Amazon rolls out QR-based anti-counterfeiting platform

Amazon launches Transparency in Europe, India and Canada — Amazon — “Transparency is a product serialisation service that provides a unique code for every unit that is manufactured. Brands put these codes on its products and every time one of these products is ordered in Amazon’s stores, Amazon scans and verifies the code to ensure only authentic units reach customers. Additionally, customers can use a mobile app to scan the code and verify authenticity regardless of where they purchased their units. Brands can also use Transparency to communicate unique unit-level information, including manufacturing date, manufacturing place, or other enhanced product information (eg ingredients).”


HonkMobile launches app-free Apple Pay NFC payments

woman tapping phone on sign

Parking payments specialist HonkMobile has unveiled a ‘virtual parking meter’ that uses Apple Pay’s new support for NFC tags to let iPhone users tap an NFC sticker to quickly make a payment via Apple Pay — without first needing to download an app or register for a service... More




Canadian credit unions to let customers use their banking logins to access third party services

Central 1 launches integration for secure digital solution for financial institutions — Central 1 — “The seamless integration of Central 1’s product means financial institution customers can access additional online services using their existing digital banking credentials, providing fewer complex logins to remember and simplifying login access for over 80 government websites.”


Metrolinx to let commuters top up their Presto transit card with their NFC phone

New app will let Presto customers pay from their smartphones — Ottawa Sun — “Metrolinx, the Crown agency that oversees the Presto system, has just released a new beta version of an app that will eventually allow customers to avoid the line by loading their cards directly from their smartphones… Users will be able to load funds directly using their debit or credit card, check the remaining balance of their account and set up a notification system to alert them when their funds are too low or their passes near expiry… Android phones with near field communication (NFC) capabilities will be able to load their funds instantaneously by simply pressing their cards against the back of their smartphones.”


Vancouver commuters ‘queue down the block’ for TransLink transit ticketing wristbands

People already scalping TransLink’s Compass Wristbands online — CTV News — “People ended up queuing up down the block when the wearable technology went on sale at 7:30 am, and it only took about three hours for TransLink to sell out. ‘I’ve gotta say, this is a little more than we expected,’ spokesperson Jill Drews said. ‘But it’s great. We’re glad people love the wristbands’.”


TransLink pilots wearable transit ticketing payment bands

Introducing Compass Wristbands — TransLink — “To help improve customer convenience, we’re introducing Compass Wristbands — a Compass Card that you wear on your wrist! We’re offering a limited release of 1,000 adult wristbands and 1,000 concession wristbands starting December 3… Tap in and out when travelling on transit and reload online, at a Compass vending machine, by phone or in person. Just like a Compass Card, you’ll pay a $6 refundable fee when you pick up your wristband.”



TransLink reports fast uptake of contactless payments on Vancouver transit system

One millions taps — Tap to Pay hits a milestone — TransLink — “It’s been two months since we launched Tap to Pay and we are happy to share our customers have embraced this new payment option in a big way. To date, there have been 160,000 unique users who have tapped their contactless credit cards and mobile wallets… Customers can tap card readers with a contactless Visa or Mastercard credit card, or a device with an Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay wallet.”


UnionPay begins mobile payments rollout in North America

UnionPay QR code payment debuts in North America — UnionPay International — “UnionPay International announced today that it has partnered with Bank of China (Canada) in enabling all the stores of Foodymart in Canada to accept UnionPay QR code payment… Some food and beverage merchants in California, the US, have recently started accepting UnionPay QR code payment too… It is expected that the number of merchants accepting UnionPay QR code payment in North America will reach 5,000 within this year.”


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.”


National Bank of Canada lets merchants accept contactless payments on their Samsung smartphones

National Bank launches Easy Pay, a mobile point-of-sale solution enabling Canadian SMEs to accept contactless payments — National Bank of Canada — “With Easy Pay, merchants can accept payments in person using a compatible smartphone — no peripherals required. After registering for the Easy Pay solution, they simply download the Easy Pay app in order to accept payments from customers using an eligible contactless credit card or via the customer’s digital wallet.”


Translink adds mobile payments for transit users in Vancouver

Tap to Pay — Translink — “On May 22, our card readers will accept contactless Visa and Mastercard credit cards and Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. For customers without Compass Cards, this new feature will mean no more ticket line-ups, digging for exact change, or worrying about pre-calculating zones. You can tap a contactless Visa or Mastercard credit card or mobile-payment method on card readers to pay your adult, cash fare. Note: card readers will not accept debit cards.”


Google expands support for wearable payments to Canada, Spain, and Australia

Google Pay on Wear OS officially spreads to three new countries — Android Police — “In addition to using NFC-equipped watches to make regular mobile payments, users in Australia can use their Wear OS devices with the Opal ticketing system to pay for single-trip tickets on select rail and ferry lines… Formerly, Google’s payment service was only supported on Android Wear (now Wear OS) devices in the US and the UK.”


Canada to test blockchain and biometric identity concept that lets travellers control their own ID

Canada to test advancements in biometrics and blockchain to welcome international travellers — World Economic Forum — “The Known Traveller concept is founded on the principle that an individual traveller has control over the use of their own identity and its components. Due to this decentralization of control over the components of their identity, a traveller can push proof of their identity information — secured by distributed ledger technology and cryptography — to governmental and private-sector entities throughout their journey.”


TD Bank acquires artificial intelligence specialist Layer 6

TD Bank Group acquires artificial intelligence innovator Layer 6 — TD Bank — “Layer 6 adds new capabilities to TD’s growing base of innovation talent and know-how. Artificial intelligence has the potential to power a new generation of data-driven applications from personalized and real-time advice to predictive analytics that will shape the future of banking for millions of individuals.”


Trimet to roll out world’s first integration of transit ticketing card with Android Pay

Portland-Vancouver’s Hop Fastpass partners with Google, becoming the first virtual transit fare card available within Android Pay globally — TriMet — “TriMet and Google are teaming up for a first — making Hop Fastpass the first virtual transit card available in Android Pay starting early next year… In December 2017, a select group of TriMet, C-Tran, and Portland Streetcar beta testers will be able to load a virtual Hop card into Android Pay — giving them the ability to tap their phones to pay for their fares and receive all the benefits of a physical Hop card.”


Bank of Canada reports on the potential of digital currencies

Central Bank Digital Currency: Motivations and implications — Bank of Canada — “This paper addresses the question of whether a central bank should issue digital currency that could be used by the general public. It begins by discussing the possible motivations for a central bank to issue a digital currency. The paper then sets out a benchmark central bank digital currency (CBDC) with features that are similar to cash. The implications of such a digital currency are explored, focusing on central bank seigniorage, monetary policy, the banking system and financial stability, and payments.”


Canadian banks, carriers and government back blockchain-based digital IDs

Forget iris scans, Canadians to use blockchain for digital IDs — Bloomberg — “Soon Canadians will be able to verify personal information for everything from driver’s licenses to banking using mobile phones and blockchain… Canada’s six largest lenders, including Toronto-Dominion Bank and Royal Bank of Canada invested C$30m (US$24m) in the project. The country’s three main wireless carriers — owned by Rogers Communications Inc, Telus Corp and BCE Inc — are also involved through their EnStream venture, along with a number of provincial governments.”


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