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    Archive: News in brief

    US shoppers back mobile gift cards

    December 22nd, 2015

    More than half of US online shoppers (56%) are interested in storing gift cards on their mobile phone, according to research from CashStar. “Residents of Western states expressed the most interest in mobile options (59%) and also are most interested in receiving digital gift cards versus plastic (22%),” the company says. “Younger shoppers are far more interested in storing gift cards on their mobile phones — 74% of 18-24 year olds vs. just 34% of those aged 66 and older.”

    Westpac launches money transfers via mobile

    December 21st, 2015

    Customers of Australian bank Westpac can now transfer money to others using only their mobile phone number. “Pay to Mobile is a secure and convenient way to split a restaurant bill or to pay money to friends,” the bank says. “All you need is the mobile phone number of the person you are paying and the rest is easy,” adds Westpac’s Harry Wendt.

    One in three card transactions now EMV

    December 21st, 2015

    One in three of all card-present transactions made globally between July 2014 and June 2015 used EMV chip technology, research from EMVCo shows. 97% of card-based payments in Europe Zone 1 used EMV, followed by 87% in Latin America, 84% in Africa and the Middle East, 65% in Europe Zone 2 and 34% in Asia. “The US is just beginning to establish its EMV infrastructure with EMV chip payments accounting for less than 1% of transactions during this reporting period,” EMVCo says.

    Target to launch its own mobile payment service?

    December 18th, 2015

    US retail giant Target is in the early stages of developing its own mobile payment service. “Target’s team has taken some important decisions such as partnering with credit card companies,” Reuters reports. “The mobile wallet could launch as early as next year.” Target is the latest member of retailer-led consortium MCX to show interest in launching its own mobile payment service, following in the footsteps of Walmart which launched Walmart Pay earlier this month.

    Facebook Messenger to launch in-app taxi booking and payments

    December 17th, 2015

    Facebook Messenger users across the US will soon be able to order and pay for an Uber taxi from within the chat app. “Within a conversation, tap the more menu and choose transportation,” Facebook says. “You can also search directly for Uber and tap the car icon to request a ride. For a limited time, you’ll get a free ride the first time you use this feature.” Payments are being processed by PayPal’s Braintree.

    Atom Bank to add face and voice authentication to mobile app

    December 17th, 2015

    Customers of Atom Bank will be able to access their mobile banking app using face and voice recognition when the online banking startup launches in 2016. “Present your face to view your balance or say a few words to transfer some money,” biometrics software company Daon says. Atom is also planning to add fingerprint verification and will use Daon’s IdentityX mobile biometric authentication platform for the service.

    Wirecard expands Boon to Spain and Ireland

    December 17th, 2015

    Consumers in Spain and Ireland can now make host card emulation (HCE) based mobile payments using Wirecard’s Boon service. “The app enables smartphone payments at any NFC-capable POS terminal which accepts MasterCard contactless payments,” the German payments technology provider says. Wirecard launched Boon in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Belgium earlier this month.

    Bell ID highlights benefits of becoming a token service provider

    December 16th, 2015

    A 12-page white paper that identifies the benefits of becoming a token service provider (TSP) is now available to download from the NFC World+ Knowledge Centre. Bell ID’s ‘Quick guide: Token service provider’ explains the tokenization process, describes the specific roles and responsibilities of a TSP in a tokenized payment system and sets out the key advantages to service providers of hosting their own token vault.

    NFC stickers enable in-store mobile payments in Zimbabwe

    December 16th, 2015

    Customers of mobile network operator Econet Wireless in Zimbabwe can now make in-store purchases by tapping NFC stickers affixed to their mobile devices at the point of sale, with funds automatically deducted from their EcoCash mobile money account. “More than 500 vendors, merchant and agencies have already signed for EcoCash Ta! in Harare alone and Econet plans to launch it in other parts of the country over the next few weeks,” the carrier says.

    Apple Pay adds 66 US banks

    December 15th, 2015

    Apple has added another 66 banks and credit unions to its list of Apple Pay supporting financial institutions in the US. “Apple Pay is now accepted at over 850 participating issuers nationwide and several more plan to support the NFC-based mobile payment service in the future,” MacRumors reports.

