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    Author archive: Christopher Brown

    Contactless overtakes traditional card payments in Hungary

    March 17th, 2017

    Contactless payments accounted for more than half of all transactions made with payment cards in Hungary in 2016, the country’s central bank says. “Whereas in 2015 contactless payments accounted for 30% of payments, in 2016 more than half (51%) of payments were conducted with the new technology,” says Magyar Nemzeti Bank. Nearly 63% of payment cards and more than three quarters of POS terminals now allow contactless payments in Hungary.

    Square says ‘back end change’ brought down mPOS service

    March 17th, 2017

    Mobile POS provider Square has blamed a “change we made to one of our back-end systems” for a service outage which affected payments and other services earlier this week. Merchants logged in to Square were advised to “switch to offline mode to continue taking swipe payments”, while those not logged in had to take alternative forms of payment. The company said its merchant authentication service had been “degraded” but has since confirmed “all Square services have been fully restored”.

    PrivatBank adds Mastercard to HCE payments

    March 16th, 2017

    Ukraine’s PrivatBank has now made host card emulation (HCE) based mobile payments available for its Mastercard cardholders, using the Mastercard Digital Enablement Service (MDES). The bank’s Visa cardholders started making HCE mobile payments based on the Visa Token Service (VTS) platform in December 2016. Ukraine’s KredoBank unveiled its own mobile payments service for Mastercard customers earlier this week.

    ING offers Mastercard HCE payments in Poland

    March 16th, 2017

    Mastercard cardholders at Polish bank ING Bank Śląski can now make host card emulation (HCE) based mobile payments using a ‘Mastercard on the Phone’ feature inside the My ING app. “Customers may at any time activate the service and conveniently pay for purchases,” says the bank’s Barbara Borgieł-Cury. Nine banks in Poland, including ING, launched HCE payments services with support from Visa in 2015.

    Safe mobile recharge service for women to roll out across India

    March 15th, 2017

    PARTNER NEWS: A service to improve women’s safety, by allowing them to recharge their prepaid mobile account at any retail outlet with a private code generated by SMS rather than their phone number, will roll out across India later this month. The Private Recharge service from mobile financial solutions firm Mahindra Comviva and wireless operator Idea Cellular aims to address “security concerns of women customers”.

    Wearable payments platform to be tested on three continents

    March 9th, 2017

    A digital cash service allowing consumers — including those without bank accounts — to load money onto a range of wearable items and make contactless payments in retail outlets will roll out across “eight or… More

    Smart posters and clothes piggyback on FM signals to talk to phones and car radios

    March 7th, 2017

    A technique to develop smart posters and clothing, which communicate directly with car radios or smartphones by using background FM radio signals to transform them into mini FM radio stations consuming virtually zero power, has… More

    India calls for mobile banking for all by 31 March

    March 6th, 2017

    The Indian government has called on banks to provide mobile banking to all customers by the start of April 2017, The Indian Express reports. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEIT) has issued an advisory to banks to “enable mobile seeding, Aadhaar seeding of bank accounts, along with enablement of mobile banking for all its savings bank customers by 31 March 2017”.

    Millennials not giving up on cash and checks

    March 2nd, 2017

    Millennials have “one foot firmly planted in both the future and the past” when it comes to mobile payments, a study by Accel and Qualtrics says. The report reveals that 42% still write checks, while five times more millennials pay with cash than use mobile payments platforms.

    Nordea launches PSD2-inspired Open Banking portal

    March 2nd, 2017

    Nordic bank Nordea has launched the first version of its Open Banking/Open API portal, offering third-party developers the chance to collaborate with the bank as part of the requirements laid out by the European Payment Services Directive (PSD2). “Nordea is seeking to actively collaborate with third parties and industry innovators to co-create future banking services,” says Nordea’s Jarkko Turunen. The bank’s Liisa Kanniainen has written for NFC World’s What’s New in Payments report on what the new European PSD2 and GDPR regulations mean for the future role of banks.

