Berkshire Hathaway invests in Indian mobile payments provider Paytm

Berkshire Hathaway confirms investment in Paytm parent One97 Communications — Economic Times — “Berkshire Hathaway has confirmed that it has made an investment in Paytm parent One97 Communications… ET had reported that Berkshire Hathaway is in talks to invest about Rs2,000-2,500 crore (US$285m-US$356m) in One97 Communications, that could value the company at $10bn. One97 Communications already counts China’s Alibaba Group Holdings and Japan’s Softbank among its major investors.”



Seattle sports teams use fingerprint biometrics to let fans prove their age and buy a beer

Clear partners with Seattle Seahawks, Sounders FC, & Mariners to launch biometrics payment & ID check initiative — Clear — “With approval from the State of Washington to replace a traditional ID check with biometric powered age validation, Clear members at CenturyLink Field and Safeco Field can buy food and drinks, and simultaneously prove that they are of legal age for alcohol purchases — all with just their fingerprints.”


Facebook approaches banks for Messenger bot banking

Facebook taps banks, but for chatbots not purchase data like Google — Techcrunch — “Account linking enables people to receive real-time updates in Facebook Messenger where people can keep track of their transaction data like account balances, receipts, and shipping updates… The idea is that messaging with a bank can be better than waiting on hold over the phone — and it’s completely opt-in. We’re not using this information beyond enabling these types of experiences — not for advertising or anything else.”


Google Pay goes live in Croatia

Google Pay comes to Croatia — The Dubrovnik Times — “Croatia is the first country in the Adriatic region offering Google Pay for payment in stores and on all Google platforms as of August 1, Google Adriatic said on Wednesday… Google is unveiling the service in cooperation with PBZ (Privredna Banka Zagreb), and at launch the service will be supported by PBZ online banking and the Visa Inspire card. There are plans to cooperate with other Croatian banks as well.”


Italian debit card network Bancomat to provide mobile payments to 37m cardholders at 440 banks

Introducing Bancomat Pay: New digital payment services for 37 million Italians — SIA — “Bancomat Pay will integrate the Jiffy service, allowing PagoBancomat cardholders to pay, in stores and online, and to send and receive money in real time from their smartphone. Counting on the strength of the Bancomat brand, a watchword for security and simplicity, and on its widespread distribution, with about 37 million PagoBancomat cardholders and over 440 banks using its services, Bancomat SpA aims to develop the potential of the new digital payment service far beyond its current market penetration.”


Barclays files blockchain funds transfer and KYC patents

Barclays seeks twin blockchain patents for banking services — Coindesk — “The US Patent and Trademark Office published two applications by the UK’s second-largest bank Thursday, both of which revolve around account security. Perhaps most notably, however, was an application for a patent which outlined a blockchain platform which could facilitate cryptocurrency transfers. The bank also proposed streamlining know-your-customer processes by storing identifying information on a private blockchain.”


Marriott to let Chinese guests use face recognition to check in to its hotels

Joint venture of Alibaba Group and Marriott International trials facial recognition check-in technology — Marriott International — “The pilot will kick off from July 2018 at two Marriott International properties in China — Hangzhou Marriott Hotel Qianjiang and Sanya Marriott Hotel Dadonghai Bay, with the goal of global rollout across Marriott International’s properties in the future… Chinese guests simply need to scan their IDs, take a photo and input contact details on a self-help machine. The intelligent device will then dispense room key cards after identities and booking information are verified.”



Survey finds money saving product recommendations will drive adoption of open banking

Brits cite money saving product recommendations as the biggest incentive to use open banking — Equifax — “Two fifths (40%) of Brits willing to share their bank transaction data with a new lender would do so if it provided them with product recommendations which save them money. Other motivations to share transaction data through open banking include the ability to easily compare products from different financial institutions (36%), being offered tailored incentives for switching to a new provider (34%), and a streamlined process when applying for mortgages (28%) and loans (25%).”


Chinese university pilots face recognition for campus access control

Peking University installs facial recognition system for students and staff on campus gate — South China Morning Post — “Anyone going through the southwestern gate of prestigious Peking University can now have their face scanned by a camera instead of showing their ID card to security guards under a trial run of the system that started on Wednesday… It is not the university’s first use of the technology on campus — it has already installed about two dozen facial recognition devices outside some of its libraries, classrooms, student dormitories, gymnasiums and computer centres.”


JPMorgan Chase to reward mobile-only bank account customers for using key features

JPMorgan Chase takes smartphone account ‘Finn’ nationwide — Reuters — “JPMorgan is offering $100 to people who open accounts and complete 10 transactions of certain types, such as sending money to another person or paying a bill. The incentive is designed to make customers familiar with using the app, said Melissa Feldsher, head of Finn. She believes customers will stick with the accounts after seeing they can automatically make deposits to their savings accounts, such as moving $2 from their checking account every time they spend $5 with the app at a Starbucks coffee shop.”


Canadian banks and carriers to roll out digital ID platform

Canadian mobile digital identity service to launch this fall — IT World Canada — “A long-awaited Canadian mobile digital identity validation service supported by Canada’s biggest banks and telcos will launch this fall… Called Verified.Me, the service installs an app on a mobile device that confirms a user’s identity, allowing businesses and governments to immediately do transactions without demanding proof of identity.”


Citi to let customers check their bank account from within Facebook Messenger

Citi joins chatbot arms race, unveils Facebook messenger tie-up that will launch later this year — South China Morning Post — “Citi’s offering will be the first Facebook Messenger-embedded chatbot to let customers access their own financial records and potentially conduct transactions in future. It plans to roll out the service worldwide following its launch in Singapore in March.”



Paytm integrates games, TV, sports and news into its mobile wallet app

Now enjoy news, live TV, cricket, entertainment & games in Paytm Inbox — Paytm — “We have added a host of new features to ‘Inbox’, our in-app messaging service that allows you to chat with friends and family and send/request money at the same time. You would now be able to enjoy in-app live TV, news, cricket, entertainment videos and games on-the-go for free.”


Spanish banks to build blockchain customer identity verification platform

The Niuron banking consortium will develop a platform to verify the digital identity of clients — Europa Press (translation) — “For banks, the benefits of this platform translate into an increase in speed, cost savings, reduction of fraud, reduction of operational risk and improvement of the prevention of money laundering. The client, on the other hand, decreases the time necessary during a registration process and has control and sovereignty over their personal data, thus improving their experience.”


Korean banks to launch blockchain identity platform

Banks plan blockchain ID system — Korea JoongAng Daily — “According to the Korea Federation of Banks (KFB), which represents major commercial banks in Korea, ‘BankSign’, a blockchain-based identity verification program, will officially be launched in July… ‘While BankSign will start off by providing the service in the banking sector, we will work with the government and other public organizations to expand its usage,’ said the KFB spokesperson.”


NFC World welcomes 120 new members from 43 countries

NFC World+ Knowledge Centre

120 new members from 43 countries joined The NFC World Knowledge Centre in May 2018, bringing our total membership to more than 10,500 executives, technical experts and decision makers at banks, card issuers, mobile network operators, merchants, brands, device makers, regulators and policy makers around the world... More


Mastercard to build open banking connectivity hub

Mastercard unveils solutions to underpin open banking transformation — Mastercard — “Mastercard announced today that it is developing a new suite of services to underpin the transformation taking place in the industry as partners ready themselves to take advantage of Europe’s PSD2 legislation… They will incorporate a pan-European directory of third party providers to help banks to ensure that parties seeking access to a customer’s account are legitimate… They will also feature a connectivity hub that will help third parties establish and maintain communication with banks.”