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Archive: News in brief

Swatch to launch NFC smartwatch

February 6th, 2015

Swiss watchmaker Swatch Group is to launch a smartwatch that includes NFC and mobile payments capabilities and works with both Android and Windows phones, CEO Nick Hayek has told Bloomberg. “Swatch is in talks with retailers on its payment system, Hayek said, without naming them. The device will enter the market in two to three months.” Last month, Swiss supermarket chain Migros was reported to be working on a mobile payments service that would work in its own locations as well as other stores.

Du backs Beam QR wallet

February 5th, 2015

Mobile network operator Du has formed a partnership with mobile payment service Beam Wallet and Majid Al Futtaim Ventures to promote Beam’s QR code solution to retailers and petrol stations across Dubai. The aim is to gain adoption in 5,000 locations by the end of this year. “Beam Wallet is currently used by more than 100,000 users and available in 1,200 retail and dining outlets,” Gulf News reports.

Apple Pay now live at more than 60 banks

February 5th, 2015

Apple has added more than a dozen new banks to its list of institutions that now support Apple Pay, bringing the total count to more than 60, 9to5mac reports. MasterCard has also announced that cardholders with a consumer credit or debit card from Becu, Fifth Third, First Niagara and Huntington National Bank can now add their cards to the payment service.

NFC security strategies: webinar slides now available

February 5th, 2015

The slides from NFC World’s recent Evaluating NFC Security Strategies webinar are now available in the NFC World Knowledge Centre. A recording of the hour-long presentation, in which speakers from SIMalliance and Enstream explain how to select the right security strategy for your NFC service, is also available.

PayPal curtails in-store ambitions

February 4th, 2015

The team working on PayPals move into in-store payments has been among the hardest hit by layoffs across parent Ebay Incs three divisions, Re/code reports, adding that “PayPal’s in-store initiatives, which includes mobile payments and a credit card reader called PayPal Here, have largely been viewed as big disappointments inside the company.  Don Kingsborough, PayPals head of retail and prepaid products, has also left the company, Re/Code adds.

Visa Europe to invest in digital payments

February 3rd, 2015

Visa Europe is to invest more than €200m a year in new payments technologies to accelerate the growth of digital payments, the payments network has announced. The aim, says CEO Nicolas Huss, is to “further eat away at the 70% of transactions that are still settled in cash in Europe.”

Snapchat adopts QR friending

February 3rd, 2015

Photo messaging platform Snapchat is letting users add friends to their social network by scanning Snaptags, unique QR codes assigned to each user. “Leaked emails from the Sony hack revealed SnapChat quietly acquired a QR code startup called Scan.me late last year,” TechCrunch reports. “Now it makes sense why Snapchat would want to pay $50m for Scan.me, which built a system to connect QR codes to people’s identities.”

One in three Millennials to use a mobile wallet in 2015

February 3rd, 2015

5% of US consumers currently use a mobile wallet and 18% intend to use one in the next year, credit scorer Fico’s “Millennial Banking Insights and Opportunity” survey has found, with the percentage rising to 32% among Millennials — defined as those born between 1980 and 1994. 21% of respondents said they currently use an alternative payment service like Venmo or PayPal and 39% expect to use one in the next year.

ATM operators report on EMV readiness

February 3rd, 2015

More than six in ten (61%) US ATM operators expect “the vast majority” of their network will be capable of handling EMV transactions by the end of 2016, the ATM Industry Association has revealed. “As of the end of 2014, 65% of respondents report having at least one ATM capable of handling EMV transactions,” the survey found.

Kaspersky debuts secure QR scanner

February 3rd, 2015

Antivirus and security software provider Kaspersky Lab has launched Kaspersky QR Scanner, an app that warns users of potentially dangerous links within QR codes when they scan with their mobile device. “If the code is valid, the scanner will open the page,” the company explains. “If the link leads to a phishing or a malicious site, the user receives a warning notification.”

