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Archive: News in brief

Mobile barcode scanning booms

December 17th, 2014

Consumers scanned more than 4.5m barcodes with Scandit-powered mobile shopping apps this Black Friday, the company has revealed, “with some US-based apps experiencing as much as 40 times increase over last year”. Total scan volumes across mobile apps that utilise Scandit “more than doubled year-over-year.”

Iowa to launch mobile driving license

December 17th, 2014

The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) in the US is developing a smartphone-based driver’s license using an app that would co-exist with traditional plastic cards, WSJ reports. How the service will work and when it will be launched remain unclear however, due to concerns surrounding privacy and security. Iowa DOT is now focusing on working out how police and transportation officers will be able to interact with the mobile licenses and on ways to prevent fakes.

Line Pay makes debut

December 17th, 2014

Line Pay, the mobile payments service unveiled in October by Tokyo-based instant messaging service Line, has made its global debut with the release of version 4.8.0 of the Line app. “At the first stage of its release, Line Pay will only support payments on Line Store,” the company explains. “Select Line Pay when paying on Line Store to open the Line Pay service, then simply select a credit card to pay with to complete the purchase.”

Google Wallet adds Touch ID

December 17th, 2014

The iOS version of Google Wallet now enables users to use Touch ID fingerprint verification for “secure and quick access” to the mobile wallet. Google Wallet 8.0 for iOS also lets consumers divide the cost of any transaction through a split the check function.

US consumers trust banks most with card data

December 17th, 2014

Three in four online buyers (76%) are dissatisfied with the strength of credit card and personal information security among retailers with some 72% of respondents saying they trust their own bank the most with credit card data and personally identifiable information, US research from Bizrate Insights reveals. 48% trust PayPal with their payment and personal information, 45% trust Amazon, 21% trust Apple, 12% trust American Express, 18% trust eBay, 12% trust Google and 12% trust none of the above.

Samsung in talks with LoopPay?

December 17th, 2014

Samsung is in talks with mobile payments startup LoopPay with a view to launching a mobile payments system to rival Apple Pay in the US in 2015, “multiple sources” have told Re/code. The service could “allow payment information to be transmitted to the merchant via NFC technology in addition to via LoopPay’s magnetic stripe-mimicking technology.”

Apple Pay hits 90% of credit cards by volume

December 16th, 2014

Apple Pay has signed up support from “dozens more banks, retail stores and start-ups”, with new additions including SunTrust, Barclaycard, USAA, TD Bank North America, Commerce Bank and Amway Center — the home of the Orlando Magic basketball team —  The New York Times reports. Including the recent sign-ups, Apple says it now supports cards that represent some 90% of the credit card purchase volume in the US.

Alipay extends fingerprint IDs

December 16th, 2014

Alipay has extended its fingerprint log-in capability for the Alipay Wallet to iPhone users, China Daily reports. The function is also available to users of Huawei’s Ascend Mate 7 handset and was first demonstrated at a conference in Beijing in October.

Suncorp to offer NFC payments

December 16th, 2014

Australia’s Suncorp Bank is to make NFC payments available to customers on select Android devices in 2015, Computerworld Australia reports. The bank also plans to support Apple Pay as soon as the mobile payments service becomes available in the country. “Over the past 12 months, consumer demand for NFC mobile technology from our customer base has increased significantly due to improve awareness and device availability,” Suncorp says.

Half of Brits interested in mobile payments

December 15th, 2014

Almost one in two (47%) UK consumers are interested in mobile payments, research from Oxygen8 has found, with 11% saying they would like to use their mobile phone only, replacing the use of credit and debit cards altogether. 25% of respondents have purchased an item on eBay using their mobile device, 14% have paid bills, 10% have purchased clothes via an app and 9% have bought groceries via an app, the survey found.

Google Wallet 8.0 now available

December 15th, 2014

Version 8.0 of Google Wallet is now available to download from Google Play in the US. “The latest version of Google Wallet for Android makes it easier to manage your gift cards and loyalty programs in one, centralised location,” Google says.

Apple store adds PayPal

December 15th, 2014

PayPal is now available as a payment option in Apple’s online retail store for US and UK shoppers having previously only been available as a payment option in Apple’s app and content stores, Re/code reports. Apple is also promoting PayPal Credit, a service that lets shoppers pay for an item over up to 18 months with no interest.

TI offers NFC sensors

December 12th, 2014

Texas Instruments has introduced an integrated NFC sensor transponder that combines an ISO 15693 compliant NFC interface with a programmable microcontroller, non-volatile FRAM, an analog-to-digital converter and SPI and I2C interface. Aimed at industrial, medical, wearables and internet of things (IoT) applications, the RF430FRL15xH will enable developers to “design products that require an analog or digital interface, data-logging capabilities and data transfers to an NFC-enabled reader.”

SIMalliance updates OMAPI

December 10th, 2014

SIMalliance has published version 3.0 of its Open Mobile API Specification, bringing with it support for “every type of smartphone OS globally”. The specification sets out a standard way for mobile applications to access different secure elements — including SIM-based and embedded SEs —  within a mobile device and is currently implemented in more than 150 models of Android NFC smartphone.

Cipurse NFC tickets launch in Hungary

December 10th, 2014

Hungarian carrier Magyar Telekom has launched an NFC service that marks the first commercial deployment of Cipurse, an open ticketing standard developed by the OSPT Alliance. The carrier’s NFC SIMs are supplied by Giesecke & Devrient and support NFC payments and the SuperShop loyalty card as well as transportation ticketing.

Nintendo 3DS gets NFC

December 10th, 2014

A Nintendo 3DS system update has enabled the NFC capabilities built into the latest Japan-only edition of the handheld games console, Nintendo Life reports. The update makes it possible for players to use the 3DS’s NFC reader to pay for downloaded games with a standard contactless card and also lets players use Amiibo NFC figures with both the 3DS and the Nintendo Wii U for the first time. A Japanese language video produced by Nintendo shows how the service works.

Fido finalises authentication specs

December 10th, 2014

The Fido Alliance has published final drafts of version 1.0 of its Universal Authentication Framework (UAF) and Universal Second Factor (U2F) specifications. The specifications enable websites and cloud applications to replace the need for passwords with “a broad variety of existing and future Fido ­enabled authenticators, ranging from biometrics to hardware tokens”. Extensions that will add support for both NFC and Bluetooth are also nearing completion, the alliance says.

European payments startup funding surges

December 10th, 2014

Nascent payments and transaction processing companies in Europe raised US$417.9m through 26 deals in the nine months to September, more than seven times the amount raised during the same period last year, research from Dow Jones VentureSource reveals. Venture capital investment in the sector now surpasses dotcom boom levels, boosted by the uptake of digital technologies and shift in consumer behaviour, WSJ says.

Taiwanese banks sign up for NFC

December 10th, 2014

Twenty seven banks have signed up to use an NFC payments hub being introduced by Taiwan Mobile Payment Co (TWMP), a joint venture formed in July 2014 by three Taiwanese banking groups that will work with local carriers to enable the banks to securely provision customers’ card details to their NFC phones. The new hub is being provided to TWMP by Gemalto.

Emirates banks move towards mobile wallets

December 9th, 2014

The UAE Banks Federation has announced the completion of the pre-implementation phase of a project to develop a mobile wallet platform that all its 51 member banks will be able to use to offer P2P, mobile payments and loyalty programs to their customers. “Participating banks will have the choice to link with this application or integrate the system with their own internet and mobile banking platforms,” the federation says.

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