Thursday 26 November 2015 | RSS


    Archive: News in brief

    Pebble Time watches get contactless payment straps

    November 13th, 2015

    Wearable payments provider FitPay and connected watch maker Connectedevice have developed a smartstrap for the Pebble Time range of smartwatches that lets wearers make NFC payments. “Pagaré will use NFC technology combined with card network tokenization to interact with POS terminals at retail locations,” Fit Pay says. “Pagaré will leverage Fit Pay’s Trusted Payment Manager (TM) platform, which enables contactless payment capabilities on a wide range of wearable devices.”

    Westpac lets customers activate cards via mobile

    November 12th, 2015

    Westpac customers in Australia can now switch on new credit or debit cards using their smartphone’s camera and the bank’s mobile banking app. “The innovative feature activates the card in three simple steps by prompting customers to scan their card, confirm the card details captured are correct and tap to activate,” the bank says. “The new feature is a timesaver for our customers who can activate their card when and where it suits them.”

    Tencent reports 200m mobile payment users

    November 12th, 2015

    More than 200 million customers have bound their bank cards to internet giant Tencent’s QQ Wallet and Weixin Pay mobile payment platforms, the company has revealed — but supporting them is proving costly. “As we enrich payment scenarios and invest in initiatives to deepen users’ mobile payment habit, we are incurring significant bank handling fees on the C2C money transfers which we offer to users largely for free,” Tencent says. “We believe such cost represents a worthwhile investment for the future.”

    Apple doesn’t want to be a bank, says CEO

    November 12th, 2015

    “Nobody wants to become a bank any more and we don’t want to become a bank,” Apple CEO Tim Cook has told the University Philosophical Society at Trinity College, Dublin during a visit this week, Ireland’s Independent newspaper reports. Cook also hinted that Ireland will soon get Apple Pay and said: “Your kids will not know what money is.”

    India’s Paytm moves into banking

    November 12th, 2015

    Indian mobile wallet provider Paytm is to hire 3,000 people to roll out its payments bank services by the first quarter of next year. “The structure of the executive committee for the payments bank is being given shape, while Paytm awaits a final nod from the Reserve Bank of India,” The Times of India reports. The company agreed a “strategic investment” from Alibaba and its affiliate Ant Financial in September.

    Noor Bank offers wearable payments in Dubai

    November 12th, 2015

    UAE’s Noor Bank and Yvolv, a joint venture between Alibaba and Dubai holding company Meraas, have introduced Yvo, a mobile app that allows users to make in-store payments using mobile phones and wristbands. “Users will have an option to top-up their Yvo Mobile Wallet using cash, their existing credit cards, direct bank account transfers or by transferring funds from one wallet to another,” Emirates news agency WAM reports.

    Samsung Pay offers $50 to new users

    November 12th, 2015

    Samsung is offering a US$50 rebate to new users who add a card to Samsung Pay. “Now for a limited time only, activate Samsung Pay on your Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+ or Note 5 with your Samsung account ID and register a qualifying card with Samsung Pay and receive a $50 rebate after filling out the online claim form,” the company says. The offer expires on November 19.

    Apple to add P2P payments to Apple Pay?

    November 12th, 2015

    Apple is reportedly holding discussions with US banks about developing a payment service that would let users send money to one another from their phones through Apple Pay. “The talks with banks are continuing and it is unclear if any of the firms have struck an agreement with Apple,” The Wall Street Journal reports. “Key details remain in flux, including technical aspects that would determine how the service would tie into the banking industry’s existing infrastructure.”

    Israeli bank adds NFC ATMs

    November 12th, 2015

    Customers of Israel’s Bank Hapoalim can now withdraw cash from ATMs using their NFC mobile phones at the bank’s newly opened digital branch. “Customers can open their app, pick an amount to withdraw and even select what denominations of banknotes they want even before they leave the house,” The Jerusalem Post reports. “When they pass the ATM, they use the same no-contact technology behind Apple Pay and Google Wallet to retrieve their cash.”

    NFC glucose meter launches

    November 12th, 2015

    Medical products provider Nurse Rosie Products has begun offering an NFC glucose meter that lets diabetics access their blood glucose reading by tapping the meter against their NFC device. “Rosie SmartMeter can be equipped with or without NFC technology which allows for your meter to communicate with NFC-enabled devices just by touching them with your meter,” the company says.

