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

Datacard Launches Ultimate Card Issuance Platform

Datacard Group secure ID and card personalization announced enhanced features to its “MX Series” Platform for central card issuance programs. The “MX2100” and “MX6100” card issuance systems offers true field modularity, giving card issuers the flexibility to start with functionality and capacity as their business needs expand or system requirements change. The two new MX6100 and MX2100 systems are in addition to the MX1100 entry point product. The MX2100 and MX6100 card issuance systems include advancements to both physical and logical security features, workload efficiency, and more streamlined smart card handling with an innovative quality assurance module.

VerifyValid Introduces New Payment Platform

VerifyValid web-based payment enablement and fraud prevention company launched its CheckItOut “Beta” check payment platform, which costs organizations only the cost of a check, a flat 50 cents, per transaction. The CheckItOut “Beta” platform allows any large or small business, public sector entity, utility (electric company, solid waste disposal service, etc.) or not-for-profit organization can accept check-based payments from their customers via a simple web interface, which takes only seconds to activate. VerifyValid users can launch a instant web-based payment interface allowing their customers to pay them via the Internet without the cost and complexity of merchant accounts or credit card interchange fees.

BitPay Exceeds $2mm Transaction VLM, MtoD

BitPay payment processor for bitcoin processed over $2 million during the first 25 days in March, with a transaction pace accelerating at over 3,600 completed transactions this month. With this, the company also announces that it has lowered its processing fees for all merchants to 0.99%, including settlement in any local currency that BitPay supports. This allows merchants to accept payment over the bitcoin peer-to-peer payment network, and either keep the bitcoins or receive their local currency such as dollars or euros. Settlements to local currencies are made with a guaranteed exchange rate locked at the point of sale for no additional fee. BitPay currently has over 4,000 merchants using its platform to accept payments over the peer-to-peer payment network, and BitPay is acquiring new merchants at a rate of 1,000 new merchants per month.

NCR Launches Aloha Mobile POS Software

NCR Corporation launched its “Aloha Mobile” extension of its Table Service POS software, letting restaurants deploy mobile technology for tableside ordering and payment. This allows for an increase in speed of service and order accuracy, thereby improving guest satisfaction while boosting sales and profits. The user interface for Aloha Mobile mirrors the well-known UI of the Aloha POS software and makes it fast and easy for restaurants to train servers and have them start taking tableside orders and payments immediately and very efficiently. Aloha Mobile provides servers this capability across many mobile hardware platforms, including the latest generation of NCR Orderman devices as well as Apple® iOS devices like the iPad®, iPad Mini®, iPhone® and iPod touch®. Aloha Mobile offers a secure PA-DSS validated solution that works without any changes to a restaurant’s existing credit card processing.

Consumers Adapting Newer Bill Payment Methods

Western Union global payment services from its Payments Money Mindset Index showed a growing consumer preference for online and mobile bill payments continues to grow as 39% of consumers will pay more bills online in 2013, and 12 percent intending to pay more bills by mobile phone. Meanwhile, 14% will make an urgent payment via their mobile device in the next six months and 25% will send fewer checks in the mail to pay their bills. Additional Western Union findings show 46.5% of bills are paid via a biller, bank or credit union website; 20.2% paid via mail; 19.6% are paid via an automatic deduction or recurring payment; 8.7% are paid in-person; 3% are paid via a landline phone and 2% are paid via mobile phone.

Virtual Piggy Partners epay

Virtual Piggy safe youth payments partnered epay prepaid payments processor to help promote its youth-friendly payment system by significantly expanding its online store offerings. The epay division of Euronet Worldwide (EEFT) is a global prepaid product provider that has a distribution network of over 304,000 retail locations worldwide. epay is the leading electronic payments processor for “tops ups” or mobile prepaid minutes while Virtual Piggy provides a secure COPPA-compliant solution to allow teens/tweens and their families to purchase and manage gift cards.

