Australia’s central bank explores the issue of electronic banknotes

An eAUD? — Reserve Bank of Australia — “An electronic form of banknotes could coexist with the electronic payment systems operated by the banks, although the case for this new form of money is not yet established… The issuing authority could issue electronic currency in the form of files or ‘tokens’. These tokens could be stored in digital wallets, provided by financial institutions and others. These tokens could then be used for payments in a similar way that physical banknotes are used today.” 


Gemalto rejects Atos’ bid to acquire it for €4.3bn

Gemalto rejects unsolicited and conditional proposal by Atos — Gemalto — “Gemalto is well advanced in its transition from traditional banking and telecom smartcard markets to fast-growing government, enterprise and cybersecurity and machine-to-machine markets… The board of directors considers that the proposal significantly undervalues the company.” 


Nordea switches on its open banking platform

Nordea Open Banking is live — Nordea — “Together with fintechs and other external developers we aim to create new products and services for our customers at a faster pace than we could do by ourselves, while keeping customers firmly in control of what data they wish to expose and which products they wish to use, says Claus Richter, head of cash management solutions at Nordea.” 


Ford gets patent for smartphone key case

Ford patents a smartphone case that turns your phone into a key fob — Ford Authority — “Ford Motor Company was just this week granted a patent on a new type of smartphone case with all the necessary integrated electronics to allow the phone to function as a vehicle key fob… The device would communicate with the encased smartphone through the Bluetooth or NFC (Near Field Communication) protocols, the patent says, giving the user access to a virtual keyfob on the smartphone’s screen.” 


Samsung Pay Rewards expands to Spain

Samsung launches Samsung Rewards, a new loyalty program of Samsung Pay — Samsung Spain (translation) — “Users who make purchases with Samsung Pay will receive Samsung Rewards points each time they make a purchase. The accumulated points will be valid for one year and can be exchanged directly for exclusive gifts.” 


Apple Pay about to go live in Brazil?

Bank documentation hints at Brazilian Apple Pay launch — AppleInsider — “Documentation seen by Itau Unibanco customers on Monday suggest Apple is on the verge of launching Apple Pay in Brazil, which was first rumored to gain access to the mobile payments service nearly two years ago.” 


Brazil to introduce multifunction driver’s licenses that can be read with an NFC phone

New Brazilian driving licence adopts Cipurse specification from OSPT Alliance — OSPT Alliance — “The technology on the new card has many benefits including allowing law enforcement officers to read the data on the card via an NFC smartphone app, in any location, and quickly coordinate with other agencies across related systems. Additionally, banks can use fingerprint authentication to grant access to services and credit, and local public transportation solutions can also be implemented on the card.” 


Avis pilots mobile car rental keys

Continental, Avis turn phones into rental car keys — Roadshow — “Using a smart device, renters will be able to lock, unlock and even start their rental car without needing to hunt down a physical key or key fob… For now, the pilot program is limited to a single market — the Kansas City area. But, if all goes according to plan, it’s likely to roll out to additional markets in the future.” 


Trimet to roll out world’s first integration of transit ticketing card with Android Pay

Portland-Vancouver’s Hop Fastpass partners with Google, becoming the first virtual transit fare card available within Android Pay globally — TriMet — “TriMet and Google are teaming up for a first — making Hop Fastpass the first virtual transit card available in Android Pay starting early next year… In December 2017, a select group of TriMet, C-Tran, and Portland Streetcar beta testers will be able to load a virtual Hop card into Android Pay — giving them the ability to tap their phones to pay for their fares and receive all the benefits of a physical Hop card.” 


Kroger grocery stores to accept Chase Pay mobile payments

Kroger and Chase Pay announce mobile payment partnership — Kroger — “The Kroger Co is teaming up with Chase Pay — the digital engagement wallet from JPMorgan Chase & Co — to offer mobile payments starting with select retail markets and ecommerce programs in 2018… Through the partnership, Chase’s 65 million customers will have an opportunity to use Chase Pay at Kroger for online and in-lane purchases.” 


Consumers to make 500bn card payments in 2022

Global card payments set to rise by more than half to 500bn by 2022 — RBR — “We have observed impressive growth in card usage across the globe. In developing markets, rising levels of card acceptance and consumers’ growing familiarity with using cards rather than cash as a payment tool, have contributed to high growth. Meanwhile, consumer usage of contactless technology for ever smaller amounts is bolstering growth in more mature markets.” 


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.” 


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