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    Archive: News in brief

    Wirecard adds backing to Pay by Bank

    December 15th, 2016

    German payments technology provider Wirecard has become the latest to announce its support for Pay by Bank, the mobile payments app developed by VocaLink’s Zapp. “Wirecard will bring the power of Pay by Bank app to its mobile payment solution Boon,” Wirecard says, adding it “will incorporate the Pay by Bank app into its UK online merchant acquiring suite of alternative payment options.” UK bank Barclays will be the first to make Pay by Bank available to consumers following beta tests.

    Mastercard and Visa sign tokenization agreement

    December 15th, 2016

    Mastercard and Visa have signed a tokenization agreement that will allow Mastercard to request tokenized Visa credentials from Visa for provisioning into Masterpass and Visa to request tokenized Mastercard payment credentials from Mastercard for provisioning into Visa Checkout. The agreement will “accelerate the adoption of tokens” across both digital payment platforms, says Mastercard’s James Anderson.

    Resellers expect strong IoT revenue growth

    December 15th, 2016

    A survey from data management company Dell EMC has found 60% of resellers expect revenue from Internet of Things (IoT) devices to rise 30% in 2016, Computer Weekly reports. “Resellers are increasingly reporting IoT as an opportunity for extensive business growth and expansion,” says Sarah Shields from Dell EMC UK. The findings come after Juniper Research reported the number of connected IoT devices and sensors will reach more than 46bn by the year 2021.

    Smart machines to enter mainstream in five years

    December 15th, 2016

    Smart machines incorporating cognitive computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning will enter mainstream adoption by 2021, with 30% adoption by large companies, a report from Gartner says. Spending on smart machine consulting and system integration services will rise from US$451m in 2016 to nearly US$29bn in 2021, the technology research company adds. “Smart machines will profoundly change the way work is done and how value is created,” says Susan Tan from Gartner.

    IoT, NFC and mobile money focus of Mahindra Comviva magazine

    December 14th, 2016

    A 46-page magazine with a collection of articles covering the Internet of Things, NFC, the role of mobile money and how to kickstart the mobile wallet revolution in the Middle East is now available to download from the NFC World Knowledge Centre. The latest issue of the quarterly Vritti magazine has been produced and sponsored by Mahindra Comviva and has been approved by the NFC World editorial team.

    Indian merchants get new digital payments service

    December 14th, 2016

    Vodafone India has unveiled Vodafone M-Pesa Pay, a digital payment solution allowing merchants to receive payments from customers using their M-Pesa wallet, bank account, or debit or credit card. Retailers need to download the Vodafone M-Pesa app and register for Vodafone M-Pesa Pay as a merchant to use the service. The move follows the withdrawal of Rs 500 (US$7) and Rs 1,000 ($14) notes across the country.

    Spanish bank offers 5% Apple Pay discount

    December 14th, 2016

    Banco Santander in Spain is offering customers a 5% discount on items bought using Apple Pay until 15 January 2017. The offer applies to all transactions made under €500 (US$531), with the total amount discounted credited to customer accounts between 1 and 15 March. The bank’s customers have been able to register Mastercard debit or credit cards to Apple Pay since the mobile payment service launched in Spain earlier this month.

    Amex adds card feature for Messenger bot

    December 13th, 2016

    American Express has unveiled an Add a Card feature to its Amex bot for Messenger, allowing eligible US Consumer and Open card members to add their card and billing information for purchases on Facebook. “After adding a card to their Facebook accounts, card members can easily make in-game purchases, purchases on the shop sections of business’ Facebook pages and participate in Messenger commerce experiences,” American Express says. The company unveiled its Amex bot for Messenger in June 2016.

    Face recognition adds AR to app experience

    December 13th, 2016

    Augmented reality start-up Blippar is adding real-time facial recognition technology to its mobile app, Business Insider reports. Users will be able to scan faces to unlock a “unique augmented reality experience”. Profiles for more than 70,000 public figures have been created, while users will eventually be able to set up their own profile. Blippar is this Christmas working with London’s Covent Garden to deliver what is claimed to be the largest showcase of AR technology attempted in one location.

    New guidelines to ‘simplify’ Mobile Connect service

    December 13th, 2016

    Trade association SIMalliance has published a set of guidelines allowing mobile network operators and service and solution providers to more easily deploy Mobile Connect, which aims to provide a universal phone-based identity and authentication service to consumers worldwide. Mobile Connect SIM Applet Interoperability Stepping Stones aims to “simplify the interactions” of the SIM, authentication application, over-the-air (OTA) platform and the mobile signature service provider (MSSP) platform.

