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

Contactless Card Shipment Volume Through the Roof

Contactless payment card shipments accelerated globally in 2013, according to figures released today by the Smart Payment Association (SPA). The SPA reports that contactless technologies were present on 37% of all smart payment cards shipped in 2013. By far the greatest increase was experienced in the Asia Pacific region, where contactless shipments grew by a staggering 193 percent compared to 2012. Other regions around the globe experienced strong growth rates, ranging from 45 percent in the Americas to 64 percent in Western Europe. Whether in the form of a ‘tap-and-go’ credit or debit card or contactless payments via a smartphone, growing consumer and retailer hunger for the convenience and opportunities presented by contactless payment accounts for this rapid growth. In 2013 more than 450 million contactless cards were delivered by SPA members in over 30 countries worldwide, demonstrating that the full potential for consumers, providers and retailers is now being realized. More than 1.5 billion cards were shipped last year, with the highest increased once again recorded in the Asia Pacific region (up 75 percent) driven largely by China’s migration to chip based payments and the initiation of EMV in India. EMEA’s strong growth of 12 percent was in part driven by SEPA rules which enforce chip and PIN and the growth of EMV in Russia. A substantial 37 percent growth in North America reflects the completion to EMV by Canada and the escalating migration to EMV currently underway in the USA.

Xoom Updates Transfer App

Xoom Corporation announced a major upgrade to its App that allows Xoom customers to sign up and send money from their mobile devices to friends and family members instantly at the outset. Now, in a few simple steps, Xoom’s new App release allows money senders to sign up and send money to someone new for the first time — in addition to any existing recipients — using iOS or Android mobile devices. To send to new recipients, users provide information about how much to send, recipient details and method of payment and then the money is on its way. Repeat Xoom customers continue to enjoy the Xoom App for best-in-class mobile money transfer. In the 12 months ending March 31, 2014, Xoom processed $1.5 billion in mobile volume and in Q1-2014, 45 percent of Xoom transactions were sent via mobile devices.

Veracity Payment Acquires Vanco Services

Veracity Payment announced its acquisition of Vanco Services electronic payment solutions to faith-based organizations, healthcare organizations, financial institutions, nonprofits, schools, municipalities and other entities.
As part of the acquisition, Veracity and Vanco will be rebranded as “Vanco Payment Solutions.” Vanco processes both credit card and ACH transactions on its robust payment platform. The platform not only supports Vanco’s own proprietary suite of online, mobile, in-person and batch payment solutions, it also provides the back office credit card, debit card and ACH processing for more than 60 different software companies via web services integrations. In addition, Vanco systems enable the end-to-end electronic transfer and posting of consumer bill payments initiated anywhere on the nation’s highly fragmented network of online banking sites – payments that would otherwise be sent by check and require manual intervention. The two organizations now serve a combined total of more than 38,000 clients nationwide and process more than $11 billion in electronic payments. They also collectively support over 200 client partners that include financial institutions, affinity and trade associations, professional services and independent software vendors/developers.

Vantiv to Acquire Mercury Payment Systems

Vantiv, Inc. announced an agreement to acquire Mercury Payment Systems, LLC for an aggregate price of $1.65 billion. Mercury is a payment technology and service leader whose solutions are embedded into point-of-sale software applications and brought to market through their dealer and developer partners. Mercury is currently majority-owned by Silver Lake, a global leader in technology investing.

The Unemployment Rate Continues to Tumble

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Payroll employment was up 288,000 units in April for a substantial .4% drop in the unemployment rate from March, which now sits at an impressive 6.3%. This was led by employment in construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, and mining fields. The number of unemployed persons sits at 9.8 million, down 733,000 and…

Chase Sapphire Announces Second Annual Preferred Grill Challenge

Chase Sapphire Preferred, in partnership with Bon Appétit hosted the second annual Chase Sapphire Preferred GrillChallenge, Thursday, May 8, during the eighth annual Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit. The winning student, Brooke, received a $20,000 scholarship, and the runner-up, Kelly, was awarded $5,000 to fund their culinary educations, courtesy of Chase Sapphire Preferred. As a presenting sponsor of Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit, Chase Sapphire Preferred offered cardholders the ability to redeem credit card rewards points or purchase tickets to select Vegas Uncork’d events – and enjoy exclusive perks, such as a VIP lounge at the Grand Tasting featuring bites from Nobu Matsuhisa, a private brunch featuring cuisine prepared by executive chef Julian Serrano of Picasso at Bellagio and exclusive meet-and-greets with chef François Payard.

Oink Partners with Gorilla Group

Virtual Piggy, Inc., provider of Oink, the award-winning payment technology for families and teens, today announced that it has partnered with commerce solutions provider Gorilla Group. Oink is the only payment technology designed to allow retailers and game publishers to reach under 21 consumers in a safe, legal and effective manner compliant with the FTC and other international regulations. This innovative technology serves as a digital family wallet that is available online or via mobile and allows safe, secure transactions – all within parental controls.

eGlobal Acquires New ATM Services Business

eGlobal has acquired the assets of The Best There Is Inc. (T.B.T.I.). T.B.T.I. provides ATM services to a number of large hospitality properties around the country. This transaction was signed and closed on May 5, 2014. eGlobal delivers specialized ATM solutions to merchants, distributor partners and financial institutions, enabling and enhancing services they provide to their customers. eGlobal consults with hospitality clients on optimal ATM placement for every location, depending on property type, seasonality and traffic-flow patterns.

Ladbroke’s Integrates SafeCharge’s Payment Technology

SafeCharge International Group Limited (“SafeCharge”), (AIM: SCH), the international provider of payments services, risk management and IT solutions for online businesses and Ladbrokes plc, a leader in the global betting and gaming market, today announces that Ladbrokes has successfully deployed SafeCharge’s suite of payment technologies including: one-click deposits, payment optimization and PCI compliance solution thereby enhancing users’ online payment experience and user-data security.

ACI Worldwide Addresses The Payments Disruption Opportunity in EMEA

ACI Worldwide electronic payment and banking systems’ conferences are preeminent customer events with senior IT and business leaders from leading financial services, processors and retail organizations. This year’s EMEA event, May 13-16 in Lisbon, Portugal, brings together many of the region’s industry thought leaders to hear more about the Disruption Opportunity”how financial experts, retailers, and technology leaders are navigating a disrupted payments landscape, preparing for the future and prospering. Additional sessions will focus on all aspects of the payments industry, including wholesale payments, online banking, merchant acquiring and card issuing, as well as ATM driving, payments fraud, retailer payment processing and mobile. ACI extends thanks to this year’s EMEA sponsors, including: HP, IBM, Integrated Research, Phoenix Interactive, Stratus Technologies, Thales e-Security, XYPRO Technology, Bell ID, Futurex, Polar Moment and Spectrum.