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    Archive: News in brief

    Abu Dhabi schools in talks to pilot BLE school bus project

    November 18th, 2016

    UAE-based startup Smart Navigation Systems (SNS) is in talks with “several schools” in Abu Dhabi to begin piloting School Bus Application, a service that notifies parents of the safety of their children when travelling to school using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons on buses. Parents can download the mobile app to receive distance-based updates from their children as well as track school bus routes. “Based on the feedback given, we are working on enhancements to add to the system and then it will be applied in schools,” development partner IT Craft told NFC World.

    French bank offers Visa cards with dynamic security codes

    November 18th, 2016

    French bank Societe Generale is to offer retail customers in France the chance to replace their current Visa cards with ones featuring a dynamic security code developed by Oberthur Technologies. The OT Motion Card replaces the three-digit security number on the back of the card with a mini-screen displaying a code refreshed automatically and randomly every hour. The move comes after French bank card association Cartes Bancaires issued certification for OT Motion Code earlier this month.

    Australian bank branches stop dealing with cash

    November 17th, 2016

    Six retail branches of Citi bank in Australia are to stop dealing with cash because of falling demand from customers who prefer to manage their money digitally, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. Citi’s head of retail banking Janine Copelin said less than 4% of the bank’s customers had made cash transactions through a branch in the last year. The move comes as Australian Reserve Bank data shows cash was used in 78% of payments worth less than A$10 (US$7.46) in 2013, down from 95% in 2007.

    Indian mobile wallet ‘ready for 300m users’

    November 17th, 2016

    Indian mobile wallet provider MobiKwik says it is ready to serve 300m users, up from its current 35m customer base, in the wake of the government’s withdrawal of Rs 500 (US$7) and Rs 1,000 ($14) notes from circulation. A spokesman says it has registered 18 times growth in transactions since the announcement of demonetisation earlier this month and is gearing up to accept 100m daily transactions. Mobile financial solutions provider Mahindra Comviva told NFC World demonetisation would make mobile payments the “de-facto payment mode” in India.

    OCBC bank in local and cross-border blockchain payments trial

    November 17th, 2016

    Singapore’s OCBC Bank says it has become the first bank in South East Asia to use blockchain technology in national and international payments. A pilot payment transaction took place on 8 November, involving a cross-border funds transfer between OCBC Bank and OCBC Malaysia, and a local funds transfer between OCBC Bank and Bank of Singapore. “This is a milestone not only for us but for Singapore as Asia’s financial hub as we pave the way to revolutionising the traditional cross-border payments model,” says Praveen Raina from OCBC Bank.

    LotteCard to use Gemalto contactless stickers for NFC mobile payments

    November 17th, 2016

    PARTNER NEWS: Korean credit card network LotteCard is using digital security giant Gemalto’s Optelio Contactless Stickers to allow its customers to make NFC mobile payments at 35,000 stores throughout South Korea. “The miniature size sticker is one third of the size of a standard banking card and designed to adhere to the surface of any mobile phone,” Gemalto says. “The sticker also doubles as a credit card for online shopping.”

    Mumbai Metro to get Paytm mobile ticketing

    November 17th, 2016

    Commuters on the Mumbai Metro service will soon be able to pay for journeys using mobile payments platform Paytm. “Commuters can install and recharge the Paytm app on their mobiles, switch it on, scan the QR code for identifying Mumbai Metro as the payee and pay the correct amount of fare,” Business Standard reports. “A unique transaction ID will be displayed on the Paytm app and the mobile phone with the ticketing officer at the counter will receive an SMS with the same transaction ID.”

    Apple Pay adds banks in Australia, China, Russia and the US

    November 16th, 2016

    Apple has updated its list of Apple Pay-supporting financial institutions in Australia, China, Russia and the US. “The additions include nine new banks and credit unions in China, four in Russia and over 30 in Australia,” 9to5mac reports. “Apple has added 28 new banks and credit unions in the US, too.” Apple gained the support of the Australian banks through a deal with banking services provider Cuscal earlier this month.

    PwC in digital currency project for everyday banking

    November 16th, 2016

    Global consultancy firm PwC has joined forces with US blockchain technology outfit Bloq to create a platform allowing digital currencies to be used for everyday banking. Vulcan Digital Asset Services will “provide digital currency wallets, international payment processing, and investment and trading services, and will soon offer point-of-sale and merchant services and the ability to create and support native digital currencies and rewards-based systems”, Bloq says. The partnership also involves blockchain analytics provider Libra and digital currency solutions firm Netki.

    Apple to develop iPhone connected digital glasses?

