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Archive: News in brief

Ecuador’s central bank plans national mobile wallet

October 22nd, 2014

Banco Central del Ecuador is to launch a mobile payments scheme to act as the national mobile wallet in the country, Payments Views reports. “The vision includes building out an ecosystem that includes P2P, top-up, B2B, cash in and cash out, in-store purchases and electronic receipts,” the article explains. “The plan is to link the mobile payment platform with the banking platform so that mobile accounts can receive funds from and send funds to bank accounts.”

Alipay Wallet hits 190m users

October 22nd, 2014

Alibaba-owned online payments giant Alipay’s Alipay Wallet app now has 190 million active users in China who use the solution to shop online via their smartphones, pay bills and pay for public transport. The company handles over 80m transactions daily, of which 45m are mobile transactions, and Alipay has partnered with more than 200 financial institutions.

Johnny Rockets puts tablets in 200 restaurants

October 21st, 2014

Hamburger restaurant chain Johnny Rockets is to roll out E la Carte’s tablet-based Presto platform to more than 200 locations in the US in November after a three month pilot that saw an 11.2% improvement in table turn time. The tabletop tablet lets customers place orders via the on-screen menu, add items to their cart and pay via a built-in credit card reader.

Acer Pay is on the way

October 21st, 2014

Taiwanese computer maker Acer is to join Apple and Samsung in introducing a payment service for users of its mobile phones and wearable devices, Want China Times reports. The company has partnered with fingerprint sensor provider Egis Technology to develop the cloud-based solution, stating that fingerprint recognition technology is expected to play a “critical part of authentication and making payments” with the service.

Beep’nGo hits 5m downloads

October 21st, 2014

Mobeam’s mobile coupon and offer app Beep’nGo has now surpassed five million downloads to compatible Android devices. “Beep’nGo aggregates coupons, loyalty cards and gift cards into one easy-to-use mobile application and, through its patented light technology, it allows all scanners at retail stores, including 1D laser scanners, to read the barcodes directly from the mobile screen without any hardware or software upgrades or manual input,” the company explains.

Newspaper tests BLE beacons

October 21st, 2014

Dutch newspaper publisher NDC Media is testing Bluetooth beacons with thirty shops in the town of Leeuwarden, Netherlands, to send offers to consumer smartphones running the Lightcurb mobile app. “The overarching goal is to connect shoppers and entrepreneurs together; this test is designed to gain experience,” NDC explains. The company is working with Lightcurb platform operator Snakeware for the pilot, which is scheduled to run until the end of 2014.

23% of Canadians have made a mobile payment

October 21st, 2014

Almost a quarter of Canadians (23%) have now made a mobile payment in-store with nearly a third (29%) having used their device to make an online purchase, new research from PayPal Canada has found. Nearly half (45%) of the respondents also agreed that Canadians are ready to embrace emerging methods of payments such as conducting a mobile payment via a wearable device.

Shopkick drives $1bn in revenue

October 21st, 2014

Location-based shopping app Shopkick reports that it has driven more than US$1bn in revenue for its partner retailers since its launch in 2010, more than half of which occurred in the past year. There are now more than 7,500 ShopBeacon Bluetooth beacons live across 3,000 stores including American Eagle Outfitters, Alex & Ani and Macy’s locations.

Kotak launches P2P payments for Facebook

October 21st, 2014

Kotak Mahindra Bank has launched a bank-agnostic payment service for Facebook that will enable 250 million Indian bank account holders to transfer money by choosing a recipient’s name from their friends list. “KayPay offers a safe and secure platform to transact on the social networking site through a two-level authentication — Facebook user ID and password, and a one-time password,” the bank explains. “Further, both sender and receiver immediately receive notifications via SMS and on Facebook about the transfer.”

iOS 8.1 brings Apple Pay NFC payments to iPhone

October 20th, 2014

Version 8.1 of iOS is now available for download, and brings with it the US consumer rollout of the Apple Pay mobile payments system. Apple Pay’s NFC payment capability is available to US-based owners of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets and can be used at 220,000 stores nationwide that accept contactless payments. Last week Apple revealed that 500 banks have now signed up to offer the service to their customers.

