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: www.rbm4.com

Swift upgrades Bankers World reference data directory

Swift launched launched Bankers World Online directory online query tool which has been significantly upgraded to provide more data coverage, a wider breadth of financial information (including data from Reuters, Dun & Bradstreet, and Moody’s), and new intuitive features and functionalities. The service is part of the SWIFTRef portfolio, an industry-wide platform for global payments reference data. The new Bankers World Online service includes essential reference data, such as Business Identification Codes (BIC), International Bank Account Numbers (IBAN), Legal Entity Identifiers (LEI), national bank codes and more that are used to facilitate international payments and to fulfil new reporting requirements. It also includes important financial information from market data vendors and credit rating agencies, including credit ratings, shareholder information, balance sheet information, cash flows, and many more data sets about customers, suppliers and service providers.

Thuraya Partners With Western Union

Thuraya Telecommunications Company and The Western Union Company announced their agreement to offer top-up services for Thuraya prepaid SIMs for voice and data services using the Western Union® Quick PaySM service. The service is available at participating Western Union agent locations in the majority of the 200+ countries and territories in which the company provides services. This new and convenient method of payment enables Thuraya customers to recharge their pre-paid SIMS with no extra fee.

Checkprint Lands Five Year Client Contract

Checkprint secure paper and payment solutions was awarded a five-year contract extension by Nationwide Group to provide branch cheques and credit books. Having delivered almost 2.3 million checks, Checkprint checks can be issued to customers who do not have a chequebook facility as part of their account, for instance a savings account. Nationwide will continue to use Checkprint’s Customer Auto Replenishment Service (CARS), which automatically manages stock levels to ensure branches do not run out of cheques.

Union First Market Bankshares Name Change

Union First Market Bankshares Corporation announced that it has officially changed its name to Union Bankshares Corporation. The name change does not affect Union First Market Bank or StellarOne Bank and does not affect any of the other non-bank affiliates of the company. In May 2014, StellarOne Bank will merge into Union First Market Bank. The combined bank will continue to operate under the name Union First Market Bank until the second half of the year.

Ukash Partners ProfPay eCommerce

ProfPay has deployed Ukash online cash payment provider to help Ghanaians and Nigerians play online games, pay and shop on the web. The new agreement offers access to easy, international, online payments from Ukash, without the need for traditional banking information – a key step for Africans keen to embrace the online world. ProfPay operates a multi-method payment gateway and an Online Mall, designed to remove the barriers African consumers face when transacting online – whether it’s playing games or shopping or paying for services. Figures suggest that the ecommerce market in Africa will grow to $75 billion by 2025, making it 10% of all retail sales*. However, today Africans encounter huge issues participating in the online world due to concerns about security and a lack of bank accounts and postal addresses.

Yoyo mPayments Announces Latest App Client

Imperial College London has become the UK’s first university to allow people to pay for goods on campus without cash and receive rewards – just by using an app on their mobile phones, eliminating the need to carry cash and loyalty stamp cards. Yoyo, a London-based mobile payment and loyalty app, is accepted across the university’s entire South Kensington campus, following a partnership with Imperial College London and nationwide EPoS company, pointOne. The app serves over 20,000 students and staff within 32 retail outlets and counting, including cafes, bars and shops. Announcing a partnership with Yoyo, pointOne EPoS is a nationwide EPoS company that develops its own solutions and offers support and installation services.

Govt Help Recover Misdirected Payments

Banks and building societies have put in place standard central processes and defined maximum timescales to help customers recover money. When a customer notifies their bank or building society that they have made an electronic payment to the wrong account, action will commence on the customer’s behalf within a maximum of two working days. If a bank is unable to reclaim funds immediately – for instance if the recipient disputes its return – the customer will be notified of the outcome of their bank’s investigation in a maximum of twenty working days from the point of enquiry and in many cases much sooner. If funds cannot be recovered through the standard central process customers will be given clear and accurate information on the options they have available to them – such as court action against the recipient. Banks and building societies will ensure the design of online, mobile and telephone payment channels reduce the risk of a customer making a mistake. This might involve: customers being asked to input account details twice; extra warnings about using the correct account details; or prompting customers to check payment details that have not been used for some time so that they can be updated or deleted as necessary.

Major V/M Q1 Outstandings

First quarter End-of-Period (EOP) outstandings for the big four U.S. Visa and MasterCard credit card issuers declined 2.0% Year-on-Year (Y/Y) and 5.3% Quarter-on-Quarter (Q/Q). The sequential decline reflects the seasonality of the U.S. bank credit card business, but the Y/Y decline is noteworthy. All of the top issuers: Chase, Bank of America, Capital One and Citibank, posted Y/Y and Q/Q declines in Q1 EOP outstandings.

2Checkout Attracts $60Million

2Checkout announced today they have closed on the final tranche of a $60 million investment round, led by Chicago Growth Partners and Trident Capital with participation by management and strategic individuals. Having bootstrapped its way to profitable growth, 2Checkout has become one of the world’s leading e-commerce payment providers. 2Checkout, founded in 1999, serves more than 22,000 merchants worldwide. 2Checkout’s payment processing service is used by merchants to sell to every visitor to their website, regardless of the visitor’s country of origin.

IndiSoft and Bluefin Partner

IndiSoft and Bluefin Payment Systems have partnered to offer a fully integrated payment and security solution for IndiSoft clients. Through the integrated partnership, IndiSoft clients using the company’s RxOffice® platform will have access to Bluefin’s PayConex™ payment processing platform which includes tokenization and transparent redirect security features, as well as Bluefin’s PayConex™ point-to-point encryption (P2PE) solution.

USAePay Integrates Zuza POS

USAePay is proud to announce the integration of Zuza POS, a customizable point of sale solution, with the company’s secure payment gateway. Ensuring end-to-end security by integrating with the USAePay payment gateway, Zuza also takes pride in setting merchants apart from competitors with added features on their POS software. Along with white-label options, Zuza offers loyalty programs, an informative backend filled with tutorials, and award-winning customer support.