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    Archive: News in brief

    Japanese bank eyes facial recognition

    August 25th, 2016

    Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) is exploring the use of a facial authentication system for customers to make payments. “SMFG aims to utilise users’ facial data as a means of verifying their credit cards or bank accounts,” The Japan News reports. “SMFG will begin trials at retail outlets as early as 2017 before developing it for practical use over several years after the trials.”

    IHG to accept Alipay in hotels worldwide

    August 25th, 2016

    Chinese tourists visiting hotels belonging to InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) will be able to settle their bill using Alipay in locations across the globe from 2017. “The new partnership, which has been agreed by Alipay’s parent company Ant Financial, will initially apply to IHG’s existing estate of more than 270 hotels in Greater China, as well as a number of hotels around the world that participate in IHG’s China Ready Programme,” Ant Financial says.

    JPMorgan Chase to support Android Pay

    August 24th, 2016

    US bank JPMorgan Chase is to support Android Pay from 7 September 2016, claims a leaked internal document seen by Android Police. “According to an anonymous Chase employee, Chase will begin supporting Google’s NFC-based payment system in just over two weeks,” the publication says. “This includes Chase consumer credit cards that are Visa-branded, both business and consumer debit cards and Chase Liquid cards.” The bank unveiled its own Chase Pay mobile payments service in October 2015.

    Apple Pay bank list grows

    August 24th, 2016

    Apple has added an additional 37 banks and credit unions to its list of Apple Pay supporting financial institutions in the US. The Bank of East Asia and Hong Kong Telekom’s (HKT) Tap & Go have also been added to the list for the Asia-Pacific region. “Both banks are incentivizing users to sign up with promotions rewarding users for repeated use of the service,” AppleInsider reports.

    Transport for NSW seeks bright ideas

    August 23rd, 2016

    Transport for New South Wales (NSW) has launched the Future Transport Beacon Innovation Challenge, asking for ideas from “tech savvy visionaries” to enable new use cases for a network of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons at Chatswood Station. “The best submissions will earn access to the trial beacon network from 10 October to 13 November,” Transport for NSW says. “If their concept is successful in trial, they will be invited to a live demo day to showcase their concepts to a panel of Transport for NSW leaders.”

    MegaFon launches contactless card with carrier billing

    August 23rd, 2016

    Russian mobile network operator MegaFon has begun offering customers a contactless card enabling them to make in-store purchases wherever Mastercard is accepted, charging the payment to their mobile phone bill. The MegaFon card is currently available in Moscow and surrounding areas, as well as St. Petersburg, Yaroslavl, Tver, Kaliningrad, Murmansk, Arkhangelsk and Vologda. It is scheduled to be made available nationwide from 1 October.

    QuickPass launches in Macau

    August 23rd, 2016

    Bankcard association UnionPay International has launched QuickPass, its host card emulation (HCE) and tokenization based mobile payment service, for customers of ICBC (Macau). “Now, over 7m POS terminals in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Canada accept mobile QuickPass,” UnionPay International says. More than 20 commercial banks signed up to support the service when it launched in Beijing in December 2015. It launched in South Korea in June and in Canada last week.

    Singapore aims for cashless society

    August 23rd, 2016

    Singapore plans to reduce the role of cash and checks by encouraging banks to switch to digital payments, according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) Ravi Menon. “Menon said the MAS is asking the country’s banks to pass on to their customers the full cost of paper-intensive services,” Bloomberg reports. “The MAS also wants to see a majority of those transactions made using cellphones, or national ID or other secure numbers, rather than bank account numbers.”

    UK contactless spending hits record high

    August 23rd, 2016

    Spending on contactless cards in the UK during the first half of 2016 outstripped the total for the whole of 2015, The UK Cards Association reveals. “Some £9.27bn (US$12.23bn) was spent using contactless methods between January and June of this year,” the organisation says, “more than the total 2015 contactless spend of £7.75bn (US$10.22bn).” 1.1bn transactions were made in the first half of 2016, compared with 1.05bn for the whole of 2015. Contactless card payments accounted for 18% of total purchases in June 2016, compared to 7% in June last year.

