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Archive: News in brief

Android 5.0 SDK now available

October 20th, 2014

The Android 5.0 SDK is now available to developers ahead of the scheduled launch of Android 5.0 ‘Lollipop’ in November. The software development kit includes finalised APIs and behaviours so developers can update their apps to take advantage of new features including enhanced BLE and NFC support.

Welsh museum tests iBeacons

October 17th, 2014

The National Roman Legion Museum in Caerleon, Wales, is using Bluetooth beacons to let visitors discover more about the collections on show on their mobile devices. The National Museum of Wales is testing the technology in partnership with People’s Collection Wales and app developer Locly. The move follows a successful first trial at the National Slate Museum in Llanberis.

Amex warns of slow mobile wallet adoption

October 17th, 2014

American Express has warned that mobile wallets are likely to see slow adoption, even for Apple and its customer base. “Mobile wallets have had the potential to change consumer behaviour for some years but it’s unlikely to be an overnight shot,” CFO Jeff Campbell said during the company’s third quarter earnings call. “It will take time even with Apple’s innovative technology and customer base.”

Alipay expands to USA

October 15th, 2014

Chinese online payments giant Alipay is offering US merchants the ability to accept payments from Chinese shoppers via a new service called ePass. The service lets retailers add Alipay as a checkout option and includes access to a “fast, reasonably priced” door-to-door shipping service. “Alipay ePass makes it simple for Western brands and retailers to profitably access the world’s largest ecommerce market,” the company says.

Line to offer messaging payments

October 14th, 2014

Instant messaging service Line has announced plans to offer mobile payments to users in Japan from later this year. Line Pay will support mobile payments in stores and online as well as splitting bills between friends. Transactions will be protected by a password and the service will make use of Touch ID to secure transactions made by iOS users.

Ireland’s Leap Card to get NFC top-ups

October 13th, 2014

Ireland’s National Transport Authority has awarded a contract to transit specialist Vix to enable Leap prepaid card users to top up their balance via NFC. The service will go live “over the coming year” and will let cardholders “use a special, free smartphone app to top-up their Leap Cards immediately (from their credit or debit cards) via the smartphone app, just by holding the card and the phone close to each other.”

Apple Pay to go live on 18 October?

October 13th, 2014

“An internal memo addressed to Walgreens employees designed to prepare them for the upcoming launch of Apple Pay suggests that Apple’s new payments service might be going live on Saturday, October 18,” MacRumours reports. Apple has also begun preparing its own retail employees for the upcoming launch, adds 9to5Mac, which has been sent Apple Store training materials “by a reliable source”.

Swedish taxi firm runs NFC promo

October 13th, 2014

Swedish taxi firm Taxi020 is promoting downloads of its booking app via NFC posters placed in 70 restaurants, bars and cafes in the cities of Stockholm and Gothenburg. Customers who tap the posters are taken to the app’s download page on Google Play or Windows Store and can then use it to obtain a fixed price quote from the taxi operator on their mobile phone. “The idea is to target people on their way home after a nice meal or drink out,” supplier Adfields’ Martin Kemeny told NFC World+.

Dash expands to Chicago

October 8th, 2014

Mobile payment provider Dash is expanding to Chicago, adding 20 restaurants and bars in the city to its existing base of 50 locations in New York. Customers wanting to use the service tell their waiter or bartender on arrival and Dash then connects their tab to the venue’s POS system, “allowing the items you’ve ordered to appear in real-time on your phone”. They then use the app to pay their bill at the end of their visit by selecting a payment card they have pre-linked to the app.

Boku buys carrier billing rival Mopay

October 8th, 2014

Boku, the carrier billing specialist which is working with UK networks to let customers charge the cost of physical goods to their mobile phone bill, has acquired Germany-based rival Mopay. “The combined assets of the two companies will offer greater scale and operational efficiency and a more standardized carrier billing solution to the benefit of merchants, carriers and consumers alike,” Boku says.

