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:

CurvePay Aquires T-Labs Payment Processor

CurvePay announced the completion of its acquisition of Transaction Labs (T-Labs), the world’s only direct payment processor to combine front and back end processing with Big Data analytics capable of delivering real time, targeted 1-to-1 marketing for brick-and mortar merchants. The T-Labs platform processes a billion transactions annually with direct connections to the associations (Visa, MC, AMEX, etc.) and transaction speeds up to 10x faster than traditional processors.

Spire Payments Aquires Altius Plus

Spire Payments announced today the acquisition of Altius Plus. With a client list including top Romanian Banks such BRD (Group Societe Generale) and BCR (Erste Bank Group) together with Raiffeisen Bank (Romania, Croatia, Albania, Kosovo) and Payzone (Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Poland) as well as having developed EFT and certified HOST solutions for more than 20 international banks and financial organisations worldwide, Altius Plus have significant, proven technical capabilities and an extremely high level of credibility in the sector. Apart from the significant increase in R&D capability to complement Spire’s centres of excellence in Spain, England, Scotland and China, this move will provide a springboard to exploit multiple opportunities the business is forging in Central Eastern European markets and is a perfect fit in Spire’s strategic acquisition programme.

Wells Fargo to Service Dillard’s Privatel Label Cards

Wells Fargo & Company and Dillard’s, Inc. announced that the two companies have entered into an agreement for Wells Fargo to fund, issue and service Dillard’s-branded private label and co-brand credit cards. Wells Fargo will also manage the cardholder loyalty program for Dillard’s. The program agreement has a 10-year term and is anticipated to become operational in the fourth quarter of 2014, following the scheduled expiration of Dillard’s current program agreement. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Dillard’s management believes its earnings from the new program exclusive of startup costs will be comparable to its historical earnings from the Dillard’s branded credit card products and believes that earnings will increase with future program growth.

DFC Global Inks Definitive Acquisition Agreements

DFC Global serving primarily unbanked and under-banked consumers has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an affiliate of Lone Star Funds (“Lone Star”) in a transaction, including the assumption of net debt, valued at approximately $1.3 billion. Upon completion of the transaction, DFC Global will become a privately held company. Under the terms of the agreement, DFC Global stockholders will receive $9.50 in cash for each share of DFC Global’s common stock they own. This represents a premium of approximately 5.8% to DFC Global’s closing stock price on April 1, 2014, and a premium of 12.3% to DFC Global’s 30-day volume weighted average stock price for the period ended April 1, 2014. The agreement was unanimously approved by DFC Global’s Board of Directors. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of stockholder approval and certain approvals from both U.S. and foreign regulators. Competition-related approval requirements are expected to be limited in number. The acquisition requires the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of the Company’s stock, which will be sought at a special meeting of stockholders. The transaction is expected to close in the third calendar quarter of 2014.

Cardtronics Extends ATM Agreement

Cardtronics, Inc. has extended its ATM services agreement with Walgreens. Cardtronics is a preferred provider of ATM services for Walgreens. Since the relationship began in 2004, Cardtronics has grown its ATM presence in Walgreens locations significantly — from fewer than 400 initially to roughly 3,250 today. The company is also the exclusive ATM provider for Walgreens in many states across the U.S.

Infobip Meets PCI DSS Compliance, Awarded Certification

Infobip mobile messaging and payments services has been credited with PCI DSS compliance certification. This is confirmation that Infobip’s SSMS complies with the stringent data security standards set by the payment card industry for handling sensitive financial information. Infobip works closely with financial institutions and banks. Its service platform processes over 1 billion transactions a month and complies with a wide range of global security requirements, offering VPN tunnelling, data masking, encryption and geo-redundancy to guarantee the highest possible levels of security and reliability. Infobip was validated as a Level 1 service provider, which is the highest security category in the PCI DSS standard. It means that compliance was validated by an external organisation, as required by PCI DSS for service providers that process more than 300,000 transactions per year. Infobip was found to be one of the few companies of its kind to fully comply with the PCI DSS requirements.

U.S. Bank Brands Small Business Payment Products

U.S. Bank announced “U.S. Bank Business Edge,” a new brand for its small business payment products. The Business Edge family also includes a new product: the U.S. Bank Business Edge SelectTM Rewards card. The card lets card owners earn triple points on net spending by choosing one of three categories (day-to-day expenses, automotive, or travel and entertainment), and one point for each dollar in net spending for everything else. Flexible redemption options include a choice of gift cards, merchandise, travel or a statement credit. Other benefits include: no annual fee, no cap on points earned and 0% APR for nine statement cycles on purchases. The new family includes the “Business Edge Cash Rewards Card,”
“FlexPerks Business Edge Travel Rewards Card,” “Business Edge Platinum,” “Business Edge Charge Card” and “Business Edge Check Card.”

FIS Fosters US EMV Adoption with Visa Agreement

FIS and its NYCE® Payments Network announced a licensing agreement to make the Visa® EMV® debit solution available to all NYCE participants. This agreement furthers the U.S. payments industry goal of EMV adoption and is NYCE’s first formal EMV license, which can be used by NYCE Network participants with respect to Visa card products. Fundamental to the agreement is the support of key NYCE participant business flexibilities, including portability between debit networks for issuers, routing choice for merchants at the point of sale and issuers at NYCE ATMs. At the same time, it ensures that NYCE will have access to Visa EMV technology in perpetuity to support NYCE clients and NYCE will be able to support transactions using all authentication types.

BPC to Unveil SmartVista for Retailers at TRANSACT 14

BPC Banking Technologies payment solutions for the global financial industry announced the launch of SmartVista for Retailers. SmartVista for Retailers is designed to help businesses of all sizes streamline payment operations while supporting the widest range of payment methods and channels. The solution provides all the capabilities needed to support today’s fast moving, competitive retail environments in an integrated, flexible and secure package. Retailers face considerable challenges in their mission to deliver what consumers want at a price they are willing to pay, backed by the convenience and service they demand. SmartVista for Retailers helps capture market opportunities by rapidly meeting the unique needs of changing markets. The solution supports single- and multi-site retailers, as well as mono-retailers and retailers with multiple departments. A full range of payment options are supported, including EMV (Europay Visa Mastercard) chip and magstripe, contactless and mobile, credit and debit cards, prepaid and virtual cards, gift cards and vouchers, ensuring retailers can offer consumers the widest range of payment acceptance. Designed to operate in a dynamic environment, SmartVista for Retailers is multi-channel, multi-currency, multi-lingual, multi-institution and multi-acquirer.

City of Atlanta Grants Acculynk Special Procurement Designation for Patented Payment Solution

Acculynk payment processor announced the City of Atlanta, Department of Watershed Management’s award of a Special Procurement Designation to Acculynk. Following the Special Procurement Designation, Acculynk will offer Department of Watershed Management customers its unique PIN debit solution for processing secure online debit payments. The Company expects to deliver its proprietary solution to customers within the next few weeks. The offering is expected to open up a new payment channel to Department of Watershed Management customers, especially for those customers who utilize debit cards as a primary means for transacting. Acculynk’s PaySecure® patented online PIN pad solution permits PIN enabled debit card users to enter their PIN for e- and m-commerce, ensuring a second layer of authentication and a more secure transaction.

GlobalCollect Announces Elevate Data Services

GlobalCollect announced Elevate Data Services, a comprehensive Business Intelligence solution designed specifically for online payments and chargebacks. Elevate was conceived in response to the unique need for insights expressed by GlobalCollect’s clients, and developed in close cooperation with GlobalCollect’s Customer Advisory Board (GCAB), which includes many leading international eCommerce companies.