Apple Card pilot expands to ‘thousands of retail workers’

Apple expands Goldman credit card test to thousands of retail workers — Bloomberg — “The Cupertino, California-based company this week launched an internal beta program for the Apple Card with its retail workers, according to people familiar with the initiative. The move marks the first major trial for the card, which has been used for several weeks by a far smaller set of Apple corporate and Goldman Sachs employees.” 


China’s Expresspay Card moves into wearable payments

Exhibition stand with man in front

PARTNER NEWS: Expresspay Card, a joint venture between China UnionPay and Bank of China that offers China’s only open loop prepaid card, has partnered with Tappy Technologies and watch brand Saga Watch to offer cardholders a wearable payments option that will be accepted at any merchant equipped to accept China UnionPay contactless payments... More


PayByPhone integrates with Alexa to let drivers pay by voice from their cars

PayByPhone is now available through Amazon Echo Auto — PayByPhone — “To use the PayByPhone skill for Alexa, users must enable the skill and connect their existing PayByPhone account through account linking. After this, users can simply say, ‘Alexa, ask PayByPhone to start parking’ to begin a new parking session at the user’s desired spot for their desired duration.” 


Crédit Agricole pilots biometric bank cards

Mastercard collaborates with Crédit Agricole on biometric card trial in France — Mastercard — “Mastercard is working with Crédit Agricole Payment Services on a biometric card pilot for 200 customers in Touraine and Poitou, who will trial the card which features an integrated fingerprint sensor. Cardholders will place their finger on the sensor to make secure and prompt contactless payments without the ceiling limit of 30 euros.” 


Chinese retailers shutter unmanned stores as ‘novelty wears off’

China’s unmanned store boom ends as quickly as it began — Nikkei Asian Review — “Across China, shops once considered the future of retail have been shutting their doors for good… The Chinese IT companies that entered the market used technology to remove the need for workers but may have overlooked other parts of the equation.” 


Visa rolls out ‘sensory branding’ to a million points of sale in 25 countries

Animation, sound and vibration – How Visa is reinforcing consumer trust in a changing payments world — Visa — “Visa today announced that its sensory branding suite is live at more than one million points of sale in 25 countries. The suite is comprised of sound, animation and haptic vibration brand cues that occur with a Visa payment transaction.” 


Visa, Mastercard and PayPal back Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency launch

The Libra Association — Libra — “Libra is a global, digitally native, reserve-backed cryptocurrency built on the foundation of blockchain technology. People will be able to send, receive, spend, and secure their money, enabling a more inclusive global financial system… The Libra Association is made up of a group of diverse organizations from around the world… This initial group of organizations will work together to finalize the Libra Association’s charter and will become the association’s Founding Members upon its completion.” 


Facebook unveils its blockchain digital wallet plan

Coming in 2020: Calibra — Facebook — “Today we’re sharing plans for Calibra, a newly formed Facebook subsidiary whose goal is to provide financial services that will let people access and participate in the Libra network. The first product Calibra will introduce is a digital wallet for Libra, a new global currency powered by blockchain technology. The wallet will be available in Messenger, WhatsApp and as a standalone app — and we expect to launch in 2020.” 


Android Q to add face verification for payments?

Android Q Beta 4: ‘Face authentication’ appears in settings, reveals some features — 9to5Google — “With the added support for face authentication, users will have the option of requiring eyes open to unlock. They will be able to use it to sign-in to applications and use it for payments, as well, according to new strings in the Settings app.” 


Survey finds consumers ‘reluctant to swap passwords for biometrics’

Consumers reluctant to swap passwords for biometrics for fear of identity fraud — Paysafe Group — “Over half of consumers (56%) are worried that the shift to biometrics to authenticate online payments will dramatically increase the amount of identity fraud, according to new research conducted by Paysafe… The research found that four fifths (81%) of consumers still favour passwords for making payments online due to concerns about the security of new biometric options.” 


ETA issues US mobile payments market status report

The state of mobile payments in 2019 — Electronic Transactions Association — “In 2018, 55 million people in the US used their smartphone to make a payment at a physical point of sale, whether by loading money into a closed-loop mobile app (like the Starbucks app) or by loading a credit or debit card into an open-loop mobile wallet (like Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay) and using it to pay at the point of sale. These 55 million users account for about 20% of the U.S. population aged 15 and over, and just over 25% of US smartphone users.” 


TNS reports on consumer attitudes to wearable payments

TNS report shows alternative and cashless payments adoption at an inflection point with security a concern to wider usage — TNS — “44% of respondents are willing to make a payment using a wearable device like a ring or a bracelet; just under two-thirds (65%) expressed that security concerns would stop them from using a wearable device to make a payment; Australians are most concerned about security (68%) versus Americans (64%) and Britons (63%); more than half of male smartwatch owners have used it to make a payment.” 


European mobile wallets adopt Alipay QR code format to boost payment interoperability

Map of western europe

Six European mobile wallet providers — Bluecode (Austria), ePassi (Finland), Momo Pocket (Spain), Pagaqui (Portugal), Pivo (Finland) and Vipps (Norway) — have adopted a QR code format from Chinese payment provider Alipay to ensure digital payment interoperability and improve the international reach of customers’ wallets as well as boosting sales, participants have told NFCW... More


Uber eyes move into banking and payments business

Uber is making a fintech push with a New York hiring spree — CNBC — “There are many possible payment and lending innovations Uber could come up with: It has 93 million active users globally, most of whom use linked credit cards or fund a wallet called Uber Cash to pay for rides and food delivery… Creating a bank account has been discussed at a high level at Uber but may be years away, or the company could decide against it.” 


Digital wallets to be used by half the world’s population by 2024

Half the world’s population to use digital wallets by 2024 — Juniper Research — “A new study from Juniper Research has found that the number of people using digital wallets will increase from 2.3bn this year to nearly 4bn, or 50% of the world’s population, by 2024. This in turn will push wallet transaction values up by more than 80% to more than $9tn per annum.” 


Four in ten POS terminals now accept contactless payments

Have contactless cards become the tool of choice for low-value payments? — RBR — “At the end of 2017, there were 5.3bn contactless cards in circulation worldwide — this represents 35% of all cards, a share that RBR forecasts will increase to 57% by 2023… The number of eftpos terminals worldwide which allow contactless payments rose by 41% in 2017 to reach 40.9m.” 


EPC reports on QR and Bluetooth mobile payments in Europe

White Paper: Non-NFC based Mobile Sepa Card Proximity Payments — European Payments Council — “The document aims to create awareness amongst the payments industry about the development of non-NFC based MCPP [Mobile Sepa Card Proximity Payments] solutions and to provide a common understanding of the MCPP landscape. This final version also reflects the outcome of a three-month public consultation that ended in February 2019.” 


Android Q to let Google Pay users quickly switch between payment cards

Android Q Beta 4: Google Pay cards could live in power menu w/ ‘Cards & Passes’ — 9to5Google — “Cards will apparently appear as soon as the power button is long-pressed and users can then swipe through them, presumably to switch the card being used with NFC payments. Based on the description, this carousel will also be able to show things such as loyalty cards and tickets.” 


Google Pay issues major update to its API for Passes

4 smartphone screens

Google has announced a suite of upgrades for transportation operators, airlines and loyalty card issuers that extends the functionality of its Google Pay API for Passes — and revealed future plans to make Passes “available to your users on Google even if they haven’t installed the Google Pay app”... More