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    Archive: News in brief

    Target to launch mobile payment service this year

    January 24th, 2017

    US retail giant Target is to introduce its own mobile payment service to “one or more of its own apps” later this year, the company’s Michael McNamara has told Recode. “It’s not clear if Target will add the payment feature to its main Target app, its popular Cartwheel coupon app or both,” the publication reports. The service will initially be available to customers with Target REDcards, “debit or credit cards that come with perks like 5% off Target purchases and free shipping on online orders”. Reports that Target was planning to launch a mobile payment service emerged in December 2015.

    Pakistan to add payments to National IDs

    January 24th, 2017

    Mastercard is to work with the Government of Pakistan’s National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to introduce a system that will enable Pakistani citizens to use their identity cards to conduct financial transactions. “We are excited to partner with Nadra Technologies to turn the National ID card into a singular touch point for payments and remittances, and thus open up avenues that minimise handling of cash in favour of a more secure electronic payment method,” says Mastercard’s Khalid Elgibali.

    Ant Financial eyes up blockchain for Alipay

    January 24th, 2017

    Alibaba’s payment affiliate Ant Financial is “definitely” looking into using blockchain to underpin its mobile payments platform Alipay, CEO Eric Jing has told CNBC, adding that artificial intelligence and blockchain will be “deeply” integrated into Ant Financial’s operations. “My vision [is] that we want to serve 2bn people in the next 10 years by using technology, by working together with partners to serve those underserved,” Jing says. Alipay now has more than 450m users.

    Free Galaxy S7 offer for Samsung Pay’s UAE launch

    January 24th, 2017

    Free Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphones preloaded with Samsung Pay are being offered to new credit card customers of Mashreq Bank in the UAE, as the mobile payments service launches there through an early access programme with the bank. Customers applying for Mashreq Solitaire, Smart Saver Global or Platinum Elite credit cards are being given the free handset for a limited time.

    Chinese third-party payment providers face client cash regulation

    January 24th, 2017

    The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) is to ban third-party payment providers, such as Alibaba-owned Alipay, from using their clients’ money, China Daily reports. “Starting from April 17, a total of 267 third-party organisations with central bank licenses in China will have to submit around 20% of provisions to a single account opened in a commercial bank with the central bank’s approval,” the publication reports. The 20% limit will rise to 100% once the companies have adjusted to the changes.

    Tesco rolls out mobile payments service across UK

    January 24th, 2017

    Tesco has made its PayQwiq mobile payments service available in all of its stores across the UK following “positive feedback” from customers during the initial roll out to 524 stores in April 2016. “Between now and 7 May 2017, new PayQwiq customers downloading the app will receive 50 Clubcard points with each of their first 10 PayQwiq transactions,” Tesco says. The service has been on trial since September 2014.

    Chinese to get cash using face recognition ATMs

    January 23rd, 2017

    Customers of China Merchants Bank will be able to withdraw cash using face recognition technology installed in all of the bank’s ATMs in Shanghai by the end of 2017, South China Morning Post reports. “We have launched face recognition at our ATMs for cash withdrawal to grant clients more options,” the bank’s Zhu Sihua told the publication. The bank operates nearly 1,000 ATMs in 106 cities.

    Next iPhone to include facial or gesture recognition?

    January 23rd, 2017

    Apple’s next iPhone could include facial or gesture recognition, according to a research note issued to clients by financial services firm Cowen and Company. “Other features include some form of facial/gesture recognition supported by a new laser sensor and an infrared sensor mounted near the front-facing camera,” analyst Timothy Arcuri wrote in the note seen by Business Insider. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes the sensor could replace the existing Touch ID feature, 9to5mac adds.

    Test for European Central Bank mobile P2P platform

    January 23rd, 2017

    European payment infrastructure provider EBA Clearing has begun testing an instant payment platform unveiled earlier this month by the European Central Bank, that will allow European consumers to make cross-border mobile P2P payments. Some 28 funding institutions gathered in Milan to mark the start of the testing phase, with an official launch scheduled to take place in November 2017. EBA Clearing is running the test environment in collaboration with payment processor SIA.

    India to rank states on digital transactions

    January 19th, 2017

    Niti Aayog, an Indian government policy think tank, is producing an index to rank Indian states based on the number of digital transactions made, according to Economic Times. The move follows the government’s demonetisation of Rs 500 (US$7) and Rs 1,000 ($14) banknotes and the launch of BHIM, a mobile payment service unveiled by prime minister Narendra Modi earlier this year.

