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Archive: News in brief

Google files item pairing patent

June 23rd, 2015

A new Google patent details a system to allow the pairing of items such as keys or a wallet with a mobile device to alert a person when they are about to leave the house without one of the items. “The monitoring device monitors the presence of items in its vicinity using a short-range wireless communication or sensing technology such as NFC, Bluetooth, RuBee, RFID or any other method of wireless communication or sensing,” the patent says.

Beacons link in Cannes Lions contacts

June 23rd, 2015

Visitors to this year’s Cannes Lions event will be notified when one of their LinkedIn contacts is nearby or when they have signed up for the same sessions as a favourite via beacons installed by Eventbase. “When attendees from the same LinkedIn network are in the vicinity, icebreaker messages will prompt you to instigate conversations with delegates with similar interests,” Eventbase says.

Kiev subway goes contactless

June 23rd, 2015

The Ukrainian capital of Kiev has become the fifth city in the world, after London, St Petersburg, Chicago and Bucharest, to allow fares to be paid with open loop contactless cards. Transport operator Kyivsky Metropoliten has installed contactless turnstiles equipped with MasterCard PayPass technology in 17 stations across the subway in partnership with Oshchadbank.

Almost one in ten have made in-store mobile wallet payments

June 22nd, 2015

Some 8% of global mobile users have made an in-store mobile wallet payment either using NFC or via an app in the last six months, research from trade body Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF) and Wirecard has revealed. “Another 7% paid using a merchant’s plug and pay or mpos device and 5% said they paid via a mobile loyalty card scheme,” the research finds. 36% cite lack of trust as the main reason for not using a mobile wallet, 18% don’t know what a mobile wallet is and 15% “don’t see the point.”

40 Adelaide venues install beacons

June 22nd, 2015

Forty bars and nightclubs across the Australian city of Adelaide have installed Bluetooth beacons to track visitor attendance and push offers to passers-by using a platform provided by startup Little Birdy. “Venues can currently only track attendance numbers, but will soon be able to look at things like age and gender demographics, entry and exit times, and the duration of the average stay,” Startup Daily reports.

One in four US consumers would share DNA with their bank

June 22nd, 2015

One in four US consumers would consider sharing their DNA with their financial institution if it meant it would make authentication easier and their personal information more secure, research from Telstra reveals. “Two thirds of US consumers think that using biometrics — such as voice, fingerprint, iris and facial recognition — would be more secure and help reduce the risks of fraud,” says the Australian telecoms operator’s Rocky Scopelliti.

Thinfilm gets $22m investment

June 22nd, 2015

Printed electronics specialist Thinfilm has closed a private placement in which “several” US investors have invested a total of US$22m. “The market response to our launch of our NFC OpenSense product has been exceptionally strong,” says CEO Davor Sutija. “This investment will allow significant expansion of our printed logic production in order to meet expected demand for both NFC OpenSense and our electronic article surveillance products.”

Google to acquire Tesco’s Clubcard division?

June 22nd, 2015

Google is reported to be considering acquiring the Tesco-owned loyalty agency that is responsible for the development of the supermarket giant’s Clubcard rewards scheme. “Google would like to use Dunnhumby to offer more reward and loyalty bonuses for Android Pay users,” IT Pro Portal reports. “Acquiring Clubcard may allow Google more insider knowledge as to the workings of the UK market.”

Contactless plan for London taxis

June 19th, 2015

A proposal from Transport for London (TfL) explores whether contactless payments “with cards and other payment methods” should be accepted in all taxis across the city. “Millions of customers use this option every day across the capital and by offering a contactless service, the taxi trade could open itself to a vast new market,” TfL says. It recorded more than 100m contactless journeys across London transport in June.

Twin Peaks offers mobile payments with MyCheck

June 19th, 2015

US sports bar chain Twin Peaks will offer mobile payments through an integration with MyCheck at its locations in August. “The new Twin Peaks mobile app will allow customers to view, split and pay their bill using Apple Pay, PayPal, Google Wallet, debit or credit cards, order additional menu items and access exclusive rewards and special offers only redeemable in the app,” MyCheck says.

