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

MasterCard Joins Smart Cities Council

Smart Cities coalition to advance smart city development and innovation partnered MasterCard for a turning point in the development of innovative digital transaction processing platforms for city government, businesses and citizens. MasterCard will work with the Council’s advisors and members to provide cities with better, safer and more secure payment methods. Technology has been the single largest change agent in the ongoing transformation of the finance function. Electronic payment processing has increased convenience, security and transparency, and has contributed to reduce administrative costs. MasterCard will also contribute to the Smart Cities Council Readiness Guide to improve the livability, workability and sustainability of the world’s cities. The Readiness Guide is a collaborative and comprehensive resource that provides a step-by-step roadmap, vendor-neutral technology recommendations, evaluations and case studies for smart city development.

Deezer Partners Boku on Operator Billing

Boku direct operator billing mobile payments partnered Deezer global music service with more than 10 million monthly users around the world to bring a new and easier way to subscribe to Deezer’s music streaming service. This partnership appeals to subscribers on all mobile operators in Germany. With this partnership, Deezer offers music fans in Germany the ability to subscribe to Deezer’s Premium and Premium+ offer using their mobile phone. Subscribers will then be charged on a recurring monthly basis directly on their mobile phone bill.

SASSA MasterCard Debit Card Promotes Financial Inclusion

Following the 10 million South Africa Social Security Agency (SASSA) MasterCard Debit card milestone announcement, an independent consumer survey has attributed this program as being one of the largest contributors to increasing financial inclusion in South Africa. According to FinScope South Africa 2013, South Africa’s banked population has grown 8% since 2012, with 75% (27.4 million) of the adult population now banked. The survey says the roll out of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) MasterCard Debit cards contributed 1.9 million people to the banked population in 2013. The SASSA Debit MasterCard card can be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted. Recipients can also withdraw cash at any ATM, which does however attract transaction charges. The South African Government challenged the financial sector to achieve financial inclusion of 70% in the country by 2013, with a target of 90% set for 2030.

YESpay Partners PMC on mPayment Solution

YESpay and retail technology specialist PMC announced a strategic partnership aimed at delivering mobile solutions to retailers that require secure, PCI-compliant payments. With YESpay mobile payments solution built-in, PMC will ship its recently announced Store Enabler mobile solution. The YESpay SaaS P2PE encrypted mobile payment service reduces the retailers’ PCI liability which in a mobile environment is even more critical to ensure safety of consumers’ card data. The advanced YESpay mobile API, built into the Store Enabler platform, gives retailers the choice of devices for use in mobile sales environment and allows extension into the full suite of the YESpay’s Omni-channel Payments Platform.

AnywhereCommerce Intros mPayment Solution

AnywhereCommerce is set to launch its mpayment acceptance device, Nomad 2.0, at CARTES 2014 in Paris. The newly designed EMVCo L1, L2 certified, PCI 3.1 approved and Visa Ready device works with mobile phones and tablets to enable mobile point of sale (mPOS) acceptance of Chip-and-PIN and magnetic stripe card payments. Nomad 2.0 is designed to flexibly support multiple card-present payment method options, including debit, credit, gift and loyalty card transactions through both magnetic stripe technology and EMV Chip-and-PIN functionalities. The device employs patented encryption technology, and provides the option to connect to a mobile device through secure Bluetooth or a USB port. Nomad 2.0 is compatible with Android, iOS, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8 operating systems.

Debit Card Spending Losing Footing on Credit Card Spending

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Spending for goods and services on general purpose and private label consumer and commercial credit, debit, and prepaid cards reached $4.633 trillion in 2012, and is projected to reach $7.285 trillion by 2017. This indicates the more than 20-year trend that had debit card purchase volume and purchase transactions gaining share…

Elavon Promotes NA President From Within

Elavon global payments provider promoted Guy Harris President, NA, to oversee operations in USA and Canada. Having joined Elavon in 2010 as Managing Director of Western, Central and Southern Europe (WCSE), Harris drove growth in Elavon’s WCSE region and led from the front employing a customer-centric approach. He previously was VP, Global Sales for Misys, a leading global supplier of IT solutions to the banking industry. While there, he delivered revenue through 5 regional sales heads – Europe, MEA, Americas, Asia and Strategic Accounts, and he transformed the sales team structure to increase productivity throughout the organisation. He brings 25 years of IT sales management experience to the role.

Heartland to Offer AmEx Merchant Financing

Heartland Payment will be the first processor to distribute American Express Merchant Financing, giving small businesses access to highly price-competitive alternative financing solutions and be able to obtain loans based on their annual card processing volume. American Express’ Merchant Financing is designed to provide immediate capital to finance short-term investments and be paid back over a 12-month period, thus avoiding long-term debt commitments. In contrast to traditional commercial lending vehicles, Merchant Financing provides convenient access to capital up to $750,000″enabling even more small business owners to finance their growth needs, stay competitive and enhance their businesses.

SumUp Announces Southern Expansion

SumUp launched its mobile payments service in Brazil and opened an office in São Paulo, where it will allow small businesses to accept all major credit cards with their smartphones or tablets using the SumUp Chip & Signature Card Reader. Charged on a fee per transaction basis, starting at 3.7%, merchants can choose to receive payouts after five business days or 30 calendar days. SumUp has launched a major update of its iOS and Android App. The completely redesigned apps will allow for an even faster payment flow.

Seamless Enhances mPayment Solution SEQR in bpost Partnership

Seamless is expanding its SEQR mwallet, a collaboration with bpost bank to allow consumers to connect their bank account to SEQR’s versatile and generic mobile payment solution. SEQR enables anyone with a smartphone to pay in stores, online, at restaurants, utility bills and parking lots, transfer money at no charge, store receipts digitally and receive offers and promotions directly – through one mobile app solution. McDonald’s is the first to roll out and will make SEQR available in all of its Belgian restaurants at the time of launch in the spring of 2014. bpost bank will offer its customers the ability to connect SEQR’s mobile payment application to their bank account. This will allow them to make payments in stores and online quickly, securely and without charge. Through the SEQR app, the user simply scans or taps a QR-code/NFC at the check-out of partnering merchants and approves the purchase by entering a PIN code. SEQR is a generic payment method, independent from existing payment structures, that enables merchants to lower their interchange fees significantly compared to those charged by traditional card companies; a win-win-win for all parties.

FireHost Announces PCI DSS Compliance Solution

FireHost made available its ‘Payment Island’ service to help customers keep sensitive data secure and is specifically designed to enable payment-focused businesses to meet PCI DSS. The FireHost Payment Island helps ensure compliance with the latest PCI DSS requirements. The Payment Island is updated regularly to ensure alignment with updates to the PCI DSS standard, and will help companies handling payment card data achieve compliance with PCI DSS 3.0, which was introduced on the 7th of November 2013. The FireHost Payment Island is an effective way for organisations to reduce their scope of PCI DSS compliance, better secure their customer data, and meet their audit requirements by reducing the risk profile associated with cardholder data. Already available in the US, FireHost’s Payment Island enabled ecommerce, retail, payments and other financial customers to process nearly £15 million of transactions in the last year.