Google Pay goes live in Italy

Google Pay has arrived — Google Blog Italia (translation) — “Simply add a credit, debit or prepaid card (Maestro, MasterCard, Visa) issued by any of the supported banks and credit institutions to the Google Pay app — including Banca Mediolanum, Boon, Hype, Nexi, N26, Revolut, Widiba and, in the coming months, Iccrea Banca and Poste Italiane — to turn your Android smartphone into a wallet. Users can also activate the service directly in the mobile banking app of their bank.” 


Pulse reports on US uptake of mobile debit card payments

2018 Debit Issuer Study finds improved issuer performance, lower fraud losses — Pulse — “86% of responding issuers support at least one mobile payment option, up from 74% in the previous study… Cardholder enrollment in mobile programs doubled in the last year. However, transactions initiated with a mobile wallet represented only 0.6% of in-store debit card purchases in 2017, compared to 0.3% in 2016.” 


OP Financial tests face recognition for payments in stores

OP Financial Group first in Finland to pilot facial recognition payments — OP Financial Group — “The technology compares the customer’s face to a face map captured on camera. After the customer’s face has been identified, the payment itself is simple: no mobile phone, payment card, cash or other traditional payment method will be needed.” 


Singapore begins rollout of QR code that works with multiple mobile payment schemes

Singapore introduces world’s first unified payment QR code — SGQR — Monetary Authority of Singapore — “The first of its kind globally, SGQR combines multiple payment QR codes into a single SGQR label, making QR code-based mobile payments simple for both consumers and merchants. SGQR will be adopted by 27 payment schemes including PayNow, NETS, GrabPay, Liquid Pay and Singtel Dash, and will be deployed progressively over the next six months.” 


French football club to launch its own cryptocurrency

Paris Saint-Germain becomes first football club in the world to announce long term cryptocurrency strategy — Paris Saint-Germain — “Socios.com will work alongside the club to develop the world’s first Fan Token Offering (FTO) for the Paris Saint-Germain fanbase. The Paris Saint-Germain fan token will be listed on the Socios.com platform and will allow fans to engage with the club through mobile voting and polling platforms. Token owners will also be granted access to exclusive fan rewards, content and experiences.” 


Tokyo Racecourse to replace betting slips with contactless cards and biometrics

Fujitsu’s cashless betting machines use palm vein authentication to support Japan Racing Organization — Fujitsu — “The betting machines will allow users to place bets without using cash by simply holding their hands out to the machine and using their JRA-Umaca contactless membership card… The purchase information is recorded on the JRA-Umaca card making it unnecessary to print a paper betting ticket, and if they make an accurate prediction, winnings will be paid out to the JRA-Umaca card automatically.” 


Mastercard comes under fire for sharing transaction data with Google

Google and Mastercard cut a secret ad deal to track retail sales — Bloomberg — “For the past year, select Google advertisers have had access to a potent new tool to track whether the ads they ran online led to a sale at a physical store in the US. That insight came thanks in part to a stockpile of Mastercard transactions that Google paid for… Google paid Mastercard millions of dollars for the data, according to two people who worked on the deal.” 


Chinese banks report 73% growth in mobile payment transactions

Mobile payment on fast growth in China — Xinhua — “The country’s banks processed 14.92bn mobile payment transactions in Q2, up 73% year on year, according to the People’s Bank of China. The value of these transactions totalled 62.88tn yuan (US$9.15tn), up 60% year on year… Online payment transaction value by non-banking institutions totalled 48.29tn yuan in Q2, up 53.35% year on year.” 


Samsung Pay reports 1.3bn transactions since launch

Samsung Pay now available in six continents, accelerating global expansion — Samsung — “Originally launched in South Korea on August 20, 2015, Samsung Pay has experienced significant global growth and is now available in six continents and 24 markets, including the latest market, South Africa… Samsung recently passed more than 1.3bn transactions globally.” 


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.” 


Sainsbury’s lets UK supermarket shoppers check out from their mobile phones

Skip the queue, scan and go: Sainsbury’s launches till-free shopping — Sainsbury’s — “In a UK supermarket first, Sainsbury’s is trialling new scan, pay and go technology that will enable customers in one of its busy London convenience stores to pay for products in-store using their smartphone… Using the latest version of the SmartShop app, customers visiting the Clapham North Station Local can use their smartphones to scan their shopping as they go and then pay for it through the app, from anywhere in the store, using Apple Pay.” 


Japanese bank to roll out payment cards with built-in display and keypad

GMO Aozora Net Bank Ltd and Dynamics Inc introduce Japan’s first battery-powered interactive debit and cash card — Dynamics — “A consumer enters a pass code, known only to the consumer, into the keypad on the face of the card. The correct pass code turns the card on so that it can be used in any swipe, tap, or insertion reader via a magnetic stripe, contact or contactless EMV chip. Entering the correct pass code also activates the card’s display to show the consumer’s payment card number.” 


General Motors lets Buick drivers pay for fuel from their dashboard

Buick delivers peace of mind at the gas pump — General Motors — “A new update to Marketplace brings ExxonMobil’s pay for fuel functionality right to the infotainment screen of eligible Buick vehicles… The platform also automatically syncs drivers to their ExxonMobil Speedpass+ app account, and drivers accumulate rewards points with each purchase. The new service is available at more than 11,000 Exxon or Mobil stations across the United States.” 


Three in ten iPhone owners now use Apple Pay

Apple Pay increasingly central to iPhone — Loup Ventures — “We estimate that Apple Pay now has over 252 million users, which equates to 31% of the active iPhone base… Adoption of Apple Pay continues to accelerate exponentially overseas compared to the US, with 85% of users being international vs 15% in the US… With the continued expansion into new markets and new partnerships with banks, we expect transaction growth of 200% over the next 12 months.” 


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.” 


Microsoft rolls out support for Masterpass payments

Microsoft Pay is now available with Masterpass — Microsoft — “US-based consumers using the latest Microsoft Edge browser on Windows 10 devices can sign in to their Microsoft account and use Microsoft Pay to make secure purchases wherever Masterpass is accepted online. More broadly, Microsoft Pay allows for a seamless and convenient consumer experience within the Microsoft ecosystem, including paying bills in Outlook, and buying goods or services in apps or bots.” 


Apple Pay Cash gets top rating for P2P payments privacy and security

Why Apple Pay is the highest-rated mobile P2P payment service — Consumer Reports — “In our first-ever test-based ratings of P2P mobile services, CR rated Apple Pay the highest overall, with excellent or very good marks in the key consumer-protection measures of payment authentication and data privacy. Apple’s overall rating was significantly higher than for the other services we tested: Venmo, Square’s Cash App, Facebook P2P Payments in Messenger, and Zelle.” 


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