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Archive: News in brief

Swatch smartwatch to launch in two countries

June 1st, 2015

Swiss watchmaker Swatch Group is to launch its NFC smartwatch in two countries this summer, Switzerland and “one big country”, CEO Nick Hayek revealed during the company’s annual general meeting. “He didn’t elaborate on the big country for the launch, but it is likely to be either the US or China,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

LG G5 could launch with iris scanner

June 1st, 2015

LG’s next flagship smartphone, the LG G5, will reportedly come equipped with an iris scanner and recognition technology developed by Korea-based biometrics provider Irience. “It is expected that the iris scanner will enable LG G5 users to use a wide variety of biometric technologies on the market,” Whowired Korea reports. “In particular, the feature will strengthen the security in the mobile banking transactions.”

Ingenico backing for Android Pay

June 1st, 2015

Point-of-sale terminal maker Ingenico has announced its smart terminals will be able to process Android Pay transactions as well as supporting the service’s loyalty and offers functionality. “Virtually all Ingenico terminals implemented in the US by large and medium-tier merchants are NFC-capable, and many of those merchants have already enabled this capability to accept other types of mobile wallet payments,” Ingenico says.

OTI to support Android Pay

June 1st, 2015

NFC and cashless payment solutions provider On Track Innovations has integrated support for Android Pay payments and rewards into its Saturn NFC readers. “OTI’s Android Pay-enabled NFC reader will automatically recognise and apply loyalty cards loaded in Android Pay,” the company explains. “Similarly, Android Pay users will benefit from the ability to receive, store and present offers with enabled merchants.”

BBVA adds card controls to mobile wallet

June 1st, 2015

Spanish bank BBVA has updated its BBVA Wallet app, allowing customers to use their mobile phone to limit plastic cards for ecommerce or ATM withdrawals, as well as turning cards ‘on’ and ‘off’ at any time. “The new version turns our customers’ smartphones into a remote control to do whatever they want with their cards,” says BBVA’s Mehmet Sezgin.

Samsung files contactless fingerprint patent

June 1st, 2015

Samsung has filed a patent in the United States that reveals a touch-free fingerprint recognition system, using a device’s camera and matching the fingerprint to a stored image. “The present invention relates … more particularly to a method of recognising a contactless fingerprint using an electronic device configured to display a guide screen on a display of the electronic device,” the patent explains.

Chrome gets simpler Google Wallet checkout

June 1st, 2015

Google has announced the launch of Chrome 43 for Android which includes a faster checkout experience for Google Wallet users, the ability for a user to learn more about words and phrases by touching them on screen, plus a series of performance improvements. “Chrome 43.0.2357.78 will be available in Google Play over the next few days,” the search engine giant says.

Bell ID analyses Android Pay

May 29th, 2015

PARTNER NEWS: In a blog published today, tokenization specialist Bell ID outlines the differences between Google’s Android Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, and discusses what the NFC service means for banks. “Will Android Pay dominate the market for mobile payments and go head to head with Apple Pay? Currently, it is looking unlikely,” writes Bell ID’s Martin Cox.

Braintree integrates Android Pay into v.zero SDK

May 29th, 2015

PayPal-owned payment processor Braintree has integrated support for Android Pay into its v.zero SDK to make it easier for merchants to add support for the payment solution as a checkout option inside their Android apps. “We’ve connected with Android Pay on our back end to reduce the number of API calls and provide a streamlined payment flow,” the company says. The SDK already supports debit and credit card payments, PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay and Bitcoin.

USAA Bank will support Android Pay

May 29th, 2015

USAA Bank has said it will support Android Pay when the NFC payment solution launches later this year. “Members will be able to provision their USAA credit cards for Android Pay starting on the USAA Mobile App or the Android Pay app,” the bank says. “USAA will also be among the first financial institutions to provide the convenience and ease of logging on to the mobile app using Android’s fingerprint support capabilities when Android M launches later this year.” The bank added support for Apple Pay last year.

