Apple Pay set to go live in Czech Republic and Slovakia?

Apple Pay expected to launch in Czech Republic and Slovakia in late February to early March — MacRumors — “Apple Pay will launch in the Czech Republic and Slovakia in late February to early March, according to Seznam Zprávy and Živé… Czech Republic’s two largest banks Česká Spořitelna and Komerční Banka, along with mBank, Moneta, and Air Bank, will reportedly be among the first financial institutions to offer Apple Pay to customers in the Czech Republic. Equa Bank and Banka Creditas may follow suit within the first half of the year.” 


Airlines leverage PSD2 to cut transaction fees

New payment method for air tickets successfully demonstrated — International Air Transport Association — “IATA Pay is an industry-supported initiative to develop a new payment option for consumers when purchasing a ticket directly from an airline website. It is made possible by the European Commission’s second Payment Services Directive (PSD2), and the UK’s Open Banking regulation. For airlines, the advantages of IATA Pay are: Cheaper payment option compared to other alternatives; Highly secure; Faster cashflow with instant/near instant payment to the merchant; Simpler payment process resulting in fewer lost sales.” 


California to ban paper receipts?

Ting introduces ‘Skip the Slip’ legislation to phase-out paper receipts in California — Assemblymember Phil Ting — “Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) today introduced AB 161, Skip the Slip legislation that makes electronic receipts the default practice when making a purchase. Businesses in the state would have to provide customers e-receipts by 2022, unless a hard copy is specifically requested… Committee hearings are expected to begin in the spring.” 


Honda to leverage in-car payments for driver rewards program

Honda Dream Drive to deliver next-generation infotainment, commerce, services and rewards to drivers and passengers — Honda — “Since 2016, Honda has worked with Visa to build and enhance the in-vehicle payment experience to make payments more convenient and secure. Now, Honda is expanding its in-vehicle payment collaboration to include Mastercard and PayPal… Honda Developer Studio is user testing a new points-based rewards program to benefit drivers and passengers for using Honda products and services. Drivers and passengers can earn rewards points for participating in a variety of activities including purchasing services, watching and listening to media, and playing games.” 


UnionPay offers access to payments APIs

UnionPay International gives global developers access to its APIs — UnionPay International — “UnionPay International is providing three types of services via UPI Developer: First, offer open access to its major APIs. Developers now have access to the APIs of 18 of UnionPay’s most popular payment and data services, including QR code payment and Token. Second, offer a combination of multiple APIs to provide partners with one-stop payment solutions, assisting them in both product developing and commercial application. Third, offer diverse technical support services, including technical documentation, technical guidance and product testing and certification.” 


Japan’s Seven Bank to let customers open accounts at in-store ATMs

Seven Bank to use facial recognition to let people open accounts at ATMs across Japan — The Japan Times — “The new ATM operated by Seven Bank, a unit of retailer Seven & I Holdings Co, would be able to confirm the identity of someone wanting to set up a bank account in a few seconds by scanning a photo ID and taking a picture through a high-precision camera… Seven Bank has over 24,000 ATMs at convenience stores, public facilities and elsewhere nationwide. Several thousand of the new ATMs are expected to be installed by summer 2020 in large cities.” 


SiriusXM to offer Visa in-car payments to US auto makers

Visa and SiriusXM team up to fast track the future of in-vehicle commerce — Sirius XM Holdings — “The SiriusXM e-wallet is being designed to integrate into the dashboard and will allow drivers and their passengers to complete and make purchases for everyday tasks on-the-go: shop and pay for coffee, find and pre-pay for gas, locate and pay for parking, purchase movie tickets, seamlessly pay tolls, and more. Users will activate and authenticate payment with their Visa account using biometric authentication, like voice and touchscreen commands, to eliminate driver distractions during the transaction.” 


UK police report increase in contactless card fraud

Surge in contactless card fraud — stealing £1.8m in 10 months — Evening Standard — “Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, said that in 10 months last year there were 2,739 reports of contactless fraud, totalling almost £1.8m (US$2.3m) — up from 1,440 cases worth £711,000 (US$909,000) in the same period in 2017… Average losses investigated by detectives were between £90 (US$115) and £652 (US$833) but the largest single contactless case reached £400,000 (US$511,000), stemming from multiple purchases.” 


