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

BitFury Capital

BitFury Group, the leading Bitcoin infrastructure provider, announced it is launching “BitFury Capital”: a seed investment fund. The fund will leverage BitFury’s leading position in bitcoin and cryptocurrency infrastructure to accelerate other parts of the ecosystem through strategic partnerships, and expansion into adjacent business opportunities.

Optimal Payments Partners Oink Payments

Optimal Payments payment solutions and Oink payment technology partnered to offer merchants using the NETBANX® payment gateway an additional payment method for teens and their families to pay and manage their money online, securely and easily. Oink is the only payment technology that helps kids and teens manage their money online and on mobile devices, under parental guidance and control. It allows ecommerce merchants to reach consumers under 21, in a secure, legal and effective manner while remaining compliant with FTC and COPPA regulations.

Ecomdash Integrates with Magento

Ecomdash announced today it is now integrated with the ecommerce platform, Magento. The newest integration makes it easier for Magento customers to manage inventory, sales orders and shipping across multiple marketplaces. Ecomdash automatically syncs sales orders and inventory levels between Magento storefronts and channels including Amazon, eBay and Etsy. The web-based software application gives online sellers a complete view of business operations from a centralized dashboard.

Tieto wins EUR7 million IT contract with Volvofinans Bank

Tieto has signed a five-year agreement to provide Swedish Volvofinans Bank with extensive IT infrastructure, including a crucial data protection solution covering the bank’s 1.1 million Volvo Card holders. The order is initially estimated at around EUR 7 million. This will provide Volvofinans Bank IT infrastructure and end-user services, including management on several IT platforms. Tieto will operate parts of the server environment according to the international Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) – a protection standard endorsed by organizations such as American Express, MasterCard Worldwide and Visa Inc.

Anderson Zaks and Datecs Launch mPOS Solution

Anderson Zaks Payment Services partnered Datecs to develop a fully secure, scalable m-POS solution. This combines Datecs’ BluePad 50 universal mobile payment device with Anderson Zaks’ RedCard payment processing service and is fully compatible with EPOS solutions running on Android, Win8 and iOS tablets. The system includes point to point encryption from the PIN pad to the RedCard software, providing a payments solution that can be used with confidence in a mobile EPOS (or m-POS) environment, and reduces the PCI scope for the merchant or retailer. Anderson Zaks RedCard Processing Service offers easy integration and supports credit, debit, ETU, DCC, gift and contactless and NFC payment card types.

Visa AP Q1

Visa’s (VS) Asia Pacific (AP) region Purchase Dollar Volume (PDV) rose year-on-year (Y/Y) by 15.0% on a local currency basis in the first quarter (Q1/14) to US$328 billion. Based on PDV, the VS AP region is the fastest growing region, outside the US. The average purchase ticket in the VS AP region declined 2.8% Y/Y. One-year ago it stood at US$94.67, compared to US$92.19 in Q4/13 and US$91.98 in Q1/14, according to CardData. VS has an estimated 725 million cards-in-force (CIF) currently in the AP region, compared to 682 million in Q1/13.

USA Technologies Announces Latest ePort Connect Client

USA Technologies announced its loyalty and prepaid program, MORE., is now integrated with AirVend’s interactive touchscreen point-of-sale device. The combined solution is designed to provide customers of AirVend added convenience, choice and new revenue opportunities. MORE. lets users of ePort Connect offer their consumers rewards and discount offers for products purchased at their cashless-enabled locations, thus building loyalty, repeat business and a greater understanding of their consumers’ purchasing preferences. MORE. is offered as an extension to USAT’s comprehensive ePort Connect® service, a one-stop cashless payment service that now supports more than 6,650 customers.

London Tops MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index

London tops the list as the destination of choice for international travelers for the third time in four years, according to the annual MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index. Rounding out the top five cities are Bangkok, Paris, Singapore and Dubai, which are benefiting from a surge in international travel fueled by an expanding middle class, innovations in luxury travel and rising need for business travel. The index also indicates this surge will continue, even with more technology and collaboration tools available to businesses. MasterCard’s Priceless Cities program provides exclusive access to more of life’s passions. At the same time, there are core benefits, insurances and features that help provide greater convenience along the way.

XRomb Gets Credit Card Patent

XRomb Inc. announced today that the US Patent Office has issued them a patent that covers the most user-friendly way of loading credit card information into mobile commerce applications including the rapidly expanding market of mobile wallets. The patent for invention number 8,763,896 is a system and method patent for loading a transaction card and processing repayment on a mobile device.

Synchrony Announces Investment in LoopPay

Synchrony Financial announced its strategic investment in LoopPay mobile payments platform. LoopPay recently introduced the LoopPay ChargeCase, which allows consumers to pay with their iPhone 5 or 5s at regular credit card swipe readers, while extending the phone’s battery charge by up to 60%. It is the second product launched by LoopPay in four months, with several more products planned for market entry this year. LoopPay technology enables existing point-of-sale infrastructure to accept contactless payments through mobile devices at the vast majority of retail merchants. Synchrony Financial views LoopPay as an opportunity to close this gap for its retail partners and their customers while offering an enhanced consumer experience and additional security features.

Allied Wallet Honored as Payment Solution Provider of the Year

Allied Wallet was awarded as Customized Payment Solutions Provider of the Year in the United States by Acquisition International for the innovative, state-of-the-art payment solution they provide for small to enterprise-level businesses online. Acquisition International identifies and honors the most respected companies in the world, recognizing and rewarding outstanding success, innovation, and ethics across business communities. They accept votes and conduct in-house research to award the most deserving companies. They’ve won several awards including the Merchant Payments Ecosystem Award in Berlin, Germany and several awards for their workplace culture.

Clutch Powers Customer Loyalty Programs for Amazon Merchants

Clutch announced a new loyalty solution for Amazon Webstore merchants letting them use the Clutch Customer Success (CS) platform to issue customer loyalty program rewards and enable rewards redemption during checkout. The Clutch CS platform is a suite of modular solutions for loyalty, rewards, consumer analytics, gift, social and promotional engagement, and mobility capabilities that drives customer insight, segmentation, recognition and engagement. The platform increases customer retention as well as the value of existing customers through effective, relevant marketing programs to optimize desired customer response and brand goals. Merchants can work with Clutch to configure its loyalty program on the Clutch CS platform and integrate it with their Amazon Webstore account.