Alipay pushes into Hong Kong, India, Thailand and the Philippines with Christmas shopping festival

Alipay to hold online 24-hour Christmas shopping festival as part of expansion push — South China Morning Post — “The event will take place in Hong Kong, India, Thailand and the Philippines with Alipay partners in each location: Hutchison in Hong Kong, Paytm in India, Truemoney in Thailand and GCash in the Philippines… As part of the December event, the AlipayHK joint venture has partnered with more than 8,000 bricks-and-mortar stores to offer exclusive gifts, discounts and rewards.”


One in three ‘connected consumers’ in India now use mobile payments

Kantar TNS study reveals the rise of mobile payments in India — Kantar TNS — “Mobile payments have seen a sharp rise with one in three (35%) connected consumers in India using it. The popularity of mobile payments in India is also revealed by the number of regular users, with 23% saying they use mobile payments at least once a week. The results of the study showed that India (35%) is ahead of other APAC countries like Indonesia (9%) and Philippines (7%) but has still a lot of catching up to do with the likes of China (94%) and Singapore (65%) where mobile payments have become a more regular habit.”


Google reports 12m Tez mobile payments users in India

Google for India: Building India-first products and features — Google — “Our India-first mobile payments app Tez has seen huge growth in its first 10 weeks. Tez has processed over 140m transactions from nearly 12 million active users. There are more than 525,000 merchants already on Tez, using it to take payments, pay their suppliers or transfer money to employees… In the coming weeks, Tez will start rolling out a customized experience to pay bills right in the app. More than 70 billers will be supported, including utilities and direct-to-home service providers.”


Paytm CEO sets out plans to become the world’s largest digital bank

Alibaba-backed Paytm aims to become world’s largest digital bank — Bloomberg — “Paytm Payments Bank aims to create the world’s largest digital bank with 500m accounts, envisioning an online financial services provider of everything from wealth management to credit cards and stock market trading… The bank grew out of Paytm’s digital wallet, which amassed over a hundred million customers after India took high-denomination bills — or nearly 90% of the value of cash — out of circulation last November.”


Juniper forecasts 375m NFC ticketing users by 2022

NFC mobile ticketing users to reach 375 million users by 2022, despite a slow start — Juniper Research — “The number of mobile users adopting NFC ticketing will exceed 375 million by 2022, up from an estimated 122 million in 2017. While there is rapid growth in NFC ticketing in European markets, Juniper has scaled back NFC ticketing adoption in many other markets, such as the US, India, and Africa, due to the lack of available services and infrastructure.”


ICICI Bank partners with Paytm to offer instant loans during checkout

Paytm-ICICI Bank Postpaid: Now get instant digital credit in your mobile wallet — BGR — “While checking out, customers will see a ‘Pay Later’ option, and on clicking it, their credit score would be calculated instantly. ICICI Bank will arrive at the credit score based on behavioral data from Paytm, the bank’s own customer data, and financial data from the credit bureau.”


Indian government sets out plans to make digital payments ‘visibly cheaper’ than cash

Govt to incentivise online payments to push digital transactions — Hindustan Times — “The incentives could include cashbacks and reward points for BHIM users… The note presented last week by the ministry of electronics and information technology to Parliament’s standing committee on finance detailed a five-step road map to push e-transactions. ‘Digital payments to be made visibly cheaper than cash,’ the note said.


Samsung Pay reports 2.5m users in India

Samsung Pay service reaches 2.5 million users in India — Android Headlines — “Samsung Pay reached 2.5 million users in India, one million more than it had in mid-September, a company official said on Wednesday… Samsung’s service is presently available on 26 devices in India, up from ten when it officially debuted in the country in early 2017. It’s currently supported by ten banks and seven more local card issuers.”


Paytm to invest US$1bn in building out its payments business

Paytm plans $1 billion top-up to cash in on note ban success — Times of India — “Sharma said they were looking at a three-pronged strategy to double the number of users in the coming year by converting Paytm users to its payments bank, tap into non-wallet users through UPI and sell financial products from next year. ‘Long ago, we realised that standalone payments as a business is an orphan and thus we are building a bouquet of products,’ Sharma said.”


Indian mobile wallet giant Paytm plans expansion to US, Japan and Europe

India’s top payment app has eyes on US market — Wall Street Journal — “India’s largest mobile payment app — backed by the likes of China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp — has its eye on the US, its founder said. Speaking at The Wall Street Journal’s D.Live Singapore event, Paytm founder and chief executive Vijay Shekhar Sharma said his aim is to expand into developed markets, also including Japan and Europe.”


Facebook’s WhatsApp to offer in-chat payments in India

WhatsApp in-chat payments feature is bad news for digital wallets, payment companies in India — FactorDaily — “Instant messenger WhatsApp is readying an intuitive in-chat payments feature, ahead of a likely December launch in India… This will be the first time that WhatsApp is introducing the payments feature anywhere in the world… The Facebook-owned company has partnered with three banks – State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank, three of India’s biggest banks, to launch the feature, FactorDaily has also learned.”


Google reports 7.5m users of its Tez audio QR mobile payments app

Edited transcript of Alphabet earnings conference call — Yahoo Finance — “To help millions of people, we are building products specifically designed for local markets in Asia. In India last month, we launched Tez, a mobile payments and commerce app that already has more than 7.5 million users who have made more than 30m transactions. I’m really excited about the potential this brings for India’s mostly cash-based economy.”


Apple prepares to launch Apple Pay in India

Apple may launch payments service in India soon, eyes local partnerships — LiveMint — “In an interview at Apple’s Hyderabad development centre, Apple senior vice-president Eddy Cue said the company wants to launch Apple Pay in India in the near future without giving a specific date… The company will look to partner and integrate its payments service with established players in the country like Paytm, rather than build a new payments solution from scratch, Cue said.”


India’s central bank implements new rules for mobile wallet issuers

Master Direction on Issuance and Operation of Prepaid Payment Instruments — Reserve Bank of India — “The Master Direction lays down the eligibility criteria and the conditions of operation for payment system operators involved in the issuance of semi-closed and open system PPIs [Prepaid Payment Instruments] in the country. All entities approved/authorised to operate payment systems involving the issuance of PPIs shall comply with these directions.”


Reserve Bank of India to issue guidelines for interoperable mobile wallets

Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies — Reserve Bank of India — “In line with the Vision for Payment and Settlement Systems in the country, the revised framework will pave the way for bringing interoperability into usage of PPIs [Prepaid Payment Instruments]. Interoperability amongst KYC-compliant PPIs shall be implemented within six months of the date of issuance of the revised Master Directions, which will be issued within a week, ie by October 11, 2017.”


Google’s Tez mobile wallet to be pre-installed on budget smartphones

Google partners with budget smartphone makers for pre-installing Tez in devices — BGR — “At the launch of its payments service for India, Google announced partnerships with budget smartphone manufacturers Micromax, Lava, Xolo and others, to offer the Tez app on a pre-installed basis. Upcoming handsets from the above manufacturers, as well as Nokia and Panasonic, will have Google’s payments app pre-loaded… Google further declared that it was open to more such partnerships.”





Soon, walk into metro station without taking your card from pocket

Soon, walk into metro station without taking your card from pocket — The Times of India — “Chennai Metro Rail Limited has invited tenders to introduce contactless smart cards which can be detected by scanners at stations even if the passenger keeps it in the pocket or a bag. The ticket price will be deducted once the passenger passes by the detector at the entrance to the platforms. These cards may later be used for other modes of transport as well.”


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