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

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.

Affirm Split Pay Lets COnsumers Pay Later with Lower Financing Fees

Affirm announced the commercial release of its new Split Pay service that lets online merchants offer the power of installment payments to their consumers at the point of sale. Using Split Pay, online shoppers can make a purchase and pay across multiple months with simple, clear financing fees a fraction of credit card interest rates. With Affirm there is zero risk for the eTailer. Affirm pays its merchants in full at the time of settlement and their customers enjoy payments stretched out in monthly installments. Split Pay is consumer-friendly by providing clear terms and a fixed set of payments.

i2c Opens New Office to Accelerate Growth of Prepaid and Mobile Financial Services

i2c payment processing is opening a Singapore office. i2c’s solutions are redefining what’s possible in prepaid, debit, credit and emerging commerce by offering a single global processing platform with integrated mobile and loyalty capabilities. Issuers looking to launch travel, virtual, mobile, corporate and government prepaid products in the Asia Pacific region are working with i2c to get to market quickly with differentiated programs. With programs in market in Japan, China, the Philippines and Australia and new clients coming on board across the region, Asia Pacific is a key growth area for i2c. The office also provides i2c with a physical presence from which it will support its strategic alliance with Visa in the region.

IZettle Adds to Funding Round

IZettle announces that another €5 million have been added to the company’s Series C round of funding. Hasso Plattner Ventures joins in investing in the Series C round of funding, which was led in May by London based growth investor Zouk Capital with participation from Dawn Capital and Intel Capital, and Series A and B investors Greylock Partners, Index Ventures, Northzone, Creandum and the Nordic financial services group SEB. The additional funds bring iZettle’s Series C to €45 million ($61 million), and total investment capital raised since the company was started in 2011 to just over €85 million ($118 million). Investors in previous rounds have also included American Express, MasterCard and Banco Santander.

MC EUROPE Q1

MasterCard’s (MC) Europe region Purchase Dollar Volume (PDV) rose year-on-year (Y/Y) by 11.0% on a local currency basis in the first quarter (Q1/14) to US$212 billion. The average purchase ticket in MC Europe region has declined 6.7% Y/Y. One-year ago it stood at US$70.01, compared to US$68.05 in Q4/13 and US$65.29 in Q1/14, according to CardData. MC has 334 million cards-in-force (CIF) currently in the European region, compared to 283 million in Q1/13. The total number of accounts rose to 317 million in Q1/14, compared to 267 million for Q1/13.

First Data launches payment tool for gambling and gaming firms

First Data launched its “PayLucky Solutions” for legalized online and offline gambling and gaming. The “PayLucky Solutions” offers an innovative package of comprehensive payment services, all in one place, giving players instant funding access – by removing the typically long wait for payment verification and giving financially qualified players the ability to immediately play. This makes payment acceptance risk-free – by protecting operators with qualified players to decrease payment risk and guarantee player funding using TeleCheck® Warranty ACH service, which uses third party validation and provides proprietary analysis on individual spending habits. It also ensures players can quickly access their funds through several options including an open loop or closed loop prepaid card, ACH deposit to a checking account or paper check.

PayPal Introduces Next-Day Settlement Option

PayPal has introduced Next-Day Settlement (NDS) for eligible businesses in the United States through a pilot program. This allows eligible businesses transferring money from their PayPal account to their bank account now have the ability to receive their money within 24 business hours instead of the three to four business days it used to take. And, as long as you make your transfer by 5 pm local U.S. time, you’ll have access to your money quicker than ever before. Again, we’ve heard your concerns so we’ve been working with our banking partners to optimize processes on both their end and ours so that we can make the 24-hour transfer a reality. Now that makes a difference. Businesses eligible for Next-Day Settlement have received notifications informing them that they can opt in to the program.

MasterCard and Silicon Valley Bank Commitment to Startups Grows

MasterCard and Silicon Valley Bank are inviting startups from across North America to apply for a position in the Commerce.Innovated. class. In the four-month Commerce.Innovated. program, participating startups receive access to industry expertise across the commerce space from selected MasterCard and Silicon Valley Bank executives and partners. Participants must be focused on an innovative commerce solution; have assembled a strong, small core team; activated a beta of their solution, that projects to generate revenue in the next 6 months; and have secured or raising seed funding, with plans to raise Series A.

Beepi Integrates BitPay

Beepi announced that it has integrated with BitPay, a bitcoin payment processing service, to become the first peer-to-peer marketplace to allow its users to purchase cars with bitcoin. In addition, the company will also offer prospective buyers pre-approval for loans at check-out. Adding bitcoin as a payment option and instant pre-approval for car loans are the next logical steps for Beepi, a company founded with a goal of eliminating friction at every step of the buying and selling process.

New ATMs for Botswana

Barclays Bank of Botswana has partnered with Bytes Managed Solutions, the exclusive distributor of NCR technology solutions in southern Africa, for the installation of intelligent cash deposit ATMs. Last month, the bank launched a new generation of ATMs that provide customers with convenient ways of banking outside the banking halls. The ATMs are specifically designed for high transaction usage. They accept cash deposits with real time credit capability, recycle the deposited cash, dispense cash, do cheque deposits, and offer a broad range of other services, such as bill payment, funds transfer, mobile phone top-up and mini-statements.