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Archive: News in brief

McDonald’s adopts Softcard

October 28th, 2014

McDonald’s 14,000 restaurants and drive-thru locations across the US have begun accepting Android NFC mobile payments following a successful pilot program with carrier joint venture Softcard that began in 2013. The fast food chain is also accepting Apple Pay following the launch of the payment service last week.

Apple Pay and HCE to push NFC payments to more than 500m users

October 28th, 2014

There will be some 516m users of NFC mobile payment services by the end of 2019, up from 101m this year, thanks to the launch of Apple Pay and HCE, a forecast from Juniper Research has found. “We would envisage that while NFC deployments and consumer activity will be buoyed by these developments, the opportunities for network operator involvement are limited,” says author Dr Windsor Holden. “Hence, we are likely to see more operators re-evaluating their existing commitments to NFC and possibly withdrawing from the space.”

NFC tech included in iPad Mini 3

October 27th, 2014

Apple has included an NFC chip in its new iPad Mini 3, a teardown by iFixit has revealed. The NXP 65V10 NFC controller spotted by the team is the same part used in the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and the iPad Air 2.

Apple patent unlocks cars with BLE

October 27th, 2014

A recently published Apple patent hints that the company is working on future CarPlay functionality that would allow users to lock and unlock car doors, start engines and perform other tasks using their iOS device and geofence technology. The company’s iBeacon location system could also play a part in the service, the Accessory Control with Geo-fencing patent explains.

Ecocash tests NFC payments in Zimbabwe

October 27th, 2014

Mobile network Econet’s payment service Ecocash is piloting NFC payments in Zimbabwe with cards that let users pay by tapping against a custom merchant device, TechZim reports. “The card was being distributed to any willing signup at selected tertiary institutions which include University of Zimbabwe, Seke Teachers’ College and Belvedere Teachers’ College,” the publication says. “Some providers/merchants that have been opted into this pilot include public transport operators and a few other retail outlets which are likely going to be located at these tertiary institutions.”

Alipay demos biometrics for in-store payments

October 27th, 2014

Chinese online payments giant Alipay demonstrated Alipay Touch, a fingerprint biometric system for its mobile wallet app, at a conference in Beijing earlier this month. AliPay Touch allows users to make mobile payments through Alipay Wallet by swiping their finger, WSJ reports. The company is also working with startup Megvii to add facial recognition technology to the wallet for account creation and verification.

CBD launches bank branch in Facebook

October 27th, 2014

Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD) has launched a virtual bank branch for Facebook, letting its online banking customers check balances, pay credit card bills, transfer money between accounts and track expenses from within the social network. Customers need to link their online banking profile to their Facebook account and verify the setup using a one-time password sent to their mobile device to use the service.

Aston Club reaches 22,000 users

October 27th, 2014

Australian mobile payment startup Aston Club has revealed it has signed up more than 22,000 users since its launch last year and is now being accepted in over 260 hospitality venues across the country. The solution is integrated into a bar or restaurant’s point-of-sale system and lets customers set a tab limit within the mobile app and complete their purchase as they leave using their chosen credit card.

TCH plans real time payments

October 27th, 2014

The Clearing House (TCH) and its member banks are planning to build a real-time payment system in the US that will enable consumers and businesses to send and receive immediate payments directly from their accounts. “The digital economy moves in real time and our customers expect us to keep pace,” says chairman Richard Davis. “We will work with the industry to build a real-time payment infrastructure, which will enable consumers to pay and get paid securely and conveniently.”

Bookatable tests iBeacon at 119 restaurants

October 24th, 2014

Europe’s largest online restaurant booking website is testing Apple’s iBeacon location technology to send offers and menus to potential diners toting iPhones as they pass by a participating location. Bookatable has worked with American Express to install BLE beacons in 119 restaurants participating in the London Restaurant Festival, including Ping Pong, Spaghetti House, Villandry, Oxo Tower, Thai Square and STK London.

Apple Pay to launch in Korea?

