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Archive: News in brief

SF Soup to add iBeacons

May 15th, 2014

San Francisco Soup Company, operator of 17 soup, salad and sandwich restaurants around the Bay Area, has selected mobile solutions provider Punchh to create a customised mobile guest rewards program. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons will “automatically identify loyalty program members with Bluetooth-enabled smartphones as they come near to or enter a SF soup restaurant”, the company says. The new program will launch next month on both iOS and Android.

Bank sends money to Facebook friends

May 14th, 2014

Customers of Singapore’s OCBC Bank can now send up to S$100 a day to any of their Facebook friends from their phone, using a new Pay Anyone feature in the bank’s mobile app. Recipients are notified of a payment via a post on their Facebook wall and must enter a six-digit code given to them by the sender to receive the money. Pay Anyone can also be used to transfer funds to anyone in a customer’s email or phone contacts list.

Square exits mobile wallet business

May 13th, 2014

US mobile payments provider Square is pulling out of the consumer mobile wallet business and its Square Wallet app is no longer available to new customers to download. “Square Wallet provided a very magical experience but didn’t have a lot of the utility value,” Square’s Ajit Varma has told Recode. The company continues to serve merchants, however, and has launched a new click and collect service called Square Order that lets customers place orders with small merchants for collection at a later date or time.

X-Men gets iBeacons promo

May 13th, 2014

Twentieth Century Fox is to use Bluetooth beacons to promote the new X-Men: Days of Future Past movie to cinema-goers in Japan. The campaign makes use of Access Beacon Framework (ABF), a location-aware content distribution system that combines Bluetooth Low Energy beacons, smartphone apps and a cloud-based platform to push the promotion to iOS users.

Contactless card shipments double

May 13th, 2014

A total of 450million contactless cards, twice the number produced in 2012, were shipped in 2013 by members of the Smart Payment Association, a group that accounts for 85% of the market. Some 37% of all payment cards shipped in the year included contactless functionality while the number of dual-interface cards, which accounted for 94% of contactless shipments in 2013, grew 115%. The Asia Pacific region saw the highest growth at 193%, followed by 64% in Europe and 45% in the Americas.

FIS offers instant EMV cards

May 13th, 2014

Banking and payments technology provider FIS has launched a cloud-based service that lets banks instantly issue EMV ‘chip and pin’ or magnetic stripe cards to customers in their branches. “FIS Instant Card requires no server software or processing hardware to be installed or maintained at a financial institution’s location,” FIS says. “Instead, all server hardware, security modules, card profiles, keys/encryption, EMV data preparation, PCI compliance and more are fully managed by FIS.”

Apple upgrades its mPOS

May 12th, 2014

Apple is to equip US store staff with a new version of its EasyPay mPOS solution that replaces the existing iPod devices with an iPhone 5S, encased in a Verifone shell, that offers support for both EMV “chip and pin” cards and contactless payments, Forbes reports.

For Sale boards get BLE

May 12th, 2014

US start-up RealtyBeacon is making it possible for real estate agents to deliver details about a property for sale to potential buyers as they drive by, by adding Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons to their ‘For Sale’ boards. Each reusable beacon is waterproof, attaches magnetically to a sign and costs US$29. Agents also pay a US$10 monthly fee to manage their network.

Save 20% on NFCP Summit

May 12th, 2014

London’s NFCP Global Summit, a conference on proximity technologies in payments, retail, transportation and access control to be held on June 4 and 5, is offering NFC World+ readers an exclusive 20% discount on delegate places. The offer is redeemed with a voucher code which can be obtained here.

MoneyGram offers cash transfers via Facebook

May 8th, 2014

Money transfer service provider MoneyGram has partnered with PicomoPay to enable US consumers to send funds to any of MoneyGram’s 336,000 agents around the world from the social payments provider’s Facebook application. “We are giving our consumers innovative options to send money for life’s essentials, however they want, wherever they want, whenever they want,” says MoneyGram’s Alex Hoffmann.

Huntington offers instant balances

May 7th, 2014

Huntington National Bank has updated its mobile app to allow customers to check their account balances without having to enter a username or password. The new Huntington Quick Balance feature appears as an option on the app’s login page, enabling balances to be viewed “at the touch of a button.”

Waitrose tests iBeacons

May 7th, 2014

Upmarket UK supermarket chain Waitrose is working on a new app that will use Bluetooth LE beacons to welcome customers to its stores and push promotional messages to shoppers. A mobile payments app to replace Waitrose’s existing QuickCheck self-scanning service is also under development, along with a barcode scanning option that would allow customers to read reviews and get more information about individual items.

Capita adds Pingit to bills

May 7th, 2014

IT services provider Capita has added support for Barclays’ Pingit mobile payments service to its payments platform, enabling its UK private and public sector clients to add QR codes to their bills so that consumers can make a payment by simply scanning the code with their smartphone. Consumers can also take their bill to any of 150 ATMs Barclays has now equipped with QR scanners, “with more QR scanning ATMs being rolled out over the coming months.”

Google Glass to add payments?

May 7th, 2014

Google Glass wearers will soon be able to make payments from their Google Wallet account, by simply saying “send money”, Techcrunch reports. “The company is testing this service internally right now, but chances are it will launch to all Glass users in the near future.”

RBC expands NFC wallet

May 6th, 2014

The Royal Bank of Canada has expanded the functionality and availability of its cloud-based RBC Wallet. The service now runs on four additional NFC devices — the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, LG G2, Sony Xperia Z1 and HTC One M7 — and customers can use the NFC wallet to make payments with their MasterCard credit card in addition to the existing Interac debit and Visa payment options.

Japanese carriers ship 14m NFC phones

May 1st, 2014

There were 13.92m NFC mobile phones in service in Japan at the end of January 2014, the Mobile NFC Association (MoNA) reports, and a total of 70 models of mobile phone that support NFC services are now available from the country’s three mobile network operators.

Sequent adds HCE to NFC platform

April 29th, 2014

Sequent Software has added support for cloud-based issuance, tokenization and host card emulation (HCE) to its digital issuance platform. The solution gives banks “flexibility of deployment by leveraging cloud and secure element technology to work with all partners for secure mobile payments using NFC, QR code and other technologies,” says CEO Robb Duffield.

Credit Mutuel to test mobile wallet

April 29th, 2014

French bank Credit Mutuel-CIC is to pilot a mobile wallet in the Boulogne-Billancourt area of Paris from May 17, Les Echos reports, enabling consumers to make payments via NFC or QR in around 100 stores. The Fivory wallet goes beyond mobile payments to offer a “multi-channel connected shopping application”, the bank’s Christophe Dolique says, and is technology agnostic. Plans are already in place to test additional technologies, including Bluetooth and voice recognition.

Bank to give away NFC phones

April 28th, 2014

Equity Bank, Kenya’s largest bank, is to provide more than 300,000 free NFC phones to retailers across the country for use as POS devices, ITWeb Africa reports. “Our new MasterCard ATM cards are tap-and-go hence the need to put mobile POS devices with merchants to process payments,” chief executive James Mwangi said. “The NFC-enabled phones and cards will help Equity Bank be well positioned to significantly increase volumes and commission from payment processing.”

Ticketmaster to offer NFC tickets

April 28th, 2014

Ticketmaster Spain has teamed up with Samsung to offer NFC tickets to an upcoming Dum Dum Girls concert in Madrid. Consumers need to download the NFC Ticketmaster app from the Samsung app store to purchase a ticket which is then stored in their phone for secure entry at the door.

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