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.” 


UnionPay: NFC mobile payment volumes are ‘growing quickly’ in China

Apple Pay growing fast but still bit player in China: UnionPay — Caixin — “Two years after their launch in China, a group of third-party mobile payment services led by global giant Apple Inc make up only a small fraction of contactless payments in the country, but the number is growing quickly… About 20% of UnionPay’s 94tn yuan (US$14.2tn) in annual transaction volume now comes from near field communication (NFC) technology payments.” 


Stripe: Bitcoin is now too slow and too expensive to be viable for payments

Ending Bitcoin support — Stripe — “Transaction confirmation times have risen substantially; this, in turn, has led to an increase in the failure rate of transactions denominated in fiat currencies. (By the time the transaction is confirmed, fluctuations in Bitcoin price mean that it’s for the “wrong” amount.) Furthermore, fees have risen a great deal. For a regular Bitcoin transaction, a fee of tens of US dollars is common, making Bitcoin transactions about as expensive as bank wires.” 


One in five Americans are using voice assistants and chatbots for commerce

Securing conversational commerce: How to make your interactions with virtual assistants safer — Mastercard — “Voice-based and text-based agents are commonly used for basic informational tasks ranging from performing an internet search, to finding the nearest restaurant and giving simple commands such as making a phone call. But a growing number of people are using this interface for more complex tasks, with 21% of respondents using this technology to shop, pay bills, bank online or send money.” 


PCI publishes specifications for PIN entry on mobile phones and tablets

PCI Security Standards Council publishes security requirements for software-based PIN entry on COTS devices — PCI Security Standards Council — “The PCI Software-Based Pin Entry on Cots (SPoC) standard provides requirements for developing secure solutions that enable EMV contact and contactless transactions with pin entry on the merchant’s consumer device using a secure pin entry application in combination with a Secure Card Reader for Pin (SCRP).” 



Mastercard to mandate biometric security for online and mobile payments in Europe

Biometric identification must be made available for all Mastercard users by April 2019 — Mastercard — “All consumers will be able to identify themselves with biometrics such as fingerprints or facial recognition, when they shop and pay with Mastercard by April next year… Banks issuing Mastercard-branded cards will have to be able to offer biometric authentication for remote transactions, alongside existing PIN and password verification. It will also apply to all contactless transactions made at terminals with a mobile device.” 


Tencent opens up WeChat Pay to overseas credit card holders

WeChat Pay now allows users to bind overseas credit cards — Technode — “Expats living in China and residents of Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan — places where WeChat is ambitiously expanding its user base — can now bind and activate WeChat Pay accounts with credit card services provided by MasterCard, Visa, and JCB… This is the first time users are able to use WeChat Pay without having a Chinese bank account or credit card.” 


Radius Bank lets customers add location-based transaction restrictions

Radius Bank launches innovative card control app to give customers greater financial peace of mind — Radius Bank — “The Radius Card app provides a number of money management benefits, including: On/off switch allows customers to quickly turn off their debit card should it become misplaced and back on again once it has been recovered; Location-based restrictions prevent transactions outside a specific area determined by the user; Real-time alerts whenever the card is used or when a transaction has been attempted and declined; Spending caps and activity limits to help users budget expenses better.” 


Shell pilots RFID system that scans all the items in a shopping basket in one go

Supermarket checkout designed to scan entire shopping basket trialled in London — Evening Standard — “Each shopping item has a tiny ‘radio frequency identification’ chip embedded in it… The customer first places their items on a scanning platform, which displays the full list on a screen. They open a smartphone app and tap the device on a reader to deduct payment from an account linked to a card app, such as Apple Pay or Android Pay, and are then emailed a receipt.” 


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.” 


Dutch banks ING and Rabobank begin QR code payments pilot

ING and Rabobank customers can now try out Payconiq — Payconiq — “Payconiq allows their users to simply pay online and in-stores by scanning a QR code. Thanks to a direct connection with the user’s bank account, transactions can be swiftly processed against low costs for the merchants… Consumers can already pay at over 45,000 merchants in Belgium and Luxembourg and soon in Germany where Payconiq has been released earlier this month.” 


ABN Amro pulls out of Dutch banks’ mobile payment venture

ABN Amro and Payconiq discontinue collaboration talks — ABN Amro — “ABN Amro and payment service Payconiq have decided to end their talks to explore potential for collaboration… ABN Amro has made strategic choices of its own that impact the way the bank aims to serve its clients’ interests. For example, ABN Amro is further expanding the functionality of its popular payment request app, Tikkie, to retail and business clients.” 


Commonwealth Bank introduces chatbot that can answer 200 banking and payments questions

Commonwealth Bank launches chatbot named Ceba — Commonwealth Bank of Australia — “Commonwealth Bank has launched its chatbot Ceba to assist customers with more than 200 banking tasks such as activating their card, checking account balance, making payments, or getting cardless cash… Available 24/7, Ceba can recognise approximately 60,000 different ways customers ask for the 200 banking tasks and will eventually be able to tell customers what they are spending their money on.” 


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.” 


Cargo turns Uber cars into convenience stores

How Cargo is helping Uber drivers earn extra cash by selling stuff to passengers — VentureBeat — “Cargo partners with brands across confectionery, electronics, cosmetics, and more to offer riders access to goods such as chocolate bars and USB cables. The company sends a transparent case to drivers, along with the goods, which they place in the vehicle’s front compartment, allowing passengers to see at a glance what’s on offer. The traveler can then make payment using PayPal, Apple Pay, Android Pay, or their credit card through Cargo’s mobile website, using a unique code to ensure payment goes to the right driver.” 


Mastercard to add biometric security to online transactions in Europe

Mastercard establishes biometrics as the new normal for safer online shopping — Mastercard — “Consumers will have the capability to use biometrics, such as fingerprints or facial recognition, as a way to identify themselves when they shop and pay with Mastercard as of April 2019… This shift to biometrics is part of Mastercard’s new action plan to help banks, retailers and partners to prevent fraud and improve the consumer experience in the new digital environment. It also meets new regulatory requirements around Strong Customer Authentication set out by PSD2 and is aimed at ensuring a smoother consumer experience and reducing unjustified declines.” 


Walmart expands Scan & Go mobile self-checkout pilot to 100 more stores

Why We’re Helping More Customers Scan and Go — Walmart — “The app allows customers to scan and bag items, including produce, while they shop and pay directly with their phones… Once customers are done shopping and have paid for their items, they simply walk through the Mobile Express lane on their way out… Customers see the price of individual items as they scan them along with a running total.” 


Dunkin’ Donuts offers faster pickups to customers who order via mobile

Dunkin’ Donuts unveils next generation concept store in Quincy, MA — Dunkin’ Donuts — “An exclusive On-the-Go drive-thru lane lets DD Perks members who order ahead via Dunkin’s mobile app bypass the ordering lane and merge straight into the line for the pickup window… Dunkin’ Donuts has also introduced an area dedicated to mobile pickups, so that members of the DD Perks Rewards program who order ahead via Dunkin’s mobile app can get in and out of the restaurant faster than ever before.” 


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