Indian mobile payments firms raised US$1.5bn in funding in 2017

Investors shift focus to mobile payments, last mile payment firms — Business Standard — “Mobile payments alone gathered close to $1.51 billion in the year 2017 through 13 rounds of funding, according to data compiled by Tracxn. Investors say that the money is going beyond wallet businesses now into last mile solutions because the payment systems are maturing and the industry is leaping into the next stage where collaborations happen and solutions are end-to-end.” 


Dollar General lets customers check out on their mobile phones

Dollar General pilots mobile checkout app — Progressive Grocer — “Tennessee-based Dollar General is the latest food retailer and first dollar-store chain to move into mobile checkout… Users will receive a receipt immediately via the app and via email. Any digital coupons are applied automatically when customers scan items, and the app alerts users regarding any additional discounts or promotions.” 


National Bank of Canada lets merchants accept contactless payments on their Samsung smartphones

National Bank launches Easy Pay, a mobile point-of-sale solution enabling Canadian SMEs to accept contactless payments — National Bank of Canada — “With Easy Pay, merchants can accept payments in person using a compatible smartphone — no peripherals required. After registering for the Easy Pay solution, they simply download the Easy Pay app in order to accept payments from customers using an eligible contactless credit card or via the customer’s digital wallet.” 


Google explains how its BiometricPrompt API will work

Better biometrics in Android P — Google — “Starting in Android P, developers can use the BiometricPrompt API to integrate biometric authentication into their apps in a device and biometric agnostic way… A support library is also provided for devices running Android O and earlier, allowing applications to utilize the advantages of this API across more devices.” 


UnionPay promotes mobile payments adoption with discounts at merchants around the world

UnionPay International launches its biggest-scale summer marketing campaign — UnionPay — “Merchants in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Russia, Australia and other countries and regions are providing discounts for UnionPay mobile QuickPass. For instance, customers can purchase Aeroexpress ticket in Moscow for only one ruble. Secondly, customers can download u-plan e-coupons that can be used at about 6,000 merchant locations in 17 countries and regions via the app to enjoy the best discount in-store. Thirdly, the app users can check about merchant offers, card-using tips, tax refund guides and other practical information.” 


UK government to use NFC to verify residency status of EU citizens after Brexit

Brexit: Three ‘simple’ questions for EU citizens to stay in UK — BBC — “Applicants with Android phones will be able to download an app which can read the chip in their passport to verify their identity — and they will be able to take a ‘selfie’ that can be checked against Home Office records, said Mr Javid. But he said there was an ‘an issue at the moment’ with Apple device users, who will not be able to make use of this app, and instead will have to send in their passport to prove their identity… The home secretary said he had raised the issue with Apple on a recent visit to Silicon Valley and the company was ‘looking at it actively’.” 


Dubai’s Atlantis resort installs blockchain-based payments system for guests

Atlantis resort rolls out blockchain-based guest payment solution — ITP.net — “The new payment system gives guests at Atlantis either a wristband or a digital wallet to charge all their services during their stay. Details of every transaction are recorded in Lucid Pay, so that in the event of any dispute, both parties are able to see exactly what was charged for. Visibility into transactions will also help in combating fraud.” 


Car manufacturers back NFC for digital keys

Car Connectivity Consortium announces publication of the Digital Key Release 1.0 Specification, delivering to the industry a standardized smartphone as a car key solution — Car Connectivity Consortium — “The Release 1.0 specification provides a generalized deployment method that allows vehicle OEMs to securely transfer a digital key implementation to a smart device, using an existing Trusted Service Manager (TSM) infrastructure. By leveraging NFC distance bounding and a direct link to the secure element of the device, CCC is assuring the highest state-of-the-art security level for vehicle access.” 


Apple Pay launches in Norway

Nordea launches Apple Pay in Norway, DNB stays focused on Vipps — Reuters — “Nordea Bank launched Apple Pay to its customers in Norway on Wednesday… Visa separately said Apple Pay will also be available to Norwegian customers at Santander Bank, and soon also at Sbanken. Norway’s biggest bank DNB said it had been in dialogue with Apple, but will so far not offer Apple Pay to its customers as it would rather concentrate on its self-made Vipps payment solution.” 


