WhatsApp Payments to launch in UK, Mexico and Brazil?

WhatsApp Payments reportedly coming to Mexico, Brazil, UK next — NDTV — “According to WABetaInfo, a prolific tipster of upcoming WhatsApp features, three countries — Brazil, Mexico, and UK — will be getting WhatsApp Payments next… The service was originally introduced in India last year in beta but is yet to roll out to all users in the country because of regulatory hurdles.” 


German consumers warm to contactless payments

Consumer Insights Study on German consumers’ preferred payment methods — First Data — “Contrary to the traditional ‘cash being king’ mind set, our study reveals a definite shift in consumer preference to more convenient methods of payments… 42% believe contactless payments are more convenient… 54% of consumers believe cash will become obsolete in a few years, 52% of consumers, or more than half, prefer card payments… 61% agree that card payments will become increasingly available.” 


Facebook to offer WhatsApp payments in Africa?

Facebook in talks with banks about mobile payments in Africa — BusinessDay — “Facebook is in talks with financial institutions about possible mobile payment collaborations in Africa, says Carolyn Everson, a vice president at the social networking group… ‘We’re definitely interested in helping facilitate payments — it’s more of a 2020 roadmap for us than a 2019 one — but we’re having those initial conversations with some of the larger financial services companies.” 


Shenzhen Metro tests face recognition payments

You will soon be able to pay your subway fare with your face in China — South China Morning Post — “At the Futian station, instead of presenting a ticket or scanning a QR bar code on their smartphones, commuters can scan their faces on a tablet-sized screen mounted on the entrance gate and have the fare automatically deducted from their linked accounts.” 


Shanghai bus operator adds face recognition payments

SenseTime promotes traffic safety with smart automobile solutions — SenseTIme — “Passengers may register on the shuttle bus service app and submit their photo, they will then no longer have to worry about forgetting their smartphone or shuttle bus card, simply scan and go aboard, saving the hassle of waiting in queue to pay when getting on a bus.” 


German savings banks to offer Apple Pay ‘this year’

Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken want to support Apple Pay in 2019 — Heise Online (translation) — “Like the savings banks, the Volksbanks offer their customers their own app for contactless payment transactions in the retail sector. However, it is only available for Android because Apple has not released the NFC interface of the iPhone for such applications. The German savings banks had demanded that Apple should open its NFC functionality to banking apps as recently as the end of 2018, but have now dropped this requirement.” 


UK Finance reports 31% rise in contactless transactions

Contactless card use surges as doubts ease — BBC News — “The number of transactions using contactless rose by 31% in 2018 compared with the previous year, banking trade body UK Finance data shows. Adoption of this technology on public transport and by more retailers has led, in part, to the rise.” 


Chipotle teams with Venmo to launch mobile rewards program

Chipotle Rewards launches by giving fans a quarter of a million dollars on Venmo — Chipotle Mexican Grill — “Chipotle is using Venmo payouts to give away up to a quarter of a million dollars… For a chance to receive anywhere between $1 and $500, consumers submit the phone number associated with their Venmo account at chipotlerewardsme.com. Within 24 hours, recipients of the payouts will be alerted of the payment in the Venmo app with a payment note from Chipotle, along with a custom Chipotle pepper emoji.” 


Safaricom signs mobile payments deal with Alibaba

Safaricom, Alibaba unit agree mobile payments partnership — Bloomberg — “The deal extends Safaricom customers’ ability to use its mobile money service, known as M-Pesa, outside Kenya as the company looks to establish the system as a global platform.” 


Garmin includes NFC payments in upmarket Marq smartwatches

Garmin unveils the Marq Collection: a series of lifestyle inspired connected tool watches, crafted to champion the life you live — Garmin — “The Marq Collection uses select materials, meticulously crafted and designed with the utmost attention to quality that help guarantee performance in the most demanding of environments… Each watch is built from titanium, which is lightweight yet incredibly strong. Combined with a domed sapphire crystal for ultimate scratch resistance, this creates the solid core for all Marq watches.” 


Google releases Android Q Beta with added biometric authentication support

Introducing Android Q Beta — Google — “In Android Q we’re extending support for passive authentication methods such as face, and adding implicit and explicit authentication flows. In the explicit flow, the user must explicitly confirm the transaction in the TEE during the authentication. The implicit flow is designed for a lighter-weight alternative for transactions with passive authentication. We’ve also improved the fallback for device credentials when needed.” 


Survey: Easier payment options would increase commuters’ public transportation usage by 27%

Visa global study identifies key success factors to improve daily travel, creating smarter, more efficient cities — Visa — “If it was easier to pay for public transport, average use would increase by 27%. 47% said the need for different tickets for different modes of travel is an issue, 44% said not knowing how much to pay is a problem, and 41% cited services being ‘cash-only’ as an annoyance. According to those surveyed, these frustrations make them less likely to use public transport and more likely to drive their own cars.” 


India to include NFC option in digital driving licences

Traffic violators beware, new driving licences, registration certificates coming from October — The Times of India — “The new DLs [driving licences] and RCs [vehicle registration certificates] will have a QR code that can be read by hand-held devices to access the past records of the driver or the vehicle from the central online database… ‘Though there was a proposal to make the chip and NFC feature mandatory, the Centre decided to leave the option to the state governments,’ said an official.” 


Older US consumers warm to bank-led P2P payments

Make room Millennials, Zelle study finds Generation X and Boomers driving broader adoption of person-to-person (P2P) payments — Early Warning Services — “52% of Generation X and 46% of Boomer respondents said that they ‘trust’ P2P payments, and are interested in using available solutions. 76% of Generation X and 74% of Boomers surveyed ranked ‘offered through a financial institution they use’ as a top reason to trial P2P payments.”