St Petersburg Metro to go contactless

February 3rd, 2015

Commuters in St Petersburg, Russia will soon be able to pay their metro fares by tapping either a contactless card or an NFC device at turnstiles equipped with MasterPass technology. The service is to be rolled out through a partnership between MasterCard, the city’s administration, St Petersburg Metro and Bank Saint Petersburg.

NJ Transit expands mobile ticketing app

February 2nd, 2015

NJ Transit has expanded availability of its MyTix mobile ticketing app to interstate routes between New Jersey and New York City after launching in South Jersey last year. To use MyTix customers install the app and create an account before purchasing their monthly pass. “Customers then simply display the monthly pass on their mobile device to the bus operator when boarding the bus,” NJ Transit says.

Dynamic mag stripe card Swyp goes on pre-order

February 2nd, 2015

Start-up Qvivr has begun taking pre-orders for Swyp, a US$49 dynamic magnetic stripe card that uses Bluetooth LE, incorporates buttons and a display and works in conjunction with a smartphone app to emulate up to 25 credit, debit, gift or loyalty cards. Swyp also uses “sophisticated algorithms”, the team says, to learn “from your behaviours, patterns and surroundings to predict your next purchase decision.”

One in four online transactions are now mobile

January 30th, 2015

Over a quarter (25.8%) of the world’s online transactions now take place on a mobile device, up from 23.3% in the third quarter of 2014 and 37% up on the 18.8% recorded in the fourth quarter of 2013, Adyen’s quarterly Mobile Payments Index has revealed. “December showed the highest proportion of mobile payments at 26.6%, followed closely by November at 26.1%,” the study found.

Norwegian carriers pick Amdocs for mobile payments

January 30th, 2015

Strex, the mobile payments joint venture between Norwegian carriers Telenor, TeliaSonera and Tele2, has selected software and services provider Amdocs’ Mobile Financial Services solution to “consolidate the operators’ multiple SMS-based payment systems into one” mobile wallet. Strex will now be able to offer users a single solution to pay for digital and physical goods or services, send money and pay bills using “either SMS, web, USSD or via a mobile app,” Amdocs says.

MassDOT tests mobile tickets

January 30th, 2015

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has begun a pilot test of BusPlus, a mobile ticketing service developed by Bytemark that provides customers of intercity private bus operators the ability to purchase and store transit passes on their mobile devices. “To use passes, riders simply show their smartphone screen to bus operators or scan the on-screen barcode upon boarding,” MassDot explains.

Gmail sends money in the UK

January 29th, 2015

Google is expanding availability of its Send Money in Gmail service, enabling users in the UK to send money to friends and family from within their Gmail account. “We’re rolling out this feature over the coming weeks to all UK Gmail users over 18 years old, so keep an eye out for the £ icon in the attachment options,” Google says.

USAT adds support for Apple Pay

January 28th, 2015

Cashless vending machine technology provider USA Technologies (USAT) has announced that it has added support for Apple Pay. “This immediately adds approximately 200,000 Apple Pay acceptance points, bringing the advanced mobile payments service to owners and operators of coffee brewers, vending machines, kiosks, laundry equipment, parking pay stations and other self-serve appliances,” the company says.

Samsung Pay to launch at MWC?

January 27th, 2015

Samsung Pay, “a payment feature which works with magnetic and NFC terminals” will ship with the Korean phone maker’s forthcoming Galaxy S6 mobile phone, BGR reports, citing a “trusted source”. The device is expected to be unveiled during Mobile World Congress 2015 while the mobile payment service is expected to use technology developed by US startup LoopPay to enable payments to be made at both contactless and magnetic stripe-based POS terminals.

Schoolboys protect Macs with Touch ID

January 27th, 2015

Two Dutch schoolboys have developed KeyTouch, an app that uses Apple’s Touch ID technology to protect access to Mac computers. “Apple fans who happen to own Touch ID-enabled iPhone and iPad models can use the app to unlock and lock their Macs as long as their OS X computers have Bluetooth 4.0 LE support and are running the KeyTouch companion app,” BGR reports.

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