G&D and PayPal Launch Prepaid mTopups

Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) is to provide PayPal and Vivo mobile payments, allowing their customers with prepaid accounts to top up their credit directly on their cellphone using PayPal.G&D will also deliver the necessary payment solution, the SmartTrust Mobile Transaction Gateway, to ensure that the transactions are executed securely. This gives customers direct access to phone credit, without having to buy a recharge card from a point of sale during normal opening hours. Based on USSD technology and compatible with all types of cellphone, the solution does not require users to download any other applications. Users can set up a PayPal account for the services directly on their mobile phone, and modify the account details to add or remove linked credit-card information whenever necessary.

Contactless Card Transactions Skyrocket

Turkish banks are continuing to develop their products & services and offer practical solutions for facilitating the lives of card users thanks to the investments they make in parallel with the fast developments in technology. The number of contactless shopping transactions, made with debit cards, has increased by 141% in 2012 and reached to 18.2 million from 7.5 million transactions in 2011. Similarly the number of transactions with credit cards has also increased by 122% and reached to 8.4 million transactions. The volume of transactions with contactless prepaid debit cards has increased by 171% and reached to 13 million Euro whereas the volume with contactless credit cards has increased by 243% and reached to 50 million Euro. Transactions with contactless cards, the total amount of which was 19 million Euro in 2011, have reached to 63 million Euro in 2012.

Misys Launches mBanking & eCommerce Solutions

At the ‘Misys MENA Market Forum 2013’ Misys is announcing its new innovative range of online and mobile banking products, Misys BankFusion Digital Channels, which significantly enhances the way banks provide products and services via the Internet or mobile devices. Misys BankFusion Digital Channels comprises a range of proven and mature modules covering online banking, mobile banking, personal financial management and Internet brokerage, which enable banks to extend their services and add more value to their customers. The innovative solution enables banks to keep up to date with the changing needs of consumers. It allows banks to provide a better digital service all the time and allows them to optimise their costs, as customers migrate from transacting in branches to banking via digital channels. Banks will now be able to ward off the threat of competitors and cope with the increasing pressures from more sophisticated consumers wanting to use the latest technology.

Spindle mPayments buys MeNetwork

Spindle mobile payments solutions has concluded the acquisition of MeNetwork international location- and time-based mobile marketing platform for merchants and consumers. MeNetwork’s technology integration with Spindle provides a comprehensive mobile commerce ecosystem that incorporates location- and time-based mobile marketing, fulfillment, and loyalty with mobile payment services. Merchants can directly engage consumers and form durable ongoing relationships via their mobile devices and leverage these connections to drive commerce, establish customer loyalty, and enable consumers to share the unique content they discover through their preferred social media channels.

Flint and Fidano Partner on mCard Acceptance

Flint Mobile mobile payments partnered Fidano merchant service providers. Facilitating on-the-go businesses to accept credit card payments and to maximize customer engagement, Flint provides a unique, frictionless solution for mobile small businesses by eliminating the need for extra card reader hardware or reliance on consumer adoption of a proprietary mobile wallet. NXGEN International processes over $5 billion in transaction volume per year and is partnering with Flint to drive growth in the untapped market segment of mobile non-countertop businesses. NXGEN integrates technology and personal service together with smart analytics and social media tools to create products designed to help merchants grow their business. Users can securely scan just the main number off the card instead of using a physical swiper or capturing a full image of the card on an end-to-end payment service provider platform to enable easy online merchaant on-boarding in minutes.

Bluepoint ImagePoint Announces Latest Partnership

Bluepoint Solutions announced Smart Financial Credit Union selected its “ImagePoint” check capture, electronic cashletter processing and check archive solution. Smart Financial Credit Union selected Bluepoint’s ImagePoint Branch, Hub, and Archive solutions after an extensive search. ImagePoint is to provide a complete end-to-end check capture, processing, and archive solution for the credit union that simplifies workflows, improves research capabilities and lowers processing costs.