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

First Data Appoints CIO

Christopher Augustin, a financial services technology innovator whose experience spans nearly three decades at some of the world’s top firms, has joined First Data, the global leader in payment technology and services solutions, as chief information officer (CIO). In his new role, Augustin will lead the company’s software development work, engineering processes and software and application development strategy across the company.

Digital Payments Forecast

Digital payments are expected to hit $4.7 trillion by 2019. While there was organic growth in the overall transaction levels due to increased purchasing on tablets and mobile, a significant proportion of tablet usage represented migration from desktop activity. A new report says that contactless activity will primarily be driven by card purchases rather than mobile, although it argued that mobile transactions should be boosted by HCE.

Visa Simplifies Online Shopping

Visa announced the launch of Visa Checkout, a quick and easy payment service that enables consumers throughout the United States, Canada and Australia to pay for goods online, on any device. For consumers and online retailers, Visa Checkout offers an easy and secure way to pay online. Enrolling in Visa Checkout is intuitive and simple, and shoppers can use any Visa debit or credit card or even other branded cards to make purchases from a PC, mobile device or within a mobile app. Once enrolled, shoppers simply provide their username and password to complete the payment process — without ever having to leave the merchant’s website. Visa Checkout replaces the V.me by Visa service, first introduced in 2012. Leading payments card issuers, community banks, and credit unions are all participating in Visa Checkout.

Visa Opens San Francisco Technology Center to Advance Innovation in Payments

Visa has opened its One Market innovation center and office space at One Market Street in San Francisco. The move provides Visa technologists, clients, partners and the Bay Area tech community an innovative space to jointly develop the next generation of commerce applications.The centerpiece of One Market will be an innovation center designed to provide an immersive experience for clients and partners, where they can interact with Visa subject-matter experts, and explore new products and technologies that advance the payment experience in areas such as mobile, security and cloud-based technologies. The space has been designed to encourage dynamic interaction and real-time experimentation, and is expected to attract Bay Area technology talent who want to develop the next generation of commerce solutions by working with the industry leader in payments.

Google Wallet Announces Gift Card Support

The Google Wallet app* for Android and iOS devices are now make it easier to shop in stores and get paid by friends and family. You can also request money from friends, which means you can settle the dinner bill while you’re still at the table. Lastly, sending money with your debit card is now free, making it even easier to pay your friends or the babysitter using Wallet. You can already store your loyalty cards and offers in Google Wallet, and now you can easily keep your gift cards in Wallet too. Add your cards to Wallet just by snapping a picture of them or typing in the card info. Then, when you want to use the gift card at the store, just show your phone to the cashier at checkout.For certain gift cards, you can check your gift card balance in real-time and get reminders to use your card when you are near stores. You can also send money for free in Wallet by using your debit card.

BofA PDV

BofA reported a decline of 1.8% in Year-on-Year (Y/Y) average U.S. bank credit card outstandings of $88.1 billion. Meanwhile, PDV for BofA’s U.S. bank credit cards jumped 3.9% Y/Y and 9.6% Q/Q to $53.6 billion. BofA noted its U.S. debit card PDV also increased 2.7% Y/Y and 5.5% Q/Q to $69.5 billion. Also, BofA benefited greatly in Q2/14 from record low delinquency and charge-offs in its U.S. bank credit card portfolio.

Western Union Appoints New CFO

Western Union global payment services appointed Raj K. Agrawal Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Bringing to the role more than 20 years’ business experience, most recently as Western Union Executive Vice President and Interim Chief Financial Officer, Raj was President of Western Union Business Solutions from 2011 through 2013. Agrawal, joined Western Union in 2006 as Treasurer and also has served as Senior Vice President of Finance for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Prior to joining Western Union, Agrawal held senior financial roles at Deluxe Corporation and General Mills, and he began his career at General Motors and later the Chrysler Corporation. He holds an MBA from Columbia University.

Ingenico On-Guard P2PE gets PCI SSC validation

Ingenico announced that its On-Guard application has been referenced as a validated Point-to-Point Encryption application by the PCI SSC. Whereas cardholder data protection is currently increasingly challenged, the On-Guard P2PE solution enables merchants to reduce their exposure to data breaches. It also restricts the scope of merchants’ PCI DSS certification to the payment terminal only, leading to drastic cost reductions in both security investment and certification expenses.The On-Guard P2PE solution is supported and certified across the complete range of Ingenico Smart Terminals, including mobile POS, and thus aligns with new security challenges and regulations for mobile devices.