Atos offers to acquire Gemalto for €4.3bn

Atos proposes to acquire Gemalto to create a global leader in cybersecurity, digital technologies and services — Atos — “Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, announces that it has made a formal proposal to acquire Gemalto by way of a public offer for all of Gemalto issued and outstanding shares.” 


Men’s Health gives positive review to Gymkit with NFC

Apple’s GymKit launches today, promises additional, super accurate gym data — Men’s Health — “A quick boink of the watch near the near field communication port and one tap of the Watch to confirm you want to workout, you’re off. Adjust the pitch of the treadmill and you’ll see your feet climbed rise on the Watch. The real-time, two-way data exchange is impressive, and your equipment workout data will get logged directly into Apple’s Health app, so you can deploy it later as you deem fit.” 


First US gym adds support for Apple Watch NFC pairing with exercise machines

Apple Watch GymKit syncing arrives in exactly one US gym — Engadget — “GymKit syncing on the Apple Watch technically arrived with watchOS 4.1, but there’s been one main obstacle to using it: Actually finding a gym that supports it. Only one fitness center each in Australia and the UK have enabled it so far… One solitary gym in New York City, Life Time Athletic at Sky, now has 13 GymKit-capable machines (including treadmills, bikes, ellipticals and stair steppers) that will pair with your smartwatch.” 


Australian banks ordered to cut contactless transaction fees

‘Let shoppers choose Eftpos’: Banks ordered to overhaul paywave systems by April — news.com.au — “Australia’s banks have been given a deadline of April next year to reduce fees charged on tap-and-go payments by giving customers the option of choosing Eftpos instead of credit… ‘It’s estimated that processing tap-and-go transactions through credit cards instead of Eftpos costs businesses A$290 [US$220m] million a year.'” 




UnionPay details its mobile payment app for China’s banks

Unified app of China’s banking industry, ‘Mobile QuickPass’ officially launches today — China UnionPay — “The ‘Mobile QuickPass’ app is a unified mobile payment portal jointly developed and maintained by commercial banks and UnionPay, under the guidance of the People’s Bank of China. Customers are able to link their bank cards to the app, manage different bank accounts, and enjoy the mobile payment services and benefits offered by each bank. The services offered by this app also include UnionPay QR code payment, signing up for various mobile payment solutions, comprehensive credit card services, P2P real-time transfer and payment services in various scenarios.” 


Australian merchants to accept payments on their mobile phones — with no additional hardware required

CBA launches hardware-less payments app for SMBs — The Australian Financial Review — “Commonwealth Bank will bring a new mobile payments technology to market in Australia that enables small businesses to accept credit card payments of up to A$100 on their Samsung devices, without any other hardware…. A pilot program is expected to kick off in early 2018, with the smartphone payments platform to be rolled out commercially by mid next year.” 


Samsung integrates Hong Kong’s Octopus card into Samsung Pay

Samsung teams up with Octopus to launch exclusively the first “Smart Octopus” in Samsung Pay — Octopus Holdings — “Smart Octopus in Samsung Pay will enable NFC payment at all Octopus acceptance points, covering public transport as well as over 21,000 retail outlets, online shopping, recreational facilities, vending machines, self-service kiosks; plus the use of parking and access control facilities at residential or commercial premises.” 


China UnionPay launches mobile wallet app

UnionPay takes mobile payment services fight to Alibaba and Tencent with integrated app — South China Morning Post — “UnionPay said the app could be linked to more than one bank account by different banks with all of their mobile payment services accepted and conducted via the platform… The country’s dominant bank card clearing service provider also launched a nationwide promotional campaign with aggressive discounts to attract consumers who have been increasingly using Alipay and Tenpay services for shopping.” 


Alipay pushes into Hong Kong, India, Thailand and the Philippines with Christmas shopping festival

Alipay to hold online 24-hour Christmas shopping festival as part of expansion push — South China Morning Post — “The event will take place in Hong Kong, India, Thailand and the Philippines with Alipay partners in each location: Hutchison in Hong Kong, Paytm in India, Truemoney in Thailand and GCash in the Philippines… As part of the December event, the AlipayHK joint venture has partnered with more than 8,000 bricks-and-mortar stores to offer exclusive gifts, discounts and rewards.” 



Visa to add sounds, animations and haptic feedback to transaction confirmations

See, hear and feel the evolution of Visa through sensory branding — Visa — “These new sound, animation and haptic (vibration) cues will help signify completed transactions in digital and physical retail environments when you pay with Visa… Visa’s sensory branding will be available as a software development kit (SDK) on the Visa Developer Platform, and through the Visa Ready program for deeper integration requirements, in 2018.” 


Japanese bank to combine fingerprint and vein verification for cardless transactions at ATMs and teller windows

Mofiria provides Aeon Bank with new hybrid biometric device — Mofiria — “Aeon Bank Ltd, a Japanese new style bank, has announced that they have introduced a whole new biometrics authentication system to their ATMs and teller windows, which allows the customers to do any bank transactions without using a bank card nor entering PIN number… Aeon Bank has introduced this system to five branches for the proof of concept and they have a plan to introduce it to all branches by October 2018.” 




Six in ten card present transactions are now made with an EMV chip card

59% of card-present transactions globally use EMV chip technology — EMVCo — “58.9% of card-present contact and contactless transactions globally were EMV-enabled between July 2016 and June 2017. This represents an increase over the prior year, when 42.4% of transactions were EMV-enabled… The United States experienced the largest year-over-year increase, with 31.4% of transactions being EMV-enabled, compared to 7.2% in the same period the prior year.” 


Nintendo and Kellogg’s add NFC tags to cereal boxes

Super Mario Cereal in a bowl

Special edition Super Mario Cereal boxes with integrated NFC tags are to begin shipping in the US on 11 December. The tags enable kids playing Nintendo’s Super Mario Odyssey game to tap the box with their Nintendo Switch controller “like you would an Amiibo” to receive gold coins or a heart they can then use as power-ups when playing the game. More


Apple Pay Cash to run on Discover’s network

Discover Network enables payments for Apple’s newly launched Apple Pay Cash — Discover — “Discover announced today that transactions made with Apple’s new Apple Pay Cash card leverage the Discover Network… When Apple customers receive money on a supported device, the money is added to their new Apple Pay Cash card. They can use the money instantly to pay someone or to make purchases using Apple Pay in stores, apps and on the web.” 


Samsung looks to palm recognition to secure mobile devices

Samsung’s new phones might literally read the palm of your hand — Futurism — “Recent patent filings by the South Korean electronics giant show that the company may be investing in yet another means of biometric scanning. Samsung’s palm recognition technology would join other biometrics, such as facial recognition and fingerprint scanning, along with standard passwords, pin numbers, and patterns as a means of securing your device.” 


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