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

SoftBank Mobile Picks Gemalto for mNFC ecosystem

Gemalto digital security implemented the commercial launch of mobile NFC services for SoftBank Mobile. Powered by Gemalto’s Allynis Trusted Service Management (TSM) solution, the TSM infrastructure allows operators to easily bring new service providers into the ecosystem. The solution is hosted in Gemalto’s secure data center based in Singapore, providing 24/7 availability to ensure business continuity for SoftBank Mobile. The support of NFC international standards now allows contactless service interoperability across all mobile operators and service providers. This development will also the door to cross-border commercial agreements, targeting international travelers.

Experian Intros No Claims Discount DB

Experian launched its No Claims Discount (NCD) database, a centralised database of records associated with any individual’s ‘no claims discounts’. Now the insurance industry will be able to confidently, quickly and easily validate the ‘no claims’ history declared by individuals during the quotation, underwriting and claims processes. Brokers and insurers can use the NCD database from Experian to replace the expensive and labour-intensive manual process to collect data that they currently use, minimising risk and providing a better service for customers. Experian’s NCD database will ensure the correct risk assessment is completed on individuals and the right rate is assigned, increasing customer confidence in the accuracy of data used by insurers. It will eliminate the need for customers to submit written proof of their no claims history, reducing policy delays and improving their overall application experience.

Credit Outstanding Hits Highest Point Since January

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] With the total outstanding revolving US consumer credit down 2.4% in March to an adjusted $846B, it erased all positive momentum in April, springing to the highest outstanding total to $849.8B. Although rather stagnant against recent months, April revolving credit outstanding is way down from the year ago figure of $862.3B-…

TravelCenters Announces Rewards Program Enhancements

TravelCenters of America operator of the TA and Petro Stopping Centers travel center brands, has added a new rewards level to its UltraONE Driver Rewards Program. The new ‘Ultimate Platinum’ level, the highest rewards level, rewards professional driver members with an UltraONE Ultimate Platinum Leather Jacket when they earn 20,000 UltraONE Points each year for three consecutive years. Professional drivers earn UltraONE Points by swiping their member card at all TA and Petro locations for purchases of diesel fuel, truck repairs and identified promotional items. Points can be redeemed in TA and Petro travel stores, truck service facilities and restaurants. UltraONE members will qualify for the Ultimate Platinum Leather Jacket by earning 20,000 or more UltraONE Points during either 2012, 2013, and 2014, or 2013, 2014, and 2015. Complete program rules are at www.ultraonerewards.com.

Virtual Piggy Appoints VP, Business Development

Virtual Piggy safe youth payments appointed Rika Nakazawa VP, Business Development. Nakazawa brings to the role over 17 years industry experience spanning payments, mobile technology, games and digital media, and retail. Her most recent position was as Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Business Development at American Express (NASDAQ:AXP). Prior to joining American Express, she served as the Vice President of Business Development and Account Management at Live Gamer, an e-commerce solution provider for gaming and digital entertainment industries. Ms. Nakazawa has also previously held roles at NVIDIA, ACCENTURE and Sony Entertainment.

MasterCard and Kount Partner on Preventing e-Commerce Fraud

MasterCard Worldwide and Kount fraud prevention partnered making MasterCard’s Expert Monitoring Fraud Scoring for Merchants available to Kount merchant customers. MasterCard’s Expert Monitoring Fraud Scoring for Merchants Application Programming Interface (API) improves an online merchant’s ability to detect and prevent fraudulent purchases. With this tool, that leverages the strength of the MasterCard network and data insights, MasterCard provides merchants with a highly accurate predictive fraud score that gives broader insight into card behavior beyond what merchants can see on their own. Kount is the first company to offer the MasterCard Expert Monitoring API to merchants and is integrating the Expert Monitoring fraud score into its advanced merchant fraud prevention platform in order to help e-Commerce merchants minimize the risk of losses resulting from fraudulent online transactions.

FreedomPay Commerce Platform Inks New Partnership

FreedomPay Commerce Platform announced its latest expansion partnership with Taco John’s West-Mex quick service restaurant, across more than 400 locations. The cloud-based FreedomPay Commerce Platform takes Taco John’s already progressive business model and puts them on the forefront of technology innovation. The company can now leverage on-demand access to applications and services anytime, anywhere including; gateway payments, incentives, loyalty and enterprise security solutions. A key component of the FreedomPay Commerce Platform is the industry leading consumer app, VIBE®, which delivers mobile payments and mobile incentives to Taco John’s customers on the go.

USA Technologies Customer Optimizes Cashless Payment

USA Technologies highlighted its customer, City Vending for its effective use of USAT’s ePort® and ePort Connect® service for cashless payment and telemetry to drive improved business results. City Vending has transitioned from zero to over 300 cashless payment terminals in less than a year and has indicated that it has leveraged USAT’s cashless payment and telemetry offerings to drive improved financial performance, customer retention and consumer satisfaction. City Vending is also using VendSys, a certified VMS (vending management system) supplier that participates in USAT’s DEX partner program. USAT’s DEX Partner Program optimizes customers’ use of cashless payment offerings by integrating USAT’s wireless DEX and telemetry available through its ePort Connect® service.

SmartStream Partners Alliance Factors on B2B Payments

SmartStream Technologies, the financial Transaction Lifecycle Management specialist, announced a partnership with Alliance Factors, a financial services solutions provider and SWIFT service bureau, based in Russia – to meet the demands of a growing client base in the region. Alliance Factors specialises in business-to-business payments, back-office automation, compliance management and other STP-based solutions. Together with SmartStream they will help the Russian client base address STP driven challenges in the back-office for reconciliations across all asset classes, cash and liquidity management, corporate actions and data management services.

FreedomPay Announces Showcase at Forum

FreedomPay commerce platform announced their Insight Presentation entitled “What Big Data Means to Banks” at the MobeyDay Forum in Barcelona, Spain. The MobeyDay Forum consists of over 250 leading senior mobile executives from banks and financial institutions from over 25 countries. The event has been designed to give market participants access to the latest industry information and answers to crucial issues, pain points, and regulatory updates while offering networking opportunities and reducing the time spent out of the office. FreedomPay offers a cloud-based commerce platform which is revolutionizing retail and enterprise bank processing. The FreedomPay Commerce Platform provides an interactive, open architecture that allows banks to leverage legacy systems and existing data as never before.

MoneyGram Partners Lebara on International mRemittance

MoneyGram partnered Lebara Mobile, one of Europe’s leading mobile telecoms operators, to offer MoneyGram transfer services over the Lebara Money mobile and web solutions. MoneyGram’s money transfer platform is now integrated within the Lebara Money iPhone and Android mobile payment platform solutions and the Lebara Money website, enabling customers in the United Kingdom — and soon, in Spain, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Denmark and Switzerland — to send international transfers from a mobile phone to more than 320,000 MoneyGram locations in 198 countries worldwide. Lebara customers can now directly connect to MoneyGram’s mobile remittance services global network.

Unemployment Stagnation Persists

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Total nonfarm payroll employment was up 175,000 in May as the unemployment situation remained unchanged essentially unchanged at 7.6%. Having declined 0.4 percentage points since January, the unemployment rate is a reflection of the 11.8 million still unemployed, a 610,000 unit drop since January. Of this, the number of long-term unemployed…