    HSBC to launch Hong Kong P2P mobile payments app

    January 19th, 2017

    HSBC is to launch a P2P mobile payments app in Hong Kong early this year that will allow customers of any bank to transfer money using a recipient’s mobile phone number. The bank is issuing invitations to register for an Early Bird Sign Up promotion in exchange for HK$20 (US$2.57) credit and up to HK$100 (US$12.89) credit if customers refer a friend. HSBC supports a similar service in the UK called Paym which launched in April 2014.

    Indian mobile wallet adds healthcare services

    January 19th, 2017

    Indian consumers can now submit prescriptions, buy medicines, find doctors and book appointments through online pharmacy Easymedico using First Global Data subsidiary Msewa’s VPayQwik mobile wallet. “Easymedico products and services will be available on the company’s VPayQwik mobile payment app, enabling Easymedico’s existing base of 500,000 customers to submit prescriptions, to purchase prescription medicines and other health products at significant discounts on VPayQwik,” First Global says.

    Call to ‘digitise Indian rupee’ using blockchain

    January 18th, 2017

    “The time is ripe” for the adoption of blockchain technology in India, according to the Reserve Bank of India’s research arm which believes the technology has the potential to digitise the country’s fiat currency. “We feel that BCT [blockchain technology] has matured enough and there is sufficient awareness among the stakeholders, which makes this an appropriate time for initiating suitable efforts towards digitising the Indian rupee through BCT,” the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology says in a white paper.

    P2P service expands to Macau

    January 18th, 2017

    Hong Kong ATM network Jetco has partnered with seven banks in Macau to offer Jetco Pay P2P, the mobile phone number-based transfer service that launched with 12 banks in January 2016. Participating banks include Banco Comercial De Macau, Banco Nacional Ultramarino, Tai Fung Bank, Bank of China Macau Branch, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Macau), Luso International Banking Limited and OCBC Wing Hang Bank. The service will roll out in the second half of 2017.

    GlobalPlatform standardises TEE management

    January 18th, 2017

    Standards body GlobalPlatform has published a framework detailing how trusted applications hosted on a GlobalPlatform compliant Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) can be remotely and dynamically managed. GlobalPlatform TEE Management Framework “is applicable to any type of device including mobile and IoT devices and will be used by service providers, TEE implementers, device makers, trusted application providers and trusted application managers,” the organisation says.

    Google to add payments for Home Assistant?

    January 18th, 2017

    An APK teardown conducted by XDA reveals that Google plans to add the ability to make payments directly through its Google Home voice-activated speaker powered by Google Assistant. “The string ‘you’ll soon be able to pay for things’ when you use Google Assistant indicates the service is not yet live… but it soon will be,” the publication reports. “Plus, you’ll be able to specify which Assistant-connected devices will be able to participate in making payments.”

    Japanese bank plans new biometrics firm

    January 17th, 2017

    Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group is planning to establish a company that provides biometric authentication services together with a “major Japanese IT company and an Irish company as early as this spring”, The Japan News reports. “The new company aims to expand its target to include all internet services, and make them available for finance, mail order and other areas,” the publication adds.

    Boon launches in France for Apple Pay users

    January 17th, 2017

    France has become the first eurozone country in which consumers with iOS devices can use Wirecard’s Boon service to make purchases with Apple Pay, by adding a virtual Boon card to the mobile payment service. Boon launched in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Belgium in December 2015. It expanded to Spain and Ireland in the same month, and launched in the UK with Apple Pay support in March 2016. Apple Pay launched in France in July 2016.

    US bank backs top five mobile payment services

    January 17th, 2017

    US bank Fifth Third has announced it will support the five major mobile payment services — Android Pay, Apple Pay, Masterpass, Microsoft Wallet and Samsung Pay. “Consumers are rapidly adopting mobile payments and we are providing our customers with every option available,” says Jimm Bell from Fifth Third. The bank has witnessed a 133% increase in mobile payments among its customers since it added Apple Pay support in 2015.

    Mobile payments market worth $3,338bn by 2022

    January 17th, 2017

    The global mobile payments market will reach US$3,388bn by 2022, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33.4%, Allied Market Research predicts. “NFC has high growth potential and is anticipated to exhibit CAGR of around 36% during the forecast period,” the firm says. “By mode of transaction, in 2015, SMS accounted for about 54% of the overall payments market share, followed by wireless application protocol (WAP). Asia-Pacific is expected to witness the highest growth rate.”

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