Over 20m NFC devices now in use in Japan

October 20th, 2014

There are 20.55 million NFC mobile handsets in use in Japan according to new data compiled by the Mobile NFC Association. A total of 86 different NFC phones are currently available from the three main mobile network operators, NTT Docomo, KDDI and Softbank.

Bionym begins shipping wristband

October 20th, 2014

Canadian startup Bionym has begun shipping its Nymi wristband to partners and key developers after starting to take pre-orders in September last year. The wearable device uses the wearer’s unique cardiac rhythm to verify their identity and communicates with the world around it via BLE. “We’ll be sending out more information on the next steps of the shipping process to everyone who pre-ordered a Nymi band in the coming weeks,” the company says.

Amex commits $10m to EMV upgrades

October 20th, 2014

American Express is to launch a US$10m Small Merchant EMV Assistance Program in February 2015 to drive adoption of EMV. “We know from speaking with our smallest merchants that they are too busy running the day-to-day operations of their businesses to keep up with the constantly changing fraud landscape,” says Amex’s Anré Williams. “We’re launching this program to help educate small merchants about point-of-sale security and offset the cost of upgrading their terminals.”

Twitter preps for Buy button launch

October 20th, 2014

Twitter is planning to launch its new Buy button in the first quarter of 2015, VentureBeat reports, to let users make a purchase directly from a Tweet. The company began testing the service in September.

Capital One founder hails Apple Pay “breakthrough”

October 20th, 2014

Apple Pay is a “very important breakthrough”, Capital One founder and CEO Richard Fairbank has told analysts during the card issuer’s third quarter earnings call. Capital One decided to sign up for the launch of the program because it “offers good opportunity and upside for us”, he added. “We’re focused on delivering an exceptional user experience to our customers.”

Obama signs chip and pin law

October 20th, 2014

US President Barack Obama has signed an executive order “directing the government to lead by example in securing transactions and sensitive data” by adding chip and PIN security to payment cards. “He is calling on all stakeholders to join the Administration and a number of major corporations in driving the [US] economy toward more secure standards to safeguarding consumer finances and reduce their chances of becoming victims of identity theft — America’s fastest-growing crime,” the White House says.

Android 5.0 SDK now available

October 20th, 2014

The Android 5.0 SDK is now available to developers ahead of the scheduled launch of Android 5.0 ‘Lollipop’ in November. The software development kit includes finalised APIs and behaviours so developers can update their apps to take advantage of new features including enhanced BLE and NFC support.

Welsh museum tests iBeacons

October 17th, 2014

The National Roman Legion Museum in Caerleon, Wales, is using Bluetooth beacons to let visitors discover more about the collections on show on their mobile devices. The National Museum of Wales is testing the technology in partnership with People’s Collection Wales and app developer Locly. The move follows a successful first trial at the National Slate Museum in Llanberis.

Amex warns of slow mobile wallet adoption

October 17th, 2014

American Express has warned that mobile wallets are likely to see slow adoption, even for Apple and its customer base. “Mobile wallets have had the potential to change consumer behaviour for some years but it’s unlikely to be an overnight shot,” CFO Jeff Campbell said during the company’s third quarter earnings call. “It will take time even with Apple’s innovative technology and customer base.”

Alipay expands to USA

October 15th, 2014

Chinese online payments giant Alipay is offering US merchants the ability to accept payments from Chinese shoppers via a new service called ePass. The service lets retailers add Alipay as a checkout option and includes access to a “fast, reasonably priced” door-to-door shipping service. “Alipay ePass makes it simple for Western brands and retailers to profitably access the world’s largest ecommerce market,” the company says.

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