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

MoneyGram Partners Banco Espírito Santo

MoneyGram announced that it has signed an agreement with Banco Espírito Santo, one of Portugal’s largest banks, and is now offering its funds transfer services at bank locations across the country. The agreement boosts MoneyGram’s presence in Portugal and brings added convenience to both BES and MoneyGram customers. According to the Portuguese Immigration Observatory, the number of Portuguese immigrants increased to nearly three million, with destinations including Angola, France, Brazil and Switzerland. According to Bank of Portugal’s latest figures, the country received nearly $3 billion and sent nearly more than $500 million in 2012. MoneyGram’s services enable customers in Portugal to send and receive funds both domestically and internationally.

US Conference Board Continues Marginal Growth

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. was up 0.1% in June to 95.3 (2004 = 100), following a 0.1 % increase in May, and a 0.1 percent decline in April. The LEI six-month growth rate remains steady, suggesting that conditions in the economy remain resilient. Widespread gains in…

U.S. Bank Adds Square Payment Option

U.S. Bank has added Square to its digital wallet options available to customers via their iOS and Android smartphones. Customers can link their U.S. Bank credit, debit, or prepaid account to the Square application to make purchases from their smartphone. Square wallet can be used at merchant locations that sell with Square. Customers can discover nearby businesses using Square wallet, and pay at the point of sale with their mobile device by simply saying their name. Square’s technology automatically manages the transaction from the customer’s U.S. Bank payment account to the merchant. Transactions are completed without the cashier ever having the customer’s account number and other sensitive data.

Discover Inks New Debit Program

Old Second National Bank has teamed with Discover to create the Old Second Debit Card powered by Discover® Debit. Old Second customers will receive the new card in 2014, following a pilot program with bank employees. Discover Debit is managed by PULSE, a leading debit/ATM network, and a subsidiary of Discover Financial Services. Old Second, a PULSE network participant for more than 10 years, has approximately 50,000 debit cardholders. The bank provides full-service banking from Chicago-area branches in Cook, Kane, Kendall, DeKalb, DuPage, LaSalle and Will counties in Illinois. By joining with Discover, Old Second will provide its customers with signature debit cards that provide convenient access to manage and spend their funds, along with security features that give them peace of mind.

ACI Worldwide Recognized as Best-in-Class for Payments

ACI Worldwide announced its ACI Universal Payments Platform enterprise payments solution has been named a ‘Best-in-Class’ solution in Payments Capability in the 2013 Payments Hub report by CEB TowerGroup. Universal Payments Platform’s broad capabilities meant it was rated in each category evaluated in the feature audit of the research. The comprehensive payments hub analysis evaluates nine key technology firms across the industry using 22 attributes defined by CEB TowerGroup. The final report covers market drivers, case studies, spending forecasts, investment priorities and emerging technologies as well as a full-feature audit. ACI’s Universal Payments Platform is noted specifically in the Payments Capability category for delivering “linear scalability, high performance and platform independence for transaction processing.”

OKI Restructures ATM Supply Chain, Partners Yamato Group

OKI launched a new transportation system that will distribute precision equipment, such as ATM maintenance parts, safely and precisely throughout China. This follows a measure to restructure OKI’s supply chain management (SCM), with the goal of strengthening its ATM business foundations in China. The new system will begin transporting materials in July between OKI’s maintenance parts warehouse in Shenzhen City, Guangdong, and a maintenance site in Hebei. Having set a goal to reduce logistics costs for ATM maintenance parts in China by 30% over the next three years, OKI will expand the new transport system to serve all OKI maintenance sites throughout China and pursue further SCM restructuring. OKI’s cash-recycling ATMs currently account for approximately 50% of this market, the leading market share. With ever-growing numbers of ATMs installed in China and continuing expansion into interior China, OKI needed to ensure a safe, secure, and effective transportation system and provide access to speedy repairs and supply systems for maintenance parts delivered to approximately 220 maintenance sites.

Secure Electrans Gets Govt Approval on Chip and PIN Service

Secure Electrans payment solutions has received Government support for its Chip&PIN home terminal as a practical way to reduce fraud. Secure Electrans’ HomePay™ Chip&PIN system received support from the UK Government’s Communication Electronics Security Group (‘CESG’) working in partnership with the Europe-wide Open Standard for Security and Certification (‘OSeC’). Secure Electrans has been working closely with both regulatory organisations alongside industry competitors in efforts to raise standards via the implementation of an Evaluation and Certification Framework. This aims to implement a single scheme for security in payment terminals and cards, incorporating recognition of multiple security certification card schemes and banking organisations. HomePay™ operates through the multi-billion pound global and trusted Chip&PIN infrastructure, and has the potential to create a standardised payment processing architecture for online transactions.

ZTE Makes Available Smartphones and Data Cards

ZTE Corporation network solutions and mobile devices launched a new range of smartphones and data cards in India to provide consumers in the country with a choice of high-performance devices to enhance their mobile experience. ZTE is offering six new smartphones, including the Quad-Core ZTE Grand X, featuring a brilliant 5-inch high-definition screen, in India, partnering with Calyx Telecommunications to make the devices widely available to consumers across the country. In addition, ZTE is introducing four new data cards together with partner Digilife to meet the needs of India consumers for high-speed data access. ZTE, one of the world’s Top 5 mobile handset and smartphone manufacturers, provides consumers around the world a wide choice of innovative and feature-rich devices, ranging from entry level to high-end smartphones, delighting users with thoughtful and intuitive design features that improve their mobile experience.

Citi Expands Commercial Cards Platform

Citi has offered commercial cards in Turkey for some time, but migration onto Citi’s global platform enables both multinational and local clients to benefit from a globally consistent customer experience, unsurpassed global acceptance and digital tools that enable greater visibility of their corporate spend. This development is in line with Citi’s strategy of offering a consistent experience for commercial card clients across all geographies. Citi intends to formally launch the platform in Russia, where certain clients are currently on a pilot programme. Launches are also planned in Ukraine and Kazakhstan before the end of the year.

MasterCard Inks M2M SPS Principal Member

Global payments and technology company MasterCard announced the appointment of M2M SPS, a leading provider of secure e-transaction processing solutions as its Principal Member in Morocco. As a new Principal Member of MasterCard, M2M SPS will be enabling its customers to leverage MasterCard’s acquiring and issuing capabilities across several merchants and e-commerce channels, backed by MasterCard’s support with a suite of advanced value-added services, technical support, training, and new payment platforms. With this enhanced collaboration, MasterCard’s point of sale will significantly increase across Morocco, thereby allowing more consumers to access MasterCard’s global payments network.

MasterCard Announces Newest Sponsorship Ambassador

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] MasterCard announces its newest ambassador, Sir Nick Faldo, golf legend and winner of six major championships — three Open Championships and three Masters — and more than 40 tournament victories. The newly minted relationship will add to the company’s roster of seven world-class golf ambassadors including Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell, Camilo…