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:

Discover Tops Loyalty Index

Discover card shared the top spot in the credit card category this year on the 2014 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index.® The index measures the degrees of loyalty that consumers exhibit toward their favorite brands. For the 2014 index, Brand Keys surveyed 32,000 consumers, ages 18 to 65, and examined 555 brands in 64 categories. Discover has held or shared the top Brand Keys ranking in its category for the past 18 consecutive years.

MasterCard is Official Card of the Bahamas

MasterCard announced that, as part of the company’s commitment to enhance the experience of cardholders visiting the country is support of the local tourism industry, the company has partnered with the Ministry of Tourism to become the official card of The Bahamas. The announcement was made during an exclusive cocktail event for participating merchants, tourism industry influencers and media at John Watling’s Distillery at Buena Vista Estate, in Nassau, Bahamas.

Dash mPayment Raises $1.2 million Seed Round

Dash mpayments platform that allows patrons to check-in, view, split, and pay their tab from the Pay with Dash smartphone app has raised $1.2 million in a Seed-2 round. Dash also released a iOS 7 update for the Pay with Dash app that incorporates location-aware BLE to automatically check-in patrons as they walk into a venue. Additionally, a stored credit system allows both Pay with Dash users and venues to pay with and offer credit that can be used towards any Dash tab. Pay With Dash launched last November in New York City with a mission to overhaul the traditional restaurant payment process to streamline a solution that allowed groups of friends to pay for restaurant bills and bar tabs seamlessly via their smartphones. With Pay With Dash, users can check in at any point while they’re at the venue to see their bill in real time as they place their orders. Pay With Dash effectively removes the need to ask for the bill at the end of the night and also eliminating the hassle of splitting the bill.

First Data and Sterling Natl Bank Extension

First Data Corporation, the global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, and Sterling National Bank, the principal subsidiary of Sterling Bancorp (NYSE: STL), announced the companies signed a long-term extension for merchant services and solutions. With this new relationship, First Data will continue to distribute payment processing services and tools including innovative point-of-sale (POS) solutions such as Clover Station™, a reliable, easy-to-use, cloud-based business management solution for merchants.

UnionPay and CCB Super ATM

UnionPay International and China Construction Bank (CCB) jointly announce the commissioning of the first overseas ATM of CCB in Melbourne and the co-building of UnionPay “Super ATM”, which represents new measures taken by UnionPay International to assist Chinese-funded banks to expand their foreign business, and improve UnionPay card overseas service through UnionPay International’s global network.

Piran Consulting Appoints Director, Cards and Payments

Piran Consulting has appointed industry leader Matt Simester as Director of Cards and Payments. Established to help businesses place mobile technology at the heart of their strategy, has strengthened its Cards and Payments’ division to provide clients with specialist support in their payments’ strategy. Matt will work with clients to drive performance from existing products and prepare their businesses to embrace mobile and digital payment technology, working alongside Piran’s digital authentication experts to enhance services in the rapidly evolving payments ecosystem. Matt will oversee include: payments’ strategy, partnership development, benchmarking and performance improvement, proposition and product development, business insight and research, mobile payments, value management and loyalty, merchant acquiring and acceptance, as well as programme design and management.

paysafecard Announces Latest Client

Skrill digital payments announced customers can now use paysafecard to top up their Skrill Digital Wallets. This integration, which follows Skrill Group’s acquisition of paysafecard in early 2013, enables Skrill Digital Wallet users to add funds to their wallets quickly, easily, and safely, without the use of a credit card or bank account, adding a new option for loading money to the Skrill Digital Wallet. Users can purchase paysafecard in person at more than 450,000 sales outlets around the world. After purchasing paysafecard, customers can instantly top up the credit in their Skrill Digital Wallet using their “my paysafecard” account. Customers can load up to €300/£250, and after verification make top ups of up to €1,000/£850 a day and up to €3,000/£2,500 within a 30-day period. Customers can use them with any merchant that accepts Skrill payments, or to transfer money to other Skrill Digital Wallet holders.

FCA Unveils New Rules on Consumer Credit

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has confirmed the final rules that will govern the consumer credit market which will result in changes for how payday lenders and debt management companies treat their customers. The FCA will take a tough approach to consumer credit with stronger powers to clamp down on poor practice than the previous Office of Fair Trading regime. Our supervision of firms will be hands on and we will closely monitor how providers treat their customers, in particular those operating in higher risk sectors such as credit cards, debt management and payday. We will respond quickly to any issues that are identified and there will be swift penalties for any firm or individual found not to be putting consumers’ interests first, including possible enforcement action and consumer redress. The biggest changes come for payday lenders and debt management companies, which include limiting the number of loan roll-overs to two; restricting (to two) the number of times a firm can seek repayment using a continuous payment authority (CPA); a requirement to provide information to customers on how to get free debt advice; and requiring debt management firms to pass on more money to creditors from day one of a debt management plan, and to protect client money.

ACI Posts 4Q/13 Revenue Up 26% Y/Y

ACI posted 4Q/13 revenue of $283 million, up $59 million by 26% from the year ago figure. This was thanks in great part to new sales bookings up 25% while operating income was $86 million for the quarter, an increase of $10 million by 14% from 2012. Net income for the quarter was $50 million compared to net income of $50 million during the same period the prior year. Operating free cash flow in Q4 was $62 million, up from $24 million in the prior-year quarter.

Fiserv Announces Latest Client Contract Extension

Fiserv announced Abri Credit Union extended and expanded its relationship, selecting “XP2” from Fiserv for account processing along with value-added capabilities for mobile banking, person-to-person payments, online banking, bill pay, and product and service messaging. The “XP2” advanced technology platform with established integration across a broad range of Fiserv solutions is designed to improve efficiencies and maximize cross-selling opportunities. The credit union will leverage the enhanced XP2 lending functionality, as well as the solution’s customizable workflows, to gain efficiencies in its mortgage and small business lending processes. Cross-channel integration will enable members to get up-to-the-minute account information and help staff answer member questions with just a few key strokes. The credit union will also implement “Popmoney” to enable its members to send and receive person-to-person, or social, payments, while Mobiliti™ will introduce comprehensive mobile banking functions, including payment and deposit capabilities, to its members. Additionally, Abri Credit Union will implement Corillian Online® for online banking and CheckFree® RXP® for online bill pay.