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Archive: News in brief

Billing System brings OTI NFC readers to Japan

June 18th, 2015

Payment service provider Billing System is to offer On Track Innovations’ (OTI) suite of NFC readers and devices to Japanese retailers, vending machine operators and taxi companies. “Japan’s current cashless payment settlement infrastructure, Felica, is unique to the domestic market and not compatible with international NFC services,” the companies say. “These settlement services are based on international standards.”

Amazon gets ear authentication patent

June 17th, 2015

Amazon has been granted a US patent that describes how a person’s ear could be used to authenticate them when answering a phone call or to unlock an audio file. “The device attempts to recognise the user based on ear shape or other parameters and can provide customised functionality of the device based at least upon that determination,” the abstract explains.

ING to launch HCE in the Netherlands

June 17th, 2015

ING is to launch a mobile payments service based on host card emulation (HCE) in the Netherlands this summer following a final test with a group of the bank’s employees. “ING customers who already use the Mobile Banking app and have a suitable Android NFC smartphone — Android 4.4 KitKat or higher — will be able to make direct contactless mobile payments through the new ING Mobile Payment app after activating it with their mobile PIN,” the bank explains.

30 more banks add Apple Pay

June 17th, 2015

Apple has added a further 30 US banks and credit unions to the list of financial institutions that support Apple Pay. “The latest addition includes more than two dozen institutions now supporting Apple’s iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch-based mobile payment service,” 9to5mac reports.

Starbucks expands Mobile Order & Pay

June 17th, 2015

Starbucks has rolled out its Mobile Order & Pay service to 21 more states in the southern and central United States. The coffee chain launched the first in Portland, Oregon in December 2014 before expanding to 650 additional locations in March this year.

Netherlands museum deploys beacons

June 17th, 2015

The Groninger Museum in the Netherlands has deployed beacons to send information about its exhibitions directly to a visitor’s smartphone running the museum’s mobile app, developed by startup Tapme Media. The implementation follows a successful pilot of the technology that lasted for a year. “It’s a fantastic addition to our presentation,” says the museum’s Andreas Blühm.

Galatea extends NFC jewellery range

June 17th, 2015

US jeweller Galatea has unveiled Momento Gem and Momento Diamond, jewellery collections that come equipped with NFC, adding to the Momento Pearl range that was launched in December. “Engagement rings can save and replay a proposal, and a gemstone ring for Mother’s Day holds precious memories that can be stored, saved and played back with the touch of the jewellery to an Android phone,” the company explains.

UAE banks approve mobile wallet project

June 16th, 2015

The UAE Banks Federation, a standards body representing 50 Emirates banks, has cleared its mobile wallet project for launch and is now awaiting final approval from the nation’s central bank following a pre-implementation phase completed in December. The UBF mWallet project represents the financial component of the UAE’s Smart Government initiative and will enable banks to offer P2P, NFC mobile payments and loyalty programs to customers.

ClearXChange offers real-time payments

June 16th, 2015

US bank-led digital payments network clearXchange’s real-time payments system is now available to all member financial institutions, allowing real-time transfers to take place within the same bank or bank to bank. Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, US Bank and Wells Fargo are expected to roll out the service to customers over the next year.

MasterCard extends tokenization platform

June 16th, 2015

MasterCard is to extend its tokenization services to merchants with in-app, ecommerce and recurring billing card-on-file programs as well as to private label credit cards. The move follows the expansion of Apple Pay to include store-branded debit, credit and loyalty cards. The tokenization services will be available to US and Canadian merchants later this year and will expand across all MasterCard Digital Enablement Service (MDES) markets.

Sequent closes funding round

June 15th, 2015

Secure NFC specialist Sequent Software has closed a funding round for an undisclosed sum that will be used to support its expansion into global markets. “Sequent’s products support the next wave of development in the wallet space, managing the complexity of mobile payments so that thousands of apps can use simple APIs to make payments at any store,” says the company’s David Haines.

Gemalto predicts fast uptake of Apple Pay in the UK

June 15th, 2015

PARTNER NEWS: The prevalence of EMV in the UK, lower interchange fees and the existing contactless infrastructure will lead to faster adoption of Apple Pay in the UK than in the US, Gemalto’s Rémi de Fouchier forecasts. “We’re predicting that the number of users in the UK after six months will be comparable to the number of users the US had after a year. The UK should also have a better percentage of usage.”

Facebook expands buy button pilot

June 15th, 2015

Facebook has extended its ‘buy’ button pilot to US retailers using the Shopify commerce platform. “A small group of Shopify merchants are already using this solution to post products with buy buttons, Shopify says. “Today, we are expanding the beta test to include a variety of businesses.”

NFC inventors win award

June 12th, 2015

NXP engineers Franz Amtmann and Philippe Maugars have won the European Patent Office (EPO) European Inventor Award in recognition of the role they played in the birth of NFC. The pair were nominated in April for the prize which aims to reward inventors who contribute to technological progress and economic growth. Three previous finalists have gone on to collect Nobel Prizes.

Verifone to support Apple Pay loyalty schemes

June 12th, 2015

Payments giant Verifone will support retailer loyalty and rewards programs, in addition to NFC mobile payments, via Apple Pay from the autumn with the release of iOS 9. Six retailers, including US grocery chain Whole Foods Market, will be the first to accept NFC loyalty transactions on Verifone’s MX 915 and MX 925 POS terminals for consumers to redeem rewards and gain points.

Whole Foods to add loyalty card to Apple Pay

June 12th, 2015

US grocery chain Whole Foods Market will be among the first companies to add their loyalty cards to Apple Pay later this year, alongside iOS 9 and the Passbook app to be renamed ‘Wallet’. Verifone said it would be first to support loyalty cards through its NFC terminals, with 9to5Mac saying those companies will include Dunkin’ Donuts, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Panera, Wegmans and Whole Foods.

SEQR mobile payments to launch in US

June 12th, 2015

Mobile payment solution SEQR, developed by Swedish m-commerce software firm Seamless, is to launch in the US, making it the eleventh country where the system is available. Allowing consumers to make payments, transfer money, connect loyalty programs and redeem offers through digital coupons, it is also in operation in Sweden, Finland, Romania, Belgium, Portugal, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, France and Italy.

Wells Fargo pilots face and voice authentication

June 11th, 2015

US bank Wells Fargo is piloting a face and voice authentication system with 100 customers using its mobile app on their iPhones. “A person just needs to let their face and voice do all the work,” Fortune reports, following a first-hand demonstration of the technology. “Wells Fargo estimates that it takes about 23 seconds or so to pass the security test.”

TI opens NFC wearable design challenge

June 11th, 2015

Semiconductor maker Texas Instruments is running an NFC wearable design challenge, inviting developers to use its RF430FRL15xH NFC sensor transponder to create wearable health and fitness applications. “Developers can log on to the TI E2E Launch Your Design Portal and submit product and design ideas that utilize TI’s fully programmable NFC sensor transponder,” the company says.

Mobile payments mainstream by 2020

June 11th, 2015

Nearly a third (31%) of global payment and banking experts believe mobile payments will go mainstream in their region in the next five years, and 41% believe mass NFC and contactless adoption will occur within the same period, research from retail banking provider Compass Plus has found. However, the findings come despite previous results indicating the technologies should already be mainstream.

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