ECB survey finds cash still dominates payments in the euro zone

Euro zone consumers still addicted to cash when they buy — Reuters — “Cash still dominates consumer payments in the euro zone, even as many Western economies are rapidly moving towards electronic payments, a survey published by the European Central Bank showed on Friday… The figures indicate that the euro zone is one of the slowest among big Western economies in giving up cash, trailing countries like the United States, Britain, Australia and Canada.”


Bangkok street food vendors switch to mobile payments

Bangkok’s street food vendors are embracing mobile payments — Travel Wire Asia — “Street food vendors in Bangkok are embracing the digital revolution by offering e-payment methods for cashless transactions via smartphones… Vendors in the capital Bangkok are offering cashless payments after the Bank of Thailand (BOT) gave the green light for five banks to implement electronic payment systems using Quick Response (QR) barcodes.”


Starling Bank integrates third party rewards into open banking platform

Starling and Yoyo Wallet: Enabling loyalty with open banking — Starling Bank — “With any other bank, in order to collect loyalty points you would have to manually pay using the Yoyo app using a QR code scanner. However we have created an experience together with Yoyo, using our APIs, which means you don’t need to use any separate apps to pay. You just need to securely connect your Yoyo account to your Starling account from the Yoyo app and allow Yoyo to view your Starling account transactions. You will then be able to collect loyalty points whenever you use your Starling card, Apple Pay or Fitbit Pay at a merchant partner.”


Sberbank to build ID platform that supports face, voice and retina biometrics

Sberbank and VisionLabs to build biometric identification platform — Sberbank — “Sberbank announces the signing of a deal to acquire a block of shares in VisionLabs, a global leader of the facial recognition market… The investment in VisionLabs is a major first step by Sberbank to build a biometrics platform of Sberbank’s ecosystem, involving face, voice and retina identification, as well as other biometric factors… This will allow the creation of a unique biometric identifier that will let Sberbank clients access any service.”


Messaging app Line reports 40m mobile payment users

A Line Pay milestone: 10 million transactions monthly — Line — “Line announced today that Line Pay, a ‘smartphone wallet’ service for the Line platform, has reached 10m global transactions per month as of the end of October 2017. Along with that major milestone, Line Pay has also achieved ¥55bn (approximately US$482m) worth of transactions monthly — or some ¥300bn cumulative from Jan 1 to Nov 2, 2017… Line Pay has also reached 40 million global registered users.”


Hong Kong transit operator to test WeChat Pay and Alipay

Contactless competition: WeChat Pay is coming to Hong Kong’s MTR, and Alipay may not be far behind — South China Morning Post — “Commuters on Hong Kong’s MTR will soon be given a new quick payment option as the railway operator has partnered with the mainland’s second-largest mobile payment provider WeChat Pay, it announced on Thursday. WeChat Pay’s main rival, Alipay, said it would follow suit in the ‘near future’… While the initiative arguably benefits mainland tourists more than Hongkongers, it breaks a 20-year stronghold by the contactless Octopus card on how train fares can be paid for.”


UK government expands open banking project to credit cards, e-wallets and prepaid cards

UK’s Open Banking project expanded — Open Banking — “The OBIE [Open Banking Implementation Entity] has now been asked by the CMA9 and Her Majesty’s Treasury to create open banking standards for all payment account types covered by the European Union’s second Payments Services Directive (PSD2). This means customers using credit cards, e-wallets and prepaid cards will also be able to take advantage of open banking services.”


UK consumers want to set their own contactless transaction limit

Research – Shoppers keen to set their own contactless card limit — Paymentsense — “Nearly half (48%) of shoppers would like to customise their contactless card transaction limit, or would like to the ability to do so, according to new research from Paymentsense. For those shoppers wanting a customisable limit, just over a quarter (26%) would immediately raise it, but nearly one in five people (18%) would lower it.”


Swiss consumers to get single digital ID

Just one password? Swiss groups plan single online identity — Reuters — “Swiss consumers will be able to use a single digital identity to buy online products and services under a project unveiled on Tuesday by nine big companies. The aim is to let people use just one login profile to order in shops, buy train tickets or do banking transactions, according to the consortium… It includes UBS, Credit Suisse, Swisscom, Swiss Post, stock exchange operator Six, Raiffeisen, Swiss Railways, Zuercher Kantonalbank and insurer Mobiliar.”


