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:

MoneyGram Opens Social Media Command Center

The MoneyGram Command Center is the first of its kind in the industry, offering insight into customer needs and market dynamics by monitoring and analyzing online comments in real time. The command center is an important step toward achieving MoneyGram’s vision of providing consumers with innovative options for moving money. Earlier this year, MoneyGram announced its goal to generate 15% to 20% of money transfer revenue from self-service channels in 2017. To reach this objective, the company will expand self-service to more markets, implement user enhancements, improve back-end processes and market more aggressively in self-service channels. The new command center will support these initiatives as more consumers turn to online, kiosk, and other self-service options.

First Data Appoints New CMO

Gretchen H. Garrigues has joined First Data as chief marketing officer to lead the company’s global marketing efforts. Garrigues comes to First Data with a deep financial services background and leadership skills developed over a long career with GE Capital. She served as senior managing director of global strategic marketing, responsible for strategic planning, new product development, market intelligence and customer insights. SHe also served as a foreign trade officer for the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service based in Paris, after running a successful startup venture providing language training and translation services across Europe.

Global Card Fraud

A global fraud study of more than 6,100 consumers across 20 countries revealed that one in four consumers is a victim of card fraud in the last five years. The consumer survey found the U.A.E. has the highest rate of fraud overall at 44% and Sweden has the lowest at 10%. The study, conducted by ACI Worldwide and Aite Group, also highlighted that 23% of consumers changed financial institutions due to dissatisfaction after experiencing fraud.

American Express Completes Global Business Travel JV

American Express completed its previously announced plans to establish a joint venture for its business travel operations. The joint venture will operate under the American Express Global Business Travel brand. American Express and an investor group led by Certares each have a 50 percent ownership stake in the joint venture. As previously reported, the complexity of the closing process for this transaction will affect the timing of American Express Company’s second quarter earnings announcement. The Company’s financial results are now scheduled to be announced shortly after the market closes on Tuesday, July 29, 2014. American Express plans to host a live audio webcast of its investor conference call at 5:00 p.m. (ET) that day to discuss second quarter 2014 financial results.

Q2 Partners Easy Solutions, Expands Secure Virtual Banking

Easy Solutions and Q2 secure virtual banking solutions for regional announced a partnership to provide omni-channel fraud prevention solutions to Q2’s roster of more than 340 financial institutions. Easy Solutions’ award-winning platform is designed to protect organizations against the most sophisticated forms of electronic fraud. Q2’s platform architecture enables an unparalleled integration of technology solutions for a compelling unified user experience from virtually anywhere and from any device. By integrating with Total Fraud Protection from Easy Solutions, Q2 is seamlessly providing multi-channel, layered anti-fraud solutions to community banks and credit unions.

Citibank Sells Off Consumer Banking Business

Banco Ficohsa completed the purchase of Banco Citibank de Honduras, S.A and Cititarjetas de Honduras, S.A., after receiving the required regulatory approvals. The acquisition is the largest transaction of its kind undertaken by a Honduran bank. Ficohsa now becomes the largest bank in Honduras and one of the top 10 banks in Central America. The deal included an US$ 80-million capital contribution, which brings Ficohsa’s total net worth to approximately US$ 350 million, which represents 21% of Honduras’ total financial system’s net worth. The contribution is comprised of tier 1 and tier 2 capital. The combined entity will have a loan portfolio of US$2 billion, a deposit base of over US$1.6 billion and US$ 2.7 billion in assets, which represent 20% of the total assets of the Honduran financial system (using pro forma figures of the companies combined as of March 31, 2014.)


MasterCard’s (MC) Latin America Caribbean (LAC) region Purchase Dollar Volume (PDV) rose year-on-year (Y/Y) by 21.7% on a local currency basis in the first quarter (Q1/14) to US$49 billion. Based on PDV, the MC LAC region is the fastest growing region. The average purchase ticket in the MC LAC region declined 12.0% Y/Y. One-year ago it stood at US$47.06, compared to US$47.48 in Q4/13 and US$47.06 in Q1/14, according to CardData. MC has 145 million cards-in-force (CIF) currently in the LAC region, compared to 131 million in Q1/13.

Seamless and InComm Sign

InComm has signed an agreement with Swedish Seamless that enables the digitization of the company’s vast portfolio of closed-loop stored-value cards using the mobile payment solution SEQR. InComm offers stored-value cards from more than 500 brand partners in the US. The collaboration opens up InComm’s large client base and enables stores to digitizetheir gift cards. InComm is a leading provider of cutting-edge prepaid products, services and transaction technologies to retailers, brands and consumers. SEQR is Sweden’s and Europe’s most used mobile wallet in stores and online.

New POS MPayment redy

Samsung Electronics Australia and Community Telco Australia, the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank telecommunication subsidiary, just launched their own retail POS mobile payment solution called ‘redy’. Customers can make payments using their mobile device by simply scanning a QR code in the ‘redy’ application. The app is available in Australia to anyone who uses a compatible smartphone. It can be linked to a Bendigo Bank savings account, or to any Visa or Mastercard account. No customer information or shopping data is passed onto the merchant for security purposes.