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

Green Dot Appoints Board Member

Green Dot appointed Sam Altman, Executive VP, Mobile Products and Strategy to its Board of Directors. With this, he will serve as a Class I director on the board of directors, now comprised of eight members. Altman joined Green Dot in March 2012 upon the Company’s acquisition of Loopt, Inc., a pioneer in mobile user interface design, real-time location-based mobile rewards marketing, and geo-location application technology that Sam co-founded in 2005. Mr. Altman was featured in Inc. Magazine’s Top 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30 and BusinessWeek’s Tech’s Best Entrepreneurs.

Fiserv Announces Small Businesses RCD Platform

Fiserv has launched its www.spotpay.com, a new website for small businesses to learn more about and enroll in the “SpotPay” mobile card reader and RDC solution. This lets financial institutions to offer small business account holders an anywhere, anytime mobile solution to accept both card and check payments from a smart phone with the durable and secure SpotPay reader. Small businesses that enroll at www.spotpay.com will automatically be matched to their participating financial institution. Additionally, their financial institution will receive all the benefits of the enrollment, including co-branding and incentives, allowing them to realize strong returns on investment. If the SpotPay user’s bank or credit union isn’t yet a SpotPay member, the merchant will be enrolled directly until their financial institution joins SpotPay.

Mashreq Bank Implements Polaris Transaction Banking Platform

Polaris Financial Technology announced Mashreq deployed its revolutionary Intellect Global Transaction Banking (GTB) platform. The integrated cash management platform through portal and backend modules allows the Bank to offer its customers’ transaction banking services on a single platform in multiple countries in the Region. With Polaris’ multi-country and multi-currency enabled Intellect GTB solution, Mashreq can offer new products such as liquidity and trade via a unified portal. The solution facilitates a global transaction banking implementation on a single instance of the application, improving the Bank’s ability to scale up transaction banking operations by three times their current capacity. Through this portal, the Bank offers a single window to their corporate clients for services related to accounts, payments, liquidity, collections and trade.

TELUS Selects Gemalto SIM NFC mPayment

Gemalto announced that Canadian telecommunications carrier TELUS will use Gemalto’s UpTeq NFC SIM cards to enable consumers to securely store a variety of credentials on their SIM for use with their mobile phones. This fully compliant Europay MasterCard Visa (EMV) technology will enable customers to make secure payments, participate in loyalty programs, validate their transit pass, and redeem coupons using the secure credentials stored on their SIM cards accessed by with TELUS smartphones equipped with tap-and-go Near-Field Communications (NFC) and LTE capabilities. The UpTeq NFC SIM secures credit and other payment card credentials, offering the same security protection as chip payment. Besides the NFC-compatibility, the SIM also has built-in LTE capacities which are fully compatible with existing networks.

Discover Spending Monitor Shows Consumer Confidence Stable, on Rise

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] The Discover U.S. Spending Monitor catapulted 3 points from 90.8 to 93.8 in February, as consumers spending intentions remain strong and plan to increase spending on gas and groceries and home improvement. Looking at the numbers, consumers projecting to spend the same amount of money next month increased 4% next month…

PayOne Files mPayment Patent Infringement Against The Home Depot

PayOne mobile payments and carrier billing filed a patent infringement lawsuit against The Home Depot, Inc. in the Northern District of California. The suit asserts The Home Depot retail store deployment and use of PayPal’s in-store checkout infringes on multiple PayOne patents including the use of a mobile phone number and a PIN (personal identification number) to complete the checkout process and payment at point of sale. The complaint seeks unspecified damages and a court-ordered injunction against future infringement by The Home Depot. The asserted PayOne patents include United States Patent No. 7,848,500, entitled “Method And Apparatus To Validate A Subscriber Line”; and United States Patent No. 7,848,504, entitled “Method And Apparatus To Validate A Subscriber Line.”

GE Capital Partners Thomas Kinkade on Credit Card

GE Capital Retail Bank and the Thomas Kinkade inked a multi-year agreement to provide a private label credit card program for consumers, for which GE Capital will manage the relationship and account service. The consumer financing program is available at more than 350 participating Thomas Kinkade authorized galleries and approved dealers, offering competitive rates and promotions, including deferred interest payment options on purchases of the artist’s limited edition artwork, open edition pieces and licensed products such as collectibles, home décor and furnishings. GE Capital’s Retail Finance business has provided billions of dollars in consumer financing through major retailers and more than 200,000 small- and mid-sized businesses throughout the United States.

Chase Sapphire 2013 Golf Experience Program

Chase Sapphire premier travel rewards card launched its 2013 Golf Experience Program offering golf enthusiasts access to two professional golfers. Chase Sapphire’s Golf Experience Program enters its third year and will be hosted by the 2012 U.S. Open Champion, Webb Simpson and renowned professional golfer, Stewart Cink. The experiential program is exclusively for Chase Sapphire cardholders and includes a series of six events in cities across the U.S. this year. Chase Sapphire cardholders can redeem their credit card rewards points to participate in unique golf experiences with Simpson and Cink. Experience packages include a shoulder-to-shoulder walking clinic with one of the professional golfers, personalized swing analysis and a round of golf at one of the country’s most beautiful courses.

American Express Partners Inspirato Luxury

American Express and luxury vacation club Inspirato to deliver the club’s unique vacation experiences under the new brand “Inspirato with American Express,” available to all consumers with special benefits to American Express® Cardmembers. Inspirato is the first luxury destination club to lease rather than own its properties – and as a result, avoid the six-figure, up-front fees common in the industry. Members enjoy personalized pre-trip vacation planning and on-site concierge services, and pay members-only nightly rates – often at significant savings – to vacation in exquisite homes that average $3.6 million in value and are exclusively managed by Inspirato. Inspirato offers private vacation homes, luxury hotel partners and adventure travel experiences in such world-class destinations as Aspen, St. Barts, Nantucket, Sonoma, Los Cabos, Maldives, Tuscany, Maui and Provence.

TransCard Announces Personalized Card Option

TransCard prepaid product offerings to financial institutions is now allowing banks to give consumers an option to create their own personalized Prepaid MasterCard through cardgistics. Customers can use online banking services for user generated photo card design. In just a few easy steps, clients can personalize their reloadable Prepaid MasterCard with their favorite memory to always carry with them. After uploading and editing a personal photo, consumers need only to sit back and relax after placing their order. Consumers can access the designer through a link customized with the banks logo and message, upload their chosen digital photo, adjust image as desired and submit the design.

OKI Expands ATM-Recycler G7 Cash-Recycling Offering

OKI deploys its cash-recycling ATMs, ATM-Recycler G7, to PT Bank Central Asia Tbk. These deliveries follow ATM-Recycler G7 installations in Russia announced last year, and will mark OKI’s first delivery of its cash-recycling ATM in Southeast Asia. OKI plans to accelerate global sales development of its ATMs and aims for 40% market share in the global ATM market, namely in emerging markets, where continuing growth is expected. Economic growth continues in Indonesia and installation of ATMs and CDs (cash dispensers) reached 50,000 units in 2011, the largest in South East Asia. The number is expected to continue expanding to 80,000 units by 2015 following the economic growth.