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Archive: News in brief

iOS 8 to “read” credit cards

June 6th, 2014

Apple has included a new feature in iOS 8 that will allow shoppers to enter their payment details on an mcommerce site by simply scanning their credit card with the camera on their mobile device, 9to5Mac reports. iOS 8 will also leverage a range of device sensors to provide apps with precise indoor positioning data, the publication has discovered.

Square adds invoices

June 6th, 2014

Square has added invoicing to its Register service, allowing sellers to “get paid fast with free unlimited invoices and no monthly service fee”. Sellers can now accept payments in person, online in Square Market and through the new Square Invoices feature all “for the same low 2.75% transaction price”.

Moto Stream connects with NFC

June 6th, 2014

Motorola has launched a portable wireless adaptor to allow people to stream music from their mobile devices to their home stereo systems. Available now for US$49.99, Moto Stream supports NFC pairing and uses Bluetooth to connect up to five devices at once at a range of up to 300 feet. Watch the video here.

Amazon to unveil 3D smartphone?

June 5th, 2014

Amazon is holding a launch event on 18 June for a new product, expected to be its first smartphone. Leaks suggest the new phone will run a customized, Kindle version of Android, include an innovative 3D display and support a range of gesture-based inputs. A teaser video released by Amazon appears to back up the rumours of a new type of display.

CardFlight to add Touch ID to mPOS

June 5th, 2014

US mPOS provider CardFlight is to make use of Apple’s new Touch ID API to provide an extra level of security to merchants using its SwipeSimple service with an Apple iPhone. “Merchants will have the option to log in to their mobile payment application via scanning their fingerprint using Touch ID, rather than entering the traditional email address and password,” the company says.

iOS 8 to include location-based app promos

June 5th, 2014

The latest edition of Apple’s iOS operating system, unveiled at WWDC this week, will provide a way for apps relevant to a user’s location to be promoted on their iPhone home screen, MacRumours reports. Using Location Services, apps like the Apple Store and Starbucks are appearing when users are near one of their stores. Other users say they have seen apps they haven’t yet installed appear. Swiping on these take users to the location’s App Store page.

iKaaz takes mobile payments to Kenya

June 5th, 2014

Bangalore-based iKaaz is to expand its NFC payments platform to Kenya. Following its introduction to Nigeria earlier this year, the mobile payments provider has joined with Kenya’s Family Bank and local partner Edge financial systems to provide customers with Tap & Pay options in both retail and transport.

Watch Dogs gets NFC promo

June 3rd, 2014

Games publisher Ubisoft is promoting its latest title with a ‘tap to play’ competition in UK video game stores. Customers can tap an NFC touchpoint or scan a QR code at retailer Game for a chance to win a holiday in Chicago. The Watch Dogs promotion uses Proxama’s TapPoint marketing platform.

IEEE tests beacons

June 3rd, 2014

The IEEE is using Bluetooth beacons to guide visitors around the International Microwave Symposium being held this week in Tampa, Florida. Attendees running the show’s mobile apps for Android and iOS will be able to guide themselves through the RF and microwave historical exhibit and the Bluetooth Low Energy beacons will trigger descriptions of the artifacts being viewed.

Apple opens up Touch ID

June 3rd, 2014

The Touch ID fingerprint verification technology built into the iPhone 5S can now be used by third-party developers to secure their applications, Apple’s Craig Federighi announced at the company’s 2014 WorldWide Developers Conference (WWDC). A screenshot showing the technology integrated with money management service Mint’s iOS app was included in the presentation. More details are expected to be announced during a Touch ID session on 4 June.

Bitcoin gets Facebook transfers

May 29th, 2014

US startup QuickCoin is making it possible for Facebook users to send Bitcoins to friends from within the social networking platform. “Simply log in, find a friend, click send and they get Bitcoin,” the company says. “QuickCoin works on any device, is usable anywhere in the world and, best of all, QuickCoin transfers are instantaneous, regardless of time or day.”

Finnish banks call for real-time payments

May 29th, 2014

Finland’s banks are inviting proposals to replace their existing urgent payment system with a real-time system operating 24 hours a day, every day. Dubbed Pops, the current system was built in the early 1990s and is now “becoming obsolete”, says the Federation of Finnish Financial Services. The new system needs to cover at least the entire Sepa zone, and provide application-level acknowledgement of payments received by beneficiaries. Interested suppliers have until 12 September 2014 to submit ideas.

John Lewis backs tech startups

May 29th, 2014

Upmarket UK department store chain John Lewis has chosen iBeacon, smart label and in-store digital engagement start-up firms to join JLAB, its first technology business incubator. Localz, Tap2Connect and Viewsy are among five finalists to be supported with cash and office space, which John Lewis says have the potential to “shape the shopping experience of the future”.

Burger chain gets mobile payments

May 28th, 2014

Customers of Finnish hamburger chain Hesburger can today pay for food, connect their loyalty card and redeem offers using Swedish mobile wallet app SEQR. Developed by Seamless, the app is also now available in Finland for Windows Phone 8, as well as existing iPhone and Android platforms. The app is being launched in 120 restaurants and rolled out to the remaining 160 franchise outlets by the end of the year.

NFC detects fake wine

May 28th, 2014

An NFC-based solution to the growing threat of counterfeit wine sold worldwide has been launched by embedded mobile security firm Inside Secure and object identification specialist Selinko. The CapSeal system, using an embedded NFC tag and mobile app platform, allows consumers and traders to see whether a bottle has already been opened. Analysts say some 20% of wine sold worldwide is counterfeit, and up to 50% in some Asian countries, especially for high-end French wines.

Slovakia gets NFC payments

May 19th, 2014

Deutsche Telekom’s MyWallet NFC platform is now available to customers of Slovak Telekom, a Slovakian carrier majority owned by Deutsche Telekom. The service was launched in Germany earlier this month and is due to be introduced in Hungary later this year.

Adafruit publishes NFC wearables DIY guide

May 19th, 2014

Electronics hobby supplier Adafruit Industries has posted a DIY guide to creating wearable NFC devices that can be used to unlock an Android phone. “This guide covers creating an NFC ring, putting an NFC tag in your nail polish, modding your Android installation to read tags from the lockscreen, and creating an automation tool chain to unlock the phone when the desired tag is scanned,” Adafruit says.

LifeLock empties Lemon Wallet

May 19th, 2014

Identify theft protection provider LifeLock has withdrawn LifeLock Wallet, a service built on Lemon Wallet which it acquired for US$50m in December 2013. “Certain aspects of the mobile app may not be fully compliant with payment card industry (PCI) security standards,” says LifeLock CEO Todd Davis. “For that reason, we are removing the LifeLock Wallet application from the App Store, Amazon Apps, and Google Play, and when users open the LifeLock Wallet, their information will be deleted in the app.”

PayPal tests beacons

May 19th, 2014

PayPal Beacon, a mobile payment service that uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons to let shoppers make “hands free” payments, is now undergoing pilot testing in Palo Alto. “We’re trying to make the payments disappear for people who want them to disappear,” Hill Ferguson, PayPal’s chief product officer, told Bloomberg TV. PayPal Beacon is also being pilot tested in Australia, ahead of a wider rollout planned for later this year.

Square’s finances revealed

May 16th, 2014

Mobile point-of-sale provider Square lost US$100m in 2013 but is making a 34% gross margin on its processing business, according to leaked internal documents seen by Fortune. “Its losses are largely the result of the heavy investment it is making in new products,” the report says.

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