    Walgreens integrates rewards with Android Pay

    August 22nd, 2016

    US drugstore giant Walgreens has become the first retailer to integrate its loyalty program with Android Pay, allowing more than 85m active Balance Rewards members to earn and redeem points in-store through the mobile payments service. “Before payment, members simply hold their Android device near the PIN pad and the appropriate rewards information is applied,” Walgreens says. The company integrated its loyalty program with Apple Pay in November 2015.

    Apple Pay adds two UK banks

    August 22nd, 2016

    Apple has updated its list of Apple Pay supporting financial institutions in the UK, with the additions of Yorkshire Bank and Clydesdale Bank. Mobile only-bank B, which was launched by Yorkshire and Clydesdale in May 2016, will also support the mobile payment service, according to MacRumors. The new inclusions take the total number of UK banks supporting Apple Pay to more than 20.

    Phillips 66 to accept Chase Pay across US

    August 18th, 2016

    Fuel retailer Phillips 66 is to allow customers at its Phillips 66, Conoco and 76 branded locations to make QR code-based mobile payments using Chase Pay across the US, in collaboration with mobile commerce provider P97 Networks. “Consumers of Phillips 66’s fuel brands will soon be able to make purchases through the My Phillips 66, My 76 and My Conoco mobile apps,” says Chase. Oil and gas company Shell is also set to accept Chase Pay across the country.

    mVisa to launch in Nigeria by year end

    August 18th, 2016

    Visa is in “advanced discussions with leading Nigerian banks” — including Diamond Bank — to roll out its mVisa QR code-based mobile payments service in the country before the end of 2016. mVisa was unveiled in August 2015 through a pilot with Indian banks. ICICI Bank became the first to launch the service to consumers in October, followed by State Bank of India, which announced its support for mVisa in May 2016.

    NSW government adopts Android Pay

    August 18th, 2016

    Residents in New South Wales, Australia can now pay for government services using Android Pay. “The new contactless payment service is available to Android users in all Service NSW centres across the state,” the New South Wales government says.

    Mobile QuickPass launches in Canada

    August 17th, 2016

    Bankcard association UnionPay International has launched its host card emulation (HCE) and tokenization-based mobile payment service in Canada. “The merchants accepting mobile QuickPass this time are mainly restaurants, hotels, retail outlets, supermarkets and convenience stores,” the company says. More than 20 commercial banks signed up to support mobile QuickPass when it made its launch in Beijing in December 2015. It launched in South Korea in June 2016.

    Android Pay v1.5 shows NFC antenna location

    August 16th, 2016

    Version 1.5 of Android Pay will tell users where the NFC antenna on their device is located so that they know where on the phone to tap when making a payment, an APK teardown reported by Android Police reveals. “The guide will be accessible through a command titled ‘How to pay’ in the overflow menu,” the publication says. “Instructions are specific to each model of phone.”

    PNC goes live with Microsoft Wallet

    August 16th, 2016

    Customers of US bank PNC can now add PNC Visa consumer and small business debit and credit cards to Microsoft Wallet. “SmartAccess cards will be available soon,” the bank says. PNC commercial and Mastercard credit cards are not eligible at this time. The NFC mobile payment service was unveiled in June 2016 with announced support from nine other US banks and financial institutions.

    New players in Apple Pay controversy

    August 16th, 2016

    Australia’s Heritage Bank and payment platform provider Tyro are the latest to enter submissions to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), seeking to “collectively negotiate” with third party mobile wallet providers, while also urging Apple to open up the NFC technology in its handsets. Apple responded to the banks’ proposal last week, saying that doing so would undermine the security of Apple Pay.

    Samsung denies security flaw claim

    August 12th, 2016

    Claims of a potential security flaw in Samsung Pay’s tokenization technology, presented by researcher Salvador Mendoza at the Black Hat security conference and demonstrated in a video, have been dismissed. “Samsung Pay does not use the algorithm claimed in the Black Hat presentation to encrypt payment credentials or generate cryptograms,” Samsung says, adding that the possibility of completing a payment in this way is “extremely unlikely”.

    Ingenico to support Alipay in Europe

    August 11th, 2016

    Alipay customers will soon be able to make mobile payments at Ingenico point of sale terminals across Europe, according to the Wall Street Journal. “While no investment will occur, a person familiar with the offline collaboration said Ingenico will receive service charges from Alipay and expects to see transaction volume grow,” the publication reports. Alipay announced its plans to enter Europe back in April.

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