Apple Pay set to go live in Czech Republic and Slovakia?

Apple Pay expected to launch in Czech Republic and Slovakia in late February to early March — MacRumors — “Apple Pay will launch in the Czech Republic and Slovakia in late February to early March, according to Seznam Zprávy and Živé… Czech Republic’s two largest banks Česká Spořitelna and Komerční Banka, along with mBank, Moneta, and Air Bank, will reportedly be among the first financial institutions to offer Apple Pay to customers in the Czech Republic. Equa Bank and Banka Creditas may follow suit within the first half of the year.” 


Airlines leverage PSD2 to cut transaction fees

New payment method for air tickets successfully demonstrated — International Air Transport Association — “IATA Pay is an industry-supported initiative to develop a new payment option for consumers when purchasing a ticket directly from an airline website. It is made possible by the European Commission’s second Payment Services Directive (PSD2), and the UK’s Open Banking regulation. For airlines, the advantages of IATA Pay are: Cheaper payment option compared to other alternatives; Highly secure; Faster cashflow with instant/near instant payment to the merchant; Simpler payment process resulting in fewer lost sales.” 


California to ban paper receipts?

Ting introduces ‘Skip the Slip’ legislation to phase-out paper receipts in California — Assemblymember Phil Ting — “Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) today introduced AB 161, Skip the Slip legislation that makes electronic receipts the default practice when making a purchase. Businesses in the state would have to provide customers e-receipts by 2022, unless a hard copy is specifically requested… Committee hearings are expected to begin in the spring.” 


Honda to leverage in-car payments for driver rewards program

Honda Dream Drive to deliver next-generation infotainment, commerce, services and rewards to drivers and passengers — Honda — “Since 2016, Honda has worked with Visa to build and enhance the in-vehicle payment experience to make payments more convenient and secure. Now, Honda is expanding its in-vehicle payment collaboration to include Mastercard and PayPal… Honda Developer Studio is user testing a new points-based rewards program to benefit drivers and passengers for using Honda products and services. Drivers and passengers can earn rewards points for participating in a variety of activities including purchasing services, watching and listening to media, and playing games.” 


Kate Spade unveils fashion smartwatch with NFC payments

Kate Spade’s second Wear OS watch gets a serious tech upgrade — Engadget — “The Scallop Smartwatch 2 packs GPS, NFC and heart rate sensors onboard — all things its predecessor didn’t have. But it still retains the scalloped edging around the face like before, and further incorporated the pattern to the edges of this generation’s straps.” 


Michael Kors adds NFC payments to Access Sofie fashion watch

Michael Kors Access Sofie 2.0 announced with flashy looks and lots of features — Techradar — “This new model includes GPS, so you can track your runs without your phone. It has also got NFC, meaning you can make contactless payments with Google Pay, and there’s a heart rate monitor, none of which were offered by the original Access Sofie.” 


Motiv to add NFC payments to its fitness ring

Motiv is bringing NFC-based payments to its fitness ring — Techcrunch — “Announced way back at CES 2016, Motiv’s fitness ring was surprisingly capable and accurate for its tiny form factor. Earlier this year, the startup promised to bring even more functionality to the finger, starting with biometric authentication that uses a wearer’s gait to unlock devices. This year at the show, the company’s got a handful of additional new features to show off. Most interesting among them is upcoming addition of mobile payments, via NFC.” 


Octopus lets Hong Kong commuters use NFC to link their transit card to their mobile phone

Octopus App enhanced with more customer-centric mobile services — Octopus — “Octopus users with compatible Android NFC devices can simply enter their Octopus number into the Octopus app and tap their Octopus onto the back of their mobile phones. Users with iOS devices (or Android devices without NFC) can enter the Octopus number into the Octopus app, then visit any of the 50 Octopus service points that are conveniently located all over Hong Kong to tap their Octopus within seven days to complete the registration and verification process.” 


UnionPay offers access to payments APIs

UnionPay International gives global developers access to its APIs — UnionPay International — “UnionPay International is providing three types of services via UPI Developer: First, offer open access to its major APIs. Developers now have access to the APIs of 18 of UnionPay’s most popular payment and data services, including QR code payment and Token. Second, offer a combination of multiple APIs to provide partners with one-stop payment solutions, assisting them in both product developing and commercial application. Third, offer diverse technical support services, including technical documentation, technical guidance and product testing and certification.” 


