Robert McKinley, Senior Analyst/Editor Robert McKinley, with 33 years experience covering payment cards and payment systems, is Senior Analyst/Editor for CardFlash and other payments-related publications. He is the retired founder and chief executive of RAM Research, CardWeb and CardTrak. McKinley served as an expert witness in 100+ litigations including two multi-$billion trials, testified before the U.S. Congress, chaired multiple payments conferences, hired as consultant by Fortune 100 companies and several overseas financial institutions. Full Bio: www.rbm4.com

e-Gift Cards

About six out of ten Americans plan to purchase gift cards – the top item on consumers’ shopping lists – this year, according to Accenture’s 2014 Holiday Shopping Survey. Boost Mobile Wallet and Sprint Money Express, powered by Wipit, provide consumers an easy way to make payments from their smartphone or prepaid Visa or MasterCard with no credit check or monthly fees.

U.S. EMV Cost

The latest guesstimate for the U.S. migration to Chip & PIN (EMV) is $9.5 billion and it will take until 2018 to reach a penetration of 80%. This reflects the cost of replacing over one billion insecure magnetic-stripe payment cards, 1.2 million point of sale (POS) card readers and 7 million card reading terminals with the global EMV standard Chip & PIN technology.

Compass Plus

Compass PlusCompass Plus announced that its open development payment platform, TranzAxis, has now been fully certified to support Futurex’s Excrypt SSP9000 hardware security modules (HSMs). This new partnership with Futurex, a provider of secure, robust, and cost-effective data encryption security solutions, has extended the list of HSMs now supported by the TranzAxis payment platform. Compass Plus’ distributor in the Latin American and Caribbean region, during the migration of Global Processing Centre in Antigua (GPC) to TranzAxis. The certification has enabled customers, including GPC, to utilise Futurex HSMs for EMV data preparation and the card issuance process, as well as the secure authorisation and communication of sensitive data for Visa, MasterCard and UnionPay EMV cards.