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:

More Americans Increasing Holiday Spending

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] More Americans say they will increase spending and fewer say they are cutting back on expenses, according to the results of a recent Citi national survey, with only 35% planning to spend than in 2012. Of those surveyed, 63% plan to spend more (11%) or the same (52%) on holiday shopping…

Picking Up New Accounts

New bank credit card account openings are finally picking up after three years of very sluggish growth. Chase opened 1.7 million new credit card accounts in the third quarter, compared to 1.5 million in the second quarter, and 1.6 million one-year ago. Bank of America reported it opened more than one million new credit card accounts in the third quarter, compared to 957,000 in the prior quarter and 857,000 in the prior year quarter. While Citibank does not break out new account openings, its Citi-branded card base grew 3% since last year from 23.1 million accounts to 23.8 million accounts in the third quarter of this year.

Datacard to Acquire Entrust on Transaction Security

Datacard Group signed an agreement to acquire Entrust. The acquisition builds on the strengths of each company to enable its customers and partners to deliver better services in highly connected environments. The acquisition is expected to close on December 31, 2013, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions. The combined entity will employ nearly 2,000 professionals, leveraging hundreds of channel partners to serve tens of thousands of customers. Together the company will enable its customers to issue over 10 million physical identities daily, handle over 200 billion transactions a year, and manage billions of identities, including the majority of payment cards and identification solutions in more than 100 countries.

NFC Forum Announces New Vice Chairmen

The NFC Forum announced two newly elected Vice Chairmen of its Board of Directors, Trevor Pavey of Broadcom Corporation and Alexander Rensink of NXP Semiconductors. A senior product line manager at Broadcom, Trevor Pavey is a seasoned high tech marketing executive with eight years of RFID and wireless expertise coupled with 17 years of experience in semiconductor technology, marketing, business development, applications, and design. During his tenure at Broadcom, Pavey has been responsible for ecosystem management, including Broadcom’s relationships with the major payment associations and mobile carriers. Earlier in his career, he was instrumental in launching the NFC business at Texas Instruments. Alexander Rensink is strategic marketing director in the Identification business unit at NXP, which he joined in 2007. At NXP, Rensink focuses on the significant potential for identification technology in the mobile market with the goal of expanding the deployment of NFC-based solutions into mobile phones and tablets. In this role, he has had considerable experience in working with both infrastructure suppliers and application developers to deliver end-to-end solutions for vertical markets.

Visa Asia Pacific PDV

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] After two Q3 blips since 2006, the payments dollar volume (PDV) for Visa cards in the Asia-Pacific (AP) region has been on the rebound. According to CardData, Visa posted a year-on-year gain in the third quarter of 13.5%, compared to 8.2% in the third quarter of last year. Growth through the…

Starbucks Anticipates Busiest Starbucks Card-Buying Day

Starbucks is projecting record purchases and activations of Starbucks Cards on Thursday, December 19. Last year, more than 2 million Starbucks Cards were purchased in the U.S. and Canada on the Thursday before Christmas – representing nearly 1,500 cards purchased per minute in the U.S. and Canada. According to the National Retail Federation, eight in ten shoppers will purchase a gift card this holiday season. Since the Starbucks Card launched 12 years ago, $16 billion has been loaded on 450 million cards in 27 countries worldwide. Of that $16 billion, $4 billion was loaded onto Starbucks Cards worldwide in the past year. Starbucks offers many ways to give the gift of coffee. Starbucks Cards can be purchased in a variety of designs or holiday imagery.

Spindle and iPayMobil Forge Payment Partnership

Spindle mobile commerce signed strategic agreements with iPayMobil m-payment ecommerce solutions, allowing the partnership to provide a convenient, efficient and secure way to offer micro-lending services to merchants as part of Spindle’s existing payments product suite. Merchants will be able to offer Spindle’s free, downloadable mobile wallet app to their customers to facilitate credit approvals for time payments at competitive rates. iPayMobil will license seven of its ecommerce patents to Spindle to augment its product and service offering to merchants. The iPayMobil micro-lending service deployed through Spindle’s commerce platform is targeted for release in the first quarter of 2014, and will be offered to MeNetwork’s 400,000 mobile application consumers.

First Data Announces $500mm of Senior Subordinated Notes

First Data intends to offer $500 million aggregate principal amount of its 11.75% senior subordinated notes due 2021 (the “Notes”), subject to market conditions, of which the proceeds will be used, together with cash on hand, to redeem a portion of its outstanding 11.25% senior subordinated notes due 2016 and to pay related fees and expenses. The Notes are expected to be treated as a single series with, and will have the same terms as those of, $750.0 million aggregate principal amount of the existing 11.75% senior subordinated notes due 2021 previously issued by First Data on May 30, 2013 and $1.0 billion aggregate principal amount of the existing 11.75% senior subordinated notes due 2021 previously issued by First Data on November 19, 2013 (collectively, the “existing 11.75% notes”).

Juan Valdez Café Stores Add NCR Technology

NCR Corporation announced Juan Valdez Café stores are replacing their PC-based POS terminals with an NCR solution to enhance customer service and experiences chain wide. Initially, NCR is installing POS technology in all of Juan Valdez’s Colombian stores with an eye toward creating a standard platform as the company expands with new locations and franchises in Aruba, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Middle East, Asia and the United States. The NCR POS solution includes a guest-facing screen so Juan Valdez Café Stores can create and easily communicate new marketing initiatives, such as offering special drinks, replacing their previous use of paper-based advertising. The terminals also feature biometric scanners so employees can quickly access functions and improve service and security.

QFFS Uses NCR Power mSoftware Solution

NCR Corporation announced Queensland Frozen Food Services (QFFS) has deployed its “Power Mobile” B2B) customer relationship management software solution. This allows QFFS customers and sales representatives to place orders easily and quickly using their tablets and smartphones. NCR Power Mobile helps QFFS deliver an intuitive and attractive solution with improved visibility through every stage of the ordering process. This includes real-time status updates on product data, events, promotions, new item lines and the ability to track order status from point of entry through delivery and payment. Power Mobile’s value to QFFS is enhanced further by being tightly integrated with the targeted functionality of the NCR Power Enterprise suite, an integrated portfolio of enterprise and supply chain management software solutions. NCR Power Mobile is an innovative solution for distributors and their customers that delivers a superior customer experience through both tablets and smartphones running iOS, Android or Windows 8*.