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

OpenWay Way4 Lands Big Contract

OpenWay’s WAY4 solution has been chosen for the creation of a single payment space providing online routing of authorisation requests and clearing and settlement between “Universal Electronic Card” (UEK) project member banks. OpenWay, a recognized leader in payment processing software for issuing, acquiring, payment processing, remote banking service and routing under the WAY4™ trademark, provided the technological support to build an interface between member banks. Currently 15 Russian banks are participating in the UEK project, some of which are OpenWay clients. According to an RBC rating, together they service more than 90 million active bankcards in Russia. Universal electronic cards are issued in all 83 districts of the Russian Federation.

MasterCard to Acquire Provus Payment Solutions

MasterCard announced signed agreements to acquire Provus Bilişim Hizmetleri A. Ş. (“Provus”) independent payment solution and processing provider. The acquisition will build on MasterCard’s strategy of increasing its processing presence in high-growth markets and deliver superior processing solutions and innovative value added services for both financial institutions and customers in the emerging prepaid and mobile payments space. This transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is anticipated to close in the fourth quarter of 2013. Provus’s payments solutions business includes issuer and acquirer processing, prepaid solutions and ATM processing services.

First Data Releases SpendTrend Shows Slower Spending

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] First Data released its “SpendTrend” analysis for Aug. 31, 2013 through Sept. 30, 2013 compared to Sept. 1, 2012 through Oct. 1, 2012. Tracking same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations, overall dollar volume growth was 5.3% in September,…

Citi Expands WorldLink Payment Services

Citi Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) has significantly enhanced WorldLink Payment Services’ cross-currency payment capabilities. It offers an expanded ACH offering and an increase of global access to 140 currencies to further enable and support the evolving needs of global clients while Citi expanded its WorldLink low value cross border offering. Making local currency payments into rapidly developing economies is a key requirement for expanding companies. So that clients can benefit from faster settlement times and more efficient execution, WorldLink has increased the ease of making payments into Malaysia, Haiti and Bermuda.

Mobeam Exec Debuts on CNBC, Discusses New App

Ben duPont, Mobeam’s lead investor, member of the board of directors and founder of yet2Ventures, appeared on CNBC’s Mad Money with Jim Cramer to discuss Mobeam and its Beep’nGo application will shake up the mobile wallet space. duPont demonstrated how Mobeam’s Beep’nGo app, one of Dr. Oz’s favorite apps, lets consumers easily keep all of their loyalty, gift and membership cards right on their smartphone and “beam” them straight to the scanners already in millions of stores. Mobeam, a light-based patented technology that enables smartphones to be read by everyday barcode scanners at point-of-sale, is transforming mobile commerce. In the gift card space alone, more than $41 billion in gift cards have not been used since 2005. Beep’nGo is exclusively available on the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

clearXchange Announces Latest Network Member

clearXchange P2P payments network in the U.S. created by and for financial institutions announced its latest member, FirstBank. FirstBank customers will now be able to send payments from their existing FirstBank account safely and conveniently using only the recipient’s mobile number or e-mail address and without providing sensitive account information. With FirstBank, clearXchange continues its network expansion and drive to ubiquity, delivering value to customers of banks of any sizes. Nationwide, clearXchange banks represent more than 50 percent of the consumer online banking market. The clearXchange solution allows P2P payments directly from consumers’ existing deposit accounts through their bank’s convenient, secure online and mobile sites. There is no need to open a new account or conduct financial transactions away from their bank’s trusted site. When getting paid, funds are directly deposited into the consumer’s bank account. And customers get all the services and protections that they get today from their banks.

Chase Sapphire Announces Exclusive Rewards Package

Chase Sapphire cardholders can purchase or redeem Ultimate Rewards points for limited-edition Sundance Film Festival packages. As a Presenting Sponsor of the Sundance Film Festival for the fourth year in a row, Chase Sapphire Preferred is the only rewards credit card to offer such preferential rewards packages for cardholders at the Festival.Chase Sapphire released Opening Weekend Packages October 9, followed by Closing Weekend Packages October 10.

Mobile Users Like Biometric Authentication

PayPal and the National Cyber Security Alliance unveiled the results from a new Zogby Poll highlighting the latest trends, concerns and misperceptions around mobile security and commerce. The survey is in support of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), an effort that educates millions of people each year about the importance of online safety and security. The national survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults underscores how deeply entrenched in American’s daily lives mobile devices have become. For example, two-thirds of the people surveyed told us that their smartphone is never further than one room away, and one in ten said they keep their phone handy everywhere they go, with the possible exception of the bathroom. In addition, the survey highlighted the growing importance of mobile devices as a tool for shopping, with one in four respondents reporting that they complete at least one transaction per day on their smartphone, while one in six say they make at least 25 percent of all their purchases on their smartphone. The survey found that many people are open to new approaches to mobile security that would increase their safety. In particular, there are strong indications that many people are willing to take advantage of biometric technology to protect themselves against mobile security threats. The survey found that Americans are overwhelmingly comfortable replacing passwords with newer security technologies such as fingerprint identification (53 percent) and retinal scans (45 percent).

TransCentra Names New President of Software, Technology

TransCentra, a leading provider of billing and payment software and services, has named Kevin Lee president of TransCentra’s software and technology group. Lee brings more than 15 years of experience in strategically guiding companies in the financial services technology industry, including leading several during times of rapid growth. Lee was previously president and CEO of CRE Secure, a leading cloud-based, secure payment solution, where he oversaw the organization’s technology development and overall strategic direction. Prior to CRE Secure, he was CEO of Skylight Financial, a prepaid debit card provider, where he was instrumental in growing and ultimately leading the sale of Skylight to Netspend to form Netspend Holdings in 2008.

DOWNWARD TREND CONTINUES ON UNEMPLOYMENT FRONT

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] *Special Notice:* Unemployment statistics are currently not being updated due to the suspension of Federal government services. The last update to our unemployment statistics was September 9, 2013. During the shutdown period, Cardweb will not collect data or issue reports in this capacity. Updates to this data will commence when the…

First Data Launches New POS for Small Business

First Data at Money2020 unveiled its “Clover Station” POS and business management solution for merchants. With the security and reliability of a terminal coupled with the flexibility of a cloud-based POS, Clover Station is the first solution to meet the complete spectrum of small to medium-sized business owners’ needs. First Data and Clover Network partnered to jointly develop the “Clover Station,” powered by intuitive, cloud-hosted software that comes with everything a business owner needs in one convenient package and is ready to work right out of the box. With its small footprint and state-of-the-art design, Clover Station hardware won’t take up a lot of space on a merchant’s counter, but will have a big impact on how they service their customers. First Data piloted the Clover POS solution with hundreds of small businesses in several U.S. cities. Feedback from the pilot indicated that business owners valued the benefits of the Clover solution through streamlined business operations and more time to interact with their customers. Clover Station will be made available to Bank of America Merchant Services small business customers by the end of 2013.

SmartMetric Intros Fingerprint Concept Card

SmartMetric President & CEO Chaya Hendrick is in advanced stages for release of its fingerprint activated “biometric” payments card for use in North America. The biometric payment card is the only such card in the world affording the high level of identity and transaction security of biometrics built inside the card. The persons fingerprint is used to activate the card using the cards inbuilt fingerprint reader thereby allowing for card based biometric identification and card “turning on” using the cardholders fingerprint with the users fingerprint never leaving the card. The SmartMetric biometric card represents a giant leap in technological innovation that will be a game changing technology in the card industry according to the company President.