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Archive: News in brief

Swiss develop ‘Sound-Proof’ authentication

August 25th, 2015

Swiss researchers have unveiled a two-factor authentication mechanism dubbed ‘Sound-Proof’ that uses the noise recorded by a user’s phone and the device he or she wants to log into to verify identity. “The proximity of the two devices is verified by comparing the ambient noise recorded by their microphones,” the team from the Institute of Information Security at ETH Zurich explains in a paper describing the system.

Square Cash finds time for Apple Watch

August 25th, 2015

Square has updated its P2P mobile payment app to add support for Apple Watch. Version 2.8 of Square Cash will now allow users to send money, pay their contacts with a new contact-first interface and approve requests with a single tap.

Apple Pay fees ‘sticking point’ for Australian banks

August 25th, 2015

Australia’s largest banks are reportedly in dispute with Apple over Apple Pay interchange fees. “Fees are a big sticking point in the negotiations, with big banks not willing to give Apple a slice of the A$2bn a year they earn in interchange fees,” The Sydney Morning Herald reports. “In the US, Apple is believed to earn about 15 cents of every US$100 transaction.”

Visa Checkout reports 6m customers

August 25th, 2015

More than six million customers have signed up for Visa Checkout since its launch last year, Visa reports. The platform has nearly 250,000 merchants while financial institution partners have grown to over 330. “In recent months, no less than 33 new merchants, ranging from Best Buy and Under Armour to Barnes & Noble and Taco Bell, have signed on,” the payment network says.

Mobile payments market to reach US$1tn by 2017

August 24th, 2015

About US$1tn will be spent using mobile payments services in 2017, up 124% from less than US$500bn expected in 2015, International Data Corporation says. “Asia/Pacific markets will contribute to this growth greatly as mobile commerce transactions with remote payments take off across the region,” the company predicts, adding the region is “expected to lead the world in mobile payment developments”.

Migros launches mobile payments

August 24th, 2015

Switzerland’s largest supermarket chain Migros has launched a mobile payments service first mooted in January, allowing customers to make purchases using a Migros app linked to their Migros Bank account or credit card. “During the payment process, it generates a code that is then scanned at the cash register,” Migros says. Users can also store gift cards, receipts and coupons on the app.

Verizon Wireless cool on Samsung Pay support

August 24th, 2015

Verizon Wireless, the largest wireless carrier in the US, may not support Samsung Pay when it launches there next month. “Right now it will only say that it’s ‘evaluating’ the service and will share more news as it’s available,” The Verge reports. US carriers AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and US Cellular are listed among Samsung Pay’s initial partners.

Qiwi adds HCE payments to mobile wallet

August 24th, 2015

Russian payment services provider Qiwi has integrated Visa payWave technology into its Qiwi Wallet app to enable host card emulation (HCE) payments at any contactless terminal. “Visa Qiwi Wallet account can be topped up in any of more than 100,000 Qiwi kiosks throughout Russia by linking a bank card or from a mobile phone account,” Qiwi says. “The contactless Visa payWave solution is preinstalled in the new version of the e-wallet.”

Synchrony Financial offers Samsung Pay support

August 24th, 2015

Consumer financial services provider Synchrony Financial will offer its private label credit card holders the ability to access their cards through Samsung Pay when it launches in the US in September. “All of Synchrony Bank’s Payment Solutions and CareCredit cards are capable of being provisioned for Samsung Pay when it launches next month,” the company says.

Apple Pay adds 18 banks in US

August 24th, 2015

Apple has added a further 18 banks and credit unions to its list of financial institutions in the US supporting Apple Pay, putting the total close to 500. “Apple Pay is now available in both the US and the UK — the next country to gain support could be Canada,” Apple Insider reports, adding an announcement could be made next month.

MCX ‘will not rush’ CurrentC rollout

August 24th, 2015

CurrentC, the mobile wallet offered by US retailer-led consortium MCX, may not launch widely this year as originally planned, CEO Brian Mooney has said. “The company will begin a public pilot of its app in Columbus, Ohio, in a few weeks and will not rush a wider rollout if the product is not ready,” Mooney told Re/code.

MasterCard begins Selfie Pay trials

August 24th, 2015

MasterCard is testing a ‘Selfie Pay’ service in the Netherlands with International Card Services and Dutch bank ABN Amro. Some 750 cardholders can verify online transactions with a face or fingerprint scan using their smartphones, while 200 employees of US First Tech Federal Credit Union will trial the service in September. MasterCard unveiled its plans to pilot biometrics for online shopping in July.

Android Pay launch date leak

August 24th, 2015

Android Pay could be launching on Wednesday, August 26, a leaked memo from fast-food chain McDonald’s to its US employees suggests. “We’ve got at least one source showing that McDonald’s is distributing this date to multiple stores,” Android Police reports. The report comes as Google launches the final version of its Android 6.0 Marshmallow developer preview.

US to get Samsung Pay in September

August 14th, 2015

Samsung Pay will launch in Korea on 20 August and in the US on 28 September, the handset maker confirmed as it announced two new flagship devices in New York yesterday. “Samsung plans to roll out the service in the UK, Spain and China as well,” the company says of its fingerprint-secured NFC- and MST-based mobile payment offering. “Select US users of Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+ and Note 5 will be able to participate in a beta trial from 25 August ahead of the 28 September launch.”

Ugo adds gift cards

August 13th, 2015

Users of Canadian NFC mobile wallet Ugo will be able to store gift cards from today by scanning the card with their smartphone camera. The move comes as a survey by Ipsos on behalf of Ugo showed 54% of Canadians would use gift cards to their fullest value, and sooner than they do now, if they could store them on their smartphone and scan them at checkout.

Apple joins NFC Forum

August 12th, 2015

Apple has joined the NFC Forum as a sponsor member as of August 11. “The top tier of NFC Forum membership, sponsor membership, entitles an organisation to a seat on the NFC Forum board of directors, the association’s governing body,” NFC Forum director Paula Hunter says. “We are delighted to welcome Apple to our board of directors as an NFC Forum sponsor member.”

Kona I unveils Kona Pay

August 12th, 2015

South Korean smart card provider Kona I has unveiled Kona Pay, a platform that allows banks and credit card firms to develop mobile payment services based on NFC, QR and barcodes. “Different from Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, card issuers can have tailored services for their payment systems built upon Kona Pay,” Korea Herald reports CEO Cho Chung-il as saying.

CurrentC to be tested in Ohio

August 12th, 2015

Mobile payments consortium MCX will test its CurrentC mobile wallet in Columbus, Ohio, in the coming weeks, The Wall Street Journal reports. Plans for the pilot were unveiled in July, after MCX unveiled the CurrentC brand in September 2014 and said it would launch in a “mid-sized market” in April. Member retailer Rite Aid says it will accept Apple Pay and other mobile payment services from August 15.

LG U+ to issue UnionPay mobile credit cards in China

August 12th, 2015

Korean mobile network operator LG U+ will issue UnionPay mobile credit cards and payment services in China, in partnership with KB Kookmin Card, from next month. “The telecoms operator is about to obtain approval from the People’s Bank of China,” Business Korea reports. “The users can use NFC-based mobile credit card payments at five million UnionPay terminals in China.”

PaidEasy raises $2m in seed funding

August 11th, 2015

Mobile payment startup PaidEasy has announced a seed round of funding valued at US$2m. “PaidEasy launched out of beta this week and plans to use the money to establish a footprint in New York City and its surrounding areas,” the company says. “PaidEasy gives users the ability to open, view, split, tip and pay bills in real time [and] has integrated with Apple Pay.”

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