Huawei Pay expands to Russia

Huawei and UnionPay jointly launch Huawei Pay in Russia — Huawei — “Huawei Pay will go live in Russia in the first quarter of 2019… UnionPay credit and debit cards issued by Gazprombank and Russian Agricultural Bank are initially supported to use Huawei Pay.” 


Softbank-backed PayPay to update mobile payments app ‘after wrongful charge complaints’

Japan’s PayPay to update app after wrongful charge complaints — Bloomberg — “An unspecified number of customers called in and e-mailed to report charges on their bills that they didn’t recognize, according to PayPay spokesman Fumihiro Ito. Several consumers say they hadn’t even installed the app but their credit cards were billed for purchases they didn’t make… PayPay triggered a shopping frenzy earlier this month by promising to give users 10bn yen (US$88m) in rebates from their purchases.” 


7-Eleven to open unmanned convenience stores in Japan

7-Eleven opens trial store in Tokyo using facial recognition payment system — The Mainichi — “Convenience store giant Seven-Eleven Japan Co launched a trial 7-Eleven store with a self-checkout system using facial recognition technology here on Dec 17 as it aims to promote labour-saving measures and introduce cashless payments amid concerns of labour shortages… Seven-Eleven Japan Co plans to install the system at small-scale 7-Eleven outlets, such as those inside office buildings, making it the first convenience store chain of its kind in Japan.” 


German savings banks press Apple to open up its NFC chip

Mobile payment: Sparkassen wants iPhone NFC, but no Apple Pay — Heise Online (translation) — “Apple must open the NFC transmission standard to other payment services, the savings bank association has demanded… Sparkasse offers its own mobile payment app, which until now has only been available for Android devices due to Apple’s NFC blockade. ‘Ultimately, smartphone payments should be possible on all devices, without technical hurdles and restrictions, so that customers can easily choose the right solution for them,’ the association argues.” 


IMF report finds digital currencies are gaining ground with central bankers

At least 15 central banks are serious about getting into digital currency — MIT Technology Review — “There are two main reasons for the trend, according to the report. First, new forms of digital money are ‘shrinking the role of cash’. Besides that, some central banks are interested in using the technology to reach the hundreds of millions of people who do not have a bank account or access to modern financial services. Finally, most central banks see the potential to reduce costs by replacing physical banknotes with digital ones.” 


Alipay offers POS terminals that combine face recognition with QR payments

Alipay Box to utilize facial recognition tech for payments — Shine — “Alibaba’s financial and payment affiliate Ant Financial has released smart payment hardware called Alipay Box, integrating barcode scanning and facial recognition features… The plug-and-play device, which is smaller than a traditional self-service point of sale (POS) machine, does not require an overhaul of the merchants’ existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.” 


Barclays lets customers use their mobile banking app to restrict the type of stores their card can be used in

The Barclays mobile banking app lets customers select categories to

Barclays bank account holders in the UK can now use a new feature in their mobile banking app to stop their card from being used to make purchases in one or more of five categories of retailer — grocery stores and supermarkets; restaurants, takeaways, pubs and bars; petrol stations; gambling sites and betting shops; premium rate websites and phone lines. More


Singtel adds Apple Pay to Dash mobile wallet

Singtel Dash goes global with Visa and Apple Pay — Singtel — “Singtel is expanding the payment capabilities of its all-in-one mobile payments app, Dash, to include international mobile payments. Dash customers are now able to use their Visa Virtual Account on the Dash app at millions of online retailers worldwide and merchant points that accept Visa contactless payments. In addition, customers can also use Dash on Apple Pay, making it the first non-bank mobile wallet in Singapore on Apple’s easy, secure and private payments system.” 


Tesco to roll out high value contactless transactions

Tesco set to get rid of £30 limit on Apple Pay transactions — MoneySavingExpert — “The supermarket giant has said on social media: ‘We are currently in the process of trialling high value contactless payment with Apple Pay in a few of our stores and will be looking to extend this offer to the rest of our stores estate over the coming year.” 


Tech firms to explore next gen payment cards that combine fingerprint sensors with digital displays

Idex Biometrics and Visionox collaborating to develop fingerprint sensors with integrated displays — Idex Biometrics — “By combining the fingerprint sensor with a display, the user experience and security can be significantly enhanced. The display can be used for a range of features including dynamic CVV to address card-not-present fraud, user-specific information such as account balance, or to provide feedback when enrolling the fingerprint. The technology will also be applicable to other verticals such as mobile or IoT.” 


Google Pay goes live in France

Google Pay

Google Pay is now live in France, with support for Boon, Boursarama Banque debit and credit cards, Edenred Ticket Restaurant cards, Lydia prepaid Mastercards, N26 Mastercard debit cards and Revolut Mastercards. More


EU antitrust chief ‘could review’ Apple Pay

EU’s Vestager may investigate Apple Pay if there are formal complaints — Reuters — “EU regulators looked into Apple’s mobile payment service and found it was not market-dominant but they could review it again if they receive formal complaints, Europe’s antitrust chief said on Monday… Critics say that an NFC chip embedded in the Apple iPhone means that Apple Pay is automatically selected when an iPhone user pays for goods and services, barring rival payment methods.” 


Apple Pay goes live in Germany

Apple Pay

Apple Pay is now live in Germany for customers of Deutsche Bank, Hanseatic Bank, HypoVereinsbank/UniCredit, Fidor Bank, Comdirect, N26 and Bunq. The service is also available to customers of O2 Banking, Ticket Restaurant Edenred and VimPay plus Boon and American Express cardholders. More


Tesco lets shoppers self-checkout with their mobile phone at new Jack’s discount chain

Tesco spin-off Jack’s opens its doors with free mobile ‘Smart Shop’ app — Internet Retailing — “With the app, shoppers can scan the item’s barcode or shelf-front price code and then pay by simply tapping their phone on a self-service checkout terminal before leaving. The app also helps the shopper log what they have bought and how much they have paid.”