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

VISA Europe Card Not Present

While the U.S. and Canada rack up huge Card-Not-Present (CNP) fraud losses, Europe is much better managed, particularly in the UK. Visa Europe reports that its overall fraud rate is a mere 4.5 basis points (bps) of Gross Transaction Volume (GDV). However, the CNP fraud rate is 10 bps in the UK, compared to 63 bps on France, 27 bps in Germany, 22 bps in Italy and less than 10 bps in the UK.

Vantiv 1Q 2014 Results

Vantiv, Inc. announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2014. Revenue increased 8% to $537.6 million in the first quarter as compared to $498.0 million in the prior year period. Net revenue increased 6% to $288.5 million in the first quarter as compared to $272.9 million in the prior year period, primarily due to a 6% increase in transactions. On a GAAP basis, net income attributable to Vantiv, Inc. was $28.1 million or $0.18 per diluted share during the first quarter, compared with $26.1 million or $0.18 per diluted share in the prior year period.

SoFi Funds $500,000 in Loans

Social Finance peer-to-peer lending refinanced more than half a billion dollars in student loans, with the number of schools represented having grown nearly 800% to more than 550 universities over the past year. SoFi has streamlined the lending process with a pain-free online application, mobile document upload, and helpful customer service via text, email, or phone. Borrowers can combine their Federal and private loans into a single monthly payment, and customize payment terms to fit their lifestyle. Unlike traditional lenders, SoFi borrowers become members in a powerful community with programs to reach life milestones such as entrepreneurship support, job placement assistance, unemployment protection and exclusive access to new financial products.

MasterPass Lauches in New Zealand

MasterCard announced the New Zealand launch of its ground-breaking digital payments technology MasterPass this week. MasterPass is the digital platform from MasterCard that gives shoppers a seamless, secure and speedy checkout – regardless of where they may be and what device they may be using. MasterPass eliminates the need for consumers to enter detailed shipping and card information to complete their online shopping at MasterPass merchant sites.

Ukash signs up Betfair

Ukash announced Betfair has signed up to their popular service which enables customers to use cash to transact online with Betfair. Betfair customers who pass strict verification processes will be able to make cash deposits into their account through Ukash vouchers, which are available from over 50,000 sale points in the UK, with a reverse process being available to make cash withdrawals. The service is available on both desktop and mobile. Ukash enables players to spend cash securely online with unique 19 digit codes to pay directly on thousands of websites that accept Ukash transactions worldwide.

Worldpay buys Cobre Bem Tecnologia

Worldpay Group announced that it has acquired Cobre Bem Tecnologia payment solutions. Worldpay’s eCommerce division will further strengthen its global reach, giving its customers access to a wide range of payment products in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Mexico. Cobre Bem is a payment service provider that offers single point access to popular local payment methods in Latin America, including eight different credit/debit card types and more than 20 banks for direct online transfers, direct debit and Boleto Bancario. Cobre Bem will continue to operate its current business model, and the existing Cobre Bem management team will join the senior leadership of Worldpay’s eCommerce business unit. In addition, Worldpay has committed to further investments in Cobre Bem’s technology and product offering, as well as to bringing Worldpay functions such as Relationship Management, Corporate Support and Implementation to Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires – guaranteeing a consistent customer engagement model around the world.

Picking a New Agent Card Provider

There comes a time when some agent card programs elect to pick a new service provider. Perhaps because of erratic service level performance at the current provider, or due to new account rewards which seems to be less than competitive market value, because a current contract has reached its contractual period ending, or even due to an existing provider exiting from that business.
Whatever the reason(s), there are number of preliminary steps one must go through to ensure the change is a smooth one for your card members and meets your expectations. In managing over 800 such agent card programs over three decades in the card business, R.K. Hammer has some strong opinions about how to achieve the best outcome.

Chase Launches Marriott Rewards Premier Visa Signature Business Card

Chase Card Services and Marriott Rewards announced the launch of the Marriott Rewards Premier Visa Signature® Business Credit Card designed for small business owners who travel frequently for business or pleasure. With the Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card, small business owners have the ability to earn accelerated Marriott Reward points on all purchases, accumulate free night stays, and receive automatic Silver Elite Status once they become a cardholder. The card also offers EMV chip-and-signature technology, charges no foreign transaction fees and comes with a variety of travel and business benefits. With the Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card, small business owners have the ability to earn Marriott Rewards points at an accelerated rate. Cardholders will earn thousands of points for different increments spent on the card. The card also comes with travel insurance benefits, including trip cancellation, trip delay, lost luggage, baggage delay and auto collision damage waiver. Additional benefits include purchase protection insurance, including purchase security and extended warranty.

First Data Appoints New Head of Strategic Client Accounts

First Data appointed Christopher Foskett head of global, strategic and national accounts. He will lead the organization responsible for bringing strategic value, business partnership and new innovation to the firm’s major financial institution, retail, government and business clients. Foskett most recently was global head of sales for J.P. Morgan’s Treasury Services business and regional executive of the Treasury Services business for North America. Foskett brings a wealth of experience from his 30-year career in financial services spanning a wide range of client-facing activities across corporate and investment banking and transaction services. Global Finance magazine has cited Chris as one the select bankers featured in their ranking of “Who’s Who in Treasury and Cash.

Barclays Appoints COO, CTO

Barclays has appointed Michael Harte as Chief Operations and Technology Officer. A member of the Group’s Executive Committee, Michael is currently Group Executive of Enterprise Services and Chief Information Officer at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia Group (CBA). Prior to CBA, he held Chief Information Officer, IT and Operations and Technology roles at PNC Financial Services and at Citigroup.