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

SingTel and Visa Announce NFC Partnership

SingTel and Visa have announced a strategic alliance that will enable consumers in Singapore and Australia to pay for goods and services using their smartphones at all Visa payWave acceptance points worldwide. Visa is working with SingTel to link Visa prepaid accounts to mCash, SingTel’s mobile money solution. Planned for launch in early 2014, the service allows mCash customers to wave and pay with their NFC-enabled smartphones for daily necessities such as coffee, fast food, groceries and movie tickets at Visa payWave acceptance points. There are currently more than 12,000 Visa payWave acceptance points in Singapore and over 100,000 across Australia.

NCR 2Q/13 Revenue Up 9% Y/Y

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] NCR reported 2Q/13 revenue of $1.54 billion, up 9% from the year ago figure, and income from continuing operations of $86 million, compared to the year ago figure of $89 million. An identification of those special items, and the impact of pension and those special items on income from continuing operations…

Lootsie Launches In-Game Rewards Program

Lootsie, a new rewards program for mobile, social and casual games that benefits gamers, game developers and advertisers alike, launched today for iOS and Android platforms at Casual Connect USA. Lootsie is an unintrusive rewards layer that doesn’t disrupt or compete with the gaming experience. The platform rewards players for reaching in-game achievements, making purchases and engagement activity, providing them with points they can redeem for real-world goods such as gift cards, prizes, special offers and more. Lootsie comes to market several developers, including Babaroga, One Spear Entertainment, First Post Studios, Sabertooth Interactive, Matty Rich Games and Social Gaming Network (SGN) When users play Lootsie-enabled games, they receive a notification bar – similar to a text message – as they reach achievements the developer has set, alerting them to a Lootsie Point value they’ve earned for that achievement and what rewards they may be able to redeem. Gamers can redeem Lootsie Points at their convenience in the game, via the Lootsie app (coming soon), or online at www.lootsie.com.

PULSE to Deploy Paydiant mPayment

PULSE debit/ATM network and Paydiant cloud-based mobile wallet and offer redemption platform, are working together to provide an easy-to-use mobile commerce solution for PULSE participants. The Paydiant solution will enable PULSE financial institution and merchant partners to quickly deploy contactless payment and cash access functionality to better serve their mobile-minded customers. Paydiant’s mobile wallet platform is software-based and works with both new and existing smartphones – including iPhone® and Android™ devices already in the hands of millions of consumers. It also works with existing point-of-sale (POS) terminals used by participating merchants today without requiring new hardware.

ACI Worldwide Achieves 2013 SWIFT Certified App Accreditation

SWIFT has awarded the 2013 SWIFT Certified Application Payments label to ACI Money Transfer System™ for the sixteenth consecutive year. The SWIFT accreditation for payments recognizes that Money Transfer System supports SWIFT’s highest requirements for the processing of payments. ACI has also integrated the updated SWIFTRef directories within Money Transfer System – showing ACI’s commitment to providing customers a smooth transition to the new directories. In addition, ACI Global Trade Manager™ achieved the 2013 SWIFT Certified Application Supply Chain Finance for the sixth year in a row. The label is granted to trade finance applications supporting SWIFT Trade Services Utility (TSU) messages and workflows.

Citi ThankYou Offers Cardmembers a New Lineup of Experiences

Citi unveiled a series of music, sports, dining, comedy, theater and family experiences exclusively for Citi ThankYou cardmembers. As part of the new entertainment benefits of Citi ThankYou, Citi designed this special events lineup based on the interests of ThankYou cardmembers. Ranging from youth sports clinics to intimate culinary events, comedy shows and VIP concert access, these experiences are another example of how Citi is delivering more access to entertainment. Tickets to each special event can only be purchased with a Citi ThankYou card. The Citi ThankYou Preferred card now offers twice as many ThankYou Points for each dollar spent on both dining out and entertainment at no annual fee. ThankYou Points can be redeemed for a wide variety of rewards on thankyou.com like electronics and digital music downloads, and concert tickets on LiveNation.com. In addition, the Citi Private Pass entertainment access program offers Citi credit and Citibank debit card customers access to thousands of events including preferred seating, early access, VIP experiences, complimentary tickets and more.

