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    Archive: News in brief

    Apple Pay to launch in Switzerland?

    March 17th, 2016

    Apple is preparing to launch Apple Pay in Switzerland, a filing with the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property suggests. “Apple’s new entry is well hidden,” finews.ch reports. “The company has only the brand logo of Apple Pay now enabled — a legal trick to avoid waking the competition.”

    Digiwell implants NFC chips at CeBIT

    March 16th, 2016

    Visitors to this week’s CeBIT show in Hanover, Germany, can get an NFC chip implanted into their hand by visiting the Digiwell stand. “It will cost you €69 (US$77) including the special syringe to insert it,” PC World reports. “You can get chipped for free at CeBIT if you’ll submit to the procedure on stage.”

    American Bankers Association calls for tokenization and biometrics

    March 16th, 2016

    The American Bankers Association’s Card Policy Council is calling for all consumer-facing industries to implement the latest payment protection technologies, including EMV chip cards, tokenization and biometrics. “We invite retailers to partner with banks by taking common sense measures like activating their chip credit card readers and accepting secure mobile wallets,” says the Card Policy Council’s Jess Sharp.

    Waitrose trials ‘scan as you shop’ mobile app

    March 16th, 2016

    Customers at upmarket UK supermarket chain Waitrose are trialling a ‘scan as you shop’ mobile app in three branches that lets them scan product barcodes on their phones as they place goods in their basket. “The trial is taking place in Waitrose shops in Clapham Common, Meanwood and Milngavie, with a view to rolling out the service to all Waitrose branches in 2016 if successful,” the company says. Waitrose began testing Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons in its stores in May 2014.

    Mahindra Comviva powers HCE payments at ICICI

    March 16th, 2016

    PARTNER NEWS: Mobile financial solutions firm Mahindra Comviva has supplied the technology behind the host card emulation (HCE) based payments feature in ICICI Bank’s Pockets app, which was announced earlier this week. The service allows the bank’s customers to make NFC mobile payments at any contactless terminal and is expected to launch at the end of this month.

    Amazon files selfie pay patent

    March 15th, 2016

    Amazon has applied for a patent that would enable consumers to authenticate a transaction by taking a picture of their face. “The user is identified using image information which is processed utilizing facial recognition,” the patent says. “The device verifies that the image information corresponds to a living human using one or more human-verification processes.” MasterCard announced in February that it would be rolling out its ‘selfie pay’ service this summer.

    Coca Cola to launch vending machine loyalty programme

    March 15th, 2016

    Coca Cola is planning to launch a loyalty programme at select vending machines this spring that would let customers accumulate points to earn a free drink. “Running on iOS and Android, the service allows people to buy a Coke through select connected vending machines, accumulating points that will let them get a free drink,” The Drum reports from the SXSW show. “The drinks maker gets to know where and when people are buying its products — something that could also be fuelled by its exploration of Blockchains, a transaction database that allows it to see what’s happening at every stage of the value chain.”

    Capital One integrates with Amazon’s Alexa

    March 15th, 2016

    Capital One customers can now check their balances, pay bills and track their spending by talking to Alexa, the virtual assistant on Amazon’s Fire TV and Echo home shopping device. “You’ll need to download the Alexa app on your smartphone,” Capital One says. “When you have the app open, tap Skills in the menu and search for Capital One. Then click Enable and follow the prompts to enter your Capital One username and password so Alexa can access your account information.”

    Paytm aims to sign up 4m stores in India for mobile payments

    March 14th, 2016

    Indian mobile payments platform Paytm plans to double its in-store merchant acceptance to four million locations this year, the company’s CEO has told Economic Times. “This year, we will be present offline in every nook and corner,” Vijay Shekhar Sharma said. “Our offline payments will become as big as our online payments.” Paytm users can complete in-store transactions by scanning a code with their mobile phone.The company is also currently trialling sound-based payments.

    MegaFon closes P2P payments service

    March 14th, 2016

    Russian mobile network operator MegaFon has closed its MegaFon Money P2P mobile payment service in favour of supporting Qiwi Wallet, which integrated host card emulation (HCE) support in August 2015. “After we launched a joint service with Qiwi Wallet last February, we made a decision not to develop two similar financial services in the company and to close MegaFon Money,” the carrier confirmed to NFC World.

    Visa Checkout lets users slide to pay

    March 14th, 2016

    Shoppers can now complete online purchases through Visa Checkout by sliding a virtual image of their credit, debit or prepaid card across the screen of their smartphone. “Now, instead of a lightbox, a consumer sees a picture of her card on the Visa Checkout button, swipes it to the right and simply enters her password inside the button itself to authenticate,” Visa says. “The interactive button is now available globally to merchants selling digital goods and services, or items that customers purchase online and pick up in a physical store.”

    Verizon to support Samsung Pay

    March 11th, 2016

    Verizon has confirmed that its Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge devices will come equipped with Samsung Pay, despite reports earlier this week that the mobile network operator had disabled support for the mobile payments service. “Samsung Pay is undergoing testing and will be available on schedule for our 3/11 launch of Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge,” Verizon’s Jeffrey Nelson says in a tweet.

    Square “betting big on NFC”

    March 11th, 2016

    Square has received more than 350,000 pre-orders for its contactless chip reader, CEO Jack Dorsey revealed during the company’s fourth quarter earnings call. “We’re seeing a huge demand for the reader and we’re taking full advantage of the shift to chip cards and contactless,” Dorsey said. “We want to be able to associate our logo with the ability to pay with your phone. We’re betting big on NFC.” Square began rolling out its contactless readers in November 2015.

    People’s United Bank adds Samsung Pay

    March 9th, 2016

    Customers of People’s United Bank in the US can now add their debit cards to Samsung Pay. “Samsung Pay’s wide acceptance and security are a perfect fit for the chip-enabled People’s United MasterCard debit card, which also includes a cash back Prewards program, identity theft alerts and price protection for qualifying purchases,” says the bank’s Ted Josephson.

    Proxama discusses Visa’s new cloud-based payment specs

    March 9th, 2016

    PARTNER NEWS: A blog post by mobile commerce provider Proxama discusses the implications of Visa’s updated cloud-based payments specifications which include a requirement for issuers to migrate from alternate PANs to tokenization. “The new requirements from Visa could be met by using tokenization services from Visa or a third party TSP, but they also could be met by implementing an in-house tokenization solution — enabling the issuer to maintain control and reduce cost,” Proxama’s Rob Macmillan explains.

    Huawei Pay to launch in China

    March 9th, 2016

    Handset maker Huawei is to launch its own mobile payment service in China in cooperation with Bank of China. “At this point, Huawei is yet to reveal any specific details about the Huawei Pay service,” Gizmochina reports. “Bank of China currently seems to be the only partner, but we can expect more tie-ups soon.”

    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.”

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