New iPhones and Apple Watch to support NFC-F for FeliCa payments around the world

Global FeliCa for iPhone 8, iPhone X, Apple Watch Series 3 — Ata Distance — “Though Apple is very low key about global NFC-F support, FeliCa systems outside of Japan, such as Hong Kong’s MTR system and Octopus Card, and Singapore’s EZ-Link will be able to add Apple Pay Suica-like services… It also means that ‘inbound’ visitors to Japan can add Apple Pay Suica with the new devices.” 


Swarovski lets shoppers make payments in VR

Mastercard and Swarovski launch virtual reality shopping experience — Mastercard — “Once the consumers decide and select the piece from the collection that they want to purchase, they can add it to the cart and check out by focusing their gaze on the Masterpass button that appears at the bottom of the product description. When the consumer exits the application or the session detects that the headset has been removed, the consumer will be automatically logged out of their Masterpass account to protect against unintended purchases.” 


Cambridge academics report on cryptocurrency market status

Global Cryptocurrency Benchmarking Study — University of Cambridge — “This is the first study to systematically investigate key cryptocurrency industry sectors by collecting empirical, non-public data. The study gathered survey data from nearly 150 cryptocurrency companies and individuals, and it covers 38 countries from five world regions. The study details the key industry sectors that have emerged and the different entities that inhabit them.” 


Central Bank of Uruguay to run mobile currency pilot

Uruguayan central bank to test digital currency — Latin American Herald Tribune — “‘Instead of carrying around a leather wallet with paper currency,’ people will load electronic currency onto their mobile phones. ‘It’s not that you use the phone to order money transfers, as is done today, but having bills in the cellular and being able to pass them on from one user to another’… Digital bills will be used ‘exactly the same’ as paper bills.” 


Mastercard applies for blockchain B2B payments patent

Method and system for recording point to point transaction processing — USPTO — “The present disclosure relates to the recording, processing, and displaying of point to point transactions, specifically providing a trade directory of parties in a secure environment, a ledger of transactions, and the settlement of aggregated person-to-person (P2P) and business-to-business (B2B) electronic payment transactions between bank accounts and third parties using a single transaction processing system.” 


Walmart tests smart lock delivery service

Why the future could mean delivery straight into your fridge — Walmart — “Here’s how the test will work: I place an order on Walmart.com for several items, even groceries. When my order is ready, a Deliv driver will retrieve my items and bring them to my home. If no one answers the doorbell, he or she will have a one-time passcode that I’ve pre-authorized which will open my home’s smart lock.” 



Chinese banks roll out face recognition at the ATM

Facial recognition debuts at China’s banks — Xinhua News Agency — “At the Agricultural Bank of China’s (ABC) three outlets in Jinan City, cards are no longer needed to withdraw money. A quick scan of the face will do… Other banks, such as the China Merchants Bank and the Construction Bank of China, have also introduced similar technology in their ATMs.” 


Germany’s central bank reports on potential of blockchain for payments

Bundesbank sees benefits in blockchain technology — Deutsche Bundesbank — “The Bundesbank’s experts see little prospect of DLT [distributed ledger technology] being put to widespread use in the field of individual and retail payments given the current state of the art… They see more potential for DLT in payments beyond the European currency area… There is currently no realistic prospect of central bank-issued digital currency being rolled out in the foreseeable future.” 


NXP releases NFC tag toolkit for iOS

NXP

PARTNER NEWS: NXP has announced a toolkit designed to make it easy for iOS 11 developers to take advantage of the NFC tag reading capabilities that are now supported by iPhones and unlock “the potential to now connect billions of consumer and industrial products to the Internet of Things (IoT)”. More


Banks back government-led Taiwan Pay QR payments service

Banks offer ministry’s Taiwan Pay services — Taipei Times — “Taiwan Pay aims to provide more convenient, quicker payment services using QR code technology via smartphones, which have become a necessity in daily life,” deputy minister of finance Su Jain-rong told a news conference… The ministry spearheaded the development of Taiwan Pay to help the nation become a regional technology hub and to compete with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay.” 


Japanese banks to develop shared customer ID platform

Japan developing shared ID system for banks — Nikkei Asian Review — “In this set-up, an account holder at one bank can register for a shared ID. If the individual wishes to open an account at a second bank, all she needs to do is provide the common ID through a smartphone app, and confirm her identity through fingerprint or facial scan.” 


Nest lets home owners use NFC tags to share access to home security system

Nest expands into home security with first security system designed to be easy on residents, tough on intruders — Nest — “Nest Tag is a convenient fob that can attach to a keychain, allowing you to easily arm and disarm Nest Secure without a passcode. Nest Tags are easy to share with family members and trusted people who regularly enter the home, like dog walkers.” 


NFC Forum launches tag certification program

NFC Forum adds NFC tag certification to certification program — NFC Forum — “Tag/inlay, NFC reader and handset manufacturers for the first time will be able to test and verify the performance and interoperability of all the key components in the NFC ecosystem. Certification will help ensure that NFC tags, readers and handsets provide consistent, compelling and connected user experiences.” 


Students test finger vein payments at UK supermarket

British supermarket offers ‘finger vein’ payment in worldwide first — The Telegraph — “It works by using infrared to scan people’s finger veins and then links this unique biometric map to their bank cards. Customers’ bank details are then stored with payment provider Worldpay, in the same way you can store your card details when shopping online. Shoppers can then turn up to the supermarket with nothing on them but their own hands and use it to make payments in just three seconds.” 


Hilton lets customers pay with points for Amazon purchases

Hilton Honors members can now shop with points on Amazon — Hilton — “Members simply need to complete a one-time link of their Hilton Honors account to their Amazon.com account. Once complete, Hilton Honors members can choose the amount of points they wish to use when checking out their purchase at Amazon.com.” 


Apple releases iOS 11 with support for NFC tag reading

iOS 11 is now available to download — The Verge — “Today, Apple pushed out the final version of iOS 11, its latest mobile operating system release. Most iPhone and iPad units made in the last few years should be capable of downloading it now if you head over to the Settings panel and check for a software update under the General tab. For those who have been part of either the developer or public beta process, you’ll likely already have the finalized iOS 11 and shouldn’t need to do anything.” 


Bank of England examines the technical requirements of central bank-issued digital currencies

Beyond blockchain: What are the technology requirements for a central bank digital currency? — Bank Underground — “What type of technology would you use if you wanted to create a central bank digital currency (CBDC) ie a national currency denominated, electronic, liability of the central bank? It is often assumed that blockchain, or distributed ledger technology (DLT), would be required; but although this could have some benefits (as well as challenges), it may not be necessary.” 


Premier Food Service adds rewards to contactless vending machines

Premier Food Service selects USA Technologies as a strategic partner as they move toward connecting 100% of their machines to cashless payment — USA Technologies — PARTNER NEWS — “‘As personalization becomes more common in the marketplace, we wanted to be one step ahead of the trend with customer loyalty and reward programs being at the center of our go-to-market strategy,’ said Gary Kurth, chief operations officer, Premier Food Service… ‘USAT has made it easy for companies like ours to quickly deploy innovative cashless payment technologies across our business so that we can better engage consumers at the point-of-sale and build in customer loyalty programs.’” 


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