Sydney commuters can now use Fitbit wearables to pay for transit rides

Sydneysiders can now use Fitbit Pay to quickly and easily tap on & off at transit readers — Fitbit — “Following the contactless payment strategy rolled out by NSW Transport on Sydney’s ferry, light rail and train networks in November, Fitbit users can now use selected Mastercard and Visa debit and credit cards loaded into their Fitbit Pay Wallet to pay for their trip… Fitbit users in Sydney with a Fitbit Ionic, Fitbit Versa and its newest tracker, Fitbit Charge 3, can now leave their Opal cards at home and instead use Fitbit Pay on their Fitbit device to quickly and easily pay for public transport.” 


Metrolinx to let commuters top up their Presto transit card with their NFC phone

New app will let Presto customers pay from their smartphones — Ottawa Sun — “Metrolinx, the Crown agency that oversees the Presto system, has just released a new beta version of an app that will eventually allow customers to avoid the line by loading their cards directly from their smartphones… Users will be able to load funds directly using their debit or credit card, check the remaining balance of their account and set up a notification system to alert them when their funds are too low or their passes near expiry… Android phones with near field communication (NFC) capabilities will be able to load their funds instantaneously by simply pressing their cards against the back of their smartphones.” 


Mercedes partners with Garmin for NFC smartwatch

Garmin collaborates with Daimler to bring connected features to Mercedes-Benz vehicles with the Vivoactive 3 GPS smartwatch — Garmin — “In addition to providing heart rate data and a driver’s stress level, the Vivoactive 3 GPS smartwatch will be exclusively modified for Mercedes-Benz customers with custom branded materials and display screens. The Garmin Vivoactive 3 is one of the company’s flagship smartwatches and is packed with features that include built-in indoor and outdoor sports apps, smart notification alerts delivered right to the wrist, and a contactless payment solution to make secure payments from the watch thanks to Garmin Pay.” 


Japan’s Seven Bank to let customers open accounts at in-store ATMs

Seven Bank to use facial recognition to let people open accounts at ATMs across Japan — The Japan Times — “The new ATM operated by Seven Bank, a unit of retailer Seven & I Holdings Co, would be able to confirm the identity of someone wanting to set up a bank account in a few seconds by scanning a photo ID and taking a picture through a high-precision camera… Seven Bank has over 24,000 ATMs at convenience stores, public facilities and elsewhere nationwide. Several thousand of the new ATMs are expected to be installed by summer 2020 in large cities.” 


SiriusXM to offer Visa in-car payments to US auto makers

Visa and SiriusXM team up to fast track the future of in-vehicle commerce — Sirius XM Holdings — “The SiriusXM e-wallet is being designed to integrate into the dashboard and will allow drivers and their passengers to complete and make purchases for everyday tasks on-the-go: shop and pay for coffee, find and pre-pay for gas, locate and pay for parking, purchase movie tickets, seamlessly pay tolls, and more. Users will activate and authenticate payment with their Visa account using biometric authentication, like voice and touchscreen commands, to eliminate driver distractions during the transaction.” 


UK police report increase in contactless card fraud

Surge in contactless card fraud — stealing £1.8m in 10 months — Evening Standard — “Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, said that in 10 months last year there were 2,739 reports of contactless fraud, totalling almost £1.8m (US$2.3m) — up from 1,440 cases worth £711,000 (US$909,000) in the same period in 2017… Average losses investigated by detectives were between £90 (US$115) and £652 (US$833) but the largest single contactless case reached £400,000 (US$511,000), stemming from multiple purchases.” 


Chinese mobile payment users set to double by 2023

Mobile payments market in China is expected to witness three-fold growth with doubling of active mobile payment users by 2023 — Frost & Sullivan — “The market of mobile payments services in China is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.8% from 2017 to 2023, growing three-fold from US$29.93 trillion to US$96.73 trillion. The total number of active mobile payment customers is expected to reach 956 million by 2023 from 562 million in 2017 which will attract additional investments from mobile payments market participants.” 


Mastercard to drop its name from its logo

Mastercard evolves its brand mark by dropping its name — Mastercard — “Mastercard today announced that it is dropping its name from its iconic brand mark in select contexts. The interlocking red and yellow circles, referred to as the Mastercard Symbol, will now stand on its own across cards using the red and yellow brand mark, acceptance marks at retail locations both in the physical and digital worlds, and major sponsorship properties… The flexible modern design will allow it to work seamlessly across the digital landscape.”