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    Archive: News in brief

    Battery-less smartwatch powered by body heat

    December 5th, 2016

    Devices such as smartwatches could be powered by little more than the heat of the wearer’s body, if the promise of a California-based startup is delivered, EE Times reports. Matrix Industries has developed the prototype PowerWatch, which it says will not require a battery, as it can draw all of its operating power from a small thermoelectric unit made from a silicon nanomesh that generates electricity from body heat. The company also aims to discuss use applications in the medical and IoT markets.

    ANZ could offer mortgages through Apple Pay

    December 2nd, 2016

    Australian bank ANZ has announced it is working with Apple to deliver a wider range of financial products, including mortgages, through Apple Pay, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. “What we’re seeing is a much higher propensity for people who’ve come to us with an Apple Pay solution to then go on and expand that relationship with us,” bank chief Shayne Elliott says. The news comes a day after other Australian banks suffered a setback over their long-running demands for access to the NFC technology within iPhones.

    Mastercard and Verifone unveil Instalments payments app

    December 2nd, 2016

    British consumers will be able to spread the cost of high-value in-store payments following a partnership between Mastercard and Verifone. The Mastercard Instalments app — the first of its kind in Britain — will launch on Verifone payment terminals at some UK retailers in January. The app has already launched in Romania, with BRD Groupe Societe Generale offering cardholders access to Mastercard Instalments at retailers across the country having conducted its first transaction last week.

    Austrian bank deploys NFC-ready ATMs

    December 2nd, 2016

    Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank Group has signed a deal to install 1,200 Diebold Nixdorf ATMs in its branches equipped with QR code scanners and NFC readers. Customers will be able to pay bills by scanning the QR code printed on the bill and using the ATM’s touchscreen display. Those who already have NFC-capable cards will be able to use the ATM’s contactless functionality. The bank says this will enable it to “deploy many other new applications that allow ATMs to interact with customers’ smartphones in the future, such as a cardless cash function”.

    Apple Pay offered for HSBC Singapore customers

    December 1st, 2016

    Apple Pay is now available for HSBC Singapore customers holding Visa and MasterCard credit cards, allowing them to make payments in stores with Visa payWave or MasterCard contactless payment terminals. “We believe the security, privacy and convenience Apple Pay brings will appeal to all our customers, especially those who are also active users of our digital banking services,” says Anurag Mathur from HSBC Singapore. The bank is offering S$5 (US$3.50) off every Apple Pay transaction until 15 January 2017, with a minimum spend of S$10, as a promotional offer.

    Mastercard launches AI across global network

    December 1st, 2016

    Mastercard has introduced an artificial intelligence solution to help financial institutions increase the accuracy of real-time approvals of genuine transactions and reduce false declines, while marking the first time AI has been implemented on a global scale directly on the Mastercard network. “Decision Intelligence examines how a specific account is used over time to detect normal and abnormal shopping spending behaviours,” Mastercard says. “It leverages account information like customer value segmentation, risk profiling, location, merchant, device data, time of day and type of purchase made.”

    FIS to offer Zelle support

    December 1st, 2016

    Banking and payments technology provider FIS is to offer Early Warning’s Zelle P2P payment service to its financial institutions. “The partnership with Early Warning will enable FIS financial institutions to join the Zelle network quickly and with minimal effort,” FIS says. Zelle was unveiled at Money20/20 in October 2016, and was built on top of the existing ClearXChange network.

    Korea gets BioCA facial recognition solution

    December 1st, 2016

    A facial biometric authentication service for money transfers has been launched by Korea International Trade Association subsidiary Korea Trade Network (KTNET), in collaboration with biometrics provider Daon and the Korea Smart Authentication Corporation. “This jointly developed facial recognition service can be applied to most smartphones equipped with a selfie camera,” The Korea Herald reports. In addition to mobile apps, BioCA can also be applied to immigration checkpoints at airports, keyless automobiles and property entrances. The service is built on Daon’s IdentityX solution and will also support fingerprint and voice recognition.

    Apple Pay to launch in Spain?

    December 1st, 2016

    Apple Pay is to launch in Spain on 1 December with support from Banco Santander, according to Spanish news website Applesfera. “Various sources have confirmed [to] Applesfera and barring unforeseen last-minute [changes] it will be tomorrow when we can finally use the service in Spain,” the report says.

    Mastercard biometric service rolls out to Latin America

    December 1st, 2016

    Mastercard has launched its biometric Identity Check Mobile service in Brazil and Mexico, the payments giant has confirmed. The service allows cardholders to authenticate online payments by scanning their fingerprint or by taking a selfie. The Latin America rollout comes after “trials in the Netherlands, the US and Canada found consumers preferred biometrics to authenticate payments”, Mastercard adds. The service became available to US financial institutions in 2016, with a global expansion expected to increase in 2017.

