Metro Bank lets customers open an account with a selfie

Bricks and clicks unite: Metro Bank takes the revolution nationwide with launch of current accounts online — Metro Bank — “The use of cutting-edge technology means identification documents, along with a selfie, are uploaded directly onto the application. With verification and authentication taking place in real-time, accounts can be opened in less than 10 minutes, including setting-up internet banking.”


One in five Brits to make mobile payments in stores this year

UK: Mobile payments still looking to grab a foothold — eMarketer — “Just over 22% of UK smartphone users will use a phone to pay for goods and services at the point of sale (POS) in 2018… China has the largest mobile proximity payments market in the world, with 77.5% of smartphone users doing so this year. Within Europe, the UK’s smartphone penetration rate will rank behind Norway (23.3%), Sweden (33.8%) and Denmark (38.9%) in 2018.”


Bank of England puts a hold on research into issuing its own digital currency

Bank halts crypto-currency plans over stability fears — FT Adviser — “The Bank of England (BoE) has been researching the possibility of launching its own digital currency to rival bitcoin, but fears about the impact on the wider financial system means it has no ‘current plans’ to do so… If the central bank launched a digital currency of its own, it worried consumers would stop using commercial bank accounts and, instead, have a bank account with the Bank of England, and choose to use digital technology to purchase goods and services over paper money.”


Survey finds high level of consumer satisfaction with mobile payments in US and UK

Auriemma Consulting Group conducts parallel study of mobile pay usage in the US and the UK — Auriemma Consulting Group — “While UK cardholders are slightly more likely than their US counterparts to have used Apple Pay (12% v 9%) and Visa Checkout (9% v 6%) within the past month, other options, such as PayPal In-Store Checkout (5% each) and Android Pay (4% each) show similar usage patterns. Although usage metrics are low, satisfaction with each technology is extremely high.”


UK banks to begin rollout of world’s first standardised open banking system

UK’s Open Banking to launch on 13 January 2018 — Open Banking — “The UK is the first nation to implement a standardised open banking solution. In the UK we are creating a single technology standard enabling new services to be easily built and offered to consumers and small businesses… The first set of Open Banking APIs will go live to third party providers on 13 January.”


First US gym adds support for Apple Watch NFC pairing with exercise machines

Apple Watch GymKit syncing arrives in exactly one US gym — Engadget — “GymKit syncing on the Apple Watch technically arrived with watchOS 4.1, but there’s been one main obstacle to using it: Actually finding a gym that supports it. Only one fitness center each in Australia and the UK have enabled it so far… One solitary gym in New York City, Life Time Athletic at Sky, now has 13 GymKit-capable machines (including treadmills, bikes, ellipticals and stair steppers) that will pair with your smartwatch.”


UK consumers split 50:50 on willingness to share personal data with banks

NCR research highlights consumer desire for innovative banking services in the UK — NCR — “Nearly half of respondents (47%) with personal bank accounts would only feel comfortable with banks collecting the bare minimum of data required to run their accounts… 49% were interested in banking loyalty programs in partnership with retailers requiring third-party data sharing. 46% were open to financial advice services that keep track of their spending information to help save money.”


UK government unveils plans for smart ticketing on railways

Connecting people: A strategic vision for rail — Department for Transport — “Our aim for 2018 is that, by the end of the year, both ITSO and barcode tickets will be accepted for travel on almost all of the network… We also expect much of the industry to offer smart cards that can be held in digital ‘wallets’ on mobile phones… We expect in the medium-term wider use of mobile phone-based ticketing, and in the longer-term to explore options that don’t require a physical check of tickets.”


Starling Bank integrates third party rewards into open banking platform

Starling and Yoyo Wallet: Enabling loyalty with open banking — Starling Bank — “With any other bank, in order to collect loyalty points you would have to manually pay using the Yoyo app using a QR code scanner. However we have created an experience together with Yoyo, using our APIs, which means you don’t need to use any separate apps to pay. You just need to securely connect your Yoyo account to your Starling account from the Yoyo app and allow Yoyo to view your Starling account transactions. You will then be able to collect loyalty points whenever you use your Starling card, Apple Pay or Fitbit Pay at a merchant partner.”


