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    Archive: News in brief

    Alibaba developing VR mobile payments

    August 11th, 2016

    Chinese internet giant Alibaba is developing virtual reality-enabled mobile payment technology, according to China Daily. The company is working on a project that would “allow users to pay bills in a 3D virtual world by nodding their heads or making other gestures to log in payment accounts,” the publication reports. No official release date has been given, though an Alibaba employee has been quoted saying September is a possibility.

    Samsung Pay on menu in US restaurants

    August 10th, 2016

    Diners at 3,000 US restaurants with Ziosk pay-at-the-table tablets can now settle their bill using Samsung Pay. “Customers simply launch Samsung Pay, authorize the transaction with their fingerprint or PIN and then hover the device over the Ziosk card reader,” Ziosk says. Samsung Pay is giving guests at participating Red Robin, Friendly’s and Uno Pizzeria & Grill locations US$5 off bills of $10 or more when using the mobile payment service.

    Mastercard sees US EMV growth

    August 10th, 2016

    Eight out of ten Mastercard US consumer credit cards now include chips, representing an 88% increase in EMV adoption since the October 2015 liability shift. “The company also sees 1.7m chip-active merchant locations on its network, representing nearly 30% of the US merchant population and a 374% increase in chip terminal adoption since 1 October 2015,” Mastercard says.

    Samsung Pay preps South African launch

    August 10th, 2016

    Samsung is involved in “detailed work” with South African banks and regulators to launch Samsung Pay in the country early next year. “We are quite far down the line talking to local banks,” says Craige Fleischer, the company’s South African director for integrated mobility, as reported by Techcentral.

    Mastercard and Visa join ClearXChange

    August 10th, 2016

    Mastercard and Visa have joined Early Warning’s peer-to-peer network ClearXChange, allowing US consumers to send money to others using their Mastercard or Visa credit and debit cards. The payment networks join Capital One, Bank of America, US Bank, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo in supporting the service, made available to all member financial institutions in June 2015.

    Samsung Pay offers US$5 rewards

    August 10th, 2016

    Samsung Pay users are being offered rewards via a new introductions promotion called the High Five Referral program, which credits their account with US$5 every time a customer they referred to the mobile payment app makes a first qualifying purchase. “The program leverages our new Samsung Rewards Card functionality,” the company says. The card was added through the Samsung Pay 2.2 update.

    Qatari bank to launch biometric ATMs

    August 9th, 2016

    Customers of the Commercial Bank of Qatar will soon have the chance to withdraw cash from ATMs via biometric scanning. “Implementation of this technology means customers will be able to access their account at Commercial Bank ATMs where finger vein scanners are installed,” the bank says. The technology will also be extended to allow corporate and VIP customers access to their internet banking accounts.

    Samsung Pay update brings rewards

    August 9th, 2016

    The latest Samsung Pay update introduces a Samsung Rewards Card. “It appears that the card is a virtual one, not physical,” Android Headlines reports. “When you fire up the app after updating to version 2.2, you will see a screen talking about what’s new in this version and it’ll tell you all about Samsung Rewards.”

    Cypriot bank introduces NFC wristbands

    August 9th, 2016

    PARTNER NEWS: Customers of Cyprus’ Hellenic Bank can now make payments using PayBand, an NFC wristband provided by digital security giant Gemalto via its Optelio wearable range. “Gemalto has worked alongside its local partner Mellon Cyprus to provide Hellenic with an initial end-to-end solution for black silicone payment wristbands,” Gemalto says. “The solution features an embedded Visa applet and links seamlessly to the user’s Hellenic Bank debit or credit card account.”

    ČSOB launches HCE in Czech Republic

    August 9th, 2016

    Customers of Czech bank ČSOB can now make host card emulation (HCE) based mobile payments using its new NaNákupy mobile wallet. The app virtualizes Mastercard and Visa cards using technology supplied by payment processor SIA. “By the end of 2016, NaNákupy app users will have the possibility to pay on the internet, easily manage the settings of different credit cards and constantly monitor transactions made via mobile,” SIA says. “In addition, it will be possible to virtualize loyalty cards and store receipts, or share shopping lists on a smartphone.”

