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Archive: News in brief

JD Sports adds BLE beacons

September 2nd, 2014

UK sports fashion chain JD has installed Bluetooth beacons at its new concept store in Manchester’s Trafford Centre, letting customers who have downloaded the JD app “access exclusive store content and shop from the app before paying in-store.” The store also features eight multi-channel kiosks and a social media wall, and staff have been equipped with iPads “to assist with customers’ enquiries.”

Visa licenses transactional ad platform

September 1st, 2014

Visa has acquired a strategic licence for the technology platform developed by transactional advertising pioneer TrialPay. The company’s technology involves “placing relevant offers around transactions, and using transactional data to show relevant offers”. The move follows an investment by Visa in the company three years ago.

Visa adds Checkout partners

September 1st, 2014

Visa has signed agreements with a wide range of new partners that will make its new Visa Checkout service available to more than 4m online merchants across the US. The new partners include “Bank of America Merchant Services, First Data, Tsys, Vantiv, and Wells Fargo Merchant Services, along with ecommerce platform providers including CyberSource, MarketLive, and 3DCart,” Visa says. “Branding Brand, Moovweb, and Skava are already live and integrating merchants today.”

Nintendo 3DS to get NFC

September 1st, 2014

Nintendo will include a built-in NFC chip in the next versions of its 3DS and 3DS XL handheld games consoles, at least in Japan, the company has revealed in its latest 3DS Direct video briefing. The NFC functionality provides “support for Nintendo’s upcoming Amiibo toy line,” CNet reports. Nintendo will also sell an NFC adapter for existing models.

Barclays calls time on Quick Tap NFC payments

September 1st, 2014

UK bank Barclays is to close its pioneering NFC payments service on 30 October. Quick Tap was the first commercially available NFC payments programme in the UK and was launched with mobile network Orange in 2011. “Barclaycard offers a variety of other contactless payment solutions, including contactless credit cards and PayTag,” says the bank in an email to affected customers, which also points out that EE — the MNO created from the merger of Orange and T-Mobile in the UK — has an NFC enabled mobile payment solution called Cash on Tap “which lets you tap your phone to make contactless payments.”

Mapco adds mobile payments at the pump

August 28th, 2014

Customers of US fuel and convenience store chain Mapco can now pay at the pump with their mobile phone at 276 of the retailer’s stores. “Consumers who download the app can now drive up to the nearest Mapco location, open the app, enter how much they want to pay, and checkout using PayPal,” says Brad Brodigan, ‎VP Retail for North America at PayPal, the exclusive payment option offered by the My Mapco app.

CaixaBank invests in contactless ATMs

August 28th, 2014

Spain’s CaixaBank has signed a €500million agreement with Fujitsu for the delivery of a new network of 8,500 ATMs equipped with contactless readers “capable of scanning cards, mobile phones and wearables”. The ATMs also feature dual screens, “one to handle transactions and the other to provide operational and sales support, thus providing a much more pleasant user experience with the terminal”.

Evidence builds for NFC in iPhone 6

August 28th, 2014

Apple’s next iPhone will feature its own payment platform, “sources familiar with the matter” have told Wired. “In fact, that platform will be one of the hallmark features of the device when it is unveiled on September 9. We are told the solution will involve NFC.” Analysis of a leaked logic board by a MacRumours reader, meanwhile, adds weight to previous suggestions that Apple will include NXP’s PN65 NFC chip in the iPhone 6.

Smart Card Alliance offers HCE paper

August 27th, 2014

The Smart Card Alliance has published Host Card Emulation (HCE) 101, a white paper that “takes a deep dive into HCE and NFC opportunities and security considerations”. HCE is “an opportunity for application developers to more easily provide convenient and consumer-friendly NFC applications, but also increases the chances of hackers gaining access to information through malware and/or denial of service attacks,” says executive director Randy Vanderhoof.