Citi ThankYou Card Now Offers Double Points

Citi’s ThankYou Preferred card now rewards cardmembers for doing what they love by offering two points per dollar spent on dining out and entertainment at no annual fee. New and existing ThankYou Preferred cardmembers earn two ThankYou® Points per dollar on dining at restaurants and entertainment purchases from takeout to fine dining, music downloads to movie rentals, as well as tickets to sports and entertainment events. ThankYou Preferred cardmembers will continue to earn one point per dollar on other purchases. Citi announced a lineup of special events exclusively for Citi ThankYou cardmembers that will begin in August and take place in select U.S. major cities.

Barclaycard Launches Instant Credit Service

The Barclays Partner Finance arm of Barclaycard launched ‘bFlex’, a flexible online finance product allowing consumers to take out instant finance for internet purchases. Whilst consumers have long been able to take out credit at the point of sale when shopping on the high street, they have been more restricted when shopping online. With traditional credit often tied into pre-packaged solutions or terms set by the retailer, bFlex is controlled by the consumer, with instant access at the online point of sale. bFlex can be fully integrated into a retailer’s existing online ordering system and will allow customers to select a finance option designed around their needs and use it to instantly pay for their goods.

MasterCard Posts 2Q/13 Revenue Up 15% Y/Y

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] MasterCard announced a 2Q/13 net income of $848 million, up 19% from the year-ago period, while net revenue was $2.1 billion, a 15% increase versus the same period in 2012, both on an as-reported basis and adjusted for currency. Net revenue growth was driven by a 13% increase in gross dollar…

Fiserv Announces Forum Keynote Speakers

Fiserv announced that General Colin L. Powell (Ret.) will deliver a keynote address at Forum 2013, the annual fall conference for Fiserv credit union clients. Other highlighted guest speakers include Dan Mica, former U.S. congressman and past president and CEO of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), and Marcus Buckingham, author of seven best-selling books on strengths in the workplace. Forum will be held Sep. 9 – 12 at The Venetian and The Palazzo in Las Vegas. Forum 2013 is focused on helping credit unions deliver financial experiences that deepen member relationships and drive growth. In addition to the general session speakers who will provide new perspectives on leadership, innovation and management, Forum 2013 will feature sessions across five content tracks: Digital and Mobile Revolution; Payments Transformation; Member-Driven Experience; Risk and Compliance Impact; and Efficiency, Performance and Analytics.

NRF Applauds Swipe Fee Decision

The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mallory Duncan on U.S. District Judge Richard Leon’s decision that found that the Federal Reserve misapplied Congress’ intent when it implemented required swipe fees reforms:

“From the very beginning, retailers and restaurants knew the Federal Reserve Board of Governors had grossly misapplied the swipe fee law, also known as the Durbin Amendment. They failed to heed Congress’ call to set fee standards that were ‘reasonable’ and ‘proportional’ to the actual cost of a transaction. Instead, the Board manufactured a standard that was two to three times higher than the Fed staff recommended.

“As a result, small ticket transactions, such as those imposed on convenience stores and restaurants, skyrocketed under the misapplied law.

“Congress clearly told the Fed to introduce competition and transparency into the debit card marketplace by making multiple networks available, so as to reduce swipe fees for merchants and their customers. The Fed failed to do so, and the court rightly ruled against them as a result. Today’s decision is the first step in setting these initial wrongs right and will ensure that swipe fee reform is done correctly.”

IZettle Now Visa Inc Ready Program-Approved

IZettle announces that its Chip & PIN and Chip & Signature mobile payments solutions has been approved by the Visa Ready Program, making iZettle mPOS solutions software and hardware Visa Ready. This comes after iZettle’s successful enrollment last June in the Visa Ready Program, which is designed to provide innovators with an easy way to collaborate with Visa and quickly introduce Visa-compliant devices, software, and solutions that can be used to initiate or accept Visa payments. Sweden’s Financial Supervisory Authority regulates iZettle, whose services are EMV approved, compliant with PCI DSS.