    Yandex.Checkout gets QR codes

    July 29th, 2016

    Russians can now make payments through online payment service Yandex.Checkout by scanning a QR code with the Yandex.Money mobile app. “Once the code is scanned, the app will show the product’s name, seller and price,” the company says. “The user chooses a payment method — either Yandex.Money e-wallet or a bank card linked to it. QR codes can be placed either on material goods, documents or digital products.” More than 76,000 online stores use Yandex.Checkout, while Yandex.Money has 4m users. Yandex.Money added NFC to its mobile app in April 2016.

    ANZ accused over Apple Pay support

    July 29th, 2016

    Australian bank ANZ is being accused of “pulling a fast one” after walking away from a collaborative effort with its big four rivals to seek stronger negotiating powers over third party mobile wallets and announcing its support for Apple Pay. “One of the applicants was ANZ Bank,” says Lance Blockley, a spokesman for the applicant banks, as reported by news.com.au. “They chose to pull a fast one on their competitors and their joint applicants earlier this year when they withdrew from the group of applicants and decided to negotiate separately with Apple.”

    Biometric banking to top $4bn by 2021

    July 29th, 2016

    Global revenues for biometric banking technologies are expected to top US$4bn by 2021, ABI Research has revealed. “Biometric market hype is shifting away from consumer electronics and toward biometric banking technologies that appeal to millennials,” the firm says. “Ease of transaction, increased security and greater user experience are the top tier features that attract customers to biometric banking.”

    Coinbase rolls out in Australia

    July 28th, 2016

    Bitcoin wallet Coinbase has expanded into Australia. “Customers in Australia can now buy Bitcoin and Ether using their credit and debit cards,” the company says. “Please note that at this time, users in Australia can only buy digital currency. We hope to add the ability to sell digital currency as well soon.” Coinbase added PayPal and credit card support in June 2016.

    Windows Hello heads to apps and websites

    July 28th, 2016

    Microsoft is to extend its Windows Hello biometric authentication solution into apps and websites via the Microsoft Edge browser. “Beyond the hardware, Windows Hello will also give you instant access to paired apps and protected websites on Microsoft Edge — all while maintaining enterprise-level security,” Microsoft says. The update forms part of the company’s Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

    Venmo enables in-app payments

    July 27th, 2016

    Users of the PayPal-owned Venmo mobile payments app will soon be able to make purchases in third party mobile apps using the service. “The feature has expanded to more than ten vibrant merchants that we know our core users will love — Munchery, Gametime, Priv, Poshmark, Hop Market, Wish, Parking Panda, Dolly, Urgentli, Boxed and, most recently, delivery.com will now accept Venmo payments,” PayPal says.

    Americans expect cashless society in their lifetime

    July 26th, 2016

    Almost two thirds of US consumers (62%) expect the country to become a cashless society in their lifetime, research released by Gallup reveals. “Solid majorities in all age groups say they can foresee a US society without cash, including 58% of those 65 and older and 63% of 18-to-29 year olds,” the firm says. “54% still say they like to have cash on them at all times. 42% say they are comfortable not having cash on them.”

    Absa Bank comes to Facebook Messenger

    July 26th, 2016

    Customers of Africa’s Absa Bank can now conduct banking transactions through Facebook Messenger using the bank’s ChatBanking feature. The service will allow customers to retrieve balances, buy airtime or data for their mobile phone, view statements, buy prepaid electricity and make money transfers. “In a one-time only process, Absa customers who are registered for Absa Online and have access to the Express tab can register for ChatBanking for Facebook Messenger,” Absa says. The feature was made available in May 2016 through Twitter.

    BBA reports UK contactless increase

    July 26th, 2016

    The annual use of contactless cards across the UK has risen 250%, with £1.1bn spent in March 2016 alone, research released by the British Bankers Association (BBA) reveals. “Banks issued 15m cards with contactless technology in 2015, up 54% on the year before,” the trade association says. UK consumers are now also using mobile banking apps more than 7,610 times a minute or 4bn times a year.

    Mastercard planning to become a PSP in China

    July 25th, 2016

    Mastercard is planning to apply to become a payment service provider (PSP) in China this year but is still deciding whether to do so alone or with a partner, according to Reuters. “China in June allowed foreign payment card companies to operate in the country under new rules,” the publication reports. “Under the rules, China’s national security and cyber security standards must be met. Applicants must also hold 1 billion yuan (US$150m) in registered capital in a local company.”

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