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

VeriFone expands taxi services to Istanbul and Mexico

VeriFone announced plans to expand its taxi and media services to Istanbul and throughout Mexico’s Mayan Riviera.VeriFone stands to provide more than 20,000 additional taxis with secure, in-taxi and mobile payments, mobile hailing and booking, and interactive multimedia content during passenger rides.Istanbul’s 18,000 licensed taxis will use VeriFone’s full suite of taxi payment services, including Way2ride”VeriFone’s award-winning mobile taxi app”and VeriFone’s driver-facing tablets and passenger facing payment terminals that can engage consumers with relevant content through VeriFone’s multimedia network”the VeriFone Digital Network (VNET). VeriFone expects the two-year deployment of the solutions to begin in late 2015.

VeriFone Partners Airtel Africa on mMoney

VeriFone Mobile Money and Airtel Africa reached an agreement to offer VeriFone Mobile Money’s merchant enablement applications for mobile Tap n Pay across their 17 operating companies in Africa. VeriFone Mobile Money’s Tap n Pay applications are a smart, secure and fast way for customers to pay, buy, bank, bill and remit money with their mobile phone at the point of sale. VeriFone Mobile Money has signed a group master agreement for the delivery of its merchant enablement solutions to Airtel Africa part of the Bharti Airtel Group of companies with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa.

LCH.Clearnet Appoints SwapClear Head

Clearnet announced that Marcus Robinson has been appointed Head of SwapClear Australia to lead LCH.Clearnet’s next phase of expansion. Building on SwapClear’s existing presence in the region, he will work with local market participants to further enhance offering in line with their needs. A member of SwapClear’s Global Management Team, Marcus was previously based in LCH.Clearnet’s London office as Director of SwapClear Business Change. He joined the company in 2009 as Senior Manager OTC Clearing, Risk and Operations. Prior to joining LCH.Clearnet, he worked for JP Morgan in its investment banking and asset management divisions and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney in the Financial Markets division. Marcus holds Australian citizenship.SwapClear currently clears over 90% of all cleared Australian dollar IRDs and over 40% of the entire Australian dollar IRD market.

Wallaby Financial Announces Credit Card Database

Wallaby Financial credit card optimization solutions made available its CardBase and The Card Guide. CardBase leverages Wallaby’s industry-leading independent database of more than 2,000 U.S. credit cards to help consumers make informed choices. Covering more than 450 banks and hundreds of distinct rewards programs, CardBase is the most comprehensive credit card database in the US. Separate web pages containing information on each of these cards will be available to consumers at walla.by. The Card Guide offers consumers a similarly unique set of resources to make better use of credit cards. The guide provides practical and fast-paced advice on topic areas like credit scores, making sensible choices when finding and using credit cards, types of card programs, loyalty and reward programs.

Westpac NZ Deploys IBM Cloud

IBM announced Westpac New Zealand has selected IBM’s private cloud technology to support its goal to be New Zealand’s leading digitalbank. The new five year agreement is part of an extensive services and technology contract which includes Westpac migrating some of itsbusiness critical IT systems into IBM’s state-of-the-art Auckland datacentre, enabling enhanced customer service. The agreement supports Westpac as it embarks on a significant transformation from a traditional bank to one that uses cloud computing enabling it to address key market trends such as social and mobile adoption to influence the way consumers prefer to bank today. Westpac is also one of IBM’s long-term strategic outsourcing clients.By adopting IBM private cloud capabilities to develop and test tools within a dedicated environment, Westpac will be able to deploy new online and mobile banking services faster and across multiple devices and platforms in response to customer demand. As customers’ digital footprints expand and the bank’s security demands change, IBM is helping Westpac respond with enhanced online security features, such as the ability to manage identity and access through a single user ID.

GECU Deploys NCR for Digital, Physical Banking

GECU is bringing convenient, intuitive, and easy-to-use services across both its digital and physical channels through the innovative technology of NCR. GECU credit union provides its members with online and mobile digital banking services from Digital Insight, an NCR company, while also installing NCR Interactive Teller in new neighborhood branches. GECU has agreed to renew Digital Insight’s suite of SaaS solutions including Online Banking, iOS and Android mobile and tablet banking, Remote Deposit Capture, FinanceWorks and Purchase Rewards.Financial institutions are continuing to adopt mobile services as mobile banking becomes more popular. According to a Digital Insight study1, mobile consumers access their financial information 66 percent more frequently than online, non-mobile consumers. Additionally, consumers using online, mobile and tablet log in approximately 30 times a month compared to consumers who only use online banking and log in less than 10 times a month.2

Payza Launches Bitcoin in 190 New Markets

Payza payment platform and services for ecommerce has taken the lead in the international Bitcoin market. The company is offering members the opportunity to withdraw funds from their Payza eWallets directly into their Bitcoin wallet. The Bitcoin payments are based on the exchange rate of both U.S. currency and Bitcoin value at the time of transfer. Payza consumer exchange rates will be locked in at the moment of the transaction. All transactions, no matter which of the 21 currencies Payza currently handles, will be completed using the U.S. dollar currency rate at the time of the transaction.