MasterCard

FBC Bank Limited announced that they are introducing the MasterCard Prepaid card to members of the Zimbabwean Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). The FBC-ACCA MasterCard Prepaid card will provide Zimbabwean accounting professionals with the ability to transact safer, easier and more conveniently, by introducing an innovative electronic payment solution, thus removing the need for cash. ACCA members do not require a bank account to apply for the prepaid card, and will be able to pay tuition and exam fees, monitor their balances, track spending and download statements via the FBC Bank online portal.

Higher One Expands Nationwide ATM Access

Higher One partnered Allpoint Network of Cardtronics, allowing OneAccount Premier cardholders free ATM access to 38,000 Allpoint ATMs. This expands Higher One’s national ATM network and will allow OneAccount Premier cardholders to conduct standard ATM transactions, including withdrawals and statement balance inquiries, free of charge at any Allpoint Network ATM in the United States. College students are eligible for the OneAccount Premier checking account, featuring no monthly fee with $300 in monthly direct deposit; reimbursement for one non-Higher One ATM or non-Allpoint ATM transaction per month; upgraded cash back rewards in the OneRewards program; and access to interactive “Bud-jet” budgeting tool.

American Express Elects New Board Member

American Express appointed Anne Lauvergeon to its board of directors. Also a partner and managing director of Efficiency Capital, an investment firm that focuses on energy, technologies, and natural resources, and chairman and CEO of A.L.P. SAS, an advisory company, Lauvergeon is a member of the board of directors of Total S.A. and Vodafone Plc. She is a graduate of the École Normale Supérieure and the French National School of Mining Engineer and was awarded an honorary doctorate by London’s Imperial College. She is also a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering as well as the Royal Academy of Belgium.

AmEx Announces Board Member

American Express elected Samuel J. Palmisano to its board of directors. Formerly chairman, president and chief executive officer of IBM from 2003 to 2011, Palmisano was also chairman of the board from January through September 2012 and continued as senior adviser to IBM until his retirement, by which IBM achieved record financial performance, transformed itself into a globally integrated enterprise and introduced its Smarter Planet agenda. Palmisano is a member of the board of directors of Exxon Mobil Corporation and a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University. He holds an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Johns Hopkins University in 2012 and from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2005. In 2006, he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the London Business School. He is also an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and served as co-chair of the Council on Competitiveness’s National Innovation Initiative.

Huntington Bank Launches Spartans Debit Card

Huntington Bank and Michigan State University Athletics launched the Spartans branded debit card, providing fans who sign up for a Huntington Bank checking account debit card to show their loyalty. The Spartans debit card bears Michigan State University’s Spartan helmet graphic and the Michigan State University athletics wordmark. The debit card can be linked to any of Huntington’s consumer checking accounts including the popular Asterisk-Free Checking®, a checking account without a monthly checking maintenance fee that offers 24-Hour Grace® to help customers avoid overdraft fees. The Spartans debit card launches as Huntington expands into the Lansing area via partnership with Meijer, creating eight in-store branches serving greater Lansing by the end of 2013.

VeriFone and MasterCard Partner, Launch POS Service

VeriFone Systems and MasterCard partnered to implement the MasterCard “MasterPass” service at the POS. As a cloud-based payment option now within VeriFone’s “GlobalBay” mPOS and “GlobalBay Clienteling” applications, “MasterPass” allows shoppers to access their MasterPass wallet accounts to pay from anywhere in the store on mobile devices on GlobalBay software. VeriFone’s “GlobalBay” mPOS application helps retailers improve the overall customer experience by enabling them to arm associates with mobile devices to scan items, apply coupons and discounts, and complete transactions from any location in the store. The GlobalBay Clienteling application helps build more personal and profitable customer relationships by enabling associates to record consumer preferences and buying habits, and leverage customer data for promotions and cross-selling.

ONE METRIC CARD ISSUERS JUST DON’T GET RIGHT – “R&D SPEND”

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] R.K. Hammer Founder and CEO Bob Hammer commented “In over three decades in the card business, and having read an estimated 67,000 card financial statements during that period, I have seen very few card financials that displayed R&D spending as a separate line item. That’s a problem, as we see it.”…

Oxygen8 Expands mPayment Service Globally

Oxygen8 Group, provider of integrated mobile solutions, announced the global expansion of its “Bridge” mobile money transfer hub. Connecting even more Mobile Network Operators and Remittance Organizations to mobile wallet markets around the world, the rollout marks the beginning of a significant investment in 2013 that will drive the company further into the innovative mobile payments space. It is also compatible with all M-wallet systems and supports integration with money sending and receiving organisations other than mobile operators, such as Payment Service Providers (PSPs), cash-in or cash-out agents and financial institutions such as banks.