Sberbank lets customers pay via Telegram messaging bots

Sberbank and Telegram create unique payment solution — Sberbank — “The solution allows payments to be accepted from MasterCard, Visa and Mir bank cards. In addition, in a first for Russia, it is now possible to pay using Apple Pay and Android Pay within Telegram bots. This means that now Sberbank partners can easily accept payments as well as orders via Telegram bots.” 


Australian banks to offer real-time payments

Real-time payments to be launched after Australia Day — The Sydney Morning Herald — “The A$1bn project, triggered by a 2012 review of Australia’s payment infrastructure, will mean customers of different banks will be able to make and receive real-time payments, 24 hours a day and seven days a week… It will also allow consumers to arrange payments using their ‘PayID,’ such as a mobile phone number, instead of an account number or BSB. Customers will also be able to include 280 characters of text with a payment, up from 18 now.” 


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.” 


Shake Shack to open cashless kiosk in New York

Shake Shack to open cashless, kiosk-only location in New York City — CNBC — “Located in Astor Place, this Shake Shack won’t have a cashier’s counter. Instead, guests will use digital kiosks or their mobile phones to place orders. Manning these kiosks will be “hospitality champs,” Shake Shack employees who specialize in making customers’ time in the restaurant as seamless and enjoyable as possible.” 


Google drops NFC Smart Unlock due to ‘extremely low usage’

Google reveals why it killed NFC Smart Lock in Android — BetaNews — “It recently came to light that Google had killed off NFC Smart Lock in Android — without telling anyone. Now the company has come clean about just why the feature was given the chop. Google says that ‘in the case of NFC unlock, we’ve seen extremely low usage,’ adding that there are now many more ways of unlocking Android devices. But while Google points to features such as on-body detection, fingerprint scanning and Trusted Places, fans of the missing feature say that none of these are comparable.” 


UnionPay rolls out Apple Pay transit payments in Guangzhou

Buses and subways to become new battlefield for mobile payments — South China Morning Post — “Commuters with UnionPay cards can now pay for their ride with their iPhone or Apple Watch at more than 6,000 subway gates at all stations in the city… Payments will be possible using technology called offline data authentication (ODA), and can be completed regardless of an internet connection… UnionPay estimates 90bn individual trips are made using Chinese buses and subways annually.” 


Timex adds contactless payments to watchstraps

Barclaycard teams up with Timex to launch contactless watch — Campaign — “In the new watch, named the Fairfield Contactless, bPay has been embedded in its leather strap and users can make purchases up to £30 (US$40). The watch retails for £159 (US$213) but the contactless straps can be purchased separately. It will be available for sale in early November.” 


Gateless transit ticketing system to be piloted in the UK

Your face could be your ticket at the Tube station of the future — Wired — “One of the problems Cubic is trying to solve is the bottleneck that occurs at ticket gates when everyone rushes to dig out their ticket or pass. To avoid this crush, Cubic suggests removing the gates completely. Instead, its prototype system uses an object tracking system to track passengers as they walk through… Cubic aims to get this gateless tracking system to a UK station within the year.” 



US consumers continue to rely on cash for payments

Cash is still a constant for US consumers — Glory — “84% of US consumers would still like the option to pay by cash while 63% feel it is the most secure way to pay… 61% of Americans trust cash more than mobile payments and 55% favor it over cards respectively. Convenience also plays a key role in consumers’ choice of payments, with 87% wanting the option to pay with cash in all transactions… 64% of consumers use cash the same amount or more than they did a year ago.” 


AirPlus staff test cards with built-in fingerprint readers

AirPlus pilots biometric corporate card — Business Travel News — “Payments provider AirPlus is testing a biometric corporate card for which users can use a fingerprint rather than a pin at checkout, AirPlus head of research and development Uli Danz told BTN… The card may not be available to clients for a while because, as Danz told BTN, “in the credit card business there are a lot of rules, and the rules are not yet set for biometrics or fingerprints on card.” 


Supermarket giant Carrefour launches mobile wallet in China

Carrefour unveils digital wallet, teams up with China UnionPay to develop mobile payment ecosystem — Yicai Global — “Europe’s largest retailer, France-based Carrefour SA, has introduced its own mobile wallet dubbed CarrefourPay and joined hands with China UnionPay, a bankcard provider, to build a mobile payment ecosphere… The cross-industry partnership will see both firms working together in such areas as general payment platforms, membership systems, secure payments, big data analysis and smart retail.” 


New protocol alerts users to encryption breaches

Computer scientists address gap in messaging privacy — University of Birmingham — “With current end-to-end encryption, if an attacker compromises a recipient’s device, they can then put themselves in a position to intercept, read and alter all future communications without sender or recipient ever knowing. The new protocol, published in IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security, forces attackers to leave evidence of any such activity and alerts users to take action.” 


HSBC to let customers view accounts from multiple banks in one app

HSBC to let UK customers manage different bank accounts on one screen with new app — CNBC — “Customers can add accounts from up to 21 different banks, including Barclays, Lloyds and Bank of America. When a new account is added, login details for each account are tailored to that bank’s interface… The bank has spent US$2bn globally to work on its digital banking platform.” 


Dubai government picks NFC for blockchain currency launch

Dubai Economy launches partnership to expedite emCash — Dubai Department of Economic Development — “Founded on the latest blockchain technology, emCash will be the digital currency in emPay wallet… emPay allows UAE residents to make varied payments, from their daily coffee and children’s school fee to utility charges and money transfers, through the near field communication (NFC) option in their phones. With emCash, emPay users will have the option of a secure digital currency, and merchants receive such payments in real time without going through intermediaries.” 


American Express launches mobile-first credit card in Canada

American Express goes mobile-first with its new millennial-facing credit card — IT Business Canada — “According to AmEx director of new product development Laura Cocksedge, the card was designed start to finish as a mobile-first experience, with users able to use the Cobalt’s accompanying app to register for the card, verify their identities, track their spending, and use it with mobile payment platforms including Apple Pay, Android Pay, and American Express’s own AmEx Pay.” 


Apple publishes Face ID security white paper

Face ID Security — Apple — “To authorize an in-store payment with Face ID, you must first confirm intent to pay by double-clicking the side button. You then authenticate using Face ID before placing your iPhone X near the contactless payment reader. If you’d like to select a different Apple Pay payment method after Face ID authentication, you’ll need to reauthenticate, but you won’t have to double-click the side button again.” 



Chinese government to embed eIDs in SIM cards

China to introduce eIDs embedded in SIM cards — ECNS — “China is planning to embed personal identity information into SIM cards to better protect citizens’ private information, according to the country’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS)… When making transactions with SIM eIDs, citizens will no longer need to provide personal information, such as their names, address, phone number, and ID number, because online platforms will be able to verify the authenticity and validity of the eID.” 


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