October 24th, 2014

Apple is eyeing up the possibility of launching Apple Pay in Korea, Korea Bizwire reports. “It is reported that the American company inquired with the Financial Supervisory Service about the electronic payment business licensing and security suitability evaluation procedure,” the article says. “According to financial industry sources on October 20, officials from Apple Korea visited the financial regulator recently and asked about domestic registration of its new e-payment service Apple Pay.”

Amazon Rewards to join Apple Pay

October 24th, 2014

Amazon has confirmed to TechCrunch that its Rewards Visa Card, powered by Chase, is to support Apple Pay in the future and the company is already working on making this happen. “While Amazon has confirmed that it is working to bring Apple Pay to its credit card, there is no specific timeframe for that to happen at this point,” the article explains. Update: It’s now live.

Apple builds NFC tech into iPad Air 2

October 23rd, 2014

A teardown of the iPad Air 2 by iFixit has found that Apple has included an NXP 65V10 NFC module in the new tablet. The part is the same used to provide NFC functionality in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and its inclusion is a surprise as no mention of any NFC capability was made when the iPad Air 2 was announced last week.

Ecuador’s central bank plans national mobile wallet

October 22nd, 2014

Banco Central del Ecuador is to launch a mobile payments scheme to act as the national mobile wallet in the country, Payments Views reports. “The vision includes building out an ecosystem that includes P2P, top-up, B2B, cash in and cash out, in-store purchases and electronic receipts,” the article explains. “The plan is to link the mobile payment platform with the banking platform so that mobile accounts can receive funds from and send funds to bank accounts.”

Alipay Wallet hits 190m users

October 22nd, 2014

Alibaba-owned online payments giant Alipay’s Alipay Wallet app now has 190 million active users in China who use the solution to shop online via their smartphones, pay bills and pay for public transport. The company handles over 80m transactions daily, of which 45m are mobile transactions, and Alipay has partnered with more than 200 financial institutions.

Johnny Rockets puts tablets in 200 restaurants

October 21st, 2014

Hamburger restaurant chain Johnny Rockets is to roll out E la Carte’s tablet-based Presto platform to more than 200 locations in the US in November after a three month pilot that saw an 11.2% improvement in table turn time. The tabletop tablet lets customers place orders via the on-screen menu, add items to their cart and pay via a built-in credit card reader.

Acer Pay is on the way

October 21st, 2014

Taiwanese computer maker Acer is to join Apple and Samsung in introducing a payment service for users of its mobile phones and wearable devices, Want China Times reports. The company has partnered with fingerprint sensor provider Egis Technology to develop the cloud-based solution, stating that fingerprint recognition technology is expected to play a “critical part of authentication and making payments” with the service.

Beep’nGo hits 5m downloads

October 21st, 2014

Mobeam’s mobile coupon and offer app Beep’nGo has now surpassed five million downloads to compatible Android devices. “Beep’nGo aggregates coupons, loyalty cards and gift cards into one easy-to-use mobile application and, through its patented light technology, it allows all scanners at retail stores, including 1D laser scanners, to read the barcodes directly from the mobile screen without any hardware or software upgrades or manual input,” the company explains.

Newspaper tests BLE beacons

October 21st, 2014

Dutch newspaper publisher NDC Media is testing Bluetooth beacons with thirty shops in the town of Leeuwarden, Netherlands, to send offers to consumer smartphones running the Lightcurb mobile app. “The overarching goal is to connect shoppers and entrepreneurs together; this test is designed to gain experience,” NDC explains. The company is working with Lightcurb platform operator Snakeware for the pilot, which is scheduled to run until the end of 2014.

23% of Canadians have made a mobile payment

October 21st, 2014

Almost a quarter of Canadians (23%) have now made a mobile payment in-store with nearly a third (29%) having used their device to make an online purchase, new research from PayPal Canada has found. Nearly half (45%) of the respondents also agreed that Canadians are ready to embrace emerging methods of payments such as conducting a mobile payment via a wearable device.

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