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

First Tech Launches Native Windows Phone Banking App

First Tech Federal Credit Union launched its new Windows Phone mobile banking app, making it the first credit union in the United States to introduce a native Windows Phone mobile banking app complete with integrated mobile deposit and bill pay functionality. First Tech members can now bank from their Windows Phone, iPhone or Android smart phone anytime, anywhere. App features include access to First Tech accounts anytime, anywhere; making deposits with mobile e-deposit; paying bills; transfer funds and finding a First Tech branch. First Tech will launch its new Windows phone app on-site at the main Microsoft campus, giving employees of Microsoft an in-depth look at this new platform.

Helixion Launches mPayments Platform

Helixion NFC mobile payment launched its lok-MPL mobile payments platform, a complete multi-scheme application platform for mobile NFC payments. The lok-MPL platform is the first to enable the creation of mobile payment applications that operate across any digital wallet, any payment scheme, any phone and any secure element. The lok-MPL platform is backed by comprehensive consultancy and support services to ensure banks, mobile network providers and third party solutions providers can maximise their investment in NFC mobile payment applications. After extensive testing and piloting with major European banks and network operators, there will be a series of commercial roll-outs of lok-MPL based mobile payment applications throughout 2013.

Global Payments Strengthens NFC Foothold

Global Payments strengthened its payment offerings in the UK following the latest roll-out of Intuit Pay integrated m-payment solution. The addition of Intuit to the marketplace is a significant step toward the more widespread adoption of mobile payments among small businesses in the UK. It is fully chip and PIN compliant and allows small businesses and individuals to accept card payments with their mobile phone, using a dedicated reader and downloadable app. Intuit Pay was recently featured as iTunes Editor’s Choice App of the Week and reached number six in the iTunes Business App Store.

Ukash Deploys Cardless Cash Withdrawals Service

Ukash announced its Cash Withdrawals cash access service offering. Offering consumers a convenient was to access cash at ATMs without a credit or debit card. In partnership with PayPoint, Ukash allows consumers to spend cash securely online, removing the need to reveal personal financial information. Ukash codes are purchased with cash in retail outlets such as shops and petrol stations. The unique 19 digit codes can then be used to pay directly on thousands of websites that accept Ukash transactions worldwide. Established in 2001, Ukash has grown to more than 460,000 physical points of purchase, including 50,000 in the UK, and is available in more than 50 countries around the world.

NCR, MasterCard and ING Expand Contactless ATM Footprint

NCR Corporation global technology company introduced its contactless ATM environments. Working with MasterCard and ING Bank to bring the new technology to customers in Poland, this pilot program was launched in November, allowing ING customers in Poland to quickly and easily withdraw cash from an ATM without needing to insert their card. Financial institutions and retailers are looking for a variety of methods to deliver flexible payment options for their customers. Beyond NFC-enabled devices, NCR has implemented or introduced proof of concepts using contactless cards, 2D barcode transactions, and one-time PINs for ATM transactions alone. The contactless-card enabled machines permit ING customers with VISA and MasterCard debit contactless cards to initiate fast cash withdrawals by holding their card near the ATM reader. Upon a confirmation of their PIN code, customers will have the choice of a cash dispense in common “fast cash” values.

Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index Weakens

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index- after having improved in February- was down significantly in March to 59.7 from 68.0. Meanwhile, the Present Situation Index hit 57.9 from 61.4 and the Conference Board Expectations Index was down to 60.9 from the February figure of 72.4. This decrease was due in large…

Virtual Piggy Appoints Mobile Strategist

Virtual Piggy safe youth payments appointed Iain Herd Global Mobile Product Director, bringing with him over thirteen years’ experience in product management, and seven years leading mobile initiatives at major corporations, Iain will be responsible for directing and managing Virtual Piggy’s Mobile First initiative, reporting directly to CEO and Founder, Dr. Jo Webber. Iain, an expert in mobile technology, held the role of Global Head of Mobile Partnerships and Product at PayPal wherein he launched a number of key mobile services including the PayPal Wallet app for Windows Phone in addition to developing Point of Sales solutions and carrier billing and device partnerships, establishing PayPal as a key player in the mobile industry. He also spent 5 years with Vodafone leading the management of global social networking initiatives, working with leading industry partners including Facebook, Skype, Windows Live, Yahoo!, Google and Twitter.

