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:

AmEx Tops at Hack The High Street Challenge

Hack The High Street was hosted by Birdback, a card-linking and retail technology startup, in partnership with Vendorcom and was sponsored by American Express. Each retailer highlighted some of the latest innovations taking place within their verticals and some challenges they are facing as retailers with high street presence. These included topics around the importance of sustainability, improving customer experience in-store, improving click and collect and the retail experience as a whole. Following the keynotes 15 teams were formed, which worked tirelessly through the weekend to build their products from the ground up and present before a panel of judges. The team from American Express was awarded first place for its interactive advertising product that would work based on facial recognition and adjusted its content and message depending on the viewers’ physical distant from the advertisement.

Square Takes Out Stops on Merchant Limits

Square has eliminated holds and deposit limits on manually entered transactions in the U.S. Funds from both swiped and non-swiped payments will be deposited in merchants’ bank accounts within 1-2 business days, a crucial advantage for local sellers who typically don’t take payments in person, such as caterers and contractors. The move is an important step to further remove barriers to growth for local businesses, and makes Square an industry leader in eliminating deposit limits and related holds for customers. Removing deposit limits and related holds is the latest step by Square to upend financial norms and make running and growing a business easier than ever for merchants.

Paysafecard Announces New Market Presence

Paysafecard group prepaid payment is set to embark on the Australian market, allowing companies and consumers access to a secure prepaid payment method for the Internet. By teaming up with epay and Touch Networks, paysafecard starts with a distribution network of over 12,000 outlets in Australia. Over the coming weeks, further co-operations with sales and distribution partners will follow.

iPayment Posts Flat 3Q/13 Processing Volume

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] iPayment posted a total 3Q/13 transaction processing volume of $5.6 billion, flat from the year ago period, and 87.1 million in transaction, up 0.5% from the year ago figure. Total revenues decreased by 0.5% to $167.8 million for the third quarter of 2013 from the year ago figure of $168.6 million,…

Fonetic Announces Dodd-Frank Biometrics Compliance Solution

Fonetic integrated voice biometrics capabilities into its Dodd-Frank Trading Record Keeping Compliance Solution, offering the first solution provider to utilize voice biometrics to enhance bank compliance with Dodd-Frank Title VII mandates. Fonetic’s solution captures, indexes, analyzes and extracts relevant unstructured data from all voice, email and chat interactions to create a fully-searchable database of all communications pertaining to a bank’s traders and trades. By adding biometric voice analysis, Fonetic empowers banks to verify a caller’s identity, track their interactions, and authenticate transactions based on their unique voiceprint. With even the smallest voice sample, Fonetic can scan millions of calls and cross-match voiceprints with other known criteria – such as call content – to identify the caller. Once identified, the caller’s voice becomes searchable data that banks can use to facilitate regulatory inquiries or quickly identify inappropriate trading behaviors.

PayAnywhere Enhances mPOS App for Android

PayAnywhere mPOS solutions made available its PayAnywhere 2.0 solution for Android and its “PayAnywhere Inside” online merchant portal. The app works with the free PayAnywhere mobile credit card reader, which plugs into the audio jack of a supported Android device, giving merchants a safe and simple way to accept credit and debit card payments directly from their Android phone or tablet. With the lowest rates in the industry – just 2.69% per swiped transaction, regardless of card type (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express), and next day funding for merchants’ transactions, PayAnywhere is the payment industry’s preeminent business-grade, “pay-as-you-go” mPOS solution. Advancements to the improved solution include a simple sign on, a more dynamic user interface, cross-platform syncing and upgraded reporting.

ElectraCard Platform Announces Latest Payment Suite Upgrade

ElectraCard Services (ECS) announced Acleda Bank upgraded to its electra iTx series payment suite. ECS played a very crucial role and provided ACLEDA Bank Plc. with a flexible and scalable platform that empowered them to expand and differentiate their offerings. The Bank anticipates their customer acquisition to double over the next five years, adding to their existing one million account holders. With the new payments processing system – electra iTx series, ACLEDA Bank Plc. will be able to rapidly expand its ATM network, start UPI, MasterCard and JCB issuance and acquiring along with existing VISA connectivity, and adding new delivery channels, BNAs and kiosks. The electra iTx series platform is a next generation PA-DSS certified secure transaction platform, built from the ground-up on open standards and industry best-practices to support a service oriented architecture (SOA) that is fast becoming the technology backbone of today’s leading organizations.

Equinox Payments Partners Infinite to Offer miOS Payment

Equinox partnered with Infinite Peripherals mPOS devices to offer a mobile payment solution that is compatible with Apple iOS by integrating IPC’s Linea Pro™ for the iPod touch® or iPhone®, or the Infinea Tab® for the iPad®. Empowering Apple handheld devices with a barcode scanner and a magnetic stripe reader, both the Linea Pro and Infinea Tab work with custom software to create a mobile system for POS, as well as inventory management, asset tracking, ID verification and lead tracking. To date, IPC has deployed more than 300,000 of its mobile POS devices nationwide. IPC will be able to offer its customers remote key injection capabilities on its POS-related devices, utilizing the Equinox Remote Key Injection (RKI) platform and thereby maximizing convenience, efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

NFC and SIG Form Relationship

The NFC Forum and the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding that will enable the two organizations to work more closely together, via a formal liaison relationship. The NFC Forum and the Bluetooth SIG have collaborated previously, most recently in the creation of a developers’ guide entitled “Bluetooth Secure Simple Pairing Using NFC,” which was jointly published as an Application Document available to the public. Under the new agreement, the two organizations will work together to update and maintain the Application Document to accommodate Bluetooth Smart products using the Low Energy feature of the Bluetooth specification.

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.