TAG Systems acquires shares in Seglan

May 29th, 2015

Smart card-based solutions provider TAG Systems has entered into the mobile payments space by acquiring shares in Seglan, the company behind Spanish bank Bankinter’s HCE-based mobile payments service. “As a result of this operation, TAG Systems will offer mobile solutions based on HCE and tokenization to financial institutions, transport operators and merchants,” TAG Systems says.

US Bank cardmembers among first to get Android Pay

May 28th, 2015

US Bank cardmembers will be among the first to have access to Android Pay for credit and debit card transactions when the service launches later this year. “Android Pay gives our customers added value by providing another way to use their US Bank credit and debit cards to pay for purchases with their mobile devices,” says the bank’s Shailesh Kotwal. US Bank will announce more details on the service later in 2015.

Android Pay to support offers and rewards

May 28th, 2015

At “select retailers”, Android Pay will include support for loyalty programs and special offers to be automatically applied at checkout, Google’s Pali Bhat explains in a blog post. “For example, when you tap to buy a Coke at a vending machine, your MyCokeRewards will be automatically applied. With Android Pay the contactless terminal not only receives your payment info, but also your loyalty programs and offers.”

USAT adds support for Android Pay

May 28th, 2015

Cashless vending machine technology provider USA Technologies (USAT) has announced it will be adding support for Android Pay, the NFC mobile payment solution unveiled by Google at the I/O event today. “Making Android Pay available to millions of Android users will present what we believe to be a fundamental shift in convenience and adoption for consumers,” says USAT CEO Stephen Herbert. The company rolled out support for Apple Pay earlier this year and has some 210,000 customer locations.

Apple Pay rewards program looms?

May 28th, 2015

Apple is preparing to unveil enhancements to Apple Pay that will include the launch of a rewards program for the mobile payments service, according to reports. “People familiar with Apple Pay said that, next month, Apple will announce such a program offering perks to consumers who make purchases with the service, though they declined to reveal details,” the New York Times says. It also quotes inside sources confirming that Android Pay and a new Google Wallet will be announced at Google’s I/O developer conference today.

Marriott Hotels lets users check in with Apple Watch

May 28th, 2015

Hotel chain Marriott Hotels has released version 4.6 of its iOS mobile app that introduces support for Apple Watch, enabling users to check in, receive room-ready alerts and check out from their wrist. “Also, view the nearest hotel, your next reservation or your Marriott Rewards account details with a quick glance,” the company explains. Unlike the Starwoods Hotels app, users cannot unlock their hotel room doors using the device at this stage.

StreetSmart offers QR code mobile donations

May 28th, 2015

StreetSmart, an organisation that raises money for homeless charities by adding a voluntary £1 donation onto bills in participating restaurants, is enabling diners to make a mobile donation by scanning QR codes distributed on table cards in more than 600 locations across the UK. The platform is being provided by mobile payments company Zapper, which will also be donating an additional 50p to StreetSmart for every new user that signs up to use the service over the next six months.

Facebook rolls out Messenger payments to New York

May 28th, 2015

Facebook is to roll out its mobile payments service to New York City and surrounding metro areas and will add additional functionality to make it “easier to send and receive money”, an email sent out by the social network and seen by VentureBeat reveals. The service was first unveiled in March as a way for users to send and receive money for free through the Messenger app. New features include hyperlinked dollar amounts and the possibility to send payments to a single person when part of a group conversation.

MCX member Target to support Apple Pay

May 28th, 2015

US discount retail giant Target has become the latest member of retailer-led consortium MCX to reveal its intentions to support Apple Pay, following Best Buy’s announcement that it will roll out support for the NFC mobile payments service this year. “Target CEO Brian Cornell on Wednesday said his company wants to integrate Apple Pay across its retail chain, but must first install POS technology with chip-and-pin or chip-and-signature technology,” Apple Insider reports. MCX requires members to exclusively support its own yet-to-launch CurrentC mobile payments service.

Apple Store purchases get two-step authentication

May 27th, 2015

The Apple Store app for iOS has been updated with two-step authentication, meaning users will now need to enter both a password and a verification code sent to a trusted device before they can complete a purchase. Version 3.3 also lets users confirm their identity via Touch ID before gaining access to their order history and EasyPay receipts, or making reservations at brick-and-mortar Apple Stores, according to AppleInsider.

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