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

Vodafone Expands NFC Footprint

Vodafone, Visa and BNZ make buying stuff with your phone a reality with the preview of Vodafone SmartPass, a new mobile payments application that will shrink the contents of Kiwi pockets and handbags. Vodafone SmartPass takes the stress out of shopping, and lets customers make convenient, every day purchases with a simple wave of a smartphone. Using contactless Near Field Communication (NFC) and Visa payWave technology, the app functions as a digital wallet. Once activated, customers can load funds from any bank to the SmartPass account, which can then be used to pay for items at any location with a Visa payWave contactless terminal.

Dynamics Launches Exclusive Artwork Gallery

This week Dynamics introduced a whole new experience for fans of diverse artists by enabling them to earn exclusive collections of their work. The collections feature photorealism, mixed media, golf, fantasy, gothic and allegorical acrylic art. Each artist has created new works exclusively for Dynamics ePlate® cardholders, and has taken what a credit card looks like to a whole new level – with each artist’s ePlate® card capturing their artistic signature. The cards are uniquely designed by each artist with their artwork on the front of the card – and in an industry first – they have also designed the magnetic stripe in their style, a stark contrast to the dark stripe we have all grown accustomed to on the back of credit cards. Collectors of these artists and other upcoming artists can now earn artwork with their everyday purchases.

SBC Bank Signs JCB Card Issuance MOU

Singapore Banking Corporation Ltd. (SBC Bank), a leading commercial bank in the Kingdom of Cambodia, and JCB International Co., Ltd. (JCBI), the international operations subsidiary of JCB, the only global payment brand based in Japan, announce that SBC has started JCB merchant acquiring operations in the Cambodia market and has signed a memorandum of understanding for JCB card issuing. SBC Bank will phase in JCB card acceptance at all SBC Bank merchants in Cambodia by the end of 2013 and plans to issue JCB card in the near future. The strong economic growth of the Cambodia market is creating more potential for card issuing business. SBC Bank and JCBI are preparing to launch JCB card issuance in the next few years.

CIMB Bank Intros mMoney Transfer

CIMB Bank announced the launch of the Kwik Account, the first account in Malaysia that can be opened online without visiting a bank branch, and is instantly activated upon successful application. It also introduced Kwik Money Transfer, a new feature on its market leading internet banking platform, CIMB Clicks, that gives all CIMB Bank savings and current account holders the capability to send money to anyone’s Malaysian mobile numbers or email addresses instead of account numbers. The Kwik Account is accessible via CIMB Clicks and CIMB Clicks Mobile App on Apple and Android mobile devices. Customers can also easily transfer money into this account online or at any CIMB Bank cash deposit machines.

Globus Expands NCR Self-Checkout Deployment

Globus is making NCR self-checkout more widely available, enhancing shopper experiences and streamlining business operations. The hypermarket chain plans installations in its new markets in Krasnogorsk and Tver as well as in the chain’s existing store in Klimovsk. Globus customers have quickly embraced self-checkout. For instance, in Globus’ Vladimir store, about 15,000 customers a week are using self-checkout technology. Shoppers are migrating to self-checkout because it helps save time by scanning, bagging and paying for goods themselves. The user-friendly interface guides shoppers through each step of the self-checkout process by visual and verbal prompts.

BRAC Bank to Accept JCB cards

JCB International, the international subsidiary of JCB, the only global payment brand based in Japan announced that BRAC Bank Limited (BRAC Bank), a leading commercial bank in Bangladesh, starts JCB merchant acquiring operations in Bangladesh based on a license agreement. With this agreement, JCB cards will be accepted at over 3,400 BRAC Bank merchants throughout Bangladesh by the end of October 2013. JCB has been planning to expand its existing merchant network in the region in order to meet the demands of JCB cardmembers visiting Bangladesh mainly for business purpose.

Fidano Launches Flint+ mPayments

Fidano announces the launch of Flint+ Supported by Fidano, a next-generation mobile payments platform for small mobile businesses that operate outside of typical storefronts. The Flint+ program allows merchant service providers (MSPs), referral sources, credit unions, and community banks to easily offer a leading-edge aggregated mobile payments solution to their merchants and customers through a self-serve customizable channel registration portal. The Flint+ offering is an extension of Flint Mobile’s core application, which enables mobile businesses to accept credit cards by scanning the number instead of relying on additional external card reader hardware.

Fiserv Partners Social Assurance on Social Media & Compliance

Fiserv signed a reseller agreement with Social Assurance to extend access to social media marketing and compliance solutions to banks, credit unions and investment advisors. With proposed social media guidance from the FFIEC, as well as myriad regulations governing advertising, financial marketing and employee engagement on social channels, financial institutions and their agents face special considerations when entering into social media. Social Assurance helps financial providers develop and implement strategies to support their marketing and communications goals, while also supporting compliance. The partnership between Social Assurance and Fiserv will bring this depth of expertise as well as social engagement tools to Fiserv clients.

Celent Profiles BankAmeriDeals, Cardlytics

Cardlytics, the leader in Card-Linked Marketing, was recently featured in Celent’s report, “Using Data to Create Value for All Customers: A Case Study of Bank of America’s BankAmeriDeals Program.” It examines Bank of America’s implementation of Cardlytics’ card-linked marketing rewards program to understand what it takes to implement such a program at a large bank, what can be achieved and what lessons can be learned. The report revealed several key differentiators of Cardlytics’ program, including intensive measuring, monitoring, controlling and continuous improvement. Retailers are looking for new ways to deliver targeted marketing offers to consumers, at scale. The Cardlyics advertising platform uses purchase data from approximately 70% of US households to deliver millions of targeted marketing recommendations each month to millions of active buyers.

Western Union mPayment Available on Sprint Prepaid

Western Union announced users of Sprint prepaid brands Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA now have access to Western Union mobile money transfer services. Sprint’s Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile customers can initiate a Western Union Money Transfer® transaction directly from the Money Center within the Boost Zone and Virgin Zone portals on their mobile phones. Western Union mobile money transfer services available through Boost Zone and Virgin Zone are enabled for select Android®-powered smartphones. Additionally, Virgin Mobile customers with an iPhone® can conduct a Western Union Money Transfer transaction via the mobile-optimized m.wu.com site.

Boost mWallet Offers Quick Check Service

Boost Mobile announced a simple way for users of Boost Mobile Wallet powered by Wipit to turn their checks into instant cash funds, available in their Boost Mobile Wallet Plus accounts. The new service called Quick Check is available through the Boost Mobile Wallet powered by Wipit. The funds are loaded in users’ Boost Mobile Wallet Plus accounts, which are issued by Sutton Bank in association with Wipit. The Boost Mobile Wallet application offers international money transfer by Ria Money Transfer, bill payment, domestic and international prepaid mobile top-up, and money transfer capabilities to other Mobile Wallet accounts, all available through Wipit and its financial services partners. The application is available as a free download at the Google Play Store from a Boost Mobile Android-powered smartphone.

TransCentra Wins Contract Expansions

TransCentra billing and payment software and services signed three new customers. These customers all signed contracts for TransCentra’s latest offering, which combines the company’s managed billing and payments processing services in a templated package, built and priced specifically for mid-market customers. TransCentra’s new mid-market customers are in the utility and insurance industries, although the billing and payments solution meets the needs of organizations across any vertical, including healthcare, financial services and automotive. The services give companies a single source option for managing their entire revenue cycle, from billing to remittance. The mid-market offering also handles all supporting correspondence in conjunction with a bill. Critical pieces of communication, such as new customer welcome letters or notifications for late bills, are available in a quick-to-market, templated form for organizations to roll out in as little as 60 days.