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Archive: News in brief

European payments startup funding surges

December 10th, 2014

Nascent payments and transaction processing companies in Europe raised US$417.9m through 26 deals in the nine months to September, more than seven times the amount raised during the same period last year, research from Dow Jones VentureSource reveals. Venture capital investment in the sector now surpasses dotcom boom levels, boosted by the uptake of digital technologies and shift in consumer behaviour, WSJ says.

Taiwanese banks sign up for NFC

December 10th, 2014

Twenty seven banks have signed up to use an NFC payments hub being introduced by Taiwan Mobile Payment Co (TWMP), a joint venture formed in July 2014 by three Taiwanese banking groups that will work with local carriers to enable the banks to securely provision customers’ card details to their NFC phones. The new hub is being provided to TWMP by Gemalto.

Emirates banks move towards mobile wallets

December 9th, 2014

The UAE Banks Federation has announced the completion of the pre-implementation phase of a project to develop a mobile wallet platform that all its 51 member banks will be able to use to offer P2P, mobile payments and loyalty programs to their customers. “Participating banks will have the choice to link with this application or integrate the system with their own internet and mobile banking platforms,” the federation says.

Chick-fil-A rolls out mobile payments

December 9th, 2014

Fast food chain Chick-fil-A has rolled out mobile payments to all of its US restaurants, with the exception of licensed locations, following a pilot that began in June 2014. The chain is also testing mobile ordering in more than 130 restaurants in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Orlando and Washington DC with plans to expand the service in 2015 ahead of a nationwide launch by the end of 2016.

US online buyers warm to mobile payments

December 9th, 2014

Two fifths (40%) of US online buyers like the idea of making a mobile payment instead of carrying around a wallet with 76% saying they are dissatisfied with the strength of credit card security among retailers, a survey conducted by Bizrate Insights has found. 19% of respondents also said they were interested in using Apple Pay.

Westpac adds fingerprint access

December 8th, 2014

Westpac customers with an Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S5 or Note 4 incorporating a fingerprint sensor will be able to use the technology to log into their mobile banking app from January 2015, the Australian bank has announced. “This is the next step in moving forward our already successful digital banking service Westpac Live which has been used by over 2.9m customers to manage their accounts on the move,” says the bank’s Jason Yetton.

One in four US smartphone owners have paid by mobile

December 8th, 2014

Almost a quarter (24%) of US smartphone owners have now used one or more mobile payment apps, research from PunchTab has found. Starbucks tops the popularity list with 40% of respondents citing it as their most-used mobile payment app. More than half (55%) of millennials say they would like a single mobile payment app that can be used across multiple stores and offers loyalty programs, the research also found.

NXP to host Mifare SDK webinar

December 8th, 2014

PARTNER NEWS: NXP is to host a webinar exploring its recently launched Mifare SDK Advanced NFC development kit at 10:00 CET and 17:00 CET on Tuesday 16 December. Attendees will “learn how Mifare SDK Advanced makes it easy to implement any Android application idea based on our Mifare, Ntag and Icode hardware and how you could benefit from this new development kit,” says the company. Readers can register for the webinar free of charge here.

Starbucks eyes iBeacon

December 8th, 2014

Starbucks is to use Bluetooth beacon technology in the first of its new Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room locations in the Capitol Hill neighbourhood of Seattle in the coming year. The coffee chain will use the platform to distribute information about freshly brewed coffee to customers’ smartphones.

Outspoken texts offers to wallets

December 8th, 2014

Mobile messaging provider Outspoken has added support for Google Wallet to its digital wallet delivery solution, enabling marketers to distribute offers to a user’s mobile wallet via a text message. “Outspoken’s technology uniquely delivers pass files using SMS and MMS, sending the pass as a text message attachment or in the form of a link,” the company explains. The platform already supports Apple Passbook.

Broadcom IoT SDK adds NFC

December 5th, 2014

Chip maker Broadcom has integrated NFC into its Wireless Internet Connectivity for Embedded Devices (Wiced) software development kit with the aim of making it easier for developers to build smart homes and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions that combine NFC, WiFi and Bluetooth Smart functionality. “The SDK enables developers to create more complex products with a wider variety of use cases,” Broadcom says.

