Russian banks prep for launch of national biometric ID platform

Tinkoff Bank takes part in demonstrating a beta version of the Unified Biometrics System (UBS) — Tinkoff Bank — “Rostelecom, together with Tinkoff Bank, VTB Bank and Pochta Bank, has presented a beta version of its Unified Biometrics System (UBS), a digital platform developed at the request of the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media and the Bank of Russia. The beta version features all the key components to deliver basic human identification functionality and is ready to be integrated into the banks’ information systems… The commercial launch of the Unified Biometrics System is slated for 1 July 2018.” 


UK to move beyond ‘peak cash’ this year

Revealed: Cash eclipsed as Britain turns to digital payments — The Guardian — “Debit cards are set to overtake cash as the most frequently used payment method in the UK later this year… In 2006, 62% of all payments in the UK were made using cash; in 2016 the proportion had fallen to 40%. By 2026, it is predicted cash will be used for just 21%.” 


Australian iPhone users ‘more likely to bank with a provider if it supports Apple Pay’

Australian smartphone sales grow in 2017 as users lock into platforms — Telsyte — “The increasing adoption in mobile contactless payments is starting to influence Australian’s banking decisions… Around one in five (22%) iPhone users claim they are more likely to bank with a provider if it supports Apple Pay. This figure increases to 32% per cent for those who are also using an Apple Watch.” 


Google Pay replaces Android Pay app starting today

Say hello to a better way to pay, by Google — Google — “Longtime Android Pay fans, fear not: the features you love aren’t going away. You’ll still get all your bank’s perks and protections, plus an extra layer of security, since Google Pay doesn’t share your actual card number when you pay in stores… And more features are coming. If you live in the US or the UK, you’ll be able to use it to send and request money within the next few months.” 


NXP to host NFC for consumables and accessories webinar on 22 February

NFC for consumables and accessories — NXP — PARTNER NEWS — “NFC is a great way to identify and authenticate consumables and accessories in industrial and consumer products. Using NFC helps to ensure that only genuine parts are being used and allows to make adjustments of device settings according to part manufacturer, type and end user preferences. Join us in this session to learn how you can develop your own NFC product authentication solution with NXP products using the NFC Nutshell Kit.” 


eMarketer: Mobile payments adoption held back by ‘strong contactless card usage’ in Europe

Global proximity mobile payment users: eMarketer’s estimates for 2016–2021 — eMarketer — “In 2018, for the first time, more than one-third (34.9%) of smartphone users ages 14 and older will use a mobile phone to pay for a purchase at a physical point of sale (POS) at least once every six months… Adoption in parts of Western Europe has been held back by strong contactless card usage. Consumers appear less likely to tap and pay with their mobile phones when their credit and debit cards already offer a similar level of convenience.” 


Korean card companies to launch joint NFC payments service in bid to combat Chinese QR threat

Korean credit card companies to introduce a joint mobile payment system in March — Business Korea — “Eight domestic credit card firms have completed the development of NFC standard ‘Justouch’ and will jointly promote it by supplying 25,000 readers across the nation by the end of next month… They are concerned about the possibility of Chinese counterparts encroaching on the domestic market if they don’t take action now as mobile payment is very common in China.” 


Wells Fargo puts AI into mobile app to help customers manage their money

Wells Fargo adds AI enhancement to mobile app, giving personalized account insights to customers nationwide — Wells Fargo — “Insights range from flagging higher-than-normal automatic monthly payments so that customers may look into a change to a reoccurring bill, to reminding a customer to transfer money from savings to a checking account to avoid a possible upcoming overdraft… Currently there are over 50 different prompts a customer can receive based on past and expected future account activity, with plans to continue adding new insights regularly. The feature will expand to small business and credit card customers later this year.” 


Apple CEO: Mobile payments taking off more slowly than expected

Apple’s Tim Cook dishes on taxes and the demise of money — Cnet — “In October 2016, Cook said Apple was going to kill cash. But Tuesday, he sounded less sure that it would happen anytime soon. ‘I’m hoping that I’m still going to be alive to see the elimination of money,’ Cook said during the shareholder meeting. ‘Mobile payments have taken off slower than I personally would have thought if you asked me sitting here a few years ago.’” 


Microsoft sets out vision for a blockchain-based infrastructure that lets consumers manage their own digital identities

Decentralized digital identities and blockchain — The future as we see it — Microsoft — “The world is undergoing a global digital transformation where digital and physical reality are blurring into a single integrated modern way of living. This new world needs a new model for digital identity… We believe it is essential for individuals to own and control all elements of their digital identity… This self-owned identity must be easy to use and give us complete control over how our identity data is accessed and used.” 


