Japanese bank to issue digital currency that cuts transaction costs

Japan’s biggest bank is releasing its own cryptocurrency in March — Investopedia — “The MUFG coin will have parity with the Japanese yen and will be rolled out to employees of the financial services group first. It will enable standard transactions, such as shopping or transfer of money between individuals (for example, splitting of a bill after a meal or drinks), at much lower costs as compared to credit cards.”


Japanese NFC pioneer NTT Docomo to introduce QR code payments

NTT Docomo to start QR code payment — NHK — “Major Japanese mobile carrier NTT Docomo says its subscribers will be able to pay at stores using a QR code… The payments will be added to a monthly bill, or deducted from a credit card. Subscribers will have to download an app on their smartphone to use the service. It will be available at some 19,000 retailers and restaurants nationwide. Docomo says that figure will rise to 100,000 in a year.”


Messaging service Line looks to cryptocurrencies for payments

Line explores cryptocurrencies for payment services, sources say — Bloomberg — “The messaging provider is in discussions with multiple companies on using cryptocurrencies for payment services including Line Pay, said the people, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The broader goal is to create products that keep users within Line’s ecosystem and keep them coming back to the app, increasing ‘stickiness,’ they said.”


JCB to trial biometric technology that uses visible light to read palm prints and vein patterns

JCB to test multipurpose biometric authentication for potential launch of authentication and payment scheme using visible light palm authentication — JCB — “JCB will be running a trial of multipurpose server-based visible light palm authentication in February at JCB headquarters in Tokyo, Japan… The trial will focus on testing technical aspects during the registration and payment flow: capturing customer palm print and vein patterns with a smartphone camera, storing the patterns on a server, performing authentication, and returning the results to the smartphone.”


Japanese bank to combine fingerprint and vein verification for cardless transactions at ATMs and teller windows

Mofiria provides Aeon Bank with new hybrid biometric device — Mofiria — “Aeon Bank Ltd, a Japanese new style bank, has announced that they have introduced a whole new biometrics authentication system to their ATMs and teller windows, which allows the customers to do any bank transactions without using a bank card nor entering PIN number… Aeon Bank has introduced this system to five branches for the proof of concept and they have a plan to introduce it to all branches by October 2018.”


Messaging app Line reports 40m mobile payment users

A Line Pay milestone: 10 million transactions monthly — Line — “Line announced today that Line Pay, a ‘smartphone wallet’ service for the Line platform, has reached 10m global transactions per month as of the end of October 2017. Along with that major milestone, Line Pay has also achieved ¥55bn (approximately US$482m) worth of transactions monthly — or some ¥300bn cumulative from Jan 1 to Nov 2, 2017… Line Pay has also reached 40 million global registered users.”



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.”


Apple Pay now available on older iPhones in Japan

iOS 11 activates Apple Pay for older Japanese iPhones — Ata Distance — UPDATE Further investigation has found that the following information is not accurate. Click through for further information — “With the NFC switching capabilities of iOS 11 Apple Pay Apple quietly activated Apple Pay Japan for older non-FeliCa NFC capable iPhones such as iPhone 6S. Surprised users with Japan issue cards that support JCB J/Speedy and Mastercard Contactless can add them to Apple Pay and use them at stores with EMV NFC-Pay ready readers.”


Japanese banks to pilot blockchain-based mobile payments service

Fujitsu to conduct blockchain field trial of money transfer service with three major Japanese banks — Fujitsu — “Fujitsu will develop a cloud-based blockchain platform for money transfers between individuals that can be jointly used by these three major banks, as well as a smartphone application that allows users to easily handle the different steps for sending money and for making deposits and withdrawals.”


Japanese bank demos blockchain payment solution

Japan’s big banks showcase fintech at Ceatec show — Nikkei Asian Review — “A smartphone app lets users buy MUFG Coin with yen from their bank accounts and send the digital currency to others. Remittance costs are kept low thanks to blockchain, the distributed ledger technology that underpins bitcoin. With MUFG Coin, wiring amounts of money too small to be practical under typical bank fees becomes possible, according to the lender.”


Japanese banks get go ahead for digital currency launch

Japan’s big banks plan digital currency launch — Financial Times — “A consortium of banks, led by Mizuho Financial Group and Japan Post Bank, has won support from the country’s central bank and financial regulator to launch the J Coin, an electronic currency to pay for goods and transfer money using smartphones. The J Coin would be convertible into yen on a one-to-one basis, operating via a smartphone app and using QR codes to be scanned in stores.”


New iPhones and Apple Watch to support NFC-F for FeliCa payments around the world

Global FeliCa for iPhone 8, iPhone X, Apple Watch Series 3 — Ata Distance — “Though Apple is very low key about global NFC-F support, FeliCa systems outside of Japan, such as Hong Kong’s MTR system and Octopus Card, and Singapore’s EZ-Link will be able to add Apple Pay Suica-like services… It also means that ‘inbound’ visitors to Japan can add Apple Pay Suica with the new devices.”



Fraud cases across three prefectures involving Apple Pay exploit loophole: Sources

Fraud cases across three prefectures involving Apple Pay exploit loophole: Sources — The Mainichi — “Multiple fraud cases involving stolen credit card information via Apple’s iPhone payment system ‘Apple Pay’ occurred across Osaka, Kyoto and Saitama prefectures in late March this year, investigative sources have revealed… Apple Japan said it had confirmed the Saitama cases, and a source disclosed that after the incidents occurred, Apple reportedly gathered credit card issuing companies together and warned them to exercise caution.”


Japan’s Bic Camera to accept bitcoin nationwide

Japan’s Bic Camera to accept bitcoin nationwide — Nikkei Asian Review — “Bic Camera will allow payments in bitcoin at all locations throughout Japan as early as this month, looking to provide more options for foreign and domestic shoppers… The more-than-expected popularity of this option prompted Bic Camera to expand the system to the rest of its locations, the company says.”


Sony’s semi-smartwatch now has a smaller version and a leather strap with NFC

Sony’s semi-smartwatch now has a smaller version and a leather strap with NFC — The Verge — “Sony is also launching a new leather strap in all three sizes — you lose the steel band’s notification functionality, but it still has NFC — and is starting to sell the steel band separately as well for people who want to mix and match… The Three Hands Square “head” and steel band will go on sale later this month, but the leather bands won’t be available until late December.”


Bango enables new payment option for Amazon customers in Japan

Bango enables new payment option for Amazon customers in Japan — Bango — “Amazon customers with a KDDI (au) or NTT Docomo mobile phone account can now pay for physical goods from Amazon.co.jp, by charging the cost to their mobile phone bill… A KDDI or NTT Docomo subscriber simply adds carrier billing as a payment option in their Amazon.co.jp account and then purchases can be made from any device.”



Android Pay begins its rollout across Canada

Android Pay has begun rolling out across Canada with support for eligible Visa and Mastercard credit cards from BMO Bank of Montreal, CIBC, Banque Nationale, Scotiabank, Desjardins, President’s Choice Financial, ATB Financial and Canadian Tire Financial Services as well as prepaid Scotiabank and Desjardins cards... More


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