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

First Data Raises Private Placement for Debt Consolidation

First Data has received commitments to purchase approximately $3.5 billion of its common equity in a private placement to strengthen the company’s balance sheet through repaying portions of its debt. The $3.5 billion comprising the private placement announced today includes $1.5 billion from existing investors and $2.0 billion from new investors, including a diverse group of pension funds, mutual funds, asset managers and wealthy individuals. KKR provided approximately $1.2 billion, including $500 million from its 2006 Fund and $700 million from its balance sheet. Upon close of the transaction, KKR’s balance sheet will have approximately $1.0 billion invested in First Data’s equity, through general partner and limited partner interests.

Loblaw & ADS Partner

Loblaw has signed a deal for customer-centric merchandising and marketing strategies with Dallas-based Alliance Data Systems. Loblaw Companies Limited is Canada’s food and pharmacy leader, the nation’s largest retailer, and the majority unitholder of Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust. LoyaltyOne is a global leader in the design and implementation of coalition loyalty programs, customer analytics and loyalty services for Fortune 1000 clients around the world. Alliance Data and its combined businesses is a leading global provider of data-driven marketing and loyalty solutions serving large, consumer-based industries.

Dwolla Direct Announces Direct Transfer

Dwolla Direct now lets individuals and organizations to send money using the Dwolla network-without registering for a free full Dwolla account. By allowing users to access and send money from their existing bank and credit union accounts, Dwolla is lowering the barrier of entry into the network and helping digitize paper checks. By creating a Direct account during the first-time payment flow, senders securely wrap their payment information with a username and password and hide bank account and routing numbers from the recipient. Upon return, senders can access and send money directly from their linked bank or credit account by simply entering their Direct credentials. This announcement is especially attractive to small businesses, non-profits, and government agencies looking to replace and digitize their check operations.

Clear2Pay Announces Latest Bank to Deploy Open Payment Framework

Clear2Pay payment solutions for financial institutions announced Banco de Crédito e Inversiones’ (BCI) payment hub has gone live based on Clear2Pay’s Open Payment Framework. Business customers to date have reacted positively to improved levels of service, improved cash management, more relevant payments data and a higher degree of self-service. In a second phase, OPF will be extended to unify all types of payments into a single, coherent, highly scalable and robust payment platform.

Leumi Card partners DataCash to offer merchants one-stop-shop for online payments

DataCash, a MasterCard company, announces a partnership with Leumi Card to deliver a holistic payment offering for European merchants seeking to accept e-Commerce payments. Leumi Card will be using DataCash’s payments technology, implemented as a white label solution, for their merchant customers. DataCash’s payment technology provide its merchants with centralized payments management, card processing, and PCI DSS compliance.

Mashreq Announces NFC Stickers

Mashreq pioneers its Tap n Go NFC Sticker solution and is set to redefine the world of mobile payments. The Tap n Go Sticker makes low-value purchases exceedingly simple by converting any mobile phone of any generation into a credit card that can then be used to make contactless payments at thousands of retail outlets in the UAE and abroad.The Sticker is powered by the latest NFC technology that helps it to communicate wirelessly and securely with payment terminals, allowing transactions to be processed instantly. Existing Mashreq credit card customers can easily apply for the Tap n Go Sticker through MashreqOnline or the 24X7 Direct Banking Centre while new to Mashreq customers can get their Stickers just by applying for a Mashreq credit card.

Fime helps Indian banks move to chip and PIN

Fime, is helping Indian banks to reduce time to market for EMV readers and chip enabled debit/credit cards when seeking the MasterCard Terminal Integration Process (M-TIP) service by streamlining its processes and offering. The MasterCard chip testing processes are mandated to qualify that banks and financial institutions align to its requirements before chip products are deployed in the market. FIME, an independent service provider accredited to provide formal approval for MasterCard M/Chip™ services, has refined its offering to ensure the M-TIP service can be delivered quickly and efficiently to acquiring organisations in India. FIME’s SAVVI analysis test tool, along with test cards qualified by MasterCard, enables acquirers to debug and test the compliance of a contact, contactless and mobile payment acceptance terminal in preparation of formal MasterCard approval prior to market implementation.

Ixaris Announces Payments App Store

Ixaris virtual prepaid cards now lets banks and other financial institutions select and customize payments solutions in an ‘app store’ environment before deploying them to their customers. Ixaris’ app store approach promises to empower business decision makers when it comes to product development by liberating them from the perennial constraints of limited IT resource at financial institutions. Through open payments platform Ixaris Payments Server, non-technical staff at banks can configure or even combine the functionality of a wide range of payment services into business payment solutions without the need for IT expertise. This enables banks to develop new revenue streams by quickly bringing to market new payments programmes. Ixaris Payments Server comes with a collection of market-tested, PCI-compliant payment applications for consumers and businesses – both corporate and SME – which meet common payments needs. Solutions include corporate and SME purchasing, travel and expenses, incentives and rewards, consumer e-commerce, gifting, remittance, disbursement and payroll.

Powa Embarks on New Market with Teller Partnership

Powa Technologies has partnered Teller card payment acquirer, to introduce PowaTag payment technology to Teller’s client base of 94,000 merchants operating in more than 20 European countries.More than 385 global brands including Electrolux, Carrefour and Universal Music have adopted the Powa solution to improve their customers’ purchasing experiences. Powa attracted international attention when it received a world record $96.7 million in a Series A funding round, in recognition of its potential to become a dominant force in the mobile payment solutions sector. PowaTag is being described by many industry experts as a game changer; by combining capabilities which include instant mobile commerce and Bluetooth geo-location, it allows customers to make payments with a click of their smartphones, via printed tags, printed media, billboards and even TV and radio broadcasts.

Amazon’s Phone Payments

Amazon today unveiled Fire, the first smartphone designed by Amazon. Fire is the only smartphone with Dynamic Perspective and Firefly, two new breakthrough technologies that allow you to see and interact with the world through a whole new lens. Dynamic Perspective uses a new sensor system to respond to the way you hold, view, and move Fire, enabling experiences not possible on other smartphones. Firefly quickly recognizes things in the real world”web and email addresses, phone numbers, QR and bar codes, movies, music, and millions of products, and lets you take action in seconds”all with the simple press of the Firefly button.

Amazon’s Phone Payments

Amazon today unveiled Fire, the first smartphone designed by Amazon. Fire is the only smartphone with Dynamic Perspective and Firefly, two new breakthrough technologies that allow you to see and interact with the world through a whole new lens. Dynamic Perspective uses a new sensor system to respond to the way you hold, view, and move Fire, enabling experiences not possible on other smartphones. Firefly quickly recognizes things in the real world”web and email addresses, phone numbers, QR and bar codes, movies, music, and millions of products, and lets you take action in seconds”all with the simple press of the Firefly button.