Central bank tightens rules on accepting cards and cash in Chinese stores

As China goes increasingly cashless, PBOC says cash payment is still alive — South China Morning Post — “The central bank in China, the world’s largest mobile payment market, is urging individuals and companies to not refuse or discriminate against cash payment… The PBOC said cash should be accepted alongside the debit card at all business outlets, with the exception of e-commerce and unstaffed stores. Businesses have one month from Friday to make necessary adjustments to avoid being investigated for breaches by the authorities.” 


Eight million merchants now accept Paytm QR payments in stores

Tier II and tier III cities are leading the wave of digital payments adoption — Paytm — “We are powering the largest offline payments network with over 8m offline merchant partners who accept payments via the Paytm QR. We have a 3x larger merchant base compared to any card payments network in the country… This has helped us achieve an annual run rate of 5bn transactions and $50bn GTV (Gross Transaction Value).” 


Facebook patent sets out how AIs could accept Messenger payments

Processing payment transactions using artificial intelligence messaging services — USPTO — “One or more embodiments use natural language processing to analyze messages from the user to the messaging bot, and from the messaging bot to the user, to identify a product and a request to purchase the identified product. Based on the identified product and the request to purchase the product, one or more embodiments initiate a payment transaction on behalf of the user based on a natural language conversation and without redirecting the user away from the communications session.” 


Uber to let customers use Venmo to share costs with friends

Uber and Venmo partner to deliver a new payment experience — PayPal — “Uber customers in the United States ordering rides and food will soon be able to pay with their Venmo balance, linked bank account, credit card or debit card so they can easily split the cost with friends and family in the Venmo app, for no additional fee. Users can also share their purchases in their Venmo feed with custom emojis that are exclusive to the partnership, with Uber as the first company to have a branded emoji in the app.” 


Seoul moves forward with plans for its own S-Pay payments system

Seoul to launch its own mobile payment platform: Report — ZDNet — “The municipal government has formed a task force that will work to launch the service, tentatively called S-Pay, which aims to improve payment convenience for citizens and small businesses. The task force will aim to build the system for the platform and cooperate with banks as well as find partnered small businesses… The aim is to lessen commissions paid by businesses when they use credit cards. S-Pay’s system won’t go through credit card companies’ systems.” 


Grab unveils plan to turn its mobile wallet into a platform

Grab unveils open platform strategy to build Southeast Asia’s first everyday superapp — Grab — “Grab today announced GrabPlatform, as part of its open platform strategy to build Southeast Asia’s first everyday superapp. Grab will add more highly used everyday services to the Grab app, together with best-in-class partners, who can use GrabPlatform to integrate their services with Grab. … In the span of five months (Jan-May 2018), Grab Financial’s total payment volume more than doubled. It is now the leading mobile payments platform in Southeast Asia.” 


WeChat Pay ‘will not seek to offer more local payment wallets’

WeChat Pay to keep overseas focus on outbound tourism instead of offering more local wallets — South China Morning Post — “Tencent’s WeChat Pay said it will not seek to offer more local payment wallets to overseas customers over the next three years and will remain focused on serving outbound Chinese tourists better in popular overseas destinations… ‘In mainland China we have millions of users so we can make WeChat Pay into a successful payments tool… We don’t have many WeChat users in overseas countries so we should accept that it will be hard to develop payment tools for them.’” 


Major League Baseball stadiums to introduce biometric payments and ticketing

No more tickets? MLB fans will soon use fingerprints, facial recognition instead — Fox Business — “A tap of the finger will soon replace traditional tickets at baseball stadiums across the country… A pilot program will arrive at select venues later this season… The platform will expand to point-of-sale systems and possibly more teams… Fans will be able to pay for food and validate their age for alcohol purchases using their fingerprint.” 


Marriott to let Chinese guests use face recognition to check in to its hotels

Joint venture of Alibaba Group and Marriott International trials facial recognition check-in technology — Marriott International — “The pilot will kick off from July 2018 at two Marriott International properties in China — Hangzhou Marriott Hotel Qianjiang and Sanya Marriott Hotel Dadonghai Bay, with the goal of global rollout across Marriott International’s properties in the future… Chinese guests simply need to scan their IDs, take a photo and input contact details on a self-help machine. The intelligent device will then dispense room key cards after identities and booking information are verified.” 


Palm vein biometric payments to be pilot tested in Japanese convenience stores

Aeon and Fujitsu launch field trial of cardless payments using biometric authentication technology — Fujitsu — “Aeon Credit Service and Fujitsu will begin a field trial of a cardless payment system using Fujitsu’s palm vein biometric authentication technology. Starting in September 2018, the trial will take place in selected Ministop convenience stores. This initiative will be Japan’s first example of palm vein authentication-type cardless payments at actual retail stores.” 


Apple Pay to launch in Austria?

Apple Pay prepares to go live in Austria — Der Standard (translation) — “Apple Pay is expected to launch in Austria in the coming months, two sources have told Der Standard… Our request for confirmation was referred to Payment Service Austria (PSA), which is conducting the negotiations with Apple for all the Austrian banks… PSA confirmed to Der Standard that they are in negotiation with Apple, but currently cannot say whether and when Apple Pay will go live in Austria.” 


PayPal ‘ready to spend $3bn a year on acquisitions’

PayPal to spend $3 billion a year on M&A — Reuters — “PayPal Holdings Inc is on the lookout for further acquisitions following its recent takeover of iZettle, the Swedish fintech startup, for $2.2bn… ‘We have a healthy balance sheet and we are ready to put it to work to buy more companies,’ president and CEO Dan Schulman told Germany’s Handelsblatt… Paypal is ready to invest up to $3bn a year on acquisitions that enable it to acquire specific capabilities, Schulman added.” 


Eight in ten POS terminals to support NFC payments by 2022

Shipments of NFC-ready POS terminals reached 24.7m in 2017 — Berg Insight — “The attach rate for NFC was highest in EU28+2 and North America, where 90% and 88% respectively of the POS terminals shipped [in 2017] featured NFC. NFC was also a very popular feature in many other major markets worldwide, including Brazil, Turkey and China… More than 78% of the world’s POS terminals will be NFC-ready in 2022, up from 50% in 2017.” 


Ant Financial targets South America and Africa for next phase of mobile payments growth

Ant Financial sees huge growth for cashless payments in South America, Africa — South China Morning Post — “Kenny Man, head of international investment for Ant Financial, said over the next five years, emerging markets including those in South America and Africa will be priority for the company’s global partnerships… ‘China has leapfrogged over traditional credit cards to the mobile wallet. That same change will be even more radical and faster in different parts of the world, whereby people will embrace mobile payments,’ Man said.” 



Samsung pulls support for Samsung Pay from budget smartphones?

Samsung stops loading mobile payment tool on budget phones — Yonhap News — “Samsung Electronics Co recently stopped embedding its mobile payment system, Samsung Pay, in budget smartphones, industry watchers said Sunday, apparently to save costs by excluding the feature, which has been less popular among teens and senior users… ‘As it costs roughly 5,000 won (US$4.50) per device to apply Samsung Pay, (the company) is apparently seeking to cut production costs by excluding the feature,’ an industry watcher said.” 


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