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

Computop Launches Updated Payment Platform

Computop PSP made available its Computop Paygate 6.0. This latest version of the company’s multichannel global payment platform offers new features and functionality that make it even easier and faster for merchants to conduct business both domestically and internationally, and is fully SEPA enabled in preparation for the pan-European payment harmonization initiative due to go live in February and August 2014. The release of Computop Paygate 6.0 extends yet further the choice of international and domestic alternative payment and processing methods available to support consumer preferences. Paygate 6.0 sees Computop significantly extend its local market presence in a number of key global territories.

Aptito mPOS Now Visa-Ready

Net Element mpayment and value-added transactional services announced Aptito cloud-based POS payments platform is now Visa-Ready for their mPOS solution. Aptito helps restaurants drive consumer engagement via tablet, mobile and all other cloud-connected devices. Aptito’s mPOS system provides hospitality merchants with tools to increase sales, productivity, and customer loyalty. The solution is a tablet-based POS that combines traditional POS functionality with mobile ordering, payments, social media, intelligent offers, mobile applications, loyalty, and transactional data all in one solution supported by Aptito’s cloud-based payments platform. Restaurants can leverage Aptito to plug into social networks, daily deal promotions and other marketing programs while having the ability to use Aptito’s integrated mobile marketing tools to deploy their own lead generation campaigns and loyalty rewards.

Inside Secure Upgrades SafeZone FIPS

INSIDE Secure today announced it has upgraded its SafeZone FIPS software cryptographic module to improve security for a broad array of smart connected devices. INSIDE’s enhanced SafeZone cryptographic software enables developers for the first time to build FIPS 140-2 certified applications for Trusted Execution Environments (TEE) based on ARM TrustZone® frameworks. A TEE isolates sensitive operations on smart connected devices from the standard, general-purpose, operating system, providing a safer execution environment for these applications to run within. TEEs have already been deployed in more than 100 million devices, and many popular smartphones now incorporate TEE technology.

USA Tech Wins 2014 ‘Future 50’ Award

USA Technologies is among the winners of the SmartCEO 2014 Future 50 awards for Greater Philadelphia.The Future 50 awards program recognizes the region’s 50 fast-growth, mid-sized companies, five large blue chip companies and five small emerging growth companies based on a combined three-year average of revenue and employee growth. USA Technologies is to be celebrated at an awards ceremony on January 16, 2014.

Massive credit card and identity theft scheme

A Ukrainian national charged as part of a multiagency federal investigation into a worldwide online marketplace for stolen personal and financial information was arraigned in federal court Monday following his extradition Friday from Croatia. Operation Open Market, which began in March 2007, targeted an organization known as “Carder.su.” The investigation revealed members of the ring, known as “carders,” were involved in large-scale trafficking of compromised credit card account data and counterfeit credit cards, as well as money laundering, narcotics trafficking and various types of computer crime.

Primax Enlists First Data for Processing

Primax debit and credit card issuing and merchant acquiring programs, products and services entered into a payments card processing service agreement with First Data. Primax closed on the transaction to acquire the processing business of New England Bankcard Association Inc. (NEBA), a Massachusetts-based association of banks that provided credit card issuing and merchant acquiring programs, products and support services for its members. The Primax acquisition of NEBA processing consolidated the current processing and servicing business of NEBA into Primax and the processing agreement, which was previously between NEBA and First Data, is now between Primax and First Data.

India CPI Performance

India’s prior “white-hot” economy has been gearing down for the past three years, but so are consumer prices. The year-on-year growth in the OECD Consumer Price Index for India has dropped from 15.3% in 2009 to 10.9% this year. RAM Research projects the India CPI will increase slightly by ten basis points in the fourth quarter. So far this year, India’s Y/Y CPI was up 11.1% in June, declining to 10.7% in Sept and back up to 11.1% in October.

WorldPay & Delego Partner

WorldPay’s end-to-end payment services integrated with Delego epayment processing platform, combining SAP enterprise systems with online payments. The Delego software securely captures electronic payment transaction data from customers and this information is routed to the WorldPay Gateway. WorldPay then manages the payment authorisation and settlement process. This allows merchants to implement WorldPay’s payment processing, alternative payment methods and risk management services through a single connection. The integration also increases security of payment information and reduces the scope of PCI DSS.

Wirecard Integrates BLE into mWallet

Wirecard AG integrated its Bluetooth low energy (BLE) technology- “Bluetooth BLE Smart Payment”- into its mWallet platform as an additional payment technology service. BLE is the third contactless payment standard to be supported by Wirecard’s mobile solutions. The operating systems of modern smartphones enable innovative ways of ensuring customer loyalty and processing payments. Wirecard will present its first showcase using Bluetooth low energy at this year’s Hubert Burda Media Digital Life Design (DLD) Conference, which will be held in Munich from 19 to 21 January 2014. Wirecard is implementing this project in conjunction with its partners Deutsche Telekom and Orderbird, a company that offers cashier systems for restaurants.

Card Assets

Combined, Visa and MasterCard hold total assets of nearly $50 billion as of the third quarter of last year. Visa reported total assets of $36 billion for Q3 while MasterCard reported total assets of $13.7 billion. One-year ago Visa’s total assets stood at $40 billion. The Visa decline was due to the release of cash in its litigation escrow account of $4.4 billion. MasterCard’s total assets have grown over the past year from $12.1 billion to $13.7 billion.