Boston to introduce NFC and contactless transit ticketing

Paying for a ride on the T could look very different in three years — Metro — “The MBTA on Monday moved towards overhauling its fare collection system to eliminate cash from its trolleys and buses and to give riders the ability to pay onboard with a credit card or smartphone… Riders will no longer be able to pay with cash on buses or the Green Line, eliminating transactions that cause delays and frustration for other passengers.”


UK challenger bank Monzo lets account holders save funds in flexible pots

Launching Pots! — Monzo — “To help you save for specific things, we’ve created Pots: a simple way to set money aside within your main Monzo account. Whether you’re planning a trip around the world, looking to buy a new laptop, or simply saving for a rainy day, pots can help you work towards your modest goals and grandest plans… Creating a pot takes seconds, simply give it a name and add an image… You can set up multiple pots for different purposes, and see an overview of all your money under the Account tab in your app.”



Issuers to adopt common QR code for payments in Singapore from 2018

Common Singapore QR code to be rolled out next year — Channel News Asia — “A common Singapore Quick Response Code (SG QR) will be rolled out and adopted by payment service providers in Singapore next year, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said on Monday… Payment services providers in Singapore have also committed to update their mobile payment apps for consumers to read the SG QR. The newly announced NETS QR will be part of SG QR as will other payment service providers such as Singtel Dash QR.”


Norwegian banks to form joint venture in bid to combat threat of global tech giants

Norwegian banks to combine payment units Vipps, BankAxept, BankID — Reuters — “Norwegian banks agree to combine payment units Vipps, BankAxept and BankID Norge to improve product offering and prepare for competition against global tech firms… DNB CEO Rune Bjerke said: “We have two choices. Either let the existing payments infrastructure wither away, or join forces and push forward.”


ABN Amro includes access to Tikkie payments in new developer APIs

ABN Amro launches its developer portal — ABN Amro — “Besides providing APIs that allow commercial clients easy access to their checking accounts, the bank also offers use of building blocks for sending Tikkie payment requests and sending bulk payment orders. This is also part of ABN Amro’s preparations for the European Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) laws, which – starting in 2018 – will allow regulated third parties to access the checking accounts of clients that have granted permission.”


Wembley to let fans store contactless tickets in their Apple Wallet

Contactless ticketing at Wembley Stadium — Wembley Stadium — “The innovation offers fans a new way to seamlessly and securely enter live events with contactless tickets added to Apple Wallet on their iPhone or Apple Watch… The integration of contactless tickets in Apple Wallet will simplify customers’ experience while enhancing security and fostering more personalised engagement with fans. As well as entering the stadium with their contactless tickets, fans can use Apple Pay to buy food and beverages with their iPhone or Apple Watch.”


Amazon moves closer to rollout of automated stores

Amazon’s cashierless store is almost ready for prime time — Bloomberg — “For the past year, Amazon employees have been test driving Amazon Go, an experimental convenience store in downtown Seattle. The idea is to let consumers walk in, pick up items and then pay for them without ever standing in line at a cashier… In a sign that the concept is almost ready for prime time, hiring for the Amazon Go team has shifted from the engineers and research scientists needed to perfect the platform to the construction managers and marketers who would build and promote the stores to consumers.”


Apple details its face detection algorithm

An on-device deep neural network for face detection — Apple — “Apple started using deep learning for face detection in iOS 10. With the release of the Vision framework, developers can now use this technology and many other computer vision algorithms in their apps. We faced significant challenges in developing the framework so that we could preserve user privacy and run efficiently on-device. This article discusses these challenges and describes the face detection algorithm.”


Garmin Pay goes live in US, Switzerland, Russia and Australia

Garmin and NXT-ID subsidiary FitPay announce Garmin Pay now live on Garmin Vivoactive 3 smartwatch — NXT-ID and Garmin International — “The new contactless payment capability is powered by the FitPay payment platform and available initially for Mastercard cardholders from numerous issuing banks and credit unions including BECU, Capital One, First Tech Federal Credit Union, and US Bank in the United States, and internationally through Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Cornèrcard, Sberbank of Russia, and Swiss Bankers Prepaid Services Ltd.”



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