MUFG teams up with Akamai to launch blockchain payments network

MUFG and Akamai to launch Global Open Network Inc joint venture — Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group — “The new company will utilize MUFG’s presence in the payment business and Akamai’s intelligent edge platform, which offers world-class speed and security, with the aim of providing an open payment network in Japan based on new blockchain technology by the first half of 2020.”



Kroger launches payments, offers and rewards app for iOS and Android

Kroger introduces Kroger Pay and Kroger Rewards debit card — The Kroger Co — “After a customer enters their custom PIN or biometrics, the app provides customers with a single-use QR code to scan at the terminal to quickly communicate payment and loyalty card information, which includes digital coupons and personalized offers… Kroger Pay recently launched in the retailer’s Columbus, Ohio division. The service will roll out to 10 additional markets in the spring, with plans to go nationwide later this year.”


Tesco lets customers use Siri to check their bank balance

‘How do you want to check your balance?’ Tesco Bank lets customers use Apple’s Siri to check their balance — Tesco Bank — “Tesco Bank has today announced changes to its mobile banking app, which will enable iPhone customers to check account balances using Apple’s Siri functionality… To use our new Siri feature within the mobile banking app, customers should first ensure the functionality is enabled on their device. Customers can then turn on Siri within the app by visiting the settings menu.”


CaixaBank rolls out facial recognition ATMs

CaixaBank, the world’s first bank to use facial recognition to withdraw cash at ATMs — CaixaBank — “CaixaBank has become the world’s first financial institution to offer its customers the ability to use facial recognition to withdraw cash from ATMs, without having to enter their PIN… CaixaBank now has this verification system in place in four Store branches in Barcelona, with a total of 20 terminals. The company plans to progressively expand facial recognition across its Store offices from the second half of 2019.”


JP Morgan to launch its own cryptocurrency

JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business — CNBC — “Each JPM Coin is redeemable for a single US dollar, so its value shouldn’t fluctuate, similar in concept to so-called stablecoins. Clients will be issued the coins after depositing dollars at the bank; after using the tokens for a payment or security purchase on the blockchain, the bank destroys the coins and gives clients back a commensurate number of dollars.”


Contactless payments to drive growth in global card market

Global card expenditure to reach $45tn by 2023 on back of contactless payments — RBR — “RBR forecasts global card expenditure will grow at an average of 10% per year between 2017 and 2023 to reach US$45.2tn. The average value of a payment, however, will fall from $67 to $62 over the same period as the influence of contactless cards grows — the latter are typically used for the lowest-value payments, and particularly those which would previously have been made with cash.”





Boston to begin move to contactless ticketing ‘in late 2019’

T automated fare collection system expected to be completed by May 2021 — Curbed — “The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority expects to complete the T’s switch to an automated fare collection system by May 2021, but will begin rolling it out on a limited basis in late 2019… Riders will use a fare card, a smartphone app, or a contactless card to tap and board. Riders will be able to reload the fare cards and apps online and at vending machines in all T stations and at select bus stops.”


Canadian credit unions to let customers use their banking logins to access third party services

Central 1 launches integration for secure digital solution for financial institutions — Central 1 — “The seamless integration of Central 1’s product means financial institution customers can access additional online services using their existing digital banking credentials, providing fewer complex logins to remember and simplifying login access for over 80 government websites.”


New Jersey plans P2P payments legislation

Keeping a wrong Venmo payment could send you to jail if NJ bill passes — Philly.com — “Under the New Jersey bill, those who mistakenly receive an electronic payment but fail to return the funds after being told the payment was erroneous would run afoul of an existing law that deals with theft of lost, mislaid, or mistakenly delivered property… Penalties for theft in New Jersey range from a $1,000 fine to a decade of jail time.”



Two in three US banks plan to issue contactless cards ‘within the next few years’

Here’s why your next credit card will probably be contactless — Auriemma Consulting Group — “Today, just 22% of credit card companies offer contactless cards in the US market, mostly in select portfolios. But 67% of card issuers plan to introduce contactless cards within the next few years, according to new data from Auriemma Consulting Group.”





Yorkshire town lets drivers park, pay and drive away with their mobile phone

Harrogate first town in UK to introduce new age of smart parking — North Yorkshire County Council — “Parking in Harrogate town centre has become easier this month thanks to the launch of AppyParking — a smart parking system that is the first of its kind in the UK… Users who download the app will see real-time availability of spaces across Harrogate town centre thanks to more than 2,000 sensors in the ground, be able to navigate to the space and pay for a parking session with a single click. The sensor technology means parking sessions automatically end when the vehicle is driven away.”