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

Ingenico Launch iWE280 POS

Ingenico and PAVO Inc., collaborated to develop the iWE280, a new generation of mobile cash register with electronic fund transfer capability (EFT-POS) as a consequence of a market organization required by the Turkish State. The iWE280 is designed to process a wide range of payments types; customers can use contactless cards such as NFC cards, bank and public transport cards, but also smartcards and cards with magnetic stripes.

WEX to Provide Virtual Credit Solution

WEX corporate payment solutions signed an agreement with Conference Care to offer the WEX Virtual Credit Solution. Conference Care has over 18 years of experience in providing a highly personalised global solution as specialist venue finders and delivers complex Live Event Management. The company has award winning service levels and a reputation for being a superior expert in its field. Having previously paid suppliers by cheque, Conference Care will now have improved reconciliation and increased automation of processes through the WEX Virtual Credit Solution. It allows businesses to Set precise controls for payment authorisation; Streamline and automate payment reconciliation; Earn revenue share on processed payment; and Utilise a straightforward, cost-effective system which can be seamlessly integrated into existing systems.

MoneyGram Partners Postal Savings Bank of China

MoneyGram signed an agreement with Postal Savings Bank of China to provide money transfer services in over 3,700 locations. With the addition of PSBC to MoneyGram’s agent network, and the rollout of MoneyGram’s money transfer services to mainland locations, services are now available at over 20,000 locations in China. PSBC was part of China Post until its spin off in March 2007 as a separate entity. It is owned by China Post Group and has a strong network in the rural areas. PSBC offers a broad range of financial services including micro financing to rural and urban customers, Small and Medium Enterprise, in-branch service, Internet banking, telephone banking and mobile banking.

ECONOMIC CONFIDENCE On the Rise as SPENDING INTENTIONS Drop in DECEMBER

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] The Discover Spending Monitor remained unchanged at 89.0 in December, reflecting a consumer confidence level at its highest level since July. Spending intentions, however, declined as there was a significant increase in those who believe economic conditions are improving heading into 2014. The number of consumers who believe the economy is…

First Bankcard Expands Free FICO Scores

Starting this week, First Bankcard is expanding a credit card program announced in November in partnership with FICO, giving cardholders with First Bankcard-issued credit cards free access to their FICO® Scores, along with information on the key factors affecting their credit scores and the actions they can take to ensure good financial management habits. Credit card customers having “First National Bank of Omaha” branded credit cards were the first to receive their free FICO® Scores. The program is now being extended to customers of First Bankcard’s co-branded credit card partners who have credit cards issued by First Bankcard

Consumer Delinquencies Hit Lows

Consumer delinquencies declined significantly in last year’s third quarter as the economy improved and consumers better managed their finances, according to results from the American Bankers Association’s Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin. The composite ratio, which tracks delinquencies in eight closed-end installment loan categories, fell 13 basis points to 1.63 percent of all accounts in the third quarter, a record low that’s well under the 15-year average of 2.35 percent. The ABA report defines a delinquency as a late payment that is 30 days or more overdue.

Western Union Payment Available at SunTrust

Western Union and SunTrust Bank launched Western Union global money transfer and bill payment services at more than 1,500 bank Agent locations in the southeastern U.S. SunTrust clients and the general public can now pay bills or load prepaid cards via Western Union services, or send money to more than 495,000 Western Union Agent locations in 200 countries and territories from all SunTrust bank locations. Western Union services are offered in the U.S. through a strategically combined Agent network of nearly 46,000 banks, national retail and grocery chains, and independent locations. The company also offers its customers online and mobile phone access points in certain countries for money transfer services.

Bluefin Launches New mPOS System

Bluefin Payment cloud-based integrated payment solutions for independent software vendors (ISVs) introduced their “QuickSwipe” mPOS system. QuickSwipe is a turn-key payment application for single and multi-user mobile processing on iOS devices. Bluefin also offers the QuickSwipe SDK for integrated payments with an ISV’s existing mobile application. This lets merchants can build catalogs of items and inventory, assign administrators and users, enable tips and taxes, easily issue refunds, and provide detailed, GPS-driven receipts. The application supports credit/debit, ACH and cash journaling. Merchants have the flexibility to extend their brand to the application with the addition of their logo, colors, and business information.

BBVA Supports Mobile Payments in Spain

BBVA has launched its BBVA Wallet service in Spain. This mobile application, available for both iOS and Android systems, provides BBVA customers with a new means of managing their card transactions quickly and safely via smartphones. BBVA Wallet makes mobile payments a reality. BBVA Wallet allows users to manage any BBVA cards via cell phones. By downloading the application, customers will be able to see all their cards, view transactions for each, including geolocation data for transaction, as well as save photos of receipts with each purchase transaction.

Chase United VIP Lounge for “Big Game Week”

Chase and United Airlines announced a Chase United VIP Lounge in New York City’s Times Square to celebrate ‘Big Game Week,’ where Chase United MileagePlus® Cardmembers can enjoy complementary amenities and exclusive events with celebrity chefs and football legends. From January 29 to February 2, Chase United MileagePlus Cardmembers are welcome-along with up to four guests-to visit the VIP Lounge at Restaurateur Guy Fieri’s Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar in Times Square. For admittance to the VIP Lounge, which is located at 220 W. 44th Street in New York City, cardmembers will need to present their United MileagePlus Credit Card from Chase and valid identification.

GlobalPlatform Shows contactless payment Framework

GlobalPlatform has published the first release of its ‘End-to-End Simplified Service Management Framework v1.0’. Focusing on contactless payments will be of interest to service providers, mobile network operators, secure element vendors, data preparation bureaus, trusted service managers and mobile device manufacturers. The GlobalPlatform end-to-end framework was created by the association’s End-to-End Simplified Framework Working Group, which comprises 28 GlobalPlatform members. The document streamlines the service management process by outlining how GlobalPlatform Specifications can be used to implement a comprehensive end-to-end configuration relevant to each market sector such as payment, transport and healthcare. The configurations will enable service providers to deploy services faster by starting with a basic template.

Sopra Delivers mBanking Platform

Sopra Banking Software completed its mobile banking platform for long-standing customer Record Bank, designed in close collaboration with Record Bank to fine-tune the solution to the customer’s needs. Record Bank is a Belgian retail bank created in 2001, and works through a network of offices, dedicated agents and independents. Since the very start, Record Bank has used Sopra Banking Software solutions as the centerpiece of its core banking activities, which focus on individual customers as well as small businesses with transparent and simple products. Sopra Banking investigated the needs of customers and bankers alike through its extensive network, and closely involved Record Bank in the development of the mobile banking app. It include full SEPA payment functionalities and allow customers to check the status, transaction history and details of their own account based on real-time data.