Hill climb cars to include beacons

June 19th, 2015

Vehicles taking part in British motor sports event The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) will send notifications about section times, racer profiles, course map details and videos to a visitor’s smartphone using beacons supplied by KS Technologies. “Users of the iOS app will receive a notification whenever they are near any participating vehicle,” PPIHC says. The PPIHC app is also available for Apple Watch.

China UnionPay to take NFC to Hong Kong

June 19th, 2015

China UnionPay has invested an undisclosed sum in Jetco, the largest ATM network operator in Hong Kong and Macau. The companies plan to co-develop mobile payment technologies, aiming to introduce a service supporting UnionPay’s NFC QuickPass this year. “The bank card association said it would also work with Jetco to develop apps for smartphones and improve existing online payment services,” Caixin reports. Jetco first began working on NFC services in Hong Kong in 2013.

Boston Fed explores tokenization in the US

June 18th, 2015

The Mobile Payments Industry Workgroup (MPIW) of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has published a white paper providing an overview of the current US payment tokenization landscape for mobile and digital commerce. “It discusses benefits, challenges, gaps and opportunities from the perspectives of the major industry stakeholder groups,” the Boston Fed says.

Barclays and Starbucks promote contactless in UK

June 18th, 2015

Barclays customers can upgrade the size of their Starbucks coffee for free at participating locations in the UK when using their contactless card to pay until the end of June. “When you pay for any handcrafted espresso based beverage with your Barclays Visa contactless debit card, you must say ‘Barclays Cupgrade’ when you order and pay to redeem the offer,” the bank explains.

Ricoh launches NFC camera

June 18th, 2015

Electronics company Ricoh has launched the GR II digital compact camera, marking the first GR-series model to come equipped with NFC. “The GR II comes equipped with WiFi functions for wireless connection with mobile devices; it is also compatible with NFC functions for easy pairing with mobile devices,” the company says.

Chile stadiums offer MasterCard Qkr! app

June 18th, 2015

Visitors to Chile’s National, Estadio Monumental David Arellano and La Portada stadiums during the Copa America football tournament this month will be the first in Latin America to place orders and pay for food with their mobile phones using MasterCard’s Qkr! app. The service was introduced in Australia in 2012 and made available in UK restaurant chain Wagamama earlier this year.

Jamba Juice and Fishbowl integrate promotions to Android Pay

June 18th, 2015

Jamba Juice and restaurant data analytics provider Fishbowl have worked together to integrate Fishbowl’s Promotion Manager software into Android Pay, allowing guests to “save and use promotions while merchants will be able to process redemptions in real time,” the companies say. “We are now able to deliver unique Promotion Manager codes end-to-end in the Android Pay ecosystem,” adds Fishbowl’s Dev Ganesan.

Billing System brings OTI NFC readers to Japan

June 18th, 2015

Payment service provider Billing System is to offer On Track Innovations’ (OTI) suite of NFC readers and devices to Japanese retailers, vending machine operators and taxi companies. “Japan’s current cashless payment settlement infrastructure, Felica, is unique to the domestic market and not compatible with international NFC services,” the companies say. “These settlement services are based on international standards.”

Amazon gets ear authentication patent

June 17th, 2015

Amazon has been granted a US patent that describes how a person’s ear could be used to authenticate them when answering a phone call or to unlock an audio file. “The device attempts to recognise the user based on ear shape or other parameters and can provide customised functionality of the device based at least upon that determination,” the abstract explains.

ING to launch HCE in the Netherlands

June 17th, 2015

ING is to launch a mobile payments service based on host card emulation (HCE) in the Netherlands this summer following a final test with a group of the bank’s employees. “ING customers who already use the Mobile Banking app and have a suitable Android NFC smartphone — Android 4.4 KitKat or higher — will be able to make direct contactless mobile payments through the new ING Mobile Payment app after activating it with their mobile PIN,” the bank explains.

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