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: www.rbm4.com

China Outlook

The once “red-hot” Chinese economy continues to cool off. The OECD Composite Leading Indicator (CLI) has declined for four consecutive quarters. The year-on-year change in the China CLI was 10.6% in the third quarter, the lowest in more than three years, down sharply from the 16% and 17% of 2006 and 2007. Private domestic debt has soared from $9 trillion in 2008 to more than $23 trillion in 2013. While most of the money has been poured into infrastructure and expanding manufacturing capacity, it has also fueled credit card spending.

North Shore Bank Implements NCR Video ATMs

North Shore Bank is the first financial institution in Wisconsin to serve customers with video teller ATMs, the bank and NCR Corporation just announced. This allows for extended service hours – a 30 percent increase over former banking hours – and a friendly and efficient customer experience. APTRA Interactive Teller was developed by NCR, the global leader in consumer transaction technologies, which lets people talk to a live remote teller and give the teller remote control over the machine to conduct transactions. The efficiency and security created through the centralization of tellers enables financial institutions to transform their branch locations into more effective service and sales environments.

Payoneer Partners with Quantium Solutions

Payoneer announced today it has signed a partnership with Quantium Solutions Inc. of Japan to provide global cross-border payment solutions for Quantium’s international e-commerce and mail-order business operators. Under the terms of the partnership, Quantium customers can become Payoneer accountholders, so they can more easily receive commercial payments from companies in the U.S. and around the world. Payoneer’s secure and trusted service can be utilized by a wide range of international e-commerce and mail order business operators, providing customers with full control over their money and providing the ability to withdraw funds to their local bank account or at local ATMs. Payoneer offers multilingual, 24/7 customer service and web support, and mobile applications for users across the globe.

CINEO C4090

CINEO C4090 from Wincor Nixdorf is a system that can provide a wide range of banking services both with staff assistance and on a self-service basis. Typical application formats are mainly traditional branch formats. It allows bank staff to focus primarily on advising customers and selling products, but also to be available to assist their customers, where needed, with standard transactions on the CINEO C4090. A further advantage of the solution is that the wide range of services can continue to be offered outside opening hours.

Allied Wallet Acquires Massive Payment Processor

Allied Wallet online credit card processing, multi-currency merchant services, and a PCI Level 1 secured payment gateway, has acquired one of the largest Chinese payment processors in Hong Kong, CloudAsia. Allied Wallet began its talks with CloudAsia in mid-2013 and took note of CloudAsia’s exemplary growth in Asia. CloudAsia quickly picked up e-commerce merchants all over Asia with a service that Allied Wallet considers very similar to their own in quality. Allied Wallet has acquired the fast-growing Chinese payment processor and believes this will stimulate their growth in Asia. Acquiring the Chinese payment processor will give Allied Wallet more access to consumers and local banks in all regions of Asia including Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, and mainland China.

NCR APTRA Interactive Video ATM

North Shore Bank is the first financial institution in Wisconsin to serve customers with video teller ATMs, the bank and NCR Corporation announced today. The technology, in place at North Shore Bank’s newest branch, allows for extended service hours – a 30 percent increase over former banking hours – and a friendly and efficient customer experience. APTRA Interactive Teller and it is the only ATM-based technology that not only lets people talk to a live remote teller, but also gives the teller remote control over the machine to conduct transactions.

Oink Payments Service Implements WorldPay US Payment Platform

Virtual Piggy safe youth payments technology, Oink, announced that it has teamed with WorldPay US to increase its strategic 2014 merchant acquisition plans within the teen market. The WorldPay payment processing platform is used for in-person credit and debit transactions, online and mobile payments. Oink’s relationship with WorldPay will bring the safe youth payments technology to the WorldPay merchant network and facilitate integrations into teen focused retail websites and shops. Oink is the only COPPA-compliant payment technology designed to allow retailers and game publishers to reach under 21 consumers in a safe, legal and effective manner.

Wincor Nixdorf Acquires Datec Retail Systems

Wincor Nixdorf announced agreements with Datec Retail Systems to take over its business. Effectively, Wincor Nixdorf will be adding highly specialized expertise to its own software portfolio for retail companies and will be taking over employees from DATEC. DATEC specializes primarily in data integration as part of omni-channel and merchandise management processes and has its own software, which makes sales advice and payment and merchandise management functions available on mobile devices such as tablets. Mobile devices are growing in importance in retailing for customer consulting and store management. The acquisition is part of Wincor Nixdorf’s recently announced move to expand its software business.

Wincor Nixdorf unveils tablet-based mPOS system

Wincor Nixdorf is set to launch a new tablet-based BEETLE mobile POS system to meet the requirements of international retail companies who plan to enhance their customer engagement with mobile POS capabilities. The BEETLE mobile POS solution offers the flexibility and scalability to be used either as a queue buster, taking mobile payments or offering customer information on the shop floor, or linked to back office systems to carry out admin tasks such as stock taking or inventory ordering. The solution has also the flexibility to operate as a fully functioning stationary POS terminal, when locked into its purpose-built docking unit and POS Device Hub. All relevant interfaces are available to connect the tablet with cash drawer, barcode scanner, receipt printer, customer display, checkout scale or any other device. The newly released Aevi solution portfolio represents the culmination of all Wincor Nixdorf’s experience and know-how in the area of cashless payment transaction processing and provides an End-to-End mobile POS solution for larger retailers.

Toyota embraces mobile payments through Barclays Pingit

Toyota is now offering customers the option to make additional payments on their car plans by simply using their mobile phone. Toyota Financial Services provides a range of flexible finance options for new cars and Light Commercial Vehicles as well as all Toyota Approved Used vehicles. They are the first UK car manufacturer to sign up to Pingit, where it will be used in their financial services arm to offer customers a mobile payment option via Barclays Pingit. Barclays Pingit enables Toyota Financial Services’ customers to make quick, easy and secure additional and final payments on their plans by using a smart phone or tablet.

American Express 4Q EPS Rises

American Express Company reported 4Q net income of $1.3 billion, up from $637 million a year ago. Diluted earnings per share rose to $1.21, from $0.56 a year ago. Excluding expenses associated with the merchant litigation settlement agreement announced in late December, fourth-quarter adjusted net income was $1.3 billion, or $1.25 per share. U.S. Card Services reported 4Q net income of $864 million, up from $423 million while International Card Services reported 4Q net income of $103 million, up 8 percent from $95 million a year ago. Total revenues net of interest expense increased 8% for U.S. Card Services and 2% for International Card Services.

TSYS Announces Authorization Controls

TSYS announced plans today to release TSYS Authorization ControlsSM ” a new product that enables credit and debit cardholders to turn their account “on” or “off” from any user interface. This innovative product can be integrated with existing mobile and other online customer service tools, and will help financial institutions empower their consumers to manage their own account preferences, reduce fraud and build customer loyalty. According to the recent TSYS 2013 Consumer Payment Choice Study, more than half of consumers stated they would be “Interested” in using their phone to temporarily allow or block transactions on their card.