Apple to open up the iPhone’s NFC chip at WWDC?

Apple may expand the iPhone’s NFC tech to third-party developers during WWDC — TechSpot — “NFC is getting major improvements, including the ability for third-party developers to read any ISO 7816, FeliCa or MiFare tags. Currently, only tags formatted as NDEF can be read by third-party apps… Keep in mind, the news is from anonymous sources and is far from official.” 


Alipay to invest $448m promoting face recognition payments in stores

Alipay to spend US$448m plugging new face scanner — Yicai Global — “Dragonfly 2’s next-generation 3D cameras are more precise and have a wider angle, and since the device can handle payments under various lighting conditions merchants will not need to make any changes to their store lights… The scanner is priced at CNY1,999 (US$298.50), nearly 30% less than the previous version.” 


German central banker calls for European payments network

Europe needs to get off the sidelines — Deutsche Bundesbank — “Here in Europe, we need to prevent a situation from arising in which American and Chinese payment systems are all we have left to choose between. Highly successful firms from the United States and China are looking to carve out a huge chunk of the European market. Hence the desire to forge a payments solution with a clear-cut European ‘brand’.” 


JCPenney pulls support for contactless payments

JCPenney explains why it dropped Apple Pay — Techcrunch — “A third-party credit card brand made the requirement for all merchants to actively support EMV contactless functionality effective April 13, retiring the legacy MSD contactless technology in place. Given the resources and lead time associated with meeting the new mandate, JCPenney chose to suspend all contactless payment options until a later date.” 


EMVCo, W3C and Fido Alliance to work together on payments security and interoperability

Web Payment Security Interest Group Charter — World Wide Web Consortium — “The mission of the Web Payment Security Interest Group is to enhance the security and interoperability of web payments. The group pursues its mission by creating a forum for organizations to define areas of collaboration and identify gaps between existing technical specifications in order to increase compatibility among different technologies.” 


Queensland rolls out contactless driving licences

Revamped ‘tap and go’ licences now available — The Queensland Times — “The updated design means the chip, which is now contained within the card, is no longer visible, allowing space for a bigger font to assist police and security staff reading the cards. The cards also have updated security features.” 


Indian banks plan blockchain payments platform

National Payments Corporation of India mulls using blockchain to boost digital transactions — Business Today — “The NPCI has floated an Expression of Interest (EOI) in order to enable bidders to propose their capability for developing distributed ledger technology/blockchain in the payment domain.” 


Decathlon opens RFID-enabled store in the US

Mobile checkout in store

Sports retailer Decathlon has incorporated RFID tags into products at its first physical store in the US. The superstore, in Emeryville, California, uses the technology along with iPhones held by shop assistants to enable customers to checkout at Mobile Checkout stations around the shop easily and quickly. More


Facebook Messenger to shutter its P2P payments service in UK and France

Facebook will scrap Messenger payments in the UK and France — Engadget — “Facebook will discontinue peer-to-peer Messenger payments in France and the UK on 15 June, the company told Engadget. ‘After evaluating how we give people the best experiences in Messenger, we made the decision to focus our efforts on experiences that people find most useful,’ Facebook said.” 


Jinan City metro installs face recognition at fare gates

China opens first 3D facial recognition metro line in Shandong — ECNS — “Metro Line 1 in Jinan City, Shandong Province has become the first in China to adopt 3D facial recognition technology… The 3D facial recognition technology-empowered gate can allow entry of 30 to 40 passengers per minute… The error rate is said to be only one in one million, while the technology can also detect fraudulent use of photos, videos or masks.” 


Google turns Android phones into Fido security keys

The ultimate account security is now in your pocket — Google — “We consider security keys based on Fido standards, like our Titan Security Key, to be the strongest, most phishing-resistant method of 2SV [Two-step verification] on the market today… Now, you have one more option — and it’s already in your pocket. Starting today in beta, your phone can be your security key — it’s built into devices running Android 7.0+.” 


Coinbase launches Visa-backed cryptocurrency debit card

Spend your crypto instantly with Coinbase Card — Coinbase — “We’re excited to announce the launch of Coinbase Card, a Visa debit card that lets customers in the UK spend crypto as effortlessly as the money in their bank… Coinbase Card is currently only available in the UK, but we plan to support other European countries in the coming months.” 


Oppo enters the OEM Pay market in China

Oppo to test launch Oppo Pay in China — TechGenYZ — “Oppo will cooperate with China UnionPay to test and launch Oppo Pay. The company is trying to make contactless payments easy with the help of a transit card that is equipped with NFC in China.” 


HBO commissions Game of Thrones sneakers with NFC tags

HBO Asia x SBTG Collab brings 4 ‘Game of Thrones’ sneakers to celebrate final season — Click The City — “Each pair of Game of Thrones x SBTG customized sneakers are embedded with near field communication (NFC) chips powered by VeChain, a public blockchain platform that allows any potential collector the ability to verify the authenticity of each pair through VeChainThor blockchain. The NFC chips also contain exclusive behind-the-scenes videos of each sneaker design which can be played and viewed by anyone using the VeChain mobile app.” 


Finnish banks double contactless transaction limit to €50

Banks increase limits for contactless payments — News Now Finland — “Customers in most Finnish banks can now use their bank cards to make contactless payments up to €50. The previous limit was €25… 79% of Finns use contactless payments. Two years ago that figure was only 52%.”