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

Prepaid Card Mall Volumes Gaining

New research examines the size and diversity of prepaid loads through card malls hosted in third-party retailers’ locations. The convenience and variety of cards offer consumers a way to buy gifts, access financial services, and obtain cell phone service. The total dollars loaded through card malls grew at a pace of 19% in 2013. This growth indicates the importance of the channel to shoppers and shows why prepaid providers should consider card malls as part of their overall prepaid distribution strategy. The report estimates of the market size in the United States for prepaid loads made through card malls hosted by other retailers and the diversity of cards and services prepaid card malls despite common perception as gift card malls. Prepaid card mailings include offerings from American Express, the Blackhawk Network, Discover, epay, Euronet WorldWide, Green Dot, InComm, MasterCard and Visa.

LendProtect Partners Engaged on Installment Lending

LendProtect and Engaged partnered on short-term and installment lending for the underbanked consumer. LendProtect is the leading provider of real-time underbanked consumer data and risk scoring solutions and Engaged CRM is a secure loan sourcing platform built specifically for the financial sector. LendProtect has offered specialised credit risk data in the UK longer than any other company in the industry. The company provides real-time data regarding loan performance, payments, consumer stability and employment, which is not available from the mainstream credit reporting agencies. The data is analysed in order to provide instant lending decisions using a proprietary comprehensive scoring platform. LendProtect also provides instant, secure access to a prospect’s electronic banking statement which is instrumental in providing a more accurate affordability assessment. Consumers also benefit by receiving access to additional borrowing options.

NRF Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Review Swipe Fee Ruling

The National Retail Federation told the U.S. Supreme Court that the debate over debit card swipe fees is “of staggering importance” and asked the justices to review a ruling that left the Federal Reserve’s cap on the billions of transactions conducted each year at 21 cents rather than reducing it to a lower level. A petition asking the Supreme Court to consider the case was filed today by NRF, the National Association of Convenience Stores, the Food Marketing Institute, the National Restaurant Association, NRF member Boscov’s Department Store, and NACS member Miller Oil Co., all of whom were plaintiffs in the original lawsuit. While lower than the average of 45 cents before the cap was set, NRF argued that the 21-cent figure included costs that went beyond those allowed under the legislation and filed suit against the Fed in U.S. District Court in 2011 along with other retail groups. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned Leon’s ruling, citing “ambiguity” in the 2010 law and saying the Fed based the cap on a “reasonable interpretation” of the measure.

Allied Wallet Streamlines Set Up Process and Sees Spike in Business

Allied Wallet recently streamlined their set up process to take merchants live quicker and simpler. Allied Wallet worked to develop a payment solution that’s integrated in any programming language with plugins to all major e-commerce shopping cart solutions. It’s clear that merchants are appreciating this speed and ease because Allied Wallet reported record spikes in business for Quarter 2 of 2014. With merchant sign up showing an increase of about 27% and a significant spike in transaction volume, Allied Wallet is growing at record highs.

FreedomPay Announces Merchant PCI P2PE

FreedomPay unveiled the PCI certified fully-functional, point-to-point encryption (P2PE) payment technology as part of its cloud-based FreedomPay Commerce Platform. With the certification of its P2PE technology by the PCI Security Standards Council – and through key alliances with hardware vendors and validated secure distribution channels – FreedomPay offers a streamlined, cost-effective way for merchants to put their point-of-sale systems (POS) and networks 100 percent out of scope for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance. It ensures against breaches through PCI certified P2PE, complete with EMV technology. It also processes payments using NFC, Magnetic Stripe and PIN Debit. It’s ultimately designed as a one-stop solution for merchants who need secure POS transactions and want the capability to expand their commerce options today or in the future.