Marshall Islands to issue official digital currency

Marshall Islands to issue own sovereign cryptocurrency — Reuters — “The Marshall Islands will issue its own cryptocurrency that will be circulated as legal tender along with the US dollar… SOV is based on what the Marshall Islands government calls the ‘Yakwe framework’, which requires users to identify themselves on the blockchain, solving the anonymity problem that has plagued bitcoin and precluded its mainstream adoption.” 


Retailers raise concerns over card networks’ plans for a single buy button

Visa, Mastercard push for one-click ordering. Retailers say ‘not so fast’ — The Wall Street Journal — “Representatives of large retailers including Walmart Inc and Home Depot Inc met with federal regulators this week to raise concerns about a new online payment initiative that Visa Inc and Mastercard Inc are preparing to roll out… Retailers’ main concern with combining the buttons is that merchants won’t be able to route their debit card transactions to lower-cost networks.” 


AmEx to personalize rewards to specific members and products

On the Money: Credit cards to perfect targeting program — The Associated Press — “American Express is piloting a program that will allow merchants to reward customers for purchasing specific items at their stores, starting with online merchant Boxed… Beyond promoting specific items, the change will also let American Express and its merchant customers target promotions to very specific customers.” 


JCB to add support for Google Pay in Japan

JCB to offer Google Pay in Japan — JCB — “JCB will enable Google Pay for in-store payments in Japan through its QuicPay contactless payment solution. At launch, Google Pay users will be able to make payments on their enrolled JCB credit, debit, or prepaid card at convenience stores, supermarkets, drugstores, and other shops where QuicPay is accepted and online wherever JCB is accepted. Credit, debit, and prepaid cards can be enrolled using the Google Pay app on Osaifu Keitai supported devices with Android OS 5.0 or higher version.” 


South African retail giant Shoprite moves into mobile payments and banking

Banking services now more accessible with Shoprite Money — Shoprite — “This new service will enable customers to deposit, withdraw or send money as well as buy groceries at any of the till points in all Shoprite, Checkers, Checkers Hyper or Usave stores across South Africa… Shoprite Money is set to roll out in multiple countries in Africa over the next 12 to 18 months, which will hold additional benefits for customers including seamless and cost effective cross-border remittance.” 


Hyundai to add support for payments in cars

Hyundai and Xevo partner to put your wallet on wheels — Hyundai Motor America — “Right now, you can find and pay for things with your smartphone, smartwatch or computer. With this in mind, Hyundai is developing technology that will allow customers to find and pay for coffee, gas and parking using their car’s infotainment screen.” 


Google Pay adds support for Japanese payment cards

Now you can add Suica and Waon to Google Pay in Japan — Google — “Starting today, you can add and manage your Suica and Waon cards in Google Pay if you live in Japan and have an Osaifu-Keitai eligible phone. This means four major Japanese prepaid e-money cards — Nanaco, Rakuten Edy, Suica and Waon — can all be used with Google Pay. You’ll be able to pay with Google Pay at the hundreds of locations that accept any of these cards, plus pay on transit anywhere Suica is accepted.” 



Maybank teams up with GrabPay for mobile payments in Malaysia

Grab partners Maybank to promote GrabPay in Malaysia — The Straits Times — “The tie-up brings the GrabPay mobile wallet to its second country after Singapore. Grab has plans to roll out the GrabPay service across all eight countries in South-east Asia this year… Maybank’s Malaysia customers will be able to use the GrabPay mobile wallet to conduct both payments at Maybank’s key merchants, and to top-up their mobile wallet directly from their bank accounts. Maybank customers who use GrabPay to pay for rides and other services on Grab will enjoy exclusive benefits and rewards.” 


Starbucks continues to lead the US mobile payments market

eMarketer: US proximity mobile payment user penetration by platform, 2017-2022

23.4 million US consumers aged 14 and over will use Starbucks’ mobile app to make a purchase at the point of sale at least once every six months this year, research from eMarketer has found. Apple Pay will be used by 22 million people, Google Pay by 11.1 million and Samsung Pay by 9.9 million people. More


Translink adds mobile payments for transit users in Vancouver

Tap to Pay — Translink — “On May 22, our card readers will accept contactless Visa and Mastercard credit cards and Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. For customers without Compass Cards, this new feature will mean no more ticket line-ups, digging for exact change, or worrying about pre-calculating zones. You can tap a contactless Visa or Mastercard credit card or mobile-payment method on card readers to pay your adult, cash fare. Note: card readers will not accept debit cards.” 


EMVCo releases QR Payment Mark

The EMV QR payment mark

EMVCo has developed a QR Payment Mark that can be used by merchants to indicate that they accept mobile payments which conform to the standards body’s QR Code payment specifications. The goal is to “help promote worldwide acceptance and interoperability,” EMVCo says. More


Bank of America adds AI assistant to mobile banking app

Bank of America delivers first widely available AI–driven virtual financial assistant — Bank of America — “Bank of America is rolling out the first widely available AI-driven virtual assistant of its kind in financial services, Erica, to its 25 million mobile clients… Erica is designed to learn from clients’ behaviours over time, helping them accomplish simple to complex tasks within the mobile banking app with easy-to-follow prompts. Clients can interact with Erica any way they choose, including texting, talking or tapping options on their screen.” 


US Bank to test connected fleet car payments

Mastercard and US Bank Voyager put fleet managers in the driver’s seat — Mastercard — “Mastercard today unveiled a new service to automatically integrate fuel and maintenance data from a connected car’s dashboard into the payment process… US Bank will be the first to pilot these new features, giving fleet managers the flexibility, visibility and control to manage day-to-day expenses.” 



Amazon uses QR codes to let Prime members access discounts in Whole Foods Market stores

Amazon serves up new benefit for Prime members at Whole Foods Market — Amazon — “Prime members can now get an additional 10% off sale items, typically hundreds of products throughout the store, plus weekly deep discounts on select best-selling items… To get started, customers download the Whole Foods Market app, sign in with their Amazon account and then scan the app’s Prime Code at checkout. Or, customers can opt in to use their phone number to save at checkout.” 


ST releases Raspberry Pi driver for NFC readers

Linux demo of ST25R3911B for Raspberry Pi — STMicroelectronics — PARTNER NEWS — “The STSW-ST25R009 provides a complete software solution to enable fast integration of NFC functionality into Linux based systems using the ST25R3911B/ST25R391x high performance NFC frontends… The package contains a sample application to detect different types of NFC tags and mobile phones supporting P2P.” 


PrivatBank brings Apple Pay to Ukraine

PrivatBank

“The arrival of the world leading mobile payment technology on the Ukrainian market is a decisive stimulus for large and small businesses to actively switch to cashless technology,” says Alexei Shaban, retail business manager at PrivatBank, the first Ukrainian bank to make Apple Pay available to its customers. More



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