Thursday 20 October 2016 | RSS


    Archive: News in brief

    NFC transport payments to pilot in Adelaide

    September 5th, 2016

    Commuters in Adelaide, Australia will begin trialing NFC mobile and contactless card payments for transportation in 2017, according to tender documents issued by South Australia’s Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) and seen by ITNews. The pilot will run for three months on a “selected transport route for a controlled test group of users” with a view to a full public roll out.

    Rail operator to trial BLE payment

    September 5th, 2016

    UK railway operator Chiltern Railways is to pilot an automatic fare payment system to detect when a passenger boards a train and exits a station. The initiative will utilize smartphones and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons, the company confirmed to NFC World, and deduct fees from passenger bank accounts when journeys are completed. The trial is expected to begin in December 2016.

    Wirecard eases Alipay acceptance in Europe

    September 2nd, 2016

    German technology provider Wirecard has launched an app allowing European retailers to accept Alipay QR code mobile payments from Chinese tourists. “Retailers will soon be able to download the Scan Alipay iOS app from the app store,” Wirecard says. “An Android version will follow in the course of this year. The app will be taken up predominantly by catering establishments and clothing retailers.” Wirecard began rolling out support for Alipay mobile payments across Europe in December 2015. In June 2016 it was reported that Alipay is in talks to negotiate a 25% stake in Wirecard.

    MDM Bank launches HCE in Russia

    September 2nd, 2016

    Customers of Russia’s MDM Bank can now make host card emulation (HCE) based mobile payments using the bank’s mobile banking app. The service is currently available for Mastercard customers only and makes use of OpenWay’s Way4 HCE and tokenisation technology. “Using the MDM Bank mobile app, customers can now pay from their Mastercard account with no need to enter a PIN code or additional app password or even to activate the application before payment,” OpenWay says.

    ClearXChange to rebrand as Zelle

    September 1st, 2016

    Early Warning’s bank-led digital payments network ClearXChange is set to change its name to Zelle. “The banks plan to launch the new brand at a payments industry conference in October,” The Wall Street Journal reports. “The new name has been in the works for several months and could still change if last minute difficulties arise.” ClearXChange was made available to all member financial institutions in June 2015.

    MTS launches NFC mobile payments

    September 1st, 2016

    Customers of Russian mobile network operator MTS can now make NFC mobile payments using the carrier’s new MTS Money service, which enables users to upload virtual banking cards, public transport tickets and discount coupons. “MTS subscribers will be able to upload their MTS Money banking card into the app or register a new one without visiting MTS offices,” MTS says. “The balance of the card can be replenished directly through the app from the cards of other banks.”

    Sharp rise for Apple Pay and Android Pay

    September 1st, 2016

    Online and in-app purchases made via Apple Pay and Android Pay will reach US$8bn in 2018, up from $540m this year, Juniper Research predicts. “Staples, for example, has already reported that over 30% of its iOS app users make in-app purchases through Apple Pay,” the firm says. “Meanwhile, despite the continued contraction of the consumer tablet market, more than 85% of remote goods payments are forecast to be made using mobile devices in 2021.”

    Android Pay heads to Japan

    September 1st, 2016

    Google is collaborating with financial services giant Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group to launch its Android Pay mobile payment service in Japan this autumn. “Android Pay initially will incorporate debit cards issued by Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ,” Nikkei reports. “The digital wallet also will use credit cards issued by Mitsubishi UFJ Nicos by year’s end at the soonest. Google is negotiating with East Japan Railway Company, NTT Docomo, Rakuten, JCB and other Japanese digital money providers to make their reader systems compatible with Android Pay.”

    Oberthur unveils Flybuy wearables

    September 1st, 2016

    Oberthur Technologies (OT) has unveiled Flybuy, a range of devices that add NFC payments to existing wearables. The range includes a Flybuy Mini Fob — a very small contactless card with a boosted antenna that can be inserted into a wristband, keychain or specially adapted fitness tracker or watch — and a Flybuy Secure Element, allowing OEMs to be embedded directly at the manufacturing stage. “They can be used for payment but also for public transport and access control,” OT says.

    Gear S3 smartwatch comes with Samsung Pay

    September 1st, 2016

    Samsung has unveiled its latest smartwatch, the Samsung Gear S3, which includes support for Samsung Pay. “Now, Gear S3 users in select markets can use their smartwatch to make a purchase almost anywhere they can swipe or tap with Samsung Pay,” the company says. The mobile payment service launched in beta for Gear S2 watches in July 2016.