    Machine ‘learns’ face recognition skills

    December 13th, 2016

    Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have designed a machine-learning system that appears to have worked out itself a key factor in how the human brain recognises people’s faces. The team trained the system to recognise faces by feeding it a set of sample images. They found an intermediate processing step had emerged, which took into account the angle of rotation of the face being scanned, spontaneously duplicating a feature seen in primates.

    Apple rejects Samsung Pay Mini on iOS

    December 13th, 2016

    Apple has rejected the registration of the Samsung Pay Mini online payments app onto its app store, according to ET News. “Competition between Samsung and Apple has expanded towards markets for online payments, and Samsung has decided to focus on Android rather than providing its service through Apple devices,” the publication reports. The app was expected to go live in South Korea in June 2016. It is now expected to be introduced in January 2017.

    Citi app adds range of biometric authentication options

    December 12th, 2016

    An update to US bank Citi’s mobile banking app allows customers to log in using a range of biometric authentication methods, including fingerprint, voice and facial recognition. “Citigold and Citi Priority clients may choose among five modes of authentication,” Citi says, including traditional PIN and password options.

    Apple Pay integration with electric vehicle charging

    December 12th, 2016

    Electric vehicle (EV) charging network ChargePoint has integrated with Apple Maps, allowing US drivers to view EV charger points through the map service and pay for charging time using Apple Pay. “Right from their iPhone, they can start charging, pay and see other station details,” ChargePoint says. Customers will also be able to click on the EV charger points to retrieve directions, as well as check other station details.

    Australian bank offers Android Pay

    December 12th, 2016

    Customers of Australian bank Westpac can now make mobile payments through Android Pay using their Mastercard debit and credit cards. The service is available for those with select Samsung, Sony, LG, HTC, Motorola, Huawei and Pixel smartphones. Android Pay launched in Australia with support from 27 financial institutions in July 2016. Westpac forms part of the group of Australian banks seeking stronger negotiation powers over the entry of third party mobile wallets in the country.

    Samsung Pay begins Malaysia beta test

    December 12th, 2016

    Samsung has begun a beta trial of Samsung Pay in Malaysia with Maybank. Customers with an eligible Samsung device can register to join the beta test now, using their Visa debit, credit or prepaid card. “Successful beta testers stand to win RM100 (US$22) cashback when you spend with Samsung Pay from 12 December 2016 to 11 February 2017,” Maybank says. Samsung revealed its plans to launch Samsung Pay in Malaysia in October this year.

    App offers order ahead restaurant service

    December 9th, 2016

    US consumers using the Chase Pay QR code-based mobile payments service can now order ahead, pay for food and access special offers at participating Boston restaurants using the app. JP Morgan Chase is collaborating with LevelUp to offer the service, which will be expanded across the US next year. “Customers can pay when they order ahead or in person at LevelUp or Chase Pay-branded scanners at the counter,” Chase says.

    Google’s browser connects with BLE

    December 9th, 2016

    The latest version of Google’s Chrome browser allows websites to interact with Bluetooth Low Energy devices. Chrome 56 Beta uses the Web Bluetooth API on Android, Chrome OS and Mac, and enables web developers to connect to Bluetooth devices such as printers and LED displays with “just a few lines of Javascript”. Web Bluetooth can also be combined with beacons to discover and control nearby devices, says the company.

    Belgian bank joins mobile payment platform

    December 9th, 2016

    Belgian bank Belfius has joined ING and KBC in the development of a common mobile payment and loyalty platform in Belgium built on ING’s existing Payconiq mobile payments app. Belfius is to integrate Payconiq into the digital platform Citie, developed in partnership with Bpost and Proximus. ING and KBC announced their plans to launch the common mobile payments platform in July 2016.

    India Reserve Bank drops two-factor authentication

    December 9th, 2016

    The Reserve Bank of India has removed two-factor authentication — involving the use of one-time passwords sent to mobile phones — for online card transactions up to Rs 2,000 (US$29), Live Mint reports. “Discarding two-factor authentication is an opt-in service, which means that customers will have to specifically opt for it.” The move follows the withdrawal of Rs 500 (US$7) and Rs 1,000 ($14) notes.

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