Beijing metro looks to biometrics to speed up payments at turnstiles

Beijing subways to get bio-ID system — China Daily — “Two bio-recognition technologies — facial recognition and palm touch — are being considered, said Zhang Huabing, head of enterprise development for Beijing Subway… Facial recognition technology can track passenger movements with cameras connected to online networks that recognize people when they enter a station, potentially allowing them to bypass traditional ticketing.” 


Bankwest wins new customers with NFC payments ring

With this ring, I do my banking — Information Age — “An experiment in wearable payment tokens has become such a successful drawcard for new customers that Bankwest technologists have found themselves on a crash course in the dynamics of the fashion accessory market… Customers loved the rings so much that, despite the absence of formal advertising campaigns, they have proved to be adept at attracting new customers – who have snapped up half of all rings sold to date.” 


Paytm integrates games, TV, sports and news into its mobile wallet app

Now enjoy news, live TV, cricket, entertainment & games in Paytm Inbox — Paytm — “We have added a host of new features to ‘Inbox’, our in-app messaging service that allows you to chat with friends and family and send/request money at the same time. You would now be able to enjoy in-app live TV, news, cricket, entertainment videos and games on-the-go for free.” 


Spanish banks to build blockchain customer identity verification platform

The Niuron banking consortium will develop a platform to verify the digital identity of clients — Europa Press (translation) — “For banks, the benefits of this platform translate into an increase in speed, cost savings, reduction of fraud, reduction of operational risk and improvement of the prevention of money laundering. The client, on the other hand, decreases the time necessary during a registration process and has control and sovereignty over their personal data, thus improving their experience.” 


Garmin adds NFC payments to Fenix smartwatches

Garmin debuts the Fenix 5 Plus, adds maps, music, Garmin Pay and wrist-based Pulse Ox to its popular multisport GPS watch series — Garmin — “Garmin International Inc, a unit of Garmin Ltd, today announced the Fenix 5 Plus series, its next generation of GPS multisport watches with built-in routable topographical maps, storage for music playlists, Garmin Pay contactless payment solution and wrist-based Pulse Oximeter 1 for altitude acclimation awareness.” 


JCB expands Apple Pay support to Taiwan

Apple Pay coming to JCB’s customers in Taiwan — JCB — “Support for Apple Pay will start with E.Sun Bank and Union Bank of Taiwan and continue to be phased in for other JCB brand payment product issuers… Taiwan is the first market after Japan where JCB is supporting Apple Pay.” 


Apple Pay goes live in Poland with the support of eight banks

Official: Apple Pay available in Poland with eight banks — Thinkapple (translation) — “The official list of banks supporting Apple Pay in Poland: BGZ BNP Paribas, Bank Zachodni WBK, Alior Bank, Raiffeisen Polbank, Nest Bank, mBank, Bank Pekao, Getin Bank. It is worth adding that Apple Pay is also available to T-Mobile Banking Services users (they are provided by Alior Bank)… PKO BP announced that Apple Pay will be available in the third quarter of this year.” 


EBA issues opinion on strong customer authentication requirements under PSD2

Opinion of the European Banking Authority on the implementation of the RTS on SCA and CSC — European Banking Authority — “The regulatory technical standards (RTS) on strong customer authentication (SCA) and common and secure communication (CSC) underpin the new security requirements under PSD2… The EBA has decided to issue an opinion in order to respond to a number of the numerous queries the EBA and competent authorities have received from market participants and aims to provide clarity on the implementation of certain aspects of the RTS that were published.” 


Eurosmart reports rise in smartphones with embedded secure elements

Eurosmart’s secure element shipment forecasts confirm a global market increase in all main market sectors — Eurosmart — “Trends for device manufacturers, mainly composed of high end smartphone manufacturers, became significant in 2017 with 400m embedded secure elements. The growth is important and equal to +21.2% compared with 2016 (330m of units) and 470m units are expected in 2018.” 


Mastercard unveils smart mirror that lets shoppers make payments in the fitting room

Mastercard to shake up shopping with new Smart Mirror with payment function — The Industry — “The mirror recognises products as they enter the fitting room, creating a virtual shopping basket and a multi-sensory shopping experience. It allows shoppers to change lighting and language, view/request size and colour variations, seek out further recommended items, request garments to be brought directly to the fitting room and finally, pay seamlessly and instantly by tapping the mirror with a card, payment device or through the app.” 


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