Sunday 23 October 2016 | RSS


    Archive: News in brief

    Japanese bank to roll out palm vein ID

    September 15th, 2016

    Customers of Japan’s Ogaki Kyoritsu Bank will soon be able to access services by using their palms for authentication. “The bank plans to install its palm scanning equipment at the counters of all its approximately 160 branches from next spring,” The Asahi Shimbun reports. “The expansion will cover almost all over-the-counter services, including purchases and cancellation of investment trust funds.” The bank developed the palm vein biometric identification system in 2012, but it has so far been limited to select ATMs.

    NFC Forum agrees key markets promotions

    September 15th, 2016

    The NFC Forum has signed agreements with the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC), the FIDO Alliance and the Smart Ticketing Alliance to collaborate on projects that will “advance the adoption and usability of NFC in key markets and technology sectors” including automotive, public transportation and digital identity. “All of the collaborations are focused on educating the market, unleashing innovation and removing barriers to interoperability,” the organisation says.

    Apple Pay introduces payments on the web

    September 14th, 2016

    Apple Pay is now available for payments on the web following the release of the company’s latest iOS 10 operating system, allowing users to make online purchases using a ‘Pay with Apple Pay’ button. “Shopping online is now faster, safer and more private than ever,” Apple says. “Just browse, then pay in your browser.” The company announced its plans to launch Apple Pay on the web at its Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June 2016.

    More UK banks sign up for Android Pay

    September 14th, 2016

    UK banks Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest and Ulster Bank now support Android Pay. “TSB customers will also soon be able to add their cards to Android Pay, with a roll out planned this month,” Google says. Android Pay launched in the UK in May 2016. TSB announced in July that it would support the mobile payment platform from the fourth quarter of this year.

    Ant Financial acquires EyeVerify

    September 14th, 2016

    Alipay parent company Ant Financial has acquired biometric provider EyeVerify. “Earlier this year, Ant Financial and EyeVerify entered into a licensing agreement in which Eyeprint ID was integrated into Ant Financial’s payment authentication platform,” Ant Financial says. The acquisition will allow the company’s Eyeprint ID technology to be integrated into more Ant Financial products and “secure hundreds of millions of consumers’ online data and transactions”. Eyeprint ID works by capturing an image of an eye and matching the unique vein pattern to verify identity. The acquisition cost $100m, Fortune reports.

    Plastic £5 notes enter circulation in the UK

    September 13th, 2016

    The Bank of England has begun rolling out plastic £5 (US$6.59) notes across the UK. The new fiver is made from polymer, a flexible plastic material, and features Sir Winston Churchill. “The new fiver is the first of the Bank of England’s new series of polymer notes, with the £10 (US$13.17) and £20 (US$26.34) notes to be replaced with polymer designs over the coming years,” the BofE says. Paper £5 notes will cease to be legal tender in May 2017.

    NAB PayTag NFC stickers introduced

    September 13th, 2016

    National Australia Bank is making its new NFC payments method available to customers this week. NAB PayTag is a sticker “which can be attached to mobile devices to enable contactless payments linked to a customer’s Visa debit card,” NAB says. The bank is also releasing an updated mobile banking app later this year that will allow customers to use newly approved personal Visa credit cards directly through NAB Pay without having to wait for the physical card to arrive in the mail.

    Mastercard reports strong US EMV uptake

    September 13th, 2016

    Nearly nine in ten Mastercard US consumer credit cards (88%) contained chips as of July 2016, representing a 105% increase in chip card adoption since the October 2015 liability shift, the payment network has revealed. “The company also sees 2m chip-active merchant locations on its network, a 468% increase in chip terminal adoption since 1 October 2015,” Mastercard says. “Two million merchants represent 33% of all US merchants.”

    Ecobank Masterpass QR launches in Nigeria

    September 12th, 2016

    Ecobank customers in Nigeria will soon be able to make in-store payments by scanning a QR code using their mobile phone or entering a merchant identifier into their feature phone. The bank has worked with Mastercard to launch the Ecobank Masterpass QR service, an enhancement to the Masterpass digital payment platform. It will enable “millions of micro, small and medium enterprises in Nigeria to accept fast and secure digital payments from consumers for the first time,” Mastercard says. Ecobank plans to introduce Ecobank Masterpass QR to 34 other markets.

    Amex enables loyalty points for purchases

    September 9th, 2016

    American Express Canada is enabling cardmembers to use rewards points to pay for purchases charged to their card. “To use points for purchases, eligible cardmembers login to their account, either through the mobile app or online, and simply click to view recent charges,” American Express says. “To select eligible transactions, they simply click ‘use points for purchases’. Once membership rewards points are used, cardmembers will get a credit applied to their account within 48 hours.”

