UK government to use NFC to verify residency status of EU citizens after Brexit

Brexit: Three ‘simple’ questions for EU citizens to stay in UK — BBC — “Applicants with Android phones will be able to download an app which can read the chip in their passport to verify their identity — and they will be able to take a ‘selfie’ that can be checked against Home Office records, said Mr Javid. But he said there was an ‘an issue at the moment’ with Apple device users, who will not be able to make use of this app, and instead will have to send in their passport to prove their identity… The home secretary said he had raised the issue with Apple on a recent visit to Silicon Valley and the company was ‘looking at it actively’.”


Popularity of contactless payments pushes debit cards ahead of cash in the UK

Convenience of debit card payments puts cash in second place — UK Finance — “The popularity of contactless payments among UK consumers is a key driver of debit card growth. In total, across both debit and credit cards, the number of contactless payments increased by 97% during 2017 to 5.6bn. Almost two thirds (63%) of people in the UK now use contactless payments, and no age group or region falls below 50% usage.”


Transport for London adds in-app contactless journey tracking

Contactless journeys now available to view on the go via free TfL app — Transport for London — “Customers using contactless payment cards in London can now view their journey history on the go following the latest update to the free TfL Oyster and contactless app. Half of all Tube and rail ‘pay as you go’ journeys in London are now regularly made using contactless payment cards or mobile devices.”


NatWest reports strong consumer uptake for direct alternative to card-based mobile payments

NatWest trials new way to pay for online shopping — RBS — “The service removes the need to input long card numbers by providing customers with the option to press a NatWest button at the end of the purchase process which will take them through to their mobile app. Then the customer will login with Touch ID or their standard password before the process will complete automatically… Customers will immediately see their balance, updated in real time… In the initial trial, over half of customers chose to make their payment using the NatWest service, rather than use their card.”



Challenger banks add location-based payments to mobile apps

UK banks are trying out location-based P2P payments — Tearsheet — “On Friday, Revolut introduced a feature called ‘Near Me’ which lets its customers find other Revolut customers using the same feature and send them money without knowing their contact details. On Monday, Monzo rolled out a capability called ‘Nearby Friends’… When the user opens Nearby Friends, Monzo generates a token representing the user through its API, which is then sent to Google Nearby through Bluetooth on the user’s device to ‘broadcast’ it to other Monzo apps within a 90-foot radius.”



Charity to roll out contactless donation screens following successful three week pilot

Contactless donations project raises thousands for homeless in Cardiff — Wales Online — “The interactive window in the city centre allows passers-by to tap their card on the screen and donate £2 (US$2.85) to homeless charities… A total of 430 kind-hearted shoppers in Cardiff swiped their contactless cards to give money to the homeless in just three weeks… Following its success during the trial in March the Give DIFFerently campaign now hopes to roll out more contactless points across the city.”


Church of England rolls out contactless donations to 16,000 churches, cathedrals and religious sites

Church of England brings cashless transactions to its congregations — Church of England — “Over 16,000 churches, cathedrals, and religious sites will now have access to portable card readers through the Church of England’s Parish Buying portal through a partnership with SumUp and iZettle. The readers will be used to take contactless payments, Apple Pay and Google Pay, as well as chip & pin… Technology facilitating charitable donations on a self-service basis, including passing around a reader for the collection, continues to be trialled and is expected to be launched in phase two of the project.”


UK supermarket rolls out in-aisle checkout and rewards

Convenient future in store as Co-op dials-up pay in aisle technology — Co-op — “The innovative move, which harnesses the latest technology, allows customers to scan products on their own device as they walk around the store — known as a ‘frictionless shopping experience’. When they have finished shopping, the amount they owe will then be deducted from their account with a single click… The technology also links information from a customer’s Co-op Membership account — telling shoppers how much they have saved and, how much the Co-op will donate to local good causes following the transaction.”


Barclaycard reports rapid rise in mobile and wearable payments volumes

Next phase of contactless revolution sees rapid growth in mobile and wearable payments — Barclaycard — “The amount spent using Barclaycard’s Android Contactless Mobile facility has increased 365% year-on-year, while spending via bPay — a unique, flexible payments chip that can be embedded into a variety of products such as watches and jewellery — jumped 129%… Overall, contactless payments, including those made on a credit and debit card, have seen continued growth over the last 12 months, with a 79% uplift in spending.”


Mobile payments reach ‘tipping point’ in the UK

Tipping point for ‘tap and go’ as mobile payments top £975 million — Worldpay — “The number of in-store contactless transactions made via a mobile device totalled 126m last year, with the amount spent topping £975m (US$1.3bn). This marks a 328% year-on-year rise in in-store mobile spending… Accounting for 59% of all in-store mobile transactions, the supermarket sector has been an important driver in the uptake of digital wallets such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay, as time-poor shoppers grab groceries on the go. Pubs, bars and restaurants make up a further 12.5% of the total spend.”


Barclaycard tests on-table ‘totems’ that let customers check themselves out of a restaurant

Dining on demand: Barclaycard launches first ‘Dine & Dash’ restaurant — Barclaycard — “Barclaycard has developed ‘Dine & Dash’, a new solution enabling diners to simply walk out after eating — bypassing the traditional bill-paying process — which will be unveiled with a consumer trial at high-street chain Prezzo. The launch comes in response to 38% of diners who want to avoid waiting for the bill and 67% of restaurant owners who are in favour of an ‘invisibill’ way to pay to improve service and customer satisfaction.”



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.”


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