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Archive: News in brief

One in five US mobile phone users made a mobile payment in 2014

March 27th, 2015

22% of US mobile phone users made a mobile payment last year, up from 17% in 2013, research from the Federal Reserve Board reveals. The most common type of mobile payment was paying bills through an online system or mobile app, followed by online and in-app purchases, with in-store payments in third place, the Consumers and Mobile Financial Services 2015 (PDF) report found.

TEB to roll out HCE payments in Turkey

March 26th, 2015

Turkey’s Türk Ekonomi Bankasi (TEB) has become the latest European bank to announce plans to launch a host card emulation (HCE) based mobile payments service using a tokenization platform unveiled by Visa Europe in February. “Customers will be able to make Visa contactless payments at more than 2.4m contactless terminals across Europe with a simple tap using the bank’s CepteTEB mobile application,” says Visa Europe.

China Telecom launches NFC ticketing

March 26th, 2015

Residents of Shanghai and Beijing can now ride the metro and pay for tickets with their China Telecom NFC smartphones. The carrier, which has 183m subscribers, is using Gemalto’s UpTeq multi-tenant NFC SIMs to deploy its secure NFC services.

SaskTel plans mobile payments

March 26th, 2015

Canadian communications provider SaskTel will soon unveil a mobile payments service for its customers, the company has said on Twitter. “Soon you can get the security and convenience of credit card payments using your SaskTel phone!” the tweet read. A formal announcement on the launch will be made in mid-April, a spokesman told Mobile Syrup.

Naver Pay to go live in June

March 18th, 2015

Korean internet portal Naver is to introduce a mobile payments platform from June that will let users verify themselves using fingerprint recognition and make payments using their Naver ID, a password, the mobile number of the recipient and either a credit or debit card. “It has tied up with five credit card firms, including BC Card Co and Samsung Card Co, and is in talks with five major local banks to forge the partnership to provide Naver Pay,” Yonhap reports.

SNCF extends NFC train tickets

March 17th, 2015

French railway operator SNCF has expanded availability of its NFC ticketing service to include the Alsace, Aquitaine, Haute-Normandie, Lorraine and Midi-Pyrenees regions. Launched in Normandy in October 2014 and developed in partnership with Orange and SFR, the service allows commuters to buy, manage and validate their tickets using their smartphone.

Vivo expands Zuum mobile payments service

March 17th, 2015

MFS, a joint venture between Telefonica-owned carrier Vivo and MasterCard, has expanded its Vivo Zuum mobile payment service to São Paulo, the biggest city in Brazil. The service lets users make in-store payments via USSD, pay bills, transfer funds between Vivo Zuum accounts, top up prepaid airtime and withdraw cash from MasterCard ATMs. Vivo Zuum is also available in Salvador, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre and Aracaju.

Halifax checks pulse of biometric wristband

March 13th, 2015

UK bank Halifax is investigating how Bionym’s Nymi Band, a device that uses the wearer’s unique cardiac rhythm to authenticate their identity, could be used to reduce the need for customers to remember their passwords. A version of Nymi that incorporates NFC technology is currently on trial with a number of Canadian banks.

Square buys mPOS developer Kili

March 12th, 2015

Square has bought Kili Technology, the Canada-based mPOS startup that acquired NFC-on-microSD pioneer DeviceFidelity in November 2014. Together, says Square, “we’ll continue to lead the way in delivering simple and affordable hardware that gives our sellers a smarter and safer way to do business”.

Most iPhone 6 owners yet to use Apple Pay

March 11th, 2015

Four in five iPhone 6 and 6+ owners in the US are yet to make use of Apple Pay (79%), a Trustev survey has found. Of the 21% who have tried it, 80% are using it less than three times a week, 62% use it either not at all or once in a typical week and 30% say they “never” use it in an average week. Just 2.1% use it 10 times or more a week.

Commbank turns on HCE

March 11th, 2015

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) is now offering customers with an NFC mobile phone running Android 4.4 KitKat or higher the ability to make mobile payments using host card emulation. “The payments can be made via CBA’s mobile banking app, which so far has 3.2 million registered users and has been used to make more than $100bn in transactions since late 2013,” Australian Financial Review reports.

One in three boarding passes to go mobile

March 11th, 2015

More than 1.5bn airline boarding passes will be delivered via mobile by 2019, up from 745m this year, Juniper Research predicts. The figure will represent one in three of all passes issued.

Starbucks expands mobile ordering

March 10th, 2015

Coffee chain Starbucks is expanding its Mobile Order & Pay service to 650 locations in the US states of Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Alaska following a trial which has been running in Portland since December 2014. “The ease of use for both customers and baristas is expected to increase speed of service, drive incremental transactions and increase throughput across Starbucks stores,” the company says. The service is planned to roll out across the US during 2015.

TfL tests guide beacons for the blind

March 9th, 2015

Transport for London (TfL) is testing the use of Bluetooth beacons that work with a mobile app to provide guidance to visually impaired passengers travelling on the London Underground. “Currently most have to rely on friends to help them get used to familiar routes or phone ahead to request assistance from London Underground staff,” the BBC reports. “Many do not feel confident about using the whole network.”

SXSW to deploy 1,000 beacons

March 9th, 2015

The organizers of the annual SXSW music and film festival are working with Gimbal, RightRound and Urban Airship to place 1,000 Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons around the event’s venues. The beacons support Around Me, a new social networking addition to the SXSW Go app that lets attendees who check into zones at official venues discover what’s happening nearby and connect with other people that have also checked into the location.

Apple Pay now at 700,000 locations

March 9th, 2015

Apple Pay is now accepted “at nearly 700,000 locations” and “works with over 2,500 banks”, Apple has announced at its Spring Forward launch event. “There are now hundreds of thousands of vending machines accepting Apple Pay, including more than 40,000 Coca-Cola vending machines.”

No Samsung Pay fees for Korean issuers

March 9th, 2015

No fees will be charged by Samsung to card issuers making use of its new Samsung Pay service in Korea, Business Korea reports, “to help dominate the rapidly-growing mobile payments market”. Samsung’s revenue plan for the US “is still unknown”, the report adds, “but an industry source said that the company is unlikely to charge fees in the US in light of its decision in Korea”.

Apple stores hit hardest by Apple Pay fraudsters

March 9th, 2015

Credit card data stolen in recent data breaches at big retailers has led to a wave of fraudulent Apple Pay transactions, reports the Wall Street Journal. “About 80% of the unauthorized purchases have been for big-ticket items bought with smartphones at Apple’s own stores.”

Softcard to close down on 31 March

March 9th, 2015

The Softcard mobile wallet service is to close down altogether at the end of March 2015 in the wake of a deal between Google and the three US carriers that founded the NFC payments venture. “As of 3/31 your Softcard app will no longer work,” the company says. “You can continue to use the Softcard app until 3/31. After that your account will be closed. To keep using a digital wallet app download Google Wallet now.”

US identity fraud drops, but breaches scare consumers

March 5th, 2015

The number of victims of identity fraud in the US decreased 3% to 12.7 million in 2014 and total fraud losses declined to US$16 billion — a decrease of 11% from 2013 — a study from Javelin Strategy & Research has found. However, a series of high-profile card data breaches had a great impact on consumer purchasing decisions, with 28% of fraud victims saying they avoided affected merchants after the fraud, say the authors of the 2015 Identity Fraud study.

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