    86% of TMG clients to offer Samsung Pay and Android Pay

    November 11th, 2015

    Nearly nine in ten (86%) financial institution clients of The Members Group (TMG) plan to make Samsung Pay and Android Pay available to their customers. 75% are live or have a project underway with Apple Pay. “54% surveyed expected Samsung Pay to be more attractive to their cardholders; 40% answered Apple Pay,” TMG says. “From January to October of this year, the number of Apple Pay transactions processed by TMG increased by a factor greater than 10.”

    Shopkick installs BLE beacons to reward Vanity customers

    November 10th, 2015

    Users of mobile marketing app Shopkick can now earn rewards via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons every time they walk into one of fashion retailer Vanity’s 150 US stores. “Shopkick will install two shopBeacon devices in every Vanity store,” Shopkick says. “One at the front door to reward customers for the simple act of coming into the store and another at the dressing rooms to share unique messages with shoppers.”

    Biometrics for financial services to be worth US$657m by 2019

    November 10th, 2015

    The market value of biometric identification for financial services applications will increase from US$123m in 2015 to US$657m in 2019, research from TrendForce predicts. “The significant growth is mainly driven by innovations within the global finance industry,” the company says. “Among regions, Asia Pacific has the largest growth potential, followed by Europe.”

    Vodafone installs NFC touchpoints in 84 UK stores

    November 10th, 2015

    Vodafone customers can now tap their phone against NFC touchpoints in 84 UK stores to access the Vodafone Start mobile hub. “Your phone will whisk you straight to Vodafone Start, where you can check out your monthly usage allowance with the My Vodafone app, take a detailed look at our 4GEntertainment packs, set up your Vodafone Wallet, top-up and even keep tabs on your Vodafone Broadband,” the company says.

    Samsung Pay to add P2P payments?

    November 9th, 2015

    Korean startup Hankook NFC has reportedly applied for a patent for a hardware module that would allow consumers to use Samsung Pay to transfer money between devices and pay with a credit card. “Once the module is installed, smartphones can be used as mobile credit card payment terminals,” Business Korea reports. “When you order some food for delivery or go to a gas station, you can pay for food or gas with your smartphone without any wireless credit card payment devices.”

    Credit card networks in “standoff” with Apple in Canada

    November 9th, 2015

    Apple’s decision to launch Apple Pay in Canada with just the support of American Express “had less to do with Apple’s strategy for entering Canada specifically, and more to do with a global push that aims to negotiate by credit-card network rather than bank by bank,” a source has told The Globe and Mail. “Sources familiar with the negotiations say the most pointed standoff was between Apple and credit-card companies,” the newspaper says. “Rather than allowing negotiations with multiple parties to drag on, Apple decided to partner solely with American Express Co, which will help the company stick to its rumoured timeline of a November rollout in Canada.”

    Dutch consumers to access websites with banking credentials

    November 6th, 2015

    Dutch consumers may soon be able to access commercial and government websites using their online banking credentials. “Consumers give their express consent to their bank for providing the data necessary to identify themselves to an organisation,” the Dutch Payments Association says. “They thus maintain full control over what data is provided to any party.” A pilot will take place next year.

    Lisnr raises US$10m for sound-based proximity communication technology

    November 6th, 2015

    US startup Lisnr has secured US$10m in Series B funding for a technology that uses inaudible sound waves called SmartTones to connect devices. “It works like existing technology protocol Bluetooth, except Lisnr uses sound waves and does not require hardware or maintenance,” the company says. It is also working on making Lisnr the “go-to” technology for powering contactless payments, CEO Rodney Williams told TechCrunch.

    UK banks warn against storing multiple fingerprints on iPhones

    November 6th, 2015

    UK banks have reportedly warned Apple Pay users that if they store other people’s fingerprints on their iPhones, they will be treated as if they have failed to keep their personal details safe. “This means the bank can decline to refund disputed transactions or refuse to help where customers claim they have been victims of fraud,”  The Telegraph reports. “This is because Touch ID works to unlock phones as well as authorise payments through Apple Pay.”

    Mumbai airport launches augmented reality and BLE beacon app

    November 6th, 2015

    Passengers at Mumbai’s GVK Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) can now navigate through Terminal 2 using a mobile app and interactive maps based on augmented reality and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons. “The app works on an innovative platform developed on the combination of Indoor Atlas and iBeacon technologies that creates magnetically modelled maps and provides location-based information,” CSIA says.

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