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    Archive: News in brief

    Estimote raises US$10.7m

    January 18th, 2016

    Beacon manufacturer Estimote has raised US$10.7m in a Series A investment round led by Javelin Venture Partners. “The investment will help us to accelerate innovation and expand our operations in New York, in our European office in Krakow and expand our San Francisco office,” the company says.

    Paytm trials sound-based payments

    January 15th, 2016

    Indian mobile payment platform Paytm is trialling a Sound Pay feature that will enable users of its mobile app to make in-store payments via ultrasonic sound waves which transmit data — including payment amount and customer credentials — to the point of sale. “Once the consumer’s app transmits data, the seller’s app checks whether there is enough money in the Paytm wallet before the transaction is completed,” Economic Times reports.

    CaixaBank launches mobile-only bank

    January 14th, 2016

    Spain’s CaixaBank has launched a mobile-only bank to provide banking services through mobile apps and social networks. “ImaginBank customers manage their products and services via apps,” the bank says. “Everything is run entirely on mobile devices.” An app, initially only available for Android devices, offers ImaginPay NFC payments and the service also supports contactless wristbands and smartwatches.

    Oxford Tube gets mobile ticketing

    January 14th, 2016

    Travellers on regular bus services between London and Oxford can now buy tickets for travel directly from their smartphone using the Oxford Tube Mobile Tickets app developed by Corethree. “A range of Oxford Tube tickets are available through the new app,” the mobile ticket provider says. “Once products have been purchased, they are stored on the customer’s phone and can be activated without access to the internet.”

    London cabs get PayPal Here

    January 13th, 2016

    London commuters will soon be able to pay for black cab fares with an NFC device or a contactless card using PayPal Here, the company’s contactless reader that launched in the UK in August 2015. “PayPal Here has been approved as a card payment solution by Transport for London (TfL),” PayPal says. All London taxis will be required to accept contactless payments from October 2016, TfL confirmed in November.

    Mercedes shows NFC keys in Detroit

    January 12th, 2016

    Mercedes is showing its new E-Class cars with NFC entry for the first time at the Detroit Motor Show this week. “The drive authorisation system uses NFC and allows the driver’s smartphone to be used as a vehicle key,” the luxury car maker says. The E-Class also allows a phone to be paired with the car’s entertainment system via NFC by placing it on a Qi wireless charging pad built into the centre console. The new E-Class is expected to be available from the second quarter of 2016.

    Canada’s BMO to support Apple Pay?

    January 12th, 2016

    Canadian bank BMO is “actively evaluating Apple Pay as a mobile payment option” for its customers, an email seen by iPhone In Canada reveals. “Back in October, sources claimed BMO was planning to launch Apple Pay but that front has remained quiet since then,” the publication reports. Apple Pay launched in Canada with support from American Express in November 2015.

    NanoPay acquires Mintchip digital currency

    January 12th, 2016

    Mintchip, the digital currency developed and field tested in an NFC payments pilot by The Royal Canadian Mint, has been acquired by Loyalty Pays Holdings Corporation, a subsidiary of NanoPay. “NanoPay is now focused on expanding partnerships with central banks, commercial banks, telcos, acquirers, retailers as well as developers and POS providers that will further expand the utility and acceptance of MintChip,” the loyalty and payments platform provider says.

    Costa Rican bank adds facial recognition to mobile app

    January 12th, 2016

    Customers of Banco Nacional de Costa Rica will be able to access their bank account and check their balance by scanning their face using their mobile device from the second quarter of this year. In a second phase the bank will extend face recognition to users of its web-based banking facilities, says technology provider FacePhi.

    Mumbai commuters test mobile ticketing

    January 12th, 2016

    Commuters in Navi Mumbai, India, are piloting a service provided by Birds Eye Systems that lets them pay for bus fares on their mobile phone. “The bus conductors carry a mobile device which can verify the e-ticket from the app,” Medianama reports. “The Ridlr app connects with a bus conductor’s mobile device via a combination of Bluetooth and wireless technology.” The pilot is being conducted in partnership with Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport (NMMT).

