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    Archive: News in brief

    Capital One added to Android Pay support list in US

    November 8th, 2016

    Capital One has now been added to the list of banks and financial institutions supporting Android Pay in the US. There are now 438 such institutions supporting the mobile payments service, after another 37 were added to the list last week. The bank’s debit cards, plus Visa and Mastercard credit cards, are supported, according to Android Police, but not Partnership Credit, Visa corporate or non-US credit cards.

    Caffè Nero to build mobile payments with Yoyo Wallet

    November 8th, 2016

    Coffee chain Caffè Nero is to build a mobile payment and loyalty platform for its customers using technology supplied by QR code-based platform Yoyo Wallet. “The partnership, which will have implications for all Caffè Nero stores across the UK and Ireland, is Yoyo’s first significant step in taking their mobile wallet offering onto the high street,” Yoyo Wallet says. Yoyo began rolling out its service to university campuses in May 2014 and launched in private beta across the US in December last year.

    UK consumers say mobile payments are ‘life changing’

    November 4th, 2016

    More than one third of UK consumers (37%) describe mobile payments as “life changing” while 57% say the same thing for contactless transactions, research by UK bank Barclays reveals. “Shoppers are more likely to visit a store kitted out with virtual reality (57%), smart fitting rooms (57%) or augmented reality (52%),” the research also reveals.

    Ant Financial invests in Ascend Money

    November 4th, 2016

    Alipay parent company Ant Financial is investing an undisclosed sum into Thai online payment provider Ascend Money. “Together with Ant Financial, Ascend Money will grow its online and offline payment and financial services ecosystem and strengthen its trusted and convenient payment services for users and merchants,” Ant Financial says. Reports that Ant Financial was seeking to buy a 20% in Ascend Money emerged in June 2016. The company made a similar investment in Indian mobile payment platform Paytm in September 2015.

    Mobile payment transactions to grow 42% in 2016

    November 4th, 2016

    Mobile payment transaction volume will grow by 42% to reach 26.9m in 2016, up from 18.9m in 2015, Future Market Insights (FMI) reveals. This volume represents nearly US$768bn, up from US$549bn last year. “Payments made through NFC will witness the highest year-on-year growth rate, increasing at over 59% in 2016,” the research firm says. “SMS mobile payment transactions will witness a year-on-year growth rate of more than 28% and total US$385bn in revenues.”

    SIMalliance transfers Open Mobile API to GlobalPlatform

    November 4th, 2016

    Trade association SIMalliance is transferring ownership of its Open Mobile API (OMAPI) specification to standards body GlobalPlatform. “The OMAPI Specification defines how mobile applications may access different secure elements (SEs), including the UICC and embedded secure elements (eSEs) in a mobile device,” SIMalliance says. “This most recent move by SIMalliance will ensure that the technical specification continues to evolve in line with the wider secure chip ecosystem.”

    Mobile payments and IoT trends for smartwatches

    November 4th, 2016

    Internet of things, monitoring for insurance and mobile wallet expansion are three of the key emerging smartwatch app trends found in research by Parks Associates. Leading Smart Watch Apps: Insights into Wearable Use Cases also shows Apple Watch owners are more engaged with their devices than all other smartwatch owners. “The two primary smartwatch use cases are fitness tracking and notifications, but use cases such as mobile payments, smart home and security, and vehicle access are emerging,” says Chris Tweedt from Parks Associates.

    NEC aims for face recognition for payments by late 2017

    November 4th, 2016

    Japanese IT giant NEC is holding trials with banks and credit card companies to deploy facial recognition systems for payments, IT Wire reports. Such systems could be in public use by late 2017. Dr Hitoshi Imaoka from NEC told visitors to the iExpo exhibition in Tokyo there were still problems of accuracy to be overcome, including how to use the technology as people age.

    Nokia in ‘world-first’ NB-IoT trial over 4G network

    November 3rd, 2016

    Nokia and Finnish telecommunications company Sonera have successfully completed a trial using NB-IoT (Narrowband Internet of Things) technology over a commercial 4G mobile network. Information on temperature, humidity and air pressure was shared over Sonera’s 4G network in Helsinki, while a roaming device was also connected. In what is described as a “world first demonstration”, the trial showed how NB-IoT technology — which can enable billions of IoT devices to be connected — could allow companies to track mobile assets.

    National Express launches mobile ticketing service

    November 3rd, 2016

    Passengers on National Express bus services across the West Midlands in the UK can now buy monthly travel passes and have them validated directly on their smartphones. The service is making use of Masabi’s JustRide cloud-based mobile ticketing and fare collection system. “As part of the National Express deployment, Masabi will be using Mastercard Payment Gateway Services to enable simple, safe and secure in-app digital payments,” Masabi says. Future updates will enable riders to make payments through Mastercard’s Masterpass digital wallet.

