Robert McKinley, Senior Analyst/Editor Robert McKinley, with 33 years experience covering payment cards and payment systems, is Senior Analyst/Editor for CardFlash and other payments-related publications. He is the retired founder and chief executive of RAM Research, CardWeb and CardTrak. McKinley served as an expert witness in 100+ litigations including two multi-$billion trials, testified before the U.S. Congress, chaired multiple payments conferences, hired as consultant by Fortune 100 companies and several overseas financial institutions. Full Bio:

Inspirato with AmEx Launches Business Solutions, Incentives and Rewards

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Inspirato with American Express launched ‘Inspirato for Business’ for corporate meetings, incentives and reward travel for businesses looking to drive enthusiasm, increase productivity and renew company spirit. The new solution provides its corporate clients access to more than 130 private Inspirato vacation residences, valued at nearly half a billion dollars –…

Microsoft Invites Sipree Start-Up Program

Microsoft invited enterprise payments startup Sipree to join BizSpark One, a program that identifies a small number of high-potential startups in the Microsoft BizSpark program comprised of more than 50,000 companies from over 100 countries around the world. Sipree was founded as an outgrowth of PayPal’s efforts to leverage its global network for the demands of Global 2000 enterprises and governments. Sipree helps companies connect to alternative payment networks by providing a bank-agnostic platform and flexible software that enables novel solutions. Microsoft is working to support current and future products on Windows Azure, its open and flexible cloud platform. Sipree leverages Microsoft’s cloud platform, development tools, and enterprise products such as Dynamics AX, Active Directory, SQL Server 2012 and their datacenter services.

HID Global Unveils Instant Financial Issuance Printer

HID Global secure identity solutions launched its “FARGO HDPii” Plus Financial Card Printer/Encoder desktop solution for retransfer printing of financial cards. Featuring the company’s fifth generation of High Definition Printing™ (HDP®) technology, the new HDPii Plus enables the secure, instant issuance of both ISO magnetic swipe and contact/contactless EMV® cards at thousands of branch offices and other distributed locations, saving both time and money for the financial issuer while providing the card holder with a secure card that can be used immediately. HID Global will be demonstrating its new instant financial issuance solution at CARTES America April 23-25.

Smart Card Expert to Host EMV Webinars

Prime Factors announces an advanced EMV webinar series that explains the differences between magnetic stripe and EMV issuing and processing and why EMV is much more complex. EMV expert Dave Tushie will explain the differences, and what it means for issuers and acquirers in a series underway May 2nd for those who need more than just a passing knowledge of EMV. A basic understanding of EMV is recommended to gain maximum value from the series. Tushie co-founded UbiQ to pioneer EMV card issuing software. He is one of the industry’s most knowledgeable EMV experts. Dave draws from his years of payment card industry experience, research and product development to help webinar attendees understand the EMV payments environment; How all the individual elements work together; and EMV key management.

Agilysys Improves Lodging Management System

Agilysys hospitality software solutions made available its improved “Lodging Management System” (LMS) property management solution, on display at HITEC 2013, June 24-27. LMS is a comprehensive property management solution that leverages web services to deliver maximum flexibility and ease of use. Recognized as the hospitality industry’s most powerful and highly available property management system, the solution automates every aspect of hotel operations ” from reservations and credit card processing to accounting and housekeeping. Its versatile foundation easily expands to incorporate modules for activities scheduling, attraction ticketing, food and beverage sales, online reservations, remote check in, spa scheduling and more. LMS also interfaces guest player accounts to the hotel booking engine for evaluating comp decisions. Agilysys also is making available new folio transfer options; the bility to attach bill codes to LMS meal plans; guest search options; and passport scanning capability.

ACI Launches Universal Payments Platform

ACI Worldwide international provider of payment systems made available its own “Universal Payments Platform.” This new platform empowers organisations to achieve true end-to-end enterprise payments. This approach accelerates time-to-market, reduces risk, drives revenue growth and increases operational efficiencies. The “Universal Payments Platform” is at the core of ACI’s Universal Payments (UP) strategy, focused on equipping financial institutions, payment processors and retailers to transform their traditional payments environments to address emerging opportunities, including mobile, social media and web payments.

Boulder Valley FCU Deploys Tyfone mBanking

Boulder Valley Credit Union implemented Tyfone’s ( mobile financial services to enable next-generation mobile banking services for its member customers. With an integrated strong ID authentication mobile security and NFC contactless payments, BVCU can now offer its members a convenient, secure and integrated mobile banking solution. Tyfone’s mobile banking solution offers a complete range of features for banking customers. In addition to standard mobile banking features, such as checking balance, account history review, fund transfers, branch and ATM location lookup and customizable alerts, Tyfone’s multimode mobile banking solution offers convenient features. These include Mobile Remote Deposit Capture (mRDC); Person-to-Person (P2P) payments; Bill pay integration; and m-banking enrollment of non-PC bankers.

Clear2Pay & Earthport Partner on Clearing

Clear2Pay next generation payment solutions for financial institutions is partnering with Earthport cross-border payments service provider, on low value clearing capability for its US client base. With the OPF Earthport Connect module, clients of the Open Payment Framework (OPF) will have out of the box connectivity to Earthport’s global payments infrastructure in over 50 countries. Earthport offers seamless clearing and settlement for low value payments in over 50 countries. Clear2Pay clients can now implement predefined connectivity with Earthport’s cross-border payments service.

USA Technologies To Demonstrate Cashless Payment Devices

USA Technologies will be demonstrating two new cashless payment devices at the NAMA OneShow to be held in April 24-26. USAT’s latest devices for cashless payment and telemetry”the ePort® G9 and ePort® G10″are designed to bring greater functionality and value to business operators as they optimize their cashless payment platforms to develop new sales opportunities and greater operational efficiencies. The ePort G9 represents a redesigned, feature-rich offering for USAT’s popular JumpStart program. It will include all of the functionality of USAT’s NFC-enabled ePort G8, plus new features designed to bring more value to businesses through expanded acceptance options, consumer engagement offerings, and advanced diagnostics. The G10 will also include EMV contactless L1; Contactless payment L2; Mifare, ISO14443; NFC, ISO18092; and EMV Contact L1/L2, among a host of others.

Shanghai Huahong Joins GlobalPlatform association

GlobalPlatform announced smart card and information security chip solution supplier, Shanghai Huahong Integrated Circuit Company Limited as its latest Observer Member. In joining GlobalPlatform at Observer level, SHHIC will participate in market-specific task force discussions, with particular reference to the management of secure chip applications deployed within the mobile services sector.

Global Payments Partners SaaS Markets on App Store

Global Payments launched a new website providing their customers with a secure Customer Centre and a new App Store that gives access to pre-qualified technology tools, educational resources and free trials, each of which is designed to make doing business easier and more cost effective. The App Store has been developed in collaboration with SaaS Markets, a leading business app store platform provider. Customers of Global Payments in the UK can use the App Store to easily access valuable tools to help them run their business operations. The apps allow customers to automate their businesses and to reduce the cost of buying and deploying hardware and software.

Conference Board Shows Consumer Confidence Drags on Index

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. declined for the first time after 3 consecutive months of gain with a 0.1% in March to 94.7. After a 0.5% increase in February and 0.5% increase in January, March witnessed equally balanced strengths and weaknesses among its components, but was…