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    Archive: News in brief

    UK government to invest in Fido authentication

    November 9th, 2016

    The UK government is to invest in Fido authentication as part of its £1.9bn (US$2.3bn), five-year UK National Cyber Security Strategy, aimed at defending its online systems and infrastructure. “We will invest in technologies like Trusted Platform Modules (TPM) and emerging industry standards such as Fast IDentity Online (Fido),” the government says. “The government will test innovative authentication mechanisms to demonstrate what they can offer, both in terms of security and overall user experience.”

    French hotel and casino group to test biometric smart cards

    November 9th, 2016

    French casino and hotel group Groupe Partouche has partnered with MeReal Biometrics to test the use of biometric smart cards by employees to access secure areas. The initial test of fingerprint-based biometric cards will take place in two of the group’s 42 casino and hotel properties early in 2017. If successful it will pave the way towards a ‘closed loop’ system with all regular guests and 4,500 employees using biometric cards to perform a wide range of payment and access applications.

    Samsung to add AI button to new smartphone

    November 9th, 2016

    Samsung is considering adding a dedicated button for an improved artificial intelligence feature for its next flagship smartphone, the Wall Street Journal reports. The latest internal prototypes of the premium Galaxy S8 handset include a button on the side edge that would be used to launch a beefed-up virtual assistant similar to Apple’s Siri. Samsung introduced a virtual-assistant service, S Voice, in 2012 in its Galaxy S3 smartphone but hasn’t announced any major updates to the service since.

    Nordic bank to use blockchain for money transfers

    November 9th, 2016

    Nordic bank SEB has signed an agreement with distributed financial technology provider Ripple to use the company’s blockchain technology solution as a basis for payment transactions. “The first step will be to enable customers to make real-time transfers between SEB accounts in Stockholm and New York,” the bank says. “The first customer transactions are planned for next year, and will offer customers real-time transfers with later cut-off times than today.”

    Spanish bank offers ‘selfie’ service to open account

    November 9th, 2016

    BBVA bank is offering new customers in Spain the chance to open an account with them using their mobile phone, with identity verified using face recognition and video calls. The remote registration service sees the bank check ‘selfie’ images against a photo ID before a bank representative verifies the new customer’s identity through a video conference call. BBVA has also signed a memorandum of understanding to use Salesforce’s cloud computing services to become “a more flexible and scalable digital bank”.

    US bank app allows ability to dispute charges

    November 9th, 2016

    Citi credit card owners can now dispute charges within the bank’s iPhone app in the US. Customers can use the app to dispute damaged items, returned goods or duplicate charges, among others. Once the dispute is submitted, they will be notified via the app that Citi is taking action, the status of the case and what to expect next. Citi has also extended the app to allow customers to increase their credit limit, view recurring charges and enrol for paperless statements.

    Brain biometrics study gets $900,000 grant

    November 9th, 2016

    Binghamton University in the US has been awarded US$900,000 to continue investigations into the next-generation of brain biometric technology. The four-year project, ‘Brain Hacking: Assessing psychological and computational vulnerabilities in brain-based biometrics’, will examine the strengths of weaknesses for cyberspace security of identifying a person by measuring their brainprint – the brain’s response to different stimuli.

    Poppy Appeal gets contactless donations

    November 8th, 2016

    UK consumers can make a donation to The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal by tapping their contactless card or NFC device against contactless donation tins in 13 branches of UK bank Natwest. The tins are being trialled in collaboration with Worldpay and Thyngs. “One tin, developed by Worldpay, doubles up as a contactless terminal charging £2 (US$2.48) per tap,” Worldpay says. “Another will feature Thyngs Styckers which uses mobile phone technology to instantly direct mobile users to a dedicated donation page.” Mobile donations are currently being trialled, with contactless card donations set to be piloted next week.

    Samsung Pay gets Sberbank support in Russia

    November 8th, 2016

    Customers of Russian bank Sberbank can now add their cards and make payments through Samsung Pay. “Beginning November 8, Sberbank customers with Mastercard credit or debit cards can register them for use with Samsung Pay,” Samsung says. With the new partnership, Samsung Pay is now available from seven major banks including Alfa-Bank, VTB24, MTS Bank, Raiffeisen Bank, Russian Standard Bank and Yandex. The mobile payment service launched in Russia last month.

    Cartes Bancaires certifies OT’s dynamic code cards

    November 8th, 2016

    French bank card association Cartes Bancaires has issued certification for a dynamic security code payment card developed by Oberthur Technologies. The OT Motion Code cards replace the three-figure security code on the back of plastic cards with a mini-screen displaying a code which automatically changes periodically to make online payments more secure. The cards were trialled by BNP Paribas in October 2015, following an initial trial conducted by French bank BPCE.

    Mobile payments account for 25% of all US Starbucks transactions

    November 8th, 2016

    Mobile payments now account for a quarter (25%) of all transactions processed in Starbucks stores across the US, with Mobile Order and Pay transactions representing 6% of the total, reaching 7% in September 2016. “Approximately 3,300 of our stores are handling 10% of their orders at peak through Mobile Order and Pay,” COO Kevin Johnson told investors during the coffee chain’s Q4 earnings call. “In 600 stores, Mobile Order and Pay represents over 20% of orders at peak, triple the number from last year.” The service was rolled out across the US in September 2015.

    Walmart Pay to add more payment options

    November 8th, 2016

    US supermarket giant Walmart is in talks with “several mobile wallet companies” to offer more payment options within its Walmart Pay QR code-based mobile payment service, the retailer tells Reuters. Walmart announced a deal with JPMorgan Chase last week that will allow its shoppers to check out through Walmart Pay using Chase Pay.

    Tatra Banka launches HCE and tokenization mobile payments in Slovakia

    November 8th, 2016

    Customers of Slovakian bank Tatra Banka can now make host card emulation (HCE) based mobile payments using their Android handsets. The MobilePay service, which makes use of tokenization, has been launched in partnership with Visa and is available to all customers with a Visa debit, credit, corporate or private card. Tatra Banka launched an NFC mobile payments service with Orange Slovakia and O2 in August 2013.

    CIBC to be Samsung Pay’s Canada launch partner?

    November 8th, 2016

    A screenshot taken by a Reddit user of the Samsung Pay app suggests Canadian bank CIBC will be the launch partner for the mobile payment service when it becomes available in the country some time this year. “Sticktoit360 wasn’t able to verify whether the tap and pay functionality of Samsung Pay actually works in Canada because they’re a BMO customer,” Mobile Syrup reports. Reports that the service was expected to go live in Canada in early November emerged last month.

    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.”

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