Alipay gets second European e-money license

Alipay granted Luxembourg license to serve European market — Luxembourg for Finance — “Already present with a licensed entity in London, Alipay’s new PSD2 license in Luxembourg will allow the group to leverage the EU passport to serve its customers across Europe in the future and connect Chinese users with merchants in EU countries.” 


Swatch brings its contactless payments service to Europe

Fashion watch buyers in Switzerland can now choose from one of a range of four Swatch watches that come with support for SwatchPay! contactless payments — and enable customers to use a specially designed ‘SwatchPay! Box’ to instantly provision their bank card to their new watch in the store. More


Chinese shopping street adopts face recognition payments

China’s first facial recognition payment-based shopping street opens in Wenzhou — ECNS — “A historical shopping street in Wenzhou City, Zhejiang Province, has become the first in China to extensively apply facial recognition in making payments… Mao Xinqin, director of the street’s administration, said facial recognition payments can improve efficiency during the peak season for tourism and shopping. Yang Peng, vice president of Ant Financial, said Alipay has upgraded the payment system using a 3D structured light camera and can ensure accuracy of 99.99%.” 


TD Ameritrade leverages Apple Pay to let share buyers use debit cards to instantly fund their brokerage accounts

Industry first: TD Ameritrade enables investors to instantly fund brokerage accounts using Apple Pay — TD Ameritrade — “TD Ameritrade announced an industry first today: The ability for individual investors to instantly fund a brokerage account with Apple Pay through Apple Business Chat in the Messages app on iPhone and iPad. Historically, to fund brokerage accounts, investors have had to endure a multi-day waiting period while funds were verified or manage a complicated wire transfer… Using a debit card, customers can deposit up to US$10,000 per day through Apple Pay.” 


Russian supermarket chain rolls out open loop fingerprint payments service

Sberbank and Azbuka Vkusa perfect fingerprint payment service — Sberbank — “After the quick registration process, which takes place at a checkout, clients tie two fingerprints to a Visa or Mastercard bank card and confirm the registration by coming up with a password. Payments can then be made at all stores with biometric POS terminals by scanning a fingerprint and confirming the transaction with the password. It is not necessary to use a bank card or a smartphone… The service is already available at 20 Azbuka Vkusa supermarkets, and will be added to more locations soon.” 


Blockchain mobile payments pilot to go live in Mongolia

Blockchain firm Terra to launch instant remittance, lending services in Mongolia’s capital city — e27 — “The pilot programme in Nalaikh City will launch with two main features: peer-to-peer (P2P) payments to allow instant transfer among users of different banks, and mobile payments to build the infrastructure for secure, contactless payments… The programme is set to launch within the next six months.” 


US credit unions to offer blockchain digital ID service

Credit unions adopt blockchain as the first step for digital ID — PaymentsSource — “MyCUID uses distributed ledger technology that allows credit unions to detect fraud and support self-sovereign identity, or a decentralized user-controlled authentication that can enable access to apps, programs, buildings, triggers for financial transactions, and other uses… CULedger on Jan 18 is scheduled to demonstrate MyCUID with a more general public rollout scheduled for the second half of 2019.” 


PenFed joins US move to contactless payment cards

PenFed Credit Union to give members the ability to tap to pay with new contactless Visa credit and debit cards — PenFed Credit Union — “PenFed Credit Union, the nation’s second largest federal credit union, is among the first credit card issuers in the US to roll out new contactless Visa cards across its credit and debit portfolio, giving members the ability to tap to pay at checkout… Merchants across the US have already enabled contactless payments, with 70 of the top 100 merchants, by number of transactions, offering the ability to tap to pay at checkout.” 


Swift to let merchants offer instant bank loans to online shoppers

Swift publishes new ‘Pay Later’ API standard — Swift — “By selecting Pay Later at the point of purchase, customers are provided with available loans from their banks; they can then select and initiate a loan, knowing that the funds can immediately be credited to the merchants and items dispatched. By offering the Pay Later option, merchants are in turn able to offer a wider variety of purchase options and to reach a wider consumer audience, whilst still ensuring surety of payment.” 


Apple Pay set to go live in Czech Republic and Slovakia?

Apple Pay expected to launch in Czech Republic and Slovakia in late February to early March — MacRumors — “Apple Pay will launch in the Czech Republic and Slovakia in late February to early March, according to Seznam Zprávy and Živé… Czech Republic’s two largest banks Česká Spořitelna and Komerční Banka, along with mBank, Moneta, and Air Bank, will reportedly be among the first financial institutions to offer Apple Pay to customers in the Czech Republic. Equa Bank and Banka Creditas may follow suit within the first half of the year.” 


Airlines leverage PSD2 to cut transaction fees

New payment method for air tickets successfully demonstrated — International Air Transport Association — “IATA Pay is an industry-supported initiative to develop a new payment option for consumers when purchasing a ticket directly from an airline website. It is made possible by the European Commission’s second Payment Services Directive (PSD2), and the UK’s Open Banking regulation. For airlines, the advantages of IATA Pay are: Cheaper payment option compared to other alternatives; Highly secure; Faster cashflow with instant/near instant payment to the merchant; Simpler payment process resulting in fewer lost sales.” 


California to ban paper receipts?

Ting introduces ‘Skip the Slip’ legislation to phase-out paper receipts in California — Assemblymember Phil Ting — “Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) today introduced AB 161, Skip the Slip legislation that makes electronic receipts the default practice when making a purchase. Businesses in the state would have to provide customers e-receipts by 2022, unless a hard copy is specifically requested… Committee hearings are expected to begin in the spring.” 


Honda to leverage in-car payments for driver rewards program

Honda Dream Drive to deliver next-generation infotainment, commerce, services and rewards to drivers and passengers — Honda — “Since 2016, Honda has worked with Visa to build and enhance the in-vehicle payment experience to make payments more convenient and secure. Now, Honda is expanding its in-vehicle payment collaboration to include Mastercard and PayPal… Honda Developer Studio is user testing a new points-based rewards program to benefit drivers and passengers for using Honda products and services. Drivers and passengers can earn rewards points for participating in a variety of activities including purchasing services, watching and listening to media, and playing games.” 


Kate Spade unveils fashion smartwatch with NFC payments

Kate Spade’s second Wear OS watch gets a serious tech upgrade — Engadget — “The Scallop Smartwatch 2 packs GPS, NFC and heart rate sensors onboard — all things its predecessor didn’t have. But it still retains the scalloped edging around the face like before, and further incorporated the pattern to the edges of this generation’s straps.” 


Michael Kors adds NFC payments to Access Sofie fashion watch

Michael Kors Access Sofie 2.0 announced with flashy looks and lots of features — Techradar — “This new model includes GPS, so you can track your runs without your phone. It has also got NFC, meaning you can make contactless payments with Google Pay, and there’s a heart rate monitor, none of which were offered by the original Access Sofie.”