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

MasterCard Partners French Tennis Federation

MasterCard announced a partnership with the French Tennis Federation (FFT) to become the official payment card of the Roland-Garros tournament, one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments. The five year relationship between the French Tennis Federation (FFT) and MasterCard combines MasterCard’s expertise in technology and payments with FFT’s strengths in the organization, co-ordination and promotion of tennis in France and around the world. Through Priceless Paris, the latest deployment of MasterCard’s Priceless Cities program, MasterCard will give privileged access to the best of Paris during the French Open, and will introduce a collection of exclusive offers and experiences created especially for Parisians and visitors in partnership with the capital’s leading theaters, museums, restaurants and department stores, such as prestigious places in Paris: the Garnier Opera, the Grand Palais, the Châtelet theater and Disneyland Paris.

MoneyGram Inks New Bank Partnership

MoneyGram money transfer company signed an agreement with Intesa San Paolo Bank to offer international money transfer services at more than 50 of the bank’s branch locations throughout the country. The companies expect the branches to be fully operational in September. With the addition of Intesa San Paolo Bank, MoneyGram’s money transfer network increases to more than 100 locations throughout the territory in less than a year after entering the Bosnian market. The majority of money transfer sends to Bosnia originate from Austria, Germany, Switzerland and the United States.

OKI Partners Itautec, Embarks on New ATM Market

Oki Electric telecommunication manufacturer headquartered and Itautec Brazilian companies of banking and retail automation, personal and corporate computers and technological services announced a strategic partnership to jointly operate an automation and services company in Brazil. The partnership is intended to drive growth to aim for the leading share in the Brazilian ATM and IT markets by capitalizing on OKI’s world top-class cash-recycling ATM technologies as well as Itautec’s extensive customer base and services network for the maintenance of computers, ATMs and other IT devices, which is the largest such network in Brazil and reaches more than 3,700 cities. OKI has achieved strong track records in Japan and China, where it holds the leading market share, as well as in Russia and Indonesia. Capitalizing on these achievements, OKI is focused on expanding sales in emerging countries, such as those located in Central and South America, where rapid economic growth is expected.

eftpos Signs Up for mPayment Trials

eftpos would begin mobile payments trials with selected Australian retailers in the next few months as eftpos had signed a five-year agreement with C-SAM to provide an eftpos mobile wallet and NFC widget, to meet the needs of eftpos in the Australian market. The C-SAM platform will enable eftpos to offer smartphone users a comprehensive mobile wallet for conducting secure near-field-communication (NFC) transactions related to payments and other value-added services.

Blaze Mobile Awarded NFC mPayments Patents

Blaze Mobile mpayment solutions was awarded three key NFC Mobile Payment patents. The Blaze Mobile patents awarded cover NFC Mobile payments (US8290433), the combined use of NFC mobile payment and coupon redemption(US8332272) and the original NFC payment sticker (US8275312). Blaze Mobile develops innovative mobile commerce, health care, and advertising solutions that enable secure, convenient, cost-effective transactions and promotions from the mobile device.

Amazon Coins Available to Kindle Fire Customers

Amazon announced customers can now use Amazon Coins to purchase apps, games and in-app items in the Amazon Appstore and on Kindle Fire. To celebrate the launch, existing and new Kindle Fire customers in the U.S. have had 500 free Coins”a $5 value”deposited into their Amazon accounts today. Amazon Coins is an easy way to purchase apps and in-app items on Kindle Fire, and for developers it’s another opportunity to drive traffic, downloads and increased monetization. With discounts of up to 10% for purchasing Coins in bulk, it’s also an opportunity for customers to save money on their app and game purchases. Customers can purchase Coins by visiting amazon.com/coins. Amazon Appstore developers will earn their standard 70% revenue share when customers make purchases using Amazon Coins.

Shake Shack Deploys NCR Smartphone App

NCR announced Shake Shack implemented the NCR “Pulse Real-Time” smartphone app. available for iOS and Android devices. The NCR Pulse Real-Time is a SaaS-based mobile analytics engine addressing the everyday challenges of low visibility into current operational performance, lack of predictable data and inability to be in several places simultaneously.The application delivers up-to-the-second performance metrics and notifications directly to a user’s smartphone. Operational data is segmented for quick, easy review, such as voids and comps, net sales by hour, employee performance and overtime alerts. The user can view the guest check of a customer that just sat down or paid their bill and can use it to make real time decisions on their bottom line.

Visa Enhances Offers Platform

Visa’s announced its processing enhancement for Visa Offers, allowing Visa issuers, acquirers and merchants of all sizes to deliver targeted rewards to Visa cardholders. Cutting out paper coupons, allowing consumers, who opt in, to earn points and discounts as well as redeem special offers instantly at checkout by simply using their enrolled Visa card. the platform supports Visa’s commitment to offer solutions for retailer and financial institution clients of any size that allows them to deliver customized and differentiated benefits to Visa cardholders at the point-of-sale. The VisaNet payments processing network allows the efficient delivery of these offers that can enhance the consumer checkout experience, increase merchant sales and strengthen issuer relationships. New capabilities include Fully Customizable Offer Content; Real-Time Offer Relevancy; Consumer Loyalty Qualification; Multiple Redemption Options; and Support for Multiple Offers Programs.

Vantiv to Feature Visa Offers

Vantiv payment processing services and related technology solutions is bringing the next generation of POS redemption technology to cardholders and merchants with Visa Offers, the first U.S. acquirer to do so. Intended to drive additional value at the POS, Visa Offers offers the Visa card to deliver personalized deals from top brands to an enrolled individual’s mobile phone or email. This platform enables clients to identify and send customized, targeted offers to consumers to leverage their purchase location and interests based on purchase behavior. The redemption platform helps clients manage promotions across all sales locations by using a single, consistent redemption p process and it provides them the ability to track and measure program success with a consolidated reporting tool. The Visa POS Offers Redemption Platform provides real time ticket reduction as part of the offer redemption during the authorization process, delivering an alternative option to the need for statement credits or paper coupons.

HSBC Deploys Vasco Digipass Security

Vasco Data Security software security company announced HSBC Bank Brazil deployed the “Digipass” for Mobile technology for an enhanced group of retail and corporate customers, while expanding the offered online and mobile services. Currently, more than 90,000 account holders use their mobile device to access all self-service channels to execute financial transactions. With this enhancement, HSBC Brazil is the first and only financial institution worldwide to fully integrate access to internet banking, mobile services, contact center, ATMs and e-commerce. By further integrating Digipass for Mobile, HSBC offers its customers a secure and convenient way to secure their online transactions. The customer downloads the Digipass for Mobile app on his mobile device to generate one-time passwords (OTPs). Every time he logs on, a unique dynamic password is created that, as a consequence, can only be used once. The client doesn’t need to remember multiple passwords with different shapes and sizes anymore to confirm and operate the various channels.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch Appoints EMEA Head

Helen Mason has been appointed head of Commercial Cards, EMEA, in the Global Transaction Services (GTS) business at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Mason will oversee product management, new business growth and account management for the EMEA commercial cards platform. Mason joined the firm in 2010 and has previously held positions at Citibank, HSBC, RBS and Lloyds during which she managed all aspects of commercial cards, including operations, sales, account management and implementation.