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Archive: News in brief

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.”

First Tech to run biometric triple test

February 13th, 2015

First Tech Federal Credit Union is to run a pilot later this year in partnership with MasterCard that will see cardholders being given the ability to authenticate and verify their transactions using a combination of face, voice and fingerprint verification. The pilot forms part of a new US$20m investment by MasterCard in cybersecurity-related technologies that aim to “deliver greater peace of mind for MasterCard cardholders, merchants and issuing banks.”

Visa adds mobile location checking

February 13th, 2015

Visa has launched Visa Mobile Location Confirmation, a service that works through a participating bank’s mobile banking app to determine whether a payment request is legitimate or not by matching a phone’s location to the location of a payment transaction. The technology used in the service has been developed by Finsphere and takes less than a millisecond to perform the matching process.

Starbucks adds Apple Pay to app

February 13th, 2015

Starbucks has updated its iOS app to add support for Apple Pay, making it possible for users to reload their Starbucks cards using Apple’s mobile payments service.“There has been no word on whether Starbucks plans to implement NFC and support for in-store use of Apple Pay,” MacRumors says.

LA Metro to get Bluetooth beacons

February 12th, 2015

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is planning to pilot Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons in Los Angeles’ Union Station to track a commuter’s journey and send out relevant information directly to their smartphone. “If the pilot program goes well, the beacons could spread across Los Angeles County to reach hundreds of thousands of commuters on Metro’s sprawling network of bus and rail lines,” LA Times reports.

Google testing new payments service?

February 11th, 2015

Google is testing a service called Plaso “that allows people carrying Android phones to pay at retailers like Papa John’s and Panera Bread by saying their initials to employees at the cash register,” The Information reports, citing “four people who have been involved in or briefed about it.” The pilot has been live since “last fall”.

India moves to mobile payments

February 11th, 2015

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has published the first draft of a specification that will be used to introduce an electronic payments system that leverages both mobile payments and Aadhaar, India’s biometrics-based ID system. “This Unified Payment Interface document provides a payments architecture that is directly linked to achieving the goals of universal electronic payments, a less cash society and financial inclusion using the latest technology trends,” NPCI says.

BBVA joins Apple Pay

February 11th, 2015

BBVA Compass cardholders in the US can now add their cards to Apple Pay as the bank has become the latest to join more than 60 banks in supporting the mobile payments service. “Users will continue to receive all of the rewards and benefits offered by their BBVA Compass credit and debit cards,” the bank says.

JetBlue to accept Apple Pay

February 10th, 2015

JetBlue Airways is to become the first major US domestic carrier to accept Apple Pay for onboard purchases such as food and drink. “JetBlue will deploy iPad Minis and NFC-enabled cases to more than 3,500 inflight crewmembers,” the airline says. “Each iPad Mini will be loaded with a custom-designed iOS app — the Inflight Service Assistant — which will give inflight crewmembers access to customer manifest and flight data to provide the best experience possible to JetBlue customers.”

Mozido buys PayEase

February 10th, 2015

Mobile payments platform provider Mozido has acquired Chinese cross-border payment gateway provider PayEase with the aim of introducing its mobile payments and retail marketing solutions into the Chinese market. The move follows the company’s acquisition of mobile commerce specialist CorFire in December 2014 and a US$2.5m investment in SimplyTapp last week.

Generation Z prefers biometrics to passwords

February 9th, 2015

Three quarters (76%) of the UK’s “Generation Z” consumers — aged between 16 and 24 — say they would feel comfortable making a payment using biometric security, a survey conducted by Opinion Matters for Visa Europe has revealed, and 69% believe it would make their lives faster and easier. Overall, Generation Z rated biometrics as a 7 out of 10 compared with non-biometrics at 6 out of 10.

Swatch to launch NFC smartwatch

February 6th, 2015

Swiss watchmaker Swatch Group is to launch a smartwatch that includes NFC and mobile payments capabilities and works with both Android and Windows phones, CEO Nick Hayek has told Bloomberg. “Swatch is in talks with retailers on its payment system, Hayek said, without naming them. The device will enter the market in two to three months.” Last month, Swiss supermarket chain Migros was reported to be working on a mobile payments service that would work in its own locations as well as other stores.

Du backs Beam QR wallet

February 5th, 2015

Mobile network operator Du has formed a partnership with mobile payment service Beam Wallet and Majid Al Futtaim Ventures to promote Beam’s QR code solution to retailers and petrol stations across Dubai. The aim is to gain adoption in 5,000 locations by the end of this year. “Beam Wallet is currently used by more than 100,000 users and available in 1,200 retail and dining outlets,” Gulf News reports.

Apple Pay now live at more than 60 banks

February 5th, 2015

Apple has added more than a dozen new banks to its list of institutions that now support Apple Pay, bringing the total count to more than 60, 9to5mac reports. MasterCard has also announced that cardholders with a consumer credit or debit card from Becu, Fifth Third, First Niagara and Huntington National Bank can now add their cards to the payment service.

NFC security strategies: webinar slides now available

February 5th, 2015

The slides from NFC World’s recent Evaluating NFC Security Strategies webinar are now available in the NFC World Knowledge Centre. A recording of the hour-long presentation, in which speakers from SIMalliance and Enstream explain how to select the right security strategy for your NFC service, is also available.

PayPal curtails in-store ambitions

February 4th, 2015

The team working on PayPals move into in-store payments has been among the hardest hit by layoffs across parent Ebay Incs three divisions, Re/code reports, adding that “PayPal’s in-store initiatives, which includes mobile payments and a credit card reader called PayPal Here, have largely been viewed as big disappointments inside the company.  Don Kingsborough, PayPals head of retail and prepaid products, has also left the company, Re/Code adds.

Visa Europe to invest in digital payments

February 3rd, 2015

Visa Europe is to invest more than €200m a year in new payments technologies to accelerate the growth of digital payments, the payments network has announced. The aim, says CEO Nicolas Huss, is to “further eat away at the 70% of transactions that are still settled in cash in Europe.”

Snapchat adopts QR friending

February 3rd, 2015

Photo messaging platform Snapchat is letting users add friends to their social network by scanning Snaptags, unique QR codes assigned to each user. “Leaked emails from the Sony hack revealed SnapChat quietly acquired a QR code startup called Scan.me late last year,” TechCrunch reports. “Now it makes sense why Snapchat would want to pay $50m for Scan.me, which built a system to connect QR codes to people’s identities.”

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