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Archive: News in brief

Sharp includes fingerprint sensor in flagship smartphone

June 30th, 2015

Sharp is to include biometric provider Synaptics’ Natural ID fingerprint sensor in its latest flagship smartphone. “Aquos Zeta SH-03G complies with Fido’s latest industry standard, UAF 1.0, delivered through Synaptics’ Natural ID sensor, which utilizes unique technology to enable fingerprint authentication that can be done locally for increased data security,” Synaptics says.

US$2.7tn mobile wallet market by 2020

June 30th, 2015

The global market for mobile wallets will reach US$2.7tn by 2020, “driven by the proliferation of smartphones, tablets, mobile internet, strong governmental support for cashless transactions and the convenience offered by mobile payments,” Global Industry Analysts says. “Asia Pacific represents the largest market, with a CAGR of 33% over the analysis period,” it adds. “The retail sector represents the largest end-use for mobile wallets.”

Cale parking card readers to accept Apple Pay

June 30th, 2015

US parking payment systems provider Cale will offer contactless card readers that accept Apple Pay as well as other NFC mobile wallets in July. “Cale will offer the readers as a field upgrade option to its Cale WebTerminal (CWT) pay stations and as an option for new terminals manufactured after September 2015,” the company says. Cale has 15,000 terminals installed in more than 200 US cities.

Apple publishes UK contactless FAQ

June 29th, 2015

Apple has published an FAQ explaining how the contactless limit will work in the UK for Apple Pay transactions. “If your payment terminal or payment provider doesn’t support the latest network specifications, as with contactless debit and credit cards today, your customers might need to insert their card if the transaction amount is over £20,” explains Apple. The first retailers began implementing support for higher value mobile payments in autumn 2014.

PayPal set to float on 17 July

June 29th, 2015

Ebay’s board of directors has approved the completion of the separation of eBay and PayPal into two independent publicly traded companies. The split is expected to take place on 17 July 2015 and “will occur through a pro rata distribution of all of the stock of eBay’s subsidiary PayPal to eBay stockholders,” the company says. “Immediately following the distribution, PayPal will be an independent, publicly traded company.”

PayRange raises $12m for vending machine payments via Bluetooth

June 26th, 2015

Digital payments enabler PayRange has secured US$12m in Series A funding to drive mobile payment acceptance in the vending machine industry with a plug-in dongle called BluKey. “PayRange uses a small device which plugs into the back of the machine and a customer-side mobile app to enable any vending machine to accept all forms of payment,” the company says. The US$49 device uses Bluetooth Low Energy, says PayRange, and the prepaid app can be funded with both Apple Pay and Android Pay.

One in five Australians make in-store mobile payments

June 26th, 2015

Three in ten Australians plan to use their smartphone for all their digital money and financial needs by 2017 and one in five (17%) are already using their smartphones to make in-store payments, research from lender Fair Go Finance reveals. “50% would like to use biometrics instead of PIN codes by 2020,” the survey finds. “One in ten said they would use Facebook to transfer money to friends and family.”

Naver Pay launches in Korea

June 25th, 2015

Korean internet portal Naver has launched its mobile payments platform Naver Pay following an unveiling in March. “Naver said it has partnered with 14 local banks and credit card firms to provide the payment service and plans to add more,” Korea Herald reports. “Naver currently has 53,000 member stores that are contracted to provide customers with Naver Pay.”

SEQR prepares for summer UK launch

June 25th, 2015

Swedish firm Seamless is preparing to roll out its mobile payments solution SEQR in the UK, with the first merchants expected to begin using the service at the end of the summer. The move follows the platform’s launch in the US earlier this month. “The UK will also be the first country in which SEQR will offer a prepaid account to process payments,” Seamless says.

$4bn mobile money transfer revenue by 2018

June 24th, 2015

Revenue from mobile money transfer services will hit US$2bn this year, doubling to $4bn by 2018, Juniper Research says, citing Africa as the market leader. “Several African mobile operators are now generating more than 10% of their revenues from mobile money,” it adds. “Safaricom’s M-Pesa service [in Kenya] recorded mobile money revenues of more than $330m in the latest financial year.”