    Samsung Pay adds 19 issuers

    December 15th, 2015

    Samsung Pay has added 19 new issuers including support for eligible PNC Visa and KeyBank MasterCard credit and debit cards. “Cardholders of all these issuers will be able to use Samsung Pay to pay almost anywhere they can swipe or tap their card,” Samsung says.

    Half of consumers expect to be making mobile and wearable payments by 2018

    December 15th, 2015

    Half of consumers in mature markets including North America, Japan and parts of Western Europe expect to be using smartphones or wearables to make payments by 2018, research from Gartner shows. “Any mobile payment wallets that are tied to the device will have limited adoption,” says the firm’s Annette Jump. “Cloud-based solutions will have a better chance to succeed as they can reach a wider audience and can support many use cases beyond face-to-face or in-store options.”

    417bn cashless payments made in 2014

    December 15th, 2015

    Some 417bn cashless payments were made in 60 countries worldwide in 2014, according to research from RBR. “These are increasing at only a slightly faster rate than the number of ATM cash withdrawals, suggesting that cash is still favoured as a means of payment for a significant proportion of the global population,” RBR says. “Cards are by far the most common and fastest growing cashless means of payment, making up more than half of such transactions worldwide.”

    Alipay expands across Europe with Wirecard

    December 14th, 2015

    Chinese consumers can now make purchases using QR code-based mobile payments service Alipay at European retailers that incorporate barcode payment functionality provided by Wirecard. “Chinese users are able to pay with their smartphone and Alipay app at authorised POS retailers in Europe by using integrated barcode payment functionality from Wirecard, without incurring currency exchange fees,” the German payment technology provider says.

    US banks head to mobile at the ATM

    December 14th, 2015

    Customers of US banks Wells Fargo and Bank of America will soon be able to withdraw cash and complete transactions at the ATM using their smartphone. “Wells Fargo said its service will be available in the late third quarter or early fourth quarter of 2016,” The Charlotte Observer reports. “Bank of America is also testing cardless-ATM capabilities. The bank plans to start piloting the service with customers in the first half of next year.”

    Asian first for Visa Token Service

    December 14th, 2015

    Visa has announced that the host card emulation (HCE) based mobile payments service launched by United Overseas Bank (UOB) in November is the first in Asia Pacific to make use of the Visa Token Service. “UOB has implemented the Visa Token Service as part of its digital wallet UOB Mighty,” Visa says. The service lets customers in Singapore make mobile payments for transactions of any value at all Visa PayWave or MasterPass terminals.

    Samsung Pay users can win tickets to see Usher

    December 14th, 2015

    Shoppers who activate Samsung Pay at one of nearly 50 US malls will have the chance to win two round-trip tickets to Los Angeles for an exclusive performance and private New Year’s Eve party featuring American popstar Usher. “Samsung Pay launched a nationwide shopping experience at nearly 50 malls where customers can try out and activate the mobile payment system for a chance to win tickets to the special performance and more,” the company says. The promotion runs until December 21.

    TCH taps VocaLink to bring real-time payments to the US

    December 11th, 2015

    Banking association The Clearing House (TCH) has contracted UK payments infrastructure operator VocaLink to develop a national real-time payment service in the US. “VocaLink has commenced work to ensure the system is built rapidly,” the companies say. “Individual financial institutions and their service providers have already commenced efforts to integrate and adopt the new real-time payment system.” TCH and its member banks revealed plans to build a real-time payment system in October 2014.

    28% of UK shoppers prefer contactless

    December 11th, 2015

    More than a quarter of UK shoppers (28%) prefer contactless payments because they are easier and 29% prefer paying via contactless because it’s speedy, research from mobile network operator EE shows. “Almost 13m shoppers have been forced to abandon transactions due to lack of card and contactless payment facilities, and four in five expect to be able to pay by card everywhere they shop,” the carrier says.

    Google Wallet adds P2P transfers via SMS

    December 11th, 2015

    Google Wallet users will soon be able to send money to anyone in their contact list using just a phone number. “When you send money to a phone number, the recipient will get a text message with a secure link,” Google writes in a blogpost. “They can simply enter their debit card to claim the money and it will be available in their bank account within minutes.” Google relaunched and repositioned Google Wallet as a P2P payment solution in September 2015.

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