Google Pay goes live in Italy

Google Pay has arrived — Google Blog Italia (translation) — “Simply add a credit, debit or prepaid card (Maestro, MasterCard, Visa) issued by any of the supported banks and credit institutions to the Google Pay app — including Banca Mediolanum, Boon, Hype, Nexi, N26, Revolut, Widiba and, in the coming months, Iccrea Banca and Poste Italiane — to turn your Android smartphone into a wallet. Users can also activate the service directly in the mobile banking app of their bank.” 


Pulse reports on US uptake of mobile debit card payments

2018 Debit Issuer Study finds improved issuer performance, lower fraud losses — Pulse — “86% of responding issuers support at least one mobile payment option, up from 74% in the previous study… Cardholder enrollment in mobile programs doubled in the last year. However, transactions initiated with a mobile wallet represented only 0.6% of in-store debit card purchases in 2017, compared to 0.3% in 2016.” 


OP Financial tests face recognition for payments in stores

OP Financial Group first in Finland to pilot facial recognition payments — OP Financial Group — “The technology compares the customer’s face to a face map captured on camera. After the customer’s face has been identified, the payment itself is simple: no mobile phone, payment card, cash or other traditional payment method will be needed.” 


Singapore begins rollout of QR code that works with multiple mobile payment schemes

Singapore introduces world’s first unified payment QR code — SGQR — Monetary Authority of Singapore — “The first of its kind globally, SGQR combines multiple payment QR codes into a single SGQR label, making QR code-based mobile payments simple for both consumers and merchants. SGQR will be adopted by 27 payment schemes including PayNow, NETS, GrabPay, Liquid Pay and Singtel Dash, and will be deployed progressively over the next six months.” 


Mobile contactless payment volumes to rise by 30% a year to 2022

451 Research’s Global Unified Commerce Forecast uncovers dramatic shifts in consumer spending patterns — 451 Research — “Mobile contactless payments will surpass $1 trillion globally in 2022. Sales executed via mobile contactless payment methods such as Apple Pay and Google Pay are growing at an impressive 30.7% CAGR through 2022. However, they will account for just 1.4% of global brick and mortar retail sales this year and reach only 3.8% by 2022.” 


French football club to launch its own cryptocurrency

Paris Saint-Germain becomes first football club in the world to announce long term cryptocurrency strategy — Paris Saint-Germain — “Socios.com will work alongside the club to develop the world’s first Fan Token Offering (FTO) for the Paris Saint-Germain fanbase. The Paris Saint-Germain fan token will be listed on the Socios.com platform and will allow fans to engage with the club through mobile voting and polling platforms. Token owners will also be granted access to exclusive fan rewards, content and experiences.” 


The Conran Shop and Pinterest deploy NFC tags that let shoppers add products to wishlists

The Conran Shop and Pinterest collaborate to create an immersive and personalised shopping experience — Pinterest — “Customers will also be able to use their smartphones to explore the products and activate unique digital experiences via integrated near-field communication (NFC) technology. The NFC tags, powered by printed-electronics specialist, Thinfilm, are activated by tapping a smartphone on a featured hero product, which will automatically be added to a bespoke ‘Conran Wishlist’ on the customer’s personal Pinterest board.” 


UnionPay rolls out its mobile payments app to cardholders in Hong Kong and Macau

UnionPay International launches the UnionPay app in Hong Kong and Macau to enhance the local customers’ mobile payment experience — UnionPay International — “From today, consumers in Hong Kong and Macau can bind their locally issued UnionPay cards to the UnionPay app and enjoy mobile payment service both in and outside Hong Kong and Macau… So far, UnionPay is accepted at almost all ATMs and POS terminals in Hong Kong and Macau, and a total of about 19m UnionPay cards are issued in Hong Kong and Macau.” 


Skanska deploys mobile keys at new headquarters in Warsaw

HID Global helps create an integrated mobile experience and enhances security at the new Skanska office complex in Warsaw — HID Global — PARTNER NEWS — “Spark building employees and their guests can now move throughout the building with nothing more than a smartphone, without the risk of them gaining access to restricted areas — unless the proper access rights are granted. When users arrive at the door, they simply tap their iOS and Android devices to an iClass SE reader using near field communications (NFC) or Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and HID’s ‘twist and go’ feature to gain access from a distance. Any changes to the user’s access rights are remotely managed by the administrator through a cloud-based portal.” 


Xiaomi to ship $29 fitness tracker with support for Mi Pay NFC payments

Xiaomi Mi Band 3 NFC version to go on sale on September 19; Total wearable sales exceed 50m — Gizmochina — “The company has officially confirmed that it will begin the sales of the Mi Band 3 NFC edition starting from Sept 19 with a price tag of 199 Yuan (US$29 approx)… Apart from supporting contactless payment POS terminals enabled with NFC, the Mi Band 3 NFC version will support city bus card payments in [as] many as 167 cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Tianjin, Shijiazhuang, Suzhou, Hefei, Xi’an, and Jilin among others in China.” 


San Francisco transit operators to deploy NFC ticketing

Cubic chosen as preferred provider by Metropolitan Transportation Commission for contract to deliver next-gen fare payment system — Cubic — “The next-generation system will include new features including an integrated mobile app that will support a virtual Clipper card, enabling customers to access real-time information, top up their accounts, plan trips and tap their phones through faregates and on buses in much the same way as mobile payments can be made at retailers.” 


Survey: Merchants are winning the US mobile wallet adoption battle

Merchants winning the battle for mobile wallet supremacy — Javelin Strategy & Research — “In the rush to market, the main wallet value proposition, paying at the POS, wasn’t particularly compelling. In reality, loyalty and rewards will drive adoption, something merchants are doing particularly well,” said Krista Tedder, director of payments at Javelin Strategy & Research.” 


Tokyo Racecourse to replace betting slips with contactless cards and biometrics

Fujitsu’s cashless betting machines use palm vein authentication to support Japan Racing Organization — Fujitsu — “The betting machines will allow users to place bets without using cash by simply holding their hands out to the machine and using their JRA-Umaca contactless membership card… The purchase information is recorded on the JRA-Umaca card making it unnecessary to print a paper betting ticket, and if they make an accurate prediction, winnings will be paid out to the JRA-Umaca card automatically.” 


Apple Pay hits launch hurdles in India

After Amazon and WhatsApp, Apple orders ‘stop payment’ — The Economic Times — “Silicon Valley giant Apple has shelved plans to launch a Unified Payments Interface-based payments platform in India after landing in a regulatory grey zone that has stalled the full rollouts of similar products by Amazon and WhatsApp as well. Apple put the brakes on introducing Apple Pay in the country despite holding discussions with a few leading banks and the National Payments Corporation of India, which manages the UPI platform, said two people with knowledge of the matter.” 


NFC ticketing pioneer Utah Transit Authority pulls support for contactless payments

General-purpose contactless payments continue to struggle on US transit systems — Digital Transactions — “The Salt Lake City-based Utah Transit Authority, a pioneer in contactless fare payments, has discontinued acceptance of general-purpose contactless mobile wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. The UTA also no longer accepts contactless general-purpose payment cards, though such cards aren’t yet common in the United States. Only 112 riders on average used those forms of payment — far less than 1% of UTA’s average of 147,728 weekday boardings as of last December, according to a spokesperson.”