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    Archive: News in brief

    Verizon removes Samsung Pay from Galaxy handsets?

    March 9th, 2016

    US mobile network operator Verizon is shipping the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge without support for Samsung Pay, according to an Android Police report. “There is some suggestion that the Samsung Pay app will become downloadable via the Play Store and/or Galaxy Apps on March 11,” the publication says. Verizon agreed to support Samsung Pay in October 2015.

    Suretap goes live with loyalty

    March 9th, 2016

    Users of the Suretap NFC mobile wallet can now earn and redeem loyalty points as a result of a partnership between the Canadian mobile wallet provider and the Points loyalty network announced in November 2015. “More than 20 popular loyalty programs, including seven of the top 10 programs in Canada, are now available with Suretap,” the company says. “Suretap has almost 1m downloads.” Suretap launched as an independent company in June 2015.

    Square drops contactless for Australia launch

    March 8th, 2016

    Mobile POS provider Square has launched in Australia, enabling retailers across the country to accept credit and debit card payments using their mobile phones. “Australia marks the fourth market for Square, joining the US, Canada and Japan,” the company says. Square’s contactless chip reader does not appear to be available in the country, however, as “tap-and-go would have made the device too expensive and too big,” Square country manager Ben Pfisterer told the Sydney Morning Herald.

    Ant Financial seeks US$3bn in funding

    March 8th, 2016

    Alipay parent Ant Financial is planning to raise up to 20bn yuan (US$3.1bn) in its current funding round at a valuation of more than $50bn, according to The Wall Street Journal. “The fresh funding will give the operator of popular Chinese online payments platform Alipay more financial muscle as it buys stakes in businesses ranging from a Chinese lottery company to China’s Postal Savings Bank,” the publication says. “It also sets the stage for Ant Financial’s future initial public offering — bankers expect it as early as 2017.”

    PowaTag sold to investors

    March 7th, 2016

    Mobile payments platform PowaTag has been sold to a consortium led by entrepreneur Ben White, administrator Deloitte has confirmed, following news that its parent company Powa Technologies went into administration last month. The company’s ecommerce platform PowaWeb has also been sold to UK-based digital business group Greenlight Digital. The Financial Times reports that the sales were for “undisclosed amounts” and questions the “typically used” valuation of Powa Technologies at US$2.7bn.

    CU Wallet offers Mogl cashbacks

    March 7th, 2016

    The 120 credit unions using the CU Wallet platform to support their mobile payment services can now offer customers up to 30% cashback on purchases at “thousands of merchants” through rewards program provider Mogl. “The CU Wallet platform will integrate Mogl offers into its application’s central directory that currently supports thousands of customer-specific discounts and loyalty incentives,” CU Wallet says.

    Amex patent turns reward points into virtual currency

    March 7th, 2016

    American Express is exploring a system that would let its customers use reward points for purchases in third-party digital wallets, according to a newly published patent application. “This system, method and computer program may allow certain transaction account holders to directly pay with their loyalty points in any third-party digital wallet,” the patent says. “Utilizing the system, transaction account holders may earn one or more points for virtually every dollar charged on eligible, enrolled transaction accounts and then redeem their points for a wide array of rewards, including merchandise or travel.”

    Samsung Pay to enable deposits at South Korean ATMs

    March 7th, 2016

    Samsung Pay users in South Korea will soon be able to both deposit and withdraw money from the ATMs of Woori Bank, Shinhan Bank, KB Kookmin Bank, Industrial Bank of Korea and NH Nonghyup Bank. “Samsung Pay will support depositing money into ATMs in South Korea when sales for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge begin March 11,” ZDNet reports. “The South Korean tech giant declined to comment on the global availability of the new features.” Woori Bank added Samsung Pay to its ATMs in September 2015.

    NEC develops ear shape biometrics

    March 7th, 2016

    NEC has unveiled a biometric technology that uses the resonation of sound determined by the shape of human ear cavities to authenticate the identity of individuals. “The new technology instantaneously measures acoustic characteristics determined by the shape of the ear using an earphone with a built-in microphone to collect earphone-generated sounds as they resonate within ear cavities,” NEC says. The company will commercialise the technology in 2018 in a “wide range of applications”.

