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

i2c Clients Win Awards for Prepaid Excellence

i2c clients Banco do Brasil Americas and SE Giftcards were each awarded a Paybefore Award for their innovative prepaid programs. The awards are presented annually by Paybefore, whose publications are the leading source of industry information for the global prepaid and emerging payments community. The companies use i2c’s global commerce and prepaid processing platform to power their programs. A judging panel comprised of prepaid industry experts selected this year’s winners from a record number of applications. Banco do Brasil Americas won in the “Better Way” category for using prepaid to achieve significant process improvements. The bank’s multi-currency scholarship disbursement card has accelerated funds availability for cardholders and simplified the process of sending and receiving scholarship disbursements globally.

Penalty Fees Drop Again

Penalty fees paid by consumers last year took another dip. After rising predictably year/year for most of the last decade, 2010 saw the first penalty fee decline, down from $23.9B to $22.5B, with 2011 showing a further drop to $19.4B, 2012 dropping again to $17.8 B, and in 2013 falling to $12.0 B, according to the R.K. Hammer Card Penalty Fee Index, the lowest level since Hammer began tracking such fee trends. This is the fourth in their weekly series of seven year-end card trend papers, each one covering a different financial, marketing or operational card metric.

Conference Economic Index Hits Fever Pitch

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. was up 0.1% in December to 99.4 after a 1.0% increase in November and a 0.1% increase in October. This improvement is a clear reflection of gradually strengthening economic conditions through early 2014. Consumer expectations for business conditions and residential construction continue…

American Express 2013

Gross dollar volume for U.S. American Express cards rose 8% in 2013 to $637.0 billion, compared to full-year 2012. The average U.S. basic cardholder annual spend increased from $16,425 in 2012 to $17,211 last year or a 5% increase. AmEx ended the year with a 30+ day delinquency rate of 1.6% for U.S. cardholders, down 20 basis points from one year ago. The U.S. charge-off rate declined 30 basis points from Q4/2012 to 1.5%.

CardLinx CEO to Present at Goldman Sachs Technology Conference

The CardLinx Association will share insights on this rapidly growing sector at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference. Silvio Tavares, CardLinx President and founding CEO, along with the following CardLinx board members, will participate in a panel presentation titled “The Convergence of Advertising and Payments.” The presentation will take place on Wednesday, February 12th at 9:00 am. Card-linked offers stand at the unique intersection of the payments, social media, advertising, and retail industries. As the “offers” space has become more popular, consumers have often found it cumbersome to take advantage of the variety and amount of offers available.

Datum Datacentres Meet PCI DSS Compliance

Datum Datacentres is now PCI DSS compliant. Datum provides secure co-location to enterprise and service providers within its highly resilient data centre. The Datum PCI is underpinned by its secure facilities, specific and documented processes, advanced technology and by its people. Focusing on robust and comprehensive standards to enhance payment card data security, the PCI Security Standards council helps organisations ensure the safe handling of cardholder information at every step. The keystone is the PCI DSS which provides a framework for developing a robust payment card data security process.

RMB breaks into the top ten most-used currencies for payments

A symbolic milestone has been achieved by the Chinese currency, as in both November and December 2013 it was one of the top ten most-used currencies for payments in terms of value.
Over the past three years, the RMB overtook 22 currencies, most recently the Singapore Dollar and the Hong Kong Dollar, and is now trailing the Swiss franc 1.12% to 1.29%. RMB payments remain concentrated in Hong Kong, which has a 74% market share in terms of value, with strong growth seen in the United Kingdom, Singapore and Taiwan.

Rev Worldwide and UnionPay International Announce Prepaid Partnership

Rev Worldwide and UnionPay International announced Rev Worldwide is now a UnionPay International registered non-bank third party service provider focused on prepaid products. The relationship seeks to grow prepaid market opportunities around the world, leveraging Rev’s proprietary global processing platform, prepaid product set, program management services, mobile and multi-currency platform innovations, along with UnionPay’s international issuer network, leading merchant acceptance network in China, and corporate partnerships. Rev’s proprietary processing platform is currently utilized across the world, responsible for various firsts in the global prepaid industry, and has integrated services that have pushed the travel, mobile and general purpose reloadable segments forward. Beyond its global payments processing capabilities, the company provides key program management services and overall strategic support to partners, allowing them a faster time to market with more flexibility, from product design to implementation and growth.

EMP Group Furnishes Credit System Support for Woolworths

Woolworths Financial Services entrusted the management of its credit processing and account management systems to the EMP Group for the next five years. WFS is the financial services joint venture between Barclays Africa Group (formerly known as Absa), and the continent’s foremost food and clothing retailer, Woolworths. WFS provides a broad range of financial services products to more than 1.8 million customers in South Africa and Namibia including store cards, Visa credit cards, personal loans, and insurance. Emerging Markets Payments payments solutions provider and processor provides innovative payments solutions to more than 140 banks and 30 000 merchants in 45 countries and operates processing platforms in South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt and Jordan.

State Bank of India to Deploys OKI ATMs

KI announced the delivery of cash-recycling ATMs, ATM-Recycler G7, to State Bank of India, OKI’s first delivery of its cash-recycling ATM in India. The number of ATMs and CDs operating in India reached 140,000 units in 2013, making it the third largest market in Asia, following China and Japan. The number is expected to continue increasing and approximately double by 2016 due to the Financial Inclusion*1 set by the Reserve Bank of India. Building on the delivery to SBI and leveraging cash-recycling ATMs that contribute to banknote and operation management, OKI aims for 25% share in unit shipments of the Indian ATM market. OKI plans to accelerate global sales development of its ATMs and aims for 40% market share in the global cash-recycling ATM market, namely in emerging markets, where economic growth is expected to continue.

Multiservice Payment Deploys BPC SmartVista Customs Payments

BPC Banking Open System payment solutions launched a new system which dramatically improves the choice and convenience for customs payments users. The new web-portal for customs payment clearance for customers and the e-declaration service via POS terminals and the internet helps Multiservice Payment System offer improved levels of customer service. SmartVista’s sophisticated capabilities enable Multiservice Payment System to streamline the processing with bank-acquirers and to rapidly launch new services. By providing customers with 24/7 access to the service, the company Multiservice Payment System has been able to significantly reduce costs and workloads on customs offices, while also offering clients a secure, quick and easy to use service. The development, implementation and deployment of the solution, including integration to a number of external systems were completed in only 2 months.

Global Payments aquires PayPros

Global Payments Inc. announced today an agreement to acquire PayPros which is a California based innovative provider of fully-integrated payment solutions for 58,000 small-to-medium sized merchants in the United States. PayPros delivers its products and services through a network of over 1,000 technology-based enterprise software partners to vertical markets that are complementary to the markets served by Accelerated Payment Technologies, Inc., a Global Payments company since October 2012. Under the terms of the agreement and pending regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, Global Payments will pay $420 million in cash to acquire PayPros, inclusive of tax assets. The transaction is expected to close by the end of Global Payments’ 2014 fiscal year. PayPros’ calendar 2013 annual revenues are anticipated to be approximately $100 million. Global Payments will provide further details when the transaction closes.