    Tangerine customers get chat-based banking

    January 11th, 2016

    Customers of Canada’s Tangerine Bank will soon be able to conduct transactions using Secure Chat, a service that will let them interact with the bank over a real-time chat session. “Clients will be able to interact on a wide variety of confidential banking matters, which could include getting specific account details or completing transactions, all within a chat session from the convenience of their mobile device or computer,” the bank says.

    CES hosts BLE scavenger hunt

    January 11th, 2016

    Attendees at this year’s CES show in Las Vegas had the chance to participate in a scavenger hunt that used Bluetooth low energy (BLE) beacons provided by Radius Networks. The devices alerted participants on their smartphones whenever they were near a hunt location and could earn scavenger hunt badges. Beacon solution provider Kontakt.io hosted a US$1m beacon hunt at the event last year.

    Bell ID white paper helps banks explore tokenization options

    January 8th, 2016

    A white paper that clarifies the role of the token service provider (TSP) for banks and proposes five key features that financial institutions should look out for in a TSP is now available to download from the NFC World+ Knowledge Centre. ‘Five key features to look for in a token service provider solution’ has been produced by Bell ID and aims to help banks decide on the most appropriate tokenization solution for their needs.

    UK fundraisers to get contactless tins

    January 7th, 2016

    Fundraisers in the UK are to be equipped with a new generation of collection tins that will let passersby donate to charity with a tap of a contactless card. “The idea is that if someone has no coins on them, only cards, they will still be able to donate,” The UK Cards Association told NFC World. The association is developing the tins in partnership with UK charities including Cancer Research UK.

    Maybank offers payment wristband in Malaysia

    January 7th, 2016

    Customers of Malaysia’s Maybank can now make purchases using a Maybank Visa Payband developed by the bank in partnership with Visa. “The wearable leverages on Visa’s payWave contactless technology at more than 1,000 locations across the country,” the payment network says.

    China Unicom reveals mobile couponing lessons

    January 7th, 2016

    A case study that details the lessons learned by mobile network operator China Unicom when implementing mobile couponing and loyalty solutions in the Chinese market is now available to download from the NFC World+ Knowledge Centre. ‘China Unicom: Delivering mobile couponing and loyalty services to the Chinese market’, produced by the GSMA, also explores the opportunities available when mobile network operators and merchants work together to implement retail incentive programs.

    Sacramento commuters to get mobile ticketing

    January 7th, 2016

    Commuters in the US city of Sacramento will be able to pay for transit tickets and display them on their mobile phones using a RideSacRT mobile app that will be launched this month by Sacramento Regional Transit and mobile payments specialist Passport. “Riders are able to pay for their transit fares directly in the app using their secure RT account,” Passport says. “Riders can then use their mobile ticket to board transit or store their ticket for later use.”

    Samsung Pay to become market leader in Asia?

    January 7th, 2016

    Samsung Pay will become the mobile payments market leader in Asia, with a 49% share of the market in 2016, a Korean investment firm predicts. “Hyundai Securities is estimating that 200m Samsung smartphones will have Samsung Pay next year,” Etnews reports. “As Samsung joins hands with UnionPay, it is expected that Samsung Pay’s influence will expand starting from China.” Samsung announced its partnership with China UnionPay in December 2015.

    Alipay parent seeks $1.5bn investment

    January 7th, 2016

    Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, owner of mobile payment platform Alipay, is seeking an investment of at least 10bn yuan (US$1.5bn) ahead of a planned initial public offering, Bloomberg reports. “Ant Financial may use money from the current fundraising for acquisitions,” the publication says. Ant Financial made a strategic investment in Indian mobile payment platform Paytm in September 2015 after closing a Series A financing round that valued Ant Financial at more than US$45bn.

    Azerbaijan to get universal mobile payment system

    January 7th, 2016

    A new mobile payments system is to begin undergoing tests in Azerbaijan this month, according to Azernews. Azerpay “is expected to offer contactless and remote payment, money transfers, applying for loan, operations in POS-terminals, recharge of account, payment of utility services and many other advantages,” the publication reports. “Overall, more than 160 variations of payment services will be available at the time of the start of the system.”

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