UK government expands open banking project to credit cards, e-wallets and prepaid cards

UK’s Open Banking project expanded — Open Banking — “The OBIE [Open Banking Implementation Entity] has now been asked by the CMA9 and Her Majesty’s Treasury to create open banking standards for all payment account types covered by the European Union’s second Payments Services Directive (PSD2). This means customers using credit cards, e-wallets and prepaid cards will also be able to take advantage of open banking services.”


UK consumers want to set their own contactless transaction limit

Research – Shoppers keen to set their own contactless card limit — Paymentsense — “Nearly half (48%) of shoppers would like to customise their contactless card transaction limit, or would like to the ability to do so, according to new research from Paymentsense. For those shoppers wanting a customisable limit, just over a quarter (26%) would immediately raise it, but nearly one in five people (18%) would lower it.”


UK challenger bank Monzo lets account holders save funds in flexible pots

Launching Pots! — Monzo — “To help you save for specific things, we’ve created Pots: a simple way to set money aside within your main Monzo account. Whether you’re planning a trip around the world, looking to buy a new laptop, or simply saving for a rainy day, pots can help you work towards your modest goals and grandest plans… Creating a pot takes seconds, simply give it a name and add an image… You can set up multiple pots for different purposes, and see an overview of all your money under the Account tab in your app.”


Wembley to let fans store contactless tickets in their Apple Wallet

Contactless ticketing at Wembley Stadium — Wembley Stadium — “The innovation offers fans a new way to seamlessly and securely enter live events with contactless tickets added to Apple Wallet on their iPhone or Apple Watch… The integration of contactless tickets in Apple Wallet will simplify customers’ experience while enhancing security and fostering more personalised engagement with fans. As well as entering the stadium with their contactless tickets, fans can use Apple Pay to buy food and beverages with their iPhone or Apple Watch.”


UK supermarkets to test face recognition for proof-of-age at self-checkout tills

Supermarket self-service tills replace ID checks with facial recognition — The Telegraph — “The technology will be used to remove in-person age checks when customers are buying alcohol and other age restricted items… Using Yoti at a self service till would involve a QR code showing up on the checkout screen, which could be scanned by the app. The Yoti app would then scan the shopper’s face to confirm their identity, and would then connect to the till over the internet to verify the purchase.”



Barclays trials digital receipt service

Fintech startup Flux partners with Barclays for itemised receipts — Techcrunch — “Flux, the London fintech startup founded by former early employees at Revolut, has announced a partnership with Barclays in the UK that will see it trial its itemised receipt technology with 10,000 of the bank’s customers… On the merchant side, the trial also sees Flux partnering with Barclaycard, which will provide the ability for merchants, via integration through their point-of-sale devices, to issue digital receipts to any customer.”


Facebook expands Messenger P2P payments to the UK

Facebook Messenger payments comes to UK — BBC News — “Facebook has chosen the UK as the first country outside the US to get its Messenger payments service… David Marcus, who runs Messenger, says it is obvious from our messages that we need this. ‘More and more people are having conversations on Messenger about paying one another,’ he explains. ‘As a result it’s a very natural place for you to have the most frictionless and secure way of paying each other.'”



UK contactless card users neglect to check the transaction amount

Consumers ‘not checking’ contactless purchases — Retail Systems — “More than three quarters (76%) of Britons have used contactless payments and 40% now make half or more of their card payments using contactless. However, nearly half (48%) are not always checking the amount before they tap to pay. Young people (those aged 18-34) are the least likely to check the amount before paying, with only four in ten (39%) doing so every time they pay. Customers aged 55 or over are more vigilant, with 62% saying they check the amount every time they use contactless.”


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