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Archive: News in brief

Alipay extends fingerprint IDs

December 16th, 2014

Alipay has extended its fingerprint log-in capability for the Alipay Wallet to iPhone users, China Daily reports. The function is also available to users of Huawei’s Ascend Mate 7 handset and was first demonstrated at a conference in Beijing in October.

Suncorp to offer NFC payments

December 16th, 2014

Australia’s Suncorp Bank is to make NFC payments available to customers on select Android devices in 2015, Computerworld Australia reports. The bank also plans to support Apple Pay as soon as the mobile payments service becomes available in the country. “Over the past 12 months, consumer demand for NFC mobile technology from our customer base has increased significantly due to improve awareness and device availability,” Suncorp says.

Half of Brits interested in mobile payments

December 15th, 2014

Almost one in two (47%) UK consumers are interested in mobile payments, research from Oxygen8 has found, with 11% saying they would like to use their mobile phone only, replacing the use of credit and debit cards altogether. 25% of respondents have purchased an item on eBay using their mobile device, 14% have paid bills, 10% have purchased clothes via an app and 9% have bought groceries via an app, the survey found.

Google Wallet 8.0 now available

December 15th, 2014

Version 8.0 of Google Wallet is now available to download from Google Play in the US. “The latest version of Google Wallet for Android makes it easier to manage your gift cards and loyalty programs in one, centralised location,” Google says.

Apple store adds PayPal

December 15th, 2014

PayPal is now available as a payment option in Apple’s online retail store for US and UK shoppers having previously only been available as a payment option in Apple’s app and content stores, Re/code reports. Apple is also promoting PayPal Credit, a service that lets shoppers pay for an item over up to 18 months with no interest.

TI offers NFC sensors

December 12th, 2014

Texas Instruments has introduced an integrated NFC sensor transponder that combines an ISO 15693 compliant NFC interface with a programmable microcontroller, non-volatile FRAM, an analog-to-digital converter and SPI and I2C interface. Aimed at industrial, medical, wearables and internet of things (IoT) applications, the RF430FRL15xH will enable developers to “design products that require an analog or digital interface, data-logging capabilities and data transfers to an NFC-enabled reader.”

SIMalliance updates OMAPI

December 10th, 2014

SIMalliance has published version 3.0 of its Open Mobile API Specification, bringing with it support for “every type of smartphone OS globally”. The specification sets out a standard way for mobile applications to access different secure elements — including SIM-based and embedded SEs —  within a mobile device and is currently implemented in more than 150 models of Android NFC smartphone.

Cipurse NFC tickets launch in Hungary

December 10th, 2014

Hungarian carrier Magyar Telekom has launched an NFC service that marks the first commercial deployment of Cipurse, an open ticketing standard developed by the OSPT Alliance. The carrier’s NFC SIMs are supplied by Giesecke & Devrient and support NFC payments and the SuperShop loyalty card as well as transportation ticketing.

Nintendo 3DS gets NFC

December 10th, 2014

A Nintendo 3DS system update has enabled the NFC capabilities built into the latest Japan-only edition of the handheld games console, Nintendo Life reports. The update makes it possible for players to use the 3DS’s NFC reader to pay for downloaded games with a standard contactless card and also lets players use Amiibo NFC figures with both the 3DS and the Nintendo Wii U for the first time. A Japanese language video produced by Nintendo shows how the service works.

Fido finalises authentication specs

December 10th, 2014

The Fido Alliance has published final drafts of version 1.0 of its Universal Authentication Framework (UAF) and Universal Second Factor (U2F) specifications. The specifications enable websites and cloud applications to replace the need for passwords with “a broad variety of existing and future Fido ­enabled authenticators, ranging from biometrics to hardware tokens”. Extensions that will add support for both NFC and Bluetooth are also nearing completion, the alliance says.

European payments startup funding surges

December 10th, 2014

Nascent payments and transaction processing companies in Europe raised US$417.9m through 26 deals in the nine months to September, more than seven times the amount raised during the same period last year, research from Dow Jones VentureSource reveals. Venture capital investment in the sector now surpasses dotcom boom levels, boosted by the uptake of digital technologies and shift in consumer behaviour, WSJ says.

Taiwanese banks sign up for NFC

December 10th, 2014

Twenty seven banks have signed up to use an NFC payments hub being introduced by Taiwan Mobile Payment Co (TWMP), a joint venture formed in July 2014 by three Taiwanese banking groups that will work with local carriers to enable the banks to securely provision customers’ card details to their NFC phones. The new hub is being provided to TWMP by Gemalto.

Emirates banks move towards mobile wallets

December 9th, 2014

The UAE Banks Federation has announced the completion of the pre-implementation phase of a project to develop a mobile wallet platform that all its 51 member banks will be able to use to offer P2P, mobile payments and loyalty programs to their customers. “Participating banks will have the choice to link with this application or integrate the system with their own internet and mobile banking platforms,” the federation says.

Chick-fil-A rolls out mobile payments

December 9th, 2014

Fast food chain Chick-fil-A has rolled out mobile payments to all of its US restaurants, with the exception of licensed locations, following a pilot that began in June 2014. The chain is also testing mobile ordering in more than 130 restaurants in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Orlando and Washington DC with plans to expand the service in 2015 ahead of a nationwide launch by the end of 2016.

US online buyers warm to mobile payments

December 9th, 2014

Two fifths (40%) of US online buyers like the idea of making a mobile payment instead of carrying around a wallet with 76% saying they are dissatisfied with the strength of credit card security among retailers, a survey conducted by Bizrate Insights has found. 19% of respondents also said they were interested in using Apple Pay.

Westpac adds fingerprint access

December 8th, 2014

Westpac customers with an Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S5 or Note 4 incorporating a fingerprint sensor will be able to use the technology to log into their mobile banking app from January 2015, the Australian bank has announced. “This is the next step in moving forward our already successful digital banking service Westpac Live which has been used by over 2.9m customers to manage their accounts on the move,” says the bank’s Jason Yetton.

One in four US smartphone owners have paid by mobile

December 8th, 2014

Almost a quarter (24%) of US smartphone owners have now used one or more mobile payment apps, research from PunchTab has found. Starbucks tops the popularity list with 40% of respondents citing it as their most-used mobile payment app. More than half (55%) of millennials say they would like a single mobile payment app that can be used across multiple stores and offers loyalty programs, the research also found.

NXP to host Mifare SDK webinar

December 8th, 2014

PARTNER NEWS: NXP is to host a webinar exploring its recently launched Mifare SDK Advanced NFC development kit at 10:00 CET and 17:00 CET on Tuesday 16 December. Attendees will “learn how Mifare SDK Advanced makes it easy to implement any Android application idea based on our Mifare, Ntag and Icode hardware and how you could benefit from this new development kit,” says the company. Readers can register for the webinar free of charge here.

Starbucks eyes iBeacon

December 8th, 2014

Starbucks is to use Bluetooth beacon technology in the first of its new Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room locations in the Capitol Hill neighbourhood of Seattle in the coming year. The coffee chain will use the platform to distribute information about freshly brewed coffee to customers’ smartphones.

Outspoken texts offers to wallets

December 8th, 2014

Mobile messaging provider Outspoken has added support for Google Wallet to its digital wallet delivery solution, enabling marketers to distribute offers to a user’s mobile wallet via a text message. “Outspoken’s technology uniquely delivers pass files using SMS and MMS, sending the pass as a text message attachment or in the form of a link,” the company explains. The platform already supports Apple Passbook.

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