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    Archive: News in brief

    FCC authorizes mysterious Apple product

    September 28th, 2016

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has authorized the sale of a mysterious Apple product that comes with support for NFC. “The A1844 model number does not match any product from the Apple catalog and there is little information on this device,” French publication Consomac reports. “Only the presence of NFC, which is now present on the iPhone and the Apple Watch as part of Apple Pay, may indicate a relationship with the Apple payment service.”

    LG Pay delays launch, cites testing issues

    September 27th, 2016

    LG has delayed the introduction of LG Pay mobile payments due to issues testing the service in South Korea, according to Android Headlines. It had been expected to launch this month. In January 2016 the company announced it had developed an electronic LG Pay White Card allowing users to register multiple credit cards for in-store payments and ATM withdrawals. LG confirmed plans to introduce its own mobile payment service in November 2015.

    Square brings contactless reader to Australia

    September 27th, 2016

    Square’s contactless chip reader is now available in Australia, enabling businesses to accept contactless transactions and NFC mobile payments. It will retail at $59 (US$45.11). The company began rolling out its first contactless readers in November 2015. When Square launched in Australia in March this year it initially opted not to make tap-and-go available, saying it would be “too expensive and too big” to fit the company’s signature shape.

    US gets same day ACH

    September 26th, 2016

    The Electronic Payments Association (NACHA) has launched phase one of Same Day ACH (Automated Clearing House) across the US, allowing businesses and consumers to send and receive payments and payment-related information on the same day through the ACH Network. “Phase one of Same Day ACH allows for the sending and receiving of virtually any ACH credit transaction,” NACHA says. Phase two will launch in September 2017 to introduce the “faster processing and settlement of debit transactions, in addition to credit transactions”. Members of NACHA approved Same Day ACH in May 2015.

    Kohl’s to allow checkouts from mobile app

    September 23rd, 2016

    US department store chain Kohl’s is rolling out a new capability that will allow holders of its store-branded charge card to checkout directly from its mobile app. “The feature is in addition to Kohl’s existing mobile wallet capabilities, which lets shoppers store their payment information to the app and aggregate promotions and rewards,” CNBC reports.

    Contactless POS transactions nearing $500bn

    September 22nd, 2016

    The global annual value of contactless point of sale terminal transactions — conducted in-store using cards, mobile phones and wearables — will approach US$500bn in 2017, up from an estimated $321bn this year, Juniper Research predicts. “However, the low value nature of contactless payments means that it will only represent just 5% of the total value of all POS transactions in 2017,” the firm says.

    250 products are now Fido certified

    September 22nd, 2016

    Some 250 products from global technology leaders are now Fido certified, the Fido Alliance has revealed. “This is growth of over 200% since this time last year,” the organisation says. Fido was launched in 2013 as an open security authentication concept to replace passwords with a range of methods such as biometrics. Support for Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and NFC was added in July 2015.

    Domino’s Pizza enables Messenger ordering

    September 22nd, 2016

    US consumers can now make purchases from Domino’s Pizza through Facebook’s Messenger app using the fast food chain’s new ordering bot. “Make sure you have a Pizza Profile and an Easy Order,” Domino’s says. “Open a new chat with Domino’s Pizza on Facebook Messenger or click the message button on Domino’s Facebook page. Click the get started button or type “hello” to select between placing your Easy Order, placing a recent order or tracking your most recent order.” The chain allowed its customers to speak orders into Amazon’s Echo voice-driven home shopping device in February 2016.

    Apple Pay adds more US financial institutions

    September 21st, 2016

    Apple has added more than 30 banks and credit unions to its list of Apple Pay supporting financial institutions in the US, 9to5mac reports. The update comes as the latest macOS Sierra launches to take Apple Pay to the web on desktop devices.

    Gemalto wins award for mobile ticketing

    September 21st, 2016

    PARTNER NEWS: Digital security giant Gemalto has won the Best Consumer Offering award for its Celego contactless wristband technology by Juniper Research. The company was also “highly commended” by Juniper for its mobile ticketing solutions. Further information about Gemalto’s transport and ticketing solutions can be found here.

    mVisa launches in Kenya

    September 21st, 2016

    Visa has launched its mVisa QR code-based mobile payment service in Kenya with Co-Operative Bank, Family Bank, KCB and NIC Bank. “With mVisa, consumers can directly access all of the funds in their bank accounts to pay merchants or individuals,” Visa says. mVisa was unveiled in August 2015 through a pilot with Indian banks. ICICI Bank became the first to offer the service to consumers in October, followed by State Bank of India, which announced its support for mVisa in May 2016. It is due to arrive in Nigeria by the end of this year.

