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Archive: News in brief

Affirm updates credit scoring

June 10th, 2014

PayPal co-founder Max Levchin has raised US$45m for Affirm, a startup that lets retailers offer a credit option to online shoppers. The company “calculates the risk of borrowers based on a range of personal data including information gleaned from social media profiles as well as the cost of the items being purchased,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “It then determines what rate and structured payment makes sense to offer the customer.”

Windows Phone to get motion interface?

June 10th, 2014

Microsoft is to add “Kinect-like features” to Windows Phone devices later this year, “sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans” have told The Verge. “At least one device, codenamed McLaren, will debut on a range of US carriers later this year with features that let you hover your finger over the screen to interact with games and applications without ever touching the display.”

Just Eat adds NFC window stickers

June 10th, 2014

Restaurants using UK online takeaway ordering service Just Eat are being provided with digital window stickers that promote the availability of the service. The stickers, supplied by RapidNFC, include an NFC tag and a QR code that let customers download the Just Eat mobile app with a tap or scan of their mobile phone.

OSPT updates Cipurse

June 10th, 2014

Version 2, revision 2 of the Cipurse open ticketing standard has been published by the OSPT Alliance. The update “will enable an application based on a Cipurse standard – such as transit, ticketing or access control – to be recognized more quickly by the reader in the terminal,” the alliance says.

HID to demo BLE for access control

June 10th, 2014

HID Global is to show a version of its Seos digital keys platform that works with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) at IFSEC 2014 next week. Seos enables NFC phones to be used to replace mechanical keys and access cards in homes, hotels, offices, hospitals, universities and commercial buildings.

China Telecom picks Gemalto NFC SIMs

June 10th, 2014

Gemalto is among the suppliers selected by China Telecom to supply SIMs to support the rollout of NFC services to its 183 million subscribers. The carrier will be using Gemalto’s UpTeq Multi-Tenant NFC SIMs which come with embedded LTE management software, “enabling China Telecom subscribers to enjoy NFC services with the convenience and speed of mobile broadband”.

Bell ID and Aditium win awards

June 10th, 2014

Bell ID and Spanish ticketing specialist Aditium have picked up awards at a live pitch contest to identify ‘the next big thing’ in proximity. After a series of five-minute presentations, Bell ID’s Secure Element in the Cloud solution was chosen by a judging panel, while Aditium’s HCE-based Ticktrack ticketing solution won an audience vote. The contest was held as part of the NFCP Global Summit in London last week.

Hawaii gets iBeacon happy hours

June 6th, 2014

Happy Hour Pal, a Honolulu-based startup that lets businesses promote special offers to users of its mobile app, is using Bluetooth LE beacons and Apple’s iBeacon service to push happy hour offers to consumers, Pacific Business News reports. “Our team has already deployed beacons to restaurants and bars across the state,” says CEO Brandon Bennett.

iOS 8 to “read” credit cards

June 6th, 2014

Apple has included a new feature in iOS 8 that will allow shoppers to enter their payment details on an mcommerce site by simply scanning their credit card with the camera on their mobile device, 9to5Mac reports. iOS 8 will also leverage a range of device sensors to provide apps with precise indoor positioning data, the publication has discovered.

Square adds invoices

June 6th, 2014

Square has added invoicing to its Register service, allowing sellers to “get paid fast with free unlimited invoices and no monthly service fee”. Sellers can now accept payments in person, online in Square Market and through the new Square Invoices feature all “for the same low 2.75% transaction price”.

Moto Stream connects with NFC

June 6th, 2014

Motorola has launched a portable wireless adaptor to allow people to stream music from their mobile devices to their home stereo systems. Available now for US$49.99, Moto Stream supports NFC pairing and uses Bluetooth to connect up to five devices at once at a range of up to 300 feet. Watch the video here.

Amazon to unveil 3D smartphone?

June 5th, 2014

Amazon is holding a launch event on 18 June for a new product, expected to be its first smartphone. Leaks suggest the new phone will run a customized, Kindle version of Android, include an innovative 3D display and support a range of gesture-based inputs. A teaser video released by Amazon appears to back up the rumours of a new type of display.

CardFlight to add Touch ID to mPOS

June 5th, 2014

US mPOS provider CardFlight is to make use of Apple’s new Touch ID API to provide an extra level of security to merchants using its SwipeSimple service with an Apple iPhone. “Merchants will have the option to log in to their mobile payment application via scanning their fingerprint using Touch ID, rather than entering the traditional email address and password,” the company says.

iOS 8 to include location-based app promos

June 5th, 2014

The latest edition of Apple’s iOS operating system, unveiled at WWDC this week, will provide a way for apps relevant to a user’s location to be promoted on their iPhone home screen, MacRumours reports. Using Location Services, apps like the Apple Store and Starbucks are appearing when users are near one of their stores. Other users say they have seen apps they haven’t yet installed appear. Swiping on these take users to the location’s App Store page.

iKaaz takes mobile payments to Kenya

June 5th, 2014

Bangalore-based iKaaz is to expand its NFC payments platform to Kenya. Following its introduction to Nigeria earlier this year, the mobile payments provider has joined with Kenya’s Family Bank and local partner Edge financial systems to provide customers with Tap & Pay options in both retail and transport.

Watch Dogs gets NFC promo

June 3rd, 2014

Games publisher Ubisoft is promoting its latest title with a ‘tap to play’ competition in UK video game stores. Customers can tap an NFC touchpoint or scan a QR code at retailer Game for a chance to win a holiday in Chicago. The Watch Dogs promotion uses Proxama’s TapPoint marketing platform.

IEEE tests beacons

June 3rd, 2014

The IEEE is using Bluetooth beacons to guide visitors around the International Microwave Symposium being held this week in Tampa, Florida. Attendees running the show’s mobile apps for Android and iOS will be able to guide themselves through the RF and microwave historical exhibit and the Bluetooth Low Energy beacons will trigger descriptions of the artifacts being viewed.

Apple opens up Touch ID

June 3rd, 2014

The Touch ID fingerprint verification technology built into the iPhone 5S can now be used by third-party developers to secure their applications, Apple’s Craig Federighi announced at the company’s 2014 WorldWide Developers Conference (WWDC). A screenshot showing the technology integrated with money management service Mint’s iOS app was included in the presentation. More details are expected to be announced during a Touch ID session on 4 June.

Bitcoin gets Facebook transfers

May 29th, 2014

US startup QuickCoin is making it possible for Facebook users to send Bitcoins to friends from within the social networking platform. “Simply log in, find a friend, click send and they get Bitcoin,” the company says. “QuickCoin works on any device, is usable anywhere in the world and, best of all, QuickCoin transfers are instantaneous, regardless of time or day.”

Finnish banks call for real-time payments

May 29th, 2014

Finland’s banks are inviting proposals to replace their existing urgent payment system with a real-time system operating 24 hours a day, every day. Dubbed Pops, the current system was built in the early 1990s and is now “becoming obsolete”, says the Federation of Finnish Financial Services. The new system needs to cover at least the entire Sepa zone, and provide application-level acknowledgement of payments received by beneficiaries. Interested suppliers have until 12 September 2014 to submit ideas.

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