    Cardiff Blues fans get BLE beacon messages

    September 9th, 2016

    Fans of Welsh rugby union club Cardiff Blues can now receive personalized messages and coupons on their mobile phone through Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons installed at the team’s stadium. The beacons will initially be used to deliver welcome messages, discount coupons and reminders to vote for the fans’ man of the match. GCell provided the devices which work in conjunction with the Cardiff Blues mobile app.

    Venmo to get NFC mobile payments

    September 9th, 2016

    The PayPal-owned Venmo mobile payments app may soon allow users to make in-store purchases using NFC. PayPal is also adding NFC mobile payments to its PayPal Wallet through an agreement reached with Visa in July 2016 and the Mastercard deal announced this week. “Venmo and its parent company, PayPal, are adding in-store payments to their mobile apps in the first half of 2017,” Quartz reports. “Jim Magats, PayPal’s head of global core payments, tells Quartz that PayPal is in discussions with Apple to see how they can work together in the future.”

    Worldwide card payments on the rise

    September 8th, 2016

    The total number of global card purchases increased by 15% in 2015 to 270bn, almost double the 8% rise in card numbers, RBR’s Global Payment Cards Data and Forecasts to 2021 reveals. “The number of card payments worldwide is projected to rise by 55% between 2015 and 2021 to reach 417bn. This compares to growth of 28% in card numbers over the same period,” the firm says. “The research indicates that consumers around the world are increasingly turning to cards to make purchases.”

    Mastercard reports on Masterpass uptake

    September 8th, 2016

    Digital payments platform Masterpass has been available to 200m consumers in Europe as of the end of June 2016. “40 major issuers across 18 countries in Europe are now using Masterpass to integrate digital payments into their services,” Mastercard says. The company unveiled an enhanced version of Masterpass in July 2016 to enable in-store NFC mobile purchases through the platform.

    Apple Pay heads to New Zealand and Russia

    September 8th, 2016

    Apple Pay is preparing to launch in New Zealand with support from ANZ Bank New Zealand. “The payment system will work with Visa credit and debit cards issued by ANZ,” Stuff reports. “A release date has not been announced, but it is expected to arrive before the end of the year.” The service is also expected to launch in Russia, according to AppleInsider. A start date has not yet been announced. Apple Pay will arrive in Japan with Sony FeliCa technology next month.

    Android Pay heads to the web

    September 8th, 2016

    Android Pay will soon be available as a checkout option on mobile websites. “Users will soon be able to speed through mobile checkout on Chrome using Android Pay on sites like, and many more to come,” Google writes. The service now also works for Chase members, following reports in August 2016 that the bank was planning to add Android Pay support. Google enhanced its APIs to take Android Pay to the web in May this year.

    Apple continues NFC support

    September 7th, 2016

    Apple’s new flagship smartphones — the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus — as well as its second generation wearables range — the Apple Watch Series 2 — will carry support for Apple Pay. Devices sold specifically in Japan will include support for Sony FeliCa technology to enable Apple Pay purchases when the service launches in the country next month.

    South Korea plans contactless authentication

    September 7th, 2016

    The South Korean government is set to approve a service that will enable consumers to authenticate mobile payments by tapping a contactless card on the back of their NFC phone. “Last week, the government notified the relevant firms,” Yonhap News Agency reports. During this initial stage “only users who have credit cards issued by South Korean firms can access the new authentication system. Commercial service is expected to begin late this year.”

    Gemalto explores NFC success factors

    September 7th, 2016

    PARTNER NEWS: Digital security giant Gemalto has published a new web page exploring the five key success factors for mobile NFC deployments. “By assessing how we are able to help our customers define and implement their NFC strategies worldwide, and by analyzing various mobile NFC roll outs around the globe, we have found that the same systematic approach is common to all successful large-scale NFC deployments,” the company writes.

    Visa Checkout coming to Braintree merchants

    September 7th, 2016

    Visa Checkout will soon be offered as a service for US retailers using the PayPal-owned Braintree payments platform. “Visa Checkout will be available to US merchants through Braintree’s SDK in early 2017,” PayPal says. “Visa Checkout now has more than 14m consumer accounts. Hundreds of thousands of merchants and more than 900 financial institution partners now offer Visa Checkout in 16 countries around the world; expansion into five additional European countries and India will take place by the end of 2016.”

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