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Archive: News in brief

Alpha Bank launches NFC in Greece

July 15th, 2014

Greece’s Alpha Bank has officially launched its Tap n Pay NFC mobile payment service. The move follows successful pilots which began in February this year. The service works with a Vodafone SIM card that stores Alpha Bank-issued Visa cards and can be used to make payments at any of the 5,500 contactless POS terminals in Greece.

DMA warns on push messaging

July 15th, 2014

One in three UK smartphone or tablet owners have never enabled push notifications on their connected devices and 78% of those who have enabled it would immediately delete the app or disable the notification if they were unhappy with the push notifications they receive, a DMA UK survey has found. Sales promotions (34%), new product launches (26%) and location-based offers (24%) top the list of push notifications consumers are most willing to receive.

Toshiba offers dynamic NFC tag

July 15th, 2014

Toshiba has introduced an NFC Forum Type 3 tag chip that includes a wired interface, enabling it to be used to collect and store dynamic data generated by “normally standalone products, such as calculators, clocks, and healthcare items”. Data, such as blood pressure readings, can then be transferred to the user’s smartphone via NFC.

Singapore ups contactless spending

July 11th, 2014

Singapore’s United Overseas Bank has reported a more than three-fold increase in contactless card transactions in the year to April 2014, with more than 500 contactless purchases now being made each day. Nine out of 10 contactless payments are for everyday items such as groceries, dining and pharmacy purchases, while the most frequent users of contactless cards are professionals and executives aged 30 to 45.

1.75bn to use mobile banking

July 11th, 2014

More than 1.75 billion mobile phone users will have used their device for banking purposes by the end of 2019, up from 800 million people this year, according to a new Juniper Research forecast. “Banks now regard the mobile channel as an indispensable revenue stream,” says report author Nitin Bhas. “However, with the mobile channel becoming a key customer retention strategy, it presents a great challenge to traditional institutions.”

PayPal pays next day

July 11th, 2014

PayPal is piloting Next-Day Settlement (NDS), a new service that cuts the time taken for transfers between a merchant’s PayPal account and their bank account from the usual three or four days to 24 hours. “We’ve been working with our banking partners to optimize processes on both their end and ours so that we can make the 24-hour transfer a reality,” PayPal says.

China UnionPay to offer QR payments?

July 11th, 2014

China UnionPay is developing a QR code-based mobile payment service that will provide a way to make both online and offline mobile payments, according to Marbridge Consulting. The company, which has been heavily involved in the rollout of NFC payments in China, is now in discussions with banks regarding promotional activities for the new service, the report says.

New IoT consortium launches

July 11th, 2014

Atmel, Broadcom, Dell, Intel, Samsung and Wind River have formed the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), a new industry grouping that aims to improve the interoperability and define the connectivity requirements for the Internet of Things (IoT). Rival IoT standards group the AllSeen Alliance, set up in December 2013 and backed by 51 companies, signed up Microsoft as its latest member earlier this week

Seqr heads to UK

July 10th, 2014

Swedish firm Seamless, developer of the NFC and QR-based Seqr mobile payments service, has signed deals with Optimal Payments and Contis Group to bring the solution to the UK. Last week, Seamless signed a deal with Incomm to take Seqr to the US market.

Synchrony invests in LoopPay

July 10th, 2014

Synchrony Financial, formerly GE Capital Retail Finance, has made “a strategic investment” in LoopPay, developer of a mobile phone add-on that lets US consumers make payments at merchants equipped with magnetic stripe card terminals. The amount of the investment has not been disclosed.

60m BLE beacons to ship by 2019

July 10th, 2014

Sixty million Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons worth US$500m will be shipped in 2019, ABI Research forecasts. Most will be used in the commercial and enterprise, connected home and personal asset tracking sectors — rather than retail — the “BLE Tags and the Location of Things” study anticipates.

Tamagotchi 4U to come with NFC

July 10th, 2014

Japanese toy maker Bandai is to include NFC in the next version of its Tamagotchi electronic pets, enabling owners to tap their device on ‘Touch Spots’ and against other Tamagotchis and smartphones to exchange items and play games. Tamagotchi 4U will be released in September and Bandai expects to sell one million units by the end of March 2015.

Diebold and Wincor Nixdorf form ATM security alliance

July 9th, 2014

ATM manufacturers Diebold and Wincor Nixdorf have partnered to found an association aimed at working to improve cash machine security. The ATM Security Association aims to compile information on recognised and potential attack scenarios, and share it with specific industry groups to rapidly deploy and implement counter-measures at a global level. Participation is open to institutional operators, global ATM manufacturers and their suppliers.

Robin raises funds for BLE in the office

July 9th, 2014

Boston startup Robin has closed a US$1.4m seed funding round to expand and develop a solution that uses iBeacons and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to let workers interact with the office space around them. Using the beacons, the Robin mobile app and the company’s dashboard, users can control the workplace and automate tasks such as room booking, heating and lighting control, and locating coworkers.

Taiwanese banks to set up their own NFC TSM

July 8th, 2014

Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission has approved a plan to establish a TSM platform that the country’s financial institutions will be able to use to introduce mobile payments services, Want China Times reports. Financial Information Service Co, the National Credit Card Center of ROC and the Taiwan Clearing House will jointly create the platform. The partners aim to have the TSM service up and running in December 2014.

Indonesia to get NFC payments

July 8th, 2014

Indonesian mobile network operator Telkomsel is to launch an NFC mobile payment service in October this year, in partnership with a bank, according to Indonesian Business Daily. Telkomsel currently has 2.5 million customers equipped with an NFC-enabled device.

Restaurant inspectors add QR info

July 8th, 2014

New inspection placards that include QR codes are to be issued by the US city of Pasadena’s Public Health Department for display in restaurants and other food outlets. The placards enable diners to use their smartphone to access the establishment’s database record on the city’s website to view detailed information on its cleanliness rating and other scores.

Estonia to get Worapay mobile payments

July 8th, 2014

Lithuania-based mobile payments provider Worapay is set to go live in Estonia this month with partner and local businessman Rando Parna, who has acquired a license to operate the technology. Parna plans to invest up to €100,000 to push the product and will develop a network of merchants in the country. Worapay also plans to launch in Latvia, Poland, Czech Republic, Finland and Spain.

Moven raises $8m series A

July 7th, 2014

Mobile banking, payments and budgeting startup Moven has raised US$8m in a series A funding round and will use the money to invest in new features and tools and to build its international network of partners. “We believe that in short order millions of customers will be using our app each day to help them spend, save and live smarter,” says CEO Brett King.

Bankia offers NFC stickers

July 7th, 2014

Spanish bank Bankia has launched a mobile payments service that uses NFC stickers attached to the back of a customer’s smartphone to make purchases at any contactless POS terminal. Consumers need to download the Bankia Mobile Wallet app to use the service. Stickers can be requested via Bankia’s website or any bank branch.

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