Pizza Hut raises Apple Pay concerns

October 8th, 2014

“I am more pessimistic about Apple Pay’s impact than most people here,” Danny Sullivan, VP of global digital experience at Pizza Hut has told attendees at the Mobile Shopping Summit 2014, Mobile Commerce Daily reports. “I had a call with Apple last week and right now it is only a payment system for apps. It is shut off from the mobile web, which I think everyone knows is a bigger part of everyone’s business from mobile devices.”

Apple Pay setup screen spotted

October 8th, 2014

Screenshots of the Apple Pay setup screen within the new Passbook app in the second iOS 8.1 beta have been published on MacRumours. “The setup prompt within Passbook is similar to the setup prompt to add passes,” the publication says, “educating potential users on what the service is before providing a link to where users can input and scan their credit cards for use.”

Messenger to add payments

October 6th, 2014

The ability to make payments from within Facebook Messenger is on its way, according to screenshots and video footage spotted by Techcrunch. “Messenger’s payment option lets users send money in a message similar to how they can send a photo,” the report explains. “Users can add a debit card in Messenger, or use one they already have on file with Facebook. An in-app pincode also exists for added security around payments.”

Samsung Pay lands in China

October 2nd, 2014

Samsung’s version of Apple Pay is now live in China, Korea’s Yonhap news agency reports. The phone maker has taken a similar route to Apple by partnering with EMVCo member China UnionPay, which has an installed base of 3.6m contactless POS terminals, for the launch of an NFC payment service for users of its devices. “The tie up with UnionPay, which controls 80% of China’s offline payment market, is expected to give Samsung a head start in the mobile payment sector,” the agency says.

RapidNFC examines iPhone 6 tag reading issue

October 1st, 2014

PARTNER VIEWS: The question of whether or not Apple has included NFC tag reading and writing capabilities in the iPhone 6 is examined in a new blog post by NFC tag specialist RapidNFC. The article explains why the NFC antenna in a mobile phone needs to be more powerful for tag reading than for payments and concludes that “there’s nothing to indicate that such an antenna doesn’t exist within the phone. Even if nobody seems to have actually found it yet.”

Apple falls out with PayPal over Samsung deal

October 1st, 2014

PayPal was excluded from the list of Apple Pay preferred partners due to a falling out between the two companies, Bank Innovation reports. The reason? PayPal’s decision to work with Samsung, which has its own mobile wallet ambitions, to deliver fingerprint-secured mobile payments on the Galaxy S5.

iPad to get Apple Pay support?

September 30th, 2014

A text string in the beta release of iOS 8.1 spotted by a MacRumours reader appears to confirm reports that Apple will add a Touch ID fingerprint sensor to its next iPad, which may ship as soon as next month, and make it possible for owners to use Apple Pay to make online purchases. “Pay with iPad using Touch ID,” the hidden text says. “With Apple Pay, you no longer need to type card numbers and shipping information.”

InMarket reports on attitudes to beacon messages

September 29th, 2014

Sending customers more than one push notification from a beacon platform in the same store leads to a 313% decline in app usage, a study conducted by Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) marketing platform InMarket has found. “The same goes if the notifications customers received were irrelevant: the beacon app gets deleted,” BostInno reports.

John Lewis invests in BLE

September 29th, 2014

Upmarket UK department store chain John Lewis has invested £100,000 in Localz, a startup that uses Bluetooth beacons to improve the in-store shopping experience and has won the retailer’s first JLAB incubator program. The company will use the money to develop its technology “in conjunction with John Lewis” and to “launch live trials in store”.

Amazon adds Wishlist tweets

September 26th, 2014

Amazon customers can now add items to their wish list directly from Twitter. “Customers who discover a Tweet from their favorite artist, expert, brand, or friend with an Amazon.com product link can simply add ‘#AmazonWishList’ to the reply on Twitter and the product is added to their Amazon Wish List”, the ecommerce giant explains.

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