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: www.rbm4.com

Citi Launches New Mobile Apps

Citi launched two new efficiency applications for financial institutions that are available on mobile devices – CitiDirect BE Payment Advisor and Payments Directory Mobile. CitiDirect BE Mobile Payment Advisor is a mobile-enabled application that allows banks, their customers, or third parties to track the status of a payment at any time and from any mobile device, similar to tracking the status of a package. Citi’s Payment Directory brings a simple approach, allowing banks to quickly search for clearing intermediaries with filtering preferences, creating a straightforward display. The application requires no installation and is accessible from any mobile device – phone or tablet.

GE Opens Manufacturing Fab Lab Space

GE and Chicago Ideas Week (CIW) announced GE Garages, a skill-building center that serves as an advanced manufacturing fab lab for technologists, entrepreneurs and makers. Opening on September 20, the GE Garages space will host a month of free hands-on maker workshops, conduct trainings on high-tech prototyping equipment and offer learning opportunities through a curated guest speaker series. Powered by TechShop and developed in partnership with Skillshare, Quirky, Make and Inventables, GE Garages aims to spark interest and greater participation in advanced manufacturing through making. The GE Garages location will also function as the headquarters for Chicago Ideas Week, a premier annual gathering of global thought leaders and an innovation platform that inspires, connects and activates the city of Chicago and beyond.

MasterCard Launches 21ST Century Newsroom, Blog

MasterCard is evolving its digital storytelling and news sharing platforms to reflect the cashless society. The reimagined newsroom dubbed The Engagement Bureau and the redesigned Cashless Pioneers Blog will make up a MasterCard conversation and publishing ecosystem that helps people engage with the brand, discover amazing and sharable content and immerse them in a discussion around the benefits of digital payments technology in a world that is evolving beyond cash. The Engagement Bureau will become a highly interactive community and information exchange for journalists, bloggers and industry observers that want a real time connection with MasterCard Communications professionals and spokespeople from any place and at any time around the world. The Engagement Bureau will feature summaries of current news, increased use of imagery and video and instant access to communications contacts within the company via social, mobile and traditional means.

Digital River Announces Board Member

Digital River announced the appointment of Ed Eger to its board of directors. Having most recently served as a senior vice president and general manager of the Americas at PayPal and as an advisor to the CEO at eBay Corporation. A seasoned international payments executive with deep financial services, management, branding and risk management experience. From May 1999 to July 2009, Mr. Eger was with Citigroup and last served as the CEO and business head for its International Cards business. While at Citigroup, Mr. Eger was responsible for an organization that spanned 50 countries and served more than 40 million customers worldwide.

Standard Chartered Launches New mApp

Standard Chartered launched its “Breeze” mobile app to transform the digital space in the country’s financial services industry. Currently the sophistication and increased expectation of the average Ghanaian banking customer has influenced banks to adopt a new way of thinking; a thinking that is defined by how to drive a cohesive relationship with the customer. Standard Chartered’s internal research has revealed that customers now wish for simpler and faster banking; be it at the branch, on phones or via mobile networks. The Breeze Mobile Banking app was borne out of a desire to make banking simpler by creating an intuitive, plain-speaking smartphone interface.

Discover Call Centers IQPC Winner

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Discover has been named by the International Quality & Productivity Center (IQPC) as the winner of two industry-leading 2013 Call Center Excellence Awards: Best Contact Center Learning, Development and Recognition Program and Best Performance Acting on the Voice of the Customer and Voice of the Social Customer. For the fourth consecutive…

Wells Fargo Customers Save on ATM Receipts

Wells Fargo announced Wells Fargo customers completed more than one billion paperless transactions at its ATMs since 2009 and now have the option to conclude a transaction without an ATM receipt or to select a receipt to be sent to an Online Banking inbox, a designated personal e-mail account, or a mobile phone number. Customers have avoided using more than 300 million feet of receipt paper which could circle the earth’s circumference more than two times – approximately 63,000 miles. To increase the choices available to customers and further reduce paper waste, a text receipt option was offered to customers at Wells Fargo ATMs nationwide in June 2013. Wells Fargo was the first bank to offer email and text receipt options to its customers.

CSR Privacy Compliance Expands

CSR privacy compliance announced a major expansion of its western regional office in Reno, Nevada, to support growth in its customer base and to provide an expanded facility in support of further creation of products and services for portfolio focused value-added resellers. Expanding the line of CSR ToolKits means new ongoing revenue streams that require minimal effort for channel partners who resell these security services to their customers. The CSR Privacy ToolKit™ is the newest addition to the suite of services and the only information security solution of its kind to help identify and remediate risk, create customized policies, train employees in data privacy and monitor compliance.

Sopra eWallet Bank Platform

Sopra Banking Software, a global leader in banking software and services, is pleased to announce the launch of SkyBy for digital wallets at Sibos 2013. Digital wallets are a must for banks and other payment service providers to secure customer loyalty and offer lots of advantageous features. Other differentiating features include on-the-fly customer advice. It not only comprises front-end functionalities, but also takes care of the back-end, which includes the digital wallet server and integration with payment and credit platforms. Sopra Banking’s long experience with the development of software solutions for online banks or the engines for retail banks’ online arms have created the necessary expertise in that regard.

Lusis Payments Launches Online MarketPlace

Lusis Payments payments software launched its Tango MarketPlace. Already deployed in a number of successful live trials and offers a configurable set of standard TANGO components implemented as an online marketplace. The marketplace is complete with customer registration, merchant onboarding and self-service, including configurable website themes and content for local communities, businesses or individuals who want to buy and sell goods and services and share their experiences through social media. This front-end solution is backed by an integrated and secure SEPA-compliant payment system, with a delivery logistics tracking mechanism completing the full end-to-end experience.

MoneyGram and Ukash Partner on eRemittance

MoneyGram and Ukash partnered to let Ukash customers send domestic and international money transfers from the Ukash website and receive the funds at any of MoneyGram’s 327,000 agent locations worldwide or through MoneyGram’s account deposit channels. The agreement, which was announced earlier this year, now makes it easy for UK customers who prefer the security of not providing their credit or debit card information online to send money to friends and family using a Ukash code and MoneyGram’s robust global agent network. Using a Ukash code, up to £200 can be sent online at www.ukash.com for collection at any of MoneyGram’s 327,000 outlets in nearly 200 countries around the world, either as cash or direct to a bank account or e-wallet.

Agricultural Bank of China Deploys NCR ATMs

NCR Corporation, the global leader in consumer transaction technologies, announced that it has won a volume order from Agricultural Bank of China (“ABC”) for more than 1,500 NCR SelfServ ATMs, which includes NCR SelfServ 22 and SelfServ 25 models. NCR has out-competed other providers in this bid, securing the largest share of order from ABC and further consolidating its leadership position in the cash-dispenser ATM machine market in China. These newly purchased ATMs will be deployed by ABC in 18 provinces across China during the third and fourth quarters. All NCR SelfServ ATM models shipped to ABC will be equipped with the latest NCR safe, which is designed to offer increased physical security levels with thicker walls and tougher composite steel and concrete construction.