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

Bangkok Bank Upgrades to Mobiliti Edge

Fiserv, Inc. announced that Bangkok Bank Public Company Limited has upgraded its mobile banking, alerting and payments platform to Mobiliti Edge from Fiserv. With Mobiliti Edge, Bangkok Bank customers will be able to securely access their financial information and conduct transactions via their choice of mobile web and downloadable applications for Android, iPhone, BlackBerry and iPad. As part of the upgrade, the bank has enabled secure on-device activation, allowing users to complete most of their activation process for mobile banking directly from their smartphones, ensuring the service is accessible to the bank’s broad customer base and not only to online banking users. Customers can check balances, review transaction history, locate ATMs and branches, transfer funds, pay people and bills, and top up prepaid accounts in both English and Thai languages.

Equinox Payments Acquired by NBS Payment Solutions

NBS Payment Solutions Inc. (“NBSPS”) announced Thursday that it has completed the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Equinox Payments, LLC (“Equinox”). Equinox is a leading provider of payment terminals, applications and support services in the United States. NBSPS is a leading provider of payment terminals, applications and services to the Canadian market and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management Inc. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

CardLinx Task Force Releases Draft Standard for Fraud Prevention

CardLinx, which facilitates the interoperability and growth of card-linked offers and Deem cloud commerce announced a new draft protocol. The CardLinx Chameleon Standard, for pro-actively combating fraud resulting from returns of CLO purchases is designed to strengthen the card-linked industry by protecting merchants from offer misuse. The new standard addresses when a rebate reversal should occur and capabilities for automatic reversals. It also establishes data reporting requirements that will enable detection of fraud patterns and fraudsters in real time. The CardLinx™ Chameleon Standard will play a critical role in card-linked commerce at a time when transaction security has become increasingly important.

AMEX INTL & GLOBAL Q4

American Express reported fourth-quarter net income rose 8% to $103 million for its International Card Services unit while the Global Network and Merchant Services division posted a 13% rise in net income to $399 million. AmEx’s Global Commercial Services net Q4 income more than doubled to $182 million. AmEx says the increase in International Card Services total Q4 revenue of $1.4 billion was driven by higher cardholder spending and higher net card fees. Total Q4 revenue, net of interest expense, for Global Network and Merchant Services, also rose to $1.4 billion, reflecting higher merchant-related revenues driven by an increase in global cardholder spending. Global Commercial Services total revenues increased 2% to $1.2 billion, primarily due to higher cardholder spending.

U.S. ISSUED INTERNATIONAL CARDS

International bank credit cards issued by U.S.-based issuers was in a funk in 2013. International bank credit card outstandings (EOP) are down 3.8% YOY and purchase sales volume has been flat, based on Q4 reports from Citibank and Capital One, both active international Visa and MasterCard issuers. At year-end 2013, Citibank had $33.6 billion in international credit card outstandings, down 3.2% from year-end 2012, after adjusting for the sale of Brazil Creditcard in 2013. Capital One with $8.05 billion in international credit card outstandings edged down 6.5%.

Weve Partnering With MasterCard

Weve is partnering with MasterCard, to accelerate the development of the UK’s most comprehensive contactless mobile payments system. The partnership will provide consumers with a fast, safe and convenient way to pay via their mobile phones at point of purchase and receive the offers they love. The partnership will allow consumers to take the next step in the contactless journey by tapping their mobile phone to make a payment.

First Data and TMG Deploy Quick EMV Implementation

First Data and The Members Group (TMG) are now offering an expedited EMV implementation to qualifying TMG clients. First Data is a global leader in payments processing and electronic commerce solutions. TMG, a leading payments processor, provides innovative, end-to-end payment solutions and proprietary, web-based card servicing and reporting tools to credit unions and community banks. First Data has qualified with both Visa and MasterCard to offer an expedited EMV credit card issuance program to financial institutions. The streamlined program, using standardized processes, supports TMG’s brand promise of “making life easier” for its clients by enabling them to launch their EMV programs quickly, efficiently and with reduced complexity. First Data has completed the steps necessary to offer the expedited EMV implementation process to qualifying financial institutions.

ICP Group, Payworks Ink mPOS agreement

ICP Group POS specialists partnered payworks to provide mPOS services to its clients. ICP operates more than 120.000 POS terminals in 7 European countries and serves merchants such as Aldi Nord, Burger King and BVG-Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe. Under the agreement, payworks will support ICP in launching an own payment acceptance solution, enabling small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to take card payments with their smartphone. Merchants will use a mobile application together with a Chip & PIN device to accept card payments. They can view their historic transactions on their mobile device as well as on a separate, web-based merchant dashboard. In addition to the mPOS solution for SMEs, ICP will use payworks’ mobile POS SDKs and APIs to enable their existing customer base of retailers and merchant service providers to easily integrate both Card Present and Card Not Present functionality into their customized applications.

Jack Henry Announces Latest Processing Client

Jack Henry & Associates is a leading provider of technology solutions and payment processing services primarily for the financial services industry. Its Symitar division announced that $140 million, Pennsylvania-based New Cumberland Federal Credit Union has selected Episys as its in-house core processing solution. The FCU management team participated in the evaluation of core systems and both in-house and outsourced operating environments and decided on the Symitar core system; a contemporary eServices solution for home and mobile banking; superior and consistent customer service; and a solid, reputable, financially stable company. After detailed system demonstrations, multiple existing customer site visits, and numerous existing customer reference calls the entire management team unanimously elected to partner with Symitar and install Episys in-house.

RoamPay mPOS Tracker Studies Merchant POS Priorities

mPOS Tracker research highlights mPOS continues to expand internationally, particularly in emerging markets; is the number one priority for merchants ranking even higher than security; and receipts have the potential to become an important marketing channel for merchants. Conclusions show for the first time, mPOS and mobile solutions are viewed by merchants as their number one key priority. Also mPOS merchants have had their silver bullet all along. Sales artifacts were once thought of as only a required part of the transaction, but have now become important communication “canvases” to be used by merchants as important channels to the customer. And mPOS land grab focused on bringing customers to merchants. Amazon’s acquisition of GoPago could ignite SMB mPOS by handing small merchants not only a POS solution but one that supports its Pay with Amazon plug in, allowing them to serve 230 million+ consumers right from the start.

Ukash Announces Latest Distribution Partnership

Ukash global cash payments provider announced a new partnership in Poland, working with PayUp mobile top-up, financial and payment services through convenient retail outlets. This partnership permits cash consumers to purchase Ukash from PayUp’s 5,000+ locations across Poland in order to shop, pay and play online. Ukash is a secure payment method which enables consumers to spend cash online by exchanging notes and coins for a voucher in convenience outlets such as shops, petrol stations and kiosks. Ukash is accepted across many online sectors, including retail, gift cards, dating and gaming, and can be used to pay at thousands of websites worldwide.