MasterCard takes HCE to China

December 5th, 2014

MasterCard’s cloud-based payment service is now available in China, following its initial launch in the US in September 2014. The service makes use of the MasterCard Digital Enablement Service (MDES) tokenization system, the MasterPass digital wallet platform and host card emulation (HCE) technology. The launch will enable Chinese card issuers “to provide additional payment options by simplifying the deployment of NFC technologies and making in-app and online payments easier to set up and complete,” says MasterCard’s Dennis Chang.

Toshiba offers NFC/BLE combi chip

December 3rd, 2014

Toshiba has unveiled a dual-function IC that includes both a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) radio and an NFC Type 3 (Felica) tag. The tag part of the chip offers 1.5KB of memory and an I2C interface to allow it to be shared with the BLE side. The TC35670FTG is designed to be included in Bluetooth Smart devices such as sensors, toys, smartphone accessories and healthcare devices and offers one-touch Bluetooth pairing as well as power management features to increase battery lifetimes.

Juniper forecasts NFC and HCE growth

December 3rd, 2014

Mobile phone and tablet users will be making 195bn mobile transactions a year by 2019, up from 72bn this year, Juniper Research forecasts. “Highest growth rates are expected in the NFC sector,” the company says, where “usage is expected to be buoyed by the launch of Apple Pay together with a host of anticipated deployments by banks using solutions based on HCE technology.”

Alipay offers transport passes

December 3rd, 2014

Alipay is making it possible for Chinese tourists to purchase transport passes for Singapore, Thailand and Macau ahead of travel and then collect them by scanning a barcode on their mobile phones at booths and kiosks at their destination. The Alipay Overseas Transportation Card service vends stored value smart cards that can be used to pay for bus rides, subway trips, taxis and other types of local and regional public transportation, Alizila explains.

AirAsia picks Yoyo for mobile payments

December 3rd, 2014

UK startup Yoyo is to provide a mobile payments and loyalty app to Malaysian budget airline AirAsia, City AM reports. “The deal will see the airline reduce the number of cash payments on its flights for duty free and in-flight purchases and instead use mobile payments with Yoyo’s technology,” the article explains. Yoyo’s QR-code based system has been live on the Imperial College London campus since September 2013.

Credit unions to adopt Apple Pay

December 2nd, 2014

A number of US credit unions are actively working towards adopting Apple Pay NFC payments, credit union technology provider Co-op Financial Services has revealed. The company says it is now a Visa “engaged issuer processor”, making it authorised to service the enrolment of credit unions in the mobile payment offering, and “already has credit unions in the implementation validation process at Visa and MasterCard” with several now in the final stages of testing.

Half of UK consumers use digital wallets

December 2nd, 2014

More than half of UK consumers (54%) say that they often or always use digital wallets to pay for goods online, according to research from online payments service Skrill, and 17% of 18-24 year olds are also paying for goods and services in-store with a mobile device. The company defines a digital wallet as a “payment method that enables people to make online transactions conveniently and securely via their mobile, tablet, laptop or PC.”

TD Bank partners with Moven

December 2nd, 2014

Toronto-Dominion Bank is expected to announce a partnership with New York based banking app maker Moven to help its customers use their smartphones to keep track of every purchase they make, The Globe and Mail reports. “Moven’s app works in much the same way as health-tracking apps,” the article explains. “The service allows users to make purchases using their smartphones as mobile wallets, but also keeps track of every purchase. The result is an instant analysis of the user’s financial health.”

Contactless donations expand in London

December 2nd, 2014

Caffe Nero and Leon Restaurants have become the first UK retailers to join Penny for London, a service first introduced on the Transport for London (TfL) network that automatically collects small charitable donations when participating consumers use their contactless cards to pay. “It is fantastic that two of Britain’s much-loved retailers have committed to sign up for Penny for London and I hope many more will follow their lead,” says mayor Boris Johnson.

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