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:

Competition drives growth in European cards market

Competition among banks to gain new customers, and campaigns to replace low-value cash transactions with card payments, have driven significant levels of card issuance and rising card usage in Europe, according to RBR’s new report “Payment Cards Issuing and Acquiring Europe 2014”. A 20% rise in the number of cards in circulation between 2008 and 2012 (to reach 1.4 billion) was by far surpassed by a 40% increase in payments over the same period, as consumers used their cards more frequently for everyday purchases.

Agent Member Card Programs – 2013 Performance Results

One of the best ways for card issuing credit unions and other financial institutions to augment their organic/branch card sales growth is to offer agent member card programs to other, usually smaller, financial institutions. The sponsoring organization provides the card expertise and management and all card member services (“3 C’s”) while the agent institution generates new applicant/card accounts. Agents are often selected and offered varying rewards based upon size, number of member households served, number of branches, geographic territory served, and card sales technology they have available at their branches, and thus resources for new card growth potential. The greater potential for growth, the greater fee income that is usually offered.


Since 2008, the top five general purpose credit card issuers in the U.S. have logged more than $1 trillion in aggregate annual credit card payments volume. While actual credit card debt or revolving balances took a beating after the Lehman-inspired credit meltdown of late 2008, credit card usage has consistently been growing. Since 2009, credit card charge volume has skyrocketed by 32.5%. During 2013, credit card volume jumped 8.3% compared to 2012. RAM Research predicts credit card volume will likely gain at least 9% this year over 2013.

ChannelAdvisor Posts 4Q/13 Revenue Up Massive 30% Y/Y

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] ChannelAdvisor Corporation cloud-based e-commerce solutions posted 4Q/13 financial results, featuring a record total revenue of $20.5 million for a 30% year-over-year increase in core revenue. Full-year 2013 total revenue was $68.0 million with a 29% year-over-year increase in core revenue. This illustrates that retailers are partnering with ChannelAdvisor as their strategic…

Pay.On Partners Arvato on Payment Method Management

Pay.On web-based payment infrastructure systems and arvato infoscore have jointly developed active payment method management with dedicated risk protection during the checkout process. This allows retailers to automatically incorporate payment methods that comply with country-specific requirements into their payment pages. The checkout solution also includes direct access to more than 130 international payment methods. It also ensures that only risk-adequate payment methods are dynamically shown to different predefined customer risk groups. An intelligent and adaptive customer rating continuously reduces the risk of payment defaults to a minimum for PSPs and their merchants. The joint venture solution comprises the core areas of expertise of both PAY.ON and arvato infoscore. PAY.ON provides the active payment method solution, including direct access to its global payment network. Incoming cash flows are then rated in terms of risk by arvato infoscore on the basis of the risk management fulfilment solution ‘risk solution services’.

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.


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.


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%.