Visa offers free upgrades to Apple Pay users in UAE and Saudi Arabia

Visa partners with Starbucks & Hardee’s to help promote the use of Apple Pay in KSA and UAE — MenaFN — “The promotion with Starbucks will allow Visa cardholders to upgrade the size of their latte, cappuccino or americano beverages if they pay through Apple Pay… The Hardee’s promotion will allow Visa cardholders to receive a free dessert when they buy any large meal of their choice using Visa with Apple Pay.” 


Commonwealth Bank reports ‘dramatic increase’ in mobile payments due to Apple Pay

Digital wallet payments surge on Apple Pay: CBA — The Sydney Morning Herald — “‘Since we’ve introduced Apple Pay, we’ve seen the number of wallet transactions that are linked to a card increase 2.7 times. So it’s really increased quite dramatically since we’ve introduced Apple Pay for our consumer customers,’ said Sam Itzcovitz, CBA’s general manager of commerce solutions, business customer solutions.” 


WhatsApp Payments to launch in UK, Mexico and Brazil?

WhatsApp Payments reportedly coming to Mexico, Brazil, UK next — NDTV — “According to WABetaInfo, a prolific tipster of upcoming WhatsApp features, three countries — Brazil, Mexico, and [the] UK — will be getting WhatsApp Payments next… The service was introduced in beta in India last year but is yet to roll out to all users in the country because of regulatory hurdles.” 


German consumers warm to contactless payments

Consumer insights study on German consumers’ preferred payment methods — First Data — “Contrary to the traditional ‘cash being king’ mindset, our study reveals a definite shift in consumer preference to more convenient methods of payments… 42% believe contactless payments are more convenient… 54% of consumers believe cash will become obsolete in a few years, 52% prefer card payments… 61% agree that card payments will become increasingly available.” 


Facebook to offer WhatsApp payments in Africa?

Facebook in talks with banks about mobile payments in Africa — BusinessDay — “Facebook is in talks with financial institutions about possible mobile payment collaborations in Africa, says Carolyn Everson, a vice president at the social networking group… ‘We’re definitely interested in helping facilitate payments — it’s more of a 2020 roadmap for us than a 2019 one — but we’re having those initial conversations with some of the larger financial services companies.” 


German savings banks to offer Apple Pay ‘this year’

Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken want to support Apple Pay in 2019 — Heise Online (translation) — “Like the savings banks, the Volksbanks offer their customers their own app for contactless payment transactions in the retail sector. However, it is only available for Android because Apple has not released the NFC interface of the iPhone for such applications. The German savings banks had demanded that Apple should open its NFC functionality to banking apps as recently as the end of 2018, but have now dropped this requirement.” 


UK Finance reports 31% rise in contactless transactions

Contactless card use surges as doubts ease — BBC News — “The number of transactions using contactless rose by 31% in 2018 compared with the previous year, banking trade body UK Finance data shows. Adoption of this technology on public transport and by more retailers has led, in part, to the rise.” 


Chipotle teams with Venmo to launch mobile rewards program

Chipotle Rewards launches by giving fans a quarter of a million dollars on Venmo — Chipotle Mexican Grill — “Chipotle is using Venmo payouts to give away up to a quarter of a million dollars… For a chance to receive anywhere between $1 and $500, consumers submit the phone number associated with their Venmo account at chipotlerewardsme.com. Within 24 hours, recipients of the payouts will be alerted of the payment in the Venmo app with a payment note from Chipotle, along with a custom Chipotle pepper emoji.” 


Safaricom signs mobile payments deal with Alibaba

Safaricom, Alibaba unit agree mobile payments partnership — Bloomberg — “The deal extends Safaricom customers’ ability to use its mobile money service, known as M-Pesa, outside Kenya as the company looks to establish the system as a global platform.” 


Older US consumers warm to bank-led P2P payments

Make room Millennials, Zelle study finds Generation X and Boomers driving broader adoption of person-to-person (P2P) payments — Early Warning Services — “52% of Generation X and 46% of Boomer respondents said that they ‘trust’ P2P payments, and are interested in using available solutions. 76% of Generation X and 74% of Boomers surveyed ranked ‘offered through a financial institution they use’ as a top reason to trial P2P payments.” 


Sam’s Club to make it easier for shoppers to add products to Scan & Go mobile self-checkout basket

Sam’s Club files patent for next-level Scan & Go test — Sam’s Club — “With the upcoming test, we’ll enhance the experience with the launch of a technology using computer vision and machine learning. Rather than having to locate the barcode and scan it just right, the camera in the app will identify the product with a simple hover and add it to the member’s shopping list.” 


Dubai carrier looks to passive biometrics for payments security

Mastercard and du partner to usher in a new era of payments experiences and security across the Middle East and Africa — Mastercard — “NuDetect uses machine learning to analyse ‘passive biometrics’ like how a person types, holds their phone, moves their mouse or where they use their phone, to anticipate and prevent fraudulent card-not-present transactions, which includes ecommerce payments. The process to verify the user occurs without introducing any friction or interruption in the transaction.”