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

CSR Partners OMEGA Processing Solutions

CSR data compliance solutions announced that OMEGA Processing Solutions will offer its “PCI ToolKit” and Breach Reporting “ToolKit” solutions to its entire portfolio of approximately 7,000 business customers. OMEGA Processing Solutions credit card processing company provides electronic payment transaction services to businesses nationwide. The CSR “PCI ToolKit” solution helps merchants complete compliance validation quickly and easily without time-consuming support sessions. More than 82 percent of merchants who use the PCI ToolKit successfully complete validation. The CSR “Breach Reporting ToolKit” solution delivers the right information at the right time to the right regulating bodies in the event of a suspected or actual data breach. It identifies, prepares and files the mandated reports to countless oversight authorities in a timely fashion on behalf of businesses, both large and small.

TransCard Intros New Prepaid Card

TransCard introduced its “Traveler Prepaid Card” along with its “Student Prepaid Card.” The latest addition to the TransCard “Premier Select Suite” reloadable prepaid accounts, the Student Prepaid Card is geared towards high school students heading off to college. It offers purchasing power without the risk of piling up credit card debt and allows parents to send money to the card via a transfer from their bank account or in real-time from a secondary card. It also offers online budgeting, real-time text alerts, a mobile app, and access to cash at ATMs worldwide, all for one low monthly fee.

Western Union Launched Payment Network

Western Union launched its “Reload+” network, which allows customers with multiple types of accounts, including prepaid cards, mobile services and other e-commerce-based accounts, to “top up” or add cash to their accounts at participating Western Union Agent locations worldwide. The “Reload+” services offer cash access at participating Western Union Agent locations where ATMs are not prevalent.

GE Capital Announces New Consumer Credit Card Program

GE Capital Retail Bank and American Signature announced a multi-year relationship to provide consumer credit card services through its 126 locations. For this, GE Capital Retail Bank provides financial solutions to retailers to help grow their customer sales and will service the account and manage the credit card program. GE Capital has helped major retailers and more than 200,000 small- and mid-sized businesses throughout the United States build consumer financing programs that support business growth and customer satisfaction and has been in the furniture market 60 years.

MPR Improves 5 Mos Running, Hits Highest Rate Ever

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Fitch’s February Monthly Payment Rate(MPR) Index continues to sit above the 20% mark, currently at 24.83%. Up over 10% since the year ago period, MPR has consistently remained well above the historical average of 16.55% since 2009. MPR, which measures how quickly cardholders are paying down outstanding balances, is breaking the…

Cummins Allison Announces Currency and Check Processing Solutions

The two-in-one JetScan iFX from Cummins Allison accommodates branch capture as complete deposits; checks, currency and transaction-related documents can be processed in the back counter or at the teller line in minutes. The JetScan iFX enables tellers and supervisors to image checks more than twice as fast as other scanners without sacrificing image quality, on the same machine that is also the fastest currency scanner in the industry. It also increases productivity by processing 1,600 bills per minute, even in the highest volume areas, such as count rooms. With quicker currency scanning speeds, staff tasks become faster, while accuracy remains high as the JetScan iFX ensures incorrect notes are instantly identified and counterfeit notes detected, where other currency scanning equipment might miss. This as IDC Insights expects North American technology spending to increase to $57 billion in 2013 on investment in currency and check processing solutions and branch/teller capture is projected to see an estimated 98% adoption rate of branch and/or teller capture solutions over the next two years.

Evolution1 Changes Product Identity

Evolution1 electronic payment, on-premise and cloud computing healthcare solution announced its products, solutions, and services under six brands within one product suite. The product suite enables the communities Evolution1 serves to quickly identify Evolution1’s products, solutions, and services and determine which one best meets their needs. The suite includes 1Cloud by Evolution1 healthcare financial services platform; 1Direct by Evolution1 on-premise healthcare financial services; 1Pay by Evolution1 suite of payment solutions, led by the innovative Benny Prepaid Benefits Card; 1Mobile by Evolution1 for healthcare access for consumers on the go; 1Plan by Evolution1 contribution solution; and 1View by Evolution1 self-service dashboard for healthcare management.

Leaf Announces Open Payment Acceptance

Leaf unveiled an open approach to payment acceptance, giving small businesses the freedom to work with the payment provider of their choice, as well as the ability to accept new forms of payment all from one device. Offering the first POS platform committed to open payment acceptance, Leaf empowers merchants to choose their providers and rate plans, offer the most novel and convenient payment options for their customers, and aggregate data analytics over all payment types and providers. Leaf enables merchants to choose from a list of more than two dozen credit card, gift card and next generation payment providers within its partner program, which it plans to grow in the coming months. Leaf also offers the ability to create new accounts with pre-approved partners through its “LeafBusiness” online analytics and management portal.

NCR Upgrades Gift Card Platform

NCR upgraded its “Silver” mobile POS system to give small business owners an edge on promoting and growing their businesses with gift card programs. The NCR “Silver” gift card platform makes loading, accepting and managing gift cards easy. Users simply take credit card payments for an affordable way to create powerful business-building gift card programs. Since gift cards usually result in sales higher than the gift card’s face value, this also generates added income. And because NCR Silver is cloud-based, the gift card update easily deploys to existing NCR Silver customers and is included in all new versions of NCR Silver delivered to customers.

Ex-AmEx CIO joins Good technology board

Good Technology secure enterprise mobility announced that Marc D. Gordon has been elected to its board of directors, bringing more than 25 years’ experience guiding technology companies. Gordon has served as the executive vice president and CIO of American Express since September 2012 and enterprise CIO and chief technology officer at Bank of America after joining the firm in 2004. Gordon has also held the CIO position at Best Buy and The Timberland Company, served on the U.S. National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee and has advised government agencies on cyber security and emergency preparedness. Gordon has an extensive background as both a consultant and global technology leader and has led the deployment of several industry-moving innovations.

Global Travel Spend Up 6% Y/Y

Visa account holders continued packing their bags as aggressively as they did in 2011, according to 2012 Travel Snapshots. VisaVue Travel data showed spending by Visa account holders traveling to Brazil, Canada, Mexico and United States jumped 6% to $57 billion compared to 2011. With this, China knocked the U.K. out of the top three inbound countries traveling to the U.S. for the first time since 2009, up 30% Y/Y. Visa account holders from Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the U.S. showed more interest in Japan, boosting tourism spend in the country by an average of 25% to $948M while Visa account holders in Africa dramatically increased travel spending in the U.S. 17% to $585M on their Visa accounts.

Chase Changes Policies Regarding Payday Lenders

JPMorgan Chase announced that it is making policy changes that will protect customers when payday lenders and other billers seek inappropriate payments from Chase’s consumer deposit accounts. Chase will only charge one returned item fee to customers in cases where a biller presents items that are returned to them due to insufficient funds in the customer account more than once in a 30-day period Chase is working to proactively identify potential misuse of the Automated Clearing House (ACH) system – including misuse on the part of payday lenders or other companies – and report such practices to the National Automated Clearing House Association. Chase will work with NACHA to try to strengthen their own policies to disallow excessive presentments. Chase will also make it easier for customers to close their accounts when there are open pending charges, including payday lender payments. If we believe those pending charges are inappropriate, we won’t honor them.