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    Archive: News in brief

    TCH taps VocaLink to bring real-time payments to the US

    December 11th, 2015

    Banking association The Clearing House (TCH) has contracted UK payments infrastructure operator VocaLink to develop a national real-time payment service in the US. “VocaLink has commenced work to ensure the system is built rapidly,” the companies say. “Individual financial institutions and their service providers have already commenced efforts to integrate and adopt the new real-time payment system.” TCH and its member banks revealed plans to build a real-time payment system in October 2014.

    28% of UK shoppers prefer contactless

    December 11th, 2015

    More than a quarter of UK shoppers (28%) prefer contactless payments because they are easier and 29% prefer paying via contactless because it’s speedy, research from mobile network operator EE shows. “Almost 13m shoppers have been forced to abandon transactions due to lack of card and contactless payment facilities, and four in five expect to be able to pay by card everywhere they shop,” the carrier says.

    Google Wallet adds P2P transfers via SMS

    December 11th, 2015

    Google Wallet users will soon be able to send money to anyone in their contact list using just a phone number. “When you send money to a phone number, the recipient will get a text message with a secure link,” Google writes in a blogpost. “They can simply enter their debit card to claim the money and it will be available in their bank account within minutes.” Google relaunched and repositioned Google Wallet as a P2P payment solution in September 2015.

    Samsung Pay adds gift card support in the US

    December 11th, 2015

    Samsung Pay has added support for gift cards in the US, letting users store, pay with and share gift cards through the mobile payments service. “Samsung Pay supports 50 popular merchant gift cards including Babies R Us and Toys R Us, Bass Pro Shops, Domino’s, eBay, GameStop, Nike, Regal Entertainment Group and Staples in partnership with Blackhawk Network,” Samsung says. A gift card store inside Samsung Pay enables users to buy cards from supported merchants.

    Singtel integrates taxi app with wallet

    December 11th, 2015

    Customers using communications provider Singtel Group’s mobile wallet services in Southeast Asia will soon be able to book and pay for taxis through the GrabTaxi mobile app. “Customers of AIS, Globe and Telkomsel will be able to book vehicles using the GrabTaxi app and pay for rides using their personal mobile wallets,” Singtel Group says. “The open platform integration to GrabTaxi’s app is expected to be ready by mid-2016.”

    Wallet app for Windows 10 gets loyalty cards

    December 11th, 2015

    Microsoft is adding support for loyalty cards to the Wallet app for Windows 10 Mobile. “The new version allows users to scan and add in retail loyalty cards for the first time,” Windows Central reports. “Support for loyalty cards means that shoppers can ditch the old-fashioned credit card-like method of collecting reward points in favour of scanning the card’s information on their smartphone.”

    Apple Pay yet to sign up key Australian banks

    December 11th, 2015

    Apple is struggling to persuade Australia’s big banks to sign up for Apple Pay, according to Reuters. “The firm has yet to strike a deal with any of the four main banks — ANZ, National Australia Bank (NAB), Commonwealth Bank and Westpac,” the news agency reports. “That sets it adrift from 80% of consumers using mobile payments systems linked to other credit cards.” Apple Pay launched in Australia in November 2015 with support from American Express.

    Yoyo Wallet heads to the US

    December 9th, 2015

    QR code-based mobile payments platform Yoyo Wallet has launched in private beta to select customers in the US. “Yoyo’s US expansion comes after a successful $10m A round that has boosted Yoyo to become the fastest growing mobile wallet in the UK, processing up to 65% of checkouts across its participating locations,” the company says. An official launch is expected in early 2016. Yoyo began rolling out its service in May 2014.

    Morpho acquires AirTag

    December 9th, 2015

    ID technology specialist Morpho has acquired mobile payment solutions provider AirTag for an undisclosed sum. “AirTag develops secure mobile transaction solutions; the company developed AirPass, a virtual bank card solution using host card emulation (HCE) technology and based on a proprietary tokenization platform,” Morpho says. “By combining their areas of expertise, the two companies will be able to manage the multiple security aspects involved in mobile payments.”

    London station offers audio navigation using BLE

    December 9th, 2015

    Blind and partially sighted people are being guided around London’s Euston station via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons and Wayfindr, a venture between UK charity the Royal London Society for Blind People (RLSB) and digital studio ustwo. “The Wayfindr standard will launch in early 2016, setting the first guidelines for audio navigation for vision impaired people,” the company says. It was recently awarded a US$1m grant from the Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities programme.

