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    Archive: News in brief

    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.

    Dunkin’ Donuts app gets iMessage gifts and payments

    November 1st, 2016

    Customers of coffee chain Dunkin’ Donuts can now deliver Dunkin’ Donuts Cards to friends, family and colleagues using Apple’s iMessage, as well as purchase gifts on the instant messaging platform using Apple Pay to complete the payment. “Once received, the gifts can be easily moved into the Dunkin’ mobile app and registered for use,” the company says.

    Android Pay adds 30 US banks and credit unions

    November 1st, 2016

    Google has added an additional 30 banks and credit unions to its list of Android Pay supporting financial institutions in the US. “Android Pay now supports a ton of banks and credit unions, but most of them are small, local ones,” Android Police says.

    Businesses missing customers’ move to mobile payments

    November 1st, 2016

    A third of global consumers expect mobile money to dominate payments within a decade, NTT Data predicts, while 31% of executives think mobile money “does not apply” to their business. “Among businesses that don’t accept mobile payments, 41% say it is because customers prefer paying by cash or check,” NTT Data says. 80% of millennial business leaders aged between 18 and 34 believe accepting mobile money boosts sales, compared with 51% of business leaders over 50 years old.

    US smartphone owners switch to mobile payments

    October 31st, 2016

    More than half of smartphone owners in the US have used their mobile phone to pay for goods and services in-store and online, Mercator Advisory Group says. Eight in 10 who use mobile payment apps including Apple Pay say they are more convenient than using a payment card. More than half say it is faster and more secure, while 37% think it is harder. Seven in 10 would use mobile payments more if they automatically received rewards or discounts.

    Amazon expands Amazon Dash to 60 new brands

    October 31st, 2016

    Amazon has added more than 60 brands to its Amazon Dash Button program that allows consumers to reorder consumables around their home with a press of a button. “Customers will now find even more brands to choose from across a variety of new beverages and pantry essentials, as well as pet treats and personal care items like toothbrush heads and dry shampoo,” the company says. The program expanded internationally in August, launching in Austria, Germany and the UK. The Dash Replenishment Service was launched in January 2016.

    Alipay heads to Australia with Commonwealth Bank

    October 31st, 2016

    Alipay has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Commonwealth Bank of Australia to enable in-store and online payments for Chinese tourists in Australia. “The two companies will work together to make it easier for Australian consumers to pay for purchases made through Alibaba Group’s ecommerce websites,” the bank says. “Commonwealth Bank and Alipay will also work together on a simple payment solution that allows Chinese tourists and Chinese students to use Alipay in-store,” enabling Alipay as a payment option through the bank’s Albert smart payment terminals.

    OCBC Bank adds Siri and iMessage payments

    October 31st, 2016

    Customers of Singapore’s OCBC Bank can now send money using Apple’s Siri virtual assistant or via text using Apple’s iMessage platform. “Users tell Siri whom to send the payment to and how much they want to send,” OCBC says. “Within the iMessage conversation screen, users can choose the OCBC Pay Anyone iMessage app to initiate the payment.” The Siri and iMessage services for OCBC Pay Anyone are available to all OCBC Bank customers using iOS10 devices and the latest OCBC mobile banking app.

    Brits using mobile payments abroad

    October 31st, 2016

    One in 20 British millennial holidaymakers used a mobile payment abroad via Apple Pay or Android Pay this year, research released by the DCC Forum reveals, and one in 10 made a contactless card payment when on holiday. “One in five (21%) Brits aged 18 to 34 did not make any payments in cash at all on their holidays over the last 12 months,” the company says.

    London taxis go contactless

    October 31st, 2016

    All black cabs across London are now enabled to accept contactless payments, Transport for London (TfL) has announced. “All taxis will have to carry a card payment device, ending uncertainty for customers about how they will be able to pay,” the company says. “The move comes after 86% of respondents to TfL’s consultation said they wanted to be able to use cards and contactless payments in taxis.” TfL confirmed its contactless payment plans for taxis in November last year.

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