    Android Pay adds 44 US banks

    September 21st, 2016

    Google has added a further 44 banks and credit unions to its list of Android Pay supporters in the US, following support from UK banks Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland, Natwest and Ulster Bank earlier this month and the addition of TSB announced this week. “The Android Pay team is seemingly on a roll at the moment, adding many new banks over the past few months,” Android Police reports.

    Sierra takes Apple Pay to Safari

    September 21st, 2016

    Apple’s latest macOS Sierra update is making Apple Pay available for web purchases through Safari on desktop devices. “Shoppers can now click the Apple Pay button at checkout on nearly 300,000 participating websites, including 1-800-Flowers, Gilt, Instacart, Lululemon, Warby Parker and more, and then complete their purchase with Touch ID on iPhone 6 or later, or with Apple Watch,” Apple says. The release of the iOS10 operating system allowed the launch of Apple Pay for mobile websites earlier this month.

    Curve launches rewards, raises $3m in funding

    September 21st, 2016

    London-based startup Curve has launched a virtual Curve Rewards card through an app that allows consumers to spend points as currency when using the company’s physical payment card. “When you earn rewards, they’ll pop up on your Curve Rewards card as points,” the company says. “Simply choose the Rewards card in the app and use it to pay like you would any other bank card.” The Curve card was unveiled in February 2016. The company has also recently raised US$3m, taking its seed funding to around $5m.

    Frost Bank joins ClearXChange

    September 20th, 2016

    US financial institution Frost Bank has joined Early Warning’s bank-led digital payments network ClearXChange. “Through the network, Frost Bank is now able to offer P2P payments directly through its online and mobile banking platforms,” Early Warning says. “In the first quarter of 2016, customers at banks in the ClearXChange network completed more than 46m P2P transfers, accounting for over US$16bn in combined transaction volume.” The service was made available to all member financial institutions in June 2015. ClearXChange is reportedly in the process of rebranding as Zelle.

    TSB adds Android Pay support

    September 20th, 2016

    Customers of UK bank TSB can now add their debit and credit cards to Android Pay and earn cashback for purchases. “With TSB’s Classic Plus bank account and Mastercard credit card, customers can earn 5% cashback on the first £100 (US$130.39) of contactless purchases — which includes Android Pay — each month,” TSB says. UK banks Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest and Ulster Bank added support for Android Pay earlier this month.

    MTN ends Mobile Money in South Africa

    September 20th, 2016

    Mobile network operator MTN has discontinued its Mobile Money service in South Africa due to “lack of commercial viability” following its launch in 2012. “The operating costs of providing a mobile money platform have become prohibitive,” says Larry Annetts, chief consumer officer at MTN South Africa. “The decision by MTN SA to shelve its mobile money service does not signify a complete exit from financial services — we are exploring opportunities in the financial services space and other adjacent sectors.”

    Walmart to stop accepting Visa in Manitoba

    September 19th, 2016

    Retail giant Walmart is to stop accepting Visa credit cards at its 16 stores in the Canadian province of Manitoba, beginning 24 October 2016. Walmart Canada ceased to welcome Visa credit cards in Thunder Bay, Ontario in July. The decision follows the supermarket chain’s filing of a lawsuit against Visa in May for “allegedly forcing the retailer to let customers use signatures when paying with chip cards”.

    Best Buy signs on to Chase Pay

    September 15th, 2016

    US retail giant Best Buy has signed a multiyear agreement to accept Chase Pay QR code-based mobile payments in-store, in-app and online. Best Buy is a member of US retailer-led consortium MCX, which ended its CurrentC mobile wallet pilot in June 2016. Chase Pay was unveiled in October 2015 and will be accepted by all MCX members. It is currently live with select online merchants and becomes available later this year for in-store and in-app purchases at participating locations.

    Japanese bank to roll out palm vein ID

    September 15th, 2016

    Customers of Japan’s Ogaki Kyoritsu Bank will soon be able to access services by using their palms for authentication. “The bank plans to install its palm scanning equipment at the counters of all its approximately 160 branches from next spring,” The Asahi Shimbun reports. “The expansion will cover almost all over-the-counter services, including purchases and cancellation of investment trust funds.” The bank developed the palm vein biometric identification system in 2012, but it has so far been limited to select ATMs.

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