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    Archive: News in brief

    Tencent to ramp up WeChat Pay in Japan

    June 7th, 2016

    Chinese internet giant Tencent is working to roll out its WeChat Pay mobile payment service to 10,000 Japanese stores by the end of 2016. “WeChat Pay, linked to the popular WeChat messaging app, lets its more than 300m users pay via smartphone at 300,000-plus locations in China,” Nikkei reports. “Only a few Japanese stores have adopted it so far. The plan is to have 20,000 stores in Japan accept WeChat Pay as soon as possible.”

    Samsung Pay to launch in Australia next week

    June 7th, 2016

    Samsung Pay is expected to launch in Australia next week, an invitation to a press conference scheduled for June 15 reveals. “A hands-on demonstration at the event means that local infrastructure is almost certainly in place so a widespread customer launch is likely to be imminent or immediate,” Gizmodo Australia reports. American Express revealed it was gearing up to support Samsung Pay in Australia in April 2016.

    Microsoft to open up Windows Hello to wearables

    June 6th, 2016

    Microsoft is to open up its Windows Hello biometric authentication solution so users can unlock a Windows 10 PC or laptop with a wearable device, the company announced during a keynote at Computex in Taiwan. “The head of Microsoft’s Windows Interact division, Li-Chen Miller, demonstrated the technology using the Nymi Band,” CNET reports. “By swiping her wrist past an NFC reader on her laptop, Miller logged in using Windows Hello, saying the process was three times quicker than typing passwords.”

    HDFC Bank to launch mobile payments in India

    June 6th, 2016

    India’s HDFC Bank is to launch a mobile payment service that will support NFC, host card emulation (HCE) and QR code based payments in order to compete with other mobile payment services that are expected to roll out in the country, including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay. “PayZapp contains a prepaid wallet and a virtual prepaid card,” Times of India reports. “Bank customers can also store their credit or debit cards in a dematerialized form in the app and use them for electronic payments.”

    Emirates NBD to launch digital bank for millennials

    June 6th, 2016

    Emirates NBD has announced plans to launch the UAE’s first digital bank targeted at millennials as part of its commitment to invest AED 500m (US$136m) in “digital innovation and multichannel transformation” over the next three years. The digital bank will offer customers “the next generation of self-service money management with useful tools and applications,” the bank says.

    GlobalPlatform reports on secure element shipments

    June 6th, 2016

    A total of 17.7bn secure elements (SEs) based on GlobalPlatform specifications were deployed globally between 2010 and 2015, representing 41% of all SE shipments in that same period, the standards body has revealed. “This is a very significant announcement, which shows just how far the secure chip technology industry has advanced in recent years,” says GlobalPlatform’s Kevin Gillick.

    European Commission approves Visa’s acquisition of Visa Europe

    June 3rd, 2016

    The European Commission has approved the proposed acquisition of Visa Europe by Visa. “Visa has now received all regulatory approvals required for the acquisition,” Visa says. “The transaction has already been cleared by both the Jersey and the Turkish competition authorities. The transaction is expected to close in Visa Inc’s fiscal third quarter of 2016. Visa will announce the closing once it has occurred.”

    VTB Mobile Pay adds MasterCard support

    June 3rd, 2016

    Customers of VTB Bank in Georgia can now add their MasterCard debit and credit cards to its VTB Mobile Pay host card emulation (HCE) based mobile payment service following its launch with Visa and technology provider PriNum in October 2015. “The reception of Mobile Pay since its launch has been positive and the service has already seen success in terms of availability and adoption by consumers,” says PriNum CEO Andriy Galyapa.

    Apple Pay’s global impact remains “small”

    June 3rd, 2016

    Apple Pay has “made only a small dent in the global payments market” due to technical challenges, low consumer take-up and resistance from banks, according to a report by Reuters. “Apple Pay usage totaled US$10.9bn last year, the vast majority of that in the US,” the publication says, citing research from Timetric. “That is less than the annual volume of transactions in Kenya, a mobile payments pioneer.”

    Mobile ticketing market to see major growth

    June 2nd, 2016

    The global mobile ticketing market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 16% between 2016 and 2020, according to Technavio. “In 2015, EMEA dominated the global mobile ticketing market by accounting for around 42% of the overall market share,” the firm says. “The QR and barcodes segment accounted for around 50% of the market in 2015 to become the dominant shareholder.”