    ING Direct allows donations with Android Pay

    August 31st, 2016

    Australian bank ING Direct has begun supporting Android Pay and is donating $1 (US$0.75) to the Ability Mate charity every time someone makes a purchase using the service. “While our customers are using technology to make their lives easier, they will in turn be contributing towards an amazing technology platform that can make a huge difference in the lives of those living with disabilities or mobility issues,” says the bank’s John Arnott.

    Xiaomi to launch Mi Pay on 1 September

    August 31st, 2016

    Chinese handset maker Xiaomi will launch its Mi Pay NFC-based mobile payment service on 1 September, in collaboration with bankcard association China UnionPay. “It can be linked to credit cards and debit cards from 10 banks,” China Daily reports. “With Mi Pay, consumers can also use smartphones as transportation cards.” Xiaomi unveiled Mi Pay earlier this month, after reports emerged in April that the company was working with China UnionPay.

    ANZ adds Mastercard support to Apple Pay

    August 30th, 2016

    More than 500,000 customers of Australia’s ANZ bank can now add their Mastercard credit cards to Apple Pay. The bank went live with support for Visa cards in April 2016. Some 250,000 ANZ customers are now using the mobile payment service, according to the Australian Financial Review.

    Google Wallet gets automatic transfers

    August 30th, 2016

    An update to Google Wallet is adding support for automatic transfers to bank accounts. “Users will now be able to select a bank account or debit card for automatic transfers within the app or via the web,” TechCrunch reports. “Once enabled, you won’t have to manually cash out money from your Wallet balance — it will just automatically become available.” The update will begin rolling out gradually this week. Google relaunched Google Wallet as a P2P payment solution in September 2015.

    Coles backs Australian banks versus Apple

    August 30th, 2016

    Supermarket giant Coles is backing the group of Australian banks seeking power to “collectively negotiate” with third party mobile wallet providers. “We believe the ability to tailor solutions for customers and provide them with greater value should be the driver for customer choice and not a technical lockout,” says the retailer in a submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Earlier this month the ACCC ruled that it would not grant the banks interim authorization to collectively negotiate.


    Japanese bank eyes facial recognition

    August 25th, 2016

    Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) is exploring the use of a facial authentication system for customers to make payments. “SMFG aims to utilise users’ facial data as a means of verifying their credit cards or bank accounts,” The Japan News reports. “SMFG will begin trials at retail outlets as early as 2017 before developing it for practical use over several years after the trials.”

    IHG to accept Alipay in hotels worldwide

    August 25th, 2016

    Chinese tourists visiting hotels belonging to InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) will be able to settle their bill using Alipay in locations across the globe from 2017. “The new partnership, which has been agreed by Alipay’s parent company Ant Financial, will initially apply to IHG’s existing estate of more than 270 hotels in Greater China, as well as a number of hotels around the world that participate in IHG’s China Ready Programme,” Ant Financial says.

    JPMorgan Chase to support Android Pay

    August 24th, 2016

    US bank JPMorgan Chase is to support Android Pay from 7 September 2016, claims a leaked internal document seen by Android Police. “According to an anonymous Chase employee, Chase will begin supporting Google’s NFC-based payment system in just over two weeks,” the publication says. “This includes Chase consumer credit cards that are Visa-branded, both business and consumer debit cards and Chase Liquid cards.” The bank unveiled its own Chase Pay mobile payments service in October 2015.

    Apple Pay bank list grows

    August 24th, 2016

    Apple has added an additional 37 banks and credit unions to its list of Apple Pay supporting financial institutions in the US. The Bank of East Asia and Hong Kong Telekom’s (HKT) Tap & Go have also been added to the list for the Asia-Pacific region. “Both banks are incentivizing users to sign up with promotions rewarding users for repeated use of the service,” AppleInsider reports.

    Transport for NSW seeks bright ideas

    August 23rd, 2016

    Transport for New South Wales (NSW) has launched the Future Transport Beacon Innovation Challenge, asking for ideas from “tech savvy visionaries” to enable new use cases for a network of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons at Chatswood Station. “The best submissions will earn access to the trial beacon network from 10 October to 13 November,” Transport for NSW says. “If their concept is successful in trial, they will be invited to a live demo day to showcase their concepts to a panel of Transport for NSW leaders.”

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