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    Archive: News in brief

    Mobile biometrics revenue to reach $9bn by 2018

    November 17th, 2015

    The inclusion of biometrics in mobile devices will generate US$9bn in revenue by 2018, a report by Biometrics Research Group predicts. “Worldwide revenues within the mobile biometrics sector will total US$45bn by 2020 and 650m people will be using biometrics on mobile devices by the end of 2015,” the company says. “Biometric smartphones will increase tenfold from 200m users in 2015 to 2bn users by 2020.”

    Startup unveils Bitcoin mobile wallet with NFC

    November 17th, 2015

    Startup Plutus is inviting consumers to take part in the alpha release of a Bitcoin mobile wallet that allows POS transactions via NFC. “It is powered by a Decentralised Exchange Network (DEX), which traders can use to buy and sell Bitcoin in return for fiat at the checkout,” the company says. “Merchants do not need to directly accept any digital currencies and customers can convert their balance into fiat on-the-go.”

    TSB and Tesco Bank go live with Apple Pay

    November 17th, 2015

    UK banks TSB and Tesco Bank are now supporting Apple Pay. TSB has also extended the contactless cashback incentive it launched in September 2015 to the mobile payments service. TSB customers will earn 5% cashback on their first £100 of combined Apple Pay and contactless spending until December 2016.  Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland added support for Apple Pay in September 2015 along with M&S Bank. Six banks supported the service when it launched in July. Barclays will also support Apple Pay but is yet to announce a launch date.

    BBVA Wallet adds cash rewards

    November 17th, 2015

    Customers of US bank BBVA Compass can now redeem cash rewards through the BBVA Wallet app after making purchases using their credit card. “BBVA Wallet purchase notifications now include cash rewards balances that can be redeemed for an account credit by simply responding to the alert,” the bank says. “BBVA Compass cardholders can redeem cash rewards to offset a portion (as little as $1) or all of a purchase.”

    India’s Ola Cabs adds mobile payments

    November 16th, 2015

    Indian mobile cab hailing service Ola Cabs has launched Ola Money, which lets customers load funds into a mobile app and use them to pay their fare. “Your Ola Money is automatically deducted when you complete a ride,” the company says. Ola announced plans in August 2015 to apply for a mobile wallet licence from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

    Edeka rolls out mobile payments to 800 stores

    November 16th, 2015

    German supermarket chain Edeka has added mobile payments to its mobile app, letting customers in 800 stores across the country complete transactions by presenting a barcode at the point of sale. “The barcode creates the link between your mobile phone and the POS system when shopping and is part of the payment process,” Edeka says. The service also includes loyalty and coupon redemption.

    Cartes 2015 to go ahead in Paris

    November 16th, 2015

    Cartes Secure Connexions 2015 in Paris will go ahead as planned this week, though security has been tightened in light of the terrorist attacks that took place in the city on Friday evening. “Increased security measures have been put in place and will be maintained throughout the event in order to ensure the highest security standards to our exhibitors and visitors,” the organiser says. The event runs from November 17-19.

    SBI to launch feature phone wallet

    November 16th, 2015

    State Bank of India (SBI) is to launch Batua, a mobile wallet service that works on feature phones, The Economic Times reports. “The bank is also planning to launch another version of Batua for very basic phones which does not offer internet access and does not entail downloading any app.” SBI is one of six banks currently testing a mobile payments service developed by Visa in Bangalore.

    Vodafone adds MasterCard to NFC wallet

    November 16th, 2015

    Vodafone Wallet users in Europe will be able to make payments with their NFC phone using MasterCard cards “within weeks”, the mobile network operator has announced. “Contactless card payments using Vodafone Wallet require a Vodafone NFC SIM and are supported on more than 60 Android smartphones.” Vodafone Wallet launched in September 2013 and is currently live in Spain, Germany, The Netherlands, the UK, Italy and Hungary.

    Apple Pay to launch in Canada this week?

    November 16th, 2015

    American Express has confirmed that Apple Pay is set to launch in Canada on November 17, iPhone In Canada reports. “Customer service representatives we spoke with confirmed the date over the phone numerous times,” the publication says. “The date would presumably be when the final release of iOS 9.2 will be out to support Apple Pay.” Apple announced its plans to launch the mobile payments service in Canada in October 2015.

