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

Allpay Announces Latest Prepaid Partnership

Bracknell Forest Council (BFC) has teamed allpay on the e+ Citizen card.The new card – which combines the functionality of its existing smartcard, used by more than 80,000 people – was launched last month in a limited trial with a further planned roll out to follow. The solution, which is unique within the market place, can also be made available to other local authorities looking to provide similar schemes for their residents.In addition to being used for services such as retail discounts, leisure and library, the new functionality allows the council to load social care funds onto the card for residents wishing to use this new, secure and convenient way of managing their personal budget payments. Residents wishing to use this service for their personal budget must first fill out a form providing the council with their financial details.

Datacard Group Named Smartcard Leader

Datacard has been positioned by ABI Research as one of the top leaders in their 2014 competitive assessment for Government and Healthcare ID: Smart Card and Legacy Credentials .This vendor matrix represents ABI Research’s ranking of the leading smart card and legacy credential vendors active within the government, healthcare and citizen ID ecosystem. The vendors were assessed on implementation and innovation – including global reach, breadth of services offered, multi-application capabilities and support of market convergence, level of security, e-government services, among others.Datacard Group was ranked as a leader due to the high assessment rating it received for its extensive distribution channels and global reach, its market share of e-government ID implementations around the world, and continued commitment to offer innovative technologies to the government sector. To-date, Datacard Group is implemented in 18 of the 20 largest e-government programs and has over 400 government projects around the world. Additionally, roughly 165,000 passports, 10 million credentials, and 5 million smart cards are issued daily using the company’s solutions.

TD Bank Launches mBanking Solution

TD Bank has introduced its Mobile Account Opening, allowing customers to open personal banking accounts using their smart phone at TDbank.com with an experience specifically designed and tailored for a mobile device. Mobile Account Opening can be used to open checking, savings, money market, or CD accounts by simply accessing TDBank.com using an Android™ or iPhone® smart phone.

Bolt On Solutions Launches Bolt POS

Bolt On Solutions launched its Bolt POS POS solution, designed to exceed existing functionality and user experience standards established for traditional and cloud based POS and tablet cash register solutions. it offers integrated payments, inventory Management , customer database and a gift card program. Bolt POS installations include the Bolt POS application, the selected hardware package and a web-based cash register management portal.

Card Fraud at Record Highs

FICO published its latest map of card fraud in Europe, showing that card fraud losses in 2013 for the 19 European countries studied reached €1.55 billion. This figure was a new high, and slightly more than the previous peak in 2008, according to data supplied by Euromonitor International, a provider of global strategic market intelligence. While the UK experienced £450 million in losses, the highest level since 2008, both France and Greece had higher ratios of fraud losses to card sales, at 7 basis points (.07 percent). The fastest growth of card fraud losses in Europe occurred in Russia, where losses jumped nearly 28 percent since 2012.The UK and France suffered 62 percent of the total fraud losses for the 19 countries in the fraud map, reflecting their higher rates of card usage, which make them targets for criminals.

Vodacom Announces m-pesa Redesign

The Vodacom m-pesa slution is now used by more than 18 million people across 13 countries to perform banking and money transfer services via mobile phone. Specifically redesigned for the South African market, the service introduces a number of entirely new elements including a chip and pin protected Visa card, and a voucher system to upload cash. The new m-pesa Visa card gives access to approximately 27,000 ATMs and over 240,000 merchant outlets in South Africa, dramatically increasing the versatility of the service. Another key innovation is the introduction of a voucher system which allows people to convert cash to m-pesa at all Vodacom shops, selected spaza shops, and at selected retailers. The process is similar to buying airtime and makes topping up the m-pesa wallet quick and convenient. On top of this, traditional services like person to person transfers have been optimised. Additional functionality is planned for the near future. In short, this is true mobile banking that has something to offer for all income groups across South Africa.

Visa Posts Exponential Contactless Payment Growth

The use of contactless cards to make payments has continued to gain monthly momentum in the UK, according to figures released by Visa Europe. Consumers made almost 20 million (19.7 million) contactless transactions across the UK in May 2014, an 18% increase on April 2014 alone. More than 37.8 million contactless cards have now been issued by UK banks, a 35% increase on the same period last year. May 2014 also set a new record for the total value of transactions made by contactless cards in the UK in a single month, reaching £126.7 million, a 14% increase on April 2014. This also indicates a growth of 189% since May 2013. The average UK transaction value for contactless cards in May 2014 was £6.43. This figure represents a 34 pence per transaction increase since May 2013, where contactless payments averaged £6.09 per transaction.

Visa Europe reports surge in UK contactless payments

The use of contactless cards to make payments has continued to gain monthly momentum, with users having made almost 20 million (19.7 million) contactless transactions across the UK in May 2014, an 18% increase on April 2014. More than 37.8 million contactless cards have now been issued by UK banks, a 35% increase on the same period last year.May 2014 also set a new record for the total value of transactions made by contactless cards in the UK in a single month, reaching £126.7 million, a 14% increase on April 2014. This also indicates a growth of 189% since May 2013. The average UK transaction value for contactless cards in May 2014 was £6.43.

Western Union Posts 2Q/14 Revenue up 1% Y/Y

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Western Union 2Q/14 revenues up 1% compared to the prior year period. Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) revenues increased 2%, or 3% constant currency, while transactions increased 6%. Transaction growth benefited from the previously implemented pricing actions in key corridors and a strong increase in westernunion.com online money transfer. Westernunion.com C2C transactions increased 46%…

Billtrust Announces New CIO, SVP

Billtrust has hired Tom Iler as Chief Information Officer and Paul Wakolbinger as Senior Vice President of Sales.Iler, most recently at New York digital technology company Vibrant Media where he was Chief Technology Officer, has over 15 years of C-level technology experience. He has served in CTO and CIO positions at companies of all sizes from successful startups to large public corporations. In addition to Vibrant Media, Iler has held executive posts at Ascend One, AOL and Advertising.com. Wakolbinger, with more than 20 years’ experience as a software sales and sales management executive, comes to Billtrust from SunGard Corporate Liquidity, a division of SunGard Financial Systems, where he was Senior VP of Sales, Receivable Solutions. Wakolbinger’s specialty is building sales teams that consistently exceed sales quotas; he has extensive experience in selling application software as well as SaaS and managed-service offerings.

Spindle releases API toolset for third-party developers

Spindle mobile commerce solutions announced its Developer Integration Tools to its customer base and resellers. The expanded API toolset, which leverages Spindle’s “instant acceptance” merchant boarding process, is accessible through Spindle’s website at:developers.spindle.com. The site will also include tools from Spindle partners such as Slim CD, a payment processing gateway provider based in Coral Springs, Florida. The launch of this platform advances Spindle’s mobile commerce portfolio into fast-growing market segments where developers are looking to combine payment capabilities with the simplicity of instant boarding for their customers and users.This adds transaction processing capabilities to online, mobile and brick-and-mortar merchant software solutions.