    November 16th, 2016

    Apple is looking at developing digital glasses connected wirelessly to a wearer’s iPhone, which would show images and other information in the wearer’s field of vision and may use augmented reality, a report in Bloomberg suggests. Apple has talked about its glasses project with potential suppliers, according to people familiar with those discussions, the report adds. Should Apple ultimately decide to proceed with the device, it would be introduced in 2018 at the earliest.

    US Payments Forum to study mobile and contactless payments

    November 15th, 2016

    The US Payments Forum is creating the Mobile and Contactless Payments Working Committee, to explore mobile and contactless payment opportunities and challenges, identify solutions, and share guidance and best practice. The Forum says it also plans to address issues including tokenization, card-not-present security solutions and encryption. “Our goal is to provide concrete, usable guidance to make new and emerging payment technologies a reality in the US,” says Forum director Randy Vanderhoof. The committee will hold its first working session on December 8.

    Amex cardholders to redeem loyalty points at pharmacy chain

    November 15th, 2016

    American Express cardholders will soon be able to redeem Membership Rewards points at Rite Aid, the first US pharmacy chain to formalise such a deal with the financial services company. Customers will be prompted to use points for their purchases after they swipe, tap or insert a Membership Rewards-enrolled American Express card in-store.

    IBM in blockchain project with Singapore fintech startup

    November 15th, 2016

    IBM has announced a blockchain project with Singapore fintech startup KYCK! to enable the financial services provider to create new customer accounts more quickly and securely. Using the open source Hyperledger Project Fabric, KYCK! intends to provide brokerages a platform with video conferencing and encrypted document submission capabilities. “We have seen how blockchain can improve operational efficiency, increase transparency and reduce transaction risks,” says Darryl Tan, co-founder of KYCK!.

    Indonesian mobile wallet joins with blockchain money transfer network

    November 15th, 2016

    Hong Kong-based blockchain money transfer network OKLink has teamed up with Doku, an Indonesian mobile wallet, to provide customers with cheap, real-time money transfers. The Doku Wallet allows consumers to top up their account via an ATM, through cash at convenience stores, or by linking it with a credit card. OKLink announced last month that it will subsidise all fees on the first US$100,000 of cross-border transfers for every partner on the OKLink network, up to a total of US$100m.

    More than 1bn Alipay payments made on Singles’ Day

    November 15th, 2016

    More than one billion online and offline transactions were made through Alipay at this year’s Singles’ Day Shopping Gala, an increase of 48% from 2015, with the peak number of transactions standing at 120,000 in a single second. Gross merchandise volume (GMV) through the mobile payments platform was US$14.6bn, about 82% of total GMV, compared to 69% last year “Peak transactions enabled with banks around the world were 54,000 transactions per second, two times last year’s peak,” Alipay parent company Ant Financial says.

    Seqr launches P2P payments in 14 European countries

    November 15th, 2016

    Swedish mobile payments specialist SeamlessSeqr mobile payment platform has launched a P2P money transfer service that enables users to instantly transfer money to each other “regardless of where they are in the world”, the company says. The service is being rolled out to 14 countries across Europe: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

    Top marks for palm-vein biometric solution

    November 14th, 2016

    Fintech firm Fiserv has collaborated with Gesa Credit Union in the US to introduce palm-vein biometric authentication into Fiserv’s DNA account processing platform — the first palm-vein authentication solution implemented by a US financial institution. The companies found the Verifast solution reduced the time it takes to authenticate a member in the branch by 93% and was given top marks by 99.9% of Gesa members on both the registration process and ease of use.

    Global NFC market to reach US$47.43bn

    November 14th, 2016

    The global NFC market is expected to reach US$47.43bn by 2024, according to a new report by Grand View Research. The industry is poised for “unprecedented growth”, it says, with Asia Pacific expected to remain the key revenue generating region, accounting for over 20% share in 2015. NFC tags and readers are expected to portray highest growth over the forecast period, the report adds, due to the high demand for mobile payments and access control.

    R3 develops KYC registry using blockchain

    November 14th, 2016

    Blockchain consortium R3 and 10 of its member banks have developed a proof-of-concept Know Your Customer (KYC) registry using distributed ledger technology to address the “challenges associated with satisfying regulatory requirements” and allowing identities to be managed by their owners. “The project simulated establishing the identity of both a legal entity and an individual using KYC data and identity attestations by third-parties,” International Business Times reports.

    Montreal to get NFC transport payments

    November 14th, 2016

    Some 100 employees of Montreal’s public transit network STM are beta-testing a service that will enable commuters on the Metro to pay using their NFC smartphones. “The first phase of testing has gone well over the last two weeks but the application won’t be immediately available to the public,” CBC reports. “There are adjustments that would need to be made such as ensuring the application is available on all smartphones, since it only currently works on Android devices.”

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