Alfa-Bank introduces instant mobile debit card issuance

Order a card a minute before payment — Alfa-Bank (translation) — “Instant issuing of the card in the application is a breakthrough technology that allows Alfa-Bank customers to order and start using the required bank card in less than a minute… Alfa-Bank is the first in the Russian market to offer its customers this opportunity… The card can be immediately added to Apple Pay and used to pay for purchases using a smartphone wherever contactless payment terminals are installed, in applications and on websites.”


UnionPay sets out its mobile payments rollout plans

UnionPay International launches mobile payment service platform to accelerate rolling out of its mobile payment worldwide — UnionPay — “UnionPay International will introduce Huawei Pay to the global markets this year, and Russia is expected to be the first country outside mainland China where Huawei Pay will be launched. In addition, UnionPay QR code payment will be available in Tajikistan, Japan, Cambodia and Suriname this year… UnionPay International is working with major institutions in Hong Kong, Kenya, and Nepal in jointly developing the international version of the UnionPay app.”


Russian banks prep for launch of national biometric ID platform

Tinkoff Bank takes part in demonstrating a beta version of the Unified Biometrics System (UBS) — Tinkoff Bank — “Rostelecom, together with Tinkoff Bank, VTB Bank and Pochta Bank, has presented a beta version of its Unified Biometrics System (UBS), a digital platform developed at the request of the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media and the Bank of Russia. The beta version features all the key components to deliver basic human identification functionality and is ready to be integrated into the banks’ information systems… The commercial launch of the Unified Biometrics System is slated for 1 July 2018.”


Mobile payments drive 60% growth in demand for NFC phones in Russia

In Russia, booming sales of smartphones that support contactless payments — Vedomosti (translation) — “Demand for them is being driven by the emergence of payment systems from Apple, Samsung and Google. Sales of smartphones that support contactless payments using NFC technology (near field communication), in 2017 compared to 2016, grew by 60% in Russia… Over the past year in Russia, about 8.3m such devices were sold.”


Researchers demo continuous user authentication system for smartphones

Russian experts submit ‘impenetrable’ smartphone protection system — Phys.org — “The advantage of the new method by the specialists from MEPhI is continuous protection from outside interference without any additional action by the user… Each person has a unique and inimitable style of handling the phone, and the system is based on identifying these unique characteristics.”


Huawei and UnionPay to expand Huawei Pay to Russia

China’s Huawei Pay debuts in Russia, as first port of call in global push — South China Morning Post — “It is a win-win cooperation between two Chinese companies as we join hands to increase the influence that China wields in the global mobile payment businesses,” said Wang Lixin, a vice-president of UnionPay International… In Russia, UnionPay has 400,000 point-of-sale terminals that can accept the Quickpass payment modes including Huawei Pay.”


Sberbank to build ID platform that supports face, voice and retina biometrics

Sberbank and VisionLabs to build biometric identification platform — Sberbank — “Sberbank announces the signing of a deal to acquire a block of shares in VisionLabs, a global leader of the facial recognition market… The investment in VisionLabs is a major first step by Sberbank to build a biometrics platform of Sberbank’s ecosystem, involving face, voice and retina identification, as well as other biometric factors… This will allow the creation of a unique biometric identifier that will let Sberbank clients access any service.”


Garmin Pay goes live in US, Switzerland, Russia and Australia

Garmin and NXT-ID subsidiary FitPay announce Garmin Pay now live on Garmin Vivoactive 3 smartwatch — NXT-ID and Garmin International — “The new contactless payment capability is powered by the FitPay payment platform and available initially for Mastercard cardholders from numerous issuing banks and credit unions including BECU, Capital One, First Tech Federal Credit Union, and US Bank in the United States, and internationally through Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Cornèrcard, Sberbank of Russia, and Swiss Bankers Prepaid Services Ltd.”


Russia to issue state-backed CryptoRuble digital currency

Russia issuing ‘CryptoRuble’ — Coin Telegraph — “Russian President Vladimir Putin has officially stated that Russia will issue its own ‘CryptoRuble’ at a closed door meeting in Moscow, according to local news sources. The news broke through Minister of Communications Nikolay Nikiforov. According to the official, the state issued cryptocurrency cannot be mined and will be issued and controlled and maintained only by the authorities.”


Moscow Metro to offer contactless payment rings to commuters

Moscow Metro to introduce fare payment rings — The Moscow Times — “The gadget will allow commuters to pay their fare anywhere that accepts the Troika transport card. The pass gives commuters access to Moscow’s bus, train and metro systems and is currently used by an estimated 10.5 million people… The payment rings will go on sale at the Moscow metro’s two souvenir shops and kiosks at a dozen stations across the Russian capital.”



Burger King has launched its own cryptocurrency in Russia called WhopperCoin

Burger King has launched its own cryptocurrency in Russia called WhopperCoin — CNBC — “With each purchase of the burger chain’s signature Whopper sandwich, customers can receive WhopperCoin tokens via a digital wallet… WhopperCoin transactions will be powered by Ethereum rival Waves’ distributed ledger network. The blockchain platform allows users to issue and transfer custom blockchain tokens, and to trade them on an integrated peer-to-peer exchange.”






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




Samsung Pay goes live in Taiwan with seven banks

Samsung Pay has been launched across Taiwan with support from Visa and Mastercard along with seven major banks including Citibank, Cathay United Bank, E.Sun Commercial Bank, Taishin International Bank, Fubon Bank, Union Bank of Taiwan and Standard Chartered. The service supports iris scan authentication for those with Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ devices. More


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