    Wristbands for contactless payments given away at MWC

    March 2nd, 2017

    Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) and Spain’s CaixaBank have distributed prepaid wristbands to visitors to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona which let them make contactless payments. “The device can also be used as a building access control system or as a public transport card thanks to the NFC contactless technology and various mobile applications,” G&D says. CaixaBank’s Matteo Fermi has written for NFC World’s What’s New in Payments report on how mobile payments can add value to traditional banking services.

    Pizza Hut unveils pizza-ordering shoes

    March 2nd, 2017

    Pizza Hut has unveiled a pair of shoes with a button that lets wearers order pizza and get it delivered. A video from the pizza chain shows how the ‘Pie Tops’ have a button on the tongue that connects to the owner’s smartphone on which the default order and delivery location is set via the Pizza Hut app. In October, Pizza Hut launched what it described as the world’s first pizza-ordering tattoo, while its director of digital ventures, Meysam Moradpour, has written for NFC World’s What’s New in Payments report on how the Internet of Things is becoming the Internet of Commerce.

    Mobile World Congress survey: IoT and mobile payments ‘biggest business opportunities’ for 2017

    March 1st, 2017

    The Internet of Things (IoT) is seen as the biggest business opportunity of 2017 by nearly half of visitors and exhibitors at Mobile World Congress surveyed by the GSMA (48.2%), followed by mobile payments (14.5%) and artificial intelligence (14%). More

    EcoCash and Mahindra win GSMA best mobile payments solution award

    February 28th, 2017

    PARTNER NEWS: Zimbabwean mobile payments service EcoCash, powered by Mahindra Comviva’s Mobiquity Money platform, has been named Best Mobile Payment Solution at the Mobile World Congress Glomo Awards. The service is deployed by Zimbabwe-based mobile network operator Econet Wireless and includes support for NFC mobile payments. A video produced by Mahindra shows how the service works.

    NXP signs deals to add NFC to cars

    February 28th, 2017

    PARTNER NEWS: Five “leading car OEMs” are to integrate NFC technology from NXP into cars to enable a variety of secure interactions including vehicle access, Bluetooth and WiFi pairing, personalization and payments, the chip maker has announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. A new automotive-grade NFC frontend IC, optimized for secure car access, has also been announced along with a vehicle door handle reference design based on the new NCx3320 chip.

    More than 500m people now have a mobile money account

    February 28th, 2017

    Over half a billion mobile money accounts have been registered in 92 countries, with 1.3bn transactions processed in December 2016 alone, research from GSMA reveals. In its sixth ‘State of the Industry Report on Mobile… More

    Mahindra Comviva adds offers and promotions to mobile money platform

    February 27th, 2017

    PARTNER NEWS: Mahindra Comviva is making it possible for mobile money operators to increase user engagement with the addition of a new service that enables relevant offers and promotions to be delivered automatically to users’… More

    Mastercard adds bar tab feature to Qkr! mobile payments app

    February 27th, 2017

    Mastercard has unveiled a new feature for its Qkr! mobile payments solution that will allow customers in a bar or restaurant to open a tab and pay their bill when they want, without leaving a… More

    Google Assistant comes to more Android phones

    February 27th, 2017

    Google Assistant will be made available to all phones running Android 7.0 Nougat and Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating systems, Reuters reports. The virtual assistant will roll out this week to English speakers in the US, followed by Australia, Canada, the UK and German speakers in Germany. The company “is working on support for additional languages”, the news service adds. Google Assistant had previously only been available on Google’s own Pixel brand phones.

    GSMA predicts 1.1bn 5G connections by 2025

    February 27th, 2017

    The GSMA forecasts there will be 1.1bn 5G mobile connections by 2025, with 5G networks providing one in eight of all mobile connections and driving “massive rollout of intelligent IoT nodes for a multitude of scenarios”. “The 5G era will make possible a huge array of new applications, everything from sensor-driven smart parking to holographic conference calls,” says GSMA director general Mats Granryd.

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