    Chinese consumers register 3m cards to Apple Pay in 48 hours

    March 7th, 2016

    Chinese shoppers activated 3m bank cards with Apple Pay within two days of the mobile payment service’s launch, according to China Merchants Bank. “China Merchants Bank says its customers connected 1m bank cards with Apple Pay in the first two days of the launch, representing 35% of cards connected,” Internet Retailer reports. “China UnionPay reported that Apple Pay users spent 101 yuan (US$15.5) on average on the first day of the service and about 47% of purchases were above 10 yuan ($1.5).”

    Apple Pay adds 27 US banks

    March 7th, 2016

    Apple has added a further 27 banks and credit unions to its list of Apple Pay supporting financial institutions in the US. “The addition of Mainland China started with another dozen participating banks and another 27 banks have joined the 1,000+ partners in the US,” 9to5mac reports. Apple Pay launched in China on February 18.

    NFC World is now available in Slack

    March 4th, 2016

    Slack users can now get breaking news from NFC World delivered into their favourite news channel. We’ve made a special compact and clutter-free feed that you can add to the popular team messaging and collaboration tool by typing “/feed subscribe www.nfcworld.com/slack” into your channel of choice.

    MasterCard to include Daon technology in selfie pay service

    March 4th, 2016

    MasterCard is to make use of mobile biometric technology provider Daon’s IdentityX Platform as one of the authentication technologies for MasterCard Identity Check, the ‘selfie pay’ service it is rolling out to the US, Canada and parts of Europe this year. “The app-based authentication leverages a mobile device to secure online payments and mobile banking applications using fingerprint and facial recognition,” Daon says.

    Madrid pilots contactless ticketing

    March 4th, 2016

    Commuters in Madrid are piloting contactless bank card payments on 33 buses across two bus lines as a result of a partnership between EMT, which operates the city’s bus network, and MasterCard, Banco Santander and Santander Elavon. “Starting today and for eight weeks, a group of users begin to pay simple bus tickets with contactless bank cards,” MasterCard says. The service is due to be opened up after the pilot to all the 800,000 people who use lines 27 and Airport Express every month.

    Apple Pay tops US merchant mobile wallet requests

    March 4th, 2016

    Nearly half of US point of sale merchants (44%) are using or have requested information about mobile wallet solutions and 67% of those wanted Apple Pay, an investor note by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster reported by Barron’s reveals. “That figure dwarfs the 18% that requested Android Pay/Google Wallet, 8% for PayPal and 7% for Samsung Pay,” the report adds.

    Czech buses get contactless ticketing

    March 4th, 2016

    Commuters in the Czech Republic can now pay for bus fares using their contactless payment cards through a partnership between transport network BusLine and MasterCard. The service is currently available on 10 routes and contactless readers have been installed on 70 buses. BusLine operates a total of 200 lines, “so there is great potential for expansion,” the company says.

    Analyst compares global take-up of key mobile payment services

    March 4th, 2016

    Apple Pay has attracted 12m monthly users globally since its launch in October 2014, while Google’s Android Pay has attracted 5m monthly users since becoming available in September 2015 and Samsung Pay has also attracted 5m monthly users, according to research by Crone Consulting which has been reported by Bloomberg. Those numbers equate to some 6% of consumers able to make use of Apple Pay, the company estimates, compared to 4% for Samsung Pay and 1% for Android Pay.

    Google reports on US Android Pay adoption

    March 3rd, 2016

    Android Pay has averaged 1.5m new registrations each month in the US since the mobile payment service’s launch in September 2015, Google has revealed. “There are now over 2m locations that accept tap and pay — we’re busy working to bring the convenience of Android Pay to more countries and a growing list of stores and apps,” the company says.

    Wells Fargo adds support for Samsung Pay

    March 3rd, 2016

    Samsung Pay now includes support for Wells Fargo credit and debit cards, resulting in the mobile payment service supporting cards from 70 banks and credit unions covering more than 70% of the US credit and debit card market. Samsung Pay announced last week that approximately 5m registered users in the US and South Korea have used the service to make purchases valued at more than US$500m in the first six months since its launch.

    58% of millennials prefer friends to pay cash

    March 3rd, 2016

    Nearly six in ten US millennials (58%) say cash is their preferred way of paying and being paid by friends, followed by P2P payment apps (26%), cheque (8%) and electronic bank transfer (8%), GOBankingRates reveals. Of the 26% who chose P2P payment apps, 11% prefer PayPal, followed by Venmo (6%), Google Wallet (5%) and Square Cash (4%).

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