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

Smartcard Vendors to Shift Focus on Services

The global smart card market will see steady growth due to the increasing emphasis on the Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) standard in the payment and banking vertical. New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, 2014 Global Smart Card Forecaster, finds that the market earned revenues of €5.37 billion in 2013 and estimates this to reach €7.16 billion in 2019. The SIM card segment will account for 42.6 percent of the total revenue while the banking and payment vertical will make up 33.5 percent. The smart card government ID and transportation sectors will constitute the rest. This rapid shift to EMV contactless solutions and the associated large volume of shipments will cause pricing pressures in the smart card market, mainly in Asia-Pacific. A similar case is also expected in the US, where the uptake of EMV and contactless solutions has been considerably delayed. With many companies in the US having already invested in EMV in anticipation of a possible migration, it is uncertain whether these firms will have a positive return on investment.

Global Payments Announces Latest Acquisition

Global Payments entered a definitive agreement to acquire Ezi Holdings Pty Ltd (Ezidebit) for AU$305 million, an integrated payments company focused on recurring payments verticals and markets its products through a network of integrated software vendors and direct channels to numerous vertical markets. The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of Global Payments’ 2015 fiscal year, subject to receipt of regulatory approvals in Australia and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions. Global Payments expects the transaction to contribute approximately US$25 million in revenues and to be slightly additive to total company cash operating margins. Additionally, it is anticipated that the transaction will be modestly accretive on a cash earnings basis for fiscal 2015 and dilutive to fiscal 2015 GAAP earnings per share.

SmartStream Appoints Director, Professional Services

SmartStream Technologies announced the hire of Richard Nicholas as Director of Professional Services, Asia Pacific. Richard will be responsible for professional services and programme management across the region. Richard has been working in the Asia Pacific region for 15 years and brings with him over 20 years of financial services experience. Prior to joining SmartStream, he has held senior professional services and programme management positions at HSBC, ION Trading, Misys and Standard Chartered Bank.

MasterCard Advisors Shuffles Execs

MasterCard Advisors appointed Pierre Burret as Head of Delivery, Quality & Resource Management for Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa and Eric Schneider as Region Business Lead for Asia Pacific. Burret will lead delivery, quality and resource management across three key regions (Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa). In his new role, Burret will lead and develop the MasterCard Advisors’ consulting team to deliver business intelligence and provide solutions to financial institutions, merchants, governments and other organizations. Meanwhile Eric Schneider will serve as Region Head, who has moved from the U.S. where he served as group head and member of the MasterCard Advisors management team for the U.S. market. Schneider will be based in Singapore, and will oversee MasterCard Advisors’ market operations in the Asia Pacific region.

RideLinQ + Way2ride

Two existing payment apps in New York City’s yellow and green taxis, RideLinQ from Creative Mobile Technologies (CMT) and VeriFone’s Way2ride, have to introduce a new and improved passenger payment experience. Now, passengers will have the flexibility to use either app to securely and conveniently pay cab fares using their smartphones in any one of the nearly 20,000 yellow and green taxis in New York City.