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

Western Union Expects to Deploy Pension Payment Service

Western Union announced the results of the trial of its Global Existence Transaction service, a new pension payments product that enables identity checks for overseas pensioners. Conducted in partnership with the London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA), the trial resulted in savings of five per cent. Pensions administrators in the UK are required to verify the identity of pensioners that live abroad on an annual basis. Western Union Business Solutions’ Existence service helps administrators meet this requirement and enables them to send payments to overseas pensioners, requiring an annual in-person pick up at a local Western Union retail location. The five per cent figure represents the value of funds saved as a percentage of the total value of pensions that were included in the initial trial, which was conducted in 2013.

Datacard Group Collaborates to Host EMV Seminars

Datacard Group continued its commitment to educate and consult financial institutions on EMV migration. The company, along with its partners – Visco (Cambodia) Joint Stock Co., Ltd in Cambodia and Omega Computer Corporation in Philippines – will conduct two half-day EMV seminars. Ideal for financial institutions that want to learn about the differences between magnetic stripe and EMV smart card technologies and best practices for EMV migration, the first seminar will take place on March 11th, 2014 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and the second seminar will be on March 13th, 2014 in Manila, Philippines. Experts will discuss security concerns such as risk management, verification security, various types of smart cards and personalization options, as well as benefits and considerations during migration planning, implementation and post implementation.

Ingenico and PayEx Partner on mPOS Payment Solutions

Ingenico completed a deal with PayEx to deliver a fully integrated mobile payment solution in the Nordics. In partnership with PayEx’s POS supplier, OpenSolution Nordic AB, Ingenico’s solution will make mobile, on-the-go payments possible. The solution targets the Nordic retail and transportation sectors, both of which have increasing requirements to complete payments on-the-move, and will increase the range of PayEx terminals in use across the Nordics. The iSMP-based solution turns an iPod® or iPhone® into a Chip & PIN PCI approved mobile payment solution, and enables the seller to receive secure payment on-site to boost cash-flow and deliver a more convenient service to customers.

First Data Shows Weather Slows Consumer Spending

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] First Data released its January SpendTrend analysis, compared to January 2013, tracking same-store POS data by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks from nearly four million U.S. merchant locations serviced by First Data. Dollar volume growth of 2.5% slowed from December’s 3.4% growth as severe winter…

First Data Names CEO Chairman

First Data payment technology announced its Board of Directors has named Frank Bisignano chairman in addition to his role as CEO. Bisignano was named chief executive officer for First Data on April 29, 2013. Since then, he has moved to rapidly reposition the company from a traditional processing business to a product and technology solutions provider to merchants and financial institutions. Under Bisignano’s leadership, initiatives to focus on clients, increase operating efficiencies and bring innovation to the fast-paced payments industry have launched successfully. Bisignano also introduced an equity ownership plan that put stock in the hands of nearly all of First Data employees. In addition, under his leadership, the company unveiled the Clover™ Station, a transformational point-of-sale solution for small and medium sized businesses.

BlueSnap upgrades its BuyNow e-commerce checkout page

BlueSnap upgraded its BuyNow hosted checkout pages enabling merchants to present a flexible, full-featured, PCI-compliant checkout page to shoppers in 180 countries without development expense or the need to commit company resources to meet PCI security standards. The new release features eye path-optimized page design, easy customization, A/B testing, mobile device support, and other enhancements to help merchants close more online sales.Online retailers that use BlueSnap’s hosted checkout pages have full access to all platform functions, including award-winning subscription management, coupon generation, catalog management and full support for both physical and digital goods as well as dynamic localization across 60 currencies, 29 languages and 110 payment methods.

