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

Debit Network Alliance

Ten leading PIN debit networks in the United States have formed a new company, Debit Network Alliance, to provide a structure for the governance, deployment and implementation of the EMV debit standard. The goal of this collaborative effort is to help facilitate the adoption of an interoperable EMV standard for debit payments in the U.S. through a common governance structure that fosters regulatory compliance, equal access and ability to innovate for all debit networks, routing choice for merchants, and portability for issuers.

DSR Falling

The Debt Service Ratio (DSR) of American consumers has finally fallen into single digits for the first time since 1980. According to the Federal Reserve the DSR declined to 9.89% in the second quarter of this year. RAM Research predicts the DSR will decline to at least 9.79% in the fourth quarter. The household DSR is an estimate of the ratio of debt payments to disposable personal income. Debt payments consist of the estimated required payments on outstanding mortgage and consumer debt. The slowdown in credit card debt, the migration to more debit card use and very low mortgage rates, are major factors in the DSR decline. The Federal Reserve is expected to release the third quarter DSR within the next week.

Positive Impact on Credit Outstanding Fleeting

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] With the total outstanding revolving US consumer credit up 7% in October from last year to an adjusted $856B from $846B, any positive momentum achieved in 2013 is a fading memory. Continuing to grow, October revolving credit outstanding is still not as high as the 2008 figure of $1trillion and is…

UK Forecast

While the U.K. has done very well in a recovery, expanding by 3% this year, the country is still dealing with a downturn in exports, persistent unemployment and lower productivity. While, the current OECD Composite Leading Indicator (CLI) for the U.K is 1.9% for September, it will likely drop to 1.8% for the fourth quarter according to RAM Research. The Bank of England says it has no plans to make any changes in interest rates or policies anytime so, reflecting the U.S. domestic stance. The CLI is a subset of Main Economic Indicators and comprises a set of component series selected from a wide range of key short-term indicators. The CLI is designed to provide qualitative information on short-term economic movements, especially at the turning points, rather than quantitative measures. Therefore, the main message of CLI movements over time is the increase or decrease, rather than the amplitude of the changes. Rate of change at end of the calendar quarter month compared to the corresponding year-ago month. Not Seasonally Adjusted.

Gen Y Consumers Paying Their Bills

The 2013 Billing Household Survey from Fiserv, Inc. has found consumers are paying their bills in more ways than ever before, with the number of consumers paying bills from smartphones and tablets growing significantly. Gen Y in particular prefers a variety of channels and immediate payment options, and uses the mobile channel to manage billing and payment more than other generations. As more of these young consumers take on bill payment responsibility, a growing Gen Y effect will influence how billers are innovating and offering services based on changing consumer preferences.

Latest SpendTrend Analysis

First Data Corporation released its First Data SpendTrend® analysis for Oct.31, 2013 through Dec.2, 2013 compared to Nov. 1 through Dec. 3, 2012. SpendTrend tracks same-store point-of-sale data by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations. November dollar volume growth of 4.4% marked a downtick from October’s growth of 6.8%. Although the cold and dry weather at the end of the month offered perfect holiday shopping weather, several portions of the country earlier in the month dealt with blasts of snow hindering shopper foot traffic.

WorldPay Announces Latest Transaction Processing Client

WorldPay payment processing announced Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises and leading technologies selected its payment services for processing video game transactions globally. Valve required a payment provider that could optimise global reach and maximise transaction acceptance amongst video gamers, particularly during Steam’s eagerly anticipated holiday sales. Valve chose WorldPay based on WorldPay’s experience processing within the video game industry and long-standing international experience. WorldPay provides scalable payment services that will grow alongside the Steam platform, supporting new technologies and territories.

Worldline Announces Latest Fraud Prevention Client

ReD fraud prevention provider and Worldline, Atos subsidiary for e-payment services, have announced a partnership to enrich Worldline’s payments and fraud prevention solution with ReD’s specific and acknowledged fraud expertise. Worldline will strengthen its current fraud management and scoring solutions to provide its clients with sector-specific business fraud rules. With these enriched solutions, Worldline will be able meet the expectations of its most demanding merchants. This new strategic partnership will see ReD’s real-time fraud prevention service, ReD Shield®, made available to Worldline’s merchant customers throughout the world – in France, Benelux, Germany, UK, Spain, India and other Asian countries.

MasterCard Increases Dividend

MasterCard announced a 10-for-1 stock split of the Company’s common stock to be effected through a stock dividend; An 83% increase in the Company’s quarterly cash dividend to $1.10 per share ($0.11 per share after the stock split); and a new share repurchase program authorizing the Company to repurchase up to $3.5 billion of its Class A common stock. The record date for the 10-for-1 stock split is the close of business on January 9, 2014, with share distribution scheduled for January 21, 2014. As a result of the split, shareholders will receive nine additional shares of MasterCard common stock for each share they hold as of the record date. Total shares of common stock outstanding will increase from approximately 120 million to 1.2 billion based on the Company’s share count as of December 5, 2013.

Aconite EMV Applet Provisioned to mNFC

Aconite EMV transaction processing and chip card issuing solutions, is proud to announce that a solution enabling the real-time provisioning of EMV applets onto NFC-enabled mobile phones has been implemented at International Card Services (ICS), the largest credit card issuing business in the Netherlands. ICS is already a customer for Aconite’s Affina® Enterprise smart card lifecycle management system for issuing and maintaining their extensive cardbase of MasterCard and Visa credit cards. As a part of this program, Aconite have enhanced Affina Enterprise to allow ICS to generate mobile EMV applet data and to deliver it in real-time to NFC handsets via a TSM service. The solution has the advantage of enabling ICS to manage both card and mobile issuance from a single system.

Latin American Nations Increase Usage of Bank Card and mPayment

Research and Markets announced “Latin America Online Payment Methods 2013 – Second Half 2013” report to their offering. The new Latin America Online Payment Methods 2013 – Second Half 2013 report indicates that online payment continues its growth in the emerging markets of this dynamic region. Because of the number of consumers who use mobile phones but have no relationship with a bank, mobile payments also have a great potential for growth. Development of online payments in Latin America is encouraged by increasing banking coverage of the population and growing acceptance of online shopping. Governmental regulations also are generally designed to stimulate growth. Local and international online payment service providers are increasingly active in the region: Brazil based MercadoPago, reached over 20 million transactions in Latin America in 2012, and US-based SafetyPay secured several millions USD investment from a World Bank subsidiary to facilitate online payments in Latin America. Mobile payment also has a great potential to develop in the region, driven by growing smartphone penetration.

Employment Front Sees Big Gains

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Total nonfarm payroll employment rose 203,000 in November, and the unemployment rate dropped from 7.3 to 7.0%, having declined 0.6 percentage point since June. Meanwhile, the number of unemployed persons, at 10.9 million, saw vast improvement as layoffs decreased by 377,000 over the past month, according to the U.S. Bureau of…