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Archive: News in brief

Bank of England ponders own digital currency

February 27th, 2015

The Bank of England is consulting external experts on research designed to help set future policy which includes considering the effects of issuing its own Bitcoin-like digital currency. The One Bank Research Agenda discussion document, which aims to transform the way research is done at the bank, explains that the rise of digital currencies “has potentially profound implications for a financial system whose payments mechanism depends on bank deposits that need to be created through credit,” and goes on to ask what the impact on existing payment and settlement systems would be should it introduce its own digital currency in future.

Fibank to launch HCE mobile payments

February 27th, 2015

Bulgaria’s First Investment Bank is joining forces with MeaWallet to provide the bank’s customers with a mobile payments service which uses cloud-based security and host card emulation (HCE) technology. The service will work at all outlets that accept MasterCard PayPass and Visa PayWave payments and is due to launch later this year.

LG smart watch to offer NFC payments

February 27th, 2015

An LTE-equipped variant of LG‘s new luxury smart watch will offer NFC mobile payment functionality, reports Engadget. The Watch Urbane LTE can also make phone calls and features a bevy of sensors including a gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, atmospheric pressure, heartbeat, and GPS. The watch is due to be unveiled at Mobile World Congress.

Barclays to allow Twitter payments

February 27th, 2015

Barclays will be the first British bank to allow people to send payments using just the recipient’s Twitter username. The free service will launch on March 10 for users of the social network and the bank’s Pingit mobile payment app. “Adding the ability to pay people or a small business using just a Twitter handle brings together a social and digital experience to create a new step forward for mobile payments in the UK,” said Darren Foulds, director of Barclays Mobile Banking and Pingit.

Morgan Stanley joins Apple Pay

February 27th, 2015

Morgan Stanley customers in the US can now add their debit cards to Apple Pay. Ninety banks now offer the NFC mobile payment service. “Offering our wealth management clients the opportunity to use Apple Pay complements our full suite of cash management solutions,” said Eric Heaton, head of Morgan Stanley’s private banking group.

Neiman Marcus rolls out QR payments

February 26th, 2015

Luxury fashion retailer Neiman Marcus has launched a mobile wallet in partnership with Capital One to let its customers make in-store payments using their mobile phone and a preloaded credit card. “Customers can simply open the NM Mobile Wallet and generate a QR code with a click of a button,” the retailer says. “All Neiman Marcus Group stores, including Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and Last Call, are equipped with the technology to use the NM Mobile Wallet for in-store purchases.”

Australia to get Visa tokens in 2015

February 24th, 2015

Australia is to become the second country after the US in which Visa Inc will roll out tokenization. The move follows news that three in five (60.4%) face-to-face Visa transactions in Australia are now contactless — compared to 14% in Canada and 21% in Singapore — and 53% of consumers are now interested in mobile payments. “2015 is posed to be the tipping point for mobile payments,” says Visa’s Stephen Karpin.

500 sign up to learn about testing cloud payments

February 23rd, 2015

More than 500 people have registered to attend tomorrow’s NFC World webinar on testing cloud-based mobile payments, when technical expert Gerd Thys from Clear2Pay will explain why and how you should be testing your offering before going to market. “Testing Mobile Payments: HCE and Tokenization” will be broadcast live at 15:00 GMT on Tuesday 24 February, and you can sign up to attend here.

Consultant: Apple Pay fraud “rampant”

February 23rd, 2015

Apple Pay fraud levels are now “rampant” with every Apple Pay (AP) issuer having seen “significant” provisioning fraud, payments consultant Cherian Abraham claims in a detailed blog post. The fraud levels being experienced “came as a surprise to all”, he writes. “Tokenization, on-device secure storage and biometrics separately and together are formidable, but the soft underbelly proved to be provisioning of cards into AP.”

White paper identifies clear consumer preference for NFC

February 23rd, 2015

NFC Technology: How Changing Consumer Preferences Create New Opportunities For Retailers, a 26-page white paper that presents the results of a Strategy Analytics and NFC Forum study into US consumer attitudes to NFC, QR codes and Bluetooth beacons in retail, is now available to download from the NFC World+ Knowledge Centre. “In five of six use cases identified, more than twice as many consumers preferred NFC to the leading alternative,” the survey found.