Chinese mobile payment users set to double by 2023

Mobile payments market in China is expected to witness three-fold growth with doubling of active mobile payment users by 2023 — Frost & Sullivan — “The market of mobile payments services in China is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.8% from 2017 to 2023, growing three-fold from US$29.93 trillion to US$96.73 trillion. The total number of active mobile payment customers is expected to reach 956 million by 2023 from 562 million in 2017 which will attract additional investments from mobile payments market participants.” 


Mastercard to drop its name from its logo

Mastercard evolves its brand mark by dropping its name — Mastercard — “Mastercard today announced that it is dropping its name from its iconic brand mark in select contexts. The interlocking red and yellow circles, referred to as the Mastercard Symbol, will now stand on its own across cards using the red and yellow brand mark, acceptance marks at retail locations both in the physical and digital worlds, and major sponsorship properties… The flexible modern design will allow it to work seamlessly across the digital landscape.” 


Google adds a payments license in Ireland

Google gets go-ahead from Central Bank for payments — The Irish Times — “Google has been authorised as a payment institution in the Republic, paving the way for the technology giant to begin providing new financial services to consumers and businesses both here and further afield. The Central Bank granted authorisation to Google Payment Ireland under the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) regulation on Christmas Eve. Having obtained authorisation, the company will be allowed to issue and acquire payments across the European Union under passporting rights.” 


JCB begins EMV QR mobile payments rollout

JCB launches QR code payment in the Asian region — JCB — “Bank SinoPac in Taiwan and Sacombank in Vietnam became the first banks to offer the JCB QR Code Payment service. SinoPac will start the service full scale at merchants who used to accept only cash such as fish markets, flower markets and taxis in January 2019… Sacombank has just announced its new mobile banking app ‘Sacombank Pay’, for which their JCB cardmember can choose JCB Card as a source of funds.” 


National Bank of Oman lets customers pay with points at the POS

National Bank of Oman customers can now shop with Nuqati points — Albawaba — “Customers can now use their Nuqati points at a wide selection of shops to buy items ranging from coffee to groceries to electronics… Customers can redeem points online, through the NBO mobile app or in-store. After entering their PIN or tapping their contactless payment cards, customers will have the option of choosing to pay in Omani rials or Nuqati points.” 


Dubai bank adds cardless cash withdrawals to mobile banking app

Emirates Islamic launches cardless cash withdrawal feature via its mobile banking app — Zawya — “Customers can now initiate the cash withdrawal from the bank’s mobile banking app and the funds can then be withdrawn from any Emirates Islamic ATM without using a debit or credit card. This innovative service also allows the bank’s customers to make transfers to recipients using only their mobile phone number. Beneficiaries will receive an SMS with a one-time PIN to withdraw the amount transferred from the closest Emirates Islamic ATM.” 


Honda teams up with Phillips 66 to let drivers pay for fuel from their vehicles

Phillips 66 Company collaborates with Honda Developer Studio to offer in-vehicle fuel payment — Phillips 66 — “Phillips 66 is collaborating with Honda Developer Studio to develop in-vehicle fuel payment integration that allows Honda vehicle owners to reserve a pump and pay for fuel at Phillips 66, 76 and Conoco branded locations through their in-dash infotainment system.” 


Google gets an EU electronic money institution license

Google granted an electronic money institution licence in Lithuania — Bank of Lithuania — “Having secured an electronic money institution licence, the company will be able to issue electronic money and provide payment services to ensure smooth operation of its marketplaces across Europe, alongside working on other payment services for consumers within the European Economic Area, including Lithuania.” 


Mizuho signs up sixty banks for J Coin cryptocurrency payments launch

Mizuho to launch digital currency to promote cashless payments in March — Nikkei Asian Review — “Japan’s Mizuho Financial Group plans to introduce a proprietary digital currency that can be used for shopping and remitted at no cost… To make use of the currency, users will download a dedicated app on their smartphone. Payments will be made using QR codes… Regional banks will be able to provide the same service under the same, yet-to-be-named brand to their customers.” 


Tencent connects car registrations to WeChat Pay for pay-by-plate parking at 1,000 Chinese shopping malls

WeChat Pay launches auto scan-and-pay for parking in China’s shopping malls — South China Morning Post — “To be part of this system, car owners must register their plate numbers under their WeChat Pay accounts. Their plates are scanned by specially set-up cameras located at the exit points of car parking sites. The artificial intelligence-based system automatically matches the captured image of the plate number with a database of WeChat Pay users to determine the corresponding account and settle the parking fees.”