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

Bluebird Gets Financial Management Tools

American Express this morning announced it will add free personal financial management tools to American Express Serve1 and Bluebird starting this summer. These tools help customers monitor their spending by automatically sorting transactions into categories such as bills, food, fun, shopping and transportation so they can easily track where their money is going. When customers log in to their Serve and Bluebird accounts, they will also be able to create budgets, set spending limits and alerts, as well as set and track financial goals.

BofA Merchant Canadian Services

Bank of America Merchant Services, the No. 1-rated electronic payments processor in the United States1, announced today the creation of the company’s new Canadian merchant services operation. Based in Toronto, the organization will provide a full suite of products and services – ranging from payments and commerce to security and advice — to both existing domestic U.S. customers currently doing business in Canada, and new Canadian market customers. The new Canadian subsidiary already has relationships with all major Canadian credit and debit card processing networks.

PayCube Focuses on mPayment Channel

PayCube has been building core payment processing platforms for the retail-payments community and participated in various custom software development projects for its customers beyond traditional core payment backend systems. PayCube has participated in the design, development and support of mobile payments by extending core enterprise payment, loyalty and promotion stacks to the mobile channel. PayCube has built cross platform apps using frameworks such as PhoneGap, Sencha Touch, JQuery mobile, jQT etc. that are based on HTML5 user interface systems for mobile payments development for its customers. Projects include extending core gateway and card acquiring / processing capability on mobile phones (Android, Apple and Windows) and cross linking loyalty and real-time promotions and couponing capabilities. Some of the feature sets supported by the apps developed by PayCube include LBS (Location based services), user credentials wrapped as QR code, integration with encrypted card readers using audio jack, communicating with 3rd party integrated POS systems like MICROS.

FIS and MasterCard Speed U.S. EMV Adoption

FIS banking and payments technology, its NYCE® Payments Network and MasterCard announced a licensing agreement that will make MasterCard’s EMV debit solution available to all NYCE participants. EMV chip card adoption is a common goal of the U.S. payments industry, designed to increase card transaction security and decrease card-based fraud. This agreement provides all NYCE Network participants with an EMV license with respect to MasterCard products and continues the advancement toward a secure payment environment. This agreement permits FIS to offer a MasterCard-NYCE solution to all NYCE participants, bringing full EMV deployment across the U.S. another step closer.

IKaaz Cloud Based Payments

Following a successful entry into the Nigerian market with contactless mobile payments, Bangalore based iKaaz is now ready to offer its popular NFC and bluetooth powered cloud based payments platform to consumers in Kenya. Announcing a strategic alliance with Family Bank, one of Kenya’s leading banks, iKaaz along with its local partner EDGE financial systems will bring the revolutionary Tap & Pay solution to Family Bank’s customers. Family Bank customers can now expect to move faster through checkout at retail stores as well as be able to use the same payment tags to pay at transportation check points.

NYCE Agrees With MC EMV Debit

FIS the world’s largest provider of banking and payments technology, its NYCE® Payments Network and MasterCard today announced a licensing agreement that will make MasterCard’s EMV debit solution available to all NYCE participants. EMV chip card adoption is a common goal of the U.S. payments industry, designed to increase card transaction security and decrease card-based fraud. This agreement provides all NYCE Network participants with an EMV license with respect to MasterCard products and continues the advancement toward a secure payment environment.

Montise Makes Board Appointments

Monitise made a series of updates to its executive leadership team and Board of Directors.Former Visa Inc. payments executive Elizabeth Buse has been appointed co-Chief Executive of Monitise Group, effective immediately. Elizabeth also joins the Company’s Board of Directors.Elizabeth, an American national who was a member of the Monitise Board from July 2010 to October 2012, will head Monitise’s day-to-day operations, overseeing technology, product, sales and marketing while Alastair focuses on key relationships with partners and industry stakeholders, corporate development and major shareholders. Strategy will continue to be set by the executive leadership team in conjunction with the Board. Monitise’s growing ecosystem of partners and clients includes more than 350 banks, payment services companies such as Visa Inc., Visa Europe and MasterCard as well as Vocalink, FIS and IBM. In the mobile space, Monitise’s customers include Telefónica, Samsung, PCCW Mobile, Turkcell and BlackBerry. In the retail ecosystem they include brands such as Blackhawk Network Holdings with its network of more than 500 content providers operating in the US and 18 other countries, eBay, Turkey’s Bilyoner and Biletix, Venda, B&Q, Carphone Warehouse and Premier Inn. Elizabeth’s appointment comes after she stepped down from her role running international operations at Visa Inc. in March 2014 as Executive Vice President of Solutions. She joined Visa Inc. in 1998 and during her time there held roles including Group President of Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa, Global Head of Product, Executive Vice President of Product Development and Management and Executive Vice President of Emerging Markets & Technologies.

USA Technologies Celebrates Cashless Adoption in Self-Serve Retail with a Milestone 250,000 Connections to its ePort Connect Service

USA Technologies announced that connections to its end-to-end ePort Connect® service crossed 250,000 during its fourth fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2014. USAT’s ePort Connect service is a PCI-compliant suite of cashless payment and telemetry services specially tailored to fit the needs of self-serve retail industries. Designed to be a “one-stop shop,” services offered through ePort Connect include wireless and merchant account setup, simplified processing rates, settlement and reconciliation, 24 x 7 customer service and a host of value-added services including mobile payment, loyalty programs and integrated payment services for micro-markets and other POS devices.

Citizens Introduces Mobile Check Deposit and Balance-Viewing Features

Citizens Financial launched more user friendly mobile access. Use of mobile video camera technology improves on mobile check deposit functionality, with higher-quality images that make it easy for Citizens Bank and Charter One customers to deposit checks with their iPhone®, iPad® and Android™ devices. Customers can also now view account balances on mobile devices without logging in. The Citizens “Bank Better” enhancements that expand mobile banking functionality for Citizens Bank and Charter One customers – mobile check deposits and fast account balances. Both enhancements use industry-leading technology designed to deliver increased customer convenience. CFG’s mobile check deposits capture check images using a mobile device’s video camera. The check image is captured using the mobile device’s video camera and leverages built-in components to provide real-time feedback to the customer. The Citizens Bank and Charter One Mobile Banking App proactively instructs the customer to make needed corrections like holding the device steady, turning on the flash or getting closer to or pulling back from the check. Once all conditions are met, the video camera automatically takes the picture.

First Data and Union Bank Ink Debit Processing Partnership

First Data and Union Bank commercial bank providing a broad mix of financial services announced the companies finalized a multi-year agreement for debit processing, ATM driving, and card fulfillment output services. First Data will provide the efficiency, scale and functionality required for the $107.2 billion bank and its nearly one million cardholders while the bank continues to manage its own portfolio.