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

Viamericas Partners Earthport to Embark Internationally

Earthport cross-border payments partnered Viamericas remittance payments to support its strategic growth outside the Americas, by which Viamericas will leverage Earthport’s global cross-border payment capabilities. Now Viamericas to expand its customer base internationally and provide more efficient, predictable and cost-effective direct-to-bank remittance transfers. As a company with an established service for the Latin American market, Viamericas was ranked by the Inter-American Dialogue as the first place remittance provider for the region in their 2012 Remittance Scorecard report. With remittance flows to the developing world expected to grow by 7.9% this year and reach a 10.7% increase by 2015, Viamericas needed a partner that could enable it to capture a bigger share of this growing market.

Trak Wins Gates and ETA ePayment Innovator Award

Trak won the top award of $10,000 at Electronic Transaction Association (ETA) Conference 2013 annual meeting and expo that took place in New Orleans on April 30 to May 2, 2013. The ETA, which is the trade association of the global electronics payments industry, oversaw the E-Pay Innovation Award funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Boleto is a unique barcode payment ticket that contains the customer’s unique purchase data and Trak’s bank information. Boleto is emailed to the buyer’s smartphone instantly, after checkout. Consumers can go with the printed Boleto ticket or equivalent proof of the email to any Brazilian bank, selected post offices, lottery agents, as well as some supermarkets for cash payments. Electronic verification is sent to Trak by the payment provider and the customer’s order is released by the retail store for pick-up or delivery.

MasterCard Deploys Identity Card Program

The Nigerian National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and MasterCard announced at the World Economic Forum on Africa the roll-out of 13 million MasterCard-branded National Identity Smart Cards with electronic payment capability as a pilot program. The National Identity Smart Card is the Card Scheme under the recently deployed National Identity Management System (NIMS). This program is the largest roll-out of a formal electronic payment solution in the country and the broadest financial inclusion initiative of its kind on the African continent. The Nigerian National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) will be issuing MasterCard-branded National Identity Smart Cards with electronic payment capability. This program is the largest roll-out of a formal electronic payment solution in the country and the broadest financial inclusion initiative of its kind on the African continent.

Revolving Consumer Credit Waning-Slightly

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] With the total outstanding revolving US consumer credit up 7.75%. in February to an adjusted $848B, it slowed in March to $846B. Although rather stagnant against recent months, March revolving credit outstanding is way down from the year ago figure of $865.7B- an average figure over what would be the ensuing…

CPI Card Group Awarded US Patent for Card Packaging Technology

CPI Card Group financial, EMV, commercial card production has been awarded U.S. Patent No. 8,419,889 for its innovative secure card packaging technology utilized in CPI’s Ultra Secure Pack™ products. The technology allows CPI to offer a superior, tamper proof, cost effective product for point of sale card activation applications including open loop prepaid cards. CPI products covered by the patent will now be marked with U.S. Patent No. 8,419,889 to properly indicate CPI’s protected position and extend the benefits to their customers.

AARP Card from Chase Offers More Cash Back

Chase Card Services announced a new credit card for AARP members, offering cardholders 3 percent cash back on gas station and restaurant purchases, with no earning caps or points expiration and no annual fee. The card, designed to reward AARP members for their most common everyday purchases, also offers unlimited 1 percent cash back on all other purchases. By receiving 3 percent cash back on gas station and restaurant purchases and 1 percent on all other purchases, the average family can easily earn more than $250 cash back every year just by using the card. The new AARP Credit Card from Chase also offers customers a 10% discount when redeeming rewards for travel through Chase; Price, purchase, return and extended warranty protections – at no additional cost; and dedicated, personalized customer service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

FIS Announces Multi-Year Agreement

FIS announced that Texas-based Industry Bancshares, Inc. signed a multiyear agreement to replace its four-year-old banking system with its core banking platform to deliver faster customer service as well as advanced online and mobile banking capabilities. The bank is also deploying FIS item processing and other complementary services. Converting onto the FIS core platform allows Industry Bancshares to deliver direct benefits to its customers by providing real-time access to customer accounts across all bank channels including mobile, online banking and bill pay, EFT networks and the traditional branches across its five banks.

Trustwave Certifies Another Payment Services Organization

NWP Services Corporation (NWP) utility cost recovery and management solutions has been validated as compliant with PCI DSS as a Level 1 service provider for the fourth consecutive year through Trustwave. Trustwave is provider of PCI DSS compliance management solutions. Moreover, NWP has enrolled in Trustwave’s on-demand compliance management solution, TrustKeeper, to maintain compliance with the PCI DSS and access the necessary tools to support on-going compliance such as external vulnerability scans.

FIS Announces New Retail Banking Partner

FIS has been selected by Sainsbury’s Bank as the bank’s technology partner for all its retail banking operations as part of a new strategic multi-year arrangement. With this, FIS will provide real-time core banking and back-office processing support via an outsourced model on behalf of the Bank. FIS will also deliver transition support as the bank moves its back-office services from Lloyds Banking Group to FIS. FIS’ integrated solutions will support the bank’s deposit, savings, loan and credit cards accounts, and deliver seamless channel integration to enable customers to access their accounts through telephone, internet and mobile devices. The entire operation will be hosted and run by FIS in the UK.

Valitor Soft Runs mPayments Software

Valitor introduced new software for contactless payment and smartphone mobile payments in cooperation with Point electronic payment solutions. The new software allows merchants to accept payments via contactless Visa cards and also via smartphones where the credit card functionality has been implemented on the SIM card. This software is the first one in Iceland to offer this kind of technical innovation, and has been certified by VISA Europe and approved by the Visa PayWave standards. All acquirers and service providers that use the merchant POS terminals VeriFone Vx820 and Vx680 from Point can update the POS terminals with this software.

NCR Announces New Regional Managing Director

NCR Corporation announced as part of the regional realignment of its management team, Navroze Dastur has been promoted to be the new managing director for NCR India, reporting to Jaivinder Gill who will now assume the role of Vice President – South Asia Pacific for Financial business. Navroze has been with NCR for the past seven years as the senior general manager for strategic alliance and payment solutions responsible for charting the company’s overall growth strategy for the payments business and partner alliances.

Unemployment Continues Slow Decline

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Total nonfarm payroll employment was up 165,000 in April as the unemployment conversely dropped .10% to 7.5%. Having declined 0.4 percentage points since January, the unemployment rate is a reflection of the 11.7 million still unemployed, a 673,000 drop since January. Of this, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for…