AmEx & Milwaukee Committee Encourages Local High Growth Ventures

The Greater Milwaukee Committee (GMC) local business coalition announced Milwaukee will be the first community in the U.S. to develop an entrepreneurship program using a model developed by Daniel Isenberg, founding executive director of the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Projects. As part of a bipartisan effort to grow the economy by stimulating high-growth ventures and encouraging job creation, the OPEN for Enterprise model is based on testing and validating entrepreneurship ecosystems abroad, including successful programs in Colombia, Brazil and Denmark to foster policies, institutions and cultures that stimulate long-term economic growth, development and prosperity through programs and workshops. Coalitions for High-Growth Entrepreneurship is designed to help high potential urban communities connect a diverse group of stakeholders, including city planners, private investors, academics, entrepreneurs and public officials, to help maximize the social and economic value of the community’s entrepreneurship ecosystem. Merging their collective expertise, the coalition can help to develop community programs that identify new ways to stimulate, support and “scale up” new and existing ventures.

Verifone Investors Seeks Answers

Law Offices of Howard G. Smith is investigating potential claims against VeriFone Systems on possible violations to federal securities. Focusing on allegations that certain statements issued by VeriFone between December 14, 2011 and February 19, 2013 were false and misleading regarding the Company’s operations and financial performance, the investigation is related to allegations Verifone failed to execute on its plan to move to a more subscriptions-based service model, past acquisitions had masked what was happening at the Company and Verifone accounting recognition having been overly aggressive.

On February 20, 2013, VeriFone announced its preliminary financial results for the first fiscal quarter ended January 31, 2013. The Company announced that it expected first quarter adjusted earnings of $0.47 to $0.57 per share on revenue of $424 million, well below analysts’ profit forecast of $0.73 per share on revenue of $492 million. The Company also announced a new revenue recognition policy which prevented it from recognizing revenues that quarter from distributors in the Middle East and Africa. The next day, February 21, 2013, VeriFone shares fell $13.65 from the previous day’s close of $31.89 per share, to a closing price of $18.24 per share, on extremely heavy trading volume.

TPC to Offer Comprehensive Web Enablement Solution

The Principal Consulting (TPC) has assembled a partnership of leading e-commerce companies to help retailers build a comprehensive online shopping experience based on SAP’s Web Channel Experience Management (WCEM) 3.0. With SAP’s Web Channel Experience Management 3.0 as a foundation, TPC, an expert SAP services consultant, provides services and solution design to customize and enhance WCEM to fit retailers’ individual applications. SAP WCEM 3.0 delivers end-to-end processes for e-commerce, e-marketing, e-service, and web channel analytics on a web channel platform that’s easily extensible, allowing customers and partners to build in their business specifics. Version 3.0 also offers the simple, attractive, and responsive customer-facing user interface that customers expect of any web shop.

Alibaba & MasterCard Ink MoU on Evolving eCommerce

Alibaba Group e-Commerce and MasterCard have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore future collaboration in the area of e-Commerce. With the intention to forge joint efforts to establish an enhanced e-Commerce environment to benefit consumers and small businesses within and outside China, the two parties have also agreed to jointly address a strong mutual commitment to help combat intellectual property infringement. Both companies believe that innovation and collaboration are the drivers of development in e-Commerce, and are committed to fostering an enhanced e-Commerce environment that provides a safe and efficient payment experience for users of Alibaba Group’s platforms such as AliExpress and its affiliate Alipay.

Glory Group Launches Cash Management Outfit

The Glory Group of Japan is now among the largest international cash management solutions providers, with more than 2,500 direct employees and a distribution network spanning more than 100 countries globally. With this, the total global business now has more than 9,000 employees and revenues exceeding $.1.5 billion per annum. The Glory Group Solutions is the combination of engineering and consultative experience from both legacy companies, enabling delivery of truly innovative, personalised solutions for clients. Glory and Talaris international distribution partners continue to be partners of the new Glory Global Solutions.