    University students test M-Pesa NFC cards

    November 3rd, 2016

    Kenyan carrier Safaricom is trialling an NFC card with university students that enables them to make payments with a tap at any contactless terminal using their M-Pesa mobile money accounts. The cards, called Blaze M-Pesa, are being issued free of charge to “thousands of students,” Business Daily Africa reports. “The students can already make payments at several businesses at the Thika Road’s TRM Mall.” Safaricom began trialling NFC M-Pesa cards with its staff in July 2016. Reports emerged in March 2014 that Safaricom was working to add NFC to its M-Pesa service.

    Ecobank to roll out mVisa in 33 African markets

    November 2nd, 2016

    Pan-African banking group Ecobank has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Visa to roll out the mVisa QR code-based mobile payment service in 33 African markets by the end of 2016. “This MoU will help Ecobank reach 100m customers,” the company says. mVisa was unveiled in August 2015 through a pilot with Indian banks. Ecobank also signed an MoU with Mastercard last month to launch Masterpass QR mobile payments across Africa.

    LG unveils front-facing camera with built-in iris scanner

    November 2nd, 2016

    LG Innotek has unveiled an all-in-one module that functions as both a front-facing camera as well as an iris scanner which could be built into LG smartphones scheduled to launch next year, Korean publication Digital Times reports. It is not confirmed whether or not the module will be integrated into the company’s forthcoming LG G6 flagship smartphone, expected to be unveiled in spring 2017.

    Nine Russian banks support Apple Pay

    November 2nd, 2016

    Apple has added nine more financial institutions in Russia which support Apple Pay, AppleInsider reports. The new backers are Tinkoff Bank, Bank Saint Petersburg, Raiffeisenbank, Yandex.Money, Alfa-Bank, MTS Bank, VTB 24, Rocketbank and MDM Bank. Apple Pay went live in Russia last month, initially supported by Mastercard and Sberbank.

    Mastercard distributes digital humanitarian funds

    November 2nd, 2016

    Mastercard has launched a pilot program with the American Red Cross to use Mastercard Send to distribute funds to families in Indonesia via their mobile phones to buy water and other items during the drought season. A mobile wallet provided by mobile network operator Indosat Ooredoo allows people to receive funds. “Our goal is to provide an innovative service that enables humanitarian and development organisations to distribute funds efficiently and digitally,” says Mastercard’s Shari Krikorian.

    PayPal tops US digital payment preference

    November 2nd, 2016

    More than half of US consumers (60%) are currently using a method of digital payment with the most popular proving to be PayPal, used by 51%, a study conducted by Thales in conjunction with Wakefield Research reveals. Apple Pay came in second with 11%, followed by Google Wallet (7%), Android Pay (6%), Chase Pay (6%), Samsung Pay (5%) and Venmo (3%). “88% of respondents reported they would discontinue using digital payments if they personally fell victim to cybercriminal activities as a result of a data breach,” the survey finds.

    Swiss railway to sell Bitcoin at 1,000 ticket machines

    November 2nd, 2016

    Swiss commuters will soon be able to buy Bitcoin at more than 1,000 ticket machines belonging to the country’s national railway service SBB from November 11, under a deal between SBB and payment and distribution services provider SweePay. “SBB is a distribution partner of SweePay and is providing the ticket machines as a distribution channel,” SBB says. “Customers need to identify themselves using their mobile telephone number to purchase Bitcoin at the SBB ticket machines. The maximum amount is fixed at CHF 500 (US$514) per transaction.”

    Google Maps update enables food ordering from app

    November 1st, 2016

    An update to Google Maps on iOS allows users to order food from their favourite restaurants directly from the app. “For instance, if you search for a restaurant that works with one of the major online delivery services like GrubHub or EatStreet, you’ll see a new ‘Place an order’ option in the details of the location,” 9to5mac reports. “Tapping on that option will direct you to the website of the delivery service and allow you to quickly place an order.” The availability of this feature varies per country.

    US consumers trust banks most for payments

    November 1st, 2016

    More than eight in 10 US consumers (82%) trust banks most to keep their payments safe, research from the American Bankers Association (ABA) reveals. “Only 3-4% of consumers trust major retailers or telecom companies to protect their payments,” ABA says. Some 11% trust alternative payment providers such as Apple, PayPal and Venmo, while 21% of consumers have used a mobile app on their phone to make a payment — 65% have used PayPal, 34% have used Apple Pay and 32% have used Android Pay.

    TD Bank adds support for Microsoft Wallet

    November 1st, 2016

    TD Bank in the US has begun supporting Microsoft Wallet. “Pick your TD Bank Visa card, make sure you have a compatible device running Windows 10 software and click on the Microsoft Wallet app,” the bank says. “Then with the app open, tap the + sign in the app and follow the instructions to add your card.” The NFC mobile payment service was unveiled in June 2016, supported by nine US banks and financial institutions. PNC added its backing in August and Chase is expected to support the service next year.

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