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.” 


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.” 


Atom Tickets adds movie tickets to Google Pay

Atom Tickets introduces new digital payment options for movie tickets — Atom Tickets — “Atom Tickets is among the first to use the Save to Google Pay feature… After a user has purchased tickets using Google Pay, they can save them in the Android app’s new Passes tab. When it’s showtime, use a phone as a ticket.” 


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.” 


Samsung Pay adds support for low-cost international remittances

Samsung Pay starts overseas remittance service in 17 countries — Pulse — “Samsung Pay users can now wire money [internationally] through their mobile phones and save in fees compared to sending money overseas via a conventional remittance route… The beta service will be available in 17 countries including the United States, China, and Japan. The company plans to gradually expand the service to other countries as well as add more partners.” 


US consumers to pass on mobile payments?

Instore mobile contactless services used by only 14% of online US customers, Juniper survey finds — Juniper Research — “Time is running out for OEM Pay providers to establish a dominant position in the US… Our survey shows that the majority of users who have not adopted OEM Pay are more interested in services like contactless cards than mobile-based payments.” 


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.” 


First Direct lets customers make payments in social media apps

First Direct leading the way with social media payments — First Direct — “First Direct customers are now able to make secure peer-to-peer payments seamlessly while using social media apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger… Customers can now use the in-app PayKey technology to simply tap a payment icon on the phone’s keyboard within a conversation and manage a payment within seconds without having to open the banking app… On pressing the fd button, customers are securely authenticated via the app and are able to make a payment.” 


New PCI standard to let merchants accept dongle-free contactless payments on smartphones and tablets

PCI SPoC and Contactless standards: What to expect in 2019 — PCI Security Standards Council — “The aim is to develop security requirements for solutions that enable a merchant’s COTS [Commercial off-the-shelf] device to accept contactless payments without the need for a dongle or other type of peripheral reader by leveraging the native NFC capabilities inherent to a COTS phone or tablet.” 


US Mastercard issuers commit to contactless

Mastercard Inc CEO Ajay Banga on Q4 2018 results — Seeking Alpha — “We’ve received commitments from issuers representing approximately two thirds of our total US consumer volume to issue contactless cards within the next two years. This includes Citi, Capital One, KeyBanc, Santander, HSBC and others. We’re also working with leading processors like FIS to bring contactless to smaller issuers and to credit unions.” 


Tourism Australia adds visitor card to Alipay

Tourism Australia, Alipay partner on new geotargeted Sydney City mobile app — CMO — “Chinese tourists will be able to access recommendations on what to see, where to shop and how to get around, all within an app they are familiar with and while being offered their preferred payment method… The Sydney City Card is built into the Alipay app, so no opt-in is required.”