    16bn biometric mobile payments will be made by 2020

    December 9th, 2015

    More than 16bn mobile biometric payment transactions will be made and more than 1.1bn financial services customers will be using mobile biometrics by 2020, research from Goode Intelligence predicts. “Adoption is being seen across almost all of the financial services industry — from traditional ATMs to alternative Bitcoin wallets,” the firm says. “Mobile is fast becoming the biometric authenticator of choice for the financial services industry.”

    BLE beacons will deliver 1.6bn coupons by 2020

    December 8th, 2015

    Nearly 1.6bn coupons will be delivered annually to consumers via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons by 2020, up from 11m this year, Juniper Research predicts. “However, the research cautioned that the use of beacon technology was very much a work in progress, with many retailers concerned that excessive, indiscriminate messages pushed by the beacon could be perceived as intrusive and damage their relationship with the customer,” the research firm says.

    US startup raises funds for NFC necklace

    December 8th, 2015

    A US startup is raising funds on Kickstarter for its first production run of Lockett, a customisable necklace that can be tapped with an NFC phone to retrieve personal photos, videos and messages. “The limited early bird rewards begin at US$65 for a single sterling silver NFC necklace and $750 for 10 sterling silver necklaces customised with a logo,” says the company, which hopes to debut the product in Austin, Texas.

    Samsung Pay delays on Gear S2

    December 8th, 2015

    Samsung Pay will not be made available on the Gear S2 smartwatch until 2016, despite reports that it would be going live on the device from November 2015. “Samsung Pay is now coming to the Gear S2 in 2016,” Samsung Mobile US said in a tweet. “Stay tuned for more information.”

    ANZ adds HCE to mobile banking app

    December 8th, 2015

    ANZ Bank New Zealand customers can now make host card emulation (HCE) based mobile payments using its goMoney banking app. “Around 90,000 customers will meet the criteria for the ANZ mobile wallet,” ANZ says. “The key benefit of the goMoney wallet is that it is within ANZ’s trusted mobile banking app, removing the need for a separate app or SIM card upgrade.” The bank announced its plan to add HCE in March 2015 and is using Bell ID’s Secure Element in the Cloud software platform to deliver the service.

    Masabi secures US$12m to develop mobile ticketing

    December 7th, 2015

    Mobile ticketing specialist Masabi has secured investment from MasterCard, Lepe Partners, MMC Ventures and public transport operator Keolis amounting to US$12m. “MasterCard and Masabi are working together to help drive cash and its associated costs out of public transport including integrating the one-touch MasterPass digital wallet platform into JustRide,” Masabi says.

    Dutch city rolls out BLE beacons

    December 7th, 2015

    More than 100 retailers and hospitality locations across the city of Tilburg in the Netherlands have begun installing Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons to send out targeted messages to customers. “The technology was demonstrated last summer at the Fair in Tilburg,” Emerce reports. The platform is scheduled to roll out to other cities in the Netherlands including Breda, Oirschot and Etten-Leur.

    Facebook pilots Buy Tickets button

    December 7th, 2015

    Facebook has begun piloting a service that allows users to buy concert tickets through the social network’s event pages using a Buy Tickets button. “The tickets, when purchased, will be available for pickup at Will Call windows,” Buzz Feed reports. “A Facebook spokeswoman said the company is partnering with a small group of independent venues, artists and event promoters in the San Francisco Bay Area for the pilot.”

    Deutsche Bank trials multi-factor authentication

    December 7th, 2015

    Customers of Deutsche Bank are testing technology which verifies their identity by the way they handle and hold their mobile device. “The technology analyses about 50 different factors to build a picture of a user from pressure applied to the pin-pad to how the phone is held, location, facial recognition and thumbprint,” the Financial Times reports. “The bank hopes the system will free customers from passwords and allow it to lift limits on mobile transactions.”

    Analyst details new iPhone with NFC and Apple Pay

    December 7th, 2015

    A research note by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that Apple will release a new iPhone equipped with NFC and Apple Pay early next year. “Kuo expects the new 4-inch iPhone to have an A9 chip manufactured by both TSMC and Samsung, 2.5D cover glass with curved edges like on the iPhone 6s, NFC for Apple Pay, metal casing with at least two to three colour options and identical camera specs to the iPhone 5s,” MacRumors reports.

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