OceanFirst Bank adds Touch ID

June 24th, 2015

OceanFirst Bank is working with digital banking provider Digital Insight to begin offering Touch ID functionality within its mobile banking app. “We believe OceanFirst Bank customers appreciate having a variety of choices for ways to meet their banking needs, and we are pleased to provide the Touch ID option to our mobile banking clients for fast and secure access to their accounts,” says the US bank’s Joseph R Iantosca.

India offers tax break for electronic payments?

June 24th, 2015

Merchants in India accepting electronic payments could be offered a tax rebate, a government proposal suggests. Fees for cash handling could increase, meanwhile, as part of an effort to encourage electronic payments, defined as those done “through means of cards, mobile wallets, mobile apps, new banking, Electronic Clearing Service (ECS), National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT), Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) or other similar means”.

Google files item pairing patent

June 23rd, 2015

A new Google patent details a system to allow the pairing of items such as keys or a wallet with a mobile device to alert a person when they are about to leave the house without one of the items. “The monitoring device monitors the presence of items in its vicinity using a short-range wireless communication or sensing technology such as NFC, Bluetooth, RuBee, RFID or any other method of wireless communication or sensing,” the patent says.

Beacons link in Cannes Lions contacts

June 23rd, 2015

Visitors to this year’s Cannes Lions event will be notified when one of their LinkedIn contacts is nearby or when they have signed up for the same sessions as a favourite via beacons installed by Eventbase. “When attendees from the same LinkedIn network are in the vicinity, icebreaker messages will prompt you to instigate conversations with delegates with similar interests,” Eventbase says.

Kiev subway goes contactless

June 23rd, 2015

The Ukrainian capital of Kiev has become the fifth city in the world, after London, St Petersburg, Chicago and Bucharest, to allow fares to be paid with open loop contactless cards. Transport operator Kyivsky Metropoliten has installed contactless turnstiles equipped with MasterCard PayPass technology in 17 stations across the subway in partnership with Oshchadbank.

Almost one in ten have made in-store mobile wallet payments

June 22nd, 2015

Some 8% of global mobile users have made an in-store mobile wallet payment either using NFC or via an app in the last six months, research from trade body Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF) and Wirecard has revealed. “Another 7% paid using a merchant’s plug and pay or mpos device and 5% said they paid via a mobile loyalty card scheme,” the research finds. 36% cite lack of trust as the main reason for not using a mobile wallet, 18% don’t know what a mobile wallet is and 15% “don’t see the point.”

40 Adelaide venues install beacons

June 22nd, 2015

Forty bars and nightclubs across the Australian city of Adelaide have installed Bluetooth beacons to track visitor attendance and push offers to passers-by using a platform provided by startup Little Birdy. “Venues can currently only track attendance numbers, but will soon be able to look at things like age and gender demographics, entry and exit times, and the duration of the average stay,” Startup Daily reports.

One in four US consumers would share DNA with their bank

June 22nd, 2015

One in four US consumers would consider sharing their DNA with their financial institution if it meant it would make authentication easier and their personal information more secure, research from Telstra reveals. “Two thirds of US consumers think that using biometrics — such as voice, fingerprint, iris and facial recognition — would be more secure and help reduce the risks of fraud,” says the Australian telecoms operator’s Rocky Scopelliti.

Thinfilm gets $22m investment

June 22nd, 2015

Printed electronics specialist Thinfilm has closed a private placement in which “several” US investors have invested a total of US$22m. “The market response to our launch of our NFC OpenSense product has been exceptionally strong,” says CEO Davor Sutija. “This investment will allow significant expansion of our printed logic production in order to meet expected demand for both NFC OpenSense and our electronic article surveillance products.”

Google to acquire Tesco’s Clubcard division?

June 22nd, 2015

Google is reported to be considering acquiring the Tesco-owned loyalty agency that is responsible for the development of the supermarket giant’s Clubcard rewards scheme. “Google would like to use Dunnhumby to offer more reward and loyalty bonuses for Android Pay users,” IT Pro Portal reports. “Acquiring Clubcard may allow Google more insider knowledge as to the workings of the UK market.”

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