Google renews wallet discussions with carriers

February 23rd, 2015

Google is in a new round of discussions with mobile network operators to get its Google Wallet payments service widely distributed on mobile devices, the Wall Street Journal reports, with incentives on offer believed to include paying carriers to feature Google Wallet prominently on their Android phones and, potentially, a share of advertising revenues. Google first discussed collaborating on Google Wallet with carriers around the world in 2012. Its renewed interest is believed to be driven by a need to compete with both Apple Pay and a widely anticipated Samsung Pay service.

Nintendo sells 5.7m NFC figurines

February 18th, 2015

The US and Canada accounted for 63% of a total 5.7m NFC-enabled Nintendo Amiibo figurines sold at the end of 2014, followed by Europe in second place with 23%, Japan with 11% and Australia with 3%. “The sell-through proportion of the total shipment is approximately 70% in each of Japan, US and Canada and Europe, while it reaches 90% in Australia,” Nintendo president Satoru Iwata revealed during the company’s third quarter financial results briefing.

Microsoft to support Fido biometrics

February 18th, 2015

Windows 10 will support the next version of the Fast Identification Online (Fido) Alliance technical specifications, Microsoft has announced, allowing users to unlock their devices using biometric authentication instead of passwords. “Transitioning away from passwords and to a stronger form of identity is one of the great challenges that we face in online computing, and we believe Fido authentication is the pathway to success,” says Microsoft’s Dustin Ingalls.

Brooklyn Museum reports on BLE issues

February 18th, 2015

Brooklyn Museum has produced an in-depth report that examines the practical issues it experienced implementing and managing a network of Bluetooth beacons. Key concerns include installation of the beacon devices, difficulties keeping them in place and programming beacon signal strength. “We are still happy we went this route, but the practicalities have been difficult,” Shelley Bernstein from the museum says.

Jakarta gets NFC rail tickets

February 17th, 2015

From this month the 700,000 daily users of Jakarta’s local train network can pay for their tickets with a tap of a contactless wristband or card at any of 64 stations served by Indonesian regional rail operator PT Kai Commuter Jabodetabek (KCJ). KCJ’s new ticketing system has been supplied by Sony FeliCa and support for NFC phones is planned “from the middle of 2015.”

700+ sign up for today’s tokenization webinar

February 17th, 2015

More than 700 NFC World readers are set to take part in a free webinar on tokenization presented by Bell ID’s David Worthington at 3pm GMT this afternoon. Attendees will learn about tokenization, how it works and the role it plays in payment security in the 60-minute online event, which features a live question and answer session afterwards. You can take part by signing up here.

Apple Pay hits delays in China

February 16th, 2015

“Apple Pay has hit bumps in China despite Apple’s efforts to make friends with Alibaba and UnionPay,” Caixin reports. Talks between Apple and the national payments network, which were due to lead to an agreement in March, “have stalled”, the report adds, while Apple still has regulatory hurdles to overcome as “it’s unclear whether the product meets the government’s requirements for a commercial operation”.

Apple Pay to go live in Brazil soon?

February 16th, 2015

Apple is in talks with some of Brazil’s largest banks including Bradesco, Itau and Banco do Brasil with a view to launching Apple Pay in the country in the near future, Epoca Negocios reports. Almost 80% of the payment terminal network in Brazil is already contactless-enabled, the publication says, and “the only missing piece to fully nationalise the process is issuing cards”.

Google exits Kenyan payments venture

February 16th, 2015

BebaPay, a payment card launched by Google and Equity Bank in Kenya in 2013 that let users pay for their bus fare via NFC, is to be discontinued on March 15. “You can either replace your card with the new Equity prepaid MasterCard for free, finish your card balance by 15 March or get a refund after 28 March,” AllAfrica reports.

US Federal Government turns to Apple Pay

February 16th, 2015

Apple Pay will be available as a payment option for US Federal Government services from September, CEO Tim Cook has revealed during a White House Summit on cybersecurity and personal privacy. “Apple Pay will be available for many transactions with the Federal Government, like for example, when you pay for admission to your favourite national park,” he said. “We’re also working to make sure credit and procurement cards issued to government employees for their expenses can be used with Apple Pay.”

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