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:

Paysafecard Embarks on New Market

Paysafecard prepaid payment provider added one of the few remaining EU countries in which it is not yet present. In Bulgaria, the use of paysafecard is always linked to the online payment account my paysafecard. my paysafecard allows customers to manage all of their purchased PINs and remaining credit from a single account. In addition to its simple and secure payment process, which requires neither a bank account nor a credit card, my paysafecard users benefit from a greater overview of their balance and past payments. Customers simply have to verify their personal details once by presenting their ID card at a sales outlet. A specially developed web service makes it possible to immediately verify a customer’s identification.

Conference Board Consumer Index Drops in November

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index dropped again in November, following an October drop. The Index now stands at 70.4 (1985=100), down from 72.4 in October. The Present Situation Index edged down to 72.0 from 72.6. The Expectations Index declined to 69.3 from 72.2 last month. Consumers’ assessment of overall current conditions…

Citi ThankYou Rewards Points to Cover All Online Purchases

Citi is introducing its ThankYou Rewards, allowing members to turn online purchased items to their own personal reward. ThankYou Rewards members can now shop with a Rewards Account Number, a virtual credit card account number linked to their Citi credit card and ThankYou Rewards account, where MasterCard® and Visa® are accepted. Rewards Account Numbers give Citi ThankYou Rewards members who have a credit card enrolled in ThankYou Rewards flexibility to use their ThankYou Points when shopping online.

MasterCard and Ogone Deploy MasterPass

MasterCard and Ogone partnered on the integration and deployment of MasterPass digital transactions. This collaboration which covers Belgium, The Netherlands, France, United Kingdom, Germany and Spain in a first phase and the remaining countries Ogone operates in later on, paves the way for the adoption of MasterPass™ by tens of thousands of merchants. MasterPass, the digital platform from MasterCard, simplifies online purchases made from connected devices including PCs, touchpads and smartphones. MasterPass meets consumers’ demand for convenience shopping and eliminates the need to enter detailed shipping and card information to complete their online shopping at MasterPass merchant sites that have the “Buy with MasterPass™” button on their check out page.

Cardlytics Granted Patent on Offer Placement System

Cardlytics received a patent for its core system Cardlytics Offer Placement System (OPS) from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. U.S. Patent No. 8,595,065 relates to the secure connection between transaction data with no personal identifiable information and advertising campaign data, which enables Cardlytics to create targeted marketing based on consumer purchase behavior. This is Cardlytics’ third patent; the first was granted in May and the second in August of 2013. Cardlytics’ first patent (8,438,061) relates to the delivery of targeted marketing advertising to banking consumers from our Offer Placement System (OPS). The second patent (8,515,810) relates to the aspects of the OPS working in conjunction with Cardlytics’ other core system – the advertiser-facing Offer Management System (OMS).

Cardlytics Named a Top Provider of Card Loyalty Tech

Cardlytics Card-Linked Marketing announced that its Transaction-Driven Marketing solution received a Best-in-Class distinction in a CEB TowerGroup report after an evaluation of card loyalty technology vendors. The CEB TowerGroup analyst cited Cardlytics’ flexible interface, abundant security and control options, and robust operational metrics as key reasons for naming the provider a Best-in-Class offering in all four categories, including Customer Interface, Management & Operations, Security & Control and Enterprise Support. Through quantitative and qualitative analysis, CEB TowerGroup’s report provides a customer-driven, transparent and unbiased review of technology, designed to drive informed business decisions.

PAI Announces Latest ATM-Branding Client

Payment Alliance International (PAI) retail ATM solutions signed an agreement to brand ATMs located in select Rite Aid stores in the greater Louisville, Ky. area. PAI will own and operate the ATMs which will be outfitted with River City Bank branding. River City Bank customers will have surcharge free ATM access to cash at select Louisville Rite Aid store locations beginning late December 2013. PAI operates one of the largest ATM networks in the United States, with ATMs at more than 60,000 retail locations across the country. The Company provides ATM services for approximately 1,500 Rite Aid locations nationwide. With the addition of Rite Aid ATM placements, River City Bank is able to expand their hometown footprint without significant expense.

Mobey Calls on Banks to Meet MPOS Market Demand

Mobey Forum released its whitepaper, ‘The MPOS Strategy: Shifting the Balance of Power’, which examines the changing market dynamics brought about by disruptive MPOS providers and offers a strategic evaluation framework designed to help banks maintain their position and take advantage of the rapidly evolving MPOS market. The paper examines how MPOS disrupts the established four-party model (cardholder, merchant, acquirer, issuer) and identifies the potential winners and losers in the marketplace. Pushing beyond the traditional MPOS ‘dongle plus smartphone’ concept, the paper addresses issues surrounding interchange models, payment service provider models, networked commerce and the merchant-customer relationship. The paper then investigates how banks and financial institutions are currently reacting to the influx and utilisation of MPOS solutions, before proposing a structure through which banks and other stakeholders can weigh their strategic options, protect their interests and move to take advantage of the wave of change occurring in this complex environment.

Johnny Rockets Expands with NCR POS

NCR announced Johnny Rockets, the international restaurant chain, known for all-American food and fun, will open its first two restaurants in Brazil with the support of NCR Aloha software running on NCR POS technology. Johnny Rockets selected the NCR POS solution because it is optimized for fast-paced food service operations. Additionally, Johnny Rockets is using NCR Hospitality technology such as NCR Aloha Insight and NCR Back Office for greater business insight and real-time decision making. The restaurant chain will also benefit from NCR Aloha Configuration Center’s above-store capabilities, allowing them to improve operational efficiency at the store-level.

MoneyGram mTransfer Expands in International Market

MoneyGram signed agreements with MTS mobile phone retailer to offer money transfer services in MTS stores throughout the country. This lets customers transfer funds to friends and family at any of MoneyGram’s more than 334,000 worldwide locations. Customers can easily and conveniently complete transactions in MTS retail offices without having to visit bank branches. The signing is the result of collaboration between MoneyGram and the RNKO “Payment Center,” a settlement non-banking credit organization. MoneyGram and RNKO have worked together since 2008 to develop relationships with Russian Federation financial institutions.

Ally Bank Upgrades mApp for Popmoney Payment

Ally Bank expanded its Ally Mobile Banking app to include two new offerings designed to help customers conveniently access and manage their money on the go. Customers can now use their smartphones to send and receive Popmoney payments as well as make recurring electronic fund transfers between Ally and non-Ally bank accounts. Popmoney, a payment service that allows customers to electronically send money to other people, offers a convenient alternative to sending cash or checks to friends and family or to pay service providers. The service allows Ally Bank customers to send money to anyone in the U.S. who has a U.S. bank account – the recipient does not need to have an Ally Bank account. Popmoney has been available to Ally customers since 2011. In addition to using their smartphones for regular Popmoney transactions, users will now be able to view scheduled payments and payment history as well as set up and manage Popmoney contacts in Ally Mobile Banking.