    Seqr expands in Romania

    June 2nd, 2016

    Raiffeisen Bank has signed an agreement with Swedish mobile payment specialist Seamless to enable its customers in Romania to make payments using the Seqr mobile payments platform. “The agreement marks an initial step by the bank in offering its customers in Romania the possibility of connecting the Seqr Seamless mobile payment solution to their bank accounts,” Seamless says.

    Gulf Bank Kuwait gets biometric authentication

    June 2nd, 2016

    Customers of Gulf Bank Kuwait can now log in to their mobile banking app by scanning their face or fingerprint through mobile biometric technology provider Daon’s IdentityX platform. “Daon’s IdentityX platform provides fingerprint, face and voice recognition, along with other authentication factors which will provide convenient, fast, secure authentication for Gulf Bank Kuwait’s customers,” Daon says.

    Contactless on the increase in Canada

    June 2nd, 2016

    The value of contactless payments made by Canadian consumers increased by around C$30bn (US$22.8bn) in 2015, on the back of more than 1.2bn transactions, Technology Strategies International reveals. “Only about one in six people who own contactless payment options do not use them,” says the company’s president Christie Christelis. “People are using their contactless payment cards more and more frequently, approaching three times a month on average.”

    Square offers weekly payment plan for contactless readers

    June 2nd, 2016

    Square’s contactless chip reader can now be paid for in instalments of US$1 per week for 60 weeks. “We know that cash can be tight as you are getting your business up and running but that doesn’t mean you should miss out on the best technology available,” the company says. CEO Jack Dorsey revealed in March 2016 that Square has received more than 350,000 pre-orders for the reader. The company began rolling out its first contactless readers in November 2015.

    Samsung Pay Mini to launch on iOS

    June 1st, 2016

    The Samsung Pay Mini online payments app expected to go live in South Korea this month will be compatible with Apple devices as well as Android smartphones, according to ETNews. “Samsung Electronics is planning to provide this application for free and has designed it so that it can be used on all smartphones such as iPhones and LG Electronics’ phones,” the publication reports. News that Samsung is preparing to roll out the Samsung Pay Mini app emerged last week.

    Canadian banks go live with Apple Pay

    June 1st, 2016

    Customers of Canada’s TD Bank, Scotiabank and BMO Bank of Montreal can now make in-store and in-app payments using Apple Pay. TD Bank and Scotiabank announced that they would be supporting Apple Pay last month, but “the three major banks’ launch is coming sooner than anticipated,” says the Financial Post. Apple Pay launched in Canada with the support of American Express alone in November 2015.

    Samsung Pay to begin beta test in Singapore

    May 31st, 2016

    Samsung Pay has invited a “select group of consumers” in Singapore to begin beta testing the mobile payment service ahead of an anticipated launch in Q2 2016. “Response from consumers is encouraging, with thousands who have signed up,” Samsung says. “Registration has now closed and eligible consumers will be notified progressively ahead of the Samsung Pay Beta Test Program.” Citibank Singapore has also announced that it will support Samsung Pay when it launches in the country.

    Mobile biometrics market to see major growth

    May 31st, 2016

    The global mobile biometrics market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 103% between 2016 and 2020, research from Technavio predicts. “The increase in the adoption of mobile devices for financial transactions is the primary driver for the market,” the firm says.

    Gemalto explores seven myths about mobile NFC

    May 31st, 2016

    PARTNER NEWS: Digital security giant Gemalto has published a list of the seven most common myths about mobile NFC which explores the reasons why some consumers may not be prepared to use the technology on their mobile device. ‘7 myths about mobile NFC’ answers questions about the security of NFC, looks at why some believe the technology is still not mature enough and challenges the belief that the infrastructure for NFC payments is not yet in place.

    Absa takes banking to Twitter

    May 30th, 2016

    Africa’s Absa Bank has launched ChatBanking, a service that will let customers conduct day-to-day banking on social network Twitter. “In a one-time only process, you will register in a secure environment which will link your Twitter profile to your Absa bank account,” Absa says. Customers can use the service to check their balance, buy airtime or data and view recent transactions. Emirates Islamic Bank also launched a banking service using Twitter in April 2016.

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