    USAA Bank adds insurance cards to digital wallet

    November 30th, 2016

    USAA Bank has updated its digital wallet offering to enable users to add their auto insurance card and medical insurance card to the app. “Members can access their proof of insurance, including a printable PDF for insured vehicles,” USAA says. “Members can also access their Medicare insurance information through their digital wallet.” The service also offers support for Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay for USAA Visa and American Express debit and credit cardholders. It added biometric authentication in January 2015.

    In-store mobile payments take 0.6% Black Friday share

    November 30th, 2016

    In-store mobile payments accounted for 0.6% of transactions made on Black Friday in the US, research released by payment technologies provider Cayan reveals. California recorded the highest use of mobile payments with 1%, while Wyoming recorded the lowest with 0.05%. EMV cards represented 55% of all Black Friday transactions, while magnetic stripe cards took a 34% share.

    Mastercard blockchain patent applications

    November 30th, 2016

    Mastercard has filed patent applications describing systems and methods for authorising and securing blockchain transactions using existing payment networks. “[The] use of traditional payment networks and payment systems technologies in combination with blockchain currencies may provide consumers and merchants the benefits of the decentralized blockchain, while still maintaining security of account information and provide a strong defense against fraud and theft,” the payments company says.

    Off the cuff mobile payments from British fashion brand

    November 29th, 2016

    British accessories brand Tovi Sorga is working with Barclaycard to include contactless payment chips to their wallet cuff range, allowing wearers to make purchases across the UK. “Linked to any Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card registered to a UK address and managed by the bPay mobile app, users have full control and visibility of their spending,” Tami Hargreaves from Barclaycard says.

    Growth in millennials’ mobile commerce use

    November 29th, 2016

    Eighty-eight percent of US millennials are conducting transactions from their mobile device with 15% doing so multiple times a day, research from mobile capture and identity verification firm Mitek shows. Nearly half of older millennials have made a decision on where to spend money or switched companies based upon the mobile experience, the survey of more than 3,000 people aged between 18 and 34 in the US, Canada and the UK adds.

    Mobile retail commerce to reach US$1,120bn by 2020

    November 29th, 2016

    The value of global mobile retail commerce is set to reach US$1,120bn by 2020, up from US$415bn in 2016, a white paper released by Aite Group predicts. Tracing the growth and uptake of digital wallet services across the mobile and e-commerce sector, the research states that the global online commerce market will grow to US$7,114bn overall by 2020. “Successful digital wallet providers will be those that offer consumers ease of use, peace of mind (regarding security), and the ability to transact anytime and anywhere,” says Aite Group senior analyst Ron van Wezel.

    JustGiving to aid contactless donations

    November 28th, 2016

    Online donation platform JustGiving has showcased a prototype for a TapDonate mobile app in collaboration with UK charity Bloodwise that will enables contactless card donations to be made to charities through PayPal Here. “Once downloaded to a charity device, such as an iPhone or a tablet, the app can be quickly and easily programmed with a charity’s branded content and then connected with one touch to a PayPal Here card reader to enable a cashless donation to be processed in seconds,” JustGiving says.

    Paytm suspends App POS feature

    November 25th, 2016

    Indian mobile payment provider Paytm has suspended a new feature in its mobile app two days after its launch, citing the need to “add additional certifications and features” before making it available again. App POS was launched to allow Paytm merchants to accept all debit and credit cards using their mobile phone. “We will re-launch this product as soon as we have updated the product,” Paytm writes in a blog post. App POS was unveiled in the wake of withdrawal of Rs 500 (US$7) and Rs 1,000 ($14) notes.

    Beacons to deliver personalised marketing at ATMs

    November 25th, 2016

    ATM manufacturer Diebold Nixdorf and Australian banking services provider Cuscal are using beacon technology to deliver personalised marketing offers to people as they approach cash machines or bank branches. Cuscal is testing the technology, which involves using beacons to deliver messages via bluetooth to smartphones including specific apps. The aim is to identify how effective such marketing is during what is described as the ‘approach phase’ of the consumer experience, rather than the ‘transact phase’ once a card has been inserted in an ATM.

    Dutch bank in logistics blockchain project

    November 25th, 2016

    Dutch bank ABN Amro is working with Delft University of Technology and 14 other partners to launch a two-year project to apply blockchain technology to the logistics sector. The TKI Dinalog project aims to deliver three user cases: supply chain finance, inventory finance and circular economy. “We are applying blockchain technology to the financial routes in logistics. But that’s just the start,” says ABN Amro’s Martijn Siebrand. “I can see this development culminate in the logistics sector of the future, more coherent and smooth all across the chain.”

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