    NFC necklace wins Unicef award

    November 16th, 2015

    A necklace that stores electronic health data to track child immunization via NFC has been named joint winner of the Wearables for Good challenge run by Unicef, ARM and Frog. “Khushi Baby is a data-storing necklace that provides a two year personal immunization record for children,” ARM explains. “Data is synced to the cloud and displayed on a dashboard accessible to health officials.”

    Bell ID updates HCE white paper

    November 16th, 2015

    PARTNER NEWS: Bell ID’s Host Card Emulation: NFC’s Missing Link white paper, which has been downloaded more than 800 times from the NFC World+ Knowledge Centre since it was published in late 2014, has been updated to include an exploration of the tokenization process and an overview of prevailing deployment models for issuers. “The revised ebook addresses new topics such as tokenization, token service providers, Android Pay and Samsung Pay, in order to provide relevant answers to today’s questions,” explains Bell ID’s André Stoorvogel. Readers can download the updated white paper free of charge here.

    Otto pilots NFC product labels

    November 13th, 2015

    Online retailer Otto Versand is to test the use of NFC product labels which let customers retrieve information such as manuals and explanatory videos as well as reorder parts. Otto Product Wizard Stickers will be tested with buyers of coffee machines in a few weeks, Heise reports. The pilot will continue for “several months”.

    Pebble Time watches get contactless payment straps

    November 13th, 2015

    Wearable payments provider FitPay and connected watch maker Connectedevice have developed a smartstrap for the Pebble Time range of smartwatches that lets wearers make NFC payments. “Pagaré will use NFC technology combined with card network tokenization to interact with POS terminals at retail locations,” Fit Pay says. “Pagaré will leverage Fit Pay’s Trusted Payment Manager (TM) platform, which enables contactless payment capabilities on a wide range of wearable devices.”

    Westpac lets customers activate cards via mobile

    November 12th, 2015

    Westpac customers in Australia can now switch on new credit or debit cards using their smartphone’s camera and the bank’s mobile banking app. “The innovative feature activates the card in three simple steps by prompting customers to scan their card, confirm the card details captured are correct and tap to activate,” the bank says. “The new feature is a timesaver for our customers who can activate their card when and where it suits them.”

    Tencent reports 200m mobile payment users

    November 12th, 2015

    More than 200 million customers have bound their bank cards to internet giant Tencent’s QQ Wallet and Weixin Pay mobile payment platforms, the company has revealed — but supporting them is proving costly. “As we enrich payment scenarios and invest in initiatives to deepen users’ mobile payment habit, we are incurring significant bank handling fees on the C2C money transfers which we offer to users largely for free,” Tencent says. “We believe such cost represents a worthwhile investment for the future.”

    Apple doesn’t want to be a bank, says CEO

    November 12th, 2015

    “Nobody wants to become a bank any more and we don’t want to become a bank,” Apple CEO Tim Cook has told the University Philosophical Society at Trinity College, Dublin during a visit this week, Ireland’s Independent newspaper reports. Cook also hinted that Ireland will soon get Apple Pay and said: “Your kids will not know what money is.”

    India’s Paytm moves into banking

    November 12th, 2015

    Indian mobile wallet provider Paytm is to hire 3,000 people to roll out its payments bank services by the first quarter of next year. “The structure of the executive committee for the payments bank is being given shape, while Paytm awaits a final nod from the Reserve Bank of India,” The Times of India reports. The company agreed a “strategic investment” from Alibaba and its affiliate Ant Financial in September.

    Noor Bank offers wearable payments in Dubai

    November 12th, 2015

    UAE’s Noor Bank and Yvolv, a joint venture between Alibaba and Dubai holding company Meraas, have introduced Yvo, a mobile app that allows users to make in-store payments using mobile phones and wristbands. “Users will have an option to top-up their Yvo Mobile Wallet using cash, their existing credit cards, direct bank account transfers or by transferring funds from one wallet to another,” Emirates news agency WAM reports.

    Samsung Pay offers $50 to new users

    November 12th, 2015

    Samsung is offering a US$50 rebate to new users who add a card to Samsung Pay. “Now for a limited time only, activate Samsung Pay on your Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+ or Note 5 with your Samsung account ID and register a qualifying card with Samsung Pay and receive a $50 rebate after filling out the online claim form,” the company says. The offer expires on November 19.

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