American Express Support Startups, Research on Financial Inclusion

American Express, at SXSW Interactive Festival, announced several new technology initiatives to promote financial inclusion in the U.S. These include a new program from American Express Ventures to fund startups working toward financial inclusion, the establishment of a Financial Innovation Lab, and sponsorship of a documentary. The documentary will spotlight how technology and new thinking can begin to address the issues facing nearly 70 million Americans1 poorly served or excluded from the mainstream financial system. American Express showcased the trailer for Spent: Looking for Change earlier today at an intimate event at SXSW. The film, set to premiere this summer, follows a handful of hopeful Americans as they navigate their way through an antiquated financial system that can inhibit, rather than help, people’s ability to access, move and manage money as well as save for the future. The film will illustrate the seriousness of this growing problem, but also explore the many solutions emerging through technology, innovation and education.

ACI Worldwide Presents Executive Payments Summit

ACI Worldwide will be hosting “The Disruption Opportunity: A Game-Changing Perspective on Payments,” an executive payments summit in New York and London on March 12. ACI’s senior payments leaders and other esteemed industry experts will headline this executive summit that explores the opportunity for banks, retailers, billers and processors to leverage payments disruption to get ahead in the marketplace. The summit kicks off with a NASDAQ bell ringing ceremony, followed by a senior-level executive panel that will discuss payments perspectives. Phil Heasley, president and CEO, ACI Worldwide, will present the Disruption Opportunity, and Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief, Forbes Magazine and chairman, Forbes Media, will present Payments Transformation and the Global Economy.

TSYS Transforms Cardholder Experience

TSYS enhanced its online, self-servicing solution, Credit Care, to provide consumer cardholders an improved user experience and issuing banks greater administrative control. The new responsive and user-friendly design empowers TSYS clients and their customers with greater accessibility to account information. Credit Care now features a flexible user interface providing account holders easy and secure access to their accounts from any mobile device, regardless of size. Other enhancements include convenient single sign-on access from host bank websites, which saves cardholders time and eliminates the need for multiple passwords. New product features also include additional account payment options and an administrative console providing issuing banks the ability to manage the account holder experience for their unique brand and business.

NRF Issues Statement on PIN Essentials

The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mallory Duncan in response to Visa and MasterCard forming a new cross-industry group focused on enhancing payment system security:

“We remain insistent that U.S. retailers’ customers be given the same protections as consumers in more than 80 countries who have both a chip and a PIN securing their credit and debit cards. There is no single solution to the complex issue of criminal hacking and we know PIN and Chip is just a bridge on the long road to a safer payment system, but it is an important step in the right direction.

“We appreciate being involved in meetings with other stakeholders such as the one hosted by Visa and MasterCard last week. While we certainly agree that speed is of the essence, we don’t believe that is an obstacle to introducing PIN and Chip cards since the technology is well established and the cards are widely used around the globe.

“Easy-to-forge signatures are a virtually worthless form of authentication. Insisting on chip-and-signature cards is like installing an alarm on the front door of a home while leaving the back door wide open. It doesn’t make sense when the technology exists to secure the entire house.”

Heartland Payment Systems starts building new sales HQ

Heartland Payment announced the start of construction of its new facility in Edmond, Okla.. Heartland partnered with Bockus Payne to design the layout for the new building in Fisher Hall Office Park, which will utilize vintage raw materials. The new Heartland offices will feature “Industrial Era meets Modern Minimalist” interiors by mixing reclaimed wood and tufted leather sofas with glass front offices and exposed structural and mechanical systems. The interior design showcases 8×8 cubicles with sliding glass doors and large, open conference rooms made entirely of glass to promote high visibility among team members. Heartland will utilize its 13,000 square feet of space for general sales operations, recruiting and training programs.

Through TPS, First Women Bank Manages Own ATM Switch, Card Management

First Women Bank migrated its ATM switch and Card Management in-house, after staying into an outsourced setup for many years.TPS worked closely with the bank and provided both the technology as well as the technical and business consultancy. Successful migration has not only improved its products and services but also lowered the recurring costs and proved to be more reliable. In-house setup improves control over operations and quality of service; reduces time to market new initiatives, removes the risk of sharing confidential information to an external entity and facilitates enhancements of products and services as per bank’s roadmap.