JCB begins EMV QR mobile payments rollout

JCB launches QR code payment in the Asian region — JCB — “Bank SinoPac in Taiwan and Sacombank in Vietnam became the first banks to offer the JCB QR Code Payment service. SinoPac will start the service full scale at merchants who used to accept only cash such as fish markets, flower markets and taxis in January 2019… Sacombank has just announced its new mobile banking app ‘Sacombank Pay’, for which their JCB cardmember can choose JCB Card as a source of funds.”


National Bank of Oman lets customers pay with points at the POS

National Bank of Oman customers can now shop with Nuqati points — Albawaba — “Customers can now use their Nuqati points at a wide selection of shops to buy items ranging from coffee to groceries to electronics… Customers can redeem points online, through the NBO mobile app or in-store. After entering their PIN or tapping their contactless payment cards, customers will have the option of choosing to pay in Omani rials or Nuqati points.”


Dubai bank adds cardless cash withdrawals to mobile banking app

Emirates Islamic launches cardless cash withdrawal feature via its mobile banking app — Zawya — “Customers can now initiate the cash withdrawal from the bank’s mobile banking app and the funds can then be withdrawn from any Emirates Islamic ATM without using a debit or credit card. This innovative service also allows the bank’s customers to make transfers to recipients using only their mobile phone number. Beneficiaries will receive an SMS with a one-time PIN to withdraw the amount transferred from the closest Emirates Islamic ATM.”


Honda teams up with Phillips 66 to let drivers pay for fuel from their vehicles

Phillips 66 Company collaborates with Honda Developer Studio to offer in-vehicle fuel payment — Phillips 66 — “Phillips 66 is collaborating with Honda Developer Studio to develop in-vehicle fuel payment integration that allows Honda vehicle owners to reserve a pump and pay for fuel at Phillips 66, 76 and Conoco branded locations through their in-dash infotainment system.”


Didi Chuxing expands into financial services

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing enters financial services amid profit push — South China Morning Post — “The new offering, which Didi introduced on Wednesday, includes mutual protection and crowdfunding products for critical illnesses, credit and lending, wealth management and auto-financing services… Didi’s foray into financial services is part of its effort to build a ‘more connected ecosystem’ with reliable and competitive services, according to a company spokesman.”


Google gets an EU electronic money institution license

Google granted an electronic money institution licence in Lithuania — Bank of Lithuania — “Having secured an electronic money institution licence, the company will be able to issue electronic money and provide payment services to ensure smooth operation of its marketplaces across Europe, alongside working on other payment services for consumers within the European Economic Area, including Lithuania.”


Mizuho signs up sixty banks for J Coin cryptocurrency payments launch

Mizuho to launch digital currency to promote cashless payments in March — Nikkei Asian Review — “Japan’s Mizuho Financial Group plans to introduce a proprietary digital currency that can be used for shopping and remitted at no cost… To make use of the currency, users will download a dedicated app on their smartphone. Payments will be made using QR codes… Regional banks will be able to provide the same service under the same, yet-to-be-named brand to their customers.”


Rambus to provide multimodal NFC ticketing solution to South Yorkshire’s bus, tram and train operators

South Yorkshire TravelMaster selects Rambus to deliver innovative e-commerce ticketing system — Rambus — PARTNER NEWS — “The solution will allow customers to purchase a range of flexible multi-operator tickets, valid on any bus, tram or train throughout South Yorkshire, online and in-advance through a retail portal on the TravelMaster website. These tickets can then be loaded onto a smart card via on-vehicle ticketing machines or through NFC-enabled and compatible smart phones.”


Tencent connects car registrations to WeChat Pay for pay-by-plate parking at 1,000 Chinese shopping malls

WeChat Pay launches auto scan-and-pay for parking in China’s shopping malls — South China Morning Post — “To be part of this system, car owners must register their plate numbers under their WeChat Pay accounts. Their plates are scanned by specially set-up cameras located at the exit points of car parking sites. The artificial intelligence-based system automatically matches the captured image of the plate number with a database of WeChat Pay users to determine the corresponding account and settle the parking fees.”





Softbank-backed PayPay to update mobile payments app ‘after wrongful charge complaints’

Japan’s PayPay to update app after wrongful charge complaints — Bloomberg — “An unspecified number of customers called in and e-mailed to report charges on their bills that they didn’t recognize, according to PayPay spokesman Fumihiro Ito. Several consumers say they hadn’t even installed the app but their credit cards were billed for purchases they didn’t make… PayPay triggered a shopping frenzy earlier this month by promising to give users 10bn yen (US$88m) in rebates from their purchases.”


7-Eleven to open unmanned convenience stores in Japan

7-Eleven opens trial store in Tokyo using facial recognition payment system — The Mainichi — “Convenience store giant Seven-Eleven Japan Co launched a trial 7-Eleven store with a self-checkout system using facial recognition technology here on Dec 17 as it aims to promote labour-saving measures and introduce cashless payments amid concerns of labour shortages… Seven-Eleven Japan Co plans to install the system at small-scale 7-Eleven outlets, such as those inside office buildings, making it the first convenience store chain of its kind in Japan.”


Hyundai to let drivers unlock cars with their fingerprint

Hyundai Motor develops biometrics to open, lock and start car engine — Pulse News — “The company claimed its system is the first of its kind in the world. It said there have already been fingerprint verification systems for starting the engine but applying the technology to open the door has remained a challenge. It said its fingerprint system was fortified to withstand harsh weather conditions like scorching sunlight and strong snowstorm, ensuring secure operation of its fingerprint door-locking system.”


UN agency to pilot biometric cards for migrants

International Organisation for Migration chooses Tactilis card for pilot programmes — Tactilis — “The pilot activities will evaluate the concepts, performance and viability of biometric system-on-card technology when deployed in three different migrant and foreign worker environments, namely visa card, cross border card and migrant camp card. There are close to 260m migrants globally, with 75m of those across Asia, many of whom are undocumented or displaced and require resettlement with trusted identity credentials.”


German savings banks press Apple to open up its NFC chip

Mobile payment: Sparkassen wants iPhone NFC, but no Apple Pay — Heise Online (translation) — “Apple must open the NFC transmission standard to other payment services, the savings bank association has demanded… Sparkasse offers its own mobile payment app, which until now has only been available for Android devices due to Apple’s NFC blockade. ‘Ultimately, smartphone payments should be possible on all devices, without technical hurdles and restrictions, so that customers can easily choose the right solution for them,’ the association argues.”


IMF report finds digital currencies are gaining ground with central bankers

At least 15 central banks are serious about getting into digital currency — MIT Technology Review — “There are two main reasons for the trend, according to the report. First, new forms of digital money are ‘shrinking the role of cash’. Besides that, some central banks are interested in using the technology to reach the hundreds of millions of people who do not have a bank account or access to modern financial services. Finally, most central banks see the potential to reduce costs by replacing physical banknotes with digital ones.”


Alipay offers POS terminals that combine face recognition with QR payments

Alipay Box to utilize facial recognition tech for payments — Shine — “Alibaba’s financial and payment affiliate Ant Financial has released smart payment hardware called Alipay Box, integrating barcode scanning and facial recognition features… The plug-and-play device, which is smaller than a traditional self-service point of sale (POS) machine, does not require an overhaul of the merchants’ existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.”