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: www.rbm4.com

First Data February Analysis Shows Waning Spending

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] First Data released its “SpendTrend” analysis for the full month of February 2013. Tracking same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations, the February “Spendtrend” indicated dollar volume growth slowed to 4.6% Y/Y from January’s 6.2%. Coincidentally, transaction growth slipped…

VeriFone Announces Leadership Changes

The Board of Directors of VeriFone Systems announced that Douglas G. Bergeron is stepping down as CEO. Taking his place is Richard McGinn, Chairman and member of the Board of Directors. In McGinn’s place as interim Chairman is Leslie Denend. McGinn has served as a director of VeriFone since 2008 and as Chairman since 2012. He also serves as a member of the board of directors of American Express Co. Les Denend has served as a director of VeriFone since 2005 and is chair of the Company’s Compensation Committee and also serves on the Audit Committee. The Board also formed a search committee to evaluate candidates, headed by Alex W. (Pete) Hart.

FICO and FactorTrust Team, Help Lenders Serve Underbanked

FactorTrust underbanked consumer data, analytics and risk scoring solutions announced a joint initiative with FICO predictive analytics and decision management technology. The companies plan to work together to develop new credit risk assessment models for lenders looking to better serve underbanked consumers. With the addition of FactorTrust’s alternative data to the risk assessment, lenders will be able to assess the risk of consumers who may have a thin credit bureau file, or none at all – potentially leading to greater access to credit for the underbanked segment of the population. The FactorTrust database of underbanked consumer loan performance uses best-in-class third-party data sources and contains more than 100 million distinct transaction records covering all phases of the consumer credit lifecycle, updated in real-time.

Union Bank Deploys Fiserv ePayment Platform

Fiserv financial services technology announced Union Bank has deployed its “CheckFree RXP” electronic bill delivery and payment for online and m-banking. The “CheckFree RXP” platform leverages the Fiserv biller network to enable electronic bill payment, connecting thousands of businesses to financial institutions and consumers. Its “Payment Assistant” feature allows Union Bank customers to receive, view and pay all their bills in one place. Customers will retain control over the payment process by choosing the date they want their bill to be paid from an interactive calendar. Customers will also enjoy faster payment delivery, as most payments made via CheckFree RXP can be delivered the next business day or the same day.

Western Union Introduces Two Mobile App Payment Solutions

Western Union global payment services launched its Speedpay mpayment service to assist billers in introducing mobile payment solutions to their customers. The Speedpay Mobile Payment App can help companies in financial services, mortgage, insurance, cable, telecommunications and other industries meet evolving consumer bill payment preferences. Upon biller implementation of the Western Union mobile solution, consumers can access enhanced payment capabilities by downloading the biller-branded app from the various online locations and app stores where billers make their apps available. Western Union Payments also introduced its mobile app offering, specifically designed for billers in the utility industry, allowing utility companies to provide their customers with the ability to view and pay bills, monitor usage, and track and report outages via their mobile devices.

ACI Completes ORC Acquisition

ACI Worldwide payment systems completed its acquisition of Online Resources Corporation online banking and full service bill pay solutions in an all cash transaction for $3.85 per share. The acquisition adds Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP) solutions as a strategic part of ACI’s Universal Payments portfolio and strengthens ACI’s online banking capabilities with complementary technology, and expands the company’s leadership in serving community banking and credit union customers. With this, ACI is committed to maintaining multi-year roadmaps and contractual commitments to Online Resources’ customers.

FreedomPay & Microsoft Announce eWallet Development Event

FreedomPay is set to lead a week long development session at the #DigitalWalletFoundry event. Both FreedomPay and Microsoft will collaborate with the region’s burgeoning tech-savvy and creative population to kick start the innovative development of digital wallet applications. Digital Wallet Foundry takes place March 18-22, 2013 at the ultra-hip Modern Jago building in London’s East End. At this event developers, designers and industry thought leaders from the world’s leading banks and mobile operators are coming together to collaborate on everything from envisioning, defining wallet strategies and business planning, to coding and agile project development.

Wells Fargo Insurance Names Managing Director

Wells Fargo Insurance named David Robertson managing director for its Atlanta office to lead business development, client service and sales, and cross-sell strategy for the company’s insurance operations. Named a 2012 Power Broker by Risk and Insurance magazine, Robertson was most recently senior VP/head of William Gallagher Associates’ (WGA). A former regional partner at Willis Group Holdings, and senior VP at Marsh, a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies. Prior to joining the insurance industry, Robertson was a corporate banking officer at Citizens & Southern National bank, and worked for First Atlanta, a predecessor of Wells Fargo. Robertson has a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Georgia, received his MBA from Georgia State University, and a master’s in Health Policy and Management from Emory University.

Fiserv Partners IDT on International Billing Services

IDT Corporation prepaid telecommunications services and Fiserv financial services inked agreements to expand the availability of the Boss Revolution international calling service from IDT and the CheckFreePay® walk-in bill payment service from Fiserv. Now IDT Boss Revolution payment users can use the “CheckFreePay” walk-in bill payment services. Likewise, Fiserv “CheckFreePay” agents can offer the Boss Revolution PIN-less international calling service. The “CheckFreePay” walk-in bill payment service allows consumers to pay bills from more than 3,000 companies at more than 25,000 retail agent locations nationwide.

Job Situation Sees Positive February Momentum

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Down .2% since January and .6% since the year ago figure, total payroll employment was up 236,000 jobs in February as unemployment dropped 7.7%, most notably in professional and business services, construction, and health care. This in conjunction with the number of unemployed slightly ebbing to 12.0 million during the month.…

Job Situation Sees Positive February Momentum

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Down .2% since January and .6% since the year ago figure, total payroll employment was up 236,000 jobs in February as unemployment dropped 7.7%, most notably in professional and business services, construction, and health care. This in conjunction with the number of unemployed slightly ebbing to 12.0 million during the month.…

CTS Introduces Money Order Middleware

CTS North America launched its “ClearPIXTM” middleware product at the BAI Payments Connect 2013. For human readability and Courtesy Amount Recognition (CAR) scoring when processing money orders and other non-conforming items, CTS’ “ClearPIX” features a set of advanced algorithms that enhance accuracy and image quality when processing difficult-to-read items, such as money orders, WIC vouchers and postal orders. It automatically recognizes the item-type of a scanned document and then applies the proper algorithms to reduce background noise and enhance the contrast on foreground objects, such as the courtesy amount.