Citi launches digital wallet

August 27th, 2014

Financial services giant Citi has launched a digital wallet that uses MasterCard’s MasterPass technology to let US credit card holders “more quickly and conveniently make purchases at thousands of online merchants”. Customers who sign up for Citi Wallet will “no longer have to enter their credit card, billing and shipping information when making purchases,” the bank says.

Estimote unveils BLE stickers

August 27th, 2014

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon maker Estimote has introduced a new product category that it calls “nearables”, stickers that contain a Bluetooth Smart controller, an ARM processor and both an accelerometer and a temperature sensor. “Simply attach a sticker to an item to turn it into a nearable — a smart, connected object that broadcasts data about its location, motion and temperature,” the company says.

Boston Fed reports on mobile payments

August 26th, 2014

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has published Update on the US Regulatory Landscape for Mobile Payments, a summary of the latest meeting of the Mobile Payments Industry Workgroup (MPIW). “The industry and regulators are still trying to come to a common understanding about the different mobile technology solutions and how they impact the payments system,” the report found.

Walmart moves to EMV

August 26th, 2014

Walmart MasterCard holders are to receive a replacement card “in the next few weeks” that includes an EMV chip. “Walmart has long been a proponent for EMV chip technology and installed EMV-capable terminals in stores about eight years ago,” SVP Mike Cook and MasterCard North America president Chris McWilton explain. “These terminals are now activated in more than 4,600 stores, including all Sam’s Club locations. Terminals in the remaining US stores will be activated before the end of the year.”

NTT Docomo picks Gemalto for NFC

August 26th, 2014

NTT Docomo, Japan’s largest mobile phone carrier, is to use Gemalto’s Allynis trusted service management (TSM) service and its UpTeq SIMs for the rollout of its NFC platform. “The launch will deliver a rich variety of contactless services encompassing mobile payments, loyalty programs, e-ticketing and access control,” Gemalto says.

QikServe raises funds

August 26th, 2014

QikServe has raised a further US$880,000 to support the expansion of its mobile ordering and payment platform for the hospitality sector. The funds “will provide the resources needed to support our strategic partners as well as continue to roll out our mobile ordering system with customers in our target markets”, says CEO Ronnie Forbes.

Twitter to add payments?

August 26th, 2014

Twitter is to launch a new service in collaboration with Stripe later this year that will let users make purchases from inside a tweet, Re/code reports. By clicking a ‘Buy’ button, “shoppers are expected to be able to enter payment and possibly shipping information without leaving Twitter’s service”.

eBay to spin off PayPal?

August 26th, 2014

eBay is considering a spinoff of its payments service PayPal as early as next year, Reuters reports, but details of the move and what structure it could take remain unclear. “The board will continue to assess all alternatives to create that long-term value and to enhance the growth and competitive positions of both eBay and PayPal. This position has not changed,” says eBay spokeswoman Amanda Miller.

Aruba Airport to test biometric tokens

August 21st, 2014

Air France-KLM is to test a single biometric passenger token concept at Aruba Airport, Future Travel Experience reports. “When a passenger checks-in, their e-passport will be validated and either a photo of their face, an iris scan or their fingerprint or a combination of two or more will be collected. This information will then be used as the identifier at all other checkpoints, ranging from bag drop to boarding.”

EyeVerify raises $6m

August 21st, 2014

EyeVerify has raised US$6m in Series A funding for a service that uses the camera in a mobile phone to secure access to mobile banking and other apps. The company’s Eyeprint Verification System captures and compares the pattern of blood vessels in the whites of the user’s eyes and is expected to be used “in financial services, enterprise mobility management, mobile security, telecoms, healthcare and government”.

Levi’s Stadium adds BLE beacons

August 21st, 2014

The Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco has installed 1,700 Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons that can be used “to give people pinpoint directions to their seats as well as to any other place in the stadium,” Time reports. “They can also be used to send them alerts about specials from concession stands and other promotions.”

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