Australia’s next generation payments platform goes live

Australia’s new payments platform goes live — ITNews — “The NPP [New Payments Platform] works like a ‘secure set of rails’ between banks so they can send payment messages in real time to each other via the Reserve Bank. The platform allows services to run on top of the NPP — like Bpay’s Osko, which is the first so-called overlay service to arrive on the platform. Osko lets consumers transfer money to someone via their mobile phone number or email address in real-time, 24/7. It also enables them to send a 280-character description with their payment.” 


Walmart adds Store Assistant mode to mobile shopping app

Your shopping trip just got easier with this new store assistant — Walmart — “Next time you visit your local store and open the app, you’ll notice that the Walmart app transforms into Store Assistant. All of the tools you need to make shopping fast and easy, such as Walmart Pay, will be right at your fingertips. We’ve also made the product search bar and the scanner easier to find, so you can quickly read reviews, find items in store and double-check prices.” 


E-ZPass lets drivers use their toll pass to make purchases from their car

Verdeva’s PayByCar makes in-vehicle payment simple with unprecedented E-ZPass deal — Verdeva — “Anybody who has an E-ZPass transponder in their car can enroll in PayByCar and be able to drive up and pay without ever reaching for their wallet… When a member drives up to a participating retailer, PayByCar recognizes the toll transponder on the car and the presence of the driver’s cell phone. It authorizes and automates payment using the member’s chosen method for Verdeva non-tolling transactions, which is on file with PayByCar, and offers personalized rewards.” 


Thai temple takes donations via QR codes

Temple goes digital with QR payment for donations — Bangkok Post — “It is hoped use of the system will solve the headache caused by thefts of money from donation boxes and ensure transparency in the handling of donations through the use of e-banking… When a donation is made using QR code an alert is sent to temple monks and laymen via a mobile app.” 


Google to bring payments to Android Messages texting app?

Android Messages v2.9 prepares to launch Allo-like web interface, Google-enhanced chat features, and payments to businesses [APK Teardown] — Android Police — “Some new text in the app indicates that Google is going to angle Android Messages to also support purchases. The theme of the new strings is fairly unmistakable, including common consumer terms like ‘checkout and ‘order summary’. Another key clue is the activity where these are displayed, which is named messaging.ui.businesspayments.PaymentsSummaryActivity.” 


Face recognition to be supported by more than a billion smartphones in 2020

More than one billion smartphones to feature facial recognition in 2020 — Counterpoint Research — “The diffusion of facial recognition technology into lower tier price bands will be faster than any other flagship feature due to 2D facial recognition being native on the Android platform… In future, Counterpoint Research expects mobile devices will combine biometric sensors for the face, iris, voice and fingerprints. Rather than competing against each other, each biometric technology will be layered on top of each other with the most convenient and least intrusive being selected on an application by application basis.” 


Hong Kong banks to offer QR payments to 18m debit card holders

Jetco Pay adds new merchant payment service supported by eight banks — Jetco — “Jetco today announced the launch of Jetco Pay Merchant Payment service jointly with eight banks, including Bank of Communications (Hong Kong), Bank of East Asia, Chong Hing Bank, Dah Sing Bank, ICBC (Asia), OCBC Wing Hang Bank, Shanghai Commercial Bank and Wing Lung Bank. The service allows consumers to make in-store QR code payment easily, while in-app or online payments can be completed quickly and securely by inputting only their mobile phone number. The fact that the service is linked to the bank account also means that consumers do not have to worry about topping up.” 


Hong Kong bank adds finger vein biometrics to ATMs

Hong Kong lender banking on finger veins being better than faces for ATM security — South China Morning Post — “Bosses at Bank of China Hong Kong said on Tuesday they expected to bring finger vein identification to all of the company’s ATMs across the city, claiming the feature to be more secure than facial recognition. The bank – the first to use the new technology in the city – had already extended it to a third of its cash machines by last month.” 


Alipay parent Ant Financial to go public at a $100bn valuation?

China’s Ant plans equity fundraising at potential $100 billion valuation — Reuters — “China’s Ant Financial Services Group is planning to raise up to US$5bn (£3.59bn) in fresh equity that could value the online payments giant at more than US$100bn… A fundraising would bring Ant, in which e-commerce firm Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is taking a one-third stake, a step closer to a hotly anticipated initial public offering.” 


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